Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Obligation vs. Opportunity

August 31st, 2015

Kära Familjer,

This week filled with it's own challenges and miracles. Something I've learned so far on my mission is that you can never stop improving- you always have things you can do better. Each week is filled with challenges to overcome human nature, to keep progressing as a missionary and to progress as a human being. I have never been so stretched and had my character so examined in my entire life. I have never been so aware of my shortcomings. And I don't know if I have ever had to be so reliant on the Lord.

Something that I have really been aware of on my mission is the need to talk to more people. God says to "open our mouths" and I am constantly needing improvement on that. Here in Sweden, we take a lot of public transportation, and I have just felt the need to open my mouth more when it comes to public transportation. Something you should know about Sweden is it is not the culture to talk to each other. A bus can be completely silent with no one talking. People rarely start conversations with each other or wave or say hello unless you do it first. When you do it, they seem a little bit surprised. That means as a missionary, we are breaking a lot of social rules at once. This week I had about a 2 ish hour bus ride home and I sat by this woman on the bus. I really spent a lot of energy trying to get to know her and trying to take the opportunity to bless her life with the Gospel. It was a full energy contact and it didn't end super well. We have been doing a lot of finding work here in Borås and I was discouraged. I broke down on the next bus and was just so frustrated. But thank heavens I decided to bounce back. The next day we met the most awesome guy- and where was it? On the bus of course!  I had the most successful bus contact I have had on my whole mission thus far! Syster Lund and I went and sat by this young looking man on a bus on the way to a dinner appointment. We sat down and I complimented him on his backpack- he had a fjallraven like Syster Lund and I both have. We started to talk to him and we got the chance to teach him a lesson on that bus and we got his number. It was SO cool because he actually seemed legitimately interested and curious! I am guessing he is about 23 ish. It was a testimony to me that those that are prepared will actually SHOW interest, will actually want to talk to us. It won't likely be those who we have to practically drag along. Sometimes I talk to people on buses and it is like pulling teeth to get them to have a conversation- a real conversation. But when they are ready, I believe they will show some extent of interest. We are meeting with this man later today!

We had an AWESOME District Meeting this week and I just have to share an approx. quote that our District Leader shared with us: "Think about what you're thinking about when your effort is low. If your effort is low your probably thinking about the obligation instead of the opportunity." I love this!! Wow, it says it all. Do we think about the good things we do as an obligation or an opportunity? I know I need some work on this.

I love you all! Have a fabulous week!

Syster Nielsen

I thought Dad would appreciate this meal I had this week. :)

Yes, Syster Lund is cutting my hair.... Scary...


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