Sunday, December 7, 2014

Week 23, A really stressful week ended in Västerhaninge with two baptisms!!

Hej Hej!

Thank you everyone for all of the prayers and thoughts for our investigators here in Visby. It has been a really stressful week but it ended in Västerhaninge with two baptisms!! It was the coolest experience and I had the privilege of baptizing one and Elder Held had the opportunity to baptize the other so it was a really special day for everyone. It came down to this week though for both of them to fully finally decide if this is what they really wanted. I think its easy to say yes and then when the interview comes up every possible concern also comes up. So, naturally, we spent a lot of time with our investigators this week helping them to resolve concerns and questions so that they could both answer all of the questions in the interview with a surety that they knew what baptism is and wanted the blessings that come from it in their lives. We actually had a huge turnout for the baptism because we went in to Västerhaninge and had such a huge support from the wards and missionaries there it was fantastic for us and especially for both of them and for their excitement.

I have to say we filled up that font for 2 and a half hours and the water barely came up to our knees... That was really nerve racking for everyone but everything went fine anyway and no one hit their heads on the floor which is definitely a plus ;) Both of them really were shining and ended up loving the rest of stake conference also which the first part was in Västerhaninge and the second on Sunday was in Folkets Hus in the middle of stockholm. Both were definitely cool to see and we had an area presidency that had to have a translator both sessions which was way cool and the translator is so fast. Its really interesting to see the differences in Swedish and English and one thing in English is really funny but when you say it in Swedish it isnt funny at all so that was a little awkward for the few that couldnt speak english. We also heard a talk in Norwedgian which surprisingly I could understand most of it. That might be because I am getting some training in Danish too from Elder Held and Danish and Norwedgian are really similar except with how you pronounce words.

One of the things that was really special about the baptism was our chance afterward to show them around the temple and tell them what that is all about. Meizhen, was just so in awe of the whole thing and her reaction to the temple and the spirit that is there kind of reminded me how much we take for granted some of these things and how we should remember and love how cool and special they are that we have the knowledge of all of this. I love the temple and I am glad we had the opportunity to take them there. Both Meizhen and Kerstin have had a rollercoaster getting to baptism overcoming things in their life and deciding is there were things that they wanted to leave behind. But there were so many little miracles along the way that all of us were able to see and even at the baptism. I am really grateful that the Lord listens to our individual concerns and answers them.

Oh and Meizhen speaks Chinese and a little bit of Swedish and one of the branch members taught her how to say Hurrah för Israel! Which is exciting except she said it to everyone at the baptism I think at least three times haha. And that her greeting basically for me now because of my last name. It was a fantastic week and I hope all of you had the same!! I love you!

Med Kärlek,

Äldste Israelsen

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