CONTENT WITH A VIEW FROM THE SHORE
With the cold spell, the lake froze up. They have the snow scraped off on the other side of the lake so people can go skating. We wanted to walk out on to it, but then we decided that we would be content with a view from the shore.
On Wednesday this week, we experienced our first cold spell. It was not something that I had expected. At least not at this point on my mission. I have now had two green Christmases, so I just decided Sweden wasn't that cold. However, this week proved my wrong. I got bundled up in my thermals, a sweater, my coat, gloves, a hat, and my scarf wrapped snugly around my neck, and the cold managed to find me anyways. It was brutal, as I found myself fighting a losing battle. Our plans for the day were trying to speak with as many people as we could. Surprisingly, it went quite well. Despite the cold, we had people stopping to talk with us. Perhaps they were curious to why two kids would be out in this cold, or maybe they felt the warmth of the message. But the cold wasn't enough to keep them away.
BEAUTIFUL AND COVERED IN SNOW
|The other side of the water. It was almost all new fallen snow here, so everything was beautiful and covered in white snow.|
IT'S AN EXCITING TIME TO BE A MISSIONARY IN SWEDEN
We recently got a new Ward Mission leader in this area, and he has been great. His job is to help us help the ward in the best way we can. We talked about some things we could do, and our biggest focus is The Book of Mormon. We've talked to the ward about what it means to have The Book of Mormon. We talked about the ways we can share The Book of Mormon with other people. And now the ward is taking the step to share it with their friends, to actively look for opportunities. It's been cool to see this shift in the attitude of the members with the New Year. It's not about the missionaries and the work they do, but it's about the direction this ward is taking. I have been impressed with the enthusiasm so many of these people are putting into the challenge, and it's an exciting time to be a missionary in Sweden.
|Gamla Stan in Stockholm|
SEED OF FAITH---DESIRE TO SHARE THE FRUITS
On Thursday, we took two of the youth in the ward on splits. They are both preparing to go on missions, soon, so we are showing them what we do. As we went along, I thought back to when I was preparing. I had no clue what it was like to be a missionary. I had never taken an opportunity to go out with the missionaries. He asked me what my advice was to missionary preparation. I had to pause and think about it. I told him I was impressed with what he was doing already, and explained that this is one way to prepare. The only other thing I could think of was to have a testimony. The words, to have a testimony, have always seemed like an abstract way to simplify why people do what they do. But I have begun to understand it a little bit better. I've been doing this for 20 months now, and I know that my testimony is far from complete. However, it is also a living organism. It grows and wilts depending on the care I put into it. The stronger that seed of faith has become, the greater the desire to share the fruits of it.