Tuesday, December 27, 2016

SWEDEN WEEK 91: Last Christmas and Tracting Cheer

Hey there everyone! 

"MERRY CHRISTMAS BEDFORD FALLS!!!" 

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas yesterday and that Santa fulfilled all your wishes. Going to keep this one pretty brief, but basically we had an absolutely wonderful Christmas here and were well taken care of! The days before the Holidays were spent tracting out in Sköndal some more and contacting people in Farsta and Hökarängen. On top of that, we also got to meet with a good amount of people, including some new ones.

Ludvig, our young Swedish Padawan is doing great! We met with him Tuesday before he left for his Christmas travels, and taught about the Priesthood, specifically the blessings of it. We also watched a little bit from President Monson's biography movie which was good for him to build his connection with the living Prophet. 

Speaking of young Swede's, Elder Richardson and I also got to meet with three high school kids and show them around the chapel and then teach them about the Restoration. This was a way better experience with students then I've had in the past; all three of them were pretty into what we were saying and made comments about doctrines we taught sounding familiar. They were surprised that we actually answered all their questions haha! Going to meet with them in two weeks time so looking forward to see what they thought of their Book of Mormon presents that we gave them. 

Dieudonné is also doing well. He came to our Christmas program yesterday and we were able to teach him during the week about the Word of Wisdom. He is eager to follow it! Other highlights were Sports Night as usual on Thursday night, but we also went out as a District that afternoon and did some caroling on the streets of Stockholm. Felt really good to raise my voice in song about my Savior and smile at the passing people. Though most were busy with their day and walked by without a second glance, there were a few who stopped and listened and even filmed or took pictures of us. One lady even tried to give us money, but we gave her a wrapped Book of Mormon instead haha. Also, Elder Richardson and I made some cookies and delivered them to Naasi and Daniel, the Bishop, and the couple that we taught a couple weeks ago.

Christmas Eve was fun! Lots of Disney movie watching! Spent the day at Pablo's and watched the traditional Kalle Anka program at 15.00, then ate a yummy Schnitzel dinner with the Stockholm Elders and Shafiq and Najib (Persian members in our ward). Christmas day we had a nice Sacrament meeting program in church with musical numbers and Christmas hymns. Elder Frankman and I and Elder Richardson even performed some vocal numbers. After the meeting, we were surprised by the Relief Society with two huge crates to each of our companionships containing presents and goodies and Christmas food. SUPER NICE! We then went to the Ridells and spent the rest of the day there having the traditional Swedish Julbord and watching more movies. Second Swedish Christmas, completed.

I think the best way to spend Christmas is service. It felt good to simply help Pablo with the dishes and to talk to the Ridells and just get to know them and talk about the Gospel together with them and their 15 year old son, Mikael. The Savior unselfishly loved and served and did so much that we can never repay him for. May we all remember him as we continue into a new year! 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Mycket kärlek,    
--

Äldste Stefan Reed

Varma hälsningar från Sverige

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Mailing Information

Elder Stefan Reed
Enebybergsvägen 38
182 46, Enebyberg
Sweden

PICTURES: 
Christmas goodies after tracting!

District Caroling!

District Caroling!

Sneaky cam by Elder Frankman during our lesson with Dieudonné. Elder Richardson is praying fyi

Cookie making!

Christmas Eve morn, opening gifts

Christmas Eve morn, opening gifts

With Pablo!

Christmas Day with the Ridells!

Monday, December 19, 2016

SWEDEN WEEK 90: Endless Energy and His Timing

Good afternoon! 

Here we are at the week of Christmas! I can't believe it at all! So insane how fast time goes! 

Elder Richardson and I are having a blast! We get along so well and have similar interests and ideas. He hails from Eugene, OR (West Coast Best Coast) is the seventh of eight children. He wants me to spread lies to you all that he doesn't obey the rules and that I hate him, but they are not true. We have enjoyed quoting from Lord of the Rings and other movies together as we have contacted on the streets and traveled. 

Elder Weaver and I had some good final days together last week. We explored some shops in Gamla Stan last P-Day and had dinner with Jorgé and Hanna and some others as well. On Tuesday we were able to meet with a new convert named Daniel and share the Christmas initiative with him, and then meet with an investigator named Robert who is from Rwanda. We got to do our monthly Stake Report meeting with President Hagman and discuss the well-being of the missionaries in the Stockholm stake and what we can focus on to hasten the work with the members that evening. 

