Monday, December 14, 2015

C'est La Vie!





No but heyyyyy! How are you?

Breaking News: This week, Äldste Treat (19) received a phone called from Äldste Albertsen that notified him that he will be moving to Örebro, and acquiring a new companion named Äldste Baquedano. When asked what his feelings were about it he released an official statement. To read see Page 8.

Thanksgiving!
So something awesome happened. A family here in Borås put on a thanksgiving for us! It was almost American! We had chicken, and mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie! It was just a bit Swedishized, because we had lingon jam with our potatoes and the turkey bird didn't make an appearance. But, I gotta say it was just about as good as it gets. When we went around and said what we were thankful for, I said that I am thankful for families like the Ahlströms who do the  amazing  things for missionaries to give us a piece of home and boost us up. The members really make Sweden a special place. Also, when you are in Sweden you get to skip the whole Black Friday thing which is way nice. 

Also,
We have been working on our Christmas spirit! We have lights up in our apartment, we are drinking lots of Julmust* and we are showing everyone the Church's new Christmas video! (christmas.mormon.org)  Not to mention all the glögg** and the pepparkakor***! 

*A Swedish soda that only comes out around Christmas time. It has a counterpart named Påskmust that only comes out around Easter. 

**a non-alcoholic wine-cider that you put raisins and almonds in the bottom of the glass when you drink it and it is always burning hot and then you eat the soggy almondy raisins. Kinda cool? 

***ginger breads that are usually shaped like hearts and are consumed almost constantly until January 1st. 


Page 8
Äldste Treat stated, ''Well dang man, this is a bag of mixed emotions, ya know? Borås has been dooooope. Like, I love this place. It is just special. The ward is amazing, the city is beautiful, and the missionaries here are top notch. 3 months here just isn't enough. The people here are just the best. The biggest hearts and the best food are in Borås. Johanson is a rad dude too.  I don't really wanna see this place in the rear view mirror... but Örebro will be cool. I mean, there is an eight hundred year old castle in the middle of the town. Also, my companion is from France so that is sick. I guess whatever I was supposed to do here got done... and now I'm moving on. I'm excited though.'' It has been reported by eye witnesses that Äldste Treat encouraged ward members during his departing testimony to ''call the mission president and complain'' in regards to his departure. As he left the Borås chapel, a single tear dropped from his left eye, leaving an insignificant mark on the rain splotched sidewalk. For further information you may contact him directly at camden.treat@myldsmail.net

Swedish Gandalf Mind-Wizard®
There is a man here in Borås who is a mission legend. He is basically a mix of Johnny Depp, Gandalf and Gordon. B Hinckley. Got it? He is a member here! Well here is the kicker: He reads faces. Like he looks at the physical characteristics of a person's face and he tells you the attributes that come with it. For example, he said I have a very ''honest'' nose. which means it is really hard for me to lie, which is really true. There was about 5 points during my hour long face reading session that I busted up laughing because he was so accurate about my personality. It is so real. He is a total mind-wizard! He said it just comes from careful observation... no one taught him about it. He is like 87 years old so he has had lots of practice. He told me a lot of cool things that I already knew about myself, but got a better understanding of as he explained them. It was so rad.

The best interaction ever
This week I told this little kid that he has good style (Du har jättebra stil mannen) And he said (O! Det vet jag faktist) which means Oh! Yeah I know that, actually. So I told him, ''du måste fortsätta med det här... flickorna kommer att tycker om dig!'' (You need to keep doing this because the girls are gonna love you!) So he says, ''De älskar mig redan, det är inget nytt'' (They already love me, this is nothing new!) I took a selfie pic with him to commemorate his epic lines. 
Tankar
Lately I have been thinking a lot about enjoying life in the moment. Sometimes I feel like I am always living life for the next event. I am more excited for tomorrow than I am for right now. I am thoroughly convinced that learning to enjoy the present is the skill of life. Just having two feet on the ground, and loving the place you are standing. I guess when it comes down to it, there isn't much of a rush to move to the next thing. Because if you are always living for the next thing you will never be satisfied. 2 Nephi 2:25 says,

25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

Simple truth. Life is for our happiness. Smile! :) 

And now some wisdom from the God of snowboarding:

''When it comes down to it, adventure is what you make of it. And whether its the travel or the discovery, or just the feeling of letting go, the only way we'll ever find it is to get out there and do it. Enjoy the ride.'' -Travis Rice

Hearts, 

Äldste Treat 



















    Monday, November 23, 2015

    Silence

    Hejo!

