Monday, August 24, 2015

Reindeer and Member Missionary Work

July 6th, 2015
Kära Family,

This week was a great one! One of the highlights was that we raced a reindeer in the car on our way to see a less active this week! That reindeer was FAST! I see why Santa Clause needs them to do his work on Christmas Eve... You need something fast to get around the world that quickly! :) I still really want to see the Sami people (the reindeer herders here in the north) and see them herding the reindeer! But sadly I haven't seen that yet. We also got to eat homemade hamburgers this week with our Branch President who is from America for the 4th of July. So we did get to celebrate a little bit! Happy Fourth of July! I sure do love America and feel passionate about defending our freedoms there. It is so beautiful here in Sweden right now! Everything is so green and nice... Although I do have to say that it is still not all that warm (compared to back at home) here in Luleå. It's probably in the 60's here on the warmest days.

One thing amazing about a mission is the love I feel for people. The other day I saw a man I felt like I should contact and I just tried to look at him from God's eyes. It was incredible the love that enveloped me. I felt so much love for this man- I was filled with it. I also experienced that today while I was teaching our investigator, Agnes. I had been frustrated with her before, but today I just looked at her and felt a portion of the love for her that I feel like God has for her. I just saw her in a new light. I want to do things as a missionary with a motivation of love- love for God and my fellow men. I don't want to just do things out of a motivation of just duty. That is a start, but I want to live the higher law of love. I know this work is true just because of the love I feel for people. Tonight we swung by a less active who answered the door and was extremely rude to us (and he didn't have pants on...) and started swearing up a storm at us. But it is interesting because I am not angry, I just feel sad for him. The love that envelops you on a mission is amazing.

Last night we had a super neat experience. A member in our branch had invited his friend that he had known for 10 years to come over and have dinner, along with Sister Harkness and I. Robert Näslund decided he wanted to share the Gospel with his friend and he basically sat down with us and them and taught them about the Gospel. Both Robert and his wife testified of the way the Gospel has changed their lives and invited them to meet with us. It was incredible! I don't think that their friends that they invited into their home would have been open to learning more if it hadn't have been for the invitation of their member friends. I don't think it would have been likely that they would have let us in if we came knocking on their door. Members can open so many doors that we can't! I am realizing more and more that if we want the work to move forward better and faster, if we want to touch the lives of more people, if we want to bring strong families into the church, members and missionaries need to unite forces and work side by side. We need to be unitied in this great work of harvesting the souls of men. Joseph Smith said: "After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel." Howard W. Hunter also said: "Surely taking the gospel to every kindred, tongue and people is the single greatest resposibility we have in mortality..." The Näslund family was an example to me last night of what it means to be a member missionary. They know these people, they know their needs and concerns, the can help them in ways we cannot. Member missionary work is so important! How I want to be a bold member missionary when I get home! The worst people can do is say no and I am learning on my mission that you have to go through a lot of "no's" before you get a "yes." If you invite more people, the odds are more in your favor that someone will eventually say yes! That is why we as missionaries are supposed to talk to as many people as possible (I am still working on this) every day because the odds go up of finding the people that are ready.

I am learning SO much from my new companion. She is dynamite! She is so bold and awesome. The other day she literally climbed up a hill to go and talk to this lady and the lady kept walking and Sister Harkness kept walking with her. She was persistent and unafraid to jog up a hill in order to talk to someone. She is super awesome and helping me be more unafraid and bold! We push each other and we both have the desire to be obedient. It is a super good companionship. I love Sister Harkness! She also has an identical twin who is on a mission in Tawain.

I love you all!! Have a great week and enjoy the warm weather for me... I don't know if I will see much of it until next year. :)

Ha det så bra! Jag älskar er så jätte mycket!

Syster Nielsen

No joke, that is literally a reindeer right in front of our car! I saw a reindeer this week!! It raced us along side our car for a while... Sister Harkness started freaking out and was like "take a picture!!" I thought Sterling would be interested to hear that reindeers run REALLY fast!

On a train to Umeå for zone training!

Caught Sister Harkness off guard... Here is the missionaries in our branch now!

This one caught Äldste Svensson off guard. He is Swedish! There is only two Elders from Sweden in the whole mission. 

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