Sweden Stockholm Mission

Monday, May 25, 2015

Up, Down, All around

Hello wonderful people of planet earth! This week has been an up, down all around week. The weather was absolutely phenomenal (except for P-day ha.) It seems weird that a month from today I will be home. But for now, I just gotta keep swimming:)

Mån: We spent our Pday up at Fårö (sheep island.) It is a sister island to Gotland to the north. We drove to the free ferry and it only takes 10 minutes to cross. It is a very popular, famous, touristy place to be.
Car ferry to Faro 
(I guess a famous Swedish filmaker named Ingmar Bergen made movies here and lived here but that was like 50 years ago.) We were there in the only cloudy part of the day haha, but it turned out really cool anyway. Took some nice pics and had some fun with the Maddens (Sr missionay couple). 

Famous Ice age rauck formations

There are some cool "rauck" formations that were made by erosion during the ice age, and a small fisherman village with old wooden shacks and boats out front. Only about 500 people live here but hundred of others come here for summer vacation. The sunset was beautiful.
Small fishing shacks/homes

Hmmm, should I take the boat out?

We came back home and went out and about to find some new people. My companion's brother served here on Gotland 3 years ago and is friends with a couple of investigators from before so we went to meet them and it was super cool. They are about our age. They investigated the church before but their parents were against it. They still believe in what we teach and I hope by us meeting, their interest has sparked up again!

Tis: We met with a past investigator who had shown some interest however, the meeting wasn't as we anticipated. She didn't want to even try our message out. Well, that was strange. New convert E is doing great at reading the Book of Mormon. We boarded the ferry to the mainland for zone training the next day. It takes a lot of proselyting hours away from us, which is sad, but we caught up on other things while taking the boat 3 hours there and back. We spent the night with the Västerhaninge elders -a place i have stayed several times when I was the zone leader over this area. Not weird at all....

Ons: Our zone training was on things I have studied and taught many times but it's still good to get reminded. I gave the closing thought and shared Revelations 3:20 - "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Christ is waiting for us. He isn't going to force us to do anything, but his promises and blessings are conditional upon us opening the door, asking him. The rest of the day we were on exchanges and I got to be with Elder H who was my MTC comp. It was really fun to be back with him and talk about old times. We didnt get back home to Gotland until midnight. Fun! ha

Tors: We had another great pea soup and pancakes at the H's and then they showed us a bit of their sons' music. They are very famous here-Bröderna Herrey-they won a big music competition 30 years ago and people still remember them. It was super 80s like and I absolutely loved it! I am definitely going to be jamming out to that stuff at home. We met again with N and L and had a great discussion with them about faith. They want to believe and go forward, but they are still scared that their family will disown them or not want anything to do with them. I have never been in that situation, so I don't know what it's like. I can only imagine how hard it must be. But I guess the thing that I have come to understand is that Salvation is between me and God. Nobody else. People can judge me all they want, do whatever they want to me but it ultimately comes down to me and Him. It will take time but they are super positive and we will help them. We also met up with J had a tremendous lesson with her. We set up a baptismal calendar and she was super happy. She texted us later that night thanking us for the wonderful people we are. "Imagine, if everyone were like you 2, how better the world would be." That about reduced me to tears. The greatest thing about a mission is helping others find joy and happiness in the gospel. It's incredible.

Fre: We spent most of our day down in Stånga with S and J doing service while the M's taught them. We came home ready to go find some people, however I had the most excruciating headache i have ever had before. I never get headaches. So I went to bed early.

Lör: We received a message from J. She told us that she no longer wanted to meet with us. She couldn't become a mormon. WHAT! So out of the blue. We had such a great lesson on two days ago and then this! I was heartbroken. It shattered me so much. I had thought that this was going to be the perfect ending to my mission by baptizing someone like her on my last week. But it all came crashing down. I couldn't move past it. Not again. More disappointment and heartache. My companion was just as sad, but he was doing a good job of trying to stay positive. It was hard for me. In Swedish there is a word that describes this perfectly - Jag orkar inte. It basically means that I just physically/mentally/emotionally can't go on. And so it was with me. However, a little step at a time, I was able to feel a little bit better. Not all the way. We had a great lesson with L about the Atonement and following the Hope/Light that is in Christ. That seemed to help me a ton, by bearing testimony of Christ. I still wasn't completely healed. We had dinner with the S's and caught a great sunset on our way home. Still not all the way back.

Do everything in our power and then stand still
and let God do the rest. (D&C 123:7)
Sön: We were able to do a lot of good things today to get my mind back in the game. My companion and I sang a duet of "Abide with Me" (so, round 2 of my singing career.) It was a beautiful arrangement. We taught the conference talk "The music of the Gospel". I love that. We had one of the councilors in the stake presidency there -someone from Handen ward that I know rather well. He read a scripture that was perfect for me. D&C 123:17. Let us do everything in our power joyfully. And then stand still and let God do the rest. That really hit me deep. There really isn't anything more than I can do but do my best. Elder Johnson's best. And then leave the rest up to God. I know that is true. Even when people and things all around are saying that it isn't.

