Sunday, December 27, 2015

Day 356

Tjena tjena mina vänner!

How was everyone's Christmas?? I hope it was magical! It was not too shabby here in Sweden! It was pretty magical actually! There was just no snow down here in Gothenburg. Just rain. Oh well! It was still fun. There is not too much to report for the last 3 or 4 days! But I can give you a short run down of what we did for Christmas! 

On Tuesday, instead of a district meeting, we did a finding activity as a district. We went caroling at a really busy part of the city and handed out copies of The Book of Mormon that we wrote our testimonies in and that we wrapped up with some ribbon. I was super nervous at first because everyone was staring at us as we were singing. But as we started singing more and more I got pretty into it haha it was a good time. So while everyone was singing, we would have one or two companionships contacting the people that were standing by to listen. It was such a good time! We went really hard and gave out around 35 copies of The Book of Mormon! After awhile, it started to rain pretty hard. But that didn't stop us! We kept singing and everyone was determined to give out all the books we had before we would go back. So we started walking back to the YSA center and it was really cool because it was a fleet of like 20 missionaries just walking down the street contacting people and giving out copies of the Book of Mormon. It was a cool experience! That evening, we attended a baptism in Trollhättan for the sisters. It was a man from Syria named Qajs. He is so awesome and is going to make a great addition to their ward! It is so cool to see these immigrants become members of the church and to see how happy it makes them! Qajs has so much faith and such a strong testimony! It was such a fantastic experience and the Spirit was strong!

On Christmas Eve (Julafton), we woke up and went to the YSA center to watch some disney movies! It was awesome to see pictures moving on a screen! I haven't seen a movie in like a year! So that was fun! And then we went to our Bishop's family's house for the rest of the day. In Sweden, they celebrate on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day. Kinda weird. Like they open their presents and do everything on Christmas Eve. So it was so nice of them to let us spend the whole day with them! It feels good to know that people take care of the missionaries! And I really really appreciated having somewhere on Christmas. When we got there, we packed some lunches and went on a hike in the mountains! It was awesome! We got kinda muddy but it was worth it! They have a dog that came and I raced it up the trails. Then we came back and watched "Kalle Anka" (Donald Duck). It is pretty big in Sweden. Like everyone watches it. It's apparently not Christmas without watching the Donald Duck christmas program. So that was good. And then we ate dinner, which was super good! Then we read out of Luke 2. Love the Christmas story! And then we opened presents with them. And then we watched Frozen together! On Christmas day, we woke up and I opened my presents that I had (thanks everyone who sent me something!!:)). And then we went to the YSA center again and watched a couple movies! Then we went to a member family and had dinner and I got to skype my family! It was sooooooo good!!!!!!!!! :) It was sooo good to see them! 

Well, that about wraps up the past couple days! Christmas was good here! Crazy to think that I will be home for the next one. I am loving my mission and I am changing everyday! The church is true and nothing will ever change that. I love you all and I hope you had a great Christmas! Thank you for all the prayers and emails!

Have a great week!

"Nothing worth it comes easy"


Äldste Bailey

Monday, December 21, 2015

Day 351 - God Jul! (Merry Christmas!)

Hej everybody!

How are you all doing? I know, you're probably wondering why I didn't send out an email last week. There is a reason I have been a little incognito the last two weeks. We are so busy! And last Monday was just crazy busy. There was an emergency transfer so we had to drop someone off at the train station and then pick up the new missionary a little later and we had to be downtown for the institute class and it was just crazy. But I have arrived in Göteborg/Gothenburg! It is so pretty here! It feels weird that I am just barely letting you all know what Utby (oot-bee) is like. It feels like I have been here forever! 

Training is going great. My greenie/son/new missionary's name is Elder Burton. He comes from Provo, Utah and is super cool. We get along great. I am working him pretty hard so he is tired most of the time, haha. But Utby is great! It is more of a residential area which is different from Uppsala. We are not in downtown Göteborg so it is almost a different kind of missionary work. We are doing great though and have some solid investigators! The ward is awesome here. It is one of the biggest wards in Sweden. Somewhere between 150-200 people each week. So that is cool! We have a cozy little living space under a members house! It's actually pretty small but we have our own washer and dryer so that's nice! Anyways I'm kind of getting off topic. We had a great hard working week and we have had some fantastic experiences!

So we have an investigator named Peter who we have been teaching the past couple weeks. He is from Lebanon and speaks Arabic and Swedish. He is so cool! His friend in California was recently baptized and told him to check out the church. So the Sunday before we came, Peter just walked into church and wanted to be taught. So the missionaries before us taught him there at church about the Book of Mormon and then we taught him the Restoration about 10 days ago and have taught him a couple times since then. The spirit is so strong everytime we teach him. In our last lesson, we committed him to a baptismal date for the 16th of January. He says he wants to read the whole Book of Mormon first, so we will see what happens. He really likes church and has been twice now. He is so cool and has come to institute and the YSA activities for the past two weeks. We are going to continue to work with him!

