Sweden Stockholm Mission

Monday, March 3, 2014

Tough News

Elder Mason Bailey is to the right of Elder Johnson
Something tragic has happened that I need to tell you about. Sunday afternoon here in Sweden, Elder Mason Bailey, who was in my mtc district, was hit by a car and died. I am still in shock and don't know how to respond or what to do. He was the greatest guy I have ever known; full of love and life, always a friend to everyone, recognized his weaknesses and made them his strengths. I am deeply saddened by his loss, and can only imagine how hard this is for his family. Though sad this may be now, the message that the Gospel brings lets us know that we will see him again. What peace and joy to know that we will live forever with our families and loved ones for all eternity; that this life is not the end, but just one step in the process. Death does not separate us, if anything, it brings us closer together. I truly am grateful for this knowledge in my life and know that it is all part of God's Great Plan of Happiness.

This is hard but I will go ahead with my letter. I kind of seems trivial right now. I love and appreciate all of the love, support, updates, etc. you send to me -you are amazing!

The name of this fruit is pretty funny
Mån: I started doing the Insanity workout and it is definitely insane. I'm sweating so much from it and I haven't done that for a while. We taught our english class then headed over to a less actives place. We asked her to teach us spanish. Both my comp and I have a fairly decent background in spanish so it won't be completely new. She lit up at the suggestion and wants us to do it.. She even said that we can learn how to read scriptures and teach our missionary lessons in spanish to her! She said that this will help her desire to come back to church grow! We were very excited to see that! It's really cool to see that when we really take the time to listen and get to know someone, the Spirit can touch them in such a way that opens them up to the Gospel.

Breakfast of Champions!
Tis: We got up at 6 am to do laundry then had our church watch. Its interesting what sometimes happens with companions; we have a little spat, but right after that, we have the greatest spiritual experience ever by really getting to know each other and growing from that. A lot of people cancelled on us today so that also played a role in our frustrations. This week we had a lot of solid 0 days, which got us pretty down. But tuesday I got a package from the Lewis family and some letters that really helped me feel loved and appreciated in a time where I was feeling down. So thanks for that!

Ons: Our companionship study was very interesting. We talked about if we were the missionaries we saw ourselves being when we were younger. That's a very interesting thought. Am I the same missionary I dreamed about being? Am I doing the things I saw myself doing? Missionaries can get into the routine of teaching and talking that they are confident in what they say and know how to read certain people and ultimately not rely on the Spirit. But we want and need the spirit so much in everything we do. God directs us through His spirit and if we arent doing His work in His way, why are we doing it? On a funny note, we contacted an old man who only spoke Arabic. We gave him a pamphlet and he kissed it and touched it to his head and said "tack så mycket!" (thank you so much)

I am navigating, and no we're not lost.
Tors: This day was crazy! We called it the MEGA ULTRA EXCHANGES because the AP's and the ZLs came to Eskilstuna to be with us. The Assistants went with the senior companions and the Zone leaders went with the juniors. So 8 missionaries in Eskilstuna!!! Wow, that was crazy! I went to Strängnäs where no one was home and my appointments fell through. I had a good chat with Elder M about his mission and what I can do to improve -it really helped. I was getting pretty anxious because we didn't have anything to do, but luckily I called C and she said we could come by. That was a life saver for me. We had a great discussion and spiritual experience. We watched a mormon message "The Will of God" by D. Todd Christofferson. I started to tear up because this week God has been pruning me. He only does it out of love, He knows who and what we need to be, and in order to get there, we have to be cut back every now and again to grow in the right place. The night is always the darkest, just before the dawn. How true that is.  I'm lucky enough to try to keep a positive attitude through all of the hard times and know that something good is on the horizon. 

We ended on a teach with an investigator and his sister. We were able to bear testimony of the book of mormon and challenge them to find out for themselves if it is true. They seemed to grasp it very well. We came home and Elder M showed me all of the functions of the Area Book because I was never taught that. That book is priceless and irreplaceable. It was a cool day in Eskilstuna for sure.

Fre: Lots of cancels and drops... we need more people to teach so contacting, tracting, everything it takes to get more people. We had sports night and it was us 4 missionaries, plus two others. We taught them for a little bit and then played some indoor football (soccer.) Love to play!

Lör: Some swingbys, some cancels, some good contacts and all of that stuff. I made some good curry chicken:)

Sön: Fast sundays are the best!! We had a lot of people in church -investigators, less actives, members, us:), all were from the other elders' area, but we're all the same team so I was very happy for that. I shared my testimony about how Christ calls us his friends, and as such we should do our best to help him and His work. Just knowing he considers us friends, family, His own, really makes you feel comforted. You are never ever alone. He is always there for us if we allow Him to be. A member family invited us over for dinner and had a good time there. We did some swingbys and got cancelled again. We walked home during a snowstorm contacting people who were content with being ok. They didn't want to have eternal happiness. They just want to be ok. Not too good, not too bad, and thats sad. It was a very tough week and then our missionary brother gets killed. But we've just got to remain positive and keep moving on.

Reppin' the DH Thunder on a morning run in Sweden
Hope all is well and that life is good. And I realized that back home high school soccer started up. It made me kind of sad to think that I can't be there to suit up with my team, but very glad that I am here serving the Lord, right where I need to be. I miss my boys, but I'm so happy and proud that my fellow seniors with me last year are all out on missions or preparing for them. How great is that! Special shoutout to Dhills soccer! You guys are the best, work hard and do work. Get the toe poke, Brock style:)
Same shot as above: What a difference a few days make.


Elder Johnson

1 comment:

  1. Thinking of Elder Bailey's family and friends, and especially of Elder Johnson & the other missionaries who served with and loved him. Hits way too close to home. Love these missionaries and feel like they belong to all of us.