Monday, August 26, 2013


Aug. 26, 2013

Kära Familj,

Hej hej!
I'm in Sweden now! Can you believe it? Because I can't. It's ridiculous. Everything is really beautiful here! There are so many trees everywhere, and there are huge forests right up against every big city.
Dad, don't be too jealous that I got to see the Amsterdam airport. I was only in it for maybe half an hour tops, and we had to rush through it to get to our connecting flight. So I didn't have time to ogle at any double decker planes. The plane we took from there to Stockholm gave us really yummy sandwiches and delicious Dutch cookies, so my first meal in Europe was a hit.
The first day was pretty hectic. We did Visa paperwork, learned a little about etiquette (you have to hold your fork upside down in your left hand, which is really hard. I eat really slow still because it takes me so long to maneuver food onto my fork.) The jet lag kicked in later in the afternoon too. We were watching these car safety videos and I was falling asleep, so I stood up to stay awake, but then I just fell asleep standing up. The first night the sisters stayed in a hotel while the elders stayed in the mission home. We went back to the hotel around 7:15 and I could have fallen asleep right then, but I stayed up until 9:30 having one last good talk with Syster Dawson before we got our new companions the next day. It was cool because I told her I wanted to stay in a city around Stockholm, and we figured out that the only one they were training sisters in was Västerhaninge, so I prayed that night that I could go to Västerhaninge! And here I am!
Wednesday we had some more training and met our trainers. I had already picked out Syster Sjöblom when I found out she was going to Västerhaninge, and she's great! She's not Swedish, but her name is and everyone here gets so excited when they find out. (It means sea flower). The bishop calls her Syster Svensk (that means Swedish) and he calls me Syster Joseph Smith. I just asked if she's an elk hunter, and she said no but she'd like to be, and she likes elk roast. So she's got pretty good potential. She has a beautiful singing voice and she plays the piano and violin! But she didn't bring hers either. She's been in Sweden for over 5 months, and she was a trainer after 8 weeks here. (The mission practically doubled, so almost everybody was a trainer.) I'm her second ''daughter'' which apparently means I'm more spoiled. I actually met my older sister the first day here, but I didn't know she was my sister at the time. I also met my grandfather but I'm not sure how that works. I don't have a father yet. Syster Sjöblom gets to choose who my father is, or maybe it's my first district leader, or something. It's kind of weird. Oh, and Syster Sjöblom looks and sounds like Melissa Taylor (whose last name I don't remember.) They have basically exactly the same voice. Also she has 10 siblings and 17 neices and nephews. I got to see a picture of them just now and they're cute.
The Västerhaninge II area is actually the Nynäshamn area. It's kind of difficult because our apartment is in Handen, we're in the Västerhaninge ward, but our area is around Nynäshamn. Basically it means that we have to take a 45 minute train ride to our area, and the different cities are really spread out, and there are not very many members there. So we have to plan a lot to be really effective. But what else is new? The good news is, the temple is in the Västerhaninge area! The church where I'm emailing from is just across from the temple and we get to walk past it every day, and we'll probably get to go once when it opens. (The people from my MTC district will be jealous about that!)
This area used to only have two sisters, and then we doubled it, so we basically started from scratch. We have no investigators, we didn't know who was less active or who we should focus on, and we don't even know how much we can trust our ward list at the moment. The other day we went through the ward list and sorted out which families are in the Nynäshamn area and which ones are in Västerhaninge. There are way more in Västerhaninge because that's where the church and temple are. We don't have any new investigators yet, but we are having a baptism next month. I don't know who yet, but I'm sure we'll find them in the next day or two. We talk to lots of people on the street. Our goal is ten contacts every day, which is really hard when you're shy like me, but so far we've been able to do it every day! I try to talk to at least everyone with a dog, because I know how to say ''I like your dog'' and because dog people are nice. Yesterday was Adorable Dog Day because there were so many cute dogs everywhere! Also, Syster Sjöblom says I have the best Swedish that she's ever heard from a greenie, which turns out to be a good contacting strategy. I can say I like your dog, then she tells them I've only been here for a week and they're amazed, then we get into great conversations about why we're here and our message. It's great! I've had a few Swedes tell me that I have a great Swedish accent too and that I don't even sound that American. 
I felt like we were archery hunting earlier today. We went and picked wild blueberries in a forest that seemed similar to the Red Cloud Loop. The blueberries were pretty good I guess. For blueberries. Syster Sjöblom still has red stains on her hands from picking them, because she couldn't get them off. The weather has been great. I haven't been rained on yet, which is apparently a miracle. Today I think it was 70 degrees (Farenheit. I still don't know Celcius or kilometers or anything.) It gets a little chilly in the evenings. I've heard that this is a great summer and last summer it rained every day. So I'm happy. We get fed dinner basically every day. I have had some really good fruit here already. We had some apples that taste like apple jolly ranchers and I'm addicted.
I don't really know if we've had a typical day here yet. Syster Sjöblom is just as new to the area as I am, and our area book was not very well-kept, so we've been spending a lot of time going through it and figuring out what's up. But we ride the trains every day and a lot of busses too.
Everything's going great though! I love it! I can understand lots of Swedish but I don't know a lot of words, but I'm getting better at it every day. And at talking to people. Even when they don't have dogs.

