Monday, March 25, 2013

Zone Conference in Stockholm 3/18/2013

Aldste Judd, Aldste Moe and Aldste Geddes at Zone Conference

Kloster Kyrkan, Eskilstuna
 We started off this last week with a trip into Stockholm for zone conference.  Zone conference was great and it was really cool to see all of the missionaries I know, but what was crazy was how many new missionaries there were.  Its like the mission just exploded.  We had training and we practiced certain planning and teaching skills.  The most inspiring part was hearing the stories of all of the Stake Presidents and how they came into the church.  One investigated the church for 13 years, nine of those years his wife was baptized and he refused.  He told about how grateful he was that missionaries never gave up on him and always tried to uplift him and help him see the beauty of the gospel.  Now he has an active family in the church and is a stake president in Stockholm. 
    On top of hearing the testimony of all of the Stake Presidents, all of the missionaries whom will soon be leaving Sweden to return home bore their testimonies.  All of them were amazing and you can tell by how they talk how much the mission has affected them, and how grateful they are for it.  I am already so grateful for everything I have learned here.  I look forward to everything else I have left to experience and learn here in Sweden.
    Right after Zone conference President Newell allowed Elder Judd and I to go to a temple session with our Stake President.  It was an amazing experience.  The temple is a wonderful place and no matter where in the world you are it is the same presence there.  God's.  Its a wonderful thing.
    This last week has been very interesting as we have been still getting used to the new area.  We didn't even have bus cards until two days ago so we have been walking everywhere.  I guess that helps us get to know the area a little better though.  
    The generosity of people will never cease to amaze me.  The Ward Mission Leader here in Eskilstuna was baptized a little more then a year ago.  He has had the missionaries over every week since to feed them.  At his house individual tables are brought out for each missionary sitting around the room.  The food is all brought out on silver platters while everyone is served coca cola in goblets.  He knows the blessings the gospel has brought his family.  He is so dedicated to missionary work and sharing the gospel.  He is an inspiration to me, and always will be.
   This next weekend is Easter.  Easter, or Påsk as called here in Sweden, is indeed a day to celebrate.  It is the day in which Christ our Savior, our Redeemer, defeated death.  Not for himself but for all, every single being, good and bad, that come down to earth to receive a physical body now have the opportunity to return to our Father in Heaven (Alma 40:11).  This is what the Church is ultimately centered upon, and the life of every Man and Women who call themselves Christian.  If Christ rose from the grave, then he lives, and we can too, forever.  If he lives then a path would exist for everyone to return to the Father.  If he lives the Holy Ghost would testify of it, and inspiration would be present on the earth today.  His true church would be present on the earth today.  I am so grateful that he does indeed live.  And he can be present in all of our lives, if we allow him.  And when we do we find peace, joy, happiness, and hope.  As a missionary I have the amazing opportunity to testify, and I do testify, that he lives, and through him so do we.
God Påsk (Happy Easter),
    Äldste Moe
Tracting every door

Friday, March 22, 2013

I am in Eskilstuna! I got transferred!!!!

 Äldste Judd and me in our new area of Eskilstuna! 
My neighborhood in Eskilstuna

Hello Everyone,
   Crazy things have happened in the last week.  Last Tuesday President Newell called Elder Tietjen and I.  He said that the new missionaries who were visa delayed all got their visas (not fair, they waited seven days I waited nearly two months, but its really good theirs came fast).  He said Elder Tietjen will be staying in Skövde and training!  This is the first time I heard I might be moving from Skövde.  He then said I will be moving to Eskilstuna... and training!  I've been in Sweden for a a bit over two months and now I am training a new missionary.  I am excited for the opportunity but it's a big responsibility.  I was so fortunate to have Äldste Geddes as my trainer, I'm just hoping I can do as well.  Also, I'm not so sure if I am ready to leave Skövde, I have loved it here so much.  I love the branch and all of the people that I have gotten to know, to serve,  and to teach about the gospel.  At the end of the phone call with my heart still beating, President Newell said, that we would be leaving tomorrow morning at 6am (waking up at 4.30 to shower and get to the station with bags).
   We went into speed mode.  Elder Tietjen  and I ran around trying to say goodbye to as many people as possible.  I didn't quite do the job I would have liked and so I would love to visit again one day and see the people in Skövde that I have grown close to.            
 The next morning we woke up at 4:30 to get on a 6 o clock train to Stockholm to pick up our new missionaries the day after.  The office Secretaries booked us on a train going in the wrong direction and so we started heading for Malmö.  We didn't realize it until we were on the train in the wrong direction.  We called them at the office and before the train actually got in we had new tickets going all the way back up to Stockholm.  Traveling took close to ten hours because of this.  Next time, I guess I'll look closer at the tickets.
   We went to the training meeting the next morning and again President and Syster Newell re-affirmed the trust they have in us to help guide new missionaries here in Sweden.  They are so inspiring, and we are all so lucky they are our mission presidents.  
   My new companion is Äldste Judd.  He comes from Payson, UT and is a sweet guy.  He is 6'4" and 220.  So together we look like secret service just arrived on people's doorsteps.  I am very excited to train and show him Sweden and help him begin on his mission.  He is solid and I believe I got lucky.
   We both took our bags and got here to Eskilstuna.  We are living in a part of town called Valhalla.  It's a brand new apartment that missionaries have never lived in.  However, that means it didn't have anything in it.  No missionary supplies, pamphlets, not an area book, records, nothing!  Just furniture, cooking, eating, and cleaning tools and a bit of non-perishable food.  But I'm thankful that we have at least that to get us going. 
  Our first night, I called the Branch President to introduce ourselves and to ask if we could come by and say hi.  We went by and immediately he began talking about the members and past investigators.  He is a convert of four years ago and is now head of the branch.  He's super excited about missionary work and it will be great working with him.  
   We are joining two other missionaries who have both been here in Eskilstuna.  So the branch now has four missionaries.  Every branch and ward in Sweden will soon have four and some will have six missionaries.  We were able to get old teaching records from them for people who lived in our half of the area.  We found one named Arrey that seemed promising until he left to Africa.  He even had a baptismal date before, and since no missionaries have been able to contact him since he's been back from Africa there had been no follow-up.  We went by and he was there.  Not only was he there but he was happy we came by.  He was so excited to see us and meet us.  He is now being baptized on the 30th of March.
   I am excited to be here and see the potential this area holds.  I love my mission.  I'm so happy.  Winter is still holding on but Spring is just around the corner. 

