Sweden Stockholm Mission

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Still sick, be solid like a brick

This is for my good friend Ler Ott. It's his street: Lerstenvagen

Well Hello everyone! It has been off and on rain this whole week and I have been sick all week with a sore throat. I still worked hard, it was difficult, but I made it. 
Mån: Our district went to Stockholm, not really anything in particular in mind to do. Last second we decided to go to ABBA- the Museum, and that was sooooooo much fun!!! Holy cow, I can't even explain to you how awesome that was. We took a lot of funny pictures and had a great time there. I even sung on stage with the fellow ABBA members (sort of). Lets just say, that I was singing "Dancing Queen" all week long because it was stuck in my mind.

Tis: I finally went to the apotek-drug store to pick up some medicine. That definitely helped me feel better but not by much. We met up with H to start up the New Member Lessons. It is amazing to know a guy like him who just gets it all so well. We came home early because I wasn't feeling good. It feels awful to be sick and you can't give God your all. But I know that resting up is vitally important to getting back to health and getting back to work.

Elder H in the middle is going home and we all served with him.
Ons: This was a great day! We had a special mission conference with Elder Teixeira of the 70, who is president over all of the european missions. The zone leaders were privileged to have a special meeting with him before the actual conference. He showed us some creative ways of contacting with a less of a chance of rejection. It was super cool. He also told us amazing stories and really got us pumped to do work. In the conference, he showed us a lot of things regarding to technology. He and the general authorities know their stuff with technology ha. He said that we will be getting i-pads! When? He doesn't know. But the thing he said was Are you going to be worthy to use them properly for the salvation of souls? Or are you just gonna take em as a toy and waste time on your mission. He talked about True Conversion. If something is holding you back you aren't truly converted to the cause. We missionaries need to leave EVERYTHING behind at home. Don't worry about anything else other than the work of the Lord. That was so powerful to me. I was just soaking it all in what he had to say. His wife talked about the biggest thing holding us back is not being obedient, not following ALL of the mission rules. Elder T said it's time to break the bonds and see this mission explode. There is no reason why we shouldn't be baptizing just as much as anywhere else. Wow, that was so strong! Oh just det, Elder L and I got to conduct that conference with 120 missionaries there! While I was sick! Ha:)

Tors: I was on exchanges with Elder A. We went hard on contacting that day and having lessons on the street. It was amazing! Not many were interested in what we had to say-we talked to 60 people. But we had a pleasant conversation with most of them. We taught a couple right there on the street. I believe that God was testing us to see if we are really dedicated to this work to talk to the next person and find those who are ready. To go above and beyond to find the elect. It was a great humbling moment for me. We had a member dinner with the K family, who remind me a lot of Nichole and Ryan. It was pretty awesome.

Fre: The temple is under renovation and deep cleaning right now so we got to clean the guest home right next to the temple but next week we will have the opportunity to actually clean the temple. We met H and talked about how once he receives the Priesthood he will become a home teacher and serve Jesus. We had a member dinner with this African family who are super nice. They were baptized into Handen ward 3 years ago, but recently moved but still have us over! They are awesome.

Lör: Happy 28 Year Anniversary Ma and Pops!! We had a little meeting with the YSA representatives and as we were on our way home for lunch, guess who we see! W!! We walked with her back to her apartment talking about everything. She is definitely happier. It was good for us to see her and talk with her. We then made our way to the family history center to help our friend L with his family tree. Actually we were there to support him while the pros took over. We went and taught a new investigator P from Congo who can speak french and Swedish. So dad, if you wanna hit me up with some good french sayings to impress him, that would be much appreciated:) He's very open to reading the Book of Mormon and praying about our message. Super good!

That brings us to dinner with SQ.  So crazy that we all met him in Palmyra last summer and here he is in Sweden. He is a wicked smart genius. He told me his stories when Brady was on his mission and reading peoples body language and pranking new missionaries ha. Needless to say, we laughed and were pretty mind blown the whole time. We took a pic and sent it to Brady who then gave it to mom. That was cool that it happened on their anniversary.

