Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Familj, hej hej!!!

Wow... another week has gone by, this is just so crazy!   I still can´t believe I am here in Sweden and I am still constantly amazed by everything about it!  Needless to say, I LOVE it here!  Which is a good thing since I´m going to be here for a while! 

Well, its been quite an eventful week here!  The numbers aren´t real high as investigators go here, so we are building that up!  Like I said last week, we are just really trying to find people, which means contacting and tracking... and a lot of it.  

One of the biggest successes of the week though was going from DREADING contacting to actually enjoying it!  Seriously though, its pretty sad.  Last week and at the beginning of this week I just did not like it!  I would hope that people would´t be out so I would´t have to talk!  Pathetic, I know.  

But on Tuesday, we had a double Zone Christmas Conference, and it was SO great!  

(Thank-you to the Mission Blog for the following wonderful pictures of the Conference!)

(Their theme for the Conference was, "What Gift Will You Give Him?")

The Stockholm Zone!

And then, lunch, of course!

Santa and Mrs. Claus read them all a story...

And then, a really fun Christmas gift exchange!

(Back to Annie's words!)

Needless to say, President and Sister Beckstrand are just amazing and so are our AP's, and they just talked about our purpose and why we are here, and it really got me thinking about contacting and why I wasn't enjoying it.  I decided from then on we were going to contact until I liked it.  That we were going to double our contacting numbers and I was going to love it! 

So the next day, we go out and the first guy comes and I say, "Hej hej, ursäkta, vi är missionarer med var kyrka, Jesu Kristi Kyrka, och vi är ut ikväll för at prata med, om Jultiden! Och vi har en cort filma från var kyrka om jultid kallad, En Frälsare är föd..." Basically saying who we are, and were hear talking about Christ and Chistmas and sharing the video "A Savior Is Born"!!!  Oh, it is the BEST!  I constantly have it going through my head in Swedish! 

Anyways, I go up, say it, and I'm immediately turned down after like three words... time goes on and nobody wants to hear, but I actually start to enjoy doing it!  We talk with everyone and once in a while there are people that think we're just here calling everybody out on their sins--many do a little 'pity tap' on our arms and walk away--and then you come across the most loving, most beautiful people that listen and love it all, but just don´t feel like they need it.  It is hard, but I love this work! 

{Annie loves seeing this:  people use ski poles while just walking around town for an added workout!}

I have just been out here for 2 weeks but it feels like I have already had a lifetime of experiences!  I have met the coolest people from ALL over the world.  I thought I had seen diversity in America... but not compared to Sweden! I absolutely LOVE it! 

The coolest part is that every day, THOUSANDS of refugees cross the boarders into Sweden and look to start a new and better life here.  These people are just beautiful, and they truly are turning to God.  I feel very blessed to be here at this time to meet with these people and just get a glimpse into their lives. 

We have talked to people who have just been here for a few days from Iran, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Iraq, Pakistan... and so many more, but these are just most LOVING, and sweetest people I think I have ever met.  Many of them hardly know any English or Swedish, but it is just amazing talking to them, and interestingly enough--talking to some in Spanish!... so we are just on the streets sometimes just speaking to one family, and we are using parts of English, Swedish and Spanish!  It is just the coolest thing!  I love it! 

Then, onto adventures... Gamla Stan!!!!  The most gorgeous and oldest (gamla) part of Stockholm!  We got to go last  Monday for p-day, and it was absolutely stunning!  

I didn´t quite know what to expect, but little did I know that I would basically be walking through Pinterest and Google images.  Seriously though--Look up Gamla Stan, Sweden on Pinterest and Google and you will see what I mean!  It was BEAUTIFUL! 

It was FREEZING and I was just in Heaven!  You basically just walk in between all of these OLD, beautiful buildings full of cute little shops and bakeries and just feel like you are in Heaven.  I don't know how else to describe it! 

Sys. Bateman must have been so sick of me saying just how beautiful everything was!  Then, after walking through all of the shops and things we got to the end of the road, and in the middle of this beautiful Old Swedish Christmas Market!  It was so cute!  

There were all of these bracelets and things made of Reindeer and Moose skin... and other awesome stuff.  And one place selling Reindeer meat, and jerky.... okay, basically just picture the store owner guy from "Frozen", the movie, who says, "hej hej, big summer blow out!"  

Yeah, it was like that but times that by 50!  Seriously... I am in Heaven!  Oh, and then we stood outside the palace and I got a picture with the guard!  It was awesome--and he actually talked! 

Swedish Food!  Its pretty dang good!... for the most part!  So every Swede LOVES their Fika.  That is just like a little snack of some sort--for Mormons, usually herbal tea and Luciacatter!  

The Lucia thing is like a cinnamon roll as far as the shape goes, but just imagine rolling the cinnamon roll half way--and then for the other half deciding to go the opposite way... wow--thats confusing.  Just look it up if you're not followin' me!  Bottom line they're good... and they are just a Christmas treat, or a Jul godi, so we are bombarded with them now, and then we will have to say goodbye to them for a year! But literally every house you go to they just bring out the Luciacatter! 

Oh and Kladkaka... amazing.   Sounds gross, I know--and if you are thinking about the line from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," then your on the same page as me, because I think that every time I hear that word!  But, it is basically the best qualities of a chocolate cake and the best qualities of a brownie--and then you put them together and it is kladkaka... so yes.  I am saying that it is better than cake and brownies.  Sorry, but its true! 