We have another investigator named Juha. His parents are from Finland, but he was born in Sweden. He was tracted into and shown the Christmas video that the church put out this year. He really liked it and wanted to know what we are all about.  And in order for us to teach him and it not be kind of weird with two completely new missionaries show up, Elder Albertsen and I taught him on Thursday. We taught Juha the Restoration again because he had forgotten a lot of it. Elder Albertsen and I taught a very good lesson and the spirit was very strong. Towards the end of the lesson, Elder Abertsen was bearing his testimony and the spirit was prompting me to invite him to be baptized. I had just met Juha, but the words "Be Bold" just kept coming to my mind. So when I was bearing my testimony, I told him flat out why we are here as missionaries and why our message is important. Then I invited him to be baptized. The spirit was literally burning in my heart and it felt so good. Juha said he would. It was so awesome and my testimony grew so much from that experience. I will continue to be bold with every person I meet. It is so important.  We asked him to pray about our message at the end of the lesson and he said that he was going to ask God the same question that Joseph smith asked. We met him again a few days ago and taught him the Plan of Salvation. He really liked it and thought that it made sense. The spirit was strong in this lesson and we planned to have Elder Burton extend a baptismal date to him. It was so cool to see the power that was coming from him even though he was struggling with his swedish. We set a date with him for the 23 of January. I don't know if I have felt the spirit so strong before. It was just an evidence to me that it doesn't really matter how good we are at swedish. What matters is that the Spirit is there and that we are teaching according to his guidance so that it can touch the hearts of the people we are teaching in the way they need to hear it. That is something I have worried about my whole mission. That people would judge me if I messed up, or that I had to sound eloquent to be convincing. Training has helped me realize that it is the same spirit who is with a missionary who has been out 23 months and a missionary that has been out 23 days. It is just important that we have the Spirit with us. "For when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men."

There has been so much going on the past week and I wish I could write about all of it. I don't have so much time left. But I want to just leave you all with a short Christmas message. It is in 1 Nephi 11:8-23: 

"8 And it came to pass that the Spirit said unto me: Look! And I looked and beheld a tree; and it was like unto the tree which my father had seen; and the beauty thereof was far beyond, yea, exceeding of all beauty; and the whiteness thereof did exceed the whiteness of the driven snow.

 9 And it came to pass after I had seen the tree, I said unto the Spirit: I behold thou hast shown unto me the tree which is precious above all.

 10 And he said unto me: What desirest thou?

 11 And I said unto him: To know the interpretation thereof—for I spake unto him as a man speaketh; for I beheld that he was in the form of a man; yet nevertheless, I knew that it was the Spirit of the Lord; and he spake unto me as a man speaketh with another.

 12 And it came to pass that he said unto me: Look! And I looked as if to look upon him, and I saw him not; for he had gone from before my presence.

 13 And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the great city of Jerusalem, and also other cities. And I beheld the city of Nazareth; and in the city of Nazareth I beheld a virgin, and she was exceedingly fair and white.

 14 And it came to pass that I saw the heavens open; and an angel came down and stood before me; and he said unto me: Nephi, what beholdest thou?

 15 And I said unto him: A virgin, most beautiful and fair above all other virgins.

 16 And he said unto me: Knowest thou the condescension of God?

 17 And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.

 18 And he said unto me: Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh.

 19 And it came to pass that I beheld that she was carried away in the Spirit; and after she had been carried away in the Spirit for the space of a time the angel spake unto me, saying: Look!

 20 And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms.

 21 And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father! Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw?

 22 And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things.

 23 And he spake unto me, saying: Yea, and the most joyous to the soul."

So Nephi wanted to know the meaning of the tree that his father saw. So he asked the angel to show him. We know that the tree of life represents the love of God. And what the angel showed him is really cool: the best way for the angel to have shown or depict the love of God, was, to show Nephi the birth of Jesus Christ. The angel could have shown Nephi anything, but he showed him the birth of the Savior. The act of our Heavenly Father sending his Only Begotten Son to the world to suffer and die for us, was out of complete love. He loves us more than we could possibly comprehend. He loved us so much that he sent his son to bleed and die. That is so special to me and I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for the love he has for me. I am also grateful for the Savior's willingness to come to the world and to give his life for me personally.  "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Christmas means giving. The Father gave his Son, and the Son gave his life. Without giving there is no true Christmas, and without sacrifice there is no true worship. Truly, Christmas means giving. Let us all remember the true meaning of Christmas this year and give of ourselves with love! I hope you all have a Merry Chirstmas! I love you all and am so grateful for all you do for me! Thank you for the thoughts and prayers! 

