Monday, April 27, 2015

Day 111

Tjena Tjena!

Jag hoppas att ni har alla hade en bra vecka. Ni har ingen aning vad jag sager och jag tycker att det är jätterolig. 

This week was really good! Lots of awesome experiences and fun times. 

On Monday, we were supposed to go to this place called Ystad. It is like the most south you can go and there is a Stone Hendge thing, but it didnt work out. So, us and a bunch of other missionaries from neighboring cities met at the beach in Malmö and had a BBQ and played sports and stuff. It was really fun and I love all the missionaries here! 

I really need to be better with my journal writing.. I missed Tuesday and now I cant even remember what I did that day haha.. There is the lesson kids! Write in your journals! 

Wednesday, we taught Reza. And I cant remember if I told you all or not, but Reza brought a friend to church. His name is Majid. He cant speak too much english, but enough to communicate. He is so awesome! He has such a sweet spirit! He is about Rezas age, around 30, and has kids as well. We taught them together because we didnt know that Reza was going to bring Majid. We taught the Plan of Salvation again(Reza had already been taught it), but we added in the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the Our Life on Earth part of the Plan. Reza is so awesome haha he helped us teach Majid the Plan of Salvation and he isnt even a member yet! He is doing so well and still has it counted down to the exact day he is going to be baptized and get the Holy Ghost. He is such a happy guy. The lesson went really well and I am so grateful I have the chance to teach these two men. 

Thursday I was in Lund on splits with the District leader. His name is Elder Packer and he is super awesome and an amazing missionary! I learned a lot from him! We had a really good study session in the morning and discussed a lot about he Book of Mormon and its role in conversion. It is so crucial. It really is the keystone of our religion and our whole church rests on that book. It is so important to gain a testimony of Mormons Bok because if the BOM is true, everything else is true. The Book of Mormon is the most powerful tool in conversion. That means self conversion as well. Anyways, after our studies we went to do service with the other missionaries in Lund. We went out to the place called Lomma. It is out in the countryside and its soooo beautiful! I had never seen Swedish countryside until I went out there. I wish I would have had my camera with me. Anyways, we helped prepare for the holiday Valborg. Its a holiday that doesnt make much sense to me but its super awesome so I dont mind it. So basically the swedes get as much wood and sticks and branches and whatever they can find and make a GIANT pile and light it up to celebrate spring. Its gonna be the biggest bonfire I have ever witnessed. It is on Thursday this week and I am super excited! Members from all over southern sweden are coming. Also, that evening, Elder Packer and I taught a man the Restoration on the street. I felt the spirit stronger than I ever have before while talking to someone on the street. It is the most amazing feeling to teach about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith every day. I have grown to have such a love and appreciation for The Prophet Joseph Smith. I absolutely love bearing my testimony about him to everyone I meet. 

Friday was a fun filled day. We taught Reza again in the morning. He wants to meet 3 times a week before his baptism haha. We taught him about the 10 commandments, keeping the Sabbath Day holy, and following the Prophet. It went really well! The 10 commandments were hard to teach because he isnt exactly fluent in english so it was hard for him to understand. So it took us a while to explain each one. After we got all the way through and he understood, he said, "well those are the exact same ones as the Bible!" haha it was funny. After that, we taught him a little about the prophet. I brought a picture of him to show Reza and I was scared of what he might think because in the picture, president Monson looked like he was kinda mad haha. So then later when we showed him the picture of President Monson, he said "He looks like a really nice guy. He just has a friendly face".  haha it was a tender mercy. I love President Monson. And Majid wasnt able to make it to this lesson, because his son is in the hospital. Maybe remember him in your prayers. 

Saturday was the semiannual deep clean the church day! Most of the ward showed up and we cleaned for a really long time haha.. the church looks really good now though! But Reza showed up to that and he was so happy to help! He kept saying that the church was his home now and the ward was his family!

Sunday was a solid day of church! Both Reza and Majid showed up. They loved church! Then after church we had a dinner appointment with the Isaksens. They are a newly married couple and they are so cool! We did a practice lesson with them and it helped a lot! Then after that, we met with a girl in the ward named Ayline. She is the only member in her family. Her sister, Jenell, is interested in the church and wants to hear the lessons. We are excited for that! Ayline is 17 and Jenell is around 14. They are from Chile and are super awesome! 

Well, I am about out of time. I want you all to know that I love and pray each of you. And I want to say thank you for all the love and prayers. I love being a missionary and I am so grateful for the chance I have to learn and grow and to serve the people of Sweden. I hope you all have an amazing week!

