Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Day 205

Tjena Tjena everyone! 

It has been an awesome week! It went by really fast. Transfers are next week. It is crazy to think that I have been in Katrineholm almost a whole transfer! Even though this is a tough area and being a missionary is hard, I love it so much. I know I say it a lot, but there is a real joy and happiness is inviting others to accept the message of the restored gospel into their lives. I am so thankful for the opportunity I have to serve a mission and to be a representitive of my Savior Jesus Christ everyday and serve him with all my heart and strength. I love being a missionary. 

On Tuesday, we were in a small town outside of Katrineholm called Flen. We had an appointment with a member there. Our bus got us there a while before the appointment was scheduled. So I suggested we tract for a little while. We ended up tracting for a few hours. Every single house was either not interested or not home. It started to rain. We were pretty tired of no one answering and being not interested. A lot of them were kind of rude to us too. Oh well it's all part of the job. So as it was finally time to go to this member's house, I got the classic feeling of knocking on one more door. So we went up to the last house and knocked. An older Swedish man openned up. He was really nice and we talked for around 10 min before we even brought up the church. When we did bring up our church, he suddenly became not so interested with us. Then I showed him the Book of Mormon and he lit up. He didn't realize we were Mormons. I asked him if he had seen his book before and he said he had one! I got really excited and asked him if he had met missionaries before. He said no. I asked him how he got the Book of Mormon. He said he bought it. I laughed and told him he got ripped off because they are free. He laughed and then I asked him if he had read it. He said he read a little bit of it a while ago but he can't remember. I then had the special opportunity to bare witness of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. The spirit was so strong. I challenged him to read more and pray to find out if it is true. He said he would and he said we could come back next week!! yes!! I am super excited!

On Thursday, we were able to go with the branch president to home teach a lady in the branch name Solveig. Her husband is not a member but basically is a member. He doesn't drink or smoke or drink coffee and he is like the nicest guy ever. It was a really spiritual lesson as we shared the message from the 1st presidency about the pioneers. Lars had a lot of questions and was really engaged. I had a strong feeling that Lars was going to become a member. I was able to talk to Solveig on Sunday about him and she said he will eventually be. We are hoping to be able to teach him the lessons again soon. When the branch president dropped us off at the train station where our bikes were, I came to the horrible realization that I didn't have my bike key with me. I called the branch pres and it wasnt in his car. And I ringed Solveig but she didn't answer. So I had to carry my bike all the way home.. hahaha that was not fun at all. Still havent found the key.. So we have been getting some good exercising by walking everywhere, haha.

Friday was so good. We had planned  a lesson at the school with Jonas. When we got there, he called us and told us that he wouldn't be able to make it. We had no backup plans because Jonas doesn't usually cancel. So we were sitting outside the school thinking of what to do. I knew there was a reason this happened and there was a reason we were there at that time but I didn't know why. We prayed and still didn't know what to do. Then we just decided to go tract. As we were walking away from the school I heard a basketball bouncing. This sound is pretty rare in Sweden so I noticed it pretty quickly. Behind the school there is a pretty worn down hoop in a cement parking lot. There was a kid playing ball there and he wasn't that bad. But I knew right then that I needed to go talk to him. We went up to him and I asked him if I could play him. We played a couple games of one on one and afterwords he asked why I was here in Sweden and why I was playing so hard in a shirt and tie and tight pants(that ripped super super bad haha). I explained that I was a missionary and I was there to spread a special message about Jesus Christ. I was then able to teach him about the Restoration. The spirit was probably the strongest I have felt on my mission so far. I could just tell in his eyes that he was feeling the same thing. I testified of the truthfulness of my message and told him the many different ways it has blessed me in my life and told him he can know it is true for himself. He gladly accepted a Book of Mormon and said he would come to church on Sunday. Sadly, he didn't end up coming, but he invited me to go play basketball with him and a lot of other guys in a gym tomorrow night. I am so excited!! But that experience was so amazing. I am so grateful that I was there that day to talk to Clifford. The spirit was so strong and I really look forward to getting to know him and teach him more. It is such an amazing blessing to be able to bear testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and the Prophet Joseph Smith. The spirit is so amazingly strong every time. 

