Monday, March 7, 2011

First Week in Sweden

So, my address is the mission home. They will get the mail and forward it to me here in Karlstad. That will always be my address, it is really actually nice. So, it is actually really different here culture wise. Everyone introduces themselves by first name, not titles... So, I am Aldste Maxwell, but also Austin! It is soo weird.

Sunday, yesterday, was good. Yes, I am definitely the new missionary. I got introduced as that and they asked me to give the opening prayer in priesthood and then I chose to bear my testimony. (This branch has 2 blocks, priesthood/Relief Society followed by Sacrament meeting.) It was crazy... I definitely do not know Swedish, but I have gotten compliments on how well I already speak. We had two investigators at church, we have to translate for them, I wasn't able to so they had a member translate for one (the investigators don't understand Swedish either!) I will probably translate starting next Sunday. There were about 16 in church. Supposedly one family was missing, so it should be bigger... I love it!! My companion plays piano for some of the songs, we both blessed, a visiting member from another branch helped by passing. (I think he might have even been an authority or something...I don't know) I love Sweden!!!!!!!

I am having fun and getting used to the work. We ride the buses a lot and I haven't even seen the bikes, it is awesome. It is surprisingly warm and I have no complaints. I have not bought a coat. There are coats from "dead" missionaries in the apartment that I will use until next winter.

The mission president and his family are amazing. They were all really nice and it was a great two days we got to spend there, Sister Anderson really spoiled us. My companion is Aldste Cluff. I have been assigned to Karlstad in the Goteborg (gothenberg in English, though pronounced "yuttebury" in the Swedish spelling).

It is great here, the work is exploding and I am loving all of it. We have two baptism dates right now. We have had many teaches, and I have met a lot of people. We knocked on a door of one of our investigators, he came out in his boxers, let us in, then went to put some clothes on... and that was just the beginning of the crazy! We talked for quite a while, he has a lot of interesting views on life but loves God. Of course, it just made it better that he was a little drunk. He was really excited and very enthusiastic, when we left he gave each of us a hug, handshake and kiss on the cheek. (He does speak french, but I am almost 100% sure that is not why he kissed us.) Since then, we have been stopped by another drunk on the street, attended a bible group at another church, had a good discussion with many of the people there including the preacher, then we got 3-4 telephone numbers and will most likely end up teaching several of the people, including the preacher! Talk about crazy!

I kind of want to relearn my French because 2-3 we teach now prefer french. Most of the people we teach are immigrants, so I have not actually taught a whole lesson in Swedish yet. Soon, I will... plus, most Swedes speak amazing English! I have done a lot of contacting in Swedish though. So yeah, the work is great and I am having a great time, I am excited to see what can happen this transfer alone!

I had a little dinner yesterday in the church with one family. Tonight we get fed, tomorrow too and Wednesday, Thursday is district meeting, and Friday or Saturday we will most likely be fed too... wow, that is a lot. I like this, much more exciting than the MTC. he he

Thanks for raising me correctly and preparing me so well! I can even cook! Though, I was surprised that me buying fruit today is making this one of the first times in months that fruit has been in the apartment! And I haven't seen any veggies, I miss them... I will be slowly changing that.

My companion is awesome, by the way, he can play piano, speak Swedish, used to play football, basketball and volleyball I think, anyways, cool guy! Oh, and his voice is deep, just like Covey, on top of looking like him and acting like him a little... he just isn't quite as built, though he claims that he once was stronger... I am excited!

Love you all,
Aldste Maxwell

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