Sweden Stockholm Mission

Monday, June 8, 2015

Choose This Day!

What a strange, exciting, peaceful week. Sounds great, right? Right! It's pretty fun having the sun set at 11.30 at night and rising at 3.30 the next morning haha. It's not strange to me any more, i am used to it. We had zone conference and we got ourselves a car. yup, just went out and bought one on our own... or the mission gave us one. I don't remember. Crazy that there are so many weddings going on and missionaries leaving and coming home. Life. Whew! Take a chill pill. Ha, but let me give a birthday shout out to my g-pa Butler who turned 85 yesterday- Hooray!

Good place for a nap?
Mån: So, we took care of all of the necessaries and peaced out into the wild! Haha, we went to the east coast to this place called Grogarnsberget. We had loads of fun just driving all over the place and taking pictures and then stopping to take a nap in the middle of nowhere. That's a pday:) We ventured down to a second hand store and boy, did we find the jackpot! I got some books in Swedish that I have been looking for forever, and a tie that is perfect for my new suit! haha -we made lots of friends at the second hand store, so that was really fun.

Tis: We got blåsted so we decided to talk to people all along the sea wall until time to go. We met up with the Ms to get on the boat to the mainland for zone conference the next day. The Ms have tons of funny stories so that's how we spent our 3 hours on the boat. Oh, and we got a hamburger on board -super good. We spent the night with the Elders in my old stomping grounds of Handen.

Saying goodbye to friends
They are both really tall!
Ons: Last zone conference of my mission!! Whooo! Crazy, I know. It was super good. I got to see a lot of friends for the last time. That was kind of sad. I wore my new Swedish suit and tie for the occasion ha. I was asked to help participate in the conference by answering some questions the assistants pulled out: What does it mean to you to be obedient, why are you obedient, what does it mean to represent the Lord Jesus Christ, and how has your mission changed you? All really good questions. My answers all focused around Love.  Love is the essence of the gospel, quite simply. Love is the reason I am obedient -love is the reason we have commandments to follow. I serve God and my fellow man because of the love I have for them. The purpose of the mission is to change hearts. Especially your own. If nothing else, as long as you have become converted on your mission, you have been successful. I have seen lots of missionaries come and go. I figured that when it was my turn to leave that I would be super nervous, anxious and scared. Not so. 
I have never felt more peace in all of my life and mission than I did standing at the pulpit giving my "dying testimony" in Swedish. It was one of the greatest experiences ever! To have a clear conscious that I have done everything that I could do on my mission, is incredible. I think those who feel nervous at the end feel the need to make up for lost time. I feel like I have done everything in my power, and it feels so good. 

We made the return trip back to Gotland on the midnight boat and got to keep the car. The office elders came with us because they were going to help the Ms move into their new place. So, yes, it was a rather long and tiresome night.

Tors: We helped the Ms unpack and set up the furniture and all that good jazz. Us 4 elders got to have the traditional Thursday lunch with the Hs- peasoup and swedish pancakes:) We then gave them a quick tour of Visby because they had a short time before heading back to the mainland. Plus, Sister Beckstrand ordered us to get ice cream. I can't argue with that:) We got to visit with E who is doing solid with the Book of Mormon and is growing stronger and stronger in her testimony. We came home and just crashed, I was so exhausted.

Fun train ride
Fre: We had a pretty successful run in the morning talking to people on the streets. We had a solid lesson with this one girl who knew what we had would change her life, but she still denied it. Gosh, those are always the worst. Having people feel the spirit and then turn away from it. Well, hopefully she finds the church again some day. We celebrated a birthday of a member in the branch by riding a very old-school train and having some fika [refreshments.] It was a bit of a hassle getting our dear sweet E on and off the train but it all worked out in the end. Det löste sig [it solved itself ] ha. We finally got in contact with A and R and they are still great. They want to be baptized but A is worried about her family back in Africa not supporting them. However, they are going forward!

Lör: Swedish national day! Yeah, nothing really happens, but everything is closed haha. We talked to lots of cool people this day, including a guy who must have stepped into a time machine, because he was straight out of the 70s! It was so goooooood haha. Since we had a car we went on a drive to swing by some people who don't live in Visby. We saw some cool places while traveling. Sadly, no one was interested, Rats.

Sön: We had a special Stake conference. Elder Holland spoke from Scotland and it was broadcasted all throughout the UK and Scandinavia. (The people participating were from the Edinburgh stake so I wondered if Ryan knows any of them!) The theme was that lasting peace can only come through Christ. And then Elder Holland thew down on the Book of Mormon! It was like round 2 from his conference talk a few years ago. The book is literally is the keystone of our religion. Without it, everything crumbles and falls and we have no church. It is our evidence of the truth. It is tangible and one can read, ponder and pray about its truthfulness. It was super solid. What a good day.

For some reason, Sunday morning I woke up thinking about the scripture in Joshua 24:15 "Choose ye this day whom ye will serve...but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord". I was thus led to think of the scripture in Matt 6:24 "No man can serve 2 masters." Which then brought me to think of D&C 4:2 "O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve Him with all of your heart, might, mind and strength.." One right after the other-it was incredible. We really do have a choice every day to serve God or mammon. And if we do serve God, lets do it wholeheartedly. Today is the day for us to perform our labors. This is the day we stand up for what we believe. This is the day we choose to serve the Lord for His promises are sure: "Ye shall have eternal life".

Jag tackar min himmelske konung att jag får vara en herrens tjänare, en kristi representant. Missionen har verkligen ändrat mitt liv. Det är inte bara de här två åren att jag tjänar Honom, det är hela mitt liv. Mitt hjärta har ändrats otrolig mycket. Jag älskar Herren. Jag älskar verket. Välja denna dag att tjäna Honom.
I thank my Heavenly King that I get to be a servant of the Lord, Christ's representative. The mission has really changed my life. It is not just these two years that I serve Him but my whole life. My heart has changed incredibly much. I love the Lord. I love the work. Choose this day to serve Him.
Älskar er
Äldste Johnson

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