Monday, March 9, 2015

Våren Kommer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, goodness, this has been an amazing week of tender mercies and miracles, for which I am so grateful. First and foremost, spring has come to Sweden. It finally got above 40 F this past week, so I shed my big winter coat, went to a lighter jacket and have enjoyed taking it off when the sun is out and shining. Sweden has turned me into a sun worshiper, and so anytime the sun comes out, I do the exact same thing the Swedes do, which is take off as many layers as possible and turn to face the sun with my eyes closed and just enjoy the warmth and feel so insanely grateful to my Heavenly Father that I can be there to experience it. 

Other things this week: it was bittersweet, but Tuesday was my last zone conference. It was so great to see so many of the friends that I've made in the last year and half, but more than that, I'm so grateful that I went to that conference and could literally feel my spiritual bucket being filled as every question and concern I've felt in the last few weeks was answered during that conference. Seriously, everything from 'how do I feel the spirit more in my life' to 'what do I do when I'm not wearing a name tag anymore,' and beyond. One thing I definitely learned from the conference is that our Heavenly Father knows each of us and our needs so much better than we even know it ourselves, and literally, all we have to do is ask, and he will bless us as much as he can in any way possible.

The blessings continued as I got to go on splits with Gubbängen right after the conference with Sister Allen and Sister Nielson, which was so much fun, both to see them and to see an old area. We got to visit for a while with one of my old investigators who got baptized while I was in Gubbängen- the first baptism of my mission, and I still think about him often and worry/wonder about how he's doing. Well, I'm done worrying. Meeting with him, it was amazing to see how much he's grown in the last year and how absolutely he believes in the gospel as he bore testimony to us about why he believes in  God and Christ and their plan for us and wrapped up the lesson asking for a few Book of Mormons to pass out to his friends when they asked about his 'new' religion. It was such a strength to me to see how deep his conversion has gone and to see how much love he has for the church and the gospel. 

Otherwise, here in Uppsala, we've definitely seen some blessings this week as we've been able to meet with a few new investigators and have begun seeing them become interested in meeting more and really try to develop a faith. We've got one girl from Gambia who has the most sincere desire to learn more, and has been telling us how she's recognizing the spirit and how good it feels every time we meet or that she comes to church. We've also got a sweet Swedish girl who's investigating more because of a member boyfriend. She's still somewhat skeptical about a lot of stuff, but she also has a want to know more, and she's willing to try just about anything, for which I'm very grateful.

Sunday was great for a few reasons; Fontana, who was baptized last Saturday, got the Aaronic priesthood. Guys, he still absolutely glows with the new testimony he's found. It's amazing to see the change in him in the last few weeks and to see how much happiness and light the gospel has brought into his life. I feel so grateful to have been here to see it happen. 

We also had an amazing lesson all about faith that I'm so grateful I was there in Sunday School for. Sometimes it's a little too easy to get caught up in the routine of missionary life and to realize that even the smallest, most basic prinicples of the gospel still have a lot to teach us. For me, it was just an amazing reminder that faith is an action, and that it doesn't just happen- you have to actively choose it and work for it each and every day. It is a lifestyle, and not just a part of life; it literally can change everything about you, your outlook, and your circumstance if you'll just let it work a change in your heart. I'm so grateful for the faith I have and continue to build on and for the chance that I have to share that with others.

I love you all, and I hope you have a splendiforous week!

Syster Maxwell

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