Monday, May 25, 2015

It is really cool to be a missionary in Jönköping right now! (5/25/15)

This week we have been blessed! We have had a ton of great things happen and like it is really cool to be a missionary in Jönköping right now! 

It is bit funny though, see we had such a good week and I also had a terrible sickness the whole week. My stomach is pretty angry at me and think it is personally trying to kill me. So that is good, I think it is just a virus but I wake up wanting to just die... but hey, at least I am still waking up. That is my positive spin. It hasn't been that bad, of course, but think of a cold that stays with you for about 3 weeks. It is getting to that point where like I am just ready to have this pass.

"My new hat" Selfie
We had a really cool day on Tuesday though, we had to switch our P days around because it was Elder Pearson's birthday! It was really awesome! He is 22 now, it was pretty fun to have another birthday just a week after mine! We started with a breakfast at Marina's place and it was really cool, they got him a whole bunch of funny presents and such. Then we went to this really cool place! It was like a complete swamp!

Throughout the whole thing though, there were these planks that you walked on to get through it, they were like pretty thin so it was really adventurous and super cool! At the end there was a forest and we took like a ton of pictures! It was really fun. We got pretty creative, I had a blast! Then we went out to the like best place I think I have ever been. It was on this cliff that over looked the whole lake, we built a fire right on the edge and Pearson played his Guitar and we just had a good time! Like it was a perfect day, nothing I can complain about at all. Marina planned the whole day and it was pretty great for elder Pearson, I think he was really happy! Birthdays are the best. 

Pearsons Birthday

We were able to take another trip to the island, this time for missionary work. We went and met with The Wall family. They are really cool! They live in the most beautiful place ever. I swear, Jönköping is just like amazing when it comes to landscape! It is unreal! They live in the middle of nowhere and I love it so much! She took us on a little adventure to the beach and around the island. It was really cool. We had a really good message and really good meal, very blessed missionaries! There are such great people here!

We had a really good week in Göteborg, we had Zone Training. It was really awesome! We got some really good help from the missionaries that led that. It was really cool seeing everyone in the zone and see all my friends! Sister Powell went on splits back in Jönköping so we were able to talk all about life on the train ride home. It was so sick. That night we had a great dinner with all the cool people here. It was a classic day. 

Ice Cream on a summer day!
Saneeka is da best.
There is a new face here in Jönköping though, her name is really hard, Saneeka... You have no idea how long it took me to get her name down... Like it's a joke. But I can say it now! Anyways, she is awesome. We have spent a lot of time with her and it is basically really cool. From what I understand, she is a member but kinda lost ties with the church like 5 years ago. She is here visiting Marina and she has really been so cool. I think she might be moving to Jönköping soon, so that is something we are praying happens! 

I can't think of anything to say, I am drawing a blank... even though we did a lot. I am just really tired! I will include a lot of picture to make up for it! Yesterday in church was really good. I was just strengthened in all my classes from one
way or another. Christoffer (aka Prince Charming) gave a really great lesson in Priesthood. It was from the talk "On Being Genuine" from the last conference, President Ucthdorf did such a good job with that! I think that the talk is so good and tell us not to hide or anything just to be ourselves and be our best. Not being someone that we aren't, but not just accepting who we are but also trying our best! It was really nice. 

I hope everyone has a great week! Sorry this is a quick and quite random! Love you all!

Äldste Farnworth 

Monday, May 18, 2015

So I guess I'm 20 now.. (5/18/15)

Dear Family and everyone,

So I guess I'm 20 now.. This week has been a pretty great week! I have had the best week ever, so get ready for a big email. 

We started with a really cool Monday, like it was really awesome. So we live right next to a giant lake and I am pretty sure I am talked about it before but there is a island in the middle of the lake and we often go there! Today there was a member that wanted to take us and who ever we wanted to bring to go and visit a old castle or something! So we had a pretty great group show up! Victoria, Alex, Lasse and the sisters were there and even Sam came too! It was really the best time. We went to this giant field ran around and made a ton of Slow-Mo videos and then had a big Fika! It was really fun. I love how we are doing missionary work is really fun ways here. It makes it a lot easier to take motivate! I love Jönköping. 

The highlight of this week was MY BIRTHDAY! My mother sent me a really nice package and I just got a ton of love from all those around me! It was like probably the best day of my life. It was so much fun, I was in the dark the whole time. There is a member here, Marina, who is a totally boss. She planned the whole thing for me! It was like one of the nicest things ever. The day started completely normal until I got a phone call telling me that I have 2 minutes to get the following items in a my backpack, a toothbrush, a red tie, a suit, a pair of socks, my pillow... etc. Then they called back and said that I had 15 minutes to get to the church. So I gathered the crap and as soon as I walked out the door I was ATTACKED! Then I was blindfolded and taking to a car and driven to a unknown location, they took my in somewhere and made me (while still being blindfolded) show them all the items I brought with me, there were a few I didn't have so they made me do push-ups. After I finished it was relieved to me that I am standing in the middle of IKEA. It was a total surprise to me, then we went and had the buffet breakfast, it was awesome. There were a lot of people there and I felt the love! 