    It's been another week!

    This week I finally broke out my big jacket so I am going to be braving the cold from here on out. I swear Sweden is coldest right about this time and then once it starts snowing a ton it gets better because all of the moisture leaves the air. It is so funny watching the way Sweden changes when it gets cold. On Saturday we walked into the town square, called Södra Torget, and there was a ton of people out. They were all bundled up. The greatest and most Swedish thing was that even though the square was quite filled it was silent. I mean DEAD. I stopped Johanson and stood still. We had been talking, but we then realized that everyone in the whole city could probably hear us. We stood in silence for a good 3-5 minutes. People were just standing around waiting for buses, so there wasn't even footsteps. After 5 minutes I got the worst itch in my nose and ripped a massive sneeze that probably frightened everyone in the place. We had a good laugh though. 

    Right now we have just been doing the usual! Knocking on doors, and contacting all the peoples! We don't have any progressing investigators. It seems like that is the eternal battle for Swedish missionaries! On Friday night we were walking around and all of the sudden there was this huge parade of people going through the town and they all had torches. All the little Swedish children were in their one piece snowsuits and all of the parents were helping them carry their torches. There was a marching band comprised of soldiers out in front of them all leading the way. It was so random. So being the curious Americans we are we sort of wandered along not really sure where we were going. Eventually, the parade lead to the town square where they did the Christmas Tree lighting, and everyone got some glögg which is sort of a cider. I think it is mulled wine in English. 

    Funny Observation: I think Sweden feels a lot like Whoville (see The Grinch) in the winter time. I wouldn't be surprised if the doctor himself modeled it after Swedish cities and culture. 

    Currently we are teaching a lot of practice lessons with our ward members. We have been focusing on The Restoration and the First Vision. It has been a really good experience because the members here really know their stuff! They help us out too... especially with Swedish! Just when I think I know this language I realize I have been doing something wrong for 17 months. OH D@NG! We also had a little Meet the Mormons movie night on Sunday at a member's house. We had to peace out early to catch a bus so we could be home by curfew... but it was fun! 

    So starting on the 29th the church comes out with a new Christmas Initiative which is going to be focusing on the savior. It is called A Savior Is Born and it will be on christmas.mormon.org I think! So hopefully this will give us a new opportunity to discuss beliefs with people on the street. We are also going to be having some cool Christmas cards to hand out to everyone. 

    Well, I wish you all a wonderful week and a happy Thanksgiving! If you haven't seen the movie, Fantastic Mister Fox I highly recommend it as a post-feast film. 

    Loves, 

    Ä Treat 





    Monday, November 9, 2015

    Sheepy P-Day

    Whaddup!

    How's movember everyone? I hope all of your mustaches and beards are coming in nicely. Unless you are a lady. In that case, I wish you the opposite. 

    You all are in desperate need of updates considering the fact that I have a new companion. So without further to do.....

    Introducing Äldste Johanson
    So first off, apologies to  anyone who was mentally, emotionally, or physically injured by the mistake in the previous post. Äldste Johanson is not from Utah. I repeat, not from UTAH! He is from Colorado. My bad. Moving on though. Johanson is a frequent consumer of Cheerios. He has a singing voice that sounds as good as pancakes taste, and he is a former thespian. He and I share a common love for teas and ciders, and yesterday night we baked a cake. It was delicious, thanks for asking. Why am I talking about food so much? Back to Johanson. Somehow this kid can speak Swedish like a wizard. He is proof the Gift of Tongues works. He has been out on his mission for like 7 months. 

