Monday, April 11, 2016

Day 460

Hej hej!

Hope everybody is doing well! It has been another great week here in Umeå. I love it here! It is really warming up and the sun is starting to shine! This morning, I automatically woke up at 5:30 because of the amount of light in our room. I totally thought it was about 6:30 so I got up and started doing the morning routine. A few minutes later when I looked at the clock, I realized it was 5:30 and I still had an hour to sleep! Elder Luke also said it was starting to get light at like 4 in the morning. So yeah it is getting a lot lighter here which is nice! In other news, this week is transfer week! Elder Luke and I will be staying together for another 6 weeks. We are both excited for another round here in Umeå! Our dear Elder Loertscher will be leaving us.. He will be moving down to Hägersten in Stockholm. He will do so good there! We are going to miss him so much. We are also getting a missionary from Stockholm named Elder Jones. Elder Luke was friends with him in high school and they are from the same mtc group so that will be fun. What is weird is that out of our new Umeå crew, I will be the youngest! 

Well, the mission is continuing to fly by and sometimes I feel like I can't keep up. This transfer has been a series of ups and downs and I am grateful for the learning and growing experiences I have had. My testimony has been tested more than it ever has over the past six weeks. But at the same time it has also been strengthened more that it ever has. My trust and diligence to the Lord has been tested and also to the people I am teaching. This transfer was really hard in regards to finding and retaining investigators. But I know as I give the Lord and these people everything I have, He will guide me and strengthen me. Like we have found a lot of new people. The only problem is their own willingness to search for and accept an answer. I know that we can't force people or anything like that, but it is so hard trying our very best to give these people the true restored gospel and then watching them deny it or not be willing to even try. Things like this can really take a shot at your testimony. But honestly, I am so grateful that I have been tested in this way. It has really strengthened my testimony and as I have been praying my heart out, I have realized my dependence on my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I can't do this alone. I have also gained a personal relationship with them that has helped my testimony so much. And I always thought a sure, fast, immovable testimony would come all at once. Like the snap of fingers. But from what I have experienced, my testimony has come from hours and hours of showing my faith. Praying, reading, testifying. It has also become strong as it has taken so many blows and hits from outside forces. It's kind of like our body. When we work out, we get strong. When we take lots of hits and blows, literally and figuratively, we become tough. Or like a refiners fire. Our testimony will increase as we use it. It will also increase and become stronger as we rely on it and fall back on it in times of opposition, confusion, or persecution. I am thankful for the testimony I have and that I am working on building each day. It's a process. It takes time. This kind of testimony is available for everyone. God is no respecter of persons. Those who put in the work will receive the reward. You just have to have a open mind and an open heart and then go to work. Do the things that will build it up. There have been a lot of spiritual experiences in my life that have strengthened my testimony. And when we receive a spiritual experience, we can't settle there. We need to keep going and keep having spiritual experiences. Because how much easier is it to fall back on one spiritual experience, than to fall back on a whole armory of spiritual experiences that you have had because of your faith and diligence. Because the opposition is going to come, that is for sure. And when it does, we need to make sure we are ready to stand firm in what we believe. I think that the more we strengthen our testimonies, the more opposition will come. That is why it is so vital to continue to "work out" our testimonies and make them stronger through the simple things that bring us closer to God. I am not perfect, nor will I ever be perfect. And I know that. And God knows that. But he expects me to try my best. I need to do better with the simple things as well because there is no limit to how strong our testimony can be. Holy cow what a rant I didn't mean to do that! Sorry!

I'll make the rest of this shorter. I don't have a whole lot of time anyways. This week we were able to meet with a couple new investigators! On Wednesday, we met with a 24ish year old girl named Ylva. She investigated a little bit back when Elder Featherstone was here. We met her in the Church with a YSA girl name Erica who is a powerhouse member missionary. Erica and Ylva were actually friends growing up so it wasn't awkward at all. We got to know her and set up expectations with her. I than proceeded to ask her about her beliefs and such. He then said how there are things that she doesn't agree with that our church believes. I asked her what those were and it just set off a chain reaction. We talked forever about a lot of different topics. It was good and we were able to answer her questions and oppositions to the best of our ability. Close to the end I was getting kind of irritated and felt like she was just bringing up all this things that attack the church. So I asked her the question, "Ylva, varför träffar du missionärerna?" which being interpreted means, "Ylva, why do you meet with the missionaries?". It kind of caught her off guard. She thought for a moment and then said that she was actually interested in what we believe. Also, that she wants to learn more about God and strengthen her relationship with him. She said it would take a lot for her to become mormon. We closed up the lesson with our testimonies and left. Afterwords, we talked to Erica and we both agreed that maybe it would be best right now to help her strengthen her relationship with God. So that is what we are going to focus on with her. It was an awesome lesson and Erica helped out so much. The spirit was definitely there. 

On Thursday, I got to go on splits with one of my best friends Elder Carrigan. It was almost a year ago that we went on splits last. It was honestly so much fun. That kid makes me laugh more than anyone else. We worked really hard and had an absolute blast! He is an amazing missionary and I'm super grateful that I have gotten to know him so well. He actually just got called to be the ZL down in Malmö. I am soooo jealous of him!!! So much of my heart is in that city. He is going to do great there! Love you buddy!

On Friday, we were able to meet with our investigator named Louise. She is pretty old but probably the nicest old lady in Sweden. She was so open to our message and even fed us broccoli soup! We taught her the restoration. The spirit was so strong in that lesson and we invited her to read and ponder and pray about the Book of Mormon. We invited her to be baptized! She said if she receives an answer that this message is true, she said she would. So we are going to keep her in our prayers. 

Last night, Elder Luke and I headed home around 6 to start weekly planning. We were planning out the week and calling people and then all of a sudden I remembered that about a week ago, we had rescheduled with a potential investigator named Tobias for last night. So I gave him a call and he said he was still planning on coming. It was so cool how the spirit just brought that appointment to my memory. We had totally forgotten to write it down and if I didn't remember, Tobias would have just shown up and we wouldn't have been there. I am grateful that I am living worthily of the spirits guidance in times like this. We ended up meeting Tobias and the lesson went so well and the spirit was so strong! It was so cool because as Tobias was explaining his beliefs, we noticed how everything he was saying was basically what we believed. His only holdup is the Book of Mormon. So we basically told him that what he needed to do was decide if the words in this book are of God or not. If they are of God, then the book is true and everything in the book is true. Which also means that Joseph Smith was really a prophet and that Jesus Christ's church is again restored to the earth. It was so cool to testify of the truthfulness of this message. I know I say it a lot, but the spirit is seriously so strong and it never gets old. It just burns in your heart and you can see it in the person's eyes that it means something to you. Want to feel it? Go testify to a non member friend that you know that the Book of Mormon is true. It works. Tobias was more than willing to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. We informed him that it will take effort on his part, but if he sincerely searches, he will receive an answer. It was such a good lesson and the spirit was there testifying to all of us that what we were discussing was true. 

Well everyone, I got to jet. Thanks for all you do for me! Thank you for the emails and prayers! They really mean so much and make me so happy! I did a horrible job of answering this week but I will get back to you all next week I promise!! Remember that the church is true! 

Know that I love you!


äldste Bailey

1 comment:

  1. Don't apologize for ranting on about a topic! Your ranting is giving me lots to think about. And thank you for the challenge! I will definitely do that more. It sounds like you're doing so good up there, just like you deserve. I miss you in katrineholm but Umeå needs you. Keep up the awesome work!