Monday, June 27, 2016

SWEDEN WEEK 65: Utby Midsommar and Rainy Days

Hello Hello Hello! 

We have just had a blast over here in käre Göteborg! This past weekend was fun-filled bonanza, I don't really know where to start! 

Basically, our actual proselyting days were Monday-Thursday, and the weekend (excluding Sunday) was off due to the Midsommar Holiday. P-Day consisted of some rainy shopping (lots of drizzles and downpours this past week actually), then Elder Cragun and I finished handing out flyers to the Utby neighborhood. 

Tuesday was a solid working day though! We had a bit of a combined companionship study with the Zone Leaders discussing all the scriptures and info Marvin Perkins had given us, then we headed out to lunch at Kirk's. Afterwards, Elder Cragun and I did some solid street contacting in Angered Centrum and found a lady by the name of Jillian who had a bunch of questions for us about our church and liked our answers. We got her number and gave her a Book of Mormon, and are actually going to meet with her tomorrow! Super cool contact! We also had some run-ins with what we called the local "rift-raft", some drunks and the like, and talked to a bunch of them because they kept stopping us and wanted to talk haha. For me, it is sad to see people in that condition, their minds and lives just aren't what they could be. I think of the Savior and how he was amongst people of that sort as well, and I realize that it is a privilege to be in such a position that I am a missionary doing this same work for all of God's children. We had dinner that evening with the Muhlematters and a discussion about Scriptural Heroes.  

Wednesday went by super fast and was a little rougher. Our first contact of the day was an atheist man from the Middle East who was very opinionated in his ideology. Kind of shut down some of our other plans for the day because we talked with him for a while. Plus rain made it hard to contact outside as well. We met with Lennart and had a language study with him, then went out to Hjällbo and taught Sara! This time we focused on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and got a baptismal date for the 16 of July with her! She is very excited and still loving everything! She and Staffan came to the Midsommar Celebration sponsored by the ward on Friday and they came to church yesterday as well. They are so awesome! 

We spent Thursday having District meeting with the other Elders (minus the Zone Leaders who were gone on workovers) and had a good bonding time, then we headed out to Hjällbo and spent the bulk of the day out there contacting. In the evening, the ZLs and Elder Cragun and I helped some members of the ward decorate the Maypole in the rain, then we went to the Camman's home for dinner and root-beer floats. 

Friday was Midsommarsafton, the big day where all of Sweden gathers around fields and dances around the Maypole while singing traditional, childish songs with accompanying actions. Nearly all of the Göteborg Zone came down to Utby and we celebrated there, helping out with games, giving ice cream to the children at the end, and taking lots of pictures and dancing and singing of course. The weather was great, no rain and plenty of sunshine. After the celebration there, all the missionaries as well as some others gathered at the Falck's house (a family in our ward) and had some Taiwanese food and conversed with each other. After that, we all moved to the YSA center and played some board games and things and chilled. Everyone was tired and a little sun-burned by the end of the day haha. Elder Cragun and I hosted the Karlstad Elders that night from the Malmö Zone, who got permission to join our festivities and we had a blast with them. 

Saturday was basically an extra P-Day, since it was also a Swedish Holiday, the actual Midsommarsdag. Elder Cragun and I and the Karlstad Elders (Elder Moulton and Elder Nelson) walked around the vacant streets of central Göteborg, took some pics, then joined up with other missionaries and ate lunch and played some games together. More chilling haha. The Frölunda Sisters had a baptismal service for their Nigerian investigator, Phillip, and we gladly attended and had a nice time there. To finish of the day, we got back home and did some weekly planning. 