Jag älskar er!

(med vänlig hälsning. "with friendly greetings")

Äldste Bailey

Monday, April 20, 2015

Day 104

Hej Hej! 

I hit triple digits! My mission is going by so fast. This week was good! It was a pretty routine week. Not as eventful as last week. I am still loving my mission and growing so much! 

We did a lot of service this week. On Tuesday a member named Magnus had us and the Zone Leaders come over and help clean up his yard and house because he is moving. We were happy to help. It got pretty rainy though and we were all working outside trimming trees and scrubbing paint off the concrete from when we painted his house last week. We all got soaked. We also trimmed his bushes and raked them out. And I dont know which of us got the great idea to try to burn all the twigs and sticks and leaves, but we tried to in the pouring rain. Surprisingly, we got the fire started and were able to burn about half of the twigs and leaves. But it pretty much burned into pure smoke so we all smelled like smoke the rest of the day. We also have had the senior couple missionaries come to our apartment a lot this week and we have done a lot of work on that. 

I think I told you all a little about the guy named Reza last week. He is probably the most perfect investigator you could ever find! A little about him: He is super cool and funny and way nice. He is from Afghanistan. He has a crazy story. He was in the special forces in Afghanistan and was also a body guard to the president. The Taliban came to him told him that if he didnt kill the president, then they would kill him. So he took his family and fled Afghanistan. He just recently converted to Christianity. The rest of his family is Muslim. He has a wife and 3 kids. We found him through his friend, Fardin. Fardin had already taught him the basics of the Restoration. We met him on Wednesday and he had already read some in the Book of Mormon! He said he already knows this church is true and wants to be baptized and get the Holy Ghost! I dont know if Ive ever met anyone who was so excited as Reza is. We set up a date with him and all the lessons we need to teach him before he can be baptized. He has it counted down to the day haha. He will be baptized on May 9. He wants Fardin to baptize him which will be really good for Fardin! We met with him again on Friday and he had already read the first 27 chapers of the Book of Mormon! He also told us he has quit smoking by himself. He said he has smoked for 15 years but he just stopped because he knew it was wrong. 

Something cool also happened while we were teaching Reza. We were the only ones in the church while we were teaching him and then there was a knock on the door of the room we were teaching Reza. We thought that was a little weird. We opened the door and it was 2 teenage boys. Elder Brinkworth thought that they were here for a school project because we get a lot of students who do religion reports I guess. But they asked if the church was open and we said yeah and one of the boys said, "Jag vill döpa mej". Which means, I want to be baptized. They said they wanted to come closer to God. We were in shock and so I went back in and kept teaching Reza while Elder Brinkworth showed them around the church and gave them copies of the Book of Mormon. We got their numbers but sadly our phone broke so we havent had contact with anyone at all in a couple days, which makes it kinda hard to set up appointments and stuff. But we have an appointment with the Apple store tomorrow. So we can call them tomorrow and hopefully set something up with them. It was a really cool experience. It is amazing to see how the Lord guides people to where they are supposed to be. Because those boys couldve walked into any other church in Malmö. 

I also got to go to the Denmark temple again on Saturday. We went with the Young men and Young women and with a recent Convert named Donald. We just did baptisms. It was a really cool experience. I havent done them in a while. It was an awesome experience to go with Donald and see his reaction and feelings at his first time at the temple. I am grateful I also got to go to with the youth. They werent all there, but they all have such strong testimonies! I am happy I get to work with them. 

Well, I am about out of time. I hope you all have an amazing week! I love you all! Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers!!

Äldste Bailey

Monday, April 13, 2015

Day 97

Hello everyone!!

What an amazing week!!! I don't know where to start. I am doing so well and I absolutely love being a missionary. 

First off, BILL WAS BAPTIZED!! It was such an amazing experience!! He was so nervous before the baptism and kept wanting to practice how it was going to happen. It was really funny. He was so ready and so excited. I was nervous myself. But it was really one of the most amazing and spiritual experiences Ive ever had. I was so happy. I cant remember many other times in my life when I was as happy as I was seeing the happiness and light in his eyes and the smile on his face as he came out of the water. He was so happy and the first thing he did as he came out of the water was laugh and clap and jump up and down and then he hugged me. I couldnt stop smiling either. And when he hugged me, I realized why I am here. At that moment, all the pains and trials and challenges Ive gone through so far were worth it. I didnt care about all the doors being shut in my face or the people that have sworn at me or didnt want to listen. That moment was worth all of it. I dont know if I have ever felt the spirit that strong. He kept telling me how light he felt. He told me as we were getting out of the font that he felt like he could fly:) Then as we were changing he kept saying, "Im a new Bill!" Neither one of us could stop smiling. He never stopped saying how clean he felt. There was a good turnout at the baptism too. One of the Sisters investigators was able to come and now he wants to be baptized too. Bill is such an amazing guy! Thank you all for all your prayers for him. They helped more than you know. He thought he was going to have a really hard time giving up coffee because he drank it like 4 times a day but he said as he prayed he had a new strength to stay away from it. 

