Monday, July 14, 2014

Hallelujah, Amen!

Hey, people!

So. The weather. There are weeks I legitimately wonder why I always have to start with the weather, but really, it can be pretty exciting here in Borås. Okay, not really, it's actually been nice and sunny all of the last week (I almost dropped dead of shock), and so warm that we were kind of dying of heat. And the true miracle in all of this is that after years of being super white, I have tan lines. Yes, the impossible has happened, I am no longer perfectly white. I'm this strange mixture of brown and red patches (still working on turning the last of those burns into a tan) with freckles all over. It's kind of exciting to see I still have possibilities to become brown next summer when I'm home. 

So, adventures of the past week.... Well, for one, we had some fun teaching a rather unexpected lesson last week. We were waiting in one of the main squares in town to meet with a new convert (who ended up blåsting us), when we heard this 'Hej!' come from the other side of the street. This strangely smiley and open Swede walked up to us and started talking. Apparently, he'd met with the Sisters here in Borås once or twice before I got here. As it was, it was more than a little fun for me to come in halfway through all of this. He was a minister from the Pentecostal Church, and was super friendly, and ended just about every sentence with the phrase 'Hallelujah!' or an energetic 'Hallelujah, Amen!' He had a lot of energy for the Bible and the Savior. It was just sort of an interesting thought, not related to him specifically, but to many people that we meet, that they can be so prepared to receive the gospel, and not have any idea of it, and they (being stubborn little buggers) won't meet with us, because they 'have what they need'. People! We love them so much, and sometimes, they're just..... problems, bless their dear little hearts.

We also had a lot of fun with Zone Training this past week in Skövde. The Zone Training was great, but the really exciting part was that we got stuck in Skövde for the whole day because our train got delayed all the way back in Stockholm. Yup. So, we had fun for a while getting acquainted with the main square and center in Skövde, and watching a dance group perform on the street, followed by A LOT of knitting.

And. Let's see. On Friday, we decided to go out to find someone to teach before dinner and weekly planning, so we just starting walking in the area around our apartment. We contacted a few people with little to no success, and were starting to think we might make it the whole way to Stan before dinner when we contacted a boy walking his bike home. It was so amazing to hear how many questions he had. They were deep, and meaningful, and we kind of ended up throwing a whole tangled mess of doctrine at him to answer his questions before we were able to ask if he'd like to sit down and hear about the Book of Mormon. He willingly did this, and we taught him about how the Book of Mormon can answer every question, and he was so willing to hear all we said and really experiment on the word. At the end of the lesson, we invited him to offer the prayer, which he did after we explained that it was whatever you have in your heart. He took this very literally, and prayed for 'A world a little more like the one we lived in a few hundred years ago- without cars and electricity. Like Cowboys.' It was one of the more interesting prayers that I've heard on my mission without doubt, but, nonetheless, very heartfelt. 

Honestly, I throw my hands up in the air sometimes, saying 'oh well, gotta let go!' Because, let's be honest, I need to celebrate and live my life.... Really, though, missionary life is so good. I told Sister Byrd my analagoy for how missionary work can work sometimes this morning, and I thought it was quite genuisy, so I'm going to share it with you lucky people. Missionary work is an awful lot like when we were all little and our parents would tell us that if we could get our bedrooms cleaned, they would take us to a movie or to get ice cream. And so, we would work as hard as we could as fast as we could, being old enough to realize that Mom and Dad would check under the bed and in the top of the closet, so we should really just clean. And sometimes, we would get it done in time to go, and sometimes, we didn't. Either way, we end up with a clean room and happy parents, and, sometimes, we really did get to go to the movies. Sometimes with missionary work, we see exactly how our work has helped an investigator come into the gospel and repent. But sometimes, we need to show our Heavenly Dad that we're willing to 'clean our room' or go and work our butts off each and every day before He gives us that Golden Investigator, or that amazing experience that was always there, we just had to work hard enough to earn it.

Life's good. For those of you who are unaware, Germany won the World Cup (this is second hand information, but I've decided I trust other missionaries), so I've won a plate of cookies. I laugh hysterically, I eat yummy food (like cookies), and I learn so much. Missionary life is da best!

Love you all, and I hope you have a great week!
Syster Maxwell

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