Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Transfers! Staying in Uppsala :)


Watch out people of Uppsala..
Äldste Bailey and I comin for you!
This week we got transfer calls and my companion, Äldste Johnson, is getting transferred all the way down to Malmö (lowest city in Sweden).  There were supposed to be a bunch of new missionaries coming in but the missionaries from the United States visas were delayed.  Äldste Bailey in our apartment was supposed to be training one of them but because they are not arriving for 6 more weeks everything changed.  (The NEXT transfer in 6 weeks, there will be 27 new missionaries coming from the MTC in Utah.)

My new companion will be... Äldste Bailey!!!  He’s just moving down the hall and were going to kill it together!  Cant wait!  Äldste Walker, in our apartment, is getting his greenie (newly arrived missionary) that he’s been waiting for since last transfer.  He is an Elder from Canada and he comes in on Tuesday.  Our apartment will be us four minus Äldste Johnson.  The sisters here in Uppsala are staying the same, and My trainer Äldste Stoeltzing, who is still in Boras is going home!  Love that guy!  He has served a good hard two years!

This week we did a lot of finding work and got some new investigators.  We have been teaching more students too. I’m feeling more comfortable now here in Uppsala with things and I think this next transfer will be really good and Äldste Bailey and I will be a power team.

Beautiful Sweden
A cool thing that happened this last week was actually the other day.  I saw a guy holding a Mic stand for a recording microphone and I proceeded on with my musical contacting strategy.  I was then talking straight up music with him and about recording, etc….  "what software" "what mic" "what music?" and so forth.  We quickly became bros.  Got his number and we are going to” jam" AND were going to teach him.  He will hopefully be coming to Family Home Evening tonight with his brother!  So many young people and musicians in this city and it’s awesome!

Another thing I want to share.  We are working with another girl I contacted on the bus last week and she is so cool.  What’s even cooler is that we brought along a girl from the ward to the lesson and now they are good friends!  I just wanted to say that members are super important.  Missionaries come and go, but members are "constant" and they can really fellowship investigators and new members.  Missionaries and the members working together is super important! :) 

This next next transfer will be so cool and we are ready to work hard.  We will also work-out hard and get in shape!  Hope i can get as buff as Äldste Bailey by the end.:):)  I dont think that is possible.. 

Love you all and have a good week! 
Äldste Blackburn

3 Elders and a member of the Ward
Coming with love and a desire to serve!!

Aldste Johnson, Bailey and me


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Bikes, lessons, and splits! You can know too, if you want to...

Hey this this last week was a blast! 

Swedish meatballs anyone? 
I'll just say that I worked on a bike for the first time in like 5 months and it felt awesome!!  haha  We went to a members house for a lesson and he said he had a problem with his mountain bike, and I said “Maybe I can be of some assistance?....” haha.  So I fixed his bike and it felt amazing!  I miss my mountain bike so much but it's ok.  I have the rest of my life to do that stuff :) 

I went on Splits this week with Äldste White from Borlänge, and that was fun.  He also gave me a hair cut so that's cool.  We went up to Gävle for work overs to do a baptismal interview.  When we got off the train, we did splits with the Elders there for about 20 minutes to contact people in the city.  I went with Äldste Swenson (a greenie) and my companion went with Äldste Liddle.  We then split up and went our separate ways.  When we were walking down the road, Äldste Swenson and  I saw a big group of Somalians and thought “Lets teach all these guys!" So we went over there and I took 3 guys and Äldste Swenson took the other 3 guys.  We began talking to them in Swedish and they were surprised that we could speak (Äldste Swenson’s Swedish is really good for a Greenie).  I started teaching my guys about the Book of Mormon and several more of their friends surrounded us with curiosity.  At this time I was surrounded by about 5 or 6 guys teaching them all about the Book of Mormon haha.  I would say by the end there was about 8 to 10 guys present to listen to both of us.  That was a super fun experience.  Just open preaching!  Crazy!

The Systers baptism was awesome.
Loyd is an awesome guy.
Two of the super cool Theology students from
the local university studying about the our Church!
One more cool thing that happened this week was that we got a call from the university asking us if some students could come to church and learn about what we believe and see how our church organization functions. There were 4 people that came on Saturday.  Äldste Johnson and I gave them a tour of the church and answered a lot of questions.  We then sat down and taught them pretty much the whole “Restoration" of the Gospel and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Super cool.  They then said that they would come to church the next day and the Systers had a baptism so they said would come to that too!  The next day (Sunday) before church we had a lesson that with an investigator and after that 6 people from the University that showed up to church and stayed!  Besides that, we had 3 others who are our Investigators come to church as well!  The other missionaries all brought people to, so at least half of the congregation were not members!  Super cool and it was a great day!  Our Bishop is awesome and was very professional.  We got a picture with 2 of the students who were in the group we taught on Saturday and they said that something was different about this church and that they felt something special. 

I just want to say that this Gospel IS true.  Of course, the organization can follow with that but people are imperfect.... the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not.  This IS the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and you can know that as well if you want to….
Love you all and have a good week! 
Äldste Blackburn
Aldste = Elder in Swedish
Syster = Sister in Swedish
Greenie = New missionary
Work over = staying in a different city for a couple days
Splits = Being with a missionary other than your companion
Went up to Gävle for a baptismal interview, and got this
awesome pic with the Gävle Systers contacting
someone in the back ground.
Playing some cool basses this last P-day!

Äldste Bailey and I keeping it real with our Nordic heaters.

Monday, October 12, 2015

If you look, you can find Him...