Wednesday was the big transfer day. Tons of missionaries at Stockholm Central, including a big departing group (Elder Thacker, Elder Carrigan, etc.). Elder Weaver and I said good-bye and Elder Richardson arrived from Handen that afternoon. We dropped his bags at home and called some people while he got a few things unpacked, then we headed to dinner with the Delgaiso family. We did our first contacting stund together in Farsta afterwards and were able to stop and talk to a couple people about the Initiative and why Christ is important in our lives. 

Thursday was quite the interesting day. The main highlight was meeting with friends of Sis. Thijssen who came to the Christmas Concert last week and expressed a desire to be baptized! They were super eager to learn and wanted to get baptized as soon as possible. We taught a couple of lessons and a few commandments, but once we hit the subject of marriage before baptism it got pretty rocky. We later learned the next day from Sis. Thijssen that they are no longer wanting to get baptized right now, which was pretty disappointing, but taught us a good lesson that the Gospel can't be learned in one day and that people, no matter what they say or how eager they are to learn, need time to experience the Gospel in their lives and feel the process of repentance. Line upon line, precept on precept. Also, God's ways are not our ways. Later that day, we met with a less-active member who hadn't been to church in a year and thought that the church had forgotten her. We got to know her and invited her back to church and she gladly accepted. She was so happy to meet with us and it was a great experience getting to know her and then see her at church yesterday. Sports night as usual was fun with another big turnout of peeps.

Got to have our first district meeting with the new district on Friday, then went out to Farsta and contacted the people, spreading the message of service and the Savior. We met with Dieudonné and taught about the importance of a living prophet, helped out with some set-up of the YSA activity for that night at our church, then weekly-planned. On Saturday, we were asked to help clean the church, then did some extra service for Hans and later taught our good friend Ludvig to talk about baptism and where he stands. Also, the other Gubbängen Elders held a baptismal service for their investigator Sanyi, and Elder Richardson got to baptize her. Little bit of a hectic week planning for it and stuff but it turned out good in the end. She got confirmed yesterday and it was great! We ended church meetings yesterday with a little ward fika to ring in the Christmas cheer, and Elder Richardson got to meet lots of members and is super excited to work with the Ward. 

Big things are on the way here in Gubbängen! We are super excited to continue strengthening the Stockholm Zone and this ward and to be celebrating Christmas this weekend. Earlier this week, I read a talk from Elder Bednar that had to do with the enabling power of the Atonement. I pondered how I can better ask for the strength of Christ's Grace and have been making an effort to change myself rather than my circumstances. As we ask for the strength of Christ's Atonement, we will not feel the weight of our burdens and will be filled with hope. 

May you all have a wonderful Christmas week! God Jul på er!

Mycket Kärlek,
--

Äldste Stefan Reed

Varma hälsningar från Sverige

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Mailing Information

Elder Stefan Reed
Enebybergsvägen 38
182 46, Enebyberg
Sweden

PICTURES: 
Don't quit. Never give in.

I'll miss you!

"Oh yeah. Money" This Finnish stud is training!

So is this guy! Congrats Elder Dean!

Dreams really do come true

After the Confirmation 


Monday, December 12, 2016

SWEDEN WEEK 89: Room Service and Christmas Spirit

God Jul! 

Lots of good good service this past week, pretty much the gist of what we did. This week also concluded the transfer, and we have received the calls for the upcoming one. Elder Weaver will continue his travels in Malmö and continue to be a ZL there, and I will be receiving Elder Richardson who has been serving in Handen's ward. We have run into each other multiple times on the mission, never served around each other but have gotten to know one another a little bit and are absolutely thrilled to be comps. He comes from the same group as Elder Weaver and was one of Elder Murri's MTC companions. Going to be an awesome transfer, no question! Elder Wilson in the other Gubbängen area will be headed to Skellefteå to be with Elder Hainsworth, and replacing him here will be Elder Frankman who was one of my Zone Leaders when I was in the Malmö zone. Also, Elder Loertscher is headed to Borlänge to be District Leader, which means workovers with my son! Tons of other changes to, including changing the Umeå I area to a Sister area. 

But anyway, the events of the week are as follows...

On Monday, Elder Weaver and I picked up our White Elephant gifts in Stockholm for the Christmas Conference the next day, then went back to the chapel and played some B-Ball with some other Elders. We proselyted in Farsta that evening, contacting a bunch of people and even taught a few lessons as well. The next day was the long-awaited Christmas Zone Conference, and it was terrific. We received some awesome training on attitude and faith, and were reminded of the true meaning of Christmas. Lots of awesome musical numbers from missionaries in both Norrland and Stockholm Zone. The gift exchange was a riot, and the lunch was delicious. Hard to believe that was my last Zone Conference and last Christmas one, too. After all the jubilee and clean-up, we headed to the Arnegårds for dinner and the other Elders shared a message about our divine identity. 

