This week we talked to a lot of people, a whole lot of people. My Swedish certainly improved by 10 fold. We did not have very many people here actively investigating our church so we had to go very hard on contacting people on the street in hopes of finding some people interested in our church. Our labors paid off my Sunday when we met with Majid, a persian man (YES!) we contacted on the street earlier that week. It was one of the most fantastic lessons I’ve been a part of. Why? Well, I’ll tell you why. So, we were meeting him on the benches just outside of the church with our friend Pouyeh, a wonderful recent convert who was going to be translating for us.
As the lesson began, everything just fell into place magically. He expressed how he was forced to follow Islam when he lived in Iran but had always felt like it was not the truth. He somehow just always knew that God was not angry and punishing us but a loving heavenly father. We asked him what he thought God and his plan for us really was and he told us exactly the beliefs of the church on God, repentance, life, etc. etc. all of which just came from his feelings. As we taught the message of the restoration, he asked all of the seemingly perfect questions that lead from one topic to another, and agreed with everything we said. Right when we were bearing our testimonies on the message, and the spirit felt like it could not get any stronger, a miracle happened. A young, well dressed, clean shaven man walked up to us and introduced himself. His name was Joseph and he had been inactive for many years. He had done the hardest of drugs and said he had written himself out of the church. He told us that that very morning he had received revelation that the church was true and was going to meet with the Bishop. He then testified to Majid that God loved him, that the Book of Mormon is true, that this church will give him eternal salvation. Joseph literally looked like he was glowing. I have never seen anyone so purely happy. It was amazing. Majid could not help smiling himself and by the end of the lesson, he committed to be baptized the 1st of August and wants to meet with us as often as possible and wanted us to teach many of his friends the gospel.
Going from hardly any people to teach at the beginning of the week, to a pandora’s box exploding at the end of the week was proof that God does loves every one of us. It was no coincidence that we met Majid on the street. It was no coincidence that we met him outside of the church on Sunday evening right when Joseph came, like an angel on fire, to spread his happiness. Heavenly Father does not make coincidences. We need to be always prepared for those who are put in our path, for every single one of them has a purpose. Every single soul on this earth is worth more than all the riches and resources of this earth 1000 fold. The gospel is really for everyone, no matter how rich, how poor, how old, how young, how kind or how mean you are. It’s for you.
This week I also had the blessing to help with the temple 30th anniversary. We had a presentation of the why we have temples, followed by Meet the Mormons and then a concert. A large percentage of the members of the three wards that meet in our building have either attended or are currently attending arguably the best musical school in Sweden so the concerts where actually super high level talent. I would pay to see them again. Swedes just are very gifted musically. Back home, singing the hymns at church kind of sounds like a funeral march at times (sorry) but the wards here sing like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with soul. I’ve honestly never heard such beautiful versions of the hymns. (plus some contemporary music because it is a Swedish ward after all where that happens) Next general conference, they should have the Stockholm South Stake sing.
It is weird, I am meeting so many people here that are exactly like people I know. There is a lady named, Solveig who is exactly like Auntie Julie. (Erik’s great aunt) She kind of looks like her, (though to be perfectly honest every Scandinavian older woman looks like Auntie Julie…they all age the same) and she has her same humor and mannerisms. …Then, there is a temple missionary from Utah named Sister Oates that is just like Auntie Sue- (Erik’s other great aunt) same haircut and voice, same funny personality and lingo. Then, there is our mission leader, Lars who is like an older Bob Farris (Erik’s past bishop) with his excitement and lingo and slight boyish recklessness and one track mindedness…. and then their is sister Krylborn. (well there are a billion Kryborns in the the ward. It is one of the original Swedish Mormon families I guess…) who is a chill and cool as Angie Holwege (family friend )and dresses like her too and then there is another Kyborn family that are kind of like the Forkeys.(friends) There’s a young single adult named, Miriam who is heads up is pretty much Dahrl (family friend) in every way. She is super crazy and hilarious, a bit of a worrier and open and hilarious.
What else to report on….. the Somalians killed me again at soccer. It was as hot as a mammoth this week, (sure glad I did not serve in Arizona) and Elder Burton is one awesome bro.