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!    

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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

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