Jag älskar er!

Love, Delaney
PS-Good luck in school småsyskon!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Delaney's 1st Letter from Sweden 8/20/13

Kara family,

I AM IN SWEDEN!  And it's beautiful!  It's pretty cool because there will be urban buildings and then a random forest appears in the middle of nowhere.  The flight(s) were good.  Long, but good.  I didn't sleep anymore after the first flight, but I'm too excited to be happy.  {We think she means tired}  The way it works out, I feel like it makes perfect sense for it to be 10:30 a.m. right now.  The first plane was Sunday night, Detroit was Monday, the next flight was Monday night, and now it's Tuesday.  The Amsterdam airport is huge and we only had like 25 minutes to get to our last flight, but what I saw of the Netherlands was pretty.  We had delicious Dutch sandwiches and cookies on that flight, so my first meal in Europe was great!  It was so cool to fly into Sweden.  It's kind of like the ocean and land are in an epic battle to cover the most area, so there's no clear shoreline.  Just a TON of islands.  Then Stockholm was this huge city all out of the blue.  The airport was smallish though.  President and Sister Newell met us at the airport and we exchanged our dollars for crowns.  Oh!  And I used a public restroom here already.  Weird, they don't have separate restrooms for men and women, and it's like a really clean upgraded forest service restroom.  But everything was automatic.  And the TP was thick and had leaves on it.  It was cool.   I guess.

Now we're waiting at the Migration Services department to get fingerprinted and photographed.  Nice of them to take our pictures after we've been flying for 3-ish days.  I guess they're planning on keeping us on our feet all day so we don't throw ourselves off schedule.  I'm excited.

Ya, Sweden is great and I'm doing great!  Can't wait!

FYI, they said all the mail goes through the Mission Home so you'll just always send it there.

I love you!

Jag Alskar Er!


Letter from President Newell




 August 22, 2013

Dear Brother and Sister Smith, 

We met your daughter, Sister Delaney Shay Smith, this past week as she arrived in Stockholm, Sweden. It has been a delight to become acquainted with her.  

Upon arrival, she was taken into the city of Stockholm for immigration paperwork. After boarding the bus she had a “glimpse of Sweden” and was taken to the Church’s Young Single Adult Center, located in the heart of Stockholm, for a light lunch, training, and contacting in the streets of Stockholm with her trainer, Sister Holly Sjoblom.  After orientation, Sister Newell and I invited her and her MTC group to the Mission Home for light refreshments. In addition, she was oriented to the Sweden Stockholm Mission policies and procedures at Täby Ward.  I had the wonderful opportunity to spend some time in an interview with your daughter. We concluded the day’s activities with prayer and your daughter and her new companion retired for the evening at the Scandic Hotel. 

The next morning, your daughter attended a Swedish Breakfast Buffet from at the Scandic Hotel.  We then departed for the nearby Täby Chapel where the Assistants, Sister Newell and I provided training.  After a Testimony Meeting, a luncheon was served.  Then the new sisters and their companions travelled to their assigned area in the Mission.   

