Monday, February 15, 2016

Service, Pay Attention to Prophecies, Splits in Eskilstuna and Speaking in Church!

This has been a great week with lots of things to get done and not seemingly enough time to get it all done but somehow we got through it. We have this investigator whos name is Kent who is on track to be baptized on this Saturday and that will be really exciting. He is the one that has read the Book of Mormon a ton of times and the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price and knows that it is the word of God. Its really exciting to teach someone that has done so much of their own investigation. It certainly makes our job a lot easier and helps us to focus on what they need to know to help to build the testimony that already exists instead of breaking down a wall of skepticism which is often the first thing that an investigator needs to get over before they can recieve a witness for themselves of the truthfulness of these things. We had his interview during the week and he has passed and is ready to take the step and become a member of the ward which is really cool to see that there is someone that is ready and wanting to take that step. Really great man.

We had a less active member also that needed help during the week to move and so the elders quorum got together and we went with them to help him to get the rest of his stuff moved to the next apartment. It felt really good to be over there to help him do something that he just couldnt do on his own and its always good to see the body of the priesthood just doing the things that other people need and magnifying their callings. Its pretty amazing to see that. He was very grateful afterwards and he felt a big load off his shoulders because of it and it made us feel good to be able to make a small difference. Service really is the best and it is also the thing that will bring us closer to Christ than anything else. I have realized, over the course of my mission, that I just dont have such a big understanding of the gospel or of Christ and how to grow closer to him. However, we watched a talk with a new member this week from President Monson who talked about how, when we lose ourselves in faithful service, that we come to know the Savior and his purposes for us and for other people. I have realized that, more importantly than understanding on an academic level, it is important to understand on a practical level who Chist was and who he is in the lives of everyone and in our own. The only way that we are going to get there is by serving people around us in the same exact way that he would do if he were here. It is our job to love and to serve, and for those of us who have been baptized it is not only a great thing to do; it is required of us.

We had a meeting with the Stake President this week about the different units in our zones and how the missionary work is going and what they can do to help the wards and the members to do their part. We have had so many people from persian lands recently that have been baptized that dont really speak english or swedish and what they are trying to do across sweden is find enough teachers to be able to hold a skype class for sunday school for all of the persian speakers in Sweden. Its really cool how many people are coming into the fold of God and how many people are in the work of keeping them here. Its fun to meet with the stake presidents and see all of the incredible work that they do and it plugs our misisonary work into the stakes and into the country of Sweden. I have realized more than ever that the work really is the same around the world and we are all on the same exact team. God is using us as His instuments to find the people that are willing and ready to hear the message of the gospel. It was prophesied in the first book of Nephi about our day and he said,
"And it came to pass that I beheld the church of theLamb of God, and its numbers were few, because of thewickedness and abominations of the whore who sat uponmany waters; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of theLamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all theface of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of theearth were small, because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw."
He knew himself that the church of God would be upon the face of the earth but that would also be small compared to the rest of the world. Despite this he also says,
"I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth;and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory.""
It is my testimony that the power of God has rested and is with the covenant people as long as those covenants are held. The amount of power that brings is amazing and something that we probably don't notice very often. Pay more attention and realize that the prophecies made anciently are being, have been, and are going to be fulfilled. You can be a part of it, so do it.

I had the opportunity and excitement of going to Eskilstuna to be with elder Groberg on splits. He is a great elder who came to Sweden just a few months ago so it was fun to be able to work with him and just talk with as many people as humanly possible and even teach a man named mark who is super cool. I think my favorite thing to do on my mission has become just the amount of opportunities we have every day to testify to people of the things that we have come to know are true. Even people that we dont see go anywhere take the things that we say and come later in life. That is the situation with Mark, he was taught once or twice by the missionaries and then dropped them and said that he didnt want anything to do with what they were saying. A couple of years later he called the missionaries saying that there was something missing in his life and he knew that they had it. He is now working to be baptized in the next couple of weeks and it is a cool situation. It is definitely a testimony to me that we never know what the results of our labors will be.

In church this week, I had the honor of speaking to the ward about service which was really fun and for me its always an opportunity to gain a stronger knowledge and understanding about a specific subject. But other than that we had Kent in church who is ready for his baptism on Saturday and we also had Fidelis there who said that he was so happy that he came and is also excited to be a part of this congregation. We had a ton of awesome members who helped him and came and said hey and talked to him and I know how much of a difference that makes to people that come to church for the first time. We are excited to see what will happen during the rest of the week and for all of the opportunities that we will have in the coming weeks and the people that we will be able to serve.

I am so grateful to be out here and learning how to serve and understanding the principles of empathy and love and just how to help other people. If there is nothing else that we should understand it is that. How we can love the children of God. Love you all!

Ha en bra vecka
Ă„ldste Israelsen
1. Thats elder larson and I
2. The move
3. he pushed my face into the cake...

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