Sweden Stockholm Mission

Monday, April 7, 2014

...with all the energies of my soul...

Hallå allihopa!
My my, what a great week it has been! The weather has been kind of cold, but spirits were high! Im glad all of you enjoyed conference-I did as well with much enthusiasm and desire to go out and apply what I've learned.
Fun Birthday Cake
  Mån: We went to Katrineholm to hang out with the elders there at a shopping center. Later we went to the K's place for their little girl's birthday/FHE type of dinner event. She is the cutest little thing ever! Ha, she loves having the missionaries over, and in every prayer she asks that the missionaries can come over again:) It's really fun hearing children speak swedish. I don't know why, it just is.The kiwi cake was so good!
 Tis: During our church watch, we were in charge of putting together the new modem and router to the church's computers and figuring out a lot of frustrating computer problems ha (didn't really get it fully figured out yet but it functions). We then met up with this investigator family and they made us this huge dinner! We got to know them and THEY suggested that we meet again! Because we were so long with them we missed the train down to Strängnäs to meet N! I was not going to let that happen! So we called a member and she pulled through for us and drove us down -I am very grateful for that. Sometimes it would be nice to have a car for such occassions. Anywho, we made it down there just in. We went to our regular spot at the pizza place (that's going to be a great story telling the posterity -we met every week with this woman at the pizza place, preparing her for baptism). We talked about tithing and fast offering. She loved how we as a church distribute the money to those in need and in building up the kingdom of God -just like the bible says. She was a bit apprehensive about fasting and told us how much she LOVED food. But after we explained it was for 2 meals once a month and the branch does it together (to strengthen each other), she committed to it.

Ons: We met D at the church to do some family history work with Sister L. It is fun to see the spirit of Elijah working with him. We started off with a little spiritual thought about family history then sister L went hard on temples, sealings, eternity, Elijah appearing to Joseph Smith (we hadn't gotten into anything of that yet, hahaha.) She bore testimony of it like it should be done -it was awesome.  We met up with M and her husband who are helping us with spanish and it is lots of fun. I am remembering so much and understand a lot -so that's nice. I was already planning on teaching myself spanish from swedish once I hit my year mark! We ended with a spiritual thought and both of them were really engaged.
District Meeting

Tors: We had district meeting in the morning where I felt impressed to talk about Chapter 8 of Preach My Gospel (now all of you are going to have one after Elder Ballard's talk right?) Using Time Wisely.  I feel like I was prompted to focus on these and other things before I heard that President wanted us to focus the same things. It's really cool to be inspired like that from the spirit.

On exchanges we tried to swingby some people after being blåsted, and contacted along the way. We caught a train to Strängnäs to meet with M.  We showed a mormon message from Elder Holland called Sanctify Yourselves, talking about the Priesthood. He is excited to get the Melchizedek Priesthood and we will work with him on that. We took a member with us to teach N and it was great. Seriously. They just connect on a whole new level with them. (Members, offer your assistance. Don't wait for the missionaries to contact you, you go contact them. They are busy with their schedule and really appreciate all the help they can get.)  He shared some personal stories that N connected with. It feels like after we share something or teach her she always comes back and teaches us things like how to be more grateful for life and find the joy in everyday. She is amazing! I am so excited for her! She is making plenty of friends in the ward, because she knows we missionaries leave so often.

I can do this stuff now
Fre: We set everything up for conference and hoped it would work on Saturday and Sunday (spoiler alert -it did:)). We then met with U and talked about conference. She asked us about prophets and we taught about their role and responsibility and how they truly are the mouthpiece of the Lord. God speaks out of love through his servants to help his children return to Him. We headed over to sports night and had a really good turnout. I made an analogy to sports and the prophet. God is our coach. We are all players on the field (earth.) He has one captain -the prophet- who is his mouthpiece. We all receive insight and instruction from the coach personally from time to time, but the coach uses his captain more to be the mouthpiece for the team: warn them of certain dangers, encourage them to keep pressing forward, and giving it our best until the end. We all had a great time playing volleyball, and I brought my hackeysack to juggle around for awhile too. Fun time.

