Monday, February 27, 2017

More snow! :D 
Ey erbody!

This week just flew by but in a good way. We stayed very busy. These last few weeks we have taught and switched numbers with many people on the streets.. and this week we had the opportunity to teach a lot of them. We committed two more people to baptism and we had 5 investigators in church yesterday! :D 

One of our investigators brought her two young children as well. The kids loved church! Something way cool that happened is that the morning of church...  This particular mother that is investigating the church was on her way trying to find where the building was while walking with her two daughters in the snow.. and then one of our other investigators came up to her on the street and realized that they were on the way to the same place! So our other investigator helped the Mother and her two daughters find the church. Was so cool! 

I was surprised when our whole district
could fit on this park bench.
We got a nice little dump of snow and it has been a nice little taste of winter. Some other things that have been great, we have been singing a lot! In church.. a baptism.. and we will be singing a song for the mission tour this week, and then a song at stake conference a few days after that. We will have sung a total of 5 musical numbers by the end of this week from these last two weeks haha. It’s usually Elder Barnes (my comp), me, Elder Duke and Elder Craun. They are the other missionaries here in Västerås. For the mission tour, President Keoron will be coming to our mission this Thursday. Elder Barns, Elder Duke, Elder Baquedano (my last companion in Umeå), and I will be singing a quartet of Praise to the Lord. Should be fun. I will try to get some recordings. But other than that.. We have really built up our teaching pool and have been going hard and working all day! 

I actually had the opportunity to give a talk this Sunday and it was about being Spiritually ambitious. A big take away I got from the preparation is that someone who is "ambitious" is someone who is driven for deeper reasons.. Someone who has an end goal, who puts that goal before there own desires and doesn't do things for personal gain. There is a lot to it but what I thought about is that we have a goal, we know why we are here, and we know what we have to do in this life in the big picture. Now we need to keep our focus and not get thrown off corse. Still smell the roses every once in a while and enjoy the beauties of life. But show God that you are ambitious and he will bless you and guide you.

Love you all, and have a good week :) 
Äldste Blackburn
Two old friends right here. Åsa, a member from Umeå moved down to a city that is next to Västerås for work.. and Sister Matwaychuk that is serving in that city! They came to Västerås for a baptism that they had this week!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Spectacular week in Västerås!

Elder Barnes and I enjoying our McDonalds milkshakes on a fine Valentines day. You would be surprised how many people were here. haha.
Hejsan käre vänner :)

This week was actually spectacular on many levels. 

First with something a little fun that happened.. There is an investigator (someone interested in the Church and taking lessons) who is a ice hockey player. He follows hockey rather closely and noticed that there was a free professional match that would be happening that week, so he told us on Sunday and he invited us to go with him and his family! We got permission from our mission President as long as we took time out of our P day the next week.  So all 4 Elders (missionaries in this city) went to this Hockey game with this investigator and his family. Then while there, he called the manager of sales for the team and got a deal to get the new 2017 jerseys for more than half off! He just said that there are four American boys that have never been to a hockey game in Sweden and wanted some Jerseys, which was true! So that was pretty epic and I got a sweet jersey of our home town team in Västerås in remembrance. 

Other than that.. nothing else special happened.. No just kidding, haha we went hard this week and had lessons packed with lessons! On one of the days this last week while we were out talking to people on the street, we taught 7 straight lessons and got 5 phone numbers and set up other times we could meet with people. We have seen the hand of the Lord in our work so much this week. We began teaching another man that we are teaching again today as well, and we set a date to work towards baptism with him. 

Something awesome that happened just yesterday... We were sitting in church for the first meeting and then I looked out the window and saw a tall Swedish older man walking up with a black hat and coat come to the door. I got up to see who it was as my comp and I peeled out of the meeting.. and I recognized him! 

