Monday, February 29, 2016

TRANSFER BLESSINGS


Oh, my family! 

This has quite possibly been the craziest, best, most heart-wrenching week of my life! 
So, we were having kind of a different week this week, because it was Syster Bateman's last week here in Täby!  So, when it's your last week in an area, we call it "Bye Week"...where you try and fit in seeing all of your favoritest people from that area!  So, it was a super busy, crazy, fun week! 
{on their P-day trip into Stockholm...gazing into all the wonders displayed in the "American Food & Gift Store!}
But, first to start off the week...P-Day!  This week, we went into Stockholm with the Elders because one of them wanted to get a jacket from this really big outdoors store here--Natur Kompaniet.--I am in love with that place!  It is like the Cabelas of Sweden!  Oh, and it is the same place where we get the awesome Fjällraven backpacks! 
So, we go inside the first one we see and...nothing...he doesn't want any of them.  So, onto the next Natur Kompaniet store we can find!  Same thing....nothing....and the process happens TWO more times!  So, finally after the third one, he was like, "Well maybe back in the second one we went to!"  So, we go back and BOOM!  We got it!  He found a few that he liked, but one was the perfect color but just too long, and another one was the right length but just not the right color... 
And then, I walk to the other side of the store and I grabbed a jacket and said, "Elder.... this is a woman's jacket.  It is the right color and the right length  and it does not look like a woman's jacket.  Try it on!"  Hahaha, and he did!  And it was perfect!!!!  So basically, one of our Elders just bought an awesome $300 woman's jacket with no regrets
Then, later that night, one of our FAVORITE families--the Pence Family--invited us to go bowling with them and all the missionaries in their Ward!  I, sadly, was very far from winning, however...apparently it has been too long! 
Then, for the rest of the week, we just saw all of our people and told everyone how Syster Bateman was leaving, and that I would just be getting a new companion here...then Saturday came along!
Saturday!!!  One of the craziest days of my life!  So, we start out going to the Clouse's, our Office couple's home, for breakfast!  We got there at the same time that transfer calls were happening, so we just went in the living room and waited for all of our Zone to get in on the call!  Our hearts were racing!  I was so scared!!!  I wasn't even able to sleep more than 4 hours because I was just thinking about it way too much! 
So, in the call they just went through all of the areas and explained the changes and then they said, "...and now Täby 1.... Syster Bateman, you are transferring to Göteborg.....and Syster Campbell...you are also transferring to Kristianstad!" OH, my goodness!!!!  My little heart just dropped!  I was so shocked!  Completely NOT expecting that, and I just got so scared! 
{Annie said Sys. Bateman took this of her right after she heard the news...she was SO sad!}
Oh!  This whole transfer thing is way freakier than I ever thought before coming out here!  I think it is just super hard to leave in general, but we are "doubling out", which means that both of us are leaving and two new sisters will be coming in.  And that is just kind of scary, because you want them to take care of your people...and for the most part, once the greenies finish their training, they typically stay in their area for another transfer.  But NO!  I know it probably doesn't sound like that big of a deal....but it is freaky! 
But anyways, we have our lovely breakfast, and then head over to the Church to start filling the font!  While we were there, we just kept getting phone call after phone call...everyone asking how we felt because this usually never happens! 
Our Elders, who are the AP's and POE's, (so they had already known what was going to happen), called and I couldn't even talk!  I'm sad to admit it, but I was just crying and didn't want to tell them how I felt about it yet until I was truly happy and excited for it!  

