Monday, October 24, 2016

Day 656: I'm tryin' to talk to you

Hey folks! 

Hope everyone is doing well! I want to start off by saying that I hope everyone caught the sarcasm in my last email (I'm sure you did) about the vegan thing haha. It was just pretty funny because when swedes write things in English it sometimes ends up funny. So we got a good chuckle out of that sentence ;)

Well otherwise, things are continuing to go so well here in Västerås! I know I say that we see miracles every week, but we truly do! We are working hard and definitely seeing the hand of the Lord in the work and our lives. We have been blessed this week with some new investigators and new people who are interested in meeting. I love being a missionary! 

I guess I can start with our brother Sorie. My love for this man continues to grow every day. He is so humble and willing to accept the gospel and act on it. He is also so loving and caring and just an all around great guy. We are still teaching him and he is progressing on his path to baptism. He is so funny and he cracks us up every time we go over there. We taught him the second half of the Plan of Salvation this week and he loved it. He loved the idea of the Plan of "Happiness". He told us how he has always believed that everyone is going to end up happy and that how it was hard for him to believe in a god that would condemn us to "eternal damnation" just because we didn't quite measure up. He also expressed to us how the BoM is beginning to make more and more sense to him. He always says "You can't hide the truth my brother!". And he expressed last time how the truth is beginning to come forth. He said that he knows and understands the BoM independent of us or because we come and teach him about it, but because he has read it and prayed about it. Sorie also made it to church on Sunday! He was even sick but came anyways because he promised that he would come! He left after Sacrament meeting because he had a bad headache but he loved it. He is doing so well.

I have a funny story that happened the other day! So, we recently started visiting a less active member named Marcial from Chile. He is honestly the funniest guy in the whole world!! We have started teaching him and he made it to church!! But when we were over there this week, and he has one of those hoverboard things. They have apparently been out for awhile now but I've never tried them before. So he asked me if I wanted to try and I was like "of course how hard can it be?" So I started off slow and steady and went back and forth in his living room and then I slowly gained confidence and went faster and faster and on one of the ends I turned way to fast and I literally just flew into the air and landed straight on my back on the floor haahaha Marcial and Elder Harrell laughed so hard haha and Marcial was laughing so hard that I thought he was going to have a heart attack, haha. I was so mad at them. And then at church Marcial was going around telling like every member about me falling and was just busting up laughing hahaha. And then last time we were there we had a giant foam sword fight with him and his 6 year old son! It was a blast! He is doing so good! 

On Sunday I gave a talk in chuch! It was a super good opportunity and I focused my talk on a talk by Brian K. Asthon called the "Doctrine of Christ", Which is faith in Jesus Christ and his Atonement, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. The doctrine of Christ is very simple but essential in our every day lives! Here is a quote about applying the gospel of Christ in our lives: "So how can we apply the doctrine of Christ more fully in our lives? One way would be to make a conscious effort each week to prepare for the sacrament by taking some time to prayerfully consider where we most need to improve. We could then bring a sacrifice of at least one thing that keeps us from being like Jesus Christ to the sacrament altar, pleading in faith for help, asking for necessary spiritual gifts, and covenanting to improve during the coming week. As we do so, the Holy Ghost will come into our lives to a greater degree, and we will have additional strength to overcome our imperfections."

We had another investigator come to church named Sina. He is persian and very interested! We have also been teaching a swede named Nikolas! I wish I had more time to talk about that but I don't :/ 

I want to end my email by giving the best sister in the whole entire world a birthday shout out!! My little sister Erin is turning 13 this thursday!! I honestly can't believe that! She is getting so old! I love her so much and she has always been there for me no matter what. She is such a good example to me of being happy and always smiling :) She has taught me so much and I can't wait to see her soon! I love you so much Erin! Happy Birthday!! :)

Well folks, I'm about out of time. I want you all to know that I know that the Church is true. Without a doubt. How could it not be? Keep working hard everyone. Nothing worth it comes easy. I love you all and appreciate you so much! 

äldste Bailey

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Day 649 - Why choose to eat animals when you can choose not to eat them?

Hello family and friends! 

