After Christmas, we were back to a few days of normal. Saturday, December 27th was pretty busy. We taught 5 lessons on everything from the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Restoration to the Plan of Salvation. It was a pretty great, very busy day. Those days are really my favorite. That Sunday we spent some time visiting less actives and dropping off notes and treats to some of our investigators that are sick. We had planned to go visit some people in Uddevalla, about 45 minutes away, but our plans fell through, so we scrambled to find things to do instead. We also had dinner with a great family here in Trollhättan.
Monday was not p-day, it was just a normal day. We planned to go visit an investigator in Henån (about an hour away by car) with a member that would drive us, but we got halfway there and had not gotten a firm yes that she could meet. So, we went to Ikea for some language study and lunch, then headed back to Trollhättan. We taught some new investigators about the Restoration then we visited a member that was sick in the hospital and shared a short message.
Highlight of Tuesday: our lesson with an investigator from Ghana. He has an immense faith and a crazy cool knowledge of the Bible. As he was teaching us about some things, he said, "The devil is prowling around like a tiger, my dear" It was perfect in his African accent.
Wednesday was New Year's Eve (Nyårsafton). We proselyted until 5 (lunch with a member, a long lesson with an investigator) then went to a member's house for the evening. We were allowed to stay out until 12:30 (which is crazy because every other day we have to be back in our apartment by 9), so we had dinner with them, played some games, and watched fireworks. And when I say watched fireworks I do not mean that we sat at the edge of a lake or a field and watch the city people put them off. I'm talking anyone above the age of 18 can buy fireworks, legit fireworks that go high in the sky and make loud noises. So we're out in this park area near some apartments and EVERYONE is shooting off fireworks. It was like a war zone! So crazy, we could probably see at least 12 people shooting them off at any given minute and hear way more than that. It was pretty cool though!
New Years day was our p-day. Friday was back to normal with visiting some investigators and taught some lessons. Funnily enough, we saw 3 investigators on the bus that day, which never happens. Saturday was slower. The holidays are not the best time for missionaries here in Sweden. Everyone is out of town and no one wants to have us over when the entire family is there. Excited to go back to normality!
On Sunday I again realized that I really need to get learning Swedish. Church is always the hardest with that because we spend a good 4 hours only speaking and listening to Swedish. It's rough, but it is definitely getting better. Syster Sorensen says that everyone can understand what I say, which is great! I just really need to buckle down in the second half of my time training and really learn Swedish. It will come, it will just be a process!
One of my favorite moments of everyday is during personal study when I put on my nametag. I literally and symbolically take Christ's name on me everyday. It reminds me how important this work is that I am doing, but also who I represent. I remind myself throughout the day that this Work is not about me, it is about those here in Sweden that need me and my influence. It is about the Savior, for this is His work afterall.
Sweden Fun Facts
-You have to pay for most public restrooms
-Most public restrooms do not have stalls, but rather small little individual bathrooms with sinks and everything
-You cannot give people live flowers in the hospital
-Swedish currency is called Kronos. The exchange rate is about 7-8 kronos for every US Dollar.
-Everything in Sweden is ridiculously expensive. Except for fruit and vegetables which are, ironically, pretty cheap compared to the US
-Every person in Sweden, whether citizen or resident, has a personnummer. It's like a social security number except you can give your number away to other people and people can look it up online. Crazy, but I guess no one can steal your identity with your personnummer (which is good because I wrote it on a package I sent to my family today)
-Christmas is not truly over yet. The celebrate Trettondedag jul (the 13th day after Christmas) tomorrow and I heard something about the 20th day after Christmas next week... it never ends!
Syster Sarah Griffes