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