Monday, May 25, 2015

Day 139

Tjena Tjena!

I hope everyone had a great week! This week was great! I am continuing to grow physically and spiritually while I am out here and I love my mission so much!

On Tuesday, we were able to attend a funeral for an elderly man who had passed away. He was a really nice guy and a great member of the church. He actually helped construct the chapel here in Malmö. I really hate funerals. I just don't like death. But as much as I dislike funerals, this one was very peaceful. It was really cool to be able to witness it. The man's name was Emil. I never really got to know him very well, but most of the members knew him quite well. It was a very spiritual experience as member after member got up to share how great of a man Emil was and to bear their testimony about the gospel. I felt the spirit so strong. From what these members where sharing, it seemed like Emil was a very selfless man. He was always looking for ways to help others and bless others lives. That is something I really admire. His family is doing well. After the funeral, we were able to meet with Reza and Majeed. They are doing so well! They still haven't missed a week of church and they are continuing to read in Mormons Bok and to Pray. After people are baptized, the missionaries are supposed to reteach all the lessons to make sure they understand everything and to help them grasp the ideas better and learn more. We had planned to teach the Restoration, but as we started, they said they had a lot of questions they wanted answered. We were more than happy to answer them. We answered all of their questions (including polygamy). They funny thing is that these guys are so faithful that if polygamy was allowed, they would have accepted it haha. We also shared our testimonies about the importance of continuing to read and pray and feasting upon the words of Christ. I felt the spirit so strong as I bore my testimony of how the scriptures and prayer have helped me in my life and how I have stayed close to God. It made me think of something my dad shared with me concerning Lehi's dream. How the mist of darkness, which is temptation and trials, covers the wicked as well as those clinging to the rod. Also, the people that fell away had the iron rod right there in front of them. All they had to do was grab onto it.  I never have thought about it like that. but it is very true. We all experience trials and temptations. And if we are holding to the rod, we will become stronger as we learn important lessons from our trials and become stronger as we resist temptation. If we arent holding to the iron rod, or the word of God, we wont be able to endure those trials and come out a better person. We will fall into temptation. And it is so easy to hold on to the rod. Its right there. We just have to have the desire and the willpower to actually do something and to grab onto it. Our scriptures are right there infront of us. We just have to read. As we strive to keep the commandments and follow the word of God, we are blessed as we have the strength to resist temptation and to endure trials.

Wednesday, we had zone training. That is when all the missionaries in our zone come down to Malmö and we receive training from the zone leaders. It was so awesome to see everybody! And that is what most of my pictures are this week so sorry about that haha. But It was so fun to see all the other missionaries. I have gotten to know them all super well. But the training went well! We were taught about the importance of investigators keeping commitments. We were taught that it is so important that the people we teach do something on their own and strengthen their relationship with Gud themselves. They need to receive their own answer. After all, we as missionaries are just guides. We cannot force an answer on anyone and we can't convert people ourselves. In the end, it is all up to the person we are teaching to change. That is why commitments are important. We were taught that as we are helping investigators keep commitments, we are helping them repent. They are changing from their old ways and turning themselves to God. Something that I think is cool is that in Swedish, "repentance" and "conversion" is the same word. Omvändelse. And "to repent" is the same word as "to turn around" or to "reverse". Att omvända. As we repent, we really are converting ourselves again to the Lord. We are turning around from our old ways and changing our thoughts and perceptions. We are turning to Christ and continuing to live according to his gospel.

