Monday, February 8, 2016


{Annie pointing to her two dearly loved homes}

Hello all! 

Well...this has just kind of been a really interesting...interesting week.  I don't even quite know who to describe it.  It was a really interesting, random assortment of cool and sometimes lame things making it a really good week. 

{the wonky mirrors in the aquarium}

Since my fail stories seem to be a hit, I will just start out with that!  Okay.  So, one day, we were just out and about, and I started getting a really bad headache and just really dizzy. I remembered that I had awesomely packed away my little Advil bottle into my backpack, so I thought awesome...that will fix all of the world's problems!  Haha, yeah.  No.  

So, I figured that since we had just gone out and gotten some brunch an hour before, I was fine, and that it wouldn't be on an empty stomach.  But, apparently it was not enough. Within minutes my whole inside was burning!  I was burning up, and I got SO dizzy!  It was horrible, and one of the worst feelings ever!  I didn't even know what was happening! 

{lunch with the ever generous Pontus and Susanne}

I was just sitting there thinking...well, I have no clue what's coming next.  Who knows--this Advil might just be the death of me!  Haha--I was so confused!  How can something that's supposed to help you cause you so much pain!!!  It was horrible!  Basically, it felt like permanent heartburn for 48 hours. 

So, if any of you ever contemplate whether you should take some Advil to relieve the pain-- do it.  But first, just feed yourself a couple of Subway foot-longs and a couple Costco pizzas. Learn from my mistakes right now.  NEVER take Advil on a possibly empty stomach. LESSON LEARNED!

But along with that crazy journey, my body decided that it would be cool to see if I could handle being sick at the same time.  So, my sweet, patient companion so kindly dealt with a little additional inside time so I could get lots of sleep!  And I do feel lots better now! 

But now we can move onto the better parts of the week.... 

1st- We went to the ABBA Museum! 


Pontus and Susanne decided to surprise us, and it was so fun!  They also took us to this awesome Butterfly/Great White Shark Museum/aquarium!  It was awesome! 

{I'm sure this aquarium visit made Annie feel so at home--reminding her of her beloved Monterey Bay Aquarium}

{The Systers love these two special people so very, very much!}

2nd- I had my first Kebab!  It is a big deal here with all of the missionaries.  It's the equivalent of an initiation.  Every Greenie MUST have Kebab!  So, after Distrikts Möte, we all went out to get Kebab so I could become an official missionary here! 

So, basically kebab is just this big pizza with "kebab" meat on top...and often it comes with french fries on top of that. On our way over, they were all freaking me out because, as one of the elders put it, "Its like eating flaming swords!  Its the best thing ever!"  Haha, what?!  I didn't quite know how to take it! 

At first I just thought it was a joke when people got it.  I didn't even think they totally liked it, because if anyone ever talks about kebab, they make it sound like this epic/horrible adventure! 

Syster Bateman then clarified that that was only because most missionaries get it from like a little shack along the road and it is huge covered with random things and then topped off with french fries and they try to eat the whole thing and get completely sick after. Bottom was actually pretty good!  I can't complain.  They all said I got off way too easy and that it wasn't a true kebab because it didn't make us feel sick after!  Haha!  But I am actually okej with that!  
{modeling the shirts they bought at the ABBA Museum}

SO, those were the more random fun parts of the week!  But all week I have just been up and down, feeling sick and then being sick of being sick and wanting to finally get out and work! 

I've just had a lot of time to think about my time here, and trying to really think if I was becoming the person the Lord wants me to be.  I've kind of had a hard time lately trying to find me.  Trying to remember who I was, and what I liked the most before coming here.  I don't quite know how to put it--so I'll just say it how it is......  

  {Annie loves these Midsommer maypoles}

I just have had a really hard time trying to figure that out and it wasn't until last night that I really started to see why that is.  Syster Bateman was talking about how she feels like there is just something that we are suppose to learn from each of our areas.  I was figuring I probably wouldn't be able to see what Täby has taught me until after I leave.  But, while I was thinking about it, one word wouldn't leave my thoughts.  Humility.  I didn't quite know if that was just my thoughts or actually coming from the Spirit.  

I thought about it more, and I just thought...Humility is probably the last thing I would think that I would have to learn.  I tend to think I am not prideful or anything, but the more I thought about it, the more it just seemed like that was what I have needed to learn.  I started to think about all of the ways I have felt different, and how I feel like I am just not the same and that everything is changing.  

I came to realize that I feel like it is just the Lord molding me into the person he wants me to be.  I don't know how to eloquently put it, but I feel like there are things that do seem the same or parts of me that are still familiar...I feel like I recognize half of me and then the other half just kind of feels up in the air, and I can't quite figure out why......  

But, while thinking about it more, I just started feeling like that half of me is just the half that the Lord is molding, and that even though I may feel like I can't see what it is, He does. And I think that is just the biggest thing to me.  

This has taught me to take the biggest leap of faith, to go out and serve others who are trying to find themselves while you yourself are trying to figure out who you are...and I guess that is kind of the whole thing behind "if you lose yourself you will find yourself." 

{Annie described this as "a super weird, wet tunnel in the Shark place"!}

I realized that as I feel like half of me is changing, I see that I am relying on the Lord so much more than I ever have.   I feel like whenever I think, well..."what would I have done before?"--I have a new opportunity--a fresh view to just think, well, I don't know what I would have done before, and it allows me to turn to my Savior and ask what I need to do. 

{in the tropical butterfly gardens}

After thinking about that for a long time yesterday before going to bed, I just came across the best talk in the June 2014 Liahona, called, "Becoming Perfect in Christ", by Gerrit W. was absolutely perfect, and just what I needed.  

In the beginning, it talks a lot about how damaging the idea of "Perfection" is.  He says, "Understanding the Savior's freely given atoning love can free us from self-imposed, incorrect, and unrealistic expectations of what perfection is.  Such understanding allows us to let go of fears that we are imperect--fears that we make mistakes, fears that we are not good enough, fears that we are a failure compared to others, fears that we are not doing enough to merit His love."  

The Savior's Atonement not only helps us overcome sin, but it also gives us opportunities to see the good.  It gives us the ability to live without the fear of needing to be perfect!  His Atonement allows us to be more forgiving of ourself and others.  "His atoning love changes our concept of perfection...Fully accepting our Savior's Atonement can increase our faith and give us courage to let go of constraining expectations that we are somehow required to be or to make things perfect."  

This talk has really changed my view of the Atonement.  It has made it more personal to me and has helped me to see what the Lord expects of me.  And the quote that popped out to me that made me read the whole talk was this:  "For those prone to see their own weaknesses or shortcomings, celebrate with gratitude the things you do well, however large or small!"  I just love that!  Focus on the good, and be grateful for it!  

And now I will just leave you with a little invitation that Elder Gong gives:  Focus on the positive, and express more gratitude.  "For those burdened by cares to find perfection or to be perfect now, our Savior's freely given atoning love assures us, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."  


Syster Campbell

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