Monday, February 23, 2015

Day 48

Hey everyone!! 

I made it to Sweden!! This week was really hard, but I absolutely love it here! It is sooooo pretty!! We arrived at 8:00 am on Tuesday morning. We were greeted by the Mission President and his gang. President Beckstrand is really nice and an amazing man. I am excited to get to know him. From the airport, they took us on a tour of Stockholm which was really cool! I'm sorry I don't have any pictures of Stockholm.. my camera died right when we got off the plane.. I had Elder Hart take a bunch for me and of me and he didn't send them to me.. So I will put them on next week. We were all really tired from the flight though. When we got to the YSA center, each of us was paired with an older missionary and we went straight out to the streets of Stockholm and contacted people. I was scared out of my mind. But as I did it, it got easier and easier. Especially because most people said they weren't interested after the "We are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" part. People in Stockholm are the hardest to talk to because they all have somewhere to be. Then the 18 of us spent the night at the mission home. Sister Beckstrand made us dinner and breakfast. She is so awesome! That night we got to see two baptisms of 2 little Chinese boys. It was a really cool experience. 

Wednesday morning we all went to the local church and had an orientation given by the APs to kinda pump us up. It was really cool. We went over the rules and stuff too. After that, all the new trainers came into the room and we were each given a letter. It was like a second mission call. We were all super excited to see where in Sweden we would be serving! Mine said I would be serving in Malmö! I was really excited to go there!! It is the farthest south in the mission you can go. It's the 3rd largest city in Sweden. It is so cool! I love serving here! I haven't seen too much of it yet, but from what I have seen it is so awesome!! It's very Swedeny just like I thought it would be. It is cold and windy and always rainy. But that's okay because I like the rain. My companion is named Äldste Brinkworth. He is from Huntington Utah. He's been out 16 months. He speaks really good Swedish so I am happy I have someone to practice with. He is a good guy and really nice. 

Thursday, we taught 3 lessons and they were all in english. We taught Dennis, Nordin, and Elizabeth. They are all members of the ward. They all went well and I love teaching. 

So there are a ton of immigrants in Malmö. Out of all our investigators, none are Swedish. But about half speak swedish, so we teach them in swedish. We have about 8 right now and they are all african or middle eastern or asian. I actually haven't taught any investigators yet, but I have taught a bunch of lessons to members and less actives and recent converts. It is so cool. The spirit is so strong whenever we teach. We currently have 2 baptismal dates with investigators named Su and Jing. I haven't taught them yet, but Elder Brinkworth said they both want to get baptized. The only problem is that they are living together and they aren't married. We are going to meet with them this week and talk about that. We have another investigator named Bill, who is from Nigeria. We are going to ask him to be baptized this week because we feel like he is ready. Everyone we teach is amazing and I wish I could talk about everyone but I don't have enough time. We try to talk to as many people on the streets as we can. Out of the past 4 days, we only have one appointment scheduled. So hopefully it goes well. 

Luckily for me, our church building has a basketball hoop and wooden floors. And every Friday night, our ward does sports night. So on Friday we played Innebandy (indoor floor hockey. Which is actually super fun), and futbol, and basketball. There is a man in the ward who played professionally in Malmö, so we went at it pretty hard. I am happy I have someone good to play against. 

Sunday, I was able to meet the ward. This ward is soooo awesome and every single member is so amazing!! I struggled to talk to everyone but that is okay I will get better with the language as time goes on. I was called to bear my testimony in sacrament meeting and it went awesome. The gift of tongues is so real! The ward was so nice and complimented me so much on how well I could speak. (Even though I probably said a lot of things wrong haha). Then I got to sit in on the Sunday school class and tell the youth why I chose to serve a mission and the blessings that have come from it. (I did it in english) Most everyone can speak english here. But the class went really well. I had no idea what anyone was saying haha but I could feel the spirit which is all that mattered. That night we had dinner at the Grant's. And after the lesson, Brother Grant showed us this video of "proof that dinosaurs lived with humans" hahaha it was so funny how into it he was. He explained into so much detail his theories and how now that we have media, the government can't hide things like this. It was funny because the video was on YouTube looked like it was a bill nye the science guy video from the 80's. He was so convinced that dinosaurs lived with humans. Who knows? maybe he's right. 

