Monday, September 7, 2015

Day 247 = 8 months!

Hello everyone! Hope you all had a good week. 

Well, today marks 8 months. So weird. Time is flying by! Doesn't seem like 8 months at all. I'm loving everyday of my mission. I am so grateful for the chance I have to serve the Lord all day every day.

This week was pretty average compared to the rest of the weeks of my mission. It was filled with some ups and downs and some amazing experiences. 

Tuesday morning during studies, we had an unexpected call from the guy in charge of all the chapels in Sweden saying that he was waiting for us at the new chapel. Apparently we had set up a time to meet him at the chapel to help move in all the supplies and furniture and what not. We weren't aware of that, haha, but we went anyways. So we spent the whole morning moving things into the new church. The new chapel is perfect! It's still super tiny compared to buildings at home but it's not a classroom! After we helped out with that, we got lunch and then went out and contacted for a while and then met the branch at the church and we moved everything into place and washed all the dishes and set up chairs and put up pictures and lots of other stuff. It was really stressful. Everyone was following orders of an older lady in the branch that wanted everything perfect and her way, bless her heart. But the chapel is so awesome! It felt so nice to actually have a pulpit! I am so grateful that we have been blessed with a place to meet on Sundays. 

Wednesday we had zone conference in a town right next to Stockhlom called Västerhaninge. It was really good. It was about becoming the best missionaries we possibly can and becoming the missionaries Christ wants us to be. We talked a lot about how we can effectively teach and how the spirit is the ultimate and true teacher. And how we just need to "get out of the way" of the Spirit and let him work in people. And the Spirit can only work through us if we are "clean vessels". We must be worthy and willing to serve. We also talked about how a lot of our mission is to change us. How we need to let our mission work within us. I can testify that my mission has really changed me so far. It's currently making me into the man I want to eventually be. I have a hard time believing that I am here and that there are missionaries around the world just because God needs a little help. I think that if he wanted to, he could find those who believed and convert millions no problem. I believe we are here to also convert ourselves. To show our own dedication to the Lord and to learn important lessons ourselves. I am so grateful for this opportunity I have to represent my Savior and wear his name on my heart every day. It is the greatest blessing in the whole world. No matter hard it is or how much success I get, it is all worth it to be able to serve the Lord. I have committed to become a better missionary 

Thursday we went out to the smaller village of Flen. The plan was to swing by some of the people who were interested. We stopped by one lady who said she doesnt think she is too interested anymore. Then I bore testimony of the gospel and the Book of Mormon and how it has blessed my life and how it will bless hers if she reads it. She said she would read it and give us a call if she is interested. And then we went by Mary and Ingamid or something. The tomato guy and his wife. They are super old and Mary gave back the Book of Mormon and said she wasn't interested anymore. That sucked.. But, we had two older ladies who lived in the same apartment building that we had given copies of The Book of Mormon to. We went up to Ingrid first, knocked on her door, no answer. So we walked down a flight of stairs and knocked on Britt's door and Ingrid answered! Haha we were a little confused but then Britt came around the corner and they were laughing and invited us in! We had no idea they were friends haha. They said that they both knew that we said we were going to come by so why not just take the lesson together. So we came into Britt's kitchen and there was a third older lady sitting at the table! These three swedish ladies were the chattiest people I've ever met haha. They would fit right in to the Relief Society. I actually felt like I was in Relief Society when we were teaching them hahaha. But all three of them were super interested and asked question after question and loved our answers. We taught them the Restoration and about the Book of Mormon. Each lady had a Book of Mormon infront of them and we were reading a bunch of scriptures out of it too. The spirit was definitely there and it was strong. It was just a different experience teaching someone old. Usually old people here in Sweden are either super stubborn and don't want to change what they believe in or just laugh and tell us they are too old haha. It was a fun and spiritual lesson. Although the teaching environment and circumstances constantly change, the feeling of testifying of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith and our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ never changes. There is a real power that comes from testimony. It is my absolute favorite thing to do when I teach. Bearing testimony really invites the spirit and helps them realize the truthfulness of our message. Sure we can teach them and give them all the information in the world about our chruch and what we believe in, but it doesn't mean anything at all if we don't testify to them that we know without a doubt that it is true, and testify how the gospel has changed our lives and how it can change theirs. That's what really means something to people. People are searching for guidance and peace in their lives, and when we promise them that is what this gospel can bring them, that's when the spirit can testify to them that this church is what they have been searching for. Sorry for this little rant but I have a strong testimony of testimonies and the power they bring with them. I challenge each one of you to bear testimony of some principle of the gospel to someone you know. Just how you know it is true and how it has blessed your life. I promise you that you will feel a joy that you can't experience any other way. Your own testimony of that priciple will also be strengthened, and your Heavenly Father will be pleased with and proud of you.

