Sweden Stockholm Mission

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Born of Goodly Parents

For my cousins 
For my uncle 

Heyyyyo! Thanks for all of the love and support. Love you all. Let me tell you that it's been one of "those" weeks. haha. We had lots of cancellations but what can you do? Plus the weather was bad all week...Who cares though, right? Not I.
Oresundsbro Bridge connects Denmark to Sweden
Mån: We went out to see the giant bridge that connects Sweden and Denmark together! It is called the Öresundsbro and it was amazing! Though, the weather was awful, we still had a fun time there. 

In a car for first (and only) time?
Tis: We had 3 blåsts this day. It was sad but we will try to get them later. We did get to teach one person and kind of out of the blue we semi set up a baptismal date! We were going to finalize it on Sunday but she was sick and couldn't make it. Rats! We spent the day with our zone leader because he was without a companion for 24 hours so we got to do some work with him and his car! Yess!!!! That was nice to actually have a car! Ha, I think I am going to go my whole mission without it. I guess it is a tender mercy of the Lord because I wanted to stay in shape the whole mission. So kudos there:) (oh btw, we are 2 weeks into the Insanity workout program)

Ons: We said goodbye to the missionaries transferring and going home, one of which was Elder Mangum, my pops. We used the car the whole day, only to get blåsted a few more times. That was a high adventure day!

Found this cool building
Tors: Well, I am now the new district leader here and I am so stoked! I absolutely love teaching/training -especially the gospel! We talked about practical matters like daily and nightly planning. I also tied in "knightly" planning and it worked really well! We then met with an American. I got a glimpse of how the stateside mission is: people from very religious backgrounds who arent afraid of discussing ha! I loved it. But too bad, he didn't want to read the BoM but we got him to pray and we will call him in a couple of weeks. We also had a dinner with a part member family (food was great) but then missed our next appointment because of train delays.  Luckily the sisters visited her for us.

Fre: We spent some time practicing a song we sang in sacrament meeting -Lead Kindly Light- my favorite hymn ever! Then we spent the rest of the day tracting and trying to find new people to teach. My comp and I had a deep discussion about how right now feels like a very dark and hard time -we are working so hard and not seeing anything. But something good will come of it. I know it!

Lör: We helped a member's nonmember friend clean his barn! We had tons of fun there -i feel like i should have grown up with a barn! It was awesome!

Sön: No investigators came so it was a church day where I could really do some deep thinking. I have lots of notes about the Atonement -too long to share here. Then we had a member dinner with an awesome single mom. She works super hard and she loves her kids. Its cool to see that though her circumstances are the best, she makes the most of it and they are happy. I love it.

The Priesthood lesson we had in church was fantastic. It was about Elder Callister's conference talk last October about Parenting. The talk begins with the story of Gifted Hands about Ben Carson. Thats an amazing story. But the focus was that of the mother. She was determined to teach her children the right way. Our teacher asked us if we had thought about just how much our parents have done for us. Sadly to say, i have not expressed it enough just how much my parents mean to me.

Tack så hemskt mycket, mamma och pappa. Ni är de bästa föräldrarna som nånsin finns! Jag älskar hur mycket ni har lärt mig om evangeliet och vår himmelske faders plan. Tack vare er, vet jag så väldigt mycket om kärlek och hur jag kan älskar andra. Jag vet att kyrkan är sann. Jag vet att ni vet det också. Tack för allt! Jag älskar er!!

Translation: Thank you so much , Mom and Dad . You guys are the best parents that ever was ! I love how much you have learned about the gospel and our Heavenly Father's plan. Thanks to you , I know so much about love and how to love others. I know the Church is true . I know that you know it too. Thanks for everything ! I love you !!

Hope you all have a great week!
Love elder Johnson

Monday, February 16, 2015

Happy Alla hjärtans dag -all hearts day

P-day in Ystad

Swedish version of England's Stonehenge
Hellooooo everyone!Thanks for the love, support, prayers, love and thoughts. You guys are great! First, to settle the question of what I am doing after my mission, I will tell you this: My mother had an inspiration, and of course -like a good son- I am following her idea and going to BYU to live with my brother Brady for one semester. Then after that, who knows? But now I don't have to worry about it. 
Mån: P-day consisted of going to this place called Ystad -which is about 1 hour outside of Malmö on the southern coast of Sweden. It's hard to get out there and hard to get back which meant we stayed most of the day. However we took lots of great pictures ha. We also took naps, wrote letters, etc. There is an area there called Ale's Stenar -ales stones. Which is the Swedish version of England's Stonehenge, and it was super cool to see.

Tis: A sister in our district is going home. She came in a group after me. That's so weird. It's getting more and more real that I will be going home soon. We met with our investigator who doesn't want to meet us any more. It was sad. It's always a heart-breaker when that happens because I know how much the Gospel will bless his life. But he has his agency. I just hope one day he will accept.

