Sweden Stockholm Mission

Monday, March 30, 2015


Cool clock in the church
Hey Everyone. It's me, your son, friend, brother, colleague, acquaintance, etc. 
Mån: We had some YSAs show us the domkyrkan (church) in Lund and told us some legends about the building of it. It has been around since 1000 ad!!! Thats nuts! 

Zodiac part of the clock

Legend says this giant was turned
to stone. He needed a hug.
We stayed and had family home evening with the YSA's and did family history work- i just got more and more lost. I wish I knew what to do with that ha. Then we visited with A and his girlfriend- she was super nice and supportive of him coming back to church and said she wasn't ready right now to listen, but maybe some day!

Tis: We met with a new investigator from Belarus who is an honest seeker of the truth but he believes he literally has to step foot into every single church in order for him to know which church is true. We challenged him to read and pray about the Book of Mormon, and he said he would! We had dinner with some members and our investigators. We watched the Restoration dvd and focused on getting a testimony of Joseph Smith.

I will be leaving the Lund boys
Ons: I had my last district meeting as district leader (and the AP's and DL's were there.) We focused on teaching by using the scriptures. It was super awesome to follow the IRA pattern: introduce, read and apply the scripture. We had to borrow a member's car to contact a referral who lived in the middle of nowhere in this abandoned shack. Of course you would think this guy is crazy, but no! He was super and totally accepted everything and has really been looking for the truth. He stumbled upon mormon.org and wanted a book of Mormon. We challenged him to be baptized when he knew this was true and he said of course! The sad thing is he is moving next week but we are going to hook him up with the other missionaries in his new place. We had a ward talent show that night where my comp and I got to be the MC's. The spirit was super strong and it was a great night.

Tors: We were on exchanges with the ZL's, I was with elder K in our area. We took a nice stroll all the way around the main part of Lund and talked to about 50 people, easily. We then taught N and C. N asked some really good deep questions about what happens after we die. It was intense! haha but the spirit was super strong there. He gave a prayer that literally ripped my heart out. He was leaving for a week and I knew that I would be leaving the area with transfers and he really wanted me to stay. It was so sad. It's always bittersweet.

Fre: We went to see this long-time investigator (mom of a ward member) and helped her with her work: walking dogs. I struck up a conversation with another worker there and had a deep talk about religion and respect and things of that nature. 
Home for the next 12 weeks

The official information about transfers came and I will be going to the island of Gotland (a 3 1/2 hour ferry ride from Stockholm which is a 5 hour train ride from here.) I visited the island for 2 days last October when I was a Zone leader so I know how isolated it is. The only missionaries on the island will be me and my companion and a Sr couple. It was a total shock but I'm excited to see what this new assignment holds in store for me.

Lör: It was just a tough day. We were out doing our best but got triple blåsted- cancelled. We did a lot of finding work the rest of the day.

Szylvia: Best Gospel Principles teacher!
Sön: Our less active we have been meeting with came to church -the first time in awhile, and participated a lot in the gospel principle class. It was good to see her there and hear her testimony! I also got to bear my testimony and it was tough. I love this ward a lot. They are super awesome people and just super loving. But I am needed elsewhere i guess. Later we taught J and got a baptismal date with her which was really cool. I spent the rest of the day going by and saying goodbye to members and taking pics.

Well, the word of the week, or just what I feel right now, is bittersweet. I feel like I have done my best here yet my heart hurts having to leave these great people. They are in good hands. I will be on Gotland for my last 12 weeks- that is where I will finish my mission.

Conference is coming up, and Easter. Let us focus on the Savior as we go into this conference, thinking about what we can do to improve, who we can reach out and help, how we can move forward. Let the savior guide us in our righteous desires. He will lead our way. #BecauseHeLives  Share the message.

Det är mitt vittnesbörd att han lever. Och eftersom han lever, kan jag leva också. Jag är så väldigt tacksam för allt han har gjort för mig. Han är centrala i Guds plan och bör vara centrala i vårt liv. Jag älskar honom. Jag vet att han älskar oss. Ha en bra vecka allihoppa!

