Sweden Stockholm Mission

Monday, December 16, 2013

What up Family!

Cool stuff about your new stake and whatnot, I like the name Boulder Ridge Stake but we've been Little Valley ward forever so that will be different! The snow melted here on tuesday which was a bit depressing. Its been really warm this week, thats super weird. One of the days it literally felt like a summer day. It's crazy to hear that we've been warmer than y'all in St George.

This week was me going around to all the people in my area and saying goodbye. We would come over, eat a little, take a picture and then I'd bear my testimony to them. Even with many cancellations and switching around, we managed to get 20 lessons! But the other numbers weren't so good...Oh well.

Mån: After emailing we decided to go on splits with some other Elders for the rest of Pday so we could go shop for a little Christmas gift for our companions. I also bought me a new backpack, and another sweater for the cold I'm supposed to be in:) 
We all bought backpacks.  Mine is purple.

Tis: My last District meeting in Stockholm.We met up with our investigator and had a really good talk. We showed him all of the links and stuff about lds and mormon.org, which he really loved! He then told us a lot about Iran. My eyes have been really opened about Iran. They get the bad rep because of the Taliban and other things we hear from the news. I would really like to visit there one day. Its amazing how ignorant we can be when we don't know things first hand. We had ward council this day and it was the best! All the representatives were there and they had a great discussion about everything.

Our sticky note Christmas tree.
Ons: Tuesday should have been super busy, never a down time of thinking about what we should do (as it should be), but... the opposite happened. We had 3 cancellations. We then tried to do some swingbys, one was this home that was the spookiest place I had ever seen. Only one light was on upstairs and it was pitch black. I knocked on the door and then we just booked it out of there because we were so scared, haha. While waiting at the bus stop we decided to try different types of screaming and such. haha. I found out that I no longer can go into my super high pitch girl squeal. I am super disappointed with that. I tried so hard to reach up there, but ended up just scratching my voice and losing it for an hour ha.

Tors: We got cancelled on again so we took some time updating the area book, the ward list and things. We then had our church watch duty and tried to do some family history. We had sports night and M came. I had to organize everything again, which I don't mind. One of the investigators there fell and scraped his hand on a nail which opened up his hand all the way to the bone. Elder H patched him up nicely and kept him from going into shock and got  him to the emergency room to receive 9 stitches across the outer rim of his palm. Pretty intense!
St. Lucia Celebration
Fre: The 13:e of December was Lucia's day here in Sweden, which is a big deal. Its a celebration of- I honestly still don't know. People put candles on their head and then they sing. The zone got together to watch one (cause we can't teach or contact during this time) near t-central. It took about 3 hours but we had fun. We went over to the H's to have my final visit with them. After dinner, and an incredible spiritual discussion with each other, they gave me a pink ukelele! Yeah, can you believe that?? I now am in possession of a pink ukelele and Elder H is teaching me a lot! It was super cool and so nice of them!

I love to see the Temple
Lör: TEMPLE!!!!! Man, it was such a great experience going with our friend to the temple for baptisms for the first time! When we entered in the temple, his mouth just dropped and he was amazed at how beautiful it was! I dont know if you can see from my pictures, but it really is such a beautiful temple! I came to the realization that I am going to be married in the STHLM temple. So yup, thats how it is going to be:) I did all of the baptisms.That was my first time ever baptizing someone, and I did it in Swedish! It was really powerful and spiritual. After though my arm was pretty dead:) We visited the temple site afterwards and looked at the Family History center-our friend was in heaven. He is so talented and loves doing family history!
I want to be married here in the Stockholm Temple.
While we were there, we received the TRANSFER CALL..... I will be moving...to Linköping in the Södertälje zone! (it is south and inland from Stockholm). I will be splitting the area with Elder L(who is one group older than me,  his older brother served the same mission like 3 years ago). It will go from 2 to 4 elders there, and we will all be living together. Im super excited and eager to see what happens. I won't actually go there until after the zone conference this thursday because of travel and a batch of new missionaries coming from the MTC this week. But yeah, Linköping! It is the 5th largest city in sweden, it is a branch of about 30 active members that are really close, but lots of potential because there is a University nearby. After the temple, we came back home to celebrate with MAC N CHEESE and Korv [sausage], of course!! Man, that tasted so good. I love that stuff!

Sön: I said the Sacrament prayer for my first time in Swedish! Then I gave a little talk about Christmas where I started off by reading 1 Nephi 11:21-23 where Nephi is shown what the tree of life means-the love of God. And then I tied that, love of God, into Christmas. Now because we have this gift, Love of God-Savior with us, lets share that with everyone around us. It doesnt have to be big things we can do, just simple acts of service go a long way. Christmas is about us giving not receiving. The best thing we can do to show God our love is to serve his children and give of ourselves. After church I took lots of pictures with people and had some write a little message in a Swedish BoM that Im taking around my whole mission. We visited a few more families to share my testimony and gratitude for them and say goodbye. I was pretty bold with one -I have never been that bold before, but I felt like I had to lay it all on the line because I probably won't see him again. The spirit was strong in there, guiding me to what I needed to say.

