Hello again from Uppsala! OK, don't worry we haven't joined a Swedish gang but a funny thing did happen this week. Since some of the parts of campus we go to are sort of far away we decided to rent some bikes for the summer. (SO many people here have bikes, it's such a part of their culture here too) So, we got 10 bikes to share between the 27 of us. We went to pick them up on Monday and they were these really nice, new, shiny black and red bikes. As we looked closer later though we saw this...
Each of the bikes has 5-6 of these skull emblems on them. Hilarious! They look so funny lined up in a row at our hostel. We joked that we could now all be in a gang and we'd call ourselves the skull bike gang. I just love that this group of Christians is riding around town with skulls all over our bikes. So funny.
In other news...we're still really loving our time here. Today makes a week that we've been here. The longest I've ever been out of the country has been a week, and to be honest, I'm usually pretty ready to leave by the end of that week. I was praying that that would not happen this time and that I'd be able to be "fully here" and not missing home too much. I'm sure there will be days when I will feel like that some this summer, but I have been so thankful that I haven't felt that at all yet. The city is pretty easy to navigate, we're loving getting to ride our new bikes everywhere, and the fact that everyone speaks English has made it a pretty easy transition.
One thing I'm most loving about Uppsala is their wonderful cafes. There seems to be a cafe on every corner here. It's been fun to check out these different places during our "fika" times. As we may have mentioned before, Swedes take a break in the afternoons sometimes, which they call a "fika." It's a time to meet up with friends and spend one to two hours talking, drinking coffee and eating desserts. Um, yes please. Can we have fika in America por favor?! Anyways, as we form relationships with Swedes we hope to have fika appointments with them. This week I've met two of the girls on project for fika for our discipleship times. It's been fun to try out these different cafes and their great desserts. Hey, since I don't drink coffee, I have to get cake right?!
It's also been fun to go on dates in Europe :) Tonight Josh and I had our first date in Sweden. We rode (which I just spelled wrode and took a second to figure out why spell check said it was wrong...yikes!) our bikes to dinner at this cute Italian place. I had pizza (shocker!) and Josh had pesto pasta. It was so fun to sit outside of this cute little restaurant and then go on a walk around town afterwards. Pretty romantic place to be!
So that's a little update on our past few days. Oh and I'm realizing I didn't post much of a ministry update. That has been really encouraging in our first week. Each day we go to the "nations" to have lunch and meet Swedes. Then we have been doing surveys, playing sports and other things to meet people and have been doing alot of that outside in the afternoons since its been nice weather. Each day at 4:30 we debrief about our days and it's been so cool to hear what God has been doing so far. We as a group have been able to have some great conversations. Before we came here, we were prepared that Swedes can be pretty apathetic and that it is very hard soil here. While that is true, we have been pleasantly surprised at how many people have been open to talking with us. One of my first days here I met two girls that were religion majors. I couldn't believe it- what an easy bridge to talk about the Gospel with them! Many of the people we've met want to meet again for fika. Please pray for us as we continue to initiate (alot!!) and meet new people. Pray that God would soften hearts and cause the Gospel to be beautiful news to them!
Thanks for reading about our time here and for praying for us! We'll post again soon! Oh, I meant to show pics of the inside of our place we're living, so I'll do that soon!