Monday, April 4, 2016

Day 453 - Why am I counting days? Oh well, can't stop after counting this far.

God eftermiddag mina kära vänner!!

Well hi there! How is everybody doing? Good, hopefully. Man, time is just going by too fast! This week flew by and we are already making our way into April! It doesn't really feel like April yet here. There is still snow and all the rivers and lakes are still frozen. But it is definitely warming up! And it is getting lighter and lighter! The light makes getting up a lot easier! Well, until it's light at 3 in the morning hahaha. Anyways, Elder Luke and I had a great week! We worked hard and found some new investigators! I love missionary work. It makes me so happy! 

Monday night was super fun! We had a family home evening with the YSA's in the branch! We went to the "mountains" (they are in quotations because there aren't really any mountains comparable to back home) to roast s'mores and to roast swedish stuff, like chocolate and bananas, and this stuff called "pinnbröd" (stick bread). You basically wrap the dough around the stick and roast it over the fire and it turns into this super good pretzel like bread! It was super good. One of the YSA's, Åsa, who was baptized about 2 years ago and is probably one of the coolest members ever, invited her friend from work. Her friend's name is Sara. We had a fun time and afterwords we were able to share a spiritual thought and discuss about it. Sara started asking a lot of questions about the church and about Christianity. We were able to answer her q's and even teach her a little bit almost the whole restoration lesson. She was willing to meet up again but she is super busy. I think she has like 5 jobs (including ice cream truck driver). So we are going to meet with her as much as possible. 

Wednesday was the deadline to switch our winter tires to our summer tires. In Sweden, they have winter tires that have these stud/spike things in them so you don't slide on the snow as much. And so you put those on sometime in October and then take them off sometime at the end of march/early april. The deadline for the mission cars was March 31st so we had to change the tires on the car. It was a fun experience. I learned a lot about cars from Elder Luke. He worked at a car place before the mish and loves talking about cars haha so he was in heaven when we were working on the car. 

Later that day, we were able to meet with a new investigator named Issa. I can't remember where exactly he is from, but it is a middle eastern country and he speaks Arabic, pretty good Swedish, and some other language. Urdu I think. Anyhow, he is such a stud! He is in his late 20's early 30's and is super cool. He doesn't believe in God but was super down to meet. We basically had a lesson about how we can come to know God is there and how we can receive an answer from him. I was touched by his willingness to test our message. He basically said in broken swedish, "okay we can try. And if God is there, great. I'll follow him. And if not.. *then he just shrugged*" haha We told him how this is going to require effort on his part. It will require diligence and consistency. An open heart and an open mind. We gave him Alma 32 to read and we taught him how to pray. He had us write it down for him. He told us he was going to read and pray right after we left. There's some faith right there! The spirit was super strong in that lesson and it was testifying to all of us that God is there. We haven't been able to meet with him since but we are hoping to meet with him this week.

Thursday was an absolute BLAST! I was able to go on splits with the one and only... ELDER HART! That's right folks, my very first companion as a missionary in the MTC. This was the first time I had ever worked around Elder Hart. We were both super stoked and excited for this. And let me just say this man is an amazing missionary! I was so impressed with his work ethic and the love he had for the people he is serving. He also takes very good care of his district. We were able to teach a few lessons throughout the day and it was so cool to experience teaching with Elder Hart after being away from him for over a year. I just thought back to the MTC as we were teaching our "investigator" in the worst swedish you could possibly think of, and how cool it was that, over a year later, we were together again teaching a real swede in a little town across the world in almost fluent swedish. Crazy! Anyways, it was super fun and we worked really hard and we had such a good time. I love that man! 

Friday, we were able to take the double decker bus up a little farther north to a city called Skellefteå for the Luleå, Boden, and Skellefteå district meeting. Elder Hart taught and it was super good! It was so fun to be able to spend time with those missionaries! They are awesome! It was fun to spend some time up there! We took the double decker bus back and I got to sit up top in the front! That has been one of my deepest desires since I came to sweden and I finally got to do it! It was everything I expected and more! 

This week, we were finally able to teach one of our investigators named Rita. Elder Burgin and I went on splits because Elder Luke wasn't feeling so well and it was such a good spiritual lesson! Elder Burgin and I taught really well together. So Rita is about 18 years old and has been investigating the church for about a year. Her dad was a convert to the church but passed away about a year ago. Her mom also listens in on the lessons. During the week, Rita told us that she had a friend who was also interested in the church and asked if she could be at the lesson too. So we got to Rita's house, and her friend Klara was there also. And it turned out that they were doing a report for school on the Mormon Church. We decided beforehand that we were going to focus more on Rita's friend in the lesson because she didn't know anything about the church. We started talking to Klara about her beliefs and interests. It turned out that she was actually genuinely interested in God and religion. She has no religious background and didn't know much about God or Jesus Christ at all but wanted to know more. We assured her that the answers to the questions she had could be found in the message we have to share. She was very interested and we were able to teach both of them the Restoration. The spirit was soooo strong and you could feel it and see in Klara's eyes that it was touching her heart. The lesson went very well and we answered all the questions she had. It was a lot of information for her but she said it made sense. She gladly accepted the invitation to pray to find out if God was really there. She was so happy to get a Book of Mormon and she even asked for our number! We got her number as well and hope to start teaching her more! She said that we could come back and share the rest of our message. It was just a really spiritual experience. It was very humbling to see the spirit change the heart and desires of someone as they listen to the message of the gospel. At first, Klara was just planning on doing a short report on our church, but afterwords, she was genuinely interested in the message of the restoration. I love missionary work so much. I love the opportunity I have to bear witness of the truthfulness of this message everyday! 

CONFERENCE!! It was sooooo good!!!! I don't think I have been more excited for anything on my mission. I'm pretty sure that missionaries get more excited for conference than Christmas out here! It was soooo good and I learned so much! I could honestly write pages about it but I don't have that much time. I maybe could quickly describe the feelings I had in the opening session. First of all, conference made me feel so close to home. Especially the two sessions we watched live. I knew my family and friends were watching and singing at the exact same time as me and that was kind of special. But as Elder Eyring opened conference and talked about how we are gathered together all over the world and read Matthew 18:20:"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.", the spirit hit me so hard. Here I am on the other side of the world in this little swedish chapel with three old ladies and two younger members, and we are apart of this meeting. And the spirit of the Lord was in the midst of us. Even in Umeå Sweden. I loved conference so much and I haven't even seen it all yet! We are going to watch the last session tonight. I am so excited! I love conference and the opportunity I have to hear the word of God. (D&C 1:38). I love going into conference with questions in mind that I know Heavenly Father will answer.

Anyways, I am about out of time. I love you all so much! Thank you for all you do for me! Thank you for the prayers and thoughts and emails. Have the best week ever! Remember that the church is true!

Know that I love you!



Äldste Bailey

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you had a great week again! Oh I still need to try smores.
    Nice that you can change the tires on the car and I bet he loved talkin about cars. Haha!
    Keep up the good work and take care. Love, Pia