In my personal studies this week I studied the 2,000 Stripling warriors. NONE of them died because of their exceeding faith and determination to follow God and knew that He would deliver. He always does. It's amazing to see how steadfast and immovable they were, though they were young men who had never fought in war before. But we can see, that when we put our whole heart, might, mind and strength in the Lord, we will be delivered.

As I have been finishing up this transfer I've realized that my pride has blinded me from seeing the good we've done here and how great my companion and I work together. We were told that we have helped strengthen the ward a lot since we've been here. I had been focusing too much on the things we didn't do but now, after I have been humbled -and continue to do so, I can look back on all of these months here in Stockholm and see that we have had success - not baptisms, but success nonetheless.

Stockholm i Mitt Hjarta! (a very old popular song meaning Stockholm will forever be in my heart :) I love my Stockholm and will miss it a lot but now its time for change and I'm excited for what Linköping has to offer. I love you all so much and appreciate all the love, prayers, and support you give to me. Have a fantastic week!

Äldste Johnson

Monday, December 9, 2013

Howdy y'all!
Well freak, St. George is just blowing up with snow. That is absolutely crazy!!! Of course it had to happen when I am not there. Well it just so happened to snow this week here in Stockholm, our first of the season. It was amazing to see just how drastic the change was from the day before it snowed -super dark dreary looking- to the day it snowed -much more light, even at night, because of the white (yes I rhymed, okey bai >.<). All in all it is awesome to have the snow! The coldest it got this week was about -9 C [15 degrees]. This week is supposed to be really warm, probably melt the snow that we do have here in Stockholm.

I for sure will be transferring on the 18:e (thats how you do 18th in swedish) exactly a week before christmas. That is very jobbigt. I know not where I will be going now, but I find out this saturday. Okej, now onto the week...

Mån: We and the ZLs went indoor rock climbing to a place similar to the Quarry in Provo. It was so much fun, but my arms are still sore from that haha. Afterwards, we sat in the bastun, or sauna (that is super big in Sweden - chillin in the sauna) for awhile before heading back home for the night.
I love Kebabs 

Tis: I received the Christmas package from y'all. I had my companion open it so I wouldn't be tempted to see what was inside. However, I saw the blanket and took it out the because it is soooooo soft and warm and just the best! We met up again with our friend to talk about what to do back in america, and how to be strong in testimony and go to church and be surrounded with good people and good things. We then taught a new investigator who we had tracted into before. We had a lesson about the Restoration. He wanted to read the book of mormon because he was very interested in it. SO things are looking pretty positive with him!

Saying goodbye to my "father"
Ons: We met up with a guy who we are working with for going to the temple. He wants to go with us before I leave. We had dinner with a family who is remodeling their house and I remember when we did that to our house and how much sawdust gets everywhere!! Haha but that was a lot of fun. We still don't have a lot of people to teach, and when we do, they usually cancel us. I was feeling pretty down when we got home but I had a really good personal prayer that night just pleading for guidance and validation that I was making a difference. That I wasn't just wasting my time going around, trying to talk to people and being rejected at every turn. Nothing major happened (and I've learned that a lot on my mission) but I felt peace afterwards. No immediate release from stress or hard times, but peace that I could make it through ok. That's what the Atonement has done and continues to do for me.

Tors: we had our zone training in which the zls came in their onesy pajamas overtop of their missionary clothes and served us hot cocoa and gingersnaps! They talked about exactly what I needed to hear. The focus was Move Forward, finish this year strong and look ahead to the new year and bring about the 2nd harvest. When we change and align our own personal desires and wants to put Gods designs first, thats when we see miracles and success. I keep been trying to do my best in the way that I think is right and getting frustrated when things don't go the way I planned. But I can't do that. It's not God's will and time for those people who keep cancelling on us. Yes, we continue to work with them, but rely on their agency in them wanting to come to Christ. We invite all to come, but it is their choice in accepting. Success is measured in the invitation, not the outcome. You all can apply this too in your own personal missionary work, the invitation is successful when you do it, not in the response and outcome of it. This was super good for me, and has helped me a lot.

We had sports night and the zls brought an investigator who I picked up at the station and was with the whole sports night. He is super awesome! I got a chance to talk with him and felt a great connection with him. He wants to belong to something because he was grown up without any belief. We had a good chat about the purpose of life and why some people die young. I shared my feelings about when Braison Hullinger passed away in 5th grade. I was just 11 years old, I didn't understand why someone so young had to die. He had just began to live. What was the meaning of that? He told me also of a similar situation. I testified to him that the message that we missionaries have to share answers our questions. It has helped me realize the bigger picture in this life, he really felt that and wants to know more. It was an awesome experience!

Fre:  I was making lunch when it began snowing, and right when I started to look, it stopped. So i went back to the kitchen and it started to snow again, and I ran back to the window, and it stopped! This went on for quite some time, which made me mad haha. But finally it stuck and snowed for a long time. We went over to the G's to help with some math homework, and it made me realize how much I love numbers! It was strange, but I just like numbers and working with them, hmmm. Lots of cancels this day, but we did some role plays with the G's, which was really funny and good!

