Monday, February 23, 2015

Gotland!

Goooooooooood afternoon/morning/midnight/lunch time/ evening! I have absolutely no idea when you people read on here...
So I made it. Somehow I figured out how to drag all of my life in the 3 suitcases out on to an island in the middle of the Baltic Sea. What a trip it was!
Introducing... Äldste Jones!
Äldste Jones hails from the land of St. George Utah! He is basically a miracle human because he is a super good missionary, he bakes me muffins, and he is really funny. Seriously though, this kid is sick. I would say watch out ladies, but he still has 20 months on his mission so... off limits for now! He just got finished with training and it is my job to break him out of being a Greenie! Cool beans! Two young stunners hitting the streets of Visby! Stay tuned! More to come about Äldste Jones in future blog posts!
Trip Report
Basically tranfers are the scariest thing in the world because you are ALL ALONE. Which doesn't even seem scary to you normal people but it was absolutely terrifying for us awkward missionaries. Not to mention the fact that somehow we have to figure out how to get all of our bags and crap on to a bunch of different trains and boats and planes and everything. Transfers are chaos. With that said I am proud to report that A) I did not die. B) I am alive. The thing about it is that I am kinda mind-blown I made it because I learned I am really bad at travelling. I only had to take two (2) trains and one (1) boat so it shouldn't have been that hard, right? Wrong! I almost missed both of my trains, and by some Christmas miracle I was able to find the right trains at the last second. At one point I was actually travelling on the wrong train and I noticed it just in time, at the last station possible, just to hop off and run across the platform to the right train. The real chaos came when I got to the boat though. I went to the ferry station, and my future companion was waiting at the train station! So I am running around the ferry station playing Hide-And-Seek for Elder Jones while he is playing an equally frantic game of Hide-And-Seek for me at the train station. Then a solution came...
Lessons from a Hippy
So I am pretty sure a miracle happened because in my time of need a very very very authentic hippy (dreads, sandals, beard, bohemian clothes, the works) came and asked why I was freaking out and running around the station. He spoke Swedish but it was like hippy Swedish. I know you can't really picture it but it was way nifty. I explained the situatiuon to him (which is a really weird thing to explain to someone who doesn't understand missionary life) and then he let me borrow his phone. With a few calls I sorted everything out but it was wild for a minute. Then me and the hippy had a chat about life well Äldste Jones ran for his life to the boat. This bro taught me some really trippy deep stuff about how chaos helps us grow. It was so awesome. I really wanted to take a selfie with him but I didnt want to ruin the moment. Some moments just don't need pictures because it distracts us from being in the now. At least that is what I thoguht at the time because I was in a really deep mood after chatting with him.
I forgot how to drive!
On Gotland we have a car! Well... we share a car! But still! Yay! However, after 7 months outside of the driving life I am a terrible driver. ATTENTION GOTLAND DRIVERS: I am så sorry. Basically, Äldste Jones is my driving instructor right now and things are a little stressy for him because I am awful. Not to mention Swedish roads are quite different. So I petition and plead for all of your prayers to be sent our way. Spiritual protection is needed. Desperately.
Well I gotta go teach people about Jesus now! See ya next week!

-äldste treat





Monday, February 16, 2015

Another Transfer! GOTLAND here i come!



I just wanted to drop in and share some tidings of great joy. 


A Game of Tranfers
Once every 6 weeks a very special day comes called transfer calls! Everyone gets so excited as it gets closer. Predictions are made. Long conversations and speculations are crafted. It is like the excitement of opening your mission call again... except way way smaller. So on Saturday everyone holds their phone really close and tries to distract themselves from thinking about it... but once that phone call from the zone leaders come its go time. The stress is insurmountable.  Because sometimes you want to move and sometimes you don't. Sometimes you get ripped out of a newfound home, seperated from a favorite companion, or torn away from new member friends.

... and sometimes you get a desperately needed change, an escape from a boring area, or a long awaited new start.  

Unfortunately in the Game of Tranfers not everyone comes out on top.

-But everyone is a winner right?! ... Nej!

Basically, at the end of every tranfer call there are winners and naturally, there are losers. 
So I would like to proudly report that I won this transfer. (Not that I would ever tell you if I lost...)

3 days ago I found out that I am leaving ''goatland'' (Gävle's symbol is the goat) and I am heading out to Gotland! Gotland is the little island that Sweden owns that is out by Latvia... kind of. So I will be taking a 3 hour boat ride out to the city of Visby. I mean, yeah, there are probably more sheep than people out there... but it is the most well-preserved viking city in Scandinavia so I am not complaining! Not to brag, but it is kind of the place where all the missionaries want to go. Why? Because it is a flipping Island, that's why! 