Translation: It is my testimony that He lives. And because He lives I can live also.  I am so very grateful for everything He has done for me.  He is central to God's plan and should be central in our lives.  I love Him.  I know He loves us.  Have a good week.

Elder Johnson

Monday, March 23, 2015

Are You Happy?

Fun Pday at the beach with my district.  

Hey everyone! Howzit goween? I hope you all are great! Because I am! I have had probably the worst to greatest week of my life. Up and down and all around. I wish I could write every little thing that happened, but I can't. So I hope you bear with me. It has definitely been a hallmark to my mission though. Let me tell ya...

Mån: Well, p-days are always good you know. And stressful. It's funny that the one day we have as missionaries to relax usually ends up being the most stressful ha. Oh well. We met up with the district at the beach and walked along the shore, roasted mallows and played some football. That was pretty fun! We then chilled the rest of the day and ended up finding some new investigators/friends to teach. (We taught some other guys on the street and they gave us some false numbers. Rats. haha)

Beautiful Castle
Tis: We helped move this small but very densly packed piano-seriously the heaviest thing of my life. We moved it down 3 flights of spiral stairs and then up 1. I'm still a little sore from that:) But on the way home we stopped by this castle and walked around a bit and got some cool pics. I got to capture the moments:)

We taught S- things are stressful with school but she's doing better. We had a lesson with C and N about working for the temple and the blessings thereof. We had President talk with them about their living situation and what they can do in order for him to be baptized. We are not sure what will happen, but will do our part and make sure he is ready as soon as possible.

Ons: District meeting about one of my favorite themes of all time "Prayer of Faith". I got many thoughts from a talk by elder Bednar "Ask in Faith". Joseph Smith prayed not just what church is true, but which one he could join. He was willing to act on the answer he would be given. Are we willing to act on the answer God gives us. Joseph studied it out, it wasn't just one and done. He worked for his answer as should we. Later we went to ward council and it was the best one that I had been apart of since I have gotten here. Stake conference has really helped us come together and things are really going forward. I love it.

Ice cream makes everything better!
Tors: Exchanges with Elder R. He and I have had similar life experiences. We had a good time talking about life and figuring out that we have a lot in common. It's always nice to be with other missionaries and see their styles of teaching, planning, finding, etc. It was super funny though, the whole day, we were cancelled on one after another. So we decided to get ice cream, because it was the first time where it was warm enough to have any! It was delish:) So with all of the cancellations we got the ok to start moving into our new apartment in Lund. We worked hard and then got more ice cream haha. Later we taught L about Baptisms for the Dead. She had a grandma who she was really close who died just a couple of months ago. When we told her she could be baptized for her, she was thrilled. That is her motivation to keep on track. It was a very powerful lesson.

Fre: Moving. O, a member, helped us a ton by driving a trailer from our old apartment in Malmö to our new one in Lund. We didn't get all of it, but a big chunk. We also did some rearranging to make things more homey. We had to clean too.  I had to clean out the bathroom drain and that was gross. 

Dinner with YSA's
We ended the night by having an awesome dinner with some YSA's, S was there, and a nonmember. It seriously was the most fun I have had in a long time! Just having a good time with people my age-ish. We left them with a great message on prayer. Super fun.

Lör: Stayed in Malmö one last night and packed up and traveled the long way to our new place. It was quite the show, 2 missionaries with all of their bags stuffed on a bus:) but we survived.  Got in one teach and then had a member dinner and the kids just absolutely loved us. Gosh, I love that! We also taught N and C. They are just taking their time but they are good and they love church.

Sön: Another glorious Sunday. Friday and saturday were miserable weather days. Sunday, things got better again. We taught the YW class about the Atonement and Missionary Work. We focused a lot on the Tree of Life and Lehi first tasting the fruit-the atonement, and then looking out for his family and friends-missionary work. We had a huge dinner with the Nilssons (best members ha), then swungby an old investigator just to see how he was doing.