The best people ever.
After a really great breakfast we went to this place Boda Borg! It is like a team building place that is pretty amazing.Like it is a building that is just full of different rooms, you walk in and there are a bunch of things in the room, different for each room. There is always another door that you are trying to get through, but you can't open that door until you complete the current room. It was really cool, we had a lot of fun. For example: we walked into one room and it was a bank that was being robbed, we had to figure out how to get to the money without setting of the alarm. It was like a really quick thinking thing! We had a ton of fun. It was totally awesome. Out of the 15 rooms we were able to get though about 9 rooms, so it was pretty challenging but we did good! We ended the day with a Book of Mormon study class at the home of our ward mission leader. That was really cool, he is really good at explaining the gospel in a way that makes you completely get into it. It is really amazing! I came home to a package from the Sjökvist family. It was really amazing and thoughtful that they remembered me on my birthday! They are the greatest!

Sweden is a bit ridiculous. 
I had my first District Meeting this week were I was in charge, that felt really different but to be honest. I loved it, I loved being a part of helping  the missionaries see the good that they are doing. The topic was on teaching and working with our Heart, Might, Mind, and Strength. It really made me feel super good to be able to teach that! My district is amazing though, we have some of the greatest people in there and I am just really excited to work with them and serve them too! This transfer is going to rock. We got a new sister in Jönköping, I was really sad to see Sister Gardner leave, she was the best and had the sweetest heart ever. She is really going to change so many lives on her mission! Sister Brink is the sister that replaced her though, she is really awesome too and I am super excited to work with her! 

Now that I am 20.. living the risky life.
Our investigator Sam, lives out in a really small town, Gränna. He is so awesome. He invited us to come out and talk with him, we didn't expect anything other than that, but when we got there he had a whole dinner for us and everything! He told us to this beautiful place and we talked a ton about life and everything. Ah! It was so awesome. Like he is just the greatest person ever. He is really a nice guy and really open to learning a lot! This week has just been the best. We are really blessed to have such amazing people to work with.

We ended the week with a great Friday night Activity! It was a huge success, we went and played Beach Volleyball. By the lake here, there are a few courts and we got a good group together and if you ask anyone they will probably tell you I suck. But they just don't know natural talent when they see it. We had a great time and there were a ton of people that showed up.

Cool Swedish House
This week there has been a lot of different thoughts that have come into my mind, one of them being "what is the worth of our efforts" as people. I, of course, am talking about being a missionary and the efforts of my action that I am doing here. This is something that I feel like is for everyone though. As we go through the days here, we find myself thinking and asking: "Am I making a difference here? Is there something that I am bring to those I teach, those I encourage and those I befriend?" At times in the past and a little here and this is the a thought in my mind. It has really lead me to search deep within myself and in pray with my Heavenly Father to receive an answer. I have come to the conclusion that sometimes we just won't know. Very solemnly have I had someone come to me and tell me that I changed their live or that directly because of me something amazing happened. However, this cannot be the reason that we work to change lives. We need to work with the faith that our efforts are not wasted.

We sometimes may even get into bed at night thinking that the world wouldn't be much different had we never left the bed that morning, that is not true. To believe that, would also say that the Lord does not use his children to help bring his will to the earth. We all play a role, we choose how much effort will put into that part but the role itself is not chosen by us. The Lord has given us a role that was decided long before we got to the earth. We just choose to amplify that role, to live it to the max. So on the days I have had that no one listened, the people were rude and that I have felt like a failure I just remember that I was called to be here for a reason, that I may have not realized it but I help further God's plan that day. We are all important, we all make a difference! Don't forget it!
How I look when people tell
me I have grow up now.

I love you all and am so grateful for all the amazing people in my life! Hope you all have a great week!

Äldste Farnworth

Monday, May 11, 2015

Happy Mother's Day to my wonderful mother! (5/11/15)

Dear Family!

A very Happy Mother's Day to my wonderful mother! She is the best and I owe so much to her! Without her, I know I would not be even close to the person I am today. I love her so much and hope she had a great day yesterday. I loved Skyping and seeing my crazy family, they are pretty awesome and make me really excited to come home, but not trunky so don't worry! 

