Sweden Stockholm Mission

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