Monday, December 16, 2013

We Had A Baptism!

This week was amazing. How could it not be? WE HAD A BAPTISM! The baptism was probably the coolest thing that has ever happened to me. The Spirit was SO strong the entire time. The day was really stressful of course, we had to make two desserts and set it all up, but the second that the meeting started all I could feel was peace and happiness. It was so amazing. We had the member that introduced us to her give a small talk about the importance of baptism and she was just so awesome. Her testimony was so strong and she really was very emotional and happy about what was happening. After she spoke her daughter (who is like 9) sang I Am a Child of God, and she sang with the sister missionaries in our District. They are so awesome, the girl didn't want to sing alone so I volunteered Sister Vaarola and Wilhite to sing and they were totally fine with it. They sang it in Swedish and then when they were finished they switched to English, and sang it again. I was not expecting it. I didn't know that this little girl knew English too! The Spirit was so strong. Pretty much just the greatest day of my life. Then we had the actual baptism and that was just amazing! She is from Iran so her last name is a little crazy so I was super nervous that I would say it wrong. But I prayed and it all went smoothly! It was unreal. Words can't really describe the feeling that I had. Just like 100% pure joy and bliss. That still doesn't do it justice. It's a happiness that I have never felt before. Like a whole new kind. So amazing. I was so blessed to be a part of that process. 

The rest of the week was really great too! We had transfers calls come and both Elder Olson and I are staying in Skövde for Christmas. They only moved the missionaries that they had to in order to support the new missionaries coming in. So the transfer was small. However, there is going to be a bigger transfer right after Christmas on the 30th. So I don't think we will remain unaffected by that one. Elder Olson has been in Skövde for like 5 months so we are pretty sure that he will be going then. It's pretty unlikely that we will both stay.

Christmas in Swedish is Jul so to say Christmas in Skövde you say "Jul i Skövde" I am so excited. I can't believe that I will be talking in 9 days! Crazy! I feel like it was just Thanksgiving. But that is how it goes. The time is just flying. This Thursday is going to be my 4 MONTH mark. Four months... I can't even start to think about that. I feel like I am been here for like a month... maybe.. Not 4 months. I really love it so much. It's funny before I came I felt like two years was going to be forever. I can say that now. But honestly I feel like now, two years is nothing. I really just feel like I have to work so hard to get done what I want to! It is a good motivation to work my hardest. 

So I have been teaching myself the piano. I can play almost every hymn with my right hand. I just starting to add the left so that is really hard. It is not even cold here. All the snow came but it is all melted! I don't even know if I will get a white Christmas this year! It sounds like the weather in Utah is worst than here in Sweden. I have the better deal and everyone told me that it would be so much worse. Little ironic, huh?  Well I love it. My jacket keeps me warm and I am happy. They say that it will be worse, when January comes. So I am sure it will switch very quickly. Today for p-day we are going to Göteborg and I am so excited because there is this big amusement park and we aren't allowed to go because of the rides, but at Christmas time they close all the rides and put up tons of lights. Sorta like the Swedish version of Temple Square maybe? I am just really excited to go. 

There is a Swedish dessert that I will tell you about that will make you all wish that you were here. It's called Kladdkaka. It's almost the same thing as a brownie but the thing that makes it so heavenly is that they don't cook it all the way. They cook it maybe like 55% so that the top is all crusty but the bottom is super runny. Oh my gosh, it is so good. In this last week, I have had four. That is so much. One day, Wednesday I think, we went to a member's house lunch and they had it and then that night we went to another member's house for dinner and they also had it. Plus we had it at the baptism and then another night we just made one. SO needless to say it is my favorite Swedish food, but don't worry I haven't gain a single pound. Loving life.. 

Well another great thing that happened this week, was I got the greatest package in the entire world from my lovely mother. Thank you so much. I am to lucky of a kid to have you! You really got me by surprise with the TOMS. They are the greatest things ever. My pride and joy. I was scared that they weren't going to fit at first but I tried them on and they fit perfectly! You are an amazing mother! Truly remarkable! Thank you so much for all you do everyday to support me on my crazy adventure. I love it here so much. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I love all the people and at times I feel like I am learning more than I am teaching. Hopefully that isn't true but I love really working so closely with the Lord. I have learned to have a plan and to work toward my goals, but to also allow the Lord to insert or change things to allow His will to be done. I love this church, I love the Lord and everything He is doing. I love all of you. Have a great week. Can't wait to talk in 9 days. 

Äldste Farnworth

Monday, December 9, 2013

Getting Colder...

Note: We have been a week behind on this blog for some time. Kaleb forgot to email the blog letter to us last week so he sent it today. So we put it on the new post from yesterday. Plus he sent a letter for this week and so we are catching up and posting twice this week. Hope that makes sense.

Well this week has been great. I'll just start out with saying that the baptism didn't happen. But don't freak out because everything is okay and it is going to be happening this week! Pouyeh had to go to Stockholm for one thing and another other so we just had to push it back for that. Nothing big, I just have to wait. Don't worry though -  I was wanting to work on patience anyways! This is a great way to do that. 

