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.

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