Monday, March 26, 2012

I Love Monday!

I really love Mondays too, I get to talk to all of you, hear about life back home, and a little time to relax. I don't get to go to kindergarten, but I still have fun!

The ward members in this new area are really, really fun! I love being here with them! They are taking very good care of us and really want to help us out in the work as well!

Thank you, by the way, for saying I still look ''fit'' =P I am trying to keep it that way. =) It is easier to stay in shape than to get back in it! Though there will still be a lot of work to do when I get home!

The ward has left a great impression on me! I am really excited to work with them and really know that they want to see the work move forward! They are great people, and I feel like I am already getting to know them all really well! It is really cool, I know a lot of the members from past areas, from their families and such in other parts of Sweden! It is awesome, I am already becoming a part of the ward!

Elder Dalton is a great missionary, and really wants to learn all that he needs to to become an incredible missionary! I was lucky to get to be with him! He is really good at testifying about gospel principles, and loves the work. He is dedicated and determined to get out and do his part. I am working with him on his Swedish, which is improving. It is still impressive how much we are able to learn in such a short time! Plus, he gets to start with Skånish! Ha ha. I am starting to feel much more comfortable with my Swedish. It is coming, and I am continuing to work on it. I have decided I love Skånish and really want to pick it up, so I am working on the pronunciation and everything! It is so much fun! (Just for the record, I will also make sure I can speak a cleaner Swedish in case I leave skåne!) Elder Dalton is already confident, and not afraid of making mistakes, though he does not like the phone at all. I know how that one goes! =) So, I can work with him on that too! He is really just great though, we will have a great transfer!

I am really excited to be district leader. It is a fun opportunity to serve and to teach! I do get to plan district meetings as well as splits when we are here! It is really exciting! Nothing too challenging, but a good place to be and to serve. I am not planning on serving any duck tongue, I am not going to spend my money on that! Ha ha. I already tried it anyways!

The church we visited last p-day was really cool. We got to go in the priest's rooms, see the clothes/special robes, as well as the ''silver room'' where they keep the fancy silver things for special occasions. That was pretty cool, and the lady we talked to was very nice! Hopefully we can talk to her more! The castle is closed on Mondays... we might have to re-arrange p-day a little one week so we can go and climb up to the top of the tower! I am looking forward to that!

This past week has been really fun. A lot of the work has been in finding more investigators and trying to get times to meet the ones that we do have! I have seen though that when we go out and just give all that we have, focusing on the work, and being effective with our time, miracles happen! For example, last night we had some time that was free after our member dinner. We decided that instead of just going and talking to people on the street, we would try to meet some less actives and past investigators in the area. As we went out, we also did what we could to talk with everyone we passed, send text messages, and call people, and something really cool happened! People that we talked to were more interested, people we had tried to contact for weeks got back to us, and we were blessed! We can not control everything, in reality we can control very little. But, when we give our best, we will always be blessed with a full harvest. Those who are prepared are out there and ready! Just open your mouth and see what happens!

I love you all! Have a great week and do what you know you should!

Äldste Maxwell

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Quiz from Emma: How well do you know your new companion?

Questions and challenge: Alright, you recently had transfers (right?), so lets see how well you know your new companion!

What is his middle name? (no cheating and using that website! :P)
How many siblings does he have?
Where is he from?
What color are his eyes?
How long has he been out?
Where was he going/is going to go to college?
What color is his toothbrush?
Does he wear a CTR ring?
When is his birthday?
Did he play any sports or instruments?

Austin's Answers:

1. Middle name I think is Tanner... augh... I was wrong... it is Lane. Not even close!
2. I guessed 2 siblings and was off again... 1 older sister and 2 younger brothers.
3. He is from Santaquin, Utah... I don't know how to spell the city name but he always says it so I know that is right! =)
4. His eyes are blue. I was right. =)
5. He has been out in Sweden for almost three months now. He was a greenie before I came to Helsingborg.
6. He does not really know, just got out of High School and really has not thought about it at all.
7. I believe his tooth- brush is blue and white.
8. Yes, it is a multi lingual one that spins. He got it from his brother.
9. I have no idea... September 24, 1992.
10. He played some soccer, mostly just for fun. He ran sprints. He can play the piano, organ, and the tin wistle or the penny whistle =) It is pretty sick, he is really good with the last one.

So, I got 7/10 right! That is not too bad is it? only for ½ a week too!

And a fun little tidbit!