On Thursday, we had a really cool experience while talking to people. As we left that morning, we were set on talking to every single person we passed. And sure enough, the first man we talked to listened. We taught him about the restoration. Elder Sweat kind of took over the contact and I was just listening. That morning, I had prayed that I would be able to share my testimony to someone about the Book of Mormon on the street sometime during that day because we were having a hard time with contacts lately. But as Elder Sweat was teaching this man about the Restoration, and just as he pulled the Book of Mormon out of his backpack to talk about it, another man came up to Elder Sweat and I and started asking us questions. Elder Sweat handed me the Book of Mormon and told me to continue to teach this man while he talk to the other guy. So just like I prayed for, I was able to teach this man about the Book of Mormon and bear testimony of its truthfulness and how it has helped my life. I felt the spirit so strong as I promised this man this book would change his life and bring him closer to God than any other book. Both people we talked to were interested and wanted to learn more. We hope to continue to teach them. But i am so thankful my prayer was answered that day. Also, as we tried talking to everyone we passed, to our surprise everyone was super nice that day and gave us smiles and stuff. I am grateful for the friendliness that we were shown on that day. It felt good to not have everyone just pass by and say no.

Later that day, we had the opportunity to teach Bill. Bill is doing so well also! He too comes to church almost every week. His testimony is growing as he is striving to be the best he can be. We taught him about the restoration and tithing. He is struggling a little bit financially but has promised to pay his tithing first. It was an awesome lesson. Another member named Dennis was there and I felt the spirit so strong as Dennis shared his testimony about the gospel and the importance of continuing to read Mormons Bok and praying. It was a great lesson.

Bill and his girlfriend (who is also a member), Dorkas, invited us over to Dorkas's house for dinner on Saturday. It was so awesome as we ate dinner together and laughed and talked together. The sisters shared a spiritual message and it was really good. I think the night was so good for Bill. He told me the next day in church that he loved having us over so much.

So we have been really trying to find new people to teach lately. And on Sunday, I was sitting in sacrament meeting and felt like I should go outside to see if Bill was there, because a lot of times he will just sit out in the foyer during sacrament. So when I went out in the hall, there were not just one, but three African guys sitting out in the hall. So I greeted them and brought them translators to they could understand. Afterwords, we talked to them and their names where Stanley and Williams. Williams is a member of the church in Jönköping. He was visiting in Malmö and brought Stanley to church with him. Stanley told me that missionaries gave him a card awhile ago and he wanted to come visit. Williams brought him along and they both had a great time. Both of them made comments in Sunday school and in priesthood. I gave Stanley a Book of Mormon after church and he was super excited about it and he said he will read it and pray about it. I can tell he is going to be baptized. He has been in Sweden 4 months and is looking for a church. God led him to the right one. I am excited to start teaching him. I am thankful that God answered our prayers and has given us another person to teach and help them receive the restored gospel.

I am thankful for the time I have to be serving a mission. I know, without a doubt, that this gospel is true. It offers me hope, strength and happiness in everything that i do. I am so grateful for you all and for your thoughts and prayers. I love you all so much and you are in my prayers!

Have an amazing week!


Äldste Bailey

Monday, May 18, 2015

Day 132

Hello Everyone!!

It has been a long and crazy and pretty uneventful week! Still having a good time out here. This week has definitely been a little rough. But that's okay, Im going to have ups and downs no matter what. I just need to rely on the Lord and fight on. 

Transfers were this week. Which means that Elder Brinkworth would be transfered I would be staying in Malmö with a different companion. Also, it meant that Elder Sheldon would be going home. We also had another missionary in our district named Elder Packer who is going home as well. So on p day we had a "funeral" for them because they are "dying". It was really fun. It is weird that Elder Sheldon is going home. He has been here the whole time since I arrived in Sweden and has taught me so much. 

So the last couple days leading up to transfer day consisted of Elder Brinkworth and I going around saying goodbye to all the members and people he has been working with. He had been in Malmö for almost 8 months! He is going to be missed by this ward. I am thankful for the time I was able to spend with him and learn from him. 

On Wednesday, I received my first new companion. His name is Elder Sweat. He has been on his mission for about a year. He is really cool and we get along really well. We have already had so much fun together. He is a lot like me. It is weird though to have a different companion then the one you started out with. But I feel like Elder Sweat and I are going to have lots of success together, we just have to work hard. 

