Monday, February 29, 2016

Baptism and Transfers

Hey Everyone!

You guys. I felt like a real missionary this week. It was the first baptism I have been to that has been someone I have taught. It was so beautiful. A lot of the ward came. Ann Marie, a new member that we LOVE, gave a beautiful talk and there was a gorgeous music number.... then Benjamin Sandelin, a 16 year old, baptized her! It only took 3 tries for her to be completely under the water! Third time is a charm! Haha. But the best part was that she shared her testimony afterwards and talked about how her life has been EXTREMELY difficult but she has always had faith and God has helped her through everything. She talked about the missionaries that found her and how this was the greatest day of her life and she gained a new family. It was seriously SO special! She is going to be an amazing member. We have tons of pictures and I will send them! :)

That was the highlight.

Annars, I will go through the week! Monday we went to Lund and shopped and I got all the tourist things and gifts that I wanted. I thought it was a good time to do it because Sister Poulson was getting all of hers too. Then we went to the Malmstens. They are seriously the cutest couple ever (he is Swedish, she is Finnish) and their house just has this amazing peace about it. Fredrick was an incredible missionary in Russia and he gave us some tips and said he wanted to come contacting with us! It'll be fun. 

The next few days were kind of rough because Sister Poulson got sick, so we stayed in for a while. But Thursday was awesome because we had district meeting in Växjö and had Sister Poulson's good-bye party. The elders put on quite a good-bye party haha. They gave her advice, did role plays of life at home, and sang a Swedish song and we ate some brownies (of course...). She was sick and kind of out of it but you know, it was a valiant effort haha. THEN we got home and it was S____ birthday and we met with her and watched a mormon message.... then tricked her into going to a surprise party with all the young adults. She loved it. :) She fits in so well here and everyone loves her... including us. It's so fun when you make good friends. :) 

Oh my goodness and Friday we had the best time at the Sandelins! The message was the best part. They gave each of the members of the family a chance to teach the missionaries. So everyone does a decent job... But then Noah came haha. Noah is 10 years old and one of the funniest, most dramatic kids I have ever met. Super smart too. 

Noah: "How are you?"
Elder Nielsen: *Pretending to be sad* "Not so good... My uncle just died..."
Noah: *Immediately proclaims* "BE NOT SAD. I know where your uncle is! He's in heaven with Jesus. Before this life we lived with God. Then we came to earth to live with our families, like your uncle. Then we die and we go back to Jesus and live with our families again. Come to church and you can learn more!" 

Like, he's 10! We couldn't help but stand up and applaud. It was so beautiful.

And then N____s baptism on Saturday and also transfer calls! I am getting Sister Cambell. She's super cute and just got done being trained in Täby. It'll be really fun. :) I'm very excited and have a lot of goals for this next and BEST transfer! Although this past one has been one of my favorites. Oh! And I also got to see Alison! ONE OF MY FAVORITE HUMANS EVER. She is going to Singapore really soon for her mission! I LOVE HER.

Sunday, S____ came for all three hours and then to dinner afterwards. She cancelled a meeting that she had so that she could stay for the rest of church. It made us so happy :) She is doing wonderful. Also, Sister Poulson talked and it was super sweet. Oh, I love missions.

I have been thinking about my mission and how I wanted a stronger testimony that the gospel makes me happy. Still. :) I definitely have been getting answers to my prayers. At the baptism I just felt so much joy. I love God, to put it simply! Haha. 

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” -Gandhi 

Lining up your desires, thoughts, words, and actions with God's will is true happiness. Not pleasure. But happiness. 

An amazing example of this in church history:

The mob next seized Bishop Edward Partridge and Charles Allen. They were taken to the public square in Independence and commanded to renounce the Book of Mormon and leave the county. Bishop Partridge said, “I told them that the Saints had suffered persecution in all ages of the world; that I had done nothing which ought to offend anyone; that if they abused me, they would abuse an innocent person; that I was willing to suffer for the sake of Christ; but, to leave the country, I was not then willing to consent to it.”
With this refusal, the men were stripped of their outer clothing and their bodies were covered with tar and feathers. Bishop Partridge observed, “I bore my abuse with so much resignation and meekness, that it appeared to astound the multitude, who permitted me to retire in silence, many looking very solemn, their sympathies having been touched as I thought; and as to myself, I was so filled with the Spirit and love of God, that I had no hatred towards my persecutors or anyone else.”
This is something that I am slowly learning throughout my mission. Happiness comes when we stop resisting and start accepting and even embracing. I love the gospel! 


Syster Stetler 

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