So they say, "Syster Campbell......how are you....?" (in a kind of timid voice, knowing how I would feel), and I just couldn't say anything, so I just walked off a little, and Sys. Bateman just says,"well... she just walked away..." and the Elders just burst out and say, "NOOOOOOOOOOO, Syster Campbell!!!!!!!  We are SO sorry!!!!  We promise we didn't choose it!  It was all President!!!"  Haha!  I just said "I'm fine", as I was still sobbing and they just kept saying "We are SO sorry!", over and over!!! 
{the Systers are so happy, they're blurry!}
But...I didn't have time to be sad because.....our dear Pontus was getting BAPTIZED!!! 
I can't even explain the Spirit that was there that night.  It was unlike any other.  There were so many missionaries that came and brought their own investigators, and even our Mission President and his wife came!  It was so special. 
It's truly unlike anything else to help someone you love come to the knowledge of their Savior, and accept the invitation to come unto Him and be baptized.  
Oh, I just love being a missionary and having the opportunity to see just how much the Lord loves His children, and how no matter what, He always will provide the way. 
{I LOVE the joy in these faces--what a roller-coaster day it had been for them--and still, what JOY!!!}
Then Sunday comes around, and let the good-byes begin!  Oh, I was just a mess!  We had just told all of our people that Sys. Bateman was leaving, and then we had to tell them that I was, too--and oh, it just killed me! 
This ward is just the best, and they loved the Systers SO much!  They had us bear our testimonies, and oh!  It just killed me!  I guess it is true that once you start to feel comfortable and at home, it's time to move on!  So, that was super hard, but I guess that's just how it is, and I will be just as sad every other time I leave a new home!
One of my favorite quotes that Sys. Bateman showed me says, "You will never be completely at home again.  Because part of your heart will always be elsewhere.  That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place."  Oh, it just kills me how true that is.
 I absolutely LOVE my home here in Täby.  It is my first home here in Sweden, and it will always have a special place in my heart!  I am excited, though, to just keep adding onto that. To just love these people just as much as I do here, and see just a glimpse of the amount of love that the Lord has for these people! 
So, here I come, Kristianstad!  It is way down south at the very bottom of Sweden in a region called Skåne!  It is well known here for its crazy, hard to understand accent...everyone says it is basically the "hillbilly" accent of Sweden!  Haha, oh I am so excited! 
Oh, and apparently it is just the dream to go to Skåne in the Spring!!!!  Wildflowers EVERYWHERE!!!  So, I guess I will be sending pictures of those soon! 
Well, my dear family--and everyone that is basically family--if I have learned anything from this week, it is that the Lord has a plan......and usually, that plan is quite different than the plan we had.  But, that is the good part!  Because we don't know what we're doing!  We don't know what's best for us!  But, there is One who does know--so we should be grateful every day for that... 
...that there is a God up there that knows us and loves us and calls us by name everyday, asking us to follow in His ways and in the ways of His Son, because that is what will bring us more happiness than anything in this life.  Change is scary, but change is good.  The Lord will provide, and He will always be there for you. 
There were so many reasons for Christ to perform the Atonement.  It was so that whenever you and I are scared, uncertain, or confused about the future, we didn't have to fear it.  It was so that when we take that first step onto the water, or that first step in the dark, we wouldn't have to do it alone.  That there will always be that light guiding us through.  His hand will forever be extended out to catch ours through whatever it is that we are going through. 
Pray to feel that saving power every day.  Pray for comfort in times of need...but, in return, send a little prayer of thanks.  Thank the Lord with all your heart and feel the peace in return!

I love you all dearly, and I hope you are all safe, happy and well!... Last letter until I'm in Kristianstad! (oh and p.s., it sounds like Crow-han-stad--yup--that's what Swedish does! It makes you say things COMPLETELY differently...but it is so beautiful!!!)
Med Kärlek,

Syster Campbell

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

THE REASON I'M HERE



Hello, my dear people! 


Just though I would let you know that Sweden is just as amazing as ever, and I love it more and more every day! 


Well, I might as well start off with something cool.....Sys. Bateman and I did a little interview thing about our Church!  It was actually super cool and scary! 

{the Systers were already out and about one day this week when they realized...they were twins!}

Apparently, for one of the high schools here in Täby, students had to pick a religion to study, and so ours was one of the ones selected, and we got to do it!  It was actually a super cool experience, though.  We were kind of scared at first, because you never know who they'll be or what they will be like, or what kind of questions they will ask, but it was really good, and really got me thinking about why I am here and what got me to this point... 

And let me tell you that the gift of tongues is real.

