Monday, December 15, 2014

Nu Tändas Tusen Juleljus


Well, it's been a jam-packed week. We're still waiting for our white Christmas here, but we're definitely going to have an ICY one. Seriously, there are days I'm pretty sure it would be just as effective to wear ice-skates around as my boots.

So, Monday, as I said last week, we were in Stockholm for a doctors appointment (all is well and healthy, so I'll be here in Sweden for the next few months!), and then got to go around Gamla Stan with a few friends from way back in the MTC days before getting on a train back to Norrköping with the one and only Sister Stewart. Seriously, I love that girl to pieces, and it was so fun to get to spend a day with her and realize that after being out 14 months, we can actually speak Swedish now, and we are no longer playing pictionary with our investigators. That, and, it was just fun.

Otherwise, it was essentially a normal week. We seem to have a lot of luck finding people who want to get into 'friendly' bashes lately (there is no friendly bashing. I really hate any and all bashing; it's NOT effective), but it has been a nice opportunity at the least to realize that my testimony has grown so much in the last year, and that while I don't have the answer for everything, I do know what I believe and why. We've also gotten to show the Christmas video a lot, which has been fantastic, just to see the difference in the spirit of our contacting, and getting to get that little at least daily reminder that Christ is the ultimate gift given to each and every one of us (by the way, here's another plug to go watch the film- or - go watch it. Now. It's AMAZING.

Otherwise.... it rained a lot, and then snowed, and then rained more, so the streets are mostly ice, but we got to have some fun yesterday at a member's. They live a little higher up in the mountains (don't get too excited, these are Swedish mountains) where they actually have snow. They invited us and the elders over for Sunday dinner, and while they were getting dessert ready, they essentially banished us out to the yard for a snowball fight with the kids. I never thought I'd get in a snowball fight while wearing a pencil skirt, but it was so much fun, and I wish there was more snow down here in Stan!

Also big news from the past week: it was Santa Lucia! For those who don't know what Santa Lucia is, it's Saint Lucia's feast day, where, for the Swedes, it means that teenage girls dress up in white dresses, put wreaths with real candles on their heads, and sing Christmas carols in the local church. There are lots of different traditions around it, and if you want to Google it (a luxury not afforded to us poor missionaries), you can probably get a much better explanation of why it all started than I've got for you. But, in any case, it was amazing to get to sit in one of the old churches down in Stan and listen to these girls sing- with real flames on their heads. Seriously, I think that is one of the bravest things I've ever seen to walk down the aisles of the church pews with 5 legit candles burning on your head.

And otherwise.... it's been a good week. It's been a lot of fun, there've been great lessons, and lots of laughs. 

I hope you all have a great week, love ya tons, and God Jul!

Syster Maxwell

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