Lör: We got up early to go help the S family move some furniture from outside to the attic with ropes haha. We then had breakfast with them in which it was fantastic!! They are new to the area and are just so perfect; they want to get to know people so they can have us teach them, and are always willing to go on teaches! I love them!! We then went to the baptism for the sisters and helped set up, prepare food, and cleanup as well. We met back up with a young man though we didn't have anyplace to have a legit sit down lesson, so we just walked through Stockholm together and talked a little about the Plan of Salvation. He was pretty much teaching us about service and the word of wisdom!! I love when people are like that and so prepared!

Sön: Our new member got his temple recommend!!! I am so happy right now! We are planning on going to the temple with him this saturday to do baptisms with him. This will be my first time going to the temple in over 5 months! Thats too long! I have needed it badly and am very excited to go this weekend, especially with me transferring and all. So, if you all live next to a temple, GO TO IT!!! Dont waste an opportunity or take it for granted! It really helps you out so much!!!!!
Statue in the tunnelbanna

I got a lot of things planned with people to meet with one last time before I leave Stockholm. I still have one more week to give it my all and finish strong here. I've been studying the War chapters in the Book of Mormon!! This is probably one of my favorite sections ever!! It is so awesome and makes me want to be in that time and fight side by side with people like Captain Moroni, Lehi, Teancum, Helaman, etc..It would be so cool to be able to stand next to them and defend my country, my family, and my religion. They are truly inspiring to me. In Alma 48:17, Mormon describes what kind of man Captain Moroni was. If every man were to be like him, Satan would have no power over the hearts of men!!! OOOOOHhh that is so awesome!! I think Mormon was so inspired by him, that he named his son after him. Maybe??? 

I would like to invite all of you to watch the recent Mormon Message about the True Meaning of Christmas, and see what it is you can do specifically this time of year to help someone in need. What we do for others is the best gift we can give to the Savior. So I would like to challenge you all to come up with something, and then follow through with it. This time of year is so special in the fact that we celebrate the Savior's birth and all that he has done for us. Share this message of hope to all that you meet and I promise you that you will feel the spirit so much more in your life. You will truly understand what this time of year really means. I love you all and am so grateful for your example to me, have a fantastic week!


Äldste Johnson

Monday, December 2, 2013

Dear you all,

Sounds like everyone has had a great thanksgiving week full of exciting events and all that jazz. I love hearing how you all are doing. I would like to request one thing from y'all and that would be a Christmas card or email greeting thing, if you can. It got down to minus 5 celsius [23 degrees] a couple of days, and hasn't really gone up past the 0 mark [32] Still no snow, but it should be happening pretty soon! A lot of people blåsted, or cancelled, us again this week so not a lot of numbers and lessons, oh well.
Typical slide thing at a playground
Mån: FHE at the YSA Center. The activity was all of us writing our name on a piece of paper and then passing it in a circle with everyone writing a compliment on that. It was really cool to see all of the nice compliments that people gave after knowing someone for awhile or just barely. It was an activity that helped us all feel a little better about ourselves. Why not do the same thing in your own FHE this week? Do it!

Tis: We had our district meeting and discussed what we can do for our ward. We need referrals but we need to connect/share/love the members and be a real person to them rather than some robot missionary demanding referrals. We are continuing to work on it. We talked about how we can help bishop with his stress and ease his burden a little bit. We met with a man later and watched all 3 Patterns of Light video segments from Elder Bednar. Super teaching tool for understanding inspiration. 

My package for the family
Ons: Many people cancelled on us and I began to get frustrated. It happens a lot.  Anywho, we got the finishing touches and items to our Christmas package we were sending home to our families and took some time wrapping and all that jazz. You guys should probably get it next week. Its pretty exciting, I hope you all like it. 23 days until we can skype!!

Tors: THANKSGIVING!! I did a lot of studying up on gratitude and thanksgiving and came across some really cool things. In D&C 78:19, it says that when you express your gratitude and thanks to God for everything, you will be made glorious and more blessings will come to you. Interesting...when you take time to thank God for all that you have and specify it, your attitude and perspective on the world is changed and more positive. You find happiness when you express thanks.
Today was kind of a hard day just because I knew what my family would be doing all day and all the traditions we normally do. However, it ended on a good note with us and the ZLs improvising our own Thanksgiving dinner. We had chicken (turkeys are rare here and are expensive!) with mashed potatoes. We had it at our place in Lidingö and we made it look pretty fancy, if i do say so myself.

Fre: We helped a lady move and what do you know? We got a referral out of that. The guy helping us move things used to take the lessons from missionaries in chile when he was younger and was ready to be baptized, but his father wouldn't allow it. We are planning to meet up with him soon!

We helped a young man with his homework for a bit and then went knocking doors with him! That was a lot of fun and surprisingly we had a lot of positive reactions. Usually when we knock, people are very rude to us and slam, but not today. He was nervous but did really awesome testifying to someone about the church! Its a lot of fun taking priests and other people knocking.  They get a little scared when something doesn't go right or the way they planned. They just freeze and look to us for help! I cant help but laugh a bit when that happens! Its weird that I was that scared priest less than a year ago and now I'm the one who is in charge.

Lör: We met up with this one family and had a good time talking with them about the book of mormon and God. Whenever we meet with them they are super positive! They are having some difficulties but they find peace in our message! I love it!

