Monday, March 30, 2015

Day 83


Tjena alla!

This week was great! I dont have a lot of time so I will share a few experiences. Everything went well this week! We had a lot of awesome experiences and fun times. 

So update on Bill. He is doing so well! We met with him on tuesday for about 15-20 min. I was worried about him because I felt like he didnt understand why getting baptized was so important and why our church is different. I felt like he was just willing to be baptized because he loved God and just because he is super easy going. So we prayed before we went in and when we sat down with him and right off the bat, I asked him if he was reading the Book of Mormon and praying. He said he was. Then I asked him why he wanted to be baptized. He said that he wants to feel clean again and start off fresh. He wants guidance in his life and to start over. Then I asked if he feels he has received an answer that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and if this church really was true. He said "Yeah, I feel like I have." I was so happy in that moment that I couldnt stop smiling. Then on Sunday we planned to teach him the Word of Wisdom. We knew that he drank coffee every morning and I have never taught the Word of Wisdom before so I was pretty scared. I fasted that day and prayed that he would receive the commandment well and that I would be able to teach it well. So Bill showed up at church just like he said he would, but the gospel principles teacher didnt show up. So Elder Brinkworth taught that class so I asked Elder Krebs to help me teach Bill. A member named Johan (who is super cool and I am pretty close with.) also sat in on the lesson. It went really well! At first he was really surprised. But as we explained more and bore testimony of the blessings that come from the word of wisdom, he was totally committed to following it! Bill is so awesome and he is planning on being baptized on April 11. My testimony grew so much that day about fasting. I wouldve never thought Bill would give up his coffee. The fact that he is willing to give it up and pray to see if it is a commandment from God shows so much about the power of the Holy Ghost. I am so grateful for his influence in my life everyday in every descision I make. He is my constant companion and he helps me teach my investigators in a way that he can testify the truth the way they need to hear it and in the way they will recognize it. 

As Easter is coming up this week, I want to share some of my thoughts I have had this week. As I have been on my mission, I have come to appreciate this time of year so much more than I ever have before. I have come to love my Savior so much. I am so grateful for the sacrifices he made so that I can repent and become clean of my sins and that I can live with my family forever. I am out here on my mission to help all these people realize that there is real hope after this life, we all have someone to turn to in dark times who can lift us up and give us comfort and peace, we can become clean and feel clean again through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We are so blessed to have that knowledge. Imagine where each of us would be without it. We have this knowledge thanks to Jesus Christ and the sacrifice he made for us. I can not even begin to comprehend what Christ went through in The Garden of Gethsemane in order to be the one that really does know and understand what any of us are going through, at any time. I know that if in those difficult times we turn to our savior, he will be there, and he will understand. He suffered for you, and he suffered for me. I'm more grateful than I can express.

There is a new video that the church put out called, "Because He Lives". It is about Christ and Easter. It has become a large part of what we share with people. I encourage everyone to watch it. At the end it invites everyone to "Find Christ". I am on my mission to invite people to find Christ and I invite you all to do the same. (Here's the link: https://youtu.be/BZqTRSVA1YA )

Have a great week everyone and a happy Easter! 

Love,
Äldste Bailey










For some reason the video quality isn't great on the blog, but if you click to enlarge, you can see it better.
video






Monday, March 23, 2015

Day 76


Hej Hej Allihopa!

This week was great! Lots of cool experiences! This week was really sunny which was nice. Malmö is awesome and I love being here. I am really getting to know and love the members of this ward and all of my investigators. There is not a whole lot to tell about this week. Just work work work. We taught a lot of investigators this week! I have been getting really frustrated with myself in terms of the language and also with the fact that it seems like some of our investigators are going nowhere. I feel like this week was pretty tough. But it was a successful week. 

Tuesday: Not a super successful day. We taught Alex again as usual and we taught him the commandments. It was warm enough to teach him outside so we did. I like teaching Alex because it really helps with my Swedish. The rest of the day we contacted and did some swingbys. We were able to help teach one of the sisters' investigators named Hans. He is hard to teach because he never stops talking. Especially about his bird Kaisha. It was a good lesson. We taught him more about the Restoration. 

