Monday, November 25, 2013

We Have Hit Negative Temperatures!

It’s true, we have finally hit the negatives for Celisus temperatures. I don’t know exactly how cold it is, but Äldste Hills was having fun ice-skating on the roads last night on our way out of a dinner appointment last night. Syster McCollaum continues to inform me that we haven’t hit real Swedish winter yet, but it’s also consistently sitting around 0° C. It’s not completely frozen yet, but weäll get there.
We’re finally getting to get more appointments and lessons in. One thing I’m starting to learn very quickly out here is not to judge. Everyone has their own set of problems, and everyone comes from different backgrounds. I’ve met people from just about everywhere, including China, India, Kenya, Ghana, Colombia, Uzbekistan, Canada, Chile, and SO MANY OTHERS, and from every walk of life too. It’s fantastically amazing who I’ll get to meet every day.
So, just a fun tidbit, the Stockholm temple is actually in my zone. It used to be in my district, but due to a complicated set of transfers, it’s now only in my zone. However, last week for District meeting, we met in Västerhaninge (the town where the temple is), and I walked straight by the temple. There are NOT many missionaries in Sweden who can say they saw the temple in their first week in the country.

District meeting last week was also my first chance to try kladkaka, which is the Swedish equivalent to brownies, and completely delicious, as well as kebab.
Let me explain kebab in Sweden- it is NOTHING like shish-kabobs in the states. There is no resemblance whatsoever. Kebab is fried lamb meat cut in very thin slices and put on pizza with sauce, peppers, and french-fries. The kebab I had last week also had tomatoes and lettuce, which Syster McCollaum tells me isn’t how it usually is (and I had kebab last night that would agree with that statement). It sounds bizarre, but it is SO GOOD. I think I’m in love with kebab and kladkaka, and it’s a good thing it doesn’t fit in the missionary budget to have both all the time, or I would be coming home as a very fat missionary at the end of my mission.


Another weird thing about Sweden, everyone here has a dog, a baby, or smokes, or sometimes a combination of all three. I think I have seen more pregnant women here than I did walking around BYU campus, which is a statement in and of itself. I’m also fairly certain that if I develop lung-cancer later in life, I will blame that on the Swedes. I love them to pieces, but sometimes, I wish the bus-station didn’t smell like tobacco.
Lessons are going great, and they’re always interesting, as is contacting. We do a lot more contacting than anything, and that’s mostly because we’re building up our area. For those who’ve been wondering, we do contacting, and not tracting, and that’s mostly because almost every apartment building in Sweden has a passcode on the doors. Unless you have the code, you can’t get in to ring the doorbell, and so, usually we just end up walking up and down the streets in Flemingsberg and Älvsjö looking for people to talk to.
It actually led to an amazing experience last week. We hadn’t been having much success in our contacting after District meeting last week, so we went to the side of the road and said a quick prayer. We went back to the road, and within seconds, we met this guy who was just out for a walk. We started talking to him, and he told us he had time to sit down and talk, so we sat on a bench, and taught him the entire first lesson. He had so many questions, and we could feel the Spirit so strongly as we taught him. It was freezing, and the rain was coming down, and we were pretty well soaked by the time we were done, but it was worth it! Seriously, it was the most amazing lesson I’ve been to yet. 

We still have not had any real snow; so far, it’s just been these frustrating little flakes that are almost more like a mist that is just cold enough to freeze and stick to you. I’m still waiting for some real snow to come, but Syster McCollaum says to be patient, because soon we’ll have so much snow we won’t know what to do with it.
Oh well, I haven’t frozen yet, for which I’m grateful!
Love, Syster Maxwell

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