Wednesday, October 15, 2014

This is my last week in Sweden!

I love Stockholm
Zi Ping gets baptized! So happy for him!!!
This last week has been really good, it doesn't feel real yet, the fact that I'm going home soon.  But ready or not here it comes.  I am excited to see my family, my friends, excited to return home.  But not excited to stop being a missionary.  I know that missionary work is no program, it's a cause.  It's the cause of our Father in Heaven and our Savior, and their hand is so evident in it.  I feel little, very little in the grand scheme of things, considering that I have been in his service these last two years, who am I to have been blessed in the ways I have been.  I know my life will forever be changed because of my
a street in Stockhom with autumn leaves
 mission…my mission is just changing from Sweden to my lifelong mission of loving people and serving those who are around me.  I am filled with such gratitude that I was called to serve the people of Sweden these two years.  It was an inspired calling.  I know that I have grown so much from this experience, and from all of the missionaries I have known, and the people I have met, and my two mission Presidents.  I have come to love the people, the land, the culture, everything here.  A part of my heart will always be in the streets of Stockholm and lakes of Sweden.  I feel like I am leaving home all over again.  
   My biggest source of comfort now was also expressed by Paul right before the end of his ministry, "and the time of my departure is at hand.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith".  I have done my best to represent the Lord and Savior, I have not been perfect, but I have worked full speed, and will until the very end.  I know that the church is true having been restored through a living prophet, yes even Joseph Smith.  And today, we have Thomas S. Monson, a living Prophet who leads and guides us.  I love the Book of Mormon! I have not only seen it change my life, but the lives of many others.  Humanity has been greatly blessed by it.  I know this is the work of the Lord and that his arms are extended to all who will come unto him.  And for all who engage themselves in his work, there is more joy and happiness to be found than from any other source.  No matter what the capacity, the position, location, age, or whatever other variable, there is joy to be had in the work of the savior Jesus Christ.  I love him and his Gospel, I know it is true.

   Äldste Jonathan Nikolaisen Moe   

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Great weekend of General Conference!

Stockholm missionaries
A bunch of missionaries after conference.
Swedish royal guard

Stockholm City Hall

Riddarholmen Church

This last weekend was really good.  As are all conference weekends.  This was my fifth general conference as a missionary and it was a good one.  Elder Hollands talk on charity was really good, and President Monson's talk about walking more like Christ was also very good.  
Just this past Tuesday we took a bus all the way out to Djurhamn in Skärholmen.  It was beautiful.  But we went out there to visit a couple and help them with a few things they couldn't manage themselves.  We had an awesome time there but shortly after we left something smelt horrible.  We saw that a cat had peed on my bag, and it smelt bad.  People were giving us funny looks and not sitting by me on the subway.  That night I washed it pretty good with vinegar and it turned out good, actually looks and smells new!  
    We were at our friends house talking about the gospel and about baptism when we met one of her friends.  He came and talked with us and shared that he believed religion not to be good, that religions weren't actually what they were supposed to be.  We talked about the apostasy and he liked it, said it explains well why the world is the way it is.  We taught about Joseph smith and gave him the Book of Mormon and he was very excited the entire time commenting on how great he thought this would all be.  It was cool to see.  They both came to conference the next day and he asked how to become a member.  Saying he just knew it to be true.
   Just today I ate the Swedish food known as surströmming.  It's on all of the worst tasting foods lists and is often said to be the worst smelling food.  Surströmming is fermented herring that is not cooked or anything.  It smelled terrible and tasted a lot better than it smelt.  I think the smell makes the taste seem not as bad.  It was just very salty.  There were some missionaries who refused to eat or touch it.  It's checked off the Sweden bucket list though.  
   It feels weird being this close to going home.  I'm still working hard and I'm counting on seeing some miracles before the end does come.

   Äldste Jonathan

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Only 2 weeks left!

