Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Week 96; September 14, 2015 – Bye bye Blackburn… My final Comp will be a Treat!

Well transfer number 15 is in the books! That means I am on the final chapter of this big, wild, crazy adventure with only six more weeks to go! It doesn't feel like I’m at the end yet, so I'm gonna put everything into the final stretch. We got some bitter sweet news... Elder Blackburn is being transferred north of Stockholm to Uppsala and I'll finish-up here in Borås. It'll be hard to say goodbye to my only mission son, but we've had an amazing experience. The past 12 weeks have been incredible and it has been one of the best parts of my mission to be able to train the first missionary from Carmichael Stake to be sent to Sweden since I got here.

Bye bye Blackburn, you've been like a son to me!

I'm so thankful we've had this chance to work together and I know Elder Blackburn will do an amazing job in Uppsala. It's the biggest and oldest college in Scandinavia! Elder Blackburn will be perfect for the work there! He’s great at contacting and he is amazing at working with young people! I can't wait to see how the rest of his mission goes, he's going to do fantastic!  He may be a new missionary, but he has a deep testimony and he’s done an awesome job sharing it with everyone willing to listen. I'm so proud I was able to be his trainer! 

Well, I'll be sticking around here for a little longer, and that makes me super happy! This ward feels like home and it would be hard to get re-attached to another ward with only six weeks to go. So, I couldn't imagine a better place to finish-up. Borås is the best!  My new companion, Elder Treat, is an old friend. I was briefly in a four-man apartment with him last year and we had a blast! I will be finishing-up my service with a mission-finishing specialist, I will be the fourth missionary he has sent home in the past year, so he's a pro! It'll be a great finish and I know he'll keep me pumped-up and focused on doing things right!

Tuesday night was really fun. The Elders quorum invited us to play laser tag and we took Mattias! He had a blast and wanted to join a league afterwards! I came in third and fourth, but Elder Blackburn almost won! This is the first time I've had so many people close to my age in a Swedish ward, so it's been a blast to be here! 

On Wednesday we had an awesome lesson in the park with a guy named Igor who we met last week. He basically shared the Plan of Salvation when he was explaining his beliefs to us last week. We taught the rest of the message to him and he loved it. His friend was there as well and he took a Book of Mormon and asked to meet with us in the future! It was a great lesson! 

I taught a district meeting on Thursday about teaching while you find and finding while you teach. I told the story of Samuel Smith. He is famous for being the first LDS missionary and Joseph Smith's little brother, but rarely is the story of his first mission told, and no one in the district had heard it before. Samuel Smith was not told where to go or what to say on his mission, so he picked the Northeastern states and started hiking in that direction. He worked for several months along the way and his only measurable success the whole time was in placing two copies of the Book of Mormon. One woman bought it because she thought it would be fun to try and prove it wrong, and another man bought it to warn his congregation about the new false prophet Joseph Smith. 

Elder Smith came home feeling like a total failure, but he would later find out that the two people he gave books to were brother and sister, and they both decided to give their copies to their little Brother, Brigham... Yes, Brigham Young, who would later become converted by Book of Mormon and he would go on to be instrumental in the conversion of over 7,000 people including many of the original Apostles and General Authorities of the church, and he would become the second latter-day prophet. I told them that they can never under estimate the worth of one contact and the seeds they plant on their missions could bring about the very same kind of success that Samuel Smith achieved with the direction of the Lord. 

Afterwards I went back to Borås with Elder Dicksson for splits and we did a lot of contacting that day and then we had dinner with our friend Daniel.  

The next evening we went over to Jönköping and worked with them for a while doing some finding work. Later, we had a sports night and played volley ball. We got up early the next morning and played volleyball and Innebandy then it was time for the transfer call. We learned that Elder Blackburn was leaving. So we set-up as many appointments as we could before Wednesday. We had a great talk with Daniel about his mission and how his life was going. He really opened-up to us. He's a great kid. 

Mom would appreciate this artwork!
Elder Blackburn sang in church and did an amazing arrangement of “I Need Thee Every Hour.” The ward thought it was incredible and it was one of the best musical numbers I’ve heard on my whole mission! 

After church we went to the Engelbreakson’s and ate salmon! They have been super nice to us and we had a great time! Afterward we went across town to the Delve’s and Nick gave Elder Blackburn a goodbye adjustment on his back, he’s a chiropractor. I talked him into getting a few pops out of my back too and we felt great! 

Well it was an amazing last week with Elder Blackburn! We would have loved to have finished-up together, but we are thankful for the time we had. He has been one of my favorite companions to work with and he is moving-on to even greater things in Uppsala!

Here comes the grand finale with Elder Treat.  The next six weeks are going to go by fast and we still have a lot to do! 

Äldste Stoeltzing  

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