Sweden Stockholm Mission

Monday, February 17, 2014

Grattis på alla hjartans dag - Happy Valentines day!

Eskilstuna at night
Hej på er! Direct translation - hey on you all!

Wowee! Sounds like it has been a fun week! I would first like to give Pops a shoutout for tomorrow Happy 52nd Birthday! Hope You have a good time in Palm Springs! I am going to get into golfing when I get home. I need to work on my old man's game:) Anywho, hope y'all have had a great Valentines Day, because I sure didn't...Hahaha just kidding!  It is kind of hard being a missionary and seeing all the young birds in love. There were literally thousands of birds outside our apartment complex that were flying all over together on Valentines day! Well I guess I can start with my week. Nu kör vi (new, sure, vee) directly translated is now drive we, but it means lets do it!

Mån: After emailing, cleaning and laundry when 6pm hit it was time to go missionary mode. This was probably the craziest day ever in just such a short amount of time. We still needed to get our 10 contacts in for the day even though it was pday. We saw this port-coded building just barely open, so we immediately run to catch it before it closes. You can't ever pass up an opportunity when a port-coded door opens. Elder S wanted to swing by this family that had previously been tracted into. We knock on the door. Who's there? A nice Muslim family. Luckily they invited us in after hearing we had a special message that we would like to share. We were very shocked because no one invites us in! Already we were so happy!

We asked if we could start off with a prayer. I explained how our prayers usually go and when they heard God's son and Jesus they told us that Jesus was only a prophet, not Gods Son. Hmmm. so that got ruined...We listened to their beliefs and told what we believe in and tried to say something that would want them to learn more. I seriously have never prayed so hard in all of my life than I did at that point. My companion and I were saying prayers in our hearts, begging, pleading to know what we could say. When there was a pause, I got so scared and was like 'you (my comp) need to say something!' and then he did, and the same back to me. And once, neither of us said anything and luckily the dad spoke up. Whew! We kept praying and praying with all of our might that we could say something to help them. Finally, the Book of Mormon came up! Yes, the life saver!!! You can always rely on the BoM! They were very interested in it and said they would love to read it! Unfortunately we did not have an Arabic copy with us (the daughter was translating swedish to arabic with her father the whole time!), but that was also lucky because we could then set up a return appointment with them! We left and my comp and I just stared at eachother and were like "What just happened????" We were both freaking out and saying how hard we were praying in there and hoping that God would help us with that! And sure enough, He did! Wow, that was so intense. I can't breathe just thinking about that, ha! Awesome! But the day wasn't over yet...

We still needed 9 more contacts so we decided to go to Magbull and talk to everyone on the way. After reaching 10 people who weren't so positive, things just started happening. People were prepared and their hearts were just open to our message! We ended the night with 14 unplanned contacts, 4 of those people gave us their phone numbers, and 5 of them wanted a copy of the Book of Mormon!!! Unbelievable!! Elder Ballard promised us that if we contact 10 random people every day, numbers would go up and we will find the prepared who are willing to follow the Savior and be baptized. I have a very strong testimony of this. 

Tis: A guy walked into the church building while we were there. He had seen our church and wanted to know what we believed. We talked with him for an hour answering his questions and bearing testimony. Without us even asking he said he was going to come on church on sunday! How awesome! We next taught our investigator with a baptismal date and realized we need to go really slow with him. That means putting back the date but thats what it takes to help people enter in the gate and stay. He loves reading the Book of Mormon and can feel a difference in his life! It really has the power to change people! We also swung by a potential investigator who studied at NYU and is very intelligent. He told us all of his beliefs for a long time then said we could come back and talk about our church! Hopefully despite all of his logical thinking, he can accept our spiritual message.

Ons: We had the family history consultant come and teach us missionaries how to do family history. It made me even more confused. I really want to feel the Spirit of Elijah so Im hoping one day I will understand it. We are supposed to do it at least once a week for 2 hours. We met up with a potential investigator who is interested in the book of Mormon. Second hand smoke is killing me here. I know that God is blessing me and helping me to withstand that when I can't escape it.

Tors: We had a zone training in Södertälje. We missed the stop and had to backtrack but we made it. We talked about #102021. Numbers that President wants us to remember. 10-contacts daily. 20-lessons a week will lead to 2 (double the baptisms) and 1- baptism monthly with companions. It is such a big goal, but I know that we can do it. Although we are coming out with more and more electronic ways to preach the gospel, contacting and meeting people face to face is more personal and you truly develop a love so quickly for that person and can see how much potential they have and how the Gospel will help them.

You find the strangest things in missionary apartments
After eating kebab and walking in the rain we made it back home and we went on exchanges. I went with Elder S to his area. We taught a teenage girl. It was crazy but when I first saw her I had this distinct impression that she is going to be baptized. I don't know how or why or when it will happen, but I know it will. It was awesome! She is cool and her family is genuinely interested in the gospel. We then met up with some members who are preparing on going to the temple to be sealed. Elder S and I had a good time together just catching up on the past 6 months and talking about the good things in life and the mission. 

Some graffiti for Valentines Day
Fre: Grattis på alla hjartans dag-Happy Valentines day! I opened my valentines package from mom and loved it! We went on a walk with one of our eternal investigators and had the drop talk. She has been going to church for a long time and been taught everything by the missionaries, now she just needs to act. She needs to figure out for herself and trust in God. That was hard, dropping someone, but it is the best thing for her.

We made cookies today so we could distribute them out to our members and more especially the less actives, to break the ice with them. Triple batch man, that is a lot of cookies!! We then had our sports night and had a great time playing volleyball! (I miss those days back home getting together with my boys and going to the sand courts and challenging the college kids and beating them! Good times:) We saw lots of people going on dates and doing all that Valentines stuff - it was weird ha.

I live here, its called Gotham - Perfect for a Batman guy like me
Lör: We helped a family move some furniture then went to Strängnäs (an outskirt type of city part of our area). We met up with some less actives and had an exchange of treats. We gave them cookies and they had us come in and eat some cake. Dang good cake too! It was chocolate peanut butter middle inside of a banana bread cake with vanilla frosting on top! Mmmmm. 

We met up with our branch mission leader. He is a convert for 2 years and is from Iraq. (He fought AlQueda and helped the US a ton. He is an ex war general and has the craziest war stories!) He has a great conversion story and loves the church so much! We had a good time talking and figuring out what we can do together.

Sön: I gave a talk about how we can invite the Holy Ghost into our lives and what the blessings from that. I mentioned that the best way I invite the spirit is by singing a hymn in my head. I got emotional when I said that singing "I am a Child of God" helps me remember who I am and who I can become. Its simple to just sing a hymn, but it makes a huge difference. Think about what you are doing to invite the spirit into your home throughout the week. What can you improve on, what can be taken out. Fill your life with the Holy Ghost for He will teach you the truth of all things.

After church we did a lot of swingbys, then played some soccer with some teens we were walking by and got their numbers (that was awesome-balling up kids in our white shirts and ties:)) Then we walked home after getting 24 contacts on the day to reach our goal for the week. The last guy was Cambodian and I spoke a little bit of that with him! He loved the idea of living with his family for ever! People are prepared!

It has been a long week but a good week nonetheless. It is hard, but its worth it. I know that the Lord is preparing people all over the world. Even wherever you are. There is somebody in your path that needs your help, pray to be open to know what to do and what to say. I love you all and love being here! Have a fantastic week!

Love Elder Johnson

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