I didn't really go over any of the things that were hard for me this week. It's confidential and personal, so it'll suffice to say I have had a hard time. I have been really stressed, confused, frustrated, exhausted, tired, worn down, etc, Its all gotten to me. I had some breakdowns and some very humbling experiences. One of which, my companion and I were talking one night. I asked him "are you happy?" and he said yes. I told him to ask me. And I answered "I am trying to be." We discussed more and came to the conclusion that I have to have a justification for everything, but its really not necessary. If something in the past has happened, you can't change it. Just let it go, and move on. Thats something I have struggled with for years. And I can finally say that i'm moving forward. I felt so strongly the power of the atonement as I physically gave up those burdens/chains that were holding me back. I can't fully describe it or give it justice. But I know the atonement is real. I know that my sins are forgiven through true repentance. The hardest thing about repentance though is forgiving yourself. The atonement not only cleanses us of our sins, its gives us strength to do things we cannot do ourselves- for example forgive ourselves.

Be Happy!
This has truly been an immense turning point in my life. I have been taught, I have testified, I have lived, I have thought about the atonement. But now,-it is so real. It is so real and personal. I can honestly say now 100% that I am happy because of what the Atonement can and does for me.

Det finns inget ord som kan beskriva vad försoningen betyder för mig. Det är verkligt. Det funkar i mitt liv. Jag vet att de som vill kan använda försongingen när som helst. Kristus är altid där. Han lever. Han älskar oss så mycket. Min bön är att vi låt kristus in i vårt liv. Jag älskar er. Ha det gott

Translation: There are no words that can describe what reconciliation means to me. It is real. It works in my life. I know that you can use the atonement at any time. Christ is always there. He lives. He loves us so much. My prayer is that we let Christ into our lives. I love you. Have a great day.

Elder Johnson

Monday, March 16, 2015

Priesthood Blessings Are Great

Beautiful Sunset
Hey all you people! It's me! Thanks for all of the updates, loves, supports, prayers, letters, etc! You guys are the greatest! It has been a good week on this side of the world. Let me tell ya...

Mån: A pretty chill Pday. We went with the other Lund missionaries and walked around the city because it was an absolutely beautiful day! The sun was shining and glorious! We went through this giant mall and I made it a goal to put at least one foot in in every store!:) I also bought this super good looking suit:)! We followed up with people we tracted into a while ago and one was interested in us coming back in a couple of more weeks.

Tis: We're finally meeting regularly with our friend B and he is doing good. We then met with N who is not quite ready for baptism but he will get there. He really felt the spirit in the lesson and that was awesome. We had dinner with S who is the gospel doctrine teacher and is super cool. We had a very inspired lesson deep into the Atonement and what it means to each of us. We gave her a Priesthood blessing and she appreciated that. We then ran over to the other side of town to meet with M. Somehow we are always late when we meet with her ha, but she is making good progress!

Ons: We had district meeting on Adjusting teaching to Meet Needs. We had an awesome discussion and role play to help apply what we learned. We then went to visit a new apartment in Lund that we will move into this week! It's smaller than ours now, but at least we will be in Lund! That will save us valuable time each day.  We taught 2 people on the street and helped a member with some curtains in her home. Then we had the lesson of the century!:) hahaha gosh. I cant even do it justice talking about it. But let me just say briefly that it was so hard and so awkward and so funny and just the best! The girl was super interested but her boyfriend was totally not. He wouldn't give us anything hahaha. We ended the lesson and then he turned into a bro. He just did not want to talk about religion, but was a really cool guy afterwards. Interesting....hmm ha. That is seriously only a hundredth part of what really happened.
Elder Packard hoarding the food

Tors: I went to Malmö on exchanges and had a great day. It was the first time in a long while where I didnt have to worry about anything. We worked super hard and taught lots of cool people and had a good time, and it was nice:) I got to meet a lot of people that I had heard stories about from the other missionaries and one of them was a friend to the new convert I taught in Handen so that was cool! We taught an  investigator who has changed so much because of the Gospel in his life and he looks forward to his baptism. We then were able to teach a new convert's friends. The convert gave such a powerful testimony that this is the true church -it was amazing to be a part of that! I love when members invite their friends and bear testimony of how they know this is the true church! It is incredible!!