We were recruited to take the Handen Elders' shift of cleaning around the temple on Wednesday morning, and spent our rotation cleaning up the rooms in the guest home. It was peaceful and calming being able to do some service by the House of the Lord. Later, we visited Jorgé and Hanna as usual and taught the Plan of Salvation after dinner. We then headed to the chapel and taught our Albanian friend Christoffer about the Restoration. It was incredible to see how much his belief in God and faith was similiar to principles and doctrine that we believe. Before we even started teaching are were setting expectations with him, he told us how he believes that God wants the same power that he has for us, that he wants us to have his glory. Heavenly Father truly does prepare his children. Very strong-spirited lesson. 

Went on Splits with Elder Baquedano Thursday and despite some fallen through lessons we were able to teach Dieudonné and utilize some of Elder Baquedano's French, as well as have a good contacting stund on Södermalm. We met a 99 year old woman from the UK who is soon turning a hundred and has lived in Sweden for over 70 years. We went over to Eva's house and had some English conversation with her and her daughter and her daughters friend, who is actually really interested in our church and loves the songs in the Book of Mormon Musical haha. We invited the daughter and her friend to a YSA activity next week and they seemed eager to go. Sports Night concluded the day, and it was a really big turnout. 

The rest of the week consisted of doing Stake Reports for the month of November for Elder Weaver and I with some other service opportunities. We had an apartment check Friday morning then headed to the chapel to do the reports. Friday night we got the transfer info, then delivered it to the zone Saturday morning. We then headed to the chapel and helped Hans with the weekly cleaning, then afterwards helped the Åkerbrand family move into their new home. They recently came back after living in UAE for almost seven years. We finished up some more reports after all that then had dinner with the Senior Couple that works in the Mission Office, the Clouses. Good way to end a busy day. 

Sunday was the normal church meeting times, and Elder Weaver and Elder Wilson both bore powerful departing testimony. That evening was the annual Christmas Concert for the Stockholm and Stockholm South Stakes, and there was an awesome turnout of both members and non-members. A beautiful ending to the Sabbath. 

Pondering and studying the Savior's example in the New Testament in correlation with #LightTheWorld each day has been so refreshing and has helping me keep Christ in focus everyday. I've been reminded of his qualities and attributes, including kindness, tenderness, selflessness, diligence and his ability to inspire others to act in faith. He had a clear sight on his mission while on Earth, and he never strayed from it. I loved how the Savior took the time to "[lay] his hands on every one of [the sick], and [heal] them" as recorded in Luke 4. Even during times of hardship and trial, Christ took no thought for himself and ministered to those in need. I am grateful for his eternal example of love and goodness and hope to share that light with many during this wonderful season. Continue to follow the Savior's example each day and watch your love for others and yourself grow! 

Mycket Kärlek,

--

Äldste Stefan Reed

Varma hälsningar från Sverige

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Mailing Information

Elder Stefan Reed
Enebybergsvägen 38
182 46, Enebyberg
Sweden

PICTURES: 
The MTC Group (minus 2)

Temple Cleaning Crew

Dinner with the Clouses

Monday, December 5, 2016

SWEDEN WEEK 88: Personal Worth and Gratis Våfflor

God Jul allihopa!

It has been a week of growth for me personally, and I have learned lots of things and been reminded of much more. The week went pretty quick, did splits with the Assistants and Jakobsberg Elders, were part of a big kick-off activity at the YSA Center on Thursday to promote the Christmas Initiative, and got some good member dinners along the way. Things are going well for our new investigator Katrennada, and we got to show more members the Christmas Initiative video. 

Got to spend some time with some other missionaries last Monday browsing around shops in Gamla Stan, then later in the evening taught a guy who we thought was a non-member but turns out IS a member from Ethiopia. We also visited the Thijssen family and invited them to participate in #LightTheWorld. We went on splits with the Assistants on Tuesday and I went to the office to be with my good friend Elder Johanson. We had a good day contacting in Åkersberga and were able to teach one of their investigators, Margereta. 

Next day, we went on splits with the Jakobsberg Elders and I took Elder Black to Gubbängen. Elder Black arrived into the mission just a couple weeks back, so very fresh missionary but has the drive and the diligence. Had fun getting to know each other and contacting a ton in Södermalm and in Farsta. Also, had fun at dinner with the Del Gaisos, showed them the initiative, then went with our ward mission leader, Walter, and visited another family in the ward, spanish-speaking. Just one of those Spanish nights haha. 