Group from this Summer in Stockholm
 Hej everyone, 

Things are going well.  However, this last week was one of those hard weeks as a missionary.  No one could meet or they were out of town, then the few appointments we had cancelled or blåst (never show up).  Then these promising seeming self referrals that we get from end up being pranks.  Anyway, just one of those weeks.  Halfway through the week we decided to turn it around and have a good week.  Nothing changed drastically until Sunday.  It seems as if the weeks miracles and laughs were all put onto Sunday.  Church was very good and I learned a lot from it.  We went over to a members house to eat and then right at the end we visited our most progressing investigator who we hadn't met with in a long time.  And she is doing really well. She expressed sincere desire to know that the gospel is true and live a happy life.  She also had someone else over that week and made them pray with her over dinner!  When people ask she even tells them she is Mormon.  She is having a hard time believing in Christ.  She is obtaining knowledge as we teach her and she's using her own free agency to decide if it's true or not.  She's praying about it and that's good she's taking her time and trying to understand what it all means for her.
   This week means that I have only two weeks left in Sweden.  Only one Sunday in church because of General Conference.  It really is crazy how fast time flies.  I'm both nervous and very excited for the end.  It's impossible to put into words or numbers how much this mission, this country, and this people have come to mean to me.  I love it all! I'm going to miss it all!
   General conference is this upcoming weekend, I am very excited for that.  This will be my fifth general conference as a missionary.  I have gotten so much from them as I have gotten better at preparing for them.  It's important for us to go into general conference ready to learn. So more important than what is said at conference is how we go into conference.  Are we ready to learn?
   Excited to see you all soon,

Puss och kram,

    Äldste Moe 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Agents or Objects?

Autumn has hit Stockholm
 cool pictures I got in Gamla Stan
Stockholm early in the morning
Me outside the old church building
Stockholm in the Autumn
  Hey everyone,

Elder Mott and I are continuing to tear it up here in Stockholm.  The city seems to be emptying out quite a bit from summer tourism.  Now you really just hear Swedish and English spoken on the street and it's surprising how many Swedes you hear using English.  Its very important to know both.  
   This last week we had Elder Bednar come and visit Sweden.  He came to have a conference with all YSA's but made time to meet with all of the missionaries.  I know that we all greatly appreciated it.  He spoke a lot about being agents.  How god created mankind to be agents not to be objects.  Agents act and objects are acted upon.  Objects will not act or move until some force comes and moves it.  Agents need no such prompting.  He reminded us in teaching situations we need to allow people to think for themselves, to learn themselves.  If we just sit there and spew information out we turn them into objects.    Part of God's plan is that we as agents have our free agency.  We are all free to choose.  We also need to ask ourselves that when we pray, are we objects or agents.  Do we pray and then wait as an object does for some force to push us?  Or do we seek it ourselves as agents.  God is more likely to bless us when we fulfill our potential as an agent.  
    Bednar talked about a lot of other things and had a really good question and answer section.  Almost the entire time we were there he had us speak and he would just expound off of what was said.  It's amazing, someone would ask a question and you would think, oh, this doesn't pertain to me then all of a sudden he would say something you needed to hear.  It's amazing seeing how inspired he is and he got us all excited for general conference coming up.  

     Äldste Jonathan Moe

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The work is moving forward!

Me and my companions in Gamla Stan (the old city of Stockholm)
Our early morning workout.  The weather is turning colder and it's getting darker earlier.  Winter isn't here yet but we can feel that it's coming.

Enjoying a little ice cream.

This week has been very busy.  We are working closely with the YSA centers .  It's been great to be able to meet so many young people at the pivotal point in their lives that are looking for the something different and willing to listen to our message.  This week Elder Bednar is coming and all the YSA's from all over Sweden are coming to meet with him and we're excited to hear what he has to say and to be trained by an apostle.

I continue to be amazed and uplifted by the promptings of the Holy Ghost in our discussions.  I've had amazing spiritual experiences when I trust in the promptings and in myself to follow those promptings.