Sister Smith and Sister Sjoblom will serve together in the Västerhaninge II area of the Sweden Stockholm Mission. I would like you to know I have experienced some of my most tangible moments of revelation in the assigning of companionships.  I know your daughter and Sister Sjoblom will learn much from each other, and together they will be edified as they labour valiantly, with full purpose of heart and obedience, in the service of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  

Attached is information on the mailing address for letters and packages. This information will help your packages arrive in a timely manner.  Please share this mailing address information with relatives and friends that may be writing or sending packages. Traditionally, Preparation Day is held on Monday in the Sweden Stockholm Mission. This is the day you can expect to receive an email from your daughter. We encourage you to also communicate weekly with your daughter as correspondence from home can be a great source of faith and support for this sacred work in which she is engaged.

I bear my witness that this is the work of our Savior Jesus Christ, and it is a sacred responsibility to wear his name above my heart. I am grateful for all you have done to prepare your daughter and for the sacrifices you have made and are making to support her as she continues in her labors. May our Heavenly Father’s most generous blessings be with you and yours. 

With respect and kind regards, 

Gregory J. Newell
Gregory J. Newell, President


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

August 13, 2013

Käre familj,
Tack för brevet! Det går mycket bra med jag och Syster Dawson. Vi är så taggade för att gå till Sverige på Mondag!
I was wondering when the Francis Harper Smith reunion would be, and whether you would go. Did they do the colored shirt thing again this year? In Swedish to say grandma or grandpa you just say mom-mom or dad-dad, etc. So if Francis Harper Smith is dad´s mom´s mom´s dad, (his grandmother´s father) then he would be my farmors morfar. My father´s mother´s mother´s father. That also makes Grandma Smith my farmor, not my mormor. My mormor is Grandma Wilson. It´s kind of confusing.
Our investigators are still doing great! Yes, Jonatan was baptized on Saturday. The only thing that happened was when Broder Rowley (Jonatan) walked into class we asked him if Jonatan had gotten baptized, and he said yeah. So it happened! Kind of anticlimatic. His baptismal interview was funny, because we just kind of told our district leader on the spot that he was going to do an interview, so he just read the questions out of Predika Mitt Evangelium. He didn´t know what they all meant so he ended up asking ``Have you ever been arrested or convicted for a serious crime?´´ No. ``If so, are you now on probation or parole?´´ And Jonatan was kind of like ``´´ We bumped up Adam´s baptismal date to Friday, since Saturday is our last day of class. Broder Jorgensen, who plays Adam, actually does a little something for when he´s baptized as an investigator so I´ll be excited to see that happen. We had the best lesson with him this week! We were trying to figure out how to keep him more engaged since he gets bored really easily, and we were teaching him about the commandments. So we made a cootie-catcher with questions about the commandments on the outside and scriptures to look up on the inside. It made for a great lesson because we had already prepared good questions and the scriptures to use to answer (not that we don´t usually prepare, it was just easier when it was in that form.) Later we found out that Broder Jorgensen went to the other teacher of the other Swedish district afterward and told him it was the perfect idea to teach him as that investigator. You can really tell when you have the Spirit in your planning, because you know what to do for you lessons. Also, I´m really glad I´ve retained my cootie-catcher folding skills from fifth grade!
