Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas 2015 Savior is Born, 6 New People in Church and Caroling on Christmas Eve


This was an exciting week and one filled with a lot of stories to tell just before the Christmas season! We have been going around with this video called a Savior is Born to everyone that we can to spread the message of the Birth of Jesus Christ just before the holiday and the interesting thing is that a lot of people are too busy shopping for Christmas that they cant listen to the message of the reason behind Christmas... kind of ironic. But we have set up a stand a couple of times with the couple of hours of sunlight that we have and have given out free hot chocolate and carol for people while a few of us are out talking and showing the video to people and its been really successful actually. We had 6 new people in church from doing that during the week. All of them came in and said that there were some singing people that told them about a church so they decided to come and check it out. Super cool to see people responding to the message.

Elder Larson and I have had some really cool experiences together just in relying upon the calling that we received and knowing that it is from God. For example, we have a man who was just baptized and received the priesthood and today he is about to baptize someone. So everything has been coming on pretty fast for him and we have been teaching him about the priesthood and what it means and its organization and things like that and I have loved doing that. But the other day ans we were talking about the organization of the priesthood (which by the way is pretty amazing, check out D&C 20, 107) and we asked him if he needed a blessing because of everything that had been piling on recently. He said that he would love a blessing and we gave him one and the spirit that we felt there was something pretty amazing, it was another testimony to me in the power of the priesthood and the power of a worthy priesthood holder that God can use you in his hands to do his work and I think that is pretty amazing.

My thoughts are a little scattered today so I will just tell you about the days that lead up to Christmas. On the 23rd we had a family that invited us over for dinner and had a traditional Jul Bord which is just like all of the traditional Christmas foods in Sweden. So we had potatoes and meatballs and sill (herring) in different forms and raw salmon and beets and brussel Sprouts and things like that. It tasted really good and I have learned to love the swedish food here even if it is a little different from the stuff that I am used to back at home! They had us come out just to look at the stars for a minute as well as they did their Christmas tradition and it was amazing to be out on a cool Swedish night looking up and the stars and just thinking about all the things that have been so important to us. One of those moments where some cheesy music would play in thr background on a tv show. But it was amazing :)

On Christmas eve we went around singing carols to some of the older members of the ward and some that might not have anyone to celebrate christmas with ( and since the 24th is the big day for swedish people we did it then). Also, people in Sweden dont carol so it was really funny to see reactions from people seeing a group of 20 year olds singing outside of someones house. One of the members even let us come in and use their piano and then read to us from a book called Tomten which I would say is basically the same as A night before Christmas. Not the same story but Swedish people read it the same as we do and we felt like right there we had our swedish christmas. Then we went to the Schiazzanos and ate some amazing foor and even watched monsters inc in Swedish which was a lot of fun.

Christmas day was pretty incredible. FIrst of all, thank you to everyone who sent something it makes Christmas Christmas when you see pictures and just get notes from the people that are closest. We spent a lot of the day with members. I was able to see Max and Santa and Alex from Jakobsberg that had moved a lot closer to us so we got to see them for breakfast and then back to watch some more movies and skype which was the highlight for sure. Its so great to see family and to have a good time around Christmas and it reminds me of the real meaning of Christmas and how I know now more than ever before in my life that Jesus is the Christ and that he did come to this Earth for us, to help us and to show us the way. He guides this church and can guide us in life if we so choose. I hope you all had an amazing Christmas!!

Äldste Israelsen.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Week 78 Leaving Gothenburg and Moving to Södertälje with Elder Featherstone and a Friday Phone Call Changing it All!

 All the missionaries in Södertälje
Hej hopp in Lingon skogen!

This week has been absolutely incredible even though it was really tough to leave all of the people that I had the opportunity to meet in Utby its exciting to see some of the new people that I will be getting to work with now.

