Monday, March 14, 2016

Day 432 - Kasta inte yxan i sjön!

Well hallå där!

How is everyone doing? I hope everyone is well! I sat here for a while trying to think of something clever or funny to start this thing out with but I can't think of anything haha so I guess I'll just get right into it!

I absolutely LOVE it here in Umeå! It is absolutely incredible here! It just keeps getting prettier and prettier. It's really starting to warm up too! I think it was like 5 or 6 degrees today and the sun was out! We rarely see the sun here cause it's either dark or cloudy but it was out today. And in the morning, it is in the exact perfect spot because we have a balcony door that it shines right through onto our kitchen floor. So this morning I opened the door and just laid there on the kitchen floor for awhile and it felt sooooo good! Haha sometimes you forget how much you love the sun. Anyways, back to the week. It was a super fast week and it feels like we didn't do much even though we did a ton. 

On Tuesday morning, we flew down to the mission home for MLC (Mission Leadership Council) with all the zone leaders and sister training leaders in the mission. It was such a good time and a super spiritual experience. President and Sister Beckstrand and the Assistants taught about the Easter message that the church has just come out with and how we can use it in our finding and teaching. They also focused on the Plan of Salvation and on "hope". It was such a cool experience and there were so many good comments and thoughts shared. I came out of MLC with a whole different view and perspective on hope. I never really realized the importance of hope. If we have faith, if we believe in things we can't see and act on that belief, why do we need to hope? I don't think I really understood what hope actually was. I always thought of it as something like "oh gee, I hope that it will be sunny tomorrow.. or.. I hope that Larry calls me.. or I hope that I will have enough time to finish this e-mail and say everything I want to say" Haha you get the idea. But In the language of the gospel, hope is sure, unwavering, and active. The scriptures always talk about a “firm hope” and a “lively hope.”. There is a quote from Dieter F Uchtdorf that I love that talks a little bit about what hope actually is. " Hope is not knowledge, but rather the abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promise to us. It is confidence that if we live according to God’s laws and the words of His prophets now, we will receive desired blessings in the future. It is believing and expecting that our prayers will be answered. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance. With hope comes joy and happiness. With hope, we can “have patience, and bear our afflictions.” So hope is not just wanting something to happen, it is believing and expecting that something will happen. It is completely trusting in the Lord and that he will fulfill his promises to us. It is a pure trust. An expectation. I never really thought of it that way. It is kind of the fuel to our faith. The attitude side. The assurance that if we act on this hope, we will be blessed. And completely expecting the outcome of our action to happen. It's super cool if you take a second and think about it. All hope has its center in Jesus Christ. If you read in Moroni 7:41-42, it talks about what our hope is centered in and what we hope for.  "And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise." That is what it boils down to. That we have hope in Jesus Christ and in the resurrection and in the atonement. That is what the Easter message is all about. It gives hope. And hope is something this country needs a lot of right now. Hope that there is more. Hope that we really will live again and that those we love who we have lost, that we will see them again. Hope that our pains and burdens and guilt can be taken away. Hope that we can change. Hope that we can find new life in Jesus Christ. It is so amazing. I am so grateful for my Savior and for the hope I have in the resurrection. I believe, and I also expect to see my family again. I believe and expect to be resurrected, and I have hope that through the atonement of Jesus Christ, we can be healed, cleansed, and strengthened. 

Also at MLC, I was able to see Elder Burton from my MTC group!!! I missed him so much! I hadn't seen this guy in like a year because we were always in different zones. It was super good to see him!! It was so cool cause I haven't seen Elder Burton in like a year and it was like we were right back in the MTC just laughin and joking around. The cool thing about it though was that we were talking a little bit and we just noticed how we were both the same people but at the same time how much both of us have grown and developed over the past year. It is so cool to see how the mission changes people for the better. Elder Burton is an absolute stud and I look up to him a ton. He has become one of my closest friends and I'm thankful to be able to serve here in Sweden with him. It's actually super cool because one of my other closest friends, Elder Carrigan, and I are in the same district now, and the three of us have never been in the same place since we said bye at the mission home. And next week, we are all going to be at zone conference together! So it's gonna be a party :)

On Wednesday, we were able to meet with one of our investigators, Rita. She is 18 years old and half Persian and half Swedish. This was the first time I had met her. She has been meeting with the missionaries for about a year now I think. Anyways, she lost her dad about a year ago as well and her brother has a brain tumor.. We went into this lesson planning on teaching the Plan of Salvation, but the Spirit clearly directed us to teach something else, more to her needs. We basically taught the whole entire lesson on the Atonement and how it can strengthen and comfort us in times of need. The spirit was honestly so strong. We had a member with us who just got back from her mission in Russia and she bore such a powerful testimony and was able to connect so well with Rita. Man, I just can't describe the spirit I felt as I bore my testimony about the Atonement and eternal families and how she is going to see her dad again and that I knew that with all my heart. It was such a spiritual lesson. It was just so cool because I was really able to describe and express my personal feelings for the Atonement and how it has helped me in my life and how it can help hers. How she always has someone to turn to who knows exactly what she is going though and who can help her and comfort her. I know Rita felt the spirit and she is currently reading in the BoM and trying to get an answer. 

On Friday, we were able to hold Zone Training here in Umeå and the whole Norrland zone traveled in to be a part of it. Elder Luke and I did really well. It was such a good experience and the spirit was so strong. It was just so cool because I really worried beforehand about what I was going to say and whether or not it would be what the missionaries listening needed to hear. I prayed about it a lot and got the answer that it really doesn't matter what I say as long as I follow the spirit. Because what these missionaries need to hear and feel with come through promptings from the Holy Ghost. So I made sure to prepare myself to be able to be lead by the spirit. And as we were teaching, it was such a humbling experience to see tears in the eyes of the missionaries. I just knew that the spirit was touching their hearts as we talked about the hope that Jesus Christ has to offer through his Atoning sacrifice. It was a neat experience.

Well I am out of time folks! I gotta bounce but i want you to know that Elder Alex Bailey knows that the church is true. Without a doubt. And that he would die for this church and for the Book of Mormon. I am so grateful for my testimony and the peace and direction it gives me in my life. I am thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ and that I have the blessing and honor of wearing His name on my heart every single day. He is my best friend and he gives me so much help every day. I will continue to fight for his army until the day I die. I absolutely love being a missionary with all my heart. I wouldn't trade this opportunity for the world. I love my Savior. I love this work. And I love this church. It is true. I promise. 

Remember that I love you!


äldste Bailey

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I love your thoughts about hope. I think without hope we would be a bit lost. I need hope about things in my life or about the future. I'm so happy you like it up in UMEÅ. Keep up the good work and enjoy every moment o your mission. Love, Pia