Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Finding strength from reading the Book of Mormon daily

 Elder Held, Elder Judd, Me, Elder Geddes
 Looking out over Södertälje, grey clouds are common now with winter around the corner.

Hej all,

Time is flying by on my mission.  It doesn't feel as if it was just a week ago that I was here emailing.  I can only email once a week so it's a good way to mark the passage of time.  And it definitely doesn't feel like a year ago that I was on the mission.  I've actually been out over 13 months now.  I can't believe it. Time is going way too fast.  
  Earlier this week we went and taught a family about the Book of Mormon.  About the blessing it is for us in our life, what it is, and why we have it.  Every time, I count the blessings in my life, that I have through the Book of Mormon, or I tell others about it I feel my testimony of it strengthen.  The Book of Mormon does so much for me personally.  Joseph Smith was not lying when he said a man would draw nearer to God by abiding by its precepts then by any other book.  When we read the Book of Mormon daily we receive strength, faith, and light which is needed to go on through every day.  As missionaries, we are very blessed to have time given every day where we can personally study the scriptures.  I can say that the Book of Mormon is a true book.  It testifies of Christ and brings us closer to him.  It has blessed my life.  And when I see others accept it and really begin to understand what it can do, I feel joy, I feel blessed to have the opportunity to tell people about it.
   Earlier in the week however we were feeling a bit down.  We had a day where almost every appointment fell through.  Then towards the evening we got a call from David.  Someone we met and began meeting with here in Södertälje but shortly after moved to Örebro.  He was so prepared to receive the gospel it was inspiring.  We sent the elders there his number and new address.  And hadn't heard much about it for a few weeks.  Just yesterday he called.  Then on the day when everything seemed to be going awful he called, he is being baptized soon, he told us that he literally cannot put the Book of Mormon down, and was thankful for the "journey we have started him on".  It may not be someone joining the ward here in Södertälje, but it is someone coming closer to Christ, and news of it came at the perfect time.
   When it comes down to it, everything relies on our faith, our faith in Christ, in the Gospel, in myself, in my companion, and in God.  If we go out and do the small and simple things with big faith then we can bring large miracles to pass.  We have been teaching a couple of people who will be baptized soon, every time we teach a commandment we can see the dedication with which they decide to live it.  Their faith is inspiring because it is helping them do hard things and make hard life changes.
   Hope all is well,
   Äldste Jonathan Moe.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Getting ready for winter! My new companion Elder Tomlinson

Elder Tomlinson and myself

Hovsjö area
Hej mina nära och kära.
  Well, the colds back.  The past three mornings we've woken up there has been frost everywhere and all three days have been around 0 degrees, which is around thirty in Fahrenheit.  So, its definitely getting colder. It's time to buy a good scarf, hat and everythingto stay warm through the long winter.  Although it's cold and cloudy everything still looks pretty in the fall colors.  I really do love being here.  Every day is getting darker sooner and sooner, I feel like there was no fall this year.  Everyone has been saying that we have had an unusually long summer and now it feels like winter is starting.
   But enough about the weather.  The work is going really well, we are seeing miracles here in Södertälje and all over Sweden.  This week we taught someone else who has a strong will to follow Christ and they will be baptized soon.  We are currently working with four people who are very excited about being baptized and we have tons of other friends who are close.  This last week we were in Stockholm four days so we didn't get to spend as much time working in our area as we would have liked but it was worth it.
    This last Saturday and Sunday was stake conference so everyone from the Stockholm South stake who could make it was there.  This meant that I got to see a lot of people from both Eskilstuna and Vendelsö.  I love seeing those old friends who I haven't seen in a while but it's always good as well to make new friends and meet others.  A very strong theme of conference was Building Zion.  This is the ultimate goal we all should have as members.  to build Zion where we are.  Sweden a hundred years ago had a large wave of immigration to the United States, many were members, going there to build/join Zion.  We know that today our job as members is to build Zion where we are.  And whether in New York City or Sweden I will always be working towards that goal.  In faith we need to share the gospel, serve actively in our callings, and be an example of followers of Jesus Christ.  Seeing so many Swedes and other members gather is inspiring.
    I love being here in Sweden and having the opportunity to build Zion here.  Maybe as the weather gets cold and the sky darkens the gospel will just become that much warmer and it's light that much brighter.  I am looking forward to all that is ahead.
   Äldste Moe

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Teaching family history in our area.

