Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Day 383

Hallå Hallåååå!

How is everyone doin? It has been a great week here in Göteborg! We are working hard and having fun! I love missionary work with all my heart! I love being able to go out every day and harvest and find the people who are prepared to hear the restored gospel! I love teaching the message of the restoration so much! There is such a special spirit in that message and it never gets old no matter how many times I teach it.  There is such a joy in watching people accept the gospel and I am so blessed to be apart of this work! This week was full of great experiences and fun times! I don't have a ton of time this week, so I will update you guys on just a few cool and funny things that happened! Well, okay super quick, it snowed a TON this week! And that is not normal here in Gothenburg! It usually just rains all the time. But this week, it snowed a lot. One day this week, it snowed like 14 inches over night. The city was not prepared for that haha so all the trains and buses and trams were shut down until later that day. That made us a little worried because that was on transfer day! Tuesday I think. We weren't sure if my new companion was going to make it on time or not. He ended up getting here on time and we have been working hard and having fun ever since! My new companion's name is Elder Williams. He is from Kaysville! Turns out we went to the same junior high school! We were even on the track team together one year. We didn't know eachother and we don't really recognize each other though. But still crazy! Small world. Anyways, he is awesome! We are getting along great and working hard!

This week, we visited the Bishop's family and ate dinner with them! We had a lesson directed towards their 14 year old son. We kind of role played and pretended that we were his friends at school and we asked him stuff like "Why do you go to church on Sundays?" or "Do you really believe in God? Why?".  It was super good for him. When I thought about it, I don't know how ready I really would have been to answer questions about the church if non member friends asked me them. It made me realize that we all need to be prepared to share the gospel in any situation. It is so important! We have the true church of Jesus Christ back on the earth! That is something to be excited about!! We need to share that with everyone we can! Whether you want it or not, missionary opportunities are going to come your way some time in your life. Sometimes when we least expect it. How ready are you to explain why you go to church or why you believe what you do? Make sure you are ready and prepared to share a little bit about the church and why we do what we do. Most importantly, be prepared to share your testimony! It is so important that we share the knowledge of this gospel with everyone we can! I want to share a quote from Henry B Eyring that one of good friends sent to me last week.  "Why should I speak to anyone about the gospel who seems content? What danger is there to them or to me if I do or say nothing? Well, the danger may be hard to see, but it is real, both for them and for us. For instance, at some moment in the world to come, everyone you will ever meet will know what you know now. They will know that the only way to live forever in association with our families and in the presence of our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, was to choose to enter into the gate by baptism at the hands of those with authority from God. They will know that the only way families can be together forever is to accept and keep sacred covenants offered in the temple of God on this earth. And they will know that you knew. And they will remember whether you offered them what someone had offered you." I hope this inspired you to be a better missionary and more effective tool in the Lord's hands. It did for me. It is so important to share what we know! I challenge all of you to pray for a missionary opportunity this week. I know if you show a little faith and pray for an opportunity to share the gospel, with real intent to act on that opportunity you receive, the Lord will trust you enough to give you a missionary opportunity. Share your testimony! It feels amazing to share our testimonies with others. Do it! I promise you that you will feel different. You will feel a sort of happiness that you wont feel any other way. You will feel the love of Heavenly Father and you will be happy knowing that He is proud of you and that you helped bring one soul closer to him.