    Goodbye Stoeltz
    Stoeltz rolled out a while ago but I haven't made the official announcement yet. Jacob Stoeltzing has left the building. He is probably somewhere in California right now. Hit him up, I bet he is single. He has been home for 12 days though so it is possible that has changed. Ya never know... RMs these days. 

    A Sheepy P-Day
    On Monday (October 26th) we got to go visit a castle in the Northern Göteborg area called Bohus Fortress. At one point it was the capital of Norway. It was a super awesome castle but it is only open in the summer so we could only stay on the outside of it. Outside of it there was a little fence and a lot of sheep though! At one point the sisters were chasing sheep and they caused a huge stampede of sheep running right towards me. Naturally, I took a selfie with the stampede and the weirdest thing happened. When I held up the camera all the sheep stopped, and looked into it. I took the picture and then I turned around and they were all looking up at me. One sheep, which I assume was the leader or alpha-male, stepped forward as if to challenge me. I held my ground though, and I petted his head. While maintaining eye contact with his square pupils I knelt down (now on his level) and grabbed some grass. I held it out to him, and he nibbled on it. I considered it payment for the selfie. He seemed pleased with my peace offering and he led the herd on their merry way. It was a spiritual experience I guess. 

    The State of Borås Address
    Borås is good. Well of course, Borås is good. The ward here is awesome. We have even started to play innebandy on Saturdays with some of the young single adults and some of the old married adults too. 

    Sister Hong, if you remember her from Jakobsberg, got transferred here too! So that is a super nifty bonus. 

    We have been doing a lot of activities with the ward! This ward actually has a young mens quorum! So on Wednesday we helped rake leaves and then we baked pizza with them afterwards. It is so crazy how 8 year old Swedish kids are so amazing at English. They show me up in both languages!

    Right now our investigators are few, but our doors knocked are many. Knocking doors is sort of lame but at the same time is sort of entertaining because you get to meet a lot of people. 

    Life is pretty much great. 

    I dont have much else to report! I have been eating a lot of pear flavored ice cream and I think that is the best flavor. I feel sad for AMERICA without the pear ice cream :( You have Halloween though so it evens out. 

    The BOM(b)
    Lately I have been working on studying The Book of Mormon. Someone asked ''What is true about the BOM?'' We say ''I know this book is true'' so often. But really, it is important to sit down and ask ourselves: What is true about the Book Of Mormon? Obviously, every person has a different reason. What is your reason for knowing it is true?

     The conclusion I came to is that the Book of Mormon has true moral principles that can lead people to success and joy. It helps us to understand the nature of Christ's philosophy better, and it can show us certain traits that we can develop to become better human beings. I have learned a lot of moral principles from the BOM. I don't understand it perfectly, but I do think its contents can apply to a lot of different situations. We all need to decide what actually makes the Book of Mormon true and be ready to share it. We need to know how to back that up and how to answer that question if people ever ask.

    A Salutation
    Thanks for reading. 

    Catch ya next time, 

    Äldste Cam Treat 













    Monday, October 26, 2015

    Me again

    Ohhhh Hej! 

    Me again. 

    It's that time of year when people start making fun of my last name super hard! Even in Sweden. I love this time of year though, and I just gotta say... Fall looks dang good on Sweden. Traveling through the country side is a spiritual experience just seeing all the colors and trees and all that good stuff! 

    So the last two weeks have been sort of crazy. We have been trying to pack in everything possible since Stoeltz only has a sliver of time left before he rolls out! The benefits of being with a "dying" missionary are actually pretty nice because you get to experience all of the culture events, shopping, and member dinners without having to pack a single bag. I just kinda roll with it. I'm just along for the ride. 

