Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day from Eskilstuna!

So, this was a really good week.  When I came into this area, I felt like we had nothing to do and our time was filled with just working and not much progress.  Now we feel like we have purpose with specific people to work with.  Something was definitely confirmed to me though with all the new missionaries coming we aren't splitting the work, we truly are doubling it.  The Lord wouldn't send this many missionaries out if there was no need, he is more efficient then that.  
   I can also see how being a senior companion has blessed me.  It has made me grow and have more responsibility.  I have been translating in Sacrament meeting for all of those who speak English.  Two weeks ago when the person with the Sunday school lesson wasn't able to come to church I got asked three minutes before if I could do it.  In Swedish, and it went really well and having these extra responsibilities has really been helping me to grow and to become better.
   This last week we did something really cool, we taught English classes at the local High School.  We just went in and gave them a chance to speak with native English speakers and learn about the American Culture.  Its funny because we didn't let them know that we can speak Swedish so they can practice their English.  Then as we're leaving we break into Swedish and they all get surprised.  It is something about the country.  I know plenty of people who have been here for a while and don't need to learn Swedish because almost everyone can speak English.  So, it's very unique apparently for Americans in Sweden to learn Swedish.  
    The school we went to was a high school which allows students to graduate as workers with animals.  So in the High school they had a bunch of dogs, snakes, birds, rodents, and who knows what else all over the school.  They also have horses they work with.  
    We have some really interesting weeks coming up that I am really excited for.  We have a Mission tour, Mission Conference, Nordic Regional Conference (with the Prophet), and then Mid summers, then Zone training.  But today were going to go out into the skog (forest) to find some old viking ruins that are apparently nearby. It's fun and rejuvenating to have a day off to do personal things and explore the country a little bit.  It'll be great to get out and get some exercise too.  I hope everyone back home had a great Memorial Day.  I miss and love you all.
Äldste Jonathan Moe

Monday, May 20, 2013

I'm enjoying the Sunshine and Springtime weather!

Walking down the street by our house in Eskilstuna
Kloster Kyrka in Eskilstuna
River in the small town of Torshälla to Eskilstunas North

Hey everyone, 

     Summer seems like it's finally here.  Everything is so green and beautiful.  I am so grateful to be in Sweden and to get to enjoy the country, culture, and people here, (But hey, ask me again in October-March, my view might change).  For now anyway, everything is really nice.  From what I've heard though it should start showering soon.  So, I got that coming.  
     All of the members and missionaries have been getting excited for the Prophet and his visit to Sweden.  We are so blessed to have a prophet in our day just as the Israelites had Moses, Samuel, Joshua, and all the other prophets.  It is unfortunate, however, to hear of the passing of his wife.  It reminds us that he to is just as human as us, and is subject to pain and hard times.  We are all praying for him and his family at this difficult time.
       This week after District Meeting we had exchanges so Äldste Svensson and I stayed up in our area and did some work.  Miracles happened.  Shortly after we got together, I had a feeling we should go by a member's place that the church had completely lost contact with.  Problem was his building has a portkod.  I told Äldste Svensson about him and when he asked why we had never gone by before I said because his building is coded, but today, the doors opened.  We walked to the building, up to the door, and sure enough, it opened, The magnetic lock didn't connect.  Amazed we went up to his apartment, and he wasn't home.  We kind of looked at each other and decided we would wait because we got into the building so we were meant to meet with him.  After literally two minutes he came up the stairs from outside.  He was busy then but asked us to come back later.  Now we have contact and are meeting later this week.  He was happy to see us. I'm blessed to have great companions to work with.
       The next day, we went to swing by another member who we didn't have contact with.  The feeling I had when we decided to visit this person was so strong.  I knew it was meant to be.  We walked up to the building and there was a port code.  And no open door this time.  Kind of frustrated I started punching numbers into the port code, then the door opened.  Just like that.  It didn't feel like inspiration, but luck cannot justify that "guess".  Feeling victorious we went upstairs to their apartment and once again, no one was home.  We looked at each other and decided to wait again.  No one came, after ten or so minutes Äldste Svensson said, hey, lets knock on that door.  The door opened and we were allowed in.  We taught and invited him to learn more and he agreed.  We are going to return this week and meet again. 
    It is through Faith that Miracles are brought to pass.  If I learned one thing from this week it's that wherever a disciple of Christ filled with faith is, there also can be found the inspirations, healings, miracles, manifestations, and conversions that have accompanied the true gospel since the time of Adam.  I am grateful to be a witness to this great work and to be a part of it.  I just hope I can do my best to show others the true value of it.  It's up to them if they'll embrace it but it's the path to happiness.    Love,
   Äldste Jonathan Moe

Sunday, May 12, 2013

President Monson is coming to Sweden June 8th & 9th!