I absolutely love it here in Malmö!! thank you for all your support and prayers! You are all so amazing and I miss you all! I love being a missionary! I'm so sorry for the lack of pictures... I will send 5x more next week!! I hope you all have an amazing week. Let me know if there is anything else you want to know or want me to put in these emails! I love being in Sweden and spreading the gospel in this beautiful country. I hope everyone has a fantastic week!!


Äldste Alex Bailey

Friday, February 20, 2015

He arrived in Stockholm!

After much anticipation, we received some pictures and an email this morning from the Stockholm mission office regarding Alex's mission companion and area assignment:

Arriving at the Stockholm Airport
In Stockholm
The Stockholm Temple
Äldste Bailey with his training companion, Äldste Brinkworth. They will be serving in Malmö, very near to Copenhagen, Denmark!


February 20, 2015

Dear Brother and Sister Bailey,

We met your son, Elder William Alexander Bailey, this past week as he arrived in Stockholm, Sweden. It has been a delight to become acquainted with him.

Upon arrival, he was taken in to the city of Stockholm for immigration paperwork. He then went to the Church’s Young Single Adult Center, located in the heart of Stockholm, for a light lunch, training, and contacting in the streets of Stockholm with one of our exceptional, experienced missionaries.  Then he had a glimpse of Stockholm.  The Mission Office was his next stop with an orientation to the Sweden Stockholm Mission policies and procedures. After orientation, Sister Beckstrand and I invited him and his MTC group to dinner at the Mission Home. I had the wonderful opportunity to spend some time in an interview with your son. We concluded the day’s activities with family scriptures and prayer and retired for the evening.

The next morning we began the day promptly at 6:30 a.m. with breakfast at the Mission Home. We departed the Mission Home for the nearby Täby Chapel where the Assistants, Sister Beckstrand and I provided training.  In the second meeting of the morning, he met his new companion and trainer, Elder Brinkworth. They will serve together in the Malmö I area of the Sweden Stockholm Mission. I would like you to know I have experienced some of my most tangible moments of revelation in the assigning of companionships.  I know your son and Elder Brinkworth will learn much from each other, and together they will be edified as they labour valiantly, with full purpose of heart and obedience, in the service of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Sent previously was information on the mailing address for letters and packages. This information will help your packages arrive in a timely manner.  Please share the mailing address information with relatives and friends that may be writing or sending packages. Traditionally, Preparation Day is held on Monday in the Sweden Stockholm Mission. This is the day you can expect to receive an email from your son. We encourage you to also communicate weekly with your son as correspondence from home can be a great source of faith and support for this sacred work in which he is engaged.

I bear my witness that this is the work of our Savior Jesus Christ, and it is a sacred responsibility to wear his name above my heart. I am grateful for all you have done to prepare your son and for the sacrifices you have made and are making to support him as he continues in his labors. May our Heavenly Father’s most generous blessings be with you and yours.

With respect and kind regards,

James E. Beckstrand
James E. Beckstrand, President

Here is the letter regarding letters and packages:

Dear Family and Friends of our Missionaries,
We want to pass along some important information and tips that will assist you in getting mail and packages to your missionary.   

Letters and packages sent through the Postal Services that are four (4) pounds and under are forwarded immediately to your missionary.

