Wednesday, December 16, 2015

LUCIA 12.14.2015

Hej Hej-

Well. transfers came....

min bästa vännn har försvunnit. (My best friend has disappeared)

Syster DeMille is now just, Amy....weird...its been pretty hard on me letting Amy go along with Elder Payne being transferred to Kristianstad. 
i miss them soooooooooooooooooo much. they were just the best to serve around and we had so many experiences ill never forget. 
Luckily Elder Bliss is still around. he is slowly becoming a really good friend of mine and quite a hero to me. He reminds me a lot of my big brother Mitchell...he does a lot of the same mannerisms and just does everthing Mitchell does. its awesome.  i really appreciate and love serving around him. he is just always happy and full of weird funny stories that i LOVE. hes hilarious. so im really grateful for him and for the friendship we have and are developing and just growing together here in Jönköping has been so awesome. 
i really am looking forward to working with him again this transfer. well...two people left which means, two new companions. 
Elder Bliss got Elder Demordaunt, and I got Syster Taylor. 
Kinda awesome because Syster Taylor came down from Syster Brink who was my MTC companion!!! still waiting for the day i’m comps with Syster brink again haha 
Syster Taylor is super cool. shes she says stuff weird....and shes a ginger, so shes just super sassy. i love it. she was a rugby player before the mish  and we are a lot alike. 
we get up every morning for our date with shawnT. The personal trainer (on DVD) from insanity and work our butts off. we also eat pretty quickly during our dinner hour so that we can workout for like 40 minutes with our boyfriend shawnT. 
ive got like 5 months to get rid of the 30 pounds ive gained...luckily its well hidden under layers upon layers of winter clothes since its now snowing and dreary! yayyyy 
well i had a couple experiences this week that really helped me feel better after Amy and Elder Payne left. 

First of all….Amy isnt my comp anymore but she is the bestest friend EVAHHH.
i get to the apartment and sit on the couch and in front of me sits a bottle of nailpolish remover with a little note on it...
the note tells me she has hidden 20 notes around the apartment for me to find to distract me from the sadness. annd dang...can that girl hide post it notes...i still havent found 5 of them... it was honestly so awesome though.

our first night together Syster Taylor and i had a dinner to go to! on the way we missed the bus and had to wait at a busstop for like 20 minutes...these two guys walk by and pass the bus stop but what was so weird was one of them looked at us and looked exactly like Mitchell!!! they had passed and were like at least a couple meters away from us when i thought...omygoodness..
i put myself in the situation of, what if my older brother Mitchell didnt have the gospel in his life...i would have wanted a missionary somewhere to share it with him for sure... what if that was Mitch. 
Syster Taylor says: those two guys looked Eritrean, i agreed and jumped up and ran after them. she obviously ran after me and we stopped these two guys. 
turns our they were Eritrean. we talked about why we are here and invited them to come play volleyball. got both of their numbers and guess what!! they came!!!!
they loved it and they are suuuper good at volleyball!!!!!!

i was reminded this week of how the really small simple things in our lives can impact us so much and the little things we do can impact others so much.
we taught Hamid on friday and i had a really strong feeling that he needed a i planned on basically dropping him for a little and picking him back up in a couple weeks. he loves church so we would encourage him to come to church but just give him some space and let him come to terms with the gospel on his own. on sunday he came up to me with a little present wrapped with a bow and went on to tell me how grateful he was for the change he has seen in himself. he told me that he wasnt planning on the change but the first day i met him and taught him i did something to him that he wouldnt ever forget. 
now at this point  i was racking my brain thinking oh gosh what have you done now Tanner. 
he asked me if i remembered and i said no....i thought maybe it was about when i sang...but that wasnt the first time i met him, that was the second...he looked me dead in the eyes and just said, you prayed for me. 
my stomach kinda dropped..i dont just dropped but like a happy relieved drop but stilll a really intense drop haha. he went on to say how much that changed him and he felt the spirit in that moment. 
ive thought a lot about Hamid and i really have watched his heart change. 
He went on to say that he needs a little break. he wants us to stop by whenever, not for lessons, just to say hi...but that he loves church so much and wants to keep coming and growing in the gospel that way. 
it was a perfect oppurtunity to tell him how grateful i was for him and for the change ive seen in myself and him while ive taught him. 
Hamid will be such a strong member. he knows it. i know it. god knows it.

its December. its snowy. its dark. its cold. but i try to keep the spirit of Christmas alive in my heart as i am trying to alwyas remember my purpose and the purpose of my savior and specifically my gratefulness for his birth.

Swedes have a tradition called Lucia. its italian for some reason which i dont really get but its this chick with candles on her head or something. the teenagers in choirs put on a musical thing for it and its a big deal. 
we planned on going yesterday but we got there too late and everything was filled. 
Syster Taylor and i split off and went contacting during the gap we had between when we were supposed to be in the concert and the christmas devotional from the church! we just walked back to the church contacting people on the way. we see the Catholic church on our way to our church and thought we would go in and see if there was anything special going on. 
we walk up to it and theres about 10 kids playing in the courtyard. we walk into the church and theres a pastor talking to someone on the phone..
we walk into the chapel and it smells strongly of wood and incense. 
we sat down in a pew and talked about life and how sad i was about missing Lucia....sweden doesnt do like anything so i was really excited to finally see some sort of cultural expression. 
then of course the spirt told me to sing.  i get ready to sing when Syster Taylor says she wants to record it...well she pulls out the phone and it dies... but we are determined to have our own Lucia. 
so we book it to the our church grab the charger and book it back to the other church. (its like right down the street)
we make it to the church, all the little kids still playing in the courtyard...

we go into the chapel and i walk right up and start singing...since Lucia is italian i just sang some italian vocal solos from school. kinda opera-ee. but i love that because it just echoooeeeess. 
well i am singing and out the corner of my eye i see a little face pressed up against the outside window...then 3...then 8.... then through the windows in the back of the chapel i see all the little kids run in.
they could hear me singing :)
the run in and smash their little faces against the window this point im just trying not to laugh because it makes me feel so happy! 
Syster Taylor was standing at the back recording and motions at the to come in and sit down. 
one of them runs and grabs the pastor, who stands outside of the window and listens as well..
all the little beans file in and sit down in the last pew in the back of the chapel. 
now i was singing while this happened but sitser Taylor told me later on that they had come in and after listening for a little bit, a little girl turned to her and with he eyes all big and excited she asked her
" is she Lucia?"

oh. my. gosh. 

if there was any sadness in Jönköping for missing the Lucia concert, it was not in my heart. 
i got so happy and just super filled with the spirit and became totally content. 
for a second, i got to BE Lucia :)

after the children left a  man walked in with his probably 3 yr old son. i was still singing ...i think he mustve thought i was Lucia too because he came up and kneeled to me and blew me a kiss haha 
then went and sat in a pew and told his son about jesus christ while i sang. 

my time here is short. 
i realized that last night. 
i miss my family.
i realized that last night. 

i am so grateful for the changes i have seen in myself. 
i am learning how to share my talents. 
i am learning how to share my talents without being scared to. 

i love christmas. i love my savior. 

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