Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Blog Post: Mini Edition

In this week's episode of Camden In Sweden the Äldste Treat makes an extremely condensed version of the week by cutting away all the fluff and nick nacks. 

One Year Mark: This week I turned one year old in mission age! 365 days. 8,760 hours. I burnt a shirt in celebration of this special event! 

Service: We helped a member with his yard. (He needed LOTS of help because he was basically tearing his whole yard apart)

Chalk Art: A bunch of missionaries gathered together and we made this cool chalk art drawing in Downtown Stockholm. (Sergels Torg to be exact) 

Volleyball: For P-Day we had a giant volleyball tournament and my team won! We came back from the losers bracket and blew everyone away. In return for the win, I got a nasty sunburn so I am not a fan of my collared shirts right now. 

Rough Stuff: Missionary work is slow right now to be honest. We don't really have investigators who are progressing and all the members are on vacation! We are doing lots of finding work but we aren't finding very many people to teach. Lots of people actually just think we can help them move to America or get Swedish residency so they are interested at first and then the truth comes out and they bounce. So it goes! We are still happy and we do what we can every day. 

Fluff and Nicknacks: Okay fine here are a few fluffs and nick nacks for you. 

-Sweden has a thing called Semester. Semester means that everyone takes work off and goes on exotic vacations. Some stores close down. Sacrament isn't as filled as usual. 

-I have noticed a strange trend on public transportation where babies are crying and mothers give them iPads or cellphones to calm them down. When the mom needs their cellphone back (because they have something extremely urgent to do on Instagram,) the babies start screaming again. I think babies are developing screen dependency syndrome. The future is gonna be whack. 

-It is gay pride week in Stockholm

-I contacted this guy on the street who was wearing 2 cardigans, 1 sweater, a button up shirt, and a suit jacket. It is the middle of summer, this guy had to have been roasting! After I explained my purpose and what I am doing he said something totally unitelligible and kissed his hand and held it out, then kissed his other hand and held it out to my companion. After holding them there for a few seconds he lifted his hands and touched the top of our ties and then slid his hands down our ties to our belts. It was so creepy. I dont know if he blessed us our cursed us... so we just said Thanks and walked away. I didn't know if I was supposed to feel terrified or honored! The public is weird. 

Well on that note, it is time for me to peace out!


Äldste Treat

Monday, July 20, 2015

''The Nitty Gritty''

Hello friends, family, acquaintances, people I've never met, old highschool classmates, old companions, return missionaries, future swedish missionaries, moms of swedish missionaries, Stonehaven ward members (shout out to the hood!) Ammon 15th ward members, and all other lucky people who have stumbled upon this blog. (I think that covers all of you!)

Here I am, once again. Blog Post time! My favorite time of the week. 

So I will tell you about the real struggles of being a missionary: Email time. Like yeah, I can talk to random people on the street in a language I don't know, I can hold district meetings for 10 missionaries including the assistants, I can find my way around one of Europe's larger cities... but I can't for the life of me type fast enough to respond to all of you. 

As soon as I sign in to this computer the world's most annying clock counts down every second I have left. A constant reminder of the impending doom that awaits. I seriously never learned the proper way to type and now when I try to type the proper way I AM EVEN SLOWER! It really is the most stressful time of the week... and most of the time I'm not even typing! I am just staring at the clock thinking about all the people I need to write back. So then I usually just end up getting nothing done and becoming a sweaty stressed out mess. Nice. Think: ACT Writing portion. Now you know how this feels. 

But, on to the nitty gritty, hm? 

1. A while ago on July 10th we had a birthday party for the very wonderful, Syster Hong. As any good swedish party requires, we had KORV! Korv is sausage. You grill it, you eat it, you smile. Simple. We threw a little party though and sang a song called ''Happy Birthday'' 

2. it has been raining a lot this week and Äldste Luke and I stumbled upon a double rainbow on the coolest street in Södermalm, Götgatan. It really is the hip part of town. Lots of people with handlebar mustaches and sunglasses (hipsters!) , tiny cafes with enormous prices, and the coolest location ever. Google map it. Anyways, like I said... suddenly, a wild double rainbow appeared. It is defintely one of the coolest pictures I have taken on my mission!

3. We went up to Sigtuna (see Middle of Nowhere) and we found some cool viking stones. They are from 1100 and stuff so that is spiffy. Sigtuna is like a magical place that cant be described very well with the written word. When you think of the perfect little Swedish community with classic lake front houses and Ice cream shops you basically imagine Sigtuna. Life is very chill and happy there. I'm getting a house there when I'm older. 