Wednesday: We had district meeting and it was super good. Prior to the meeting Elder Johnson, our District Leader, asked us to have a 30 min prayer the night before. I was able to do this and it was so awesome. I didn't know how or what I was going to say for that long, but once I started praying, I started to realize how much the Lord has blessed my life. I was also able to pray for different people specifically and focus on them individually. As I let the spirit guide the prayer, I was filled with happiness and love and I knew what I needed to say and what I needed to ask for. Because there are blessings that the Lord is wanting to give to us, but we have to ask. Something else I have started to do that I challenge you all to do after you close your prayers, is to just stay kneeling and listen. Heavenly Father will counsel, guide, or comfort you while you are on your knees. 

Thursday: Thursday went well! So the first lady I saw at the bus stop, I went and sat next to. She was old and super nice and told me that I was beautiful :) she said all the missionaries she has seen are beautiful. Made my day. What a sweet old lady. She wasn't interested though so that sucked haha. Oh well. Then we went to teach one of the wards recent converts named Fardin. He is Persian and a total bro. I will send home a pic next week. We taught him about Family History and about the temple. He just had is interview for his full recommend! He is also teaching me a little Persian. I can say that I am a missionary from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Persian! Then after that we went to Björn and Christian's house. They are two members we are in there 20's and they share an apartment. They made us dinner and we do role plays with them every week. We taught the plan of salvation this time and it was really helpful because they love to correct our swedish. We also taught Bill again. He wanted to move his Baptismal date to April 11 because he would be out of town for awhile. But he still wants to be baptized! He is so awesome! 

Friday: Friday was great! We had lunch with the other Malmö missionaries because the Relief Society had a dinner a couple days ago and they had a ton of leftovers and they told us missionaries that we had to eat all of it. Then we went to teach a new investigator that we contacted on the street named Donald. He is an African and loves God so much! He loves the Holy Bible and knows pretty much everything about it and knows a ton about prayer. All he needs is the Book of Mormon and he will no doubt be converted :) He asked so many questions about the BOM and was so interested and really wants to read it. We told him to read 3 Nephi 11 but he didnt want to because he wanted to start from the beginning. The lesson was super spiritual and I felt the spirit so strong as I bore testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. He said he would pray and ask if what we taught him was true. I have good feelings about Donald:) Then we taught Emmanuel again about the Plan of Salvation. It went really really well and he said everything made sense to him. We knelt down and prayed together afterwords and Emmanuel said the prayer and it was the sickest prayer ever! The spirit was super strong! 

Saturday: Saturday was good. We taught a less active member named Elizabeth with the Zone Leaders. It went super well. Then we went by one of our investigators named Jack. He owns a pizzeria. Hes not really progressing but we usually stop by to teach him a lesson or just chat with him. We dont know where he lives cuz he is in his pizzeria 24/7. It makes it hard for him to come to church too. That night we were able to visit Su in his home. He made us dinner and we were able to read out of the Book of Mormon with him and answer his questions he had. We had a really great disscussion about God. And as we were teaching him and explaining, you could feel the spirit in the room. He understood everything we told him and he seemed at peace. We taught him a little about prayer and he asked what to pray about because he could never think of anything. At the end of the lesson, we all kneeled down and prayed together and I asked Su to say the prayer and he was uneasy about it and didnt really want to. So I asked him if I said one, if he would say one after me. He agreed. So I said a pretty simple prayer. He said afterwords, "You said everything I wanted to say." We laughed and then told him that it was okay and he could say those things again. And then he gave one of the simplest prayers Ive heard. But one of the most powerful and spiritual and meaningful. I felt the spirit so strong. Afterwords, I asked him how he felt and he said weird. But that was the spirit he was feeling because there was no denying that feeling. 

