Monday, February 10, 2014


Well, I love my new area. Can I just say that? I've only been here a few days, but I love my new ward area, and of course my beautiful companion, Syster Robbins. I'm definitely still trying to figure out my way around, but it will come, and until then, I'm loving meeting the amazing members of our ward and getting to know the people who live in our area. Oh, side note, the names of different places do actually mean something in Swedish. 'Gubbängen' means 'Old Man Field.'

And Syster Robbins... where do I begin with Syster Robbins? She's amazing,and an absolute angel. She's been in Gubbängen for a few months already, so she knows her way around like nobody's business, and has a great connection and love for the members and investigators. She was a Sister Training Leader before becoming my companion, but she's staying in Gubbängen for the last 6 weeks of her mission, so I'm the lucky sister who gets to have her for the last little bit of her mission.

This last week was exciting; Sister McCollaum and Sister Eriksson were SO sweet for my last few days in Hägersten; they even made me a good-bye pie. And it was delicious. But really, while I'm very glad to have Syster Robbins as my companion, I also miss them. We said good-bye at T-Central early Wednesday morning. They went back to our old area, and Syster Robbins and I stayed at T-Central to help other sisters meet with their new companions and manage their luggage.

It was an interesting week. A lot of the mission transferred, and a lot of the mission moved apartments. On Wednesday, we helped a sister move her apartment, and then on Friday, we ourselves moved apartments. I'm still not sure how I'm feeling about this. I absolutely adored both apartments, but the new one is essentially in the forest, and it takes us about 20 minutes to get to the nearest Tunnelbana station if we catch the bus at the right time. And if we miss the bus.... well, we're working on figuring out the walk way, but it's a ways to walk. And that in and of itself is weird. We live and work in Stockholm. In the forest. It just kind of boggles my mind. However, I can also say that it's absolutley gorgeous, and I'm amazed by the place that we're living in.

In any case, we've been able to meet with some of the members of the ward, and I've loved them all so far. The bishop is amazing, and has two adorable daughters who are one and two years old, and his counselors are these two hispanic guys who both are just amazing. I love our ward. We've also gotten to meet with some of the women in our ward and their families. 

Speaking of them, I just want to throw it out there, I've been asked several times if I miss Mexican food. In the last few days at members houses, I have had tacos twice. No, I don't miss Mexican food, because I haven't really had the chance!

And, of course, there have been ups and downs. At one members house, her cat decided it was in love with me, and I couldn't get it to go away. It just kept rubbing up against me, and trying to eat my backpack, and the whole while, I'm trying to gently nudge this cat away (because I don't think this member would like it if I kicked it away) without touching it so I wouldn't end up having puffy red eyes and sniffing like I'd had the flu for a week. Other than the cat trying to kill me by means of allergy-attack, the appointment was great, and we had a very great, spiritual lesson.

We also were at a members house the other day, when their little daughter went and hid behind the couch. We were talking about how we need to build up our families when we heard a few little toots come from behind the couch. The wife was mortified, but the husband just kind of laughed as we continued at the lesson.

But really, we have some amazing women in our ward. I've gotten the chance to talk with a few of them and hear their testimonies, and I can say that these women are amazingly strong, and have made the decision to stay strong in their faith. They have all had some very hard times in their lives, but each of them would say without fail that they had decided to rely on the Lord, and that, while it may not have been easy, they have been supported through every trial and every hardship they have faced.

Perhaps one of my favorite moments in the last week was when I got up to introduce myself to the ward. As a missionary, I get to bear my testimony all the time, but it's rare that I get to share it with so many people at once. However, I love getting that opportunity, because it's at that point you talk about the simplest, most basic parts of your testimony, and very often, they are some of the strongest points as well. I know this is God's church, and that we are here to build up his kingdom. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer, and that He has such an infinite love for us all that he would suffer in Gethsemane and then on the cross for us individually. He knows our pains and our sorrows, our joys and our blessings. He is there with us every step of the way if we will only allow Him to support us. The scriptures are true- there is so much power in truly studying the scriptures, and through them, we can find answers to every problem we face if we will simply study them with an open heart and mind.

I love you all, and I hope all is going well for you! You're in my thoughts and prayers.

Syster Maxwell

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