We've been meeting with members and teaching them our lessons so we can practice and they get a feel for missionary work. One family had an inactive daughter join us though she didn't participate at all. But something happened and we focused on her and it was a very spiritual experience. She has been "lost" for a long time and has grown to not believe anymore, but she wants to understand and try to find if it is true again. My comp was telling me it was hard for him to concentrate through it all because his language knowledge is still basic. But I felt, because he really cared about her -just like any other person we meet- that he was giving me strength to perceive what she needed through the spirit. It was a really cool thing to think about. Though he couldn't understand, his good spirit helped me find out what she needed to hear. It was awesome!

Ons: We taught a few more member families and they love it and we love it too! Though sometimes they go on some interesting tangents haha.  Good thing we have lesson outlines:) Later some kids invited themselves into the YSA center and were being really obnoxious so we had to show them out. It was really sad to see that they had 0 respect for our facility.

Tors: All of our plans for the day got cancelled last second. We went out to the farthest place in our area to do some member swingbys and got stuck for some time. Luckily we had O, a YSA, with us and we had lots of fun. Really, the whole day was cancellations, no one answering phones, doors; us on the street ha. It was rough, but we survived:)

Fre: We taught our investigator K who is doing super good. Her young son was very active but we took interest in him and showed we cared -we are besties now, ha, and that makes a big difference in the lives of our investigators. So we'll see how the next opportunity goes. 

Lör: We helped our WML clean his apartment and had lots of fun. Oh yeah, it was Valentines Day or alla hjärtans dag -all hearts day. Nothing too exciting. it was just weird seeing all of the couples...hahah i dont know why ha.

Karate Kid
Sön: Sunday is always the best. It is such a relief to make it to Sunday and just know that you worked hard during the week and the sacrament will help you begin again fresh and clean. We missionaries need it just as badly as anybody else. We make mistakes, but thanks to Christ, we can always begin again. None of our investigators showed up -well lots of them dropped us so it was a trying week, to say the least. We went through our ward list with a member and got lots of good info with that so my outlook is very open and positive for the coming week.

Jag ser mycket fram emot tills den här ankommande veckan. Jag vet att herren pröver vår tro för att testa oss. Jag vet att han kommer att välsigna oss och all de som följa hans bud. Vi har kommit till den 6:e vecka, halv väg, och det känns konstig hur fort tiden går. Men det ruller på! Jag älskar evangeliet och hur mycket det förbättra vår liv. Tack vare Herrens godhet, kommer vi att se massa underverk denna vecka! Jag älskar er! Ha en bra vecka!
mvh, Äldste Johnson

Monday, February 9, 2015

Meet the Missionaries

View from YSA center

Thanks everyone for the updates. (And concerns about school for me ha. No pressure.) Well, thank goodness I have a planner and I write in my journal nightly or else I wouldn't know what to tell you that I did this week. I know I worked hard, but I completely forget what we did, haha. 

Mån: So we took care of all the necessities then met up as a district to play LAZERTAG!!!! hahah that was soooo much fun! I totally dominated whilst there. It was super fun and not too pricy. 

Tis: We went out to Eslöv, with the right train ha, and met up with an investigator K. She had met the missionaries before and then had a death in the family and couldn't meet for awhile. We called her up and she said we could come by. Another close relative had just died, and she said us calling her- not knowing that, had to be a sign. She isn't a part of any church but is a spiritual person. Things are hopeful with her. We got cancelled a couple of times later on and then finished the night with a member dinner who lives really far away. Needless to say, we missed our bus and waited in the cold for a good hour until the next one came hahaha.

Ons: We met with J again and he was upset about stuff. But as we sat and talked with him and explained the BoM and bore testimony, you could see his countenance change and he left in a much better spirit than he came in with. We met one positive potential. He accepted the soft baptismal commitment but wanted to wait 2 weeks before we met again. Rats.
Zone Training
Tors: We had Specialized Zone Training where president and sister Beckstrand, along with the Assistants and zone leaders gave an awesome course. We went over the practicality of missionary work. That's what I've wanted forever! It will help all missionaries be on the same page. We went over apartments, missionary conduct, area books, planners, whiteboards, teaching records, progress records, weekly planning and so much great stuff!
MTC buddy, Elder Cushing
We have already implemented a lot of what we have learned and feel super great about it. One surprise is that we were able to watch "Meet the Mormons" as well!!! Gosh, that was so good! I cried like the whole time. I love how the work is going forward in unique ways to help others hear our glad message.

Fre: We did a ton of painting!!! We helped this member tape, paint, wait, paint, eat, paint, wait, and paint some more! It was lots of fun! Just saying for future purposes, you can hire me. I'm efficient. We did get out and work as well.

