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.
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.
-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.