Monday, August 24, 2015

SWEDEN WEEK 21

Hello one and all! Pretty eventful week, with some new mission "firsts" and other fun experiences. 

Last Monday was pretty calm. Elder Thacker and I explored the bustling city of Örnsköldsvik (cough), looked through a bunch of shops, and explored the local mall. That evening we had family home evening with the Iguaran family and ate some yummy dinner too. 

Tuesday was rather chill as well; we visited Inger as usual and shared a Liahona message with her, then went out and did some street contacting while there were still people out. We did run into an old investigator by chance and got his number, so here's hoping to see him again. That evening we also visited with the Bustamante family and shared a message with them, then we picked up the car from the Delgados who came back from visiting Eddy and Basara that day. I took a whirl at the wheel and can now say that I have driven in Sweden!!! Honestly did not ever think I would be behind the wheel on my mission; it felt pretty comfortable, just like riding a bike, you never forget. 

We took a road trip out to Kramfors listening to Truman G. Madsen lectures on the way to visit Kliti again, this time to talk about the Word of Wisdom with him. He struggles with this commandment, and admitted that he can't commit to living it right now. He understands it and knows it is right, but he as of right now can't commit to living it a hundred percent. We understood and know that he will eventually make the decision, just has to come with time. That evening, we made a quick stop at the Iguarans for dinner (they are too nice), then we went out to another family in the ward to help the husband, Blue, with some computer stuff. He broadcasts an internet radio show out of his home and has a bunch of cool equipment and stuff. 

On Thursday we drove out with the Delgados to Umeå for district meeting, which turned out very well. I am blessed with a focused and awesome district; makes my job easy haha. We went out to lunch, and then Elder Thacker and I initiated companion exchanges with the Zone Leaders, which meant....Elder Kapp and I were reunited!!! Father and son back together again for 24 hours!! We went back to Ö-vik with the Delgados, and got to try some free surströmming samples outside of a grocery store. It was both Kapp and I's first time trying the infamous pickled herring, and needless to say it wasn't the most pleasant thing to eat. It wasn't nearly as bad as I had imagined, just extremely salty and the texture is slippery and slimy. Now I am a real Swedish Missionary!! After that cool experience, Kapp and I went out to do some swing-bys, and ended up getting two new investigators. We just tracted into this Iranian couple who let us in, and they are Christian and were interested in our message. They thought we were Jehovah Wittnesses at first :) We had a good chat with them and scheduled a lesson for the coming Sunday. We continued to have a successful night, getting into contact with some old investigators and getting some good contacts. It was just like old times in Stockolm, except not quite the same. 

The next day, we had studies together in the morning, then exchanged back with our actual companions. Elder Thacker and I just spent the day doing weekly-planning, then had our weekly english class at the Church. We had a lot of people come too! Laurent, Ole, some other member youth, and Sineth all came, and it turned out pretty good. Thacker and I were worn out from it when we got back home that night.

Saturday was spent doing some less-active swingbys with the Delgados, and then Thacker and I ourselves swung by some investigators. We ended up sitting down with a bunch of Africans who were having a grill party and talked to a couple of them for a couple hours about missionary work and about the Gospel. The day was finished with the weekly ward youth activity; we played Kubb and another game I hadn't played yet called Bränball (or as Poo mingh likes to call it, fake baseball). 

Sunday was super cool! Remember that african guy Akilu? He called us in the morning randomly and said he was coming to church!!! And sure enough, he rode the bus into the city and came!! PLUS, Eddy and Basara and Kliti, yes Kliti, came to church!!! Sooo awesome!!! Good sacrament meeting and second hour. We had our lesson with the Iranian couple as well that evening, and taught about the Restoration. We forgot our persian Book of Mormon, but we will definitely have it next time. We relaxed at the Delgados for dinner and that concluded the day. 

This past week as we were out and about, a girl in about her twenties saw us and asked if we believed in God. We of course said "Yes" and stopped and talked with her. She then asked, "Why?" That has stuck with me this last week. Why, exactly and personally, do I believe in God? I realized I didn't have a concise answer, so I did a self-evaluation during one of my personal studies. I had a lot of answers; family, having prayed and felt something, having read the scriptures and felt something, and some other reasons. That question was one that I had taken for granted and wasn't expecting. It made me think of one of my favorite scriptures in Alma, chapter 30, verse 44: 

    "But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator."

He really IS there, and we have the proof all around us. How can there not be anything? I'ds like to pose the question to all of you: Why do you believe?

Have a wonderful week, and may the Lord bless you all with safety and protection. Until next time....

Hälsningar,

Äldste Reed

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