Biggest museum in town, center of town and the square is called Fristadstorget.

Lots of love,
This is the biggest church here in Eskilstuna called Kloyster Kyrkan
Äldste Jonathan Moe

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Spring's slowly arriving here! I love Sweden!

This week I don't have that much time to email as we have been chasing free computers all day.  I have heard over the week from people who follow the blog.  That always makes me happy to know that people are reading.  It lifts my spirits!
   This last week Äldste Geddes moved from Skövde with me to Södertälje with Äldste Carr.  I got Äldste Tietjen.  He comes from St. George UT and is super cool.  I know we are going to get along and from the work we have done together this last week I know well be able to work together well which is sometimes more important then how much you get along with a companion.  Äldste Tietjen was supposed to get a new missionary and train last week but his greenie got delayed and so did not make it in time.  Äldste Tietjen got put with me and he will either stay and train in Skövde or when the greenie comes he will move somewhere else to train.
    The work is going well.  It is heartbreaking but when you feel the pain from it that just means you care enough for it.  I feel as if every time we find new people or have new teaching opportunities we lose just as many or people lose interest.  Its all about searching for those people who really do want to change their lives and be followers of Christ throughout their lives.  We have been teaching the family that can only speak Albanian.  It is really cool teaching them because you get to see just how much the Spirit is a common language.    
    It is weird having a week go by and not being with my trainer.  I miss him but I know also that when you finish your greenie transfer you are able to really step up and make the calls and grow how you cant under a trainer.  I have learned so much from him and will continue to learn a lot as I continue on the mission.
    This last week we traveled around quite a bit for appointments outside of Skövde.  Twice we went all the way up to Mariestad for appointments.  Mariestad is like an hour bus ride a day so going up there and teaching and coming back can take up most of your day, but our area is that large so if people are interested we go and find them.  Both times we went to Mariestad the people we had appointments with werent there.  So we wasted all that time for nothing.  Last night we had to go to Södra Ryd and then walk a while to get to this guys house and so we weren't so sure if we should because he has a history for not being there and the appointment wasn't 100% solid.  We went and sure enough not there.  I decided we had to tract in the neighborhood around him.  After spending time doing that, finally, at the second to last door, someone opened and talked to us.  We went in, had a lesson, and are returning later this week.  Sometimes all that work is worth it for one promising individual.
Please know that I'm so thankful for the Savior in my life and knowledge I've gained about Christlike service.  I love the people of Sweden. I'm thankful for my family and their support and the blessings I've received thus far in my life.  
Lots of Love to everyone back home!
    Äldste Jonathan Moe  
Aldste Moe and his new companion Aldste Tietjen

Monday, March 4, 2013

Transfers!!! I'm staying in Skovde.

This has been my last week with Äldste Geddes here in Skövde, he will be moving up to Södertälje as a zone Leader.  It has been awesome getting to know him and being trained by him.  I will be remaining here in Skövde and I am happy to be here.  The work has really picked up here in the last couple months, we have a ton of potential.  Elder Tietjen will be joining me here in Skövde.  Here in the Stockholm Sweden mission we have standards of excellence or goals to reach.  One of them is teaching 20 lessons a week.  This is not an easy task and in our time together Äldste Geddes and I have hit it twice and come close a bunch more but we really wanted to get it for this last week.  And teaching our last lesson on Sunday night we reached the 21 lesson mark.  What a way to end our transfer together.
My desk and study area.
   Over 30 New missionaries were supposed to have come in to Sweden tomorrow but they got Visa delayed.  Only 12 of the Elders will be making it to Sweden tomorrow, all of the rest will be heading to a stateside mission for a period.  We are praying for them and that their visas come fast.
   This week we found an entire family that are interested in the gospel and in learning about Jesus Christ.  The Father has even said that he believes in the restoration after we taught it.  There is one big problem though.  They cant speak any Swedish or English and we definitely cannot speak any Albanian.  We speak through their two small children who can translate a little and Google translate.
    Our Ward Mission Leader has made a new Ward Mission Plan that we are way excited about.  It allows members to find very casual ways to be missionaries and share the gospel according to their pace.  We will be using this next week to go around and talk with members about this new plan.  
P-Day with other missionaries. 
The weather is getting warmer and the snow is all beginning to melt away.  This means that soon we can start playing sports again.  A lot of Swedes and all of the immigrants here love soccer.  We were able to play tennis last week with some ward members. I am horrible at tennis but its fun just getting out and playing anything.
   Over the week we taught an investigator who has never really progressed that much but we decided to watch the Restoration DVD together.  After watching the DVD he referred to Joseph Smith as a true prophet.  And I know why.  When the DVD was talking about the first vision you could feel the spirit rush into the room.  It was amazing.  Every time the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ is taught with power the Holy Ghost will accompany the teaching and bear witness.
    Until next time,
        Äldste Jonathan Moe.