Monday, November 25, 2013

THIS week was the best week...

I know that I say this a lot but THIS week was the best week of my Mission/Life. So much happened and I feel so blessed. It is truly amazing to feel the help of the Lord in everything I do. 

It all started out with the coolest P day ever! We went up to this castle. It was so much fun. Since Elder Tietjen is leaving we took some family picture and honestly they turned out so cool. I will be sending some pictures so look for those! We went to the castle and the sad part is that it was closed. But because of bus times we had no choice but to find something to do for about 5 hours. It was freezing but we had a blast. We took a trip around the outside of the castle and seriously we saw the best view ever! It was a huge lake, and there were big rocks on the shore so when the water would hit them it sounded like the ocean! So I went and found a flat rock and closed my eyes and pretended I was in California. It was a little hard because it was about 5 degrees, but it was still amazing. Then we got so cold we walked to the lodge and just played cards and talked for hours. It was so much fun! I really loved it. So there you go! My week was already amazing and that was only P day!! 

So this week with investigators has been amazing. We have these two new investigators that are starting to get interested. They are the nicest people ever. The mother of one is an active member so we went over for dinner and we introduced the Book of Mormon and it just went so good! They were so nice, the lesson was in Swedish but when they drove us to the bus stop they switched and knew perfect English so I was really able to get to know him. He is probably the nicest guy ever. Quick story about him. He got his driver’s license and not 6 hours later he was hit by a car and it messed up the whole left side of his body. But he has such an incredible attitude about it. He was just happy to be alive and that it didn't affect his whole body! How amazing? He was a super example to me. I really learned so much and I am supposed to be teaching him! So that was just an amazing day.

Onto Wednesday and it was super sweet!  We went to the local high school here and just talked about the United States. They like missionaries from the States to come, so the students can hear what American English sounds like. So we just went and talked and it was the best! We talked to so many people about the gospel. Sometime there were some girls that you could tell were trying to take pictures so I just told them if anyone wanted a picture we could take some after, and it was funny there were quite a few girls that asked for them. I was definitely okay with it. I really felt like the hot shot, probably not the best thing for my ego but hey whatever I loved it. So we did that most of the day and really actually got some promising referrals from it. We are going back on Thursday of this week and the next week so it really is something I am very excited about. Oh and we had a youth of our branch text us in the middle of the day and he said something like "I open up my Instagram and you guys are on my news feed! What are you guys doing?" So we called him and some of the girls put the pictures with us on there so check it out! SO that was my high school adventure. 

That night was the start of the best thing that happened this week though! We got a call from the Branch President’s wife and she told us that she had a friend that she wanted us to meet with. We were very willing to meet because we have been pushing Member Missionary work and how it really is the most effective way to find people. So we set up the time for the next morning and we met and it was amazing. We talked about the Book of Mormon and she just said that she has been searching and searching for God and she never found a religion that she wanted so she just stopped looking and focused on what kind of person she was. So we were talking and she was really just taking in everything we were saying and I really felt prompted to asked her to be baptized. I didn't want to at first because it was the first lesson and stuff. The Spirit again then told me to ask her so I did. She told us that she was going out to Germany to visit her brother on the 11th of December.  I figured that was her way of saying no. Then she said "So I would like to do it before then!" I was like whhhhaat?!  It was amazing. The Spirit is amazing. I really don't think that she went into that lesson wanting baptism but I know that the Spirit told her that this is true! The Spirit is so important! I cannot do anything without it! So she is going to be baptized on the 7th! We met again on Saturday and she came to church on Sunday! She is so great! I really have gained a testimony that the Lord is preparing the hearts of the people out here. All I have to do is be worthy of them and work hard to find them and the Spirit is really the one who teach them. It is amazing! I just thank my Heavenly Father every single day that He has allowed me to be a tool in His hand. It’s such a blessing. 

On Thursday we had Zone Training and it was so good. We had all the southern zone come to it. So I was able to see a ton of the people from my MTC group and it was a lot of fun. They have all changed so much! All for the better. I really like catching up with them. Natalie was right when she told me that they would become like my friends from home. It was really good to see them, I had an interview with the mission president and that went really good. I was able to tell him about the amazing week we had had. I really just was so happy.

