Monday, September 8, 2014

Family Matters

Hej på dej! Eller, er...... (For anyone who get's Swedish, that was a funny)

Anyhoo, another fabulous week has come and gone here in Malmö. To update you all, most of the flooding was gone by Monday, and it's been nothing but sunny here since. I think the worst I've seen is that water leaked into the frames of a few of the buses around Malmö, so every so often we'll be sitting on the bus and you suddenly feel water dripping on your head off a crack in the ceiling or out of a security camera. Considering that last week there were entire lanes of traffic gone, there's really not too much left to show for it. Oh, and for all of you who've been asking, no, I haven't seen any signs of a an old man building an oversized boat and then trying to load animals into it.

I know one day I'll look back and wonder why I was so obsessed with the weather and the sun on my mission (because honestly, after looking at a Swedish sky every day for almost a year, you'd think it would get less exciting) but I'm still just in marvel how quickly things change. It hasn't started to cool down again too much yet (it's really funny, if you ask the Swedes, it's been unseasonably warm, then cold, and then warm for September), but the sun is already going down by about 7:45, and it's so weird to realize that in about two months I'll be right back to where I was as a greenie when the sun would set around 3:30 or 4:00 everyday. The contrast between Swedish summer and Swedish winter is absolutely amazing, and in a way I'm excited to be able to see that a little more since I won't be so jetlagged this winter.

So, the past week factually. Well, Monday and Tuesday were spent doing a lot of last things as a district and letting Sister Ludwig say goodbye to everyone before she transferred up to Gävle for her last six weeks. It was so much fun to be with her, and I learned so much from her about being a missionary and loving the people around me. 

However, Wednesday, we made it to the train station to drop her off. The sweet older couple, the Niebuhrs drove us down, so we didn't have to manage her luggage on the bus, and then I only had to wait about 40 minutes for Sister Hauglid to get in. 

And Sister Hauglid... That girl, that girl. She is so much fun, and so adorable, and even after just a few days, I can honestly say I love being with her. Fun fact: by missionary logic, we are sisters. We were both trained by the lovely Sister McCollaum (RIP, Mom- sorry, morbid humor I know), so I spent the first three months in Sweden hearing about Sister Hauglid every day, and I'm glad to say, she lives up to all the great things I heard.

The week was fairly normal after that. We taught a bunch of lessons, I had fun introducing her to members and investigators, Sanny is feeling better and still going forward, and overall, we're just decided on throwing everything we've got into Malmö in the next few weeks.

This weekend was fun. They shipped us up to Gothenburg for their stake conference as well as to listen to Elder Hallstrom (of the 70). It was a little interesting since normal meetings were still going down here in Malmö, but it was absolutely amazing, and in so many ways exactly what I needed. We spent a crazy night in Trollhättan (really,  6 sisters in 1 small apartment- it was a party), and I got to see so many people that I absolutely love and adore- Sister Byrd, Sister Stewart, and so many of the ward members from Borås. It was so great to see them and get to catch up for just a few minutes.

And the missionary meeting with Elder Hallstrom afterwards was so amazing. In so many ways, I feel like what I took away from the conference is that our obedience and our desire to be a little better now affect our future so directly- meaning, both my next 7 months in Sweden, and the rest of my life. Overall, it just got me excited to see what the next few months bring and helped me to resolve that I'm done making excuses about contacting or lessons or companionships; it's time to just get out and do, and admit that I'll fail (sometimes epically), but overall, so long as I have the goal of being a little better each and every day, I'll return home much more like the person God wants me to be.

I love you guys so much, and I hope you have a fantastic week!

Syster Maxwell

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