I probably could not understand an average Swede on the streets of Malmö, because they do not speak real Swedish there, or so I´ve heard. They´re so close to Denmark, they practically speak Danish. Last week when we skyped with members in Sweden, the guy from Malmö was really hard to understand. I do think I could understand an average Swede in Stockholm or Göteborg a little bit better. They would be able to understand me too, but I would only be able to talk about the gospel because I don´t know any other vocabulary. We skyped with members in Sweden again yesterday. I´ve figured out that if I just listen to what they say as a whole, I usually understand the gist of it even if I don´t get most of the words. Like yesterday we asked the member about an experience at church, and he told us about when a new convert was confirmed in sacrament meeting and how strong the Spirit was there, and that he wouldn´t be able to forget that feeling. While he was talking, I was like ``I don´t know any of these words...´´ but by the time he finished I realized I had an idea of what he was talking about.
Tell Taryn Hi for me! I got her Dear Elder yesterday afternoon. I haven´t had as much time to write letters this week as I usually do, so I haven´t been able to write back to the letters I´ve received this week, but I really love how much mail I get! I think I sent that picture of my journal and how full it is with the letters I´ve gotten. I got a few postcards from Diane and them this week, which was really fun.
You´ll notice my email is a few hours early this week. It´s because the Provo temple is finally open again, and we get to go today! I´m so excited! BUT, guess which temple is closing on Monday just in time for me to get to Sweden? Yup, the Stockholm temple will be closed when I get there. I don´t know if that makes a difference because maybe I wouldn´t have even been able to go anyway. Oh well. There are rumors that we´re going to have a general authority at the devotional tonight, because it´s being broadcast to the other MTCs and the choir director was being really antsy about it. That would be cool to have an apostle come. In Relief Society on Sunday our speaker was Rosemary M. Wixom, the General Primary President. That was pretty cool.
President Hill said that we can call whenever and wherever and however long we want from the airports, so if I had time I could call you on all of my layovers. I think I´ll definitely call from Detroit because we have a longer layover, but if I have time I can call from Salt Lake also. You wouldn´t mind if I called you at 6 in the morning would you? I don´t know how many missionaries are leaving outside of my branch. The other group of Swedes leaves an hour earlier than us (They leave the MTC at 2 AM), then there´s us. The Norwegians leave later in the morning, like 11. And some of the Danes who had to stay an extra week because of visa problems will be leaving who knows when. But I don´t know about the rest of the missionaries in the MTC. I´m sure there are a ton leaving on Monday, but probably not so many are leaving quite so early. We actually haven´t heard anything about our Visas yet either, so on Friday it´s possible that I could be called down and told that I don´t have a visa yet and have to stay an extra week and wait for either a visa or a reassignment. Let´s pray that doesn´t happen.
I am planning on sending a package home, but I have to start packing first so I know what to send.
I hope everything goes well for you this week! Can´t wait to talk to you Monday morning!! Jag älskar er!
Love, Delaney