On Friday, Elder Williams and I made a goal to make the Lord a bigger part in our companionship. We wanted to rely on the Lord more in our finding, teaching, and in all we do. So during this week, Elder Williams and I were walking through this forest (which was covered in snow and looked super cool) to get to a less active member's house. On the pathway there, our phone died because it was so cold. So we were kind of lost. We knew we were going the right way for awhile, but then we came to a fork in the road. We weren't sure which way to go. We were deciding, when I remembered our goal to include the Lord in our companionship. So I suggested that we pray and Elder Williams agreed. So we said a prayer and tried to listen to the spirit to know which way to go. I really felt like my answer to the prayer we had just said was to trust my companion. So I look at Elder Williams and he said he felt a warmth coming from one way. I said that is the right path then. So we went that way. A ways later, we came to some apartment buildings, but we were still not so sure where we were. As we passed the first apartment building, I noticed the door was propped open. (A lot of the apartment buildings here in sweden are port coded, so it is hard to get in.) I figured this was the Lord opening a door for us showing us where to go. We decided to take the chance and tract the building. Not one person answered. I was confused why I felt strongly about coming in here. But while we were in the building, our phone was able to warm up and we were able to turn it on. Once we checked google maps, we realized that we had taken the wrong way at the fork in the road where we prayed. Then I was even more confused. Why did we feel so strongly about the one direction when we prayed? Then the talk from Elder Holland come to my mind. The one were he comes to a fork in the road and I think he is with his dad and they pray to know which way to go and they come to a dead end. Then they realize that the Lord had them go that way because it was the quickest way for them to know that the other way was the right way. We experienced the same thing. I really believe that the Lord had us go that way so that we could warm up the phone in that apartment building so it could turn on and we could see that we were going the wrong way. And then turn back with enough time to make it to the area we were going to with a working phone. If we hadn't been able to turn on the phone, we wouldn't have been able to find the less active's house and we would have had no idea where we were or if we were on the right path if the Lord would have told us the right path in the beginning. Just like he did with Elder Holland, he knew that would be the quickest way to let us know that the other path was the right way. I know it was just a little experience, but it really strengthened my testimony. I think it was so cool that the Lord really did have his hand in our companionship and gave us help and guidance when we asked for it. I think that is something that everyone can work on. Try to make the Lord a bigger part of your life. Include Him in any decisions you have to make. He is there and He will help us and guide us when we let Him.

We are continuing to meet with and teach Sonyaa. She is doing great and came to church! She accepted the invitation to be baptized if she gets an answer! She is awesome and has been reading the Book of Mormon! She is so amazing and I am so grateful to be able to help her along this journey! The spirit is so strong when we teach her and she is making a lot of progress. We are going to meet with her tomorrow! 

Anyways, I got to go! Thanks for all you guys do for me! Thank you for the prayers and the emails and everything! I love you all so much! Let me know if there is anything I can do for you! Have an amazing week! 


Äldste Bailey

Monday, January 18, 2016

Day 376

Hallå där!

How is everyone doin? It's been a fantastic week here in Göteborg! I absolutely love it here! It has been soooooo cold this week! Yesterday morning it was -19 degrees Celsius! Not sure what that is in Fahrenheit but it's super cold!!! That is just down here in the southern part of the country! Even in Stockholm and above it's like -25 or -30 Celsius plus wind and humidity! Pretty dang cold! I like it though, it's so pretty! The forests are all white and it looks like Narnia haha. Anyways yeah it's cold! Luckily we have a car right now so we aren't out in the cold too much. But next week I won't have a car anymore so it's going to be chilly! I think it's supposed to warm up a little this week so that will be nice. I'm just glad I'm not up in Norrland (Like "North land". It's the northern part of the country). On of my best friends is up there and he said they basically only go outside if they absolutely have to because it's so cold! Haha crazy! Anyways, enough about the weather. Things are going great here! It has been a crazy past couple weeks and I am pretty tired. In case you forgot, I have been in a tripanionship with the Zone Leaders for the past two weeks. Zone Leader missionary work is a whole lot different than regular missionary work. Especially because they have a car. That makes it hard to talk to people on the streets and on trains and buses and stuff which is my favorite way to contact people. But we have been able to teach a lot of lessons with both of our areas combined in one. I have learned a lot from these guys and it has been super fun being with them these past few weeks. They are great missionaries and they are going to do great things this coming transfer! As for me, I will be getting a new companion named Elder Williams. He is a newer missionary and has been out around 5 or 6 months I think. It should be fun! It has just been a weird transfer in general with Christmas and New Years and my companion leaving and all that jazz. So I am excited to get back to the grind and go hard and baptize this whole country! 

