Sunday, February 15, 2015

Week 35, Teaching English, Mirakel, They like Americans and Giant Birthday Kebab Pizza from 85 Year Old Member Delivery Man! My Companion is the Best!

Giant Kebab Pizza Delivered by 85 Year Old Member for my Birthday!  

Hur stor det till?

Sorry really running out of greetings... this is going to be a long 16 months haha. No but in 2 days I will have been on my mission for 8 months!!! Time literally just blows past faster than anything else and I have been blown away with how much time has been just discintegrated this past month. It is just burning up. So the week started with a blessing for a less actives baby. Has anyone ever done that to a one year old before? They dont like it too much so she was a little squirmy but she was really cute and I hope that experiences like that will be what can help people as time goes on in having that testimony to come back again because they had faith enough to ask and I know that the priesthood is real and can affect people so much it really is amazing to see and to take part in. Also, transferrs are this next week so I will be finding out where I will be transfered to or if I am staying at the end of the week which is always a little annoying that they wont tell you but understandable because they just want us to do the best work that we can while we are in the area that we have been given.

My Companion Can Cook!  Birthday Breakfast!  Yum!
A miracle that we have seen this week was one of our really positive investigators let us back in!!! She didn't really address what happened but we talked to her and then taught her and she came to church on Sunday! She was one where I knew that she knew it was true but got a little scared when we started talking about baptism so it will be really interesting to see where things go form here. This experience happened after we had prayed and fasted and tried everything that we could do and I think that is one thing that I will take away from everything that has happened is that the Lord wants us to do everything that we can but to know that He is right there and it isn't just us that worries about these people but that He is with us wherever we go and with whomever vi pratar med.

Så we taught these kids English and they loved it!! It was just a little tutoring center and so we worked with maybe 5 this time but I think it will grow as the weeks go on. Most are actually really good and they know all of the swear words so I dont have to worry about teaching them those thank goodness! But I think that we will begin to sing with them and bring a little bit of the American culture in somehow as well as english because believe it or not most people in Sweden LOVE Americans... sorry Riley I have kinda heard the opposite of the French but I could be wrong. But sometimes if we go up and talk to people and start with Vi är americaner in stead of Vi är missionärerna we get a better response until they find out that we are missionaries and then it takes a little more persuading kan man säga to convince them.

It is pretty amazing to see the gift of tongues in action with Elder Jones. He improves so quickly and it reminded me that I couldnt understand people just a couple months ago.... really not very long ago... but now I can understand most of everything going around me and I know that isnt just me and I am super grateful for the ability to communicate with people because otehrwise I would be pretty useless. We had 3 investigators in sacrament and we had to rebless the water because we didnt have enough cups and I just remember my first sunday here with 8 people in the meeting and it feels pretty crazy :) Everything is looking really good in this area and it is on the rise this branch is going to grow and if it is while I am on the island great. If not I am just glad I was able to serve here.

MIRAKEL: We had this Russian lady that told us to come back later and we lost contact for 3 weeks we decided to try one more time before a lesson before we just stopped and her daughter opened the door and apparently she had a stroke a few days after we talked to her!! She invited us in and we talked for a minute and she told us that she was so scared she wouldnt come in contact with us again and she didnt know how we would be able to do that so she just prayed that day and we showed up... We were able to teach her by her bedside a little more about the gospel as she finds her way to recovery. She says she feels something when she is with us and that she doesnt want to switch churches but she agreed to hear the message that we have so hopefully we can help her at least build her faith in her Heavenly Father and invite her to build it even more... It is experiences like this that sometimes I just stop and think.... "only on a mission."

I hope everything is going well and that everyone is staying busy! I am sorry if some of you havent recieved mail I am working on that apparently I dont know how to send things through the Swedish system or they are just stealing everything through the mail.... Just kidding (in case they are reading my blog) they dont do that haha.

Jag älskar er ha det så bra hör ni!!

One more thing a birthday story. So I have the best companion and he made me breakfast and then because we had a super full day and couldnt go get dinner that we were thinking about, Kebab, He asked Brother Herrey an 85 year old member to get me some kebab and bring it (without me knowing) and so brother Herrey shows up at our door with this giant Kebab pizza for my birthday.... it was pure awesome they are the best!

Äldste Israelsen

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Week 34, Happy 20th Birthday to Me! New Senior Couple Are Pure AWESOME and Investigator's Daughter Knows She is Important to God

Alla Hör på mig!!!

 I am going to be turning 20 this week.... wait what? It is crazy how time is just flying by and what is happening. This week has been one crazy experience after another and we have had lots of people to teach and try to help come closer to their Heavenly Father. We have an investigator and her daughter that are very positive and have actually agreed to be baptized but we do not have a date for them this week. The coolest thing was having the daughter sit in on a lesson and just have the answers to everything and she told us that her biggest wish is to come closer to God because she knows that He exists and has knows for awhile. She is only 14 but knows so much about her relationship with God it is absolutely incredible to see! She is probably the investigator that knows the most and she is by far the youngest one we have. It has been incredible to watch her faith and know she knows where she stands. That was a cool lesson. We have another with Januari who talked about how he wants to be baptized but to make sure that it is the right thing to do for him and something that he is going to stick with and even share with people after he is baptized. He is a fantastic example to me about how we should act as members of the church and that he knows how to do that even without being a member yet. We have the other investigator Eva who has a baptismal date and is really progressing but was not able to come to church last sunday so we will be getting her there this sunday.