Fre: I wasn't feeling good and my comp and I talked a lot about some challenges that I am going through and I came to the conclusion that I really needed a priesthood blessing. I really havent had one my whole mission- I just would rather fight/work through things.  I was planning on asking president, but I felt like i needed one right then and there and i needed my companion to give it. It was one of the most profound blessings that I have ever been a part of or had before. I wrote down a lot of what was said -it was amazing the blessings and promises and as well the many warnings because it feels like the closer I move to the end of my mission, the more the devil is working against me. However, I felt through this blessing that I have been missing out on feeling God's love for me because I wouldnt ask for a blessing. It is never a wrong time to ask for one. It is never bad to want to feel of His love. He lives and cares about us. Just turn to Him. I learned a very powerful lesson that day.

Dinner with Pres and Sister B
We then went to have interviews with President and I shared with him my experience. I love being able to talk to him so openly and share all that is going on. I also told him about my uneasiness in wanting to go home. He told me to express this, so here it is: "Family and friends, I love you and am excited to be with you after my mission. But I don't want you reminding me how short a time I have left. Don't rush me to my bags. I still have so much more to do here. It would greatly help me if you helped me with that." Thanks, that's all I need to say about the matter. I love you all. But anyway, we got to also go out to dinner with President and Sister Beckstrand- I love them so much! They are hilarious!

Lör: Basically it was meeting after meeting all day. We had Stake Conference and it was so good.  I wrote down all the things members need to do-and then all the things missionaries need to do! WE HAVE TO BE UNIFIED!!!! And sister B spoke powerfully about  the need to live the gospel every day, not just sunday.

Vision for the Stake: Bring a friend,
Be spiritually and temporally independent, Find an ancestor
Sön: More stake conference and the theme of the day was Luke 22:32 "When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren". Oh my word. It was incredible! It was based on Peter's story. He had many times up to that time to bear his testimony and help others. But he hadnt been converted yet. He denied knowing Christ 3 times and went back to his fisherman job. It wasnt until he was converted that he understood what he needed to do- feed Christ's sheep. Thats what we are called to do. We need to make sure we have been converted to Christ and then are we able to reach out and help others. Some other cool notes from that were "Mistakes don't define us, they refine us" "The strength of the church lies in the hearts of the members" "the most prized possession we have is our testimony of the savior". And many other good things. So incredible!

We had another awesome experience that night. We were going by the senior couple's home to grab an item. We felt impressed to walk past their place and talk to this guy. We started teaching and testifying to him of the meaning of life and what happens after we die. He turned out to be interested and we are going to meet him again. It was a powerful manifestation of following the subtle promptings of the spirit. I love when that happens:)

So, as I have mentioned a few times above, Priesthood Blessings are wonderful. I love being able to bless other's lives with the sacred Priesthood which i bear, and that my life can also be blessed from worthy priesthood bearers. Dont let an opportunity pass you by to feel Gods love for you through his sacred power. 

Jag vet att prästadömets kraft och auktoritet har återställts genom profeten joseph smith. Det är guds kraft och makt här på jorden. Jag vet att Gud älskar oss och han vill att vi känner den kärlek som han har för oss. Jag vet att denna kyrka är sann. Jag älskar er!

Translation: I know that priesthood power and authority have been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. It is God's power and authority on earth. I know that God loves us and He wants us to feel the love that he has for us. I know that this Church is true. I love you

Äldste Johnson

Monday, March 9, 2015

Göteborg and Good things

Wait a minute. Sorry, wrong culture. Hi there everybody! Special shoutout happy bday to my favorite sister-in-law Karli and congrats to cousin Emilee who got a call to serve in Peru! 

Turning torso building.  
Mån: We had an investigator show us around the streets of Malmö. We saw the turning torso- some really cool tall building where rich people live, we visited the Castle museum where there was some cool stuff, and then the Technology museum where there was a lot of interactive games and jazz. 
Technology Museum

On our way back to Lund we taught a guy on the street. We had a good lesson with a sister and committed her to read the Book of Mormon. Our member dinner was far away in an outlier city but they were super great people. We gave them a blessing at the end of our lesson and it felt good to be able to leave them with a great spirit.