 We got together with Azi and Elaheh and Fehresta and Michael and had a Persian dinner with them before I left! They are absolutely fantastic people and are so good at living the gospel and sharing it with absolutely everyone that they can. I have seen the light that has spread because they are willing to learn and grow and understand more about their Heavenly Father´s plan for them and how they can grow closer to him. It was pretty sad to leave but I know that they will do a lot of good in that ward and in the area there.
I was also able to say goodby to brother Cammans who is the ward mission leader in Utby and it really has been an honor to work with him and to learn from him. He and his wife are such good examples to everyone and I hope that you know what kind of influence you can have on the people around you and even to the missionaries. Everytime that you LIVE the gospel it helps other people to know how they can do the same things in their lives and what everything means in the end. The gospel really is simple and they have shown me some of the most amazing ways to live the gospel and to help other people as much as they possibly can.

Before the Phone Call
I came in to Södertälje on Wednesday to meet Elder Featherstone there!! He is a fantastic missionary and we knew each other from the MTC so it was a lot of fun to get back together and to set up our vision for this zone and for the area and the ward here in Södertälje. It was so cool to be here with him and we just started contacting and talking to as many people as we possibly could. When you open your mouth you really see the miracles and the people that God wanted you to see. I have seen that as you just do the things that the Lord wants you to do you are able to see the blessings and the results of that service. We spoke to quite a few people this week that were "not interested" but were curious enough to give us 5 minutes to explain just a little bit about the Book of Mormon and the restoration. That message has more power than anything else that I know of. We have really had some powerful experiences on the street from just testifying to people of what we know to be true. Every time it is a powerful witness to me of the truthfullness of the message that we are explaining to people.

There are some fantastic members here in Södertälje and investigators that they have been working with and that I was able to meet with this week. One of them is Amin who is a referral from a family in the ward and she is looking to be baptized on the 2nd of January so at the beginning of the new year and everything is looking really good for her. Elder Featherstone and I had an appointment with a man that investigated before but has not for a really long time whos name is Kent and we went over there and he has read the Book of Mormon probably more times than I have and knows that it is true so we will be liking toward the 9th of Januari for him to take the step of being baptized! Really cool lesson with him it really is amazing how much God has a hand in our lives and prepares us to take steps in our lives if we let him.

We have been really busy with getting things ready for the zone and the conference this week and with the ward as well. We had a ward Christmas party with a lot of traditions and investigators and less active members that ate a lot of food and sang a lot of swedish christmas songs. It was a lot of fun and I have had a couple of extra opportunities to meet the ward and I think that I am going to need them because we got a call on Friday...

After the Phone Call
Something weird has happened with the transfer and elder Featherstone is being sent to Utby (the place I was just from) and I will be staying here and getting Edler Larson who is a district leader in the zone that will be coming to Södertälje. So the companionship of Israelsen and Featherstone was short lived but I am looking forward to getting to know elder Larson and the area with him.

 I hope that you all know that I know that this church is true and that the things that we do in life can have an effect on us and on the rest of the people around us. If there are some of you thinking about going on a mission and aren't sure if you should serve I just want to say that you will never have a better experience in your life and you will never regret going and serving and you will find that, in the end, the biggest change that was made was in you :)

Have a fantastic week!!
Äldste Israelsen

1,2 before and after the phone call
3. all the missionaries in Södertälje
4. Persian dinner
5. Kirk!! (brother Cammans)

Week 77 This was a fantastic week in the beautiful, rainy city of Göteborg and a Baptism!

We had a lot of opportunities to teach and share our testimonies and we were able to see Azi be baptized!! She has had a fantastic experience investigating the church and a lot of her questions were able to be answered in the gospel and the things that she ahs been worried about for most of her life about religion and about other churches have been worked out as she has been reading in the Book of Mormon. She told us that whenever she felt like she should back out or was confused or didnt know what to believe she would always read a little in the Book of Mormon and pray about it and that is why she was baptized because she knew that is what God wanted her to do and that is what she felt was right. I had the priveledge to baptize her and the service went so well. The confirmation on Sunday was on her birthday and she said it was the best birthday that she could ask for. After church a few families got together and invited her, another Persian member Elaheh and one of our investigators who came to church to come and celebrate with them at their house so we were able to have some dinner and celebrate a little for that special occasion. Such an amazing experience.

