Sweden Stockholm Mission

Monday, January 26, 2015

Choose to Follow

I need to get a shirt with this saying on it!
Hello everyone! It seems like the pattern lately is that the week starts off good, the middle is hard, but then the ending is good. Haha I don't know why. Plus, this week has been super cold. It's not colder than Stockholm, but it is a ton more humid, so it seems a lot colder. Let me tell ya...

Mån: So our P-day consisted of walking around the streets of Malmö to see what there. We didn't even get through a tiny piece of the city but it was super cool. We found some good looking ties -I bought matching ones for me and my comp. He almost bought a guitar...haha. Then we went up to Lund to proselyte the rest of the night. We did a lot of swingbys and.....no one answered.

Me and Elder H on exchanges
Tis: Exchanges with the DL's. I was with Elder H and had a super fun day. It was good again to be with someone who could help teach the lessons, haha. My comp does a great job but he's still learning the language and trying to fully comprehend everything. We taught some cool people. We had dinner and taught a member's friend who has been to church for some time. It was more of getting to know her and seeing where she was coming from. It was super funny though, we were bearing solid testimony -the spirit was strong, and out of nowhere the member brings out some ice cream. Hahaha! Man, that was good. We then visited this member whom I thought was less active -turns out she's not. That was pretty funny. She has an awesome conversion story too btw. Then we came home to call N and read from the Book of Mormon with her.

Ons: We taught D with a member, O, helping us. The discussion got pretty intense. He has never fully received the missionary lessons- He's just talked to missionaries so we are for sure going to go over them with him. At the end, we wanted D to pray so bad. It seriously felt like "the District" moment. We were'nt leaving until he did. He was being stubborn. So then I suggested that we all take turns saying a prayer on our knees. He closed it off and it was so good! Gosh, the spirit was strong -it was awesome! O then came with us on another teach but that didn't go too well. We left really confused but we will see what happens.

We spend a lot of time on trains.  Sometimes not the right one. 
Tors: We had a solid study session and were super pumped to go out and work hard. We planned to go to a town called Eslöv. We looked up what train to take. We got on and... sadly, the train didn't stop there. It went right past for another 40 minutes haha! We ended up in Hässleholm. So then we headed back to Lund, and this time the train stopped at Eslöv. We go to get off the train and the door was broken. So we hurried to the other doors and they closed just as we got there haha. It was so funny and not funny. Just unbelievable. I guess God really didn't want us to be there. Later we then had dinner with the S's again and it was super fun. For some reason they were just all laughs and jokes. We had another lesson with N which focused on Alma 34 -if we don't improve our lives now, it will be harder in the next life. 

Fre: We and the other Lund elders are helping out O. He had to come home from his mission because of a broken foot but can go back out in a month. So every weekday we take turns doing studies with him and taking him out on lessons as much as possible. It really helps when doing role plays and especially language study from a real Swede. That night we got blåsted twice so we just contacted until it was time to go back home.

Waffles - So good!
Lör: We helped a family do some moving by packing and unpacking things for them. 2 hours of good service. I love helping people move. I have never had to move in real life ha. We had a Lund unit meeting afterwards at the N's-along with lunch. Waffles and this amazing buttermilk syrup!!! HOLY COW!!! it was incredible. Thats all i can say. We finished off the day by teaching people on the streets.

Sön: Not so good news to start off the Sabbath but we were advised to consider dropping the people we are teaching because of .....stuff. I can see the reasons. SO this next week will be interesting as we really dig deep to find some new people to teach. My companion got sick later in the day and we went home so he could sleep. I think it has finally hit him- that he is on a mission and its hard. (Yep, It is hard.) We had a good talk and I think things will get better.

So our lesson in gospel principles was based on agency. I have thought a lot about it throughout my mission.  We all have the ability to choose. Good or evil. It's simple. God is good. Other is evil. God has given us the knowledge to choose good from evil. However, knowledge is nothing if it is not applied. That's wisdom. So we are constantly learning how to be wise while here in this trial period. We are not alone. We have a savior who we can CHOOSE to follow and return to our Father in celestial glory. That is so amazing. The choice is ours. It is my prayer that we are not just knowledgable but wise- an agent and not an object. I know God's plan is real and that He loves us. I love you all, have a great week.
Med Kärlek
Äldste Johnson

Monday, January 19, 2015

My new greenie companion Elder L
His first kebob!

