Saturday, September 20, 2014

Week 14, Elder Bednar, Swampen, Dry Mormons - Just Add Water, 11 Friends Came to a Discussion and its already P-Day Again?

Hey Megan!  We are eating Belgium Chocolate on toast!

So apparently it's P-day again today even though it really feels like it was yesterday. I really don't know how time goes this fast but I guess it does I have almost been in Sweden for 2 months! It's such a cool experience though and we have new people that we meet and new miracles that we honestly see every day. 

Monday we went to see swampen which actually means "the mushroom" in Swedish but it's just a giant water tower that you can go to the top and see all of Örebro so that was really cool even though it rained all day. Besides that we just had family home evening with the YSA of the ward and we have some really cool YSA and a bunch preparing to serve missions so it's always fun to be around them. One, Kristian, just got his call to Sweden actually so we're really stoked about that and who knows I might have him as a companion really soon.

On Tuesday we went and tried to contact a lot of people and visit less actives because the ward has requested that Elder Held and I do a little bit more of that. We didn't actually get to visit any even though we felt prompted to go. However, in every single place we met someone that was crazy cool. One we met and she had met missionaries 10 years before and then another set while she was on vacation so she said that she wanted us to bring a Book of Mormon by so that she could know more about our religion. Another is a less active member that was randomly where we were at the right time and then said that she was looking to come back to church and she really missed it but she was scared because she thinks that she will be judged. So that's someone that we can definitely work with to help her come back into the ward and have those blessings. 

Later that day we also had a dinner appointment with a Swedish family and we just talked about spiritual things the entire time!! They are literally what you would call "dry Mormons" you just have to add water. We'll see what we can do to help them to know more about the church and come to the ward and bring that spirit that they are looking for into their lives. 

We had all of our baptismal dates deny us this week for different reasons so hopefully we can continue working with them and help them feel less stressed just about life in general. However, we got 2 new baptismal commitments this week and one is with a 95 year old!! She was ex communicated a long time ago and we just asked her what she thought about it and she said that she was probably still around and this healthy for that reason... So that was way cool. Another is a Swedish lady that has been coming to church for 4 years now and it was her husbands last wish for her to come to church. So she has been and we have been teaching her and finally got a baptismal commitment so hopefully both of those go through in the next 3 weeks or so!!

The last really cool thing that happened was this week we went to a city about an hour away that we visit once a week and hold "sermons." But it was Christmas for one of the African countries so most people couldn't meet with us. We only had one. But this guy is amazing and he accepted the invitation to baptism!! After that, we saw one person that we knew from before and asked him if we could teach him. So we did and then his friend showed up and we taught him. And then he went and got other friends and we taught them and it kept going and we taught like 11 different people and set up return dates with all of them!!! That was super cool and an experience I will not forget.

Heavy Contemplation...
We saw Elder Bednar this week and we got to have a big discussion with him and about half of the mission. I have to say that I know that he is an Apostle of the Lord and that we do have that organization and authority that Christ put on the Earth. I am excited to take what I learned from that and apply it to my life to become more like my Savior. I love you all and I know that the gospel is true and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live. Both of them want what's best for us, and miracles from obedience and faithfulness happen every day. 

Jag Älskar er!!!

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Everyone backed out of their appointments but it turned out to be a wonderful thing, Alma 48:16-17 and Interpretations of the Bible

Hej Hej!! That is actually what I say to everyone that we pass by and it's the best thing to see how they react. Some people get the biggest smiles and say it back and others don't even acknowledge your existence. That's how you know if they are a real Swede, Swedes will just pretend like you don't exist and keep walking. It's really interesting actually and even Swedes don't like it so I'm not sure why everyone does it they should all just say hi to each other and everyone would be so much happier! haha. This week was definitely a good week and it helped me to grow a lot actually as a person and as a missionary. A ton of people backed out of their appointments at the beginning of the week and it was actually really discouraging. I honestly didn't expect that to be so disappointing because you plan and try to find ways to bring these people closer to Christ and then they don't show up to what you planned with them. It was a little bit of a rough start to the week but I saw so many miracles toward the end of the week where we got stood up and we were in the right spot at the right time to meet other people as well. I think the biggest thing that I learned this week is that the Lord knows exactly what is going on and exactly what we need and what other people need. As long as we are doing what we need to the Lord will use us the exact way that He needs us to be used. We lost Elder Trotter this week he went to Norrköpping and we got Elder Millsap who actually was in the same zone as Megan in the MTC which is super cool but it also means that he will be leaving really soon. I think Megan should know him so that's really cool and he seems like a really good missionary. 

