Monday, January 20, 2014

The Adventures of the Laundry Room and the Ice Cream Truck

Hej! So, things continue here in Sweden. It's been a little slower here since New Year's, but we're starting to see things go up again. Hopefully that pattern continues in the next few weeks. It's still beautifully cold and snowy here; it actually snows a little just about every day, but the amount of the snow on the ground usually stays about the same.

Updates on Syster Eriksson: she finally got her visa this past week; however, she's already been here for half a transfer, so it's been decided that she will finish a transfer here in Sweden and then head to the MTC in the middle of February before finally heading off to Spokane, Washington. I'm glad that this has finally been worked out, and I'm glad for the chance that we have to enjoy having her with us for a little longer. I can definitely say that my Swedish has improved A LOT having her there to talk to and figure out what I'm saying wrong, but it's also been great having a third companion. Sometimes, it is a little stressful, but at other times, it's great because she has that many more spiritual insights to offer, and she is always ready to say something in a lesson.

So. The laundry room. We had some fun this past week in doing our laundry. Because of the Embassy trip, we didn't have time to get all of our laundry done last p-day, so we decided to get a little done during weekly planning this past Friday. To get into the laundry room, you need a key fob. There is one door out on the walkway to get in to a tiny waiting area where there is a booking thingie (that's a technical term), and another lock you need your fob for to get into the actual laundry room so that no one can walk in and steal your clothes. Syster McCollaum and I both have fobs on our keychains, so there is never a problem with getting in and out of the laundry room.

Except for on FridayFriday as we were leaving, Syster McCollaum asked if we could run and get my keys from the apartment because she'd just left hers on the dryer. So we started towards the apartment for my keys. Then we realized the apartment was also locked. So, we quickly ran back to the laundry room. The inner door had already shut (through which we could still see her keys on the other side through the window), but we made it before the outer door had shut, so we all three ran in. We decided to camp out there until someone from the office came with the spare key, which in and of itself was a process involving several phone calls and someone getting lost on the way to our apartment. All in all, we waited about an hour in that tiny room with our wet laundry. However, I am proud to say that we were effective with our time, and we got our nightly planning done on a Family History card using the very end of the lead in Syster McCollaum's pencil. I love laundry.

Another interesting story from this week: I saw the ice cream truck. Here in Sweden, the ice cream truck goes around for the whole year. It has a reputation among missionaries that somehow you can always hear it several streets over, but it is very rare that we ever see it. And honestly, the tune it plays is kind of creepy. I swear, you could put the ice cream truck in a horror movie. Anyways, we were dropping by a  less active member last week when we heard the ice cream truck for the first time. The less active wasn't there, so we went to a nearby bus stop to wait. And then we heard it again - from a different direction. We were starting to get a little freaked out. Then we heard it from ANOTHER place, completely unrelated to where it had been three minutes earlier. Creeped out, we got on the bus. Just as the doors to the bus shut, it pulled up to a house just around the corner and parked, just out of view of our cameras, and not so close we could see the ice-cream cones on the side (according to Syster Eriksson, there are pictures of ice-cream on the truck). And it just sat there until we had pulled away. It was the creepiest thing, but I can now proudly say that I have seen the ice cream truck.

Yesterday, we also had an interesting experience in Sacrament meeting. Syster Eriksson and a ward member got permission from the bishop to play in Sacrament meeting, so for possibly the first time ever, we heard a trumpet duet of 'I Feel My Savior's Love' during the meeting. It was beautiful to hear; Syster Eriksson is really talented, and it brought an amazing spirit to the lesson.

One more thing: I love the new youth curriculum. For the second week in a row, we got the opportunity to teach the youth in our ward for Sunday School. Preparing for that lesson was interesting; we pretty well have memorized the lessons in Preach My Gospel, but it was a little different to plan by the new Youth Curriculum- and by the way, this all happened in Swedish. However, as we were preparing and discussing, the Spirit was with us, and then again later as we taught the Young Women who were in Sunday School. I love how it opens up the opportunity to discuss and question and strengthen each other. Seriously, the new youth curriculum is an amazing tool, and when the youth become really involved in the lesson and choose to talk about the things they know to be true, there is such power in their words and their testimonies. It's just awesome.

And yeah, there's a week in the life of Syster Maxwell. Love you all, hope all is well at home.

Syster Maxwell

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