Saturday, March 5, 2016

Specialized Zone Training, Family Home Evening, Heading to Karlskrona as a Trainer for Last Two Transfers and Singing in Church

That honestly was a really long week, Usually I say how fast weeks go but we had a ton of stuff to do this week and a lot that just had to be done so long days make for a long week. We had a specialized zone training with President and Sister Beckstrand and the assistants. These specialized trainings are so that president can meet with each of the individual zones and get to know them better in a smaller setting. We talked a lot about how we can work with the members of the church and what that can mean for the missionary work in Sweden and everywhere in all reality. We got a chance to also have a little family home evening with them as well and ask them a few questions about their lives and just about things that we have been wondering about recently etc. Its amazing to see, I think sometimes as members of the church we forget that anyone serving in any calling is just a person who lives a normal life and has their own things that are hard or the things that they are concerned with and they have their own senses of humor. The things that I have learned from President and Sister Beckstrand is that the spirit works with us in our own ways and he works with just normal people in our normal lives as we seek after him. I think thats something that becomes easy to forget sometimes.

I also found out from talking to President that I have been called to train the elder that is coming in with the new group so I will be leaving Södertälje this week and heading to Karlskrona to double in to the area down there in the southern half of Sweden. I am pretty nervous about it but it should be a really fun place to try and help this new elder as much as I can and the people down there in my last two transfers in Sweden. We had to go into Stockholm as well this week to have a "train the trainers" meeting where President and the assistants gave us training on what they want to see out of these new missionaries and how we can help them to become successful missionaries. Honestly, everything stems from the beginning of a mission; good habits, and bad ones and what President was emphasizing for us was that our examples and the things that we do are going to affect the way that these new missionaries think and are. It will be interesting because I haven't been in the south at all but I have heard nothing but good things about Karlskrona and it will be fun to not have to worry about all the trainings and different things as a zone leader it will just be this new missionary and I in a city trying to find and teach as many people as possible.

In other news, I went on splits with Elder Archibald!! He is a fantastic man and its cool to see him in his position as an assistant and what he has been able to do and how he has grown in the past few transfers is super cool to see. He taught me a lot when we were on splits and they have a new convert who was baptized a week ago or so and I was able to teach her a couple of weeks ago also on splits. She is so good at studying in the scriptures and you can ask her a question and she replies with "well I love how King Benjamin describes it..." and we just look at each other and get all excited because its so cool what can happen to people when they really take and study the Book of Mormon and then apply the principles that they find and it changes people. It can be the same thing with us in our own lives. Study the scriptures every day and apply the things that are there every day and that is when the changes will happen. Thats when we begin to understand the application of the gospel in our own lives and it becomes, not just something we do, but a part of the people that we are. I am super grateful for that in my own life and how it has helped me especially on my mission and understanding more about the commandments and how to live them in a better way than I have before.

This week we also were able to teach Kent and I have to say he is one of the coolest changes in a person that I have ever seen, he is completely different than the man that I met a few months ago in ways that are really hard to describe but he is loving life and church so that has been one of the miracles that we have seen here in Södertälje. Besides that one of our investigators, Fidelis is on track to be baptized in March and he is loving the church and the ward here in Södertälje and that is pretty amazing to see. We are excited to see where he goes. There area few men that are also on track to recieve the priesthood that we have been teaching and that is a really cool feeling to see new converts really start to understand and apply the things that they had been learning all the way up to their baptism. We have some new, really positive, investigators that we have also started teaching this week so the future of Södertälje is looking really good. We have 4 of the 6 missionaries leaving so there will be lots of changes but it will work well. I got an email also from Lennart and Azi who were baptized in Göteborg and they have just gone through the temple and LOVED it!! I think that is the coolest feeling ever, when new converts get to go to the temple for the first time and be able to feel the spirit there. That is defintiely something that we take for granted sometimes is our ability to go to the temple and perform ordinances there and to feel the spirit that is always there.

On Sunday I had the opportunity to bear my testimony, and Elder Larson and I performed a special musical number, and then we taught gospel principles, and then we taught priesthood as well... so it was a very involved Sunday and there were a lot of good-bys involved and its never the most fun thing. I thought it was comical because we would get in lines almost with members so that we could all take our pictures since we have 4 leaving the area.

My 2 cents in the scriptures this week is in 2 Corintheans 12:9
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me
I have thought a lot about this scripture and what it means. This is Paul talking to the saints here and talking about a personal experience that he had with his own weaknesses. If I have learned anything (I use that phrase too much) its that I have so many weaknesses but so does everyone else. Thats honestly where you can see the glory of God the most because He performs his work through us even though we have so many weaknesses and problems. When we recognize the things that make us weak, just as in Ether 12:27 He will help us to make them strong. His grace is sufficient and even when we dont feel adequate or when we don't feel like we can do it anymore thats when He helps us to take just one more step.

Love you all!! It has been a great week in the service of the Lord and I am excited to go to Karlskrona we will see how the adventure continues and who my new companion is!

Äldste Israelsen

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