Monday, February 24, 2014

The Power of Fasting

Hello, yes I got your letters about a week after you sent them! Thank you, I will be writing back. This week has been really good. It has really increased my testimony of fasting. Really mom, miracles come from fasting. So... last week was really hard and both me and Äldste Svensson were struggling. We weren't teaching anyone and the few appointments we did have fell through. We decided to fast. When we did, miracles happened!! Last week we had nobody to teach and this week we almost have more people to teach than we can handle!! We are booked all the way to Saturday!! The day we fasted, we were running to an appointment and this car pulled up with this guy and girl who asked if we wanted a ride to wherever we were going, we looked like we were running late. They were the coolest people... and the miracle is... the guy driving was a member referral we just got the day before. We had a really good conversation and we are meeting him tomorrow. We have a lot of genuinely interested people in the church now, and this week is going to be great. We can't wait. Two days ago I got to go to Göteborg, which is a big city in our zone. Äldste Svensson had to take an English proficiency test to get into BYU. I was on splits with the missionaries there. It seriously is the coolest city though... you should look it up. It looks just like Boston!!
The language is getting better. I really know it a lot better and understand a lot more of what is going on. The hard part is putting sentences together fast and not sounding so American!! But it's definitely getting better. And yes dad, we definitely haven't been missing what's been going on in the Olympics. A lot of people have it on when we come over and yesterday in sacrament meeting the guy who gave the closing prayer, prayed for the hockey team in the finals. It was pretty funny... no wonder they lost!! But I'm feeling a lot better. Today will make 2 days with sun in Alingsås. Oh and my comp. figured out that I have never had the Caviar out of the toothpaste tubes or blood pudding so he bought some today. He said it's like his favorite thing... so here goes nothing. 
So you asked what we do on P-Day.  So far today, we have done laundry, cleaned, studied, shopped, we went out to eat at our favorite kebab pizza place, because Äldste Svenssons birthday is tomorrow, but for some reason they were closed so we went to this place called MAX, which is a huge burger chain in Sweden. It was so good... and from there we went straight here to the church to email. After we are going on an adventure, to find this headstone in the cemetery in Alingsås, that said some Mormon missionary that died... ha ha don't let mom read this. Ha ha hopefully we can find it!! Later tonight we have a teaching appointment to a part member family.

I love you!! Have a great week. I will talk to you next week!! Thanks for everything you do for me!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Week number 2 in Svergie!!

Okay, well here's for my second week in Sweden. The language is a LITTLE better. I'm starting to understand a little better what people are saying... so that's good! But I'm still basically lost for the most part. Here is the funny language mistake for the week. Me and Elder Svensson were tracting, and we came to this ladies house and starting sharing our message. After, Elder Svensson asked her if there was a time we could come back and share more. She declined, so he asked if he could give her a pass-along card. She declined, but me not knowing what the heck is being said, handed her a card right after she said no. Needless to say, I got a very confused look and my companion was holding back laughter. Later that week, me and my companion decided to knock on another door, and agreed that I would lead the discussion. I started to talk in my broken Swedish, when my companion interrupted and asked if her mother was home. She was probably in her early twenties... Hahaha he doesn't have very good age judgement. 

The work is going well here though. We have a lot of investigators, nobody who is progressing super fast, but we have faith that someone will be prepared for baptism in March. Oh and me and Elder Svensson broke the mission record for most unplanned contacts this last week. 209!!! It was exhausting... we would purposely not take the bus so we could talk to more people on the way... but we got it!! 

Okay, now let me tell you a little about the area. Alingsås it just like Washington State I decided. There are trees everywhere, lakes and rivers everywhere, and it rains and rains and rains some more. Today is the first day it hasn't rained since I've been there... and I know it's going to later... but yeah. But it really is such a beautiful place. Here are some things that are a little different in Sweden:
  • First, pedestrians almost ALWAYS have the right away... this took me some getting used to. My companion would walk into a busy street with a ton of traffic and everyone would just come to a stop!! 
  • You have to pay to use public bathrooms... And all 
  • The trains are fast... really fast...
  • Nobody has carpet in their houses
  • Swedish people just make random gasps in everyday conversation. I'm not used to this yet.
I will add to this list later!

I hope all is going well. Well I love and miss you and hope you are doing well. Can't wait to hear from you. 


Monday, February 10, 2014

First email from Sweden!!!

Well, I've been here for about a week now. Wow, so much to say. The flight was good, but very long. The flight across from Minneapolis to Amsterdam seemed like it would never end. But the flight from Amsterdam to Sweden went by really fast. So when we got here we went right to work. We went straight from the airport to apply for our residency, and then from there to a quick devotional at the young single adults center in Stockholm. After that we went street contacting in the streets in Stockholm. I was super nervous, but it wasn't too bad. After that we made our way back to the mission home, where we had dinner with the mission president and his wife. It was great!! Can I say though, drivers in Stockholm are nuts!! When we first got on the road I thought I was going to die!!! After dinner at the mission president's home, we went to bed. The next morning we had a devotional at a chapel in Stockholm. There we were assigned our trainers.

