Sunday, December 15, 2013

SWEDEN BOUND... Week SixDecember 15, 2013

The last week has gone by quickly! I am finally starting to feel better. We taught our last practice lesson today and it's a crazy to think that the next lesson I teach will be to a real investigator of the church. I have learned a lot of Swedish, but I feel a real sense of nervousness knowing that I will be completely immersed in this new language in less than 48 hours. I know that through God's help I will be able to confront the incredible challenges that still lie ahead, despite how nervous and unsure I may feel.  

Leaving the MTC for Sweden at 3:00 AM December 16, 2013
The last two days we have been spent saying goodbye to our four amazing MTC teachers. They all said goodbye to us in their own special way. We said our first farewell to brother Jorgensen. He was President Newell's first Assistant and one of the most amazing individuals I've ever met. He spent three hours telling us the amazing story of his mission. Brother Jorgenson helped turn around missionary work in Sweden and was an incredible influence for good for countless individuals in the country. He left us by saying that if we will give all that we are to the Lord for the next two years that we will witness miracles occur in our lives and the lives of others. 

Brother Jorgensen with his Swedish students

Next we said goodbye to Brother Bloomfield.  On our third day in the MTC we taught our first lesson in Swedish to him while he was acting as an investigator named Peder. It was pretty much an utter train wreck, but I'll always remember that my first experience speaking Swedish was with Brother Bloomfield. After a week and a half of trying to teach hum we found out he was actually our teacher. He has been a great influence on me and he has worked one-on-one to help me develop my own language study plan, create effective planning and goal setting methods, and most importantly, he taught me to teach “people” and not “lessons.”

Brother Bloomfield with our Swedish MTC District

We also said goodbye to Brother Dunn. He really pushed us hard and spoke mostly in Swedish from day one.  We have really grown to love him and I have appreciated all he has done for us. He showed us a slide show from his mission today. Sweden is a beautiful country filled with beautiful people. I know through hard work I will be able to touch the lives of others and have others touch my life in the process. 

Brother Dunn and Aldste Stoeltzing

Lastly, we said farewell to Brother Bush.  He is one of the nicest people I've have ever met and he has made class extremely fun. We just found out that Brother Bush and his wife are expecting their first child and sadly, we’re leaving for Sweden just before they will find out if it will be a boy or a girl. I know he will make a great Father and it has been a joy to be his student.

Look-out Stockholm, here we come!
I have learned so many amazing lessons here at the MTC, but it was the words of Brother Jorgensen that have truly inspired me in the days before leaving. Last night I prayed that I would be able to devote all of the next two years to the Lord in the fullest. I then set five goals that I hope will define my mission: 

1. Become fully converted the gospel of Jesus Christ 

2. Share the restored gospel with all that are willing to listen  

3. Develop a Christ-like love of God and compassion for all that I come in contact with 

4. Do all that I am asked with exact obedience

5. Give all that I am to the Lord

I have an amazing adventure ahead of me. The MTC has humbled me and made me realize just how much I need the Lord.  I can't wait to begin my journey. I know I will grow so much and I cannot do this great work without the Lord. Alone, I am nothing, but with Him, I know I can do a great work. I would like to close by leaving a passage of scripture from the Book of Mormon that has served as an inspiration to me, eloquently describing the way that I have felt in the past six weeks, giving me comfort and solace when I have needed it.  

If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear...
2 Nephi 4:15-35

  15 And upon athese I bwrite the things of my soul, and many of the scriptures which are engraven upon the plates of brass. For my soul cdelighteth in the scriptures, and my heart dpondereththem, and writeth them for the elearning and the profit of my children.

 16 Behold, my asoul delighteth in the things of the Lord; and mybheart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard.

 17 Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great agoodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O bwretched man that I am! Yea, my heart csorrowethbecause of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.

 18 I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily abeset me.

 19 And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have atrusted.

 20 My God hath been my asupport; he hath led me through minebafflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep.

 21 He hath filled me with his alove, even unto the bconsuming of my flesh.

 22 He hath confounded mine aenemies, unto the causing of them to quake before me.

 23 Behold, he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given meaknowledge by bvisions in the night-time.

 24 And by day have I waxed bold in mighty aprayer before him; yea, my voice have I sent up on high; and angels came down and ministered unto me.

 25 And upon the wings of his Spirit hath my body been acarried away upon exceedingly high mountains. And mine eyes have beheld great things, yea, even too great for man; therefore I was bidden that I should not write them.

 26 O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath avisited men in so much bmercycwhy should my dheart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions?

 27 And why should I ayield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to btemptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my cpeace and afflict my soul? Why am Idangry because of mine enemy?

 28 Awake, my soul! No longer adroop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the benemy of my soul.

 29 Do not aanger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions.

 30 Rejoice, O my aheart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the brock of my salvation.

 31 O Lord, wilt thou aredeem my soul? Wilt thou deliver me out of the hands of mine enemies? Wilt thou make me that I may shake at the appearance of bsin?

 32 May the gates of hell be shut continually before me, because that my aheart is broken and my spirit is contrite! O Lord, wilt thou not shut the gates of thy righteousness before me, that I maybwalk in the path of the low valley, that I may be strict in the plain road!

 33 O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thyarighteousness! O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine benemies! Wilt thou make my path straight before me! Wilt thou not place a stumbling block in my way—but that thou wouldst clear my way before me, and hedge not up my way, but the ways of mine enemy.

 34 O Lord, I have atrusted in thee, and I will btrust in thee forever. I will not put my ctrust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his dtrust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.

 35 Yea, I know that God will give aliberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I bask cnot amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the drockof my erighteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen.

God bless, I love you all.  My next blog entry will be from Sweden! 

Aldste Stoeltzing 


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