Monday, September 15, 2014

Week 45; September 14, 2014 - Edified by an Apostle! 

Tjena allihopa! (Hey everybody!),

It has been an awesome week! I finally got to walk around downtown Stockholm and Gamla Stan (old town) for P-day! It was awesome! Stockholm is a beautiful city and it will be super fun to explore the sites every few weeks!

Touring Gamla Stan (Old Town) Stockholm

We had Family Home Evening with the Young Single Adults (YSA's) afterward and we played a game called Chair Soccer where everyone sits in a circle and then they get up and try to kick the ball into another person’s chair which gets them out. Needless to say, I got out a lot… Sweds are really good at soccer! The YSA's here are really cool and there are a ton of them, so it will be cool to have activities here!  

Elder Pearson & Elder Stoeltzing Discovering Stockholm
On Tuesday, we did a ton of swing-by's and found some new less-active families to teach, so that was a long, but productive day.  

On Wednesday, we had one of the most fun dinner appointments I've been to in a long time! While I was in Norrköping, one of my favorite families was the Stålbergs, and Leif Stålberg’s brother's family lives in my new Ward! They are super cool and really funny. We were playing catch with a balloon with their five-year-old daughter… She's probably the funniest kid ever! She saw that the balloon makes static electricity, so when her Mom brought the ice cream out, she tried to stick the balloon into it! Sister Stålberg tried to stop her, then we realized that the she was trying to suck up the ice cream with the balloon’s static. It was super funny! I love the way little kids think!  

Elder Sahlin baked them some Banana Bread for the “Banana Bread Challenge.” It was basically a Secret Santa gift with Banana bread. When he went to bring it out, there was a big chunk missing and we realized that their dog had eaten a large piece! Another good laugh!  But anyway, they were a super cool family and they will be fun to get to know better!

Okay, Thursday was the big day! Elder David A. Bednar, an Apostle of the Church, came to Stockholm for a European tour this week! It was probably the coolest meeting I'd ever been to! He said he was not giving a prepared talk, but we could ask him any question as long as we weren't trying to show off or ask something irrelevant… Ready, go! I don't think I've ever seen anyone as comfortable in front of a crowd as Elder Bednar. He said he enjoys giving conference talks, but he hates having to read off teleprompters. He strongly prefers open forums like he had with us. 

Elder David A. Bednar, Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Mission Conference
He started-off his remarks with an incredible differentiation between the culture and the doctrine of the church. He explained how the gospel is perfect, but the culture isn't. And, he said we should stop some of our silly traditions. One, which he explained, was to never take notes on everything a speaker says ever again. Just write down what really matters the most to you. I thought that was great advice and it helped to make the conference way more meaningful.  

The big piece of advice, he reminded us repeatedly was incredible. It was basically that everything in the world is either an agent or an object. Objects are acted upon, where agents are intelligent beings with the capacity to act. As intelligent beings, we can still be objects if we choose not to use our ability to act, whether it’s out of out of laziness, or following social norms that are counter intuitive to becoming effective and happy in our lives. He admonished us to exercise our ability to think and act everyday so we don't fall into the trap of being an object and not taking control of our lives. It was an absolutely incredible conference and I've never heard or seen anything quite like it before. I'm definitely going to work hard to do what he said every day!  

This was a week to remember and we were so blessed to learn from an Apostle of the Lord. I'm defiantly motivated to work harder and become better. Next week is looking great and the area is really starting to take off… Good things are coming soon.  

Thanks for reading everyone. Have a great week!  

-Äldste Stoeltzing

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