Monday, November 18, 2013

November 18, 2013

Dear Family,

Thanks so much as always for writing me :) I do always love hearing the adventures you guys are having back home.  But first off I got your package today and it was great!  Thanks so much!  Some pictures are attached of the Christmas tree and the advent calender and then me wearing the little crown thing that was in there too.  Thanks so much for sending all the stuff that you did! I love you all!  

Anyway this week was a crazy week getting adjusted to our new area!  My companion is named Elder Ogaard and he is from a little town in Idaho like 45 minutes from of Boise.  He is a funny guy that loves to "game" (like video games) but we get along really well.  Anyway, basically the rundown of the week was Tuesday was my last day in Göteborg and then Wednesday morning at 6 AM Elder Allsop had to be taken to the train station to catch his train.  I said bye to him at the station and I am sure I will see him around.  The rest of the day I was with the elders who I lived with who served in Kungsbacka (an area just south of Göteborg) and who are both going home in December.  They are both awesome and funny guys and one is from England and was the AP when I arrived to Sweden.  They are good successful missionaries!  Anyway we actually had a pretty boring day just driving people to the train station but we did get to have some pizza hut buffet for lunch :).  After I got on my train and had like a 3 hour train ride to a stop and then I had to get off and catch a bus and an hour later got to Karlskrona.  The travel plans were that I was going to be waiting at the station from 8:30-9:30 for my companion to arrive and then the sisters in the area would give us the keys and stuff.  Well at 9:20 the sisters got there and said that Elder Ogaard's train had been delayed (there was a freight train accident by Stockholm that screwed up some of the trains for the week) until 10:30.  So we waited around and then at 11, he still wasn't there so after calling the missionary office and stuff they said wait there until 12 and then call President Newell.  Well a little before 11:30 he got there and we caught the last bus to our apartment and then after a little difficulty found our apartment and were able to go to bed by 1.  

Unfortunately the next day was a little crazy as well haha.  We unpacked and got settled a little bit and then were able to check out the church and then we grabbed some kebab and got on a train BACK to Göteborg for a special zone training we were having with 4 other zones.  So we got back late and I slept in the same apartment that I used to sleep in, just in a sleeping bag not a bed haha.  (I still slept great!). Luckily we had some time before we had to catch the tram so I took my companion and the sister missionaries from Karlskrona to a glass elevator in a hotel which overlooks Liseberg, Gothenburg's theme park, which was all decked out for Christmas.  It was really cool and now they all think that Göteborg is the coolest place ever (which it is pretty cool).  
View from the glass elevator in Goteborg.
The next day (Friday), we had the zone training and it was pretty good.  We got to meet most of the missionaries in my zone, and President and Sister Newell were there and President had an interview with me and asked how everything was going and stuff and said that the plan is that next transfer the plan is that I will be training one of the new missionaries who come in!  Crazy!  Of course plans change often but I was surprised that he thought that I was ready enough in 6 weeks.  I also think that is really cool that he thinks that about me!  Anyway that night we, for my third day in a row, took the 4 hour trip from Göteborg to Karlskrona.  

Yesterday at church was pretty good I guess.  I bore my testimony in sacrament and told a little about myself to everyone. Elder Ogaard previously told the branch president that he is the man to call if they ever need someone to give a talk so of course he was asked to give a 20 minute talk on Saturday.  But his attitude about public speaking was really good: "it is actually great to public speak because no one can stop you from talking for as long as you want".  I thought that was a great way to look at it and humorous.  We also got to teach a lesson to a primary class.  I am super lucky and fortunate that the Lord helps me so much with Swedish!  Learning a language is really hard but I am getting there :)

The weather here is not too bad still.  It is not a whole lot warmer down here than Gothenburg but I feel like it is noticeably warmer.  I think all of Sweden just rains a lot :/ hahaha.  Still no sight of snow.

Dad those are some cool facts about Karlskrona.  There are a bunch of islands in the area and a lot are connected by bridges from what I can tell from the maps.  I honestly don't know too much about it and I haven't been able to see much of it yet, but 30,000 people sounds like a correct number.  

Also really neat that you met a person from Sweden!  That is way cool that they have a cabin on the Baltic Sea!  Way neat!  I think it would be really cool if I could go to the far north (although that is mainly because I want to see the northern lights!).  I have also heard that the fjords in Norway are really neat.  

That sounds like a pretty crazy sports week.  Too bad to hear about Utah losing to Oregon, but at the same time glad they stuck in there for as long as they did.  Also good to hear the Jazz won finally.  I hope Trey Burke gets healthy soon but mostly I hope that he is still playing for the Jazz when I get home!  And way to go finally for Michigan!  That sounds like a nerve racking game!  It also sounds like a pretty sloppy game.  But that is awesome that they won!

That is hilarious about Abby and Huckleberry Finn, It reminds me of the time when I wrote in the middle of a paper for Financial Literacy: "I doubt this sentence will be noticed, but if it is circle it" and then I got the paper back graded and that sentence not circled hahahahaha.  

But Abby is just so smart.  That is sweet that she was able to pull out the 4.0 despite the challenges! I am happy to hear that she is destroying in chemistry too. Keep working hard Abby!  When do you take the ACT? :)

And also congrats Jake.  Keep working hard too :)  You are way smart (just like your older sibings hehehe) and are awesome!  Have a great birthday and I am so sorry I didn't send you anything :(.  Have fun skiing (you little turd, I can't believe mom is letting you get out of school!!) with dad and get ready to teach me how to do it in 2 years!  Good luck with Junior Jazz season!  I loved your drawing you drew in the package I just got too :) haha

Good to hear that Estee is making friends and having a blast with school, ping pong and chess hahaha.  Estee you are awesome!  Keep being the great girl you are :)

That sounds like a neat movie about the guy on the ship.  It is so true about life.  Never is everything perfect and we always have tasks to accomplish.  Luckily like you said we always have help and need never fear.  

And yes we are still spending time at the church every week to do family history work.  This week I found a story about one of the Holmsteads (I think it was Eric) who came from Sweden and one point in the journey the ship was going slow and he said that he could swim faster than the ship was going and then someone dared him to do so.  So he jumped off the back and swam all the way to the front when the crew pulled him in and the captain threatened that he might have to put him in chains!  A crazy story!  

How is Grandma doing health wise?  I pray for them and will continue to do it!  Awesome that you tell Grandma that I am on a mission in Sweden and remind her every time.  I want them to know! :)

Thank you all for all the nice things you guys do for me and always writing me and sending me letters and packages and just being such a nice and loving family.  I can't think of a better family!  You guys are the best and I love you all so much.  I miss you and can't wait to hear from you again.  


Äldste Ward
Pictures of what I hung up on the wall today

A little crown I wore today from a package I got (I hope it was a crown :) 

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