Elder Trotter and the Bishop and his wife (Who is my self proclaimed mom in Örebro)

One of the cooler miracles that I experienced this week was on Tuesday we weren't able to get in contact with Adama for a little while which was not cool because he has a baptismal date on the 27th so we definitely be meeting with him. We had a distinct feeling to go contact in a specific place in the city and we ran into both him and his friends! He said that he couldn't answer because he didn't have any more credit on his phone so he's really sorry that he hasn't been able to meet. So that was cool to see that he is still progressing and we can actually work with him and he isn't just avoiding us. We also got to meet 3 of his friends who are now also interested in meeting so that was super cool. The Lord definitely knows what's going on even when we almost never have a good idea of what is actually going on. Another great thing that we got to experience was on Friday which are awesome days because we travel about an hour out of the city with the Senior couple to go visit this group of Africans. New ones come every week and this week we had like 8 in this small room preaching about the Plan of Salvation. It felt almost like Sunday school but with people that are genuinely interested and very curious. That was so cool because we got them all to commit to read and pray about the book of Mormon and we gave out a bunch in like 4 different languages. Also, later in the day we got to meet with this 21 year old in hälefors and have a super powerful lesson on a park bench for like an hour explaining the restoration of the gospel to him. I love when I am able to teach and bear testimony to people about the things that I have come to find to be true and help me so much in my life. That's probably the coolest part about being on a mission is that's what we get to talk to people about all of the time. 
Gold folding doors say it could be any church anywhere in the world!   

 Saturday we met with this lady that is a Muslim that wants us to convert to her religion so that was an interesting lesson. She brings up a lot of interesting things and it really shows me how much the Bible can be interpreted and people all over the world have twisted the words in the Bible into something that they weren't meant to be regardless of what religion. That's why we are so lucky to have the Book of Mormon and the knowledge that we have of this second witness so that we can know what the first witness is all about. We also had a baptism this week for the other elders which was super cool to see his name is Mahdie and he's from Afghanistan and he is so ready to be a member and learn as much as he can about the gospel of Jesus Christ and progress to the temple. It was one super cool experience. My spiritual thought for the week is in Alma 48:16 and 17. This is the scripture that talks about the strength of Moroni and that if everyone were like Moroni the powers of Hell would shake. The way that we can be like Moroni though is through love. He loved God enough to keep all of His commandments and covenants and he loved his people enough to fight for them and preserving them and their religion. 

 Love you all!! I hope this week is awesome I can't wait to hear from you all!! 
 med kärlek, 
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Monday, September 1, 2014

Transfers; But I'm Staying!, New Raincoat and Pants Because You Only Make That Mistake Once, Book of Mormon on the Ground and Miracles!


This week we have our first transfers.... drum roll..... I am staying here because I'm a greeny and haven't finished my training! YAY! Actually I would hate to move after just 6 weeks it seems like such a long time but it is barely enough time to get to know everyone in the area much less ave a really solid handle on what's going on, and then trying to figure out how you can help everyone I should probably just stay here for the whole 2 years haha. We have an Elder from our district leaving though so that will be a change and our zone is merging with two others so a lot will change but nothing that will affect me to much.

This week was centered mostly on the Musical that the ward put together because everyone was trying to get there friends there and we were trying to get investigators there. So then when we set up times for them to come to the musical they didn't want to meet with us very much because they just said that they would see us at the musical so it was hard to see a few of them this week. That's okej though because we had plenty of people that we needed to teach and it feels like sometimes there aren't enough hours in the day to do everything. 