This week we also have had the opportunity to use the initiative that the church has come out with "a Savior is Born" which is such a good video to share on Facebook or wherever to spread a little curiosity about the Savior and knowing more about him. So we have been using that video as a mission and Elder Albertsen and I have seen a lot of success with it this week. We met this man named Juha when we knocked on the neighbor of an investigator. He opened the door and we showed him the video and started talking about the book of Mormon as another testament of Christ and how he could come closer to God. He wanted to know more and we came the two days later and taught him the restoration and he said that it would mean everything to him if it was true... such a cool experience and its always great to find new people to teach. :)

We have been trying to work with the ward as much as possible in the last little while and we had ward council this week to discuss the work and the people that needed focus both less actives and investigators that we are teaching. This ward is so willing to work with thte missionaries but it has taken a little time for them to be able to trust the missionaries ( it always goes up and down) but the work can only go forward if the ward and the missionaries are both on board. We are going to get a persian sunday school class so that we can retain the persian speakers that we already have and hopefully see many more coming into the church here in Utby. I am super excited to see where the worl goes and how the members start to catch the fire or missionary work because it really is the best thing ever to share your testimony with people that are searching and need to hear these things and it comes from the ward and the missionaries putting everything they can into the work it means coming outside of your comfort zone and doing more than you think that you can but when you do it means everything.

We have been running around teaching people this week and taking care of the baptism and making sure that everything would work. We also had transfer calls this week and to my great besvikelse I will be leaving Utby and going to serve in Södertälje as a zone leader with elder Featherstone who came to sweden in the same group with me so that will be really exciting! But it was hard to leave these members and all of the people that we have been teaching but if that is whats needed I will go :)

I hope you have the best week this week I want to add my testimony to Joseph Smiths and Sidney Rigdons in the doctrine and covenants section 76 vers 22 that Jesus Christ lives and guides this church and can be the center of our lives if we let him and search after it. I love this work and I am excited to work in Södertälje 18 months have flown by and the last 6 will go by super fast so I am looking forward to taking advantage of that time and serving to the best of my ability.

love you all!
Äldste Israelsen

Week 76 Two Thanksgiving Dinners, Families Can Be Together Forever and Remember during Christmas om det finns hjärtefum så finns det sjärterum!!

Distrikt Meeting Thanksgiving


This week has been absolute craziness! We have tried to stay on top of everything but we havent really been able to do that this week. There are always things that you can't really plan in advance and then make the days really interesting. At the same time, we have been able to see so many miracels start to happen here in Utby and in Göteborg. But we can start out with the thing that you all are probably really interested about. Thanksgiving. We had a couple of thanksgiving dinners, we had one that Elder and Sister Hawley made for the distrikts in Göteborg which was soooo good!!

I left there knowingly and willingly eating too much food. and then our ward mission leader is also from the states and he always puts on a big thinksgiving dinner for a bunch of people in their family and then the missionaries are also always invited and I have to say that his pie making skills are ridiculously good!! So we had some real american pies as well which is pretty rare in Sweden. The swedes that were there said that they had never eaten so much food at one time in their whole life so for them it was basically a confirmation of all the rumores that americans eat a ridiculous amount of food haha.

This week we have had some amazing lessons with Azi and with other members of the ward. The relief society president came with us on one and explained that everyone gets a calling and how the relief society works and everything like that and Azi is so excited to ba a part of everything!! We asked her to have a calling and she was just like "well duh Im going to have a calling" haha she is so ready. She will be baptized this saturday and we could not be more excited for her. Everyone on sunday was just in love with her and her 5 year old daughter so its pretty cool to see everyone getting involved.

how I feel at the end of a night
Lennart has still been in and out of the hospital because of his blood pressure it has been super high for him and thats really not good for anybody and especially not for him so if you can keep him in your prayers that would be much appreciated. He is back at home now but we have gotten a lot of calls late at night this week with him being taken to the hospital and things like that so we are thinking about him a lot.