    In order to catch you all up on the happenings in Borås I have compiled an easy to read list: 
    -Stake Conference in Göteborg 
    -"Elders Conference" which was a district meeting where we knew the sisters couldn't come so we through in some manly speeches inspired by artofmanliness.com 
    -Splits with everyone in our district! We travel around to Jönköping and Skövde 
    -A whole lots of Stoeltz's "lasts" (Last Kebab, Last P-Day, Last Sunday) 
    -We had a "funeral" for Stoeltz. It had a full program including Musical Numbers, Talks, Eulogies, and poems. 
    -We are surströmming (remember the rotten fish?!) as a district. I decided not to fall for that again, so I just watched and laughed from a distance. 
    -An 8 y.o. Member in our ward got baptized! 
    -Our ward mission leader got married (ewwww cooties!) 
    -Lots more 

    Funny thing: On Sunday Stoeltz gave his departing testimony, but the bishops son also just came home from his mission so it was his Homecoming. On top of it all we have another Sister leaving on a mission to Canada... So it was her farewell. DANG. It was a missionary Sunday and we got to see every side of the spectrum. 

    Life is happening so quickly I forgot to mention that I am staying in Borås and I am getting a new companion named Äldste Johanson. He has a Swedish name, but he is from Utah. That is basically all that I know about him right now. He comes in on Wednesday though! Nifty. 

    We have been visiting a lot of members in the later part of this month for good byes and I have noticed that Borås really does have some amazing people. People are amazingly kind to us and they feed us some really great food. I am just grateful for the people here. Members really can make a difference in the lives of missionaries through small acts of kindness. 

    I will close with a funny story: 
    This week while traveling back from splits (Jönköping to Borås) our bus driver gets on the intercom and mumbles something in a language that sounded more like Danish. Well I heard something about Borås but I just figured he was announcing we were coming in soon. NOPE. He just blew through Borås and we were on our way to Göteborg (about 1 hour further) without any say in the situation. It was just one of those "oh well" sort of moments. What is a usual occurrence for missionaries would sometimes be a big deal for the average person.  I just think the whole concept of missionary travel is chaotic, but it's all fun. 

    Love/hugs

    -Äldste Camden Treat 

    P.S. the really weird pictures come from the bus station in Jönköping. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder... 







    Monday, October 5, 2015

    Hashtag General Conference

    Hej hej alla! 

    What's good? 

    So first and foremost I hope you all have had a fun conference weekend. Did anyone else notice that they had a hashtag for the new apostles? It was creatively named #NewApostles. I sure wish I could check Twitter to see how much that one blew up! 

    Conference as a missionary is a little different than conference at home. We watch it at the church here in Borås and we show it in both Swedish and English. Most people watch it in English though because Swedes are so stinkin' talented.  Most people just watch it at home though so it kind of feels like watching an almost phased out movie at the movie theater. 

    We have some cool traditions as missionaries though! We buy a lot of candy (godis) which is sold by the kilogram and pig out for two days... but it turns out that most of us here in Borås are sort of health nuts so we ate a lot of carrots. I personally celebrated by eating two PB&J sandwiches and drinking a hefty amount of whole milk. It was dandy. 

    I personally enjoyed Dieter's talk that was in the Saturday Morning session. It was all about how sometimes we just need to take a step back and simplify the gospel. Sometimes we just need to go back to the simple truths. Especially the simple truth of Christ.  I felt like it was a different style for a conference talk, but I really liked it. It was realistic and straightforward and I hope it touched a lot of people. 

    Other than conference these are some of the things that have happened over the last two weeks: 

    -We did a service project for a family and we basically jsut chopped wood with chainsaws out in Middleofnowwhere, Sweden and then we took it all back to their house because they have a wood-burning heating system. 

    -This week I found a FROG on the way home. EXCITING.

    -Äldste Stoeltzing got a tick from the lumberjack experience so I had to become a temporary surgeon and help him. He was really freaked out but everything worked out just fine. 

    -We also had a zone conference in Göteborg and that is a really cool city. I saw Sister Giles from Gävle and she was really excited to see me and she gifted me a moose tooth. She is super funny.  She really gave me a real tooth from a real moose skull she found in a forest. 

    -This week I went on splits with a dude named Äldste Dickson! We were in Jönköping and we had a  really fun time. He had a ton of funny things set up for the weekend so we spent almost all of our time playing sports with the ward. Volleyball on Friday night and Innebandy on Saturday night. It was perfect <3

    -I visited a museum where matches were invented! Tandsticksmuseet! It was about as exciting as a match museum sounds...