Oh, we did a little exploring this week, and guess what we found in our storage here? ............ did you guess? An organ! It is really old, and a litte leaky but we have a pump organ in our storage, it was super awesome to learn! I am excited... after fixing it up a little I might move it into the appartment... you don't think the neighbors would mind, do you? =P

Lunch with the Pettersson's

Hi! Today we had the pleasure of having the Elders accompanying us for lunch.
I didn’t realize that it were their “p-day” today. They said that they already had done their laundry.
We hade some fish soup today, with garlic bread and salad and chocolate cake for dessert.
We have had some sunny days, and some flowers have made their appearance. I just love when you can see all the different activities in the garden. The tulips are on their way up, plus some other flowers. Even though the sun is out I don’t think that it’s that warm, the Elders were of another opinion since they only had their suits on today.
They had a lovely message today. They talked about the Jeredites, and how their boat sometimes didn’t go straight forward, but in the end they reached their goal and destination.
In the afternoon the Elders were to meet the Elders from Malmö. Together they would go and visit “kärnan”. ( ), ( ) It’s a high castle with a lot of steps to climb up. But it’s well worth the effort, since the view is spectacular. You can easily see Denmark.
All the best,
Sister Pettersson

Monday, March 19, 2012

First week in Helsingborg

It really does sound like you had a hectic Sunday! Mine was much more calm, we went to church, my companion gave a talk actually, I got out of it. I think I would of ended up bearing my testimony, but the temple president just happened to be visiting as well with his wife, and so the ward had them both bear their testimonies! It was great. I got to know several of the young single adults in the ward. One just back from his mission, and the other waiting for his call to come back! It was very nice, the ward is full of nice people, and I knew several of them already! It was great!

I have definitely noticed that I have really changed my view on the gospel and its principles. I know that before my mission I would have answered questions in a very confusing way, so much I want to say but how do you say it in simple terms that others can understand?... I am starting to think that was why my first companion would always kick me in lessons... but I am not always sure! =P It is good to explain well, but a simple question does not require depth or length to be explained... the person needs to understand answer! It comes with time and practice, as well as thinking about what it all really means for us! For example, why do you believe in God? Simple, but is it? =)

You have no idea how small the world is! Last night I got a call from Sister Rasmussen (missionary couple from Hillsboro!) because she heard I had moved to Helsingborg. She was so excited that I was here. This is where Catarina Bradley grew up with her family. Well, this area. Catarina's sister lives in the area still and the Rasmussens have visited them several times. They will visit again tomorrow, and hope that all will go well, and that they will be interested in learning more so the missionaries (us) can come teach! I think that would be really cool, and I hope that all goes well. I love being able to help, and I am always surprised by how small the world really is!

Well, I am running out of time right now... I am really loving the new area. To describe it, well... we will be visiting it when we come back, that is a must! There is a castle in the middle of the city, and a lot of really cool old buildings and churches. I think it is awesome. The people are also really nice. It is still a part of the south and speaks skånska still! I am glad I already learned it! Though, there is still more to learn! My companion is from Utah. His name is Aaron Lane Dalton. He comes from Santaquin. He loves the outdoors and to go out and hike in the mountains. He very excited to be a missionary and has a strong testimony!

One thing that I have really loved to see and learn this week was that I, as a servant of my Heavenly Father, have the right and privilege to teach all with the spirit of God. As I do all that I can, I will have the spirit with me to lead me and to guide me in all things that I do. The spirit will always can confirm the truth of what I say and everything that is truth. In all reality it is not the missionaries that teach, our job is to create an environment where the spirit can exist, to bring the spirit and let it convey the message we share to the hearts of those we teach! It is an incredible work, full of joy, light, life, and love. I am so very glad that I can be a missionary, that I am able to represent my Savior, and help bring people back to him. I love this work. I am a missionary.

I hope that you all have a great week, that you can feel the love and light of our Savior, that you can all receive a greater portion of the spirit thorough diligent study and powerful prayer. I know my Savior lives. I love him and I know he loves us all. Seek truth, and you will receive.

Äldste Maxwell

Monday, March 12, 2012

Another Transfer! On to Helsingborg!

The weather here was incredible, though a little windy, there were a couple times that I had to take a coat with me... but it was incredible. I love the sun, it is just one of the greatest creations! Warm, light, warm.... can't think of anything.... oh, gives us tans... that is nice too! Yeah! All in all, I really enjoyed the weather!

Well, the way I am starting to think and feel would be best right now, I will be asking to come home in time for school... which I have heard rumors means our departure date will be the 20th... though that is still in the air... so don't be surprised if anything changes.... I hope that was something I should have said! =S

I will make sure to let you know when we have time change... I know that it is sometime in this month... I forgot the week though... I will have to get back to you on that one..

