Sunday, November 22, 2015

Week 70 Elder Jones! Stake Conference, Boras, Baptism and 3rd Nephi 19:9.

 Elder Jones!! 

Wow this week was absolutely full of miracles and exciting things I am just not really sure where to begin. So this week we have had the opportunity to be interviewed by some masters students doing a report and a project on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and we just came into contact with them on the street. This week we were able to have a couple of members in the stake with us that are preparing themselves to go on missions but are just some of the YSA join in on some of their questions. We also had another with just Äldste Brown and I and the interesting thing is that it doesnt matter in what context we testify of eternal truth the spirit always accompanies it. I love to be able to testify of the things that I know and the experiences that I have had to help other people. They also came to Stake Conference where we had about 1000 members there in a big conference center in the middle of Göteborg and they reorganized a stake presidency so they are really in the right place at the right time!

Picture outside of stake conference
I also had the opportunity to go on splits with Äldste Sahlin who is one of the assistants in the mission and is actually from Göteborg so it was super cool to have him with me and it felt good for him to be back in his city (but a different ward so he didnt run into anyone he knew haha). While we were on splits we went to a man who had referred himself to the church and who probably knew more about mormon culture and theology than I do. He has been studying it a lot and is actually almost done with the Book of Mormon so it will be really interesting to teach him. When it comes to anyone the only thing that we can teach them is how to feel the spirit and to know that something is true and to me it doesnt matter how much information someone has but they need the spirit to testify to them personally otherwise it doesnt mean anything.

We were also in the beautiful city of Borås to do some workovers with Äldste Stoeltzing there. It was super good and we got to do a lot of service and talk to some recently returned missionaries and see if we cant get that ward excited about missionary work through those two.

The weekend was pretty hectic we had President and Syster Beckstrand come down for the stake conference and President went and interviewed Lennart who is now cleared and ready for baptism on this Saturday!! We are super excited for him to take this step and be a part of everything that we have been talking about for so long. In 3rd Nephi 19:9 The people asked for the thing that the desired most and that was the gift of the Holy Ghost. We take it for granted so much what that gift means to us but it makes such an amazing difference in someones life and it always feels good to be able to help them on their way to recieving and keeping that gift. It will also be Äldste Browns last sunday that Lennart is confirmed so it will be an amazing experience for everyone... Stay tuned for pictures.

I just wanted to say that in seeing the reorganization of a stake presidency it is interesting to see these brethren who are called to these positions and imagining how inadequate they must feel to be standing in front of all of the members of the church in the surrounding area and knowing that it will be their responsibility to help and serve them. I  know that the Lord qualifies the people that he calls. We are never going to be perfect or even fit the call that we are called to but I do know that the Lord magnifies the things that we do and as long as we are willing and do everything that we can to fill the shoes that have been given us that he will take care of the rest that we just cant do or think that we cant do. That doesnt even just apply to church callings but what we do with our friends and family and how we can affect the people around us. Trust Him that He knows what He is doing and I promise that it will work out.
 I love this gospel and I am so grateful to be in Sweden to be able to share it with all of these people here. It means everything to me!!

Ha det Gött!!
Äldste Israelsen

P.S. Hope everyone took the Book of Mormon challenge to read it in three months!! I know that I have grown because of it and have learned so much!!

Week 69 Getting Cold and Dark in Sweden, Books of Mormon, Contacting with Luggage and Seize the Day!

Alingsås lights!!

Such a crazy/good week this week we had so much going on it was fantastic!! I swear every time I get down to write an email about the  week I think that the things we did at the beginning of the week were about a month ago but that I just wrote a letter yesterday about the last week.... weirdest feeling ever but that is ok. It is now officially getting cold and dark here in Sweden, the sun rises about the time that we start doing personal study which I think its harder to wake up when its  dark outside but Im ready for this winter. Bring it on :) Where should I start? We have been meeting with Minraj about every day and teaching him little by little the Plan of Salvation and the gospel of Jesus Christ and he just loves it. We were at the YSA center with him at an activity and a lesson and he just chimed in with this amazing answer about the Plan of Salvation and how it is the plan for everyone and even though it isnt always easy its always worth it. That was amazing to hear!! Its cool that the things he is learning are starting to become a part of his own personal testimony. He might not be able to see how far he has come yet but he will be soon and we are excited for his baptism coming up in a couple of weeks keep us in your prayers!

Jimone and Joyce!
We also met with Elaheh who is a new member in the church and she speaks mostly persian and some english but the lesson that we had was so cool. She had a couple of friends there, her friend and her friends husband and we were able to teach them for the first time. We had a translator on the phone who was just another friend of Elahehs because our translator couldnt do it last second. This guy on the phone said that he was atheist but he sould lvoe to translate for us...(most promising thing said ever ;)) But we taught the restoration and the Book of Mormon to them and they said that they felt so good about it and the peace and comfort that was there was pretty amazing. The man on the phone asked us after if there were any church buildings in his area because he wanted to know more so we got him in contact with the missionaries there in his city and the address to the church. You never know what is going to happen :)

I was also priveledged to go on splits in Alingsås with Äldste Roosendaal who is our district leader. He is doing great and we were just able to go hard with contacting people and teaching and finding new investigators for that area I loved it! Alingsås is beautiful and the people there are ready and willing to hear the message. We gave out like 5 Books or Mormon that day and got some new people for the elders to work with. One miracle was swinging by one of there old investigators and when we knocked on the door another guy living with him answered the door and the old investigator wasnt home but he wanted to hear our message so he let us in and we were able to teach him for the first time! That is always the best feeling to teach someone who is eager to listen and wants to know. I hope that they continue to work with him.

The miracle to end splits was that we were on our way to the YSA center in the middle of Göteborg (not my area) and im just carrying my suitcase with all my stuff and we stop this couple right outside and talk with them a little on the street. Turns out that they have heard about the mormons and always wanted to know more about them. We were able to just tell them right there on the street the message of the restoration and gave them a Book of Mormon and they wanted to know more and he lives in our area! Just on a visit in the middle of Göteborg so we got a new investigator there also contacting with luggage!!

The coolest part of the week had to be church. We had 5 investigators in church and all of them were friends of new members! They are the best at sharing the gospel with other people and getting them to come to church. It was super cool and we taught three of them right after with the help of the friend who translated a bit of it to persian and invited them to learn more and we should be teaching them tonight!! So excited about that. The work is going well here in Göteborg and I am loving it!!

Last thought, sorry this is so long but we have been reading a talk all week this week as a zone called "Today" from April 2008. this talk has made me think about a lot of things but I will just share a quote,
 I was profoundly grateful for the Redeemer of Easter morning, who grants us life, whose descent below all things makes possible our rising above all things—Tomorrow, if we but seize Today.
I know that is true and that if we take advantage of the atonement today then we dont have to be worried about tomorrow because we will be the people that we need to be for the challenges ahead :)

Love you all!! Ha en fantastisk bra vecka!!
Äldste Israelsen