We had an elder quorum activity this week as well and a lot of less actives and investigators were able to come to this meal. We can talk about the gospel all we want with people but until its applied then it will never resonate in people. The activites in the church and the family activities that we have are so important for people to begin to feel the love of god but also that they can have a chance to practice the religion that they have learned. If we cant practice there is absolutely no way to be able to develop patience or charity or diligence. And what better place to practice then in the home or around people that you trust and have the same ideas and priorities that you do? So if you ever think that activities arent worth it or family home evenings or anything like that just do them and I promise that you will see the difference and it might not be right away but it will come.

Elder Albertsen hurt his back really bad this week as well so we were in the doctors office all of thursday and got some medication and things they said it wasnt anything really dangerous but that it would probably hurt really bad... it does.

I was also at a funeral this week for a sister in the ward and we were there to help and support the family they are such good people and the funeral was so well done. The spirit was there really strongly reminding me anyways of the truthfullness of the plan of salvation that families can be together forever. That is a huge part that makes us different from other religions we do believe that and we do it proudly and I can tell you that I know that it is true as well and these are the things that make life make sense. The holy ghost can confirm the truthfullness to everyone it doesnt matter if you have been a member all your life and your 98 (99 is an exception) but get on your knees and ask God where truth is and you will find it.

We had 7 investigators that came to church this week and a newly baptized member from Iran that we had helped make a talk that gave it in sacrament meeting. It was one of the coolest feelings and it is cool to see how an area can change and to see the individuals that change and keep improving their life and the situations they are in and how the gospel plays a key role in that. Super cool to just be there and see things that God is doing for people in this area.

I hope you all have a great week!! Remember during Christmas om det finns hjärtefum så finns det sjärterum!!

Älskar er!!

My invitation to all of us is to evaluate our lives, repent,and keep on trying. If we don’t try, we’re just latter-daysinners; if we don’t persevere, we’re latter-day quitters;and if we don’t allow others to try, we’re just latter-dayhypocrites (just liked this quote from Elder Renlund)

1. how I feel at the end of a night
2.distrikt meeting thanksgiving
3. yess
4. Elder Albertsen in the hospital

Monday, December 21, 2015

Week 75 Ha en fantastisk fin vekca! Weeks Just Seem to be Going Faster and Faster!


I am serious when I say that weeks just seem to be going faster and faster the longer I have been here and that is absolutely unacceptable. It has almost been a whole transfer since elder Albertsen and I started together. Its super cool to see the little miracles that happen along the way and I have been here for a little while at least so its fun to see the change and the things that begin to happen in the lives of people that we work with and the people that we are privileged to serve by. the members in this ward are some of the best people that I have met in my life and its cool to see by their example how we can live the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We have literally just been running around all week trying to make all of our appointments and teach the people that need to be taught. On Tuesday of this week we went to the house of a lady that came to church last week with Elaheh, a recent convert. She is super cool and loves the things that we teach. She has had so many questions about doctrine and what is right. I love being able to teach people that have an opinion but are searching for the things that are right. As long as they have a searching spirit they will be able to find the answer. That is what I have seen as I have been out here in Sweden. She is an amazing new investigator and will go far that is what we can feel.

That same day we also had a corelation meeting with our ward mission leader and his wife and they refused to let us leave without giving us food :) They are so good. But we were able to go just a couple of houses down to visit a couple who are fairly new members with their hometeacher and start talking about the temple and answering their questions about it and how they can prepare to enter into the Temple. Hometeaching really is soooo important... so if you arent doing it then GO DO IT!! Some people just need support and some really do have a lot of questions and you can help them to find their answers. Everyone needs a home teacher. We left afterwards and had an appointment with another sister in the ward who needs support and just some help so we had a member come with us to that appointment as well and help her with the things she needed help with and it just felt good to be there and she thanked us so much for just being there and to teach her a little bit more. It always leaves the spirit with these people and helps them to understand how much we care about them and, hopefully, they feel how much God cares about them.

Everything is going really good with Azi. she is just a really strong person and Sweden isnt always the easiest place to believe in God. She told us that sometimes she wonders if it is the right thing to do and then she prays about it and every time that she does she is able to get a confirmation that it is the right thing to do. She is such a good example for what we should do in our lives as well. When we have questions we should get on our knees and ask for the confirmation and the answers that we need.

