Thursday, October 10, 2013

October 7, 2013

Dear Family,

That is so great that your adventure in Canada all went well.  And that Mom didn't get sick on the sea plane.  That sounds really cool.  I thought all your pictures were really cool!  Thanks for sending me some!  I will be able to send all of mine from this week because I think I only took 4.  Sorry I am still so behind on sending those.  They take a long time to send :/  But I did get your package and letter with the stuff from Estee.  Thank you all so much for it!  It was great to receive :) Thanks for the oil vials and stuff and the lovely tie and the candies.  I also loved Jake's letter.  It was so funny how he described his whole comicon adventure.  Something about how nerdy it was and how the Unicorn City centaur had some nerdy thing.  I have the picture of him with the weird centaur guy hanging up because I think its so funny.  Make sure to thank Estee for her art stuff. Tell her that I am going to try to hang up some of her pictures she sent up because they are so beautiful :).

That is really fun to hear about Estee really turning the corner with math and stuff!  That is great news!  Hopefully she starts to get more comfortable with soccer but thats really funny that she headed the ball!  Poor thing :)  Also great news to hear about Jake!  I've decided learning a language is the hardest subject; it is one of those things that demands that you change your way of thinking, not just learning how to do things. I think I understand him pretty well though :) Is he still liking cross country?  That is super cool that he did it and will finish! It is also great to hear about Abby, in her email she kinda told me a little about the week and how crazy Saturday was for her haha.  That is also great news that she is going to morp too!  I am happy for her and for all my siblings! I love them all so much and just really want them to excel in everything they do.

Unfortunately I was unable to eat a cinnamon roll on cinnamon roll day, but I did have some apple pie at a members house.  I did not know that the Swedes were the one's that invented the cinnamopn roll! Cool! That is fun to hear that you put the baptism on facebook haha.  Did you guys know that H&M is a swedish company? There are seriously so many of them. They're all over the place. 

That is awful to hear about the Utah State game! I feel bad for Chuckie Keeton :( I have a feeling that could be a major problem for them. Stupid cougars.....but good I guess to hear that Utah kept it close with UCLA!  That is not good to hear that Wilson threw 6 picks though! How is the offense doing? Is the defense weak or pretty solid? That is cool to hear that Michigan dominated, but seriously poor Jerry Kill.  That would be really hard!  I heard from somewhere that Reggie Bush with the Lions is really doing great, is it true? And how are the Tigers doing?

I am doing good though.  I feel like all my problems stem from the language.  It really is better but it is still very frustrating to sometimes not being able to understand people. I can speak pretty good still and am trying to remember all the grammar stuff which I am continually learning but usually I can communicate pretty basically with people and get an idea of what they are talking about which is really cool to think that 3 months ago all I knew was yes and no.

So here is how the week went:
Monday- For p-day the highlight was going to a very swedish restaurant cafe thing.  We all wanted to get the lunch buffet of bread (with cheese and butter as is traditional in Sweden), soup, and then cake.  I ate sooooo much, my stomach was huge for a long time and we didn't even eat dinner because we were still full.  I wanted to get my moneys worth so I had like half a loaf of bread, 2 big bowls of their soup, and then like 6 pieces of their cake.  It was really good though.  Just so you know my weight that I had gained from working out in the MTC is gone and I weigh exactly what I weighed before I not much has changed I think.

Tuesday- We had our last district meeting with the people from our district because transfers were this week.  We lose 4 of our members and so for lunch that day everyone brought something to eat.  We brought chili, and then others brought cornbread, a delicious pear drink, and cinnamon bread with vanilla sauce for dessert.  I also found out today from some college students that we were helping move that college in Sweden is absolutely free. Also until just a few years ago anyone from around the world could come and study there for free as well.  Now you have to be a citizen to get the free education.

Wednesday- It was a weird day.  We built bunk beds (and moved our old beds out of our apartment) for the new elders that will be living with us and that took forever and then we also got to meet the sister missionaries who we are splitting the area with.  They are cool and it should be good to have another set of missionaries in our area!  