Sön: President and Sister Beckstrand spoke in our sacrament meeting in Swedish, the both of them! That was very impressive, considering it has been 30+ years for President and then just brand new Swedish from sister B. The spirit was so strong - it was great! President K was also there, so that was fun to talk with him again. I heard J went to church in Eskilstuna last week! Then afterwards we had dinner with the Ö family. They are super cool too. The dad started this company that is worldwide, yet he is the most down to earth guy. He loves to be involved with the work. We went back to the church because the Beckstrand's were having a fireside. They are going all over Sweden speaking and getting to know the country.

Well, another week has come and gone. It was hard while I was sick, still am a bit, but I definitely wanna be giving it my all. We were quite low on numbers this week, but want to go hard this next one. I'm excited to apply all that I learned from the conference with Elder T and become truly converted to this work. Be hard as a brick planted into this Gospel. I love this work. I love you all. Have a great week! 
Elder Johnson
So funny thing:  this poster says meaning of life.  We ask people all the time, "What is the meaning of life?"  ABBA.  Haha

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

This is our walk to the church.

Hey howzitgoween? Sounds like things are starting to settle down now that school is here. What's really cool is to hear that Makenzie Lewis is doing a lot better [serious ATV accident] and I actually got to communicate with her via email earlier. Its been a good week. 
A great day!
Mån:  H's baptism! We had a great big turnout, it was fantastic. His mom was working but his 2 sisters and little brother made it. A was there to do the baptizing. It was all so perfect. When H went into the water his little brother said "I wannna do it too!" hahaha you can, just give it 5 years:) I talked about how Elder L and A found H, being guided by the Spirit to knock one more door. The rest is history. Now as a constant companion, the Holy Ghost will be able to warn, guide, direct and bless H's life. A gave a short testimony that brought everyone to tears. He had his mission call and was supposed to leave at the beginning of July. However, his visa did not come in time and he was devastated because he had to wait until the next transfer to go out. But, had he gone out at that time, he would have never found H, and he wouldn't be here, now baptized. God is overall. He knows where we need to be to bless his children. That is such a strong testimony to me. This work is absolutely amazing.

Tis: So we taught a lesson to a 16 year old Jehovah Witness. He baked us an apple pie before we had our lesson. Wow, that's really nice!  *fyi, when I am home, if ever there is anybody from another faith that knocks on my door, I will gladly welcome them in, feed them, let them talk and share their beleifs. I have gotten the full circle of responses when I knock doors. I wanna be the person who I wish I would've knocked into on my mission*  The lesson didn't really go anywhere, but the pie tasted good:) We had a member dinner with the G's. Both are returned missionaries and super awesome. What we have started doing when we have these dinner appointments is ask them what they expect of us missionaries, instead of us trying to squeeze out a referral. The typical response is, "we expect you to teach and do your work, but I guess we need to help you find some people" It is really cool! We then met with our recent convert -I, who got his 3rd "no" with his migration paperwork to stay in Sweden. We talked about how Faith in Christ can help us in whatever situation we are in. As long as God and Christ are first, everything will work out.

Ons: Zone Training! This was my first zone training being on the opposite side - teaching. It was different but I liked it. We focused on ACCOUNTABILITY and the principle of Return and Report. Every night in our prayers we are returning to the Lord and reporting. It helps us see what we have done in the day and what we can do better the next day. We also talked about how success is being accountable to the Lord for what He has given to us to do. It is about being obedient to the commandments and mission rules. Our purpose is to INVITE, not choose for people to act, to come unto Christ. If we invite we are successful. If we are obedient and accountable, we are successful. The zone had a good discussion about it.

Later on in the day, we met up with the Södertälje zone leaders to meet with the stake president -President Karlsson! It was really cool to talk with him again and see how Eskilstuna is doing. B found a place to live near the elders apartment! And his wife was able to get an internship at his work place! Miracle!!!!  

Tors: We met with U along with our ward mission leader who is awesome and had a fantastic lesson. He said she was already on the right path, she already had her answer to be baptized. It was when she started to doubt that everything fell apart. It was powerful. We will continue to work and pray for her.

Fre: We had exchanges, I was with Elder O in Handen. A lot of people cancelled on us but he is pretty good at quoting movies so you can imagine that we had a good time. We taught S who afterwards brought up the concern that he has already been baptized before, why does he need it again? That set up Elder O perfectly for another visit.

