I had fish sticks and cookie dough for breakfast this morning. That’s creative juice fuel for this post right? Well, I started off my week fresh with the classic American, most awkward bus entry ever. I’ve been in Sweden for over 2 months now, you would think i would be used to, and a pro at, saying things like "have a good day!” Swedish: ha det så bra! (have a good one!) but the words turned to peanut butter in my mouth. What Syster Giles said: ha det merrrblooblaa. The words just did not come out right and i fled to the back of the bus.
This week Syster King and I were planning...we got distracted by ideas of fun foods to make. Syster King suggested cookie dough in our waffle maker. I asked her could we really do that...she replied with, "does a bear……. woods?” Before we started planning (it was 8:30pm) i thought about how ice cream would be so much better on them! So i proposed that we could totally sprint to ICA and get ice cream and be back in the apartment before 9pm plus running would help the calorie tsunami about to hit this beach. Sooo we poured ourselves into our skirts, threw on our coats and ran to ICA. Got some marabou chocolate and made cookie waffles. Are you wondering if it was good? Let me riddle you this, Does a bear….in the woods? ; )
Fun fact, ITS OFFICIALLY SPRING IN GÄVLE!
The sun has been out more and more and its warmer! the grass is green and the ice is gone! We came home and the apartment was sooo HOOTTT!!!!! So we opened all the windows. Of course as soon as we open the windows it turns into this wind storm outside. All of a sudden our apartment turned into this icy wind tunnel. We both just sat on the couch and laughed.
We had misison tour this week! Elder Backman, Elder Larson, Elder Scott, and Syster Irene were all there!! (my MTC group) we all flipped when we saw each other. It was so fun getting to talk to them again. Everyone is doing soooo awesome with their training. I love those kids!!!!!! Also, Elder Treat was there!!!! he’s doing awesome on Gotland. still adorable and rocking a weird vibe. It was so fantastic to see him!! Elder Donaldson from the 70 and his wife attended. He had amazing words to share with us missionaries. I’m motivated even more….if that is possible.
We had a lot of lessons with less active members and members this week!!! I LOVE ALL THE FAMILIES HERE! We taught a new investigator! his name is James. He is from Sierra Leone! He was raised catholic and has searched and studied just about every religion, except mormonism, haha. As he was telling us about his concerns in all the religions he's studied it was like this mental checklist in my head.
-loud church services
-paying a pastor
-the pastor’s church
-they tell you what you have to believe
And so much more that we don’t agree with either. Something so interesting was that he never thought about asking God. he hadn’t tried for an answer because he didn't know he could. He wondered how he could put trust in a man. We then taught him about Joseph Smith, the restoration, the opportunity we have to be able to KNOW. It was like this lightbulb.
I’m so greatful that our church is like that. We don’t force anyone and frankly we dont need to. We can have personal revelation from God to know what is right.
Then of course... George :)
I’ve started taking a notebook and pen out when we teach him because the things he says are just completely celestial. This week he talked to us about ourselves, haha. How tough missionary work can be because especially here in Sweden, ignorance is bliss. No one wants to hear. No one cares. But he told us "tough times don't last, but tough people do."
Last night we went to a members home for dinner. They invited George to come over as well (everyone seriously loves George he’s the coolest guy ever) Afterwards, we took George to town to catch the bus, but we missed the bus and the next one didn't come for an hour. So we walked to the train station and had a lesson with the Elders there. He asked us a lot of questions, which is so good because usually he doesn’t. Some things he said have really stuck in my mind. He asked Elder Landeen, but i think its applicable to any missionary anywhere. He said, you are accountable to the people who you hold most precious. The ones you love the most. When you go home, what has your impact been here, what are you leaving behind, what have you done to better the country of Sweden? Elder Landeen kinda fumbled around for an answer and George said the best thing EVAHHH. When you go home, and people ask you these questions, you should not have to search for an answer, there should be no pause. The answer should be at your lips. George has an incredibly strong testimony and is INCREDIBLY in-tune with the spirit. He was interviewed yesterday and he will be receiving the Aaronic priesthood next week :) We have a temple trip in April and he’s planning on going and doing baptisms.
My life has literally been a beach. Being a missionary really isn't something you can prepare for until you ARE one. People give you all the advice in the world, but you could never anticipate the stress, the heartbreak, the sorrow for the people you don't even know but for some reason love, and the need for hugs. but you have to learn to laugh about it.
I have learned this week that you are the keeper of your stressometer.
I’ll close with the words of a wise wise wiiiise man whose knowledge and keen sensitivity to human nature stated:
"ICE CREAM FIXES EVERYTHING."
Love you all!!!!!
My MTC mates. Oh how we have all grown!!
My friend from Santa Barbara, Syster Lund (second from left), hanging with our companions
My waffle chocolate chip cookie...totally worth running to the store for ice cream