Elder Weaver and I met back up at the Jakobsberg/Täby District meeting Thursday morning and learned some great ways to use the initiative more effectively in contacting. Also, it was Elder Halterman's "funeral", so it was fun being able to be in on that. The rest of the day consisted of the Christmas Initiative kick-off activity at the Center and then Sports Night. The activity went super well! A bunch of missionaries from our zone as well as from the Stockholm South zone got together and did a big contacting blitz trying to get people to come to the center and get some free waffles. The Halls (Stockholm YSA couple) and some other missionaries stayed at the center and welcomed the people we brought in as well as cooked the food and taught people about what we were doing and why. They had a nice set-up of tables and chairs and in the background played the LightTheWorld video on loop. Elder Weaver and I went hard in the paint, cheerfully inviting to get some free waffles to celebrate the World-wide Day of Service, and managed to find a tourist from Greece as well as a couple youths and a couple from Spain. A couple companionships were even able to get some potential investigators out of it. 

Had our normal District meeting with the Stockholm crew on Friday where we got even more ideas of how to spread the Christmas Initiative, then did some weekly planning back home and later taught Swedish to our friend Bro. Divine. Got to visit a lot of members on Saturday, first Jan in Fisksätra, then celebrated Bro. Morales Birthday at his family's place, and then went to the Arnegårds for the first time in a couple weeks due to their mini-vacation to the States, and even got Katrennada to come along! We were able to finish teaching her the Plan of Salvation and got some good testimonies from the Arnegårds to support us. We finished the evening by going to Farsta and ended up teaching two Persian teenagers, showing them the Initiative video, and getting their numbers. 

Sunday was different than the normal ones since our meeting block was bumped to 14.00 instead of the usual 11.00 due to Stockholm South Stake having their Stake Conference. Church went well, Dieudonné was able to come again and I was strengthened and upplifted by the testimonies of the members. Afterwards, we went to Pablo's for dinner and the Hägersten missionaries came bringing 6 non-member friends. It was a Turkish party! And that was the week! 

As I have been looking at the advent calendar each day and studying examples of how Christ served others in the New Testament in correlation to the theme of each day, I have felt a special closeness and comfort to my Savior. I have felt a greater love in my heart and my eyes have been more open to look for opportunities to serve each day. It doesn't cease to amaze me how personal the Savior was with all people, from the simple touch of his hand, to his willingness to bless and heal the one, to his submissiveness and humility towards the Father. 

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls". (Matthew 11:29)

As we continue to help our fellow brothers and sisters this Christmas season, our own difficulties and burdens will be made lighter. I have already felt that peace as I have focused more on serving as the Master did. 

Have a wonderful week! Talk to you all again real soon! 

Mycket Kärlek,   

--

Äldste Stefan Reed

Varma hälsningar från Sverige

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Mailing Information

Elder Stefan Reed
Enebybergsvägen 38
182 46, Enebyberg
Sweden

PICTURES:
Stockholm getting lit up for the season

Stockholm getting lit up for the season

World-wide Day of Service Kick-off Waffle Activity

World-wide Day of Service Kick-off Waffle Activity

Täby/Jakobsberg District (minus the POEs)

Monday, November 28, 2016

SWEDEN WEEK 87: 'Breakfast Club' and Christmas Renovations

Good early-afternoon friends and fam! 

Hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving where ever you found yourself this year! Winter is picking up once again with a fresh layer of snow here and the temperature is dropping back down. The Christmas Initiative has kicked off and all the missionaries are super pumped about it and so are the wards and branches! Stockholm is going to be so "lit" this Christmas season! Elder Weaver and I had an exciting week and got to go out a ton and just contact the streets of Stockholm.   

Last Monday we rang in the Thanksgiving Spirit by doing a Turkey Bowl over by the chapel with some other missionaries from our Zone as well as the Stockholm South Zone. Good ol' American pride! We got to meet up with Katrennada later that night as well and start teaching her a little about the Plan of Salvation. Tuesday, Elder Weaver and I went hard in the paint and street contacted all day in Farsta and in the Slussen area. That evening we had another delicious dinner with Jorgé and Hanna, and they are doing well, just getting over some colds. 

On Wednesday, Elder Weaver and I traveled up to Borlänge and did some workovers with Elder Fawcett and Elder Richards. I went with Elder Fawcett and we had a pretty solid day despite some plans falling through. We were able to give a blessing to the investigator that Elder Baquedano and I taught when we did workovers last transfer, and that was a neat experience of service. His first ever priesthood blessing, too! I am so grateful for the Priesthood and for the opportunity that I have had to use it to serve and lift others. 