I don't have a ton of time this week but thought I would update you guys on a few cool things that happened this week! It was a great week and we taught a lot of lessons and had a lot of cool experiences! And I know I say it almost every week, but I love being a missionary and I am so grateful for the time I have to serve my Father in Heaven! I am so grateful for everything I have learned and for the knowledge and personal relationship I have gained with my Savior. I love him so much and I am so grateful that I have been able to learn so much about him and come to know him personally. I have grown so much in my love for the scriptures and for the gospel. I really believe that while I have been out on a mission, that Heavenly Father has let me see people through His eyes, and that I have been able to feel an incredible amount of love for these people, which I believe is just a fraction of the amount of love our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for them. I have learned so much and gained so much experience and knowledge so far on my mission and I am so grateful for it! Again, if there is any of you out there contemplating going out on a mission, go!! If you don't, you are denying so much that your Heavenly Father has in store to bless you with. I can honestly say from the bottom of my heart, that a mission is worth it. It will change you! It is such a blessing and makes me so happy to be here in this beautiful country and to be able to serve God's children here and to help them find happiness and direction in their lives. Two years is honestly such a short time. I feel like it is the least I can give my Father in Heaven for everything He has blessed me with in my life and for everything I have learned on my mission so far. In fact, I don't believe I will ever be able to repay him. But I will do everything I can to try. A mission is the best thing you can do at this time in your life! I know it might seem hard, haha well it's going to be hard, but I promise it will be worth it. It will set the tone for the rest of your life. For the better. A mission is more of a blessing than it is a sacrifice. Well, there is another tangent haha sorry! I don't have much time and I just wrote a novel about missions! I felt like I needed to write it for someone so I did. Now on to the rest of the week!

So on Monday, we were able to meet with Peter. He had a lot of concerns and I think we kind of overwhelmed him because there was three of us and two members with us as well. Anyways, he was just acting kind of weird and brought up a lot of concerns that I thought we had resolved before. It was a good lesson and we kind of laid it all out there and told him if he wants to find out if this is true, it's up to him! He stayed for institute that night and the lesson that was taught was exactly what he needed to hear! It was a little about the apostasy and "why our church?". He liked it but wasn't super tentative during the lesson. And a few days ago, he texted us and said that he is not feeling good and wants to take a little break from meeting with us. I hope the spirit works in him while he takes this break and that he can realize what he is throwing away if he chooses not to meet with us anymore. We will continue to pray for him!

We met with Jenny and Fredrik a couple times this week! They are doing great! Jenny is going to be baptized in February so I will be able to be there for that! But I wont be teaching her anymore because I have a new companion now and they aren't in our area! But they are doing good and when we met them this week, Jenny explained how she wants to get married in the temple! So that is awesome. I know Elders Featherstone and Albersten will take care of them! 

So something cool! So there is a Swedish guy named Eriker who was baptized about a year ago who comes to church every Sunday. Every week he brings his 18 year old daughter with him as well. And ever since I have been here I thought she was a member. Then I found out she wasn't a few weeks ago and I was super surprised! So this week I asked Eriker and Sonyaa (that's her name) if we could come by and teach them. They said sure thing! So on Wednesday, we went over there and visited with them and ate some dinner with them. Then we asked Eriker why he joined the church and how he got an answer. We listened to him tell us about that for awhile and then talked to Sonyaa. We basically told her what we do as missionaries and told her the importance of our message. She knows a lot already from coming to church, but she told us she has a few concerns about the church. We asked her to tell us one right then, and she explained how she doesn't think it is fair for someone who doesn't believe in Jesus Christ to go straight to Hell. We chuckled and answered that one for her by explaining a little bit about the Plan of Salvation. She was surprised and we asked her if we could come by regularly and teach her more about this message. She said sure! Eriker was also all for it as well and told us to quote "baptize her already" close quote. We will see how it goes. We are not too sure about her beliefs still because we didn't have so much time, but we are excited to start teaching her and helping her reach the waters of baptism!