Sunday: Sunday wasnt too eventful. We went to Church and that was good. Sadly, none of our investigators showed up.. That evening, we went to 
another lesson with the Sisters to two new investigators named Patience and Samuel. The are Sambo (which means they live together but arent married). They are also African and as soon as they let us in they started making us tea. Usually people drink root tea or natural or whichever one is okay to drink. Its called Röt in swedish but they poured us tea and me and Elder Brinkworth realized it was Black tea and the sisters didnt so they were just chugging away haha and we were trying to give them signs that it was black but they werent catching on hahaha. But luckily Samuel left the room to go find a book of mormon and so we hurried and dumped it all in the sink before he came back hahaha it was so funny. But the lesson went really well and Samuel commited to read and pray about the Book of Mormon! I love bearing my testimony about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon more every time. It is true!!! 

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers! I am doing great! I love it here in Malmö and I am working really hard! I love you all and pray for all of you! have an amazing week!

Love, 
Äldste Alex Bailey












Monday, March 16, 2015

Day 69


Tjene Syskon! 

This week was so awesome! By far the best week since I have been here. I had a lot of fun and I had a lot of awesome experiences. We taught a lot of investigators this week and a lot more people listened to us! 

Monday: We were planning on going to a old chocolate factory museum. But when we got there, we saw that it was pretty expensive so we didnt go. We just ended up walking around the city which was pretty fun. Then that evening, we went to a dinner and family home evening with Per Larsson and his kids. He made some chinese food which I havent had in a long time so it was super good. Then we taught them about the priesthood and priesthood blessings. We gave blessings to Per and one of his kids. The other two were too scared haha. The spirit was strong and I was so glad to be there and teach Per and his kids. He was so thankful to receive a blessing because he is a single father and his kids are pretty rowdy. He is a great guy. 

Tuesday: We were able to teach Alex again and this time we taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is always an interesting lesson with him but it went really well. He is understanding more and more. It is really good practice for my Swedish too. 

Wednesday: Wednesday we helped a guy named Matts move out of his apartment and into another apartment 2 blocks away haha it was a lot of work for not moving that far. He lived on the 3rd floor the the building didnt have an elevator. Matts gave us missionaries all the super heavy furniture and dressers and stuff. It was a good workout. Afterwords we were able to talk to him a little about our church and give him our card with our number on it. We are going back this week to help him move into his other apartment. Then we had ward council which was good. Then we headed towards the Lund Elders apartment because we were going to go on splits. I stayed the night with Elder Linchenko. 

Thursday: Elder Linchenko and I worked in Lund on Thursday and taught a couple lessons to some of his investigators. Elder Linchenko is a greenie also and it was so cool to work with someone with the same experience level as me. We both arent the best at swedish so it wasnt super easy to talk with people on the street. We taught a man named Amaro and we read the book of mormon with him and discussed as we read. I really like doing that with people. It brings the spirit and they understand it better when you can explain what is going on. Then later that day we taught a man named Marco the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was super spiritual and I loved teaching with Elder Linchenko. Then that night we went to Institute class in Lund which was awesome. 

Friday: We taught one of our new investigators we contacted on the street named Emmanuel. He is African and from Nigeria. We taught him the Restoration and about the Book of Mormon. The spirit was so incredibly strong. I felt the spirit so strong as I bore my testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and of Joseph Smith. He said he would read the Book of Mormon and if he found it to be true, he would be baptized! He is a good guy and loves God! That night President Beckstrand came down to Malmö for the weekend because this weekend was stake conference. I had an interview with him and it went well. We had sports night after that and we had about 4 or 5 investigators come which was awesome!

Saturday: We played basketball with Su and then were able to teach him afterwords. We read the Book of Mormon with him and it went super well. He said he is going to be baptized, but when he feels ready. He is the best! Then we had the first session of stake conference and it went really well! then we had lunch and then had the second session which was also good! We sang Lead Kindly Light as missionaries. It was really good. Then the whole zone went to get Kebab pizza afterwords which was super fun. I love whenever I get to see the whole zone.

Sunday: Saturday night we had the Elders from Karlskrona stay with us and that was super fun. Elder Purkey was one of them and he was from my MTC group and it was super fun to spend time with him. Sunday morning we had choir practice and then Stake Conference. The Stake is all the wards in the southern part of Sweden. It was really really good (or at least from what I could understand). After that, we had lunch as a zone again. 