Even though I have come to love Gävle and by no means did I want to leave... I think I am a winner (I guess I shouldn't speak too soon!) I forgot to mention that I am Greenie breaking! That means I am getting a missionary who is just finished with training! His name is Äldste Jones and he comes from the Factory. All the Swedes call Utah ''The Factory'' because they pump out so many missionaries. I really hope he is cool because I am gonna be stuck on a tiny island in the Baltic Sea with him... 

I am super stoked.

This is going to be an adventure. 

Hugs, 

Äldste Treat 





Sunday, February 8, 2015

Camden's Back

Gee whiz it has been a while. My mom told me all of you guys were dying for another blog post. It is true though, I have been way slow getting these things out. BUT, I have a New Years Resolution to do better! So expect great things, but not too great of things because then I might not meet your ridiculous expectations and it will be sad....

Anyways quite a bit has happened since we last chatted so here we go, 


From Frogs to Yoga
Here in Gävle we put on a family home evening activity every Monday night. So far we have done lots of awesome things. Sister King taught us to rope (which means lasso for people who dont live on a ranch, and ranch people hate when it is called lassoing) and Sisters Giles taught us yoga because she is a super chill beach person. I taught the family home evening activity recently and we made origami frogs and then we had a Grodatävling which means frog competition. We raced the frogs across the room because the ones we made some that could actually hop! 

Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting
Last week the sisters ran into some weird drunk guys from the Middle East who kicked snow at them and started creepin' so we decided to ask our local Kung Fu Master named Mihail to help us. He competes in Kung Fu and he is super legitimate. So he taught us some Kung Fu moves that we can use when people start creepin'. Have I ever told you that missionaries are like drunk people magnets? This stuff could seriously come in useful some day! It was all fun and games until sister Giles tried to do a high kick and ended up doing a backwards belly flop... and then it was hilarious. 

Dala Dala Häst Y'all!
After district meeting the senior couples (The Hawleys and the Tolleys) drove us up to Nusnäs and we went to do the Dalahäst factory. What is a Dalahäst you ask? A Dalahäst is a wooden horse that is carved and painted in traditional Swedish ''style.'' It comes from the 1800's and it is a national symbol for Sweden!  We were able to see the way these nifty little horses are crafted from lumber to finished project. The cool thing is that they are all hand carved and hand painted on site. They even have one that is 3mm big! And one that is skiing... Of course, everyone dropped hundreds of kronor to get one to take home. I am not sure why but there is something about them that just makes you want one really bad and then you are like ''What does it do... and why do I want a wooden horse?'' After all I haven't wanted a wooden horse before... so I didn't get one because I'm a rebel and the system is whack. 

Semlor Galore
Sweden has a special pastry called Semla (plural: semlor)  that they only make during January and the part of February before Valentine's day. Then they go into hibernation until next year. The problem is that they really should be made year round because they are so good! They shouldn't be good though because they are just a roll, cut in half, with cream and almond paste. I dont care, because I love them ändå. The thing about them is that they are a bit tricky to eat without getting a mustache... 

A Progress Report
So I realized you may want to know what is actually going on here in terms of missionary work since I am a missionary and all. The current status of the work is that things are tricky. I think Swedes become more atheist during the winter and then when the sun comes out they start to believe in God and they smile occasionally and life gets better. Right now we have a few investigators that we have a hard time setting up solid lessons with, but we are always on the lookout to find people. I give out lots of copies of Mormons Bok and contact everyone I can but I haven't found many people to teach. It is all okay because I know that the Lord is gonna help me find the people I need to when the time is right. Ain't nothin' more to do. 

Randoms and Funnies
-There is a selfie of us next to a church boat! In Nusnäs in 1850 or so they used to take this boat around the lake and pick up everyone for church. Kyrkobåt!
-I finally made it to Ikea for the first time! It is about as exciting as I thought a Swedish furniture store would be. 
-I found some lemons in a net at the grocery store and the sign above it said ''Lemons in a Net'' Sweden is very literal. 
-I like the little Swedish post cars here. They are basically golf carts and they drive on the sidewalk. 
-We met a burn-out hippy who loves missionaries. I gave him a Mormons Bok.
-Valentine's Day Special: Kiss means pee in Swedish! Just thought you should know. 


Well I hope you guys all have a fantastic Valentine's Day! Find someone to smooch because I know I wont! #jesusismyvalentine

Peace!

-äldste treat