Jag bära vittna att Gud älskar oss otroligt mycket. Han vill att vi ska övervinna detta liv. Han förvantar sig bara att vi gör vår bästa och sen lita på honom för resten. Jag är så glad att jag har haft den här upplevelsen att starka min tro på honom och gör mer än jag kan. Han finns. Han är här. Bara be honom om hjälp och jag vet att han kommer att alltid besvara er.

I bear witness that God loves us very much. He wants us to overcome this life. He expects only that we do our best and then trust him for the rest. I'm so glad I had this experience to strengthen my faith in him and do more than I alone can. He is available. He's here. Just ask him for help and I know that he will always respond to you.
Hope all is well, have a great week. 

Love elder Johnson

Monday, May 18, 2015

This is where I live.

Well hello! Wowee wow! First, let me just say CONGRATS TO MY BABY SISTER AND HER MISSION CALL TO SAMARA RUSSIA!!!! That is going to be so cool for Stacy! I'm beyond excited! And Happy birthday to my other baby girl- little Lia turned one! Crazy that I haven't seen her in person yet!
Visby Ruins
Mån: Since it was my comps last pday here we did sightseeing and getting things for him. We hit up the ruins in Visby, and that was so sick! Gosh, everyone needs to see that! 

We finally got to meet with F and she definitely knows what we have makes her happier. We also visited with another investigator M who really isnt investigating but he is super cool. Transfer travel is usually on Wednesday so we didn't really look at the fine print of the paper work but luckily elder m rang us at 9 pm to say that my comp was to leave the next morning at 7 am!!!! We ran to the church and got things he needed, came home and spent the night packing! It was about 1am that we got into bed! WHEW!  

Tis: We got up early in the morning and dropped of my comp.
Viking Gravestones
Gothem Kyrka
What does the fox say?
Then I was completely alone for 3 hours in my apartment. That was weird. I kept myself super busy with fixing the place up and updating. Then I went on a road trip with the M's to Gothem and ate at Mexican cantina that was to die for! Seriously, i have missed Mexican food. This stuff was legit! Plus we saw a fox on the way! We then picked up my new companion -Elder L (he is from Iowa and his brother actually served here on Gotland 3 years ago!) and immediately went and helped an old investigator move some things around. We came home after a downpour and let him unpack.

Steve Urkel lives on in Sweden
Ons: Pretty awesome day! We taught E and she was thrilled that she received a calling in church to be the greeter! We then had a 45 minute discussion with a young man on the street. It was incredible! After a lesson with S I had to explained that we can't keep having these long discussions about deep stuff and just argue about it. We are not called to do that. We help others come to Christ and prepare for baptism with the basic doctrines of the church. He was upset -we'll see what happens. THEN...we met with this new investigator J- a riktig (real) Gotlandish person! She is awesome! Elder T and i found her on the street last week and we met her and were just blown away! She was so open and positive and really wanted to see if this was for her. She had some friends who told her not to meet with us, but she wanted to see for herself and she loved it! Gosh, it was amazing how open and willing she is! I love it! 

We don't have what they want.
Tors: We had our skype district meeting with a few new faces. My mtc comp Elder H is my district leader so that is really fun for me! We ate some kebab then went back to work. We had a dinner appointment with a family (minus the dinner part....awkward haha) but I did get to practice my song I'm singing in church.

Fre: Most of the day we were down in a place called Stånga, with some members helping them with many different things. We are still sore from moving furniture and weeding...ha. We got lunch too -always nice. Oh and we taught like 5 people on the streets! WHAT??? we kept running into old investigators and they said they would be willing to meet again ha! Sweet! We got like 5 numbers that day, it was wild!

Let's work out?  OK
Lör: After a couple of blåsts we met with J again and it totally made up for it because.....we got a baptismal date with her!!!! YEAH! We taught the restoration and an hour went by sooooo fast -she was sad to leave! Gosh, it was amazing! Im so excited for her! We also stopped by E's to read from the book of mormon. (Oh just det, Friday, we were walking around the area and she saw us through her window. We waved to her and she waved back and was so happy! That melted my heart!:)

Sön: Sunday I sang a solo in church,  "More Holiness Give Me"-my debut as a solo artist (Im thinking about going global now....hahaha no, but it went better than i thought). After church all the members wanted to talk to me, all at the same time to schedule appointments, all for the same time and same day, and no one was budging. Gee whiz people! Let me breathe! hahaha, it all worked out in the end. We ate some grub with the H's and did some family history work.

