Monday, October 11, 2010


MISSION FRIENDS

*me & chloe, lindsey aka syster williams, elizabeth aka syster cooper,heather aka syster sonnenberg (
my trainer) & heather aka syster powell.

This last weekend Chloe & I went up north to a baby shower for Heather aka Syster Powell. It was so much fun to see some of the girls from the mission. I still can't believe that I have been home for 4 1/2 years. I can honestly say that the mission was one of the most amazing experiences for me! I don't get to see the sisters very often but the two times a year that I do see them are the best visits EVER! It's awesome how you can not see someone that often but you always know that they are there for you & support all that you do. I can honestly say that besides family & my co-workers I am the closer to these girls than any of my high school girls. We all decided at the shower that it is so much easier to have that bond/closeness with your companions/sisters from your mission because you know eachother on a different level. These girls have seen me on my ultimate highs & ultimate lows. I cheris
h these friendships like no other. I am so lucky to have so many of my companions so close here in Utah. Everyone has gone so many different ways & I love to catch up with them & their lives.

Now that I am on the subject of my mission it makes me want to reminise some more of the amazing memories that I cherish so much!

***Just a warning, this is a really long post:)***

I served in Stockholm, Sweden Mission
September 2004- April 2006

MTC
Setember 2004




SWEDEN



JAKOBSBERG
Got to Sweden in November of 2004. It was a hard transition because it was so dark & cold. My first area wasn't your typical Swedish area. I pictured tall, blonde people that spoke the Swedish language that I learned in the MTC..... well..... the Lord had something else in store for me. I learned to fellowship & teach the gospel to those from different countries like- Africa, Iraq &Turkey,

When I saw my companion/trainer for the first time I could already tellwe were going to do fine. Sys. Sonnenberg & I have a lot in common. She did such a great job getting me familiar with the new culture I was going to be a part of for the next 18 months. We had so much funespecially where it was during the holidays. We definitely had our laughs too & she knows what I mean about that. We had such a great district that did everything together. I never had a district as close as that one. It was a fun but hard area, meaning that it was definitely a "mixing pot" as far as cultures in the area. I never knew what language of Book of Mormon to grab for the day.... Arabic, Swahili, Russian, Turkish or Spanish?? That is when we really had to pray on who we would meet that day. The other thing that was hard is that it was cold & dark the whole time. The swedish people always have one single it candle in all of their windows though & sometimes that was the only light you got. Man I miss that country.


Nicos' baptism

Celebrating St. Lucia Day with a school class

Celebrating St. Lucia Day with our ward. My comp was Lucia herself, she was pretty excited about that.

Lucia Day is on December 13th is a very big tradition that they celebrate. I have heard different versions of the traditions. But basically the oldest daughter of each family gets to dress up like Lucia with a white rob & candles around her head. On this day she serves her other family members cookies aka pepperkakor (kind of like a gingerbread cookie)

Christmas Day at a members house

Darkest day of the year.... yes the paper says 2:51 pm & it's that dark. The sad thing is that I was in Stockholm & that isn't as north as you can get.... where it gets dark sooner & longer.

My cute little bed/area

Stockholm Temple



HANDEN

When our first transfer calls came I was pretty nervous. I felt like I was just getting the hang of things & wasn't sure if I was ready for change. Well it was a lot of change. My new companion, Syster Williams & I were getting double transferred into an area that had never had sisters before. This area was also known as one of the best wards in Sweden. Our Mission leader was amazing. We had about 12 ward missionaries that we met with every month. That ward was so amazing. We had the best 6 months ever in that ward..... YES..... I did just say we & 6 months. My comp & I stayed 6 months together in that area. Now you know why I have so many pictures together. We had a ton of success & more than anything we had a lot of fun doing it :)

In Stockholm outside the Royal House. The guard wouldn't let us get any closer.

Not only did we love the post man because that ment mail.... but he was a member. Doesn't happen very often to see your members while at work.

Sportin our awesome new bikes & helmets.

This is Jazmine the most amazing person in the world. I met her in my first area but taught her in my second area where she actually lived. Her story is the golden investigator story. I could go on for forever about her.... but to sum it up she is one of the most christlike people in the world & I miss her so much!

