Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Day 691

Hello Ladies and Gents!

Everyone doing well? Good, good. Well, this time around I really don't have that much time to write. But things knallar och går here in Västerås! We are continuing to be blessed as we put in the work. 

This week started off with me wrestling one of my favorite members, David. He is the coolest guy ever and he is basically the hulk. (by the way He and his wife Ida invite us over for dinner every single tuesday. They are the best). And in their apartment they have a giant bean bag. So I was standing by the bean bag talking to the other Elders on the phone when David just runs over and tackles me into the bean bag which started an all out wrestling match. I was putting up a pretty good fight at the beginning but the match ended up with David picking me up and literally flipping me upside down and slamming me into the bean bag. It was crazy I don't think anyone has ever picked me up and thrown me like that since I was a lot smaller and lighter. hahaha it was super fun though. He is so awesome and always helps us out with lessons and always talks to our investigators at church. This Tuesday I'll catch him by surprise and take him down ;)

We were able to meet our brother Sorie this week. He is going trough a lot right now actually. His cousin was stabbed to death in London last weekend and it has hit him and his family pretty hard. He did say that he was so grateful for the knowledge he has learned about the gospel and the Atonement of Jesus Christ which has given him a lot of comfort in this hard time for him. Because of all the stress of this and other reasons, Sorie's baptismal date has been moved to the 7th of January. Unfortunately, I won't be able to be there, but that isn't too important for me. The coolest part of all this I have already been able to see and be apart of. The gospel has really changed him. It has been a blessing to be able to take part in Sorie's conversion process. But please keep him and his family in your prayers!

We were also able to meet Ahmedreza again! He wants to be baptized! We taught him the restoration and the plan of salvation. Both made a lot of sense to him and he loved them. When we prayed he said that he felt the spirit really strong. We are going to continue to work with him.

We had two really great lessons with a new investigator named Håkan. He is a Swedish man who has been studying with a lot of different churches over the years and has never found what he is looking for. We talked to him on the street a few weeks ago and he decided to give it a shot. We met him first on Wednesday and answered a lot of his questions. He is going through a lot of tough things in his life right now so we decided to focus on God and His plan for us and on Jesus Christ and His role in the plan and how they both can help us in our lives. We shared a lot of comforting scriptures from the Bible and the Book of Mormon about God and Jesus Christ and the Atonement. It was a great lesson and a member randomly showed up to the church and he was able to bear his testimony about God and prayer and the Book of Mormon. It was a great lesson and the Spirit was present testifying to us all that our message was true. On Saturday, we met with Håkan again and it was such an amazing lesson and the spirit was so strong the whole time. We sat in the chapel and we were the only ones in the church and it was so quiet and peaceful. He loved it and he loved the feeling inside of the church. He said that his head was so much more clear and that he could leave all his problems outside. We taught him the restoration but focused mainly on God. It was more of a discussion which was good. We asked him questions about God and his relationship to God. He was able to ponder and answer our questions. He also asked us a lot of questions which was different. He asked us about our personal relationship to God and how we receive answers. It was so cool because I had the amazing opportunity to share my personal testimony about my Heavenly Father and my relationship to Him and how I receive answers to my prayers. The spirit was so strong as I looked into Håkan's eyes and bore testimony to him. The coolest part was that I felt the spirit so strong and it seemed like I could say whatever I wanted to in Swedish. The words just flowed out of my mouth like never before. I mean, for a long time I haven't had any trouble speaking Swedish, but this was different. I noticed that words and phrases that I don't usually use just came out of my mouth and I was speaking completely fluently. It was no doubt my Father in Heaven who helped me say exactly what Håkan needed to hear. I was also prompted to ask Håkan if he felt like God loved him. He wasn't really sure how to answer. So I told him to get on his knees that night and ask God what he thought about him. I promised him that God would let Håkan know that He loves him. He smiled when he heard that. It was an all around great lesson. He also agreed to being baptized if he receives an answer. He came to church on Sunday and stayed all three hours and absolutely loved it! He is such a great man.

