Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Week 43; September 1, 2014 – Temple Bound!

So, my transfer call came on Saturday and it looks like I'll be starting a new chapter of my mission this week. I'll be transferring up to the town of Västerhaninge, just South of Stockholm, to work with Elder Pearson. It’s a great area with a great ward, right next to the Stockholm Temple! I’m super excited and I’m looking forward to what I'll get to experience there.
Transferred to serve near the Stockholm Sweden Temple
It's been a great four and a half months in Norrköping with a few ups and downs, but it has taught me a lot about working hard and keeping a positive attitude. We've also been really blessed to see some miracles happen here, especially this week.
Saying goodbye to the Astrom family
Last Monday started-off great. We went to visit a member named Toby who we've gotten really close to here. He's a prison guard and he works a ton, but he loves helping the missionaries whenever he can. We taught him a lesson and we were going to ask him for a referral, but before we could, he said, "Hold on guys I need to go pick up my daughter, but if you come with me, I'll see if I can find you guys somebody to teach." And he did… Toby introduced us to a family who said they wouldn't mind hearing about what we teach. Their Swedish wasn't too great, but we taught them a little of the first lesson and it went well. They invited us back and hopefully we will be able to bring one of our members from Syria to help them understand the lesson better in the future. 

Tuesday was awesome too! We went out to Finspång to see a less-active member and we had an extra hour before the bus came, so we decided to tract a little. After knocking on doors for a while with no luck, Elder Lindquist suggested that we should try street contacting. It's not always the easiest thing to do in residential areas, but I don't really love tracting, so I was open to the idea. 

Passing a Swedish home outside the window of the train 
We met a few kids who were mildly interested, then we walked a few more blocks and saw three guys cooking in their apartment. I waved to one and they waved for us to come over. Then they asked us what we were doing and we said we were trying to get to know the people. To our surprise they invited us in for lunch. That was the first time on my mission that any stranger invited us in for a meal! We taught them a little of the first discussion and then we offered them some Swedish language lessons because they were all very new in the country. They were super excited about that and said they would invite their friends. Now, because Elder Lindquist acted on a prompting, we finally have a good opportunity to connect with a part of the Syrian community in Norrkoping.  This is a people that I feel are some of the most prepared you could ever find to accept the gospel.
My friend Adrian has decided to be baptized next month!
The best part of the week came on Saturday. Adrian is an investigator that the missionaries have been working with since before I first got here. Elders Gray and Avinoues originally found him, or rather he found them. They were trying to find a less-active member and couldn't get into the apartment because they didn’t have the gate code. Adrian happened to live there and he opened the door for them. Elder Gray asked if he knew anything about Mormons and that started a friendship. Only five months later, we went to lunch with Adrian and he brought up baptism. He asked his girlfriend what she thought about getting baptized. She wasn't really sure, but we asked him how he felt about being baptized in a month. He said he felt great about that date and he was so thankful we asked him! It’s so amazing to see that one of the investigators I've grown the closest to is ready to accept the gospel. I know he is ready and I'm sad I can't be here to keep helping him to prepare, but I know that Elder Lindquist will take great care of him and Adrian and I will continue our friendship after my mission. 

Downtown Norrkoping at night
I'm so thankful for my time here and for everything I have learned about missionary work and about myself in Norrköping. Serving with Elders Gray and Lindquist has been awesome. I'm really going to miss working with Elder Lindquist. We had a great time together, but his family only lives ten minutes away from my new area and he'll be done with his mission in three months, so I know I'll see him again soon. I'm excited to see what will happen next, but I know every step of the way is going to be great! 

Thanks for reading – I love you guys! 

-Äldste Stoeltzing 

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