Sunday, March 20, 2016

ABINADI

Well!!
My sweet lady (companion) Sissa Svensson got her visa! 
Her MTC date is April 5th so I've got about 3 weeks to break her in! 
Yes. Break her in. 
Did I mention she is...terrified of people.........yes. 
It's probably the most adorable thing I've ever seen. 
I ask her if she wants to talk to ..this next person..her big beautiful blue eyes get HUGE and she just gets this terrified look on her face, partially disgusted..and just shakes her head...
Last week we were coming home and she said something that sparked my 
"let's do this." 
(It was also probably one of the greatest compliments I've ever received and just made me feel really really happy. 
She said, 
Systa giiiiiles, you're SO good with people...how do you do that...everyone just looks back at you like they know you..you literally know everyone in Stockholm..
Seriously. Best thing I've ever heard on my mission. 
It's actually pretty true though. I say hi to everyone..and I act like I've known them forever..maybe I have..it's just been kindof second nature to me. I didn't realize I was like that till she said that but then I really payed attention to myself and realized..yes. Haha. I seriously..do that. 
Now why did this spark my 
"Let's do this"
Because sister Svensson is going to winter quarters Nebraska Visitor Center. 
....and she is terrified of talking to people she doesn't know.
Basically we are perfect for each other. 


We had an incredible zone training with our zone leaders and they split us up and we talked in a little group with elder Bradshaw, Västerhaninge elders and our island elders. (Elder Blackburn!!!)
Our training was on vulnerability, love, and the atonement. 
He just asked a super simple question. 
How has Jesus Christ helped you..
Simply the most easy complicated question ever. 
But when she bore her testimony her eyes filled with tears and she just looked at me next to her as she was speaking to the group and just said 
"He is the greatest example of love..and on the inside I love these people and everyone around me..I'm learning to show them.."
And then is was my turn and I'm all bawlin my eyes out because I actually seriously realized that this is why we are together...she needs to learn how to show people she loves them..
Swedish people keep to themselves. So it's suuuper awkward..like to talk to someone on a bus or a train. They don't do that. You don't do that. It breaks social code. You don't just..say hi to people on the street you don't know..it's..awkward. 
So .. Later on that day I told sister Svensson straight up 
" girl. We gonna teach you people skills."
I told her just to start by smiling, and saying hello to everyone that walks past :) 
The first person she said hello and smiled to...obviously they didn't say hi back or anything but it was A MOMENTOUS OCCASION. My face was just like ..biggest open mouth smile ever and hers was even better haha. Her cheeks were all red and her eyes were kinda watery and I was like 
"DUUUUDE!!!!!!! SOO GOOD!!! Don't even worry about it..that happens a lot but it's fun to make them feel uncomfortable hmmm!!??"
(She doesn't know it yet but this week I'm focusing on service)
When people need help..I get really nervous. Usually if it's a grandma carrying something heavy up a flight of stairs in a train station or something, I flip out 

1. Because no one is helping her
2. Because OMYGOSH she is going to BREAK SOMETHING. 

I usually let out a desperate cry of WAAAIT IM COMIINNGG!! and sprint over before they get wrecked. 
I can't tell you how many times I have carried things up stairs for adorable little old ladies. They love it. It makes them so happy. It's even better when you just disappear never to see them again. 
Sister Svensson learns by example. So I'm not going to tell her we are gonna take advantage of every public awkward service opportunity we have. But I'm going to pray every day to have a ton and see if she picks up on it. 
She will. She's way smart. 

Should be fun to see what opportunities the lord blesses us with this week. 
She is seeing the blessings of being open, kind, loving, toward those she doesn't know. The other night we said hi to a couple of old guys on the train and then got stuck in the tunnel talking to a kid..well the old guys came out of the little grocery store in the station and stopped halfway down the tunnel. We finished talking to the kid ( we are meeting with him this week) and on our way down the tunnel I just said 

OMYGOSH look our friends!!!! And smiled and waved. Sister Svensson just starts laughing. Probably because ...we only waved to them on the tunnelbana. But they got 
SO. EXCITED. to see us. 
They waved something big and yellow and waved us to come over. 
When we started talking with them we realized, they had just bought giant marabou chocolate bars.... They were from Iran so They just told us in super broken Swedish that we are beautiful and doing the right thing and that they love Jesus...then gave us their chocolate.......
It. Was. Awesome. Haha 
Coolest thing ever. 
I told them how I am going home soon and I gotta keep a fresh beach body!! Asked them if they were TRYIN to make me fat before I go home!! 
They laughed pretty hard at that. 
They gave us hugs and we walked off. 
Sister Svensson just laughed the whole way home :) 

