Wednesday, October 15, 2014

This is my last week in Sweden!

I love Stockholm
Zi Ping gets baptized! So happy for him!!!
This last week has been really good, it doesn't feel real yet, the fact that I'm going home soon.  But ready or not here it comes.  I am excited to see my family, my friends, excited to return home.  But not excited to stop being a missionary.  I know that missionary work is no program, it's a cause.  It's the cause of our Father in Heaven and our Savior, and their hand is so evident in it.  I feel little, very little in the grand scheme of things, considering that I have been in his service these last two years, who am I to have been blessed in the ways I have been.  I know my life will forever be changed because of my
a street in Stockhom with autumn leaves
 mission…my mission is just changing from Sweden to my lifelong mission of loving people and serving those who are around me.  I am filled with such gratitude that I was called to serve the people of Sweden these two years.  It was an inspired calling.  I know that I have grown so much from this experience, and from all of the missionaries I have known, and the people I have met, and my two mission Presidents.  I have come to love the people, the land, the culture, everything here.  A part of my heart will always be in the streets of Stockholm and lakes of Sweden.  I feel like I am leaving home all over again.  
   My biggest source of comfort now was also expressed by Paul right before the end of his ministry, "and the time of my departure is at hand.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith".  I have done my best to represent the Lord and Savior, I have not been perfect, but I have worked full speed, and will until the very end.  I know that the church is true having been restored through a living prophet, yes even Joseph Smith.  And today, we have Thomas S. Monson, a living Prophet who leads and guides us.  I love the Book of Mormon! I have not only seen it change my life, but the lives of many others.  Humanity has been greatly blessed by it.  I know this is the work of the Lord and that his arms are extended to all who will come unto him.  And for all who engage themselves in his work, there is more joy and happiness to be found than from any other source.  No matter what the capacity, the position, location, age, or whatever other variable, there is joy to be had in the work of the savior Jesus Christ.  I love him and his Gospel, I know it is true.

   Äldste Jonathan Nikolaisen Moe   

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Great weekend of General Conference!

Stockholm missionaries
A bunch of missionaries after conference.
Swedish royal guard

Stockholm City Hall

Riddarholmen Church

This last weekend was really good.  As are all conference weekends.  This was my fifth general conference as a missionary and it was a good one.  Elder Hollands talk on charity was really good, and President Monson's talk about walking more like Christ was also very good.  
Just this past Tuesday we took a bus all the way out to Djurhamn in Skärholmen.  It was beautiful.  But we went out there to visit a couple and help them with a few things they couldn't manage themselves.  We had an awesome time there but shortly after we left something smelt horrible.  We saw that a cat had peed on my bag, and it smelt bad.  People were giving us funny looks and not sitting by me on the subway.  That night I washed it pretty good with vinegar and it turned out good, actually looks and smells new!  
    We were at our friends house talking about the gospel and about baptism when we met one of her friends.  He came and talked with us and shared that he believed religion not to be good, that religions weren't actually what they were supposed to be.  We talked about the apostasy and he liked it, said it explains well why the world is the way it is.  We taught about Joseph smith and gave him the Book of Mormon and he was very excited the entire time commenting on how great he thought this would all be.  It was cool to see.  They both came to conference the next day and he asked how to become a member.  Saying he just knew it to be true.
   Just today I ate the Swedish food known as surströmming.  It's on all of the worst tasting foods lists and is often said to be the worst smelling food.  Surströmming is fermented herring that is not cooked or anything.  It smelled terrible and tasted a lot better than it smelt.  I think the smell makes the taste seem not as bad.  It was just very salty.  There were some missionaries who refused to eat or touch it.  It's checked off the Sweden bucket list though.  
   It feels weird being this close to going home.  I'm still working hard and I'm counting on seeing some miracles before the end does come.

   Äldste Jonathan

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Only 2 weeks left!

Group from this Summer in Stockholm
 Hej everyone, 

Things are going well.  However, this last week was one of those hard weeks as a missionary.  No one could meet or they were out of town, then the few appointments we had cancelled or blåst (never show up).  Then these promising seeming self referrals that we get from end up being pranks.  Anyway, just one of those weeks.  Halfway through the week we decided to turn it around and have a good week.  Nothing changed drastically until Sunday.  It seems as if the weeks miracles and laughs were all put onto Sunday.  Church was very good and I learned a lot from it.  We went over to a members house to eat and then right at the end we visited our most progressing investigator who we hadn't met with in a long time.  And she is doing really well. She expressed sincere desire to know that the gospel is true and live a happy life.  She also had someone else over that week and made them pray with her over dinner!  When people ask she even tells them she is Mormon.  She is having a hard time believing in Christ.  She is obtaining knowledge as we teach her and she's using her own free agency to decide if it's true or not.  She's praying about it and that's good she's taking her time and trying to understand what it all means for her.
   This week means that I have only two weeks left in Sweden.  Only one Sunday in church because of General Conference.  It really is crazy how fast time flies.  I'm both nervous and very excited for the end.  It's impossible to put into words or numbers how much this mission, this country, and this people have come to mean to me.  I love it all! I'm going to miss it all!
   General conference is this upcoming weekend, I am very excited for that.  This will be my fifth general conference as a missionary.  I have gotten so much from them as I have gotten better at preparing for them.  It's important for us to go into general conference ready to learn. So more important than what is said at conference is how we go into conference.  Are we ready to learn?
   Excited to see you all soon,

Puss och kram,

    Äldste Moe 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Agents or Objects?

