Monday, January 16, 2012

Loving my new area!!!

Hej Familj!!!

Well, sorry but this is going to be one of those annoying short e-mails. I logged on to my e-mail here in the Jakobsberg library and noticed that there were some things from the mission office that I needed to fill out and send back. That took most of my e-mail time.. Yup, that right, I have e-mail time now. haha We don't e-mail from the church in this area so we have to book times here in the library.

Anyway, let me get to this week! I must say that I have fallen in love very quickly with my new area! The streets are ready and the doors are waiting. Sadly though, most of those doors are in apartment buildings with coded doors that lock us out. So, most of our work is contacting on the commuter trains, buses and on the streets. It is great!

Äldste Shear and I are loving being together again. Honestly we feel that we have the best companionship in the mission.. We don't want the others to hear about that.. okay??? haha But we all know it is true! :) I met the WARD for the first time yesterday in church and they are all so very awesome! Lots of different cultures, and I think I should mention a large part of that is Spanish!! It is so cool!!! :) haha I love it! I look forward to the time ahead to spend with them and to get to know them. Oh, did I mention that we have a dinner every single night this week with a member!! AWESOME! I can't think of a better place to be. I honestly can't!

I really have no time so I am going to head out and move on with our p-day. Not too much going on just checking out the local stores and possibly meeting up with the Stockholm Elders a little later. This evening we will have a dinner with a member and finish our day with contacting/knocking on doors in that area. OH!! I almost forgot! We have an incredible Senior Couple serving in our district! The Johansons! They are incredible and ready to work! It is going to be so awesome here!!!!!!!! Agh!!!! :) I love you all!

Oh, I thought I could include this in the e-mail. I think I have already told you all this story, but in case not, here it is! I hope you like it! (It was written to the missionaries serving here in Sweden)

I was a new missionary in a land that was strange to me. The language was hard to understand and finding groceries in the local ICA was nearly impossible because everything had new names! I began to work with my trainer and quickly became discouraged with the work. It was nothing like the MTC prepared me for. So many slammed doors and rude people clouded my mind. I was unhappy and my future as a missionary looked bleak in my eyes. The Lord knew these struggles though, and gave me a glimpse of what the next two years would hold in store! After just a few weeks in Sweden I was privileged to perform the baptism of a dear sister in our area. She quickly became a very good friend of mine and her family, consisting of three children, found a place in my heart. I described the feelings I had in the baptismal font as "purely Celestial", and I figured that was the greatest feeling of missionary work.
My four months in the area flew by as I came to love the branch and investigators. I cried as I left and said a little prayer in my heart that all would be well, and that this particular family would be taken care of. Now, fast forward into the future... I was in a different area and we headed to the Zone Conference scheduled for the day. When I arrived I had the opportunity to talk with one of the Assistants to the President about the growth seen across the mission. This magnificent Elder went on and on about the miracles being seen in all of our areas. My ears perked up as I heard him mention a family in the area I had served in as a brand new missionary.
He told of a dear sister in the branch with three kids who had remained incredibly faithful after her baptism. He spoke in almost reverent tones of her strong testimony and how it was blessing the work and the branch of the area. My heart leaped for joy as I realized just who he was talking about. Tears filled my eyes as he explained that this sister had found a good man in the church, also with a strong testimony, and was planing on getting married to him in the near future. What increased my joy even more was that this new family was planning on living in the area to help build up the branch. I thought I was going to fall over and collapse in that same "purely Celestial" joy I had felt at her baptism.
I was reminded of Ammon's experience recorded in Alma 27:17, "Now the joy of Ammon was so great even that he was full; yea, he was swallowed up in the joy of his God, even to the exhausting of his strength; and he fell again to the earth." I remember that day perfectly. I will always cherish it and thank my Father in Heaven for the opportunity of being a part of it.
Later in my mission I would come to find out that all three children decided to be baptized so that, "they could be sealed in the temple together as a family forever." Upon hearing that, I was again struck with another "Ammon Experience". So much joy! This family is doing so very well and I look forward to the communication we will be able to have when I return home from the blessed fields of Sweden.
This work IS the work of the Lord. If we have faith in Him, and His mission, He will bless us and no matter what happens we will be, as Ammon was, "swallowed up in the joy of [our] God, even to the exhausting of [our] strength." I testify that this work blesses all who are involved with it. Our brothers and sisters need us now more than ever. Let us go forward with faith knowing that we are called and ordained, ready and willing and seeking humbly the joy of our God.

(THIS IS GARRETT'S STORY...about HIM!...from mom)

Have a wonderful week family! I love you all sooooo very much! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!! Until next week...

Trogen och Stadig, Är Jag Redo!!!!!
Faithful and Steady, I AM Ready!!!!!

Äldste Kundis :) :) :)

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