Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hejdå Provo!

This is my last week in the MTC! We are all trying to work really hard and stay focused, but it is hard. We are all just too excited. All of us have even made guesses about where we are each going to be sent in Sweden! We are doing really well though and improving every day. 

Travel Plans
On Thursday we got some very wonderful mail. Mail is usually one of the best parts of the day, but this particular mail time was particularly good! We got TRAVEL PLANS! *confetti* I think it ruined our focus. They really shouldn't even let you know when you are leaving until the night before because now it is all I can think about. Also, we watched the Danes and Icies head out on Monday which made us even more excited. This week we asked out teachers what you do when you first get to Sweden and they told us that the second day we will probably go street contacting. In some ways that is really motivating and has helped me realize how much more work I have to do to be ready to actually live in Sweden. We are all staying really motivated now!  My Swedish is okay, but definitely not ready. So back to the travel plans! We fly out of SLC to Minneapolis, and then we have a flight to Amsterdam. After that we fly up to Stockholm! We are all kinda worried because we have a really tight connection in Amsterdam, but if we miss our flight and have to chill in Amsterdam for a while no big deal, right?

Last Lesson
We have been teaching two investigators named Mikael and Kris. Our teachers pretend to be people they actually met on their missions so it is really cool. We have been teaching them for about three weeks and we really begin to care about these fictional situations. I feel like it is just a glimpse of real missionary service though. This week Aldste Hemmingsen and I taught out last lesson to Kris. Kris is a man from Romania who loves the Book of Mormon. He read most of the book without us asking! Anyways we had a great lesson on revelation and then invited him to be baptized. Unfortunately, we are gonna be able to make it to his baptism because we are going to be transferred from the Provo area to the Sweden area. It was really cool even though it was fake. Im excited to have real experiences with real people. 

Skype Lesson
This week we were able to Skype with a real Swede! We were told that we would all be talking with members and basically just give them a Family Home evening lesson. Well of course, Aldste Hemmingsen and I drew the lucky straw and right before we got on they told us the person we would be skyping with was a non-member who was investigating! It put a lot of pressure on us because we really wanted to give her a good experience that would hopefully aid her conversion process. I think it went really well and we were able to talk about how the Book of Mormon really is from God not just a book. We talked for about twenty minutes and hopefully answered some of her questions.  I realized that my Swedish wasn't really as good as I thought.... or actually not even close. She laughed at us a lot and had to ask us to repeat our selves often. I think it was a good experience for both of us though! 

A Thief in our Midst
This is really weird. Everyone in my disrict has been losing their garment bottoms. We have no idea where they are all going. By the end of our MTC stay each of us have lost about 4 or 5 bottoms! Even weirder is that we still have all of our shirts so it isnt like we are leaving them somewhere. I came into the MTC with 11 shirts and 11 bottoms, and today I have 11 shirts and 6 bottoms.  I had to buy 6 more today! (1 extra just in case the thief strikes before I leave) We have all tried to decide on the many possible theories on how the heck we are losing so many but we cant really come to a plausible conclusion! We have talked about the possibilities of losing them in the washers, or maybe leaving them by the showers, but the only thing we can come up with is that their is a thief in our midst. A thief that only likes bottoms. Really that is our way of saying we have no idea what is going on. If you have any possible leads please shar them with me. Thanks for you help. 

-Here is another language thing! In Swedish they have slang words, but most of them have to do with violence. Maybe it just comes from the viking times or something, I don't know. If someone wants to say "awesome!" they say grymm! Which literally translated means cruel. Also another way to say awesome if to say "häftigt!" which means violently. Along the same lines as this, Swedes can also say sick the same way we say sick as a slang term. Like "that is sick, bro!" So Swedes can say "det är sjuk!" It is really nifty. 

-One other thing that our teacher taught us is that in Sweden Torbjörn is a common name. Literally translated it means Thunder Bear! What?! Americans need to step it up on the names. Swedes are naming their kids Thunder Bear and we are messing around with sissy names. On a completely related note, I found out what my first born child is going to be named. 

-I cant call the Book of Mormon by its English name any more! In Swedish it is called Mormons Book and that just sounds so much better! I think that is something that will stick with me when I come back. 

Well, the next time you here from me I shall be reporting  from across the pond! Come monday morning I'm peacing out! 

Har det bra,

Äldste Treat


IF Missionaries

Travel Plans have arrived!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

One Month Baby!

Hej Hej alla! 

Today marks four weeks out on my mission! Crazy right? I have a theory that the MTC exists in some sort of strange time warp. In some ways, I look back and i think it is crazy i have already been out so long, but I also feel like I have been here forever! I am definitely starting to wonder if the world exists outside of this place. The MTC is like a little Mormon Utopian bubble that exists in a separate dimension. I dont think I have seen a non-mormon for 28 days...weird! So this week there wasn't much that happened that was out of the ordinary but we are all getting really excited to leave to Sweden soon. 12 more days! Life is good here though! We teach a lot, we learn a lot, and we hear from great speakers. We also find some time to goof off a bit too! 

