Monday, December 7, 2020

Allt för Sverige

Allt för Sverige, or The Great Swedish Adventure (in US and Canada), is a reality-type show about Swedish Americans who return to their Swedish roots. The show gives participants information about their ancestral families by visiting locations their ancestors lived, and learning about Sweden's culture, customs, and food. As the episodes in each season progress, cast members leave the show after losing challenges. Each season's winner gets a family reunion with their relatives who still live in Sweden.  Check it out!  The 2020 season, of course, has been postponed due to the pandemic.  But all the seasons from 2011 on can be found on YouTube.

I've only watched part of one season (2019) and I'm not really into reality shows, but it was actually quite interesting.  This show is very big in Sweden.  Swedes are really into family history and they love this show.  You can watch it in the US and Canada too.  Our mission president, President Davis, discovered that one of the participants in the 2019 season is a member of our church.  President Davis made contact with Chris and invited him to share his experiences with our mission through a zoom meeting.

These are the 2019 participants.  The LDS church member, Chris, is at the very back with red hair (and he's the highest person in the picture).

On our zoom meeting with Chris, we learned about the unique thing he did on the show that endeared him to all the participants, and to Swedes in general.  He did something that had never been done before.  I won't tell you what it is because I want you to watch the show and see for yourself.  It's absolutely heart-warming.

Here's Chris and his wife talking with us from the US.  He really got our missionaries pumped for working on Family History.  Missionaries are asked to perform 10 hours of public service a week.  Since Sweden is a very socialistic country, it's hard to find service projects because everything is done for the citizens by the government.  So our missionaries are now giving 10 hours of service by helping people to do their Family History.  And with no strings attached.  It doesn't matter if the people are interested in our church or not.  It's simply giving service.  There are millions of records that can be accessed for free on, which is a church-sponsored website that is free to everyone.

Here I am with my 2nd cousin once removed, Elder Muhlestein, who had just arrived in our mission when this picture was taken in October 2020.  His trainer is Elder Jensen.  We enjoyed talking of shared ancestry.  My grandma was Ida Muhlestein.  Elder Muhlestein descends from Grandma Ida's brother.  Small world.  But even crazier, is that when we used the Relatives Around Me app on our phones, we discovered that President Davis, our mission president, is my 3rd cousin!!!  Again, it's a small world.

After watching some of Allt för Sverige and zooming with Chris, we had a fun evening of singing together.  Missionaries can really sing!  L-R (for my benefit because I am slowly but surely developing my senior brain): Elder Olson, Elder Stinson, Elder Nordgren, President Davis, Elder Walker, Elder McGill, Elder Hoyt; sitting Syster Birrell, Syster Andersen, and Syster Davis (who is President Davis's daughter and therefore my 3rd cousin once removed). Now I have 5 cousins on this mission, counting Elder Muhlestein, Elder Hancock, President Davis, his daughter Syster Davis, and senior missionary Syster Cowgur, who is my 4th cousin. Wow. Who knew I would meet relatives in Sweden!
And of course Elder Torrie can play anything!  (Or so he says, and really, it's about true.  If he can hear a melody, he can play it.  What a gift.)

1 comment:

  1. Fun! I'm glad everyone is getting excited about missionary work. That's interesting about the socialistic mentality and the lack of volunteer work to do. :-( There's sure a lot to do here in the US!!