My comp & the members had a surprise birthday party for me on my b-day. It was so so fun!!

Systers conference at the mission home. Syster & Elder Tom Perry came to visit our mission so we got to have our own conference with the girls. It was so so fun!!

Easter Day we had a great meal & painted Easter Eggs like we do here in the States....... but....... then came the witches trick-or-treating to the door. Yep that's what I said. I am still not sure why that is a tradition but it's kind of different.

Me & the witches on Easter.

We had member meals every day for 6 months.... sometimes 2, every once in a while 3. Our favorite was the Swedish icecream aka "glass" it is so amazing!

Playing tennis with a member

Jazmine's baptism

Yes it's me again on a bike in the snow. I road a bike for most of my mission. It wasn't too bad. Sometimes you had to get creative getting on & off the bike if it was the boy bike with the bar. Didn't fall too many times, just the day this picture was taken. It wasn't a pretty sight, I slid on some ice going down hill :(

The first 1/2 of my mission I had President & Sister Baugh from California, they were so great!

There were 3 Syster Smiths on the mission. Yes it got kind of confusing at times... but it was kind of fun too. This was taken on Midsommer in June (another summer holiday they celebrate)

Another picture of me, Jazmine & Nic

Familjen Oqvist were some great supporters. We got really close to their family. We were able to teach their daughter, Olivia on the far left & she got baptized too.



ALINGSAS

It was super hard to see Sys. Williams leave... she went home at the end of our 6 months. I thought I would stay in Handen longer... but I got double transferred to a new area more South of Stockholm TRAINING! I was a little nervous because now I had to be in charge & know the language more than ever. It was a great area. Syster Stewart was my greenie & she was so awesome. We did a lot of fellowshipping with the less actives. What a great area. The members that are there are so strong & supportive!


After I picked Syster Stewart up from the mission home

The name of one of the buss stops in our area. Got to love the swedish language

This was a really cool experience. We had some members that took us to "The Mormon Rock" When the first mormons came to this area & started teaching the gospel & having their Sunday services they weren't allowed to do it in a building. So instead they found this big area with this big rock that they could preach from. It was such a spiritual place. I couldn't only but think about the Sacred Grove because of the special spirit that was there.

Because we were the first systers to the area we had a lot of questions. We were able to do a news article to answer all of them for the main newspaper.

Bullar (Cinnamon Rolls) are so so popular in Sweden. This is me & Artur baking them. He would bake them once a week & freeze them for special occasions.

I had to celebrate my one year mark with my absolute favorite peanut butter & ice cream. You can't get peanut butter there so I had to save mine from the states for special occasions.




GUBBANGEN

I thought I would stay in Alingsas for sure, but once again I was wrong. We both got transferred out. I went back to Stockholm with Syster Mitchell. She was getting ready to go home so it was fun to be with an experienced syster after training.

Me & Sys. Mitchell on the Tunnelbana aka subway. She looks a lot like my last companion :)

We were very fortunate to work with the Singles & Institute Missionaries :) It was so great having the Institute as a resource to help fellowship our investigators.

I was very lucky & got to attend the temple a lot on my mission. I went almost every week for 6 months. The temple is small but so gorgeous.

Sys. Mitchell was quite the little baker. We had lots of occasion for baking. We were always helping bake treats for the Institute activities.

Familjen Seydan were from Turkey & such great people. They came to the ward Halloween party. Sweden is trying to adopt the whole Halloween holiday.

As you can see in the pictures I have different styles of hair cuts. I started by letting a sister in the MTC cut it off the night before we flew out... not so sure that was a good idea? So I worked up enough courage & let an investigator do my hair &...... this is what happened :( Never been a red-head before, thank goodness I didn't have to pay for it. Only problem was we had Stake Conference the next day & the mission president was in my stake.... I felt so stupid.

Celebrating Syster Mitchell's birthday with some torta aka cake.

Gustavo's baptism

Had to keep tracting somewhat fun by doing snow angels in between buildings.

Whenever transfers happened it was a big site to see that many missionaries all at once at T-Centralen aka the train station.