We went all the way to Jönköping to go on workovers there with elder Bliss and elder Payne who are super awesome. We were also able to attent district meeting and talk with the other missionaries in that district and they are doing such a good job. We have some of the best missionaries in the mission here in the Göteborg zone. Elder Payne has only been out on his mission for a couple of transfers but he is so good already at being a missionary. We went to see on man and on the way we saw a sister in their ward who was sitting on the bench outside of a  grocery store. We were able to help her down the stairs with her groceries and she said what an incredible help that was to her and that she didnt know how she was going to do it herself. Seems really small but its all of those small things that mean the world to someone and its just about being willing to take 5 or 10 minutes to help the people around us.

A lot of things are happening in Utby, we had another 5 investigators in church this week and we are hoping that the baptisms start coming in after that. These people can beefit so much from that in their lives and I know that a testimony of this gospel can help someone so much in every part of their life. Not just on Sundays, but every day when we try to live the things that we preach and love the people w around us no matter what the circumstance. I love preaching the gospel, there is no better way to spend your time.

Ha en fantastisk fin vekca!

Äldste Israelsen

Week 74 Splits, Training with President Beckstrand, FHE at Mission Leader's House with 3 Investigators!

Hey everyone!

This week has definitely been interesting, we have seen a lot of cool things this week and we are so thankful to be here in Utby right now. The feeling in the area just keeps getting better and better. In the area but also with the members of the ward. It is interesting to see what kind of an influence that involvement in missionary work can help people to love the gospel even more. We have been stressing the importance of reading Preach my Gospel in families as well as the standard works. If we all read that book we would have so much more lust to share the gospel with the people around us and it would strengthen our own testimonies and the spiritual strength of honestly everyone in the ward. I encourage you to look and read and study there as well. It will help you to remember the simple truths that are the most valuable to us and it will help you to share your testimony in a way that people will understand.

We had a specialized zone training this week with the zone and the assistants and the president came down to instruct us further in what we needed to do. They talked about the restoration and how we received our own testimonies of the restoration and the prophet Joseph Smith. It really is powerful when we think back to the reasons that we are in church or are on a mission. If you have a second I would tell you to think it over and remember those experiences that you have had because they are powerful and something that cant be taken away from you. Really good training and it was cool to see my MTC companion giving the training.

Elder Albertsen and I went on splits this week with Kungsbacka and I went up there with Elder Sweat. He is an awesome missionary and we had a great time there in Kungsbacka. They have an investigator named Norbert who has investigated for a few months and we met him in a members house. The spirit was really strong as we talked about prayer and answers. It felt super good to be able to look him in the eye and tell him the answers that I had received and our invitation to him that we knew that he could receive the same thing. He is well on his way but the power of a testimony is incredible and it is up to us to share that witness that we have received.

We usually have a family home evening at our mission leaders house during the week and this week we had 3 investigators and lots of less actives there and it felt really good to have everyone there from all of these different backgrounds (Africa, Nepal, Sweden, Norway, american, middle east, china) just super cool to see how the gospel touches people from everywhere despite their background or culture.

In church this week we had 6 investigators that were able to come and 6 less actives as well! Really amazing blessing to see them all at church and loving it! We have quite a few right now that are on their way to taking the step to be baptized. I have one really cool miracle to talk about this week. So about a week ago our ward mission leader asked us to go by this lady that hadnt come to church in awhile. She was not there though but we tracted all 8 levels of this apartment complex and at the bottom we found this lady named azita who believed in Jesus Christ and we wanted to come back with a message about the book of mormon and she said thatwe could. After church the next week (so yesterday) we went over and taught her and her husband and they have two really cute little kids. When we were done with teaching the restoration she looked at us and said that she already knew it was true... we kind of just looked at eachother like.... umm what? haha but the day before we knocked on her door she had what she described as the worst day of her life and she didnt know what to do with the situation. She prayed to God that night to send help her way and we knocked on her door the next day!! That was so cool to hear and we will be looking forward to working with her in the future but it is absolutely mind blowing to see God working with these people to help them when they need it. The most amazing feeling is to be able to be a tool in the hands of the Lord and that is something that we all are as long as we are worthy and willing. Look for opportunities to be that insturment this week and I promise that you will see it.

