Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Day 404

Hello my friends!

We have passed day 400! So crazy! This week will be my one year mark in Sweden! What the heck?? Super weird.. Time flies! I am loving my time here in Sweden. I love my mission! 

This week was super good! Elder Williams and I worked really hard and have found some new people to teach! We met with some new people this week and did a lot of finding work. We got a bunch of new numbers and had a lot of fun meeting new people! 

So Tuesday morning, we met with a few of these new people. We met with two ladies from Africa named Hanna and Mary. We had called them both beforehand and only Hanna was interested. Mary told us that she was content with her own church and didn't really want to know about the Book of Mormon or anything. We taught both of these girls a couple weeks ago on the street. We taught them the restoration and they gave us their numbers and took copies of the Book of Mormon. So we finally set up a meeting with Hanna this Tuesday. When we met Hanna, we saw that she brought Mary with her. We could tell that Mary didn't really want to be there. Like that Hanna just dragged her along. Hanna is from Ethiopia and Mary is from Nigeria. They are both members of some baptist church or something I can't really remember. But we started off the lesson by asking them what their beliefs were and what kind of a role religion played in their lives. Mary started talking about her relationship with God and the Bible and they help her in her life. How they help her overcome challenges or help her with her weaknesses and all that jazz. I can't really remember everything she said, but what she said reminded me of Ether 12:27. So I pulled out the Book of Mormon and shared this scripture that means a lot to me, hoping that the spirit would touch her heart. Afterwords, she said that was nice, but that the Book of Mormon wasn't the Bible. When I pulled out the Book of Mormon and read from it, boom. It set of a spark that ignited the rest of our discussion. It was basically Mary who talked the whole entire time. We just went back and forth about the Book of Mormon and the Bible. This lady was the most stubborn person ever haha. It was so cool cause we kept our cool and she was getting kind of worked up. So every time we talked, the spirit could be felt. And every time she talked, it just felt like contention. So Mary hit us with every single Bible supporting point you could think of, and every time we came back with a scripture or fact to disprove it or show that the Book of Mormon is also the word of God and completes the gospel of Jesus Christ. Mary would just not accept the Book of Mormon as the word of God. They also thought that we were talking to much about the BOM and not the Bible. I just didn't understand because how can they know that The Book of Mormon is not the word of God if they have never read it? If someone testified and told you there was more scripture, more of God's word and teachings of Jesus Christ that could bless your life, why would you not read it? Even just test it? She was not even willing to just try. Just try and see if it wouldn't bless or change her life in some way. It came down our testimonies. The whole time the spirit was just burning in my heart and this scripture came to my mind that I love and that has had a strong influence on my throughout my life. 2 Nephi 33:

  "10 And now, my beloved brethren, and also Jew, and all ye ends of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good.

 11 And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye—for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things, notwithstanding my weakness.

 12 And I pray the Father in the name of Christ that many of us, if not all, may be saved in his kingdom at that great and last day.

 13 And now, my beloved brethren, all those who are of the house of Israel, and all ye ends of the earth, I speak unto you as the voice of one crying from the dust: Farewell until that great day shall come.

 14 And you that will not partake of the goodness of God, and respect the words of the Jews, and also my words, and the words which shall proceed forth out of the mouth of the Lamb of God, behold, I bid you an everlasting farewell, for these words shall condemn you at the last day.

 15 For what I seal on earth, shall be brought against you at the judgment bar; for thus hath the Lord commanded me, and I must obey. Amen."

I didn't read this scripture to them, but it came to my head. And maybe it was a little bold, but I testified so strongly about the Book of Mormon and I told her that it is up to her to accept the Book of Mormon as the word of God, but that I have done my part as a representative of Jesus Christ, and now it is up to her whether or not she wants to find out for herself if it is true. I told her that if she denies the Book of Mormon, that one day after this life, her and I would stand face to face at the judgement bar of God, and she will know and tell me that the Book of Mormon was true. Maybe a little bold, but I didn't regret saying it one bit. I knew the Spirit prompted me to say it and sometimes, people of this "Bible only and nothing else"  magnitude need to hear a higher magnitude testimony. The spirit was strong and the room was silent for awhile. But I said something else during that lesson that changed me and has increased my testimony so much in the Book of Mormon. Somewhere during that lesson, when they were ridiculing and questioning the BoM, I picked up a Book of Mormon off of the table in front of me and held up the book and looked them in the eyes and said "This book is true. And I will continue to say that until the day I die." Later on I said, "I would die for the Bible, and I would die for The Book of Mormon." When I said that I would die for this book, this feeling came over me that I can't describe. A warm feeling of peace and assurance. That what I was saying was true. All I could think to myself was, "wow, this really is true". And it is! Although these two ladies were not very interested, I believe that lesson was key for my testimony. During that lesson, my testimony of the Book of Mormon grew tremendously. I know it is true! I know it is the word of God and that it changes lives. I have received so much happiness and peace and comfort and strength from that book. It is true and it has brought me so close to my Savior. I know it's true otherwise I wouldn't have left home for 2 years to tell people about some fairy-tale. It actually happened and that is something to be excited about!  I am grateful for the testimony I have of the Book of Mormon and I will never be able to deny it. I am thankful for that lesson and how pivotal it was for my testimony. Sorry that was a super long experience, but you guys know I get carried away sometimes ;)