His name is Hans and I talked to him on the bus last week. He was one of those guys I felt like I should really talk to. When we first talked to him on the bus we didn't have time to switch info to contact him but we gave him a card with the church address and meeting times on it. So he came! He loved it and is wanting to start coming to church, specifically this church. He showed up in work pants and he kept saying to me.. "Next week I´m coming in nicer pants! haha” He's really cool and we are excited to work with him. 

But I should get going now! Love ya´ll and have a spectacular week! :)
Äldste Blackburn
My man Elder Craun 

The Örebro Catle

Monday, February 13, 2017

So many hidden treasures in this city!

Hej Hej!

Hope everyone had a good week! We had a good week here in Västerås. 

My companion, Elder Barnes
We had some good stuff happen and taught some great people and had some jam packed days of lessons. Two of the people we taught decided they wanted to be baptized next month if they get an answer from God that the message is true. One is a single mom of three children from Africa and the other is a young guy from Afghanistan. We had some awesome spiritual filled lessons this week. 
Elder Craun! Part of the
Västerås crew. He is a newer
missionary and he is a stud.

This city has so many hidden treasures. We got a little snow this week and it has been decently cold! Not necessarily Norrland cold.. But still cold enough for the lakes to freeze solid enough to drive on. The green is starting to pop out more an more and it’s just beautiful! That’s what is awesome about Sweden. You have cities, towns, and villages built in forests. So everywhere you go you can go find some thick brush with beautiful wild life and stunning views. 

I thought I would try
a tree impersonation
with my green jacket.
We had our zone training in Södertälje this last Friday as well. So we got to travel there and be part of the great zone training that Elders Craigan and Lomier taught. 

Other than that it was a great week filled with teaching/finding some cool people. That’s pretty much it for the week that I can think about now but I hope every one has good week and God be with you all! 

Äldste Blackburn

Huge frozen lake with an ice skating track

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Västerås is the new home!

Got here in safely after leaving on Wednesday morning for my flight and landed at the Arlanda airport.  I had to wait for a train to take to me Stockholm Central, and from there switch trains to get to Västerås  The fun thing was is that I had to wait at the Arlanda airport for a little layover. So I found a nice little bench to sit on, just then I saw a good lookin guy wearing a suite with some suitcases. It was Elder Hainsworth from Skellefteå who was about to actually fly home! But first he had to travel to Stockholm with me to go to the mission home where he would spent his last night in Sweden. SO we had fun waiting together. He was telling me all about how he would be going snowboarding this weekend among other things. 

Time came and we went down to where you catch the trains deep in the ground. We had a special train we would take that would only take about 20 minutes of travel, so we were chilling waiting for this train. What we didnt realize is that we were in a little room that was ahead of where the train stops so we never saw the train stop. We saw it coming to our waiting area and we went out to get on but it just kept going haha! Woops.. So the next train we had to take was not for another 20 minutes and was a 45 minute train ride. (More stops so it takes double the time to get to where you are going.)  I missed my next train as well but it was chill because I got to see all the new missionaries when they arrived at Central station. There is another cyclist that just came to the mission. I forgot his name but he is a stud. Some real good new missionaries. 

But anyways! Västerås is good. It's definitely different than Norrland and its pretty much summer here! No snow when I came but now there is a little bit. The sun is out for much longer as well. I can tell I will really like this area. My new companion, Elder Barnes and I have been working very hard and have some good visions of where we want to see the area go this next transfer. We have taught some really good people on the street this week and have gotten quite a few new phone numbers. We had a Swedish man come to church yesterday that we taught and we he wants to be baptized. We will be meeting him again on Wednesday to talk more about that and to set some goals with him. 

Something very different is that we don’t have a car here. It’s all buses baby! So it’s back to the good old talking to people on buses and trains. Something that has been cool these last several days is that I have had a goal to talk to at least one person on every bus ride and try to teach them. From that, almost every one of those people have received a Book of Mormon and we now have their phone numbers. It’s cool to see the Lords hand in things when you show him you not only have the faith but the willingness to act on that faith. 

Love you all and hope you all have a good week :)

Äldste Blackburn

Pretty little snowflake