Family and friends, I can not say in words how much we have been blessed here in Örnsköldsvik lately.
To recap the week, our drive to Stockholm last Monday went smoothly. Long, but we took some breaks inbetween and it was a fun trip. We slept at the mission office upon arrival and then were shuttled over to the good ol' Gubbängen chapel for Zone Conference on Tuesday. Great conference, got to see lots of old faces and meet some new ones; Elder White from my MTC group is now in Stockholm zone and was there too! Fun talking with him. On the spiritual side, we received great instruction from President and the Assistants and Sister Beckstrand. I got lots of good personal revelation for myself and set up some new goals.
After the Conference, we left with the Delgados to drive back up; this time only as far as Sundsvall. The Delgados had to do some apartment checks in that area, so they dropped us off at the Sundsvall Elders' apartment for the night. On the drive up there, we got an interesting text that set the course for the rest of the week.
If you remember, we have had some success in fellowshipping non-member youth here. There have been two that have been consistently coming to church and the youth activites since the beginning of the transfer, and they even came to District Conference in Umeå, both Saturday and Sunday. Their names are Virak and Sineth, 14 and 16 respectively, and are originally from Cambodia. Elder Thacker has really connected with them and they both love seeing us. During District conference, Elder Thacker had been talking to them and was casually asking when they were going to get baptized. He even joked and said, "How about next Saturday?" We joked and they were even agreeing to it.
Well, back to the text. So Sineth texts us and basically asks about his baptism this Saturday. We were stunned! Apparently they had taken it seriously! We quickly replied back and explained that we had to teach them some things first. Sineth said to meet them at 4:00 on Thursday at the church.
And boom, just like that, things began being put into motion. We take a train back to ö-vik (finally back home) Wednesday morning and made up for lost P-Day time. We also told the Zone Leaders about the situation with the two boys and had a good call with them. Thursday rolls around, and we meet with Virak and Sineth, teach them the Restoration, give them BoMs , and set up the goal to be baptized next Sunday, the 13th. They accepted, and we met with them everyday last week from Thursday, teaching them 4 out of the 5 lessons in three days and extending all the commitments to them (which they are keeping, too). Then, on Saturday, we get a call from Elder Delgado asking me when I can give a baptismal interview to Eddy Simoni. He has decided to get baptized next Sunday as well! Incredible, just amazing. Elder Thacker and I have just been anxious and energized from all this wonderful news. The work is moving forward here!
Sunday was great, wonderful fast and testimony meeting, Ole showed up to church again as well as the boys. That evening the Zone Leaders came down and gave Virak and Sineth their baptismal interviews, and they have the official okay now!! Just have to get some logistical things taken care of this week and we should be good to go. Later this afternoon, Elder Thacker and I and the Delgados are going to see the Simonis, and I will interview Eddy.
I honestly am so happy and just feel spiritually filled. I can hardly believe what has taken place over the last few days. My testimony of faith has been strengthened, and my faith has increased ten-fold.
My focus in studies this last week has been in "Preach My Gospel", and there is a line in their that I really like: The gospel of Jesus Christ as restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith will bless their families, meet their spiritual needs, and help them fulfill their deepest desires. Although they may not know why, they need relief from feelings of guilt that come from mistakes and sins. They need to experience the joy of redemption by receiving forgiveness of their sins and enjoying the gift of the Holy Ghost.
The Gospel is the only thing that we need. It is the universal answer and pupose to life. My love for the Gospel has increased greatly since I have been out here. I wish you all plenty of joy in your lives, and hope that your testimonies of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will grow as well.