    I love you allllll. Enjoy life. Breathe deep. 

    -äldste godis












     

    Monday, September 21, 2015

    Introducing Boras!

    Greetings to you and you,

    It's that time of the week again! BLOG POST time.

    So as you have recently heard, I am a new resident of the city of Borås. And it just so happens that BORÅS IS AMAZING. Honestly, there is just something special about this side of the country. And that special thing is called mountains. Because for those of you at home that think that Sweden is a mountainy, foresty place.... you are right.... except for the mountains. Sweden is FLAT. Buuuut, over here there are some very large rocky hills that are about as mountainy as it gets for me. 

    Jokes aside, this side of the country is beautiful. As I was embarking through the wilderness in the comfort of an SJ QuickTrain I truly realized how amazing Sweden is, especially in the fall. Travelling through the countryside was almost shocking after being a dweller of the concrete jungle. Heck, I even saw a DEER. This was the first wild creature to be spotted on my mission if you exclude the Stockholm pigeons. 

    out with the old and in with the new. Even though I was sort of sad to see the old go. I got pretty comfortable living in Stockholm. I guess after livning in the middle of the city for 9 months you would expect that though.  I became an adept traveler of those cobblestone streets *tear* Oh well. I thought I was never going back to Stockholm the first time I left... you never know. 

    I'm sure everyone over there is missing me something awful (jokes) but I have been greeted by a wonderful bunch here... 

    Introducing Äldste Stoeltzing!
    So first off I need to say that ''killing'' (being last companions with someone) is somewhat of an honor. Especially for someone as legendary as Stoeltzing. Way back in the day in my third week in Sweden I was sitting on a bench observing a game of missionary innebandy and Elder Stoeltzing came and sat down next to me. I was a pretty avid follower of his blog back in my pre-mission days so I struck up a conversation with him. He explained to me that he wouldn't be going home until October 2015 (which at that point seemed unfathomably distant) Little did I know, our paths would cross one year in the future, in the city of Borås. So Stoeltz is 5 foot 6, he shreds on the guitar, and we share a mutual love of the written word. Also he is from California and Swedes always think that is cool because he doesnt have to explain where his state is to people. We also have Syster Lund (from Cali) and Syster Nielsen (from Oregon) so we have a cool Northwest vibe going with that. 

    Introducing Borås!
    Borås is this cute little city in western Sweden that sits in a really nifty coniferous valley. I can't pinpoint it but this city just has some very good vibes. It isn't too big, it isn't too small, and people appear really happy. Even though I will love Stockholm forever and ever, people in Stockholm are just so busy and fed up with people who want to take their time. In contrast, Borås has a very open and laid back feel. A nice change of pace for sure. This makes missionary work so much better because when we stop and talk to people... they talk back! WHAT? I'm telling you, GOOD VIBES exist here. 

    So about five years ago Borås was known for being very boring. I mean... their city emblem is two pairs of scissors where other cities have viking boats and dragons... so they kind of did it to themselves. Buuuut they decided to start a lot of cultural art projects and established a large art week every September where they throw up some really sick wall murals. So this city is teeming with amazing culture. Not to mention the European architecture and the city layout. If you can't tell from all of this... this is my kind of city. 

    Borås ward is also a change of pace because it is about 100 people and their are actually kids! This is borderline American standards. GOOD VIBES. Also their is this cool old guy named Våge and he is like the backbone of Borås (he basically has been here since the beginning) and he decided to call me Elder Godis (Go-dees) which means Elder Candy. I think it is catching on because most of the people in the ward are doing it already. 

    This week has already been fantastic. On the train ride over here I was able to talked to an American woman from Seatlle on the train and really connect with her about the gospel. I dont know why but I have been meeting a lot of Americans lately! I like to think that I am a master with Swedish, but it really felt good just talking with someone in English who understand English. It felt really good to connect with them on a deeper level. Shout out to Stateside missions! You kids are lucky. 