Sunday was exciting as usual, always many things to do. Earlier this week, we were called by a member in Hong Kong who was seeking information about the Church here in Göteborg since she would be coming to Sweden on a business trip and would be attending our ward. We held contact with her during the week and got her the info, and she was able to make it to services here yesterday. She had a good time and was very grateful for our help. As said, Sara and Staffan came, and an old investigator and his brother visited as well and came to our Gospel Principles class and loved it. We had lunch with the ZLs after meetings, then went to Bergsjön and had a home-teaching visit with Rex and his family and Mattias Renman, a counselor in the Bishopric. We also visited our lonesome friend Sven-Anders and then did some tracting in Angered before going to Kirk's for correlation meeting. While tracting, we were let in by a Kurdish Muslim man who was very friendly and nice and we had a good conversation with him. He was very respectful and let us share a super short message, and we left him with a Book of Mormon; though he said he was firm in his faith, he said we are welcome back anytime. Just a peaceful, friendly conversation and felt super natural. 

In my studies of the Book of Mormon and 1 Samuel I have come across a lot insights on the Holy Ghost and how necessary he is for our relationship with God. Without His Spirit we would not have pure knowledge and truth on this earth. It is through that divine revelation that we are blessed and are led to follow Jesus Christ. As we live righteously and are obedient, we can be assured that the Lord will communicate with us through his Spirit, as King Saul unfortunately could not figure out. I love this Gospel and this Church. Have a great week and keep enjoying your summer!

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!! MIDSOMMAR EDITION!!:

-Decorating the Midsommarstång

Midsommar in Fjällbo Park

Midsommar in Fjällbo Park

Me and my comp!

Selfies!

Me and my comp!

Midsommar in Fjällbo Park

Midsommar in Fjällbo Park

The After-Party

#Romans

Group Pics!

Group Pics!

Group Pics!

Saturday Morning with the Karlstad Guys!

Göteborg City Streets

Göteborg City Streets

Our guest from China, Sister Ng!

Monday, June 20, 2016

SWEDEN WEEK 64: Knowledge Overload and Feeling Good

Oh folks it has been a whirlwind of a week! Some much has happened (as usual) and there just isn't time to write even a hundredth part of it down haha. Elder Cragun and I really felt good about the outcome of the week, we learned soooooo much. We events like Mission Tour with Elder Timothy J. Dyches of the Europe Area Presidency on Wednesday, the Fair Mormon Conference in Kungsbacka on Saturday, and a fireside in Frölunda where one of the speakers from said conference spoke just last night. Also, we talked to the "One"s that we needed to each day that the Lord put in our path. 

On Monday, the "One" was a man by the name of Peder who hails from Morocco. We were walking down the streets of Gamlestaden and passed a man working outside on his car, and we simply started talking to him after saying hi. I'll admit, he wasn't a golden investigator or a prepared guy per-say, he was very solid in his Christian faith and told us multiple times how he knew everything already and didn't need Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon. But still, we had a good chat with him anyway and we walked away a little frustrated haha but it was meant to be I think. 

We met with Juha on Tuesday and taught him about Missionary Work in the Church, and kept it pretty basic with him. He has been reading a few chapters from the Book of Mormon on his own, but still kind of at a stand still in terms of progression. We also did some service for him by going to his place Friday and cleaning his balcony of bird poop, which he really appreciated haha. On Tuesday we also checked out an area called Eriksbo and ran into a Polish man by the name of Stefan (hehe). He expressed to us his concern of the outlook of the world these days and how there is so much wrong. He is a Christian himself but isn't very strong in his faith right now. We listened to him and talked to him, and just had a very natural conversation that led into our message of the Book of Mormon and how we can know that God does exist and truly love us thanks to it. Though he didn't accept the book, he was glad to meet us and said we were nice and gladly took our card. That evening we had some missionaries from other areas stay the night at our place in preparation for Mission Tour the following day, so we hosted Elder Benson and Elder Thacker from Karlskrona in the Malmö zone (that's right, Elder Thacker my previous comp :)) and Elder Luke and Elder Holt from Jönköping. 