Just another week gone by here! Nothing too new to update the public on. I guess I can start by explaining the title to this letter. So for lunch the other day, we went to this vegan party thing that the city was putting on outside the city library with a member from the ward and her friend. It was super funny cause you could just tell everyone there was a vegan haha. But anyways there was the opportunity for people to draw on the concrete outside the library and there were some very inspiring quotes, including the one above. It just makes sense I guess. 

On the missionary side of things, we are teaching mostly the same people. I don't think I've mentioned them all, but right now we are teaching a small pool of amazing people. We were able to meet Sorie twice this week and had some pretty awesome lessons. We met him earlier in the week and taught him about faith and read Alma 32 with him.  It was such a strong lesson. He learned a lot and his eyes were opened in the sense that he realized that he needed to do more. He told us that his whole life he has been living the commandments and believing and has been a good person and all that but has never really nourished the seed in his heart. He then made a commitment to do nourish the word and act on his faith. He is doing so well. We taught him again a few days ago about the Plan of Salvation. He loved it so much and it made sense to him. We centered a lot on the Atonement and the spirit was strong as we talked about Christ's sacrifice for us and what it means for each and every single one of us. I love my Savior so much. Sorie is doing great. I love that man! 

I want to share a quick quote from Boyd K. Packer that I came across that I found as I was studying Alma 32:
“Faith, to be faith, must center around something that is not known. Faith, to be faith, must go beyond that for which there is confirming evidence. Faith, to be faith, must go into the unknown. Faith, to be faith, must walk to the edge of the light, and then a few steps into the darkness. If everything has to be known, if everything has to be explained, if everything has to be certified, then there is no need for faith. Indeed, there is no room for it. …

“There are two kinds of faith. One of them functions ordinarily in the life of every soul. It is the kind of faith born by experience; it gives us certainty that a new day will dawn, that spring will come, that growth will take place. It is the kind of faith that relates us with confidence to that which is scheduled to happen. …

“There is another kind of faith, rare indeed. This is the kind of faith that causes things to happen. It is the kind of faith that is worthy and prepared and unyielding, and it calls forth things that otherwise would not be. It is the kind of faith that moves people. It is the kind of faith that sometimes moves things. … It comes by gradual growth. It is a marvelous, even a transcendent, power, a power as real and as invisible as electricity. Directed and channeled, it has great effect. …

“In a world filled with skepticism and doubt, the expression ‘seeing is believing’ promotes the attitude, ‘You show me, and I will believe.’ We want all of the proof and all of the evidence first. It seems hard to take things on faith.

“When will we learn that in spiritual things it works the other way about—that believing is seeing? Spiritual belief precedes spiritual knowledge. When we believe in things that are not seen but are nevertheless true, then we have faith” 

I love this quote and I think it describes the people that we come in contact with everyday very well. I don't have  a ton of time to elaborate on it, but most people demand a sign or some kind of physical evidence that they can see before they will believe. They want to know before they have faith. These kinds of people need to realize that it's the other way around. Faith over time will grow into a knowledge. 

We are also teaching this guy named Mohammad from Pakistan. We are in a tricky situation with him because his whole family is muslim and they will kick him out of the house if he becomes christian (which he wants to do). And he will be killed if he gets sent back to his country. He has nowhere to go. We taught him with a member on the phone who could speak pashto. The member is also an amazing example of faith. Sarfaraz is his name. His family is actually after him right now to try to kill him. But yeah he told Mohammad that even if people want to kill you it doesn't matter because you know that Jesus Christ is your Savior. Amazing example of faith. We will see what happens with him!

Well folks! We are out of time! The church is true! remember that!!! 

I love you all so much and am so grateful for everything you do for me! Have a good week!!

äldste Bailey

Monday, October 10, 2016

Day 642 - The Truth Cannot Be Hidden

Hello my fine friends!

Ahhhhh. Another week has flown by. Crazy! I can't seem to keep up! Well, things are going great in here in the land of Västerås! 

We have been mostly finding new people to add to the teaching pool this week. We have also been meeting some new converts and less active members and all that jazz! We are definitely finding people and the work is going forward! 

Tuesday and Wednesday were mostly finding days. As always, I love being out on the streets testifying to people of Christ and the church! It's the best feeling ever. We weren't super successful, but we found some promising people who are willing to meet! 