On Friday I was able to go to the Denmark temple. It was so awesome! I had been missing the temple so much and it felt so good to go again. Even though it isnt the prettiest on the outside, the inside is SO pretty! They also have a KFC in Denmark:) Also, we were able to go to the Cathedral with the original Kristus. That was also super cool. We had a great day in Copenhagen. 

Sunday was awesome!! Bill received the Holy Ghost. It was also testimony meeting. So after Bill got the Holy Ghost and was sustained into the ward, the testimonies started. A few people bore their testimonies and then another African guy in the ward named Favour went up and bore his testimony and how he knows the Book of Mormon is true and how he was found by the missionaries and a little about his baptism. And then Bill got up and bore his testimony!!! It was one of the most heartfelt testimonies ever! I was really surprised he did it because he isnt the most outgoing guy there is, but he still did. He said how the missionaries found him in Africa 15 years ago and he told them he didnt need what they had to say and they told him that one day he would be baptized. He said whatever. But he said how now he knows they were right. He then thanked us from the stand for saving his life. I will never forget those words. They really touched me. Again I was just filled with happiness as Bill stood up there smiling and telling everyone how happy and clean he felt. I again realized why I am here. Then after Bill, his girlfriend, Dorkas, bore her testimony! She was less active before we started working with Bill. Bills baptism was so good for her. But her testimony was amazing! It was such a good meeting!
Also, Fardin brought one of his best friends to church on sunday. He is super interested in the Church and really wants to meet with us! I can already tell from meeting him that he is going to be baptized. We meet with him this Wednesday. His name is Reza. He is from Afghanistan I think. I am excited to start working with him! 

We werent able to meet with a lot of people this week because so many people are out of town. We did a lot of finding this week. As hard as it can get, I love doing it. I love to meet all the different kinds of people in Malmö and hear their stories. I have learned that the key is to just try to be happy! I love being a missionary and I love finding the adventure in every day. Also the people here are what make me so happy and keep me going. I know there are people Im supposed to find here. I get out of bed every day hoping that just one person will listen to our message. I have learned so much and grown so much since I have been on my mission. Thank you all for all you do for me. Thank you for the thoughts and prayers. I love you all. I know there are some of you I didnt get back to this week and I promise I will get back to you next week. I didnt have that much time. Anyways, I hope you all have a great week! 

Äldste Bailey

Monday, April 6, 2015

Day 90: Glad Påsk!

Tjena Tjena!

What an awesome week! Glad Påsk everyone! (Happy Easter). This week was really hard but also really great. Conference was amazing! It was so different watching it as a missionary. I received so many insights and I paid way more attention than I ever have just sitting at home on the couch haha. But also conference and Easter made me super homesick so that was hard. But it was also great here. It has been a slow past couple of days. Easter in Sweden goes from Friday to Monday. Which means there is no one home or on the streets. But on Saturday we moved apartments. And there isnt going to be any new Elders moving into our old one, so we had to move out and clean EVERYTHING. So we took time on Thursday and Friday to pack and clean. Saturday took all day to move. The new apartment is much nicer and in the middle of our area. I like it a lot better and the change of scenery was also nice. 

Tuesday: So transfers happened this week and our Sisters in Malmö both left and we are not going to have Sisters in Malmö this transfer. So they left Tuesday morning and we went with them and the Zone Leaders to the train station to say bye. Then we made breakfast with the zone leaders and helped Elder Krebs pack because he is heading up North. We taught Alex again later that day about Påsk. 

