Monday, December 9, 2013

s t u c k

This week was filled with very many unexpected adventures. It seems like we were not the only ones who had a storm this week- sorry about the weather with all of your gift shows mom! What the-? not fun at all. The weather here continues to be insane. As I look out the window of the library right now it is sunny and looks as if everything is the same as the week before- which was not the case during the week.

On Thursday we had a one hour meeting with our whole zone in Helsingborg, which was kind of pointless especially due to what followed. Some people traveled three hours to this meeting and then afterwards we were supposed to stay to get an interview with President Newell. We were also going on sister splits for the rest of that night until the next day and in order to get to our teaching appointments in Karlskrona, we had to leave before President got there. I went on splits with Syster Bass who came in Syster Hosenfeld’s group. 
Syster Bass and Lucia
We got on our train at 1:30 when all of a sudden a storm hit and we had to transfer to a bus and didn't end up getting there until 5:30! We got off the bus and ran to our appointment with a new investigator that the sisters had not met with yet. We were nervous that she wouldn’t be able to meet because we were an hour late, but she was very kind and made us homemade hot chocolate. We had a normal first lesson on the restoration, and then I felt impressed to share a very random and personal experience with her. I told her the story and bore my testimony and afterwards she was silent- she didn’t respond to what I had said, and I was worried that it didn’t make sense and was not what she needed. She then said, "I am not sure I believe everything that you guys taught me tonight, it is a lot to take in, but once you shared your experience and said that you knew that this is true, it really meant a lot to me." 

She thanked me for my testimony and said that she thinks it is a very powerful thing that we would come here and leave our families at this young age to share this message that we believe to be true. I think this is the first time someone thanked me or even acknowledged the power of my testimony. I know that it was the Holy Ghost who gave me the impression to share that story and it was the Holy Ghost who bore testimony to her through my mouth. I am grateful that I was able to experience the spirit that was in the room that night. She invited the missionaries to come back again, and I am excited to hear about her progression from the Karlskrona sisters. Afterwards we taught a member, Lucia, and then headed home in the storm.
I called Sister Hosenfeld to see how things went in Halmstad with Syster Richins, and because of the storm, they ended up having to take a bus home as well and missed all of the appointments we had set up. They got back to Halmstad and ran into one of our old investigators, Marcus, and they taught him a lesson as they were waiting for the Bishop to pick them up because no buses were running out to our apartment in Tylösand. After they finished teaching Marcus they were walking outside with him and all of a sudden he stopped walking and screamed out and fell to the ground- foaming out of his mouth and had a seizure. They called the ambulance and he got picked up and taken to the hospital- we were actually able to talk to him on the bus this morning and he is doing fine. But that is so scary! They got the numbers of the people who came and helped them with Marcus and we are going to teach them this week! ...miracles everyday. 

After that experience, they got in the car with the bishop and as they were driving home, there was a huge tree in the road and so the bishop said that he had a chain saw in the back of the car- they thought he was joking. He wasn’t. They got out and cut the tree and made an opening for the car to get through. Hahaha. Needless to say, Halmstad had a lot of adventures that I missed out on. The next morning we were planning on doing the big switch with all of the sisters to get us back in our areas before our lessons that day, so Sister Bass and I went outside to see the first snowfall in Sweden! We walked in the insane wind to the train station, to find that there were no trains leaving all day. We got on a bus to Kristianstad so that Syster Bass and Randall could get back together and I was literally stuck in Kristianstad with Syster Richin’s companion, Fawcett, for the rest of the night. There were no buses or trains leaving, so what was intended to be a one day sister split turned into three. Of course, being stuck in Kristianstad was actually a blessing! 

It was so fun to be back there walking those streets that are so familiar to me. It was the weirdest feeling to be there though because it was so familiar and everything was the same and yet I felt like I was supposed to be home in Halmstad! But it was so fun to see the apartment, and Isam, and the progress with the construction haha. We went to the Sandelins that night for dinner and oh do I love them. Noah was so excited to show me the new Smurf characters that he has collected and I had a lot of fun catching up with Sara.
The next day the winds calmed down in Kristianstad and there were blue skies but it was supposedly a blizzard in Halmstad. We tried calling every train company all morning long and none of them had any information about what was going to happen. Long story short, we caught a train later that evening, the sisters in Halmstad caught a bus and we all met back up in Helsingborg to be re-united! The Halmstad Elders along with 8 others had been stuck in the Helsingborg apartment for two days straight. Hahaha. We all made it back safely. And now the snow is melted and it is blue skies again. But we did lose a lot more trees. :( poor trees (again.) Well, besides that not much happened here! It was a long week and quite adventurous and I am excited for a full week of work this next week. I can already tell that I am going to be a weird return missionary because on days that we are stuck inside or can't get any work done- I go insane! It will be weird to not have something actively planned for every hour of the day when I get home and I am afraid that it will be a hard transition. Haha good thing I don’t have to worry about that for 9 more months.

This week I read a talk that Kristin sent me by Elder Oaks. It is called "The Challenge to Become." I don’t know if it was from conference this year or not, but it is awesome and I suggest reading it! He emphasizes that our gospel means a lot more than just testifying of its truthfulness. It is a gospel that challenges us to be "converted." He says that we as members cannot merely testify that we know that it is true and declare it, but that we must be converted- to do and to become. It requires us to always act and to become someone better. He also says that the importance of conversion and becoming should cause us as members to reduce our concentration and statistical measures of actions and focus more on what our brothers and sisters are and what they are striving to become. We need to be less judgmental of others, knowing that through the atonement, we can all become something greater. 

Senja said something similar. She said that we should treat our husbands (or anyone) as who they have the potential to become. I love that. It is not about what we have done it is about moving forward. We will not be judged according to every mistake we have made, rather, we will be judged on who we have become at the end of our adventures here on earth. I love that challenge: the challenge to be converted. The challenge to do and to become. The challenge to work hard and to never stop improving to reach the measure of our creation. I love the gospel. I love that it challenges us to do more than move through the motions of life.

I am LOVING this time of year. It is such a wonderful time to focus on the gospel and family. I love you my dear family. Thank you for your love and examples.

puss puss (kiss kiss)

Syster Christensen

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