Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Week 23 - April 14, 2014; All in the Family!

Hej Hej!,
So, it's been a slower week, but a good week! A lot of the people we are working with have been out of town, so we had to get a little creative. 
Missionaries waiting for the train heading to zone conference

Some appointments canceled on us last Tuesday, so we ended up going around to some high schools in the area and asking if we could guest teach there. Elder Farnworth tried this approach in Skjövda and it worked really well for him. On the way in some kids talked to us because we looked lost and they thought it was the coolest thing ever that we were from America! They actually ended-up walking us to the right office so it was really cool. We talked to the head of the English department there and she said the students were testing for the next few weeks, but maybe in a month or so we can teach. She also thought it was cool that I had worked in politics before my mission, so she's trying to set-up a day where I can work with one of their government classes! I really hope it will work out because it would be an awesome way to find good people and it would be super fun to teach!

Elder Stoeltzing and Elder Steen (Selfie)

Thursday was really fun as well! We went to Södertalje for our zone conference. It's about a 90 minute train ride north of us. We got there a little late, but it was a good reunion. I got to see some old buddies. Elder Jones was there again and Elder Alan from the group before me. He's my uncle now. In the mission everyone is considered to be part of a family. Your trainer is your dad, your trainer’s trainer is your grandpa, and so on and so forth. It goes further actually, if you’re a missionary’s last companion before they get sent home, you "kill” them. Elder Knecht is the current assassination champ with three kills. Anyway, Elder Allan is my uncle now because he was trained by my grandpa just before I got to Sweden. He's in a really cool area right now, the “family” area I guess you could call it. Elder Miles was born (where he started his mission) on the Island of Götland and he stayed there for six months. He actually trained my older brother there, Elder Lofgren, who stayed there for another few months. So, with Elder Alan there now, we've had family member on the island for almost the last year! I've heard more about Götland than anywhere else, so I'm hoping when it comes time for me to have a son, I can raise him in the “family area!”

Elders Farnworth, Steen, and Stoeltzing, hiking in the woods near Sodertalje

I guess I got a little side tracked. So, after zone conference we had a really fun hike through this huge forest next to the church since our train wouldn’t come for a few hours. We got some awesome pictures up there and found this grove of trees that looked just like a sacred grove painting! It was a blast! We finally got into Linköping at about 7:00 that evening, so no teaching got done on Thursday, but it was a really great day nevertheless.   

Linkoping missionaries with church members, Annaly and Elizabeth

Sadly, we figured out that Elder Steen was leaving on Saturday. He's been an awesome missionary and super fun to work with up here. I'm really sad to see him go, but he'll be in a really good place. He's going to Malmö, which is one of the most we'll loved areas in the mission. Every area in Sweden is cool and I think with hard work, you could love any area, but Malmö is one area that everybody has just fallen in love with, so he'll have allot of fun there. Even though he has really loved his time here, he'll be in good hands with Elder Miles as his zone leader there.  

Meeting our investigators, Carl and Gore for family night at the church

The coolest experience of the week actually came on our P-day today. Elder Steen and I were walking to the music store to get some new guitar strings and two kids noticed us from the library earlier and started taking to us. They thought it was super cool to meet a pair of Americans. One was really interested in the kind of music I like, so they came to the guitar store with us, and afterward they came to the church.  We showed them around and then invited them to family night and they said they would come!  

A fun FHE visit!

Well, its been a good week and I can't wait for more fun in Linköping in the coming days!  

Jag alsker er!

Äldste Stoeltzing

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