Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Day 22

Hej Hej!

Well I am over halfway through my MTC stay. It feels like I just got here. But also in a way it feels like I've been here my whole life. I love it here though. I have become so close with my district and zone. Äldste Hart and I have been working great together. He was just called as the new district leader for our district. He is going to do well and learn a lot. 

This week was very routine and pretty uneventful. But the spirit here at the MTC has still been as strong as ever. Thursday we taught a lesson to a real person. A real person as in someone who isn't role playing to be somebody else. It was really scary and we weren't sure what to teach about. So eventually we decided to teach about the importance of prayer. It wasn't the best lesson we have ever given, but the spirit was still strong. My Swedish was a little rusty because it was the day after P day and I didn't really use much swedish the day before. But overall it was a cool experience because it was a real person that we were teaching. I love teaching people so much. It is the best way for me to learn my language. 

Sometime this week, Äldste Hart and I had another awesome lesson. It was with an investigator named Marc. He is a tricky investigator. He never does what we ask him to and he doesn't seem that interested in our message. We had planned a lesson on Jesus Christ's Atonement and Repentance. When we went in, we asked him if he had read what we asked him to and prayed about it. He said he forgot.. So I asked him what he expected out of our visits with him and why he keeps inviting us back. He said because he finds the Book of Mormon and our church interesting. I told him that he will get an even better feeling if he strives to do what we ask him to and read the Book of Mormon and pray to Gud to ask if what we have been teaching him is true. Then he asked why we even needed the Book of Mormon and asked why it is important and the story behind it. At that point, we decided to bag our whole lesson we had planned and decided to teach him about the Book of Mormon. We explained the history behind it, how it was written by prophets like the bible and how Joseph Smith translated it. He stopped us and said he had thought that Joseph Smith was the author haha. He was much more interested after that. So we taught the rest of the lesson on the Book of Mormon and why it is so important. It went really well. He has committed to read and to pray about what we asked him to read. The Book of Mormon really is the keystone of our religion. It holds everything together. If the Book of Mormon is true, so is everything else. And if you don't know that the Book of Mormon is true, I challenge you to find out for yourself. Read the last two paragraphs of the introduction. They are powerful. Then read the Book of Mormon or at least some of it and pray in the name of Christ to ask if it is true. I promise you will get an answer. And I know what that answer is going to be. But I'm not going to tell you cause that would spoil it. Go find out for yourself. ;)

Something kind of funny that has happened is that an Äldste in my district named Äldste Halterman wanted me to show him some basketball drills so he could get better. I kind of started training him a little and I did the drills with him too so I don't get rusty. But soon a couple more Elders came over.. And now I am training a bunch of Elders during gym time haha. I love it. All these Elders love basketball and I think it's so awesome how hard they are trying to get better at it. 

Last night we were able to here from an area seventy named Elder Catcher. He was a great speaker who talked about how we can be the best missionaries we can be. It really motivated me and it made me so excited to get to Sweden. I cannot wait to preach the gospel to the Swedish people. I absolutely love being a missionary. There is nowhere else I would rather be right now. I hope that you all have had an amazing week and I hope you have a great week this coming week. Thank you for all your support and prayers. I really can feel them. You are all so awesome and I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for each of you. Keep writing me and stuff! I love hearing from you!

Jag älskar ni!!

Äldste Bailey

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Day 15

Hallå alla!

This week was definately harder than last but so much better! I definately got more homesick this week but nothing too bad. This week was pretty uneventful except for a few amazing experiences and funny stories. It's pretty much just class all the time. But that's okay because I love learning. 

So last week after I wrote my email, my whole district was able to go do a session in the temple together. That was such an amazing experience!! It was so cool to be missionaries and be in the temple. It was also the first time we had been around any regular people since we have been here. People really do watch you as missionaries. Every single person we passed by would smile and talk to us. It was the coolest feeling ever. I absolutely love being a missionary. 

And then on Sunday I was called as the Zone Leader over all the scandinavian districts. It was a surprise. I am one of the newest missionaries here and I'm expected to be in charge of some of these guys who have been here 3 weeks longer than me. But that's okay because I'm really excited to be the Zone Leader because I love everyone in my zone so much!! we are one big family already and it's so awesome and such an amazing feeling :)

