Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I really love Sweden!

 I am doing great. I really love Sweden.  Sweden is really a beautiful country with great scenery, kind people, who are willing to help. I really am blessed to be able to be in such a great country on my mission. I love my mission!

Today we had planned to go to Mölle and see the sights (nature) in the area. Supposedly there is a mountain that extends out into the sea. We were going to go, but Elder Dalton's bus pass ran out and we did not yet get the money advancement we need to purchase another... instead we did our shopping, got a bike tire because ours recently exploded while we were using it... and then checked awesome stores! I got a hair cutter for cheap because I really need a hair but don't want to pay for it! I figure, 2 haircuts= 1 hair clipper, = saved money! Plus, I don't have to explain how I want my hair.. (I don't know!) It has been a good and fun p-day!
Teaching was a little slower this week. We had zone conference which was incredible, but took a lot of time, and then we began to focus on the less active members more, which cut down on our time out on the streets for this week, we were calling a lot of people!

My district is incredible... not very big, but it is about as big as they get for now... It is us, and one more set of elders in Halmstad. They are all awesome, and I love them all! It is a lot of fun to serve with them! It is also very nice being a district leader because I get to help a little more in what goes on, I also get to hear more about things, though it is still often that the others in the district know more about everything than me! I get to teach more as well, and talk to people more! Our zone leaders are really awesome and I am learning a lot about being a leader.
I am really loving being a missionary. I say that a lot I know. This last week at zone conference, I had an incredible time. We talked about the plan of salvation. President and Sister Newell taught the doctrine, and the APs and Zone leaders taught how to teach and improving our skills! I also grew more as a missionary. I noticed and really began to recognize how important the little things are. President Newell had interviews with us individually, and I really learned that he thinks about me personally! He knows me, he knows about how I feel, and he let me know that he cares about me! He wants me to succeed. It was incredible! I want to be more like that, I want people to know that I care about them, I want to help, even if I do not always know I help. I don't want wealth, I don't want fame. I just want to help. I hope that as a missionary, I can learn and grow, that when I go home, I can be more like I should be! The more you know, the more you are responsible to act according to that knowledge. I love that. We are to do our best. I will do my best, and only God knows what that is. I love being a missionary! I love this work!
Have a great week out there, take time to make someone else feel better about their self this week!
Love ya!
Äldste Maxwell

Monday, April 16, 2012

Here Comes the Sun!

I completely agree with the week being very long, yet it has flown by like nothing! I don't understand time anymore... not that I really ever did!

So, the week was busy, but not like Monday was, thankfully... though I think I would still love it! It is best to be going the whole time! I love being busy! I am excited for this week. We are going to be staying pretty busy from the looks of things now! I am excited. The teaching is going great. Re-activating is going well, though that is much slower... they say they want to come, but don't, and are positive, to a point! =P It is really fun and a great challenge!

I am loving being a district leader in the mission. It is a lot of fun being able to work with, learn and love all of the other missionaries. I am really excited for spring, for warmer weather, and the joy that the sun brings to everyone's heart here in Sweden! It is incredible how much the weather and sun can really change people and their attitudes!

We got in contact with a couple really amazing new investigators this last week. They are ''golden''. We are super excited to be teaching them. They are a couple from Nieria, they speak English (little tricky with church) and they are already christian! It was an incredible teach about the restoration, and they really were amazed by the doctrine that we taught and were excited to read in the Book of Mormon! I see great success and joy in their future!

We are serving in a ward. Though it is a little smaller than the branch I was just in! =P It is really fun. They are some great people, and they want to help out... just not with finding! =S ha ha. But that is how it is! Just gotta love 'em! This week is really going to be great, we will have about one dinner a day! (With the members.) Perfect time to teach them!

My area, well... Helsingborg is actually only half of the city! The rest is in Denmark! It is pretty funny. We are really really close to Denmark, and every once in a while we run into a Dane! It is funny. They can usually understand Swedish.... but English is always better. It is almost impossible to understand Danish! (I have listened to a lot of them, and if I know what they are talking about, I can usually figure out what they are saying!) I think I do get to go to the temple again! I am really excited. The temple is the best place to be! Yes, we can hop on a ferry, or ride a train to Malmö, and across a bridge there! (I don't know why the bridge is from Malmö, it doesn't make any sense! )

I have had a good week. Great week! I just love being a missionary! It is when I get to focus on the work the Lord has for us all! It is not something super strange, though it does take time to adjust. It is hard, but what good thing is not hard? What good is not worth working for? If something is not worth working for, what is it really worth? Seek the best things. Focus on those things that will in the long run make a difference! It is not bad to have fun, to go to the movies, or be with friends. (No, I do not go to the movies as a missionary) But always remember that things will all go away, money will be spent. Time does not last. People and relationships will last forever.

I pray that as I serve, there will be people who notice, and I pray even harder that I will be doing what I should be when they do! Our actions can speak louder than words, words can enhance or detract from what we do. And so, I want to try to be what I teach, to be a disciple of Christ at all times. I know that I am not perfect. I know that I don't have to be! I will do my best. I will serve with all my heart, and hopefully I can help others on the way! I love being a missionary. I love the gospel. I am so thankful for my Savior! May you all feel His love for you!

Have a great week!
Äldste Maxwell

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Happy Easter

Happy Easter! Church this Sunday was very good for us here. There were some very powerful talks, and a great spirit. It is also good to have the extra excuse to remember everything that our Savior has done for us. It is always good to focus on Him. Everything else will come!