We have had an amazing week and elder Albertsen and I are loving the work and loving this ward they are the best people ever. Also, Megan we had someone who lived in the netherlands for like 30 years move in to the ward. He says that dutch is basically a mix of swedish and german... so like thats pretty cool :)

Have a fantastic week!! Thank you for all of your support, ha det gött!!

Week 73 Hallå!! Mission Leadership Council in Stockholm about Diligence and Faith


We have had a lot of things to do this week and it feels like it has been a day but that we stuffed all of that stuff into that day... its an interesting feeling haha. Elder Albertsen and I went to MLC (Mission Leadership Council) this week in Stockholm and that is about a 3 hour train ride from Göteborg and everyone meets in the mission home and we receive training from the president and sister Beckstrand and then the assistants that we then take and train our zones later on in the week so that took up a lot of the week but there was a fantastic training about diligence and faith. There is so much to think about with just these two Christlike attributes. It is something that we have to work on our entire lives. We will always be fighting to become more faithful and more diligent but the cool thing is that it is possible to change ourselves and to become more like Christ. Coolest thing ever.

We have been working with our investigators this week and have a few that are on their way to joining the church and some amazing stories that we have been able to witness. Azi is still doing so well and learning and growing in the gospel. It is so cool to see people be able to see more and more of how the gospel can be applied in their life and the questions of the soul that we answer and are answered out of the Book of Mormon. We also have a man that is named Sadek who has gone to church for the last year in southern Sweden because a family needed a ride to church and invited him to come with and he has gone since then. Such an amazing story of the examples of members and how they can be missionaries. Be the missionary that you expect the full time missionaries to be. Be ready to give your testimony not just on fast Sundays but make it so that you want to give it to people that you meet and opportunities that are presented to you. That is how missionary work goes forward.

We also had a few less actives that we were able to get in contact with this week that literally haven't come to church because they needed a little support and now they are coming back to church. Think about the people that you know that have gone less active in your ward and take them a plate of cookies and then sit down and eat them with that person... you will see the miracles that come from those super simple things. It is absolutely amazing what a little time can do for a person and we dont have excuses enough not to give 15 minutes of our time for another person during the week. You can change the course of someones life.... sooo cool.

We have had a really hectic and super fun week. We have found a few more new investigators and have some that are working on their way to baptism. I love this work and what it does to other people and the opportunities to see Gods work in other peoples lives. Thank you for everything and I hope that you ahve the best week ever!

Elder Israelsen

Week 72 Elder Albertsen, Fish and Service!

Hey everyone!!

This week was super good we seemed to always have something to do and people to teach and, as a missionary, you don't really get blessed more than that!! Elder Brown left to go home this last week and I heard that he did in fact meet his mom safely in Stockholm so that was really good news. It was hard to see him go and we had an amazing time together in Utby but I am glad for him and everything that he is going home to. Elder Albertsen showed up on Wednesday from västerås and we get along really well!! We served in the same ward at the very beginning of my mission in Örebro and I can tell that I am goig to learn a lot from him. He has about 4 months left on his mission so he has things pretty figured out at this point.

We have been working with our friend from Nepal who is scheduled to be baptized at the end of this month which should be really great to be a part of and he is very excited about being a part of this ward and the church here in Utby and it has been amazing to be able to see him progress as we have met and read in the Book of Mormon and his knowledge of the Plan of Salvation has come. When we realize our potential and this plan that God has for us we see this light that just comes naturally and its up to us to keep acting on it to increase that light. I think I have come to understand that this light is literally visible, it makes all the difference in the world for people and making the decision to follow their savior helps so much in every day life. It helps us to literally walk in the light which makes the biggest difference now and forever.

Last week I talked a little about an investigator named Azi who is from Iran and has a little daughter. She accepted this week a date to be baptized right at the beginning of December and we are so excited for her. She is loving the Book of Mormon and all of the questions that she has always had that no one has been able to answer is answered in those pages. She always had been told to just take what everyone says on their word but she has always wanted the reason why and she told us that these answers are clearly stated in the Book of Mormon and she has loved reading it!! Its an amazing feeling when someone is willing to take in the teachings of Jesus Christ and apply it in their life and we are so excited to work with her and help her to understand more and more.

