Monday, December 15, 2014

God Jul!

Hej everyone!

So this blog post is gonna be a bit unconventional. I'm gonna mix it up a bit! I am sure all of you are just getting so excited for Christmas... So, today I am going to be informing you all about what Christmas is like in a the wonderful and weird land of Sweden.  

Starting on the first Sunday of December Swedes start the long awaited countdown to Christmas! Most families have a little candle holder on their tables with 4 tall candles. Each Sunday is one advent (The first Sunday being called First Advent and so on...) and on each Sunday you light a Candle! So then the first week the first candle burns and by the last week all four are burning. You are going to find a common theme here that Swedes are obsessed with candles. I think it has something to do with the fact that we only get 5 hours of sunlight and the sun is usually blocked by clouds! 

Sankta Lucia
On the 13th of December there is a day celebrated by the Swedish Church called Santa Lucia. Santa means Saint! Bascially, Santa Lucia is a saint who brings light to the dark land of Sweden. Therefore, she is represented as a woman in white robes wearing a very nifty candle hat. She basically has like 7 candles on her head. (Remember the obsession with candles?) It is really cool because all of the churches do little concerts and sing special songs about Santa Lucia! I went to one at Adolf Fredriks Kyrka in Östermalmstorg. It was presented by little kids and they were all very talented. 

Jul Fika
Throughout Jul time Swedes love to snack on a type of gingerbread called Pepparkakor and eat lots of Clementine oranges. There is also this special drink called Julmust that everyone is obsessed over. It is seriously cheaper than water and Swedes drink it like it is going out of style. Swedes and most missionaries love it, but I think it is kind of weird! 

Swedes have a big Christmas feast called Julbord. But, this isn't just any old turkey or ham being served... instead they eat seal! Yes, that cuddly little animal is being eaten up around Scandinavia. But that's not all folks! There is also a large selection of caviar, fish potatoes, and various jams to wash it all down! I am also pretty sure there will be lots of Jul must. 

Jul is celebrated on the 24th. Swedes like to have their holidays so open to relaxation that they don't even celebrate them on the actual day! So on Christmas, which is really Christmas Eve, they do all the present opening after the Julbord feast! In Sweden Santa Clause is Jultomten but if you ask me I think Jultomten is a really scary creature and I dont want him to visit me in the night. (Look at the pic of me dressed like Jultomten and tell me it isnt scary!)

Extra Extra! Christmas Goat
A very traditional little ornament is a Christmas goat (Julbock) made out of straw! I guess it has some traditional symbolism though. According to Swedish lore, Jultomten rides a goat when he delivers presents! So there you have it :) 

Anyways, I wish you all a God Jul! Dont forget to put the Christ in Christmas! And keep on spreading the He is the Gift video! #DelaGåvan

Med, Kärlek

-äldste treat

Monday, December 8, 2014

Monday, December 1, 2014

Swedish Thanksgiving

Hej Hej!

Greetings everyone! I hope you have all recovered from your Thanksgiving tummies. Did you eat so much you want to hibernate until Christmas? Can you believe it is December? Whew! Here in Stockholm I am beginning to be worried that we wont have a white Christmas! Can you believe it? We are actually staying (relatively) warm here and there isn't any snö (yet)! Anyways, I am sure you are all just dying to here what my week has been like so I won't keep you waiting any longer! 

Staying in Lidingö!
On Friday at our district meeting our zone leader, Elder Olsen (who is now home), came up to us to deliver the long awaited and highly anticipated transfer news. He took me and Keele into a little football huddle and began delivering the news. He started with Keele and said ''Elder Keele, you will be spending your Christmas... on Lidingö.'' This wasn't really a surprise since he goes home at the end of December but we high fived because it is pretty cool to stay in Lidingö! Then he continued and said ''Elder Treat, you will be spending Christmas.... in Lidingö!'' Because of the way he said it I totally though it would be a different place but it looks like I will be staying. I am stoked, there is still a lot here for me to do and I will get to be in Stockholm for Christmas! They already have some sweet decorations up and all the stores are decked out with Jul stuff! 

Han är gåvan!
We are all super excited to be working with a new campaign that the church has started called ''He is the Gift'' It is a lot like the Because of Him video from Easter except this time it if for Christmas. You can check it out on! It is a pretty short little video that reminds us of the really reason of Christmas which would obviously be Jesus. As part of the campaign they are seriously flooding media with advertisements. On December 7th the church has bought every single ad on the Youtube homepage! And there is gonna be a huge ad going on in Times Square! Hopefully tons of people will see it. As missionaries we are gonna be using the video a ton. Hopefully we can just find random people on the street and be like ''Hey, wanna see a super sick video about Christmas?'' and then we will watch it on our phone and they will be baptized. Hopefully. Anyways, go check it out because it really is nifty and it makes you feel all good and happy and stuff. 

Random Things!
- We had a super foggy day! It was foggy all day long and it was SUPER THICK. You really couldn't see much! When it is foggy all the ships have to use big horns so all day long you just hear these really loud sounds. They are kinda low like the sounds whales make but they are really loud. 

-Everyone thinks I talk Swedish with a German accent. Everyone always asks me ''Kommer du ifrån Tyskland?'' So i guess that is a step! 

-We taught a lot of lessons this week with home teaching splits so we have already been able to share the He Is the Gift video! 

-We had a sweet Thanksgiving (even though Swedes dont have that holiday) with all the missionaries. I tried a Scandinavian ''treat'' which is gingerbread topped with blue cheese! I know right... what the heck? It actually isn't so bad! :) Definitely weird though! 

Well, I gotta bounce. Have a wonderful Jul time wherever you are! 

Med Kärlek, 

Äldste Treat 

Christmas Moose

The Fog!

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