Tuesday, July 23, 2013

July 23, 2013

Kara familj,
Hej san!
Glad to hear everything is going well. Except I was hoping the horses would be perfect little devils for you so you can never sell them. You have a lot of questions, which is great because I can never remember what I've already told you. I write so many letters. I have more time for letter writing because I get ready really fast, so I usually have like an hour on Thursday and Friday mornings, plus some extra time at night. We get an hour to email but it's kind of confusing because the computers are still set to only let you email for half an hour, so after a half hour a warning comes up and says to finish up, then it starts counting how long you've gone over your time. It really stressed me out last week but the Zone Leaders said not to worry, and that President Hill (our branch president, he's basically our mission president for the MTC) said it's fine if you go over an hour because emailing your family is important. So I get an hour with a little wiggle room.
The broadcast was good. Of course we sang like angels, it's the MTC! We sang Nearer My God to Thee, and the choir director is really cool so he told us the whole story of the song and everything. Did you know it's about when Jacob was running away from home after "stealing" the birthright from Esau? It just made me like the song even more. Oh, and the speaker was good too. Richard G. Hinckley. He had some really good advice for missionaries (like, USE THE AREA BOOK.)
We found out on Friday that Jonathon was actually our teacher, Brother Rowley. But, before we found that out we committed him to getting baptized on his birthday! I tried to tell him it would be a great birthday present but I'm not sure how much of it was understandable Swedish. We meant to say August third, but our Swedish skills were interpreted as August twenty-third. But it's his birthday so it was great. We haven't taught him since then but he's taught us since he's our teacher. That was a little awkward because we were trying to plan our next lesson with him and he was sitting right behind us... All three of our teachers are Americans, but they all returned from missions in Sweden within the last two years. Broder Rowley just got back in December. We TOTALLY thought he was really Swedish because he's blonde and his accent was spot on. When he started speaking English we were all amazed that he had an American accent. He speaks Swedish like a Swede. Broder Jorgensen and Broder Bush speak Swedish like they speak English, so it's a little easier to understand but I'm not sure if we're getting the right accent.
We started teaching a new investigator yesterday, Adam. (It's really Broder Jorgensen). He's a ten year old boy from China who moved to Sweden with his mom. He didn't even know any Chinese though! That was kind of funny because I heard he was from China and I said "Oh, ni shuo zhong wen ma?" For once I was the one that knew the language! But we still had to speak Swedish. It is REALLY HARD to explain that Heavenly Father is the father of our spirits when the only words you know about the subject are "body," "ghost," and "spiritual." We kind of just dropped that one and moved on. He had been researching Jesus Christ on the internet and had a lot of questions. He doesn't understand any English. With Jonathon we can ask how to say words and he'll help us, but Adam just looks at us like a typical ten year old and shrugs. We might still get to teach Jonathon too. Everybody's going to have two investigators and we haven't heard who our second one is yet.
What are you guys doing for Pioneer Day? Our devotional Sunday night was by the author of "Tell My Story, Too." I'm sorry I can't remember her name, but you should look her up because it sounds like a really cool book. She was one of the historical advisors for Seventeen Miracles, and also for Ephraim's Rescue. Have you seen that yet? She talked about how missionary work rescues people and she shared a lot of cool pioneer stories. I almost thought she was going to share Anna-Christina Peterson, but she didn't.
Peyton-HAVE FUN AT THE ONE DIRECTION CONCERT! I'll be thinking of you come Thursday! Make sure Matty doesn't get too excited when they all come out on stage. You might have to tell him to calm down a little.
So, would you like to hear the cool news? Syster Dawson and I were assigned as the new Sister Training Leaders for our branch! It's kind of like a zone leader over the sisters. Mostly we're just supposed to make sure they feel loved and interview the senior companions. (By the way, I'm the junior companion for now since Smith comes after Dawson, but we'll switch next week. In case you were wondering.) So it's pretty cool and we're going to get to know all the girls in our zone really well! The Dutchies left Monday morning, and with them half of our sisters, so there's only twelve sisters in our zone at the moment. Eight Swedes, three Norwegians, and one Dane. Tomorrow we'll get 30 new Dutchies, but they're ALL ELDERS. It's kind of ridiculous. So Syster Dawson and I have a pretty easy job since there will be no new sisters to welcome. Sister Packard, the one Dane, moved into our bedroom, so now in my room there are me and Syster Dawson, the three Norwegian sisters, and the Dane. The other bedroom just has Swedish. We're pretty cool. The languages are really similar too, so we can all pray together at night and mostly understand each other.
I still don't have Swedish scriptures. I probably won't get them until next week. Luckily Syster Dawson has them so I can just use hers. I memorized the first vision over the weekend, which was pretty cool. So now I can recite the first vision and my purpose as a missionary, I can pray, bear testimony, teach (sort of) and invite you to be baptized! (Vill du folja Jesu Kristi exampel genom at bli dopt av nagon som ber Guds prestadomes myndighet?) In Swedish "vill du" doesn't mean "will you", it means "do you want to," so sometimes I mess up on extending commitments. I say "do you want to read the Book of Mormon?" and they say okay, but I forget to follow up with "are you going to?" So far though, the commitments we've extended have been kept. So that's good.
I'm always so excited to press send, because I imagine Mom's phone ringing and her checking it so excitedly! By the way the DearElder.com letters you send are AMAZING. We check the mail twice a day so if you don't get a real letter after lunch, you still have a chance of getting a DearElder after dinner. I love them! Every letter is great!!
Jag alskar er!!
Love, Syster Smith
PS-Mom, in my package you could really send just whatever t-shirts you want. I just need a couple more for working out so they have to be the baggy kind. Maybe like the Riverton Half Marathon Volunteer ones, or my blue BYU one, or something like that. Doesn't really matter. Except remember that I have bright red exercise pants, so it kind of matters. Also, have you seen my glasses in my room? I can't find them anywhere. I haven't seen them since I got here. So if you could find them and send them, that would be great! Love you!