Friday, February 28, 2014

Counting our blessings!

Helsingborg  with afternoon light
Biking around Helsingborg
Steps of Helsingborg
Helsingborg Zone
  This last week has been very good.  When I look back now it doesn't feel as if much actually happened or was accomplished but we feel very accomplished.  By anyone's standards this last week was very hard. We had to go out and work hard making cold contacts, and we only had one person come to church who we had taught during the week. We know that we have worked very hard and every night we could feel the peace that comes from that.  This being said I saw something else very interesting.  We did see a lot of progress.  We have been blessed because we've worked hard.  We were over at a members house for dinner and after talking of the gospel we asked who they know who is ready to accept the gospel.  We left their house with six names and numbers to their friends.  That is always inspiring seeing members doing their own missionary work.  On Sunday, the boyfriend to a girl here in the ward showed interest in becoming a member of the church.  Sometimes it is easy to forget that missionaries are not alone in the work.  The work of salvation is done by members, missionaries, and the Lord is directing us.  With that team you can't lose.  Even though this last week we didn't see the fruits of our work.  When we look around and count our blessings they're always many.  Often times blessing come unnoticed or when we are least expecting them.  I've learned to be thankful for the small things and to keep a tender heart towards the Lord so I can recognize his hand in the small things of life.

   Äldste Jonathan Moe

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The sun is shining in Southern Sweden!

The snow is gone and the sun is shining.  Southern Sweden is being blessed with good weather right now.  And good missionary energy.  People don't find it too amusing when stopped on the street in the pouring rain or snow.  This last week we had zone training, we were able to prepare a powerful message on opening our mouths.  It is one of the hardest parts of missionary work.  Everyday talking to the first person never becomes easy, but we have been asked to talk with all those along the way.  But missionaries are not an inconvenience to people.  They are inviting people to eternal life.  They are freely offering a chance for people to find happiness.  There is nothing to be ashamed of in that.  
  This ward has some of the greatest members.  Every Friday night here there is an Innebandy activity which is like floor hockey.  It is really fun and I am getting better at it.  Still not anywhere as good as the Swedes are but slowly better.  While there and in church you honestly feel as if your part of the family.  Whenever new faces are there, they are always welcoming and friendly.  It's a well organized part of Christ's flock.  I haven't served in a ton of large wards on my mission but I have been blessed with my assignments when measured by testimony and love.    
   This last Friday we had open church, this is a time when the chapel is open for people to come, receive tours, use family history resource, and learn about the gospel.  So we are there for a set number of hours weekly.  A man came to the church because he had played ping pong in the past with missionaries.  He came and although he was in no way interested in meeting with missionaries again to learn about the gospel he brought a friend.  We were able to play ping pong and have fun but also talk to his friend.  While the other two were playing I showed the man the chapel.  He said he felt peace there and I told him it was the church building, and the Holy Ghost.  He showed sincerity in wanting to meet and so we exchanged information.  Often times when people are approached by missionaries on the street or at their doorstep they don't give it a chance.  But when missionaries are able to meet people in more relaxing situations it takes the pressure off both parties. 
    I love the work.  We are depending on the Lord and praying for help and guidance and working as hard as we can to see some miracles here.  Please pray for us.  Thanks for all of the support!

 Äldste Jonathan Moe

Sunday, February 16, 2014

It's pretty here but COLD!

Kära vänner,

Helsingborg is amazing.  I love the city.  Its the eighth biggest in Sweden but the biggest city I have served in so far.  And the ward is great.  This last Saturday there was an MTC day activity.  We had youth come from all of the south of Sweden and we were able to teach classes on how to use Preach my Gospel.  These youth all received fake mission calls to countries around the world.  They were then taught a little about the language, about missionary life, and about how to teach.  It was a really cool experience for us missionaries because it was like seeing 30 perspective missionaries with fiery testimonies.  That is definitely one of the things the church needs the most is strong youth who are familiar with and living the gospel.   
  As a mission we have been focusing a lot on contacting.  On opening our mouths more often.  Elder Ballard taught that if we want more people to teach we need to open our mouth more.  And so we have been increasing our personal finding efforts.  This last week we approached someone and asked what they believed the meaning of life to be, at first they answered about how they were not sure.  We testified of families and the happiness Heavenly Father wants us to have.  We could tell he felt the spirit as we exchanged numbers.
   It is starting to get warmer and brighter again so it looks like we are barely getting a winter this year.  Weird for Sweden, but I'm not going to complain.
   Right now we do not have too many people we are meeting with often but hopefully we change that.  We have been setting high goals and planning on how we can do as much good as possible here in Helsingborg.  My companion, Elder Stafford and I get along really well, so we're excited to see what happens in this area.      
puss och kram,

Äldste Jonathan Moe

Sunday, February 2, 2014

My first full week in Helsingborg!

 This has been my first full week in Helsingborg and it has been awesome!  Actually though, putting the cold, the wind, and the snow aside for a second, I love it here.  I can start by talking a little about Skåne.  Skåne is the bottom part of Sweden and has some unique cultures but definitely a unique dialect.  Skånska as it's called sounds a bit more like Danish.  When it's really thick it can be quite hard to understand or group together with Swedish as a language.  I think it sounds really cool though.  One of the crazy things about being here in Helsingborg is that we can see Denmark from the city.  So while walking around the city we can just look over the Oresund Strait and see Helsingförs, a short swim across the water.  Helsingförs is the Danish equivalent to Helsingborg, they are often called sister cities.  Because of the proximity to Denmark a lot of people even fly the Skånish flag.  A red based flag (Denmark) with the yellow cross of Sweden.  
   Helsingborg is an old city and the biggest that I have yet served in.  There is an old wall from the time Helsingborg was owned by Denmark that overlooks the entire city.  From here you can see out over Helsinborg and even see into Denmark.  Quite the view on a clear day.
   This last Sunday we had a family walk into church saying that they want to be married and learn about the church.  So it has not taken long for me to see miracles in Skåne.  Coming into this area was very interesting. There's a lot of work to be done but that is not within itself a bad thing.  Äldste Stafford and I are excited to be working together down here in Helsingborg.
   As far as the ward goes, I love them.  They have once again given me a testimony of the fact that this is the same church everywhere and is one big family.  Just as it is the same work everywhere.  It's different people, almost a different language but I still feel the same after coming home from a good day.  I feel empowered as I work.  I am very blessed to be a missionary.  This power which I know accompanies me is not, however, unique to missionaries.  It is the Holy Ghost which empowers us and communicates God's will to us.  A missionary is set apart to represent the Lord and preach the gospel.  This setting apart represents them receiving authority to go out as a missionary.  Power to teach comes from faith, vision, obedience, and diligence.  These four steps are also what will empower us to do whatsoever thing is right and ultimately succeed later in my life and career.  Even when it's hard or annoying I am glad when I do what is right to keep the Holy Ghost with me.

  Äldste Jonathan