Monday, August 11, 2014

It's Like the Bruce Lee of Religions

Hej käre familj och vänner!

So, this was yet another fantastic week in Sweden. Things are going really well with our investigator Sanny. We meet with him pretty regularly, and it's been amazing to see the changes that he makes in his life so automatically from partying and going out drinking to coming to the church and reading in the scriptures and watching 'I'm a Mormon' videos on (By the way, those things are the BEST EVER- WATCH THEM). It's just fun to get in lessons and have him tease us about seeing us in nightclubs, and then instantly turn it around to something he's learned and done to apply the gospel in his life. It is so cool to get to teach him! By the way, the post title comes from a member present in one of our lessons with Sanny.  I think they were discussing how being an active member of the the church takes a lot of work, but it makes you strong like Bruce Lee. :) 
We've finally got a baptismal date set with him for mid-september- wish us luck!

Other things this week.... Well, we finally made it out to one of the parts of our area that's just outside Malmö in Trellleborg. Guys, it was crazy. There were chickens and roosters and peacocks running freely around Stan! I seriously stopped for about 20 minutes just to look at all of the birds- they were in trees, on fences, on the ground. I think the best was when we were walking through the park, and we could see a man walking to a bench. Following about 3 feet behind him was a chicken. It followed him exactly for a good hundred feet or so until he (the man) finally sat down on the bench, and it was discovered he had breadcrumbs. Suddenly thirteen birds or so ran (most of the chickens didn't really fly) to the man and swarmed on the bread. I really wish that I could have filmed it.

We also celebrated Syster Ludwig's birthday this week, which was a ton of fun. I told the elders it was coming up, and they made some very yummy cupcakes to surprise her with after church yesterday. I have seriously had so much cake in the last few days it's not even funny. Princess tårta, Äpple tårta, and cupcakes, and I honestly don't know that I could tell you which was my favorite.

I think the biggest thing this week was when I had a moment of profound insight. I was studying in my scriptures during personal study, wondering what I could do to be a better missionary (10 1/2 months down, and I see PLENTY of room for improvement), and I started reading in Alma 46:12, or the title of liberty, and Moroni says, 'in memory of our God,our religion, and freedom, and peace, our wives, and our children.' It just kind of hit me that of all things he could have listed, he put his faith and family first, and that, more importantly, he put God first. And in so many ways, though I am more focused on ever than the gospel, it kind of sank in how easy that even as missionaries, it is so easy to put other things first- pleasing members and investigators, schedules, trainings, 'did I really do my best in that contact' and how much your feet ache after a day of walking/running all over Stan. Those are all so much a part of missionary work, but that's not why I came out here. I came out here because in that moment, I put God first. I had enough faith to act on that prompting I got that I needed to get on a mission, and it's that same faith that will see me through the next few months.
The final connecting thought I had is a phrase that's been bouncing around my head for a while now. Come unto Christ. It's the Youth theme this year, but I think it's worth mentioning as well that this is the focus of missionary work. There is an amazing article in this months Ensign called 'Why We Share the Gospel' about missionary work, and there was a thought at the end of the article that has stuck with me. The plan of Salvation can be summarized in just three words: Come unto Christ. As missionaries, we invite others to come unto Christ, but really, the goal of everything we do in Church, and hopefully in everything else we do is bring ourselves and others closer to Christ.

I love you guys tons, sorry for rambling. I hope you have a great week!

Syster Maxwell

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