There was a random transfer call this week, but I am staying for now.They are doing a straight transfer of sisters in Lund (far south) and elders in Luleå (far north). This is history, the first time sisters will ever go to Luleå! Im jealous because I want to go as far north as I can for winter!!! It was all a surprise, but I think things will be alright. My father, M, will be leaving me, so thats sad. I am the only survivor of the original Magbull Stockholm district. I have seen 9 or 10 people come through this district the whole time I have been here! I heard that the real transfer on the 18 and either me or H will be leaving. We just don't know yet.

Anyways, we had a great Thanksgiving dinner with this great couple and had a great time! Everyone pitched in and brought food. I made a salad that consisted of bananas, apples, spinach and mixed berry jam hahahaha, i don't make salads! it wasn't too bad. I said I am thankful for the everyday small moments that make life worth it. Its amazing to see that one tiny good thing can make all the difference to a bad day.

Sön: Fast sunday! These are always so good! Plus i feel like it was necessary to have a fast after having so much food! I feel like I had a really good understanding of all 3 hours of church in Swedish!! We had dinner with another awesome family! The kids love us and the parents love having us over. Sister E said that Elder H and I (there you go Babs - proper grammar) are a great combo at teaching and meeting with people even though we are 2 widely different people, thats what makes us really good. That really meant a lot to me to hear her say that we are a great combo. We are so different but we come together in one purpose to help all come unto Christ. I was very grateful for those words. We did the thankful circle thing again and I expressed that I am grateful for the moments in my life that put me back on the right path that led me here to my mission. We then ran over to the G's, literally ran about 2kms, for a teach and another meal!! Holy cow!! We had a good lesson about the Book of Mormon and ended with testimonies.

Some things of interest that I studied this week came from the 3 separate counsels that Alma gives to each of his sons Alma 30-44). My favorite is Shiblon's. He was persecuted for righteousness' sake, yet he stayed faithful even though he was stoned. He didn't need much counsel because he was already faithful and strong. For Corianton, Alma talks about the Plan of Restoration-another name of the Plan of salvation. But think about it. If we do good deeds and have good desires, we will be restored to blessings prepared for people who have had those things.

I am very thankful for all of you in my life. This week has helped me realize how much I really do have and all of the amazing people I have in my life who are amazing examples to me. I hope you all have a great week and prepare for Christmas with the real meaning behind it. I love you all

Äldste Johnson

Monday, November 25, 2013

Hallå allihoppa! Yesterday and today has been the coldest day so far in -2 celcius, plus it is humid here it is even colder, but I love it!! I am cold, but its awesome! also, i have started taking 10 minute power naps everyday during our lunch break, so that really helps me and is all i need to carry on throughout the day! I guess the cold and darkness is starting to affect me.

I have to give a shout out to my Desert Hills Football team for their State Championship:  Congrats Boys! We finally made it! This isn't just a win for you, it is a win for all of us who have gone on before. Once a part of the Thunder Family, you are always apart of the Thunder Family! Im so proud! It's awesome! Way to go Landen -way to represent my number! Love you all.

As you know Sweden doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving which is sad because its such a good holiday. Its much more than sitting down and eating turkey; its about people that love each other gathering and looking back at the year to see all of the wonderful things that God has blessed them with. It helps us realize what truly matters in life rather than us focus on the temporal things. I would like to challenge all of you to really take some alone time this week and reflect specifically on this year all the blessings that God has given you. There is something about being grateful that helps you feel the spirit more abundantly in your life.
Very narrow passage - It actually has a street name

God will not bless you if you don't even thank him for all that he has given you now. If we don't recognize all that he has given, why should he give us more? When we acknowledge it and serve others, thats when he is going to give us more, bless us more. We show him our gratitude and then he multiplies and replenishes his blessings to us. It is a really cool cycle.

I read up on the Anti Nephi Lehi's who were so grateful to the Lord for saving them that they vowed to never take up arms again. It was a tangible expression of their love and commitment to the Lord. On the flipside, I also read the account of Korihor, the Anti Christ. He had so many testimonies against him and signs enough to show him that God truly existed and had all power and knowledge, yet he was ungrateful and demanded more. There you can see 2 extremes.

Locks of love: People put a lock on the bridge to seal their marriage/ love forever
A little summaries of each day of the week goes as follows:
Mån: I bought t-shirts for the family so I will be sending that package along with chocolate and swedish krowns or kronor (money) home soon.

Tis: We had our district meeting about resolving concerns in those we teach. Interestingly, just about every concern can be resolved and found through the Restoration. If ever you are stuck with someone and you have no idea why, restart the Restoration and teach for understanding. Thats really cool! We started splits, I was with M in Innerstan, while my comp and H stayed in Lidingö. They got to watch the second game of portugal v sweden (with the investigators). Sweden did not make it to the World Cup 2014 which is super sad. I wish they would have made it, but I heard that Ronaldo was just on fire!

