Friday, January 1, 2016


Happy New Years Everyone! 

Wow!  I can't believe its already 2016!  Så Konstig! (So weird!) 

Today marks the start of my "Black Year", which is when your mission covers an Entire year! But Syster Bateman and I, being the optimistic little things that we, are decided that black sounded too dark and dismal... so I am just entering into my "Yellow Year"!  Needless to say I am just excited to see what this new year-- entirely in Sweden--will bring! 

Well, we left off last week with all of our lovely Christmas adventures, and this week was full of lovely New Years ones!  For the past two weeks, we have had dinner at a member's house basically Every night... with ALL 7 of the missionaries!  

It has been so fun, and surprisingly we all still like each other!  Honestly, I don't know how I just got so blessed to be surrounded by the Best missionaries!  I love them all dearly, and they teach me SO much every day. 

Let's see.... where to begin... oh!  So, after I wrote last week, all of the Täby Titans (the 7 missionaries in Täby) went to Täby Centrum, (which is the mall right by our apartment), to celebrate Sweden's equivalent of Black Friday--their big day of sales is the day after Christmas!  

So, we all drove over, and we were all trying to think of anything we needed!  For the first bit, we were helping some of the Elders pick out clothes that they could take home to wear. Then it was my turn... I'm halfway sad--yet not really sad at all--to admit that I fell into the classic Swedish missionary purchase!  I got myself a Fjällräven Kånken!  Ahh, she's a beaut! Haha, I love it!  Its an amazing Swedish backpack!  They fit just what a missionary needs!  So sorry Dad, but... I just LOVE it, and I won't buy anything else big for a while! 

Then Sunday came, along with....My First Real Swedish Snow!!!!!!  Oh!  it snowed all day and it was just MAGICAL!  

An awesome day at Church--3 investigators came, and then we met with our favorite Pontus friend who is just SO close to baptism!  Its killing us, because he is just SO good!  Whenever he comes to church he hears something and he just wants to apply it!  One of the talks was about serving that apparently stuck with him, because when we went to his house for dinner that night, he and his wife were just asking what they could get for us!  They were telling us all of the days they could go out shopping to get us new shoes or coats!  They are just the sweetest! 

But honestly, he IS just the sweetest...we just feel like the biggest thing for him right now is that he just feels like he needs to be perfect before he can be baptized, so we had another lovely little lesson last night saying, "PONTUS!  Look at us!  We are NOWHERE near perfect!" It made him really happy, but I think this will just take time! 

But, after thinking about it, it reminded me of one of Elder Holland's talks:  "Missionary Work and the Atonement of Jesus Christ"!  An AMAZING talk, where he just talks about the Atonement and the price that Jesus had to pay in order to save us all.  

"Missionary Work and the Atonement"

He basically says, if the atonement was cheap, then salvation would be cheap--but this is not the case.  It was a long and hard process that brought about many blessings, therefore, the road to Salvation will not be an easy one.  It will take time, it will be hard, but it will ALL be worth it.   If the Atonement wasn't easy, why would we even THINK that our journey to our salvation would be easy?   

Missionary work is work.  It is full of hard times, but those hard times bring about goodness. Although I have just been here for 3 weeks I have seen SO much GOOD.  It is truly amazing how that happens once you start to pray for and seek to see the good in everything you do. That has truly been one of the greatest things for me since coming here is that I have been able to see the good in everything and in everyone!  

That's what I love about meeting with our investigators like Pontus--a Swedish man who is just good.  But, he is slowly starting to see it for himself.  Oh, I didn't even tell you all the COOLEST thing with Pontus!  Pontus was a drinker!  He had a huge collection of wine and alcohol bottles filling shelves in his house.  One lesson with the sisters (the week before I came) on the Word of Wisdom, and the next time (my first time over) the whole wall of bottles was replaced with little random knickknacks from around the house.  After one lesson he goes on eBay and sells EVERY last BOTTLE!  What is this!?  Haha, it was crazy! And that is not a story that you hear everyday... the mission is a great place. 

