Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Day 309


How is everything across the ocean? Things are great here! We had a great week here in Uppsala (pronounced oop-saw-la in case you were wondering). Elder Blackburn and I have been working really hard this week and have had fun while doing it! I am truly blessed to be here in this country at this time. I see miracles everyday and my testimony in my Savior Jesus Christ has become unshakable. I have a lot to talk about so I am going to jump right in to the week!

On Tuesday, we were contacting downtown and saw an African man leaning on his bike. We felt like we needed to go up and talk to him so we did. We told him who we were and he then told us that he used to be a Mormon back in Africa 10 years ago. His name is Lewis. We continued to talk to him and he told us that he had the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods, and that he was preparing to go to the temple. In a polite way, we asked what happened. Turns out that he was a very active member and then he got drafted into the army in Nigeria and was moved up to an area of only muslims. From there he just kind of drifted away from the church and got lost. He came to Sweden and couldn't find the Mormon Church so he has been visiting other Christian churches for the past 10 years. He did have a few concerns about the church and the Book of Mormon and we were able to address those right there on the street. He was very excited to meet us and we gave him another Book of Mormon and invited him to church. He works a lot so it is going to be hard to get him there, but we are excited to start meeting and working with him to bring him back to the fold! It was just a really cool experience because it's probably a 1 in 1000002023 chance that you contact a random person and they end up having the Melchizedek Priesthood so that was cool. I am also thankful for the guidance of the Spirit that led us to finding him. My testimony of relying on the Spirit was definitely strengthened that morning. And I really do know that the Lord does not let any go lost. He really does care about that one out of the ninety nine. 

On Thursday, we had a zone training in Stockholm. It was really good. We talked about diligence and faith. I learned a lot and really felt the spirit. One thing we did was break up into districts and set some goals for the transfer. One goal centered on building our faith, and the other set on increasing our diligence as servants of the Lord. For the faith goal, I am going to send out a general conference talk each week to the district and have each missionary read it once a day. And at the end of the week, we will have a conference call and discuss what we have learned and share our insights. I did this in my last district. It helped me so much and as I studied the talk each day, I learned something new and my testimony was strengthened in a different way. I also loved hearing everyone else's comments and insights. It was really good and I think it will really help our district. The other goal that we set was to testify of Jesus Christ in every single lesson we teach. Whether it be a planned lesson or a contact on the street or on the bus. In every lesson. I have talked to SO many people who say, "Yeah I think Jesus was a good person who taught and did good things, nothing more." You would be surprised how many people believe this. And I think this C.S. Lewis quote best explains my thoughts. “You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” As I have testified of Christ in every single lesson I have taught, a real power hits my heart and I know it hits the heart of the people I am talking to. I can see it in their eyes. And they know that I absolutely mean what I say with all my heart. My personal testimony of Christ has grown so much. And as I share that with others, I am letting the Spirit bear witness to them that this man is the Savior and Redeemer of the world. I want you all to know that I know that without any doubt. And that he lives today and leads this church himself. He also leads the missionary work here and I am more than honored to serve him at this time in my life.

That night, we stopped by a less active family to give the dad a blessing. It was a wonderful experience and the spirit was strong. But the reason I am writing about this is because they had legit star wars lightsabers! They were so awesome haha and we spent awhile dueling in their living room. It was super fun. Probably the highlight of my week hahaha.

Later that same night, we went by this club (not the kind of club youre thinking) in the city. It's like a club for college students. It is in a basement of a building. Haha this is sounding more and more sketchy as I describe it but it wasn't bad at all. It is like a conservative party club where they highlight different organizations each week that come and speak to them. So our church was highlighted this week and about 3 people from the stake came and put on a presentation. It was really well done. It was just kind of ironic because a few people were drinking beer and there was a coffee break in between speakers. But it was really good and the people that came were really interested. We only stopped by for a little bit and dropped off about 8 copies of the Book of Mormon. We also had the opportunity to talk to a few people. We met a really positive guy named Sebastian. He didn't take part in the coffee or drinks at all. He was really nice and really interested. We taught him a little about the church and gave him a Book of Mormon. We are hopefully going to meet him this week. This whole thing was just a cool experience because all these young people were very interested and it was cool to hear the Restoration taught by this man from the stake. 

Friday night we were able to go on splits with a family from the ward. Their whole family split up with all the missionaries here in Uppsala. It was such a great experience and really strengthened my testimony of member missionary work. That was probably the most successful day of the week. I know that as the missionaries and the members of the church work together, miracles happen!

Saturday morning, we spent hours outside the church raking leaves in the rain. Kurt, the guy in charge, is pretty much the manliest man ever so he insisted that we keep raking. It was a super fun time and I'm glad I could help out with keeping the ward building nice.

So we were able to meet with Klara a few times this week and she is doing so good! She has lots of questions and wants to know more. She reads everything we give her, but she just has problems with praying by herself. She offers such powerful prayers after our lessons. But she just struggles with doing it by herself. There are a few reasons, one being that she is too worried about what to say. But we are really trying to help her. She is doing so well and really progressing. She came to all 3 hours of church this week and loved it! We also got a baptismal date with her this week for the 29th of November! She still hasn't received her answer yet, but it is a date that we have decided to work towards. So if you could keep her in your prayers, that would be great.

On Sunday, I had to give a talk in Sacrament meeting. For those of you who know me pretty well, I have a tendency to push things back to the last minute. So I have a new favorite quote now. "If you leave everything to the last minute... it will only take a minute!" Haha just kidding I've actually gotten a lot better. Anyways, just this once, I kind of pushed the talk back to the last minute. So I gave the talk and it wasn't my best talk. But I really did rely on the spirit to teach and testify to the people I was speaking to. I was actually pretty disappointed with this talk compared to the other talks I have given in my missionary career. But I prayed a lot for this one that the spirit would teach and not me. Anyways, after the sacrament meeting, person after person came up to me and thanked me for my talk and expressed how they felt the spirit. I am thankful for the Spirit that is with me and that I can rely on him to teach and testify of the truthfulness of my message. 

Oh also, Elder Blackburn and I had to play the organ in sacrament meeting. We can both only play about 2 or 3 hymns, so we switched off. It was a good experience. Never thought I would be in Sister Ross's spot on the organ in my life haha. It was actually pretty fun even though. I messed up a few times. FYI the pedals on the bottom of the organ are not the same as the pedals on a piano hahaha

Well folks, I have to head out. I just want to say thanks for everything. You guys really mean so much to me. Thank you for the prayers and the thoughts and the emails. I love and pray for all of you. I want you all to know that I am happy and doing well! Again, I am so grateful for my mission and the lessons I learn each day. I know, without a doubt, that this church is true. 

Ha en fantastisk vecka mina vänner och festa hårt!


Äldste Bailey

1 comment:

  1. Hej! Spännande att läsa om din tid här i Uppsala. Har försökt kontakta dig men inte lyckats. Bokar gärna in ett möte!

    Hälsningar Caroline