Ons: Splits today with M was by far one of the most fun days I have had on my missions just because we had so much to do and talked to so many people. We had many people cancel on us, but because we had backup plans we didn't have to worry. However, we didn't even get to our backups because we were having so much success contacting on the Tunnelbana, especially me! I have been slacking recently on contacting so it was a really big help for me to do that and see how much fun I could have when I focused in on the person and didn't care who else was around. Immediately after one, someone asked me to sit by them so they could hear my message!!! How cool!!! I had a good time talking with my trainer about the mission and everything else. We both have a firm desire to do this work, we are completely focused on it. I take my calling seriously, I know that I represent Christ in EVERYTHING I do. 

Tors: We went contacting in Gärdet, which actually means the field. Not any real success, but it was a cool area and place. We met with a member who just recently received the Melchizedek Priesthood and his nonmember 85 year old, in great shape uncle. H played the fiol (violin) for them and had a good time.

Fre: Weekly planning and comp inventory. I need to not stress over little things that could withhold me from having the spirit which is hard but thats how a mission goes ha. Its kind of funny because we had a lot of food today-personal lunch at 1, another lunch with a less active at 2,30, ice cream and fruit at 4,30 and then full course dinner at 7!! It was out of control! Well I guess now is a good time to tell y'all that I am now 182 lbs (i started at 175) which is 82.5 kgs. But a lot of that is muscle due to Ab ripper x:) hahaha.

Ready for service
Lör: We finally played football in the morning again, and it felt so good. It really gets a lot of stress out of me, I even screamed out loud to get the full effect of being on the pitch! We did service for a family (who then invited us over for a thanksgiving dinner this week, but on sunday). We raked leaves and ate hamburgers with them! It reminded me a lot of home because I was always responsible for raking, bagging, and carrying the leaves to the compost, so I was really used to that kind of work. 

We had a few talks with some members in our ward who truly care about home and visiting teaching and helping strengthen the ward. We are so grateful for them.  After being cancelled on again, we went out in the cold near the water and knelt down in prayer to ask for comfort and peace with our work and our ward. I said it, took lots of pauses to allow the spirit to guide me into what I should say, and then just sat there after it was over. I then said a personal prayer in my heart pleading for help. I had a ever so slightly small feeling come into my heart that helped me feel peace. Nothing too big or extravagant, but that was exactly what I needed.

Sön: It was a weird schedule because Soul Nite was going on (big gathering of european and australian countries YSA's coming to Sweden for a 3 day event of socials, classes, temple, and church). We made 350 lunches for them, whew, I'm still tired from that! (I found out that I have anxiety when there are tons of people in a crowded place, along with claustrophobia. Nothing to worry about, I just think its interesting ha. I went out and got some fresh air and was fine.) We had a lesson with a family which then turned into a guitar/ukulele jam session with their son. It was a lot of fun, and the first time in a long time for him to meet with missionaries. I got to play/learn a little guitar and ukulele- sweet!  I got a haircut again, finally, it looks super Swedish!!!
I would just like to now to bear my testimony on thanksgiving and gratitude to all of you, and all the things I have been given this year. I am so grateful that I could finish off high school with good grades, I am grateful for wonderful friends who are on missions or preparing for them. I am so grateful for my family, in all the love and support they have given me over these past 19 years. I would not be where I am today without them. I am so grateful that I can be a missionary in Sweden, and serve in such a beautiful blessed land. I know I am where I am supposed to be, though I am 5,000 miles away from you, you are in my heart. 

But the thing I am most grateful for is my Savior. I am not a perfect person, nor will ever be one in this life, but through him I can overcome my shortcomings, my sins, my frustrations, and all my wrong feelings because he has suffered for them so that I can become like him. I love him with all of my heart and want to try and be like him everyday, and invite all to partake of his goodness and mercy that he has shown me. Never have I been happier than when I applied the Savior and his Atonement in my life. It has changed my life and continues to do so. I hope all of you have a wonderful time this week and reflect on what God has given you. Ha det så bra!!:)

Med vänliga hälsningar

Äldste Johnson

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hej hej allihoppa!
My sis Stacy and mom
Congrats to Stacy for doing such a fabulous job in her musical! Wish I could have been there. Thanks everyone for all the love, support, prayers and updates you send, its awesome! 

Monday after emails our district went to the church to play some games write letters and then we did our grocery shopping. Us and the sisters went over to the C family's house for the wonderful Chilean dinner! Oh man, there is always sooooo much food and is sooooo good-UNREAL!! Haha then we get singing on the guitar, and Bro C was having us listen to his favorite artist-JOHN DENVER!!! No way!! hahaha that was so funny because I knew all of the songs and it brought back good memories singing it in the car on vacations.

I had been feeling angry and frustrated the past couple of days so I decided to really just pour out my heart to Heavenly Father and now I am feeling a lot better and more positive and happy about everything. I truly am greatful for the wonderful gift of prayer, that we can talk to our Father about everything that is going on in our lives and know he is there listening and waiting to help us.

Cool shot of the moon 
Tues: So this week the weather wasn't too bad, but the sun is fully down now at 3,30 pm. My personal studies were about Zeezrom. He went through a sore repentance but was converted and started preaching the Gospel! How cool!! I also studied the Sons of Mosiah, or Mosiahs söner in svenska, and how awesome they are! They couldn't bear the thought of one soul having to perish. So they gave up their time, energy, money, wealth, everything to go and help their bretheren become converted. 14 year missions! Imagine that!!

