Tuesday, December 13, 2016

-21 Celcius, a new car, new companion, and reindeer meat!

Elder Halterman! Our beloved Assistant
is headed home. He will do great things.
I"m back :)  TRANSFERS are this week!!!

My companion that I have been with these last two transfers... Elder Jensen is leaving and will be transferring to the Office as an Assistent to the President. He will kill it for the rest of his mission there helping this mission run. I’m actually getting one of my really good friends who will be transferring up here to be a new Zone leader with me. Elder Baquedano!! He is from France. We became friends when we were in Stockholm around each other a year ago. I’m way pumped to be companions with him. Elder Jensen left this morning to fly down to Stockholm and I am with the other two Elders here in Umeå right now.  They will be both transferring out of Umeå and we will be getting sisters! In the next few days they will be transferring (leaving to different cities) and I will be driving people around getting people where they need to go during this transfer. 
Elder Mecham and Elder Jämsä taking some model shots down in Stokcholm.
Skellefteå and Luleå district!
Splits with Elder Olson down in Sundsvall. He is stud and he's is from California. Yep.. a stud!
My new companion is arriving on Wednesday morning! Super pumped for that. It will be cool to have sisters here because Umeå hasnt had sisters for over 20 years. So that’s exciting! I will miss Elder Jensen, but we will still work closely together... Other than that, there was A LOT that happened between these two last weeks. We traveled down to Sundsvall and worked with the missionaries there. Then traveled up to Skellefteå and did splits with those Elders. 

This is called "sparking." Its how you get around in the winter on the ice and snow. Way fun!
We did some intense service for a member up there in the middle of nowhere. We lifted a huge and extremely heavy sink to cut out of stone. We estimated that each of us were lifting a little over a 100lbs and it was just one solid slab of rock. Five of us were carrying it. It was sketchy though because they wanted us to move it from a shed all the way into their house in the kitchen and it was icey and snowy. So we got a sled and lifted the slab of rock and shimmied it out of the shed and put it on a big snow plow shovel and slid it to the house. Then we got it in! But it was way fun, and they then brought out these sled looking things that you stand on and it's called "Sparking." You stand on these these and you just glide across the ice and snow. You just push and lean and you can get going pretty quick on them too! Fun experience but it was dang cold up there. It got down to -21 degrees celsius but it felt like -26 degrees with chill and humidity. As we drove home, we got some cool pictures because the sky was so clear!
Norrland Zone caroling on Drottningsgatan in Stockholm on the night of P day right before conference

We came home and had a caroling activity with just a few missionaries in our district in the city of Umeå. Then we flew down to Stockholm the next morning. We spent our “preparation day" there and then had a big caroling party with the whole Norrland zone at 6:00pm on the main street in Stockholm. I played guitar and Elder Harrison played the Ukulele while everyone else sang. It was a good time! 

The next day was our Christmas Zone conference and it was really good! Got to see a lot of missionary friends and get a good spiritual pump up. I also sang “O Come O Come Emmanuel" with 3 other missionaries at conference. 

Reindeer meat!!
A nice plate of reindeer, potatoes, and salad.
Something else cool that happened is that we got to eat reindeer meat! It’s actually really good! I would recommend it for sure. We also got a new car.  The mission sold the one we had so we got a brand new car straight form the dealer! It’s way nice and will work well for the cold winter we will have here. 

We also had the branch (*A branch is a congregation, like a Ward) Christmas party here in Umeå. It was a blast and we did some fun musical numbers. This branch is so cool! 

Other than that we have some really awesome people we are teaching that are progressing awesomely. Despite the time we were gone out of our area.. We used every free moment to find and we have some new cool people that we have lessons set up with this week. 

Love you all and have a good one!
Äldste Blackburn

Classic Swedish Christmas show. NEED to watch every Christmas Eve.
Flew back from Stockholm and found this in our window. It meas "You're the best!"

Sick painting of the Northern lights

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