Monday Aug 25 - we visited two less actives who live far away and we will continue to work with them. Once seems more positive than the other, but both sweet ladies.
Tuesday Aug 26 - We contacted in the middle of the city and ended up teaching five lessons during that time. It was really good, and that is where we met and taught Dodo (I'll talk more about him later.)
Thursday Aug 28 - we had district meeting, and we have a new elder in our district, his name is Elder Landeen, he took the place of an Elder in Skellefteå, and his comp is Elder Palvon.. I don't think I've talked about them before, but they are both great. Thursday night, that was exciting! So Asefa had his baptismal interview with Elder Noso, and we were at the church for that. It was Elder Noso's first time giving an interview, but they went in and did it.. time passed.. then some more time passed... and we were a little worried.. they don't usually take too long, and Asefa isn't a super talkative guy, so we were assuming Elder Noso just talked and shared his testimony a bunch. Anyway, they came out 45 minutes later, and after Asefa left, Elder Noso shared with us what happened. When they went in there Asefa just spilled all these stories and was talking about his life, and bore his testimony on all the principles. Elder Noso was amazed by how prepared he was. We met Asefa August 7th and he was baptized August 30th. AH it was such an amazing experience to be a tool in the Lords hands!! Asefa told Elder Noso a story about having a dream. In his dream he was walking down the road and he came to a fork in the road, he saw a girl (who looked like a sister missionary) on one way, but decided to go down the other, than the girl went and said, no you need to come this way, and brought him to the other road. The next day after that dream he met us on the bus! He thought it was exactly connected, and was super happy and talkative. We were so excited for his baptism, because we could see how excited he was also! He truly knew this was right!
Saturday Aug 30 - Set up for the baptism and all that for a lot of the day. Then the baptism came, it was at 6:00, Asefa came at about 5:15 and got ready, and all was super good. A member, Otto Liljansalo baptized Asefa, and the service was great. The service was given in English for Asefa, and it was just so special. When Asefa got up to go into the font, his smile was just HUGE. When he came back out, it was even bigger, and he was just glowing. His desire was so strong, and it was really special. We had the members pass around a journal we gave to him to write a short testimony in the front and back cover of it as he got changed. Asefa had the opportunity to stand up and bear his testimony, and he was so happy! He talked about his dream, and how he really felt like he was needing to come back to God when he met us. He knows Jesus Christ is his Savior, and that he was reborn as he was baptized. He is SO AMAZING. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to be a part of that, because it was honestly... wow. Asefa was SO prepared, it just blows my mind. :)
I just want to talk about a couple of our progressing investigators who both now have a baptismal date! :)
1. Dodo (real name is Bameltoo)- he is from Thailand, we met him on Tuesday as we were contacting in the middle of town, and sat down and had a forty minute lesson with him on the Plan of Salvation, and set up an appointment for Friday. He arrived a half hour early during our open church hours, and was ready to learn. We taught him the restoration and he took it in, he said he has had really big spiritual experiences, and that is why he hasn't been baptized any where yet because none of them seem right. We tried to make a calender for him to prepare for baptism and he didn't really want it yet. He said he couldn't accept it because he didn't know if being baptized in this church was the right one. We committed him to read and pray daily, and specifically about the restoration and being baptized. He came to Asefa's baptism the next day, and I was able to sit next to him during the service and talk about it with him after the service. I asked him how he felt and he said super good, and that he could "accept the calender now". At first I doubted my Swedish, and then after asking more questions he explained that he wants to be baptized, he felt the spirit very strong, and seeing Asefa bear his testimony was really neat for him. He said he saw a light around him, and that he just felt that this was right. SUPER cool! I was so excited to hear that from him, he was also able to mingle and get to know members of the ward, and it was great. Then Sunday he came to church, attended Sunday School with the young men (he is 17 years old) and said he loved it all. We had a lesson with him after church, and remade a calender for him for his baptism, which will be the 26th of Sept. I am so excited for him. He was either a solid yes or a solid no, so I am glad he has accepted it because there is no doubt in my mind that he will stick to all that he says. He is progressing and we are planning on meeting him twice a week until his baptism, and he is more than happy to come to church every Sunday!
2. Stefan Muhi - he is the son of a convert, he is 10 years old, and super positive. We have met with him a few times, after church on Sundays seem to be the best for him, and yesterday we were able to set a date for his baptism! He said the 18th of Oct. looks the best to him because it is his birthday! He is nervous because his mom isn't a member and isn't super supportive, but his dad and step mom are active strong members. He knows it is the right thing, and is keeping his commitments with reading and praying. He is great!
Scripture Study and Prayer - Alma 36:16-21 hit me pretty hard this week, and helped me understand the Atonement better, and apply it in my life. I read these verses about Alma being in exquisite pain and burdened down because of his sins, etc. and he called upon God and the mercy of Jesus Christ to lift him up, forgive him, and give him mercy! Immediately, he could not feel his pain any more, and it turned into exquisite joy, better than anything he had ever felt before. That is the power in the atonement, and that is how merciful Christ is. I was having a hard time looking at all my mistakes, and weaknesses being out here in the mission field, and so right after reading that I took the opportunity to do the same thing. I prayed for the mercy of Christ to overcome these, and not feel the burden of them any more, and immediately I could breath, I could see how I could continue, and how I could progress. It was very special and I am grateful for the examples that we have in the scriptures, and are able to apply them to ourselves. I promise you all that as you study the scriptures, prayerfully, the Lord will bless you, He will lift you when you are down, and He will give you inspiration to learn more about His gospel. :)
“I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
None of us got transferred from here up in Luleå which I am very grateful for, and we just continue to work together better, and become better friends. Those guys are great. LOVE THEM.
I hope you like more of my experiences from this week. I can't catch up with the ones I haven't written about, but I hope to be better about it. I try and write something in my journal every day though, so no worries there! Thank you so so much for all your love and support. You are my world, and I pray for your safety and happiness daily :) You really are my everything. I LOVE YOU :)
Love, Syster Bolton :)
Baptism ofAsefa on Saturday Aug 30