Monday, February 9, 2015

Going off the Rails on a Crazy Train

Hej hej!

Well, another week come and gone. And like, it was a crazy week. We have been pretty much everywhere possible this week, and it was SOOO FUN. Like,Tuesday was crazy just because we were all over Uppsala and then were rushing like mad for a train up to Sundsvall that night, which, luckily, we made it to in time.
And that train ride.... we got put in a four-seater with one of the sweetest old men you'll ever meet.  He was VERY talkative. Like, the entire three-hour ride, he would have talked to us if we could have heard him well enough over the sound of the train. I think he still is convinced that we're JW's, and as sweet as he was, he wouldn't let us get off the train without giving us both chocolate bars, a few crowns, and trying to convince us that we should go to Max burger with him once we got off the train. Never fear, we just went on to the sisters' apartment, but I got off that train thinking there was no way I would ever have a crazier train ride (I was wrong).
Splits went great up there, we have great sisters up in Sundsvall, I made the amazing discovery after 16 months that chicken nuggets exist in Sweden, and it was so cool to get to see a little more of the area, but it was on the way back..... oj. Like, Friday and Saturday are party days in Sweden. Apparently Wednesday was the mid-week party to make it through to the weekend. We got on the train at 6:00, and that entire train ride, we were sitting in view of the bistro car, and I just stopped counting how many people were going back and forth with alcohol that night. Like, by the end of an hour, the people ahead of us were speaking the loudest, most slurred Skånish I've ever heard, and I lived in Malmö in the summer! I'm still not sure if it was the lurching of the train or the effects of alcohol, but most people walking past us to and from the bistro were NOT walking in a straight line, and I think the highlight of the night is when one man stopped to wait in front of the bathroom with a large 'Out of Order' sign on the front and started singing at the top of his lungs. Not necessarily what I envisioned when I opened my call, but roligt none the less.
And then the day after that, we went out to Borlängefor district meeting, and since we were already that far out there, we got to take a little detour to the Dala häst factory and see them actually making the beautiful things. Guys, they are so freaking talented. Like, while sitting talking to people in both english and swedish, they're just carving away and painting those things like it's no big deal, and meanwhile, the horses come out SO BEAUTIFUL.
So pretty much, I didn't get a ton of time here in Uppsala, but what time we did have was fantastic. We've finally started building up our teaching pool a little, and so we have one investigator who's so close to baptism, and it's so fantastic to see the change in him since I came here a few weeks ago. He literally looks different. There is light in his face, and he is so much more alive in so many ways. Guys, it is so crazy to see what a blessing, a light, and a joy the gospel can be to people, and I love that I get to be here to see it. We've also started working with a woman from Mexico who is absolutely amazing. Like, the sweetest woman I've ever met, and she really has a desire to come closer to the Savior.
Otherwise, life is great. Like, seriously, the sun is starting to come back out. I have gained a solid testimony out here on my mission that a little light can go a long way. After several months of just not seeing the sun, it's crazy how much just 10 minutes of sunlight can lift and change your day, and I think it's so applicable to the work we're out here to do. We NEED to have that light the gospel brings into our lives, even if all we get at different periods is a brief glimpse of sun before it goes back behind the clouds of trials and temptations. And I can feel the difference it makes each and every day as I realize the sun is starting to come up before studies, and setting around 5:00 rather than coming up as I'm leaving after companionship study, and starting to go down an hour or two after lunch.
So, there's my week! Love y'all! Stay classy!
Syster Maxwell

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