On Friday, we had a really good lesson with Pia and David about the gifts of the spirit. It was a great lesson and the spirit was strong. It really made me want to discover and better my gifts from the spirit. We all have them and we can all improve them. Later that night, we had dinner with our branch president and his family. We had Salmon and it was so good! It is pretty close to the top now on my favorite food list. Right behind peanut butter. Anyways, for the lesson, we sang tons of hymns together all night. The spirit was seriously so strong. It is crazy how music can invite the spirit so quickly and how it can be there so strongly while singing. It was a great night. 

Saturday we met with Becky and Cat again. We watched the movie "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration" together. I had never seen it before and it was the best movie ever!! I love Joseph Smith!! He was a true prophet of God and I know that without a doubt! I am so grateful for everything he did and sacrificed for the church and for the Lord. I look up to him so much and I want to be just like him and how he was to those around him. After the movie, Becky kept saying how much she loves Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. She really does have a testimony, she just isn't acting on it and that is really frustrating for me. If she knows Joseph Smith was really a prophet then why not follow what he taught? We are just going to have patience and keep working with her. 

Sunday was our first week in the new chapel. It was so good and the spirit was so strong!! We had a bunch of visitors from the stake. It was testimony meeting and people went up one right after another! Elder Johanson and I didn't even get the chance to go up and we usually have to talk for about 10 minutes because of time! Each testimony was so powerful. It was a great sacrament meeting. Elder Johanson and I also sang in Sacrament Meeting yesterday. My long forgotten past of Suessical and Alice in Wonderland were brought back to life yesterday, hahaha. I am not the biggest fan of singing in front of people. But it turned out really really good! We sang "I'm Trying To Be Like Jesus". I will send a video of it next week. But lots of members came up and thanked us. One older lady from the stake came up to me and grabbed my hand with tears in her eyes and said thank you for all you do. She put some money in my hand and I tried to tell her no but she said it was for us to go out to dinner. I kept saying no but she said if I didn't take it she would make us come to Stockholm to have dinner at her house. She told me she knows we don't get fed a lot here so she wanted to treat us to some food. But I started crying as well when she squeezed my hand and told me how thankful she is for me and for what we do for the people of Sweden and for our Heavenly Father. It was an experience I'll never forget. 

Well folks, I am about out of time. I just want to give a quick happy birthday shout out to my best friend and girlfriend Haylee!! She is so amazing and does so much for me. She has taught me so much and continues to teach me everyday. I am so grateful for her in my life. She makes me so happy and I am so lucky to have her. Happy Birthday Hay! I love you!  
Thank you all for all you do for me. I really appreciate all the thoughts and prayers and emails. I promise I will get back to you all!! I am doing so well here and I am loving my mission.
Know that I love you all. 
Äldste Bailey

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Alex, your getting really really good at this. I love the thoughts and dept you have gained. Yesterday you thought me about the american word "word" and how it is used to say agree, or amen or yes. And im so grateful i learned that one becuase there is only one thing left to say about this weekly letter. WORD!