Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Simple Steps

Things in the area are going great! It is a good balance between teaching and finding, meaning that most of the time is focused on teaching!  Our members are really good at helping us to teach, and we are helping them find people who want to be taught! I am so glad that I am a missionary! I am glad when members are able to talk to their neighbor about the church, and help them to get to know the church more!  They are going to help him learn a lot more than he thinks he wants to! Just keep it up and follow the promptings you get! And don't be afraid to invite the missionaries and them!!!! ( The missionaries are great at being the weird ones! You can just blame them if the member gets a little upset, they shouldn't mind, they will just be transferred!)

One of the things that hit me this week in my studies and personal as well as companionship discussion, was that the gospel really is just a lot of simple steps! That was when I had the thought, why can't we do it then!? This is my conclusion: The simplest things can be the hardest to do. They seem like nothing, they are easy to forget, they are just so simple! Why is it that if we were asked to walk across the plains we would pack our wagons and go, but when we are told to read our Scriptures daily, or open our mouths (just as examples) can we not do it? The gospel is simple, it is easy, and that makes it really hard. It must become part of us, we have to always remember, and focus on what it is we want to be doing! I know that as we focus on the small and simple steps, the path to God becomes more manageable, it is simpler, and it just makes more sense! But when we decide that the small things are not worth it, that is when we get in trouble. I know this is true, and I know that we can get help when we need it! The path is long, but it is not hard. It all starts with faith! I know that this is the way, the only way. I know that every single person can make it. That is the goal! So, take a step!

I love being a missionary, I am glad that I am able to serve and to teach. I hope that the Spirit can bear testimony to every single one of you that reads this, that I know my Savior lives, I know that He loves me and wants me to succeed. I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true church of Christ. I know that this simplifies and enriches life. I know this is true, I have received my own witness! And I say these things in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen....

Have a great week, and take the step, it can be scary, but do it! It is worth it. I love being a missionary, I love my mission!

Love you all!
Äldste Maxwell

Monday, May 21, 2012

Excited to be here!

It really has been crazy recently, though it sounds like it is not just me right now! everything is going really really fast!  I am doing great, it is really sunny outside today, so we will try to enjoy that! Hopefully all goes well, plus, we just had a bike stolen before I got here. The members are awesome though, so we get to borrow a bike for the week! They put it together wrong though... I will be doing a little adjusting, it should be great though! I am super excited! Plus, the weather is great, and the sun is shining!

So, all in all I am doing great! I am loving being with Elder Asp, he comes from Carson City Nevada and is super smart! It is really fun being with him. He has a good sense of humor, and understands a lot!!!! It is really cool. He is really, really good at the language. His father can speak fluent Swedish and his grandparents are Swedish! So, he had a head start! He has been on his mission (in Sweden) for 6 months. He was like the missionaries now, and got delayed 3 weeks before he got to come in! The missionaries that were delayed are in North Carolina I believe... So they will hopefully be here in 1-2 months... either that or there will be no more new missionaries until September, at least that is the rumor that I have heard! We will see!

My area is really great. I have a lot of exploring to do before I have the city down, but I have seen several different parts, and it is great! It reminds me a lot of my first area, the forests are very similar, the weather is similar, the feel is similar, and they don't speak skånish! It is really a nice area, and I am excited to be here now!

Anyways, I am loving Örebro, and the ward here is great! They are doing a lot as missionaries. There was a talk that the missionaries here are using to show the members and help them figure out ways ways to invite friends to learn more! The talk is called ''The missionary Next Door'' by Diana Hoelscher (or something like that!) It is really, really good, and just incredible to think what we can do!!!! I would recommend that you listen to it for family night and talk about it a little! She has a little of a funny accent, but it is really good! I know that it is going to be through the involvement of members that the church will receive the growth and strength that we need at this time. Missionaries just can't do it on their own! I know that miracles can and will happen, that as I do my part the Lord will do his! But, when we can all do our individual best, so much more will happen!  In Sweden we have the promise of a second harvest, which will happen through the cooperation of members and missionaries, thousands of baptisms, a gathering to surpass the gathering that occurred in the beginning of the church! I know that it will happen, and I am excited to do my part and help the members, to teach them and work with them to gather Zion!

I love being a missionary, I love the church and the light that it brings in to my life, the opportunity it gives me to improve, and the goals that I have for me, my family, and eternity! I love this work!! I love you all too and hope that you have an incredible week ahead of all of you!