Lör: For some reason my insomnia has been acting up over the summer so I felt like i was in the process of getting sick (which would prove to be true later.) We contacted a lady outside of her building smoking and looking very upset at life. It was cool to see the change in her from being very stand offish to agreeing to meet with us again. The spirit was able to work within her as we taught her about eternal truths that God is our loving Heavenly Father and has a plan for each one of us to be happy with him.  I love seeing the spirit
N's house - she loves plants
work! It is so cool! We had dinner with N and her son and they had us sing some karaoke. It was a lot of fun. Later we met up with U. It was her birthday so made her some cookies. She seemed a lot happier. She has several job interviews near the city which is a lot closer than where she works so she is hoping to find a new job soon.

Sön: Sure enough, I became sick. I had "ont i halsen" -evil in the throat, or a sore throat. It was sad. I didnt have a lot of energy and I didnt have any medicine. I usually am always prepared for any circumstance, including being sick, and have medicine on hand, but in Eskilstuna I used it up to the end and I forgot to restock. Plus it was sunday and i couldnt go out and buy anything. So I was pretty miserable but I made it through the day.
Our church building
We had several meetings in the morning, correlation meeting with our mission leader and ward council. Man that was so cool to be apart of. The bishop and the council are on the ball. They know what to do and how to help the missionaries and each other. It is fantastic! I love it! H's confirmation was amazing. The spirit was super strong.

After church I tried going back out to work but I just couldn't so we went home and I took a bath, ate some soup and went to bed. Let me tell you, being sick on a mission isn't fun. I don't think there's more of a time where you miss your mom than when you are sick. Throughout my mission I have learned to appreciate all of the things my mom has done for me throughout my life. My eyes are opened constantly to the daily sacrifices she did for me. I don't express it enough but special shout-out to you mom.
I love you.

I love this work so much with all of my heart. I love being here. I love seeing people accept the gospel and see it change their lives. This truly is amazing. I hope you all have a wonderful week!
Elder Johnson

Monday, August 11, 2014

Dear Fam and friends, seems everyone is on vacation.  A big shout-out to my friend Clay who just entered the field.   I will tell you about my week here in Handen -the hand...

Mån: For P-day we walked around Stockholm - my old stomping grounds. Lo and behold I found a good looking Swedish suit for a super good deal!! We hung out at the YSA center just like old times and. I met elder F (who lives near the Wilkinsons in St. George).  It would be fun to serve with him someday. We also bought our groceries for the week for 4 people -that was hard (we got a ton of food and still ran out at the end ha.) Later, we ended up teaching 3 people and getting one really positive investigator.

Tis: We had a lesson with H then made it up to Stockholm where President Beckstrand conducted his first interviews with us. I love President: He is very approachable and loving. I had to do my migration paperwork so I can stay here another year. Back home to meet B, a potential from a phone contact. He wanted to bring his girlfriend as well, why not? They met us right outside the temple -and if that wasn't just a wonderful picture I don't know what is. She found religion on her own and he has had no religious experience at all. However, as we talked and testified you could tell the spirit had touched them. We then met up with an old investigator P. He used to make bad choices but changed his life around because of the love he has for his son, and we testified to him that he can build from that love to even more happiness.

Ons: We were able to teach 4 people today. J- a teen reading the Book of Mormon. B- a GU, just wanted to bash with us. D- we aren't gonna go by him for awhile. I -a new convert with whom we watched the biography of Thomas S. Monson and I know wholeheartedly that he is a wonderful humble servant of God and is the true prophet of our day.

Tors: We traveled up to Täby for Mission Leadership Council. My first one ever! It was super good. We had to give a report and I was a little nervous but it went smoothly. I've noticed that a lot in my life -I get nervous for talks or speeches, I say a little prayer to calm my nerves and help me through it, and as soon as I open my mouth there is peace and things usually go good. The small things -the Lord is aware, and I am so grateful. President said that our mission is just on the edge of bursting into having lots of success and baptisms, but being more obedient is the key to bursting that chain. I got a new burst of energy to be more obedient, but go about it a different way. Rather than preach preach preach it, I will show it through love as the Savior would. It was really great to feel the spirit testify to me of that truth that if we are obedient, the Lord will bless us. We made it home to find some elders in our zone had pranked our apartment and messed everything up. I wasn't too happy at first but I laughed about it after a bit.We met up with G and went to play soccer with some YSAs -that was a lot of fun. 