On Monday we went shopping and I had to get a raincoat and pants because you only make that mistake once.... and it'll rain quite a bit in Sweden apparently. That was way good and we were able to get everything else done. So, there are always miracles to see when you do the Lord's work and this week was no exception. On Wednesday we really needed to meet with an investigator who has a baptismal date this month but he called and canceled on Tuesday. We almost always meet him on his lunch break in the library so I felt that we should just go to the library at 12 and that we would be able to do something there. He was not there and he didn't pick up his phone so we decided there was another reason we were there. We went contacting and actually got rejected about 12 times in a row pretty hard which is kind of unusual. I was feeling pretty defeated so we decided to go pay the meter and then grab some food. We were on our way back getting some food when this girl stopped us. She just wanted to talk a little bit because she sold stuff on the street and wanted to see how nice people were to us. We asked her if she was religious and she said she'd thought a lot about it and the other day she found a Book of Mormon on the ground and thought how cool it was and was going to read it and now here we were like 2 days later! It was super cool to see and I hope we get to continue to help her. It was awesome to have that pick up after that kind of demoralizing experience. The spirit really does work through us and I know that's real. 

On Friday we go up to a city that has one of our members and he brings friends for us to teach and they are all immigrants. We taught 7 of his friends from different places in Africa and it seriously just felt like a sermon it was crazy. We taught 3 the first time and now it's 7 and we've placed like 8 or 9 books of mormon there and it's just spreading it is the coolest thing! I just hope that we can get them to church otherwise they can't be baptized even if they want to. 

Our baptism fell through because she didn't quite feel ready so I hope that we can try to help her feel ready again and have the self confidence to get baptized again. It's a hard step for people and most people have to really think and prepare because the lifestyle change is big but it is definitely worth it and I know that for a fact because I've seen it and I've lived it. Miracles are happening right now across the world and no one can stop God's work from going forward. I love you all and I love the emails thank you so much!!!

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Hastening the Work, 6 New Investigators, Ward Musical, Sweden Temple and Mark 4:34


This week has been one that is full of miracles we are definitely seeing the Lord Hastening His work in Sweden and in our area it's a really cool thing to be able to be a part of. The language is coming along really well hopefully it'll just keep coming and I'll just be able to talk with whoever whenever I need to which would be nice because that's basically all missionary work is. Talking with people. First of all we have 2 baptisms scheduled for this Sunday which is super cool it's a mom and her son from a part member Swedish family. She is super cool and she's been struggling with smoking for awhile and it will be amazing to finally see her reach her goal of baptism and than gear their family towards the temple so that they can all have those blessings that their family can receive there. We also have another baptism scheduled for about a month from now with a man from Gambia who just has some of the biggest faith and desire that I have seen out of anybody. We are so excited about those and we hope that we can help them progress to that point and to keep progressing in the gospel after that point.

We actually found and taught 6 new investigators this week which is insane! One of them we went up to visit one of our newly converted African Members and he introduced us to three of his friends who were all interested and are all now investigating the church. He is one incredible member missionary and he has such a strong testimony of the gospel even though it's simple. We have just seen so many blessings this week it's been one I am going to have to remember.

Sweden Temple
We also had a mission tour this week that we went to on Wednesday that was in Stockholm! We got to hear from one of the Area 70 and our mission President in a chapel right next to the Stockholm temple which is a super cool temple in person. The pictures look a little weird but in person it's way awesome you should all go!!! They talked a lot about obedience which is actually what the mission is pushing for as a whole because with obedience comes a lot of power. We have been promised so many things from our Heavenly Father and they will happen if we just remain obedient to the things that He has asked us to do and I know that is absolutely true and Heavenly Father just wants to bless us and all we have to do is follow His counsel.

We have a musical that the ward has been practicing and is going to put on this week so we hope to see a bunch of people that we teach there and people that we have contacted on the street! It should be really good and just a good time and maybe I'll understand just a little bit of it!

One scripture that has been on my mind a lot lately is Mark 4:34 "And when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples." I think it is really important to study and to discuss but I've felt it is so important to keep things that we learn on our thoughts and when we do that the Spirit has the chance to expound what we read and what we learned. That's been something really cool I've been able to see as I've really consistently read and studied the scriptures and thought about them a lot. Things can be explained to us through the Holy Ghost and it's incredible.

Love you all!!! I hope everyone has an amazing week!

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Tracting in Arboga, Zone Conference, Haircut, Surprising people with my Swedish


First, The reason this is a day late is becasue we had an investigator pop up out of nowhere and could only meet during our email time yesterday.

