Monday, April 11, 2016

SWEDEN WEEK 54: Staying Put and Counting Blessings

Käre vänner och syskon! 

It has been a fantastic week! Better than ones past for sure, but also I am just feeling so blessed and happy to be out here. I have been blessed so much in my service to the Lord and I couldn't be finding more joy in the work which I am doing. Struggles come and go, happy times fill your heart, and you learn to truly love everything that you have been given and to see people in the way that our Heavenly Father views us all. I really feel that I am increasing in Christ-like love and can't help but smile sometimes these last couple days. 

But enough cliche missionary mush. To cut to the quick, in terms of transfers, Elder Williams and I are both staying here in the Utby I area. To be honest, we wanted a little change, but at the same time we both felt that we would be together another six. The transfer call that Saturday morning was a little boring for us, and we were a little disappointed, but by the end of the day we were in high spirits and happy for the outcome. Elder Featherstone however is going back to one of his old areas, Skellefteå, to complete his mission there, and Elder Halterman will be getting Elder Heiner, who will be our ZLs here. 

With transfer info out of the way, lets go through the week...

Last Monday was a blast! We had a big zone activity for P-Day where we went to this little park/mountain area right here in the Utby neighborhood and played football (yes that's right, as in the American kind), ate lunch together, then hiked this mountain and had a testimony meeting at the top. Definitely a memorable experience, pictures will follow. That night Elder Williams and I visited Chris and Sanna and had dinner with them and played a card came. We also had the change to exercise the priesthood and bless Michael, their little boy, who was suffering from some sort of chest cold or nasal thing. 

Elder Williams and I caught the last session of Conference Tuesday morning, then went out to Angered Centrum and contacted around there for a bit. We ate soup with Lennart later that day and had a language lesson, then finished the day by making some calls and updating the area book. We were set to meet Juha that day but he had to cancel on us. 

On Wednesday we did some tracting over in the Atmosfärgatan area, then had a lesson with Sonyaa at the church. We even got Sis. Liljansalo to be there as well, which was a great help. Lessons with members present always go better. We reviewed the Restoration with Sonyaa and tried to find out her concerns. It seems right now just to be things like abortion and other political apsects. Still working on getting her to open up, but Sis. Liljansalo later gave us some good advice in that we should be more confident and not so shy in our teaching. If we want her to open up, we should be open ourselves. That night we went with Kirk and his wife to visit a less-active named Veikko, a member from Finland. He lives in an assisted living building and loves having visits from missionaries and others. Elder Williams and I got to know him and the four of us went around sharing scriptures from the Book of Mormon. Nice guy, definitely needs visits more often. 

We had the weekly district meeting on Thursday, then had a "funeral" and lunch for Sis. Griffes in the Västra Frölunda district, who will be going home this Wednesday. After the assembly, Elder Williams and I went out to Angered and did some more tracting in the Rannebergen area. Lots of unlocked six story buildings makes for a happy Elder Williams :). We found a few potential people there, plus some interesting people who wouldn't open the door but wanted us to yell through it who we were, but surprisingly couldn't hear us and wouldn't open up. People are funny sometimes hahaha. We met with Juha as well and had the Elders Quorum President, Magnus, come with. The lesson went really well; we watched the short Restoration movie, and talked a lot about diligent seeking and praying. Magnus was awesome and helped a lot. Once again, member lessons are better. Juha is continuing to open up more and really getting more invested in this whole process. Definitely making progress. The evening concluded with FHE at the Cammans home. 

Friday was fun! Had lunch with the ZLs and the Svahns at their place and with a bunch of others that they invited over, and Elder Williams and I shared a message about Prophets that went really well. After arriving back in our area, we started some weekly planning since it was raining anyway, then had Sports night at the chapel where we played basketball with the Young Men and Bishop. Let it be known that Americans are better at B-Ball than Swedes, just not me...

Saturday was super good! After the transfer calls that morning, Elder Williams and I went to the Västra Frölunda Chapel and attended a Baptismal service for Oscar, an investigator of about nine months. Cool experience and big turnout of people to support him. Even got to see my old comp, Elder Thacker! After the service, Elder Williams and I went out to Angered, although we intended to go to Bergsjön, but it was better we went where we did. We were able to do more tracting over in Rannebergen, but also got in and taught one of our potentials that we found on Thursday, named Jasmine! She has a crazy family situation; her dad is Muslim and her mom is Catholic, and she has family in Peru that are half Mormon and half Jehovah's Witnesses. She has investigated before and read out of the Book of Mormon and is willing to continue meeting with us. Super cool! We have high hopes for her. Found some more potentials and then eventually went home and had dinner after a solid day. 

Sunday was also awesome! Kind of a hectic morning, trying to get Juha directed to Church and also taught our investigator named Cuong from Vietnam before Church started. It was Ward Conference so we had the Stake Presidency there and lots of members in church. Juha came a little late but made it, and met some more members and seemed to have a great time. Cuong stayed for Sacrament as well and overall just a good time at the end. We had a big lunch afterwards and it was really good just talking to members and helping out with cleaning afterwards. After Church we went out to Bergsjön and did a lot of swing-bys/tracting that turned out to be super successful. A couple phone numbers gathered and lots of Books of Mormon handed out. Great Sabbath!

I have been thinking a lot about the Priesthood lately and how God has blessed us with the keys, authority and power to perform saving ordinances for the salvation of man. It truly is something that sets us apart and testifies that we are the true church of Jesus Christ restored on the Earth today. As it states in D&C 84, the "power of Godliness is manifest" by the ordinances we perform and in the power we exercise. Such a blessing!

I hope you all have a great week! Enjoy the Spring weather and every moment! 

Mycket kärlek,  
--

Äldste Stefan Reed

Varma hälsningar från Sverige

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Mailing Information

Elder Stefan Reed
Enebybergsvägen 38
182 46, Enebyberg

Sweden

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