Monday, June 29, 2015

När du vill någonting verkar hela universum för att du ska uppnå det. (6/29/15)

Goodbye Buddy!
Well this week was another week of change but it is something that I have never dealt with before. It is the official beginning of the end. My last transfer, I find myself thinking every once in a while what I think will happen in the next transfer and then I catch myself and realize: "oh, I am just going home" My brain can't seem to wrap itself around that logic. Which is like whatever, it will come hopefully. I feel that the Lord is blessing me with a lot of strength, in the last days of the last transfer we had I really was concerned how I was going to be able to finish but as soon as I picked up Elder Dickson and the day continued on I got this new strength that is different but something that I think will be able to carry be until the end. I am really excited for these next few weeks! They should be amazing! Jönköping is going to be a great place to end!

Elder Pearson, Me, Saneeka, Nikolas
It was harder then I thought it was going to be to say goodbye to Elder Pearson, it was like the coolest person ever. We had a little things that were different, actually we were quite different but we really became good friends! He is a really amazing missionary and it was so much fun to spend so much time together. The last few days together were really fun. We had a good Family Night with the Salo Family, we invited Saneeka to come with us and we helped them a little with a few thing then we played this epic zombie board game. It was really awesome, unfortunately, the zombie force was too much and we died. But we were so close to winning! I feel like I could make a gospel connection to the whole situation but maybe that wouldn't be the best thing. I was a great night though, I am super thankful to them for being so awesome. 

Throughout the week we have been having a lot of summer time activities, we are trying to create easy environments to have people invite in people! It has been really fun to do it, we played Volleyball, had a few picnics, and just had some great meals! I love Jönköping and it is so fun the work we do here. We have some of the most amazing people that we are working with and we are finding new people every day! I love this chance I have to come out and make such strong relationships with so many AMAZING people. In this week I have really seen that my connection with Sweden will not die when my name tag comes off and I leave. There are people in this country that I know will effect me for the rest of my life. I love them so much and I get so much love from them. It seems with the people that we are working with, that just as much I have something to teach them, they all have something to teach me. That thought alone has changed the way I interact and treat people, we all have something to learn from every single person we meet. Of course, it can't always be a huge life changing thing but it can change us if we allow it to. 

Sweden wins the beautiful prize... again.

Church was really cool, like it usually is. First off, I love that we have an "investigator" basic doctrine class... It is the best! I learn so much! haha I think it is funny to say that but really like that class make me think and realize the little things that are so obvious in the church. I think it is really awesome. We talked about keeping the Sabbath day holy, something I have never really questioned or worried about but after this class I like understood for the first time what it really means and why it such an important commandment! Christer, the ward mission leader, is a really good teacher. He is so passionate about he gospel and I think it is awesome. 

Elder Dickson, Saneeka, and Me!
These are probably going to start getting shorter and shorter, not because we aren't doing thing but simply because I am getting a little bored of writing. I will throw a few pictures up and that will make up for the lack of text.  The last little thought that I want to share is the power of ones self will. I firmly believe that we can do whatever we want and we can achieve anything we are willing to fight and never give up on. We have been giving everything we need from a loving God, we just need to do all we can and never give up.

 There is this quote from a book I was told that has become a good motto for me, in Swedish is says: "När du vill någonting verkar hela universum för att du ska uppnå det." and in English: "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." we can do anything that we really put our minds to. There are so many moments I have seen that this is true in life and on my mission. I know that God has a plan for us and he wants us to be happy and fulfill our dreams! He is our loving Father, why wouldn't he want what is best for us?  There are things that I wanted to gain on my mission that I never thought I could achieve about half way through I realized I was the only thing stopping me for achieving them. Once I stopped limiting myself and started letting the world help me to change I have seen miracles and absolutely amazing things. We need to believe in ourselves. We need to change our thinking and realize that we are children of a King! We can't afford to forget that! 

I love you all, I am thankful for everyone in my life that is helping me achieve and become the person I want to be and helping me achieve all the great things of the world! My time is coming to an end soon, but I am excited and convinced there is a lot more for me to learn and grow from! Hopefully, you have a great week! Don't worry about Elder Farnworth because I am just fine! 

Äldste Farnworth

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Lord sent Carina to the missionaries at this time to strengthen me. (6/22/15)

Hello Family!