Thank you so much for the continual support and prayers.  I appreciate the letters, emails, and love all my family and friends have shown me.

   Äldste Jonathan moe

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Only 6 weeks left in Sweden. I still have a lot I want to accomplish!

Missionaries in my area
I had to say goodbye to so many of my friends! Some of them went home.

 Another week here in Stockholm, and the close of this week leads me into my last transfer cycle (six week period).  There is a transfer this next week and a new group of missionaries coming in.  Our district is now going to be 17 missionaries (12 younger full time missionaries and 5 senior missionaries).  Our new district is Elders Mott, Keele, Taggart, Miles, Olson, and myself, sisters Klingler, Spencer, Vaarola, Hills, than couples, Coombs, and Kohlers.  So a super cool district, Ill get a picture next week.  

  This week I found a scripture in 1 Corinthians 4:5.  "Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God."  Basically never judge anyone because it'

s impossible to know anyone's situation.  Many speak of judgement as being this horrifying thing but here it says that all men will have praise of God.  There is so much good that happens throughout the world that goes unseen but will be rewarded.
  Right now one of our most progressing Investigators invited her 16 year old friend to also listen to the message, they both have plans to be baptized.  Every time I meet someone who is young and self inspired to investigate spiritual things it makes me feel really good, and it shows me that younger people are becoming spiritually active.  
   Today is officially the first day of fall, which means everyone is pulling out the layers and the weather is getting colder and darker.  Its gonna be cool to see Stockholm in this season, even though it'll be a short autumn.  I'm very aware that I don't have much time left but this can be the most productive time on my mission.  I'm going to work until the very last minute I have here.  I love my mission.  I love Sweden and I love the people I've been blessed to meet and work with here.
   Äldste Jonathan Moe

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Gardens and Statues

Aldste Moe in Stockholm gardens
Statue of St. George

Lion Statue outside the Royal Palace

Horse Statue at Blasieholmstorg

Bear Statue outside the Natural History Museum

Late Summer Crawdad Party

Crawdad Party
Stockholm's Grand Hotel

This last week was a super good week, we saw a lot of miracles come from it.  So an appropriate week for a missionary.  I am still loving Stockholm, it is a pretty sick city.  Especially now towards the end of summer.  So basically its not as hot and sweaty but its still sunny and bright.  It actually is getting dark around 10 now every day.  Soon we will only have the light for a couple hours out of every day, so were grateful for the sun while its around.  It also has been raining a ton these last couple days.
   Around five weeks ago, I spoke to a man on the subway and didn't have time to get his number but gave him a book of Mormon and a contact card and barely was able to jump off of the train when the doors were closing.  He said he would come to church the next week but never did.  This week when we were going to open up the church building during open church times he drove up and began talking to us.  We taught him about Joseph Smith and the Restoration and it was a very powerful moment when we spoke about Joseph Smith.  He shared that he had always wondered who was carrying on the work the apostles had started.  We challenged him to read and pray to know if it was true.  He had already read through the beginning of the Book of Mormon and came to the promise in the introduction and had already read to know it was true and received the answer that it was true.  We committed him to baptism.
  During the month of August in Sweden there are kräft-skivor, or crawdad platter parties.  We were invited out to a picnic/crawdad party this last week so that was cool.  Crawdads have always kind of been a southern thing in my mind but every august in Sweden people go crazy for them.
   We were doing personal family history this last week and I had been struggling recently to get any progress with my own family history.  After praying and really searching for guidance I was able to find some of my Norwegian sides names in old census records.  I found their parents names and their family.  It doesn't matter what aspect of the work it is the Lord blesses our efforts and helps us be of great benefit to our fellow man.
   It crazy we are in August already.  I am still loving it, Mott and I are doing way good.  His Swedish is getting very good and he is definitely eager to get the work done which is whats important.  
Love ya all,
   Äldste Jon Moe

Monday, August 11, 2014

My time here is flying by.

