Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Random Questions - Austin's Answers

We sent Austin a list of random questions, here are the questions and his answers:

  • Do you sleep on the top or bottom bunk? - I sleep on the top bunk
  • What did you have for breakfast this morning? - I had a yogurt, bagel and two orange juices
  • What tie do you wear most often? - Not sure, I try to rotate them as much as possible
  • What is your favorite mission scripture? - D&C 15 right now or D&C 64:2-6 (I think that is the right one)
  • Can you read your scriptures in Swedish? - yes, I can read the scriptures in Swedish. It is actually easier than reading "Preach my Gospel" (which I read with a dictionary)
  • What is the furthest from the MTC you have been in the last 8 weeks? - The furthest from the MTC I have been is the Provo temple
  • What is one thing you would really like to eat right now? - I would really like to eat a plate of fresh, good fruits and vegetables.
  • What was the last hymn you sang? - Last hymn I sang was 216 "We are Sowing" (I think)
  • What is the best quote you heard in the last week? - "If you had someone filming the past 24 hours of your life, would you be proud of it?" (Sister Kearon, wife of a seventy, they both spoke last night.)
  • Who has been your favorite speaker, so far, at the MTC? - That is a really hard question. I really enjoyed last night, but last week was better. It was more to the point, REPENT! kind of stuff. I don't remember the name now...sorry.
  • What are you most looking forward to today? - Today, going to the temple. It is beautiful outside and the temple is always awesome.

Week 8 - Ready for Sweden!

I have my travel plans. I fly here to Detroit (we are supposed to be at the travel office at 5 in the morning Monday!) Then to Amsterdam and on to Stockholm. Before we leave I will actually call home. They give us some time before we get on the planes to call. Oh, and please let everyone who might try and show up at the airport know that they really, really emphasize that there are not supposed to be people there, sorry.

My Sweden address for now is:
Elder Austin Wade Maxwell
Sweden Stockholm Mission
Enebybergsvagen 38
182 42 Enebyberg

Thanks for writing!!! I am very excited to head out, I saw some photos / film of Sweden and it is amazing, as well as the people. The page (Swedish) has some mormons talking and I can understand quite a bit of what they say! That is a little comforting, I have to say. I am excited to go, we are about as ready as we will ever be! Thank you all for your support, next you will most likely hear from me, it will be from Sweden! (Besides the phone call, anyways.)

Jag alskar dig!!
Aldste Maxwell

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Week 7 - I'm Soo Excited!

I am sooo excited to be heading out into the field. I still have a lot that I need to work on before I will be ready to head out but it is getting close. We are teaching full discussions in Swedish and we are setting apart 4 or 5 hours of speaking Swedish outside of class. Next week I want to try endast Svenska! That should be a good test to see whether or not I am ready to head out into the field. We should have travel plans by Friday at the latest.

One of our teachers told us a story about one of his investigators, it was a really good story. I hope that I will be able to find some people like that when I get out and get to serve! Lat night in the devotional, we had a sensational speaker. If it is possible, I would recommend that you all read it. Elder Pearson from the first quorum of the seventy spoke. He talked a lot about how missionaries do not reach their full potential and how we need to be exactly obedient to every single rule so we can have the spirit with us to the degree that we can do anything. I really enjoyed it, though I think my companion hated it, even our branch president was surprised that the talk was so forward.

Nothing much else has happened recently. I began teaching Lowana in the TEC last night as well as Daniel. It is really fun teaching people, even if they are just really good actors. (Daniel is a paid actor to work here, it is crazy! It is fun to see how realistic it is though.) Only one more English group that got here after us leaves before we do! Then we are next. New missionaries show up again today and I get to go to the temple! I am really excited for it today, it is amazing how much we can learn at a time!

Swedish is coming along, I am getting excited to listen to real Swedes talk their language and try to keep up. Haha, I am going to embarass myself soo much, I can't wait! I will enjoy it. I never really have been one to give up, this should be a good test to see how long I can last. One and a half weeks left! eeeppp!! (Raymond)

Love you all, thanks for your support!
Aldste Maxwell

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Week 6 - Down to Business

Nothing too exciting has happened this week and even less will be happening. Our district leaders and our branch presidencies are cracking down on every single little rule and making sure that every minute of our time is used effectively in the work of the Lord. We are required to be in the class every night until 9:25 and then from 9:30 to 10:30 is reflection on the day, more personal study, journal writing, prayer and brushing teeth, etc. They do not want us to do anything else really. That is making time disappear, and some people are beginning to be a little more rebellious. But the week has been good.