I learned tons from Wednesday from both President and Sister Beckstrand about recognizing the Spirit and being Seekers of Him, as well as from Elder Dyches about being a Master Teacher. It was basically a Zone Conference with the Malmö Zone. After the Conference and lunch, my companion had been specially selected by President B. to be interviewed by Elder Dyches, so they had a little one-on-one meeting while I waited outside in the hall. From what I hear, it was super good :) We also had dinner with the Zone Leaders and Bro. Cederberg that night, then celebrated Sis. Banks' birthday over in VF. 

Thursday was solid. We had a street contacting session through the Svingeln/Olskroken area and found a woman who gladly accepted the Book of Mormon, and sat on a bench and talked to a man named Hassan from Iraq. We got to take the Zone Leaders car after dropping them off at the Station to head up to Stockholm, then went to Kirk's for FHE. Good chat about the Spirit there as well. 

With our use of the car, we went out to a farther area called Surte and did some tracting there. Unfortunately we didn't have the most success due to the Sweden-Italy Football game going on and no one wanted to talk. We also found another tracting area in Angered in the Lövgärdet part. The day concluded by picking up the ZLs and then getting dinner together. 

We had another awesome lesson with Sara and Staffan this Saturday, teaching about the Plan of Salvation. Everything went super well, the Spirit was present, and Sara is still loving learning. She and Staffan have read up to 1 Nephi 5 together, and they have even talked about baptism! At the end of the lesson, they bring that up and Sara expressed how she feels that this Church is right and that it feels good. We were a little speechless haha! I left that lesson feeling so good inside, with those warm, peaceful feelings that come from the Holy Ghost warming my soul. Sara is prepared by the Lord and such a blessing. We met with Inge and read some Book of Mormon to him, and then went to the last hour of the the Fair Mormon Conference in Kungsbacka with the Zone Leaders and heard some good talks about Joseph Smith and the translation process of the Book of Mormon, and its coming forth. Just soaking up that knowledge. 

Sunday was the big knowledge overload day. We had a few guests from the Fair Mormon Conference who spoke attend our church meetings and one of them by the name of Marvin Perkins gave an excellent talk about Spiritual Anchors. He also took the four of us missionaries and Kirk aside during third hour to impart his knowledge of race in the scriptures. My mind was blown! We also were treated to listen to Daniel Petterson give a fireside in Frölunda and talk about the similarities of Muslims and Mormons. What a privilege to hear from these treasure troves of knowledge. It was a crazy weekend to say the least hahah! That always seems to be the case here. In other news, Elder Cragun and I passed out a bunch of flyers to the Utby neighborhood about the Midsommar celebration this coming Friday this past week, Sara and Staffan came to church yesterday, we met with Sven-Andersson yesterday and read from 2 Nephi 32 and things are going super well.

My thought for the week is just the simple principle of trusting in the Lord and following his path. Just like Samuel: "Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. " (1 Sam 15:22)

The Lord has outlined his path for us, and we have but to obey and follow. We can't let our pride get in the way, and lead us to think that we should do things differently when the Lord knows best. He has given us the tools and the means to follow Him. I hope you all have a great week! Talk to you again real soon! This Saturday even! 

Mycket Kärlek,
--

Äldste Stefan Reed

Varma hälsningar från Sverige

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Mailing Information

Elder Stefan Reed
Enebybergsvägen 38
182 46, Enebyberg
Sweden

Feeding some goats in Eriksbo

Rainbow as we left Frölunda (lots of rain this past week by the way)


The Lake by Kirk's place

FHE at Kirk's!

Our special guest from Sunday, Brother Marvin Perkins. Look him up, stud of a man.

Monday, June 13, 2016

SWEDEN WEEK 63: Handed People and Honorary Pallbearers

Hey folks! 

Coming at you again with another look into my week in Sweden in the land of Göteborg! I will have to keep this one relatively short so I thought I would just share some highlights from the week. 

It was National Day last Monday, so we joined with the Ward at the Church to celebrate it and eat some korv med bröd and sing the Swedish National Anthem! Cool stuff! We also went out to Slottsskogen with some other missionaries and enjoyed the beautiful weather! That evening we headed out to Hjällbo and gave a previous tracted door a Persian Book of Mormon, plus talked to some Iranian fellows about what we do. 