Thursday- We had some pizza at a members house and one of the pizzas had shrimp on it!  It was pretty good.  Swedes like to have weird things on their pizza haha.  We went and talked to the young men in the ward about our missions and it was really cool and they all said they were going to serve missions too.  It was super cool to talk with them all and midway through I sorta realized how much people looked up to us just because we are missionaries.  Kinda weird almost but a cool privilege and responsibility.  After we had American "fika" (fika is like Swedish snacks or refreshments) and so we were wondering what exactly we were going to have but we got to have root beer floats!  It was really good :)

Friday- The new elders who live with us got here.  They are both going home in December.  One of them was just barely one of the assistants to the president and is from England.  I hung up the UK flag on the wall and I thought that grandpa would enjoy seeing it.  We also got to play some basketball!  Unfortunately I was slipping around but it was still fun :)

Saturday- We got to watch the Saturday morning session live (so it started at 6 PM).  It was super good to watch.  

Sunday- We basically watched conference all day.  We watched priesthood session from 11-1 our time and then Saturday afternoon session from 2-4 our time and then the Sunday morning session live from 6-8 our time. So we just need to watch the Sunday afternoon session sometime during the week.  Priesthood reminded me of the great times I had going with Dad to watch priesthood and either before or after going and watching all the awesome football games that were on (or in the Spring all the march madness that was on).  I can't wait to do that again and with Jake!  It was funny here because all the missionaries buy conference candy to eat.  So I also did that and it was funny because we all had so much candy!  Swedes love their sweets (especially ice cream :) ).  I was thinking I was going to write some of my favorite talks that I most enjoyed, but looking through my notes I feel like I enjoy them all!  Conference is such a wonderful and neat thing!  Anyway love you all and miss you all!  Have great weeks!  I am doing great here and thank you for your many prayers!  


Äldste Ward  

Aldste Allsop (Aldste Ward's companion) working so hard!
Pic of all the rocks they are had to dynamite because they are going to be building something there.  It isn't too far from where we live or the church so when we hear them blow up the rocks the buildings shake!

A pic of a coke and a note we left for an investigator we have because the door to his work was locked when we tried to visit him (his boss is a member and said we could drop by when he is working there) We aren't too sure if he got it though...

Baptism of Emeka!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

September 30, 2013

Dear Family,

That is really cool Mom and Dad that you guys are in Vancouver with the Blotters!  That sounds really fun!  The picture you sent of it raining kinda looked like Sweden and so did the other pictures!  It reminds me that everyone here asks what is the biggest difference between Sweden and the states and I think their food is the biggest difference, but honestly there isn't too much of a difference at all in terms of culture and food.  The basic meal that I have had here with members and stuff is salad and then potatoes with some sort of meat and sauce poured on them (like Swedish meatballs :) ) and then for dessert ice cream.  I think that Swedish people really like ice cream. :)  

That will be really cool that the Blotter's get to see Josh!  Tell them to tell him hi for me! I'm sure that the sea plane trip will be a blast and I hope Mom you don't get too seasick on it!  I also hope that Abby is still doing great watching the kids at home :) I'm sure it will all be fine.  I really liked the letter that Estee sent me!  So cute! :)  That is really cool for Grandpa that he retired.  That will be really fun to spend more time with him!  I got to email him back last week and he told me that it was his last week with the county! Way to go for Jake as well!  Is he enjoying cross country?  I think it is really cool that he is doing that!    

Thanks for the football news.  Good to hear about the Aggies winning.  I hope they win next week over BYU.  I am pumped that Brighton beat Alta!  Their was a sister in the MTC with me (who is also in Sweden now) who went to Alta but just graduated in 2012 and she is actually in my district right now so I will have to tell her that Brighton won.  Good news it sounds like about everything.

The language progressed well this week, I can usually understand at least what they are talking about and can have conversations with people which is great.  It is funny because everyone says that it is always easier when you are learning a language to understand, not to speak it, but for me I think it is the other way around so far hahaha.  I actually got a nice compliment from a guy in church yesterday that said I have good pronunciation and that it was a gift I had.  It totally is a blessing, I am really grateful that Heavenly Father blesses me so much to be able to communicate so well for the little time I have been here. Truly remarkable! Also while we are on compliments given last p-day we were shopping in H&M (there are so many of their stores in Sweden) and some guy came up to me and asked if I was from England and I said no, USA and then he said he just thought that because I looked smart.  I wasn't really sure what that meant but the Elder who was with me told me it meant stylish!  So I guess I have been looking pretty good lately ;), but thanks for buying me all my nice clothes that I have now and for teaching me how to look nice.  I thought that was funny, anyway onto the rest of the week!  

