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!
Äldste Stefan Reed
Varma hälsningar från Sverige
Elder Stefan Reed
182 46, Enebyberg
|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|