Tjaba! I truly appreciate all of the love, support and prayers that are sent my way and across the world. I love you guys. We had a good, bad, then good week. Let me tell ya...

Mån: Pday is always good. After emailing at the YSA center in Lund we had a big lunch with the A family. They love to talk and gave us some real good advice. We then came back to Malmö where we did our laundry and grocery shopping and stuff.

Tis:  We have been doing a lot of research and studying up on our area as we are whitewashing and we are trying to figure things out. Its good and all to stay in and get all caught up on the area, but I want to be out talking to people and helping them come closer to Christ. Though when we did get out in our area it seemed like we were just walking around with our heads cut off ha.

Got caught in a 10 min snow storm
Ons: We had appointments and right when we got into Lund it started to rain outside. No big deal, this happens every day in Skåne. But from the time we stepped off of the bus to the time we reached the apartment -10 minutes -we got slaughtered by a huge snow storm that ended right when we got inside hahaha. It was hilarious.

We met with an old investigator and realized why he was an old investigator and not a progressing one, ha. Then we went to the center to teach another man.  He has had a really rough upbringing. He was introduced to the church by a friend, and he has come to church off and on for the past year and a half. He has read the book of Mormon once and is halfway through his second time. He reads every day because he knows how much better he feels when he does so. Now we are trying to help him see that that is because God is telling him it's true. And if that's true then you should be baptized, etc. Well, he could use some help. Please pray for him. The rest of the day we did exactly what we did the day before -run around the streets with our heads cut off. Whitewashing is a little frustrating, to say the least.

Tors: We had zone training and it was fun to see a lot of friends. I realized that I am one of the oldest missionaries in the mission and I dont really know many of the newer missionaries. It was weird. But it was good to get super pumped again about making goals and giving it your all. We then finished the day by teaching a man. He's ...interesting, but hey aren't we all? I wreaked of smoke coming out of his house, but he was really cool and said he'd be baptized if he knew our message was true.

A cool building here.
Fre: We had lunch with the senior missionaries here and had some amazing guacamole. Gee whiz, I want to know how to make good guac! We felt inspired to call the district leader to ask for some help with our area. He he felt inspired to suggest a place for us to go right then. So we did. And we ended up teaching some girls about the Plan of Salvation! We didnt get their number -too bad, but it was a very tender mercy of the Lord.

Lör: We finally put our heads together and have a general idea of the work here. I just got to say, missionaries who dont keep the area book up to date are really hurting the work. KEEP IT UP TO DATE!!!! Sorry. It needed to be said. We started on our journey and have had success with going around to different people. We were planning on meeting our investigator N with the bishop that night. Somehow our train did not want to stop in the right place. We ended up a lot farther away and out of our area. Sadly we had to cancel and then head home late haha. Gosh, it was crazy.

Mission family pic: dad, 2 sons, and 2 grandsons
Sön: Well, two investigators came to church and that was super cool! I did the translation from Swedish to English for those who needed it. I was surprised at how well my it went. And then again, I realize how much English I have lost ha. Like for example, praying in english is probably the hardest thing for me to do now. It's so weird. Anywho, us 6 missionaries decided to make our own lunch -biscuits and gravy and it was super delicious. I have grown to like a lot more food whilst being out on the mission. We finished the night going by members and investigators and getting feedback -not always positive stuff, but feedback nonetheless.

So, I decided to fast yesterday. I was really needing some guidance and inspiration. I also studied up on Fasting as my study topic and found some cool things. It is probably the easiest commandment we can keep that emits blessings immediately. But I remember in sacrament meeting, someone was talking about patience. And it hit me so hard. I have all of these really high goals for myself for finishing out my mission. I want to see them accomplished and work hard and see results now. Sadly, that's not how it works. It's all in the Lords timing and what He wants me to do with my time. It was very humbling for sure, but I am grateful for that. I have a strong testimony that His ways are higher than our ways. What He has planned out for me will be for my best interest. I am grateful for the wonderful opportunity I have to serve Him who has made me whole. It truly is an honor to bear the name of Christ on my heart. I love you all, have a great week!