Stories this past week... well, I have not done too much new... hmmm. I have gotten a lot better at calling people on the phone... We have also done a lot of work with less actives, and we have found some really interesting people, who have had a rough time, and need something more. Even if they do not know that they really want to come back, we just happened to find their name, and called them when they needed it!

Oh, so not really related to the work we are doing, but I noticed that on this hill in the area we work, that there were these little black boxes, and the hill was taped off. Me being the "just out of geology for engineers geek", thought that the hill might be unstable and they were checking to see how stable it was... so I had to go see what was going on. When I did, my companion and I got the best laugh ever! The little boxes were boxes of rat poison! Who would have thought? Rats in this steep hillside in the center of the city! I could try to apply the story... I think I am going to actually! In life sometimes we get secure thinking that we are safe. We need to always be on watch for those areas that could be holding the rats - the temptations that if we let get out of control, well, they really get out of control! Then, we sometimes have to go to extreme measures to get rid of that problem. Nothing in this world is sure, there is nothing that will be forever, not yet! =P This life is our trial time, the time where we need to clean out the rats, fix the kinks in the line, and sort out our priorities to focus on Christ. Christ is the central part of everything, and when we can give Him the place that He deserves, we will be that much happier! Rats are tricky, they can sneak in when we are not watching, or even when we are. Don't let them stay, don't be satisfied with ''okay'', be who you are supposed to become, and never, never, never give up!

I love my mission, I love the gospel, I love being a missionary!

Love you all!
Äldste Maxwell

Monday, April 2, 2012

Conference Time!

I really love conference, it is really a more relaxing, spiritually uplifting Sabbath day where I get to listen to the prophets! I Love it! I do miss the being home though... good food, family, spirit, comfort, more people, good food... =P you get the idea! I really enjoyed what I have seen so far, I have the Sunday afternoon session left! I am really looking forward to it and can't wait to do more!

Yes, I did get the St. Patrick's Day package, and I loved it!!! The cereal (Lucky Charms) was great, as well as the straws, and the general reminder of home and the good times! I did take a handful of the leprechaun confetti with me on splits and I hid them throughout the apartment in Halmstad. I was not caught at all, and even got them in their scriptures! They will be finding them for weeks! =P haha !

I am glad to hear that your quilting activity went so well! I am really proud of you! Speaking out and trying to make sure that the church comes up and planting the seeds to bring people back to Christ! It sounds like you really are doing a lot! And it all began with the family! That is one thing that I really love, that the gospel really can be a part of any conversation that we have! I am working on that right now, just being me and talking, while still making sure to talk about the church and how it has blessed me and my family! I would agree with you, you had a very good start!

So, today was a real shock and ''trunky'' hour! I got a call from Sister Oscarsson in the office about my departure date.... She was wondering when I would like to go home! I had a couple different choices. But, as of now, my departure day will be the 20th of December. Now you can be trunky too! It is going too fast! The same thing has come up several different places recently! One thing at a time, and time, please slow down!!! But don't! =P I am excited, and will work extra hard here, while I am here!

Well, things are going great for me! I went on splits, and came home with a workout program book that they were not using! So, I am really excited, and a little sore! It is a really cool book. =P I love getting things for free! haha.

The work is moving forward. We are still working a lot on finding, though we are also trying to talk to our less active members and help them come back, as well as the new converts. I am loving the work, and we are hoping that the investigators we have will decide to take the next step of faith! My companion is great. He is really good at playing the tin whistle, and taught me a card trick last night. He is really good at bearing his testimony to everyone and is not afraid to open his mouth! The weather is the same as you have had! We had some beautiful days last week, and this morning we got a little snow. I was expecting it! Thank you for the heads up! Now though the sun is shining, it is warming up, and I don't know what it will do next! I will probably watch the last conference session sometime today, we are going to spend some time with the Zone leaders, and do our shopping and such, but I am going to make sure that I get to see the last session! We will watch it here on the computer in the church.

I talked to one of the ladies in the ward yesterday and I got some hellos from home! Carine Nilsson (I am not sure of the spelling, sorry) Said that her friend knows you and sends greetings! I am guessing she is friends with the lady there in NY! I also talked to the stake presidents wife and she was friends with Catarina Bradley when she was here! Crazy small world! It is super fun!

I loved the opportunity to sit and listen to the prophets and apostles this general conference! I know that they were speaking to us today and that they know what we need to hear! I had a couple really cool experiences with that this conference. First, we have been going around this week trying to meet with as many people as possible! When we met with people we made sure to focus on the opportunity that we have to receive revelation (personally) from the prophets. I encouraged everyone to come with a question, and promised the answer as they listened! Then, when I listened to the first talk of the prophet, he promised answers too! I was relieved. Then, after priesthood session was over, a new member came to us and told us that his question was answered, and that he had felt the spirit sooo strongly! Later, an investigator came to one of the sessions. She came a little after it began, but she came at the perfect time! She is a single mother, and as she came and sat down, we had the talk that was to the single mothers! It was exciting. We did not get the chance to talk to her, because she left early too, but we had our prayers answered!

I know I had my prayers answered. I know we receive revelation. I know that I am loved of God. I am excited to be a missionary! I love this work, I love the gospel! I hope that you all have a great week and that you all have a great time applying the words we have received into our life!

Love you all!
Äldste Maxwell