This will be my last letter as a full time missionary in Sweden.. Crazy to think how fast two years has flown by! At the same time there has been a lot that has happened and it really has been a concentrated two years of service and growth in ways that aren’t possible to be a part of in any other way. In these two years, I have lived in 6 different cities in Sweden and have had 11 companions that have all taught me a lot, as well the people I have been blessed to teach and help come to really know God and find more peace and guidance in there lives. It didn’t just bless them but it blessed me. I have had the chance to actively search for my weaknesses and how I can improve myself as well as experiencing miracles and experiences that I will never forget.
|A few from our district at out last district meeting|
|President Petersson. Our Branch President.|
This week was actually a killer last week! The day before Marvic's baptism, we all had dinner together that she cooked for us. Some good Phillipino food... and then probably the worst thing I have ever had in my life. Haha! No joke.
|Had the chance to go to Stockholm late at night to hand out Books of Mormon after the Book of Mormon musical.. Then it turned out there was no play that night because of Easter weekend haha..|
|Stig-Åke! He is a cool man.|
The next day was her baptism which was so good. Elder Barnes and I played a special musical number. I played the guitar and he played the piano and we both sang. I had the opportunity to baptize her which was an awesome opportunity on the last week of my mission after teaching her from the beginning. She was in tears during the service and she bore her testimony after the baptism. It was so good! The branch here loves her. She talked about how much God has helped and guided her to this church and how she now feels so clean and happy. Yesterday, Marvic was confirmed in church by my companion Elder Barnes, and she was so happy. She was practically glowing! haha.
|Marvic is now confirmed a member of Jesu Kristi Kyrka av Sista Dagars Heliga.|
Yesterday in church, Elder Barnes and I both also gave 15 minute talks and a musical number. I sang "Savior Redeemer of my Soul." Elder Barnes is also transferring (leaving this city) to Lund which is in the far south of Sweden so we both said our goodbyes. It was a good Sunday and I talked about the Holy Ghost and some experiences I have had on my mission with it. It was weird to think that would be my last talk in Swedish... at least for a while.
|Saying good bye to my Finnish friend, Elder Murtonen.|
Earlier this week there were several fun things that happened but I will share one real quick as my last story....
So Elder Barnes and I went to the library to teach a lesson to someone, but they didn’t show up :( So we had a back up plan to call a few people for a few minutes. We sat down on these little couches next to these group meeting rooms with glass walls so you can see in them. As we sat down, we noticed three girls sitting in one of the rooms and were all looking at us and chatting about something. We made eye contact and they kind of laughed and such. We continued to call people when one of them came out and asked us, "Hey.. are you two Jehovas Witnesses?" and we said… "No.. we’re Mormons! :)” and I gave her a card with the Easter video link on it and told her she could look up this web sight to learn more about it. She took the card as she was walking away.
|Saying goodbye to my companion! Elder Barnes|
She came back out and told us they had some questions and asked if we could come in and answer them. So we went in there and taught them about how our church is different than some other churches. We then went on to explain about the restoration of the gospel and we taught them about the Book of Mormon. They thought it was pretty interesting from what we saw and we even gave one of them a Book of Mormon. We also pulled up the Easter video on one of their computers and watched it with them. We took one of their numbers and are going to try to meet her soon! After we walked out, right out side the door a man waved at us and said he had talked with us on the bus a few months back and he said he would like to meet with us. He even said he would like to come to church with his two boys and thought our message sounded interesting.
The coolest things happen that aren’t necessarily planned but that are prepared for us. We just have to be worthy and willing to act.
I want you all to know that I love my family and especially my Mom, and for her taking care of my blog for the time I have been on my mission. I am also grateful for all my leaders that helped me take the steps in building my testimony and helping me come on my mission. Especially my Bishop, Michael Childs, Jared Beal, Steve Hymas, Marc Anderson, Pete Hedrick, Marc Coumbs, Michael Ferrara, Pam Fowers, my Asian Dad Joe Kwan, my Dad Lawrence Blackburn. There are many more, and you know who you are but my fingers are getting tired of typing haha. In all honesty, you have made a big impact on me so thank you!
I want you all to know I know that God is real. He loves us personally, and he loves us enough to guide us though Prophets and personal revelation. The gospel is simple and beautiful. Follow it and you will have joy. The Book of Mormon is scripture together with the Bible and both witness about the truth of Christ and what he went through for all of us. Dont forget to read and pray. If you dont forget, and read with real intent and a desire to know if it true... God will tell you it’s true.
Love you all and I am signing off for the last time!
|Saying goodbyes to some members from the Middle East.|
|Easter! Lots of good swedish food.|