We saw the Lord hand us our first blessing this past week as we were working in Hjällbo on Tuesday. After contacting around a little bit, were about to head home and eat lunch when a less-active member that I had only met once before saw us and walked up to us. He then invited us back to his place to chat for a bit and we had a nice time talking to him and getting to know him better. His name is Staffan and he was recently married, and he told us that he would like missionaries to meet with his wife and teach her about the Church! We gladly accepted and this past Saturday, we went back and had our first lesson with Sara! Super good visit and experience! She is super excited to continue meeting and to start reading from the Book of Mormon! I walked out of there just feeling good inside and knew that the Lord was looking out for us. Icing on the cake was that they even came to Church yesterday, and Sara is eager to come several times more! So wonderful! 

In other news, we went on Splits with the Alingsås Elders on Wednesday, Elder Falkner came here and he and I had a fun time. We had lunch with Zene and the Zone Leaders that day and met with Juha and Agha as well as Chris and Sanna. Juha is kind of on hold right now, still not coming to Church. Looks like its going to be a "Do or Die" type lesson this week, more to follow on that situation soon. 

We had the usual District meeting on Thursday, as well as had dinner with Sis. Liljansalo with the Zone Leaders then Home Evening at the Camman's per norm. 

Friday morning was pretty interesting actually. Elder Cragun and I and the Zone Leaders were asked to be Pallbearers at the funeral service for a member of the ward who recently passed away, so we attended the service which was very well done. The things you do on a mission. Gave us a good opportunity to meet members of his wife's family who are not members and overall was an interesting yet special experience. 

Also on Saturday evening, after contacting a lady on a bench, a man who had been waiting for us to finish talking with her came up to us and introduced himself as Sven-Andersson, a member of the Church. We were a little taken aback, we continued to talking to this elderly man and got his number and he gladly invited us to come visit him. His apartment was just across where we had been talking to the lady to! The Lord blessed us yet again. Inspired contacts! 

Elder Cragun and I had a great Sunday, taught some classes, and then did lots of tracting in Angered before going to Kirk's for Correlation meeting. I received answers to my prayers this past week on finding out what I can do better, and in a talk in sacrament meeting I was answered that I need to do a better job of focusing on the positives. The Lord is aware of each of us and supports us in our trials. He sends help our way and blesses us according to our obedience and diligence. That was evident this last week. If you want more examples of this, read Alma 56 and ponder about Antipus.

I hope you all have a great week! Focus on the positive! 

Mycket Kärlek,
--

Äldste Stefan Reed

Varma hälsningar från Sverige

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Mailing Information

Elder Stefan Reed
Enebybergsvägen 38
182 46, Enebyberg
Sweden

Enjoying National Day in Slottsskogen

Elder Treat!

Pallbearers; in front of the Hearst

Food pics

Food pics

Monday, June 6, 2016

SWEDEN WEEK 62: Summer Days and The Grind

Hallå hallå!

Greetings from Gothenburg once again! It has been a hot, long, tiring week for Elder Cragun and I. I would be lying if I said it wasn't one of the more rougher ones. We did lots of work and suffered a few disappointments, but we learned a great deal by the end of it.

To get into it, Monday was fairly chill, took care of the normal P-Day routine then went down to the center and hung around with some other missionaries. Elder Richardson and Elder Cragun wanted to check out the city, so the three of us took a walk around and got some ice cream at the end. Our proselyting for the day consisted of some tracting and contacting in south Bergsjön, were we met an Eritrean mother who accepted a Book of Mormon.