Then monday night I witnessed my first miracle. Or at least heard about it. So the four äldster in the room next to us were all out in the hall talking and goofing off with us. And everyone always leaves there doors to there rooms open at night when we are all socializing. So no ones door is ever shut. But late at night, at about 10:30 (when we were supposed to be in bed), They all came back to their room and there door was shut and none of them had a key. And the weird thing was we were around there room kinda and no one noticed that it had shut. These doors arent like the ones that you have to hold open with a doorstop. They just stay open whereever they are and thats why it was weird that it shut. So they called the front desk in the main building and the four of them walked over there to get an extra key. They said that when they got there they were the only four people in the whole building besides the lady at the front desk. Then all of a sudden a security guard brought in a really sick chinese girl who had just gotten to the MTC. She had thrown up so many times on all her flights and kept passing out. The security guard asked them if they could give her a blessing. So when they were asked this these 4 worthy elders and missionaries of The Lord all immediately gave her a blessing. After that she was a lot better. I teared up when they came back and told me this story because it really was a witness to me that the Lord lines everything up exactly. Their door shut for a reason. That reason was because that Sister needed a blessing. And these 4 Elders were the only priesthood holders in the building that late at night and they were ready and worthy to do what the Lord asked them. We never know when we will be needed of the Lord. It is so Important we live our best everyday and remain worthy to hear the promptings of the spirit and to act on them immediately. 

Another cool thing that happened this week was that me and my companion, Äldste Hart, and I taught the first lesson to another 'investigator" (side note: the first investigator I was teaching ended up to be one of my teachers, so i have 2 now and they both act as "investigators") anyways we taught her the restoration in 100% swedish without any notes! It was the coolest experience. And the spirit is so so so much different and so much more present when you arent reading scripted lines. We also let her talk too because the missionary should only do 50% of the talking. It is important to listen and learn the investigators needs and focus on those and gear your lesson towards their needs and if nesessary stray from your lesson and rely on the spirit. The spirit really does put the words in your mouth you need to say. It is an act of faith. You have to open your mouth before it is filled. You cant have faith that a light will turn on and then it magically turns on. You must act in faith to recieve guidance or an answer.You need to have faith that the light will turn on, and then flip the switch. It is a cool concept to think about. We watched a talk from Elder Bednar who said you have to open your mouth with faith before it will be filled. You cant expect the words to come to you without acting in faith. I have come to know this is true the two weeks I have been here. The gift of tounges is real. 

Monday morning we were able to host as the senior missionaries arrived at the MTC. It was super fun and the senior missionaries are so funny hahaha we took their luggage for them and showed them to their rooms. They have such a nice residence hall compared to us. It's like a hotel. They have their own bathrooms and a courtyard and an exersise room and an icemaker and their rooms look like a hotel. Ours are like a prison. Brick walls with 3 sets of bunk beds in a semismall room. the best thing we have is a pull up bar bolted into the wall out in the hall and we always have competitions because that's all there is to do haha. 

This week was awesome. Äldste Carrigan turned his 3 ties he brought to trade into 25 ties. no one knows how he does it hahaha he's a natural born salesman I guess. People come to our room all the time looking for him to trade.  I cant think of anything really funny that happened this week. But we still laugh at everything. We think we are going crazy in here. Things that we would never laugh at makes us laugh so hard hahaha. It really is kinda like a prison though. We have such a tight schedule and at night a voice comes over all the rooms and says, "10:30. Lights out." hahaha we make fun of it every time. 

Last night we were able to hear from Elder Ballard and he spoke on missionary work and it was so amazing! He is so spiritual and I loved listening to him. Me and Elder Jennings, the other zone leader went and picked up the new Dutchies. One is from Norway and can speak some swedish which is helpful to me. I talked a lot with him. 

Well my time is about up. I'm sorry if I didnt write everyone back... Im trying and I promise ill get back to you. They just barely give us any time on here. But keep writing me because I love to hear whats goin on in your lives! Life can get pretty boring here. Remember that you are all in my prayers and I miss you all! 

Jag älskar ni!! 

Jag ska käpma på!

Äldste Bailey

PS: As far as the pictures go, the one with me and the king looking guy, that is elder wootan. He is in the netherlands right now. he was the zone leader before me. He passed on the crown to me and the challace to elder jennings. and the other one is all the guys in our early moring "study" session hahaha. and the other is aldste carrigan and his tie profit. Sorry for the lack of pics. I will send more next week. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

First email From the MTC: Day 8

Hej Hej alla!! 

Hur mår det??

I love the MTC! It is such an amazing place. The spirit is so strong here. It was so hard to say goodbye to my family but once I did, I felt really calm. I was so scared I was going to be homesick but I haven't really been homesick at all. And I know that is because of the blessings I received and because of all the prayers in my behalf. 