This week we also had the pleasure of going to a less active members house named Jane. She is from Ughanda and is one of the best people that I have ever met!! We taught her and she asked if we wanted food because she already made it so the answer is yes haha! She gave us fish that just had te head cut off and so the fins and everything were still on it and elder alberstsen and I just looked at eachother like... here we go haha but it was so good!! literally some of the best fish I have ever eaten in my life... so good haha just looked a little off, youll see what I mean.

We also had quite a bit of service to do this week, we helped a member in the ward move to a new apartment so we were able to help the elders quorum out and Minraj even came to help as well and that was so cool to see!! We had just talked about service in the church and he wanted to come along and so he helped this member move and I think that did so much for members to see him being a part and for him to feel the joy of being in service of someone else.

Well everything is looking really good for the next while in Utby. Our mission leader came back from the states and we are looking forward to working with him and getting these two areas where they need to be!  The missionary work is going forward in this ward and there are definitely people here ready to here the gospel. I am so grateful to be here right now and I am having a great time in this ward!!

Have a great week.

Äldste Israelsen

Week 71, e du go eller? Lennart Baptism!


This week has been another one for the books!! We had a baptism this week with Lennart!! Everything went really smoothly I was able to perform the baptism and even sing for the program! We have some really talented missionaries and Lennart asked if I could sing so I sang backup for these other talented missionaries haha sister Giles and Elder Smith. It was a lot of fun. The thing that impresses me every time we have something like a baptism is the amazing trust that the Lord has given to us to perform these really sacred yet really simple ordinances for these people. The spirit is always so good and it was an honor to be able to be a part of it. After Lennart was baptized he got up and bore his testimony and he gave the coolest testimony that I have ever heard at a baptism and better then most testimonies that I have heard from members over the years (disclaimer: testimonies cannot technically be better than other testimonies however, his was pretty awesome ;)). He was also confirmed yesterday and Elder Brown was able to confirm him a member of the church and he is doing awesome! The ward has done so well with taking him under their wing and making sure he feels welcome. That is the biggest relief as a missionary, when the ward just naturally takes over and the transition to being a member goes smoothly.

This week we have had awesome really cool experiences and have found some really cool new people to teach. On Monday we were able to get in touch with a referral from a member. (He contacted him on the street. Thats called missionary work) But we met with this man named Kay and he is a Swedish man in probably his 60's and we have taught him a couple of times this week and he told us the feeling that he gets when we are there and even when we leave is something that he has been looking for in his life. We have set up a baptismal date with him for the beginning of December and will be looking forward to be working with him in the next month or so, stay tuned... really amazing individual.

We also taught a lady named Azi who is the friend of the recent convert and she is seriously good. We talked about the restoration and she said that there were some things that she didnt really understand in the church that she had been going to before but never got answers to those questions until we started teaching her. She is awesome!! She was also able to come to church with her little daughter this week and really liked church. We will see where it goes in the next couple of weeks.

Church this week was pretty amazing we had Lennart who was confirmed a member of the church, we had a couple who were called to serve as the temple president and matron in the temple in Finalnd and they are heading there this week and they were able to speak. It was a pretty fantastic couple of talks because they are just so good. Then Elder Brown and Elder Smith who are both leaving this week got to bear their testimonies. They are leaving and so is elder Nilsson so they are closing down one of the areas in Utby and my new companion and I will be taking over the whole area.... its a huge area haha. But it will be good I am staying here as a Zone Leader and getting Elder Albertsen! He served at the same time as I did in Örebro about a year ago so it will be good to get to be his companion!! We have alot to do and I am excited for what is to come.

This work is led by God and I know that the light the gospel brings into peoples lives is real and helps everyone no matter what their situation is or who they are it brings this new level of love, understanding, ans spirit into their lives that they would never have known before. I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve here in Göteborg and the experiences that I am able to have that help me to learn and grow.

Have an amazing week!!

1. Baptism!!
2. nuff said
3. Last district meeting with our district.