Monday, October 22, 2012

Oct. 16: A baptism surprise and the best youth activity ever! ps. No more sugar

Dear Family!

Guess what! We had a baptism! Ondrej got baptized!! Oj.. so much to tell! Where do I even begin?? Ok well Ondrej moved to Lanskrona and we thought.. well good bye Ondrej. But President called on Thursday and said "if he still wants to get baptized we can make it happen." We knew that Ondrej would be coming back once a month so we called up Janette on Friday and found out Ondrej was coming home that evening. So we called president back and said he is home this weekend. Should we set up a date for him to be baptized next time he comes home? President said... Why not get baptized this Sunday? uhh.. ok. Yikes! This was Friday night at 10. So we called up Janette and asked her if Ondrej would like to be baptized this Sunday. She translated and in the background I heard a deep voice say "YAH! YAH! YAH!" :) She laughed and said Yes! He does!

A baptism is not always the easiest thing to plan. I feel like often when we help people take the steps towards baptism often times they get cold feet right towards the end.. and it is just stress those last few moments. With Ondrej, he was completely ready. But there always needs to be stress in planning a baptism sooo.. of course we planned one last minute. We called up our branch president and he said.. sounds wonderful. Why don't we do it at 10 am before church starts.

You would think.. you have all Saturday to prepare.. no problem. Well! Saturday we actually had a stake youth activity in our chapel. And guess who was in charge of the first 3 hours. Me and Syster Werjefelt. (If sys Vistaunet is reading this... It is her fault ;) Well we had planned and decided to do a bunch of different team working stations with the kids. I am SOOO glad I was a counselor at Badger Creek. All those skills have come in so handy multiple times on my mission.. especially this time. So Saturday morning we woke up and headed to the church after our studies and help got all the stations ready. We had the zone leaders and our district leaders (missionaries) also coming up to help out. We had 5 different stations and we hoped to have around 4 groups of 10 kids.

I cant believe how well it went. We really were not as planned as we could have been.. and none of the other missionaries knew what they were doing till about 30 minutes before hand. We were also really worried about how many kids would show up. I was really worried it would be lame and there would be only 20 kids or something.

And as the clock struck 1 pm and we began the activity there was only about 20. But!! As usual with Mormon Standard time... we had about 50 kids total. The day went AWESOME!! from 1-4 we did our different stations (I will send pictures to better show what the different activities were) and then we set up the gym for dinner and then the young woman would take over and they would have a dance and a movie going. By the time we sat down for dinner..I was tired!

A big goal with this activity was to #1 strengthen the youth #2 give the youth an opportunity to invite friends!! We had about 6 or 7 friends at the activity. At dinner I sat down next to a youth in my ward named Philip (coolest kid ever!) and his friend who he had invited to the activity Daniel. As we sat and talked about his life and what he thought about the activity.. we ended up talking about religion and God. He seemed to be a deep thinker and really liked to study religion. I had the chance to invite him to learn more and he said ya! why not. We are going to meet up on Friday at Philip's home. :) !!!!

After dinner we took our District Leaders over to Ondrej's house. We taught him about fasting and then he was interviewed by Elder Hinkson. That night I was wiped out!

There were of course a few other complications before the baptism took way.. But everything turned out wonderful. Ondrej got baptized at 10:08 and was as happy as could be. He is such a sweet man and is easily touched by the spirit. Syster Werjefelt and I sang "Nearer my God to Thee" as a musical number. (I've never had so many opportunities to practice my singing and preform.. I am going to miss that when I go home... I told sys Werjefelt this morning that I want to sing "Blott en dag"--a Swedish song for my home coming and that she should come and sing it with me ;) I realized as we began singing that it was in fact the perfect song for Ondrej. He always told us that he really wanted to get baptized so that he could come closer to God. He was willing to pay tithing and live the word of wisdom, chastity etc so that he could come closer to God. Nothing was ever a problem for him.

So the baptism went wonderful... but I think my favorite part of the day wasn't the baptism. It was testimony meeting when Ondrej got up to bear his testimony. Janette got up to translate for him. He told the branch about how when he first heard that his daughter had joined a new church he wasn't very positive or interested. As time went he would always leave when the missionaries came and her home teachers. But he kept asking her questions about the church. She would explain but he never understood. So she finally just gave him a Book of Mormon and said--here! Read it! He took the book and began reading. At first he did so in private and was a little embarrassed about it. But as he read more and more he realized.. that this book was Gods word. And so he began to read it all the time. He said he read it every morning and night. This is where I came into the story. As sys V and I would come we would always ask him where he was in the Book of Mormon.. he was first in Mosiah, then in Alma, and then 3 Nephi! He had been asked several times before hand "Would you like to be baptized" But he said no at first, then said.. maybe,... then someday I will. And so when we asked him to get baptized.. he knew and he was ready and so excited. He said in his testimony that he read the Book of Mormon every day. He is now in Ether and when he is done with the book he will start over again. As he tried to share his feelings about how when came to this church he felt the spirit like never before in other church's--he began to tear up and could not express his feelings of gratitude for his chance to be baptized.

Even though I cant talk with this man and don't know very much about him.. You can feel the change within him. Janette said "He has changed soo much!"


You have probably heard enough from me today. So many more things happened this week but I don't have the time to write them all in my journal every night let alone in an email once a week!

To end last night we were at a family's home for dinner and family home evening. We ended up talking a little about the 3 Nephites and also about what the father missed most about his mission. The 3 Nephites get to be missionaries 24/7 for the rest of the earths time. And this father missed most getting to serve the Lord 24/7.

I often times have hard moments and don't feel like I am really all that great.. I make tons of mistakes. It is also hard hard work mentally being a missionary. But I too LOVE LOVE LOVE getting to be a servant for the Lord. Remember that even though you are not doing it with a name tag on.. you too can be a servant of the Lord every day. There is nothing better :)

LOVE Syster Schneiber II

PS. Sys Werjefelt and I have committed and written down that we-- for the rest of the year will not eat dessert/sugar !!

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