Last transfer - work hard, have fun, no looking back!
Well, I officially started my last transfer and I feel really good. My comp and I are working super hard- though i am still so dang tired all the time. That's ok, I'll have time to rest when I'm dead ha;) I'm treating this transfer like any other one before -just work hard and have fun. That's really all there is to it.

Jag älskar att vara här. Det är ett stort privilget att vara en herrens tjänare. Jag älskar honom. Varje dag, känner jag mig att det här evangeliet är sant. Det finns så mycket bevis från den helige anden att jag kan inte förneka det! Gud lever. Vi har en sann guds levande profet idag. Sanningen finns på jorden! Guds verk är underbart.
I love being here. It is a huge privilege to be a servant of the Lord. I love him. I know more each day that this gospel is true. There is so much evidence from the Holy Spirit that I cannot deny it! God lives. We have a true living prophet of God today. Truth is on earth! God's work is wonderful.
Love ya all

Love elder Johnson

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Glad Mors Dag

Every pday we get ice cream!
Bula! that is fijian for hello! (At least that's what my bro said.) First I would like to wish all mothers around the world a very Happy Mothers Day! Thank you for all that you do for your children. It is appreciated so much.

Even in Sweden
Mån: I got me a nice haircut. We were out on the main street when 2 drunk guys stopped us and we sat and talked with them for 30 minutes. We got ourselves some ice cream and went to the email in the library and those 2 guys just showed up hahahaha. We ran into a sign that I know is big in the USA: May the fourth be with you, haha

Cinco de Mayo lunch (w/ mustaches)
Tis: We went over to the M's early in the morning to help them pack up and move. They found a place to stay for the month of May but are still searching for a place for the rest of the summer. It was Cinco De Mayo so we couldn't NOT  make tacos and guacamole!! Mustaches added a nice effect. We taught some people on the streets; been really trying to get some new people to teach.

Ons: We had an awesome contact with a woman J. She was super interested about a message that could strengthen her family. Im super excited to meet with her again and teach her about Gods plan of happiness:) We also met with T and talked about the Family proclamation. It was a great discussion but he trys to find a problem to anything we talk about - kind of frustrating. We did a practice lesson with a less active family. It was very real hearing their concerns come out through the role play of an investigator. Hopefully, good things will come from that.

I love split pea soup now!
Tors: We had our district meeting and had pea soup and swedish pancakes again:) I love that stuff. We got blåsted by a new investigator. Rats. We did some inspired knocking and were able to get a little fired up with this one guy. We invited him to find out for himself and said that he wouldn't be able to say it wasn't true by not trying. He didn't want to do it. We claim that our church is either true or not. Thats it. So if you test it, you will receive an answer that it is true or not. Its no more complicated than that. We did have something cool happen as well. We knocked this door and this high-schooler was actually in the middle of a school project about Mormons, ha. We got to answer a lot of his questions and help him with his project. Hopefully this helps him and that the project brings people to us!

Fre: We have been doing stellar work with teaching street lessons of late. We got some new people who we can meet again in a couple of weeks! We then spent the rest of the day with the H's visiting another one of their friends. It was fun but wasnt really an opportunity to talk about the Gospel because they also had some atheist visitors haha. Talk about awkward:) After dinner with the S's I got to practice singing in preparation for a sacrament meeting. I'm really excited to do this. I have wanted to improve my singing but I've wanted someone to ask me rather than invite myself. Luckily sister S did that.

Last box of Mac Cheese, empty
peanut butter jar in window (hint-hint)
Lör: Transfer calls came and my comp is leaving:(. I don't know much about my new companion but he is fairly new to the mission. I look forward to working hard with him and having a good ending to the mission. We taught several lessons on the street and ended with this girl A and she was ready to listen to us- it was incredible! Im excited to meet with her again!

Sön: I realized in church (none of our investigators came, darn): that my comp and I are the younguns in the branch. We seriously spend our time hanging out with elderly people 24/7. Its not a bad thing. It was just funny to realize that. I think it will be weird when I come home and not be surrounded by older people haha. I love these people here. They are great. Time to skype home! That was a blast! It was super fun to be able to talk with family face to face. I love them lots and I am excited to be with them again in 6 weeks. It feels good to have that last skype done with now so I can just focus these next 6 weeks completely on the work. I'm excited.

As I mentioned earlier, i want to say it again, thank you mothers everywhere. You are the greatest inspiration to mankind. Mothers have such a wonderful role in life in nurturing and raising children to do good and be good. I read Elder Hollands 1997 conference address called "Because she is a Mother". It is amazing. It really highlights how I feel about mothers. You mothers are the best. I love you all!

