Monday, November 3, 2014

Get Your Shiny On!

Well, it's been yet another lovely, dark, yet somehow warm week here in the Sweden Stockholm Mission. Yup, the sun that I never thought would go away in the summer has left once more, and it's dark outside as I'm sitting here typing up this email. It really astounds me how quickly the sun disappeared, but you know, it's all good. It only gets darker until Christmas, and then it's just going to get brighter and brighter and brighter until I swap time-zones. So, the darkenss is okay for now.

This past week was a lot of fun. It was a lesson of patience for sure. I think we set a record Tuesday for most blåsted lessons within 6 hours- we'd had four lessons set up, and not one of them worked out! So, we had a giant ring-stund in the church while waiting for coordination meeting. I think the elders sensed it had been a rough day, because they very kindly gave us the last of their chocolate before we left the church that day.

Wednesday went A LOT better- Zone Conference! It was so fun to get to 1) go up to Stockholm for a day and go through the area I spent 7 months of my life in (and really, it was like a 5-mile radius. That was NOT a big area for being there 7 months) and 2) see so many of the amazing people I've come to love out here in the mission field. There were a lot of great things spoken about- I loved the idea that was discussed a lot about being unified in the gospel with your companion, the ward, and the Savior. One thing they talked about as well was sacrifice. They mentioned giving one more thing up than we already have as missionaries- one that's not OP, and not even bad. Poor Sister Allen has decided to go without chocolate (she's a stronger woman than I am!). As for me, I've decided to put a lot more time and focus into prayer- something I've been meaning to get better at for a while. We also were instructed to 'Get yo shiny on!' with the coming winter and to not let the dark keep us from going out and doing our best each and every day. Yes, this is now written up in our apartment, and yes, we do remind each other frequently to 'get yo shiny on!'

Let's see... other adventures this week include going all the way out into Linköping's area to meet with an investigator who wants to meet with sisters specifically. She's from the middle east and has been through a lot, but it was amazing to see how much her struggles and trials (that are still going on, might I add) have only served to strengthen her faith. It's also something I've come to enjoy during my mission- the realization that you can have literally no idea what is being said as two people next to you are speaking Persian or Arabic or Chinese, or whatever other language they speak, but you can understand that the Spirit is there, and that it's speaking equally well to everyone's hearts. I'm so excited to get to continue working with her and seeing her progress!

Let's see, what else...... Well, last night at a members, I got the unexpected pleasure of trying out ax-throwing as a sport. I failed terribly at it (seriously- the elders got video, and I think they're now going to use it as a laugh on bad days), but it was a ton of fun. 

You know what else is a ton of fun? Deep cleaning your apartment. Yup. For the last two weeks, our bathroom  has smelled like sewer every time we opened the door.  Management in our apartment was supposed to come fix it, but they hadn't, so today, we made the dive under the bath tub. It was the NASTIEST thing I have ever done. Cleaning today essentially consisted of pulling up the bath tub (because you can do that in Sweden) and then pouring bleach on the worst parts of the floor and scrubbing like there's no tomorrow.  Seriously, the 1/2 inch layer of grime I scrubbed away was so nasty- especially when compared with the hairball I pulled out of the pipe and then scrubbing off the drain. Meanwhile, we'd propped the bathtub up in the doorway, and Sister Allen was scraping away the nasty scuzzy fuzzy.... schtuff with a butter knife from outside the bathroom. This is but a small part of the adventures we had this morning. What does this teach us? Children, listen to your mothers when they tell you to clean, because if you don't, it just builds up and gets really nasty, and then starts smelling like sewer. So listen to your mother!

And yeah, there's our week! Stay tuned for next week when we introduce a new twist to the plot: the imminent possibilty of snow! Love you all, and I hope you have a great week!

Sister Maxwell

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