On Wednesday, we were able to meet a lady named Carla. She is in her mid thirties and she is originally from Peru so she spoke spanish but has luckily lived in Sweden long enough to be able to speak Swedish. We contacted her a couple weeks ago and she has been super busy so it has been hard to set up a time with her. We finally were able to meet her for about 45 min in a McDonalds. It was a really good lesson and she was very interested! She explained how since she has been here in Sweden, church and religion have kind of fallen out of her life and that she has noticed the difference. She also explained how she has been searching for the truth for awhile now and is totally willing to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. She was really positive and I am hoping to continue teaching her. She is awesome and the Spirit was so strong in that lesson as we testified about Joseph Smith and the Restoration, even in a McDonalds. ;)

Thursday we had a zone training with all the missionaries in the Göteborg zone! It was fun to see everyone and to see President and the Assistants! It was a super good training and I learned a lot. Later that night, we had a FHE at our ward mission leader's home. His name is Kirk and he is from Utah! He has the biggest heart and is super nice. It was a good time and the lesson was really good. There were some less active members and some investigators there. Prince was there, who is living with Kirk and is from Nigeria. Funniest guy you will ever meet! All he says is, "my brother" at the beginning or ending of every sentence hahaha. And sorry Elder Hemmingsen, Prince is coming home with me ;) We talked about the Book of Mormon and the Organisation of our church. Elder Alberstsen brought up this talk that I have never heard of before, but if you read it, you will know the church is true hahaha it just makes sense. And like after reading it, if our church isn't true, then no church is true. It is definitely a testimony builder! It  is called "What is the Blueprint of Christ's Church?" It just talks about the organizations and teachings and doctrines of our church now compared with the church in Christ's time. Give it a read!  https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/ces-devotionals/2014/01/what-is-the-blueprint-of-christs-church?lang=eng 

On Friday, we had a crazy experience that was super cool! Elder Williams and I were running for a bus that was about to leave. I was sprinting in front of Elder Williams and the bus doors were closing and I barely caught them and forced them open. Then as I got on the bus, I looked behind me and the doors shut and Elder Williams was on the outside hahaha. So then the bus left and I was completely alone! Elder Williams had the phone and so on the bus, I asked to borrow someone's phone and gave him a call. I told him to stay there and that I would get off at the next stop and get on the next bus coming back. So I continued to talk to the guy that I borrowed the phone from and it turned out that I had talked to him before so that was funny. But then when I got off the bus, It was just me and some other Persian lady alone at the bus stop. Then it hit me, I am alone at this bus stop with some lady. No companion, no other missionaries or members watching me. If I didn't want to talk to this lady, I didn't have to. no one would know. Well except the Lord I guess haha. And that is kind of what drove me and made me ask myself the question, "what kind of a missionary am I when no one is watching?". Do I really care about what the Lord thinks of me? Do I care about this lady standing next to me? Also, a line from this motivational speech this I heard one time popped in my head that says "A real man in the dark, when nobody's watching, puts in work.". When nobody is watching? Am I still serving the Lord and putting in work? So of course I talked to this Lady. She wasn't interested, but it made me happy to know that I did what I was supposed to even when nobody was watching. But that isn't the best part. When the bus came, I got on and sat down next to a woman. The same thought came into my head again and so I started a conversation. Long story short, we walked off the bus together and she had a Book of Mormon in her hand and I was teaching her about the Restoration of the Gospel. It was so cool. This woman was super interested and she took a Book of Mormon and said she would like to meet sometime. She said she would visit the church as well. I am glad that I listened to the spirit and talked to these two women. This was also a huge growing point for me in my mission. I found out that I care more about what the Lord thinks of me and wants me to do than what I want to do. It was a super cool experience and we know that it was supposed to happen because afterwords we found out that bus was the wrong one anyways! ;)

Well I've got to bounce! I love you all so much and want you to know that I love you! Thank you for all the emails and thoughts and prayers! The church is true and nothing is going to change that!

Stay strong!


äldste Bailey

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Love the experiences you gain when you follow promptings and just go for it! I have been thinking lots about that myself. How can I work as a missionary and put seeds in people's hearts and then I realized that's what I've been doing for a while already. Talking to people in the stores, my family and friends and their friends. With people on the bus or on the streets. I even got two Iranian people in contact with the church in Karlstad. It feels super good to know that even that little seed can do miracles in people's lives. Thanks for being a great example Alex. And just for the record my mail is working fine 😉Love, Pia