Jag är super tacksam att jag får vara här i sverige att tjäna min konung. Jag vet med allt mitt hjärta att detta verk är sant. Jag vet att Gud lever. Tack vara hans kärlek kan jag vara en bättra person. Jag älskar honom. Hoppas att ni får ha det så bra! mvh

I'm super grateful that I can be here in Sweden serving my Lord . I know with all my heart that this work is true. I know that God lives. Thanks to his love, I can improve and be a better person. I love him.  Hope you have a great time. Sincerely,
Äldste Johnson

Monday, May 4, 2015

What Would Jesus Do?

Hello you wonderful people. Another week gone by without me realizing it. The weather has been terrible haha - just rainy and gloomy, and we had a hard time meeting with our investigators this week, but oh well. Let me tell ya what happened...

Lovin' my suit
Mån: Switch up: we did our 3 hours of proselyting time that we have every P-day then went to do service for the Blombergs (moving.) Later we went looking around and I found a sweet deal on another awesome swedish suit. So of course, I got it:) Now that's it. No more shopping....well, we'll see about that. I gave my comp a haircut. I am getting pretty good at cutting hair. I think I will go into Paul Mitchell hair school when I get back...;)

L-O-V-E "C'mon, you gotta take funny pics with other missionaries."
Me and Elder S
Tis: We tackled another big chunk of service with the B,s for several hours. It is nuts! There is so much to do and so little time!!!! But things will work out:) Anywho, the zone leaders came over on the ferry for a workover. We picked them up and had a blast together. I was with elder S and right off we taught 4 people on the street! It was awesome! It was really good to be with someone who has been out on a mission for a similar amount of time and reflect on how much it has blessed us. We took some funny pics with them -I mean c'mon. You gotta take funny pics with other missionaries. It's in the white handbook...or something. B and S cancelled on us (we never got to meet them this week so their baptism date will be pushed back).

Ons: We dropped off the zls at the ferry early in the morning and headed straight to the B's. This was moving day and there was sooooo much to do! We were there going hard for several hours trying to get everything done in time. Seriously it came down to the last possible second before they had to go and catch the boat. Whew!!!! We were so tired. We could hardly even concentrate later in our lesson with T. Luckily, Elder M (Senior couple) was there and took the lead. We went home and went straight to bed. Tired, no question about it.


After: Burning away winter.
Tors: Valborgs Afton! Now April 30th is a big deal here in Sweden. It is a celebration of literally burning out winter and welcoming in spring and summer. (In olden times this celebration was similar to witch hunting...) We had a normal day then at 5:00 we and the Maddens cooked up some raggmunk (potato pancakes with bacon and lingon berry) and headed over to the celebration. We were right on the sandbank and it was gorgeous! Then the fire went up and.....thats it. Nothing else ha. We went home and went to sleep:)

Fre: We taught another new member lesson with E. Then, guess what happened next! We got to help T move!!!! hahaha man so much moving! His didn't have nearly as much stuff as the B's but it was a lot heavier! I will say I gained some good muscles this week ha.

Lör: Our investigators haven't been available to meet with us so we need new people to find! And trust me, we are going hard every day to find. It will come. We started off on a new "inspired street" finding so hopefully that goes good. We ended the night with Stake Conference - not on the mainland, but by skype. Lots of good talks.

Sön: Stake conference was great! This is my 3rd stake conference in the Stockholm South Stake. I love hearing from President Karlsson -him telling his stories of Eskilstuna and the people that I found there. Gosh. It really just felt good to hear that they are doing so well. I also called some of the people later on and had a good chat with them. We found a new girl while out and about -M. We'll see what happens!

What would Jesus do?  Do it!
The theme of Stake conference was "Vad skulle Jesus Göra", what would Jesus do? The story of Nelson Mandela, being in prison for many years unjustly and then just walking out of that with no hate, no regret, no envy - Absolutely amazing. Someone else said something that made me think this, "To be the best that I can be. I can't do it on my own but with the help of Christ, I can become the best Brock -Elder Johnson- I was meant to be." With Christ's help, all things are possible. But now, I would like to challenge all of you to think about your own life and apply this principle of What would Jesus Do? AND THEN DO IT!!!!!!:) Let us be doers of the law and not hearers only.

Med var ende dag som jag är här, så erkänner jag hur mycket jag älskar min frälsare. Jesus har gjort så mycket så att jag kan få leva. Jag läste i Galatierbrevet 2:20 och den var fantastisk. Mitt liv, det som jag är och kan bli är tack vare Jesu Kristi nåd och barmhärtighet. Jag vet att han lever. Jag vet att jag kan få komma tillbaka till honom. Vad skullle Jesus göra? Älska och tjäna. Jag älskar er. Ha en underbar vecka!

With each day that I’m here I admit how much I love my Savior.  Jesus has done so much so that I may live. I read Galations 2: 20 and it was fantastic. My life, what I am and can become, is thanks to the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. I know that He lives. I know I can get back to him. What would Jesus do? Love and serve. I love you guys. Have a wonderful week!

äldste Johnson