This week has been one crazy week we have been going all over trying to get everything done that we needed to get done. We actually started the week off with splits!! I went up to Arboga with Äldste Trotter while Äldste Held stayed here in Örebro with Äldste Albertsen. It was really good actually, Arboga is a small town about 45 minutes outside of Örebro and the other missionaries are there and in Örebro so they have a car!! waddup haha. We did quite a bit of tracting but we had about 4 lessons to go to as well. I can now add Pakistan to the list of countries with people I have taught!! I love them too because instead of a handshake they give you a hug for a hello which I am now instituting as the new hello all over the world!! It just feels nice to get a hug sometimes.... I feel the judgement through the email right now... stop that haha. I was able to teach a few members there that are about to get the priesthood because they are super new members which really was super cool to see how excited they were and how their knowledge was growing as new members in the church. 

So I have a tracting story for everyone and I know you want to hear it. So we were in Arboga and we tracted this house and this man came out and said they were not interested so we left. We went down the stairs since it was an apartment complex and knocked on the next door. A lady came out of the house uptairs and literally just stared at us.... so I said are you doing?.....still noting and she just creeped back into her apartment so we just went to the next door. She came out and yelled at us that the entire building was on vacation and that we just needed to leave!! So we left.... and then came back to talk to the people that we left behind haha. Itäs really interesting actually we talk to a lot of younger swedish people but all of the old ones want absolutely nothing to do with us whatsoever. 

My swedish is getting better Iäm having conversations with people right now so that is always a plus but its hard because their language is so different in the way that they use it. I cant just say the literal translation I need to figure out how they say it which I think is the hardest part about speaking and understanding a new language because the way that they use the word might now make sense with what it actually translates to. But it gets better everyday so in 2 years I might be able to just straight up talk to people about whatever. 

We have been  just about everywhere this week just trying to do as much as we could. We had a family move into the ward which is really cool because that doesnt happen too often. I would say the miracle of this week was in two places. SO we went out contacting on thursday and there was a girl that we stopped and we decided that we really just needed to teach people every time that we stopped them. We stopped her on the street and I knew everything she said and I responded back completely by myself and then taught her more about how God has a plan for each of us and I was able to bare my testimony for her on the street. That was super cool to see because usually I can start a contact but I cant talk to people quickly enough to keep going unless they ask me a question. So that was cool. The other was on Wednesday. We had a lady that we contacted about 2 weeks ago and we have about 20 minutes to go before we were supposed to be in our apartment but we decided when we got back that we would go around really quick and see who we could talk to. She was right outside our apartment and we gave her a Book of Mormon and invited her to open church hours. On Wednesday she totally came!!! We taught her for close to 3 hours and she had read 450 pages of the Book of Mormon. She is way smart and she said she was looking to find her faith that she used to have when she was younger. Hopefully we will get to continue teaching her but that was definitely a miracle and we were so blessed just to be able to be a part of it. We told her that we didnät even know why we went out that night because she asked, and she said that she decided to take a weird way on a walk that night so she had never been to that part of Örebro either. It was just a really cool thing to be a part of.

We also had a Zone conference this week so we went to Uppsala. We got to see the President too so that was cool to get an interview from him again. He is really cool and it will be super cool to work under him and his wife the next 2 years they really are inspired people!! I also got a haircut this week from my companion whos danish so it looks pretty swedish but I think I pull it off which is all that matters right?! haha but the equivalent for a haircut here would be about 50 to 60 bucks which I am so not willing to pay so that is what ends up happening. Hes actually talented and I think he will have a future in it if he wants to!! 

I see miracles all of the time out here in Sweden and probably the most hands on miracle is just talking to people. I talk to them and we sit on busses and have conversations and they ask me how long Ive been in Sweden and they about die when I say one monthish. Most people come to Sweden and it takes them years and years to learn the language and that is the same everywhere. I dont think for one second the reason I can do that is because I have a talent for languages because I actually know that I have no such talent. I am helped out so much every day by a loving Heavenly Father who knows exactly what my problems are and will help me through anything that I need help with. I know that it takes effort on our part but I know that God helps us, He wants us to become better and to be able to return to live with Him again. I know that He lives and every day is evidence of that. 

I hope everyone has a great week!!!!

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