Old rock marker, marking the
 boundaries between cities.
So this last week was an adventure!  I'll start off by saying that is was really cold this last week and fall has really kicked in to high gear!  All the trees are becoming naked and almost every morning and night it has been below 0 degrees Celsius.  That’s really not super bad but it’s just a wet cold so it pierces through almost everything.  It’s already snowing up north haha.  Also, a crazy thing happened. The Northern lights appeared all throughout Sweden!  Usually never happens, only up North. But there was a big solar storm that hit and I guess they could see the Northern Lights all the way down to the South. Unfortunately we didn't get the chance to see them that night because we were planning our week in our apartment, but we went out the next night that same time but there was nothing. :(  I heard it was cool though haha! 

Gettin' nice and chilly! 
I went on splits up to Gävle and it was awesome.  I went with Äldste Little and he is an elder who served in the Mission Presidents office for a long time. (Lots of experience)  He taught me a lot and we had some fun.  After a few days up there, we had an awesome district meeting at their Chapel.  There is a member (of the church) who is a Kung Foo instructor in that ward to, so after District meeting we had a Kung Foo class!  haha  It was awesome and we learned some awesome fighting techniques that would be perfect for missionary work :):)  Lets just say that once we got back to our apartment in Uppsala... we applied what we had learned on each other and we are still "practicing" with each other ;)

Aldste Bailey and me.
Äldste Johnson and I had some good times this week and some hard times as far as contacting.  Like I have said before, there are a lot of scientists and Atheists here in Uppsala and for some reason they feel like they all need to try and prove to us that God doesn’t exist and this was bothering me.  You can take it either way ~ You can’t prove that God doesn't exist, but these people are stuck on “facts” and not open to spirituality or even searching if there is a God!  They are trying to use there human mental capacity to over rule Gods. FRUSTRATES ME. 

This world.. life.. this universe.. space! ~ Everything is so insane (incredibly vast, detailed, and sophisticated) and there is no way that we can comprehend it!  For me, that makes me more curious and really shows that there is God at the center of it all.   AND what do we have to do?  SEARCH. We need have that open heart and open mind to find out for ourselves if God exists.  If you search for the right reasons I can personally promise you that you WILL find Him.  After a long day of rejection and this frustration, we were heading home and stopped by a big duck pond.  We saw a man feeding the ducks and we went over to contact him and he immediately recognized us.  He then started talking about his love for God and how much he respects us and what we do.  He then went on and stated a scripture. Matthew 10:22 "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name´s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”   The first part really stuck out to me, that as missionaries we are representing Jesus Christ and who cares if people hate us for that.  I just need to do my best to continue on with my purpose by inviting people to Him and if they dont want to, that’s too bad but I´m not going to stick around and chat about it.  I need to find the people who are ready.  This Church is so true and this is the restored Gospel of Christ…. 

Love you all and have a good week!
Äldste Blackburn
Found American Take Out!
Wow... Broke my bass string :( playing hymns too hard I guess...


We found Christ on this guys car! 

Äldste Bailey and I trying to see the northern lights! 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Busy productive week!

Dome Kyrka
This week was great.  It started off with me going back down to Stockholm for splits with the zone leaders which was awesome!  Worked hard with Äldste Hemmingsen.  Man!  Stockholm was a culture shock!  Super busy and we took these commuter trains everywhere and we were always going through Stockholm Central Station.  People everywhere = contacting paradise.  We came back to Uppsala the next morning for district meeting which was cool too.  I finally went into the Dome Kyrka!  It’s the biggest church in Scandinavia and it is super pretty and old.. REALLY old..  

We also had the chance to help a lady in our ward move back to Utah.  We packed up her piano and brought it to the church and switched it out for the one that is out of tune.  haha.  It was us 4 elders here in uppsala that picked it up and moved it, haha but it sounds good! 

A cool experience I had was earlier this week.  We were out helping with home teaching and then we got a call from the other Elders asking us to swing by one of our less active members birthday party.  He’s super cool. 14 years old and it was just him, his mom (who is less active), and his moms friend (he’s not a member), and the other Elders at the party.  We got there and it was so fun!  Äldste Bailey and I were talking to the mom and her friend and they just opened right up to us ~ Especially her friend.  He was super interested in what we we do and who we are.  They both were pouring out their feelings about God and how He has helped them in there lives.  Äldste Bailey and I then began talking about God and his plan for us and the spirit bacame even stronger.  He felt it and every one in the room felt it.  We gave him a Book of Mormon and he said he would read it.  We invited him to learn more.  The other Elders are planing on meeting with him.  I know that that man was touched by the spirit of truth because I was and most of all I could see it and feel it. 
They have the weirdest sculptures here
I have been reading the book, "Jesus the Christ" lately and read about when Jesus was in the Garden and paid for all of our sins.  If you think about it, that one moment in which Jesus paid for every sin, every trial, every pain and affliction (of you, me, and everyone and anyone who has or ever will live) ... that was satans biggest blow.  Every tool satan had was put on Jesus in that very moment.  That’s insane!  and "if we want to give satan a punch in the mouth, open your mouth and preach!”

Love you all!
Äldste Blackburn

Ward - the congregation in the area you live in 
Home teaching -  visiting and seeing if there are any needs for a member/family of the ward/congregation
Splits - going out for the day with a different companion than your assigned one
Elder = Aldste is Swedish for Elder (which is a missionary)

Getting ready to go for a run in the COLD
Taking a break for a selfie.

Massive Cathidral 

Dome Kyrka


 Dome Kyrka

My companion and me

Splits were fun!

Sweet Ducati in Stockholm with Äldste Hemmingsen