Monday, December 17, 2012

Last Zone Conference!

Last Zone Conference - one of the iPads is Austin and his companion!
The days really have been flying by and we just don't have much time!  It is really crazy, this week really has just flown by! I got to go and visit most of our investigators and say goodbye to them all, as well as just being able to do one last week of good work. As usual, there were ups and downs. We had really hard times with one investigator, and then it turned around and became very good in the end! I hope that all will continue well with the incoming missionary and the future here in Luleå.

Now, a story to scare Mom!   This last Friday was zone conference in Stockholm... we were to fly down Friday morning at about 6.30, and returning late that evening.   When we woke up on Friday, (that was about 4:30 by the way) we look out the window and it was snowing like crazy!   The plows were working hard to clear the roads and major paths, they were doing pretty well, but it just was not possible to keep up with the snow!  (Plus it was really windy, and you know how that is with wind and snow!)  Anyways, we get all ready and go out to our car, dig it out of the snow, and get going! We made it to the airport... all but one of the machines were broken, so we had to wait in line... then we had to wait for security, and by the time I got up to the gates, they were making last calls!   My companion, a bit slower, was still down by security... I think he was trying to put his belt on... so I ran for the plane!   (After yelling at him to hurry of course!)   All in all, we got on the plane no problems. The plane began pulling out after all the passengers were seated, and we pulled out!   We went to a spot on the tarmac, and just waited... I was thinking, yep!   Too bad to take off!   But then I saw a truck drive up with some sort of crane on top of it!   It looked really funny... and then it started spraying the plane! It was like a car wash, but to get off all the snow and ice!   When that was all done, we went back and started waiting for permission to take of... we waited another 45 minutes, and then the pilot comes on... in Swedish she said that the snow and wind was too much for us to take off... in English she told everyone that the brakes were not working well enough (slippery runway) but that they were going to sweep the runway again, do a test, and we should take off soon... to make the story short, after sitting on the plane for two and a half hours, they pull back into the gate and let off anyone who wanted to stop waiting.... half an hour later, they tell everyone to get off and go have some fika at the restaurant... (they gave us about 100 crowns each to buy stuff with...) after getting our fika (about 10:30) the plane still had no estimated take-off time... so we left, and told the APs that we would have to be skyped in for the rest of conference, they had started at 10.00. And so the plane never left from what I know! (at least not within 5 hours of scheduled departure! ) and I gave my departing testimony from Sister Newell's iPad... Zone conference was not what I was hoping... not for me anyways! I was sad we missed it!

Anyways, I am sure you are terrified now that I am not going to be able to make it home! No, we took care of the problems here! ( all other airports and planes are flying fine!) I called the Elder in charge of transportation, and he has since got me on an earlier plane (Sunday night) down to Stockholm, with time and back-up options to get me there if needed. And so, I will arrive home as scheduled. And I can't wait to see you all!

I really have enjoyed my time as a missionary, and the time I have had to focus on the Lord. It really has been the best! I love the closeness to the spirit and the knowledge that as I work in the vineyard, the Master will work by my side. I have truly felt that in my work and in my time! I hope that I can have further opportunity in the future to also be able to focus on the Lord's kingdom like this. I love being a missionary, I love the work and I truly love the Swedish people! Back home, have a great weekend. Keep your prayers for the planes so there is not so much stress! I love you all and will see you soon!

Äldste Maxwell

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