Anyways, I gotta go. I love you all so much. Keep working hard in whatever you do. Have a great week! The church is true!


äldste Bailey

Monday, November 21, 2016

Day 684


Hope everyone is doing well!! 

I don't have too much time today but I will dish out the best email I can! Things are going so well. I absolutely am loving my mission. As my last few weeks wind down, I have been really up and down lately when it comes to my feeling about going home. Of course I am excited to see my family and friends again, who wouldn't be? But today I got my flight plans from the mission. I thought it would make me really excited but it just made me really sad :( It made going home kind of real. It is going to be really hard for me to leave Sweden. I don't want to leave. I have made so many close friends here and gotten so close to so many people that it is almost like leaving on a mission again. The friendships I have made here will no doubt last into the eternities. This country and these people will forever have my heart. It's hard to leave them. Also serving the Lord and being a missionary is the best thing in the whole world. Not having to worry about anything else besides the gospel and other people's lives is the best. I wish I could do it forever. Okay I'm done venting about that haha I still have a few weeks to give the Lord my all! 

This week was good and we have worked hard. My goal has always been to work so hard that I collapse when I step off the plane. I'm almost there haha. The work is wearing on my physically but not slowing me down at all! One of the reasons is cause I have Elder Harrell by my side keeping me going ;) he is such a stud and doing so well! We are working hard and definitely seeing the blessings! We basically contacted all day Tuesday though Thursday. On Thursday it poured rain the whole day but we contacted nonetheless! We also were able to meet Sina on Tuesday! It was a great lesson! We had no way to have translation because we still had no phone and Sina had no credit on his phone to call people. But he can speak pretty good Swedish and then we used Google translate as well which helped out a ton. We taught him about the Plan of Salvation and about the Word of Wisdom. He had so many questions that we were able to answer! He expressed a desire to be baptized! We set up a baptismal date for the 10th of Dec! He is such a good guy.

On Friday, we had zone training in Södertälje. My best buddy Elder Carrigan is still my zone leader ;) he's doing a mighty fine job! He and Elder Päkää gave a fantastic training about the new Christmas Initiative that the church is doing this year. The video and the initiative will go live on the 25th of November! I love the video so much! It is so good and it is all about service. The theme is how we can serve like Christ served, in 25 ways, over 25 days. :) its going to be so awesome and a great tool for the missionary work here in Sweden and over the whole world. I love the message behind this year's initiative so much. The real Christmas spirit is all about love and service. If people take this seriously, it will change their Christmas this year and for years to come!

On Saturday and Sunday, we were able to travel to Stockholm for Stake Conference. We were able to go down a few hours early and take some time out of our Pday to walk around the old part of Stockholm and to see the sights and stuff. it was awesome. But stake conference was super good! There were so many good talks both on Saturday and Sunday. I was able to see so many good friends. Man, I love all the missionaries in this mission. They are the best. The highlight of Sunday was definitely going to Pablo's after the Sunday session. He invited 42 missionaries to his place to feed them all! It was crazy how many missionaries there were in his apartment. I don't know how we all fit. It was fun. Conference was definitely spiritually uplifting. My favorite talk was definitely Sister Beckstrand's. She gave a great talk about service and about sacrificing what we have and giving to others. I really felt the spirit during her talk and it helped me out a lot. 

Well, I'm about out of time. I love you all and I'm thankful for all you do for me! The church is true. Work hard my friends!

äldste Bailey

Day 677

*(Alex's mom here. This is his letter from last week, November 14th.)