I was freaked out because they were asking about everything--every topic-- and I was just thinking, "I don't know the vocab for this kind of stuff!", but, I was actually able to say what I wanted, and I was quite pleasantly surprised.

{so what do you do when you realize you're twins and it's too late to do anything about it?  Take lots and lots of pictures celebrating it!}

I have been thinking about that a lot this week, actually--about how if you say you just can't do something, you usually can't, because you have already set the limits on your abilities. BUT, if we give ourselves the CHANCE to do something that may seem hard or even impossible, we will either be able to do it, or we will just be that much closer to doing it or achieving it the next time! 


So, that was one of my biggest take aways from this week--that if I just say I can't speak the language, I won't be able to, because by saying that I can't, I am not even giving myself the chance to try!  But, if you say, "yeah, I can do this... sure, I will mess up here and there, but hey!  I will just get that much better after trying!" 

Another thing I loved about the school interview was that these people had legitimately good questions!  We were shocked!  But my favorite one was, "If your parents weren't members of the Church, do you think that you would have found it and/or joined later in life?"  I just thought that was the coolest question...... 


I always think about how different my life would be if I didn't have the Church in my life.  It would be COMPLETELY different.  But, I have never though about it quite like how they asked...... 

I though about it for a minute, and then the answer just kind of came to me as I opened my mouth and started talking.  I just kind of said, "Well, I certainly hope I would.  I feel like I would be interested to learn about it, and I would hope that I would accept it!" 


But then, that just kind of got me thinking even more, and then I just said, "Well...I think you just helped me to better answer your prior question about why I chose to serve a mission.  I think I am truly out here because if I wasn't born into the Church, if I didn't grow up with it, I would sure hope that I would be able to find it, so I want to help others find it just like I would hope someone would do for me!"

If I was born without any knowledge of a God, if I didn't know there actually was a plan for me and that I do have a purpose in this life, I sure would want someone to share that with me! 


So that's why I am here. 


Who knew that I would really find my answer during an interview with high school kids! But, I did--and I just can't stop thinking about it----


I am here because I know my Savior--I know Him and I love Him, and I can't imagine my life without Him.  I can honestly say that there is nothing more satisfying--nothing more filling--than teaching others about Christ.  Nothing can fill your heart, your whole soul with more joy than Bringing Others Unto Christ. 

video

So, that was just the start of the week....sadly, I don't have a whole day to just write out everything because I can't even write out a fraction of the miracles and the fun times and things we experience every day!  But, I try--so here are a few other little fun things from this week:

Okay, well good news!  It's warm enough to just wear 2 pairs of tights now!!!  Haha! Okay, well, 3 would probably still be better, but I refuse to wear 3 now!  Spring is coming!!! 

Oh!   And one of my favoritest storiest ever!  I can't remember if I already told you all about our mormon.org cards or not... so I will anyways!  Okay, so like 2 weeks after I got here, we ran out of our cards with our information on them, so we have to make more.  All we do is put on a handy dandy little sticker with our number and the church address--so super easy! 

{picture from back in December when they were changing all of their cards...incorrectly!}

Yeah, so we make a bunch of those.  Then we realize that it is almost the New Year, and our church time is going to change!  Lame!  But, we are smarter than that, so we get sharpies and we just change all of the times from 14:00 to 11:00....so, a pretty easy fix with a sharpie right?!  Haha, no.  But, we thought it was all great until that night. 

We go to a members house with all of the Elders and they asked what we did that day, and as one of our events we bring up that we cleverly changed ALL of the times on our cards with a sharpie from 14:00 to 11:00!  So we didn't have to waste the cards! 


We look up, and all of their faces just kind of drop and they slowly say...."ummm, church starts at 10:00......."  NO!!!!!!!   Hahahaha, oh so horrible!!!  Haha, horribly hilarious!  So, for 1 and a half months while we were waiting for our new stickers with the right time to get here, we have had to scrape off the old stickers and hand write ALL of them!!!  It was pretty funny!  So, this week we have just been sticking on the new stickers on over the old ones! Haha!  Oh, missions....they are the best! 