Driving in our car and the beautiful Sweden countryside.
Fall colors

Sweden is so beautiful in the fall, with the changing of the colors the Swedish forests are beginning to match the Swedish sunsets with bright reds, oranges, and yellows.  With the change of the seasons that means a change of weather.  This last week, has been pretty warm but its been getting darker faster, and colder every day.  Winter is coming fast and you can see everyone preparing for it.  I heard someone say that the first snow should come soon.   
    These last couple weeks have been stress full and busy but I have seen miracles from them.  One of these is from last Sunday night.  We called a friend to see if we could still come over and talk. He said he could not meet with us because he was sick, and so we offered to give him a blessing.  We got to his house and he was laying on the living room floor.  He had a bad cough and had no energy, it wasn't anything life threatening but he couldn't move around that much, and he had been inside all week.  We explained the priesthood to him, how the priesthood we have today is the same priesthood authority that Peter, James, and John had.  As well as, all the Prophets of old.  We told him that we knew a priesthood blessing could heal, but it was contingent on faith.  We told him that power comes from faith, and that if he had the faith he could be healed.  We gave him the blessing and told him to get some rest.  We saw him the next morning walking through the centrum (town center).  He came up to us and told us that he was finally able to get to sleep, and stay asleep, but also that when he woke up he didn't feel tired, or sick at all.  This experience was significant and really shows us and him that this is Gods work, the same work which prophets and disciples of old were engaged in.  Therefore it will be followed by the same miracles and blessing of old. Also, Heavenly Father really cares individually for each of us.  He knows our needs and we just need to remember him and to ask for his help.
      Recently, there's been an increased emphasis on Family History work in Sweden and using family history as missionaries.  Not our own, but helping others with their family history.  Just the other day, I was sitting on the train and had a conversation with the man next to me. We talked about quite a bit of different things, but like most Swedes whenever religion gets brought up the topic either changes or conversation ends.  But then we began talking about family history, and doing our family history. I referred him to the Church's website  He said he would definitely be using it.  From there a discussion of eternal families came almost naturally.  There is a real Spirit of Elijah covering the Earth.  The Earth has the biggest family history database ever.  Getting people in touch with their roots is itself a blessing.
   The work is going really well, we are working with a few people who have a desire to follow Christ and to be baptized.  And as always we are Preaching the Gospel. Things are going good here.  I LOVE Sweden and the people!

Love to everyone back home,
Leaving Stockholm on the train at sunset.
   Äldste Jonathan Moe

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Södertälje in the fall!

Södertälje centrum with clouds and fall colors

This month, I've been working on having the Christlike attribute of humility.  While studying in Preach My Gospel on this topic, I came to a big realization about asking for blessings in humble prayer.  Even asking for things is an expression of both faith and humility.  It shows faith because we know that by asking the Lord will bless us.  It shows our humility because it shows that we cannot do it ourselves and that we know this, and that we are humbly coming to the Lord for his divine aide. 
Paella is yummy!
We have a family in our ward that feeds us quite frequently and this week they made us paella.  It looked good but tasted even better.  I'm in a very diverse area with members from all over Europe, Africa, Middle East, Russia and a lot of native Swedes.  I love my area and the work is going good.
      This next week we will be training in Linköping.  Elder Tomlinson and I worked as hard as we could, we were tired every night, hungry, exhausted, but very happy.  We felt joy as we worked hard. I am very proud of the entire zone and I know the day is soon when Södertälje zone will be experiencing the blessings of the second harvest.  We have many progressing investigators and a few with baptismal dates.  Hard work is paying off.  Thanks for the prayers and letters.  Keep the letters coming.  I love to hear from home and especially to hear from friends since I hear from my parents weekly.  
Love to all,
   Äldste Jonathan Moe

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A week of Miracles!

Swedish Sport of Innebandy

 Hi all,

Just a short experience this week.  Elder Leirimaa and I were driving to a lesson and when we got there, the lady we were suppose to teach said she couldn't meet with us.   So we went to teach a different investigator and taught very powerfully about the role of Jesus Christ in our lives. This person felt the spirit so strong they should be baptized in the coming weeks.  But, the miracle of the day started after that.  It was 8:30 at night so we should have went home.  But we felt as if it would be really good to go to the church.  The Bishop was there in a meeting and shortly after we walked in so did a lady named, Aissata.  Aissata came in and shared with us about how she had walked by the church building for a couple months now and felt as if she should come in a couple times.  On Friday she listened to that spirit and came in, saying she was looking for a church.  We told her she found the one for her, to which she explained that she is looking for a true church.  We taught her how the Gospel was restored through Joseph Smith the living Prophet and how the Book of Mormon is a divine witness of this Church.  Now with a book of mormon in French she said she will be reading as much as she can.  She is a true seeker of the truth, and we were there to help.  She lives on the other side of Södertälje.  So yesterday, in Church we introduced her to the sisters so they can continue to teach her.  For me it is a fulfillment of Gods promise to us, as we search diligently for people to teach we will be lead to them or they will be led to us.
    This last week has likely been one of the greatest on my mission.  We found others as well to help introduce the gospel to and to invite to follow its teachings.  We had a record in the lessons that we taught.  I'm seeing daily miracles and we are finding a lot of people that will listen to what we have to teach.  My heart is full of hope.
   For the first time on my mission, I got to play the Swedish Sport called Innebandy.  It is like floor hockey but with very small goals and a wiffle ball.  It's fun but really technical and hard to get the hang of.  Swedes are quite good at it though. 

Love to all,

Aldste Moe