Monday, December 1, 2014

He Is the Gift!

Hejsan allihoppa!

Oh, my goodness. It's December. Do you know what December means? CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry, for those of you who don't know, Christmas is my favorite holiday EVER. It even tops Hobbit Day. Yesterday was the first day of Advent, and there are now lights up all over town, and I'm totally buying an advent calender (because Chocolate- must have) in addition to our paper chain, and pretty much, I've been talking to Syster Allen about Christmas since I picked her up back in October. That's how  much I love Christmas.

And please, don't think this is the selfish, childish, 'oooh, that means I'm getting presents, and Santa's coming, and all the gingerbread (although Swedish pepparkakor are FANTASTIC)'. I think the best way to sum this up is with a quote from President Monson:''To catch the real meaning of the spirit of Christmas, we need only drop the last syllable and it becomes the spirit of Christ.'' I love this special time of year where simply by talking about the days to come, we speak the Savior's name, and I especially love that, as missionaries, we don't necessarily get a ton of expensive gifts or special work Christmas parties or concerts, but instead, we get to go out and tell people WHY we do all those things.

This Christmas, the church has put out an AMAZING video called 'He is the Gift' that's about exactly that- WHY we celebrate Christmas. It is so amazing, and I would invite everyone who reads this post to go find the video and then #ShareTheGift. I would even love to get emails back about how you've done it- be it sharing it on Facebook or inviting someone to church, or anything in between. As missionaries, we're really going to be focusing on that in the next month, and I'm so excited to have the chance to really bring Christ so directly into my missionary work. (BTW, the video is at Sorry, I know I'm now being a missionary even in letters home, but guys, I'm just super excited about this video, and I want you all to be excited about it too, and especially, I hope that you'll take the invitation given at the end of the video to think of ways you can invite Christ into your celebration just a little more this Christmas.

Okay, as for Syster Maxwell's week, it's been great. It was really kind of weird because my last P-day was over a week ago (week from Saturday to be exact), so it's been a lot of go-go-go, and it's been so fun. There's an elder in my district who's got a record of 13 blåsts in a week- we gave him a pretty good run for his money this week, but we also were able to get in some really great lessons as well, including a few teaches on the street- not as common as you might think, but even more especially since it's getting dark out and we officially hit negative temperatures (Celsius, thank heavens not in Farenheit) this past week. I think some of my favorite lessons to teach were watching the video with members and then inviting them to do something with it, and I really am excited to continue sharing it in both contacting and lessons. Serioulsy, BEST VIDEO EVER. 

What else, what else..... so many things, like the fact that we have no cake-pan, so to make kladdkaka, we take off the handle of our frying pan and put it in the oven, our bathroom STILL smells like something out of a septic tank. We had a man ask us if we like to 'vatten pipa' and I'm sitting there like, 'What is water piping in English?' Eventually through a mixture of charades and explanations that 'it's not a cigaratte, and it's not marijuana' we realized he was inviting us to smoke hookahs with him. It was a hard decision, but we had to tell him no. :)

We also were blessed (back to the spiritual) to get our investigator and her husband to church yesterday (remember when we were stranded outside Linköping? Yeah, after visiting them) to talk with the bishop about all the help they need, and then getting to stay for Sacrament, and it was so great to see them there with big smiles and listening to everything going on in Sacrament meeting, even though their understanding of English or Swedish is pretty minimal (thus my translating probably didn't help much). But really, it's such a testament to me that they would travel an hour and a half to make it to church where they don't understand much more than the general idea that they're talking about missionaries and to take the sacrament and worship the Lord. It's absolutely amazing.

I love you all, and i hope you have a fantastic week. Stay classy, watch He is the Gift, and know that I think you're fan-flippin-tastic. Love y'all tons!

Syster Maxwell

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