We had some amazing experiences with lessactives this week one with a family that needs a blessing for their granddaughter because she is going into surgery at about 18 months so if yuo could pray for her that would be amazing. It is cool to see people still ask and accept for things like that because they still know that the church is true and that priesthood authority is restored to help us. That will be really cool and will actually be happening tonight so we hope that all goes well with that.

We have had lots of people to teach and we actually had about 25 lessons last week and we are seeing the area just start to move which has been great because it took it awhile to get off of its feet. We just hope that we can keep it moving forward because the members need it to continue. But the Lords hand continues to be here! We had 3 investigators last week that we havent been able to get ahold of for one reason or another and we were able to see them this week as a direct result of us going to a lesson and canceling and them walking right outside the building! 3 times this week and I know that it wasnt just cooincindence that we had a lesson in that building and were canceled on that these people were able to talk to us and actually set up different appointments for them as well.

One of my favorite things that we did this week was play basketball with these kids in an organization that helps immigrants and swedes come together. They were awesome and we got to play and afterwards the leader of the organization asked if we would be ok with teaching english during the week to these kids and they were super excited and he asked if they wanted to come to the church so we will see how that goes as well. I am excited though because we have met so many people that had experiences a long time ago with mormon missionaries in their classrooms but not since then and then they are open to talk. I know that the Lord can use us in these capacities as we are able to just do what we can to help the people around us.

The pictures were from north of the island where we went on a little adventure with our new senior couple who are pure awesome.

ha en oerhörd vecka!!!!

Äldste Israelsen

Week 33, Zone Training in Stockholm, It Means the World to Me to be Out Here and Swedish Pants!

Hejsan allihoppa!!

I hope I can start my letter different at some point there has to be a good Swedish greeting that I don't know yet ;) Anyway this week has been super busy but a lot has happened!! We had to go to Stockholm again for a zone training which was really exciting after we got off the boat and before we had to get back on... I have a love hate relationship with the boat but that is ok. We were taught about the area book and how we can use planning more effectively which doesn't sound super fun but I have to say that it was really cool and we definitely learned some things that will help me for the rest of my mission. The rest of the training we got to watch Meet the Mormons which is actually a really well done movie/documentary so go see it if you haven't its super cool. I was also able to sing in the training which was cool but kind of sketchy just because I didn't really know what we were doing until the day of because Elder Featherstone is on the mainland and he accompanied me so we couldn't practice till that day but I think it went fairly well. I liked doing it anyway I hope that somebody liked listening to it haha.

The rest of the week went really well we have a baptismal date for the 28th of February!!! We went in and we had asked her before and she said she didn't feel right but we asked again and thing time she accepted!! Keep praying for her if you could because this is typically the hardest time for an investigator after they accept that invitation to be baptized but she is really cool and we actually just met her tracting to it happens! She told us that she feels the spirit whenever we come and that she feels blessed that she has been able to meet with us. That felt amazing to hear I think sometimes as missionaries we feel down and dont realize the difference that we make in peoples lives and then there are people like her that just make a comment and we remember why we love it so much and how much it has helped us in our lives and what we can do to help the people around us and sometimes that is just to have the spirit with us.

We have another investigator that had a dance thing where they were doing a traditional African dance so that was really cool to see and be a part of. It is cool to see the society and how they really are trying to integrate these other cultures because they have so many people that come to Sweden every year its amazing. We were able to touch base with a few other people that we hadnt seen in quite a while and its really cool to see the Lords hand in what we do and when we go and try to support an investigator and a friend in what they do that He will be able to help us make that time effective as well. I am super grateful for that experience.

Check out the Swedish pants!  totally swedish... haha Jag älskar er!
One other miracle that happened this week was when we went back to visit these two swedes. We had knocked on their door a few weeks ago and they said come back again... maybe... but we had appointments fall through and I just thought of that door. So we went back and they reluctantly let us in to give a short message. But as we got talking they started talking about how they have a Book of Mormon and so they showed it to us. It was really old! Their parents got it a while back and they have read a little and we were able to give them a new one with the newest translation (because Swedish changes so much) and they kept asking questions about it. I don't know how much we will be able to work with them but it was again another testament to me how much the Lord knows every single one of our situations and maybe we need a little push in the right direction here and there and it doesn't happen all ot once. The one thing that I have noticed is that people do not forget an experience they have with the missionaries. They know the last time they had one and what they said and did no matter how long ago it was and I testify that is the spirit helping them to fundera and think about it.

In the doctrine and covenants Joseph Smith talks about how we work with people and specifically for baptism for the dead in Doctrine and Covenants 128:22 and he says how we should keep going with this amazing work! How much we can benefit from the work and other people as well and everyone can rejoice together. (you should read it I only have it in Swedish and it wont mean the same in google translate). But it hit me super hard how lucky we are to have the gospel for everyone in our lives. For the people who are near and dear to us here on the Earth and those who have Gått vidare. It means the world to me to be out here and I hope you all know that I know that this is true. That the work is led by God and that He knows our thoughts hopes and what we need individually and I love that knowledge.

Har en enastående vecka vara ett ljus på bergen!!

Med Kärlek,
Äldste Israelsen

also for the pictures that is the new shaver that I got(picture requested) the other two are by the harbor and those pants.... totally swedish... haha Jag älskar er!