Med stor kärlek

Äldste Johnson

Monday, January 12, 2015

Working in Lund, Living in Malmo

Hejsan allihopa! Thanks everyone for the updates. I love hearing from ya! We are finally back on a regular schedule with Monday pdays and missionary work and boy does it feel good! Wowee, what a long great week. Let me tell you about it...

Mån: I hate packing. Gosh, it is so hard trying to make everything fit in, haha. We went into Stockholm for maybe my last time before I go home, to check out the stores and Gamla Stan and all of the old memories that I have there. We had dinner with the L's -one of my favorite families in Handen for sure. We met and said goodbye to I -a recent convert that I've taught most of the after baptism discussions to. He's so awesome.

Tis: We cleaned the apartment and the area book then I spent the rest of the day saying goodbye to my investigators and people I taught like L, E, D, C and H. I'm sad I have to leave H but I know he is firmly planted in the gospel and will be ok. We've talked about him going on a mission and that will be so awesome!!!! We then had one final dinner with M and karaoke:)

Ons: Transfer day=crazy day! All 3 suitcases stuffed to the brim. I went to the Täby chapel for the trainers and new missionaries meeting. I already knew who my greeny would be (because Elder M told me ha) but it was fun to see everyone else so surprised for each other. So my new comp is Elder L.....enko -from Idaho. Haha, his dad is straight outta Russia and his mom comes from Idaho. His mom served in your mission pops- Belgium. Anyway, he is great. He got a new investigator while he was waiting at the immigration office- so awesome! Our train was delayed so instead of being a 5 hour train ride it was a 7 hour ride!! There were about 10 missionaries on the same train that got off at several stops along the way so that was fun. We pulled into our place at about 10.15 pm and just crashed. 
[No more pics this week 'cause we forgot the cord]

Tors: We unpacked and headed to district meeting. Even though we will be working in Lund we live in Malmö -about a 30 minute commute. We are whitewashing which means we are basically starting from scratch. But I'm not frustrated; I'm super pumped actually! It is so much fun. It is how I was trained so I know how it goes! We obviously had to have kebab after district meeting for my "son" to try it for the first time. Let me tell you I found out that Southern kebab is soooooooo much better than it is up north! Gosh, it is amazing. I had to take a little pause on my healthy eating plan for both of us;)

Later we got into our area and met some people at the YSA center. We are in charge of that, so that helps with us commuting every day. There is a senior couple -the Ns, who are great, and then 2 sets of elders and 1 set of sisters in Lund. It is a university town and boy do I love it already!! It's so amazing! We visited with an investigator who has worked with missionaries for a long time. She bore her testimony to us that she knows the book of Mormon is true and that she wants to be baptized! So my greeny asks her the question and places a date! (It might not happen because of medical issues and such but she is super sincere and nice.)

Fre: We have to spend lot of time walking around and getting to know our area. It's sad because we are training, which takes extra study time in the morning, and with the 30 min commute we don't really get into our area until 1 and by that time, the sun is on its way down haha. Oh well. More daylight is on its way. We met with another investigator who is a bit sensitive and gets upset if you say the wrong thing. That was tough. We set up our vision as a companionship. My comp has a lot of fire and very very very very high goals. I'm trying to balance that with realistic goals. However, I am just going to go with it and support him the whole way. We've already had great success, why stop now? We got to play innebandy [indoor hockey] with some YSAs -that was fun!

Lör: Weekly planning session: not much to plan when you don't know. But we are taking a crack at everything and totally relying on the Lord for help and guidance. We aren't stressing, we are having a good time. And that's super neat to see. I've put aside all of my former routines and habits (even the good ones) and have seriously just started fresh with Elder L. I truly feel love for him and am trying to make sure he has the best time of his life out here. We had dinner with this awesome young couple -the S's. They helped us with a lot of questions we had about the people and area and are willing to help us out anytime. 

