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

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