Monday, March 9, 2015

43 Hours in a Swedish Apartment... Trollhättan Week 15

You know what is great? Sunlight, that's what's great! I think we had 4 whole days of sunlight this week and the sun rises around 6:45 and sets around 18 (or 6 pm). I thought Sweden was pretty with snow, even more beautiful with the sun! And daylight savings time is coming in a few weeks, which is pretty much the best thing (except for the hour less of sleep). Right now it is a balmy 45, the sun is shining, and life is pretty spectacular.

Last Monday for p-day we spent in Göteborg at the YSA Center with all of the missionaries in our District. We ate Pankakor, played games, and just hung around and talked. It is really nice to do that sometimes on p-days. A cool thing happened that evening. We have been teaching this one girl only over the phone (because she lives so far away) for about 3 months now. The first few times, I had no idea what she was even saying, but on Monday, I had a whole hour long conversation with her and even taught the Plan of Salvation and answered all of her questions IN SWEDISH! It was really cool and really allowed me to see how much I have grown in the past few months that I have been here.

Tuesday was a weird day, but sunny! We went to Uddevalla (exactly 31 minutes away from Trollhättan by bus). We visited an old member lady then dropped by a bunch of less actives. None of them were home, so we left cookies and notes. We also made some Banana Bread for the Bishop and his family and we tried to ding-dong-ditch them, but the Bishop's wife caught us when we were walking down the road. Bummer... But good times! After, we headed back to Trollhättan and met with our Indian Investigator and talked about how we can find peace through trials when we rely on the Lord (John 14:27).

On Wednesday, we headed down to Utby at 6:50 AM for a Mission Tour with the Göteborg and Malmö Zones (around 40 missionaries). We had a lovely day of spiritual instruction. We talked a lot about searching for, recognizing, and acting on the Spirit. It was a really good conference and definitely a huge boost for all of us missionaries. I got to spend some time with 3 Elders from the group I was with in the MTC, it was good to catch up with them over lunch. That night, I was on splits with Syster Powell (Syster Hoke was with Syster Spencer in Göteborg for the night). All the trains in Göteborg were canceled like crazy, so we had to wait around in the station for a while. We got home just after 9:30, but some of the missionaries down in Malmö didn't get home until like 2 in the morning! Crazy!

Spent half the day with Syster Powell. We went to a member's house and read Alma 30:44 (about how God is evident in everything). We then went to visit our old lady investigator. She was cleaning a whole bunch of little decoaratory pots, so we helped her out. We actually scrubbed all of them with rags and that was an interesting experience. It actually worked really well! After that, we switched back companions and Syster Hoke and I taught an investigator then had a Relief Society Activity. After, we went to our Macedonian investigator's place for a party. She had a stroke exactly one year ago, so it was kind of a celebration of life. It was so much fun and the food was delicious! It was us and 13 others and they all spoke together in Romani while we just sat and listened. They actually had an entire religious discussion with us in the middle, we just had no idea what they were talking about. I love missionary work! :D

Friday was one of those really tired days (at least one of these happens every week. I'm pretty sure that it is like an unwritten rule of missionary work). We did some weekly planning then went to Vänersborg and taught 2 investigators then taught another back in Trollhättan. All 3 lessons were in Swedish, which almost never happens. I love this language, but sometimes it feels like I will never learn it well because everyone can speak English. I also worry about Swedish dying because, honestly, less than 10 million people live in Sweden and almost all of them can and like to speak English. 

There were 14 people at Innebandy on Saturday! 14! A new record! Syster Hoke had really not been feeling well, so we went in for the day so she could rest and get better. She slept a lot while I studied about the Second Coming and the Millenium, made dinner, cleaned, etc. Turns out Syster Hoke had a fever, so our mission president's wife, Syster Beckstrand, instructed us to stay home and get better. We even didn't go to church on Sunday. I never thought that would happen on my mission! Sunday was really, really long. Still got up at 6:30 and got ready and studied. I spent 3 hours doing some secretary-like work with a bunch of forms and lists. Then I read from Mormons Bok (only 30 pages left and I'm done with it in Swedish!). I read the entire Missionary Handbook and called people about lessons for this week. Mostly, I took care of Syster Hoke and got her stuff and what-not. All-in-all we spent 43 hours in our apartment (yes, I counted!)

The Ward Mission Leader let the ward know that she was sick, so people called to see if they could do anything and someone brought us dinner. It was pretty much the sweetest thing! We are here to help and serve them, but they are constantly helping and serving us. I love it here so, so much! I have learned so much about Charity and Love!

I will end with this quote by President Thomas S. Monson about Charity
"In a hundred small ways, all of you wear the mantle of charity. Life is perfect for none of us. Rather than being judgmental and critical of each other, may we have the pure love of Christ for our fellow travelers in this journey through life. May we recognize that each one is doing her best to deal with the challenges which come her way, and may we strive to do our best to help out."

Or actually, this one by President Spencer W. Kimball
"The more we serve our fellowmen in appropriate ways, the more substance there is to our souls. We become more significant individuals as we serve others. We become more substantive as we serve others-indeed, it is easier to "find" ourselves because there is so much more of us to find!"

I hope that each of you can find a way to serve those around you each day. I can promise you that it will bring you great happiness and fulfillment. Forget yourself and go to work!

Syster Sarah Griffes
A Servant of the Lord

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