Then I had a ROADTRIP because of the doctor appointment we had the next morning in Stockholm for my companions shoulder. We drove the 5 hour trip from Göteborg to Stockholm. It was super sweet! I loved it. I really got to know the assistants to the President and they are really cool. Yeah and then we had an awesome time at church and I really loved it all. I have been starting to teach myself the piano as well. So I can play a few hymns. With my right hand and I am in process of doing the left hand. I also have God be with you til' we meet again. I figured I could learn that then come home and play it at Jacob's farewell and make everyone cry.

Okay now for some shout outs: Thank you so much to Natalie for the awesome quotes.  I am also so glad to hear that Patrick was not affected by all the craziness and tell him and his family that they are in my prayers always! Thanks so much for all the people that are praying for me. I really feel Christ in everyday of my mission. I am so grateful to be out here and so glad that I can serve the people of Sweden. I have learned in the last week that with the Lord nothing is impossible. We can do all things. I am so grateful for Him in my life. We are never alone and we never will be. I know that with all my heart. When we call upon the Lord in times of need the blessing and help He gives are real. I have seen them and I have a strong testimony that you can all see them too. He is real and He is ready to change all the lives that He can. 

I love you and hope the best for all of you!

Äldste Farnworth 

Just more of my family. We are a unique group, But I love them! 

Me, Elder Tietjen and Sister Wilhite. This picture needs no caption. 

This is the windmill that we saw we actually went inside. It was very very cool!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

I Have Faith That...

This week has been a long week. Not in a bad way but just long, not sure why. I saw the blog and it looks so cool. Thank you so much for all you are doing for that. I can't wait to have that to look back on. I saw all the picture of the day that I went into the MTC, I haven't seen those yet. They are so sad, but also so cool to see. I have grown so much from that little boy. I guess I can see why people called me "buddy" or "kiddo" I really was just a child. Oh what the heck I still am a child, I just have a badge that says otherwise now.
Sweden just gets prettier and prettier, it is finally starting to get what I call "Stupid Cold" like where it is like 1 or 2 degrees above freezing and I just am like Pick one! It just rains almost every day. The best way to describe it is like being under a mister. That is what the rain is, some times it is like rain drops but some times it's like you are walking through crazy thick fog. I don't know you just have to experience it. I have started to pull out the thermals. Okay I actually did a long time ago but I am out in the open with it. My companion finally did to and he told me he was wishing he did sooner. It just is so awesome. I wear scarfs everyday. It's like amazing, I will describe it like having a baby fuzzy bear wrapped around my neck giving me a hug all day. Just wonderful. 

So last week for P day we went to Göteborg and did laser tag. It was so much fun. It's like a big thing here. They have this huge place that has like 2 floors and tons of different rooms, I don't know maybe they have those in the States and I haven't been there but it was so much. I will be honest and I am sure this comes as no surprise but I did terrible. I had a great time though so that is all that matters. Then we had the best thing in the world I don't know if I have talked about this before but I will tell you again. It's called Kebab Pizza, It's a normal cheese pizza with this mystery meat that I am not sure what it is. I have been told it is like the leftover meat from when they are slaughtering a pig but I don't know it just taste good so I don't care. Then they put fries and this dressing that just makes for a great pizza. Speaking of food, I love the food here. I may be gaining weight. Not sure where it is going because I still look like a stick but hey the scale doesn't lie. In the past week I did a cleanse. I drank only cucumber water for a whole week. Don't worry I eat food to just stayed really healthy. But it was really good, they have this stuff called Soft, here and it is just like a concentrate of juice and you add it to water and some people put so much Soft in the water, like its supposed to be like 10% Soft sometimes I drink some and think that there is only 10% water. Crazy.  That is something I am working changing the phrase "I hope that..." To I have faith that..." Just a better mind set I think. Anyways thanks for doing that and I am so excited to get my Christmas package so early. I promise I won't open anything til Christmas Eve. That is another really weird thing, Christmas isn't even the big holiday here. The big day is Christmas Eve, that is when the Santa troll comes and give the presents. I was worried we wouldn't have plans for that day but don't worry we have been invited to spend it with this Lady from Chile! Yes, I told her about Zach and we are trying to find out where he is and where her family lives there, How cool would that be if they could be in Zac's area? So cool. She is amazing, just the nicest lady ever.  Speaking of members... I have a stalker. His name is Daniel. (You can put this all in the blog I have talked with him. :) I think I have talked a little about him before but he really is big into picture editing. He is really good. He sent me some of his work. I'll send those along so you can see. He is super creepy. But I think it is so funny. He is our Branch Mission Leader so we meet with him a lot and I can always tell when he has read my blog because he will like quote something I said. It was funny, he thinks that my cucumber idea was just to funny so when we had dinner with him this week, he made me make the "special water" He is a dork, but I like him. 
So we had the Elder stay with us this week and that is always just a way funny time. They cam in late so we just talked and went to bed. The next morning I followed the advice of Zach and I made everyone breakfast. It was pretty impressive if I do say so. I made buttermilk Pancakes, Bacon and homemade Buttermilk Syrup. It was so good. I really loved doing it too. I decided whenever we have some missionaries stay the night in Skövde, I will make sure they have a good breakfast the next morning. I was just a fun time!

