We had a little bit more time to find this week than normal because we had 8 people that made appointments and didnt end up showing up so that was fun haha but we did find a lot of new people to teach and its always an exciting time to see the hand of God in leading us to the people that really need it. For example, we had an appointment with a new investigator at the library during the week and we had confirmed with them the night before and the day of they didnt show upå or answer their phone... So we felt like we needed to find someone else instead and so we went out into the square and in the city right outside and elder Benson looked at a man and said "that guy right there" so we went and talked to him... he wasnt interested... However the man that walked around the corner right after that was very interested! He is from Ireland and had talked with missionaries a little bit before. It was interesting talking to him in English about the gospel but it went really well and we are going to meet with him soon at the beginning of this upcoming week. Its funny how things happen and how we really are put into the way of people that need to hear the message in one way or another. We actually had a bunch of experiences just like that this week and I know that the reason we have those experiences are to help the children of God that are looking for the truth and "are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it."
We have been doing our best to work with the ward and try to have them do their own missionary work which they are absolutely fantastic about. There are some amazing member missionaries here and when they dont have their own friends that are interested they are more than willing to help with the people that we bring with us to church which is such a blessing. We had the honor of being with a family this week in a place called Bergkvara which is a little ways from Karlskrona and eat some lunch with them and talk with them about their missionary work. I met this family on Gotland about a year ago when they were there on vacation and so it was great to be able to see them again when I came to Karlskrona. What I have come to know is that everyone has their own stories and things with the gospel and their story is pretty amazing about his missionary service and how they had met later on in their lives and she became a member of the church when they got married. The Lord works in interesting ways but He is always working in the lives of all of us that much I can promise.
On Saturday this week we had a baptism here from a nearby branch from Växjö. I was on splits the other week and had the privilege to teach her while I was there so it was fun to be able to see her baptized in our font here. We were able to get some less actives and other members in the church to be there to support her. I love going to baptisms because the ordinance is so simple but it so beautiful to see people taking that first step closer to our Heavenly Father. It is so humbling that He has given that authority to the Earth to help His children to come closer to Him and everytime I see someone do that there is a special spirit that is there testifying to everyone there that the restoration is a reality, giving the person being baptized comfort for the journey that they are about to embark on and maybe that same comfort to those who have been on the path a little longer that the same spirit is with them as well to lift them and strengthen them on their pathway of enduring to the end. It really is special. If there is a baptism that you have the opportunity to be at... be there! It will help you and whoever it is that is being baptized even if you dont know them I promise.
In church, the missionaries were asked to sing with the primary children "Book of Mormon Stories" so we got to stand on the stand with them and sing the best childrens song ever with all of the kids. It was actually a really cool experience and one that I wont forget for awhile. I love the things that we can learn in church from those called to teach and talk and even just pass the sacrament. Its so cool to see the gospel and the church work in harmony. Boyd K. Packer gave a talk where he talked about just that. The gospel is like a giant keyboard and if we use all of it we can have beautiful melodies and harmonies but if we sit there hitting one note over and over it gets pretty dissonant. There are so many aspects of the gospel and they are all important to have. It is so important for us to have all of those things together in one. I love this gospel and the opportunities that it presents for us and the joy that we receive from it as we live after the things that we know are true. I am so grateful for my mission and the things that I have learned and continue to learn. The church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the kingdom of God on the Earth today. For those that are in it and have that conviction, great, live after that and invite others. For those who are in the church and do not know or do not have that conviction, find it and share it. And for those that are not members of the church my simple invitation is to find out because the blessings that I have received are fantastic and I am so grateful for them. There is a way back to our Heavenly Father and to his son, back to our Heavenly home and this is it. Have a great week and know that we will be working hard in Karlskrona having the time of our lives! Love you all!