My trainer is Äldste Svensson. He is from Sweden! He will just never serve in the area where his hometown is. It's really an awesome thing to have Swedish missionaries, from Sweden. It's obvious that they are much more effective, because they know the language and culture obviously much better than everyone else!!! He is a super funny guy and is doing well at showing me the ropes of the mission life. So as you have probably heard, I am serving in Alingsås. It's on the western side of Sweden. We are emailing from the church here in Alingsås. Alingsås is really nice! It's been pretty good. I have been introduced to a bunch of the investigators and we have been doing a lot of tracting. It's been good and very difficult, mostly because I don't know what people are saying most of the time. The language is way hard and I can usually only pick up what people are saying, if they are non-Swedes. The members are awesome here. They have a really strong ward. They are really nice, even though I don't know what they are saying. In sacrament meeting on Sunday the bishop in the ward introduced me and had me stand up. He told everyone that I understand Swedish better if they talk really fast. (thanks bishop). They also had me bare my testimony in Sacrament meeting, which was very short and simple, but I did my best.

 I'm starting to appreciate home more though. Some people here really don't have a lot. We are actually starting so teach Swedish to some immigrants from the Middle East, who are living in an immigrant camp outside of Alingsås. They are all super nice and humble people. The people on the street are very friendly for the most part. Usually they will listen or just say no thanks. Most people really aren't religious at all here. A ton of people think we are Jehovah's Witnesses though, so that takes some explaining. It's really rainy here and the sun never really comes all the way out. We at least get light though, so I can't complain! I'm definitely loading up on vitamin D every morning though!

You should send mail to the mission home and then they will forward it to me from there. And yes, we went grocery shopping just a couple of hours ago. It was good, but like I said I am so lost here. I have no idea how to compare the currency to the US dollar, so I just kind of have to trust my companion. And yes, my comp speaks very good English... we mostly speak English to each other. And yes the immigration camp is safe, we go there with members and other Swedish people! Our apartment is good. If you were to see it on the outside you wouldn't think so, but inside it's not bad at all. We have a small kitchen, a living room, with two desks and a couch, our bathroom, and our bedroom. It's not too bad!! And yes, I got my bedding. Thank you so much... the blanket is so nice!!! And yes it rains so much here, and at night it's like freezing rain, but it's really not too bad. I don't think I will have to buy boots or a warmer coat, unless I go to the very northern area next winter. 

Oh and I almost forgot to tell you, I played a game called innebandy, with some members on Saturday. It's super fun... you will have to look it up! I guess it's really big here is Sweden. They said I need to buy my own stick because I will be playing it all of the time in Sweden!! It's kind of like hockey! 

Well, I need to get off now! I love you so much!! Thanks for all that you do for me. I am learning to appreciate my family more and more. Have a great week. 

Äldste Kapp

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I arrived!!!

                                                  Arrived at the Stockholm Arland Airport


                                               Dinner the first night at the mission home.

                                        Jake's first assignment will be in the Alingsås area.    
                            His companion will be Elder Svensson (not sure if that's him in picture).

Mom and Dad,

Well this letter means I arrived in Sweden alive and well!  It's beautiful here and very exciting (although I've only been here for about an hour).  We have been staying busy, taking care of the paperwork and have a planned out schedule for tonight.  Going straight to work!!  It really is everything I expected and more.  Europe is such a great place and I can't wait to serve here.  I love you and can't wait to hear from you!

Äldste Kapp

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Me and my teacher Brother Bloomfield

Last Night at MTC

You are all probably watching the super bowl!!! We get one last time to email before we take off, so I guess I will just send a long one. I can't wait to call you guys tomorrow! It's crazy... I will be waking up in 8 hours and leaving the country for the first time. I'm ready to go. Today has been an amazing day and an awesome day to end my stay at the MTC. The spirit has been so strong and I have felt a calm, excited feeling to leave. I'm ready to go serve!! We were able to go to the temple and we sang "God be with you 'till we meet again" with the Dutch and German missionaries. I am so excited to leave, but have made some life-long friends, so it will be sad saying goodbye later tonight. I'm so grateful for this opportunity to serve. I have already had life-changing experiences. I love my mission!! Jag vet att Kyrkan är sant! Jesus Kristus är Guds son, och vi kan all har lycka genom honom och hans forsoning. Joseph Smith var Guds profet. Mormons Bok är sant. Jag ska gå till Sverige så Guds barn can komma tillbaka till honom. Jag älskar er! 


Äldste Kapp