Thursday, July 31, 2014

Week 38; July, 28, 2014 - Lessons in Humility Teach the Pure Love of Christ

Hey guys!

It's been a really good week! Elder Gray and I finished our companionship well together. Our last lesson together was with Solomon again. He loves having us over and listening to our messages, but we honestly learn way more from him than he learns from us. I don't think I've ever met a more humble man. He says he's not the best at reading the Bible, but he completely lives everything Christ taught us to be on the Sermon on the Mount.  Later that week, I met the first person that legitimately wanted to Bible bash with us. He wore a large ornate cross on his chest and we decided to talk to him because he was obviously a Christian. He said we didn't know what we were talking about and that we could never understand what he understands because he has a doctorate in theology. The man wouldn't let us get three words out without telling us how lost we were in our relation to Christ.

Comparing that experience with our experience teaching Solomon taught me a valuable lesson. Christ doesn't demand us to know everything about the scriptures. We don't need to understand the most complex elements of deep doctrine to say that we are a true Christian. We don't need to wear symbols showing our devotion to Christ. All that Jesus wants for us is to come to him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. He wants us to have the humility to surrender our desires and our pride and to follow after him. He wants us not to serve and praise ourselves, but to have charity and love for others and to always remember him. If a man can do this well, he will truly know Jesus Christ, and not just know about him. He will have his Christianity written on his heart and the world will know of the love the Savior through his countenance and actions. These things are the mark of the pure love of Christ and I have not learned them from a man claiming to have great knowledge, but from a humble and meek man that loves the Lord with all his heart. I hope one day I'll truly learn to live by these things and follow Christ with all my heart, but now I am grateful that I have had the chance to meet such a great example.

The next day was transfers. Elder Gray and I finished our three months together and my new companion was actually Gray's third companion! His name is Elder Lindquist and he's actually from Stockholm! I need a ton of help with my Swedish so this is a huge blessing! We had a great first day together and ended the day when we saw people in the Chinese restaurant below us moving a huge fridge into a tiny European door, so we went to help them. We ended-up cutting a little of the doorway out to fit the fridge through! They thanked us by making whatever we wanted on the menu, so we started the transfer with fried duck for dinner, not bad for our first night! We also helped them the next day and had more Chinese food... Ha-ha!

Saying goodbye to Elder Gray

My new companion, Elder Lindquist 

Day two, we met one of our long-time investigators named Adrian. We thought his new girlfriend was hurting his progress. She is with him a lot and he seems less interested when he is around her. I was definitely wrong though. He said that he was starting to lose interest in the scriptures, but she started reading with him and now he's read a decent amount! We challenged him to keep reading and he said he definitely would. I learned that you defiantly can't judge people, and you never know who will be interested in receiving the gospel. We went by a member’s house that night and he surprised us by welcoming Elder Lindquist to Norrköping and taking us out for ribs! Needless to say it's been a blessed week as far as food goes!

Enjoying Kebab Pizza... My favorite! 

We've met the most interesting people while we were out contacting this week! One lady we was an American who was in Nörrkoping on an Art Visa. I didn't know those existed, but apparently they do! I guess she's a successful sculptor in the States and cities hire here to build cool projects all over the place, so she was really cool to meet! Later, we heard some kids speaking English and went to talk to them. They were in Nörrkoping visiting the Harry Potter exhibit, but they came down from Stockholm. It turns out that we stumbled into the team working on the influenza vaccine for Sweden on their day off! The university where they work is the place where the Nobel Prize is from, so that was an interesting crowd to have a conversation with!

The best contact was with a Muslim man that we met. He had met missionaries in Austria, so we talked with him for a while he was waiting for his train. He eventually explained that he was happy with his faith, but he had a great respect for Mormons. He told us about his Chinese friend who he was trying to help to find God. He said that he had tried to teach him about Islam, but it was just to foreign to him. The man said that despite the fact that we was a Muslim and we were Christian, he knows that we worship the same God. So, he asked if we'd be willing to teach his friend about our church when he moves to Nörrkoping in a month. He said he doesn't care what faith his friend is a part of, he just wants him to develop a relationship with God. It was a real Good Samaritan moment to see a man from a different faith that was willing to help his friend to learn about our church. The man was truly Christ like and he really had the spirit with him. People like him have helped me to develop more love and respect for all the religions and people of the world. I hope I will be here long enough to meet his friend comes and meet him again.

I can't get enough Swedish Chocolate

Lindquist on a zip line 4 inches off the ground... Extreme Missionary Sports, Swedish style!

Well, I think this will be a great transfer and I'm excited to continue in Nörrkoping with Elder Lindquist. I've learned a lot this week and had an awesome time. Thanks for reading!

Love you guys!

Elder Stoeltzing

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