Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Day 565

Ahoy fellow brothers and sisters!

Hope everyone is doing well! Sorry I didn't send out a letter last week. I'm the worst. It's a whole different game here in Stockholm. Everything is happening so fast and we are working really hard and it just seems like we are running everywhere and I never have that much time. So naturally, I don't have too much time today either. 

Elder Liddle and are working really hard and we are definitely seeing the blessings that come from our work. We are both really physically drained hahaha but we are going strong and working harder than ever! I Absolutely love Stockholm and the people here. We are teaching quite a few people and the work is moving forward!

I want to talk just a little bit about our investigator Daniel. We have taught him just about everything now and he is so ready for baptism! So he is 23 and from Ghana. He lives with his friend Naasi who is also the biggest bro ever and just a stud. Naasi is a professional soccer player and played for Chelsea's youth team and then played of a professional team here in Stockholm. He is super cool and just a super strong member. He has a super strong testimony. It is just super cool cause he grew up in compton and is super good at rapping and then he is one of the strongest members ever. Anyways, he referred his friend Daniel who is also the biggest stud ever! Daniel was at Naasi's baptism last may and he has the strongest desire to be baptized! It has been such a blessing to teach him. It is so different teaching someone who is so willing to learn and act as opposed to someone who isn't. He has gladly accepted the message and has lived the commandments. And these two guys have become two of my closest friends in a super short amount of time. Daniel is going to be baptized this coming Saturday and he is so excited!  They were both in church yesterday and it was so much fun and they loved it. There were good talks and the spriit was strong. It's also just fun messin around with those guys. Daniel got interviewed on saturday and passed! Hahaha it was really funny cause he was super nervous for the interview but he did super well. Anyways he is just golden and will be baptized this Saturday!

I also got to go on splits with my former beloved companion Elder Blackburn! It was so much fun! It was so cool to see how much he has grown. He is an amazing missionary and it was cool to learn from him. We worked super hard and taught some good lessons! We taught a lesson to a new investigator who is also named Daniel. He is from Iraq and has the craziest story ever. We met him about a week ago at a train station when I made eye contact with him and felt something special in him. I taught him there and on the train and he took a Book of Mormon and wanted to be a member. Elder Blackburn and I taught him on Wednesday and it was such a good lesson! Daniel accepted a baptismal date and loved the message. We also got to hear his story and it was so crazy. He is born Christian which made it hard for him in Iraq. He had been kidnapped several times and tortured in horrible ways. Anyways, he has always stood fast in his beliefs in Christ and it was so cool to hear. We also knelt down together in prayer at the end of the lesson and he said the prayer in Arabic and he told us he asked God if it was true and that he was going to go home and read the book. It was super cool! We are excited to teach him!

Well I have to bounce! Continue to fight the good fight everyone! I love you all! Remember that the church is true! And thanks for all the birthday wishes last week! You are all the best!! :)


Monday, July 11, 2016

Day 551- Busy, Busy, Busy!

Tjena Tjena!

 'Twas a great week!! So weird to think that this week started out in Umeå and is ending in Stockholm. I love it here soooo much!! I was 100% right when I said I would miss Norrland, but Stockholm has already won a spot in my heart as well. I love it here. The missionaries we have in our zone are incredible. They are so amazing. I am so excited to be here to help and serve them. We got right to work when I got here and things have been going soooo well. I feel like Umeå was a lot of helping other missionaries and me growing and changing personally. And now in Stockholm I have already been blessed with several people who I have the blessing of helping along the path back to our Heavenly father. With that being said, we are super busy! We usually don't have time to eat a full lunch and we always find ourselves eating dinner at night when we come home for the day. I finally don't have a car anymore which is super nice! We walk and take the tunnelbana (subway) everywhere which means I have the opportunity to contact on the subway and on buses again! It is my favorite way to talk to people! Anways, we are always running around everywhere! So I don't have a whole lot of time today!

My new comp is Elder Liddle! He is from Orem Utah! This is his last transfer here in Sweden! Things are going so good with Elder Liddle!! He is such an amazing missionary and I am constantly learning from him everyday. We get along great and we have the same goal we are working towards which helps us work harder and smarter. It is going to be such a good transfer here! I am so excited!

