Upside of the week,
I went on splits with Syster Brink for pday yesterday!!! She was my MTC companion so it was SO GOOOOOOD to be with her for longer than a district meeting. we had so much fun just like old times and we talked about EVERYTHING. it was so amazing to talk about the struggles we are having and the best times on our missions and just seeing how we have grown as humans while out here. we both recognized in each other that we have CHANGED, for the better:) i love her!!!! she is the best:)
My little sister Karin Sjökvist from Gävle texted me this week telling me that she loves me and misses me!!! she said its not the same :( I miss Gävle so much but i know Syster Stetler and Syster Kimball are kicking it hard out there. there are 4 baptismal dates there right now, so i am SO happy about that.
the most ghetto part of my week.
my mission is no different than my older brothers missions. we are black. we get put in ghetto places for the safety of our companions. Well, we were in a pretty ghetto part of Borås. The past couple months people have been shot up and there has been a lot of gang violence. We were walking to the bus stop and there was a guy standing across the street from us in the direction we were walking. he was right at the corner of a building. We were looking at him from the side. i realized something was weird.
im looking at this man and i realize, he is holding a gun. Ready to turn around the corner and attempt to kill whoever was going to be walking up on the other side of the building. He stood there, unmoving. in a low tone, i calmly say
"sto..that man, has a gun."
Syster Stoughton sees him and says,
we keep walking....absence of fear.
the man slowly turns toward us and we get a glimpse of his face, and the firearm in his hands.
i just stare at it....
and i smile a little bit and say
"that...is an umbrella."
it was..an umbrella.
we both start dying of laughter.
i now call this experience, The Gunbrella Man.
But something that was so weird to us was tjhat we literally saw what looked like a gun. it in our minds was a gun. but there was no fear, no panic no warning, no holy ghost confirming that it was one!
i was immediatly comforted in knowing that i have felt the Holy Ghost warn me in other situations and i was thankful that i really do have such an intune connection with my Heavenly Father.
I mostly wrote this story more dramatically to scare aunt Wendy hahaha
i know she was afraid of me going somewhere scary and i would just like to remind everyone that i am in SWEDEN….Sweden is about as ghetto as Manhattan Beach.
i am completely safe i promise :)
Sweden is not ghetto BUT someone in our apartment complex WAS ghetto enough to steal our laundry lock. But i have a new found respect for people who don't have washing machines.
i washed my clothes this week by hand. Wow. I was actually a bit emotional in doing so. There are so many immigrants here in Sweden that come from being prisoners of war and hostages and zero upside circumstance.. These are people that have come to seek refuge in Sweden. They come from zero electricity and no washing machine, refugee camps, and next to no food. I WAS REMINDED HOW BLESSED I AM!!!
I have stopped using the word luck. I am not lucky to be adopted by an AMAZING family, I'm not lucky to be a member with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I'm not lucky to be privileged enough to travel and sleep safe at night with a roof over my head and parents who cherish me and want the absolute best for me.
I AM BLESSED.
i am so blessed to have lived the life i have. And it is a thousand percent by the saving grace of my Heavenly Father, because i know, and he knows; if i hadn't been blessed with this life i live, I wouldn't have made it.
We were able to teach Philip this week. (rockstar hot dog up the nose guy)
I feel an extremely strong spirit when we teach him. in the lesson we taught him (we taught him the restoration of the gospel) I was completely immersed in the spirit. I was so overcome with the Holy Ghost that i pretty much made Syster Stoughton teach the whole thing. for some reason it felt like she wasn't just teaching Philip, but that she was teaching me. i really thought about the restoration and how completely eternal this gospel is. When we were done we gave Philip a Book of Mormon to read and he was so excited to read it. he had us write in the book so that he would always remember who gave it to him. i flipped to the very last pages of blank in the book and poured out my testimony.
he is in Norway right now, but will be back next week. We are so excited to teach him more.
We met with a woman named Martha this week also. She is an investigator we have. she has lost so many family members and friends. Everyone around her is passing away, including her husband who was her best friend. But she is so happy, and so LOVING.
she has a pet long haired guinea guinea pig named Minne. Little fact about guinea pigs that i learned. they’re from South America and burrow underground. so they love the dark. i realized that there was kindof an awkwardly shaped lump on Martha’s shoulder slash chest....then i realize....its the guinea pig. The guinea pig lives in her shirt. it scrambles to the other side and im likeomygooodneesss...hehh hehhh hehhhhhh.....is that...your guinea pig...how long has your buddy been in there..heh...."yeah!!! wanna hold her!!??” i extend my arms and hold my hands out to hold this demonic creature from middle earth. Well Martha had different ideas and sticks Minne down the front of my shirt. "im gonna go change my shirt” she says "minne has peed all over me again. she states as she shakes little bits of poop out of her shirt while she walks to her bedroom. Despite all that i type to my friends and family at home, i don't have really any words to describe the next 15 minutes with that small beaver like hair ball in my shirt. Martha came back with juice and cookies and we talked. We were over because it was her birthday. We gave her a restoration dvd for her birthday and wrote a little note. She was actually so touched by the note that she started to cry. she then began to tell us all about her husband and these dreams she has where she swears he is there and she wakes up and can feel him. about how the Jehovah Witnesses tell her its not him, he's dead, theres nothing after this life. NOTHING. i became pretty upset. i was upset that people would even THINK about going around and killing peoples hopes and dreams. I was so excited to tell her that we had a lesson prepared that dealt with all of those questions and fears we have about life, before life, and after life. We taught her the plan of happiness. The plan that we have so that we can find safety for our souls. We taught her and she immediately told us that this is what she believes. that this is exactly what she thought happened. I was so happy to tell her that it looks familiar and sounds right because its not the first time she's heard it before. There is not a soul on this earth that hasn't heard the plan of happiness already. Its just my job to remind everyone right now. she loves the church. BUT….she is afraid of committing to something that will make her work. she doesn't want to be active in a church.So i bore my testimony to her of how I've seen that same problem in my life, but how once you know its true you cant deny it. How once you realize its real, you change and you WANT to be active. you WANT to serve the people around you. The love of Jesus Christ does that. We asked her to pray about everything. we will be teaching her tomorrow.
NOW FOR THE ABSOLUTE MOST EXCITING PART OF MY WEEK.
S Ö N D A G (Sunday)
Elder Holland came!!!!!!! This was a stake conference and it was amazing. It felt like a General Conference. The members talks were incredible. The spirit was so strong the entire time. When Elder Holland got up, he even said it was the best stake conference he has ever ever ever been to. it really was incredible. it was so cool to see him speak just normally. he was so interactive and funny and was just a normal person. he spoke like he was speaking to me individually. it wasn't a 100% written talk with a time limit. it was a loving hour of advice and faith building. He spoke about the signs of the last days and what it means and spoke all about the Book of Mormon. the validity of it. My mind was blown more than a few times. It reminded me why im here. It really gave a needed boost to my morale and pep.
I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.
how cool is that!!
one more time.
I AM A DISCIPLE OF JESUS CHRIST!!!!!!!!!
the Redeemer and love and peace and trust and light of the WORLD.
I am only a missionary for a year and a half, but i will sing the song of his perfect love to every ear that will hear it or not, until the day i die.
I love you family!!! I am so BLESSED
Love, Syster Giles