Monday, August 22, 2011


Surströmming. Not much else to say. That is the spine I took out of one. Gross.

This is Rasmus Bergström!! He helped us out big time!

The feast!

Elder Lopp and I at the festival!

Thats it! Haha It came out of the barrel that was sitting around for a long LONG time! Normally it comes in smaller cans.

This didn't help at all... The taste just sits there. :( haha!! :)

Hej Familj!!!

Let me start this e-mail off with an amazing tale of two missionaries. There were two missionaries one day who went out looking for people to teach. As they were making their first usual trip down the main street of their small coastal town they noticed something out of the ordinary. A large white tent was set-up in the main square of town. The missionaries, heightened by the sense of oddity, walked past slowly as to discover the reason for the large white tent. As they past they caught the hint of a terrible, terrible odor. The missionaries were confused now more than ever! Then, after just a few seconds, it hit them. SURSTRÖMMING!!! Their disgusted and queasy feelings turned into curiosity and a new-found fervor to try the long heard of, but seldom seen, Fermented Baltic Herring! The missionaries noticed the time and both knew what they had to do. So, they continued along contacting in the town until the lunch hour arrived. Now, these two amazing missionaries had never eaten the rotten fish before so they both decided that it would be best to have a guide, a native, to show them the ways of the smelly garbage fish. (Hahaha wow..) A young member of the local branch named Rasmus Bergström was summoned into council. Rasmus arrived soon and all three walked to the strange white tent. They all paid the fee (60:- kronor or about $9.50) and were served a plate full of hard bread, tomatoes, onions, sour cream, potatoes and the now nauseating fish. The smell had increased seemingly an hundred fold. One missionary almost vomited right there at the serving table. (me.. lol as if you didn't already know!) The three found their places among the crowd and sat down, never to arise again with a stomach void of rotten herring. The native, now thoroughly amused at the sight of his two victims, began to explain the horrifying process of cleaning the headless fish out. Like a professional Rasmus tore open the little morsel and cleaned out it's innards... Guts and all! He lined a piece of hard bread with pieces cut from the now cleaned fish and then garnished the sandwich to be with the supplied accessories. After the deed was done the sandwich was given to one of the Elders. After both had a sandwich the first bites were taken. It was finished, the elders had just eaten what they will both probably always remember as one of the nastiest things in the world. After cleaning out their own Baltic herring and making a couple of sandwiches of their own the Elders had a pretty nice lunch. What a cultural experience!! Okay, I am sorry that took way too much time for me to type up! haha But it is all true! I have now taken part in Örnsköldsvik's annual Surströmming Festival. It was terrible! Haha. I was able to eat it, and it was quite the feat, but I am not sure why I did it. I tasted fermented Baltic herring for two days!!! Seriously, I kid you not.. THREE DAYS!! It made me nauseous. I held everything down though! Whew! Also, while we were eating there was an announcer guy from the city going around and announcing the music and what not. He stopped and started reading Elder Lopp's name tag. He read it out loud for the whole festival to hear and started asking us questions about what we do and where we come from. He asked about the surströmming and everyone gave us a big round of applause when he was done. He came up and thanked us for coming and shook our hands. It was a great experience!! Haha :)

Okay now, there are some big things happening around the world! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MATT!! On Tuesday you will be 18! How exciting! Wooo! Also, Happy Anniversary to Mom and Dad, and Jessica and Matt on Wednesday! Wow! 27 and 4 years! Great! Also, Happy Past Birthday to Grandma Holladay! I love you all!!

Okay, I am going to get to the e-mails before my time is gone! Dad!!! I love you Dad!!! Yes, you do have me beat on the exclamation points, but a wise person knows that it is not in the number of exclamation points one uses that shows his love, but in the size of his heart. I love you Dad! :) So, you found Faye's book?! Great! She is a really fun lady! And she has some great poems! Oh! We are going to the Karlsson's Farm this Saturday! Hopefully we will have some good weather to work in! Wish me luck! Also, about the Karlssons... After church yesterday we had a fika (basically a snack) But the Karlssons hooked us all up! They made beef soup and tons of other things to fill us up! It was incredible! Cakes and breads, cheeses.. etc!! All made from the farm! It was amazing! I have not ordered the Liahona yet.. haha Thank you for that! It will be a great thing to have! About my driver's license... It is still good, but in Sweden it is not. Since I am just visiting the country, my drivers licence is good only for one year. Then the mission office has to send in some papers and renew my licence.. In Sweden. So, not to worry, the mission will cover that cost and take care of everything for me! It's all good. It is just taking some time. So, Romney is behind?! What?! haha I hope that all is going well on the politics page! Haha I love how even people here in Sweden know what is going on in the States with politics. :) I love you Dad! Have a great week!

Okay now on to the Birthday boy, Matt!!! I love you Matt!!! So, I sent you a birthday card, but it will be late. Don't judge me! haha I love you! I hope you like it and I hope your b-day goes great! 5'10" huh? That is pretty cool that is what you are listed as! Sounds like you are pumped for football! Good luck on your first game! I can't wait to hear how it goes! So you want spending money for your birthday?? Haha it is so funny how we change as we get older. When we are young we want this and that, but give us a few years and then we just want money so we can be sure we get exactly what we want. Haha What ever happened to us?! :) Yes, I am playing B-Ball.. Just not nearly as much. In Stockholm we had a gym in the church building. In Övik we meet in the first floor of an apartment building.. No gym.. :( haha But there are still some courts around town. I love you brother! Let me know how everything goes!

Okay now we have Mom!!! I love you Mom!!! Your Spiritual thought was great! Who was that??? That transfer you were talking about around last Christmas time was with Äldste Overstreet. We were together for three months because there was a special three month transfer. So, it was still just one transfer. Äldste Lopp has been here in Övik for about eight months, so we are pretty sure he is heading out. We will see next week! So yes, the mission blog is gone. I can't tell you how many people are sad that thing is gone. Too bad. I guess the mission is going in a new direction! I hope you and Dad have a great time on your Anniversary and in Oklahoma (where the wind comes sweeping down the plain!!) Remember how I would always say that after someone would say Oklahoma!?! haha Fun times! :) Thank you for sending that stuff! It is needed and very very much appreciated!! :) Oh! I almost forgot to tell you all! We went berry picking! Haha One of our friends took us! Her name is Wenjun and she comes from China. She showed us what berries were good and what ones were bad. We picked wild blueberries and wild lingonberries! They were great! We even came across wild raspberries! mmmm! Haha I just thought I should let you know that your son went out picking berries in the forest.. and like it... haha it was relaxing! And they tasted great! Okay one last thing!! Brother Karlsson want to know where our last name comes from. He knows it comes from somewhere in the Baltics but he wants to know what country and city. They have a son serving there right now! Cool! Is there a way that we could find that out! It might be quite the search, but he would really appreciate it! :)

Okay, quick Spiritual thought! That is the link to the video on the church's website called The Blessings of Scripture. It is great. I love it! Watch it. Listen to it. Apply it! haha I love you all very very much! Have a great week and know that I love each one of you! :) Remember that next week my p-day is on Tuesday! :)

Trogen och Stadig, Är Jag Redo!!!!!
Faithful and Steady, I AM Ready!!!!!

Äldste Kundis :) :) :)

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