On a different note, I finally finished the 12 week training program! To celebrate we watched the District 2 quoting it and laughing at the funny parts. Good times. We met up with our new convert and took him out to kebab pizza to celebrate his year anniversary of being a member.
Yummy kebab pizza
We are working to go to the temple with him sometime this month or next! Its going to be really cool to see him experience the beauty and sacredness of the temple, Im so excited! We went on exchanges with the ZL's and I went to a meeting with the stake president to talk about stake conference. I was a zone leader for about 3 hours which was pretty intense, though I never said a word ha. Our stake president is a fireball and earnestly trying to make "Hastening the Work of Salvation" burned into all of our hearts. We were impressed by him and it strengthened my testimony. When we met back up with the others, we found Elder J had ripped his pants, it was hilarious! He ran into the bathroom and took off his pants so that one of our sisters could hand sew it back together haha!

Wed: Crazy day! It was transfers this day and also tomorrow was our zone conference with 5 zones in Sweden so travel and work was all over the place. We picked up 3 guys (2 of them from my MTC group) so they could spend the night with us and go to the conference together at Gubbängens kappel. I made some cookies that turned out really bad, and I am super embarrassed by it. I think I'll take a break from those for awhile...haha. We stayed up late catching up with each other. It was pretty crammed with 5 people in our apartment, but it worked.

Thurs: Zone conference was awesome! There were 5 zones there and 4 zones that would do theirs the next day. My zone-Stockholm- is in the middle of everything, so I know everything and everyone before they even know me ha. It was awesome catching up with most of the people from my mtc group and just having a good ol time with them. Sister Newell  talked about How to Adjust to Missionary Life and keeping stress down for missionaries. I believe it will help us manage the stress in missionary work and get rid of the unnecessary stress we put on ourselves. She showed us was Pep Talk from Kid President. Man I love that little kid, he says it so clearly and to the point. "Im on your team, your on mine...Stop being boring!...This is my time, this is your time, this is OUR TIME!!" So good. President said that the number of missionaries there on the first conference day was the same number of total missionaries exactly a year ago!! Thats crazy! We had about 90-100 there, yet there was still another 80 other missionaries!!! Its crazy to see how big an affect the age change made!! 

Anywho, I met an Elder M who played on Rangers football club team in Utah. We actually talked about how my team, Fire FC, beat his team in State Cup 2011 for the semis, I think! It was really funny and we had a good chat about football, he plays for BYUs team. I also received my package from ma, mmmm, more peanut butter.  Thanks!

Fre: Weekly planning!! This is most likely my last transfer in Stockholm so I want to give everything I can and say I did my best. Great things are going to happen, we are going to work hard for this, but also realize it always comes down to people's agency. I really love companon inventory because it truly makes a huge difference in the work and within your companionship. I plan to have them with my wife when I am married! Yup, I said that. They really are fantastic at helping you settle petty differences and focus on what is most important -the people and the work. We finished the session with some kebab and calzone from Lidingös best place, Oskars.  
This is a onesie uniform in Sweden's colors, haha
We actually got an approval from our zone leaders to watch the Sweden vs Portugal world cup qualifyer game, because we were with the G's and 2 investigator friends. It was super intense though Sweden lost. I had a great time, though not the best thing for a missionary, but we did have a lesson before! Bro G was just like pops getting really upset and all that jazz. More and more he reminds me of pops all the time.

Sat: Took and investigator to Stake Conference where we heard really good talks about Hastening the Work of Salvation. It does no good to have twice the number of missionaries without members helping. Please, we need your help so much, and you need our help. We also heard from our 2 area seventies: elder olsson from sweden, and elder j......i dont know from Finland. The missionaries sang the EFY medley song to close the meeting that was super powerful! I love it! We are now, I am now, the Lord's missionary to bring the world His truth.

Sun: More stake conference. I actually understood about 95 percent of all that was said in the meetings! Later we went to the G to eat dinner with their friend and have a lesson. We believe he is the closest and most positive person that we are working with and hope to see him baptized soon! We also played spoons with them and I won!! It was intense, but I snatched it and took home the gold:) On the way home we did a swingby of a family and they said they had been reading the Book of Mormon! Fantastic for them.

I am grateful for all of you, with your love and support you constantly give me. I love being a missionary and representing My Lord and Savior everyday, and to be able to help Heavenly Fathers children. Though I can't quite see the success from my labors, I know that I am helping the work go forward. One of the apostles once said that no missionary can ever fully comprehend just how much of an impact he was on his mission. You can't see the seed planted, nurtured, and grown up over time. You can't see how many people one person influence has brought into the church through descendants. But that doesn't matter, do the work and you will be blessed. I love you all so much and hope you have a great week! 
Streets decorated for Christmas

oh ps!! a funny word I learned this week was the word for inside joke which is: intern skämt (huhwhemt, do the huh very fast) it sounds very chinese and it is hilarious!! 

MVH, Äldste Johnson

Monday, November 11, 2013

Hallå familjen Johnson och väner!