I had an another awesome week and I absolutely love being a missionary! Thank you for all your emails and prayers and thoughts! Let me know if you have questions you want me to answer or anything like that! I love you all!

Love, 

Äldste Bailey










Monday, March 9, 2015

Day 62


Hej Hej!

This week was great! Not as hard as last week. I am learning and growing so much and I love it here in Malmö! The language is coming along good. I am getting quicker when I speak which is good. I was also able to understand people really well this week which mad me happy because I am usually frustrated because I dont know what people are saying to me. But this week I was able to hold whole conversations on the streets with people. Not that many people wanted to listen this week. We did get a couple numbers and one guy took a Mormons Bok so hopefully he can meet this week. 

So Monday was P day and we went to a restaurant on the beach and had some lunch then went to a technology museum which was really cool! 

Tuesday, we were able to teach Bill the Plan of Salvation. It was a really good lesson and he understood it well. I love teaching investigators because we don't get to do it that often. I feel the spirit so strong in those lessons. Even if we only teach lessons to investigators a couple times a week it is worth it for those feelings I get when I teach them and see the spirit work inside of them and they learn the Gospel. It is so cool!! After the lesson with Bill, we went straight to the train station to catch a train to Göteborg (Gothenburg in english I think). We had a Mission Tour there the next day at 9:00 in the morning so we went down the night before and stayed with some Elders in Utby. There was 6 of us and only 4 beds so I dont know where the office thought the other two would sleep when they assigned us there. So 3 of us went to the church and slept there haha. I stayed at the apartment because I had already unpacked all my stuff. 

Wednesday, we spent the day in Göteborg and we had an area 70 named Elder Donaldson and his wife come speak to us. It was awesome! He spoke on the Spirit and how important it is to help investigators recognize the spirit and how they can receive an answer for themselves. I loved it so much and I am definitely trying to implement it into my teaching skills.

Thursday, we helped a lady in the ward named Nancy move a ton of her stuff from a trailer to the storage units on the top floor of an apartment building. I never knew one lady could have so much stuff! It was definitely a workout. We were glad to help her. She is going through so much right now and afterwords she just broke down and cried so we gave her a blessing. She bore her testimony to us and we knelt in prayer and with all the trails and challenges she is going through, she prayed for us. She prayed for us so much and she prayed for our families. She didnt say one word about herself. She is the most amazing lady ever! It was moments like that I am am so grateful to be a missionary. Later that day we taught a new convert from Pakistan named Fardin. He is a bro. Fadin and I are super close. We taught him about the temple and the blessings that come from going to the temple. He is preparing to go through the temple soon. 

Friday we visited less active members in the ward. On friday nights we teach a language class at the church. No one showed up though. But we had sports night later that night which was super fun! It is a good way to get investigators to be involved with the ward. I love the ward members sooooo much!! they are so awesome and fun. I had so much fun at that sports night. 

Saturday, we cleaned the church with the other missionaries which was fun. Then after we cleaned the church, we played basketball with one of our investigators named Su. He loves basketball so we played with him for a little bit and then we taught him a lesson afterwords. He is having trouble understanding the Word of Wisdom. Like how Coke and energy drinks are okay but Coffee isnt. It was hard to explain but we just told him that even though it may seem like rules, commandments are there for our protection and happiness in the long run. We also had one of the members in the ward with us, Johan, who was a convert and he bore an amazing testimony about his life before keeping the word of wisdom and after. The spirit was so strong. I love teaching investigators so much!! I talked with Su on the way home and he said he is going to get baptized in the future, just when he feels ready. He doesnt feel like he will be ready by the 28th. We will see :)

Sunday, we went to church and the choir sang in sacrament meeting (missionaries HAVE to be in the chior..). But it went well. Sadly, Bill didn't show up to church. We were planning on teaching him the second hour. Hopefully we can teach him this week. 

Thank you so much for all your many prayers and emails!! I really can feel the strength that comes from them! I love being a missionary and sharing my testimony of Jesus Christ every single day to as many people as I can talk to. I am praying for all of you and I hope you all have an amazing week!!