Okay so do you guys remember Caroline? She got baptized yesterday!!!!!!! I was able to skype in from a members house!!! It was so awesome and I am sooooo happy for her!!! She has honestly gone through so much and worked through so much to make it to this point! Her conversion story is honestly amazing and I am so grateful to be a part of it. The baptism was so great and the spirit was so strong. I am so proud of her for taking this step in following Jesus Christ! I wish I could explain how strong the spirit was at that baptism. She was honestly so happy afterwords and it was so good to see. I has gone through so much opposition and so many trials to get here. Her testimony is so strong and it helped her push through all of the trials and opposition. I am so grateful that God put her in my path and that she has decided to be baptized. I know it will bless her and her family for the rest of eternity! This is what missionary work is all about!! I don't think I can explain the kind of happiness that I felt when I saw her go under the water. It was amazing! The church is true!

Well I am about out of time! Thank you for everything you all do for me! Have the best week! 

Know that I love you guys!

Love, your friendly neighborhood missionary,

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Day 369

Hej på er allihopa!

Sweden is so beautiful! We have gotten a ton of snow this week. It's about a month late but whatever, it still came! It makes it feel so magical and cozy here, hahaha. But it is also super cold! Just like a cold that is sharp and goes straight to your bones. But it's a good time here :) Now that I think about it, despite the craziness, it was a great week with some amazing experiences that I will remember for the rest of my life. I love being a missionary!

So I'll start of with the first event of the week. So basically, my companion, Elder Burton, was having a pretty rough time on his mission and was not liking it very much. So, after a lot of thought and consideration, Elder Burton decided to return home. The next day, we got him on a plane back to the States. I really enjoyed my time with Elder Burton. He is a great person and friend. We had a bunch of fun together and he taught me a lot. I hope everything goes well for him back home. It was a good experience working and serving with him. 

On Tuesday, I pretty much spent the day in the mission office helping out the Office Elders. It was super fun but kind of made me appreciate the opportunity I have to be out on the streets everyday talking to people. I helped them with some orders and with the mission yearbook and stuff. It was a good time. I went to lunch with the office crew as well! That was super fun! We went to an american steakhouse/burger place. It was soooooooo good! Can't wait to come home to american food! ;) 

So then I took a train back that afternoon and got back to Gothenburg at 5:30. I am now in a tripanionship with the zone leaders, Elder Featherstone and Elder Albertsen (who are awesome, by the way!). At least until the end of the transfer. When I got back to Gothenburg, they picked me up and we went straight to a lesson with a part member family. The husband, Fredrik, is a member. And his wife, Jenny, is investigating the church. She has a baptismal date for next month. They are both so amazing!! Fredik went inactive for a lot of years and has been becoming active over the past month or two. He wants to baptize his wife Jenny. So he is doing everything he can to keep the commandments and become worthy to do so. He picked up smoking when he went inactive and he has quit again. It is so incredible to see the light and happiness in him change for the better as the Gospel of Jesus Christ has entered his life. The gospel has a funny way of doing that. When we accept and follow the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives, we will be happier, our lives will change, we will begin to feel Heavenly Father's influence and love for us, and we will begin to act on that love and help others. As we keep the commandments and obey God, we will be blessed. We will receive the power to meet lifes challenges and he will help us change our behavior and the desires of our hearts. I am so grateful for Christ, his gospel, and his atonement. Through faith in Jesus Christ, I know from personal experience, that he can heal us, both physically and spiritually. I know that if we turn to Jesus Christ and His atonement, we can receive help in our trials and He can relieve us of the guilt and shame that come from our sins. As we rely on the Atonement, we will feel the love of God, and He will help us with whatever we are going through. He will lighten the burden of our trials and the stress of everyday life. He will help us in our problems and challenges. We will feel joy, peace, and love! I will eternally be grateful for the atoning sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for ME personally and for YOU personally. I am so off track haha but I just want to end this little spiel with a quote I heard yesterday in Elder's Quorum from Howard W. Hunter. "If our lives and our faith are centered upon Jesus Christ and his restored gospel, nothing can ever go permanently wrong." So we taught Fredrik and Jenny about the spirit world and the three kngdoms. She had a lot of questions and was pretty confused but we explained pretty well and it ended up good. Then on Saturday, we met with them again and read 2 Nephi 31 and taught about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We talked mostly about baptism and the Holy Ghost. It was so awesome!!! The spirit was so strong and I know everyone in the room felt it. I am so excited for Jenny and I hope I am still around in a month when she gets baptized! This is one of the most amazing things about being a missionary. Seeing peoples lives change and watching that process happen! It gives you a certain kind of happiness that I can't explain. I love being a missionary!

