The Longest day of the year has come and gone, and now the days start to get shorter and shorter.... and I LOVE it! I could really get used to this whole 3 hours of light in the winter and 3 hours of night in the summer!:)
Well, being Midsommar, we had a wonderful Midsommar Fest with our Branch! It didn't start out as fun, however...
So, missionaries typically want to be on time to things. So for the party, we heard that it started at 12 noon. So we get to the beautiful little beach town (Åhus) 30 minutes early to go walk along the beach. Then, we walk for like 25 minutes to find the place we were meeting. Dripping sweat, sun beating on us--just getting burned--wandering through a random forest... and we finally find the address!
We looked at the place and thought--okay, well this is definitely not it! Looked it up on Google maps, and yup---- we were in the right place!
There were no people to be seen and we were right on time! We all just looked at each other-- too tired to go home--so we just head to the back of the park area. Slightly in despair, we all just ask, "What even is going on today?..." Then one of the Elders says, "Well, there's a ping pong table!" And the other one, "Well, there's darts!" Haha! So, we started playing, and soon 45 minutes passed by...and still nothing!
None of us are much to complain, but it got to a point where we all just sat in these old nasty chairs in a circle around a tree stump table with flies attacking us. It was one of those rare moments where you can already foretell the moment as being a great story in the future!
After a little while, we hear car doors--and all of us just get this little spark of hope! Sure enough, one of our favorite families shows up! One of the girls immediately has Syster Howlett and me up and picking flowers in the forest to make our flower crowns and to decorate the maypole! Once we get back with all of our flowers and bellies full of wild berries there are almost 30 people! Wow--it was actually turning into something! And it actually turned out really fun!
So Midsommar basically is just the longest day in the whole year--the day where a little more up north sees no darkness! So to celebrate, you make flower crowns, eat lots of food-- especially berries:), sing and dance around the maypole, etc. So, it's like if the movie "Tangled" had it's own holiday! It is the greatest!!!
Other than that though, we went to Ale Stenar again last Monday--so beautiful, but just too many tourists!!! But, I guess other people have to enjoy it as well!
Tuesday we were knocking door to door, and this old, 90-ish year-old man comes up to us and just says what a shame it is that a church is just brainwashing such beautiful girls! Hahaha! I was trying so hard to not laugh! I feel I must also add that this sweet old man had some blood on his chin and shirt--I was a little freaked out, and just thought, wow--what is even happening right now?! It was one of the weirdest times!
It really reminded me of this time I was contacting with my Mission Mom--Syster Bateman, and she starts talking to this old cool-looking sailor guy, and he ends up just yelling at her, while catching his dentures that kept flying out of his mouth! Mini little Mission flashbacks!
Um...other stuff--we had an awesome lesson with a man from Eritrea in a Pressbyrån. That would basically be like having a lesson in a place that's a cross between a Starbucks and a Seven Eleven--it was pretty interesting! The whole time this little girl was just staring at us, and the this weird little Zamboni floor cleaner kept going by--but surprisingly, it went well!
Then, we had another awesome lesson that night with another guy from Africa--I am not sure where exactly, but it was a super great lesson. Basically, he just said that everything we were talking about--the Book of Mormon, the Prophet Joseph Smith, etc. --was just making him question everything that his pastors had ever told him before! That he really wanted to read the book and find out for himself!
It was so cool and just so amazing to see him just hearing this for the first time. He was just kind of sitting there quietly, but then he would turn to us and have this amazing question--the kind that you could tell he just sincerely wanted to know about. He said--kind of in a slightly frustrated manner--"Well, why wouldn't my pastors have told me about this before? Why am I just hearing about it now?"
It was seriously just so amazing. It really had me take a look at myself and think--if I were in his position, would I be so willing to accept this other Book? He loved the idea of there being more words from God, and I just thought--am I really treasuring the fact that I do have the truth?
His desire to find out just made me realize how much I need to constantly be reading the words we have been so blessed with. This really just made me think about my relationship with my Father and with my Savior. Even just this man's prayer. It was so personal and so sincere. I know that I can definitely try to put more meaning and more purpose behind my prayers. Not just to say them, but to truly look forward to talking to my Father. To really think about what I am saying, and to every day seek to better.
After all, that really is all we are asked to do--every day being just a little better than we were the day before.
I read my patriarchal blessing, and then read Helaman 5 and Alma 9. They just really helped me see the kind of missionary I want to be. I have thinking a lot lately about being the missionary--being the person I want to be--but while I sit there thinking about it, I realize that just sitting there is not doing anything to help me get to that point...
I have to act--and I can't just wait for the opportunity to come to be better, but I either have to make the opportunity, or I have to just have the eyes to see that every second is an opportunity to improve. I can't just wish I knew the scriptures as well as some people--and just sit there being sad, and thinking they are just smarter than me--but I can see that time as an opportunity for growth--and then take it and actually study! Just an example, but I have found that with so many things this week!
Well, I'm off to try to put my words into actions, and go make this day awesome, and will have more for next week!
Love you all,