Happy New Year to you all!
Hope you all enjoyed the New Year's celebrations! I, for one, celebrated it twice. Seeing that I couldn't fall asleep due to thinking of the ankommande and the avgående år, I just sat in the darkness thinking...waiting for that moment at 00.00 that is just so distinct, yet there isn't anything that really changes...but somehow you can feel it!
Well. I have never quite heard a fireworks display quite like they had here, so that may have also been another contributing factor to the not sleeping! But then the second celebration was counting down with you all! Okay, well mostly for you Mountain Stanard Time people, because that was when our personal study time started, so we started off studies welcoming in the New Year that we were already 8 hours into!
But, we're going to rewind just a little bit:
In the morning of Nyårsafton, we started out by going to a baptism in Västerhaninge (by the Stockholm Temple). The baptism was for a 22-year-old Swede. He is amazing. I actually got to help teach him one day while we were on splits, and so it was really amazing to be able to go and just see how much he has just grown in faith.
The first time I met him--which was just outside the Temple--we were walking over to the Chapel and we were just talking, and I totally thought he was just a member by the way that he was just talking about the Church. Then we were starting the discussion, and the Syster I was with was just like, "alright--so we are going to talk about Jesu Kristi Evangelium", and I just thought, what? This is the guy we're teaching? Haha! I could have sworn he was already a member! Anyways, bottom line is that it was a really neat experience to be a part of.
But onto that night. Here we are in the morning thinking we were just going to be sitting at the Church all day writing in our journals, but then the Bishop calls and invites us over! So then, we are thinking it was just going to be this kind of casual dinner with their family. Ha. No.
Okay--we get there, and they have us head over to the barn. The "barn" is no barn. This is the classiest barn building I have ever seen! Everyone dressed to the 9's, and we're just thinking..."What is this?!" A three-course meal and dessert to finish. When it was all over, we left and were just thinking, "What just happened?!" It was the coolest thing. Seriously--candle lit dinner and all. I've never been to anything fancier. Quite the experience!
Then the next day, we just had Sacrament Meeting and then again we thought that we were just going to spend the day at the Church, because it was another "Red Day." But then the other systers ask our Ward Mission Leader's wife if they had any games we could possibly borrow for our day at the Church, and she just said "Games?! Oh, you're coming over to our house!" She Loves games, so we got to spend the whole day with them making grilled cheese and playing games! It was such a good start to the year!:)
Well...along with all the other new starts to the new year, I hope you all have been thinking about some good resolutions. I have been trying to think a lot about what I want to work on, so I have just gotten started on some life-long lists--such as my bucket list--and just seeing what I want to do in my life!
I also really tried to focus on what I can become and/or strive to develop. I was reading a lot in "Preach My Gospel"-- chapter 6, in "Christlike Attributes", and really trying to focus on Charity and Humility. I decided that in addition to a lot of other smaller steps to help me along the way, one thing I want to do every week is focus on a Parable of Christ and just study it and analyze it and just come to know Christ more and more.
I started with it this morning, reading John 5. The story where Christ healed the man on the Sabbath. I just found it so fascinating! Yes, I have read it before, but I just love reading things with more of a purpose.
Well, I will try to have some cooler stories to share on that later, but real quick before I go... investigator sum up!
Okay, so we have this really amazing investigator right now! We have been working with him for the past couple weeks. He is a Swede, and he is just the greatest. He has come to EVERY lesson--which may seem like a little thing, but trust me--that is so incredible to us! Every lesson he returns having already read the pamphlet for the lesson that we will have that day. It is just so incredible!
We are finishing up the commandments with him, and he is just devouring it all! He usually doesn't even have any questions just says that he understands and that the principles just really make sense to him. He has also already read so much from the Book of Mormon, and just reading so steadily and really studying it! My favorite part, though, was a couple days ago.
We asked what he liked from his reading and almost immediately he said, "Mosiah 4:9". We flipped there, and read it--and our hearts just melted!
"Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend."
This has been like the greatest tender mercy to just be able to teach him. Oh, and not to mention by our second lesson, he had already found the Gospel Library app and had it downloaded! Had already found the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Channel on this radio app, and it was the first one on the list in his phone. He is gold.
Well. That's about it for this week! Bring on the New Year!
with much kärlek,