Saturday, June 25, 2016

Lots of fun stuff this week!! Reunions, and a huge conference!


My MTC group!!! Last time we were all together was when we flew to this country. All grown up!
OHHH Äldste Bailey! I haven't seen this guy for days!!!! He has been isolated up in the cold tundra
We had some big stuff happen this week in the mission!   We actually had a Mission Tour on the Mainland.  It was split up into two groups.  The top half of Sweden, which is 4 zones (Norrland, Stockholm, Södertälje, and South Stockholm)  Gotland is counted as part of the South Stockholm zone. The bottom half, with two zones (Göteborg and Malmö).  President Dyches, of the Europe Area Presidency was there to speak to us. There were tons of missionaries there and It was fun to see a bunch of old friends and three old companions!  

Reunited with my last comp Äldste Jämsä at zone tour!
We left for the conference on Tuesday at about 4:30 to catch our boat to mainland.  We got off the boat and drove to a city called Handen to sleep at some missionaries apartment and arrived 8:30ish pm.  One thing we did is have a mission fast for 24 hours to prepare ourselves to listen to a general authority.  So we didn’t eat food from noon that Wednesday to noon the day of the conference. That was a tough one but we were defiantly spiritually prepared!  We learned a lot of good things and left with a lot of good notes. 

I also had the opportunity to sing at the tour (conference) which was really fun.  There are three other guys that I have sung with for other conferences and such and they are all awesome dudes.  One of them is a very good composer and made this arrangement before his mission of "How Great Thou Art".  No joke, this was the coolest arrangement of this song I have heard.  It is so powerful and was a real challenge to learn and sing.  So since we couldn't practice together until the day of the conference.. They emailed the music to me so I could print it off and learn it before the conference.  I learned it and then we got together for a bit before the conference started... put it together and it sounded great. The performance went really well.  Those guys are awesome!

This picture quality is just unbelievable. But this is the group I usually sing with. They are all bros and sing like angels.
A few good things I learned from the conference is that God can’t be “Googled”....  Meaning you can’t get to know God unless you actually go to him and find out what he really is like and how he feels about you.  It takes some effort.  (prayer, scripture study, doing what is right) It was also a lot about how we can be more open and worthy of the spiritual influence in our lives as missionaries.  A lot of good stuff was taught.
We said goodbye to everyone and drove back to the boat station to catch our boat and then the rest of the week was pretty normal!  A lot more tourists have come and it was really rainy and windy this last week but tourists were still out and about! 

We have about four people that we have been working with a lot these past few weeks and one in particular is progressing very well. She actually has investigated the church before but there have been some problems at home with parents being judgmental about religion and what not..  So it has been hard for her and is causing her to doubt.  She has been hard to contact with missionaries for a while now, but we were able to get a hold of her!  We have been teaching her and her friend and have had some very good spiritual lessons together.  We have been talking about the trials living in today's world with outside influences, talked about faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, and just lately.. Baptism.  At the end of the lesson we were talking to her about how if we show God that we are doing our part and wanting to know the truth..  he WILL answer us with out a doubt.  When one receives that answer.. they will want to take the next step which leads to baptism.  It’s something that a person will want.  She agreed to commit to baptism by setting a date and we are excited to continue working with her.  Her and her friend came to church with us yesterday and they both loved it.  Her friend texted us later that day and told us that if we want, we can come by and teach him some more and gave us his address!  So we are excited to be working with him as well. 
This shows in a nutshell how our companionship was back in Uppsala.

WELL that's pretty much it, but we will be preparing for Midsommar this weekend! :)  It a Swedish holiday about as big as Christmas and we get all of Friday off to participate in the festivities and Saturday as well! It should be fun here on Gotland :) Be expecting a bunch of pictures.. 

Love you all!
Äldste Blackburn

The west coast of Gotland.

A little concert going on in Town!

This has to be one of the nastiest creatures I have seen. People should not shave the tales off of their dogs. Case closed

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