Monday, March 24, 2014

If We're Going to Die, At Least We'll Go Out Looking Like a Peruvian Folk-Band

So, this week has been ANYTHING but what I expected, and in so many ways, I'm grateful for it. Where to begin? I guess first and foremost with my amazing new companion. A week and a half ago, I got a call saying Syster Miller would be coming to Gubbängen with me. Guess who's not in Gubbängen. That's right, Syster Miller! They had a problem with the apartment in her old area, so they've had her stay for a few more weeks, and instead, Syster Morris has come BACK to Gubbängen to be my companion for now (Explanation: Syster Morris was in Gubbängen with Syster Robbins when I came to Sweden), and I kind of absolutely adore her.

We also got more snow this week. I blame this fully on Syster Robbins, because SHE wanted it cold before heading home, and the day she left, we woke up and it was snowing outside. I'm just more and more convinced that Sweden's weather is about as bipolar as Utah's, because the last few days, it was sunny again, and all the snow is gone. Oh well, it's been giving us the chance to go out and enjoy getting some sun while contacting, which has been heavenly.

So, adventures this week... Well, to begin with, Syster Morris and I passed a beggar in downtown Stockholm using pictures from the missionary pamphlets on her sign to beg for money. I still have to wonder where in the world she got the pamphlets from, especially since I don't think she spoke a word of English or Swedish outside of maybe 'Tack så mycket.' It was a serious temptation to get a picture of her and the pamphlets, but I was able to have enough self control not to.

We've also had some adventures in contacting, including a repeat of my favorite contacting experience. I've had it many times. It usually goes something like this (in Swedish):
'Hi, we're missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.'
(In English) 'I don't speak any English.'
'We were speaking Swedish.'
'Yup! Have you heard about Mormons? (or something about Jesus Christ or the meaning of life or families)'
'I'm not interested.'
Or better yet, when they close trying to speak in English again, 'I'm not interesting.' We had this experience at least once in the past week, and it always makes me laugh just a little. They hear our accents and think they can get out of talking to us by claiming we don't speak the same language. Think again. 

We also had a sort of miracle this week. We decided to go tracting on Friday after a little planning session, so we went to some un-portcoded apartments by the church, went up to the top floor, and knocked on a door. A young woman opened the door, and we introduced ourselves and asked if she'd heard of Mormons before. 'Yes, I was born in your church!' Our jaws about dropped to the floor. She let us come in, and it came out that her family is all members, but she'd been less active since she was a teenager. I don't even know if she's on our ward list, but she was amazingly sweet, and invited us to come back. We knocked the rest of the doors in the building, and no one else was really all that interested, but from that one door, we got an amazing lesson in. It really just amazes me how much the Lord knows what we need and what those around us need.

We had another weird experience on Saturday. We were headed to a lesson, and walking through the local centrum as a shortcut when all of a sudden, we were mobbed by this Peruvian family who started talking at us in Spanish. The husband had enough Swedish to explain they had just moved here a few weeks ago and that they were members. While Syster Morris was busy trying to call someone who could translate, they sent their daughters straight up to me and started taking pictures of them with the Sister Missionaries. I think we made their day, and while I couldn't communicate with them in  Spanish (all High School Spanish has essentially left me at this point), it was amazing to see how much love they had for the missionaries and the church.

I love being a missionary. It's so great. I have no idea what to expect every day when I get out of bed, but I know that it will be an adventure. I love the chance I have to study in the scriptures and build my testimony as I really apply those doctrines every day. More and more as I study, I realize I couldn't go a day without my scriptures, and that I really do crave that study time in the mornings. It's a little crazy, but I honestly don't know how I could function at this point without the chance I have to study the scriptures every day, even if it's just for a few minutes before heading out the door.

I love you all at home, and I hope all is going well. 

Syster Maxwell

P.S.- Random title would come from a Doctor Who Episode. (S5, Amy's Choice. Yes, I'm enough of a nerd I know this). Anyways, it kind of sums up the overall feeling of 'What the Random?' that I had all week. Just so you're aware no one died. Well, actually, I guess technically Syster Robbins died in missionary terms. Okay, so someone died, but really, it was about the random. I love you all!

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