i dont even really know where to begin. this week was so weird. there were tons of crazy moments where i had a realization that...its 2016....and its now february...i was looking at my drivers liscence and its all...21 in 2016...
doesnt even make sense.
i got a really awesome email from jacob kirts. the kid has grown, and has a testimony that strengthens mine...i thought a lot about jacob this week and a lot of times when i felt like i couldnt keep going i remembered how HARD he has had it. if he can do it, so can i.
i actually had a lot of those moment this week... and last transfer..
so many people from home have been in my mind this week...that have kept me going.
because of the stress and a bit of depression my hair just comes out in chunks...trying to wash my hair and it just all came out.
it happened first in jönköping about 3 weeks into last transfer and i just sat down and cried.
immediately i thought of Travis Snyder... he and Heidi are like..incredible examples to me. they are BEAUTIFUL but like so creative and just lovely to be around. they have been huge inspirations to me with their creativity and their adorable little boys….Travis fighting cancer right now...he is so strong..if he can do THAT, i can do this.
chain reaction, heidi's parents :)….. Kathryn and Bruce Ghent.
they are also a beautiful pair, an incredible and hilarious team. (like that time they tried to give eachother nicknames)
an unstoppable force of strength and love. wow. serving a mission and being called to be mission presidents in ecuador.
if they can do THAT, i can do this.
dang i love that girl. my best friend's little sister.
the past couple years were so hard ... from krutches to wheelchair, back and forth...but she was always smiling...and laughing at my stupid jokes...haha..
if she can do THAT, i can do this.
Sarah and Jane Chow
two people i idolize. they both served missions and are beautiful and funny and cool and now they are both moms of cool beautiful kids...
if they can do THAT, i can do this
she has been in my thoughts so much recently. i realized how much of an inpriation she is to me. she was so patient and positive while (hunter?) was going through all the dr. appointments and tests...i remember her bearing her testimony at her baptism. i think i was like what...16? but i went and she and brother george just blew me away with their testimonies. they hadnt built them off of man like so many do, but they really had a relationship with their savior it was SO obvious to me. they GLOWED. i am sure that relationship with their older brother jesus christ illuminated the positive in times of hardship.
if they can do THAT, i can do this.
not only is she the coolest...but she is beautiful and always happy.
i think of christy, jim, jessica, shannon.....the time when they lost their little sister years back came to mind... it was hard on everyone, but they knew they would see her again...
if they can do THAT, i can do this.
so. many. times.
this is every day my friends. you have changed my life. and the things you have done and things you dont even know have kept me moving forward in some of my hardest days in the past two months.
i had a painfully beautiful week.
my energy was sunken and everyday just felt like a thousand years.
but luckily i have an amazin companion who just hugs the crap of me when i start bawling in public places haha
Amin was able to invite everyone in the ward to her baptism this week :)
she is the sassiest african i have ever met.
reminds me a lot of my 30 year old little sister.....oh wait.
we took lots of fun pictures together and we are hopeing she and our new member george fall in love and get married hahaha
funny story though...so africans use sounds to communicate so when you say something, sometimes they just sound really unimpressed..it just sounds like
well Amin does it all the time and it is so funny to us...
but we called her to set up a meeting with her and we were all excited becasue it was her baptismal interview..
"hey Amin its the sisters!!..."
im like trying to get the words we wanna come at 4 today instead of 3, out of my mouth but am just silently air laughing sooo so hard...i look over and sister Banks just has tears rooling down her cheeks because she is laughing so hard..
we picked up a new investigator this week, his name is Alponse...he is this super funny black guy from france. he speaks like zero swedish, but luckly we have elder baquedano in our district who speaks french fluently...because he is from france haha
it was suuchhh a good lesson. i understood like 60 percent. but alponse loved it and read a little from the Book of Mormon....when elder baquedano asked him to pray about it, he said
like...if you really want me to pray, i can but just reading it..i know its true..it feels right.
when he said that i realized i have used that phrase a lot the past two weeks.
it just feels right.
im a hunter, it just feels right.
i find people, it just feels right.
with this next situation, it just felt right.
while in an area called Alby, we were going down this massive escalator inside the tunnelbana station. we had contacted a little bit at the top then went to catch our train.
this escalator is literally the longest steepest escalator i have ever seen. and we are on our way down when the spirit is like, there is a man standing at the top right corner at the top of this escalator, talk to him. you have 3 minutes.
