Monday, April 22, 2013

A great investigator

Eskilstuna-Spring 2013

   Äldste Moe on Thors Hill

Torshälla-Spring 2013
The last two week have been really busy.  Which, I guess when you're a missionary isn't necessarily a bad thing.  We started off last week with a ward pasta night.  A non-member came to the church and showed everyone how to make legit Italian pasta.  With only eggs and flour.  So that was pretty cool.  Its especially useful for missionaries, good cheap and easy.  Food is never a bad thing.  
    For a couple days of last week we had companionship splits.  Missionaries do splits so we can learn from others and also see what we can be doing better as a companionship.  I stayed in our area with Elder Higham from the southern Eskilstuna area.  He is just as new as Elder Judd is here in Sweden.  It's always fun working with new missionaries.  It reminds me of how not so long ago I was new and unable to hold a conversation in Swedish.  While on splits we went up and visited a city called Torshälla that missionaries haven't been to in a while.  It is such a pretty little town that borders northern Eskilstuna.  It's in our area and we are going to try and do some more work up there.
  We got to go over to a members house for dinner one night and she was so kind and generous.  I knew she was very athletic and played sport and I asked her if she played soccer because I had a feeling she was really good.  She had played on the Nigerian National team and had won two gold medals in two world cups for soccer.  So she was one of the best in soccer.  After a bit she got injured and could no longer play professionally.  She said the gospel has brought her more peace and joy then any advice, kind words, or therapy all the professionals in the world could supply.  She is grateful for the struggle and for the amount she has grown from it.  I have so much respect for her because of the scope with which she is able to look at her situation. 
   This week a lot of my studies have been from the Old Testament, and about the journey of Israel to inherit the land their fathers were promised.  I came across a scripture I have read before but never before in context.  And doing so helped me to gain a new understanding of it.  The scripture is Deuteronomy 31:6. "Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he is it that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee".  Israel was moving into the Holy Land, the land they said would be delivered unto them and there were kingdoms, and great nations already set up in the land.  And Moses, the man they saw bring the plagues upon Egypt and deliver them from the wilderness, would not be going with them.  But the Lord our God is the one that was with them during all those times, its wasn't by the power of Moses they were delivered.  It was by the power of God.  It's important for us to realize the Lord can guide us in all things and if we put our trust in him we cannot fail.
    This week ended perfectly.  We got a call from someone who had not been wanting to meet with missionaries.  While reading the bible he became enlightened, and more understanding came to him.  He felt the Book of Mormon was another testament of Jesus Christ.  And, like the Bible, it was written by Holy Men of God as inspired by the Holy Ghost.  We are meeting with him again and doing our best to find others like him.  I'm happy we're able to teach and to help people come to know their Savior.

Med Vänlig Hälsningar,
   Äldste Jon Moe.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A great week!

The Sodertje Zone!

Hello all, 
Life is going well here in Eskilstuna and I'm starting to see green grass everywhere (although the snow isn't all melted).  With that is the sun and the warmth, we can now go out in just white shirts.  It will be the first time on my mission where I don't wear a suit every day.  I swear though that as the weather has been getting warmer half of the country has come out of hibernation.  The people here love the sun, and love the summer.  Yesterday while on a train we saw a guy in a lawn chair out in the snow just sitting in the sun.  The one downside to all this is that the sun rises at like 5:30 and sets at 9, it was 8 o clock pm and light out yesterday, kind of weird.  
    This last week we had zone training so all of our zone came together for a training by Elders Carr and Geddes (my first companion).  We talked about the Second Harvest and about our role in missionary work.  We all know that the second harvest is going to take place but the real question is what do we want our role to be in the second harvest.  We spent a lot of the training creating private goals and deciding what kind of things we want to do on the mission and who we want to be as missionaries. 
   This last week we have seen some fruits of our labors here in Eskilstuna.  We have two new investigators, one whom we found while knocking on doors trying to find people who are interested, the other one was a referral from other missionaries.  I know that as we work in faith we can find people who are interested in the gospel. 
   The perfect ending to this last week was General Conference.  For General Conference we went back down to Västerhaninge in Stockholm since that was the closest place it was shown. General Conference warmed my heart and I am sure every other missionary over the world enjoyed it quite a bit.  There was a lot about missionary work.  About how missionary work is a conjoined effort of members and missionaries with the bishop as the head of a wards missionary efforts.  There's a great wave of missionary work covering the globe, we need to catch the wave.  We need to find out what part we are going to have in the building of the kingdom.  
   Äldste Jonathan Moe

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Happy Easter from Sweden and the feather tree

Glad Dagen annan Påsk, (Happy day after Easter)
  Påsk was amazing here at Easter, there are only a few differences.  For one the Easter Eggs are giant and have a ton of candy in each of them.  They also get these bright yellow (sometimes other colors) and attach them to bushes.  Sometimes people will make Påsk trees where its a tree as big as a Jul tree (Christmas tree) but with Feathers, eggs and little chicks on it.  They also celebrate a four day Easter.  Long Friday, Easter Eve, Easter, and the day after Easter.  We got to go over to a families place for Påsk afton Middag.  The food was really good, it was salmon, potatoes, cheese and crackers, and since one of them is Italian there was also fresh pasta and some lamb.
  Yesterday, I gave my first talk in Swedish.  It went so well though, I was kind of nervous but then when I sat down to write it I didn't have to pull the dictionary out once for translating my thoughts.  I could just go.  Every time I am stretched a little it gives me a great opportunity to see how much I have grown already and to grow a little more.  The talk was on the Atonement and its redeeming power.  Studying about the atonement I learned so much about Christ and everything he has done for us.  We may never be able to fully understand the Atonement or how it came to be in this life but through it we can feel the peace of God which passeth all understanding.  Through the Atonement we can truly be forgiven of any and every sin we want to rid ourselves of.  Not only that but through the Atonement can we better ourselves and become more like Christ.
  The work here in Eskilstuna is definitely not easy.  We have been dropped by our only real Investigator and have been trying so hard to find new people who are interested in the gospel.  It is not easy.  It never really has been.  The work does not feel like it is moving too fast at all but I guess that is why Äldste Judd and I are here.  We have been finding new areas to try and begin the work in.
   Training has been quite an adventure but it has brought many blessings.  My companion Elder Judd is doing good and his Swedish is improving.  Since I have been training I have been able to understand nearly everyone, definitely a blessing.  It is also definitely a blessing to be training when I am.  I get to train in the first group of 18 year old missionaries in Sweden.  I have the privilege of being a major part of influencing the younger generation of missionaries.  They are what is being referred to as the "Hastening Missionaries".      
  The entire mission is really focused on Member Missionary work at the moment.  We know the best way to do missionary work is when members and missionaries come together and work efficiently.  All of our last zone conference and district meetings have been on it.  In the last two years 306 people have accepted the invitation to be baptized.  It's inspiring what is happening here in Sweden.  
  I hope everyone had an amazing Påsk and spring break.  It is getting a lot warmer here, we only had to wear our heavier coats two days of this last week.  One day we woke up and it was 13*C that's about 55 degrees fahrenheit.  That's the warmest it's been since I have been in Sweden.  I guess one negative side is the sun has been coming up at around 5:45 every morning so sometimes it's hard to stay asleep.
Typical Swedish meatballs and bread
  Äldste Moe