Autumn has hit Stockholm
 cool pictures I got in Gamla Stan
Stockholm early in the morning
Me outside the old church building
Stockholm in the Autumn
  Hey everyone,

Elder Mott and I are continuing to tear it up here in Stockholm.  The city seems to be emptying out quite a bit from summer tourism.  Now you really just hear Swedish and English spoken on the street and it's surprising how many Swedes you hear using English.  Its very important to know both.  
   This last week we had Elder Bednar come and visit Sweden.  He came to have a conference with all YSA's but made time to meet with all of the missionaries.  I know that we all greatly appreciated it.  He spoke a lot about being agents.  How god created mankind to be agents not to be objects.  Agents act and objects are acted upon.  Objects will not act or move until some force comes and moves it.  Agents need no such prompting.  He reminded us in teaching situations we need to allow people to think for themselves, to learn themselves.  If we just sit there and spew information out we turn them into objects.    Part of God's plan is that we as agents have our free agency.  We are all free to choose.  We also need to ask ourselves that when we pray, are we objects or agents.  Do we pray and then wait as an object does for some force to push us?  Or do we seek it ourselves as agents.  God is more likely to bless us when we fulfill our potential as an agent.  
    Bednar talked about a lot of other things and had a really good question and answer section.  Almost the entire time we were there he had us speak and he would just expound off of what was said.  It's amazing, someone would ask a question and you would think, oh, this doesn't pertain to me then all of a sudden he would say something you needed to hear.  It's amazing seeing how inspired he is and he got us all excited for general conference coming up.  

     Äldste Jonathan Moe

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The work is moving forward!

Me and my companions in Gamla Stan (the old city of Stockholm)
Our early morning workout.  The weather is turning colder and it's getting darker earlier.  Winter isn't here yet but we can feel that it's coming.

Enjoying a little ice cream.

This week has been very busy.  We are working closely with the YSA centers .  It's been great to be able to meet so many young people at the pivotal point in their lives that are looking for the something different and willing to listen to our message.  This week Elder Bednar is coming and all the YSA's from all over Sweden are coming to meet with him and we're excited to hear what he has to say and to be trained by an apostle.

I continue to be amazed and uplifted by the promptings of the Holy Ghost in our discussions.  I've had amazing spiritual experiences when I trust in the promptings and in myself to follow those promptings.

Thank you so much for the continual support and prayers.  I appreciate the letters, emails, and love all my family and friends have shown me.

   Äldste Jonathan moe

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Only 6 weeks left in Sweden. I still have a lot I want to accomplish!

Missionaries in my area
I had to say goodbye to so many of my friends! Some of them went home.

 Another week here in Stockholm, and the close of this week leads me into my last transfer cycle (six week period).  There is a transfer this next week and a new group of missionaries coming in.  Our district is now going to be 17 missionaries (12 younger full time missionaries and 5 senior missionaries).  Our new district is Elders Mott, Keele, Taggart, Miles, Olson, and myself, sisters Klingler, Spencer, Vaarola, Hills, than couples, Coombs, and Kohlers.  So a super cool district, Ill get a picture next week.  

  This week I found a scripture in 1 Corinthians 4:5.  "Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God."  Basically never judge anyone because it'

s impossible to know anyone's situation.  Many speak of judgement as being this horrifying thing but here it says that all men will have praise of God.  There is so much good that happens throughout the world that goes unseen but will be rewarded.
  Right now one of our most progressing Investigators invited her 16 year old friend to also listen to the message, they both have plans to be baptized.  Every time I meet someone who is young and self inspired to investigate spiritual things it makes me feel really good, and it shows me that younger people are becoming spiritually active.  
   Today is officially the first day of fall, which means everyone is pulling out the layers and the weather is getting colder and darker.  Its gonna be cool to see Stockholm in this season, even though it'll be a short autumn.  I'm very aware that I don't have much time left but this can be the most productive time on my mission.  I'm going to work until the very last minute I have here.  I love my mission.  I love Sweden and I love the people I've been blessed to meet and work with here.
   Äldste Jonathan Moe

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Gardens and Statues

Aldste Moe in Stockholm gardens
Statue of St. George

Lion Statue outside the Royal Palace

Horse Statue at Blasieholmstorg

Bear Statue outside the Natural History Museum