The past couple days have also been slow. After Reza and Majeed, we dont have to many promising investigators to work with. We have been spending a lot of time going through the ward list and contacting less active members. There are a lot in this ward! We have also been spending a lot of time finding people to teach this week. 

We took a long walk on Friday through a super beautiful park just talking to people. I feel like I talked to 100 people but not one person was interested. One lady did take a book of mormon! That counts for something! Sports night was also disappointing this week haha.. only about 8 people showed up. And half were missionaries. We still had a fun time. Su came. Things are still going well with Su. He has so many questions. He says that any church that makes him feel comfortable is a true church. We explained why our church is different from all the others. We talked a lot about coming to know that the church is true, or even just believing that God is there and loves him.  He just wants to know that God loves him and loves everyone on the earth. He also has questions about faith. We told him to read Alma Chapter 32 before we meet again this tuesday. We are going to discuss it and explain to him that if he even has a desire to believe a portion of the word, that desire can grow into faith. I know he will receive an answer to his prayers. It was actually a really spiritual experience talking to him about it. It made me think about how my prayers are answered. I realized that the questions or things I needed were answered when I asked in the name of Christ and with faith that I will receive it. 

Anyways, this week was not the most eventful, but that just means the next week is going to be better! I hope you all have an amazing week! I love you all and I pray for you all every day! Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. Thank you to those who have written me! I am sorry I wasnt able to write everyone back.. I feel really bad but I just didnt have that much time at all. I promise I will get back to you all soon! 

I love you all so much! Take care back in the States! 

Äldste Bailey

Monday, May 11, 2015

Day 125 or something

Tjena Tjena!

Hello everyone! I had an amazing week! I love being a missionary and I absolutely love everyone I work with! The people of Sweden are amazing! 

I have even less time than last week so I hope I can make this a good email still. 

This week Reza and Majeed were baptized!! It was an amazing experience. There was a very good turnout to the meeting. Lots of members showed up. Just like Reza and Majeed wanted ;) Fardin baptized Majeed and I had the opportunity of baptizing Reza. They were both so excited that their day to be baptized finally had come. They beat us to the church that morning, and we came about an hour early. The got into their white clothes as fast as they could. They were so excited. The spirit was so strong when we saw the baptism of majeed. He was so happy! Then it was Rezas turn. When we were on our way to go down the stairs, Reza asked me if I could hold him under the water for 5 seconds so he could be extra clean haha. I said we'll see. Then we got into the water which was actually pretty hot. They spirit was so incredibly strong as I baptized Reza. I held him under the water for about a second and a half and he came out of the water just gleeming! He gave me a big hug and said "thank you". I was so happy at that moment and the spirit hit me really really hard. Again, I was reminded why I am out here on my mission. Nothing else mattered at that moment and I was so happy to see another soul come unto Christ. As we went into the changing room, I saw Majeed just jumping up and down laughing because of excitement and Reza just started laughing and smiling too. They hugged eachother. It made me so happy to see. I really love those guys. 

So these three guys could be the bishopric of the Churchs first Persian branch. They are absolutely amazing and I wish you could all meet them! The next day they received the Holy Ghost. They were so excited. Fardin confirmed both of them. I think I felt the spirit stronger during the confirmations than during the baptisms. Fardin did both of the blessings in Persian. I didnt understand one word but I was just hit with the spirit. As I was standing in that circle I just knew this church was true and as I was listening to Fardin give that blessing in Persian I just thought about how the Gospel really is flooding all the earth. It was so cool to see Fardin use his priesthood. He was just given the Melchezidek priesthood a few months ago. I knew how proud our Heavenly Father and Jesus were of Reza and Majeed for the choice they made. I am so lucky and blessed to be serving in this ward and with these people. 

Yesterday I was able to Skype home. It was so amazing to see everyones faces and talk to everyone! I am so glad you are all doing well and I love every single one of you so much! Even though it was hard to hang up, I know I am here in Sweden for a reason and I know my family will be kept safe and protected. 

