Monday, May 16, 2016

This week was filled with so many miracles its insane!

 Elder Benson and I have been talking with as many people as we can find to find the ones that really want the gospel in their lives and we have found a few that seemed promising but it seems like every person just kind of fell through. This week though we had a couple of things to look to to get some new people to teach and work with. There was a vårfest (spring party or whatever you want to call it.) and some members that we were going to serve during the week. We saw amazing things from both of them.

We went early on in the week to a members house to visit and to help her with some things that she needed help with. The other elders painted and she asked me to build a fence so that her new dog wouldnt get out... that was a lot of trust put in me but it went pretty well and we built a fence so that was cool. But the really exciting thing was to hear and help her with the missionary work that she has been doing. She has several friends that she is inviting to hear the gospel and later on this week we will have the pleasure of meeting and teaching one of them which is really exciting! We had another lady in the ward that invited us over to teach one of her friends this week and that went incredibly well. She is such a good missionary and her friend loved the things that we had to say and she even came later on in the week to the party in the church. So big things are starting to happen with the member missionary work and that kind is probably my favorite and the most effective. These people trust their friends and it really means a lot to people that their friends are willing to share that part of their lives. Its cool to see and be a part of. I think that many people are scared to share it with other people but it really means a lot to people to know that their friends care and thats really all it is. It is an act of love to share the things that have helped you in your own life and try to help the people that you also care about. That is exactly what these members are doing and it affects their friends and their own families and it affects us as missionaries and you can see their testimonies grow as a result.

The party was another thing that we wanted to focus on this week to try and get people to and get them introduced to the church in a non threatening way and get to know the members when they are just having a good time. I love that kind of thing because on Sundays some people might think that we are just a little "up tight" but really most everyone loves to have fun but maybe just not in the same way in sacrament meeting. Everyone that we talked to this week was revolved around getting them to that party and there were a ton of people there that were not members of the church! A lot that members had invited and people that we had met earlier on the street. We specifically met one lady on the bus toward the church and she is a single mother with the cutest three year old youve probably seen in your life. We talked to her and invited her to come and she came! It was perfect because the party was put on by some of the members of the ward from south america and she is also from there so it was fun for her to speak spanish again and get to have a little taste of south america in Sweden. We will be teaching her later on in the week and she was talking to us and just was so grateful that we had invited her and said that the ward was just like a big family and everyone seems to just love each other and she loved that. It is so important to love the people that are around us and in our wards. When we say brother and sister we should really mean it and be willing to love them and bear their burdens and help them when they need it. Its a part of being a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is probably one of the most important things that we can do. In a world where people care less and less about each other it means a lot that we do.

We also have a family home evening every week in a city right outside of Karlskrona in Ronneby and that has been something that we have been able to get together with some members out there and strengthen them and get our investigators to. It helps them to get to know the members and provides a non threatening environment for us to teach and help people understand the gospel in a deeper way. We had a man that we had met on the street there come to that family home evening and we have started to teach him as well more about the gospel of Jesus Christ and that was another miracle that we saw out of this week. I think it is so important to share everything we can with the people around us and just genuinely care for them. Its the same in everything that we do, in home teaching, in church, the the home, in the workplace. We have to care for the people otherwise change is impossible both in them and in ourselves.

We had a specialized zone training this week as well in Malmö so we traveled down to the southern tip of Sweden. It was a little unreal because it was my last training that I am going to have by the Beckstrands and they have been really special both to this mission and to me in my own life. I also, renewed my temple recommend because that had expired... its hard to believe that it has gone by so fast but it has and I now have about a week left in my mission. I am so unbelievably grateful for the experiences that I have been able to have here and the people that I have had the pleasure to meet. Im sure more experiences await in the next week of teaching and serving but there is a lifetime and an eternity of being able to do that after as well. I know that my Redeemer lives, and I know that this is His work and it has been my joy and pleasure to be able to serve in this capacity in this beautiful land. There is nothing better that anyone could be involved in and I will be forever grateful for my opportunity.

Love you all,
Äldste Israelsen

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