On Monday we were able to go to Eskiltuna for a volleyball tournament with the whole zone. It was so fun! 26 missionaries were there. It was fun to play and have fun with them all. My team ended up taking 2nd I think. Not my usual place, but oh well ;) 

Yesterday we were able to go to district meeting in Eskilstuna. After it was over, we had about an hour before our train went back to Katrineholm. Us and the 4 Elders in Eskilstuna decided to go play on the giant chess board in the middle of the city. It was an amazing contacting idea. As we played, all types of people stopped by to watch and the rest of us were able to talk to them. We taught a lot of street lessons and got a lot of numbers. The guy in the background in the pic is actually reading a Book of Mormon I gave him the game before. It was so amazing to work with these other Elders and talk to everyone that stopped by to watch. Being a missionary is awesome. 

I am about out of time. Sorry this isn't longer. I had a lot more typed out but it accidently got deleted... Anyways my computer is about to shut off at the library so I wish you all an amazing week! thank you for all the prayers and thoughts and letters. I love you all!


Äldste Bailey

Monday, July 20, 2015

Day 195

Tjena Tjena Allihopa! 

I hope everyone had a good week. This week was another long and tough week. A mission is really hard. But it is also very rewarding. I would not want to be anywhere else right now. My mission has changed my life for the better and I have experienced a kind of happiness that I would have never felt before if I didn't choose to serve. I have come to know and love my Savior better than ever before. 

We didn't do so much teaching of investigators this week. We were able to work with a few new converts and members though. This email might be a little short. There isn't too much to report this week. 

On Monday I was taught a lesson from Kenneth, one of our investigators. We were at the library about to email, and I was super excited to get on and talk to my friends and family. However, there was a lady sitting in the computer I had booked. I told her that I had booked that computer and she said "oh sorry!" and moved to a different one. So I began emailing. Then a few minutes later, Kenneth came into the library. He sat down by us and started talking to us. Then he started talking to this lady. He then started talking about church and invited her to a Gospel Principles class we have on Wednesdays. She was very interested in the church and said he would come! It was an eye opener to me that I was just so focused on getting to my computer to email that I didn't hear the spirit whisper to me to talk to Maria. I need to share the gospel with everyone I talk to wherever I go. So I don't miss the oppertunity of helping someone find the Restored Gospel. Maria ended up coming to Gospel Principles, and brought a friend. She also came to church yesterday! We taught her the restoration and she took a book of mormon and said she would read it! I am thankful that Kenneth set an example for me of how I should be with everyone I meet. 

On Wednesday, I probably had the worst/funniest lesson of my mission. It was Gospel Principles class. We had three investigators there and two new converts. Two of the investigators who came thought that they were showing up for an english class. So they were caught a little off guard. The lesson started off really, really well. We talked about Heavenly Father and who he is and our relationship to him. But before we know it, one of the investigators asks about thunder. So, Kenneth starts to explain how thunder works and then one of the other investigators there is Spanish so she doesnt really understand. Another investigator pulls out her phone to translate so everyone is arguing about how thunder happens and what it is called in Spanish. And this spanish lady is like freaking out because she doesnt know what anyone is talking about. And then Kenneth goes up to the white board and starts to draw thunder and lighting and explains to everyone how it is made. And then he draws a little person on the cloud and then the spanish lady comes up to the front too and they both are just laughing and drawing on the board. Then the spanish lady draws giant hands on the little person with super long arms and she is just laughing. Then everyone starts to talk about typhoons. Kenneth and the spanish lady start drawing typhoons and boats in them and just kept laughing, hahaha. This went on for a while before we got the lesson back on track again. It was really funny. Just one of the worst lessons I have been in. I probably wont ever forget it though, haha. 