i take off sprinting up this down going escalator yelling
SISTER IM SORRY COME ON
i make it to the top and i walk to the corner area and there is a man standing by the window.i just started smiling when i saw him becasue he was the only person there so like...it had to be him right...
so i introduce myself ...his name is ken, he is waiting for his son, who should be there "in about 3 minutes"
i tell him that ive got something he is gonna wanna know about. i told him a little about the Book of Mormon and promised him if he let us sit and talk with him that this would change his life.
he said okay as his 7 year old son michael walks through the doors.
he gves us his number and walks out with his son.
sidenote: Alponse walked in while Ken walked out with michael.....we talked to alponse on the way down the mile long escalator with google translate haha
we wouldnt have even met him if i hadnt talked to ken.
fast forward three days later as we meet with ken....he had so many questions. good questions.
answered with the Book of Mormon. he loved it. he has a wife named Charity and a new baby.....he wants his wife to be taught..he wants his family to be apart of the gospel.
it was an amazing lesson.....near the closing he says
"you know, i saw you outside talking to people, and i wondered if you would talk to me. i watched you walk in and down the escalator and thought, well..guess not...theyre gone...then 3 minutes later, you show up.......for me"
the spirit in that lesson just like, shot through the roof at this point as i was able to share what happened on my end.¨
now, the point of this story actually has nothing to do with that.
it turns out ken and his family live in södertälje. his son just goes to school in our area. he called the sisters in Södertälje to tell them the news.
i was so HAPPY. sister Lund is there so she will take care of him. this was of the moment where i was like...that train station is on the inside of a mountain...i really do hunt them from out of the holes of rocks haha
i wrote last week about Anna Lill and Janne!
i got to see them last week!
they came down and took us to the natural history museum and the ABBA museum.
like.......my head is still spinning haha
we got some pretty fun pictures from that.
got home that night and drew unibrows on ourselves ...i dont remember the purpose....
but thennn it was elder Rowleys birthday!!!!!!!!
we surprised him at ikea and did like the breakfast buffet thing. soooo good haha i was super impressed with ikea.
so much food. too much food.
but he was surprised kiinda, so it was totally worth it.
that night we went to a members house for dinner
sidenote: we get fed multiple times daily here. had 3 lunch/dinner appointments one day and thought i was going to die.
members names, Mojgan and Shidah. mom and daughter. the daughter is 19 and preparing to serve a mission. having some boyfriend problems so she and i really connected on that plane haha i helped her out with that.
but during the dinner Mojgan just looks at me and is like, sister Giles what do you believe in...like out of the blue...everyone goes silent and i am like....
music.......i go on to just talk about the first time i ever even felt the spirit. i dont know if i have written about this before but i explained the time that i was probably 6 or 7 years old, trying to sleep but parker was playing the piano and i could hear it from my room. i sat up in bed and listened and just started to cry. i was so young but immediately KNEW it was god telling me that this was made for me. that i was made for it. i was so young but it was so clear that what i was feeling was the spirit of god.
i think it was the Nativity by Jon Schmidt that he was playing.
i told them how this is what i wanna do my whole life i wanna make music. not to make myself feel good but becasue i want people to FEEL something when i sing. i want to be the tool that brings the spirit. i want to be a good example to the world.
Mojgan just said
"sister Giles. the world is in desperate need of GOOD musicians. we will be waiting excitedly"
ive thought a lot about everything the word GOOD could mean.
still trying to figure it out completely. but ive got a pretty good idea.
we celebrated Rowleys birthday with ice cream and then headed out.
on the way home there were these rastafarian guys on the same metro as us. elder rowley had gone and sat down and one of the more "toasted" (they were pretty high apparently) goes and sits down right next to elder rowley hahaha elder rowley is the sweetest little white concert pianist kid hahahaha the look on his face was priceless as this big black guy is squishing him basically. sister banks goes and sits in one of the seats in the four seater to make rowley feel more comfortable becasue we were all like hand signaling him to talk to him, but he was petrified hahaha
elder Dickson and i stay and talk to the four other guys and i tell them that its rowleys birthday and that we shoudl sing happy birthday to him...
in sweden you just dont do that. its totally against the social code hahaha
so we start singing.
IT WAS AWESOME. sooooo awesaaamm.
the swedes on that metro .....their eyes were the size of saucers.
that was basically my week in a nutshell.
i love you all.
till next time :)