Thursday, September 26, 2013

Having small successes every day!

Hej allihopa,
  This last week has been pretty cool.  We had another person join the ward through baptism here in Södertälje.  Someone who the sister missionaries had been working with. The ward is rapidly growing.  We are seeing missionaries in the members.  That's how it should be, the gospel should seep through every bone and bit of our body until sharing it becomes just as natural as opening the door for someone with their hands full. 
   At the baptism on Friday we had one of our investigators there.  He happens to be a friend of the woman who was being baptized.  So we started talking to him about baptism and he said, "you know what, your right".  He then went up to the bishop and asked to have a meeting with him, they came out of the meeting with the plan for him to be baptized on the twelfth of October.   It is a good goal that they set and we hope to help him make it.
   Probably my biggest inspiration of the week came from Preach my Gospel. I was studying again about patience and really learned about problems we face in life. When everything is storming against us and we seem to have these giant obstacles in life and we get frustrated and feel defeated it is not these obstacles or the storm that is our problem. Instead it is our short-sightedness, it is our desire for a quick painless solution that is our problem. That is where the pain is derived. With patience our quote on quote "problems" are not even problems, they are just experiences which might have been hard but we learned from. I love the perspective the gospel puts on our lives and the peace we can find in it.
   Sometimes it does not feel as if we, as missionaries, see the results of the work we do, but every time we do, its worth it.  We had a member who hadn't been to the ward since they moved in a while before.  We were praying over who to go by one time and felt as if it would be good to try and find that person.  After hunting them down (there was a wrong number and address on the list) they said they would come to church.  Since then they've come every Sunday and been very helpful to us as missionaries.  Just yesterday they told us, "Thank you, thanks for seeing my name on the list".  The person was extremely grateful for the love we extended.  That is what we do as missionaries we only extend Gods love he has for everyone.
Hej då Kött och Blåbär,
Äldste Jon Moe
Hej family, I love all of you so much.  I hope everything is going really well.
  Jonathan Moe

Monday, September 16, 2013

My life isn't complicated by trivial things!

 Early morning fog on the tracks in Södertälje
A dock near Hovsjö

This last week was AMAZING!  We saw some real miracles happen.  Not only in our area but in the entire mission.  Yesterday, in Church the Chapel was almost filled.  We thought we were going to have to stand but there was barely enough room.  So many people who we have been visiting are now starting to come to church regularly.  We have also made plans for Hawas daughter to be baptized soon.  Hopefully it won't be long. I'm really excited for her and her entire family. 
    Personally, the thing I have been working on is diligence.  Already I work hard and come home tired.  But even when home there is more to be done then sitting on the couch and relaxing/reflecting on the day.  There is always something to be done and I just need to make sure I am trying really hard to always do something productive. My life isn't complicated by trivial things.  I have one purpose and I'm trying very diligently to do that one thing and that is to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ.  To do as Jesus would do.
    The church is growing here in Sweden.  Things are moving and soon we will likely have stakes covering all of Sweden.  That will be a major prophecy fulfilled for this country.  Not only is Sweden seeing a lot of people converted to the Church but a lot of people coming back to activity.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to be here during this time and have the blessing to help the church in this country grow.  Right now there are close to 170 missionaries in Sweden.  God wouldn't send so many if there wasn't something big to be done. The church has a debt to Sweden in a way, since so many of the early converts to the church originated in Sweden and sacrificed so much for the early church. 
   The area I'm currently in, I feel as if I speak more English with Investigators then Swedish right now.  The area has a large African and Middle Eastern population.  Because Sweden accepts so many refugees I really do meet people from all over the World.  It is a unique experience.  It is also very humbling seeing these people who come from their homes and do their best to build a life here in a country a lot colder then their's and a language quite foreign to their own.  My companion and I speak Swedish to each other and throughout the rest of the day though.  
    This last week we had a member come with us to an Investigators house to help talk about the Book of Mormon.  This Investigator in the past has never seen the real importance of the Book of Mormon.  We taught him and we testified of the power the Book of Mormon has but also of the reason we have it.  We have it for a few reasons and we talked about all of them.  He began to connect the dots and as the member testified and they shared why the Book of Mormon is so important to him the spirit came in and testified of all that had been said.  Afterwards the man said, yes I see why it is important, but I have to find out for myself if it is true.  He is reading furiously to try and receive his answer.  I know God well enough to know that he will answer.  I've learned to trust in God in all things.

   Äldste Moe
 Me on a horribly rusted car.

Beautiful Sweden!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

It's been an amazing week!

View from a hill near Sodertalje.

Planning our schedules

Hawa from Liberia got baptized!
Hej alla,

   This last week has been quite amazing.  Someone we've been working with for a while was baptized.  We had Elder Lowry the senior couple Elder in our ward baptize her.  The Sodertalje font hasn't really been working so we only had cold water.  We were really trying to make it warmer but the cold water just had to do. 
    Another really cool part of the story is when we were over at our investigators house for the Baptismal interview.  Her husband has been studying with another church group and is okay with her being baptized but hasn't ever given us attention.  While the interview was going he asked a little about baptism and about the church.  Just yesterday we were talking with our bishop and he asked about the whole family and we said that we haven't had an opportunity to talk with the entire family.  The Bishop said that he wanted to come to their house next time so that he could help make sure the entire family is taught.
     We are working really close with our Bishop right now and he really is a blessing from God.  We are working with him and the ward mission leaders to really create good relations all throughout the ward, between members, missionaries, and non-members in our area, that includes just about everyone.  President Hinckley said, one time that anyone associated with missionary work knows there is a better way then knocking doors, and that is through the members.  I  know his prophetic advice to be true.  It is only when members and missionaries come together that we see miracles in the work. 
   The baptism was the perfect example of members and missionaries coming together and bringing to pass great things.  I'm so happy for her and her family.
     Äldste Moe