We have met with a few really promising investigator I have faith that we will have a few baptismal dates within this next week! I am really excited. We watched a ton of the How to Effectively Plan" video this week as a part of my 12 week training and I wanted to really apply it to own companionship and so we did and holy cow. It is amazing how dramatic the change has been when we just spent a little more time with a few different parts. So cool, We are really figuring out how to get the most done with our time. It's amazing the miracles that I have already seen since I have been here. I truly feel SO blessed. My testimony has grown so much and I have learned to put so much trust in the Lord because he WILL deliver us from ANYTHING. Something that I have thought a lot about is that is doesn't matter if we are imperfect or not everything we want us to be, as long as we are in the Hand's of the Lord everything will be okay. The Lord can only make things stronger if they are broken. This is so powerful to me. I really helps me to KNOW that it doesn't matter that I can't do it all or handle every situation perfectly as long as I try my hardest and am humble enough to allow the Lord to bless me... I am going to make it though the tough time and become STRONGER. Okay there is my little spiritual thought. 

So today for P day we went to this amazing castle. We took a little family trip, as a district. I left my camera in one of the sister’s bag so I will wait to tell about it til I have the pictures. We took a ton of Family Pictures and I will be the first to say that we are a dang good looking family. It was just an amazing day. I am happy. I am grateful to be here! I love you all and am praying from each one of you daily! Sorry I don't have to much to say today, this week is a blur. Crazy. I don't know how the week just all mesh together but I look back on weeks and can't even remember anything. I will probably read my blog when this is over and be just as surprised as you guys! I can't wait. Love you all. I hope you have great week. Thanks again for everything.

Äldste Farnworth

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Another Great Week!

This week was another great week. It's was a bummer because we got canceled on by quite a few people but I turned out wonderful! All about the attitude, but it was really was such a good week! We taught a few new people and got 2 more investigators and they all are so positive! I love it! Halloween was this week. It was so weird not being at home for the holiday but it was just Halloween so it's not like crazy weird or anything. It is a newer holiday here so we saw some people dressed up but not a ton. People just generally look strange here most days so some just throw on some eyeliner and call it a costume. You pretty much have two extremes here. You have the people that are awesome and dress really nice and have all the great things from H&M, and then you have the really scary people. Like I love everyone of course, just sometimes I am scared for my life. JK

So this past week we had a District Meeting and for us it takes two hours to get there by bus so we normally have to leave early. But this week we stayed the night before so we didn't have to get up super early. It was so much fun. The elders that we stayed with were way cool.

SIDE NOTE: Because of THE STORM OF THE CENTURY (I'll talk about that later), all the trains our of  Göteberg were setting cancelled. Like 5 minutes before they were going to leave they would just shut down and then speakers would talk in mumbling Swedish so I was hopeless in understanding that, so I would just assume that they were cancelled. Anyways, this is the magical part. The LAST train that was permitted to leave the station was a train to... Skövde! So the Trollhätten elders were just trying to get out so they took our train. So on this train ride we were bored so I decided to tell a story, and it ended being this huge 2-hour story! It scared everyone from our district so they all really liked it.