Lör: Just det, President Beckstrand got rid of our open church times. It just wasn't being used effectively. We met with a member who invited her friend to meet us but he friend didn't show, so we taught the member. She really needed a spiritual lifting and we were glad that we could be there with her. The spirit was super strong testifying to us that we were in the right place at the right time. It was an amazing manifestation from the spirit.

Elder Mangum, my pops, is going home
Sön: N unfortunately couldn't make it to church, though she still is making progress! Lots of people decided to drop us but I guess that just opens us up to find new people to teach. This week was slow but we are implementing new techniques and looking forward to see good results this week.

I've decided that from here on out I want to close my emails by bearing my testimony in Swedish. If you want me to translate it afterwards, I can. But this first one, Im just gonna leave it how it is.

Familj, vänner, vem som helst, jag vill att ni vet och förstår just hur viktigt min mission menar till mig. Jag har ändrats som en person, en medlem, en jesu kristi följare. Jag är otroligt tacksam för det. Jag vet att Gud lever. Jag vet att Kristus är min frälsare. Och jag vet att de användade Joseph Smith för att återställe sin kyrka här på jorden. Allt det här är sant. Jag ber er att pröva Guds godhet, för att jag vet han kommer att svara era böner. Tack.
Ha det så gött denna vecka. Älska er

Äldste Johnson

Monday, February 2, 2015

Again and Again

Home Sweet Home in Malmo

I sleep on top in the nest.
Hi everyone! Thanks for all the updates and jazz. I love hearing from you guys. I thought I'd show you some pics of our apartment here in Malmö.

Mån: I gave myself and my companion a haircut. Let me just say I am pretty good at that now. We hung out with the Malmö missionaries and we walked in the rain for about 40 minutes trying to find this one place but never found it haha. P-days go by so fast these days.

Tis: Our district leader loves to do object lessons and they are super good every time. I wish I was creative... At the end he gave us this challenge, "How will you show your faith this week?" That was pretty powerful for me because I have been fasting and praying to know what to do to help the work go forward in this area. I received an answer that night as I prayed -staying in Lund until 9 pm no matter what. Yeah it takes a long time to get home from there and we will probably be late, but I know we will be blessed for it. It was a cool revelation. Later in the day we helped some members load and unload wood.

The Lund missionaries
Ons: We had a fantastic day. Busy the whole time - one lesson to another, and it felt so great! We had 2 new investigators and 3 member presents that day. We then did a swingby to a less active and he was super positive! He has been wanting to come back to church for a while but just never knew how to go about it. He even told us that if we would have tried a couple of months ago he wouldn't have had time. Inspiration! He wants to come back and is willing to do whatever it takes. He would like his girlfriend to get involved but she isn't religious...yet! Our night ended with a talent show at our church. Lots of non-members came so that was super good.

Tors: I seriously have a testimony that if area books are up to date and that you have a whiteboard to see who you got to work with, things will pick up! We went to visit the town of Eslöv and got on the right train ha (remember last week we had some train issues.) We met some cool people along the way. We talked to this guy who used to be super atheist but then somehow found God and wants to give back to Him what he has been given. You could feel his sincerity. He knows that he can continue to receive knowledge and strengthen his testimony. We gave him a book of Mormon and he took it gladly! Gosh, those kind of contacts are the best and really boost your spirits!

Fre: We had lunch with a recently activated member. She asked us to fast with her for her husband to be willing to listen to us (we did that, so hopefully it works!) We then met up with N to go over the baptismal interview questions and she aced them! It was so cool! There is one thing she has to take care of but her determination and attitude is there! It was truly a remarkable feeling to be apart of that.

More Harry Potter evidence: Hedwig
Lör: We had a meeting with the YSA couple then went back out to Eslöv to finish our swingbys and set up return appointments. Ha, I love how much we do that:) We also found a new guy-S who was super cool. We gave him a BoM and hope to visit him again.

Sön: We taught a lesson to a member's friend and invited her to pray at the end -she did it. It was nice. For some reason though, in church I could not concentrate and especially translating haha. It was bad. But sacrament meeting is always so good. I love being able to feel the spirit during that meeting and know that I can begin again fresh. We did swingbys to finish the night and only got lost once this time:)

Well, I wish there was something big and grand that I could say right now but there isn't. It's just another week in the midst of the greatest work ever!!! Ha, that IS big and grand! I often find myself thinking how amazing it is to be a member of the true church of God. Do we take it for granted? We have a living day prophet! The heavens are not sealed. Though I am basically doing the same things every day as a missionary -again and again- still I am so grateful and blown away at how much I have learned and grown from this. I love this work. I love you all. Have a great week!

Elder Johnson
My comp could be this guy's son, haha