Things that cause delay to your packages:
·       Packages over four (4) pounds
·       Overnight packages
·       Certified or Registered mail
·       Using any carrier other than the Post Office

We suggest the following for your packages to arrive in a timely manner:
·       Send your packages through the Post Office
·       Don’t put more than four (4) pounds in a package, send more packages if required
·       Plan ahead to meet your deadlines

Packages heavier than 4 pounds may be sent directly to the missionaries’ apartment.  However, if your missionary is transferred and your package arrives, it will be the responsibility of your missionary to pay to have the package sent to their new area.  Please keep in mind transfers do not always happen at regularly scheduled times.   If you send a package, be sure to write the address exactly as it is given to you by your missionary.  In Sweden there are names on the doors that are required to be part of the address in order for the mail to be delivered, otherwise it will be returned. 

The tithing funds can not be used to forward packages to missionaries.  If a package arrives in the office that is over four (4) pounds or if it is sent by a carrier other than the Post Office, we will inform the missionary and ask if he/she wants us to charge their personal account for the cost to forward it to them, or if they are willing to wait until someone will be visiting that area, which may take up to a month.    .

Please remember that ALL medication sent need to be listed as Missionary Supplies on the customs declaration (green) form.  Be sure you tape all boxes well, especially corners.  We have received several packages where the corners have been torn and contents have been lost.

Be sure to use this address when sending mail and packages to your missionary through the mission office
Äldste/Syster Missionary Name
Enebybergsvägen 38
182 46 Enebyberg

Please share this information with your family members and friends to ensure that your missionary receives packages and mail in a timely manner.

Thank you for your understanding and support.
Sweden Stockholm Mission 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Day 36

Hallå alla! Hur mår ni? 

This week was great! It was a little more eventful than last. These are my last couple days in the MTC. I leave to Sweden Monday morning at 3:30! I am so excited! I am so ready to leave the MTC and get into the real world. I stop in Chicago and Newark on my way there. I should be in Sweden by Tuesday morning. :) 

Last Thursday we were able to skype members in Sweden! It was such a cool experience to teach and talk to real people from Sweden! It was also a shock when we heard her speak. I was pretty scared to talk to her, and when we started talking, I forgot a ton of Swedish. But as we started talking with her, I became more comfortable and I was able to say what I wanted. We were able to understand most of what she was saying, if she said it two or three times. She spoke so fast! She was from the south, so her accent wasn't as sing-songy, but it was still hard to understand. I hope I will be able to pick it up quickly though. I think being around it 24/7 will help a lot. Her name was Melina. She was super super nice and loved talking with us. I think the members in Sweden will be amazing. 

Here is something kinda cool that we discovered this week: So we have an Elder in our Swedish district, named Äldste Thacker, who has a Grandpa who went to Norway on his mission. And on his mission, his grandpa baptized one person. That person was named Adolf Isaksen. So I can't remember if I told you all or not, but we have an Elder in our zone going to the Netherlands named Elder Isaksen. That's his grandson! It was the coolest story! Elder Isaksen said that Äldste Thacker's grandpa's one baptism, turned into over 100 members. A lot of them served missions as well. That story just shows me how even just one baptism can turn into hundreds of members. It was so cool to watch that connection happen. 

So I had to say goodbye to one of my best friends in the MTC, named Ældste Gudmundson, Monday morning. It was really hard to do, but I know he is changing lives in Denmark right now. The night before he left, he asked me to give him a blessing. When I gave him the blessing, there were probably around 15 other Elders in the circle who helped out. It was the coolest feeling and the spirit was so strong as we stood around him and gave him that blessing. It was especially amazing for me because the words I said in the blessing were nothing like what I thought I was going to say. It was so cool how phrases and thoughts came to my mind as I spoke. I know it was the Holy Ghost telling me what to say.

