Thursday, November 20, 2014

Week 54; November 17, 2014 – I Have Kept the Faith!

Hey Guys!

It hasn't been the busiest week, but we've been blessed and the work is moving forward!

We taught a less-active member named Jamie on Tuesday who still has a powerful testimony of the restored gospel. It was our first lesson with him, so we learned about how he joined the church and we shared our testimonies of Christ with him. He's fairly busy with work, but he wants us to come back and he will come to church as soon as he can.

Later that night I went on splits with our Ward Mission Leader, Brother Brändh. We taught another less-active member, Jamaal. Brother Brändh led the lesson by telling a story. He's super good at origami, so he folded-up a piece of paper as he told the story and he made one tear in it. The pieces spelled-out the letters “Love,” with a cross, and he explained that the atonement of Christ is because he loves us. I really hope I remember how to do that lesson because it was a super cool way to teach that principle and keep your attention.

Later, we found our second new investigator named Lisbeth. She was a lady that Elder Nielsen and I found on splits about two weeks ago. She was really receptive at the door and said she'd read a little out of the Book of Mormon. We didn't have much time, but we reviewed the principals from the first lesson and answered some of her questions. We hope to meet her again next week to teach the Plan of Salvation.

Last weekend we had Stake Conference. It was great to see members from my last three areas. The conference was wonderful. Nabeil from Norrköping was one of the speakers and he told an amazing story about how his family came over from Syria and how he found and accepted the Church in Sweden. All of the speakers were great, but what I'll remember the most is the news from the members in Linköping that Carl-Arne had passed away. I don't know if you guys remember me writing about Carl-Arne, but he was a man in his mid-90's that Elder Farnworth and I used to teach. Of all the people I've met on my mission I don't think anyone has had the impact on me that Carl-Arne has had.

When Elder Farnworh and I met with him Carl-Arne was fighting cancer and dealing with the trails of old age. He was sick enough that no one would have blamed him if he stopped coming to church, or even if he left his apartment for that matter. Despite his health challenges, Carl-Arne felt it was his priesthood duty to pass the Sacrament in his small branch in Linköping every week. Carl-Arne was almost blind and hard of hearing, but even still, after the Sacrament was blessed, he would drop his cane, pick up a tray, and pass the Sacrament to each member.

Carl-Arne showed me that even the most basic responsibilities of the priesthood have a significant meaning to someone who has given a life of service to the church. He still considered passing the sacrament to be the most valuable thing he did every week. He was the best example of enduring to the end that I've ever met. And I hope that no matter what I do to serve in Church, whether it be leading an Elders Quorum, or greeting people at the chapel door every Sunday, I hope to do it with the same devotion and love that Carl-Arne showed in his last act of service.

This verse is for Carl-Arne; 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”

-Äldste Stoeltzing  

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