Well folks, It's here. The final email home. Thank you everyone who has followed me on my journey across Sweden. It has been a wonderful 2 years in which I have been forever changed. I continue to work really hard and stay busy up until the day I leave. Happy Fathers day to all you great Dads. Sweden's father's day is in November so we didnt do anything for that here. Let me tell ya what happened this last week.
Mån: We visited the whole southern coast of Gotland. I've never noticed this before, but Gotland is a tiny version of Sweden- it looks like the shape of Sweden. Anywho, we saw lots of cool buildings, had some fun taking pictures, drove by a beautiful scenic route, everything you can imagine 2 missionaries would do on a Pday ha. I also said goodbye to some members because they are going out of town and I wouldnt see them again. So the goodbyes begin. I've never been good at saying goodbye. Like, it doesn't feel real to me. Maybe it's because I feel and sense that it never really is a hej då -goodbye. It's more of a vi ses- see you later. It's a happier thought:)
Tis: A great busy day! We got to read with E then we met up with the Beckstrands again because they had more family come for a visit and they wanted to show them Gotland. So naturally we got ice cream with them - tradition! I texted J and told her that I was leaving soon and wanted to see her again (she had become anxious that things were going to fast and decided to hop off. She is still praying daily and reading a little bit here and there.) She felt bad about what had happened and thought we were upset with her, but with the visit, we answered a lot of her questions and concerns and it was a great positive experience. She still is so wonderful, and I know, without a shadow of a doubt that she will find the truth one day. I don't need to worry. God is taking care of her. We also had a fun experience meeting with an old investigator on our list. Gosh, those kind of meetings never get old!:)
Ons: We walked around the city looking for new people. We had a good meeting with a former investigator so I guess we'll see what happens with her in the future.
Tors: Last district meeting! Crazy. We played a missionary version of Jeopardy which was super fun. My comp and I took 2nd after having a rough start haha. We then got some much needed haircuts- I was a little upset at mine, but over time I have grown to like my haircut ha. We went to teach F. We had planned to give her the DO OR DIE message because things hadn't been going anywhere. Instead, and I am so grateful that we followed the spirit, she opened up and shared things with us. I love being able to put aside the things we plan for, so that the spirit -the true teacher- can do his thing.
Fre: Midsommars Afton! Major holiday here so the whole day was nonproselyting, and it was tons of fun. We went with the Hs to the Botanical Garden where they were celebrating Midsommar. There were about 1000 people there and it was great. I honestly felt soooooo awkward wearing "normal" clothes. Hahahaha, I have just grown so accustomed to the shirt tie! We got to lay out on the grass, enjoy good company, and dance around the Maypole. It was a blast. I love Midsommar!
We then went home and I did some packing. I kind of got a little panic attack when I first started packing "this isnt real" haha and I also got really tired. But, oh well. I am 99 percent done now and it feels good.
|The Gothem Godzilla Burrito challenge - eat them in 20 minutes|
Lör: So half of this day Midsommar Dag, was also non-proselyting. So we went up to Gothem where my comp tried to do the Gothem Godzilla Burrito challenge- 2 footlong burritos in 20 minutes. It was intense. He didn't make it hahaha. But I got to eat his leftovers for free!:) We found a new investigator on the street. We also did a little bit of planning for the next week for my comp. Transfer calls came and it felt weird to hear "you will be transferred...home" ha.
Sön: Busy, busy day. And I wouldn't have it any other way!:) It turned out to be "Missionary Sunday". We drove most of the people to and from church, took care of the sacrament, played and lead the music, I sang a solo, gave a talk, we held the lesson in the 2nd hour, haha. It was great. It was nice to feel so needed. The song I sang was my favorite, (and elder Baileys favorite) "Blott en dag, ett ögonblick i sänder". It meant a ton to me to be able to sing that for him. We spent the rest of the afternoon eating with several members and saying goodbye. That's still so weird for me. The next couple of days are going to be totally nuts but I'm excited for it.
Here we are, the final stage. I never thought I would be here, I never planned for "the end". But honestly, there are no real endings. Only everlasting beginnings. It's only the beginning of a whole new adventure where I can take all that I have learned with me. I have pondered the question "who am I?" over and over and over again these past couple of weeks. Honestly, I am not the same person I was 2 years ago. I am not even the same person I was a week ago. I am constantly changing, constantly improving and trying to become more and more like the person my Father in Heaven wants me to become. So I guess, that is one constant. I am constantly improving to become more like the Savior. Thanks to His loving kindness, his Atoning sacrifice, and his enabling grace, I have the ability to change, to improve. Thanks to Him, I have been able to serve an honorable full time mission. I have come so close to Him because I have been in the very depths of humility. I have been to Gethsamane and back, several times. I know my Master. I know He lives. And because He lives, I will live again.
The answer that I have learned from the mission is this: "I am representative of the Lord Jesus Christ" Not just for 2 years, not just for this life, but always. His love is real. It has changed me so much and I am so grateful for that. My greatest desire is to be able to return to Him again. As a representative of Jesus Christ, I also work to help others return to Him. This has been my greatest joy these last 2 years. I can stand before you all today with a clear conscious and know who I am. I don't know everything, but I know He lives.
Jag vet att Gud lever. Jesus är kristus. Han är vår frälsare. Detta är hans verk. Det är sant.:)
I'm excited to see you all again. Take care and God be with you till we meet again.
Äldste N. Brock Johnson
Sweden stockholm mission