Monday, May 9, 2016

Day 488

Ahoy there! 

Time is a sneaky guy and another week has slipped between my fingers! As the time goes by, it just keeps getting warmer and sunnier and lighter! It's awesome! I have been wearing my short sleeve white shirt more in the last two weeks than in the last two months which would actually make sense because it was winter but whatever haha. It is crazy how light it is here and how light it is going to be! The sun starts coming up somewhere around 3 in the morning right now and goes down around 10:30-11ish! We were talking to some members yesterday and I asked them if it was possible to see the midnight sun here in Umeå and they said yes! They said during the summer, the sun never goes down! That will be so weird to experience! Anyways, we had a great week here and everything is going well. We are working hard and the work is moving forward! I absolutely love being a missionary and I feel so blessed to be able to be here in this beautiful country as a servant of the Lord.

I don't have a lot of time today but I will be able to type out a little bit! We have a lesson coming up here soon! This week was good! It was soooo good to skype yesterday!! It was the best thing ever! It was so weird to see how the fam has changed! You have all changed so much! Don't worry, for the better of course ;) It was good to talk and catch up a little bit. The crazy thing is that that was my last skype call! I come home right before Christmas. This means that it is time to kick it into high gear! I am ready to give the Lord my all and to finish strong!

I also want to send a quick Happy Mother's Day shout out to my sweet mom. She is the absolute best and I love her so much. I wouldn't be the man I am today if it wasn't for her. She is such a good example to me of love and kindness and patience and so much more. She has always been there for me no matter what and has always cared about me and what I do. She has always supported me in everything I do. I will always remember her voice in the crowd being louder than anyone else's at my basketball games telling me to play harder or to pick it up on D ;) (haha thanks mom youre the best cheerleader ever! ;)) I am so grateful that she raised me in the church and taught me the gospel since I was little. I will always be grateful for the example she has been throughout my life. I am honestly so grateful for all she does for me and for all the sacrifices she has made and time she has spend in my behalf. I love you so much mom!! Thank you for being one of my very best friends!!!

There is one more thing that I have been thinking about that I want to write about before I go. Yesterday I was doing the dishes after a branch lunch we had together and a lady came into the kitchen and we started talking a little bit about the members of the church in Utah. She lived there for a little while and just said how amazing they were and how cool it is to be surrounded by members of the church wherever you go. But unfortunately, and I think I would agree, there are those who don't really know what it means to be a member of this church. There are those who are members more because of tradition or because they grew up in the church and these people kind of just go through the motions. It got me thinking a lot. Because I think it would be safe to say that before my mission, it was very easy for me to just go through the motions. I just went to church on sunday because that's what you do on sunday. I don't know how truly converted I really was. So I want to challenge you all to figure out why you are a member of this church and what that means to you. Why do you do what you do? I challenge you to become truly converted to the gospel. I just barely thought of this quote but I want to share it with you. It is from a talk during this last general conference called "Do I Believe?" by Bonnie L. Oscarson.

"We claim that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God and the only true Church on the earth. It is called the Church of Jesus Christ because He stands at the head; it is His Church, and all these things are possible because of His atoning sacrifice.

We believe that these distinguishing features can be found in no other place or organization on this earth. As good and sincere as other religions and churches are, none of them have the authority to provide the ordinances of salvation that are available in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

We have a knowledge of these things, but do we believe them? If these things are true, then we have the greatest message of hope and help that the world has ever known. Believing them is a matter of eternal significance for us and for those we love.

To believe, we need to get the gospel from our heads into our hearts! It is possible for us to merely go through the motions of living the gospel because it is expected or because it is the culture in which we have grown up or because it is a habit. Perhaps some have not experienced what King Benjamin’s people felt following his compelling sermon: “They all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.”

We all need to seek to have our hearts and very natures changed so that we no longer have a desire to follow the ways of the world but to please God. True conversion is a process that takes place over a period of time and involves a willingness to exercise faith. It comes when we search the scriptures instead of the Internet. It comes when we are obedient to the commandments of God. Conversion comes when we serve those around us. It comes from earnest prayer, regular temple attendance, and faithful fulfillment of our God-given responsibilities. It takes consistency and daily effort."

I gotta jet! I love you all and I am so grateful for your examples to me! Thank you for your thoughts and prayers! I truly do feel the strength from them. As the mission goes on, I feel more tired than I ever have, but I also feel more strength to keep going than I ever have before. I love getting up every morning for my Savior. I love getting up every morning hoping that just one person will listen to us that day. Even just that little hope, coupled with faith in Jesus Christ, can gives me so much strength. Hope and faith in Christ will allow us to be lifted higher and to accomplish what we otherwise would deem impossible. I love my Savior and I love serving him each and every day. I know he lives and loves each of us. I know it. I wouldn't be here otherwise. I didn't leave my life back home, my family, and everything else, to come to a foreign land with a foreign language to stop strangers on the street and tell them about some fairy-tale. Trust me, I wouldn't do that. It's true. This gospel and this church are true. And I know that with all my heart.

Hey, you guys are the best! Have a good week alright? Sköt om er!

"Endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ." 2 Tim 2:3

Äldste Bailey

1 comment:

  1. I'm so happy you love Umeå and to be a missionary. Time fly by so fast. It's insane. So happy that you could speak to your family and Haylee on Mother's Day.
    I wish you a great week and lots of love from both me and David.
    A huge Hug, Pia