Sunday, January 17, 2016

Iinte Den Blekaste Aningen‏ Splits, Understanding of an 11 Year Old, Refugee Service and No More Kebab for Us!

On Our Way to Refugee Service!

This week has been a really busy one but a really good one. It feels like we have started running around trying to take care of things and getting all of the teaching and finding done that we possibly can... when it starts to feel like that you know that the work has started to pick up haha. We have quite a few people that we are teaching and we are excited about their progress and the testimonies that they are starting to find. We have a couple of people that we are working with who have a plan to be baptized in the near future. One of them is this really cool man that I think I have mentioned in a previous letter but he has starting developing a real love for the gospel and the things that we teach him. It is interesting because everyone has different backgrounds and religions and things like that and he said that after we introduced the Book of Mormon and the restoration to him he has woken up with a desire to read that book and none of the other ones and he has just really started to understand what its all about and what it means. It is super cool to see and we hope to see him be baptized on the 30th of this month. The most amazing thing is to share our experiences in the Book of Mormon and what they have meant to us.We have tried to do that a lot more recently and I think that it helps people to know what we expect when we ask them to read and it helps them to understand the things that we can experience on our own and not just in church or with the missionaries but on our own. But if we want to share these experiences with people than we should be having them very regularly (if not daily). Try to have a spiritual experience when you read in the scriptures every day I promise that you can and it will build your testimony like almost nothing else can.

Sunset at 3:00 - It's getting lighter!
We have another investigator that has loved the Book of Mormon as well who is on track to being baptized later in February. We started to teach him the Plan of Salvation and it is so cool to see all of the puzzle pieces start to come together in the things that we teach and in the lives of our investigators and he is definitely one where those pieces are coming together. It felt really good to be able to teach both of them a few times this week and to see their testimonies grow and their understanding as well.

Later on in the week we went to a less active members house with her and her 11 year old son that we are helping to become active again. Its so cool to see the testimony and understanding of the 11 year old. I have heard a lot of people say that younger kinds just can't possibly understand the gospel or they just can't possibly know whats right and wrong in that sense and I just want to say that it may be the other way around. His understanding and testimony are so real its amazing he understands probably more than most of the other members understand and he knows that it is important to follow commandments and to be obedient and diligent and all of these different things because he trusts in God. If there is one thing that we can learn from younger kids it is this sense of trust and understanding. We should know that God has a plan for us and as long as we are doing our best and the things that we can do and that are up to our understanding then we will be alright. Essentially that is what we need to know.

I went on splits this week with Elder Hatch (who is from Colorado Springs) and he came into our area and later on in the week I went to Täby with Elder Hemmingsen who is one of the assistants and had splits there. Its fun to be able to learn from different missionaries and learn from their different backgrounds and how they teach or interact with members and people that we teach. Its always such a humbling experience because I know that I can be doing so much better but you learn from those experiences. With Elder Hatch we were able to get a lot of teaching done and help some members with some service around in their house and they fed us dinner which was amazing and super yummy! We also went to their district meeting and had some Kebab afterwards and we got some really nice food poisoning from that... super fun so we had a really fun day on Friday teaching and having meetings and "using the restroom" in the middle of them all. No more Kebab for us.

3D Printer!
We finished the week on splits with the assistants and we did a lot of service for the people coming to Sweden from all of these countries with a lot of war and things like that so we were sorting clothes and taking care of a center for a few hours and gaining some perspective on their lives and what they have been through. Its absolutely unbelievable. Many of them have literally walked for months just to get to a land of peace that will accept them and Sweden has been very willing and open. It is mind boggling to see these people and to hear their stories and to be able to serve. With the world nowadays we can't just be one minded we don't have that option. But we do have the option to serve and help the people of the world and that is something that is not going to be easy in the upcoming years but we who are so fortunate can help those that need it.

I want to share this and have you all think about it this week, in the book of 1 Nephi chapter 20 verses 18-19 Nephi quotes Isaiah and in one of the verses it says "...and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea. Thy seed also had been as the sand; the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof." That was some amazing imagery, sand and the gravel of the beach is constantly shaped, refined, smoothed by the waves of the sea. Think about that, the righteousness that we develop and promote will be that constant affect on others (specifically our posterity) and that is something that I can witness is that the righteousness of an individual makes the difference for so many others. You can be the difference for so many other people if you choose to be and choose to help them come closer to their Heavenly Father which is what it implies so many times in the Doctrine and Covenants when it says to "thrust in your sickle with your might" you can see the fruits of your labors in the people that you serve and in yourself :)

I love this gospel and my chance to be in Sweden!! Thank you all for your prayers and support :)
Äldste Israelsen

1. on our way to service
2. Its a 3D printer!!
3. sunset at 3... its getting lighter!!
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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Week 80 Personal Revelation, Baptism, 3 More Transfers and Make It Count Until the End!

 I really like my Companion.  We are seeing a lot of success though and I am super excited about some of the investigators that we have been finding and teaching. Its interesting to double in to an area because you just kind of have to spin your wheels and start seeing where everything goes and it feels like we have gotten a few things going down here and even a few investigators that are coming to church and meeting with us regularly. We hope to have a couple baptisms here in January and the beginning of February. But we will also have to see what the Lord has in store for me for my last three transfers.

We have been thinking a lot about personal revelation this week and how we are all entitled to it even though sometimes as members or as missionaries we become a little complacent and just go off of what other people say. I have been studying knowledge a lot as my Christ like attribute for the next few weeks or so and what I have come to is that knowledge of the divine can only be given from the same source and can only be accepted through a spirit that is in line with the message that is being received. So a spirit of humility and maturity and with the intent to act on the answer that is given. We have focused with the zone on the communications of the Holy ghost and, as the prophet Joseph Smith said, there is no manifestation of the spirit without some sort of intelligence that is communicated. I have been trying to apply this in the missionary work and in working with the missionaries and I know that the principle of personal revelation and understanding the things of God is what will keep us on the right path regardless of what the people around us are doing. That is something that has been on my mind quite frequently and if we don't figure out how to apply this principle it makes it very hard to apply the gospel and continue to grow within it. It is this constant process that makes someone an experienced missionary or an experienced whatever it may be and so it was interesting that you said that mom that it would be the Lord using me and the things that I have learned thus far and I think that is definitely true and I will make it count to the end.
Sweden Loves the Broncos Too!
Love to Everyone!
Aldste Israelsen