Friday, October 31, 2014

Holy cow, this is how I'm going to die... (10/27/14)

The adventure continues! Week number 2 in Stockholm was really great actually! I am just coming to realize that I am truly a city-boy. I love it so much, it is all so fast paced here. Everyone has somewhere to go and someplace to be. You would think that it wouldn't have a effect on the work but it does! You just have to be quick and hope you are fast enough as well! It is fun! 
We have from Liljeholmen to Norsborg and we live in Hornstull... SO it is close to Stockholm Central. 

Basically I can explain what it is like here in Hägersten, there are 3 subway line in Stockholm, The Red, Green, and Blue. They all run through The Center of Stockholm. Our area is pretty much half of the Red line, so we don't take that many buses just travel on the line! I love it, we are the subways everyday and it really hasn't gotten old yet!

 We did have a really scary moment a few nights ago on the subway though, allow me to explain. We just got on and this guy started asking us where we were from and we told him England, (because he was very drunk and drunk people generally don't like the US) So then he was joking around and be really rude, basically like a drunk man would. Then his language changed and he used words that I hadn't heard in a LONG time. It was really scary, then he looks at my companion (who is probably in this moment rethinking his entire mission) and he says to him: "Go ahead and tell me where the [explicit language] I am from... do it and I will STAB you." I was like, "Holy cow, so this is how I am going to die. But luckily the train was slowing down and we just told him we were getting off here, so we were spared... Or so we thought. We were really trying to get to the next stop, so we waited for the next train coming like 5 minutes later, and we took it and while on the train I turn to Nielsen and say "If he is at the next stop, you just turn and RUN." Yep. You guessed it. The doors to the train open and there was our best friend. We just start walking away, trying not to be noticed and then we hear: "Hey look! Our English friends." So we just booked it. I was so scared.. But do not worry, we are fine. He never caught us, I am not even sure if he followed us but we ran fast. So that was the scariest moment of my entire mission, but no big deal.

This week we have really been trying to get our feet on the ground in this new area, it is going really well. Elder Nielsen is really amazing, he taking on a lot and it is really nice. I am still trying to allow him to relax and understand that he is in a stage where he needs to focus on learning the ways and he has no need to be stressed. It has been really good, we have had some good long talks about stress management and it seems to really help us both. He is SO good at Swedish and I am realized that I am not to shabby myself. It is really fun actually-- I continue to miss Gävle with almost my whole heart but I am starting to shift my mindset. Hägersten is a seriously great ward. I am really excited to get to know everyone and form some relationships here! It is really exciting!

We had received a LOT of referrals this last week, from here and there and we are SO excited to get to meet these guys this week! The work is going forward here, I can just feel it. We are working hard and we are really obedient so I just have such a testimony that the Lord is going to bless our efforts. I am really excited, we have this one guy that we got and when we called him, he was SO grateful that we would take the time to me with him! Usually I feel like we have to drag a time and date our of people but he was like so eager! I swear he needs to talk with like all of the non members here in Sweden! It was awesome! We will be meeting with him tomorrow night, we don't know what will happen but we are looking forward to it surely! 

There are a lot of non-swedes here, like I said last week! I am pretty sure that I like the switch up from the norm. I mean, don't get me wrong... I LOVE Swedish people, I mean, come on. I basically am a Swede, but the other cultures bring so much to the table and I LOVE it, the South American Member bring a energy of home. They are loud and they laugh so much and it is like Utah, while the African members understand the gospel in a different way that is amazing to me. They see this very pure version of God and life, they come from not that much so they see the blessings in everything. I am so grateful. For a quick example, We were asked yesterday in class: "Why is important to know God?" I thought in my head, "So we can know how to talk so he can help me, and I can hear him.." Seemed like a good answer to much until this lady opened my eyes in a whole new way, her  answer: "So we can know how to serve him will our whole being." It was so, amazing. A simple answer but she said it without even thinking, that was her first thought, to serve God. Such an example to me. Ah! I am learning so much! 

Well if you have any question if I am loving it, let me assure you, I LOVE SWEDEN. My life is great, the ward is hard, this church is worth it. 

I love you all.

Äldste Farnworth

Sunday, October 26, 2014

I'm in Stockholm! My favorite thing is the subways, imagine them CLEAN and Swedish. (10/20/14)

Hello World,

This week is just change, change and more change. I can't say I like it completely yet, but I cannot say that I am not have a great time, I guess I can just list off all of the change to start. I am not in Gävle, I am in a Stockholm ward, I take the Subways everywhere, I don't know anyone here, I am training and responsible for my greenies life, and no one is speaking the way they did in Gävle... #stockholmska 

A picture I got from Gävle... I miss these boys!

