Monday, September 5, 2016

SWEDEN WEEK 75: Iraqi Mother and American Brotherhood

Good afternoon fellow siblings!

As the seasons are beginning to make the turn from Summer to Fall, so to is our investigator pool. We are beginning to get in contact with "new" people and seeing some great opportunities sprout up. 

Last Monday we took care of some temporal needs such as getting Elder Dean a haircut from the local Salon, dropping off my bike to get it fixed up, and then relaxing a bit at the YSA center and playing some card games with other missionaries in the zone. Tracting in the evening finished off our day. On Tuesday we had correlation meeting in the afternoon with Bro. Wagner, then Elder Dean and I went out to Sjöbo with the Sisters to visit one of the investigators and give her a blessing. She was very grateful and said that she could feel comfort and good feelings flow down from her head as Elder Dean blessed her. After that we went home and got dinner then swung by a less-active. 

Wednesday was rather eventful. Elder Dean and I did a contacting session in the city and ran into some nice University students as well as picked up my repaired bike. That evening was ward council which was then followed by the quarterly talent night, "Arena", hosted by ward here. We were able to invite a less-active named Grant (more on him in a second) and get two potential investigators that Elder Dickson and I contacted many weeks ago to come. Fun night, lots of musical talent was shared (including a rendition of "Let it Go" by our ever-energetic bishopric) and we got to meet a bunch of non-members. 

Thursday went by pretty fast. Elder Dean and I single-handedly helped out Grant and his girlfriend with their move from their place in Hjärup to a new place in Staffanstorp, and it was actually super fun. Grant is half-American and half-Australian, comes from a Catholic and LDS background, and working on building his faith and in the process of becoming more active in the church. He feels that peace of the Spirit when he attends Sundays and comes to other activities at the chapel, and really has a desire to learn more and grow his childhood testimony that has been nurtured by his mother. We really got to become friends with him and were laughing and having a blast carrying furniture. We were all pretty sore and tired by the end, just physically wiped haha. We took a break and got some candy at the local grocery store at one point ("Pick&Mix lollies"). He really appreciated the service and thanked us multiple times, and expressed meeting with us and discussing the Book of Mormon and some of his questions. Felt really good helping him. We also got to visit Stig and teach about prayer, and then were treated with dinner by our wonderful office couple, the Clouses, who came down to Skåne for some missionary apartment business. Wonderful time chatting with them and getting to know each other better. 

The usual district meeting was held on Friday, then afterwards Elder Dean and I did some language study and planning, contacted for a bit, then had a great lesson with a previous investigator and our member friend Bro. Schanner. Siv had investigated the church 8 years ago, had come to church a couple of times and met a bunch of stalwart members and was very close to baptism, but then was dropped due to health issues and opposition from family. Earlier in the week Elder Dean and I tracted into her by chance (spiritual guidance, really) and set-up a time to meet later in the week with a member she remembered from before. It happened to be Bro. Schanner, so the three of us went over Friday night and had a great lesson about Christ's Atonement and reestablished expectations. She was very receptive of what we taught and nearly committed to a baptismal invitation. She did however come to church yesterday and had a great time, seeing members she had met all those years ago and enjoying all three hours of church. She basically has jumped to the top of our priority list. 

On Saturday, I went on exchanges with our District Leader Elder Gergetz and had a great day together. We did a little bit of everything; tracting, contacting, swing-ing by old investigators and less-actives. Couple stand-outs from the day were contacting an Iraqi woman with poor English and Swedish who invited us to her nearby home for food. We sat outside the door since her husband was asleep and she kindly gave us a full meal. After the husband woke up, we came inside and tried to explain our message as missionaries, but the language barrier was difficult. We learned that they are of the Mehndi(?) religion and believe in John the Baptist, and are set in their faith, but welcomed us back anytime if we would like food or help. It amazes me still the kindness of others from different cultures and seeing the good that exists in this world in the hearts of people like that woman. Other contacts were a Swedish Atheist who was content with the things in his "room" (little analogous there), a Swede who practices Buddhism and was greatly impressed by our Swedish, and a young couple who gave us a good job on talking to people on the street on a Saturday night. Overall, one of the better splits I have had yet on my mission. 

As said earlier, Siv attended church, but we also had one of our chinese potential investigators, Baofeng, come to Sacrament meeting with her 5 year old son. She stayed for the whole first meeting, but had to leave due to her son's restlessness. He wasn't too interested in going to Primary or Nursery haha. Baofeng enjoyed the meeting however and said that she wanted to come back and stay longer and meet other members in the ward. Super cool! The rest of the Sunday we planned and did a little bit of tracting, and I unfortunately lost my planner. First time for everything haha. 

I have been pondering and studying lately on the subject of repentance and found some wonderful insights from the teachings of previous presidents of the church. While the process of repentance can be difficult with its different pieces, I know that a true repentance can relieve feelings of guilt and lift burdens carried. The blessings of a true repentance far outweigh the fear of confession, self-pride, and shame. We can be clean and guilt-free thanks to our loving Savior. 
"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isaiah 1:18)

I wish you all a good week, especially those of you starting school this coming week! Call on the Lord for comfort and you will receive it. 

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 first (and currently only) KFC in Sweden! Thanks Clouses for the awesome dinner!

My comp and some ducks

Splits with District Leader Elder Gergetz!

Sneak peek of some pictures of Lunds oldest Church, Domkyrkan, coming next week...

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