Anyways, back to staying the night. So we were there and they asked me to tell the 2nd half to the story and it took forever! It was like 3 hours. We were up so late. It wasn't good when we had to wake up the next morning at 6:30... but it was so worth it. Another fun thing about that night, is that I had to sleep on the pull-out couch and honestly I think I might have contracted some disease. I pulled it out and was just disgusted. But I slept on it. So look at me … I am growing. Not sure whether that is a good or bad thing. 

So anyway this storm. It's like all over the new papers and all over the train station and they closed down all the trains and everyone is freaking out and then BAM! Nothing happens! It rained, and was windy. I guess it was bad down south, but it was nothing up here. But we had a great night in. So that was super funny. 

So this week we had a few really great lesson and have some promising investigators! I am really excited! The biggest thing that happened was that we talked to this man we have been meeting with for the last little bit about coming back to church and he is just amazing. Such a humble man! Really I think I am getting more out of these lessons than he is! Let’s hope that is not true! He finally came to church the next day! I was so happy I could have cried! It was the greatest thing to see all the branch members talking with him. After it was all over he came over to us and just thanked us. He was so happy to be there. He told us that we had completed our purpose. At that point I was holding back tears. I just felt so lucky that God choose to make this all happen trough me. I was seeing the outcome of all my hard work! SO great!!

Well that is about it. Thanks so much for all you are doing on that end! I will be praying that you feel better! You are an amazing mother! Don't worry about me with this weather, It's nothing! I can see the sun for the first time in like 1½ weeks so it is going to be a great day! I am also getting a Swedish haircut! To ask someone if they can cut your hair, you are saying direct translation: "Will you cut me?" So that is sketchy... Oh well hope I don't die! I love you all! I have some picture so look for those!

Love you so much!

Äldste Farnworth

Chinese food in Sweden. Go figure...

So this is what is looks like from my window...

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Go Forward with Faith

This week has been AWESOME. So the biggest thing that has happened is something that alone makes this week the winner. So when I first got to Sweden we talked with our Mission President and he talked about the Standards of what we should be doing as missionaries. They are called the Standards of Excellence.

For example: Have 3 referral received and contacted, have 3 less-actives in Church, and have 2 new investigators each week. But the biggest one is have 20 lessons a week. When I arrived in Skövde, Elder Olson told me that we may struggle getting 20 lessons because this area was slow and it really just couldn't be done. So we went on the first week and got 6 lessons – super bummer. Next week we did better and we got 12, Next we got 14, and then I really decided that we were going to get 20 lessons. So we booked every second of our day! We seriously work so hard and I can proudly say that this week we got 20 LESSONS! It's was so awesome to see how excited Elder Olson got and I was so happy too! He told me that this is I think the 2nd or 3rd time this has happened on his mission! We plan on it to keep happening! So great! I love this! I can't take ANY credit though! I really know that is was tender mercy from the Lord. It’s amazing what can happen when we have faith in the Lord and Go Forward with Faith! I love it! We also since I have been here have taken the amount of investigators from 2 to 5! That may not seem like a ton but that is a BIG deal. I love this work!

Some fun things that happened! We had our first apartment inspection. We cleaned it so good! I loved it of course. It is so clean. I don't mean to brag but it is probably the cleanest it has been in years. I had to really clean the bathroom but don't worry all is good now.

Another thing that is fun is how early it gets dark here. Right now it is 5:00 pm and it is just completely black outside. It's so crazy. They say that it just gets better and better! We had dinner with the Branch President last night and you will never guess what. He went to Alta High School as a foreign exchange student. It was funny, I just tell everyone here that I am from Salt Lake because I hate to explain where Draper is. So he asked me what I like about Salt Lake and then I told him I was from Draper and he gets all excited and tells me HE lived in Draper too! I guess his sister lives there now! So that is way weird! Pretty much anyone under the age of 40 speaks fluent English. But that doesn't mean they speak it to me. It's super good though cause they help me a ton to learn. They have 3 children all under the age of 7 and seriously the cutest kids ever. They are Swedish so they dress all fancy for church I just love it. I really hope they don't read my blog cause that would just be awkward. Oh well. They are teaching their kids English and when they asked their youngest to speak English she got all shy and wouldn't do it! Oh well. When I speak Swedish to the kids it's the worst. Cause they just laugh at me. We spoke about missionaries to the Primary and they just laughed and laughed. It's so terrible because like even the 3 year old kids knows more Swedish than me. It's super depressing. Haha. 