Gubbangen
again
training
again
Syster Xhesika Jakupi

After Syster Mitchell left me I was totally caught off guard that I was training again. My companion Sys. Jakupi was a convert of about 1 1/2 years from Albania. Talk about an amazing 6 months. Yes, I was with another comp for 6 months. She taught me so much, it was incredible. She spoke 5 languages (albanian, italian, spanish, swedish & english) so we were really able to reach out to those around us. It was fun to sit on the trains & quiz her on what language people were speaking. What an intelligent sister with so much faith. She has quite the story. She had to wait to get to the MTC before she could visit the temple for the first time.

First time together at the mission home

Christmas Day getting a ride via boat to an island that where we were having Christmas Dinner.

Christmas Dinner

New Years Eve/ Marlena's wedding day. She was a investigator/member that Sys. Williams & I taught in Handen. It was so good to see how she was doing & see her so happy on her wedding day. When I left the missionaries were teaching her new husband??

Playing innabandy with the members at the church gym. It is like indoor hockey, they are huge fans of this sport.

By far the best day of the mission when Jazmine the golden investigator got sealed to her husband. I was so so happy to be her escort! :)

Syster Jakupi was able to share this day with us too. I love going to the temple with her because it is such a new experience to her too.

My mom came & got me from my mission. It was so fun to show the area to her & introduce her to my companions that were still there (my two greenies & MTC comp. Syster Fox) & especially the members/investigators. We made it to the temple with Jazmine & that was indescribable. We then made our way to Southern Sweden & over to Coppenhagen, Denmark. It was a quick trip but so fun to share it with my mom.

I still can't believe that the mission has already come & gone. When you're serving it can feel like the longest time of your life if you don't stay busy. I am so grateful that I was able to serve the people of Sweden. I am pretty sure that I grew the most. I am so thankful that I have been blessed & have always tried to follow the promptings I have been given with my life. If I didn't go to Connecticut to be a nanny I would have never been outside the Utah bubble & met & worked for so many non-LDS people. I was able to follow along with the sisters & that is when everything changed. I love the people of Connecticut & Sweden they will always have a special place in my heart!!!

8 comments:

Karolina said...

I don't remember that many missionaries but you and Sis Williams I will always remember. I'm so glad you got to be in Handen for so long, we all loved you two! It was fun to see your pictures and reading your memories from your mission. Thanks for sharing!

Svensson said...

Hi DeAnna! Or Sister Smith =)

Do you remember me? It's Stina (Syster Welander). I found your blog through Heather's, after she found mine through Crystal's.

How are you doing? You're daughter is so cute! We have a daughter too, her name is Clara and she will be three this upcoming January. We are also expecting number 2 any day now.

It was so much fun to read your mission post and see all the pictures. I remember that time you fell off the bike in Katrineholm.. =( It was interesting to read about how you look on Sweden. But we do have peanut butter. =) It's just not nearly as common as in the states.

I'm so happy I found your blog, it would be cool to stay in touch a little! If you remember me that is. =P

Check out our blog if you feel like practising your Swedish. =) http://stinaochmattias.hemekonomi.com

LOVE!
Stina

Liz said...

LOVE this!

The Andersens said...

First of all...I dont think you take a bad picture?!! In every picture I have ever seen you in, you look gorgeous! Very photo genic!

second- I need to spend an hour just to catch up on your blog! I didnt know you had been posting so much!! Good job! I dont have that side bar up dater, so i never know when people up date.

Your mission looked so fun.. Youre awesome. What a neat experience. I love it.

Hopefully we can see you guys SOON?!

p.s. Do you love my novel comment? haha

Heather Strong said...

What a fun post! I loved reading this. Yes, I know what you mean about having our laughs and I still laugh about it when I think about it! What a fun, uplifting, inspiring and strengthening adventure that serving a mission was! I wouldn't trade it for the world. It was so fun to see you at Heather's shower! I am so glad that you made the trek up here!

Andrea said...

That was long! But I was warned... :) Love all the pics. My favorite is you and the bike- in the snow.
okay, you better make it to one of my classes this week!

Alan and Mindee said...

That was really neat to read, what a neat experience and I think you look great as a red head :)

Michelle K. said...

I am so glad that you shared that cool story of your mission. I especially like how you decided to go on one. You look so cute in all your pictures. That's the DeAnna I remember!