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