Monday, May 21, 2012

May 7: CIA Agent!

Dear Family,

I woke up this morning with the light shining. At 6:30 in the morning it looks like it could be 10 or 11 o'clock. Its amazing. I woke up staring at the ceiling. I had just dreamed about being home and going back to school. A very odd dream. But as I realized where I was, what I was doing, who I was with. I was filled with a peace and happiness. I love being a missionary. :)
This whole week feels like it has been my birthday. We have just had a fabulous fun miracle filled week :).  Some highlights:
We found an old shelf outside of our new member and asked their neighbor if we could take it home (we are low on shelf space). She gladly handed it over. So Sys Sprague and I came up with a wonderful way to carry it home... we just put it across our two bike seats and walked it home. :) We walked past this woman picking flowers on the road and I asked her what kind they were. She smiled up brightly and we ended up talking for the next 15 mins. She immediately looked at my name tag (I LOVE MY NAME TAG.. i think all members should have them ,) ) And I told her about the Book of Mormon.  She had lots of questions and as she had to go she said.. "Here, here is my number... why don't you give me a call tomorrow and come over. I live in that yellow house".. !  I think that is one of my favorite parts about being a missionary. Taking courage, opening my mouth and spreading the gospel message. We ended up meeting with Ann-britt later on in the week and I think I made a life long friend. When I come back I'm visiting her!  Funny addition to this story. While we were talking to Ann-britt one of the members came walking around the corner. She and her dad had been driving and seen us. They thought we looked soooo ridiculous walking around with this shelf. So they stole it from us! They just came and lifted it off our bikes and drove it home while we stood and talked with her. haha I love our members.
We decided we had to show our love back to these wonderful people so yesterday we took some time to make some hearts with little notes on them and "Heart Attack" them. We also took some banana bread we had made during the week and a card to the bishop to drop off. They lived in the same area .. so we decided to be secret agents with the assignment of spreading love!  We got up to the area.. turns out the mothers were on a walk! so we had to sneak around them.  Fortunately, one of their sons, William was out and about. We decided to recruit him. He helped doorbell ditch the bread to the bishops and then helped us heart attack his own house. It was too much fun!  So I'm thinking once again about being a CIA agent ,)
My birthday was WONDERFUL! We had the chance to meet with Nahid. Nahid is a woman who works at a restaurant. A member family (Hulldin's) were eating there and were talking about church. Nahid was serving them and ended up asking them loads of questions about what they believe. She gave them her number and said she would love to meet with the missionaries. I LOVE IT when members help in the work! So after we had an amazing teach with Syster Hulldin and Nahid, we stopped by some other members named Natascha and Anton. They are recently married and both served missions. Natascha is amazing. We walk in and tell her about Nahid and other miracles we had that week with members helping in the work--and she pulls out her phone and says.. "humm... who can I give you..." She proceeds to go through her contact list and gives us three referrals. !! I have a special list at the back of my journal. Things I want to do when I go home. I wrote down be like Natascha and give the missionaries referrals.

That night we had a member dinner and they made me a wonderful Torta (cake).  I think my favorite part of the dinner though was getting to share our message. All of our messages here in Alingsås have been focused on helping members invite their friends to learn about the gospel. As we told them about the miracles that had been happening, and invited them all to take the next step with their friends.  Asking for referrals from members.. is not easy. It is uncomfortable.. and it is not really easy to invite your friends to learn more about the  gospel. So I often feel a little guilty asking for it. But! one of the sons (who has come back from his mission a few years ago) said, "you two are the first missionaries in a long while who have inspired me to do member missionary work and really get me thinking about which of my friends are ready for the gospel.  I'm sure all those other missionaries were still great... But it felt good to know we are on the right path and making a small difference.
Church was also another blessing for me. Sometimes you try and do so much.. but you really don't feel like you are doing anything. Nothing seems to be changing. Well.. I was feeling a little bit of that at the beginning of the day. But sacrament meeting blew me away. As people got up to bear their testimonies.. missionary work was a theme. Sys Hulldin got up and talked about how grateful she was to come with us to teach Nahid. She was reminded that she really did have a strong testimony of the gospel. She was so grateful to have Syster missionaries so that she could take more part in missionary work. Then almost all the youth got up one by one and bore simple and pure testimonies of how the gospel was helping them in their lives. One young woman named Josefin made me cry. (Josefin is the girl I went on splits with the very first time I came to Alingsås when I went on splits with Syster Sprague.. when i was still living in Jönköping). She talked about her family and her friends.. and then talked about Sys Sprague and I.. how we were such good examples to her.. and how we had helped her so much by just loving and trying to uplift her.  Wow. Then David Hulterström (I was at their house for my birthday.. he hasn't gone on a mission yet) got up and talked about missionary work. He asked the ward to all try and invite their friends to meet with the missionaries. He knew it would bring them happiness in their lives and it was what the Lord wanted.  When we asked David at dinner if he had any friends to invite to learn more.. he was quiet and didn't really feel like he had anyone. So I worried a little that he felt bad or stressed.. or that he really didn't think much about it. but after hearing his testimony.. i guess he really was listening and really does want to spread the gospel :) 
 So! I just want you all to know that you are making a bigger difference than you think. Cant wait to talk to you all next week! :)


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