Among others, we are teaching a guy from Ghana named Daniel. He was a referral from A new convert named Naasi who is half African half American. He is soooooo awesome!! And soooo ready for baptism! He is going to be baptized in 3 weeks!! Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of time to tell about this, but this week we were teaching Daniel the "big 3" commandments. It went so well! We were teaching him with  Naasi. When we taught tithing to Daniel, we had Naasi read Malachi 3:10. As he read it, he stopped in the middle of the verse and told us how much he loved it and then kept reading. And then after he read the verse, he turned to Daniel and said something in their tribal language. Naasi then told us that he told to Daniel the last part that says, "prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." He said that it sounds a lot better in their language. And it was so cool to see the smile that came across Daniel's face when Naasi said that phrase. His eyes lit up and he smiled and nodded his head. He understood. And when he understood that, he was ready to accept the challenge of living all the commandments! It was cool to see the spirit testify to Daniel's heart in his own language. 

Well, I have to bounce! Things are going great here and I am loving my mission!! :) 

Have a good week!! 


Friday, July 8, 2016

Day 544 - Transfers!

Well hello hello!

I guess the fact that I'm sitting here writing another email proves that another week has gone by. Crazy! As I have been out longer and longer in the mission, I become more and more aware of how little time I have left. It has honestly gone by so fast and I am so grateful for my mission and everything that I have learned. I am going to make the most out of the time I have left. It's fourth quarter! I'm going to continue to work my heart out and give the Lord everything I have. I love missionary work! 

Anyways, hope you all are doing well. Things are goin super good here in Umeå! And as you can probably tell by the title of this letter, we got transfer calls this week! I was pretty nervous right before the call. Transfer calls are always nerve-wracking haha even though it always ends up good wherever you go. It's just that wherever you get moved to is where you will most likely spend the next three months of your life, but at the same time you know that it's where the Lord wants you so everything will be good. Haha anyways, turns out that out of our district and our little Umeå group, I'm the only one who will be leaving. I'm heading to Stockholm! I will be serving in the Gubbängen area. I am super excited! I haven't really served in Stockholm yet. It will be good! Gubbängen is one of the biggest wards in Sweden. Also the Stockholm zone is double the missionaries as up here in Norrland, so it will be a different experience than here. I am excited though! The only hard part about transfers is leaving the area you were in. I'm not a huge fan of change. It's always hard, but it's necessary for our growth. I have honestly grown and learned so much during my time here in Umeå. I have changed enormously. I have made friendships that will last forever and I have grown more like the person my Heavenly Father intends for me to become. It is going to be so hard to leave these people and to leave Norrland. Norrland and the people here will always have a special place in my heart. I am excited to start a new chapter in the book of Elder Bailey's life :) 

This week was pretty crazy! We were hardly in our area. We went up and did workovers with the Skellefteå Elders and then the next day we did workovers in Boden. Then we went back down to Skellefteå the next day to be there for their district meeting. Then on Friday we were gone most of the day because we were in Örnsköldsvik for our own district meeting. ????????Like I said, Tuesday we drove up to Skellefteå and did workovers. Man those guys are studs! Skellefteå is probably the hardest area in the mission. The branch is about 4 people if you don't count the missionaries.. But they meet in a little house and it's just kind of tough. Despite all of that and the lack of investigators, these guys go out and work their tails off everyday. I always have so much respect for who ever is serving in Skellefteå. Elder Kilton and Elder Johnson are such amazing missionaries!! I was with Elder Kilton and we had a blast. Elder Kilton is in the same group that my greenie was in so he is pretty young in the mission. But this guy is one of my mission heroes. I look up to him so much. He is so loving and bold and  happy and caring and it's just awesome. He doesn't care about what anyone thinks or says to him he just goes out and works and bears his sincere testimony. He is also obsessed with marvel haha and he is obsessed with  spiderman. So since he has been here he has been giving everyone superheroes matching their personality. He is of course spiderman and I am captain America. Hahaha it is just awesome to go around pretending that we are superheroes. Hahaha anyways Spiderman (Elder Kilton) and I basically went out Tuesday morning and contacted and knocked doors for 9 hours straight. It felt so good to just go out and grind for that long. It's days like that that you feel like you are doing your part as a missionary. And the impressive this is that these guys do that everyday. Anyways, later that day we stopped and played a little bit of basketball with some kids outside on this court. They were absolutely horrible but we figured it would be fun to shoot around anyways and talk to them. As we started talking to them, it turned out that they were all huge gamers haha and Elder Kilton is a huge gamer so they just hit it off. So it ended up being Elder Kilton who talked to them while I shot around on this basket haha trying to get my shot back cause I hadn't shot a ball in over a year basically. The kids ended up not being interested and left so Elder Kilton started guarding me for fun and then I started to drive towards the basket and my head hit him right in the eye hahaha I felt so bad. I gave him a black eye haha but it's okay because he loves it and thinks it is super cool!