Jag Klipte mig!
So in Swedish they dont have a word for haircut so when you literally translate the Swedish phrase for "I got a haircut" you just say "I cut me" or "Jag klipte mig" in Swedish.  I know that sounds weird, but it works. I was going to wait until I got to Sweden, but my teacher told me that in Sweden it costs almost 40 dollars to get a basic haircut. I have seen some pretty rough looking haircuts coming out of the barbershop here but I decided to take the risk and go under the blade of the MTC barbershop. I know that sounds like a terrible idea but it actually turned out okay. The haircut is free though, so you get what you pay for. They are pretty efficient and i think the whole haircut took 3 minutes. Not joking! I kinda felt like a sheep being sheared because they just went for it with clippers and took all of my lovely locks away. I dont look that bad though! 

This week is going to be a sad week for our zone because we are having a lot of missionaries head out! We do everything as a zone, so we have become very close to everyone. This week all the Danes are heading off to Denmark! The Icies (what we call the missionaries going to Iceland) are going to be flying to Denmark with them too before they go to Iceland. Our zone is gonna be a bit empty come Monday. That is okay because we are going to be getting a bunch of new Danes next week and then we will be heading out ourselves! I think that all of my Swedes are going  to be getting travel plans this Thursday or Friday! we are getting really excited but we are also focusing harder than ever before. I think we are all realizing that we need to be ready to actually be out on the streets talking to people in Swedish! So we are trying to speak Swedish as much as we possibly can. It is going to be lame to say goodbye to all the cool people I've met here, but I know each and every one of us are going out to do awesome things. 

Remember that bunch of new Dutchies i talked about? Well they are all really cool!  The Swedes and the Dutchies have become really great friends. We also have a rivalry against them in soccer! It is a lot of fun. Well anyways, last night we decided to have a big sleepover to celebrate P-Day.I dont know if it is against the rules, but a bunch of Swedes and Dutchies bunched up in one room and we had a party. Well, we had about as much as a party as you can really have in the MTC. Basically we just had popcorn and Swedish fish and we sat around and talked. Eventually we realized it was 11:30 so we all freaked out because that is crazy late by missionary standards so we went to sleep. The sleep schedule here is pretty exhausting and sleep is a very precious resource so we decided to call it quits a little early. 

Some Funnies
Of course I have to include the funny stuff!

-An Elder in my district has officially finished reading the Swedish dictionary. yes, he had read every Swedish word cover to cover. All of his free time was spent reading the dictionary! I dont know how much it helped him but that is pretty impressive. I think he is still sane but I will update you on how he is doing. 
-The Dutchies had to undergo an event called "Magic Tuesday" last week. I dont want to get into the details of the situation out of respect for women and children... but the Netherlands requires a stool sample for the visa application so yes... The Dutchies pooped in cups. Gnarly right?
-Another funny Swedish mistake! So the word döpas means "to be baptized" and it is pronounced like duh-poss. Well, another word that happens to be very similar is dopas which means "to get high (on drugs)" so you have to be very careful when you are asking someone to be baptized. "Vill du dopas?" is not exactly a question you would expect a missionary to be asking!

So my week has been pretty great! I just wanted to quickly say make sure to write any missionary you know some mail! I feel so terrible when i have to tell kids they didn't get mail. Mail keeps missionaries going! So just pick up a pen and write them something! 

Thanks for reading! 

Love, Äldste Treat

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Week Three: Check!

Hej Hej alla!

This is Äldste Treat reporting another great week live from Provo, Utah! So this week has been a bit chaotic, which is really quite awesome. At the MTC the schedule is always the same. I do the exact same things Monday through Saturday so anything that makes the week different is really nice. So I'm sure you are all just dying to hear about my week so låt oss gå! (Swedish is really similar to English, i bet you can guess what that means!)

Hump Day
I am halfway done with my time at the MTC! Isn't that crazy? 3 weeks down and 3 more to go! Don't get me wrong, the MTC is not a bad place to be. I am just really excited to fly to Sweden! I am also glad I have 3 more weeks because I am definitely nowhere near ready for 24/7 Swedish. Right now I can say basically everything i want, except it is very simple, and very mispronounced. I can understand so much more than I can speak though! I am currently reading through Mormons Bok very, very slowly. It is helping my Swedish though so that is fun! I am also teaching 2 Investigators named Niklas and Kris. They are my teachers, but they are pretty good actors so it almost feels real. They pretend not to understand any English so sometimes I get into situations where I have to get creative to teach them. Usually i can say what I want but if i get in a pinch i draw or play charades with them. The teachers think it is funny. It is crazy how much Swedish we all know even though we have been here 3 weeks. Learning the language and teaching with it is definitely my favorite thing about the MTC.

Awesome Devotional
On Sunday night we heard from an awesome speaker named Elder Heaton who is the Administrative Director of the MTC. He taught us about the most basic part of this gospel: Belief in God. In the countries that my zone is going to we will literally be defending the existence of God every single day. That is our battle! He talk to us all about how an investigator comes to feel Gods love, and how we can know God better. It was so good for me and really applies to my mission. Please please please go and watch the Mormon Message titled "The Hope of God's Light" it is the second best video the church has produced only falling behind the Because Of Him video. The church is really stepping up their media and I think this is really going to help some people.