Tuesday night, the three of us left on a little road trip to do work-overs in a few cities called Skövde and Jönköping. It was a fun time and I learned a lot. We spent wednesday in Skövde and helped out the missionaries there. They needed a little boost and some help in their area. They weren't getting along very well and we were able to go there and talk to them and help them and serve them. We worked really hard and it helped them out a lot. On our way home a few days later, one of the Skövde elders called us and told us how amazing their day went and that he would be 100% fine staying with his comp for another transfer!! That made us so happy! Because he was like destroyed when we got there. Just depressed and everything. But it made us so happy because we felt like we actually helped and made a difference! Then on Wednesday, we were in Jönköping. We did splits there and it was a good time. We felt like we helped them out as well. 

A short funny thing that happened while we were tracting an apartment building was that an angry kinda drunk guy came out of his apartment and started yelling at us and telling us to get out. I didn't let this guy just yell at us. Like we weren't doing anything wrong at all. So I talked to him (don't worry I kept my cool haha) and we explained what we were doing and that we were here to help people and this guy wouldn't budge. He even went and opened the elevator door for us. I wasn't gonna go anywhere. There were people who needed the gospel in that apartment building! He was being super rude so I punched him right in the face. Haha just kidding I bore my testimony to him instead! And I don't know if it was because he felt the spirit and his heart was softened or because he was a little drunk, but his mood changed completely and invited us into his apartment! We taught him a little about the Book of Mormon and what makes our church different. The spirit was definitely there. But at the end, he ended up taking a Book of Mormon and giving us his number and he said he would come to church on Sunday. I don't know if he ended up coming because this was in Jönköping, but it was a really cool experience because this guy went from being angry and literally about to fight us to letting us into his home and hearing the message of the restoration. I am grateful for that experience and how it strengthened my testimony! I know that the message we carry as missionaries really does change and soften the hearts of those we talk to everyday. 

So Friday and Saturday were pretty good! So for the first time on my mission, I have a car now being in this tripan! It is both good and bad! It makes it hard to contact people and talk to them which I love. But it also makes it easy to get to places efficiently and on time. On Friday, we met with a new convert named Azi, she is so awesome and we taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ! She is from Iran and helped me out with my persian ;) 

On Saturday, we visited another new convert named Lennart. He is around 70 years old and super funny. We taught him about the priesthood because he is going to receive the priesthood next week. He had a lot of questions about the priesthood. Like, why authority is even needed. He converted from the Pentecostal church and in that church, one can just touch another person where there is pain or sickness and pray and heal them. So he was pretty confused about that. We explained priesthood authority and why it is needed. We also had a great lesson yesterday in sunday school on the priesthood. I am grateful for the priesthood in my life and I am thankful for a God that trusts us with his divine power. Anyways, it was super funny because Elder Albertsen has gained quite a few pounds on his mission and he is heading home in about 3 months. So he wanted me to help him lose weight. So Lennart was feeding us some pretty unhealthy sandwiches and I told Elder Albertsen to only have one and Lennart asked why and Elder Albersten explained how he is trying to eat healthy. Then Lennart went on for about 30 minutes on eating healthy and why it is important and how he can lose his "stomach". He told Elder Albertsen that there is still hope for him hahaha Elder Featherstone and I were laughing so hard. Then it got even funnier because we wanted to measure Elder Albertsen’s stomach so he got out a tape measure and was measuring his stomach! It was probably one of the funniest things ever! We also got our stomachs measured as well. It was pretty funny.