Wednesday was good with the Boden Elders. I was with Elder Carlson. He is such a stud! We had a good time and did some good work. We visited the first Somalian member I have ever met and gave him a blessing which was powerful! We also did a lot of tracting and tracted into a older guy who let us sit down and talk to him! He said he would be interested in learning more! He actually had a Book of Mormon from the 50's or 60's or something that a member gave him when he was in the US as a foreign exchange student. It was cool to see that even back then members still had the desire to share the gospel and hand out book of Mormons to their friends. I was thankful to that member 65 years ago who gave that Book of Mormon to this man. He had a little bit of knowledge about the book and it was easy to build off of what he already knew. I wonder if the man who gave Sten this book knew that in 65 years the missionaries would come by his house up in the northernmost part of Sweden and start teaching him about it. Pretty cool.  

Thursday was a good district meeting and we had a good time. It was tough to say goodbye to everyone but I know that I will see them again. After district meeting we drove back down to Umeå and had dinner with one of the other Elders' investigators. Her name is Guomin and she is from China. She is so close to baptism and she had no idea about God or Jesus Christ when they started teaching her. Anyways, the food was really good and then we had the message. Oh Åsa and Erica were there as well. The message was so powerful. We watched the silent interview about Christ and then each of us bore our testimonies about our feelings for The Savior. The spirit was so so strong. It was so cool to hear everyone's personal feelings towards the Savior. I am also grateful for the chance I had to do that. I love my Savior so much. He is everything for me. I am so grateful that he suffered and died for me. I know he loves me. I also know that if I was the only person that needed the atonement, if I was the only person who he needed to come and suffer and die for, that he would still do it in a heartbeat. He is my best friend and he has been there for me every step of the way. I know he lives and leads this church!  

Friday was good as well. District meeting was good and again it was sad to say goodbye to everyone. After the travel back to Umeå, we were able to finally contact a little bit. When we got to the downtown area, we realized that there was some kind of a festival going on. There was a band and music and all sorts of stuff. But was caught my eye was this little ring with a bunch of people gathered around it wearing Medieval-like clothes and inside the ring were two "gladiators" they had armor and padding and everything. They had swords and shields too! It was pretty dope! And the two people in the ring were just whacking each other with these swords that looked like they were made out of pvc pipe or something.  Haha it was pretty funny because they weren't very good at all. I think they were just the guys from down the street at the local comic store but it was still sick nonetheless! It was just funny because they were whacking each other as hard as they could with their swords and I just thought to myself "man haha that would really hurt if they didn't have that armor on". And throughout the day I just kind of thought about that a little bit. I started to think about the armor of God. Here is the scripture from Ephesians 6:10-20:

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Just like the gladiator guys, if we don't have on armor, the pvc pipe sword of the adversary can hurt us pretty bad. He is constantly attacking us with everything he's got. Temptations are always there. And they are called temptations for a reason. It will tempt us and it will be something most often pleasing to do. And that is why it takes real strength to withstand those temptations. We need protection and we need a sure foundation. If we put on the whole armor of God and make Jesus Christ our foundation, we cannot fall. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is there to help us become stronger! Use it and put on the armor of God!

Well guys I'm sorry but I'm out of time! Thank you for all you do for me everyone! I love you all so much! You are in my prayers! 

The greatest blessing in life is to enjoy work


äldste Bailey