The quote I want to share with you this week is what my grandpa told me right before I left on my mission that I have kept in the back of my mind every since. 

"The 3 keys of success are: 

1. Work
2. Work
3. Work"

Have the best week everyone and know that I love you!


Äldste Bailey

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Day 338 - Transfers!

Hello you fine looking folks!

Hope you are all doing swell! Wow so much has happened this week! To start off, transfer calls were this week. I will be leaving Uppsala and heading to Göteborg (Yuh-tuh-bohr-ee) or Gothenburg. I will actually be serving in a section of Göteborg called Utby. It apparently has one of the biggest wards in Sweden. So that will be exciting. Göteborg is a super pretty city and I am excited to go. But on the other hand, this means that I have to leave Uppsala, which is going to be really tough for me. I have met some of the most amazing people here and have learned so much. I have definitely grown so much more as a missionary here in Uppsala than in any other time of my mission. I am thankful for the people I have taught and met and for the friendships I have made and I know that they will last for eternity. It is really hard for me to leave this place, but I know the Lord needs me in Utby right now. 

Elder Blackburn and I have been going hard to finish out this transfer. We have been spending every second working hard. I am really going to miss that guy. He has taught me lots and it has been fun working with him. We have become really close friends and it's gonna be tough moving on! But I know this area is in good hands. Elder Blackburn will also be training a new missionary here which will be fun for him! He is going to do great. 

This week was a week that I will never forget. Okay so this deserves pages and I could really write pages but I don't have so much time. My whole mission I have been talking to every single person I possibly can. Hoping that just one would believe on my words. I found that one person here in Uppsala and her name is Caroline! I have already written a little about her, but she is the most prepared person I have met on my mission. She is a living, walking testimony that those prepared people are out there, we just have to put in the effort. We found Caroline as we were walking into a huge area of apartment buildings to tract. There were a couple hundred doors we knocked. Not one was interested. But we talked to Caroline on the way in there. We could have easily walked past her into the complex. But we stopped her and talked to her. And we didn't hear from her for 2 months. But now we have taught her almost everything and she is going to be baptized in 3 weeks. It is honestly going to be really hard to leave and not be there for her baptism. She has the most amazing testimony and conversion story. We have met with her almost every day this week. She had been struggling a lot with praying and getting an answer. She is so amazing! She kept trying and praying, and this week, she told us how she was reading the Book of Mormon out loud to her husband and she had the strongest feeling to go at that moment and go ask if this book is true. She went into her room and got on her knees and prayed to Heavenly Father. She told us how the tears just ran and she felt a warmth go through her whole body and soul. It was so amazing! She sent us a text and said "Jag vet att Mormons Bok är sann och jag vill lära mig mer!" (I know the Book of Mormon is true and I want to learn more!) It was so amazing! She also explained how the feeling was unbelievable when she prayed and she gets the same feeling whenever she reads the Book of Mormon. She said how everything seems so clear and plain now. Like her life has a new meaning. We have had so many spiritual lessons this week with her. This week we invited her to be baptized and she said yes! She decided on January 3rd! It really amazes me how much she wants to learn about the restored gospel. People like her are the reason I talk to every single person possible - because each and every soul is great in the sight of God. And the prepared people will be put in our paths as we do our part and serve the Lord. This week I have had some of the most spiritual lessons of my mission meeting with Caroline. We have taught her almost everything she needs to know before she gets baptized. She is so willing to accept and act on what we teach her. She also is going through a lot of trials and adversity right now. It has been a blessing to be able to help her through these and share my personal experiences and testimony. Her husband has approved of her being baptized, but he is not totally for the church. This is really hard on Caroline and we are helping her through this as well. I know she is going to be an amazing member of the church and I know that this ward here in Uppsala needs her. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have had to teach Caroline and become a good friend to her, and it is going to be really hard to leave her. She will always have special place in my heart. I really wish that I could be there for her baptism. I wish I could put into words how amazing her conversion process has been and how spiritually uplifting and amazing it has been to be apart of. I know that she is the miracle and blessing that we have been working so hard for. I feel like it is her I came to Uppsala for. It is hard to leave, but she is getting baptized and that's all that matters. There are others in Utby who are searching for this same joy and happiness that need help finding it. 

Well everyone I am completely out of time. I want you to all know that I am doing well and loving my mission. It is changing me. I hope you all have the best week ever! Thank you for the thoughts and prayers. I love you all.

I want to leave you with one of my favorite quotes. "If you want it to happen, get your butt up and make it happen! If you want it to happen, rise and grind."

Remember that the church is true!! 


Äldste Bailey

See you in Utby!