The biggest battles that I fought and will continue to fight are confined within the spacious labyrinth of my mind. I am my biggest enemy you could say! At least, I was... though I know that I still get in the way of myself. I have great plans and expectations for who I want to be and what I want to do, but I am really just so... lazy, dumb, you name it! It is frustrating... I want to echo the words of Nephi, berating himself of his weakness... and wish that I could be as strong as he is.

I am going to be moving this Wednesday to Helsingborg. It is not too far away, in the same zone... so it will not be bad at all! I will be getting Elder Dalton as a Jr. companion, he is a greenie right now, but I know he is a great missionary, and I remember that he had one of the strongest testimonies! Even if it came with a strong accent! =P The language comes with time and effort... ''Det Kommer'' (It Will) I heard that way too often! I am looking forward to the transfer, and the new opportunities it will bring to teach, lead and to learn.

( In Young Women's, we are having a heritage dinner and bringing food from a country of ancestry - I asked Austin for some ideas of what to bring from Sweden. He suggested Surstromming but when I looked it up it has the honor of being "the most putrid smelling food in the world". I think NOT! Think twice before asking a missionary for food advice! I'm making semlor instead!) Yes, stick to the semlor, those are really good... the first Tuesday of this month was ''Fat Tuesday'' I believe that it is every year the first Tuesday of March, but it is the national eat semlor day! They really love semlor here! Yes, the Surströmming is really nasty... I have not had the opportunity to try it yet, but I have to say I am not looking forward to it! I have smelled it knocking doors and about died! The can has to be opened under water, because of the pressure in the can (fermentation of the fish) makes it all spray out all over people... nasty... though looking forward to it! =P I will find a can and let you try at home! It is okay, I will not open a can in the house.... I heard it smells for weeks! ; P

So, it is getting really late now, we have had a busy day with members and goodbyes... ='( It is always hard saying goodbye, you get to love people, and want to be there for them, but it is not always going to be possible to be there with them to help them out and lift them. Sometimes it feels like you love the people you are with so much there is no way you can love anyone else! Then, as I have seen with my transfers, you just get more love! It doesn't divide, as Sister Newel said, love multiplies. For every person you love, instead of smaller portions to every one, it is more love going around and being shared among all! I don't know how it works, I just know that it does.

I don't know all things but I know that my Father in Heaven loves me. That is important! That is why I am here on a mission. I am surrounded by people who are loved by their Father in Heaven, many of them don't even know they have a Father in Heaven! It is a great job. I love being a missionary, I love this work! Have a great week, one and all! And let someone see the love from above through you!

Love you all!
Äldste Maxwell

Monday, March 5, 2012

Feels like Spring!

You are still getting snow? It feels like spring here! It has been sunny and warm, and we stopped wearing jackets over the suits! It was really nice, today was a lot cooler, but that hopefully is just temporary! It is funny that the year we leave Oregon gets a lot more snow!

Oh, today I got my hair cut by a lady in the ward, she did a great job! Then, we stopped by dressman and I found an awesome deal, two pair jeans for 200 kr, as well as slacks! I got some new jeans, and looking forward to some nice new slack for summer when we have no coats! (100kr a pair is really cheap! It is sick!!!!)

Things here in Sweden are great! Transfers will be happening next week, that will be exciting! I have no idea what is happening, but I know that I will have a new companion, if it is here or somewhere else, who knows? I will be excited to find out this Saturday!

It is crazy what the world is becoming! I can't understand how people can just shut their eyes! It is hard enough making it around with them open! I would think that life is scarier and harder to understand when your eyes are closed. This week I finished the Old Testament and began to read through the New Testament, and all of the teachings of the Savior. It is empowering to read of Him, after all the prophecies of the prophets... I just want to go out and set up my box on the corner, or get up on a roof and cry repentance, warn them what they are getting into! But I am not sure how well that would work. People might listen a little more... but I would just be a crazy guy. I know that I need to be more bold as a missionary. I need to tell people about the danger they are in! Plus, there is such a peace and security in knowing about everything! There is a way out of this crazy world, we live in it, but we don't have to be part of it. We live in a lost, confused world, but when we are not of the world, we will not be affected by the world. Christ warned his disciples to not fear anyone who can threaten physical death, but fear the spiritual and eternal death of sin. Time and this world has no power over our eternal existence! As we seek righteousness we will be blessed and well off for time and all eternity! That is our promise, is it not something we would want to have?

I love the gospel, it is simple and so beautiful! I am glad to be a member, to take part of the blessings. I love being a missionary and teaching these people! They don't know what they are missing! Let them know!

I love you too Mom! I love everyone else who reads this too! You are all awesome! Be strong, and never give up!

Love ya!
Äldste Maxwell