Thanksgiving day was one for the books haha! So, the four of us were headed to Uppsala for District meeting, but upon arrival at the Borlänge train station we learned that we would have to take a replacement bus and hop on a train at a different station farther down the line due to some accident with the trains earlier in the morning. After two full replacement busses, we finally got onto the third one, which took us down to a place called Säter, and once we got there, we learned that the train had not waited for us and had continued on without us. We then were forced to wait in the tiny train station "salong" with some other wayward passengers from our bus. It ended up being a kind of Breakfast club experience where we got to know each other and where everyone was going and stuff haha. One couple was headed to Thailand and was supposed to catch a flight (don't think it happened), a couple other women were on their way to work, just a fun little group of ten people. Of course, we explained what we do and who we were. After a couple hours of sitting in the Säter Station and some more delayed busses and trains, we took another bus down to Avesta Krylbo, then took another bus the rest of the way to Uppsala. Total travel/waiting time between Borlänge and Uppsala: little over 5 hours. Elder Fawcett missed his own District meeting, but we called in a bit and let the other missionaries know what happened, and once we got to Uppsala the four of us headed to the Thai Buffet and celebrated Thanksgiving together. Fun morning and afternoon haha. Elder Weaver and I made it back to Stockholm no problem later, and had sports night as well as met with the Swedish woman who had interviewed us again and got our pictures taken by a photographer. Apparently, she wrote an article about our interview and its going to get published in a Swedish Christian Newspaper. 

Friday consisted of weekly planning while some handymen came into our apartment and installed some new lights for the Landlord, as well as getting an IKEA wardrobe delivered to us. I don't think I mentioned this earlier, but the mission will be losing the "Treehouse", Landlord is moving back in and kicking us out, so we will be moving out in a month or two. Also, taught Swedish to one of our members in the ward at the Church and did a ring stund. 

Saturday was District meeting, followed by some more solid contacting using the Christmas Initiative and seeing the general response. We also met with Dieudonné and showed the video to him and read Helaman 14 together. Sunday was the big pay-off day. Throughout the week, we had been stressing about how we would present the Initiative to the Ward and texted the Bishop multiple times and other leaders trying to coordinate allowing us some time to present the video and things. Thankfully, to our surprise, Bro. Henretta (one of the counselors in the Bishopric) announced it during Sacrament meeting and showed the advent calender as well, Elder Weaver and I showed the video in Priesthood opening exercises, and the other Elders showed it in Relief Society. Members are excited and interested and it was a success! Another plus was that our Albanian friend, Christoffer (who came to Stake Conference out of the blue last week) came to church yesterday and stayed all three hours and is just a stud. He already comes dressed in a full suit and introduced himself to a bunch of members, and we got him a Swedish and Albanian Book of Mormon. #SuperPrepared! It was a very fulfilling Sunday and so was Pablo's dinner per usual afterwards haha. 

I'm a sucker for small kids, I think they are the cutest and I always enjoy making goofy faces at babies or playing peek-a-boo with a toddler. Yesterday was the Primary Program and I felt the Spirit strongly as I heard the sincere, innocent testimonies of those dear children witness simple yet divine truths of the Restored Gospel. I was reminded of my own experiences in Primary and of my younger sisters back home, and the Spirit was so sweet. I know that the words Christ spoke have great meaning when he said, 

"Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me". (Matthew 18:4-5)

Don't forget to be a light for others this Christmas season and enjoy the time you have with your little ones, who have some of the strongest lights. Have a great week everyone! 

Mycket Kärlek,

-- 

Äldste Stefan Reed

Varma hälsningar från Sverige

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Mailing Information

Elder Stefan Reed
Enebybergsvägen 38
182 46, Enebyberg
Sweden

PICTURES: 
Turkey Bowl 2016!

Enjoying a snack on the way to Borlänge

City Square in Borlänge

City Square in Borlänge

The much deserved Thai Buffet!

Elder Weaver's first Cheesecake (Do you see Ludvig, as well?)

Friday, November 25, 2016

SWEDEN WEEK 86: Slushy Streets and Christmas Excitement

Coming to you live from the Farsta Bibliotek ladies and gentlemen!

Hope you all have had a wonderful week. I say this so many times but this week seriously did fly by. We were kept super busy and had a packed week, even if some our initial plans did not turn out. Lots of things exciting things coming up in the missionary World with the launch of the Church's Annual Christmas Initiative. More to come on that shortly.

