Saturday, May 30, 2015

Lots of Studying!

This week has been packed with a lot of studying but it has been awesome.  I should start off by saying that our first investigator is now one of our teachers!  He came in one day and it was kind of weird but awesome.  We are still teaching him as "Marc" and are now teaching one of our other teachers as well.  We have now taught two lessons back to back yesterday. The language is getting easier to understand but is sometimes difficult because you know what you want to say, but you just don't quite know the words yet.  I have learned if i just listen and open my mouth I will say what the investigator needs to hear.  "Open your mouth and the Lord will give you utterance."  So true. 
District 37-C

​Syster Woolsey is a great white board artist.

​Look who left this week!!! Sister Hollingsworth will be an awesome missionary!
​More model status

So much time to study and I have really learned to appreciate it but also really appreciate gym time haha.  I have encompassed my gym time in distance running and basketball.  There is a track up stairs but it gets kind of boring because 10 laps is a mile, so if I want to run say..... 20 miles.. that's like 200 laps!   You know how much I love running 20 miles. ;)  No.. more like 3 but that's still 30 laps and it just gives me time to space off and think.
​What???? It's actually way easier than it looks.

All of our Netherlands missionaries in our zone left this week and they will do awesome. We are getting a batch of like 14 new missionaries going to that mission today!  Dutch speaking, and guess what?  Me and my companion will no longer be able to enjoy the pleasures of having a room to our self :( but it will be cool at the same time.   Hopefully they are cool.   We'll meet them tonight

So the devotional last night..... We were all super exited when we found out that day that Jeffery Holland was coming to speak to us.  IT WAS FANTASTIC!  The main message that he shared was being obedient... you need the spirit to teach, and to open your mouth or you will be giving into Satans will.  It's tough sometimes because like I said earlier, you don't know how to really say it, or you don't want to sound stupid and that's what Satan wants.   We as missionaries can't just sit back and say nothing.  We are to obey Gods will, teach his children and that this is a way of life and are never to go back to the person we were before.  What is amazing is that he (Elder Holland) doesn't use a teleprompter or anything!  He totally teaches to the audiences' needs and you can tell. 

​P-day selfie at the temple!
The spirit has been so strong these last few days.   Four more weeks!  Crazy seeing all the English speaking missionaries come in and out so fast..  Loving the "dear elder" letters!  Great to here from everybody!   Feel free to email me so i could possibly email you directly :)  And Mattttt! I'm praying for you buddy! Just found out what happened.... Miracles do happen!! Jag alskar min Fader i Himlen och jesus kristus. Jag ar taksamma for hans forsoning.

- Aldste Blackburn


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Departure, Arrival, and first Week!!

So Wednesday is my P-day!  And I love the "dear elder" letters that I have been getting.  Don't have time to respond to them because I am typing this while I do my laundry!  I haven't been getting any emails if any one sent anything. 

This week has been crazy!  It started off by getting dropped off at the MTC

and everything was going so fast. I am now starting to settle into things.   When I first got here, I was directed into a set of rooms where I got all my books name tags, cards room key and some other stuff.   Then my host took me to my to my room to drop my things off and then took me to my class room where I met my district.  It is made up of two elders (me as one of them) and three sisters. Two of the sisters are going to Sweden, and the other is going to Norway.  I met my companion Aldste Carlson.  He's a cool dude. He's from Southern California and also swam and played water polo.  We then left class and were taken to some orientation meetings and worked with some investigators.

One of my two Swedish teachers spoke only swedish to us the first day and actually both still do.  It's just me and my companion in my room which is nice and we each have our own side of the room.  We dove right into learning swedish the first day and the first night, I was so tired.  The second day we taught our first lesson to an investigator who only spoke  swedish.  The gift of tongues is real.   We used what we knew and we could understand what he was saying for the most part.  We learned how to pray the second day and bear our testimony.  There has been so much that has gone on and I already have forgotten most of the first week, haha.

The food is really hard on my stomach... lets leave it at that. lol.  The gym is awesome!  Super big and they have an indoor track that is fun to go hard on because ten laps is a mile and its three stories up so you can look over and see everyone.  I am getting cooped up and tired of being inside and it felt really good to go out and play catch and play some sand volleyball two days ago. 

The days are pretty much the same every day. ~ Wake up, gym time, study, classroom, lunch, classroom, dinner, classroom haha.  A lot of studying!!  I was made district leader over my district on day two or three ~ can't remember, haha and I held my fist district meeting after the devotional last night with a member of the presidency of the First Quorum of the 70's  (general authority).  We were able to share our thoughts, feelings, goals and everything like that.  It was nice.  Our district is really tight and we're all good friends.  My zone is awsome.   It consists of northern/eastern europe.  The two sisters and me and my companion are the only Swedes in the whole MTC.

You'll  never guess who my Branch President is.... President Seamons!  They were in our Stake in Carmichael and were in the Fair Oaks 5fth ward I think?  Pretty cool.  I sang in the MTC choir and performed at the devotional with a simple four part song.   I have never felt the spirit so much.  I have

done two "tie drafts" and have gotten some pretty sweet ties!  First was with the Germans and we did one with our zone last night.  We're all on the same floor and in the same hallway so we all chill/study/show each other how hard the food is on our stomachs... good times! 

I feel so strong in Swedish now and I am trying my best to SYL "speak your language" as much as I can throughout the day and it helps a lot.  I have had no time to think about myself and "veg."   It is really a life of service for two years.  I am always studying trying to help my investigator.  That's why I can't wait to go to the temple today. ~ To clear my head and to get me through the week.

 Jag vet att jesus kristus ar guds son, jag vet att joseph smith var en profet av gud. jag vet att momons bok ar guds ord, och jag alskar evangeliet. 

- Aldste Blackburn