This week flew by and my mind can't handle the fact that it is almost Christmas... IM SO EXCITED!! In Sweden they have lots of neat traditions that I'll get to experience for the first time! Here they celebrate Christmas on the 24th instead of the 25th and on the 24th they have a show that is called Kalle Anken at 3 o'clock which is basically just an hour show of Donald Duck, but it's just tradition for everyone to watch it even though its the same every year! They also have certain treats that are only out once a year such as pepparkakor, glögg and julmust! Pepparkakor and julmust are the best, but I tried glögg for the first time last week and it's not for me... ¨
Another tradition is Sankta Lucia which we were able to attend on Thursday! It is interesting and I'm not sure if I understand all the background of why they celebrate it here in Sweden because it's from Italy, but the music was really good and it was really cool to hear one guy sing opera but in Swedish! I'll include a picture.
Christmas time is also just the best for missionary work! This week we've been trying to get the word out about Light the World and about our special Sacrament Meeting next week. We decided to make little baggies with pepparkakor and cards and give them out to people! We put on Santa hats and just went around asking people about Christmas and giving out pepparkakor and it was just a great time! We were able to give out about 60-70 cards in about an hour! Christmas miracles. We've also been able to go by returning members and give them little stockings and sing for them and help them know that they are always welcome! We've also been tracting in the area right by the church which is usually a huge missionary no no but we've just been inviting people to come to our special Sacrament Meeting this next Sunday. We've had pretty positive responses so far! Most of them say "I've walked by that church a million times but I've never actually been in it, I'll have to check it out!" So yeah, Christmas time and missionary work work.
One thing that I have noticed this week is that people are either a lot happier or a lot more stressed and angry during Christmas. The difference is perspective. Some people get really caught up on buying this, wrapping that, sending this postcard, etc. It makes sense how it can get stressful. When we take a second to remember the meaning of Christmas, it helps us understand the whys. Why do we give gifts during the Christmas season? Why do we send Christmas cards? Why do we even have Christmas? It all comes back to Christ. We give gifts as a symbol of the wise men and their gifts to Christ but we also do it to show love to each other. We celebrate Christmas because we celebrate the coming of the Holy Messiah. We give gifts to others but we can also give gifts to Christ by doing the things that He would do. Our gift can be to serve a neighbor, to give a broken heart and a contrite spirit, to develop an attribute that helps us be more Christlike. Don't forget to give a gift to your Savior this Christmas! Like the shepherds of old, we can come to him with haste and give Him our gifts!
Sadly, we were not able to meet with Emil this last week but he said that he is less busy this week so we're hoping for the best!