Tis: Another great day. We taught a lady on the street about baptisms for the dead! She felt the spirit so strong and she said that it wasn't coincidence that we met! And then she just walked away!!!! WHAT??? haha, she said she'll talk next time we run into her.  Our mission was doing a special 24 hour fast so we just gave our member dinner family a message and went on our way. We hopped on a train and headed to Göteborg! Lots of missionaries=crazy ha! We were going there because of a zone conference/mission tour.

Gotenburg Conference - Brock right in front
Lunch at conferences is always a favorite time.
Ons: All day we were in the Utby chapel in Göteborg. We were privileged to hear from Elder and Sister Donaldson -area 70 from England. He was super cool and awesome. The main focus of the conference was talking about the Holy Ghost and relying on him with our teaches and everything we do in missionary work. He really is the key to success. As a missionary you feel the spirit more-yes, but being more obedient and asking for the spirit and praying for help brings even greater feelings of guidance from the spirit. It was a great conference! The trains were delayed coming home, so we couldn't do any proselyting today.

Tors: Wow, what a remarkable day! We taught some people on the street again and in homes and had some really good meetings. One contact surprised us by reading 7 chapters from the BoM!!! Her whole countenance has changed and she seems happier! Still, we are taking it one step at a time. She even prayed at the end for the first time in a long time!!! We taught N and it wasn't the best teach we've ever had but we closed off strong with solid testimony. 

Fre: We ran into some random people while out in the streets of Lund and had some really great gospel discussions with them. We really implemented a lot of what we learned from zone conference and tried to involve the spirit more by praying many many many times throughout the day. What do you know -we found 4 people who are interested in learning more! It was a great inspired finding day! It concluded with us teaching an old investigator (hadn't been taught for awhile) from Poland. She said she didn't want to be baptized but was willing to pray about it. We assured her that if she had an open mind and heart, God would answer her:)

Lör: We experienced how not to have an inspired finding day. It was weird. I mean, it went OK, but there was just such a difference. Plus my companion was feeling sick, so we ended the day very early. He slept while I did a lot of book work /calling people and eventually only getting 4 hours of sleep due to my insomnia ha. Oh well!

Sön: The weather has changed dramatically and the sun has been out and feels amazing! Well, none of our investigators could come to church for really good reasons. In reality, we had 5 1/2 days of proselyting, but we had the most success ever this week. We worked so hard and it is finally showing. It feels really good. I know I need to stay humble and give credit to God who has really helped us a lot this week and I am grateful.

Jag vet att jag är ingenting. Alla mina framgånger kommer från Gud. Han lever och besvarar våra böner. Jag älskar att vara en Guds tjänare. Jag har välsignats så väldigt mycket här på mission. Jag uppskatar allt som ni gör hemma. Jesus är Kristus. Den Helige Anden bevittnar om sanningen. Det är sant! Tack, älskar er!

Translation: I know I am nothing but for God. He lives and answers our prayers. I love being a servant of God. I have been blessed so much here on my mission. I appreciate all that you do at home. Jesus is the Christ . The Holy Ghost witnesses to the truth. It's true! 

med kärlek

Äldste johnson

Monday, March 2, 2015

I want to give a special tribute to my friend Elder Mason Bailey, who died exactly one year ago. I still miss him like crazy. He was an amazing friend and missionary. I know he is doing great work though on the other side. Love you Bailey!:)

Surprise Trip to Denmark!!!!

I'm such a child!
Remember fart means speed

Herrrrrrro. Thanks everyone for your love, prayers and support. I greatly appreciate it. Welp, we got hit by a nasty cold front but it was a good week. I could see the work take off and go forward. Let me tell ya!

Car trip selfie
Mån: For Pday the district played volleyball at the church. It was loads of fun! It brought me back to the times of my friends and I balling it up ha. Lots of things had to match up perfectly for us to get back into Lund for our appointments (lots of stress there.) We actually had to borrow a car from a memeber. Whew- saved us! We had a super solid FHE with a member family to wrap up the day. I love home evenings with members!!!:) We stayed the night with the other Lund elders because I had to leave early in the morning.

