Sunday, December 28, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!!!!! I mean GOD JUL!!

It has been one crazy but really cool week and a half and I just wanted to first say thank you to everyone that sent me Christmas notes and letters and presents that was amazing and I had one of the most special Christmases ever. A ton happened and it has been really cool to see all of the progress that this area has been making despite the time of year. Most people tell you that they "cant" around this time of year because.. well.. they cant and I would probably say the same thing if I were them. But, we have seen quite a few people develop interest and we have some really interesting progressing investigators and people that we are super excited for in January. We have a transfer next week but I should be staying here to finish out Äldste Jones training and I hope that is the case otherwise I think I did something wrong haha.

One thing that we were able to do last week was have the second counselor in the stake presidency come out to the island because we currently have no branch president and so we need someone to preside over the meetings that we have. He texted us the night before and said that he wants to spend the entire night with us and swing by less actives and go on any teaches that we have. So we turned some things around and we got him in with us on a teach with one of our investigators that has been progressing. It was fantastic to have him come with us because frankly his Swedish is a lot better than mine... its like he learned it growing up or something haha. But we were able to explain the Holy Ghost better to her and the spirit was super strong and she then showed up again to church and stayed the whole time so pray for this one!

Hogklint and Rachel says Jake is trying to be artsy!
It was also Zone conference last week and so that went by really fast and it was super cool. The conference and training was all about Christmas and how we can honestly apply that into our own lives and not just in the way we contact or the way we teach even though that is important as well. I think sometimes we forget that Christ is the center of everything we do and Iit becomes more of a social taboo to praise him when, in reality, He should be the center of our religion and how we live our lives. I just thought that was a really cool insight and something that I will not forget. Its been really cool to see the response as we have shifted our lessons and our contacting to center around Christ. I think sometimes people find it a little more awkward at first but the spirit that comes from that is stronger than anything else that I have been able to see on my mission.

Another miracle that happened this week was just as we were walking I felt like I should go up and contact this lady at the bus as an american and just go for it in English. I have never done that before so this was interesting. I went up and asked her some question or other about how to get somewhere and explained that we were american. She totally listened to everything we had to say and then told us that she has had a really rough life situation recently. That her husband divorced her and her 2 kids live with him now and shes been looking for some way to help that. We told her that we have a message that can help her and we were able to get her number and I hope that we can meet her in the future and help her. Just one of the little miracles. Another one was a really old investigator in the area book caught my eye and I thought over and over that we needed to call her. So I was able to call her and we went over. She actually had the worst day and needed help to get her big trash and things into a truck and no one could help her except for us that day. She talked afterwards and she isnt interested in joining the church but thanked us for our service. I thought to myself why would I feel like I should call her when she isnt positive at all? I think the answer is that we are all Gods hands. He knew that she would be having a rough day and needed the help of someone to come and make it just a little bit better. That is why we were there so that we could make her life just a little bit better because we are Gods hands. Thats one thing I have been able to develop a testimony of while I have been out here is that if we are willing to He will lead us to the people that need a little help :)

For Christmas we were with Ragna and Kerstin and Stig in Stånga and we ate a bunch of ludtkfish which is basically fish soaked in water and lye until it feels like jello and has no nutritional value anymore and then we eat it. Super good ;) but it really was and then we watched the Santa Clause with them before we left. Christmas day we went back and ate salmon and skyped and then we were with an investigator that invited us to their house for the night. That was super cool and they really liked having us over. It was one of those experiences where we could really build a relationship instead of just teach we could show them that we are actually people too ;) I hope that this week goes well and I hope that you all had an amazing Christmas! Thanks for everything. The church is true. the work is real. that much I know :)

Jag Älskar er!! Vi hörs näste vecka!
Äldste Israelsen

my P day will be on Friday again because of the new year but then I will have regular P days starting on the 5th of January
also I was finally a good father and took Äldste Jones to Högklint :)

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