Anyway, last Monday was a little bit different. In the afternoon we had a nice interview with a Swedish mom who is working on some essay or project with her University. Elder Weaver and I toured her and her husband around the Chapel then sat down and had a fun conversation about what we do as missionaries, our outlook on Sweden and its people, and some of the experiences we have had while serving here. She was very nice and we had some moments of laughter which broke the typical awkwardness of the situation. Chances are high that we will see her again this week actually; she enjoys basketball so we invited her to our sports nights on Thursdays. Besides a good call stund in the evening to set things up, we took it easy the rest of the P-Day.

Tuesday was the transferally MLC at the mission home, this time talking about plans for the Christmas Initiative and the countless opportunities of sharing the Gospel this has to offer. While leaving a bit overwhelmed with all the information that we would have to present to the missionaries in the zone later in the week, it was a very upplifting experience at the mission home and was topped off by a dinner with Jorgé and Hanna and the other Elders that evening. Hanna is so solid. We went over the Restoration again and Hanna explained to us how she had some questions after her baptism, but she had already gotten answers. She then shed tears as we testified of Jesus Christ and that his Church has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. She is so special.

Wednesday and Thursday were rather busy between planning on presenting the training to the Stockholm missionaries on Saturday, having time to teach our man Dieudonné, have dinner with the Del Gaisos again, getting a new investigator, and contacting in Farsta Centrum. The new investigator's name is Katrennada, and Elder Weaver and Elder Barker found her while we were on splits with the Gävle Elders a couple weeks ago. We had a short meeting with her on Wednesday about the Restoration and our purpose as missionaries, and she really opened up to us. She feels that she is missing a connection with God that she used to have as a child, and is desperately searching to get it back but can't seem to find it. We testified that this could help her and that this is what she needs, and she is excited to continue meeting with us. She felt peaceful and calm and felt different like she never had Before, and we testified to her that those feelings are from the Holy Ghost. We are super excited to work with her! She even came to Saturday's session of Stake Conference and enjoyed it! Dieudonné is doing alright, but is basically just at the point where he is backed up to the wall of faith and will have to decide for himself that he needs to be baptized again. We met with him on Friday as well and had a very spiritual Close to our meeting by kneeling down and all praying together for an answer. Unfortunately, he didn't seem to recognize the strong apparent Spirit that was there, so we are not sure what more we can do for him. He is still coming to Church though and we are going to continue meeting with him.

Forgot to mention, but on Thursday, Elder Weaver and I had the most spiritual street contact I have ever had. We were headed to a certain tunnelbana station but Elder Weaver thought we should get off at an early one, and the first contact that we had after getting onto the street was an slightly older Swedish woman named Christina. The contact started off like normal, but eventually we ended up teaching the full Restoration and testified of the Book of Mormon, and she just took it all in and hung on to everything we said. She said that us and this message coming to her at this time in her life was very important and she knew it wasn't chance that we met. After testifying and teaching, we asked her how she felt in that moment, and she responded in English, "Overwhelmed". On the verge of tears, she took a copy of the Book of Mormon and thanked us multiple times, We exchanged numbers and referred her to the missionaries that work where she lives. The Spirit led us to Christina without a doubt. Looking forward to how that all turns out with her and the missionaries she meets.

Pretty much all of our planned lessons fell through on Friday. Blåst day. Ended up doing some tracting in the rain, but thankfully we had umbrellas. As mentioned earlier, we had a lesson with Dieudonné again that day, but other than that and finalizing Zone training preparations that was it. Saturday and Sunday were a blur and a half. So much was going on with Stake Conference and Zone training and making sure all the missionaries in the zone knew who they were spending Saturday night with and everything. The training on Saturday went well and everyone is excited to use the Christmas Initiative. Elder Weaver and I attended a Priesthood Leadership meeting before the general session of the Conference and got some good insights there, then quickly helped out with setting up chairs and things. I ended up doing the English translation for both Saturday and Sunday. Other cool things was that we had street contact from Albania come to Church on Sunday, loved it, and he is now excited to meet with us and learn more. Besides all that, I got to see a ton of familiar faces from the Stockholm ward like the Heidenbergs, Guerras (their son Jerry just came back from his mission this week and gave a talk on Saturday), the Pences, and even Fumi. Joyous times and wonderful memories were remembered. I am so grateful for all the wonderful people that I have met her and whom have changed my life for the better.

To top off Everything, Pablo invited ALL the missionaries in the Zone plus the ones in the Stake that are in Södertälje Zone, to dinner at his Place on Sunday. It was a full house of missionaries, but it was accomplished. Elder Weaver and I and the other elders cleaned up afterwards and helped Pablo get his house back in order haha. Afterwards, Elder Weaver and I visited a mother in the ward and her kids and got to know them better. They want us over every week now!