Love ya!
Äldste Maxwell

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Quick Change!

I am sorry this is a day late, but things became very crazy at the last moment!

So, p-day was great, I got to take it easy, do laundry, and get ready to go visit with the zone leaders and have some fun, see the sights of Helsingborg. (Elder Stoddard ends his mission tomorrow). While we were at the member's house for lunch, (I did tell her we appreciate the photos very much) I got a very unexpected phone call from president Newell. He needed to transfer someone asap, and I was the lucky replacement! So, I am now in Örebro. I had two hours to pack and get on the train, and we went to Stockholm to trade companions. So that was how everything went! President did say that he wants me to be training one of the new greenies, so it will be a shorter transfer, but who knows what is going to happen!? (several of the new Elders, due in Sweden this week, do not have Visa's yet so we are not sure when they will arrive)  Ha ha, so that was why I did not send an e-mail. I am doing great, I love my new companion already, and am looking forward to getting to know Örebro!

It is very true that people can choose to keep out the spirit, and that they do so because they don't want to have to change. I know that because I did it for a while. It is no fun. But, there is not really any way that someone else can change that. Patience, love, and faith. That is the only way! We all have our own agency, good or bad!  I know that people often make wrong or dumb choices, but that is how we are! We just need to do all that we can, be as good as possible, and rely on our Savior to make up for the rest, after all, what more can we do? I love the light, I love the truth. I know that all can and will find it if they truly want to!

I want you to all know I love you, and keep you in my prayers! Sorry this is short, but we need to continue, I have to keep this short.  But, I love you and will let you know more of the adventures next week!

Love ya!
Äldste Maxwell

p.s. I found a waffle iron for 30 krowns! (about 5 dollars!) =)

Last dinner appointment in Helsingborg.

A few photos from today.

It's always a pleasure to have the Elders over for a visit.

Sister Pettersson

I love how Sister Pettersson sends me a note and pictures when she has Austin over for dinner, I want to be more like this because I know first hand how much a mother appreciates seeing her missionary and hearing how wonderful he is!

Monday, May 7, 2012

I Love this Work!

I am excited for next Sunday and being able to see all of your smiling faces!  It is also very possible that we will have some transfer information I get to share then!!!

The weeks are really flying by!  I can't believe how fast they go!  It is crazy!  

No, I have not had any trouble with my name... just recently one of our investigators started calling me Maximus, but that was just because he can't remember my name! Everyone in the church knows my name... they just always ask if I am related to him! (Elder Neal A. Maxwell)
I think Swedish is a lot like English... the words anyways, you can listen and pick out cognates very easily!  Though they say them funny sometimes!  I don't have to translate in my head anymore, it just
makes sense!  I do have to translate a little when talking so I say the right thing!  I do dream in Swedish every once in a while, it is fun, but weird!  I realize that I dream in many languages!  I am pretty sure that I will be speaking some swengelska when I get home!  Especially quick phrases we use all the time!

Those Maxwell/Thornton crying genes are a killer!  They are really powerful too!  I am sure that Jonathan really had a great testimony.  There was a young man in the ward here that bore his testimony and cried too, he was 15, and 6' 3'' or something like that... but he really had a powerful testimony. It is hard to be a youth in Sweden and live with standards, I am very impressed with their strength and faith in the Lord.

Enjoy every minute of every day!  I will.  There is no better way to live than happily!  This week was good, we have worked hard and gone out to meet less actives, though not always as effective as we would hope, they are bringing success and the Lord is blessing us with success.  It is really fun seeing that as we do our best, do our part, the Lord really fills in the gaps and makes everything worth it!  Just yesterday we were on our way to a member dinner, we were waiting for a bus, and a man walked up.  He was very drunk.  I started talking with him anyways, he was staring at us a lot, so I figured I might as well!  He has had a hard life and a lot of hard times, he was also really
sad because his son has been in prison for 6 ½  years, and he blames himself.  He really wanted to change, we talked, taught, and testified.  He cried, he apologized, and I hope that he really felt
something through all the alcohol.  I hope that he remembers, but even then, I know that I learned more about myself, about how strong my faith in the Savior is, and that no matter what happens, all will be well.  I know that my Savior lives, that He loves me.  I know that I can be forgiven of everything I have and will do wrong.  I know that this is the only way to happiness and peace. I love sharing that! 

I love being a missionary, and I love this work!

Love you all!  I look forward to talking with you all this Sunday!
Äldste Maxwell