 This week we had another transfer here in Stockholm.  I received Elder Mott as a new companion. He is coming straight from the MTC in Utah.  So I will likely finish my mission with him as my companion.  I am very happy with that as well.  He is a very good missionary and is very eager to do the work.  There isn't much more you can ask for in a companion.  Also we had Elder Hitch move into Stockholm.  He was my MTC companion, and he goes home in just five weeks which is pretty crazy.  So we started our missions together and now well end it together.  I wish my other MTC comp was nearby but that would just be too good.
   Last week Elder NIeminen also went home.  It was super weird.  It a;most felt like it was my time to go home but it wasn't...yet.  We were only together for three weeks but they were a very good and very effective three weeks.
     Right now is vacation time in Sweden which means Stockholm is filled with tourists.  And  all the rest of the Swedes leave on vacations.  The Stockholm ward has not had many people there on a weekly basis thanks to that.  Many of the people we had been teaching also have left on vacations but they should be back soon and then everything will pick up again.     This last week, we met with someone who had referred themselves and it ended up being a prank, that happens every once in a while but he said it was a prank but was still interested in learning what we had to say.  We were able to talk with him and he was actually super cool.  We taught the restoration and when we shared the story of the first vision we could feel the spirit super strong testifying of the truth there.  
   We also heard from Fransesca who is in Spain now and will be going to the Temple there soon, she is super excited to be a member down there.  She's doing good.
   I am really loving Stockholm.  It's just as good as I had always imagined. It's beautiful during the summer all though it's still super hot.  We sweat everywhere we go.  But it's still better than the winter.


   Äldste Jonathan Moe
Aldste Moe with the senior couple Coombs over the center.
Me and my companion and some other missionaries with Laleh a friend of ours.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Francesca is baptized!

Missionaries on the fourth of July.

Us and Fransesca and the Guerra Family from Stockholm
This last week was hectic. It was hectic, but amazing.  Last week, I wrote about someone who came into the church and talked about joining the church.  Well she was baptized here in Stockholm today.  She said she would rather stay in Stockholms ward to be taught.  We met with her most every day during this last week and taught everything someone being baptized needs to know.  She truly was prepared.  She would accept and absorb principles faster than most.  Throughout the whole process there was a member family that got to know her and without them it wouldn't have been possible.  It showed us the perfect relationship between members and missionaries.  Today after her baptism she shared a few thoughts from everything she had learned.  She testified of the Holy Ghost, of Joseph Smith the Prophet and how the church was restored through him.  She also spoke about President Thomas S. Monson and talked about his last conference talk testifying of his role today.  She is moving to Spain next week.  It's unfortunate that she won't be here to strengthen the church here but she will be of great help no matter where she goes. She has gained a strong testimony. It was amazing to witness such growth and change in a person within a week. 
   It's officially summer in Stockholm.  People we talk to on the streets are from Germany, or China, or the U.S.  Today was 22 degrees which is one of the warmest days I have experienced in a long time.  I think I may have even gotten some sun.
   I've been talking about the Newells leaving for a few weeks and how much we'll all miss them. Well now we have the Beckstrands here in Sweden.  They're amazing!  Very different from President and Sister Newell but still amazing.  Within minutes of them speaking to us we recognized the authority with which they were here.  Yes, even their stewardship over the mission in Sweden.  They're here to bless others and help others come unto Christ.  And I know they have amazing things ahead of them for the next three years.

This last week I have also been reading quite a bit in the Doctrine and Covenants.  I found a part where the Lord speaks about the modern missionary army and I can testify that this

prophecy has been fulfilled.
"13Wherefore, I call upon the weak things of the world, those who are unlearned and despised, to thresh the nations by the power of my Spirit;
 14 And their arm shall be my arm, and I will be their shield and their buckler; and I will gird up their loins, and they shall fight manfully for me; and their enemies shall be under their feet; and I will let fall the sword in their behalf, and by the fire of mine indignation will I preserve them."  (D&C 35:13)
I definitely feel as if missionaries called, myself included are much smaller then their callings.  But I also know that the spirit is with us and that there is much more going on with this work than we can see with our physical eyes.  The second verse speaks with very powerful words, we know that there are no swords, or crushing with feet involved in missionary work today but the analogy stands.  There is nothing that can stop the Lords work.  I am just very thankful that I can be a part of it.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Stockholm Innerstan Area!

