Sunday, October 4, 2015

Week 68 It has been amazing here in Zion! Mission Leadership Council, Potato Bar and We Can Always Be Better!

the district

Hope everyone has had a fantastic week!! It has been amazing here in Zion! This week we had an activity on Monday with the YSA in the city and let me tell you they are the best missionaries!! Having things to do and taking friends with you is all that you need to be an awesome missionary! But we had one of our investigators there whose name is Minraj. He is the one from Nepal and we have been teaching him for a week or so. But on Monday he committed to working towards the 31st of October to be baptized so we are super excited for him!! He is a really good guy with a lot of desire and he wants to change his life and part of that change starts in the YSA Center.

On Tuesday we had a 3 hour train to Stockholm for Mission Leadership Council or (the Jedi Council) for short ;) But they instructed us all on working with members and working with the Ward mission leader. It is so key to work with the ward not only for finding but in teaching and in having people come to church. If the ward isnt involved then nothing happens. So for all of you mission leaders, Be creative and excited!! The ward is affected so much by what you do and so is the missionary work in the ward just by one person. It really is an amazing thing. But it is always good to be with President Beckstrand and Syster Beckstrand. They are so good. And we had a potatoe bar and I literally havent had one of those in probably close to 2 years so needless to say I was pretty excited.

ice cream boats?
We spent a bit of time preparing for the training that we were going to have on Friday. But on Wednesday and Thursday we had quite a few people that needed to be taught as well so time was a very precious resourse this week!! So Emmanuel, one of our investigators, was told by someone to just go to the Swedish church and to stop meeting us so he did that... but we had ordered a triple combination for him earlier so when that came we were able to get in touch with him and give it to him and talk for a little bit. He said that he would read it but nothin else came out of that conversation. He read in the Doctrine and Covenants and said that he knows that its true and that it is our church that he wants to be in! So it has been a little up and down with that situation but hopefully he will be baptized in the next couple of weeks so we will see about that.

On Friday we had a training that went really well. We trained on a lot of things that we had seen happening in Göteborg that were good and  a lot of things that needed improvement. Like everything we can always improve even if they are doing a fantastic job in these areas. It is really cool to be able to see the growth in areas and in individual areas here in Utby. The biggest blessing of being a missionary is being able to see the miracles that come every day and the growth that you see in yourself and in the ward and in the people you serve. Its always a good feeling.

västra frölunda indians
On Sunday we had 3 people in church that we have been teaching or that we have met recently on the street. So cool to see them come. It was also the Primary Program which is always the best Sunday ever!! They were super good and It was fun to hear all of those songs in Swedish that I have sung in English my whole life... sometimes they dont translate so well but thats ok still super söt. We had a girl named Mai that was baptized this week in the other ward but wehave been able to see her throughout the whole process with the YSA and at the center. She has such an amazing story and it just goes to show how much power and influence the YSA people have on their friends and others that come into the church. Such a good week!! I hope that everyone is safe and is having a good time!! We are super excited for General Konferens and I cant wait to be able to hear from the prophet and the apostels and it is such a good opportunity to invite people to watch and to come and see. So for everyone that hasnt seen it, you should it will be an amazing experience.

love you!!

Äldste Israelsen
1 ice cream boats?
2 västra frölunda indians
3 the district

Week 67 One For the Books, Chinese Food, Fellowshipping and a Bad Cold

view right outside of the church
Hej Everyone!!

This week has been one for the books!! It is the beginning of the new transfer so we had all of the new members in the zone come in and everyone is excited and ready for another transfer! It will be elder Browns last transfer which is super weird for him and it doesnt feel real which is totally fine with me becasue that means he isnt trunky!! We are having a good time here and the elder that cut his hand got instructions for physical therapy and everything should heal fine and he should have 100% function in his hand which is pretty remarkable because he cut striahgt through that tendon so he is a lucky one!

We had a cool experience this week with one of our investigators. We just talked to this lady who is from China on the street and she was able to come to family home evening on monday. fellowshipping is a real thing and there was a YSA from a ward in Göteborg from China and they got along so well!! It was pretty perfect and she wants to come more and meet with us and be taught which is super cool and we are excited so we will see what happens with that this next week. We are really excited for everything that is going to happen.

Speaking of chinese things, we were priveledged to have lunch with Sister Falk and she made chinese food for us. it was so good!! brought me back to those memories in China a couple of years ago except for the fact that I got some sort of food poisoning there and I did not get that here!! so that was a good improvement :)

We took Emmanuel to a members house this week to have lunch and, by the way, invite the missionaries to bring investigators to meals because it just makes everything go super smooth and they feel so much more comfortable. Then you also have the chance to share your testimonies with people that are also searching for something bigger in their lives. So go for it!! So worth it and it will make the missionaries lives much easier.