    It has been a very spiritual week because Äldste Stoeltzing taught a really good district meeting in Jönköping about making visions and setting goals. We had some time to reflect on what changes we want to make and how we want the next transfer (and the rest of our missions for that matter) to turn out. Äldste Stoeltzing and I sat down and made a really go hard vision since he is about to cross the finish line! A sprint to the end of sorts. 

    On top of all this we have been able to teach some cool investigators that were found last transfer by Stoeltz and Blackburn. Stoeltzing actually trained Blackburn, and there is always something special about greenies. They make areas explode with awesome investigators. So Stoeltz and I get to continue the magic and hopefully bring some new people into this awesome ward. We even had a few teenagers show up to church! This doesnt happen very often. This place is just blowing me away. All I can say is GOOD VIBES. 


    RANDOMS:
    -I met a lady from Camden, New Jersey on the train ride over here! She was nice. 
    -We went on splits to a small city called Skövde
    -I met a man named Torsköld which means Thor Shield. 
    -There are lots of Americans in this ward 
    -Stoeltz and I met a psychotic dude who is convinced that he is part of the CIA 
    -Our church building has a robot lawnmower that just going around on the lawn 24/7 (THE FUTURE!) 


    Well I am really excited for the next 6 weeks. It should be amazing. Love you alllll.

    Hugs, 

    Äldste Treat 















    Monday, September 14, 2015

    Borås!

    Me again :) 

    So here is a quick update on life across the pond! 

    UPDATE:
    This week I got a call and I found out that I am moving! 

    So here we go... Drum roll plz. 

    I am moving toooooooo...... 

    BORÅS! (Boor-ohss)

    So that is pretty cool because I have always wanted to go over to that side of the mission. So I will now be in the Göteborg zone! Finally outside of the Stockholm side of the mission. I have heard that things are actually pretty different as you move across to the west coast of the mission. It is actually very similar to the United States in the way that the East Is very busy and formal and the West has a much more laid back vibe. So I am excited to see how that goes. 

    The real positive is that I am not going to be up in the frigid north for the winter! At least that's how it looks right now. (Hopeful President doesnt read this and get any ideas...) When people have asked me where I want to go though I have always told them that I want to go over to Borås or Alingsås so I am stoked. I will be with Elder Stoeltzing for his last transfer so I will be "killing" him. That should be fun. He is a chill dude. He has a blog too so you can find that. 

    So this week we tried to do some chalk art but it was an epic failure because about 20 minutes after we started a big pro-immigration rally started in the middle of the city and people covered the place where we were trying to draw. So we hung around and watched the rally go down because I am actually pretty interested in the future of Sweden. I don't know if you have read about it but Syria and other middle-eastern countries are basically evacuating into Europe and Sweden is having a massive movement to take in all the immigrants they possibly can. So they kinda took over Sergels Torg and we lost our canvas for the chalk art. So that didn't really work but it was cool to talk to a few people before we got squished out. 

    This week I have been doing a lot of good bye visits and trying to enjoy my "last days in Stockholm" but I guess the last time I thought it was my last time in Stockholm I was only halfway done with this place. So today I am just trying to take it all in. I love this city and I will surely miss it. It has been a good week for sure. I will miss Jakobsberg  and DeMordaunt too. It has definitely been a good part of my mission. Oh well, time to move on, ya know? 

    This week I gave my last district meeting in Jakobsberg! When I move to Borås I will be returning to just be a regular, plain boring missionary without any fancy titles. But it was a cool chance to be able to be a DL for 4 months. So after district meeting we ordered a bunch of kebab (we like that stuff!) and had a little party. It was nifty. 


    PICTURES:
    So on this update you will see a wide array of pictures that span a significant amount of time..

    -We went and visited Vaxholm, a Swedish fortress in the northern Archipelago!

    -I went on splits with my MTC companion Äldste Hemmingsen! We went and got some Kebab together. I am not gonna be happy when I return to pizza without french fries. It is a must

    -Here is a picture of us visiting the Robinson's! A senior couple we have family home evening with.

    GOODBYE:
    Love you all! Thanks 4 reading! :) 

    -Ä Treat