Fre: We helped M with his family history. We went by E again and he said he didnt want to meet with us ever again. That was sad- It just came out of nowhere. We then met with the Västerhaninge elders to talk about how we can help the less active YSAs come back through firesides. We brainstormed and came up with a good plan that the YSAs can work towards.

On the way to dinner we were stopped by some members who were visiting from Bountiful, Utah! They knew Elder T who is here but no one else that I knew. They were here with a friend from Norway, C, who is a professional golfer and member as well! They bought our food and we had a good talk with them. C is actually going to be in St. George next month for a charity. She might get a hold of pops through email. How cool and how small the world is! Then we got to go through the temple. Boy was that just what I needed.

Lör: G passed him baptismal interview! It's so fun to be apart of his journey. The rest of the night we did some swingbys, tracting and contacting and had some pretty interesting things happen there. I'll tell you when I'm home. Maybe:)

Sön: Another great sabbath day. All of the members came up to G and congratulated him as his baptism is Monday and one invited him to dinner. I love this ward! I still don't really know anyone yet but hey are good to our investigators and that's what's most important. During Priesthood some guys bring in fruit salad so we all ate that during the lesson. The lesson was part 2 of 3 of eternal marriage. The comments that the elders quorum were making were hilarious. I have never laughed so hard in a long time. Most are not married but they are really trying for that marriage thing haha. I can't wait for next week with part 3. I guess eternal marriage will happen sometime, it's just super weird to discuss it when you are on a mission. We met with W. She has been on the fence between her old ways and the "Mormon ways". She feels stuck and alone and not sure which religion she needs to be with. I shared a very personal story with her about feeling alone which seemed to help. We challenged her to devote the next 24 hours to read the bom, pray as a christian, and see what happens. We had a good prayer with her before we left. Hopefully all goes well for her.

As I told you, I got to go to the temple this week. I haven't been in a year now and I have been needing it. Let me first just tell you all that if you live near the temple, please take advantage of it. Go. And go often. President B said that "Frequent Faithful temple attendance will bless you and your family as well as protect them". What an amazing promise that is! I have vowed that when I go home from my mission that I will go often. I need the temple. We all do. The temple is a big focus of our mission, that we get our investigators, less actives, members and us with the goal of the temple, there is no doubt that we will be blessed and converted. I fasted before going to the temple. I was looking for specific things for God. It didnt come. Why? I honestly dont know. But I do know that God answers our prayers according to our needs, not our wants. And he does that in the way we least expect it. I did get a very soft and gentle peaceful feeling and. I had a big smile on my face the whole time I was in the temple because it just felt so good to be there. I am so grateful that I can be worthy to go to his holy house and feel of his presence. Through the blessings of the temple we as families can be together forever. That knowledge is so priceless. I love my family. I love all of you. And when we see everyone around us as our brothers and sisters, it becomes easier for us to help one another along the path that leads us home to Father. I know this is His work. I am so grateful to be apart of it. Have a great week,

Med himmelske kärlek-with heavenly love
Äldste Johnson

Monday, August 4, 2014

Dearest everyone! Good luck to pops in Ireland on his golf trip and Ma and Stace in New York, hope it's awesome! I had my first full week here in Handen and we got a lot of good things done. Im still getting to know the area and people, but it will come with time. It's been hot but we got rain a couple of times.

Mån: We went with the other Handen elders to the mall nearby. We managed to teach 2 people on some swingbys and talking to people on the street.

A and his little bro
Tis: It seems like every area I come to there is a little organizational problem with the area books. Or maybe I am just OCD and like it a certain way. Yeah, its probably the latter one...We met up with a potential and turned her into an investigator! Afterwards, we met up with G with a YSA named A. We taught the Law of Chastity and honestly that lesson can be one of the most spiritual things you can teach a person. I love being able to talk to people about what a wonderful gift God has given to all of us to Procreate and multiply and replenish the earth. The spirit is always so strong whenever we teach G, it is fun to be apart of. Afterwards, we went home with A because his family was feeding us dinner! (He left on thursday for his mission.) He is a highly ranked judo wrestler and had some big opportunities to continue his career and make a lot of money but he chose to serve a mission. Man, what an example that is. I truly look up to him for that. 