Thursday we headed to Södertälje for Zone Training. I don't know if I mentioned this, but Elder Carrigan is one of my Zone Leaders now! So that is pretty cool. He's a stud and he and Elder Pärkää taught a great training. It was about accountability and motivation. Our accountability to our leaders and the Lord, and our investigators accountability to us and the Lord. I learned a lot about that and it strengthened my desire to give everything I have to the Lord. So that when I get back to His kingdom, I can tell him that I gave him everything I had, just like He have me everything he had. I want to leave it all out here. And I know as I do that, it will bless me and all those that I come in contact with. We also talked about motivation and becoming a work horse. I would say that I have always classified myself as a work horse ;) I love working hard and always giving my all. But I was reminded of a few facts about horses that I had forgotten. Horses will actually work until they die. Until their heart stops. They will keep running and keep running until they collapse. All because the master commands them to run. It's pretty beautiful if you think about it. Christ commands us to run and give our all. We should push ourselves to our limits in the service of the Lord. Oh yeah and because it was about motivation, I got to rip off a white shirt infront of everybody superman style ;) I came to the training in two white shirts and ripped the outer one off (don't worry mom it was an old one in the apartment ;)). Some sisters wrote our zone's "title of liberty" on the back of the shirt I ripped off. And it said "Obedience is the price, Faith is the power, Love is the motive, The Spirit is the key, and Christ is the reason." It's a quote we can all use in our lives to give us motivation!

So something cool that happened this week is that we got a baptismal date with an investigator named Sorie! He is from Serria Leone and has been in Sweden for about 3 years! It was such a fire lesson! We met him briefly about a week ago and gave him a BoM. We met him again on Thursday and taught him the Restoration and he loved it! He also shared his story with us and it's crazy! First of all he used to be muslim but converted to Christianity. He lived through the civil war in Sierra Leone and that brought a lot of hardships and trials. But it was crazy cause he expressed his love for his mom and how much she loved him and took care of him. He told us about how he told her that he wanted to go to school and his mom told him that they have no money. And then the next day she sold all of her dresses and jewelry and stuff so that he could go to school. And not long after that his mom passed away and it destroyed him. He moved away from Africa because of it and he is studying here. He expressed how much he wished she would have been able to here the word of Christ before she died. We then went into the Plan of Salvation and it helped him out so much. The happiness of the plan touched his heart and he loved it so much. The spirit was strong and we were able to testify of the mercy of the Plan of Salvation and the blessing that it is. I am so grateful that the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ and that the grave has no victory. Death is not the end and I really do know that we will see our loved ones again. We can find so much peace and comfort in this beautiful plan that our loving Heavenly Father has provided for us. I could go on all day about it but I'm about out of time. But yeah Sorie had read Moroni 10 before we met and he told us he was now more convinced. He said that he was willing to try and that if he receives an answer, he will be baptized on 3 Dec. He accepted the invitation willingly. He is so awesome. He also said that the truth cannot be hidden. No matter what people say or do, the truth cannot be hidden. I thought it was profound ;) 

Well folks, I gotta jet! I love you all so much! Work hard this week!! Kyrkan är sann!


äldste Bailey

Monday, October 3, 2016

Day 635 - Taking Västerås by Storm

Well my friends, I have arrived safe and sound to my new area of Västerås! It is such a beautiful city and I love it here! I have arrived with my green package from Provo who is also the studliest of all studs! His name is Elder Harrell and he is the coolest guy ever! He is from Southern California and is a major surfer! He is basically pro. Anyways, he is so passionate about missionary work and already giving his all to the work and to the Lord! He is a super hard worker so he is the perfect comp for me! He is super funny and we get along really well! He cares about missionary work and went on splits a lot back home so he has some experience points already ;) We have come to this city to take it by storm through the power of the Lord ;) We are honestly ready to work our hearts out and see and experience the fruits and miracles that are going to be wrought in this city. 

We have spend the week finding new people to teach! We have met a lot of cool and prepared people! 

I unexpectedly ran out of time!! I'm sorry!! Have the best week everyone!! I am doing great and I love you all! The church is true!

äldste Bailey