(The May Pole)
This week has been a week to remember. We have had a lot going on and we did it all! It was a good week. We can start with the biggest holiday I would think that Sweden has other than Christmas, maybe. Midsommar! Basically they celebrate that it is the middle of summer and that it is actually here, I think it roots from the sad fact that winter is so terrible they literally feel the need to celebrate that it is gone. Hey, I don't blame them one bit! We had the chance to go to Göteborg and be with a lot of missionaries! It was like, really fun. We had a lot of energy, I think we took most of the Swedes by surprise but we really celebrated that day! They have this giant pole that is like the center of the holiday, and it is like symbolic for a lot of different things. I think the most common interpretation is that the pole it like fertilizing the earth for the summer. A rather awkward symbolism but tradition is tradition. I will insert some pictures and you will know what I mean. We had a great time and enjoyed the beautiful city of Göteborg and great weather! I have like a lot of pictures, so we will see which ones end up getting sent out! 

We dressed in black to honor
Elder Cushing's last
district meeting
Other that the little vacation to Göteborg this whole week has been centered around Carina and getting her ready for baptism. She definitely chose the intense course, only having less then two weeks to teach her everything cause us to have these really long lessons with her, I don't think I have met too many people on my mission that would have been able to be taught that way but she is a special one! I can't believe it. To paint you a picture of what I mean, when it came to 'the commandments' lesson we taught them ALL in 3 hours. Oh man, it was an amazing lesson! You would think that would be more like a checklist lesson, but it was really a huge testimony builder for me. We had really good discussions about all the commandments and after teaching them and testifying of them it was really cool to see my understanding of them widen. I swear, at times I think that the Lord sent Carina to the missionaries at this time to strengthen me, it would be a successful move on his part. She really has been such a light in out lives.

Midsommar in Selfies

The baptism service on Saturday went so well! Of course, I was stressing the whole time like I do, but everything went really smoothly. One thing I always notice is the literal glow that the baptismal candidate has around them after they have been baptized, it is like really clear that they are so close to Christ and God in that moment. It is a pretty amazing moment. The next day in church, I was given the chance to confirm Carina a member of the church and give her the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It was really special. I just feel overall very honored to be apart of this whole process! 

Pretty Baptism Picture
To be honest, this week was full of those things, and a few member meals here and there! On Monday, we had the best Family Home Evening. It was with the Salo family, and it was about the Creation. Namely, the bugs of the earth. Basically we talked about how God created everything that is and then we went out and caught a whole bunch of spiders and bugs and watched them eat each other. Sounds pretty gruesome, but it was awesome. I love that family so much! The only other things that I can think about is Transfer calls came on Saturday and I will be staying in Jönköping my last 6 weeks! In mission speak, I will be "dying" here! I am really excited I think it will be awesome to have this be the last place I serve! This transfer is the official beginning of the end. The worst part is that I will be saying goodbye to Elder Pearson and Karin (our imaginary friend), we have becoming really good friends! He will do great things in Sweden! I am so happy I was able to serve with him.

I also saw that Jacob got his mission call and I got so excited because I know these people that are from there in Gävle and they taught me a few things in Albanian, it is like the coolest language ever!! He is so lucky and he is going to get his own little experiences and I just love it all so much! I am so excited for him. Gosh, he is such a stud and he is going to be the best missionary! I am a proud older brother! 

I love you! We will talk soon, I hope everyone has a great week!

Äldste Farnworth 

Monday, June 15, 2015

For you, my mother. (6/15/15)

This week has gone by so fast is it insane! We have been going and going and going! We have really done a lot and it is super cool. I really feel like we are doing a lot of good and really it is helping the people here a lot.

The best selfie of my life. 
We spent the week with a lot of other missionaries, we went on Splits with a pair of elder from the city of Borås on Wednesday, I was with Elder Carrigan there and it was a lot of fun. He is a pretty young missionary but he is really awesome at teaching! I was very surprised it was a great. We had a good time with the sisters there also, sister Stoughton and sister Giles. They were all so great. It was a really fun day!

We then went to Skövde for districts meeting which was themed with  "What is our drive as missionaries?" it was a really good meeting. I love teaching those so much. I really feel like our district is really close and we get into some really great discussions and just have a great time. After district meeting we had a Taco party and a party is was! We had the best tacos in the world. All-in-all I think that our district is the best.

Cleaning the font like a boss!
After that we had a great time with the Zone Leaders when they came for splits on Saturday also! I took Elder Stanett to go with me to visit Carina! We taught her the Plan of Salvation and it was such a great moment. I really love teaching her cause he understands the importance of it all! She is so amazing  and so close to the spirit. Such an great opportunity to have her as someone to work with. She is still planning on being baptized this Saturday and we are just running around trying to ensure that it is the best day for her! What a huge blessing she is to us. She loves to send is these little picture quotes every once in a while and I love getting them! She is so close to Christ and yesterday in church she really expressed that she is simply being baptized to show her God that she wants to follow him 100%. It literally strengthen my testimony to be around her and be able to enjoy the spirit she brings!

