Monday, December 21, 2015

Day 351 - God Jul! (Merry Christmas!)

Hej everybody!

How are you all doing? I know, you're probably wondering why I didn't send out an email last week. There is a reason I have been a little incognito the last two weeks. We are so busy! And last Monday was just crazy busy. There was an emergency transfer so we had to drop someone off at the train station and then pick up the new missionary a little later and we had to be downtown for the institute class and it was just crazy. But I have arrived in Göteborg/Gothenburg! It is so pretty here! It feels weird that I am just barely letting you all know what Utby (oot-bee) is like. It feels like I have been here forever! 

Training is going great. My greenie/son/new missionary's name is Elder Burton. He comes from Provo, Utah and is super cool. We get along great. I am working him pretty hard so he is tired most of the time, haha. But Utby is great! It is more of a residential area which is different from Uppsala. We are not in downtown Göteborg so it is almost a different kind of missionary work. We are doing great though and have some solid investigators! The ward is awesome here. It is one of the biggest wards in Sweden. Somewhere between 150-200 people each week. So that is cool! We have a cozy little living space under a members house! It's actually pretty small but we have our own washer and dryer so that's nice! Anyways I'm kind of getting off topic. We had a great hard working week and we have had some fantastic experiences!

So we have an investigator named Peter who we have been teaching the past couple weeks. He is from Lebanon and speaks Arabic and Swedish. He is so cool! His friend in California was recently baptized and told him to check out the church. So the Sunday before we came, Peter just walked into church and wanted to be taught. So the missionaries before us taught him there at church about the Book of Mormon and then we taught him the Restoration about 10 days ago and have taught him a couple times since then. The spirit is so strong everytime we teach him. In our last lesson, we committed him to a baptismal date for the 16th of January. He says he wants to read the whole Book of Mormon first, so we will see what happens. He really likes church and has been twice now. He is so cool and has come to institute and the YSA activities for the past two weeks. We are going to continue to work with him!

We have another investigator named Juha. His parents are from Finland, but he was born in Sweden. He was tracted into and shown the Christmas video that the church put out this year. He really liked it and wanted to know what we are all about.  And in order for us to teach him and it not be kind of weird with two completely new missionaries show up, Elder Albertsen and I taught him on Thursday. We taught Juha the Restoration again because he had forgotten a lot of it. Elder Albertsen and I taught a very good lesson and the spirit was very strong. Towards the end of the lesson, Elder Abertsen was bearing his testimony and the spirit was prompting me to invite him to be baptized. I had just met Juha, but the words "Be Bold" just kept coming to my mind. So when I was bearing my testimony, I told him flat out why we are here as missionaries and why our message is important. Then I invited him to be baptized. The spirit was literally burning in my heart and it felt so good. Juha said he would. It was so awesome and my testimony grew so much from that experience. I will continue to be bold with every person I meet. It is so important.  We asked him to pray about our message at the end of the lesson and he said that he was going to ask God the same question that Joseph smith asked. We met him again a few days ago and taught him the Plan of Salvation. He really liked it and thought that it made sense. The spirit was strong in this lesson and we planned to have Elder Burton extend a baptismal date to him. It was so cool to see the power that was coming from him even though he was struggling with his swedish. We set a date with him for the 23 of January. I don't know if I have felt the spirit so strong before. It was just an evidence to me that it doesn't really matter how good we are at swedish. What matters is that the Spirit is there and that we are teaching according to his guidance so that it can touch the hearts of the people we are teaching in the way they need to hear it. That is something I have worried about my whole mission. That people would judge me if I messed up, or that I had to sound eloquent to be convincing. Training has helped me realize that it is the same spirit who is with a missionary who has been out 23 months and a missionary that has been out 23 days. It is just important that we have the Spirit with us. "For when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men."

There has been so much going on the past week and I wish I could write about all of it. I don't have so much time left. But I want to just leave you all with a short Christmas message. It is in 1 Nephi 11:8-23: 

"8 And it came to pass that the Spirit said unto me: Look! And I looked and beheld a tree; and it was like unto the tree which my father had seen; and the beauty thereof was far beyond, yea, exceeding of all beauty; and the whiteness thereof did exceed the whiteness of the driven snow.

 9 And it came to pass after I had seen the tree, I said unto the Spirit: I behold thou hast shown unto me the tree which is precious above all.

 10 And he said unto me: What desirest thou?

 11 And I said unto him: To know the interpretation thereof—for I spake unto him as a man speaketh; for I beheld that he was in the form of a man; yet nevertheless, I knew that it was the Spirit of the Lord; and he spake unto me as a man speaketh with another.

 12 And it came to pass that he said unto me: Look! And I looked as if to look upon him, and I saw him not; for he had gone from before my presence.

 13 And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the great city of Jerusalem, and also other cities. And I beheld the city of Nazareth; and in the city of Nazareth I beheld a virgin, and she was exceedingly fair and white.

 14 And it came to pass that I saw the heavens open; and an angel came down and stood before me; and he said unto me: Nephi, what beholdest thou?

 15 And I said unto him: A virgin, most beautiful and fair above all other virgins.

 16 And he said unto me: Knowest thou the condescension of God?

 17 And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.

 18 And he said unto me: Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh.

 19 And it came to pass that I beheld that she was carried away in the Spirit; and after she had been carried away in the Spirit for the space of a time the angel spake unto me, saying: Look!

 20 And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms.

 21 And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father! Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw?

 22 And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things.

 23 And he spake unto me, saying: Yea, and the most joyous to the soul."

So Nephi wanted to know the meaning of the tree that his father saw. So he asked the angel to show him. We know that the tree of life represents the love of God. And what the angel showed him is really cool: the best way for the angel to have shown or depict the love of God, was, to show Nephi the birth of Jesus Christ. The angel could have shown Nephi anything, but he showed him the birth of the Savior. The act of our Heavenly Father sending his Only Begotten Son to the world to suffer and die for us, was out of complete love. He loves us more than we could possibly comprehend. He loved us so much that he sent his son to bleed and die. That is so special to me and I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for the love he has for me. I am also grateful for the Savior's willingness to come to the world and to give his life for me personally.  "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Christmas means giving. The Father gave his Son, and the Son gave his life. Without giving there is no true Christmas, and without sacrifice there is no true worship. Truly, Christmas means giving. Let us all remember the true meaning of Christmas this year and give of ourselves with love! I hope you all have a Merry Chirstmas! I love you all and am so grateful for all you do for me! Thank you for the thoughts and prayers! 

The quote I want to share with you this week is what my grandpa told me right before I left on my mission that I have kept in the back of my mind every since. 

"The 3 keys of success are: 

1. Work
2. Work
3. Work"

Have the best week everyone and know that I love you!


Äldste Bailey

1 comment:

  1. I am truly so glad that you enjoy Utby and Gothenburg! It's such a beautiful town! Although I like Uppsala more.
    So glad you already have two babtismal dates! It's great! You are working so hard and it is so great to see that it pays off. Wow! Handsome greenie kid you got there! Hope he will come to Katrineholm some time! I know you are having the best days ever and you're doing so good! I am super duper proud of you my dear friend. Miss you lots though especially around Christmas! Hope you like the gift I sent you! Love, Pia