Sweden Stockholm Temple

This last week the most exciting thing that happened was news on the Nordic regional conference happening on the ninth of June.  All five Nordic countries will be watching it (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland), it will take place here in Sweden at the Waterfront Congress hall.  And the most exciting news is President Thomas S. Monson will be there to speak to all of Scandinavia.  Our mission President is trying to get all of the missionaries there so we can all see the Prophet and be there to hear him speak.  All of the members here are very excited for this.  Not only is President Monson our Prophet but he has a kinship with Sweden.  He is the one that dedicated the land of Sweden for missionary work over 30 years ago(1977).  Within his dedication prayer we now know what it is we must do to bring to pass the salvation of many.  It is through him we have Gods promise of the second harvest given to us.
    The fact that he is coming has given missionaries around Sweden the fire to go out and do the Lords work.  It has given us the faith that people who are seeking the gospel are out there and through hard work we can find them.  But such work can never be done effectively by missionaries alone, it should be missionaries with members.  When missionaries and members work together in a spirit of unity nothing is impossible.  
    With a new MTC group arriving here in Sweden (17 Sister missionaries and just two elders) comes a transfer.  I wont be moving right now, but Elder Larson one of the other elders here in Eskilstuna will be moving to Linköping and Elder Svensson will be coming here to take his place.  Elder Svensson is a native Swede and comes from the area bordering ours to the east.  That would be really hard.  It would be as if I served in Brooklyn and I knew I could hop on a train and be home in 30 minutes.
   Anyway this week something significant happened to me.  We were in a neighborhood in northern Eskilstuna and we went to visit someone that said we could come back at this time.  It has been one of our only promising contacts.  We got there and were told promptly to leave and that they weren't interested.  We left, feeling defeated.  As we were leaving I said a prayer in my heart asking where someone was that would accept us, willing to go anywhere do anything.  I didn't receive an answer right then but I got a really good feeling, I was comforted, I no longer felt the pain or the defeat.  I felt the spirit so strongly right then.  It's moments like that that reaffirm to me that I am not alone, I never have been, and I never will be. No one is if they believe and trust in the Lord.
   Äldste Jon Moe

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Happy Valborg

Aldste Moe at Valborg

 Hey all, 

Aldste Moe and the Branch President at Valborg
Happy Valborg!  Our P-day got switched to a Wednesday because of the holiday. No-one can work on Valborg, it's what we call a red day in Sweden.  Valborg is the first of May every year.  It's what Swedes celebrate to usher in Spring.  Swedish holidays are funny.  Swedes never celebrate holidays on the day they are.  They only celebrate the day before or the eve of the holiday.  They do this so that no-one has to work or literally do anything on the actual holiday, including celebrate.
  To Celebrate Valborg Swedes gather and create giant bonfires with trees to burn and welcome in Spring.  They do this after singing folk songs and then there are fire works afterwards.  It looks like the middle of the day in my photos and when it happened but it was actually like 9:30 at night.  The sun is really messing with me now.  It rises at like 4 and is completely bright before 5.  I wake up sometimes and think I missed my alarms.
   This last week President Newell came to Eskilstuna and gave the four of us elders here a specialized training on finding.  The most important part isn't even working hard (still very important).  The most important part of finding people to teach is faith that they are there, and they are waiting to hear the message of the restoration.  It is through faith that all things are possible.  God would not have doubled the missionary force in Sweden if he didn't have people prepared or being prepared who were waiting for those missionaries.
   This last Saturday I had the privilege of going through the temple again.  But with a recent convert who got to go through for the first time.  There is nothing in the world, besides the atonement, which offers such peace and such blessings as the temple can afford.  Temples are holy houses of the Lord in which we can be guaranteed eternal salvation together with our families.      Elder Judd and I officially finished training this last week.  It feels like just yesterday that I finished being trained.  I have been blessed with companions and am proud of the missionary Elder Judd is becoming.  We likely won't be transferred anytime soon but we are finished with the training program designed for new missionaries.  

   Äldste Jonathan Moe
  Me and Saad with his son (Nephi)
Estilstuna Elders at the Stockholm temple