On Sunday, Fredrik blessed his baby in sacrament meeting. It was such a miracle to see him do that because he has been inactive for so long. Then afterwords I told him how amazing his blessing was. He told me "Well, yesterday we talked about the Holy Ghost when you guys were over. I was so nervous, but I really tried to listen to the promptings of the Spirit and I know that everything I said come from him. I know that if I followed the spirit, everything would be fine." Fredrik is so awesome and had some amazing comments in Elders quorum! He and Jenny are so amazing and I am blessed to be able to work with them and see their progression. I don't know if I will be able to work with them much longer but we will find out about transfers on Friday! Their goal is the temple and that will be so amazing when they make it there!

Well, I am just about out of time. I can't believe it has been over a year that I was dropped off at the MTC. It has been an amazing journey and I am so blessed to still have half of it left. I am determined to work harder, learn more, serve more, and come as close to my Heavenly Father and Savior as possible. I am so grateful for my mission and how much it has helped me in my life. I cannot begin to describe the blessings I have received and how I have changed for the better because of my choice to serve. I love my mission and my Savior and I am so lucky to be able to be here in Sweden for two years to serve Him and bring as many souls to him as I can. I want to also thank you all for your love and support and prayers. I love each of you and pray for you. Keep sending me emails because I love to hear from you! I am getting better at responding so I will try my best! I just don't have so much time, but I love hearing how life is going back home! It makes me happy! Anyways, let me know if there is anything I can do for you guys! 

Know that I love you!


Äldste Bailey

Monday, January 4, 2016

Day 362 - Gott Nytt År! (Happy New Year!)

Hej everbody! 

Wow it feels like a while since I have written a letter! Hope everyone had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year! Things are going great here in Göteborg and we are continuing to work our rumpor off! It is still super cold here but we don't let that stop us! We actually got a bit of snow this week! Finally! Buuuut by now it's all melted. But it's all good. I'm super happy that I had at least a couple days with snow. Pretty much everywhere north of here has snow, so that's pretty lame. But anyways this week was good! Missionary work is definitely a struggle sometimes but it is definitely worth it. I would say that a mission is more of a blessing than it is a sacrifice. I will be eternally grateful for what I have learned and experienced on my mission. I have learned things and developed attributes that I will use the rest of my life. A mission has also strengthened my testimony in Christ and in the restored gospel tremendously. This church is absolutely 100% true and there is nothing in this world that can or will change that. 

This week was full of finding and teaching and all that jazz! We also were able to spend New Year's Eve with a member family which was super fun! We had an overall great week! I am so sorry but I don't have a whole lot of time today. We have a lot to take care of right now and a lot is going on right now so my mind is super scattered but I will try to update you on as much as I can! 

On Monday last week, we were able to meet with Juha and we taught him the first half of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Faith and Repentence. It went really well. He is doing well and progressing. The spirit was strong and it was a good experience. Afterwords, Juha bought us lunch which was super nice of him! That evening, we were able to teach Peter, the man from Lebannon. He is doing so well and reading the Book of Mormon but he doesn't seem to be getting an answer. We taught him about Faith and Repentence also. It was a really great lesson and the spirit was definitely there. We taught him in the YSA center which was super cozy. Afterwords, the YSAs had an institute activity and Peter stayed and had a great time! His friend from California told him to find YSA and get involved with that so he loves YSA! We had a message about new year resolutions and we watched the Mormon Message about it! If you haven't seen it go watch it! It is super good! It is about looking forward and not looking back! It talks a little bit about the story of Lot's wife. Here is a little bit out of a talk from Elder Holland about that story:

 "The start of a new year is the traditional time to take stock of our lives and see where we are going, measured against the backdrop of where we have been. We read in Luke 17:32, "Remember Lot's wife." Why did the Lord say this and what did He mean? The Lord told Lot and his family to flee the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah due to the wickedness that prevailed in the cities. The Lord said, "Escape for thy life, look not behind thee.....; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed." (Genesis 19:17) With less than immediate obedience and more than a little negotiation, Lot and his family ultimately did leave town, but just in the nick of time. At daybreak the next morning the scriptures tell us, "The Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities." (Genesis 19:24-25)
"With the Lord's counsel, "look not behind thee" ringing clearly in her ears, Lot's wife, the record says, "looked back," and she was turned into a pillar of salt. There is much to be gained about understanding "looking back and looking ahead." One of the purposes of history is to teach us the lessons of life. So, apparently what was wrong with Lot's wife was that she wasn't just looking back; in her heart she wanted to go back. It would appear that even before they were past the city limits, she was already missing what Sodom and Gomorrah had offered her. It is also possible that Lot's wife looked back with resentment toward the Lord for what He was asking her to leave behind. So, it isn't just that she looked back; she looked back longingly. Her attachment to the past outweighed her confidence in the future. The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We must remember that faith is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives. Lot's wife doubted the Lord's ability to give her something better than she already had. "To yearn to go back to a world that cannot be lived in now; to be perennially dissatisfied with present circumstances and have only dismal views of the future; to miss the here-and-now-and-tomorrow because we are so trapped in the there-and-then-and-yesterday--these are some of the sins of Lot's wife."Paul talked of his conversion to Christ, "This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ." (Philippians 3:13-14) So, as we move forward in 2016 I say to each of you, "Remember Lot's wife." Faith is for the future. Faith builds on the past but never longs to stay there. Faith trusts that God has great things in store for each of us and that Christ truly is the "high priest of good things to come."

On Tuesday, we had a really cool experience. We were doing some swing by's and we decided to swing by a man that the elders before us had tracted before. His name is David and when the last missionaries came by, he was busy and said that they could come back another time. So we came around and knocked this week. About a month after the other elders went by. We knocked on his door and he invited us right in. That seldom happens here in Sweden so we were super surprised. We were excited and went in and sat down. David is from Africa and plays semi-pro soccer for Sweden. He lived in Cameroon I think for awhile and played soccer there and actually met the missionaries there. He was taught a lot and had a Book of Mormon. He actually knew a bit about the church. He was really good friends with one of the missionaries there. And when he was leaving Cameroon, the missionaries told him that "no matter where you go, the missionaries there will find you. And you have to promise to let them in." So that was cool. He also lost contact with those missionaries and lost his Book of Mormon on the way here. So he happily let us in. He is so cool! We taught him a little bit about the Restoration because we didn't have so much time but he said he would love to continue meeting and that he would love to come to church on Sunday. It was so cool! It was a testimony builder to me that no matter where people go, the restored gospel will always find them. I know that David is definitely prepared to accept the gospel and I know that the Lord led us to him at that time. It is so cool how the Lord doesn't let any of his sheep go lost. I am excited to continue to work with David and help him understand and receive the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

Later this week, we met with probably the most humble and happy man I have ever met in my life. He is blind. His name in Inge Nordås and he has been blind his whole life. He has never seen color or light or anything. But yet he has the best attitude and outlook on life than anyone I have met before. He is a less active member in the ward and he struggles with drinking coffee. But the whole time we were there we were just laughing and having fun together. I really hit me hard how blessed I am in my life. Even the fact that I can see. I bet not too many people think about that. I know I didn't. I think sometimes we don't realize how blessed we really are. Take a second and think about how many blessings you have, it will brighten up your day. Also, it really showed me that no matter what trials or challenges you have, you can always find happiness and hope and love through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Sorry I am ending this so shortly but we have to go. I am so grateful for each and every one of you and all you do for me. Thank you for all the prayers and emails and thoughts. I want you all to know that I am doing well and that I am happy and that I am LOVING my mission. I am really becoming the man my Heavenly Father wants me to become. 

Know that I love you all!


 Äldste Bailey