 So, I got my son. His name is Elder Taylor Nielsen and he is from New Mexico! He is really great and we are really getting along great. He just finished High school, which is weird to me, and he is so excited to be here! So that makes me really excited! Training is really hard, but in a way that is hard to explain. I just have to know everything, and it is pretty mentally demanding. Like in the different stress than I have had before. One really cool think is to see the progress that my Swedish has made. I think it is super fun to have him ask me a million Swedish question and the fact that I can answer about 95% of them makes me pretty happy, I must say. 

Elder Nielsen, Me, and my trainer Elder Olson

We are just living us two in a small apartment in a AMAZING area. We live IN the city, which is like the coolest thing ever. My favorite part of living here is the subways, just imagine how fun the New York Subways are... then make them like really clean and Swedish. So basically perfect for Elder Farnworth. We actually don't even live in our area, we have to take a train into everyday, we have nothing to complain about though. The train ride is about 5 minutes, the other elders have to train about 45 minutes everyday, so that is a travel. 

Making dinner for my son... Such a good dad.

Stockholm is pretty fast pace, people have places to go and things to do, which makes our job a little harder. But it really is cool to find those people that are willing to take time to listen to us, we are working on different ways to find more people to teach, it is a really good thing and I am learning a lot! SO that is a fun twist. 

Oh... Look who I ran into in Stockholm? Best moment all week! 

 So basically time is resetting a little, this week was probably the longest week I have had in a lot time and that is not a bad thing but just really weird to have that happen, we had a pretty great miracle happen on the train ride home one night, we were sitting there and this couple from Peru came and sat next to us and in Spanish, the wife was talking about us being missionaries and then her husband looked over so of course, I said hello and the man started to talk to me. Nothing to big was happening until we found out that they were members! They actually didn't know that the church was here in Sweden so they were so excited to see us! They told us that they wanted to find out which church they could go to and then the wife said something in Spanish and the husband looks at me and says in Swedish: "Can you guys help me and my wife get sealed for eternity in the temple?" Then the wife pulled up a picture of the temple in Peru to be sure we understood... We got the message, loud and clear. It was amazing. They lived out of our area so we referred them to the right missionaries. It was amazing, we were placed in that moments for a reason and it was no chance. Just the hand of the Lord in the work.

The other missionaries here are really cool. Elder Sandquist from Riverton and Elder Kapp from Layton. They are really cool and I am pretty excited to serve here with them! We have met with a few of the investigators here and to be honest, there is a lot of good stuff happening. Church on Sunday made me really excited to be here, the ward seems great and I think we are going to be able to help them a lot. There are a lot of people from CHILE here. So I am feeling a little bit like I am experience what Zach had on his mission. If so, He is was a lucky missionary! They are the nicest people ever. 

The New gang... They are pretty cool.

Yeah... Life is different and I am having a hard time not looking back because Gävle was SO amazing, but I am really trying to live up to my own words... Forward with FAITH! This week should be amazing, I am really excited for what is going to happen. Life is good. The Lord is really and mindful of us. 

I love you all. Have a great week! Pray for me and the missionaries here! 
Äldste Farnworth

Monday, October 13, 2014

I love you Gävle, I will miss you. (10/13/14)

This week is a week of change and moving! Yes, that is right I am being transferred from what feels like home! I am going to Stockholm, the Hägersten Ward. My first ward!! I am really excited to be in Stockholm and one of the biggest things I am excited for is that I am living like 10 minutes away from the center of Stockholm. That should be so different than anything I have experienced before! Oh and I am also excited that I AM TRAINING. Yes, that is true I am training a fresh missionary from the MTC, so it should be totally awesome and a huge new experience. I have heard that training is hard, but totally worth it. I just really hope that I can help this Elder see how blessed he is to serve in the amazing country. It should be awesome. So this is all going down on Wednesday so I just ask that you all pray the whole day for me. haha, not joking. 

Leaving Gävle is probably going to be harder than it was to leave the United States. I just feel so much love for this branch and the people here. Yesterday in church, I gave a talk as they usually have missionary that are being transferred do and it was really hard. I talked about the talk from Elder Holland: Remember Lot's Wife. It is a great talk that I love to listen to again and again, it talks about how much we need to learn from the past but live in the present and look forward to the future. I love that talk and recommend you all listen to/read it. It is amazing. Towards the end I just felt the love of the entire branch in one moment. It was amazing, I just can't believe that this could all happen so fast, I have only been here for 4 months. It's amazing.
The matching sweaters just don't get old. We are so cool.