I got a little sick towards the end of the week but we were still able to teach some of these new investigators that were found last week and they even came to church!! We are seeing a lot of success with some of the less active members of the church and our investigators are coming more often. Its pretty awesome. The whole city of Göteborg is on fire with investigators and people that want to change their lives. its so cool to be here in Sweden and to see these people that have a desire to know more about why they are here and what their purpose is. The same thing is with members of the church, if you always search you will always find the answers we need! Keep reading in the Book of Mormon!! That cahllenge is almost up and I really hope that Umeå hasnt forgotten to do that.

Love you all have a fantastic week!!

Äldste Israelsen.
1. Distriktsmöte
2. view right outside of the church

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Week 66, Tea Bag On Fire, Trollhättan and Miracles

The District

Hope that everything is going really well for everyone it has been a good week here in Göteborg  and we have begun to see the area expand and see the growth start to happen. We have transfers coming up this week and I will be staying here in Utby for Elder Browns last transfer!! I am actually really excited that I can stay and work here because I feel like you get to a point after the first transfer that it begins to feel like home or you start to really understand what is going on and who is who and it feels really good to be here.

This last week was just super busy with everything that happened. First off, Emmanuel is doing really well!! He has been meeting with us and quit everything that has to do with the word of wisdom and he is progressing super well. Thteis week in church he couldnt believe that we would have meetings that we could discuss and talk about ideas that we have and get others input and teach by listening and by discussion he absolutely loved that. Our ward is also starting to jump in with invitations to dinners with us and him and I think that does so much for someone new to the church to be invited over by the member to their house or for dinner. It shows them more love and a feeling that they belong and honestly that is what everyone is trying to feel whether they have been a member for their whole lives or not.

In the middle of the week we had a dinner that was a little bit of a drive to get to but it ended up being on this beautiful island so we went across this big bridge and saw the sunset (because the sun has started to set earlier) and went to dinner. But while we were there we gave a lesson on faith and hope and used their daughter for an object lesson. We used the good old "tea bag onfire floats in the air" trick. She said she would be fine with it but when we lit it on her hand she decided that she did not want anything to do with that so she blew it off her hand and I had to catch it in my hand before it landed on the ground and it is a little hotter when you grab the flame part of it haha. but it went well.

On Saturday we had a day that we had planned a 3 hour block to do weekly planning and then had a bunch of lessons later on in the day. However, the Sisters in Trollhättan called because the Elder that was not going to be able to come and no one else could in their ward at short notice. (take note of the elder missing). So they asked me to perform the ordinance and we had interviewed her earlier in the week. So we drove up to Trollhättan to take part in it and it went beautifully and everyone was really happy and Alima "the lady baptized" was so thankful and everything was good. But we had gotten a call on the way up that the elder had cut himself pretty bad and couldnt just stay at a local hospital but needed surgery to repair the tendon so he was taken into the middle of Göteborg. So we needed to go down there and make sure everything was ok and see him off to surgery and then had 3 lessons that night before we could come back. When we got back he was out of surgery and so they cleared him to go home and we took them to our apartment to sleep because it was too late to take them back to their area. Everything went well in the end and everyone is alive and well. but our weekly planning didnt get done until Sunday haha.

Another cool thing that happened was teaching Minraj. He came to church by himself last week and we talked to him and set up a time to teach him. We taught in the middle of the city in the YSA center which is super nice and convenient to teach in. Its like a hang out place for the YSAs and they hold semenary and institute and lots of meetings there. Really cool place. But anyway we didnt have a lot of time to teach him but we taught a really simple and powerful lesson about the Book of Mormon and he was so genuine in saying that he wanted to know. He doesnt have a background in Christianity but he says there is a different feeling in our church and he wants to know if what we say is true. We are so excited to keep working with him and see where it goes.

outisde the sjukhus
The last thing was a Sunday night miracle. We had just taught a less active and had a few minutes to knock some doors so we started knocking with no one really wanting to listen. But we felt like we needed to turn and get a row of 4 houses before we started to head back (typically around about 8 o klock its just too late to knock on peoples doors) So the first three just stopped us pretty hard and we just knocked on the last one and before we could even get out who we were he just let us in the door. We were able to explain about the message of the Book of Mormon and what we did and he said that he wants to hear more and wants his wife to be there as well. SO we are going later on this week to see them!! It was an amazing reminder that the Lord is always involved in His work as long as we involve him in it even if it is just which doors to knock.

Love you all I hope you have a great week I will keep it movin here in the great white north. The work is real and the church is true!!

Med Kärlek,
Äldste Israelsen
1 the district
2 Göteborg
3 self explanitory
4 outisde the sjukhus :)