Monday, June 8, 2015

SWEDEN WEEK 10

Just another week serving the Lord out here in Stockholm! Its crazy to think that I'm almost done with training and will have transfer calls go out in two weeks. It will be interesting to see who leaves and who stays, or maybe Kapp and I both stay. Who knows? 

So Monday was probably the fastest P-day every, and we didn't even do anything exciting. We went over and met with Karim, who was mourning the loss of his Great Aunt; we tried to strengthen him by talking about the Plan of Salvation and invited him to come to church and to pray and read daily. 

Tuesday was the anticipated Zone Conference. There were rumors going around the mission that we would be getting iPads, since the theme was "Disciples in the Digital Age", but sadly no iPads yet. Shucks...They will come soon, we were assured, so we talked about preparing ourselves for them, and had some great training about obedience and repentance. Great first conference for me.

For those weak in stomach, be careful about reading this part :) Wednesday, Bro. Layne, our American Diplomat in the ward and member of the bishopric, invited us to lunch at the Sweden Radio station building. They had pork quesadillas as one of the lunch specials of the day, so naturally Kapp and I ordered that. As we ate and talked, I felt more and more nauseous. I knew what was coming....I excused myself to the bathroom, and sure enough, emptied a wave in the toilet. I knew I had to go back out there, even though I knew I wasn't in the green yet. I sat back down with Bro. Layne and Elder Kapp, and tried to hide my uneasiness. They both knew something was wrong though, because I didn't touch my food after coming back, and I probably looked a little green. We got up to leave soon after, were walking out the door, and as soon as we got outside, I spotted a trash can, and within seconds, I unleashed wave 2 for all to see. I felt so embarrassed, and felt bad that I had wasted Bro. Layne's money, but the whole time, Bro. Layne was apologizing to me. What a saint. He bought me some water and gum, left us to go back to work, and after releasing a third wave soon after, I felt well enough to make the trip back to the apartment. We stayed at home for a couple hours, I took a nap, then later felt well enough to go do some tracting in Lidingö. I guess it was just some bad pork. Food poisoning is of the Devil...

Thursday wasn't as eventful as yesterday, and our two scheduled lessons fell through, so we ended up doing some contacting and apartment knocking in Danderyd and Lidingö. No potentials from our efforts, but in Preach My Gospel it says that "No effort is wasted".

Friday was a good day. We had a good weekly planning session, swung by a less-active Chinese family (only the 16 year old son was home, so we didn't teach anything or get in, but at least they are there and know that WE are there for THEM), then went to Lidingö to teach Fumi. We got to the island fairly early, so we did some apartment tracting to fill the time and found a solid potential investigator by the name of Alex. We then headed to Fumi's and taught her, Anna, and a co-worker friend of Anna's who just happened to be over. Our third grandpa, Tom Heidenberg, was with us this time as well. He is such a great support for Fumi. As soon as we three entered, and Fumi saw that Tom was with us, she ran up to him and gave him a huge hug. We discussed more baptismal things, decided that Tom would baptize her, and that Kapp and I would give talks at the service. We taught some more commandments with her, and finished by reviewing the baptismal interview questions with her for her interview the following day. Great lesson, and I felt the Spirit so strong as Fumi gave the closing prayer. She is such a special girl. After that lesson, we went to David's and talked about temples and emphasized baptism again. No date set-up yet, though he did pray about our invitation. He is still waiting for God to give him a sign...little frustrating, but we are still praying for him and working with him.  

Saturday, I had my first 24 hour splits/companion exchange! Kapp went with our district leader, Elder Dickson, and stayed in our area, and I went with his companion, Elder Silvennoinen, in their area. I had a really enjoyable day with the guy! He is Finnish, and reminds me of a quieter version of Shaggy from Scooby-Doo. We had a white day, so we just contacted in some different parts and hoped to teach some people on the street. Silvennoinen is an awesome contacter; he never misses an opportunity to talk to someone, whether we're waiting at a train station, or riding on a tunnelbana. We ended up teaching like 5 restoration lessons throughout the day, and got a couple potentials. Near the end of the day, we went to a park in Hornstull, where lots of people were celebrating Sweden's National Day. We ended the splits at 9, and Kapp and Dickson ended up having a really sick day. The had dinner at Karim's and taught a really good lesson, and the baptismal interview with Fumi went well. She is officially able to get baptized!! YES!!!

Sunday was also a great day. We had a special Northern Europe Conference that was broadcast to all of Scandinavia and the British Isles, hosted in Edinburgh Scotland. We watched it at the Gubbängen chapel, and David, his sons, and Karim ended up coming. The final address was given by Elder Holland, who gave the boldest, most powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon I have ever heard. The Spirit was so strong in that meeting as he spoke; it made me want to go out and testify of the Book of Mormon with everybody! I wish I had such conviction when speaking with people. After that meeting, we went back home and did some studies, then went to the Wimmer's house for dinner. The Wimmers will be moving to St. George in a couple weeks, so this was the last dinner party they would be hosting. The Täby and Stockholm Sisters were there, as well as a recent convert named Jeremy (love that guy) and a Scottish RM that the Wimmers knew who served in Greece, who now has a Swedish wife and three little kids with one on the way. It was a great dinner, and we had great conversations about the evil of multi-level businesses and pyramid schemes like Newskin and doTerra. 

Something that Elder Holland mentioned in his talk was that the Book of Mormon was THE sign of the latter-days. He testified of the power of the book and his wonderment at how no one else throughout history has ever tried to claim authorship of it. I leave you all with my testimony that the Book of Mormon is a living novel, an ancient history, and the key to our understanding of salvation. I invite you all to peruse its pages, to read just a page, and pray to Heavenly Father if the words are not true. I enjoy the time I have everyday to studies its doctrines, and truly love the book. It saddens me that its taken me until my mission to understand how crucial this record really is in our lives, and I regret not giving it more attention in the past. As Elder Kapp likes to pun, "The Church is true, and the Book is blue; but it should be read."

Read the Book!! I love and miss you all!

Äldste Reed  

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