{"MY kind of food!"}

But now for the opposite side of things.  One of our sweet investigators Pontus...he had us over, and he told Sys. Bateman that he was going to make something very traditional for me.  Thankfully, it was not Surrstroming, which I have heard many, interesting things about... but this one is called  Smorgastarta.  And if you know anything about me and what I like to eat you will love this:

Smorgastata: the Swedish sandwich cake! - MsCritique – An Australian Lifestyle, Travel, Food and Beauty Blog:

1. a stack of bread, (like 4 cut out bread circles.)
2.Filled with a shrimp and cream cheese filling. 
3. SMOTHERED in Mayonnaise. Literally oozing out of the sides.
*and best for last...
4.Topped with RAW shrimp.

Swedish sandwich cake. Done with shrimp or other seafood, roast beef, and different fillings with bread stacked between layers!:

NOT COOL!  What is this!  I'm just sitting there staring at it thinking... I can´t!  I honestly don´t think I can put a single piece in my mouth!  Nevertheless...with a prayer in my heart I ate that whole thing.  We better get our dear Pontus in the font for that one...

But while were still on the topic of food...we are set for the week!  We are going to a Swedish family's house for all of Christmas Eve Day!  Then the 7 Täby missionaries will spend Christmas Day at the Beckstrands, and then anothers member's house for Annandag Jul! Here we can't proselyte the day before, the day of, or the day after big holidays!  I'm not complaining will be pretty nice!  But here, Swedes celebrate Christmas Eve more than Christmas Day, so its cool that we will be with a Swedish family for Christmas Eve, and then Americans for Christmas Day!  It is so exciting!  So we have an exciting week coming up!

Well, our little act of service for this week was to our Elders!  They are so great.  We actually have 7 missionaries in this ward because we have the AP's, the office elders and then us--the Sisters--who are the full proselyting missionaries of Täby.  The 7 of us are known as the Täby Titans!  Pretty epic name if I do say so myself!  Oh, and you say it like "teby", fyi.  

Anyways.  Act of service...I made peanut butter cookies and Sys. Bateman wrote them all notes, than we wrote on a whole bunch of sticky notes and went over to the mission office, put down the cookies, quickly tried to stick on all the sticky notes while they were flying around in the freezing winter wind--and then banged super loud on the door, ran as fast as we could, and actually got to the bus stop right as it pulled up, and were able to escape right away! 

We later got a picture after they had found it, and they said that we scared the heck out of them when we knocked!  But they all do so much, and we feel like they hardly get any credit for all they do, so we thought that would be fun to do!  We're hoping next week for service we can go and help out at a refugee camp.  I honestly cannot say it enough how cool it is to just work with these amazing people here in Täby.  I feel so blessed, and everyday wonder how I got to start my mission here in this amazing place.

A few quick random things: 

--We just found out that we are probably moving.... during our meeting with all the missionaries and the ward mission leader, I am just sitting there trying to follow what's happening, catching like one out of every 20 words while one of the AP´s was saying something, and then they all looked up at us and I was like, "wait what happened?", and Sys. B. just says, "WHAT! seriouly!!!" I was just like WHAT!  I dont like this whole different language thing right now!  Then they just say... "um, you will probably have to move soon!"  LAME, so yeah.  We have no clue, but fun stuff! 

--Sys. Bateman´s dad sent her a puzzle for Christmas and wanted to see if she could finish it before Christmas.  So, she pulls is out, and we come to find that there is no box.  No picture.  No way of finding out what this puzzle was supposed to look like!  She pours out the pieces and they are all dark and tiny.  How in the World!!  Yeah.  I'm both sad and proud to say that we just finished it last night!  Well, mostly she did, but it was done in just like 4 days.  But don't worry. That was just done during our meal times!  Absolutely not cutting into our work time!  It was actually quite relaxing and I think I actually like puzzles now! 

Well, one last thought... a few days ago I was just thinking about all of the cool people we have been meeting and how we are just meeting people from all over the world.  I thought, here we are learning about all of these different people, their stories and helping them in just a little part of their story.  But, as we do this, we are making our own story and it helps us find our own. 

{photo sent by Kimberly Pence--she and her beautiful daughters met Systers Bateman and Campbell for lunch on Monday--so grateful for angels in Sweden!}

I feel so blessed to be here at this the beautiful land of Sweden, during this great time of change.  Getting a glimpse into culture from all around the world and being able to help them come to find their Savior at this wonderful Christmas time. 

I know my Savior lives.  I know that He died for us and that He rose again so that we could all do the same.  I know without any doubt that He loves each and everyone of His children.  I have felt that, and I CANNOT DENY that.  If I have felt or learned anything the past week and a half of being here, it is that our Father is SO very aware of ALL of us and He knows and LOVES us. I have felt such a distinct love for the people we talk to while contacting, and there is No doubt that it is the Love that we are feeling is the love that Christ has for them.  It is truly remarkable. 

The Reality of Christmas by Bishop Gary E. Stevenson LDS:

Lastly, as my duty as a missionary, I will leave you with an invitation:  An invitation to spread the Truth.  That A Savior is Born, and His name is Jesus Christ.  He lives--and what a perfect time to let everybody know that.  He is the true meaning of Christmas.  LOVE this holiday season and remind somebody who they are and why they are here.  I love you all and hope you enjoy and remember the true meaning of Christmas!  En Frälsare Är Född.

Med Älska,

Syster Campbell

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