So, missionary life is crazy. Seriously, eight months out here, and I'm still surprised by the things that happen around me every day. Suffice it to say that it is always safe to expect the unexpected.
This week, we had some amazing meetings for the sisters in the mission and for planning. It was really cool, they brought in some of the senior-pair sisters to talk to us, and it was amazing to hear their stories and how it has shaped their testimonies so much. Planning was great too. I'm a little sad that we got the condensed version (it usually takes double the time to present apparently), but it was really nice to get to hear how much planning really does affect the rest of our week, and how it doesn't haven't to be stressful and tedious, but it really is just to make us more effective with our time.
|we're holding a cremated cat!!!|
Another fun experience from this week:evening we went to visit a missionary pair who lives on the other side of Stockholm (which was fantastic; they are seriously the BEST), but this also meant that we were taking a long train-ride home night. Somehow, Sister Morris and I both managed to end up sitting by groups of drunks. I ended up by some slightly buzzed Africans who were talking to a Swede about how the Swedes should be more outgoing. They pulled me into the conversation to ask if I thought that 'we' (meaning the Swedes) should be outgoing, and I had to disappoint them by saying that I was American, so I would stay out of it. Of course they were very interested to know why an American could speak such good Swedish, so I explained that I was a missionary. Instantly, one of them put up his hand and said 'Put it there, Maxwell. I'm proud of you.' So I spent the rest of the train ride talking to my three new best friends, Dani, Marvin, and Chris about the church, and I was genuinely a little disappointed when they didn't come to church yesterday, but if anything, I'm glad that I'm still laughing so much over the entire thing.
And even yesterday morning on the way to church, we realized that we'd forgotten something in our apartment, so we ran back from the train station to grab it, and then ran back. And then we realized that the train was leaving THAT SECOND, so we really started booking it, along with another woman who needed the train.We missed the train by about 10 seconds, so we started talking with the woman next to us. It quickly came out that she was from Ecuador and didn't really speak any Swedish or English, only Spanish. Trying to be helpful, I told her the name of the church in Spanish, and she then assumed I could speak Spanish. I feel like I learned a lot of random words in my 3 years of Spanish, but not enough to help me carry on a conversation after 8 months of only speaking English and Swedish. Luckily, by a miracle we ran into a member on the train who translated for us, and we're now hoping to meet with her (with translation) later in the week.
And I guess in closing, I would like to say I am grateful for the amazing people I'm surrounded by. Last night, we were able to visit a cute family in the ward. The mom, Emma, comes from Chili. She's recently been reactivated, and her son, Kevin, was just baptized a little while ago. It was so amazing to see how much love they have for the church and for the missionaries. After dinner, I got to play a few songs for them on the violin and then bear my testimony that I know the lord gives us all talents for a reason- whether they be with an instrument, a sport, or the less obvious talents like being able to tell when someone just needs a friend or how to help others in a meaningful way. It was really so amazing, and that's just one example of many.
I love you all, and I hope you have a great week. I'll keep you all posted on the crazy things happening here in Sverige! Love y'all, and stay classy!