So it was weird this week because it has been really warm. It's not good though because I bought a ton of scarfs and I can't wear them! H&M is like my favorite store here. It is so much better than the American one. I really hope they figure it out before I get home J. When I asked this member why it was so warm his answer really made me ask: Where the heck am I?" He said it was because of the African Heat!! Like what?? That was a weird moment for sure! So we had this dinner and the person who was sitting next to me started to cough and it sounded like he was gonna throw up. I started to remember when we were in the subway car and that guy threw up. I was freaking out. I thought: If this guy throws up I swear I am going to lose it. It was not Christ-like of me cause I'll be honest I wasn't worried about this guy at all I was just freaking out about getting thrown up on. I repented, don't worry. Throw up is my weakness. It is just gross. It's not like Utah here for sure. On Friday and Saturday night it is PARTY night. In Sweden if you buy alcohol it is put in a purple or blue bag and on those night you see everyone carrying them home. Then at like 10:00 when I am trying to sleep you just hear the music. It is so loud and the houses here are really open like you can always see in to them so we can just look out our window and see these crazy parties. In other words...we have some work to do. 

So with all that talk about parties. I got inviting to my first SWEDISH PARTY! Don't worry it was a children Halloween Party. It is this totally awesome family we have dinner and do service with once a week. It's way fun because we make the dinner with her so it reminds me of home and helping you with dinner! The party was so much fun! We got to talk to tons of non-members. Once we tell people we are from the states they just go crazy. They just throw tons of questions at us. I started to speak Swedish and this one guy was like: “Okay don't hurt yourself, we can all speak English.” So we played this card game where it just has funny questions and everyone has to answer them. It was funny one question was: Who is your favorite person that is dead? Almost everyone answer was a US President. What was mine? Walt Disney. I felt like such a dork. Oh well, I am just a typical American. It was so much fun. I seriously loved it. We dressed up as Missionaries and it really got a the conversation going. You know those who would talk to us. It's funny there are some Swedes who wouldn’t even make eye contact with us. But towards the end when they all saw that we were just normal people and they all were very nice. I think it was good for them to see that! 

Hey special thanks to Natalie for the music. We love it! For Christmas, I just have a few things that I need. I want to take picture of them and send them next week, I just want the American brands like my hair gel and tooth paste. They don't have those here. Maybe just some money for Christmas. They have this bakery that we pass on the way home that makes so good chocolate croissants. Like it is a joke how good they are. Just writing about them. I want one now. 

Well I love you all very very much! Thank you for all that you are doing to allow me to be here. This is such a blessing and I could go on for hours about how much I feel I have changed from it. I love you so much and am so thankful for all of your prayers! I am praying for all of you! Remember that when the times are tough. I know God answers prayers. This week has been proof of that! What a blessing this is! I hope all is great this week! We can all do hard things! With the Lord nothing is impossible! Right now I am reading in Helaman! It is truly amazing what the Lord allows his prophets to do and I know that just as much as he was influencing them then, he is influencing our leaders today. I have such a testimony and love of The Book of Mormon and have come to know that Joseph Smith was so right when he said we can come closer to God when we read it. I know God blesses and is an active part of our lives. There is no way I would be able to learn Swedish without him! He puts people in our paths for a reason! I really believe that! When we are looking for the good, we WILL find it. When I have hard days it is so easy for me to just be so mad at the world, but when I stop and look for all the great things that happened to me that day, it's impossible to be upset. Look for the good. It's always going to be there, because the Lord is always there. I love you all so much. 

Äldste Farnworth

So this may not seem like a big deal but these are the proof
 that I am making a difference here! They are the progress
papers of the 2 new investigators we have!! I love it.
Can you see my name? :)