Wednesday: Wednesday Morning we took Elder Krebs to the airport and said goodbye to him. And the new Zone Leader wasnt coming until that evening so we had Elder Sheldon with us the whole day. Then we had district meeting in Lund which was good. Then we went and taught a less active member named Elisabet. She has us over every week and makes us tea every time. She has super hard Sconish and she is hard to understand but it is getting better and better. Then we went and taught a super old Chinese member named Peter Lee. He is in his 90s and he owns a chinese restaurant. His son and his family run it now but he just hangs out in the restaurant all day. When we got there he gave us a huge plate of Chinese food and kept giving us bottles and bottles of coke haha. I dont really drink coke so I would keep pouring my coke into Elder Brinkworths glass when Peter wasnt looking, then he would reach over and feel my can to see if it was empty then go get another can out of the fridge. Hahaha he is super funny. We felt a little bad because his family aren't members and they were kinda ticked at him for giving us so much food. Peter didnt care though, he just kept telling his daughter to go get us more food hahaha it was so funny. Then that evening we went and picked up the new missionary in Malmö, Elder Beck. He is super cool and a good missionary! I like him a lot. Then that evening we had Correlation Meeting and Ward Council. 

Thursday: Thursday was mostly cleaning and packing. We did have 2 lessons scheduled but one of them canceled. The other was with Emmanuel, one of our newer investigators. He is from Africa and loves God and Jesus Christ. I had an amazing experience as we were teaching Emmanuel. We were teaching him the Gospel of Jesus Christ and we were planning on inviting him to be baptized. The spirit was so strong as we taught the lesson with power and inspired questions. When it was time for me to ask him to be baptized, I was super scared and I didn't want to ask him because he is a fairly new investigator and I didn't want to seem like I was forcing baptism on him. As it was time for me to say it, I prayed silently for strength to say it. I still didn't feel comfortable asking it but as soon as I opened my mouth, a warm feeling came over me and the words came out. I felt like it wasn't me who said them. And as soon as I said them, Emmanuel smiled and said "Of course I will". I just couldn't stop smiling after that and we committed him to prepare himself to be baptized on May 9. He is super willing to be baptized, he just wants to know more about the church first. I am so grateful for that experience I had. 

Friday: Friday was also a lot of cleaning and packing all our dishes and food and whatever we had. By the end of the day everything was in boxes and the cupboards and everything was empty. We went to Sports night and basically no one showed up because it was Easter. But luckily Su showed up a little later. Su is doing so good and progressing so well! He is moving a lot slower than most people but thats okay! We played basketball with him. And our ward mission leader named Simon who played basketball professionally in Malmö came and played with us too. During sports night me and Johan (the assistant ward mission leader who I am really close to and we are super good friends) taught a man in our ward also named Emmanuel. We taught him the 1st presidency message in the Liahona for April. I love that message! I encourage you all to read it! 

Saturday: Saturday was a moving day. Two other senior couples came down to malmö to help us move. It took basically the whole day. Then we got to watch conference!!!!! Conference was so amazing this week!! The only two sessions we get to watch live were the Saturday and Sunday morning sessions. So we only watched the Saturday morning on Saturday night. It was really good!

Sunday: We watched 3 sessions on Sunday. I loved them all so much!! The first was priesthood session. It was so good! I especially loved President Eyring's talk! I really applied it to my mission. It helped me realize the importance of the Priesthood I have and the companionship of the Holy Ghost. I really liked when he said that the power to speak and act in God's name requires revelation and revelation requires prayer. I pray every day for the spirit and to know the way to know peoples hearts. I also learned from this talk that who cares what people think about me? It is better to be feel weird or go out of my comfort zone or get yelled at or scuzzed off and give them a chance to hear the gospel, than to let them pass by and have that feeling of regret as they keep walking past me. I want to walk away from people not with the feeling of regret or failure, but with the feeling of "well done". Just like president Eyring on that guys doorstep. Su also came to the priesthood session which was awesome! 

There is a tradition here in the mission for conference called "conference godis". Where we all go to the store and buy a ton of candy (like the ones with the scoopers where you can fill up a bag with as much as you want). And we buy enough for all the sessions and eat them throughout conference. 

Good news!! If everything works out, Bill is going to be baptized this Saturday! He has been taught all the lessons and is super confident about being baptized. He is so willing to keep the commandments and he wants to be made clean again. He is so amazing and I couldn't be more excited for him! I will give more info on that next week. Everyone pray for him and that the baptism happens!

Anyways I am about out of time. I hope everyone had an amazing Easter. Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers for me. I love you all! I want you all to know that I am absolutely loving being a missionary. Even though it is hard, I am growing so much physically and spiritually. It is so worth it. 

I want to give a quick should out to my good friend Ian Elmore! He is getting baptized this Saturday! Congratulations Ian! Love and miss you man! 

I hope you all have an amazing week! 

Äldste Bailey