You try and tell me we aren't hyp-sters

My last full week in Gävle was definitely a great one to end with. We did a ton and we had a BLAST. We met with Henry our investigator again and it was amazing, we read through the chapter in 3 Nephi where Christ comes and establishes the church in The America's to the people and as we went through his teaching about baptism it clicked in Henry's mind that he too needed to follow the council of Christ and be baptize to take a step and show his faith in Christ, we set a date and it was an amazing moment, I am really excited for him to be baptized. He came to church the next day and you can tell he is really taking this choice seriously. Amazing to see. I am so proud of him
Fika after a Young Men's service project. Anton and his dad Johan... and me.

Okay, I am a Family History MASTER. I love it so much, I think I could family history for hours and hour and never get bored. It is amazing... Allow me to explain. We have these friends from Canada. I think I have talked about them before, they are really interested in the church but they are just so cool. They come to Innebandy and we sometimes take them to the Sjökvist and have dinner, but this week Erin wanted to do her Family History so I was like: "Why not!" 
So when I was on splits with Elder Bradley (who is the coolest guy ever...) on thursday we sat down and with the information that we had we started to find some people, with not much success we started to get a little discouraged, and then BAM! It all just started to explode and it was amazing, with that day and then a little more time on Saturday we were able to find her entire family 4 generation back and then a ton more almost the entire 6 generation full. It was amazing. SO much fun. 

Annika and Johan Sjökvist's Family with Elder Bradley and the Canadian's Erin and Conner!

So needless to say, I love life. I am SO grateful for the people I have in my life now. Although, this week is going to suck with all the goodbyes, I decided that we will not be saying goodbye, but just I will see you later! I love this area, and I love this work. The church is true. God is there, you can deny it. He listens and more than that he TALKS back. He is my best friend and my Heavenly Father. I trust him with my mission. I trust him that this will be a positive change. I am going to cry, no doubt about that. But that only means I am leaving something amazing. 

Peter Sjökvist's Family, I love these guys so much! I will surely miss them SO much.

Thank you all. Not only the people reading this at home in Utah but thank you to anyone who has helped me get here, I will be forever in your debt. I am totally a different person, I have been changed by this mission and I am not even done. What a blessing. I love you Gävle, I will miss you. Thank you for everything you do to me. 

Pure Bliss. What a blessing.

Äldste Farnworth

Sunday, October 12, 2014

We all have different size testimonies and THAT IS OKAY! (10/6/14)

Well this week gets a huge two thumbs up. It was Conference Week so how could it not? The focus for all of our lessons and messages that we left this week was about Conference and how important it was that we have a living prophet today! It was really such a great thing to be able to tell these people that the Lord and God is living today and they are actively leading us. It was a great reminder for me as well! 

We had some great lessons this week. We met with some really amazing people. It amazes me how many amazing people are in my life right now. I guess we can start with our splits on the Zone Leaders, it was really cool. On my one year mark in Sweden I was with my trainer! It was really cool, they came for Wednesday and it was a super cool day. Elder Olson is a freaking cool elder. I am really happy that we were able to teach together again. He is a rocking missionary, and even a better friend. It was an awesome day. We went to a member who has a book with pictures of every missionary that even goes home to them. So the most pictures that anyone has is 5 pictures in the book and with my splits with Olson, I got my 6th picture in the book! It was a proud moment for me.
Exchanges with the Zone Leaders!

We just taught a ton of investigators this week. It was really so sick, I feel super blessed.  Conference though was really cool. So the way that it works in Sweden is that we watched both opening sessions at 6.00 at night live, so that was really cool. We spent the day with the Sjökvist's on Sunday for the most part, it was really fun. We went there early for breakfast and then watch Priesthood. Then we had these less actives come for lunch, and that was awesome. Annika had pretty much set up this whole missionary day for us. It was really nice. She is awesome. Then her nephew came to have dinner and watch the Sunday morning session and have tacos with us! That was super cool, he isn't a member and a super cool guy. Pretty much it was the best day ever. 
Us on the walk... Most epic picture. 

We are cool. No discussion.

