Sunday, November 15, 2020

Shorter Daylight but Still Busy Days

The days are definitely getting shorter.  The sun rose today here in Stockholm at 7:42 and will set at 15:21, which is 3:21 p.m.  In comparison, in Alberta, it will rise at 7:47 today and will set at 4:47 p.m.  This past week has not been sunny.  It's been light for a few hours, but no sun.  The junior missionaries tell me that that's the way it's going to be from now through December.  I checked on google for the sun's altitude and here in Stockholm it's at 6.93 degrees and in Alberta, it's at -56.30.  Not sure what that all means, but it's quite a difference.  The sun here must be very low in the sky, but we wouldn't see it anyway for the trees.

The darkness doesn't bother me like I thought it would.  We just keep very busy.  I remember how I worried about the darkness when we were going to Kenya in 2016-17.  There the sun comes up sometime between 6:30 and 7:00 and sets between 6:30 and 7:00 p.m. all year long.  I adapted there much easier than I thought I would.  And I seem to be adapting here too.

We've finally got our office organized.  We now work in the same room, which is really nice.  Easier to ask LeRon for help when I'm having trouble with a spreadsheet!  This is my side of the office.

And this is LeRon's side of the office.  So fun to be working together!

Ha ha.  We're twins today!  Syster Mattsson is the wife of a counselor in the mission presidency.  She's a lovely Swedish lady who served a mission in her youth in the US.

This sweet sister from Chile, who now lives in Sweden, sewed me this apron with the Swedish Dala horse on it.  So cute!  She also brought us Halloween treats.

Sunday evenings we always have a get-together with the junior missionaries who live above us.  We work with them daily in the office and it's fun to have a relaxing evening (from 9-10 p.m. or later!) and sing and eat together.  Tonight we are having popcorn and fudge.  It's a Torrie tradition.  But because they have no chocolate chips in Sweden, I melted 3-200 g. Marabou chocolate bars, added 1 can of sweetened condensed milk and 4 T butter and it made the most delicious easy fudge!  When you're in a new country, with different ingredients, you have to adapt.  L-R: Elder Nordgren, Elder Stinson, Elder Hoyt, Elder McGill, Elder Walker, Elder Olson, Elder Torrie.  I am definitely outnumbered!  But it's okay because these wonderful young men are now my grandsons!

Out for a walk in the middle of the day yesterday.  Bedrock everywhere.  You wonder how they ever built the roads.  Basements are just sort of scraped into the bedrock and then they build up.  This house (that you can barely see) is built into this rock.  They've added handholds so now it's a climbing rock!  How cool is that?

And just down the street is a mini-forest.  Someone has been building a fort and there are leftovers of a campfire.

More bedrock.  You wonder how the trees can grow.  

We get very turned around here.  The streets wind like cattle trails, but if you check the trees, you can see that this is north.  Doesn't moss grow on the north side of a tree?

Love the white and red on this house.  Now that it's fall and the leaves on the deciduous trees have fallen, you can see the lovely homes easier. 

An evening of music with the Cowgurs, a senior couple from Arizona.  LeRon and Syster Cowgur both play by ear so they had a lot of fun jamming together.  Next time, LeRon wants to play on the keyboard he bought, which is a much better keyboard than this one.  So we'll have to invite them over to our teeny-tiny apartment.  The Cowgurs' livingroom is about the size of our whole apartment!  But we're content with our apartment because it's cozy and very convenient to the office.

Selfie with Elder & Syster Cowgur, and Syster & Elder Torrie

Christmas lights are popping up everywhere.  So nice in the dark sky.

I thought this was pretty cool!  I snapped it just as we whizzed by.  It's the same trees as in the picture above.

Interesting apartment buildings.  So glad I don't live in one though.

Lights in every window and curtains open.  So nice on dark evenings.  But we never see people in the houses.  They must be there somewhere.  I think LeRon and I are the only ones who actually look into the houses.  Everyone else is so used to curtains open at night that they just walk by.  And here we are, peering inside trying to see if someone really lives there!

The "Tree of Life" all lit up for Christmas.

The Natural History Museum of Sweden is a lovely old building.  We need to go there sometime.

Elder Safsten (left) and Elder Warenski (right) popped in for a visit one late evening.  Elder Safsten has a gorgeous voice and we practiced the new mission song with him.  Then we gave them some ice cream for a treat and found out they hadn't had anything to eat since morning.  So we pulled out lots of food and they had a feast of all kinds of food.  So fun!

Sweet Tamara moved here from Montenegro.  I'll tell you how we met her.  We met Elder & Sister Olson at the MTC (the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah) in 2016.  The Olsons were going to Montenegro where Elder Olson was to serve as the branch president and we were going to Kenya on our mission.  We kept in touch with the Olsons while they were there and met up with them after both our missions were over.  Then when we were assigned to Sweden, the Olsons told us that someone they knew from Montenegro had moved to Sweden.  So we contacted Tamara and her husband, Marko.  Finally, last week we were able to meet up with Tamara.  Such a fun visit.  Now we just need to meet Marko.  It's very hard to move to a new country, especially one with such a difficult language.  We hope we can be a good support to such a lovely couple. Another interesting thing, is that the Cowgurs (the senior couple in the pictures a few pictures back) lived next door to the Olsons for 20 years.  It's a small world.

I finally was able to snap a sort of okay picture of the butterflies hanging in one of the tunnels.  They try to make the very long tunnels interesting, just like they do in the tunelbana (the underground, the metro, or the tube, whatever you want to call it).

Still trying to get a good picture of the waterways.  So many rivers and ocean inlets here but usually there are high sides along the freeways so you can't really get a picture.  Oh well.  Next time.


  1. Fun pictures! Thanks for the update. I love the butterfly lights (were they lights) in the tunnel. Glad to see you out rock-climbing, Mom. Be careful! Haha.