Monday, September 22, 2014

Baby Be Goin' Back to Borås- and Happy Hobbit Day Y'all!

So, today is a very special day. Why, do you ask? Today is Frodo and Bilbo Baggins birthday. That's right! Two of our favorite hobbits got just a little older today (I almost said 'filled Another year'- then I realized that's Swedish. Sorry). This also marks 20 years of my beautiful face gracing planet Earth (a real pleasure, I know), but I'd really just  like to say thank you to my amazing companion Syster Hauglid for making it amazing, to the elders for making a surprise breakfast at the church- Swedish pancakes and a butt-load of bacon, to my sweet family for their birthday wishes, and to all of the other people who've already made this an amazing day. YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That aside, it's been a great week. The cold has finally really started to set in, and it feels like you need tights and mittens again everytime the wind blows a little harder off the ocean. And, we've been outside a TON in the past week, so I should know! For some reason, it seemed like everybody just suddenly dropped off the face of the planet, so we spent a lot of time in the past week hitting the pavement hardcore and legitimately talking to every person in sight. We're talking chasing down after they've passed us, talk until their bus comes, start talking as soon as they're close enough to hear you hard-core contacting. For those of you who've seen the best two years, picture the scene where Calhoun is chasing down the bikers while Rogers is sitting under a tree, and minus the lazy companion sitting there, you've about got my life for the past week. And it's been interesting. We did manage to get in several lessons on the street, and we met some amazing people, and even found some new investigators in the process. But it's not like simply because we put more of an effort into it that everyone automatically became super positive and was dying to know about our message. We did find more people who are interested than we do in a normal week- but I feel like this is overall because we put more emphasis on finding this week and we diligently were working after that. Life lesson to be learned here: what you put into something is what you're going to get out of it. If you don't focus on finding, you're not going to find people interested in your message. If you don't genuinely love the people you work with and care for them, there's going to be some part of both your conversions that you might miss out on.

As for the people we were able to meet with, it was a great week. It was a little strange; a lot of the people we'd originially planned to meet with would cancel at the last second, and then someone else would randomly turn up, which is a huge blessing.  I think one of my favorite lessons from this week (are we allowed to pick favorites?) was a first lesson with two guys, where we weren't sure exactly what we were headed into when we decided where to meet, but it ended up being just the two of them at an apartment complex, which is a no-no of missionary work, so they very sweetly agreed to it when we asked if we could sit outside to meet with them even though it was cold and a little dark out. They actually ended up being way positive and responsive to the first lesson, despite the strange antics of the sister missionaries, which was an enormous blessing.

Another blessing this week was getting to go on splits with Sister Morris here in Malmö. We had a crazy packed day with some of the more.... colorful personalities we meet with. By the end of the day, we were kind of laughing to remember some of the crazies we'd met in Gubbängen when we were companions (like that time we legitimately went into the crazy house to meet a random lady who'd managed to get our number) and, one thing I'm very grateful for is just the fact that I really was able to see how much I've grown in the last four months. I was far from a perfect companion when I was with Sister Morris, and I'm still not a perfect companion or missionary now, but going around with her, I was able to see that I really have grown a lot more than I thought in the last four months, and I hope that I can keep that pattern going strong for at least a few more months.

Well, two things I guess we've all been waiting for- there wasn't a baptism on Saturday. Sanny is still so ready, and so positive, but right now we're waiting until things get a little better with his health and his family. So, not giving up hope, but still working steadily towards the day he does feel completely ready.

Second, I'm sure you noticed the title of my email. You thought I was kidding, right? NOPE! I'm going back up to Borås on Wednesday bright and early to be with Sister DeMille. All that I know about her right now is that she's really tall, and that she's been in Sweden almost three months. This sounds like the start of a beautiful companionship! Haha, I really am very excited to go up there and see how it's doing and get to know Sister DeMille a little better. As for Sister Hauglid, I've loved being with her for the last three weeks, but now she's headed home back to Utah! It's so weird to be sending off another companion! So, what does it mean for Malmö? Well, it means that for right now, there's not going to be any sisters down here, which is so sad! The ward is so fantastic, and I really hope they bring sisters back here soon, because it is one of the most amazing places in Sweden! It's so hard to double out of an area and to hand over all of your investigators and say goodbye to so many ward members. Malmö has been so amazing, and while  I'm excited to go back to Borås, I'm sad to leave. Bittersweet. Oh well; there's mission life. In the words of my zone leader- Pack your bags and hold on tight to your testimony, because life is going to come at you fast! Missionary life is everything but predictable. The one thing you can predict is that it will change the second you get too comfortable with your surroundings. It's hard, but it's so good, because it gives you so many opportunities to learn about the gospel from about 1,000 different viewpoints and to really get a whole new view on the Savior and how much he really is involved in everything that happens in our lives.

I love y'all, and I hope you can have a fantastic day! You're the best!

Sister Maxwell

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