Monday, July 7, 2014

let the holy spirit guide.

sister andersson
 Hello dearies

WOW! It sounds like you guys had a crazy fun busy week! I am mostly jealous of the Trevor Hall, Brett Dennen, Franti concert that you went to. WHAT THE WHAT?? My favorite singers all in one? hahaha I am sure it was awesome. I can't believe Henry's time is already here... He will be sitting in classes all day everyday for 9 weeks. I was only in the MTC for 6 weeks and while I was there I thought six weeks was sooooo long- although I really did enjoy my MTC experience. But once you are in the field, 6-9 weeks is nothing! It goes by soooo fast. Henry will have a blast. I hope he soaks up every minute of the MTC. The spirit is so strong and it is a place to spend all of your time devoted to learning. You don't have any real big stresses besides learning the language the best you can and planning lessons for "investigators." I remember mom telling me of how much she enjoyed her MTC experience which made me excited to be there. I enjoyed making new friends, the food, and getting loads of letters and packages everyday from mom :). My advice to Henry is to dedicate yourself to learning as much as you can- but to not stress yourself out. The language will come. The teaching will come. Laugh at yourself and your mistakes. And HAVE FUN! Be a good friend to your companion- no matter who he is. Love him for coming out to do the same work that you are there to do. WE'RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. I love you Henry. I am excited for you to have this hard but very rewarding adventure. 

My week was busy as well but this upcoming week will be even more so. We haven't been doing splits or anything yet because we were so busy every week with meetings when President and Sister Newell went home and with the New mission President coming. But this next week we will be going on splits and doing meetings- I am actually going on splits with SISTER SWENSON tonight!!! And her two companions will be coming here to Örebro. I will be in Stockholm tonight, tomorrow, and then we are sleeping over again because we have a leadership meeting on Wednesday and on Thursday we have a zone training!! I am not going to be in Örebro for four days this week! ANYWAYYYSSS . . . 
This week we were so blessed to be busy everyday with great lessons. Our investigators are all doing well. We invited Adama--the one who did African dancing--to be baptized on the 19th of July and he said he would pray about it. We told him that he needed to come to church twice before that date which means yesterday and next week... but he didn't come. He is so ready to be baptized but it is hard for him to keep commitments. Our other investigator that I have told you about, Miguel, who we contacted on my first week here had not been answering this past week. We called him again on Friday and he answered! Sister Lowe and I were jumping up and down! He said that his family had been here from Columbia so he had been with them all week. He was excited that we called and wants to meet again on Tuesday. Yay! 
our fourth of july dinner with the browns
I love the fourth of July. I think it may be one of my favorite holidays. Maybe its because the sun is out and life just seems to be good. This fourth of July we went up to Stockholm to meet our new Mission President and his wife! The first thing he said to us was "Just so you know... we are normal people, not to say that the Newell’s aren't normal" hahahaha :). They really are just normal, down to earth people and I LOVE THEM. They are so funny- everyone was laughing during the whole conference. The first thing I felt from them as they greeted each of us at the door, sat and ate lunch with us, and talked with us after the meeting, was love. They are so loving. Sister Lowe and I went with them to take pictures of them in front of the temple with the AP's and they were pulling funny faces and being silly. When I met Sister Beckstrand she said "you look familiar! I read your blog!" and then I talked to her for a bit and then turned to shake President Beckstrand’s hand and he said "Hey! You look familiar!" And Sister Beckstrand leaned over and whispered "It's the blog!! We read her blog!" hahahahaha.
I love them. 

