My California Girl....Sister Lund
This week was INCREDIBLE.
First of all, congrats to my super good girlfriend sister Cassie Bolton...we served together in Kungsbacka back in September and SHE IS ENGAGED NOW. She has broken the mission record...also, if you remember elder Cushing, I served with him in Borås along with sister Stoughton and elder Carrigan, he is engaged as of this week also :) to a girl who actually served here!!!! MISSIONN LOOVE its amazing.
so congratulations to Cassie and Kyle, Jacob and Sydney :) Way exciting and terrifying. so awesome.
This week was literally probably the most spirit filled week ever. Not to mention the SUN came out and actually shined through our window…I was glued to it for a good 20 minutes...
It started off right with splits in Södertälje with my old comp sister Lund!! soo awesooome.
We were able to go to a young single adult activity where i got to see some YSA that had moved to Stockholm from Goteborg and a couple that came down from Gävle!!!
the next day we had a member lunch and guess who was there but my deary elder Larson!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We realized it had actually been a year since we saw each other last. SOOO GOOD TO SEE HIMMM. He is a zone leader with elder Israelson right now, who i became pretty good friends with when he was MY zone leader in Kungsbacka. It was super good to see them both again. Buuut like always, its always so good to be back in your own area.
This week has had a couple of really amazing experiences. Elder Baquedano came on splits here with elder Dickinson for the day and turns out he has a killlerrrr VOICE. so we decided we would just go around to different train stations and sing quartet style for people coming and leaving the station!!!
it was soooooo muuchhh fun!!!!!!!!!! We actually got stopped by a choir director of one of the choirs here in Stockholm asking if we were a professional quartet and when our shows were and stuff. We were like weeeee just trying to spread the love of Jesus...it was just great.
That night we had a dinner with a member named Irene. SHE IS SO AMAZING AH. she is like my best friend in this ward. She is from Ukraine and just makes me so happy. She is really pulling for me to marry her son Yurogslav ....hahaha he is the secretary of the bishopric, 24, has his own business and wears super expensive suits…that's what she used to pitch him to me hahaha. She loooves me. She is about 40 and single so it was just sister Banks her and I for dinner...but rewind for a second.
The night before,we planned what we wanted to teach her...we both went quiet for a moment and i just said, i feel like we should ask for a referral from her...and sister Banks was like
"GASP, I LITERALLY THOUGHT THE SAME THING" No lesson idea, just a really strong clear prompting that we needed to ask her ...
well....we had an amazing dinner with her and we then sang to her and talked a little about strengthening ourselves through Christ..then we told her that we had a very clear prompting that there is someone in her life who needed missionaries...her eyes got wide and the spirit was just so so strong....she told us about how she was in the temple the day before and two people specifically came to mind that she felt needed to have their names in the temple. One is a less active living in CA and one was a woman not a member living in the Ukraine. We all felt like this was right and are working on getting referrals out asap.
There is a woman named Brenda that was contacted by missionaries about 20 years ago and she has been in and out of missionary lessons... we have felt way strong that we need to meet her...we have called like every day and prayed for her and have gone by her apartment one billion times....well this night we were sure she was going to be there...and we were hopeful, just hopeful, that she would let us in....We prayed twice before we knocked...She opened the door and said, omygoodness..come in.
She...was NOT positive...we sat down and immediately she began to not only bash the church of Jesus Christ but also every other religion...for like 15 minutes this went on and she shot down everything we had to say...I felt suuper strongly that i should interrupt her and ask if i could say a prayer….I politely interrupted this big, Tanzanian woman that could probably eat me or break me in half if she wanted to and just asked her if we could start with a prayer..and i offered it.
It was more so to calm myself haha like the prayers in my head weren’t enough and i just needed to say what i was thiking out loud....so i prayed and IMMEDIATELY she flipped around. She was so calm....and went on to tell us that she has wanted to be baptized in the church of Jesus Christ but every time she gets close something happens...her dad dies, her daughter moves away, her health divebombs....she told us that tonight a friend of hers had called her to ask her to go to a funeral service but Brenda knew it would ony lead to a huge drinking party…Brenda was an alchoholic and had a hard time saying no.....as soon as she got off the phone, we knocked... thank goodness for that second prayer or else she probably wouldnt have answered the door. She continued to tell us she wants to see the light again.
sidenote : her daughter looks just like me and moved to LA to be apart of the art academy there. She was really close to being baptized then got accepted into this school. I told Brenda, omg thats where I AM FROM. So we are hoping to get her hooked up with my family and get her to church over there. We talked to Brenda for like 3 hours and she asked us to just always come by...SO PUMPED TO KEEP WORKING WITH HER and to see where her daughter is headed.
Friday night we headed to Amie’s apartment to have a few good feelings with her before her baptism the next day...we get there and she is making us these african enpanada thingies, SOOO GOOOOD. We played guitar and sang for her while she cooked, she loved that. It was such a good night. She just was so ready to be baptized. there is a man that lives in a different room in the apartment, because she rents the other room, and he came out to say hi and sat with us. his name is Papi. he is from France. We started talking to him about religion and the Book of Mormon and i realize...OMG haha i randomly felt like i should take a French Book of Mormon...and grabbed a French Book of Mormon this morning. Totally inspired so cool. Amie bore her testimony to him that the gospel just makes you happy. He could feel a difference when we were there and we are planning on teaching him with Amie.
such a good night. on the way down there was a little chinese woman, which was funny because i also had the prompting to grab a chinese Book of Mormon :) Man. God is just the coolest.
President Beckstrand had interviewed Amie during the week because there were some bigger things that needed to be taken care of and offered to confirm her on Sunday.
he and sister Beckstrand were there on Saturday for the only baptism in the country this Saturday, along with the ward and missionaries.
Something really really special happened. Amie realized that in all of her pictures before she was baptized she never smiled... but in all the pictures after she has the biggest smile. Saturday night we wet through all the pictures we had of her and SHE NEVER SMILED.....the gospel makes you happy....on Sunday she was beautifully confirmed by president Beckstrand and she bore her testimony...she melted the hearts of everyone...everyone was crying...she really opened up and told us how her siblings were killed in the war in her home land. she has seen war. she has seen sin. all of this was just weighing her down...but after she was baptized she felt so much PEACE. She testified of the book of mormon and how she felt peace....when she read it...something she hadn't felt in so long. she went on to talk about how excited she is to share this peace with others...she testified of the angels she knew were at her side while she was being baptized and that will be by her side forever as she lives worthy of the spirit.
she was so attentive in church...it was just so incredible to see the change. on the way home she just totally went up to this random guy and invited him to be taught hahaha it was so AWESOME. We were like, Amie...we do this everyday, wanna talk to some more people with us?
We talked to a couple more then her train came and we sent her off with about 10 contacting cards.....we watched from the platform as she sat down next to a woman and started talking to her ...handing her a card...smiling...SMILINGGGGGGG.
GOSH. PEOPLE. WAKE UP. EVERY MEMBER A MISSIONARY.
Like she has just totally inspired me. She is our little missionary.
Its perfect because at the moment we are putting together a tri-stake fireside put on by us the Hägersten missionaries on being a member missionary and HOW.
The Stockholm temple rededicatory prayer has a very specific promise for this country and missionary work. It tells us that the members will play a key role in what is called the second harvest.
Well i just love Hägersten...it is a huge blessing that I can serve here.
i love you all so much…thank you for your prayers and everything on the side.
Love, Syster Giles
Syster Banks is a ham