President and Syster Newell
Stockholm!  I have wanted to serve in Innerstan Stockholm since I was in the MTC.  And now I am here. I really do like this city, it has a good feeling to it and is super clean as well.  Now that is is summer the city is filled with tourists.  Luckily, it's very warm and beautiful during this time of year.  And the north light makes cities seem even more magical during the summer, with sunsets being later in the evening it stays light until well past ten.  Today, P-day, we even went down to Södertälje and played beach volleyball.  We're enjoying the Swedish summer for it's short stay.  
   Most of our teaching we do here is in the outreach center, also called the institute center or YSA (young single adult) center.  It's a place where activities are held for YSA's multiple times throughout the week. Also, it's a home base for YSA's here in Stockholm.  One of our roles as the Stockholm missionaries is being responsible for the YSA center.  So we teach a large portion of our lessons there and also go to YSA activities and meetings.  During the summer there is not so much going on here but it's still a very useful tool.  
    My first Sunday in my new ward was really good. Unfortunately, I didn't get to meet many people. But I will soon. During sacrament we had a lady walk into the church building.  She had come into contact with missionaries almost a year before and got the church's information from them.  Both her and her daughter in Spain had been looking for the true church.  She sent her daughter the church's information in Spain and the daughter met with missionaries then and was baptized.  The mom came to church today talking about how she too wants to join this church because she also had prayed and feels as if it is true.  We spent a lot of church teaching her (with translation).  But in the end she decided she would be baptized this upcoming week.  We want to make sure she understands the gospel.  She lives in another area so we are teaching the next lesson with those missionaries so they can pick up the teaching.  Just another testimony to the fact that there are people searching after the true church.  The spirit directs and teaches those who are truly seeking.
   This last week, we also said bye to President and Sister Newell.  We will be meeting President and Sister Beckstrand this Friday at a conference meeting.  Change is hard but necessary and good.  The Newells have given so much to the mission and Sweden.  They'll really be missed.  I have so much love and respect for them.  They are simply amazing, wonderful, great people.  I've been so blessed to get to know them and I'm so grateful to them and all they've taught me.  
Lots of Love,
Aldste Jonathan Moe