This week has been one of the longest weeks ever! There were so many amazing moments but I feel like it was a bit never ending! I think we successfully had some sort of youth activity almost every single night! It is coming up on Summer time so I am really getting excited. Summer time in Sweden is so pretty and above everything else... Everyone is out of school! If only the weather would start to catch up as well! 

Taco Night! Left to Right: Sam, Viktoria, E. Pearson,
S. Sandelin, William, S. Gardner, Me, and Marina!
On Wednesday we wanted to eat Tacos for dinner, because Swedish Tacos are the greatest food in the world! I think I could eat only those for like ever. But what started as just a meal idea turned into a really awesome night! The Sisters wanted in and soon we had a good group that was coming. It was really cool. The coolest part? Viktoria brought a friend, his name is Sam and he is the coolest guy ever! We had a lot of awesome people there too! I will be sure to send a picture of everyone. We had a great night. 
We met with Sam the following few days and he is really awesome! I love that guy, he come from a different religious background so it is really interesting to be able to see how he thinks when it comes to our church. He has come to a lot of activities we have had. Including the Sunday School class we had on Thursday, Our ward mission leader taught the Plan of Salvation. It was really great! Sam loved it. We also had our investigator Tommy come as well to that class. It really feel so good to have these people come to the church! It kinda allows you to literally see the good and the difference you are making. It was an awesome night! 

The beautiful Lake in Nässjö
The missionary work is going forward and I am loving it. We had a really cool thing happen to us this week too! We were running hard core to catch this train, like sprinting through this train station! We realized that we we okay with time, having about 3 minutes until it left so we start walking, then we notice a man running toward us, he finally catches up to us and asked over and over: "Are you guys Elders?!" I answered and then he says: "What is your message about? What do you guys believe in?" I was like.. What? haha it was amazing, he totally like caught me of guard, So I explained very simply what we believe and then we notices we need to catch this train so he asks to exchange numbers. I end up calling him on the train and it was like really cool! I am excited to see where that takes us!

Adventure Golfing with Marina!
We went golfing on the clouds! It was awesome. I think someone said it was the highest point in Jönköping, but it was a sorta foggy day so when were at the top we were above the low clouds. It was so cool. You couldn't see anything. We played a few rounds of mini golf and it was like the funnest thing ever. We were split into two teams, My team was Alex, Marina, and Me. Elder Pearson's team was him, Viktoria and Jonas. It was a lot of fun. However, towards the end of the round of golf, we were pretty bored. The other team had already gone inside so we created a new game! Adventure Golf! Basically we would start at like Hole 3 on one corner of the course and the hole we would be aiming for would be Hole 12 in the opposite corner. It was insanely fun. Adventure Golfing on the Clouds, its hard to beat that in awesome P-day activities.

If you are wondering what a sick missionary looks like
The down side of the week is that I got sick. I went to sleep totally fine and then it just hit me like a ton of bricks. Not too much fun. There are some awesome members that took good care of me so it was pretty nice. But I do always miss home when I am sick, I just need a mother to take care of me. We had a good sports night on Friday, we played Volleyball and it got really intense. Towards the end everyone was kicking the volleyball at each other and then just moments later, everyone was together kicking the balls at me. #thestruggle it was really fun. The next day, Viktoria wanted to give us hair cuts! Which was a little sketchy seeing that she is educated to cut dogs hair, but I figured if she can make a poodle look good she could probably cut my hair as well! I was the first that dared and she is really impressed me! It looks really good! After I went, Elder Pearson wanted to cut his and even Sister Sandelin got hers done too! It was like the crazy thing. We had a lot of fun - I love it here. 

The best kids ever.
Sunday was a stressful day, I loved it and there were so many great things that happened! Sam came to church and there is a class that the ward mission leader teaches and he teaches in English, mainly because the whole class is full of people that prefer English instead of Swedish. But Sam is a Swedish speaker so I offered to translate from English to Swedish, it felt really cool. Basically the whole lesson it came really easy to do it! It like a little victory moment to have that. Don't get me wrong here, I am not saying I am perfect at Swedish but I am not also saying that I suck. Sunday was a good day! Christoffer and Carolina invited us over to eat and Skype at their house. I love them, they are the greatest! Like seriously, the best. Skyping with my family was great! I loved it, it was very big moment that the end is coming. It was a bit scary and overwhelming but something that I am looking forward too. In no way am I saying I am bored with my mission or the calling I have I am just looking positively forward to what the future has to bring! It should be great, but I still have a lot to do here and now!

