Monday, February 3, 2014

Syster's Working Song

Hey, everyone at home! It has been another fantastic week in snowy Sweden. It's actually been a little warmer in the past few days, and while there's still snow on yards and houses, it's begun to melt off of the roads and sidewalks. This is definitely a bonus- until you get enormous puddles right in front of corners when you need to cross the street, but oh well, it's warmer, and I'll enjoy that while I've got it.

This past week, we've had the amazing opportunity to teach the cutest little Persian lady. She's very sweet, and very smart. Her English may not be the best, but she's very studious, and she really thinks deeply about the church and the doctrines we discuss, and she asks us some of the most interesting questions. It's been a little harder to  teach her sometimes because she doesn't always understand exactly what we're saying, but she nevertheless is making amazing progress.

We also got to to teach two men yesterday right before church. One was a Christian, and the other was his Muslim friend. It was a strange lesson since the Christian couldn't speak Swedish, and the Muslim couldn't speak English. Luckily, even though he couldn't speak English, he understood it, so we spent the whole lesson speaking in English and getting Swedish responses. The Christian was far more receptive than the Muslim, and stayed for Sacrament. However, it also came out that  he lived in the Elder's area, so we gave him to the Elders to translate for Sacrament meeting. Apparently this was a good idea. The Elder who was translating for him later mentioned that he was looking for a wife, and he was wondering where the Sisters had gone. I think it's probably a good thing that the Elders will be taking him. In any case, it was great to teach him. 

We also had a great opportunity this week to give service. Just before Christmas, a woman in our ward died, and her daughter has been left to take care of everything. It's been very hard for the daughter in the past month and a half. Since she comes from Ukraine, she doesn't have so many friends here in Sweden, and her mother and her son are all that she has in the world. This past weekend, she had to clean out her mother's apartment, and she had several difficulties in getting it done in time for the landlord. We went to help her several times over the weekend. (As a side note, when I submitted my mission papers, I did not think that my call included getting on my hands and knees to scrub someone else's kitchen floor. I was proved wrong this weekend). It was honestly the best place for us to be. She needed that help so badly. The last hour or so was probably the most special. We'd moved almost everything out, and were getting the last bits of grime and dirt. You could see she was despairing, and really just wanted to give up for the day. Someone, I think Syster Eriksson, was humming 'I Need Thee Every Hour,' quietly in the next room. Then I joined in. Then Syster McCollaum. And then the daughter began singing with us in Russian. You could feel the Spirit lighten in the room as she began to smile and really sing the hymn. When we asked her later, we found out that that was her favorite hymn. It was such a simple thing to do, hum a hymn while cleaning the window panes and vacuuming, but I know that it made such an enormous difference to her. When we left a little bit later, she seemed so much lighter and stronger than she had when we came an hour earlier.

Now for the big news of the week: I'm transferring to Gubbängen on Wednesday! I have finished up all of my training with Syster McCollaum, and I'm getting unleashed on the world. I'm so excited to get over there. I'm not going too far; Gubbängen is in another zone, but truthfully, we go through Gubbängen to get to the rest of our zone, if that gives you any idea how far I'm going. But really, I'm excited to go over there and see what comes next!

Syster Maxwell

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