|We are at Specialized Zone Training. Basically a meeting where they teach us how we can improve as missionaries. Elder Pearson and I. We are what's left of the group that left the MTC all those months ago. |
I am still amazed at the people we meet as missionaries. When I received my call to go to the Sweden Stockholm mission, I pictured lots of tall, blonde haired blue-eyed people. But Sweden has become its own melting pot. So many different cultures are mixing and learning to adapt to different customs. In many ways, I imagine that this is how the young American nation was. It's interesting to be living in a country that is going through so much change. But as I said, it also brings in a lot of different people and their stories.
IT DOES THE TRICK
|We have a great apartment, and we thought of an idea that could make it even better. It's not quite regulation size, but it does the trick.|
GOD IS THERE FOR US
This week we got to hear the story of one of the members in the ward and his experience in his pursuit of happiness. He first moved to Norway from his homeland of Iran. He received a visa to stay in the country and began his life. One day, about six years later. He was in class learning Norwegian. Then, two men (in regular clothing) came into the room asking for him. He went out with them and they told him that he would have to follow them. He asked if he could get his bag, to which they said no. Obviously confused, he was taken out of the building and thrown into a cellar. He told us that it was completely dark, and he had no perception of time as he sat and waited. He had recently become a member of the LDS church, and his wife and children would be waiting for him at home. From his end, he was simply confused and worried. He was then questioned, and at the end of the interview, they informed him that he would be deported back to his home country. Understanding the culture he comes from, to convert to Christianity is punishable by death, so he pleaded for them to allow him to stay. They didn't give, and put him back in the cellar to wait. Eventually, they put him on a plane, and he began the journey back to Iran. He tried to describe the fear he felt on that journey, as he headed back to an almost certain death. Over and over he asked the guard, who was sent to escort him home, to not send him home to no avail. He said that the burden of fear was crushing him. He had his head buried in his hands, when he felt a hand on his shoulder and voice telling him not to worry. He would return to Norway. He looked up, shocked, and asked his escort if he was messing with him. The guard was confused, and when we heard the experience, he scoffed at him and told him he had snapped. But this brought peace to this member's mind. He arrived in the Iranian airport around 3 in the morning, and as he came to customs, he was met by a familiar face. His uncle was the manage working at the time. His uncle asked him why he was back. He said it was because the government had sent him there. His uncle asked him if he would like to go back to Norway. To which he replied in the affirmative. His wife, kids, and home are all there. The guard had already gone on his way to catch his flight home, when he heard a familiar voice. That member was being sent back to Norway on the same flight. You can imagine how surprised this guard must have been, especially when he saw our member friend seat himself in business class. When they arrived home, he was thrown back into the cellar. But within a short time, he was released back on the streets, a free man. And the next day, he was in church, where he related his story. God is a god of miracles. He cares about every one of His children, and He will give us the aid we need. I was grateful for this member's story and the reminder it gave me that God is there for us.
|These towers always remind me of Batman.|