Monday night was so much fun!  We went with our new convert, Petter, to Kungsbacka (a nearby city a little south of Gothenburg) and met the sister missionaries there to go and watch a soccer game with one of their investigators at his house.  It was only allowed if we were there also with someone so we were glad that it did work out and during halftime they had a little lesson and I felt like Petter did a great job of connecting with the other guy.  It was really fun to have a sports night.  The game was a really big one, it was in the Swedish national soccer league whatever it is called and the teams were IFK from Göteborg and their rival from Stockholm, AIK.  IFK was ranked #3 and AIK was #4.  I almost forgot to add in that IFK won 3-1! I think right now IFK is sitting at number 2 in the rankings. It was seriously so much fun.  We got a ton of pizza and other snacks and I just ate so much :)  (by the way AIK from Stockholm had a really good guy who looked quite a bit like Denard! You guys should see if you can look him up!).  Also another highlight for p-day was that I had my first taste of Swedish fast-food.  I had a little meal from Burger King, it was pretty good.  The thing that stinks about Sweden is that no where has free refills :( but luckily we don't go out to eat that much so it's fine :).

Other highlights form this week were that there is a family (the Lee family) who only the husband is a member and he is inactive but recently they have been coming to church.  We started teaching the wife and this week we were able to commit her to working toward being baptized in Late November (probably Nov 30 for now).  Her name is Jessica and we are excited for her.  They have four kids and two are old enough to be baptized but they never sit with us during the lessons so we hope that we can start teaching them soon as well!  

I also found a really cool talk this week about the Book of Mormon, you should read it if you have time!  Very interesting.  It is called A Treasured Testament and it was given by Russel M. Nelson.

We had a dinner this week and we were in charge of bringing a dessert so we made some banana bread which was actually really good :) but we were running late for our bus and so we were sprinting down the sidewalk in my sweater and suit pants holding a loaf of banana bread wrapped in a towel hahaha.  I am pretty sure I looked ridiculous.  But it all worked out and things went great!  

This week I had the best kabob pizza I had had yet!  I got pineapples, onions, and fries all on it and dang, it was sooo good :) So I thought that was a pretty cool thing, the place was called Dr. Fries Pizzeria, kinda a weird name but it was good and it was with a member which was cool.

We also moved apartments to the Oscarson's (the old couple who went home a few weeks ago) and it is only like a 5 minute walk from our old place.  We had to move because we are getting two elders living with us next Saturday, but they will be working in Kungsbacka and will have a car.  In our old apartment Sisters are moving there to be working in our area with us!  So pretty exciting news.  Also I heard that Lambson, who doesn't serve too far from us, will be transferring over to somewhere near Stockholm!  So I won't be seeing him for a while I guess, it was really cool that I was able to see him the times I did here!  

Our Elder's Quorum President, Rich, the guy that texted you guys, had us come over for some lunch and then move a bunch of chopped wood for him (because his house or something in the winter is heated by them burning wood so it's important to him to get that done) anyway he also gave us "Christmas presents" in case we get transferred before that and I got an awesome Swedish soccer ball (my companion a ball with flags from all over the world on it) and we both got these nice waterproof jackets that are from the french car company Peugeot.  It was so nice of him to do that! He is seriously such a nice guy and a great help to us!

On Saturday the Kungsbacka sisters had a baptism for this African guy named Emeka (meka) and we have met him a few times because he actually lives by us and he is super cool guy!  Anyway he wanted me to baptize him so I did and it was a really cool experience.  Everything went perfect!  Also while we were sitting together before the program there was a fly buzzing around and Emeka caught it right out of the air!  It was pretty ridiculous.  

Anyway not really any other news that I can say, it sounds like things are going great back home!  Have a great week and it is so great to talk to you all and hear from you and thanks for all the nice and motivating things that you say.  Thanks for all that you do for me and all that you have done for me!  I have the best parents ever.  I love you all and miss you! 


Äldste Ward

Andy's letter to Estee :)

Dear Estee,

Thanks so much for writing me :) I really liked your letter.  I am having a good time and hope you are all having a good time too.  That is really exciting you got a monster high girl costume for Halloween! That is also good to hear that Ephraim's Rescue was good!  I miss Star Wars though.  That is super fun that you got to go to Tyler's birthday party and get candy and have a blast!  Mom sent me a picture of you all dressed up as Princess Leia and it was a really good costume!  That is really cool too that you got a halloween barbie with a bag!  I miss and love you so much Estee!  Have a great week at school and everything else you do!  


Andy :) (Elder Ward)