Sön: Sundays are always so good! Our church does the P/RS first, then SS and then Sacrament meeting. It's a change for me but I like it. My comp has been so exhausted trying so hard to understand and speak Swedish -which is pretty good so far. He kept falling asleep and it was funny:) We both got to bear our testimonies in sacrament meeting. I felt an amazing peace and excitement within the ward. They are so good and just want to help out! Lund is amazing!!!! We got invited over to dinner with the N family -super big fam and super awesome. We are already being taken care of well here. The Lord is too good to us.  (Any chance he gets, my comp goes to sleep hahaha. I can't blame him. I was that tired too when I first got out.) 

Well, there are a lot of big changes, lots of new things going on, and a whole lot of not knowing too. However, I can already see that the Lord is blessing me with a greater capacity of patience and Charity. I have been praying a lot for these 2 things and really want to work on them. I have noticed that certain things that used to bother me don't anymore. Especially with a brand spanking newbie, and knowing I have a lot of responsibility, it's comforting to know I'm not alone. This is a great opportunity for me to recognize my weaknesses and confusions and just fully, completely rely on God to help me out with everything. It feels amazing really. It's hard to explain, but I love it. I love this work. I love my companion. And I love all of you. Hope you have an amazing week!

med stor kärlek

äldste Johnson

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Hello hello everyone! It seems like yesterday, or maybe thursday that I wrote to you last! Oh, it was. Not a lot has happened, so I'll talk to you next week...haha not! Just kidding, it was a great couple of days here, let me tell ya about it...

Might bring this one-piecer home 
Tors: New Years Day. We took it pretty easy on this pday. We jammed out on the uke and guitar, did our emailing and chilled at the shopping centers until it was time to begin again. We taught some really cool people on the street -one family who believes in John the Baptist and a couple from Sri Lanka. Gosh, Im meeting all kinds of people from all over the world. I love it!

Fre: This was a good day. We did our regular stuff and actually got blåsted/cancelled several times throughout the day with some really positive people. That was pretty frustrating, but we didn't let that keep us down. We went out hard and ended up finding new people to teach. We got a visit in with F, who was busy over the holidays so that was good. We got the transfer phone call this night. I am for sure going down to Lund to whitewash and train. I'm stoked! However the Handen 2 area is dissolving into our area, so we got to merge a lot of things. It has been a bit stressful doing all that but so far so good.

M helped us out a ton on lessons
Lör: This day was absolutely incredible! Gosh, it was good. We taught D and out of the blue he said he was thinking about being baptized in March! That was so cool! The spirit was strong and was so amazing! That feels really good after working with him for so long. We met with a new investigator seems positive. We spent the next couple of hours with Sister B at the YSA center in Stockholm while President interviewed our zone. We had to make sure that all went smoothly. Sister B is absolutely hilarious. It was a good bonding session with her and so much fun. My interview with President was incredible. I gained a personal conviction that he is inspired. I had a similar experience last year with President Newell. He gave me great comfort and peace. I had a wake up call realizing that it is less than 6 months until I go home. I need to go hard now! It was super good. I loved it so much, I just wish I could have visited with him longer.

L is the man!
We came home and had 3 more lessons that were amazing. One street lesson. One member dinner with M who just went through the temple for her endowment for the first time and had a great discussion with her. Then we had a member come out with us on a teach to help translate spanish. The people blåsted us so the member just went hard contacting people on the street and calling her spanish friends who lived in the area. We got in with one and had a great spiritual experience!!! It was awesome!

Love, love, love the L family
Goodbye Stockholm- I'm going to Lund
Sön: We had our regular correlation meeting and ward council. Church was awesome. F had lots of YSAs take over with her so that was great. Then L and her daughter came and had a good time. I bore my testimony thanking the ward for how great they are, thanking my comp and thanking my savior. This ward is incredible and I will miss them sincerely. After dinner we went back out and did some swingbys and contacts. We had a good discussion of what we have done together these last 12 weeks and it has been remarkable!

I love Handen. I love what the future has in store for me. 2015 is going to be great. I would challenge you all to look on lds.org the mormon message called Look Not Behind Thee. It is powerful. Look forward to this year and have fun! I love this work, I love you all. Have a great week!  Love Elder Johnson

First apartment in Stockholm 16 months ago

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Years!

