Monday, April 7, 2014

6 Months Down...

Guys, I'm freaking out. I've been a missionary for 6 months. It does NOT seem like it was only 6 months ago that I went to the MTC and hugged my family goodbye for a year and a half. It's crazy. Absolutely crazy, but also amazingly good.

Honestly, I love Sweden so much. It is so beautiful, and I have some of the most amazing experiences as a missionary. It's a little interesting; everyone warned me coming out here that I would meet a lot of tall people with blond hair and blue eyes. Guess what? While those people do exist, I have met people from every continent on the globe- I finally got Australia in there this past Saturday. Really, I have so much fun over here meeting with African members and trying their food and seeing how much joy they have. I love teaching our Persian boys every week and seeing how strong their testimonies are becoming. And of course, there are people from everywhere who I meet, whether it be trying tofu while visiting a less active or meeting with some of the Spanish Speaking members. It's honestly something that I'm super grateful for; I knew there was a very very tiny chance I'd ever get to go to anywhere besides Europe, Canada, or the US on my mission, but I'm grateful to be in Sweden where I get chances to meet the rest of the world anyways.

So, this week was super good as missionaries. We were able to begin teaching our persians with a translator, and that has been super helpful. We have two who are already members, and a third who we're hoping to get a baptismal date with soon. But I have to say, it is such a blessing to have translation, because it makes so that we're able to communicate so much more than just the simple words to these men who really are just  dying to learn more about their Savior.

We also got to meet with an investigator we have named Godwin. It's been a little hard to meet with him lately because he's been looking for a place to live, but he loves meeting with us and loves getting to hear more about the gospel. By the time we left  last week, he was asking us when we could meet again and talking about how interested he is in church and baptism. It nearly blew me out of the water quite honestly; the fact that he was taking the initiative in wanting to meet with us again and talking about all the things that he wants to do to be coming to church. I really hope that we're able to continue to meet with him, because he has an amazing desire to learn more about the gospel and to do the things that he knows are right.

And then, we had several minor miracles this week. The first happened on Tuesday when we were out trakting in one of the un-portcoded apartments I'm really starting to love. It's pretty average that if someone's home, they either say they're not interested or else they slam the door as soon as they realize we're missionaries. But on one door, the lady who answered was actually very sweet and let us in to talk a little about the Book of Mormon and how important it is in our lives. It was amazing to see what a sweet spirit was in that room. We're hoping to meet again with her soon, whether that be by getting her to answer her phone or going to knock on her door again, I don't know, but I really hope we meet her again soon.

The second miracle is one that was experienced by many members of the church. It is called General Conference (and be super proud of me that I spelled that correctly, because I really wanted to spell it in Swedish). On Saturday, we were able to watch the women's broadcast and the Saturday morning session. Just 10 minutes before the broadcast, we actually weren't able to get a picture going, so we were all so grateful to be able to see the broadcast and then conference at the same time it was happening back in the States.  It was a little funny, just because it was 6 pm when the conference started here, and every one was saying 'Good morning, brothers and sisters!' 

As it is, let me explain how conference works here. We watch the Saturday morning session at the church at about 6 p.m. on Saturday, then on Sunday, they show the  Priesthood,Saturday Afternoon, and Sunday Morning sessions (yes, I still haven't seen Sunday Afternoon- don't ruin it for me!). All the missionaries sit in the English room unless we have investigators watching Swedish, and we get huge bags of Godis, and eat them while sitting in our fold-out chairs.  It was so much fun, and it was so amazing to see conference and hear President Monson and the Apostles speak. I loved it so much, and I'm counting down (okay, not literally, because we don't count the days of our missions unless we want to get trunky) until next Conference!

I loved their words on enduring to the end, and I especially loved Elder Ballard's invitation to read Preach My Gospel. It's kind of amazing that he would say that; I would talk about that a lot with my trainer, how so many members would ask what they could be doing to help in the work, and we would say we wished they knew what was in there. Honestly, Preach My Gospel is an amazing study tool, and it helps in so many aspects of life, and not just missionary work.

Okay. Wow. That turned out a little long. But hey, there it is. I hope that you all have a great week! I love you tons, and I'm so grateful for all you do!

Syster Maxwell

No comments:

Post a Comment