Saturday, October 24, 2020

Family History In Sweden

Family History is a big deal here in Sweden.  People may not be so interested in religion, but they are definitely interested in Family History, or genealogy, as we used to call it.  Our missionaries spend about 10 hours per week helping people here to find their roots. It's a great way to meet people.  Everyone wants to know where they come from.  DNA is a big thing here too.  So nice to learn more about ourselves.

LeRon and I have no Swedish ancestry that we know of, so it's been great fun to find we're related to 3 junior missionaries who are serving in Sweden.  In January, when I saw that an Elder Muhlestein was coming, I knew he had to be related.  After all, my dad is Arnold Muhlestein Conrad and his mother's maiden name is Muhlestein.  I contacted Elder Muhlestein, and sure enough, we both descend through my great-grandfather, Nicholas Muhlestein, who was born in Switzerland.  Another missionary is Elder Hancock who descends from my ancestor, Solomon Hancock's, brother.  My mother was a Hancock.  My Hancock relatives have always been proud that they descended from John Hancock, first signer of the American Declaration of Independence, but after I did research, I found that he had no children who lived to adulthood.  So much for that myth! 

Elder & Syster Torrie are at the Arlanda airport in Stockholm, greeting my second cousin, once removed, Elder Muhlestein from California.  He descends from my Grandma Ida Muhlestein Conrad's brother, Israel Muhlestein.  He looks like he fits in with my dad's family!  And later we learned that Elder Scott, who is also in this mission, is also descended from Nicholas Muhlestein.  Small world!

We were so excited to greet the three new missionaries who have just arrived from the States --  Syster Birrell (blond hair), Elder Muhlestein, and Syster Davis (who is actually President & Syster Davis' daughter -- she received her mission call before they did!)  The Elders on the outside are the Assistants to the President -- Elder McGill and Elder Hoyt.  President & Syster Davis are second from left and second from right.  We love working closely with the Davis's and the Assistants and four other missionaries who work in our office.

It's cold and rainy.  We're here at the waterfront in Stockholm.  Behind us is the city hall, called the Stadshuset.  It's a gorgeous building and is the site of the annual Nobel Prize banquet.  Alfred Nobel was a Swede who invented, among other things, dynamite.  With the money he made from his inventions, he established the Nobel Prizes.  L-R: Syster Davis, Elder & Syster Torrie, my cousin Elder Muhlestein, President Davis.

There are several theories about what the three crowns on the top of the Stadshuset tower represent.  You can just barely see them above the tower.  They could represent the union of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway at one point in history.  The three crowns are seen in many places, including on the Swedish coat of arms.

You can see the three crowns, the official symbol of Sweden, on this bag I bought just before we left Stockholm in March.

We saw this photo on heavy glass when we were here in January and absolutely loved it.  We wanted to buy it but decided against it at the time.  So when we got here, first thing, we went down to the store and bought it.  It's very heavy so we won't be taking it home with us when we leave Sweden.  Oh well.  We'll enjoy it for now.  Love that elephant!  The background is definitely not Africa though.  But it looks well on our wall next to the zebras.  Reminds us of happy times in Africa.

1 comment:

  1. One of our trips in Stockholm was that our group for the children's lit conference was invited into the city building where the Nobel prize is given! It was so cool. I hope you guys get a chance to go in it. Also don't forget to go to Junibacken!