Most of the other days this week consisted of much of the same, lots of contacting and tracting in the Bergsjön and Angered areas. Highlights from Tuesday were getting the car while the Zone Leaders were in Stockholm for MLC (Missionary Leadership Council), met with Juha and had a really good lesson about the Holy Ghost, language study with Lennart, then played Rugby and American football(sort of) in the rain with the Youth in the ward.
Had a fun start on Wednesday by attending a pancake party hosted by a YSA from Frölunda ward with other missionaries in the Frölunda district. Later went out to Bergsjön and had a street discussion with a brother named Claudio and ended up getting his number, and also swung-by Rex's family and had a good meet with the three kids. We closed the day with a dinner at the Hindborg's home and had a good time with Bro. and Sis. Hindborg, then got back home and made a few calls.

Aside from the usual, we met with Juha and talked about the priesthood, then gave a Book of Mormon to a previously tracted lady. We did lots of walking that day through Hjällbo and Angered, and tracted some more buildings, finding a very sincere Christian man named Sunne. The Spirit was present as we bore testimonies about the Book of Mormon to him and invited him to read and pray about it. He gratefully accepted the book and said he would study it. Very positive man, special door for sure. Also, we ended up giving a Book of Mormon to a ten year old Muslim girl who thought our name tags were cool. She was smart as a whip and we talked to her and her friends for a bit. We even exchanged high fives at the end haha!

The transfer-lly zone training was held at the YSA Center on Friday, where we received training on teaching and adding emphasis to the temple as part of goal-setting with investigators and others we work with. Got to see some familiar faces who are new to the zone, like Elder Luke and Elder Perkins, as well as meet new ones. Elder Cragun and I had a wonderful weekly planning session after lunch and getting home; one of the more effective ones I have had on my mission. We had some great discussion about how we have been doing so far and how we can express more charity and love in what we do. We made some calls later that day as well as walked around the Utby neighborhood and contacted some people.

Saturday was much like Thursday, but we got to meet Agha and boost his spirits, then went out to Hjällbo and spent a good chunk of time tracting and contacting there. We went out to Bergsjön late afternoon and met a new guy named Herman, who hails from Eritrea and has lived in Karlstad, Elder Cragun's previous area. We gave him a Book of Mormon in his language and he was excited to read it, being Christian himself. Super nice guy, even fed us some traditional food from his country. Don't ask me the name of it because I couldn't pronounce it anyway haha. As we later tried to swing-by some less-actives, we contacted a man named Tesfai which turned into an hour and half long discussion out on the street. A very knowledgable man with a rock-solid faith and belief in God and Christ, explaining his beliefs and perceptions in detail to us. He went through and explained his story of how he was saved, speaking eloquent English for it not being his first language. We did get his number and ended on a good note.

Sunday was alright, the Spirit was felt during fast and testimony meeting and Elder Cragun and I taught a good lesson on Tithing for Gospel Principles class. A convert that was baptized here four years ago and her husband came to visit and were super cool. Other than that, Elder Cragun and I and the ZLs broke our fasts and had dinner together, we gave a blessing to Sis. Zene, and then later went to Kirk's for corelation meeting. Kirk arrived back from the States yesterday from attending his son's wedding, but was happy to have us over and gave us some yummy cake. 

Despite the hard week, Elder Cragun and I have gotten closer and have talked a lot about Charity lately. I was reading through the talk by Elder Hallstrom entitled, "I Am a Child of God" and realized that it is as we lose our identity as children of God, we distance ourselves from Him and are more prone to fall into the traps of sin. As we remember our divine potential and who we really are, we will choose to be valiant so that we can live with our Father in Heaven again. Don't forget who you are!

Mycket Kärlek!

--

Äldste Stefan Reed

Varma hälsningar från Sverige

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Mailing Information

Elder Stefan Reed
Enebybergsvägen 38
182 46, Enebyberg
Sweden

Ice Cream with the Bros, Elder Richardson and Elder Cragun

We eat good food here

The New Göteborg Zone! Selfie!

Super funny sign; gives you a good idea of what work is like in Hjällbo

Red Velvet cake at Kirk's last night! Yum!

Red Velvet cake at Kirk's last night! Yum!