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Midsommar as a missionary

The Office Crew at Midsommar
Täby ward council
Elder Haddon, myself and the ward mission Leader
 Missionary P-day
  This week has been another week filled with traveling and conferences.  We have been in every part of the country, from Norrland, to Västergötland, to Skåne.  The country is beautiful.  Although people always think of winter and cold when they think of Sweden the best time of year here is definitely summer.  When we were in Norrland last week we even got to see the Midnight sun.  It is light pretty much all of the time now, especially when your farther in the north.  Its not too bad here in Stockholm, the sun sets at 10.10 and rises at 3.30.  Sometimes it gets hard to keep track of time because of how much we revolve our lives around the sun, it really does mess with your inner clock.  
        This last week I did splits with the Stockholm Innerstan elders and was able to work with Elder Corbin, a fiery elder from Texas who I have a lot of respect for.  We taught a man from Brazil.  Having been busy with conferences and everything with the Newells leaving we have not been able to teach that much.  Sitting down and teaching him reminded me of why I came on my mission, reminded me that the best times I have had on my mission have been in the homes of others, teaching.  I have grown a lot, I have been able to learn how the church is organized, and been able to help the mission quite a bit.  But the reason I came to Sweden was to bless people with the peace and security that comes only through the principles and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He talked about being baptized and his interest in becoming a member, his energy and excitement helped me to be excited about missionary work.
   This last week was a highpoint for Swedish culture.  It was Midsummer!  The 21st of June is the brightest day of the year and so in Sweden that is when we have midsummer celebrations.  Everyone gathers with family and friends and dances around the maypole singing traditional Swedish songs.  Eating Strawberries and other Swedish berries is a must as well.  During midsummer every grocery store and bodega gets completely emptied of all strawberries.  Its, in general a very happy occasion.  
    I had a few other run ins with Swedish culture in the last two weeks.  One of the Elders living in My apartment comes from Göteborg (Gothenburg).  And so he is able to cook very authentic Swedish meals.  Recently we have made Flygande Jakob, or flying Jacob in English, and Blood pudding.  The Flygande Jakob was amazing, and very Swedish.  The Blood Pudding I was kind of dreading, but either its not half bad or Elder Sahlin is the greatest chef there is.  After having both I gained a lot of respect for Swedish food, that will definitely be something I bring back with me, is some of the food and culture.  Although the Blood Pudding might not make it over the Atlantic...    Also this week we were able to visit with one of my role models here in Sweden.  He stands taller then most other people, even if he is in a wheel chair.  He has had progressive MS which has been attacking his body and now it just took a steep dive for the worse, on top of this the doctors said that he may be developing a strain of skin cancer.  Through all of this he doesn't question God or life but is as cheerful as he can be.  Because of the MS it is very hard for him to simple things such as read and pray. Things that we often take for granted.  
    This next week is proving to be a week of changes.  This Friday I am transferring from Täby, and I have really loved this area, to Stockholm.  I am very excited to be in the middle of Stockholm as a missionary.  The center of Stockholm is made up of 14 islands.  The day after I leave Täby President and Sister Newell leave the mission.  They have done so much for this country, the people, the missionaries, and for me that could never be quantified into numbers.  I am very excited to meet President and Sister Beckstrand, our new mission President, but President and Sister Newell will be greatly missed by Sweden.  I have grown to know and to love them very much.
love you all,

   Äldste Jonathan Moe

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The fruit of the Spirit

Colorful Swedish Homes
Jonathan with Runestones
 This last week went by so fast, it was amazing.  Time is going faster and faster.  Just as I can't imagine it going by quicker another week is gone.  It's summer 2014, and I left end of summer 2012.  I am excited to see friends and family again but it's coming too soon.  There are things on the mission that can be frustrating, or annoying, or discouraging.  But I love being a missionary, and I love being one here in Sweden.  It's the best.
      At one point last week, we were teaching an Investigator who had never really before had a faith.  He spoke to us about how he had always had Mormon friends and liked the church.  We taught him about Gods plan for us, how all will live again, and all will have a chance to follow Christ.  He said a lot of what we said spoke perfectly to his thoughts, to his concerns about the afterlife.  When we were finishing the lesson he talked about how much he needs to read the book of Mormon and we were just able to agree.  As we were wrapping up though one last thought came to me, to speak of recognizing the spirit.  We had to share the scripture from Galatians 5:22-23.
      22.But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering,gentleness, goodness, faith,
      23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
     After reading the Scripture he was able to speak of how he has felt the spirit in his own life, and how he feels as if he has been guided by the spirit even while growing up.  Part of it is having the ability to recognize the spirit in our lives. The spirit was very strong and I know that the spirit is able to carry to the hearts of all men and women the words of eternal life.  The word of God fills holes in the heart, but it's the spirit that delivers the message.
     This upcoming month (June) is going to be a month of invitation throughout all of Europe, every member is challenged to invite their family and friends to come to church.  The saints here are amazing examples.  And the work is hastening in Europe!  Never before in European history have they had so many people attend sacrament meeting as they have had this last year.  Europe is growing in church activity at unprecedented rates.  There is a special spirit of hastening here.  Last quarter Europe was the highest baptizing and reactivating continent (per capita active membership).  I am blessed to be a part of all of these miracles and progress.

