Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Will Work for Food, Teaching People From Russia, Gambia, Sweden, Togo, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Mosiah 2:9



So this week was actually really interesting... well like every week mostly because I don't know exactly what people say to me so that makes everything better especially for my companion! We started off at a member's doing some service because they have a bunch to do so the people around here give us food in exchange for service which is definitely fine with us no complaints here! It's actually really cool because their son is actually a less active member but he's 16. No one around here makes their kids go to church at all so they can have kids that are less active. But they are a super cool family and we love going over to their place. On Tuesday we went to a lot of places and a lot of appointments fell through. We have so much to do until we get there and then no one is home or they're too busy even though we called to clear it with them that morning... the life of a missionary I guess haha.

So Green and Beautiful Here!
We got to teach some really interesting people this week. So we are teaching this Russian girl that knows 7 different languages but she just got to Sweden. So we are teaching her and we've only taught her once after we contacted her but hopefully we keep building her faith in her Heavenly Father and help her to understand the happiness that comes from living the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are also teaching a man from Gambia who we will set a date to be baptized hopefully this week and his faith is actually pretty tremendous. His wife is still in Africa and he asked if there were missionaries there to teach her about what he is learning. It's so cool to see other people's faith build in God when they keep commitments and make changes in their lives that help them to come close to Christ and Heavenly Father. We also have a baptismal date for hopefully this week or next. She is getting a foreign exchange student this Saturday so we probably have to push the date back but she is super positive. It's a part member family and they are just trying to make a bunch of changes to their lives now that they got married to become a family in the church which is so cool to see.

We teach people from all over the world. This week we had Swedes, Gambia, Togo, Syria, Saudi Arabia... I think that's it.. Oh and Russia. It's pretty cool to see how prepared people from all over the world are being taught regardless of if missionaries are in their countries or not. I am also going to keep an excuse book for the best reasons why people can't talk to us because some of them are pretty good. We went to a door this week and it was my favorite response I told them who we were and that we had a message about what we believed in and he said "det lungt" Which is literally, "It's chill"... I turned around and I just don't understand what is chill about the situation... what kind of a response is that? haha

our morning workouts... I äm not sure what normal people actually do on that
Swedish comes more and more every day and I'm starting to understand what people say to me which is always nice to know what they say so maybe at some point I can speak back haha. No the work is going really well here and I am super excited to continue. One of the coolest things I learned from the scriptures this week was from Mosiah 2:9 it says "... for I have not commanded you to come up hither to trifle with the words which I shall speak, but that you should hearken unto me, and open your ears that you may hear, and your hearts that you may understand, and your minds that the mysteries of God may be unfolded to you." I loved that this week because I know that regardless of where we are or what we are doing, as long as we have the right mindset and our heart is in the right place, God will teach us what we need to know and unfold his mysteries as we search for the answers that we want.

I love you all and it's super cool to hear everyone's stories and what's going on!!
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African Fufu
Oh and the pictures, so a couple are just the city which is absolutely beautiful they have like a giant castle in the middle and right now everything is super green. One is one of our morning workouts... I äm not sure what normal people actually do on that haha. and the other we ate fufu which is an African meal where you pick up the rice stuff with your hands and use it like your "spoon" I guess and eat it with your hands... I'm down with that haha. Have an awesome week everyone!!

Week 8, Roof Cleaning Service, Africa, Thanks For the Servants We Had Today, Some Things Get Lost in Translation

This is the Swedish word for speed!
tjena tjena!!!!

How is everyone?!?!?! This week has been a pretty great week in Sweden. It's nice to get into the swing of things and really have a full week where it's more planned and we can go for goals that we have felt like we can accomplish. We just go from place to place teaching a bunch of people and finding when we can. The Swedish is going really well I just kinda go for it so when I say things wrong the people in the ward will correct me (because I asked them to) and then my Swedish gets better. I actually had a full blown conversation this Sunday with a member who's actually leaving for a mission in a month to Germany. It was super cool that I could understand him and say things back that made sense! I just don't want to be the quiet greenie that sits there so I speak some sort of language and I hope some of it comes out as Swedish haha. Although sometimes I am depending on who we talk to. If they are old or just talk super randomly I have no idea what they're saying so Elder Held kinda takes over after that. My contacting has become more effective too. It's actually really cool when we are able to talk to people on the street and they are receptive.

On Tuesday we did service for the church and we cleaned their super old cool roof and there's a picture below that we took and we probably have to do that this week too. We also taught a bunch of people on Tuesday and we teach people from all over the world. We taught this man with a translator this week and he's from Syria so he can speak English but not that well. We also taught a man from Africa which was way cool. Most of them can speak Swedish and English a little bit but not that great so, when we can, we get a translator for them so that they can really feel the spirit instead of just try to understand what we say. We went to teach this part member family and two of them are preparing to be baptized! They are doing amazing and we learned so much from them . I realized that I really don't know very much I have lived for 19 years and I haven't experienced all these hard things in my life. That's why it's so essential to have the Spirit when we teach so that we can know what to say that will help them. We also taught a 7 year old so that he will be ready for his baptism which is super cool because he knows so much and I love playing with him too. He actually said a prayer in Swedish in a batman voice which pretty much made my day haha. Oh also, in a prayer I tried to say thank you for the service today instead I said thanks for the servants we had today... hmmm.