During their meeting, they had all of the "dying missionaries" go up to share their testimonies. Sister Swenson was the last one to go up and as she stood up there bearing her testimony of her adventures in Sweden, tears were just rolling down my cheeks! It brought back all of my memories with her from last year. In fact we were together on the fourth of July a year ago doing a BBQ with Bonnie :). I felt the spirit so strongly as I thought back on all of our experiences and on everything we have learned over this past year. When Sister Richins joined me, that is when I started to really understand missionary work and when I started to develop my own testimony. I was so mad at myself for that first little bit that I hadn't worked harder when I was with Sister Swenson and that I didn't apply myself in the way that I should have. But as I was listening to Swensie share her testimony and as I was thinking back on my time with her, I felt at peace. I knew at that moment that I had done the best I could. I got here to Sweden knowing almost nothing about missionary work. I didn't even understand what a "district leader" or a "less active" was (hahaha... -_-). I didn't know how to teach The Restoration or the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But what I did know was that I wanted to be here. I wanted to wake up everyday at 6:30 am ready to put forth all that I could and knew how to do. Of course, applying all that I have learned now I could have done things at the beginning very differently, but I didn't know all of this then. What I put forth at that time was enough in God’s eyes. He knew I was trying. And now that I have grown it would not be okay for me to be the missionary that I was when I first got here . . . because I know better. And what I put forth today is the best that I can do for today. 
Coming from my Papa who has run 68 marathons, he said "When you run a marathon, if you are smart you leave enough energy in the tank so you can finish the last 6.2 miles with speed and strength. I always felt that there were two races in a marathon- the first 20 miles and the last 6.2 miles. You are on the last lap on your mission. The last lap is where the race is won. Now use everything you have learned and GO FULL OUT, leaving nothing in the tank! See the Holy Ghost with you and go forward with boldness and a keen sense of urgency, running from event to event." This is the last lap of my mission. Sometimes it scares me- but I know that if I continue to give this work everything that I have- then I will return home knowing that I gave it my all... leaving nothing in the tank :). Having no regrets.
these ugly things are everywhere!!
Sometimes it is hard to feel that I am doing all that I should be doing, when I am not seeing as much success as others around me. But this week I was reassured and given much comfort when I got a call from Sister Dawson- who was also trained by Swensie. She is serving in Halmstad right now. (By the way- I forgot to tell you that they Elders were taken out of Halmstad so now it is an all sisters area! Woot!) When Sister Dawson called me, she said, "I just had the strongest feeling to call you and tell you how grateful I am for you and Sister Hosenfeld and all of our investigators and baptisms that we are having right now in Halmstad were found by you. You did work!" She said "we decided to go through the ‘potential investigator’ list that you made, it was about ten pages long filled with phone numbers, and we decided to call everyone. So many of them want to meet, are meeting with us, one was baptized last week, and another one has a baptismal date. They all remember you and love you and I just want you to know that your efforts are not being wasted." 
Wow! This call was an answer to my prayers. She was so kind to call me and tell me all of that exciting news. I am so happy that they are having so much success and yes, of course it felt good to hear all of that, but as she was telling me these things, I just had an overwhelming feeling come over me that it really was not me, nor was it Sister Hosenfeld. All we had to do was be willing and ready to go to work and the Lord led us to people. The success they are now having was not from anything that I did. It was all God and the Holy Ghost guiding and helping us along, giving us strength and words to say and love in our hearts for these people.

In Papa's amazing letter he also said to me that the Holy Ghost is my companion. I have been thinking a lot about this. . . That we as missionaries cannot do anything without the spirit. The spirit is all-knowing. It guides us in ALL that we do (Moroni 6:9). We gain our testimonies and share our testimonies through the spirit. 

service project
We taught our ward last Sunday that missionary work cannot be done without two things: Knowledge of the Gospel and The Spirit. We have to know the things that we are teaching. But what Preach My Gospel teaches us is that we do not need to follow an outline. Everything is taught by and through the power of The Holy Ghost. I find great comfort in the scripture D&C 84:85, that everything will be brought to our minds that we should say or do through the power of The Holy Ghost.

I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost. I am grateful that I was blessed with the gift to have the spirit with me all day everyday. I could not ask for a better guide or comforter. I am so grateful that this mission is not MY mission, it is the Lord's mission. This is his time. And I am so willing to give all that I can to making this time count.

I love you all. Good luck this week! I am excited to hear how it all goes. Will you send me Henry's farewell talk?? THX.

xoxoxoxo ha en braaa veckkaaa!!! ÄLSKAR ER


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