Med kärlek,

Äldste Bailey










Monday, March 2, 2015

Day 55


Hej Hej!

Hello everyone! This week was full of ups and downs! I'm not gonna lie, its been a really hard first two week here in Sweden, but I am doing great! I'm pretty homesick but I love it here! It is so pretty! I don't get to see anything foresty because I am in the middle of the city but the city is so cool and beautiful! It is really old, which makes it look pretty sweet (but there are also some pretty ghetto parts too haha). We are also in the area by the beach. You can see Denmark from where I am! it's so cool! 

My Swedish is coming along alright. I am in a region called Skåne (Scona) and they speak a dialect called Skånska (Sconish). It is the hardest dialect is Sweden to understand. So I am trying my best to learn it haha. 

There is not too much to tell about this week. Tuesday, we taught a less active named Alex who is a pathological liar. Haha he is really funny. But he speaks swedish which is good because I was able to practice teaching the restoration in Swedish and it really helped! I struggled teaching it but that's okay because I am getting better! I was able to understand a lot more this week! But Alex told us this week (every week is different) that he stole secret information about the US from President Obama's facebook page and gave it to Iran. He said the FBI is after him and he is top on the Most Wanted list. He is a great guy with a great testimony. 

Wednesday was not so good because every single person we had an appointment with canceled on us. So we did a lot of talking to people on the street. This week a lot more people listened to us! I am not the biggest fan of stopping some random person on the street and talking to them about religion (when most people here aren't religious at all) in a language I dont know very well. The scariest part is not knowing what they are saying back haha. 

Thursday, I went on splits with the Zone Leaders. We are already really close with them because we live across the street from them and do most things together. We work in the same ward. I went with Elder Sheldon and it was so cool! He has been out 21 months and he is the most amazing teacher and is so receptive to the spirit. It was such a blessing to spend 24 hours with him and learn from him. We taught an investigator named Diego and I was able to recite the first vision in Swedish and it was so amazing! I felt the spirit so strong! Then Elder Sheldon thought to stop by a less active who hadn't been to church in like 10 years who lived right by diego. We knocked on his door and waited a while. We were about to leave when David opened the door and invited us in. He was really happy to see us and gave us drinks and cinnamon rolls and kept asking if there was anything else we needed. Elder Sheldon was really surprised because he said that this guy hasnt opened his door for months. But when we sat down and talked, David said he knew that we came for a reason. He said he has really been struggling and he just divorced his wife and his job isnt going well. He said he has been thinking about God and church a lot lately and how he needed comfort and guidance in his life. We taught him a lesson and he invited us back tonight actually, but sadly I am not Elder Sheldon's companion so I wont be going back. But it was so amazing to see that miracle happen! That night we stopped a guy on the street and found that he was super high or drunk or something. We told him in swedish that we were missionaries and were from the Church. Then he started swearing at us and stuff in english. Then all of a sudden he calmed down and laughed and reached out to shake my hand so I did then he started to suck on my knuckle hahaha. This guy was nuts. I wanted to punch him but that's not what missionaries do. We gave him a card and got outta there haha. 

Sunday we were able to meet with Bill, one of our investigators. He is from Libya. His girlfriend is a member of our ward and he has come to church the past two weeks. We were able to sit down with him the 3rd hour of church and talk about baptism. He said he knows it is right and he wants guidance in his life. I told him the gift of the Holy Ghost will give him that. He said he wants to be baptized but he needs to feel that it is the right thing to do and he wants to know more about the church. We set a baptismal date for March 28!!! We are going to work towards that date and hopefully he will be ready! He is sooo awesome and an amazing guy! I felt the spirit so strong as I testified that it is the right thing to do and he will be blessed tremendously for it. 

I am running low on time so I have to wrap this up. But I love it here in Malmö so much!!! I love being a missionary! It is really hard, but it is so worth it. I have growth so much both temporally and spiritually. My testimony has been strengthened so much and I have just been strengthened as a person. I love this church and this gospel and my Savior Jesus Christ. Thank you for all your support and love and prayers!! I love you all!!!! 

Love, 

Äldste Alex Bailey