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

August 6, 2013

Käre Familj,
Hallå! I finally figured out how to switch the computers here to Swedish! Thanks for your email, it´s great to know everything´s still going okay!
Too bad about the röd hunting vehicle. Aren´t the välsignelser of having a missionary out great though? At least it´s not the furnace this time...yet... Thanks for not selling hästerna yet. When I got the Dear Elder from mom last week with all the bad news I was almost sure that Zorro was dead or something. Is he still limping?
Speaking of Dear Elders, here´s a funny story that happened to me on Saturday. Some of the Dear Elders were misprinted, so they were put in the wrong mailboxes addressed to the wrong people. I got one that was addressed to me on the outside, but inside was a letter to an Elder Caine. There was a sign there in the mailroom saying they had no way of resorting the misprinted mail, so just throw it away. As I was starting to put the letter in the trash can, I said ``Sorry Elder Caine...´´ and this random elder walking by stops and says ``What?´´ I looked back down at the letter and asked him his first name, which matched the letter, and his hometown, which also matched, and wordlessly handed him the letter. We were all in awe. I only wish I´d read the letter so I could know what was so important for him to know! It was really cool though!
Anyway, our investigators are doing mycket bra still! Jonatan has followed his commitment with the word of wisdom, but he´s not getting baptized on the 23rd anymore. In one of our lessons he asked if we could bump it up, so now he´s scheduled to be baptized this Saturday! We didn´t even have to try and push him! He´s so ready for baptism. I think we might only teach him one more time. Adam is a little more difficult, but we´ve made good progress this week. We finally got his ``mom´´ to come to the lessons (we had to get another sister from our district to be his mom) and that helped a lot. They´re both still set to be baptized on August 17th. In our lesson yesterday we had a really funny experience though. We were teaching about the ten commandments in Mosiah 13, and he said he didn´t understand (insert Swedish phrase here). I was looking at my English scriptures, so I didn´t know what he´d said, so I asked him which verse he was talking about. He said 22, but I heard 24. So I start trying to explain ``thou shall not covet´´ when he was really asking about ``thou shall not commit adultery.´´ When he told me after the lesson, I was so embarrassed! But it was really funny.
Yesterday we got to Skype with people who are actually in Sweden! It got me so excited to go! It was hard to understand them because Skype is always difficult, but then I could blame it on that instead of my lack of Swedish ability. They were very willing to explain things when we didn´t understand though, which was nice. I think it was one of the first times I realized there are actually REAL people in Sweden, which is a real place! Kind of weird. Then in the lunchroom right after that, we met an Elder who is from Sweden. He said my Swedish was really good, and that usually Americans sound bored when they speak Swedish because they speak all monotone. Swedish actually has two tones, but none of our teachers have bothered to say much about it because they´ll still be able to understand us. My goal is to actually sound Swedish, and not like an American. So plan on me coming home with a Swedish accent!
Our testimony meeting on Sunday was really great. I´m sure you can imagine what happens when you put 90 missionaries in a room together and have them share their testimonies. There was a senior sister there (she´s going to Denmark) and she shared how the missionaries saved her life by listening to the Spirit. It was so powerful. Then Sunday night for our devotional, it was Jenny Oaks Baker! She talked about spiritual gifts, and she played three or four pieces on her violin. It was probably one of my favorite devotionals here so far. Her closing song was I Know That My Redeemer Lives. It was the exact same arrangement we played at my farewell, except she played both parts of the duet at once. I was just in awe the whole time.
Tomorrow I get to be a host and help new missionaries! I´m so excited for that! My hosts when I got here were so helpful. They talked to me and asked me a bunch of questions so I couldn´t think about the fact that I´d just left my family. So now I´m excited to be able to do the same thing for more missionaries who are coming in! Also, I saw Sister DeLeon a few days ago and gave her a big hug. She looked really excited and slightly overwhelmed. I think she had just taught her first lesson. I haven´t seen Brianna (my roommate from BYU) yet, but she was supposed to get here last Wednesday.
We´ll get our travel plans on Friday night this week, so I probably won´t be able to tell you about it until the next time I email. The two Danish districts are leaving a week before us, so they got their travel plans last Friday. They have layovers in Chicago and in the Heathrow Airport. I think it would be really cool to have a layover in London... Mostly I´m excited to get to call you from the airport! Are you going to send me a phone, or should I buy a calling card? They have them at the bookstore here but I don´t know any details about how they work or anything. They don´t really tell you anything about your Visa until the week before you leave. The Danes know that half of them have Visas, but they don´t know which ones they are. I think they don´t want people to get discouraged. But they were here when the Swedes before me left, and they said none of them had any problems with their Visas, so that´s good.
How was the Ephraim´s Rescue movie? As good as you imagined? We´re hoping we might get to see that while we´re here, or 17 Miracles or something. Sunday night we watched the Joseph Smith movie.
Nice Swedish again. I don´t know if you translated fast offering right, because I haven´t taught anyone the law of the fast yet. But when you said that Peyton was headed to girls´ camp, you used the noun for head. Like the thing on your shoulders. I thought that was funny. Could be worse though. We´ve learned some funny Swedish words. Last week our teacher (Broder Rowley, who is also Jonatan sometimes) got this really serious look on his face and said, solemnly: "It's time you learn this word: facket. It means 'the cubby.'" We also learned "slut station." It's the last station that a train goes to. (slut means stop or end.) I guess missionaries like to take pictures by the "slutstation" sign. Also, the word for day is dag (pronounced like dawg) so every P-day reminds me of Peyton: P-Dawg!!
So yeah, everything´s still going great! I even got letters from some of my friends this week! The MTC is a great place, but I´m really itching to get to Sweden. Is there any news about Matty and Taryn? When does school start for Cody and Peyton? Make sure she plays my violin every now and then so it doesn´t get muffled! That reminds me, I got to play a violin last week after I emailed you on P-day. It was really fun to be able to play it! (We just borrowed it from the MTC. They have two and you can use them for 50 minutes at a time.)
Jag älkar er!
Love, Delaney