So, about this Christimas Initiative: #LightTheWorld! The theme for this year is service and is focused on President Monson's talk from October 2015 of "Being an example and a Light". The goal: 25 Days in 25 ways; serving others and exemplifying the Savior each day up to Christmas. Some resources include an inspirational video, an advent calender with suggestions of ways to serve each day from December 1 to December 25, and pass-along cards. This is me inviting you all to get on the bandwagon and share this with everyone! Mormon.org will launch the Initiative this Friday (November 25), and then on 1 December, get involved with the Worldwide Day of Service. 

I know that we can be "the light of the world" (Matthew 5:14-16) and following the Savior and becoming like him will fill us with more joy and love than we have ever experienced before. Lets make this the best Christmas ever! 

Have a great week everyone! 

Mycket Kärlek!    

--

Äldste Stefan Reed

Varma hälsningar från Sverige

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Mailing Information

Elder Stefan Reed
Enebybergsvägen 38
182 46, Enebyberg
Sweden

PICTURES:
Daniel! We met him on the street in Mörby Centrum. He is an investgator with the Jakobsberg missionaries!

Pretty much all the snow has melted now

After Stake Conference

Visting the Gegundezs

Monday, November 14, 2016

SWEDEN WEEK 85: Apocalyptic Snow and Loving People

God eftermiddag mina damar och herrar! 

Winter has come early this year! That just means more julmust and pepparkakor sooner so I'm okay with that haha. It has been crazy over here with snow, however. Last Wednesday, Sweden got hit with TONS of snow, especially the greater Stockholm area, and America got hit with a new President. Crazy day! Elder Weaver and I are surviving and doing well and continuing to move on as always. Hanna is doing great, Dieudonné is still having a hard time accepting Priesthood and the decision to be baptized again, and new missionaries in the zone are awesome. 

Not a whole lot happened last Monday other than saying goodbye to some departing missionaries from the Zone at the YSA Center. We were able to meet with Jeff after a week and he is falling back into old habits, but doing okay. We had to drop his baptismal date due to different reasons, but are going to continue helping him and be good influences for him. He needs lots of temporal and spiritual help. Our dear Elder Murtonen took his train to Helsingborg on Tuesday morning, so we took Elder Wilson along with us for the morning and did studies and lunch together before heading to Stockholm C to pick up his new companion, Elder Cotton. Elder Weaver and I headed to Fisksätra and swung-by a couple of less-actives and later that evening did a over-the-phone Stake Report with our Stake President. 

Wednesday was the day of the Apocalypse. The snow came down the previous night and continued most of the day, shutting down tons of busses and delaying tons of trains. Elder Weaver and I helped out the outgoing and incoming missionaries at Stockholm C, and did our best to contact despite the weather. Swedes just seemed confused and panicked all day due to the results of the Presidential election and the amount of snow that was coming. The four of us Gubbängen Elders had to walk to a different train station in order to catch a train to get to Jorgé and Hanna's for dinner. We made it safely and had a great time with them, their family is doing awesome. They want us over every week from now on! Getting home was crazy for Elder Weaver and I; some of the tunnelbanas were delayed so their was a huge pile-up of people packed at one station waiting for trains to come. 

Thursday's plans didn't entirely turn out, but we did lots of contacting and topped it off with Sports night in the evening. Got to see one of my old comps, Elder Thacker, who is in Hägersten's area in Stockholm South now. District meeting with the new district on Friday; got a brand new missionary being trained named Elder Harris who is in the Stockholm area. Got to meet with Dieudonné as well but didn't turn out so well, but were are working with him. We got to have a great dinner with the Del Gaiso family Saturday night and learned how we can help the ward members more and got some great insights on things we can do. We were even able to give a blessing to the wife. Earlier that day we also ended up helping clean the church with Bro. Henretta, who was originally going to clean it all by himself due to the originally assigned family not being able to. Luckily we happened to stop by the church as he was in the process and were able to help him out. 

Normal day yesterday, Church as usual with some solid classes during second and third hour. Dieudonné came once again and we also had some other non-members that were there. The relief society put on a little fika afterwards and we were to talk to some members and clean up the dishes afterwards. Dinner at Pablo's with the Hägersten missionaries as well to end the evening. 

