What a week! It actually went by super fast which is great because time just seemed to be dragging on. I'm starting to understand more and more Swedish, but speaking is still kind of difficult. I just have to remember that I have only been speaking Swedish for 9 weeks, so perfection is not even an option yet. I just have to muster up some more courage and open my mouth with everyone we see and in every lesson that we teach. But, I love Swedish! It is a very pretty language, especially when the natives speak it. They just sing it! I hope that I can do that some day!
Tuesday was wonderful, absolutely a great day. We had lunch with some members. They really go all out here everytime we eat with them! This time it was pot roast, a mushroom sauce, vegetables, and potatoes. So good! Then this delicious, Swedish ice cream dessert thing. So good! We talked with them about my mission scripture which is: "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things" (Alma 26:12). The couple had served a mission together in England, so we talked about that too. There was just so much love in every interaction they had and they are so cute together! After, we went to the house of two newer members, H&A. They are so great and always make us laugh. We talked with them about the power of the Atonement in overcoming weaknesses and how we can always rely on Christ. H then came with us to a lesson with a bible bashing guy. H was absolutely perfect! He bore strong testimony on his own conversion and really brought a Spirit that we needed. It was perfect!
We had Church watch on Wednesday. Basically we sit in the Church for 3 hours and do some family history or teach lessons or give church tours. We also watched the Christmas Devotional which was magnificent! Another cool thing we did is we had dinner with a member couple that works at a book bindery, so I got to make some cute little books that I binded :) On Thursday, we had a lesson with a university teacher here in Trollhättan. He just has this absolute thirst for knowledge that I really sympathize with. He just wants to know everything then figure out what he believes is true. So cool! Then we had a lesson with another member on the Temple. We expressed how much it has blessed our lives and testified of Eternal Families.
District meeting on Friday was pretty much perfect. We talked about giving our all to the work here on the mission and not holding back one ounce. It was very spiritual and really got me thinking about what more I need to do and be. Our Indian investigator made us some Indian food (spicy rice with peanuts) and we attempted to eat it in the real indian way, with our hands. It was pretty hilarious to watch and try. Maybe I'll send the video next week. We did weekly planning on Saturday and discussed all of our investigators and their needs. We were invited to go and talk to people at a refugee camp, but we couldn't find it. Kind of a bummer, that would have been an interesting experience. Then we attempted to go to St. Lucia (a Swedish holiday where they have choirs all dressed in white with crowns of candles on their heads). We walked all the way to the State Church then... we couldn't buy tickets because they were all sold out... Huge bummer! Hence, the title, "And they were cast out of their synagogues..." If I remember, I'll send the pictures we took next week.
Sunday was another productive day. We had 3 lessons and even had an investigator commit to baptism and set a date! We are so excited to work with her and bring her into the Church that means so very much to us. Missionary work is so real and exciting. There isn't a single person out there that would not be blessed by this gospel, everyone just has to give it a try for themselves. I know with every fiber of my being that this Church is true, why else would I be in Sweden right now? I'm just so glad to get to share this message and the Light of Christ with all the people around me.
Interesting things about Sweden:
-Almost everyone we meet with lives in an apartment here and has lived in one almost their whole lives
-They have spiral staircases...everywhere!
-The milk is not actually colored, Sister Sorensen was just pulling a prank on me by dying all of our milk
-Right now sunrise is about 8:30 and sunset is about 3:30, I will take a picture on the shortest day of the year for all to see
-Christmas here is wonderful and not as commercialized as in the USA, I like it way better here!
-The biggest language barrier is not actually my ability to speak Swedish, but more that we teach so many immigrants that do not have a mastery of English or Swedish
I hope that you have a lovely week and an even better Christmas! Remember the true meaning of Christmas: Christ. There would be no Christmas without Him.
Syster Sarah Griffes