Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Week 31; June 9, 2014 - Faith Precedes the Miracle!

Hey Guys,

This week was a lot better!  We had our last interviews with President Newell and he helped me so much!  I'm going to miss him a ton!  When I was in the MTC, President Cook gave a talk and explained that there are a lot of factors that go into deciding where young men will go on their missions. But, the main one is determining which Mission President could do the most to help you individually. I absolutely know President Cook was right about that, and I am so grateful I got to serve under President Newell, he has been an incredible example to me and has helped me immensely in the short time that I've been here. I am so thankful that I've been blessed to have him as my mission President and I look forward to having one last zone conference with him in two weeks. The advice he gave me this week was incredible and I hope I can apply it throughout my mission.

We had two really great lessons that I want to talk about this week. The first, was with a man we met named Johannes. He is an immigrant from Syria and was raised in the Syrian Orthodox church. His religious background is really different from ours and the idea of the restoration was extremely foreign to him, but he exercised great faith and said he'd read the Book of Mormon if we could truly promise that it would help him come closer to Christ.

We finally taught Evelina this week! It went amazing!!! She told us about her conversion story and how she and her boyfriend found Christ. She had a lot of questions about Mormons and all she knew about them was from a piece Oprah did about the Fundamentalist LDS sect practicing polygamy, and she thought that was us (Thanks Oprah!). We clarified that polygamy hasn't been practiced in the church for over a hundred of years. We taught her about the restoration and she loved it!  She loved the idea of there being a living prophet on the earth today and the idea of reading new scripture testifies of Christ! She had a question about a confusing verse in the Bible and we clarified it for her with one of my favorite verses from the Book of Mormon in 2 Nephi, Chapter 4. She said, after reading the passage, that the book must be from God and she committed to reading it!  We also got on the subject of the Word of Wisdom (Our standards for a healthy lifestyle). She said she had prayed about what she should and shouldn't eat and felt that she shouldn't drink coffee, alcohol, or tobacco. All her friends thought she was weird for believing it, but we said that was inspiration. We showed her Section 89 of the Church’s Doctrine and Covenants and she almost cried when she saw the things that she felt written in her native language of French in front of her! It was one of the best lessons I've been blessed to be a part of on my mission and I can't wait to keep teaching Evelina and David!

We had national holiday in Sweden kind of like the 4th of July! We rode the bus to an outlying town called Finspång to teach an investigator. We later realized we'd had a miscommunication and he was actually in Norrköping, so when we were going back to our bus stop, I realized that my wallet had fallen out of my pocket. I freaked out a little bit and prayed that we would be able to find it. After a few minutes of panicking, to my joy, the bus that had taken us out came back to the same stop and picked us up. He had finished his loop nearby and when we got back on, my wallet was sitting right where I'd left it. Sometimes I think God puts us in situations like this to see if we'll remember to pray and then He blesses us as soon as we remember Him. The bus came back about a minute after I stopped freaking out and prayed.

After the excursion to Finspång we went back to Norrköping and met our investigator, Adrian, in the Park. Afterward, we looked at a classic car show that was put on for the national holiday. Funny thing, Swedes love old American cars!  I saw more old American cars this weekend than I had seen in a year back in the states! It was an awesome day with an awesome end to a really good week!

Thanks for reading and God Bless!

-Äldste Stoeltzing

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