Kodak Moment 

With the other sessions I just have to watch them over the Kodak Moment next few days, I am really excited cause I have heard the best things. My favorite talk was probably Utchdorf. I loved his talk about how we all have different sizes of testimonies and THAT IS OKAY!  It was a huge moment for me, I just realized that this isn't a church of perfect people. This is a church for everyone! I don't know, I think I had forgotten that. Sometimes I think that I forget that we are here to learn and grow, not to be perfect. It was a big talk for me! While I have been writing emails though, I listened Elder Hollands talk and his is just so amazing.  #ldsconf was the best. 
The Sjökvist after a day of Conference. 

double Anton... Crazy

I would say that there is a pretty good chance that I will be moving, I have been here a while and I think it is my time. Which makes me sad but at the same time I think I need to move and grow and meet new people! I don't know, I am just trying to be open to new things and whatever comes my way! Sorry this was a little shorter but there is no need to worry about me, I can promise you that! Sweden is so good to me! I love it here so much! I am so happy! 

Pretty much the cutest little kid ever. 

I love you all! 

Äldste Farnworth

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Many Blessings This Week! (9/29/14)

First, I want to send all of my love and my comfort to my family as they are going through the loss of Max. He was such a good dog and it is really sad to hear that he is gone and will not be there when I get home.  He will be missed, I hope everyone is doing OK. 

This week has been amazing! We are just going to jump right into it. With the recent absence of sister's in Gävle, the workload of the Elder's is sky high. It is amazing. I love it. There are these guys that the sisters had found right before they left. They are a group of guys from Africa and they are awesome. I will start with them. We made plans to meet with one of them in the library and when he got there the other two guys where there too and wanted to be taught too! We kinda ended up just like jumping around answering all of their questions so it was really cool. Then one had to leave for school so we just continued on with the other guys. One of them was telling us his "story" to find the true church and how he has been studying with a lot of other churches and just one by one he found each of them not to be the truth. Then we asked him what he WAS looking for in a church and what he believed that the true church should be like. Just then, he described The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in almost perfect detail. It was amazing and literally the coolest thing ever. He began to basically list points and in my head after each point I was like, "yes, yes, yes we have that, yes that is here... etc." It was honestly so cool. One of the coolest moments I have had in a while. Then when we were together for a bit we didn't want to seem to be overwhelming so we tried to wrap it up. And he just says, "Okay so now teach me about this book you guys have."  Yeah. It was amazing. He is really cool and I am excited to meet with him again this week! 

We also met with this guy that the sisters had been teaching for a while and that was totally awesome. He is super cool and we are really similar in personality so we were just talking and talking and it was really cool. I have met him before at Innebandy. He is just skinny and loves to run - so we just always joked that he was me in the future! He is really cool, so hopefully we can help him. We are going to try to bring him to the Sjökvist this weekend to watch General Conference with us. I think that would be really cool and really fun. Regarding conference, and to answer your question mother, we are going to watching some sessions. I am not sure which one but on Saturday night at like 6:00. So that should be a lot of fun. We are going to have dinner before and, of course, if we are with the Sjökvist it will be a great night!

Okay my new goal is to shorten these posts a little. I don't want to become that missionary that basically writes hour after hour posts every week! I'll end with a short little spiritual moment. It was Fast Sunday yesterday. I started my fast the night before and it was really a great feeling that I had when I set the things that I fasted for (one of them being a renewed testimony of the truthfulness of this church). Literally as I got in bed to sleep I felt some funkiness happening in my throat. The next morning was terrible. I was so sick. But I really wanted to stay true to the fast and I had faith I could get an answer. So the meeting block was long and difficult, but the longer I went without food or water (I have to say I did have cough drops) the more spirit I felt. It was like the Lord was just filling my body with spiritual blessings. Even though the illness never stopped and the fasting never got physically easier, as time went on I started to receive a different kind of strength. It was so cool. I ended the day with an earnest prayer to receive an answer. And in that exact moment I felt complete peace. There is not one doubt in my mind that as I prayed, Heavenly Father was looking down and listening to me. He is real. He is there and He is our Father. It was a wonderful moment that I was given and I am so grateful for it. Fasting was hard. It certainly wasn't just like this easy day, but I received a great blessing in the end. I had worked for the answer and I can testify that the Lord answered me. I love this church. I love this work. I love being a missionary. What an amazing time I have had here. My mission is a huge blessing in my life. Thank you to everyone who is praying for me. And thank you for all you do.

I love you all.  I hope you have a great week.

Your Swedish Missionary,

Äldste Farnworth
Cute pic that Annika sent us.  This is the same Sister who sent the kind message on Facebook and this is her son.  Did you notice their sweaters match?

A video of Kaleb and his comp eating strong licorice candy covered in salt before the conference session.  The contest was to see who could eat it without making a face.  Thanks to the other Annicka for sharing this!