Hoppas allt är bra med er! Det går jättebra här i Helsingborg!
And we have some news! Alright--moment of truth! I am not only receiving one new companion but TWO! We will be a little tri-pan! Their names are Syster Eldrige and Davis!!! I was with Syster Davis in the MTC and I just about cried when I heard she was coming here! I can't wait!
I just have no clue how this whole trio thing will be done, seeing that our apartment is barely big enough for 2 of us, and somehow we will have to get a new bed or something...(I think I might just get an air mattress from our Bishop--I´m actually quite looking forward to it!) Haha, so this will be quite the funnest little adventure!
Well, as for this week, I have just been having the hardest time lately trying to think of all the funny things--maybe I'll have more for next week! But this week we had Zone Conference in Göteborg! I have gone there for conferences three times now, and that just tells ya that I have been in Skåne for a VERY long time! Most missionaries only get one or two conferences in Göteborg because they happen every other transfer, but because I am going on my 6th transfer here, that is twice as long as most people stay! I'm telling ya--Southern Sweden just cannot get rid of me!
Well, the conference was amazing. It was all about Joseph Smith and choosing to believe. It truly was just the most amazing conference. The whole time I was just so grateful for my Mommy for raising me to know who Joseph Smith was--and who he is to me.
As I have been studying about Joseph Smith, I have just been reading and re-reading the talk "Saftey for the Soul", by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. Blows me away every time. Every time I listen to it, I am just amazing at the faith of all of those men who helped to bring about the truth of the Restoration. That not only did they spend their lives to help in bringing forth this truth, but they ended up giving their lives for it, too.
As I was thinking about Joseph's role in all of this, I began to think of our Savior, and how He was the perfect sacrifice. How He suffered for us all so that He could bring about mercy and forgiveness for us all.
And in a similar way, Joseph Smith died for us, too. He gave everything that he had to bring about the words of the Father and the Son. He gave his life so that we could have the Book of Mormon today. He died to testify that he knew what Christ had done. Joseph's life was truly a testimony of our Savior.
In the talk, "Safety for the Soul", Elder Holland remarks that his father would say, "No evil man could write it, and no good man would write such a book, unless he was called of God to do so." And Joseph truly was.
I also love the role that we see Hyrum playing in all of this. I greatly admire Hyrum and his testimony. Although he did not with his own eyes see God the Father and His Son, he CHOSE to believe his younger brother Joseph, and it was because of that choice he made that he in return was truly able to believe.
Along with this, I have been listening and reading through the talk, "Faith is not by Chance, but by Choice", by Elder Neil A. Anderson. I have been thinking about faith in my life--the faith I show, and how I could possibly have the faith as Joseph and Hyrum. I thought about it a lot, and it just all became so clear to me!
Although it may not be easy to come by, it is a very simple process. When things are good, Choose to Believe. When things are hard, Choose to Believe. And there you go! The pattern is really quite easy!
Faith does not come until after the trial of our faith. It is in the moment of hardship that we can either let our faith grow or diminish--and that comes about by one simple thought: "Do I want this one little thing--this one little problem or doubt ruin all of the other truths I do know, or did know? Is it worth it? Or should I just choose to Believe. Push through, because even if you are unsure, choosing to believe will always give you the power to make it through.
I have come to realize that this must be a very conscious decision. Merely coasting through times of doubt will not just come and go without doing any damage. If we just let it happen and go through the stages of doubt, we will always end up just a little weaker for it. But when we Choose to Believe, even when its hard to see or we really don't know what to believe--that is showing Faith.
And when does knowledge come? After that trial! It is completely against our human nature to believe something that we cannot see. To me, Faith is a Godly Attribute. It is something that is not so easy to come by, but when we use it and seek to grow it, there is no end to the power that can come through our faith.
So, next time you are having a hard time believing, think of this: There are two ways. The Lord's way and the world's way. And you make your choice. For me, I choose the Lord's way. He ALWAYS has something to offer me, while the world has nothing.
So, even though it may be hard even after you have made that decision to Believe, just let it go, and turn it over to the Lord. Once you have made it through, you will just be able to see the tremendous amount of growth you have gained from believing while not seeing.
The Lord has been preparing us for these moments of doubt by the experiences He has given us. These times of trial are merely a test to see if we ever did anything with the experiences that we had. When we act on spiritual experiences, such as writing them down, using them to help another and applying them to our lives, we are just building our foundation for the times that we seem to "fall", so that we will have a strong foundation to fall on.
In his talk, Elder Anderson said: "You no longer stand on neutral ground. Your faith will grow not by chance, but by choice. How we live our lives increases or diminishes our faith. Prayer, obedience, honesty, purity of thought and deed, and unselfishness increase faith. Without these, faith diminishes. Why did the Savior say to Peter, “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not?" Because there is an adversary who delights in destroying our faith! Be relentless in protecting your faith."
Now a couple things I have learned this week:
--Chose to Believe and and make that decision once.
--Best time for the last cigarette? Yesterday. (for investigators of course)
--Not so much something learned, but I forgot to say it earlier--we got to pick out new wall paper for our apartment! we picked a beautiful teal! I am super excited because right now it is this nasty beat up white and tan with tears all over from the 30 years of elders living there!
--Another thing learned.... don't talk to old drunk people. Okay,well maybe--they are hilarious!
--Don't ride a bike with shoes that are already falling apart....
--And lastly, it's really funny sitting across from a drunk teenager on the bus, because they do something stupid, and then you laugh--and then they start crying, and think your going to call the police because you're , "Jesus´ sisters!"
I love you all dearly and have a lovely week!