Anyways, for the rest of the week, every night the Elders came and picked us up and drove to our dinner appointments--to the: Strandmans, Stenkronas, and the Axlsons!  Such Swedish names--I love it!  

But the best was on Onsday (Wednesday), because it was Äldste Olson's Födelsedagen! (Birthday!)  Äld. Sahlin called late Tuesday night and said that we were all going to go to Texas Longhorn and have a surprise birthday party for him!  So, naturally, I thought, "Oh, I want to make a cake!"  Haha, so we hung up and I ran to the kitchen and made my first Swedish Kladkaka!  And it actually turned out!  

When we got there the next morning, we just waited for them, and then the Office couple came in, and then President and Sister Becktrand!  It was quite the little party!  Then all the Elders came, and we had a fun little (BIG) party!  

Then, later that night, we had dinner at the Parkers', and we had another little birthday party there, and the best part--Sister Parker had made a cake, but said she wasn't good at decorating, and asked if any of us were--and Sys. Bateman just goes, "Her!!!"--and points to me!  

So, I got to slice, fill, frost and decorate a cake like I have been dying to do!  It was so fun! Then we put big exploding flame shooting candles and had the best little second birthday celebration of the day! 

Then we skip a few days, and....It's NEW YEARS!!!!!!  Happy New Years!

Our day was so great yesterday...started out with a wonderful district meeting and then a lovely lunch and...wait for it....SOCCER!  Haha--okay, well just a little bit in the hallway, with a slightly flat volleyball.  But, hey!  Its better than nothing!  It was so fun, though!  I even got to learn a few new things because--apparently along with already being a professional at like everything else, Äld. Sahlin is also apparently an insanely good soccer player!  So, we played in the hall way and it was the best New Year's activity ever! 

Then we journeyed back to our lovely little home of Täby and met with Pontus again!  This time, like I was saying, we wanted to help him realize that you do NOT need to be perfect  in order to be we showed him President Uchtdorf's talk, "It Works Wonderfully!" just from this last October.  The second half of it just talked about how the Lord will take us wherever we are.  He can and will help us at whatever point we are at. We talked about this New Year--a clean slate and second chances.  It really got me thinking about how New Years really is just kind of a symbol of Repentance and the Atonement. 

Now, before I finish on this topic, I will switch over to the party side of things and then we will just find our way back to this! 

So on our way home the Elders get a text from our ward mission Leader, who's house we were going to to celebrate the New Year in!  But, he said that one of his daughters got sick and said we were just going to have dinner at the church!  

Haha, so we go over to the church and he and his little 5-year-old daughter come in with all of this food...they made a nice traditional meal with salmon and all, and we set up the little Baptistery room with two big tables and 11 chairs--set it up all fancy, and enjoyed a lovely New Years Eve dinner in the Church!  

Then, we just played 2 games--each one for HOURS, and we just had the BEST time!  It was SO fun!  Then, right before midnight we ran into the kitchen grabbed all of these little plastic shot glasses, filled them with water and ran outside!  

{Annie said of this picture that she's not quite sure what she was doing, but it looks like she's channeling her inner "Elsa"!}

We counted down from ten and then "jumped" into the New Year!  We cheered and played and then had a major snowball fight after!  It was the perfect New Years Eve!  And the perfect start to my "Yellow Year!"

Well, as promised, I am now coming back to what I was talking about before, and I just want to finish with a little of my testimony in Swedish.   

Här vi har en ni år. En tid var vi kan förbättre vår själv och venda oss till Kristus. Jag vet att jag är inte perfekt och jag ska inte bli med inte min Frälsare. Jag vet med honom vi kan gör allt. Jag vet att medan jag är ofullkomlig Gud ska hjälpa mig och jag kan göra alting. 

Med kärlek,

Syster Campbell

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