Monday, January 18, 2016

HOLY COW!! What a week! :)

WHOOOOO!!! :) :) :)

This week was just awesome!!! ~ For several reasons but I’ll start out with saying that it has been snowing like crazy the beginning of this week but now it's slowing down and getting a little warmer with more sun!  That is always nice to rejuvenate some vitamin D!  haha 

We got some transfer news!  We just found out that our 4 man apartment will just be a two man now!  The other Elders are both transferring to a new area and the mission is "shutting down" their area.  What does this mean for Äldste Bentson and I?  It means that we have that massive apartment to our selves, and the area that they worked in becomes ours.  They will be missed though! <3
This is the Baptismal font in Uppsala, and we were getting it ready for the big day with Caroline!
Pre baptismal selfies!

This week kind of revolved around Caroline and getting her ready for her Baptism! :) It started off by getting her pumped and excited for her Baptismal interview.  She was very nervous for this but felt SUPER ready.  The interview went SUPER smoothly!! :)  This interview is really about making sure the person who is wanting to be baptized understands basic doctrine, and is really ready to make this step towards God and Jesus Christ. Baptism is SO huge.
Singing right before Carolines Baptism!
In baptism we make a promise (covenant) with God that we will follow him and follow his principles that he has given us in this life.  In return, he promises to bless us with several things.  One is being spiritually re-born. ~The end of an old life, and the beginning of a new life on a pathway back to God. Another promise is that God gives the person the Gift of the Holy Ghost as a constant companion for protection, peace, comfort, and joy. 

Baptism is the first massive step we can take toward God which essentially opens the gates to continual progression towards him.  Such an awesome thing to happen to Caroline this last Sunday (January 17th).   I’m so grateful that I have had the opportunity to work with her and teach her from the beginning, and eventually have the opportunity to baptize her.  This is the thing that makes all of this worth it.  Äldste Bailey, Bentson and I have all had the chance to see her change and progress and I feel so blessed that I have been a part of it and at the same time made a new best friend!  

The baptism its self was so special.  Caroline was not sure if her husband would come for a while but he showed up!!  It was so cool that all the families in the ward (congregation) with babies were also there.  Caroline and Stefan have their baby Kertsine so that was great. The baptismal service was right after church, and the whole ward stayed to be a part of it. :)  Was very special.  There is no way I can explain all the details but the Spirit was so strong.  Caroline is SOOO HAPPY! :)
Äldste Bailey (my last companion) was able to Skype in for Carolines Baptism :)
 She can’t even fully express how happy she is to us!  She was explaining how she started crying as soon as she got out of the water to dry off because she felt so much love from God, clean, and strong.  The same with last night after she went home, and this morning! :)  The next thing we will do is “confirm" her as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and give her the Gift of the Holy Ghost!  That will be next Sunday :) But until then we will meet with Caroline and start preparing her for the temple :) She is SO EXCITED for that. I just want to say again how grateful I am to be on my mission and to see and be a part of building God’s Kingdom on earth right now.  It is truly amazing seeing people come to God.   I know why I’m out here and I know that it is true…. 

Love you all and thank you for all your prayers! :)
Äldste Blackburn

** In the baptismal process there are two steps or “ordinances”… One is is the actual baptism it’s self, and the other is the “confirmation”, which is a laying on of hands blessing where the Holy Ghost is confirmed on that person to be a “constant companion” when we are following Chirst’s teachings.
This is the most Swedish picture EVER!! ~ Äldste Harrison and I trecking through thigh deep snow, pitch black in Gävle! There even happened to be an IKEA behind us! haha!

This cool little Swedish village on the way to the Church in Gävle

Yes.. we teach an English class and yes.. as you can see.. there is no one that showed up.. haha!

Looks like Äldste Walker needs some help!

Our last district pic at Syster Allreds "funeral." Syster Allred is going home! She going to be awesome!
Uppsala missionaries here at your service!

Äldste Harrison and I loving some companionship splits action in Gävle <3
Look at our beautiful snow angels!
Sipping on a nice ice cold smoothy!

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