Saturday, March 5, 2016

Baptism! Marvelous Work and A Wonder, District Meetings and What Prevents You?


It has been one intense week this week and I cant believe that it is over. I suppose I can start from the most exciting news, Kent was Baptized this week! It took some time to get all of the clothes to fit and the program set up but he was so excited to be baptized and we are excited to be a part of his journey in the future and to see what he is going to be able to do and who he will become as he
serves in the ward. The baptism was performed by a member in the ward who is also from Norrland (the northern part of Sweden) and they get along super well. All of the members were super good with him and have taken him in already we will just make sure he gets a calling and home teachers! It is interesting to be a part of a persons conversion when they take the step of baptism. It is such an important step but almost not even the most important that they had taken to get there. The changes that they (we) have to make in our lives to get to that point are pretty monumental and miracles in and of themselves and that, to me, is the miracle of the atonement and the embodiment of the "marvelous work and a wonder" in all of our lives. Thats the amazing thing, we think of the work of
God and think of it on such a big scale that we forget to see the beauty of the work in the individual and the significance of it as well. If I had to say one thing that impresses me more than 1000 people lining up to be baptized is the one person whos heart changed, whos trying to actually become the person that they have the potential to become and have realized their own eternal potential. Its been fantastic to see Kent be able to make those changes and continue to make changes. It is humbling to see how much the Lord actually plays a role in each individual life and how much he does for me on a day to day basis.

We had a few district meetings to be at this week and one thing really jumped out at me while we were at one in Norrköping. He talked about a talk from the area Presidency last year and the challenge that was extrended and the promise that was given. The talk was that as the spirit is actually with us more and more every day, the things that we say will actually have power, they will be accompnied by the confirming witness of the Holy Ghost. I thought that was very interesting that e reminded us of that because it is true that if we have little things throughout the day that hinder us from hearing the impressions of the spirit how are we then expecting to be put in a situation and have the spirit confirm the words that we say or to give us the words of a blessing to someone who needs it or something of the sort? It wont happen. His challenge and invitation to us was to write down all of the things that were keeping us back from feeling the spirit all of the time and to pray about those things and to keep them on our minds so that when the time comes that you NEED the direction of the spirit you can actually recieve it and you can know that direction is from God. I have seen this actually work, I have made my own list of things and there are always things that will stand in the way but as we focus on them and do our best to get rid of them we will be able to see the difference in our lives and in the lives of those that we cann affect around us. I would encourace you all to do the same thing. To write a list of all of those little things that prevent you during the day from feeling the spirit and pray about them and work on them.

It has been a fantastic week and I am so blessed to be able to be here in this country and preaching the gospel to as many people as I can!! Thank you for everything you do and have done for me while I have been out here :)

love you all!!
Äldste Israelsen

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