I ran into some awesome examples of faith in my study of the Book of Mormon recently. I noticed how both Abish and Aaron stretched forth their hands to raise King Lamoni's wife and King Lamoni's father, respectively. They didn't just ask God to lift raise them, but they acted in faith and stretched forth their hands because they had the faith that they could raise them back up. I pondered these stories and was strengthened by the knowledge that we can accomplish miracles as we act in faith. Give Alma 19 and 22 a read this week. 

May you all have a great week! Enjoy the fall weather those of you who can! Haha! 

Mycket Kärlek,

--

Äldste Stefan Reed

Varma hälsningar från Sverige

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Mailing Information

Elder Stefan Reed
Enebybergsvägen 38
182 46, Enebyberg
Sweden

PICTURES:

The District of last transfer
Day of the Snow!

Day of the Snow!

Day of the Snow!

Walking to the Saltsjöbanan Wednesday evening

Packed like chickens at Skärmabrink

Monday, November 7, 2016

SWEDEN WEEK 84: Spiritual Fiesta and Early Winter

Beunos días! 

It has been a great week to end the transfer on! We had a wonderful baptismal service this past Saturday for Hanna, we are continuing to meet with Dieudonné and help him find an answer in regards to being baptized, and we were able to complete Stake Reports in a timely manner! It has been amazing to see how much the Lord has blessed Elder Weaver and I here in Gubbängen. 

In the way of news, Elder Weaver and I will be staying together for another five weeks (this transfer is a week shorter due to Christmas coming up shortly after), but sadly our beloved Finn, Elder Murtonen will be leaving the ranks and heading down south for the winter to the Helsingborg/Landskrona area. We are going to miss him a ton...Elder Wilson will be getting Elder Cotton, a fairly new Elder who is leaving his first area. Not a whole lot of big changes in terms of the mission overall either, pretty simple transfer this time around.

In the way of events, last P-Day we checked out the Natural History Museum over by the University with the other Elders and some other missionaries, as well as tried swinging by some less-actives but instead met a cool guy from Serbia named Nikola. 

Had some fun exchanges with the Gävle Elders this past Tuesday. I got to be with an Elder from my original MTC group, Elder Perkins, going out to do some good old tracting in Gävle. Gävle is a nice city, reminded me a little of Umeå and has that little Norrland feel just being farther north and all. Got to meet an Finnish woman who accepted a Book of Mormon from us. Due to snow in Stockholm and people running around on train tracks in Gävle, Elder Weaver and I faced some difficulty with travel, but we eventually made it back to Stockholm okay. That is another thing, SNOW IS HERE! Crazy to see that stuff again.

I got to have a cool teaching experience with Elder Wilson teaching some old investigators, a Colombian family who is looking for the truth and enjoy the teachings that the missionaries bring. They have investigated for 4 years now and are just wanting that perfect church experience and feel that haven't gotten it yet with our church. We taught the Restoration and answered some of their questions, and they definitely felt the Spirit. They are really positive and I am hoping the other Elders focus on them because they seem pretty prepared. 

Other events of the week were Stake Reports and getting final preparations ready for Hanna's baptism. We got to teach Dieudonné on Friday and watch the short Restoration movie with him as well as a Mormon message from Elder Holland on the Book of Mormon. Dieudonné has been reading through a ton of the Book of Mormon lately and is almost to Helaman. We also got to have a dinner with a Swedish non-member family and have some "English conversation" together. This was a return of a favor; the Mom had contacted us for help with her daughter's english assignment. We got to teach the Restoration to them and are planning to have continued contact with the Mom. 

Transfer calls went out on Saturday, little weird to be the one delivering the info to the other missionaries, and then after District Meeting and Elder Larson's Funeral, Elder Weaver and finished Stake Reports and had Hanna's baptismal service that evening. The service was conducted in Spanish by our Ward Mission Leader, Walter, and we had a good turnout by almost exclusively Latino-members. Dieudonné came too! Hanna loved it and many tears were shed. The confirmation yesterday also went well. So grateful that I could witness this process a little and see the beginning of Hanna's new life. A step closer to building an eternal family. 

The language of the Spirit can be understood by everyone. As Elijah experienced, it is "a still, small voice". The Lord loves all of his children and communicates that eternal love through the Holy Ghost. I am so glad that Hanna has received this gift, to guide her on her path back to Heavenly Father. 

Have a great week! 

Mycket Kärlek,
--

Äldste Stefan Reed

Varma hälsningar från Sverige

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Mailing Information

Elder Stefan Reed
Enebybergsvägen 38
182 46, Enebyberg
Sweden

PICTURES:

Riding the Dino-gator at the Museum

Dinosaurs!

Dinosaurs!

Splits with Elder Perkins

First snow in Stockholm

Hanna's Baptism