Monday, August 27, 2012

I felt like a greenie again!

Languages are a lot of fun... though also a pain!  So, it is actually quite funny you brought up languages!  This last week I had some great new experiences, and trials!  Last Wednesday, President Newell called me in the morning!  Well, he called us, and my companion answered... I was sitting at the table munching on a bowl of granola with yogurt in it... (super good!)  I had the feeling it was president who called because Elder Ouimette seemed more tense than he usually is on the phone... (He was pacing much faster, and much more formal! =P) Anyways, he brought me the phone and said, its the president!  I took the phone and said, "Hello President, How are you?"  And he said... "Bien, et toi?"  Ha ha, get where this is going?  President continued to talk with me for a couple minutes in French, explaining the situation that had come up, that there was a man coming to the mission home from Luleå to be taught, and that he spoke French!  President wanted me to help teach!  I said okay, and began studying my French like crazy!  I did a lot of praying, and even fasted Friday to get ready to teach!  President had told me that I would come up to the mission home early Saturday, and then all day we would be teaching, and then also all day on Sunday! (After church of course)  So, I got to teach Florintin Nkulu Kilonga with President Newell!  Honestly, I did not do that much teaching....   mostly testimony, and starting the movies.  It was really good though.  Saturday I was terrible, I had the hardest time putting my sentences together, but Sunday I was able to have good conversation, and talk with Florintin!  I also got to learn a lot more about president!  It was a great weekend!  This also might mean that I will be moving up to Luleå soon... President said that they might need some help with French up there because of Florintin, and the other 20+ African investigators up there.... so keep your fingers crossed!  I would love that!  Florintin was incredible, so humble, and kind!  I really hope that I get to be with him again!  And, I felt like a greenie again!  Though it also got me super excited and ready to go!!!  All in all, awesome!  So, I am working a lot more on french now, Swedish is doing great still, and English seems to still be working.  I got a dictionary today, French-Swedish!  found it in a lopis (flea-market) for 40 Kr! 

Oh, and Sunday morning, we went with an investigator to see her church.  Fair is fair, right, she came to ours, we can visit hers too... so we went, and it was interesting!  She is Assyrian Orthodox, so we did not understand anything that the people said.  (by the way, this was before our ward met)  We watched/ listened for a while and looked around.  We then got up, and went into the hall.  She asked us if we had questions, and started talking about everything, and what was going on!  That was when a man came up and started yelling at us, in Swedish.  He yelled some  bad stuff, and told us to get out.  We started going, and he continued to yell, telling us to go faster, never come back, continuing to yell other stuff, and followed us for a very long way!  Our investigator felt really bad... I thought it might have been a good lesson!  She herself said that she had been welcomed to our church, that everyone was really nice, and all!  So, we will not ever go back.  And, hopefully our investigator will come to our church again! 
This week we are going to also have a 3 Zone conference again!  Elder Kearon is coming for a mission tour, and so we will have an opportunity to meet him, talk to him, and listen to what he has to say, to help us as missionaries, and strengthen us! I am excited, it is going to be a good week.  Oh, and this week is the last week of the 12 week training program with Elder Ouimette, so there is the possibility of a transfer after this week!  He will not be a greenie any more! 

This week I learned about patience and perseverance.  As I said, I got to teach this weekend in French.  I was not expecting it, and surprised by the opportunity.  I struggled, a lot, to try and prepare myself.  Then it didn't work!  I failed!  But, I did not fail, I decided to just use the opportunity, to listen, to learn, and to get better.  I know what I need to focus on and where I am weak, and so I can now focus more and improve!  Friday night I was sad.  I got home, and felt like I had failed.  I gave more. Instead of giving up and just getting in bed early, I pulled out my Book of Mormon and read several chapters, focusing on missionaries and them teaching, prophets teaching, and asking questions.  I also read in Preach my gospel, focusing on what we would be teaching the next day, and on asking questions.  (All this reading was out loud and in French by the way) When my voice started hurting, and my brain stopped working I went to bed.  The next day I continued to study every single chance that I got! I did not want to do as badly as the day before!  I felt ready. I was patient, and listened.  And, I feel as though my prayer was answered!  I was able to speak, it was not perfect, but I was understood, and it came easier.  I was blessed with the spirit and the ability to help, to listen and answer.  So, never give up.  Not now, not ever!  When you need help, you will receive it, and until then, do your best!  I love the gospel, the simpleness, and the light it is to us all! 

I love being a missionary, and I love Christ! 

Love you all!
Äldste Maxwell

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