So Äldste Hart and I taught our last lesson to our "investigators" in the MTC. Which means the next lesson we teach will be to a real investigator!! That is scary to think about. But I know as I put my faith and trust in God I will not be afraid and I will have the Spirit with me. Here at the MTC, I have learned that I can't do anything without God and Jesus Christ. I know through Jesus Christ, my mind has been at ease and I haven't been that homesick at all. I know I have learned so much Swedish in these past 5 weeks because I put my trust in Jesus and I had the mindset that I am learning this language to bring people to Christ and true happiness. I have also come to know that without the spirit, missionaries are nothing. The spirit is the true converter. In the lessons we teach, I can tell when our investigator is feeling the spirit. That is when the true conversion happens. The feeling is so powerful. In 3 Nephi Chapter 28, when the Savior is finishing his ministry to the Nephites, the VERY last thing he says to them is that The Holy Ghost beareth record of God and Jesus Christ. And that Heavenly Father as given the The Holy Ghost to everyone. If that is the very last thing Jesus said before he left, it is probably pretty important. It's so important for us as missionaries to recognize that the Spirit,combined with the Book of Mormon, is the true converter and witness of Christ. And that we need to do everything we can to make sure our investigators feel that spirit. That is my goal. To make sure everyone I teach can feel the Spirit and for me to help them recognize that spirit. Once an investigator realizes that it is The Spirit of the Holy Ghost they are feeling, there is no denying that our message isn't true. And through the Spirit they can also come to know that the Book of Mormon is true. 

I love being a missionary and I am so grateful for all I have learned and felt in the MTC. Serving a mission is the best decision I have ever made. I have had the most amazing and spiritual experiences! I also have had so much fun. I can't wait to get out into the field!! I am so grateful for all of you!! Thank you to everyone who has written me or sent me anything. It makes me so happy to get things in the mail! Thank you so much for your prayers for me. I know they have strengthened and guided me. Keep writing me because I love hearing from everyone! Work hard in everything you do!

Jag älskar ni!!


PS: Sorry for the lack of pictures.. Next week there will be a ton I promise!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Day 29


Hur mår ni?

This week went great! It was probably the most uneventful week as a whole, which could be because I'm super ready to get out of the MTC and get to Sweden! We are supposed to receive our travel plans on Friday! We are all so excited! But also, in a way I don't feel ready to go at all because even though I can teach lessons and have small conversation in Swedish, I don't feel like I know enough to have normal conversations about the weather or sports or something haha. But I guess I still have 2 weeks which is good because that is what I'm gonna focus on, the everyday vocabulary and stuff.

So Thursday we taught another TRC lesson. Meaning that we teach real live members. Not role playing or anything. It went really well this week. We taught on how the Book of Mormon is important and how we can receive revelation though it. We taught two lessons. We taught both to two different guys that had just gotten back from Sweden. I was surprised how much I could say and understand. It was awesome. 

Sunday was fast Sunday. I was able to bear my testimony in Swedish in sacrament meeting which was an awesome experience. I felt the Spirit so strong. I was also able to listen to all the other missionaries in our branch bear theirs in all the other languages like Danish, Norwegian, and Dutch. It was awesome. 

So yesterday we taught one of our "investigators", Nilla, and at the end of the lesson we extended the invitation to be baptized and she said YES!!! It was honestly the coolest feeling in the WHOLE world I was so happy and I couldn't stop smiling. Even though it technically isn't real, It was still soooo cool becuase we had been teaching her for a while now and she finally committed to baptism and I can't even explain how strong the spirit was and how happy we were and she was. It was awesome. 

Tomorrow we get to skype people in Sweden and teach them a lesson!! I am super excited and scared for that. But it will be a good experience. 

Something funny that happened is that we had a giant nerf gun war on our floor of our residence hall. It was soooo fun. Hahaha everyone had a nerf gun and we were running around shooting eachother and there were even some super soakers involved. hahaha you would be surprised to see what kinds of things are in the MTC dorms. We have collected a blow up christmas snowman, a bongo drum, a stuffed grinch, and so many other things. 

Anyways, I'm sorry this letter is so short. Not much happened this week but the spirit is still strong as ever! Thank you for all the prayers and letters. Keep writing me and sending me emails! I love hearing from everyone!

I love you all!! 

Äldste Bailey