Well I was looking at the attempted Christmas card and first of the tree looks really nice, Good job. Max seriously is huge, like he looks like a bear. Speaking of bears... What is on Jordan face? He looks like a mountain man. You all look so good though! Merry Christmas! We are planning for a white Christmas here for sure. We have had about 3-4 feet of snow in the last 3 days! It just snow and never stops. I got my jacket right in time. I love it so much. It is just the perfect jacket. 

The day of the first storm (Friday) was the day that we had so much travel. We had to go to Borås and that is like a 2 hour trip in GOOD weather. In this weather it took forever and we had to take a bus and it was a mess. I thought Sweden would maybe be a little more prepared for the snow but seriously they were canceling all the trains as if they have never seen this before. It was funny but they have figured it all out and now the train and roads are all back in function. 

We have this member named Rolf, who lives like 15 miles from the church, He usually drives but his car broke down so he has been riding his bike lately. He is amazing. I don't think I could do that. Plus he is like super old. Anyways, this Sunday he was pretty late for church and the members started getting worried that he got affected by the storm and fell or something. So I went out with Daniel to go and look for him. We looked forever and didn't find him and so we went back and everyone was pretty nervous about it all. And then like 2 hours later in comes Rolf with just a huge smile on his face. He was just so happy he had made it! He is amazing. He biked for 2 hours in a crazy snow storm then walked his bike the rest of the way for probably another hour just to get to church. How amazing is that? Seriously such an example to me. 

This Saturday night we were in the church doing some family history and we have something amazing happen. In walked a man looking for a place to pray! He had come to the right place! We talked for just a little bit and explained what the Book of Mormon was and who we are as Latter-Day Saints. Then we invited him to church! He said he would come and the next day at church he was there! He can't speak any Swedish so we had a member translate for him! I loved it, such a cool moment. We had 4 investigators in church yesterday! How amazing is that? I see the Lord so clearly in the work here is it an amazing thing. I love my mission and I am have only been out like 3½ months. I know that I have the Lord to thank for all that is happening. I am working hard but there is no way that I could do this alone. He is real, and He is helping me. I love it. I love Sweden. I love you guys!

Äldste Farnworth
Just some girls from the high school In Falköping. 
They were all so nice!

Swedish Vikings

Sunday, December 8, 2013

My First Baptism!

This week is just a blessing all together. We finished teaching Pouyeh all the lesson and she is so ready for her baptism on Saturday! She is so excited but I don't know who is more excited, me or her. Just kidding of course it's me.. haha But seriously it amazing when we talk about it it's so spiritual, I am always nervous to bring it up because I don't want her to say that it is too soon and she isn't wanting it any more, which is terrible faith. But when I asked her how she was feeling she gave the most beautiful answer about how she was so excited to be pure and most of all she was just excited to make those promises with God to follow and always remember him. Her emotions are so strong and I get to feel them through her. I am able to see how I felt when I was baptized. I can't believe I am lucky enough to be a role in this. I have been feeling the spirit so strong lately. I have felt it my whole mission but in this last week we have had a few slow days, a few investigators have canceled and we are just struggling with those kind of things. However, I know that the Lord is still very much with me and it helping me with everything that he knows I need.

Well it is safe to say that Thanksgiving in Sweden is nothing special. I didn't even get turkey but I am in Sweden so it is still pretty cool! We went to the high school that morning and spent most of the day there. One of the teachers there was born in USA in Washington so we were able to talk about how we miss Thanksgiving but it was just fun to talk to another American that isn't a missionary! It is super fun! I love her, so much energy, I'll be honest at the moment I missed all of you loud outspoken Americans. Swedes just keep to themselves and are very quiet.. I like that too though! 

So funny story: In the middle of the class we were teaching we get the call that no one wants to get... It was President Newell. I would compare the feeling to getting a call from you Mom and you just like mentally go through everything that she might be calling to get mad at you for. So my first thought was transfer. But lucky enough it was just a call tell us that he would be passing through Skövde that night and would love to interview and talk with us! So my nerves were calmed. The interview went so well, it was like talking to my Dad! I really loved it and I am so grateful that I have him as my mission president. 

Well the weather is officially no longer jumping up and down... it is just COLD. It reminds me a lot of the walk-in freezer at Brick Oven, when I would go in there I always had the quick thought of "What would happen if I got locked in here?" In Sweden, my question was answered. Here I feel like I am locked in a big walk-in freezer and on the plus side I can't understand what everyone is saying to me. Okay, maybe I am being a little dramatic and such but still just understand that it is so cold. It snowed once but then it all melted and so I can't wait for it to snow again. I was talking with this girl on the bus this morning and she made a good point. She said she wants snow and I asked why in the world she would want that, she answered that if it's going to be cold, it might as well be cool looking with snow. It was a good point. Today I will be making the big coat purchase and I have to be honest I am really excited Swedish coats are the real deal and they are WARM. Plus I will look more Swedish so win-win! 