Another week has gone by here in the thriving metropolis of Västerås. I can't remember if I told you all last week or not, but I accidentally dropped our phone in some water a week and a half ago hahaha so we've kinda been of the grid for the last 10 days. No phone has made it next to impossible to stay in contact with investigators and to set up lessons and to call potential investigators. We have basically just contacted the whole week. We have been blessed with many people who we have been able to teach and get numbers from!  And even that hasn't brought forth much fruit yet because we can't really call them haha. Okay we actually borrowed the landline in the church building and called some of our investigators and the new numbers that we got. So that was good. But all we have really been doing is contacting. It is one of my favorite things to do so it was good. We made it really fun and had a good time. I even climbed up onto a 10 ft high pile of snow in a busy square and started preaching the Restoration and about the BoM really loud to all the swedes haha. No one listened haha and nobody even really looked at me they just kept walking. It was cool to pull a Dan Jones and do that. Haha it was funny but I felt the spirit burning in my chest nonetheless!

Since I don't have too much to write about and not much time, I will give you a little spiritual thought from something I read the other morning in the Book of Mormon. This is in 1 Nephi 8 (Lehi's dream)

30 "But, to be short in writing, behold, he saw other multitudes pressing forward; and they came and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press their way forward, continually holding fast to the rod of iron, until they came forth and fell down and partook of the fruit of the tree."

The fact that these people had to press their way forward implies that there was an opposing force. It was hard for them to hold to the rod and stay on the path. I love the fact that they fell down when they got to the tree. It was so hard for them to hold to the rod and press forward that they physically fell to the earth when they reached the end of the path. It was hard, but it was more than worth it for this multitude as they partook of the fruit that "was most sweet, above all that [they] ever before tasted." Living in the world today and holding fast to the rod of iron is hard, it really is. There are more temptations now then there have ever been before. We are going to have to press forward and endure as we live the gospel in a changing world. But one thing is for sure, when we reach the end of our lives journey, we will fall down after a hard fight and partake of God's goodness and love and the everlasting happiness that we have been striving our whole lives for. I know that living the gospel can be hard. If it hasn't been hard for you yet, it will be. I think that is the point. We are here to be tested and shaped into the people our Heavenly Father wants us to be. Nothing worth it comes easy. Let us all hold fast to the iron rod and press forward, so that when we reach the tree of life, we can fall down in relief and joy and partake of the fruit. I know that the gospel is true and that if we live it, it will bless and change our lives. It will make us happy. 

I am out of time my friends, but I want to quickly send out a birthday shout out to my best friend and the best dad in the world! My dad is my role model and my hero. I am so grateful for him in my life and for all that he does for me. He has honestly shown me so much love and care throughout my whole life and I am so thankful for that. He has always wanted the best for me and always been there for me. I am so grateful for the way that he raised me in the gospel. I am the man I am today because of my dad. If I can be half the man that my dad is one day, I will be happy. I am grateful for his strong testimony and his love for me. I love you so much dad! Have the best day ever! 

I love you all! Thank you for all that you do for me! Remember that the church is true!

Godspeed my friends.


Monday, November 7, 2016

Day 670

Hallå ladies and gents!

Twas a good week here in Västerås! I want to apologize in advance for the fact that this email is going to be really short due to the fact that I have no time at all. I want everyone to know that everything is going good here and I am loving my mission with all my heart. 

This week we were able to meet with a lot of our investigators! We had a lot of sit down lessons! I was also able to go on splits with two of my best friends, Elder Carrigan and Elder Williams! Both splits were so good and I love both of those guys so much. They are both incredible missionaries, legends, if you will. 

We were able to meet Sorie and watch the Restoration movie with him. He really liked it and he said that he believes that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God! He is doing well!

We met Alexander again! We had an amazing lesson about the Plan of Salvation and the Atonement and Jesus Christ. I wish I could go into it deeper but it was so good. As we taught him about Christ and what he did, it blew his mind haha. We showed him a few bible videos from Christ's life and he loved it. He also came to church and loved it. He told me afterwords that he just felt so much happiness and joy in the meeting and how it feels like a step in the right direction. He is such a good guy. 

Well, that's about it from me, folks. I am completely out of time. I love you all! Remember that the gospel is true! 

Courage, my friends.

äldste Bailey