   Äldste Jonathan Moe.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Running into a NY Friend in Stockholm!!!

Aldste Moe was just walking to an appointment with his comp when he ran into Alex's very best friend (Heather) from High School.  Before Heather left for Sweden she was visiting with Alex and Alex said, say hi to my brother as a joke.  Heather will only be there with her husband for a week while he is working.  You can't imagine the joy and surprise we felt when Heather emailed this photo and said THIS JUST HAPPENED!!!

Conferences held all over Sweden

Vasa Museum
Gamla Stan
 This last week has been crazy! I checked it on google maps and we traveled a total of 2500 km.  Sweden is the largest mission in Europe and we definitely were able to see quite a bit of it. We traveled to Gothenburg, down to Skåne, up into Norrland, and back again.  Sweden is definitely a blessed country.  It is so beautiful here it's crazy.  And its great being able to see the different cultures that exist among the Swedes.  Each area is unique and very special.  That also means that this has been a tiring week because I'm switching between the different cultures of one given area.  I thought that I didn't have time to relax before as a missionary, but I have none now.  
   Sister Newell has been training the mission on planning again.  She did this more than a year ago when I had barely been in Sweden a month.  The principle of planning is so important.  Before the mission when I thought of planning, I would only think of planning for something that was surely going to happen. As a matter of fact, I thought planning for something I was unsure about happening would be a waste of time.  When we plan on things happening we help bring about their result.  When we plan on seeing miracles then work as hard as we can to plan them out and work towards them the Lord is able to bless us in the work, but also us in our lives.
   Just yesterday we met with someone who was a referral from some members up north in Luleå.  When we started talking with him we wanted to see how much he knew about the church as some of his best friends are members.  He explained, he didn't know a lot about the church or our beliefs, but that he loved all of the members he had met.  He said, he didn't know about the beliefs but he likes the lifestyle the church creates, and the teachings it gives us.  He has only had a few member friends but their examples, have made him interested in meeting with missionaries and finding out for himself what is so special about the church.  Members have more power as missionaries then a lot are aware of.
   When we visited Norrland last week we were able to participate in District Conference.  The northern part of Sweden is not part of a stake but is its own district.  Being mission president, President Newell is the Ecclesiastical leader for all of northern Sweden.  This is the last district conference that President and Sister Newell would be at.  The spirit was strong as President Newell spoke of the second harvest and the state of missionary work in Sweden.  At the end of district conference they had everyone stand and sing hymn number 107.  In the Swedish hymn book that is God be with you till we meet again.  I had a hard time singing the hymn, I could barely say any of the words.  President and Sister Newell have done a lot for the work here in Sweden, they will be missed.  I'm thankful that I've been able to learn so much working closely with President Newell.  He has all my respect and love.  
    This last week we also went to the famous Vasa museum in Stockholm.  The Vasa is a ship from the 1600's which is the oldest ship on display in the world.  It is also the only preserved ship from the 17th century that we have today.  The ship had only been finished for a couple months when it sank.  As a matter of fact it was the first time the ship tried to leave the port that it sunk right in Stockholm harbor.  Pretty embarrassing actually.  The problem was they tried to build it a little too big.  It was going to be the first ship with two levels of cannons.  So the ship was also too heavy.  Another problem is they had two engineers working on it, one was Polish, and one Swedish.  They worked from opposite ends toward the middle, the problem is they used two different systems of measurements.  So the Vasa was sailing to its doom.  If it had been completed the Swedish naval force would have looked very different.  Stockholm is full of culture and history, I love being in the middle of it.
   The mission makes a dvd called "Den Andra Skörden", it is a film which portrays the prophecies of the second harvest.  Right now we are re-making it into an updated version.  As I have been studying and gathering research/pictures/clips for this film the greater my testimony of the second harvest has become.  I know this is God's work and that he is hastening it, it will go as fast as we do.

   Äldste Jonathan Moe