Well folks, here we are. I am grateful for all of your letters and love. I truly feel it here in Sverige. Thanks for all of the advice and updates you give me, it is great to see all of you taking the courage to work on being better member missionaries and doing what Elder Ballard invited us all to do before Christmas. I know you all can do it.

This week was transfers. I was praying to stay here in Stockholm but I knew the Lord knew what was best for me! So .......I found out that I would be transferred to the hardest places in the mission to be with one of the most disobedient missionary.... nej, jag bara skojar! JK I'm staying in Stockholm another 6 weeks!!! Hahaha i got all of you pretty good! That means I will probably be transferred the week before Christmas but I wont worry about that now, I am stoked to stay here and get right back to work! The weather has been pretty nice this week, 5 on average. Its sooooooo close to snowing, and I want it so bad!!! 

I went to the Vasa Museum last week on pday and got some cool pics. It is the largest preserved ship saved from the 17th century! The history behind it is kind of funny because the Swedes made this massive ship but it only went out of the bay 500 meters and then sunk from a small breeze that tipped it over. It was supposed to be the most eloquent powerful ship in the world, kind of like the titanic i guess ha, but it was not built proportionally, if that makes sense ha. The bottom wasn't wide enough or heavy enough to protect it from winds blowing it over ha. It is 98 percent still in tact. The museum was neat. I am always fascinated by history and things like that.  I would have stayed all day there reading all of the little notes and things they have about every little thing there, but alas, I couldn't.

Tis: I started Ab Ripper X and it is brutal but awesome! My focus from PMG this month is Charity. I have always struggled to feel and show empathy for people. 1 Corinthians 13 says it perfectly -You can have all knowledge and power in the world, all the faith to move mountains,etc, BUT if ye have not Charity, ye are NOTHING!! Thats pretty dang powerful. Charity, as we know, is the pure love of Christ. We are striving to see people the way that God and Christ sees them, with an unconditional perfect love, and THEN serve them! Its not love if you just say it. You must sacrifice yourself for someone else. I hope these insights help you, because as I write them down I feel the spirit confirm to me what I am saying is true.
Weird glass box in the middle of the sidewalk
President loves focusing on 'vision'. As missionaries we set our expectations to be really big before we start our mission. However, life hits and we find out its not going to be that easy. So then we lower our expectations, but why? Just because something challenges your expectations or goals, don't change it, work harder for it because you know it will be that much more worth it. When expectations are lowered, the amount of work and success also diminishes.
Don't settle for less when you are challenged, take control and see your vision and work for it.

Me and the "T"- two St. George Boys
Wed: I taught an English class that didn't go so well because the high school kids were not very interactive, oh well ha. I am not sick anymore - yeah! I finally saw Elder T at the Gubbängen chapel and I got to talk with him and give him a big hug! That night we got to meet our investigators wife and she was really nice and invited us over for dinner on Sunday!

Thurs: Elder H had an interview for the zls investigator. He is so cool and going to be the best member! He volunteered his car and service to help someone in our ward move. How cool is that!! We had sports night and had a guy come that we had invited. He fit in so well and just loved it! 

Fre: I had my 12 week conference call with president and my whole group! I cant believe i have been here that long!! CRAZY!!! We cleaned the baptismal font and it felt like i was in a little pool, haha. I had a really cool bus contact with someone. I loved that!

Lör: S had his baptism and it was awesome! He was smiling ear to ear in his white clothes and just absolutely fit in there! We helped someone move. The pics I have were above her place overlooking Stockholm!!! It was so cool and fun running around on the rooftops! 

Sön: Church, always so good! It was the Swedish Father's Day here and all of us missionaries got the badge and the candies.
Glad Father's Day
My first Father's Day gift
Then we had an interesting dinner of lamb stomach and chicken.  We brought our friend with us to the G's and they got along so well and it was awesome! Great things are going to happen with him and his family! 

I love all of you so much and so grateful to be a missionary! It is super hard, but more rewarding! I love it and have learned so much! Keep working hard! Put God first always and everything else will fall into place. I promise! I love the member missionary stories from all of you, keep it up! Kämpa på!
Jag älskar er
Äldste Johnson

Monday, November 4, 2013


This picture is for my brother, for his birthday.  It makes me laugh.
Hallå alla!
Vad händer denna vecka? Happy Birthday to Bradley Van Pelt! [Brady] Twenty twoooooo oooohhh -think taylor swift song:) Eller tjugo två (shoogie tvoa). Thanks all for your messages and uplifting thoughts, it really means a lot. The last couple of days I have been sick. My allergies and insomnia were at an all-time low and I was really happy about that. But then...BOOM! I have had trouble sleeping and my allergies are not the best. But oh well, Im doing fine. I'm used to this so its not going to stop my work at all.
The weather has been really great, about 5 or 6 celsius on average (41 degrees.) The sun is completely gone by 4pm which is super trippy because you think its like 9, time to go home. Nope. We still have 5 more hours in the dark to work! Its cool, but really weird. Its only going to get worse than that, 2 pm is the max I think when the sun goes down. And then the summers, the sun is up forever! Fo-ev-er!!! (name that movie) Even when the sun is up, there is always a cloud cover so you dont really see it too much. You would think, and this is normal for everyone, that it would bring your spirits down with everything being cold and dark, but I am the opposite. I love the cold and dark, that's how I lived in the basement! So no worries there!;)

Tuesday, was District Meeting about helping the YSA center to be better used because the church pays for it. It is a great place for YSA's to bring their friends, many baptisms come through this so we want things to pick up in that regard. We also talked about being more positive in our work. Be grateful for what you do have, don't reflect on what you don't have. Every time we say something a little negative we right away have to say 2 good things about that same thing. We call it the 2 for 1 deal. It really helps with our attitude.