Lör: We taught S about the Sacrament, and how it is like baptism every week. One thing led to another, and we set a baptismal date with him for May!!! WHAT??? Yes. It all happened so fast. But we are super excited for him and his goal of getting prepared for that day! 

We have been inviting everyone to come watch conference with us, IT'LL ANSWER ALL OF YOUR QUESTIONS!!!! We got back to Etuna to do a run through of everything, get the food prepared for the next day and all that jazz. We watched the Saturday morning session (because it was night here.) I loved how Elder Holland set the tone for the whole conference. It seemed like everyone was testifying with all of their might telling us as members what we need to do -and actually do it! It reminds me of Nephi exhorting his brethren with all of the energies of his soul even unto pain. The general authorities are pleading with us with all of the energy of their souls that we follow the savior and do what he asks! No new temples are announced, but that doesnt matter. We are Temple ATTENDING members, not just builders! GO TO THE TEMPLE! Elder Holland said it is worth going through persecution, pain, trial, rejections, mockery, etc. to defend your faith because the alternative is desolation. It's not always going to be rainbows and butterflies. People will be angry with you for telling the truth. Live the gospel. Defend your beliefs. You CANNOT fall with Christ as your rock. How true and powerful that is. No matter what we go through in this life, it will all be worth it. 

Sön: This is how we watched conference: We watched the saturday morning session at 6pm on saturday live. Then Sunday, we watched saturday afternoon at 10am-12 the priesthood at 2-4 and then the sunday morning live at 6pm. We will watch the sunday afternoon session sometime this week. We provided breakfast, lunch and dinner at 9, 1 and 5. It was a lot of fun, but boy was it stressful! N came at 830 am to help us out!!!!! How awesome is that!  I carried on the tradition of having waffles for conference morning!:)
Waffles and eggs for breakfast with an assortment of fruits, make your own sandwich for lunch, and then the other elders provided spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. I think it has been the most I've been fed in a single day throughout my whole mission. Mmm. N and D were here for the first session and loved it! B and N and are great friends now! We got to meet N's mom -she is just as awesome!

A lot of people blåsted us for conference, but I was really happy with who was there. Everything was so powerful. Elder Ballard was probably one of my most favorite ones that I have seen. Follow up. Perfect. Amen to that with the follow up on his wife -persistance. As well as inviting everyone to invite someone quarterly throughout the year to come unto Christ. He knows his stuff, and he knows that we need to pick it up as members and missionaries coming together. It does no good having a lot of missionaries with no members helping us out. Honestly, we need both to work together if we are to hasten the work of salvation and not sleep the Restoration! Faith is the antidote for Fear. And that is Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Why do we choose to be disobedient when we know the consequence?? Why do we choose not to serve the Lord? If you are only worried about your own salvation you won't even end up getting it. That's not how it works. Love God and love your neighbor. You can't do one without the other. You have been warned, now go warn your neighbor. There is no up and down, it is either forward or backward with progression. What manner of men and women ought ye to be? EVEN AS THE SAVIOR. Wake up! We need to change. Realize your potential -you are not the person now who you can become. Smart phones doesn't mean you are smart:) Who will you be a hero for? Courage, not compromise brings the smile of God's approval. You have your 4 minutes- the time is NOW!

These are just a little bit of the notes I took during conference. My question has been answered through conference. I know it has been for you. Now, what are you going to do about it? I know this is God's work. We are all missionaries (and as such need Preach My Gospel -I'll be expecting some insights from that from you all) sent to gather the lost sheep. It may seem daunting or too hard, or inconvenient but this is Salvation we are talking about. God needs you. I know this to be true. I am grateful for the opportunity I have to be one of His servants and bring back those that were lost. I know with all the energies of my soul that you cannot fall with Christ as your rock. Take a leap of faith and reach out to someone in need. Look for opportunities everyday to serve. I promise you, that as you search and really plead with God for help, He will. He is our Father. We are His. I love this work and I love you all, have a fantastic week.

Med Kärlek
Äldste Johnson

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