My district is awesome. This week my companion wrote a song and me and a couple other elders wrote lyrics to it, all spiritual of course. We are going to try out and see if we can perform it in a devotional. If we make it, it will be amazing. I think it is a really good song.. a little efy-ish but still good. My companion is crazy. He can compose anything! He just sits down and plays. Half the time it is something "top forty" that he figured out, other times it is something that he has composed on his own. For example, he has changed one of the Taylor Swift songs into ragtime! It is soo cool! I wish I could play like he can. Plus, he can do basically anything he wants with a computer.

Yesterday we had an elder from the first quorum of seventy talk. His wife, though it was only the second time she had talked in a different language, bore such strong testimony that it really gave me hope that I can do the same on my mission. I like being able to listen to all these church authorities and be taught what we need to be doing in order to be better missionaries.

I have now been here six weeks and only have about 2 and a half left before the predicted departure date, hopefully soon we will get our itinerary and be able to start prepping! I sent one suit in today to have it dry cleaned, they have pretty good deals here on everything, plus we get a weekly allowance of six dollars! Woo hoo, right? It is actually a lot better than it sounds because we get something like 40% off as missionaries. Plus, I don't have to buy much anyways.

In gym, the Swedes are beginning to dominate at four square, especially Thursdays... lol. Not that we are mean, we have just been here forever (relatively).

Each day is basically the same with classes, studying and eating cafeteria food! But, it is amazing. We are teaching discussions in Swedish and rocking them, for how long we have been learning. Monday is always TRC, when we get to go and teach/interact with people who know Swedish. Monday my companion, Elder Rowley, and I got to teach Brigita. She was surprised when I told her, in Swedish, that we had only been learning for about five weeks. She was surprised we could understand, even though I was stumbling over myself all the time, and my grammar was terrible! I know it is going to come, I will just keep on working on it!

I love you all, thank you for your support and letters! They are all very much appreciated! If you want to know anything specific, let me know!

Aldste Maxwell

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Week 5 - An End to the Tie Trade

Austin and Ben came up with the idea of trading ties with other missionaries, the goal being to only wear each tie a few times on thier missions. This is one of the "new" ties he traded for. Alas, the tie trade has ended.
So, this past week has been really fun. I did find the pillow room and I now actually have an extra pillow on my bed. =P I have a couple pictures so you can see when I send the next memory card... The amazing things that are possible with only a pop can. Anyways, I was talking to Elder Stoker Monday, he is from Spokane, Washington and recently started to climb, it was soo much fun being able to talk to someone almost as crazy about rock climbing as me!! He climbs at Wild Walls.

I saw Covey yesterday, he was eating in the cafeteria so I ran into him... That was cool and I was glad to see him. I have not done too much else recently. Our branch president has told us that it is not allowed to tie trade any more, that it is not good for our purpose and too distracting... it is really sad. I got two different ties before they told us not to... I might try to get some trades in Sweden... we will see.

So, right now there is a group from some news station here filming us and interviewing some... It is kind of weird. We are in pday clothes, in the laundry room! It is kind of funny watching them film peoples clothes in the dryers and people sitting at the tables writing letters and typing email.

This Monday we taught our first lesson completely in Swedish... We got paired up with an older volunteer who liked to tell stories a lot... So , we spent a little less time teaching and a lot less in Swedish. Either way, I enjoyed the experience. We are swinging to completely teaching and talking pa svenska in class and trying to outside. I still have a long way to go. Only 26 more days here before we head out into the field!

Elder Horning, from BYU, left earlier this week to Florida. It was really nice being able to see him again. He is really nice and full of the Spirit. I got one last pic with him the night before he left.

I am really starting to know all the secrets and tricks to getting around the MTC, not being in lines, getting the best seats possible at devotionals, and which showers are usually warm and which ones have descent water pressure. Quite exciting, I know. haha Today is Wednesday, new elders are coming in! It is always fun. I wonder if I looked that scared when I got in. Half the time I bet I was worse!

The Dutch Elders and Sisters (next door) left earlier this week, except for one who had his plans messed up, the travel office decided he would leave next week, didn't print off his ticket, and left his visa in Salt Lake. That would be so frustrating! The good thing is that none of the European countries are really bad at letting us get visas. Only those going to Mexico and Brazil and such...and there are a ton of them on top of that.

I am having fun and everything is great here! I hope that everything is good at home and that you all enjoy your snow day! Love you all! Let me know how you are doing, I really do enjoy getting mail and is fun! Thank you for all your support and success. Tell TJ to let me know where he is going, I still have not heard.

Love you lots!
Elder Maxwell