Ons: We taught L and felt inspired to share the conference talk by Pres Eyring "A priceless Heritage of Hope". I honestly felt like that message was for me. Making AND KEEPING covenants is so important. Some times we think that once we are baptized, or once we go through the temple that it's done, there's nothing more I need to do. FALSE! Keeping our covenants is just as important as making them. It was powerful. We later met up with an investigator named S. He is very cool and is reading the BOM and loving it.

Tors: We had district meeting at home because our district is all those who live in our apartment ha! We then went out to Pizza Hut for lunch. It was good pizza, but wasnt the same as in America.Tyvärr. We came back and ran into T. He really wants to make a clear honest decision and is really trying his hardest. We went over to the B's for dinner -their son J actually served in St. George like 2 years ago. We ate outside because the weather is perfect at around 6ish when the sun is going down. We were invaded by some bees and flys so we all took some swings at em and it was really funny ha. Bro B drove us to our next appointment with the windows rolled down. He told us that AC (air conditioning) is not nearly as good or cheap as kors dra (cross breeze ha) by having the windows down and letting the air come in through both sides hahaha.

Met up with G again. His prayers are fantastic to hear because he truly expresses his gratitude for the joy and peace that has come into his life in since hearing the gospel message. We then went tracting and the first door we actually taught on the doorstep. We then met up with Hägersten elders to go on exchanges. I went with Elder J to Hornstull. The buillding is doing some renovations so they closed all of the windows, and there is no AC or fans in the apartment. It was about 30 degrees celsius at night (86) -that is really hot for me! We had to chill on the roof for awhile to cool off before going to bed.

Fre: I had a good time talking with Elder J, getting to know him and seeing what I could do to help him and the area. I got to interview their baptism candidate and boy was that spiritual. She met missionaries briefly 6 years ago and then had no communication with them after that. Her mom was contacted by the missionaries so she told E who said she wanted to meet them again! From that point on, she was just ready. Later we helped a less active move. There is nothing crazier than helping people move. I'm just gonna leave it at that. 

Lör: We did service shoveling rocks, and other things, while I got to cut some wood with a power saw. 2 straight hours of buzzing, and my hands and forearms were dead! Whew! There is no better feeling than working hard like that. I feel like a man:) Elder A said I should become a lumberjack because I was so good at it. I actually have been thinking about it, I mean it has all of the best characteristics: beard, flannel shirts, beefy arms. What else do you need? The member took us out to Vega Bar, which is Sweden's first hamburger restaurant. We had the Sambal burger -the special there and it was fantastic! I definitely recommend it to anyone who comes to sweden.

We got cleaned up and met G again with M, who just recently returned from his mission. G is ready! We had dinner with N and sang some karaoke with her before meeting I -our new convert at the church. By the end of the day, I was ready for bed. I was so tired. But that felt so good to work that hard.

Sön: There was a crazy lightning storm during the night and I was awakened by this huge flash of light at 4.16 and half a second later this rippling boom that lasted 10 seconds and sounded like it was right outside our place. It sounded like the earth was ripping open, it was intense! But anywho, it was fast Sunday and we   had a good meeting. G talked with the bishop and is for sure ready to be baptized next week! We are stoked! In priesthood, our lesson happened to be on Eternal Marriage. Boy that was funny! 30 guys and only 3 of them actually married, plus 4 misisonaries:) Hahahaha it was awesome!

It was a good week for sure. I love fast Sundays. I think I never really understood them so much growing up, but now on my mission, I realize how vital and huge fast Sundays can be. I fasted for specific things and I feel like God has answered them. Not in the way I would have guessed, but in the way that I needed. I know God is real. I know that he cares about each and every one of us. Romans 8: the last 2 verses seem to be a perfect description of this. See what you think. I love this work. I love God and my savior Jesus Christ. This truly is the best thing in the world. I love you all, have a great week

Love Elder Johnson