4. Äldste Luke and I took an adventure break in a forest and found a GIANT ant hill. Since we are boys we hit it with a stick and then spent the next 5 minutes running around trying to avoiding the swarm of ants that poured out of it. Chaos. 

5 Sometimes we end up in the part of town where all the sign are written in arabic. Sometimes I wonder why I learned Swedish... 

6. Work continues as usual. Our mission has an intiative to focus more on the Book of Mormon so we are doing it! We are talking to everyone and having fun. 

I love you all! I'm gonna go get my P-Day on now. 

Peace, Blessings, and everything good.

-Äldste Treat 

PS I bought a slackline. I just couldn't stay away from those things.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Midsummer Birthday!

Hello friends!

Sorry, I'm a slacker... This blog sometimes gets neglected. I feel bad but sometimes I am just straight up lazy....but not today! It is time for a little TLC here. 

So let's go way back. You've already seen the pictures but here are some updates: 

1. We had an awesome P-Day at a park in Handen. We played frisbee (YAYayaY!) and some sand volleyball. We finished off the day by making pyramids out of people... because why not? 

2. Midsummer!: So I must explain this holiday. Swedes celebrate Midsommar on June 21st which is the ''official'' beginning of summer celebrated by dancing around the Maypole and singing songs about frogs. Makes sense, hm?  It is also the longest day of the year! At least the sun is out the longest. Remember how in ancient times people believed that the Earth revolved around the sun? Well it is partially true because life in Sweden revolved around the sun 100%. Sunny day? People are out, happy, drinking, friendly, and busy! Gloomy day: end of the world. no chance. not leaving my bed. 

So back to Midsummer. We went to a place way out in the boonies called Tyrestö By. It was a big field with a little village. It had a kind of scout camp feel to it. So Midsummer is meant to have everyone bring in summer and laugh and dance and sing... but the clouds had a different plan for that. IT RAINED ALL DAY LONG SO HARD. But still we did the traditions of dancing around the maypole and singing the goofy frog songs. It is actually pretty fun to see a bunch of grown adults having a blast jumping around like frogs. Sweden is awesome. Funny note: When they were lifting up the maypole after it had been decorated it CRACKED IN HALF! When it rains it pours I guess. So we had a short little maypole that did just fine. 

Afterwards we went to the chapel in Gubbängen and played a ton of sports and partied hard. Midsummer is one of two (the other is Christmas) days that we get off as missionaries! 

3. I saw Sister LaFontaine, who is now named Chantelle. She is a regular human again! But she served with me in Stockholm (remember her?!) She was on a visit with her family and I randomly ran into her. It didn't even make sense in my brain but somehow it happened. It was so cool to see her! 

4. We got sisters in Jakobsberg! We haven't had sister missionaries for like 5 years here so it is long past due! Syster Hong and Austin have moved here from Karlskrona and we are super happy to have them. Did I mention that Syster Austin is from Idaho Falls?! She is super funny, and most importantly SHE HAS RED HAIR! RED... HAIR! Syster Hong is from Arkansas, her family is from Mexico, she is allergic to mosquitoes, and she wears headbands! They are both super down to earth and are going to be perfect for Jakobsberg. How nifty. Seriously, these sisters are cool people. 

5. I am old enough to go on a mission! I turned 19 on the 29th of June at 11:11AM. It was cool. All the kids in Stockholm threw a surprise party for me at the mission office! They told me I needed to come so that they could make a copy of my apartment key, and when I knocked on the door like a billion missionaries busted out singing ''Ja må han leva!'' (Yes, may he live!) The Swedish Happy Birthday song which is 47 times better than the Engish one. I think they sang to me 4 or 5 times because different people kept showing up... and even though I am 19 I still have no freaking idea what I am supposed to do with my face or hands when people start serenading me. It's a crisis! 

6. 4th of July was something too! We celebrated with a family in our ward who comes from Latvia! They are awesome because even though they aren't Americans they threw us a party, cake, flag, games and all. Yeah... I guess we didn't have fireworks but it was definitely something special. 

Side note: Those of you who are currently sitting in a place with Air Conditioning. Be grateful you turd. Swedes don't know about it yet. 

Well It probably sounds like I am not even a missionary and I am just partying, but I promise you I am working on the streets every day! Reppin' the word! Things are going well. Yes, it is tricky finding investigators BUT I get to teach lots of random people on the street who now have a much more positive view of the church then they did before! WE DON'T BELIEVE IN POLYGAMY, OKAY? That was the old us, we've changed. 


Äldste Treat