Monday, April 14, 2014

Attitude is Everything

Well, I'm going to do something atypical for a Syster Maxwell letter and NOT start with the weather. Duh-duh-DUH! Shocker, I know. I just felt like mixing it up today. We'll see what happens.

It's been a super good week. We were able to meet a few more times with our Persians, which was eventful in several ways. For one, one of our lessons took us back into my greenie area. That was weird. I was getting flashbacks to my first few weeks in Sweden, being completely lost as Syster McCollaum led me around Hägersten (by the way, she was angel to put up with me at the time, because I was a clueless, stubborn greenie). But it was also really good; we made it through the Plan of Salvation, which went over fairly well. Then we had a little more fun on Thursday. We were on Sister Splits, which were super fun. We had a lesson with our Persians and the local translator. I think she'd had a rough day, and I fully admit that there were things we could have done better, but five minutes into the lesson, she announced she had other things to do that night and left. It was a bit frustrating. However, things still went pretty well, and we were able to get a baptismal date with Najib! I'm so excited for the next few weeks as we help him prepare for his baptism and to learn more and more about the gospel. 
Yes, they have Dwight Schrute's face on a wall in Årstaberg!!

Sister Splits, Friday morning was a bit of an adventure. There is a very sweet less active lady in our ward named Solveig. She's... well, quite honestly, she's crazy, but she is beyond sweet, and absolutely adores the missionaries. Friday morning, I took the sister I was on exchanges with to go meet her. We went on a walk in the rain, and then stopped to talk a little about a scripture. It's always a little interesting, because we never know exactly what she'll say or do, but today, she was on fairly good behavior. We talked a little about general conference, and she was very happy to say that she had watched several sessions. It's hard to put into words exactly how a meeting with Solveig goes, but it's always fun to see what happens. This time, she decided to follow us into Stan, and then have us follow her into a store, where she looked around for about 3 minutes, and then said she had to go, and walked away in her enormous coat, pencil skirt, and running shoes. What can you do but love her?

We also had some fun this week visiting with Dorothy. Have I mentioned that I love her? She really is so adorable. She'd been in the hospital this week, so the day after she was released, we came knocking at her door. She was beyond excited to see us, and welcomed us in right away. We got to talk a lot about conference and how great it is to hear a living prophets voice. Unfortunately, she didn't get to watch while she was in the hospital, but we have plans to watch the women's conference with her. As it is, in all of her adorableness, she sent us out with VERY yummy recipes for soup, and plans to come back soon and help her in her apartment.

Now for the realization of the week: attitude is everything. I always felt like that was just a stupid cliche growing up, but in the last week, I've really been able to see how true that is. Whether it be in relationships with your companion and investigators, or in choosing to contact 20 people in a day while walking home from church (my feet hurt for a while after walking that one- we were walking for a few hours easily), or loving the crazy members all around you, your attitude determines everything that goes on in a mission. I tell myself all the time that no one wants to talk to a crabby sister missionary- we get scary when we're crabby, I can't deny it. But it's undeniably true as well that when you take your mindset and change it to trying to see the potential of people on the street, to see them as God sees them and how the gospel will change their life, it's hard NOT to be a missionary. You have that desire to go and contact people, even if they have 30 piercings or are smoking in your face, or maybe don't speak a bit of English or Swedish. It's all just details and an excuse at that point.

I cannot claim to be perfect, and I had a bit of a rude awakening to that this past week. But even in just the past few days as I've been trying to see the work I'm doing just a little bit more as the Lord sees it, it's been amazing to feel the difference and see how dramatic an impact it makes. 

I hope everyone at home has a great week. 

Love y'all!
Syster Maxwell

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