Well this week was awesome! I feel like it has gone by so fast, because we have done a ton, and I am exhausted! haha but I will just explain some of the main things, that I really loved from this week..
Monday Apr 20 2015 - Last Monday we went on a tour of the archive. We have three archive couples here in Stockholm but they are each in a different ward, and the one that is in our ward, the Brittons, we had take us on a tour. it was super cool! The pictures of the couple sitting down are the Birds. But the Brittons showed us all the cool books, and everything. It was really neat. Elder Israelson and Elder Luke joined us. Some of the books were giant! The cupboards full of boxes are full of books that have been cut apart so that they could read them. But the bindings on those books are INSANELY good. They are huge and really heavy, but they aren't falling apart. Tons of records from the 1500's until now. They mostly work with the 1800s and 1700s. But it was so cool to see all that they do, everyday, of taking all these pictures so that people can index them, and then other people can find their ancestors and records so that they can do their family history. It really made me appreciate the family research work that is done more. Thank you to the Brittons!
We were able to meet with this less active, her name is Soledad, she is from Chile, and we found her while tracting a building (that we thought she might live in.. but her name wasn't on the door.) and then we were able to leave her with a note and cookies that day, and later call her and set up an appointment. Little did we know, she has been feeling like she wants to come back to church, but has been scared, and not sure how. Until we came along, it gave her the courage to realize that it is really what she wants to do! So go out and reach out to those who are less active, and help them come back! Sometimes all they need is someone to care, and to invite.
Tuesday Apr 21 2015 - Then we went on exchanges this week! Guess with who!! SISTER LINDSAY!! Yes, my old companion. It was soo much fun. Literally. So fun to just be able to talk, to work together, to teach together. Everything. We taught some good lessons together, and both learned from each other. She is super, and a great example for me :) so cute. Oh, and she came to Stockholm, so I had to get us everywhere and we didn't get lost once! so proud :) haha let’s just say Stockholm travel is crazy.
Sister DeMille and I had the opportunity to teach Felicia, an investigator, who knows a ton about the church, her roommates are both members, and her parents are less active. We had a great teach with her, and she is really opening up, and we are really good friends with her now. I love her. She is so cute, and fun. We stayed for institute with her, and it was so cool to see Elder Wood, (the YSA couple) just get to know her, and really be himself which helped her a ton, because she is a pretty shy girl, until someone knows her. So fun.
Friday Apr 24 2015 - One of my favorite lessons that we had this week was on Friday, with the Pence family! They are a new American family, and have four teenagers, three girls, one boy. And one boy on a mission, who will be coming home in 3 months. And we got to have our investigators, Anna and Laura come to their home, we had dinner together, than we taught them. Laura was the one we got a baptismal date with last week! Well the sad news is that she told her mother, and she was pretty upset. She didn't want her getting baptized. But the good thing is, Anna wants to be baptized now as well, and the Pence family did a great job at helping us help them with their concerns. They still want to be baptized, and know that it is right, and they love it! They feel like their mother will soften up, and now it is just to help them continue to prepare for baptism, and then once they know everything, hopefully their mother softens up. But we will be praying for them. They are the cutest, and we had a great time there all together! The Pences are the nicest! They even sent me home with some gold fish :) eeek :) haha but it was Hanna's 13th birthday so we had cake after and everything. They are just the cutest, and the spirit was so strong with them all. It was a great experience :)
Sunday Apr 26 2015 - So, I also was asked to give a talk in sacrament meeting. So during the week during studies I had worked on it, and prepared it. It was supposed to be on member missionary work. But there were two other missionaries that would be speaking on the same topic. So I followed the spirit and tried to talk about the things I was passionate about. Of course, writing talks I think are really hard, but it was okay. I was grateful that they told me in advance so I wouldn't have to stress about it on Saturday and Sunday.. Well that kind of ended up happening anyway, because I just felt like it wasn't right. So I kept changing parts of it. Sunday morning I read it out loud and didn't like the whole first 2/3rds of it so during the 30 minutes of personal study we had before we left for church I rewrote the whole thing, and then finished it on the bus to church. haha Kind of crazy, but the spirit just led me to say other things, and it finally had made sense in my head. But it was cool to be able to just let it come. I was really grateful for the guidance that I had received.
I was still pretty terrified to get up and give it, since I had just rewritten the whole thing, but it was the coolest thing! For the first time ever my legs weren't shaking my whole talk through. haha As I stood up there, after I took a breath, the Lord really blessed me to be able to think, speak, and pronounce things clearly and at a normal speed instead of racing through it. I didn't forget things that I really wanted to talk about, although I didn't read any of it. I was able to just stand up and give it. The spirit was really strong for me. And towards the end of my talk, it was super cool, because I could tell that the spirit was in the room, and people were recognizing it. It was a huge blessing that the Lord could use me to say what they needed to hear I guess. :)
My talk focused on when we feel the power of the atonement, and the joy it brings, which is the reason we want to share it with others. Really think, when you hear the words missionary work, it may sound intimidating, but as you think about it as just sharing the joy that you have, it is a little bit easier. It really is being charitable as you share this message with those around you. Remember to offer it to them! And I talked about making new friends to share it with as well, because many feel that they have shared it with all their friends and they aren't interested- so make new friends! Then I talked about the most important missionary work being in our homes. With our self, and our family, tied in lots of general conference talks, and then talked about us as missionaries helping strengthen them as well. I felt like it was really fun, but that was because it was things I was passionate about.
After church, we ate dinner with the Guerra family, (a picture with them), they are from Peru, and are the nicest people ever. Well, that was my week, and I am just loving missionary work. I love working with people to help bring them closer to the Lord. I hope you guys have a great week and can recognize the hand of the Lord in your life! He loves each of you personally :)
Love, Syster Bolton