For you, my mother.
Last week I got an email from my mother which was a fun one. She told me to cut my hair, now I don't know if you all know me who reads this but my hair is very important to me. It is truly amazing the control a mother can have over her children from thousands of miles away! She simply told me that if I loved her... I would cut it. After being completely wishy washy about the cut, on Saturday I decided to sacrifice all that is near and dear to me to show that I Love My Mother. She is pretty great and I hope that it is clear to everyone now that, I love her! Of course, I am very dramatic about this all, but hey, why not.

Always end up buried at
Beach Volleyball.
We had a sick night with a bunch of members and Victoria this week! We played a little board game that was really so sick! This ward is just full of some of the best people here that want to create situations that friendships can come out of. I think that is such an important part of missionary work is allowing the members to be apart and creating long lasting friendships that regardless of what choices people make concerning the church, they know that they will always have a place that is full of friends. That is the gospel to me, have people that are wanting the best for you. Having a support team and a family.  The world is a hard place, there are tragedies that happen all the time and having someone or somewhere to turn to can mean the world. That is part of our role here on earth, to be that person people can turn to! Something I am taking home with me for sure. I always want to be that person people can turn to and always receive support and strength.

I love my mission, it has taught me so much I am learning and grow every day! It amazes me what can happen when I allow the Lord to mold my life and my character. He is my shepherd and my light. I love him and trust him enough to allow him to guide me to where I need to be. I know this to be true. I love you all! Thank you for the endless love and support I receive everyday! I have so much to be unbelievably grateful for.

Hope you have a great week,

Äldste Farnworth

Monday, June 8, 2015

I know that the Book of Mormon is a true book from God. (6/8/15)

There were a lot of moments in this week that I feel like as a missionary you know that they will come or things that you can see others doing but you never really truly believe that they can happen for yourself.

This sign is great
The Sun was up this week! It is FINALLY feeling like summer time! I can so happy with it, not only is the sun out but the warmth is coming too! I mean, it is about time, we are almost half way through JUNE! We are enjoying it though and it makes mostly every part of missionary work a little more enjoyable. We have really enjoyed this week! We spent a few days down in Göteborg for a Zone Conference! It was really good and it was so nice to get that little break and be able to "recharge" the batteries a little. The Conference was really good, they really did a great job at helping the missionaries feel what they were trying to teach us. I really liked Sister Beckstrand's talk, she spoke a lot about The Atonement. That has become my favorite topic in the gospel. I think has a lot to do with my companion as well, Elder Pearson feels really strong about the Atonement and most of the lessons we teach are based all around the Atonement. I really gained a lot from the Conference and really gave me a drive to finish the rest of my mission with a strong desire to let this be known. 

Fun Conference Pictures

The Conference was also special because I was able to give my farewell testimony to those who were there. One of those things I knew would come at some point in the future but never really pictured it ever REALLY happening. It was an amazing experience to be able to tell the younger missionaries how thankful I am to have the chance to serve here and grow in the ways that I never thought that I would. It was really a great moment for me to see the growth I have made here. I can very clearly see that I am not the person that came into this mission, the Lord has truly changed me into who he wants me to become and I am so grateful for it. I am excited for the time I have left to really give the Lord everything I've got! It will be a good few months!

I love this kid.
This Sunday was probably the highlight of the last few months for me. It was so amazing, we had a multi-stake Conference with Finland, Sweden, Norway, Scotland, and Ireland. It was amazing, Elder Holland spoke and I just can't believe how amazing his talk was. It really like changed my entire testimony. He spoke about the Book of Mormon. I haven't been so strongly impacted by a talk in that way in a very long time. It really satisfied my every thought and potential doubts I have had about the Book of Mormon. He talked about the times in his life that he has received testament of the truthfulness for himself considering the matter. It made me also take sometime to reflect when or if I have received such a promised testimony and I remembered very well that in the MTC about 2 years ago I had! Having that experience and having Elder Holland build upon that really brought me to realized that I can not deny that I know that the Book of Mormon is a true book from God! It was such a joy filled moment when I was able to say that and have no thoughts of doubt or anything that could convince me to think otherwise. 

