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