My Companion got a new juicer.
We had a bunch of adventures this week because we are on bikes so sometimes we find ourselves in random places that we have no idea where we are. Luckily we have our trusty iPhones so we won't get lost haha. I'm starting to get a testimony that God will really help us out when we put ourselves out there. On wednesday we went out contacting and no one wanted to talk to us and we talked to a bunch of people in a park. We doubled our goal that day and no one wanted to say anything... well anything nice. So the next day we were contacting in the centrum and talking about how we didn't want to really because it was so crowded and no one has anything good to say so we almost let the next girl go past. But we finally stopped her and she talked to us for about 15 minutes about the gospel and how she wanted a Book of Mormon and wanted to know more. We talk a lot about teaching the elect but we just have to be able to find them. God knows exactly where they are and he will lead us to them if he knows taht we are willing to open our mouths. So I think that even when we feel inspired to go to an area that people won't talk to us we are showing God that he can trust us with the people that he has prepared because we will open our mouths regardless of if they will talk to us back.

The work is awesome in Sweden and it is progressing really fast even though people might think it's a hard area.

Spiral Staircases are Everywhere and I May Slip And Die
So to explain the pictures, Sweden has a ton of spiral staircases everywhere that I am sure I will slip and die on one of these days. Also the word for speed is fart in Sweden so that's a sign for a speed bump so I was really amused by that sign. My companion got a juicer that he is just ecstatic about so we'll see how that goes.

This gospel is amazing and we are promised to have help if we are going to share it with other people. I've been reading and memorizing this scripture because it's becoming so prevalent in my mission right now. Doctrine and Covenants 84:88 "and whoso recieveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and My Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you to bear you up." As long as we slow down and really think we can see how Heavenly Father really does go before us and we have His spirit to lift us up as we go and do His work.

Love you all!!!
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Friday, August 1, 2014

Sweden! Plane Ride in a Suit, 2 Nephi 23:12 and Tender Mercies - My Trainer is Jr. Weight Lifting Champion of Denmark!

My Trainer Aldste Held and I on Swedish bikes!

I made it to Sweden finally ( I know it's a shock) but somehow we made it happen. No one had visa problems so that was way cool to see all 16 of us get on our planes all the way to Stockholm. So those flights were probably the longest things of my entire life because we didn't really have anything to do besides sit on the plane in a suit getting weird looks from people. That was actually cool because after we got out of Salt Lake people would ask what were doing or what language was on our badges and we got to tell them what we were doing and our group actually gave a few people a Book of Mormon so that was pretty cool we were all so ready to go.

We got to Amsterdam and everyone actually speaks pretty ok English but we almost missed our flight because one of the elders in our group got selected for a random search so they literally looked through everything. We got there with like 2 minutes to spare and left Amsterdam in one piece if only just barely. We got to Stockholm and we had been up for about 24 hours and I believe it was 9 in the morning for the Swedes. We were greeted by a huge group of people. The mission president and senior couples and the APs and a few other missionaries. They took us around town and each of us was interviewed by the mission president so he could see if he needed to make any changes in his decision for the trainers. Stockholm is absolutely beautiful and after we looked around and got some training and a lunch at the YSA center in the middle of Stockholm we got to go out with an experienced missionary and go contact people. I went with elder Moe who is actually my great grandpa and I didn't even know it at the time. Anyway, that was a really cool experience. The people are super nice even when they aren't interested they tell you really nicely and almost all of them actually stop and explain why they won't talk to you. Oh and also I'm not really sure what language they speak here, I thought it was Swedish but now that I got here I'm pretty sure it's not Swedish ;).

So after we slept for a solid 11 hours we got up the next day and found out who our trainers are and where we would serve. I am serving in Örebro and my trainer is Elder Held who is a super cool guy and he's super passionate about missionary work. Right now he is the district leader in our district and he's been out for about 11 months. He's also the junior weight lifting champion of Denmark so that's pretty incredible. We work out every morning in the park outside of our apartment. His English is really good and sometimes I give him pointers when he wants to say out there kinda stuff but he's helping me so much with my Swedish it's insane how much I've learned since I've been in Sweden. The missionaries call Örebro the heart of Sweden because it's members are really strong which I've come to find out and it's really cool. Also, most people speak english really well here but they love to hear that you're trying to learn Swedish and the people in the ward are super helpful. I had my testimony in sacrament meetin gthat I had to give so that was cool and people came up and said how great I am at Swedish for only being here a couple of days which could translate to "wow I can't believe that I actually understood at least 3 words you said!" haha. But I told them to please correct my Swedish if there was something wrong so they know I won't get offended and they are so helpful. The Bishop's family is so cool and we've been to his house a couple of times for dinner and they will just help a ton and talk my head off which helps my Swedish so much.

We went to a baptism in Karlstad for a baptism that elder Held helped teach a couple of months back and that was so cool to see. We also have a couple of baptisms in the area coming up so they will be super cool to see get baptized. Right now I'm just trying to open my mouth so that Heavenly Father will help me fill it and help other people come to Christ while I learn Swedish. Even though I can't communicate super well yet I have no doubt that Heavenly Father can still work miracles through me to the people he needs to as long as I am willing.

I love this area and my companion is really cool. Something that I learned in the scriptures this week was in 2 Nephi 20:33 where it says, "and the high ones of stature shall be hewn down; and the haughty shall be humbled." I am reading the Book of Mormon to find examples of love and I know that Heavenly Father helps us to become humble so that he can turn us into something that we can't even imagine. in 2 Nephi 23:12 it says "I will make a man more precious that fine gold." Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us to return back to Him and sometimes that means that we have to be humbled every once and awhile, or experience really hard things because, without knowing it, he is making all of us into something that we can't even imagine ourselves yet. Part of the reason that I am out here it to help other people realize their potential and come nearer to that goal of becoming like Christ.

I love you all and I miss you!!

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P.S. Some people is Sweden said "Om du sager nogontin fel ska vi döda dig" så licka till till mig!!