Now in Sweden

Posted On December 8, 2008

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Hey friends and family! I’m save and happy here in Sweden a week after the flight!
My first area is Jönköping (if you pronounce the ö like “oo” as in “book,” then it’s pronounced Yoonshooping), which is in the Göteborg zone.  I actually have two companions, because one (Sister Shurtleff) is going home in two weeks. My official trainer is Sister Huttunen from Finland. They’re nice and they know a lot. The ward is absolutely great. They’re so nice and a lot of them look like people back home. The bishop’s son kind of looks like cousin Sam. Jönköping is pretty, but it’s foggy all the time. Our apartment is on norre strandsgatan (north shore street), and has a window that looks right at the lake. It’s a pretty view and kind of reminds me of Santa Cruz, how you see land on both sides and then ocean out in the distance.
We have a couple of investigators, but since all three of us got transferred in here (we just replaced elders in the apartment–which was filthy, by the way, but we cleaned it–except none of us want to touch the random yoyo that’s hanging in the shower), we’re not sure where to start. We’re going to go through the area book and see if any former investigators are interested, and we need to do some finding activities too. Our best bet is usually friends and family of the young adults here. A few of them came to the Christmas concert last night and might be interested. There are three young women my age who all want to go on missions and two of them are converts. They’re amazing. They want to go on splits with us and they bring their friends to activities.
I think our primary responsibility is as outreach missionaries though. They’re doing this new thing all over Scandinavia (and probably Europe) called “outreach centers.” They’re like institute, but they have activities every evening and lots of young nonmembers come. They’ve really been taking off the past couple years and are I think primarily responsible for convert baptisms almost doubling this year from last year (62 last year to 104 this year). So they’re starting a new outreach center here in Jönköping because there’s a university in the city. There’s usually a senior couple in charge and an elder companionship and a sister companionship helping out. I’m not sure exactly what our responsibility will be but we’re having a meeting on it tomorrow.
Saturday night we went to help a member help his neighbor dig up mud in his horse pasture. There’s like a sloped path leading up to the stable door, and it was way muddy and his two horses were having trouble, so we three sisters and two elders (our district, basically–the two elders are Elder Jenson and Elder McCann. McCann was in the district just before mine at the MTC) scraped the top layer of mud off and helped dump and spread gravel so it stays more sturdy the next time it snows. It was fun but I’ve never done anything like that before. The member is really funny. His name is Christer Rasmussen and he went to Birmingham England on his mission so he has a crazy English accent and his wife (he baptized her) is from England and they have like 8 kids. They have a brand new baby so they were Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus last night at the Christmas concert. Their neigbors are Ronnie and Rebecka and I don’t know if they’re interested in the church (Ronnie might but Rebecka seems disinterested), but they’ve interacted with the missionaries before and I think our being willing to do that kind of service makes a good impression on them. I definitely had to run my sneakers through the washer today though.
More to come!
[Note from Syster Hegstrom’s brother, who is maintaining this blog for her: When Syster Hegstrom refers to the “Göteborg zone,” she is referring to a region of Sweden around Göteborg, Sweden. A mission is divided into several “zones” which, in turn, are divided into several “districts,” which, in turn, are divided into several “areas.” Each area is covered by a companionship, which is usually two missionaries, or three if there are an odd number of missionaries in the mission. These missionaries can be two or three elders (men), sisters (women), or (as Syster Hegstrom refers to them here) Seniors (a retired, married couple). So, in other words, two or three missionaries form a companionship, which cover an area, a few areas are grouped into a district, a few districts are grouped into a zone, and the zones together make the mission. I hope that clears things up for our non-LDS readers]


Posted On October 29, 2008

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Hi friends and family! Well I'm almost halfway through the MTC experience. I hit 
my four weeks mark today, which means five weeks to go! Good thing I'm 
completely loving it! My companion is Sister Williams from Alaska and she's 
great. She's a convert of about four or five years and her testimony is so 
strong. And she's fluent in Spanish, which is a lot of fun (because I totally 
know where she's coming from when it comes to learning Swedish). My whole 
district is great--3 elders and 6 sisters (and sisters outnumbering elders 
almost NEVER happens!). The sisters are amazing and so are the elders. And my 
three elders are hilarious. Elder Conlan has dubbed us "the Fellowship of the 
Swedes," because there are nine of us. Nerd. 🙂

But I'm having a wonderful time here and I'm not homesick at all! In fact, I 
feel like I'm GOING home. I really do.

Well I love you all and I'll keep you posted! Write and let me know if there are 
any specific questions you want answered and I will definitely do that! Hej hej!

8 October 2008

Posted On October 9, 2008

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Well, turns out they have e-mail in the MTC now! I don't have time to write TOO 
much this week, because I was catching up with my family, but you may hear from 
me a few times before December. Maybe. 🙂

I just wanted to say, the MTC is amazing! It's true that the first week is the 
hardest, but I already know that I'm supposed to be here and I am so excited to 
learn more about what I'm teaching. More later!


Syster Hegstrom


Posted On August 29, 2008

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Sooo in exactly 32 days (October 1, 2008), I will report to the Provo Missionary Training Center. I believe I will be there for 9 weeks, during which I will not have access to e-mail. After that, sometime in December, I will head to Sweden! There I will be able to e-mail my family once a week, and my plan is to write a big “everybody” letter to be posted here, and then smaller personal e-mails to my parents and siblings. Just so everyone knows what’s going on with me in the land of the Vikings.

And yes, I deliberately picked the ready-made snowy winter Christmas-tree theme, called “Iceburgg.” I thought it quite appropriate. 🙂

Until December!