On friday, We had another Zone Training. It was really good. We were taught about the Book of Mormon again. We were taught about how we should have a firm conviction and testimony in the Book of Mormon and that is what should drive us each day to share the gospel. Our mission president presented us with a challenge that I would like you all to try to do with me as well! We talked about what it really means to "feast upon the words of Christ". We were issued the challenge to read either 2 Nepthi chapter 9 or Enos every day for 30 days. It was promised to us that we would come to know what it really meant to feast on the words of Christ. So I am doing it right now and I really have begun to have a desire to read in the scriptures and really ponder what I am reading. Because you are reading the same thing every day, you start to learn and notice things you never did before. It is amazing! 

So when I was younger, I used to wonder how returned missionaries could give talks and teach lessons so well with little or no preporation. After almost a month in Katrineholm, I have begun to understand why. We have taught gospel principles every week and we have given a handful of talks. It is so amazing to be able to follow the spirit as you speak. I love speaking in church. All these talks and lessons I have given have really helped me become a better speaker and teacher. 

I dont have much time left. Curse these timed computers. I just want everyone to know that I am doing well and am loving my mission! I know this gospel is true! Have an amazing week and know that you are all in my prayers!

I love you all!

Äldste Bailey

Monday, July 13, 2015

Day 188

Hej hej everybody! I hope you have all had a good week! This week was long but good! A little more teaching than last, but we are still mostly finding people right now. 

On monday, we had another family night with Pia and her boyfriend, David. It went really well! Pia made us sushi. Sushi is not my favorite thing in the world but it was pretty good! Then we taught them about the Millennium. It was the lesson David chose. It was really good! We taught it out of the gospel principles book. It was a good lesson. David had lots of questions which was good for me because I didn't know too much about the Millennium. But As we taught it and studied for it, it made me really excited for those 1000 years of peace. They invited us over again tonight for my birthday so that is going to be fun! We are going to talk about the Final Judgement tonight. 

Tuesday we had district meeting. It was really good. We talked about the Book of Mormon and how we should build our testimonies around it. Afterwords, we were able to do a "contacting stund". Where we all go out with other missionaries' companions and contact. I went out with Äldste Carrigan. We did really well and I learned a lot from him. He is really good with people and always gets phone numbers and I have no idea how haha. So we got a couple phone numbers and we taught a couple lessons on the street. We were actually talking about how we are supposed to invite everyone to come unto Christ and I joked around and said "even these people passing by on bikes" and he said "why not? haha stop this guy" (coming up on a bike). I said "haha no way man he is on a bike coming pretty fast!" and he said "you scared?" and so I stopped the guy. He stopped his bike and we started talking. At first he was super impressed with our swedish and didn't believe we have been in the country for only 5 months. Then as we were talking, a man came up to me and tapped me on the shoulder. He asked us if we were from America and if we were the mormons. I said yes and yes. It was an awesome feeling that I was able to stand there and teach this man about the Book of Mormon and our church while Äldste Carrigan was behind me teaching another man. Then the other man left and we were both able to teach this man. He started telling us about his life and his family. We ended up getting his phone number and address. We are going to meet with him this week. I am grateful that Äldste Carrigan pushed me to stop that guy on the bike. Because if he didn't, we wouldn't of had the opportunity to talk to Urbån. 

Wednesday we taught a gospel principles class to Kenneth, Pia, an investigator named Nicolas, and the Branch President. It went really well. We taught about our Heavenly Father. I seriously have the strongest testimony of the gift of tongues. I was so amazed that I was standing up there infront of this class teaching in Swedish. Especially because I am not even good at talking in front of people in English! But the Spirit was so strong. There were lots of great comments from everyone in the class. I know without a doubt that my Heavenly Father lives and loves me. I am grateful for the chance I have to teach that class. We are going to do that again on Wednesday. 

Thursday I had the opportunity to go on splits with our District Leader, Äldste Hemmingson. He is so awesome! We get along really really well and it was a fun day! He is also an amazing missionary and I learned a lot from him! We were able to teach Zaki again, who is in that prison place. This lesson was really sincere and spiritual. He had a lot of questions and we were able to answer them. We also taught him how to improve his relationship with God through prayer. We read through Enos together. It was an awesome lesson. He will find out today if he is released or not. Keep him in your prayers! 

