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