Monday, February 9, 2015

Week 66, February 9, 2015 – The Healing Power of the Priesthood

This has been quite a week… It's been up and down and everything in between. But it has left me with a stronger testimony of the power of the Priesthood and a knowledge that God's hand guides this work. 

The beginning of the week was really fun. We found a place where we could go bowling super cheaply and we spent the afternoon trying to remember how to bowl. It's been awhile, and I was rusty, but it was still really fun! Afterward, we finished up our letter writing and we planned our week a little more. We ended-up with a fantastic list of goals and high hopes for the week. 

Bowling in Halmstad
On Tuesday, things started getting interesting. We had planned to meet two new investigators with a handful of other lessons. So, we started by teaching Goga, the lady from Croatia we met a few weeks ago. It was up-and-down with her. She has a strong faith in God, but she has no desire to go into a church building. She is very uneasy about organized religion, so she did not seem excited to learn any more about the church. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she said she would at least read it. We've heard so many amazing stories about the Book of Mormon's power to change hearts, so we are praying that as she reads, her heart will soften towards the church in ways that we would never be able to accomplish on our own.   

Later, we went out to tract and we had one of the more interesting experiences I've had on my mission. Right away we found someone that was interested and they asked us to come back next week. After that we got a referral at another door and the family ended-up being really interested as well, and they asked that we come back the next week too. 

The next door approach was funny when this lady opened her door really fast and said “BOO”! She actually startled us a bit. We asked her about faith and she said that she was very religious. We asked her what religion she belonged to and she said, Jehovah’s Witness. There was an awkward silence for a few seconds and she smiled at us. We exchanged cards and moved on to the next door laughing that we had been scared by a JW. The last door we knocked-on ended up turning into a full lesson about family history at the door. She was an interesting lady, probably in her late 40's. But, when she heard we were Americans she reached-out and touched both of our faces... It was pretty weird. But, in the end, she wasn't interested in the church. She just thought that family history and Americans were really cool, so she listened to us for a while. Unfortunately, I started feeling sick, so we went back to rest before teaching our next lesson.

Mohamed was a man we met during my first week in Halmstad, who finally had some time to meet. He's from Syria and he comes from a Muslim background, although he was very respectful of our message and had lots of great questions. He took a Book of Mormon in Arabic and committed to read it. He was really positive and we are hoping to keep meeting with him every week and start teaching him in Swedish as well. 

After visiting with Mohamed I started feeling really sick. I got the shivers and a very bad headache. I was really scared, because we had such a great week planned and I did not want anything to get in our way. We went back to our apartment and we ended-up canceling our last appointment for the day. I tried to rest and got about 30 minutes of sleep, but I woke-up and felt supper hot and I was achy everywhere. I had a temperature of 103. Elder Cushing gave me a blessing and then we called Sister Beckstrand and we decided it would be best if I went to the hospital. José helped us out a ton and drove us across town to take me in. They ran some tests and said I had tonsillitis and possibly the flu. They gave me a bunch of medicine and sent me back. I actually ended-up sleeping really well that night and I slept late into the next day.

When we woke up, I actually felt a lot better. But, Elder Cushing started feeling sick as well, so I gave him a blessing. We took it easy the rest of the day, and by that evening, we were feeling pretty good again. We called Sister Beckstrand and told her about our recovery, and she said that it would be okay if we came down to Malmö the next day for our mission conference.  

Welcome to Malmo!
When we woke up for conference we felt great! It was a miracle! The conference was awesome!  President Beckstrand introduced our new standards of excellence and then we got to watch a new movie called, Meet the Mormons! It was really good and it was a very cool surprise that we all finally got to see it! The Beckstrand's had to pull some strings to get it here for us to see and we were all really excited. 

Later that night we taught Raustin, the man that we had met Sunday night when we felt like we needed to go back out and street contact. He was awesome! He's only lived in Sweden about as long as I have, and he’s been looking for some friends. He's interested in studying religion and he thought it would be cool to learn about a new faith that he didn't know too much about. He accepted a Book of Mormon as well!  

After the lesson Elder Cushing told me that he knew we'd regain our health on Wednesday. He asked me if I remembered the words that were said in both of our blessings that we had given each other, I couldn't recall, but he said in the blessing he had said that my sickness would pass quickly and it would not hinder me. He said when I gave him a blessing, I had used the same phrase that the sickness would not hinder him. I didn't remember too much more about what I said, but he told me as soon as I said that, he knew everything would be okay with us. It was incredible that on Tuesday night I felt as sick as could be, and by Thursday night we both felt close to 100% again. It was scary that we both got so sick, but we really felt the hand of the Lord take care of us and we both received a powerful witness of the healing power of the Priesthood.

We felt so good, we even helped our ward mission leader with some construction work on Friday and we still felt like we were getting better. 

The rest of the week we ended-up finding three more potential investigators and setting-up two more lessons with new investigators, and I even learned to knit along the way! Even though our contacting time was shortened due to our illness, this week was incredible. God saw that we turned to him when we were sick and He quickly helped us back on our feet. Despite the loss of time, He helped us find as many, or more people to teach than we would usually find in a normal week.        

I know the power of the Priesthood can work miracles. And, for me, this week was nothing short of a miracle! I thought I'd be sick in bed for at least three or four days, but the Lord’s work needed to be done and were blessed greatly!  I am so thankful for every week I have to serve here in Halmstad, and for the amazing help that God is giving to us! 

I hope everyone has an amazing week… Thanks for reading!!!

Äldste Stoeltzing 

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