Well these computers in the Library run on time and I'm about to run out. Im sorry this email was on the shorter end, but not too much happened anyways. I want everyone to know I have a strong testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love my Savior and I know he lives! I know Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. I know the Book of Mormon is true and it can bring happiness and guidance to the life of anyone who reads it. I love being a representative of the Lord and I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to share my testimony every day with everyone I meet. It is truely the best feeling in the world and it brings a special type of happiness I cannot explain. 

Thank you all for the birthday wishes! It has been a good day so far! You are all amazing! I hope you all have a fantastic week!

Love your friendly neighborhood missionary,

Äldste Bailey 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Day 181 = 6 months tomorrow

Tjena Tjena allihopa! Jag hoppas allt går bra för er. Det känns bra att kunna skriva till er. Det är otroligt och jättekonstigt att tänka att jag har varit ute i 6 månader imorgon! 

Hey everyone! I hope you are all doing well. It feels good to write to you. Tomorrow will be my 6 month mark! It feels so weird that I have been out that long. Time flies. I am thankful for these first 6 months of my mission. I have been taught so much and have had so many amazing experiences that I will never forget. 

This week was good! Not a whole lot of teaching. Mostly tracting/contacting and street lessons. It is definitely one of the harder areas in the mission. But things are going well in Katrineholm compared to former times. I really do like it here and we are working our hardest to bring people to the gospel!

On Tuesday, we helped a members niece move into her new apartment in Katrineholm. The member, Cat, said that she is interested in meeting with the missionaries. So we helped her move and it was good. She is different haha. She's an awesome lady though! Afterwords she kind of left really fast and said "see you at Cat's sometime!". So we didn't really get to talk to her about meeting with us, but we are hoping we will soon. Later that day we helped a Russian girl named Kristina learn Swedish at the library. It went really good! I was a little surprised to see how much Swedish I actually knew! I have sure been blessed with the gift of tongues as I have been learning and speaking the langauge. I am so grateful to be able to learn and speak Swedish to be able to bring others unto Christ. She happily accepted Russian and Swedish copies of the Book of Mormon. We told her that reading the English and Swedish copies of the Book of Mormon side by side is one of the ways that has helped us learn Swedish the best. Afterwords as we were walking out, she asked what our church believed in. We were running late so I told her to start reading the book. ;) but I said we could help her again with the language and then teach her a little about our church afterwords, and she said she would love that. So hopefully the Spirit works within her as she studies from the Book of Mormon. We are going to meet her again this week. Then we met with a new convert named Hadi. He is from Pakistan and is super awesome. We taught him about Jacob 5. We used it in the way of teaching that we are the rightous branches grafted into this country. It is our job to help the tree of the Church in Sweden bring forth good fruit. We as missionaries and members have the responsibility of spreading the gospel to all the world. Hadi is an amazing member missionary. He has given out lots of pass along cards and a couple copies of the Book of Mormon. He is contemplating serving a mission right now. He is 21 and would be an amazing missionary!

Wednesday we traveled out to a neighboring city named Flen. We went to visit a less active member named Zaki. He is from Afghanistan. He had called us a few days earlier and wanted a visit. He is actually in this temporary prison place for people who dont have permission to be in the country. He has aparently been hiding in Sweden for a few years. But I guess they found him and have been holding him there for a few weeks while they decide whether to let him stay in Sweden or send him back home. He asked us to bring him a Book of Mormon and a Bible. After we were buzzed in and were led to the visiting room, Zaki came in and was excited to see us. He was really cool. After a little bit he asked us if our phones could take pictures. We said yeah and asked why. We later found out that he wanted us to take pictures of the perimeter of the prison place so he could know what it looks like. He said he was brought in a van with black windows so he doesn't know. They usually let them play soccer out on a field by the facility. He said if they don't let him stay in Sweden, he is gonna make a run for it! hahaha we knew as missionaries we would get ourselves and the church in big trouble if we helped someone break out of this place. But we just told him we might be able to next time. We still taught him the restoration afterwords. It went really well. He had a lot of questions and we were able to answer them. I love every opportunity I get to teach the about Restoration of the Church. We are going to have to break the news to Zaki this week that we cant take the pictures.. haha but we can pray that he will stay! On our way to the bus, it was super hot and we had just tracted a little bit with no luck and as we looked up ahead, there were two minivans pulling out of a gas station ahead of us. They both rolled down their windows and screamed "HEY ELDERS!". Elder Faulkner and I thought it was just another person making fun of us haha but as we got a little closer we saw that it was two families and they kept saying "IT'S THE ELDERS!!" We came up to their cars and the dad said that he had served a mission in Sweden a few years back. They said they were from Salt Lake City! They were so happy to see us and they just kept saying "you guys are awesome" and "keep working hard" and their kids seemed like they really looked up to us. It was honestly such a cool feeling to be appreciated that much! I felt a little like a celebrity ;) But I am thankful for the experience and that Heavenly Father placed those families in our path to give us a little strength and encouragement when he knew we needed it. 

After that, We were about to teach Jonas again. A solid lesson but we were able to establish his believes a little better this time. Turns out he does not believe in Jesus Christ. We taught him about God and about how Jesus Christ is the center of his plan and through him we can be freed from our sins and become clean again and become ressurected and make it back to our Heavenly Father again. He has committed to pray every day to strengthen his relationship with God and to find out if Jesus Christ really exists. We bore witness that he does live, and he does care about us. He cares about us so much that he suffered for every single one of our sins. He died for us so that we can live with our families and our Heavenly Father forever. He is there to take upon himself our burdons and our pains and sufferings. He is there to comfort us and to strengthen us. I know my Savior lives and I love him. I know we walks beside me everyday. I know that Jonas will come to know that Jesus Christ lives. It was a very spiritual experience to be able to testify of Christ to Jonas and see the look in his eyes as he listened to us express our love for the Savior. He said he could come to church this week so we hope he shows up! 

Friday we had the opportunity to travel to Södertälje for zone conference. It was awesome to see everyone that I hadn't seen for awhile and to meet some new missionaries. It was a really good training. They taught about the Book of Mormon and how we can better apply it into our teaching. Also, how we can improve and increase our testimony of The Book of Mormon and how we can share it with more confidence to whoever, wherever we are. I am trying to be better at sharing my testimony of the Book of Mormon more frequently and more sincerely because I know it's true and that is the reason I came on a mission: to share with others the same feelings of happiness and joy that I feel each day that I read it. I know the Book of Mormon can change and bless the live of anyone who reads it. President Boyd K. Packer said, "Life moves all too fast. When you feel weak, discouraged, depressed, or afraid, open the Book of Mormon and read. Do not let too much time pass before reading a verse, a thought, or a chapter."  During Zone Training, we did a role play with another companionship where we answered a question an investigator might have using The Book of Mormon. We were teaching Elder Carrigan and he asked "why is there so much evil and bad in the world?". We showed him Alma 14: 8-11 and 60: 13 and answered his question. He also accepted a copy of The Book of Mormon. Then later that day, we were at a dinner with a member in the branch and a man came up and started talking to us. He asked us "what kind of God would let so much evil and bad into the world?" It was amazing! We shared with him the exact scriptures and bore our testimonies. Then later that day, Elder Carrigan texted me and told me the exact same thing happened to him! And he had the opportunity to share those scriptures. That was a real testimony builder. God really does prepare us to share the gospel in ways we dont even realize we are being prepared. 

Saturday, I was able to spend the 4th of July with my British companion and two Swedes. It was my first 4th of July party where I was the only American. We ate dinner with a new convert named Pia and her boyfriend David. They are so awesome! They threw me a little 4th of July party. David brought his didgeridoo and I was able to try it and I played the National Anthem on it haha. We also had 4 little tiny bottle rockets that they set off. So we got some kind of fireworks haha. It was a fun little party. We are meeting with them later today for FHE and theywant us to teach them a lesson about the Millienuem. It is going to be good.

Well I am about out of time! sorry this was a little long! It was a good week. There was a lot more to say about the week but I just dont have time haha. Thanks again for all the letters and thoughts and prayers. I hope you all have an amazing week! 

Take care!


Äldste Bailey