Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Week 85; June 29, 2015 – A Bit of California in Sweden!

This has been no ordinary week! Leaving an area you love is always a weird feeling, especially after working there for six months. Monday and Tuesday were dedicated to saying goodbyes to a lot of wonderful friends. Trang and Lassie made me one last huge Vietnamese meal. After six months she still hasn't succeeded at making me a vegan, but I have developed a greater appreciation for vegetables. We said goodbye to Stefan on Monday as well. It has been one of the proudest parts of my mission to watch him grow. I'm a little sad that I will not be there to see Stefan progress the rest of the way toward baptism, but it has been such a blessing to meet such a wonderful brother in the gospel. That night was long. I should have packed earlier, but I wanted to give Elder Cushing one last call and we had a lot to catch-up on before he flew home. It felt weird to say goodbye to someone that’s had such a big impact on my mission. The rest of the night I packed. I have way to much stuff… My bags we're super heavy! 

We taught one last lesson to Jay and it was really special. He thanked me for all we had done to help him learn about the gospel and he promised to keep meeting with the missionaries. After that we went to the train station and I hugged Elder Bybee goodbye. It was an amazing 4-1/2 months together, and I'm really going to miss him.  

Arriving in Stockholm felt really weird. It’s been so long since I had been there, but it felt really good to be there to train a new missionary. I spent the night with the office Elders and my friend, Elder Matt, who will also be training another missionary close by. 

Aldste Blackburn and Aldste Stoeltzing Serving in Boras
Trainers and Trainees Meet for The First Time

The next morning we went to the church in Täby and President briefed us for training. He expects a lot from us, but he really got us all excited for our new assignments. It felt great to finally meet our new missionaries. So, here's the big surprise… I am training Elder Cody Blackburn, the first missionary from my home Stake sent to Sweden since I left. It’s the coolest feeling ever to train someone from back home and represent California together. Borås, Sweden now has the most Californians of any other mission area in Sweden, with four of us from California! The other two missionaries in the area are Sister Giles and Sister Lund from Southern California and they're the best!!! 

All California Missionaries Serving in Boras

The first night we taught this investigator named Mia with the Sister's. We're all musical, so we brought a guitar and we played a bunch of songs for her!  

The next day was awesome! I'm in my third district with my old friend and former companion Elder Farnworth, and this time he's our district leader! He's grown so much and he is one of the best district leaders I've ever seen. He taught one of the most meaningful district meetings of my mission.

Exploring Boras

We Love Swedish Chocolate
That night we met a young single adult (YSA) member who took us out to a steak place called Jenson's Böfhus and he bought us giant hamburgers... Needless to say, we already consider him a dear friend! He took us on a hike through the city afterwards and Borås is an absolutely beautiful town!!! 

The Kebab Pizza Tradition Continues!
On Friday we went into Göteborg to my ancestral Kebabery, where I had my first kebab pizza as a new missionary, and I introduced Elder Blackburn to Kebab Pizza at Mosins! And yes, another generation of Kebab lovers was born! 

That night we had a taco party and met the new Ward! I already love these people. The Ward is huge and the people are amazing! I love it here!!! 

Getting Into the Spirit of Ward Taco Night

On Friday we taught a member referral. They made us lunch and we talked about the restoration of the gospel. Later, we celebrated Sister Giles Birthday, she just turned 20! 

Sunday was great too. We all bore our testimonies and we set-up visits to meet a lot of the ward members later in the week! It's going to be so fun here!!! 

We ended the week with a planning session to set-up a productive week! We can't wait to meet our investigators! We’re going to have an awesome experience working together in Borås! 

-Äldste Stoeltzing! 

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