I deeply thank and appreciate you for the many prayers you have given to me and the mission through this trying time. I truly have been strengthened by you and things are getting better. With time, more understanding comes as well as acceptance. I think about a quote that goes along the lines of "Lord, give me the patience to deal with the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to tell the difference." This quote has helped me a lot throughout my mission. This week has been quite wonderful, to say the least. Words don't give justice to the many amazing experiences and blessings that God has given to me.
Mån: Most of the day we spent walking around Eskilstuna trying to find museums and domkyrkans (cathedrals) to visit. Unfortunately they were all closed and or were not opened on mondays:( However, we took the time to look at the beauty along the way and capture the fun moments. Eskilstuna is one of the prettiest cities in Sweden during the summer time, and even now it looks amazing! We finished up our day with a practice teach with some members. They asked random questions they thought investigators would ask haha. It was nice, we had dinner and a good time.
Tis: We had the church watch and one of the branch's new converts came into the church and chatted with us. We renewed our bus cards and went out to go find this less active and ended up getting lost...for a little bit. Later we went out on exchanges with our home teaching companions. I went with the Stake President (now thats pressure.) We swungby 2 less actives who weren't home, so I was kind of nervous because i was leading the way tonight. A thought came to mind to go visit this other less active. So we drove out there, knocked on the door and chatted for a while. She wasn't too excited to see us but after President talked with her and connected with some interests she was eager to let us in!
We got talking and getting to know each other, her daughter is a olympic gymnast and will be competing in the next summer olympics!! Thats crazy! Her son and I connected with soccer and had a good chat about that. President pulls out his ipad and shows a mormon message and gave a little testimony about that. They liked it so much that we helped them download gospel library app on their ipads and pull up more mormon messages! It was amazing! At the beginning she was not wanting us to come in or anything, but as we continued and as the spirit worked came in, it opened her up to letting us in and connecting more! She said that we are welcome to come back! Later that night my comp and I contacted someone in the similar fashion: first glance -not too interested, but as we continued, taught a little bit and bore testimony, the spirit was able to open up his heart and accept what we said and give us his number! The spirit was definitely in control this day!!
|We seem to always be getting lost these days|
Ons: We planned for a lesson in the morning, but ended up in the wrong place for our lesson, ha. Getting lost and confused has been happening a lot recently (that is a foreshadowing to future events). We met L and talked a lot about Agency. We really focused on right and wrong, happiness or misery: there is no middle ground. We taught that everything good comes from God. He is still unsure about the existance of a God and even an afterlife but we bore testimony to him that if he prayed about it he would receive his answer.
We had our church watch and met up with a potential investigator -W. We met him 4 weeks ago at the bus station -he actually talked to us first, but we left without getting his number or anything. Last week we saw him riding his bike and stopped him to get his number. Later that night, the other E-tuna elders came to our place for a sleepover-because torsdag we had zone conference and would head up together. We made some hamburgers and Elder B and I stayed up pretty late talking and having a bro sesh. We are very similar and it's pretty funny. He is excellent at quoting movies, so needless to say we get along great.
Tors: We left early in the morning for Västerhaninge for combined zone conference of Södertälje and Stockholm South zones. We had to go through Stockholm central and then go back down to Västerhaninge. As we were going in and out of STHLM, i was getting very nostalgic. I was back in my home! I loved being able to see all of my first area and point out things to the other elders. I miss it.
The meeting started out with a memorial video of Elder Bailey. It was a bunch of pictures compiled together and I was in a lot of them, because we were in the mtc together. It made me cry a lot again; I had forgotten a lot of great times in the MTC with elder Bailey. However, through all of that, I think I really found peace. President Newell said something that really hit me. "Elder Bailey is fine. He just had a transfer. He is continuing the work with just as much vigor and enthusiasm as he had here, if not more. However, he cannot baptize there. He is counting on us to do that. What we do now, should be for the same cause that he died for. He needs us." That hit me. He is fine. We are not. We have bodies that are subject to disease and all sorts of things. He is fine. But he needs us -all of us. To baptize. That right there, has helped me comprehend what I need to do. That I need to keep going forward, go out and find, teach and baptize. We all need to do family history work to baptize. This has given me great peace to know all is well with my fellow brother, but also a sense of awakening and determination to go out and serve more fully.
|Figuring out the I-phone and all the apps|
Just before we left, the secretaries announced that we were all getting IPHONES!!! Everyone was ecstatic. It will make things easier: never get lost, access to mormon messages for lessons, visual aids right there, etc. . So that was a big shock! We have iphones, and it's really cool ha!
We got back into Strängnäs and met up with N. She loved everything we talked about and the daily scriptures we have been sending her. She still has some concerns but we promised her that if she continues to read and pray about the book of mormon, she would get an answer that she should be baptized!! SO please pray for her!
Fre: We met up with an older investigator. He is very knowledgable about the bible and knows that it has flaws. He has a lot of questions but he is very positive with us. We had our weekly planning and then headed to sports night. It was only us 4 missionaries, plus two others but we made it fun.
Lör: We received the transfer call. So my Elder S will be going and I will be receiving a new Elder S. hahahaha so I am going back to back S's! What are the odds?:) He just finished his 12 week greeny program, so i will be greeny busting, is what it is called in the mission slang. It'll be cool. I'm excited. We had a busy day today as well. Met with J and W and had great lessons with them.
We met up with Y, the most respectful, coolest guy I've ever met. He has the strongest belief in his religion. I could feel how much it meant to him. He obviously doesn't agree with some things that we believe in, but he didn't shoot them down. He analyzed them and tried to accept it and see why and how we believe this way. He is very open and just a great guy. We gave him a book of mormon, and he is planning on giving us the koran (pretty cool right). Super cool guy! We had planned other lessons in the day, but they were cancelled. That actually helped us get some breathing room and focus more on our lessons with these 3 than worry about being late to the next appointment. God was watching out for us on that.
Sön: It was Elder S's last sunday here, so he gave his testimony. We had 4 investigators show up to church!!! I did the translating from swedish to english for my first time -so that was scary and fun ha. I dont think I did so well, but I made it through ok.:) After sacrament, we elders split up to teach them. One of them actually knows one of our members and so that was cool for him to have a friend already in church!! Miracle! We had a branch council afterwards then went to take the sacrament to a ward member and I used the peacock feather for an object lesson -went really great, thanks mom!
We went down to Strängnäs to teach A , gave a book of mormon to S and he accepted the soft baptismal invitiation!!, met up with N for a short time for E. Smith to say goodbye, and then we went to B's. We had a very busy, just fantastic day! Everything went according to plans, and the spirit was so strong, and it was top 5 best days of the mission. I wish I could explain more, but I don't have too much time!!! SOOOOO AWESOME!!!
We ended up having 20 lessons this week! We had 4 investigators in church! We have really just seen the Lord's hand in this work this week, and he has shown us the fruit of our labors. We have worked really long and hard with little happening, but this week was a testimony to me that the Lord holds onto his promise that he will bless us if we are but faithful, diligent, and obedient to Him always. I'm so happy right now, and things are just going really good. I can't even describe how much we have been blessed this week, and see so much success! Many people are making the steps closer to Christ. I am so blessed and grateful for this amazing opportunity I have to be a missionary here in Sweden. It is amazing. I love this work and know it is true. I love this people and desire their happiness just as Enos, and the Sons of Mosiah for the Lamanites. I love you all, and I especially love my Savior who has been there every step of the way with me. And has carried me when times have been hard. He is always there. He lives. It is my prayer that you all always remember that He is there for you. He waits to bless you if you but ask. Have a fantastic week!