Monday, October 20, 2014

Week 50: October 20, 2014 – Old Friends, New Adventures!

Before I get started, I just want to wish my little brother Josh, a happy 17th birthday! You’re the best brother I could ever ask for, and you make me so proud to be your big brother! I miss you a ton and I can't wait to see you in a little over a year from now! Thanks for inspiring me to be better every day! I love you bro! 

Josh's Birthday 2013
There has been a lot of change these past two weeks. We found out that sisters were coming back to Västerhaninge, and Elder Pearson and I would both be packing our bags. So, I feel sad to leave an area so soon, but I think the sisters will be really good for the area. I've actually been sent just up the road so it's not a real ‘good bye,’ I guess. It's been a good six weeks and I think this will be a nice change.

However, before we left we got to watch an incredible musical program called ‘Han Lever’ (He Lives). Elder Sahlin put a lot of it together with the help of the local YSA's (Young Single Adults) and we've been trying to help promote it through our contacting. It was an awesome performance. We had no idea how many people would come, but there were easily over 300. The YSA's shared great testimonies of the Savior and the music was incredible. It was amazing to see the community come together in support of the event and I think the program really showed the YSA's they could do amazing things together and it was a big blessing for me to be a part of.  

On Monday we went to the YSA Center in Stockholm and just played some games with other missionaries for P-Day. We said good bye to Elders Moe and Knecht, and Sister Miller also. They were all super good friends and great missionaries. I'm so thankful I got to serve around them and get to know them. If you guys read this, thanks for everything you did to make my mission special… I'll see you guys at BYU!

Our last lesson in Västerhaninge was with Andres. We taught his kids this time and we used an object lesson to explain the Holy Ghost to them. The kids really liked the lesson, but the best part was when Andres testified to his daughters that the Holy Ghost was real and how it can be a huge blessing in their lives. The girls really liked the lesson and they seem really excited when we come over to teach them. It was hard to say good bye, but I think we've done our part with Andres for now. The sisters will be a big help to him as they continue to teach his girls.

Wednesday was transfer day and I met-up with Elder Ogaard and the other missionaries moving into our four-man apartment in Vendelso. Elder Ogaard will be a fun comp. He's almost done with his mission, but he has a lot of energy still and he wants to make our time here count before he leaves, so I'm super thankful to have him as a companion. Likewise, Elders Kapp and Sandquist are working in Hägersten and they are super cool. This apartment is great and I couldn't ask for better people to live with. Elder Williams and Steen are the other two Elders in the area. It's awesome to work with Steen again and Elder Williams is a super hard worker that will bring a lot of enthusiasm to the area. We actually have four missionaries in the area which is pretty unusual, but I think it will give us a good fresh start. Oh, Elder Farnworth was sent to Hägersten, so he'll be in the district as well! The old Linköping team is back together, so I couldn't be more excited for this new district!  

The ward here is great! They are so ready for member missionary work and they gave us a warm welcome. It's a smaller ward and I think it will be a lot easier to get my mind wrapped around its’ needs than I was able to do in Västerhninge. We plan on working with members a lot and I think that together we will do great work.  

So far, the start in this area has been really good. We went on a contacting blitz and split-up with other Elders in the district. Elder Kapp and I found six new potential investigators and we taught a lesson on the street about the Plan of Salvation. It felt great! 

That night we found a restaurant that was basically the Swedish equivalent to Panda Express! I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. I haven't had good Chinese food in forever, so it was one of the best meals I've had on my mission! Okay, maybe it wasn't that good, but I've really, really, missed Chinese food.

We went tracting later in the week where we found four more potential investigators! One of them invited us over on Sunday and we taught them the full Restoration lesson. It went really well and we hope to see them again this next week!  

It must be a sign!
Well, I think this area will be a great change. It's weird to think this is my fifth area, but I'm really excited for the time I'll have to serve here.  

Thanks for reading… Love you guys! 

Äldste Stoeltzing  

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Week 49; October 13, 2014 – On the Road Again!

Hi Everyone,

This will be a short update… I found out I’m being transferred out of Västerhaninge so they can put sisters back here. It seems like this is the first time in forever that sisters haven’t served in this area. I’m going up the road to a place called Vendelsö, about 20 minutes North toward Stockholm. We’ll be in a four-man apartment with two other missionaries who are both really cool.

Our current apartment smaller than my room back home, and I can say that claustrophobia is a real thing!  It’s been really hard to function in a space that small. The bathroom is half the size of our small walk-in closet back home and the kitchen was even smaller. So, it will be good to have a little more room to stretch out, but I’m happy for the change.

Elder Pearson is also excited to be heading even farther North! He’s been here for a long time, but we've both had a great experience serving together. Sorry for the short note... We have a lot to do. I’ll write more later.

Have a great week!

Äldste Stoeltzing

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Week 48; October 6, 2014 - Flowers and Testimonies Bloom

Hey, I hope everyone had a great week! This has been a really good week for us. We had another awesome floor hockey game for P-day!  

Ship Wrecked in a Playground!
Tuesday was really cool too. The temple needed new flowers planted, so we brought the whole zone out to plant over 7000 flowers at the temple. We we're all super tired by the end of the day, but the temple looked amazing. 

Missionaries Planted 7,000 Flowers to Beautify the Temple
Ansel Adams would have been proud to photograph
Elder Pearson's hands after a day of planting
That night we went to see Andreas and that went really well. He's making a lot of progress and he’s remembering how much his testimony means to him. He was praying for answers last week and he felt that God was still there for him and would help him work out his questions if he was patient. He accepted that he needs to work to find those answers, but he knows that God will help him. He invited us to come and teach his three daughters tomorrow and wants them to have more of the the Gospel influencing their lives. We're really excited to go back and teach the family and we are looking forward to working with them more.  

Working in the beautiful town of Nynäsham

We we're also trying to track down investigators from the sister's old area this week. The first guy we contacted looked at us through the peep hole in his door and just chuckled a little bit. So, we tracted around the building a little more without much luck. When we got outside I decided to contact an older man using a walker. He smiled and said he was actually a member of the church. He hadn't had any contact with the church or the missionaries for quite a while, but he gladly invited us in. It was really cool to see a message reminding him, “Don't forget to read the scriptures,” written on a sticky note on his door. He then showed us that he kept a copy of The Book of Mormon in his walker bag and he takes it with him everywhere he goes. We shared a gospel message with him and he expressed how thankful he was that God had helped us cross paths that day. I am really thankful we were directed to a random part of town to a random name on a list, after we thought nothing would come of it, we were able to visit someone that really needed to see us.  

The week ended great. We got to watch General Conference for much of the weekend. It was wonderful to be uplifted by messages from a latter-day Prophet and Apostles (See link below)

Oh, by the way, I want to wish my Dad a happy 50th birthday!  Thank you for being the best Dad ever! 

Have a great week everyone… I Love you guys! 

Äldste Stoeltzing 

Editors Note:
Read or listen to the messages from the October 2014 LDS General Conference on the following link: