Monday, June 9, 2014

Adventure is out there..... in Göteborg!

Well, it's finally happened. We doubted for months and months it was possible, but it has in fact become reality. After living the last 7 months of my life in the same 10 mile radius, I am leaving Stockholm! This Wednesday, I will be leaving T-Central and headed to the complete opposite side of Sweden to Borås, just outside of Göteborg (Gothenburg in English. Sorry, I forget that one sometimes).

But, let's back up just a little bit. Last week was AWESOME. If I had to leave Stockholm, I would definitely say the last week was how I would have chosen to do it. We had a great week, starting on Monday. I considered buying a reindeer pelt in Gamla Stan (joke- my Daddy told me not to do that before leaving, so I didn't really think to hard), and then went on splits in Stockholm. It was a ton of fun getting to go with Sister Gambles again and see a little bit more of central Stockholm. 

We've had a crazy time going around trying to help Sister Sjöblom learn to know the area- how we'll manage this, I don't know, but after two weeks of being here, she's going to leading someone else around. As it is, we've been to pretty much every part of our area in the last week visiting every member we can and contacting like nuts. 

And for the record, I am very sad to be leaving Sister Sjöblom. She is amazing, and I've absolutely loved the last two weeks, but, adventure is out there, and I'm just gonna have to love it and live it up. 

Gah. For the record, the circumstances of the call were absolutely crazy. We were at a members house roleplaying a lesson, and we'd pulled out our phone to look up something in Preach My Gospel (bad, but effective). We'd put it down and continued, when all of a sudden it started buzzing and it was flashing 'President.'  (Side note: I'd already had a minor freak-out earlier this morning when I'd gone to the bathroom and right as I came out, Sister Sjöblom started playing his ringtone- I wasn't too happy with her at the time).  The member told us to go ahead and answer, and the room was pretty well silent as I was given the information about where I would be going.

Also of note: leaving an area is awful. I have come to love so many of the people in Gubbängen so much, and I am going to miss them like nuts. As I've been going around saying my goodbyes, I've been thinking a lot about how absolutely insane missionary work is. Seriously, we give up 18 months of our lives to go to a foreign country speaking  a language we've possibly never heard before in our lives, live with people we didn't know existed before we met them at the train station (dramatic, but some times true), and then go out and talk to complete strangers all day about a book. And the craziest part of all is that it is a priceless experience that I wouldn't give up for the world. It hurts a little coming to love these people so much, but in the end, they have helped me learn and grow so much that I could never give up the experiences I've had with them.

One thing I would say Gubbängen has taught me: it's great to go out on a mission with a testimony and a love of the Lord, but to do missionary work all day every day, demands something more. You have to be converted. It's okay if you don 't have that right when you leave home and go to the MTC, but it's something you'll discover you have to have as you go and tell people to change their lives. And I'm grateful for the chance I've had to 1) realize I really do have a good testimony of the gospel and 2) start my own personal conversion process really going.

I love you guys, and you're in my prayers. Have a great week!

Syster Maxwell

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