Right when I got here they took my bags and gave me a huge bag of Swedish church and language books and then put me right into my Swedish class where the teacher didn't speak one word of english. I was really overwhelmed but calm. We had 4 hours of Swedish class that day and even by the end of the class I was able to pick out bits and pieces of what my teacher was saying. Then at the after the class we were told that we had to teach an investigator the next day in 100% swedish!! I was freaking out. That same day we were given our companion. Mine is named Äldste Hart. He is from Denver and he is pretty cool. We get along really well. So later that night we had to prepare a lesson in swedish. Our investigator's name is Isabel and she doesn't know if she believes in God. So we planned a lesson about the Plan of Salvation and taught her about how we are all God's children and how we have a purpose in life. It was our second day of class so it was pretty scripted but it went well. Then she asked if we could come back on friday and teach again. So we prepared another lesson which was also kind of scripted. Then she asked if we could come by monday. That's when it went really well. By this time I could say pretty good prayers in Swedish and I could say a few words in my testimony. So we prepared a lesson on the restoration. When we went over the Jospeh Smith story, she asked when the darkness was that surrounded Joseph. I didn't know the word darkness in Swedish and somehow I was able to know what she was saying. She said she felt that whenever we left and when we were there she felt happy. She said she didn't know if God loved her or heard her. And I know the spirit worked through me right then. Somehow I was able to utter in swedish that it was satan and that satan wants her to be sad. I bore my testimony to her that God was there and he listens and if she prayed she would feel his love for her. I also taught her how to pray. The spirit was honestly so strong in that room you could feel it. I know that those words came from the spirit. I teared up and Isabel teared up. 

Then the next day we had prepared a lesson for her on the doctrine of Christ. We were all ready to go and the first thing she said when we got in there was that she knew God loved her and listened to her but she doesn't know if Christ even exists.... So Äldste Hart and I looked at eachother and we didnt know what to do. And somehow, even stonger than before, I was able to teach her, completely in Swedish, that Christ did exist, and that he is God's son and he loved her. And I promised her that I knew that Jesus existed, but she needed to pray with faith to God to find out for herself. I dont know if I have ever felt the spirit that strong. You could feel it in the air. The gift of tongues is real. And im so extremely grateful that I am blessed with that gift. The language is coming along so well and I know it;s because Im learning through the spirit. 

So our zone consists of Nords, Dutch, Danes, and Swedes. The Dutch have been here the longest so they are the top dogs right now. The Nords only have 8 missionaries and they kinda keep to themselves. The Danes are all sisters who are super nice and there is one solo elder. He is really cool. And the Swedes are by far the coolest ;) But we are all friends and love eachother. The MTC is so fun and the residence hall is just like a pirates cove. We all barter and trade fooda and ties, it basically has a flowing economy. I don't really trade anything because I like all my food and ties. But one of my roommates, Äldste Carrigan, has a huge inventory and is pretty much the main merchant in the building hahaha. and there is a pull up bar and we have competitions to see who can do the most. I was tied for first then this little elder in my zone came and beat the record. So im currently working on that also haha. But I love it here so much and I'm learning so much about the gospel.

We also had the opportunity to listen to Elder Nelson last night in the devotional. I was dragged into singing in the choir by my district but I ended up loving it. The spirit was so strong and we got pretty good seats too so I didnt really complain. Elder Nelson talked on being a better missionary and about teaching the doctrine of Christ. It was an amazing talk and I'm so glad I got to listen to him. 

Anyways my time ran out a while ago and there is so much more I want to say and  I'm sorry if I didnt get back to everyone I promise I will soon. Thank you for all your prayers! I really can feel them and I am blessed everyday. I love you all and I hope you have an amazing week!

Jag ska kämpa på!


Äldste Bailey

We Received Our First Letter!

On Saturday, January 10, 2015, we received our first handwritten letter from Äldste Bailey from the MTC! We were SO happy to hear from him because so far we had no way of knowing how he was doing.

We tore it open and read it:

Sounds like he is loving it so far! 

MTC Farewell

January 7, 2015, Alex became Äldste Bailey. He reported to the Provo MTC at 12:30 pm. Nothing prepares you for that moment! We took a few pictures at the Provo temple first.

We arrived at the MTC at 12:30 sharp. Missionaries were lined up at the curb to receive the new incoming missionaries. Luckily, the Elder helping us let us take a few pictures before we had to say goodbye.

As hard as a day this was, we are so grateful for Alex's choice to serve the Lord and the people of Sweden. We love and miss Alex but we also look forward as a family to the blessings associated with missionary service. 

Mission Farewell

Alex had his mission farewell on December 28, 2014. Friends and family gathered at our home after. Thank you to all our friends and family who came and supported Alex. We love you all!

Called To Serve in the Sweden Stockholm Mission

Alex received his call in the mail on October 15, 2014. Family and friends gathered to see him open his call.
We all put our guess as to wear he was going.
Called to the Sweden Stockholm Mission. Report to the Provo MTC January 7, 2015!
Alex was beyond thrilled and we as a family are excited to be part of his amazing journey!