Miranda with the Bishop! Awesome.
There is this lady that we have recently gotten in contact with, I think I have told a little about her, she hasn't had anything to do with the church in probably 20 years and then she emailed the bishop about wanting to come back after her daughter had a religion fair at school and brought back a Book of Mormon. It sparked the flame that she had within her and she wanted to have it back. She came to church last week and then again yesterday. Yesterday, we found out that she actually took her name of the church records when she was younger. This made her actually really excited because it meant that she would be able to be re-baptized and have that chance to start fresh and begin her life as an active follower of Jesus Christ. We met with her and it was so cool. She is very excited to be baptized and we set the date for the 20th of June! We are really excited for her! We have a just a little amount of time to teach her and prepare her for the step she is going to take but we are confident that she will be ready and you can already tell that her desires are pure and that the Lord will be there with her. I am pretty excited about these next few weeks we show see a lot of good stuff!

Skövde in the different seasons of the year!

Well that is about it this week. Only good stuff! I love it here and am so grateful for the people I have a chance to serve here, at times I feel like they help me more than I help them! Hope that you are all doing well and you have a great week!

Look for the good, you will find it!!

Äldste Farnworth

Monday, June 1, 2015

there is a reason to still love it here. (6/1/15)

This week has been an adventure! We have done so many cool things and there have been a lot of great people that were in it! Summer was supposed to be here by now but it isn't. Like to be fair, sometimes we get some warm weather for a few hours but over all, we are dealing with cold wind and rain. I even wore my winter coat for a good part of this week! So that is the "hate" part of my "love-hate relationship" with good ol' Sweden. The best part of the rain though, is that everything is so green and beautiful. So there is a reason to still love it here. 

Swedish Fikas
I taught my second district meeting this week, it was super stressful! I really wanted it to be the best it could be! The theme was a lot about commitment giving and so on. But I really wanted to talk about the Atonement. I came to realize after talking with Elder Pearson that commitments are really just opportunities that we are giving people to accept the Atonement in their lives and wanting to use it to change. It turned out really good. It was cool, I use a video that Zach sent me while I was in Gävle. It is called Missionary Work and the Atonement. That video literally changed my mission when I watched it and after showing it to the district I could tell that it meant a lot to them as well. 

Saneeka was here for most of the week, it was really cool to have her here and that she wanted to spend so much time with us. On Tuesday, she was with us the whole day throughout all of our lessons and visits. It was so cool. We ended our night together at the Salo's house. It was so much fun, I love their boys so much. They remind me a lot of Gävle, so that automatically makes me love them but they are also like just the funnest kids ever. We had a great time with this and that. I taught one of the boys to do the Rubik's cube, so that was fun. It was cool to see Saneeka develop such good friendship and to see members open their homes for new people! The day and evening was a huge success and loads of fun.

Monday, the 25th of May, is the day I stepped into the league of culinary masterfullness. Robin and I were in charge of creating a new type of dessert dish. We took Swedish brownies and Swedish pancakes, and through careful planning and thought and a lot of obnoxious Chef Ramsey quotes, we created a piece of art. We called it Pannekladd . It was really good, so good that mere words can't describe it. I will be forced to release pictures. It was the greatest night, we had a lot of fun. The youth here are the best. 

yes, I got a selfie stick
I went to Skövde this week again, it was the best. Every time I go back there I realize that I was so blessed to be able to serve those people and create the relationships that have lasted a while now. We met with a lot of awesome people, one of them being Daniel! My old branch Mission Leader, it was really good to be with him and have a classic Taco Night! That is like up there with one of my favorite things about this country and the Swedish culture, the acceptance of tacos. It is huge here and that bringth me great joy. 

So many fun people in church
Sunday was the best Sunday we have had in a while. It was so great, I woke up and saw a text from this guy ( he came to learn volleyball with us when we played on the beach a few weeks ago) he told us that he wasn't busy anymore and wanted to meet! So I texted him back invited him to church.. he accepted the invitation! Then I thought to invite this other Less Active lady we were planning on meeting on Tuesday of upcoming week. She replied saying that she was already on her way and she was ready to come "home after 20 years!" So basically, it was not even 9:00 when I knew today would be awesome. When we went to church I really felt great, we greeted our two guests and helped them feel welcomed then during the first hour of church, we had another less active walk in! I was feeling really happy, it was a great day. I feel super thankful for the people that the Lord is helping me serve here. 

Overall, I really liked this week, there were struggles and ups and downs like every week has but in the end I am happy so to me that means all the bad stuff wasn't that bad! I think that is something that I have really learned a lot on my mission. That wherever there is something good and worth while there will also be something against that thing, we believe in opposition in ALL things. In the darkest room that seems to have no light at all, can be taken over by the light of the smallest spark . Darkness has power until the smallest amount of light comes then the darkness loses all power it once had. When we try to be the best we can there will be those who are against us as well. We need to understand those around have only as much power and darkness as we allow them. "Där det finns ljus skingras mörker."

elder Farnworth