That is kinda something I wanted to end with, looking forward not backwards. It has been one of the most recurring themes of my mission. It is really hard to do that, when something great happens I often find myself dreading the end of that moment fearing that I won't be that happy again. I find myself taking SO many pictures trying to stop time or ensure that I never forget. But I as I have served here and met and talked with so many amazing people I have realized, if we live our lives always looking backward wanting to constantly wanted to go back, we will never be able to grow and become the person that ultimately the Lord wants us to become. With this mindset, I am able to catch myself when I look back longing to be there and I can turn myself to see the amazing opportunities that lie ahead of us. It has been a life-changing principle to learn on my mission. Something that I use every day and that gets me through the hard days and makes me love the great days so much more! Be happy, Be optimistic and know that the future has so much for us! Elder Holland says it so great in his talk Remember Lot's Wife: 

"Faith is for the future. Faith builds on the past but never longs to stay there. Faith trusts that God has great things in store for each of us and that Christ truly is the 'high priest of good things to come.'"

Äldste Farnworth

Monday, May 4, 2015

Well the spring is officially here in Sweden! (5/05/15)

Hello Everyone!

Well the spring is officially here in Sweden which means that it rains everyday and sometime we get some sunshine! It is slowing starting to get warmer and warmer, I am liking it a lot! In April, everyone just expects the craziest weather. You can wake up to sunshine, left the apartment and have it pouring and by the time we get somewhere is sunny, then it hails, and then a bit of snow and usually ends the day with some sunshine again.. No one is shocked by this though, it is "just April weather"... Well let just say, I am excited for May! 

This week has been a SERVICE week. We seriously like served more than I probably have ever done before. It was insane but like really fun. So there is a member here that just got married in Switzerland and she was planning on having a reception there for his family and then one here for her family and friends. So that is where we came in. 
One year down!
We had to help turn the gym into a cool place! That took a lot of work. We had a ton of fun doing it. We were invited to the reception and it was really fun. It was a nice dinner and the people there were really funny. I am sure some people were confused as to why there wasn't any alcohol but they seemed to manage to have a good time!

There is a really cool way that Swedish people welcome in Spring! They all gather together and build a huge bonfire! Personally to me it feels like they are doing a Witch burning.. but I just pretend like I get it. It is called Valborg, and on the same day Elder Pearson hit his One Year mark! So we got together and burned his shirt! It was really fun, we did that and went to the big fire! 

Welcoming in Spring!

We had District Meeting Skövde (my first area)  this week! That was super cool, I love going back there because all the memories of that time just flood into my mind and I just love it. We took the chance to be there and visit with some less actives and it was great!! I think it was so great to be there and see the impact I had on those people! I love them so much!

The pulpit in a old church!
So we know this lady named Annika, the lady that we went to gave her a blessing and had a really great experience with a few weeks ago. We went to visit her again this week and she is so cute. She had heard that we thought it was fun to tour little Swedish cities, so to our surprise we got off the train and she had booked us a table at this really fancy restaurant and then planned to go on a mini tour of her little city! She is in her 60's but man she is young at heart! I loved the whole day, she has terminal cancer so it is really interesting to see how she is choosing to live and the attitude she has towards.. Life! I love being around her, we learn so much for each other. That was a great day, all thanks to her!

We can end this with a wonderful time at church. My whole mission, church has always been my favorite activity we do. The members really do become my family, so I love going to church because I just love seeing everyone. This Sunday was even better than normal though, because of the wedding there were SO many people that came! It was awesome. It was testimony meeting and the parents of the groom wanted to bare their testimony so it ended up being me that translated for them from  English to Swedish... It was really funny, I would honestly say of the entire congregation that I spoke for maybe like 5 couldn't understand English. So every time I said something a little different then what they said, everyone got a big smile on their faces and probably thought: "Look how cute he is..." It was pretty fun. 

Skövde in the spring! So cool.
I learned something, or rather I relearned something really basic though, in our investigator class that is taught by our Ward Mission Leader. We talked about trials and how we need them to become like our Heavenly Father. He talked about how The Lord promises us that he will bring us through the trials, and he will provide the strength (assuming we have done our part) to get through them! But I feel like when ever I am in a trial I always pray and ask: "Please take this from me..." or even "why do I have to go through this, take it away due to my obedience and faithfulness.." But after this lesson I realized that is like not the most right thing we can do! We need to pray for strength to be change so we are good enough to overcome the trials so we can GROW. It just hit me like a ton of bricks. I look back and I think, had The Lord done what I thought I wanted and taken those hardship from me, I never would have become who I am today! I am love who I am and who I have been molded into by the hands of The Lord and the my trials. We always have a choice, see the good or suffer the bad. When we can recognize the good early on, I generally think life is easier and a whole lot more fun!
I took this exact same picture
as a Greenie!

I love my life as a servant of the Lord, it is hard work but putting a smile on makes it so enjoyable. I am grateful for those who are in my life right now, I am really blessed with some great people! Thank you all!

Hope you all have a great week!

Äldste Farnworth