 Hey everyone! It's a new year! Crazy right???? Well I hope you all had a great New Years party and all that jazz cuz mine was super fun. This week has been slow - the inbetween days of Christmas and New Years is pretty hard to work, but we did get some good things done. Let me tell ya...

Fre 26: Pday. We cleaned up everything from Christmas and then took it easy. For Swedes, the 26th- they call it annan dags jul- another day of Christmas- but it is basically another holiday. We had dinner with the Ö family-I love them! Oh just det, My Mtc group had a conference call to say goodbye to our sisters next week. That is super weird.

Lör: We went out and tried to be as effective as we could be. We had a nice member meal with a family from Skåne-down south-and I love their accent!!!

Sön: We didnt have any investigators in church because they were out of town, but it was kind of nice not to worry about if or when people would come -we could enjoy the Sacrament and really reflect on all that has happened in the week. Plus with the new year it was a good time of reflection. My companion gave a talk about resolutions. It's something we have talked a lot about. For so long I just remember writing a bunch of things I wanted to do in the year -never really making it personal or a SMART goal. And then we realized that we need to do it with Christ. Christ is the one who makes God's goal -immortality and eternal life of man -possible through His atonement. Why can't He make our goals possible. Plus, setting goals that He wants us to so that we can grow in the way He wants is always better than our own ideas. It was a very good talk/discussion. The rest of the day we were with members and contacting people on the streets.

Mån: We went it to the temple to see the big group going home. I gave Sister Kennedy Byrd- a couple of things to drop off at home. Go to her Homecoming next sunday!!! (That's Nikki's friend from high school.) We met up with E -a member, and his new friend C who is interested in the church. It's frustrating because he doesn't talk ever, so we don't know if he understands. But it seemed like it was a good lesson with him. I don't know ha.

Tis: We met up with the Assistants to go on exchanges. I was with Elder M -my father- down in Jordbro. We had a blast together, just like old times. It was a really cool day. We didn't have a lot planned, in fact just a bunch of knocking and swing bys. But we taught some guy at his doorstep and talked with 45 people on the street. We had 2 random people from the street we ended up talking with for an hour each. One, we just offered to help this lady carry her heavy suitcase for her. We dropped her suitcase off at home and then went to the church to show her around. She liked it a lot and we are meeting with her again! The other was another guy who has had a lot of problems in life recently. He took us in and he wanted to know what God wanted him to do now! So we told him to watch a conference talk from a living day prophet! Totally random stuff this day but God was willing to bless us for working hard. We also met with H and he is doing really good. He is thinking about a mission, but for now he is focusing on school!

Ons: New Years EVE!!! We worked hard during the day until we had to stop proselyting at 5pm. We also worked on our personal resolutions for the year and then made our way to the Ö's house. They invited us over for new years! Gosh, they are so awesome. So it was 5 of them and then us 4 missionaries. We played lots of games, told stories, and then watched the fireworks go off! This was the first year in a long long long time where I didnt' run around outside screaming! hahaha I am going to do that next year though for sure:) There were lots of fireworks. It was awesome. We were allowed to stay out that late if we had members who could drive us home -which we did. When I got home, I crashed hard and slept great.

Well, with this new year of 2015, a lot of things are going through my mind right now. I am going to be finishing my mission in 6 months (my release date is June 25) and I am going to begin college. I also found out that I am transferring next week down south to Lund, where I will be whitewashing and training! Lots and lots of things just going on. But, I have never been more excited to take on a new year. Like I said earlier, I have made resolutions and goals with the help of Christ. I have big goals for these last 6 months of my mission -I am going to go all out. It is going to be great:) I remember my farewell talk was Enduring to the End. Well, this is the beginning of the end of my mission. Now is the time. I love it. I looked back on 2014 and saw just how much I have grown. Just how much the mission has changed me for the better. Yet i know there is still time to learn and grow. And I'm excited:) This is it:) I love you all, I love this work. Have a great New Year!

Med stor kärlek

Äldste Johnson