Monday, August 24, 2015

Week 93; August 24, 2015 – For the LOVE of the Game!

Another week in the books! This time I had the scary realization that my remaining weeks have crossed into single digits!  It doesn't feel like this is all going to end so soon! This has been such an amazing part of my mission and I'm so thankful for every day that I have left! Borås has an incredible ward I couldn't ask for more!

Sunset out our window!
Monday was great! We took it pretty easy and mostly worried about our cleaning and shopping. Later that evening a YSA (Young Single Adult) called us and wanted to go out for dinner. He was baptized a year ago, but he had been less-active for a while. It was a really special night though. He said his friend was leaving on her mission and that has made him realize how special the gospel has been to him. As a result, he wants to get active in the church again and start thinking more about going on a mission! We felt so thankful that we could be there to hear that and we’re thankful he's our friend!  

On Tuesday we helped an American member named Ralph move fire wood. The sisters came and helped too. They found a giant toad in the wood pile and got pretty scared! After we finished we ate tacos and I went to a doctor’s appointment. 

A slight fender-bender... You should see the other car!
I've been having some back trouble, so I was gonna go get it checked out, and ironically, on the way there we got in a bus accident, don't worry though, it wasn't a bad accident, no one got hurt, and we barley felt a thing. The bus swung too wide and smashed the side of some guy’s car. I felt really bad. The bus just got a little scratched and damaged a tail light, but the side of the car was destroyed!   

We had lunch with the stake President on Wednesday. And, of course, we had another taco lunch (Never a bad thing!). Later, we met with Jeff and talked to him some more about the Book of Mormon. 

On Thursday I taught a district meeting about improving companionship study. I've never been one for group work, so companionship study can be difficult for me, but I shared a story that helped me learn to give my best, even when I’m doing things I don't enjoy. 

Around the turn of the century, Stanford was one of the best football teams in the country and Michigan defiantly wasn't. Due to a weird policy about having only alumni act as the coaching staff, Stanford fired their head coach, a simple-looking, soft-spoken man named Fielding Yost. Coach Yost took the first job he could fine at a top tier University, so he moved to Michigan to take on the struggling team as the head coach. 

On day one, he called a press conference and told the media his team would go undefeated and win the national championship that season, and to top it all off, he would allow fewer than 45 points to be scored against them the whole season, a feat unheard of in college football. Certainly a goal that seemed impossible for a program like Michigan’s.

His players were furious at him and thought their new head coach was crazy. He called a team meeting and told all of his players that it was their choice if they wanted to play football for him or not. He had them take off their jerseys and pile them in a corner of the locker room. He then told them if they wanted to play Michigan football they needed to be able to understand “one word”. He wrote the word on the board and dropped his chock. The locker room was dead silent, and that one word started the Michigan’s three year dynasty as national champions. 

Not only did the total points scored against them remain under 45 points, but they weren't even scored on at any time that year. Coach Yost won his first national championship that year against Stanford, the school that had fired him less than a year before. He went on to become one of the winning-est coaches in college football history. 

So, what one word could have inspired such an incredible turn of events. What one word could turn a failing team into a championship football dynasty? I asked everyone in my district this question and I got some really good answers, like “unity,” “team work,” “diligence,” along with some other great ideas. But, there is one word that contains every virtue, a word that was at the heart of Jesus Christ's doctrine. The word was “Love.” Coach Yost told his team you won't win if you just play the game. You win when you love the game, and when you love the game you put your heart into every aspect of it. 

The little things won't seem so hard when they are done for the love of the game. This applies to everything in life. At work we may like our jobs, but hate parts of it, or we can learn to love the small and inconvenient parts. These seem like little things when we remember the love of what we are doing. If we can apply that love to everything we do, everything gets easier.

I related this story to missionary work and explained that there are parts of this job we are simply not going to like, but we love the gospel and we love sharing it with others. It is only that love that can carry us through the hardships and help us to find success in all aspects of this work.  

After the meeting I went to Jönköping with Elder Dicksson and we had a great time. We went to dinner with one of the High Councilors and we came home to celebrate training together over a bottle of sparkling cider and had a great talk about the rest of our missions. He's only halfway through. He was the other missionary that Elder Miles had trained, so it was pretty special for us to be able to train together in the same district.  

Digesting my inner peas
On Friday, I had another check-up and the doctor helped me with some yoga and stretching exercises to help my back. Later we went to the Ahlin family’s home for dinner and we ate Moussaka. He went on his mission to Greece, so they really like to eat Greek food, and I defiantly do to! We helped them to paint their house afterward. 

Saturday was another good one, we contacted people through a lot of the day, and then we went to the Bishop's house for dinner. They had an awesome dinner… A grilled burger-type-thing that was similar to a hamburger and Swedish meatball hybrid, it was amazing! After dinner the Bishop showed us his music room. He had two electric guitars and a huge Marshall tube amp. They also had a bass and a drum set. Bishop is a classic rock fan, so he sat back and listened to us do some melodies from a few Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin songs. I think we defiantly became friends with the Bishop after that visit! We all had a great time! 

Church was good this week. There was a farewell for a new missionary named Gustav, who will be heading to Wisconsin, USA (Also known as “New Swedland”)! 

We all went to dinner at the Karlsson's afterward and played with their kids. We ate Korv (sausage) stroganoff and then we shared a spiritual message with them.  Afterward, we contacted the first girl we saw when we got off the bus and she was super interested in prophets, and we hope to meet with her and her family again this week! 

The district did amazing this week and I was so glad to be a part of it! The work in Sweden is absolutely taking off right now, and I am gonna keep on giving this all I have! Thank you for your support everyone… I love you guys! 

Elder Stoeltzing!   

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