Well this one is a little shorter this week. Sorry I don't have to much time. But I just wanted to leave a short message of what I learned this week. I have seen my prayers answered with Pouyeh's bapitsm. I really can say that I know that God is real and that he is listening to us every time we come to him. No matter how big or small our needs are God listen to them all the same. He loves us and wants to hear from us. I compare it to me and how badly I want to talk with my family while I am out here, I miss them so much and look forward to emailing them every Monday and I am sure that God looks forward to hearing from us so much more than we can even understand. He wants nothing more than to hear our prayers and to help us come closer to Him. We may not always see that with everything else in our lives, but I have a strong testimony that whether it is what we want or what we need, God knows and he is there.

I love you so much. Thank you so much for the chance I have to be out here. It is THE biggest blessing in my life. I have never felt the spirit so strong and I have never been able to see people the way the Lord see them and out here I think he has blessed me with that blessing of seeing them partly how he see us. It is amazing and everyone has so much potential. Love everyone and be nice. I love you and am praying from you all daily. You have someone in Sweden rooting for you, always remember that. 

Äldste Farnworth

This is just funny. I ordered more name tags through the office and when they came they said "Farnsworth" I called and gave them such a hard time for it. So when we ordered train tickets to Stockholm this is how they spelled my name! "Kaleb Farn No-S Worth"
Me in my new Helly Hansen. That I have had for like 2 hours and I love it. 
Everything I will need to make it through the winter! 
We don't get sunset much in Sweden (mainly because there is no sun)
But when we do it is beautiful. This is at the train station!

The best Swedish class we have had! The students were so nice! I really love doing these! 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

This Is The Lord's Work

Well this week again was amazing. The Lord is just blessing us so much here in Skövde. The work is picking up and I know I sound like a broken record but it is so amazing! It is starting to get COLD. We woke up on Wednesday to SNOW. It wasn't so bad though, just like -5 degrees and lightly snowing. It was cold and it snowed all day. I decided that I will be getting my coat. Next p-day we are having a big shopping day with a bunch of missionaries so I think I will get it then. So that means I just have to make it through this week! 

This last p-day was tons of fun. We went down to Göteborg and hung out with a couple of Young Single Adults from the ward there, as well as other missionaries. We went bowling and that was a ton of fun. I did terrible as usual but hey, I had a good time. Then we went to a candy store like a huge store. The way you buy most candy here is you get a scoop and a paper bag. Then they just have a bucket from the ceiling to the roof full of candy and you just scoop up what you want and then pay based on the weight. It can be pretty dangerous. I did really good and didn't spend that much. It was a short p-day but really a ton of fun.

God must be blessing us spiritually because it is so cold or something because this week was so cool. We have another investigator who wanted to set a baptismal date! She is like the coolest investigator ever. I really love her, she is just so happy every time we meet with her. Setting a date with her has been something that we have been pushing for some time. She was heavily addiction to smoking. But she stopped smoking and now is sort of addicted to Nicotine gum. She has so much faith though it is unreal. I learn so much from her. I really want to know how I can help her but addiction is such an internal battle. She finally came to church yesterday so I am so excited about that! She is just so amazing and really progressing so much. I told her no matter whether I am serving in this area in January or not I will be at her baptism. She has a member of the ward who introduced us and he has helped us teach all the lessons to her so she asked him to baptize her! We are just so happy for the experience we have had with her. 

The investigator I talked about last week with the baptismal date is also doing very good. We had plans to teach her the Plan of Salvation and when we got to the earth life part of it we talked about the 10 commandments and ended up talking about the law of chastity and the word of wisdom. It was so amazing! We cleaned the baptismal font on Saturday and I'll just be honest it was so fun and got me so excited! Anyway I can work baptism into a conversation or lesson with everyone we meet with I do. 

We went to the school again and this time I got a few pictures with the classes we taught. I figured you guys would want some picture of the Swedes! That was so much fun once again. It is so effective for missionary work too! It is so relaxed and more people talk to us about the Gospel. It is just an overall great thing. 

Well this next week is going to be amazing as well! We have such a strong week planned and I am so excited. I really love it here. I wouldn't want to be doing anything else. This is the Lord’s work and it is so important! I love that I am able to be a part of it. I love what the Lord is doing with me and I love the person that I am becoming. Thank you all for everything that you are doing to help me be here. I am so grateful for my amazing family and how much they have done and are doing. I know I wouldn't be here without them. I am also thankful for my Heavenly Father and how clear he has made it to me that he knows me by name and is watching out for me. He is very aware of all of us and our struggles in life. Sometimes it is hard to see that but I know that everything we do in this life is for a purpose to make us stronger! I have had a lot of hard days out here but I know they have prepared me for the miracle I am seeing. I love this church and can't even think of my life without it. I love the Lord and what he does for me. I am so happy and grateful!!

Äldste Farnworth