District Whaaaaat?
So this week we had interviews on Sunday and I have been appointed as district leader of Swedish District 37D! Isn't that nifty? I will be district leader until we land in Sweden! So far i absolutely HATE being the leader because one of my responsibilities is to get the mail for my district daily. It is my job to inform the kids who don't get mail that they don't have anything...and that is awful. I guess on the other hand I am the one who delivers the mail to the kids who do get it, so I kinda feel like Santa Claus! Mail time is like a mini-Christmas. Make sure to write your missionaries people! We love it. 

Bed Bugs
Let's just say that the MTC is not a Hilton. This week there have been two rooms in my hall that have BED BUGS! Ewwwww. So that is awesome (*sarcasm*) To make it worse we got 16 new kids going to the Netherlands this week and some of them have Bed Bugs. Welcome to the MTC I guess. Luckily my room is bed bug free so far!  Since some of the kids in my district had to quarantine their room, they moved into my room. So we have 5 in one room that is barely meant for two. Basically, we just have to laugh at ourselves and be grateful that the bed bugs are gone...for now. It is kinda like a sleepover every night now! 

I spend a lot of time at the MTC laughing because so many weird things happen. Here are some funny things from this week!
-I saw a kid ironing his sheets. Why? I don't know. I guess that is what happens when you don't have TV, music, or movies. You have to find ways to entertain yourself.
-There is a kid in my district who forgot to bring jeans for service, but he found some jeans hidden in a "Narnia Hole." (A narnia hole is a place where past elders hid things in the room for future elders to find. Its like geocaching...sort of) So now he wears those to service. I'm sure there is a gospel lesson in their somewhere. The Lord always provides a way!
-The Danes waged war on us this week. On Monday they attacked us in the Residence Hall with squirt guns that they got in the mail from their moms. The only thing we had to fight back with was licorice so it turned into a candy war and pretty soon there was Jolly Ranchers flying everywhere. We made a mess but we cleaned it up. I'm pretty sure that we are planning a sneak attack on the Danes sometime soon. 

So yeah, this week has been pretty good. 
Thanks for reading! 

-Äldste Treat

Teagan is here too!

I love care packages!!!!

    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

    Week Two ...Check!

    Hej alla!
    Today marks two weeks of being in the MTC and I am sure you have all been on the edge of your seats waiting to hear from me! The life of a missionary is kind of crazy and it feels as if the normal rules of time don't apply to us. So it is really hard to fit all the events of one week into a short little post because so much has happened in just 7 days. I will try though!

    I'm Not a Noob Anymore!
    So now that I have been in here for a while I'm officially not a noob. We have a bunch of new kids coming in today who are going to the Netherlands (we call them the Dutchies) so we aren't the new district anymore. It feels good! I am officially 1/3 of the way done with the MTC which is weird because I feel like I have been here for months! It is still funny because I haven't gotten used to being a missionary! Sometimes I see a group of missionaries walking and I think "Oh look! The missionaries!" just like back home. Then I realize there are 2000 missionaries here and I remember where I am at. It is weird when I see myself with a tag on!

    When It Rains it Pours
    This week has been a little bit eventful! At the MTC we all have ID cards that get us into all the buildings and they are magnetic. Well I put my magnetic tag too close to my ID card and demagnetized it so it wouldn't work anymore. But that's okay because you always have a companion who has there card right? WRONG. He did the same thing, and the place that fixes them was close for 3 days. So we have had to ask people to get all the doors for us. It is pretty lame. As you know I am in a tripanionship, so Aldste Bouton hurt his foot playing soccer so we have been on splits a lot. We have been helping him because he is on crutches, so I've been carrying a lot of stuff around. I'm gonna be so ripped when I come back. Watch out ladies. This week it has also been really rainy and on Monday night it was a torrential downpour for about 10 minutes. A lot of missionaries ran out of class and ran in the rain. Missionaries can have fun too!

    Roliga Saker (Funny Stuff)   
    Kids get so bored at the MTC they find really ridiculous ways to entertain themselves. I saw a group of Filipino missionaries pretending they were on a bus when they were walking. They had a driver leading them and everyone was "sitting" in 2 columns of 2 seats wide.

    Since I am wearing a name tag that says "Elder Treat" on it everyone asks me if that is my real name. yes it is... I also hear something along the lines of "Well its a Treat to meet you" every day!

    I have been teaching a Swedish man named Lennart, all in Swedish. Since I have been teaching him about the Plan of Salvation I have been telling him about the atonement. Well four lessons to late I found out that the verbs for kill, and die are really similar. I have been telling my investigator that Jesus killed for him all week. Shoot.

    Well that's all for this week! Write me/send me mail! I would love to hear from you! 

    -Elder Treat


    The Casual District

    Boredom got the best of us!

    My domain