Welcome mat- NOT
Tis: Yup, I had to leave early in the morning to go to Stockholm for a Mission Leadership Training. It was a 5 hour train ride up, and 5 hour train ride back-in the same day!! Haha, at least I had my old comp Elder Smith with me. We talked about the good times in Eskilstuna! The MLT was good. It was my last time seeing a lot of people until June 25. Crazy! We talked about the importance of District Meetings and really being led by the spirit. So, basically what I had talked about at my last district meeting haha. It was super spiritual and I got a lot out of it.

Ons:  We got home super late Tues night with no plans for this day. Ouch. haha, but we worked hard the whole day -didnt really see any results- but felt good about our efforts and the spirit was strong with us the whole day.
Look: Sis Adamson -Stacy's friend

Tors: We had a surprise zone training about ours being a "Practicing Mission." That means that we are going to be practicing lots with our members to get them involved in the work, to work on our Swedish and teaching skills, and get lots of results! It's actually really cool. Im super stoked. I taught a little section about the teaching skill: Ask Inspired Questions. I used the example of the Savior in Matthew 16 when Christ is talking to his apostles about who he was. He asked a general question- they answered, he asked a personal question- they bore testimony. Powerful! We came back to our area and met this really cool girl on the street and talked with her for 30 minutes. Gosh, I love those moments! 

Fre: This day was incredible! It seriously was such a good feeling. We received a surprise lunch from the N's which was super nice. We then taught a less active whose been inactive for awhile, but wants to really try it out and see if it is true. We had a member, and really good friend to her, there with us. The spirit was so strong the whole time. The member shared her similar story of being inactive and finding the way back step by step. Then we bore testimony that we would do anything to help her find the answer she is looking for. It was awesome! Later on the member told us that after we left, her friend told her how much she loved the lesson. That is such a good feeling. Man, I love this work!!! We then met up with a couple who we had met at the grocery store, she is a member he is not. We taught the restoration being totally led by the spirit! I love that! We ended up giving him a baptismal date and he accepted! Gosh that is so cool!!!
Denmark Temple
Lör: We got to go with our ward to the temple in Copenhagen Denmark (Köpenhamn på svenska) because that's the temple district we are in! So I got to go out of my mission boundaries!!!! Hahaha dont worry i got my mission presidents approval! It was super sick going to Copenhagen and doing a session there. It will be my last time going to the temple before I go home. That was sad. But I had such a great time there! 

Afterwards we got to go see the famous original Kristus statue and the twelve apostles in the Church of  our Lady! Man that was incredible!!!!!!!!!! Lots of things had to line up for that to work out. God really blessed us. I am so grateful for that opportunity. It only takes 45 minutes from Lund to get there, so we were able to come back and get right back to work. So sick!
Christ and His Apostles by Bertel Thorvaldsen in Copenhagen Denmark

Sön: We were expecting several people at church but only one came but he loved it! He was hit by a lot of deep doctrine, but it all went smoothly. I translated for 2 straight hours, ha. We had a super delicious member dinner and finished the night by contacting people on the streets.

SO of course going to the temple was amazing in and of itself. But I knew it would be my last time going before I come home, so I made sure to make it special. I made it special by acting as an agent; instead of taking a question to the temple and receiving an answer, I went to the temple to take out a question that I could then study out and find answers through my work. I'm super excited for that and grateful for the opportunity.

Det är min bön att vi alla ta tillfället att åka till templet så ofta som möjligt. Jag är tacksam för templet och alla välsignelser som kommer från det. Jag vet att familjer är eviga och kan beseglas bara i templet. Jag vet att det här verket är sant. Jag vet att Gud lever. och att han älskar. Tack allihoppa! Ha en bra vecka!

Translation: It is my prayer that we all take the opportunity to go to the temple as often as possible . I am thankful for the temple, and all the blessings that come from it. I know that families are eternal and can be sealed only in the temple. I know this work is true . I know that God lives. and that he loves. Thanks allihoppa ! Have a great week!
mvh, Äldste Johnson