Monday, January 30, 2012

Sunshine and Stormy Clouds - Jan 23

Dear family!
   Sweden is still here just in case you were wondering. I think winter is finally coming. Snow has stayed on the ground for three days in a row now and they are saying it’s going to be cold for the next two weeks. Sweden. Bring IT ON. Syster Schneiber is prepared! :) 
   This week has been an interesting one. We had zone conference on Wednesday.  The topic was on faith and new goals we set for the up coming year. I had a lot of inspiration throughout the meeting and really enjoyed getting to know more missionaries. Something that stood out to me was prayer. We talked about how when we have specific prayers we get specific answers. Of course this makes sense... but it seems when you say over 20 prayers every day... it is sometimes easy to get into a routine. So I've been working on my prayers and trying to make them more specific. Yes. There are more thoughts I have about this subject... but I cant quite formulate them into a sentence. After I have tested out my new theory and worked on my prayers-I'll have a story to share that can explain it better.
   Some blessings from the Lord this week came from the wonderful people that surround Syster Juker and I.  We had a lesson with Ulla at the Wiklöfs home. Usually the lessons with the Wiklöfs are AMAZING. This old couple has served 5 missions (or something) together and their testimonies are so strong.  But for some reason the lesson just started out with not a lot of power. Ulla hadn't done her reading... and there was just something missing. I felt a little fear and sadness rush through me... thinking... if we don’t get the spirit, we might loose Ulla. So I just began to pray for help.  My mind became calm. I could see the thoughts flowing through my mind at a slow and steady pace... and certain thoughts felt highlighted. So I would pause wait for a break in the conversation and say the thought. More thoughts would flow by and then another highlighted thought... this time in the form of a question. This kept happening. By the end of the lesson I realized I felt a warmth in me and knew that the spirit was with us again. I could tell that all of us were learning together and feeling a greater sense of joy. It was great.  I'm really beginning to recognize when the spirit is guiding me... which is pretty cool.
    I am also beginning to recognize and have become a lot more sensitive to others emotions around me. We got on the bus later on and sat across from a man, his wife and daughter. The man was sarcastically snapping back at his wife, while she sat with no emotions on the other side of the chair and ignored him. All along the daughter was trying to get their attention and was the receiver of more angry remarks. It was like I had walked into a storm cloud. I could feel the negative energy. That peace I felt at Ulla's lesson was blown away with the wind of this angry storm. When we got off the bus... it felt like I had to shake off the angry clouds and call the sunlight back into me.  So I understand a little better how when one person is angry, contentious, not nice... they can affect those around them without even speaking to them.
   On a happier note Albert came to church! Albert is our new Chinese investigator we contacted on the street during Christmas.  This was his first time at church and it was AWESOME! He came to all three hours of church. He really enjoyed getting to know more people and had a good discussion during gospel principles class. But the best part was sacrament meeting. The talks that were given were awesome with a strong spirit. I turned to Albert after one talk and asked him what he thought.  He said "I felt deeply moved..." and then went onto describe how there was literally something inside him that he felt. His English isn’t amazing and he has a hard time describing his feelings ... but he put his hand to his chest and motioned that there was something inside him in his body or blood almost.  (We call that the spirit! Don’t worry I explained that to him).  Then at the end of church I turned to him and asked him... "Why do you think it is important that we come to church every week and not just meet with us (missionaries) during the week?"  His respond was BEAUTIFUL! He said because we have to help strengthen each other and grow from each other’s experiences and discuss it. That is music to a missionaries ears... Better than all the cookies in the world! :)  And then he said you know... if I do this thing and become a member... I'm someone who likes doing things 100% all the way. That means that I have to do 2 hours a few times a week with the scriptures and then 4 hours on Sunday. That is a lot for a student. But it would be amazing.  haha He is awesome... he is already talking about going above and beyond the call of duty.  Sometimes I think that if missionaries were allowed into china... we wouldn’t be able to sleep there would be so many people prepared for the gospel.  So I hope Albert remains true to his being fully committed to something and can help strengthen the less active Chinese in this ward. And then maybe go home and help china too.
  Lastly, our idea to do the Preach My Gospel study program with member families is under way... AND it is awesome. We are doing it with the Thörn family (Turn). They did their homework this last week (LOVE IT!)... and we went over on Sunday to have them practice teaching us and then did roll plays where they taught each other. It was awesome. their homework assignment is to tell someone about the restoration this week.  SO! Ill let you know how it goes.
    I just want you to know that even when life is hard there is always sunshine that peaks through the clouds every day. Are you noticing those rays of light?  Write them down and you will notice a change in your day. Promise.  If not please email back and we can sort this problem out ,)
 I know that Heavenly Father loves you and he loves me too.
tea time! I found my favorite african tea again!
cookies are a great way to make friends!
The Jönköping chapel

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