Okay, and just have to say we have the best Elders ever!  We have the AP's and Office Elders in our ward, so we are always working with them, and for some reason they think that they do nothing because they are in the office, and they say that we do everything--which is so not true! 


Well, Tuesday, the high school interview was actually supposed to be with the POE's (Office Elders) but they had to go do something else last minute, so we did it for them--and so apparently for that, they thought we just saved the day or something--so, that night they come by our apartment and drop off a package of "Book of Mormons", as they said on the phone.  Yeah...no. 


We run down to get the box, go back up and open it.  It was like a package of all of our favoritest things ever!  They got us both muesli (our favorite oat cereal thing), risi fruitis (awesome Swedish rice pudding things) and Marabou bars! (heavenly Swedish chocolate bars!) WHAT?! 


Haha!  And then on the top of that, they made a little Photoshop picture for us!  Haha, oh they are the best!  #Team Täby!!!


Well, we also had a wonderful dinner/evening with the new office couple...and it turns out we're related!!!  So, that was way fun!  We just sat there for like 30 minutes finding all of these connections, and it was so fun!  So I have family here! 

{seriously--(Sys. Campbell's Mom speaking here)--this looks like MY computer screen at home--these are my people!}

Pontus and Susanne also took us on some more adventures!  

{Thank-you, Pontus and Susanne!}

They took us to the King's Palace!  Way cool...but in the bottom half of it, there is this amazing museum!  It was probably one of the coolest museums I have ever been to... 




It just felt like you were walking through a castle dungeon--and I quess it felt like it because it kind of was!  






Oh!  They had clothes form all of the prior kings and other royalty, and swords, and armour.. it was seriously just so cool!  I was so fascinated by it all! 



Then after that, they took us to the Mynt in Stockholm, and it was just really interesting to see all of the money that Swedes have used since the beginning.  They had every single bill or coin that they have ever used on display, and it was so cool! 

{that rectangular metal piece is the "largest coin in the world!"}



{Pontus said that this display contained various Alfred Nobel medals--so cool!}

This week we also had Specialized Zone Training!  It was so good!  They never disappoint! So, I will just leave you with a few of my favorite parts!  The whole topic was focusing on Conversion--and being truly converted ourselves

{the Systers just GLOW!  Well, in the Swedish Mynt, they do, anyway!}

1) "To be converted, we DO and then we BECOME."  I just thought that was the perfect way to sum up both conversion and faith.  If we ever want to become something we must act on it and do something first

2) "True conversion comes from being true to the Gospel."  If you are not true to the Gospel in every aspect, you will not be able to be truly converted in every aspect.  You will really just be cheating yourself from becoming more!

{evidence that she is mailing her first physical letter from Sweden home!}

3) Elder Bednar: "Living the gospel is the essence of conversion."  The only way to become converted is to live like you already are fully converted! 

4) and lastly.... Ä. Hemmingson:  "If your going to do something, do it right."  Haha!  I love that.  And it is so true. 

So, to sum it all up... 

{dinner with the amazing and wonderful PENCE Family!  We love these people, and so do the Systers!!!}

***Try out asking yourself, "If I wasn't born into the Church, if I didn't grow up with it, would I find it? Would I accept it?"--- and then if so, what would I do then? 

And if you aren't a member, ask yourself:  "What would it mean to be part of this Church, and in what ways can it change my life for the better?" 

{in the beautiful Pence Family home--thank-you, Kimberly!!!}

***Find happiness in the little things! 


***Go to random little museums and just learn!  Knowledge seriously is one of the greatest gifts we have!  So, go treat yourself and learn something new--afterall, it can only help you!
{the beautiful Pence Family with the Systers on Sunday night}

***And lastly: Take a look at yourself and see what it would take for you to become truly converted.   And then take that thing--or those things--and apply them!  Make it happen, and see all of the blessings that it will bring! 


Well, I love you all dearly!  Hope you all have a lovely week! 


Med Kärlek, 

Syster Campbell