We called some TUs, or tänkbara undersökare (potential investigators), and had some interesting discussions over the phone with some people. We then went over to a part member family's house. We ate some Ben and Jerrys ice cream with them (I thought of how much pops loves that stuff) and got to know them. They are super nice and funny! The wife actually had a copy of My Turn on Earth-by Caroline Pearson (mom you know what this is. Angel Lullaby- I still remember so vividly you singing that to me at night when I was young! ) We had a lesson about Family History Work and they want to get right on it! Families are a universal topic of interest, and it helps so much with our work, I love it! Then afterwards, the Husband who is chiropractor, gave me and Aldste H an adjustment and it FELT SO GOOD!!! Oh man, it was the best, I really needed that. H had never had one before and he was on cloud 9 haha!

Ons: In my personal studies this week, I read about Limhi and Alma the older. The Lord didn't deliver them so easily and fast. It's a testimony to me that though we may not receive immediate release from our trials and tribulations, the Lord does ease the burden when you pray for help.
We met up with one of our new converts who is always so fun to go to. He has been a member for a year this week so we are planning on taking him out for kebab. But we shared a Mormon message about continuing in patience.  We bought pumpkins and carved them. It took a really long time because our resources and tools were not the best, nevertheless they turned out really good! I, of course, made batman:)

Tors: I had been sick the past couple of days, so one thing that I've been doing is drinking some tea to soothe my throat and it makes me feel a lot better when I am sick. Blueberry is great. I had the best breakfast ever!! blueberry tea (with some honey and milk of course), blueberry muffin, cookies, apples, peanut butter and banana toast, granola and yogurt with apples and bananas. yummmmmmy:)

So it was Halloween. Yes Swedes celebrate it, but not quite like in America. We were not in lockdown, it was just another normal day of work.
Diagon Alley??
I did find a spot that looked like Diagon Alley from Harry Potter.
We had the church watch, and did some family history work.We met up with H and she made blueberry muffins that were phenomenal  Then we had sports night, which turned out really good! This week was fall break for all of the schools, so that was crazy traffic, but meant tons of people could come. We had over 30 people come, and 15 of them were nonmembers!! It was a lot of fun playing bball, football, and volleyball. I had to be in charge of organizing everything, watching time, switching out, picking teams, cleaning up; the whole shibang. It was a lot of fun, but very exhausting, whew!

Fre: I ironed my pants (which btw, both are starting to fall apart ha) and couldn't seem to do it right. I can iron shirts, no problem, but the pants are just so confusing!! 
Tunnelbanna to Central station
We ate lunch in the middle of central station, hoping to see someone we knew from the crowd of millions of people walking by. Every 1000 people that passed, one of them was bound to be a Mormon  according to the statistics:) ha. We had a really good lesson/chat with one investigator who right off the bat he asked us about the temple-he wants that so bad! We bore testimony of how sacred it is and the feelings you get when you go to the temple, and he absolutely loved that!  Transfers are in 10 days and I want to stay! I told President this and I hope he lets me. Things are picking up in a lot of areas here!
I don't feel like my time in Stockholm is done, but we shall see.

Lör: A husband and wife contacted us and invited us over. They love God and Jesus so that's how they wanted to talk to us. All we offer them is the amazing truth about the Restored Gospel, and they are super positive! They are so prepared and loving and want to know more!
This day was also All Saints Day, I dont know too much about it and we kind of missed it, but apparently they have a big celebration and lighting of 1000s of candles in the cemetery  That's all I know, but it sounded cool.

Sön: I love Sundays  To take the sacrament and start the week fresh and hit it hard! President actually came to our apartment in the morning and we had a little interview with him together. He told us we need to be better with our planners, oops! And also he said that the Area book is worth so much, so don't lose it! It is a gold mine for people to come to Christ! Then he told us these great stories about him being on a mission, and being the ambassador here years ago. He knows everyone and is just so amazing! I love talking with him, he is so spiritual. We had dinner with the G's and an investigator and had a Plan of Salvation discussion, which was awesome! It was a solid week here in Stockholm.
Looking up the stairs to my apartment

I just would like close by telling all of you how much this Gospel means to me. Words don't do justice for what it has done for me in my life. I truly am grateful that God has entrusted me with his children in Sweden. I know it's hard, but there are people here just for me, that I need to help. I can't explain this feeling of desire to find those who I knew before this life who asked me to help them come to the knowledge of the truth once they were on earth. I am strengthened through my Savior, and know that God will guide me the whole way. My favorite hymn is 97 Lead Kindly Light and it says it perfectly: 'keep thou my feet, I do not ask to see the distance scene-one step enough for me.' I love you all and pray for you! Have a great week!

Äldste Johnson