The next day we were on a train and this guy sitting next to me was blasting music in his headphones. I had awkwardly looked at him when he was looking at me and just smiled like twice....well of course I was dancing a little, because I could here the music.. he saw me, pulled out one of his head phones and stuck it in my ear. We talked and he was just the nicest dude ever!! Ended up getting his number and invited sister Svensson and I to come eat with his family! He was Muslim..so that was a cool step..
That same night we were picked up out of the cold by a bus that wasn't even supposed to be picking people up. But the bus driver picked us up... It was awesome. I stayed at the front of the bus and just talked to him about his day a little bit. Learned that his name was Ofori. He said helps shift was over but he didn't want us having to wait in the cold and the dark for the next bus and felt like he needed to pick us up. 
Well We got off and were walking away when we hear 

VÄNTAAA (waaiiiitt) 
We turn around and it's the bus driver. He motions us to come back. We walk over to the front doors and he says 

"Do you still meet with people??"
I said "yesss..... "
He said 
"I want to meet with you guys.."

Sidenote: this never happens so when it does...you're pretty shocked.... 

I was like 
"Uh. Do you know who we are...?"
Omg so awkward Giles. 
"Yes.."
"You know that we are missionaries.."
"Yeess"
"With the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints...."
"Yes! I want you to come have dinner with my family!" 

WHAAAATTTT. WHAT IS HAPPENING. 
basically. I'm stoked to see this dude this week. 

We have been teaching A LOT. It is so so fun. Sister Svensson and I just get along really well. I'm bummed I'll only have her for a second. But i think the effects on her will be so long term. I'm excited to see how she does in Nebraska. 

We have had a lot of cool experiences together. 
But I have also been studying Abinadi. He is ..the ultimate example of a persistent missionary. 
While Abinadi is preaching to king Noah and his priests and his household, King Noah gets way ticked off and attempts to shoo Abinadi. To sweep him into imprisonment. Well. While reading this passage, the thought came to mind ..
Am I, this kind of missionary. 

3 Touch me not, for God shall smite you if ye lay your hands upon me, for I have not delivered the message which the Lord sent me to deliver neither have I told you that which ye requested that I should tell therefore, God will not suffer that I shall be destroyed at this time.

4 But I must fulfill the commandments wherewith God has commanded me and because I have told you the truth ye are angry with me. And again, because I have spoken the word of God ye have judged me that I am mad.


My answer was no. 
Came with a question though. 
The question is, why? 

This week it's my goal to tell someone that rejects me that my message to them has Not been delivered. 
Instead of saying okay here's a card if you are ever interested in looking up our website...I'm gonna be like 
Excuse me. I have a message that's going to blow your mind. I left my family, my hobbies, and my language to come tell YOU that ..there is more than just..being. 
If they throw me in a furnace like...I'm cold anyways. 
I thought a lot a lot a loootttt about Abinadi. How can I be more like him. 

On Sunday, sister Svensson took Kirubel to Sunday school and I had the young women!!! It happens every so often and it's literally my favorite thing ever. I prepared a lesson on love. Expressing love fo the people around it. 
If you haven't watched the video 
Expressions of Love

WATCH IT. it's so cute. 
I talked about expressing love and ultimately how love makes us grow and change. 
Love makes us better. 
Loving others, changes our hearts. 
Then we started the fun part. I gave them each paper and a pen and told them to write down everything they want in a future husband. 
Then when we were done with those lists, we wrote down on the back side what we think this dream husband would want to see in us. 
(I stole their papers when they were done and I'm gonna make them all cute and tiny so they can keep them in their scriptures) 
As I was looking at my list.....it was really interesting to see what I wanted and what I thought would be expected from me. 
My future husband list was stuff like..
Has to like music
Makes good cookies 
Likes animals
Makes me laugh 
Tall/ripped 
Good with kids 
Good at the gospel 
Temple worthy 

...didn't realize how shallow that was until I read what I wrote down he would want for myself ..

Loving 
To be myself with him 
Temple worthy
A strong personal testimony 
Communicative 
Honest 
Optimistic 

Way different... 
But it gave me a good gauge. 
We talked about how these really are the things we need to work on if we want to find our perfect man. Ultimately it won't even matter if he burns the cookies or is allergic to dogs...but as we work on what he wants from us..we will desire those traits in him. 
At the end of the lesson, Sylvia said the prayer and it was so. Awesome. 
She just said 
"Please let sister Giles teach our class more often because she is super fun and cool and I learned a lot about myself today." 

I CAAAANT LEAAAAVE. 
Time is slipping through my fingers and there is nothing I can do about it. 
This week. Was just so awesome.

Happy birthday Mema. You're the greatest woman on the planet. I'm SOOO honored to have your name in mine :) 
And happy birthday Jess. This is so weird. Remember that picture of us as 3 year olds? And now you're all old. 

Thankyou for the love and the support. I really love and appreciate you all so much and I wish the best for you this week :) 

Love, Syster Giles

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