I want to give a quick shout out to all my friends who have gotten their mission calls recently, Matt LeCheminant to Chile, Spencer Davis to Australia, Isaac Hunter to Alaska, and Matt Cragun to the best mission in the world! Sweden! Youre gonna love it here man this really is the greatest place in the world and the people and members are so amazing! 
I hope you all have a wonderful week and Im really sorry this was so short. It was a really stressful morning that led us to get to the library late. Anyways, thank you for all your love and prayers! I pray for all of you every day and I love you all!! 


Äldste Bailey 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Day 118

Hello everyone!

I don't have a super long time to write today, but I also don't have a ton to say. So sorry if this isnt super long. But I had a really good week! 

On Monday, we had a "Movie Night" at the church as missionaries and we invited invited as many investigators as we could. We only had Reza and Majeed (its actually spelled like this by the way haha) show up. And the Zone Leaders had 1 investigator named Sara show up. We also had 2 members there. But that's okay because we showed The Testaments. In case you haven't seen it, it's about Christ's visit to the Nephites in the Americas. It was really good for all 3 of them and they had a lot of their questions answered about the Book of Mormon. It was also really good for me too. Watching the Savior preform the Atonement and being Crucified made my love for him increase so much. I have a new love for my Savior I never thought I could have. He loves us so much that he suffered for all of our pains, trials, and sins. He also died for us. And he did not do one thing wrong in his life. To me, that is the ultimate example of love. 

Like I said last week, Thursday was Valborg. It was super fun and a lot of people showed up! We lit the fire and we grilled food and sang songs to welcome spring. I guess the tradition of burning a giant fire is burning the winter witches or something haha. It was really fun though! Then we played a game called bränbol I think. Its kinda like baseball but it was really fun! It was a really good experience and a lot of investigators showed up. 

Friday, we had lots of food appointments. I dont know how they all ended up on the same day, but we went to our ward mission leaders house Brother Saffer, and his family made us breakfast. Then we had Correlation meeting there. Then, we went to Björn and Christians and they made us brunch. We taught them a lesson and it went really well. Then we went to visit Elizabeths, she is a member that has us over every week and serves us tea. She calls us probably every day and calls us if we are even 1 minute late haha she is funny. It is always good to visit her. Then we had sports night and it went really well!

Saturday was a super awesome day because Reza and Majeed had their baptismal interviews. They were super super nervous beforehand. It was really funny. Then Reza went in first and we taught Majeed and he doesnt have the best english or swedish, but he told us how he knelt down and asked God to know if this is what he was supposed to do and if this church was true and he said he got an answer and he felt the Holy Ghost tell him in his heart that it was true!!! That made me so happy! That is what makes missionary work worth it right there. Then Reza came out and just hugged me and he was super happy! Then when Majeed went in and the District Leader left, he just let out a scream of excitement! It was so awesome! Then he said "I cant explain the happiness in my heart right now". It was so aweomse and it made me so happy! Then Majeed came out and he hugged us too and was really really happy!! I was so happy that day and am looking forward to their baptisms this Saturday. I am trying to get them to be baptized in the Ocean, but they keep saying its too cold hahaha. 

With Mothers Day coming up this week, I want to let everyone know how great of a mom I have. She is so amazing. Because of her I am the man I am today. She loves me so much and is the greatest example to me and the best mother I could ever ask for. She is one of my best friends and I love every second I am privileged to spend with her. She is so strong in the Gospel and luckily has raised me to be strong as well. She has always been there for me no matter what, through thick and thin. Thank you mom for raising me the way you did!! I love you and miss you soooo much! I hope you have an amazing day this Sunday! 

I hope you all have an amazing week and I wish all the other mothers out there a happy Mothers Day. Thank you again for all the thoughts and prayers! I love you all!

Sorry this wasnt the longest email. But I hope you all have an amazing week! 

Your friendly neighborhood missionary,

Äldste Bailey