August 20, 2018




Äldste Spencer Ashford

Where has the time gone?

Hello Everyone!

So I hit my 6 month mark this week, so that's kinda crazy because it feels like I've only been here in Sweden for like a month! Time flies when you're having fun and working hard I guess! :)

So last week's email was kinda short, so I thought I'd make it up this week and tell of some pretty neat experiences from this week!

Neat experience #1- One thing that I have been trying to work on this last week is "go about doing good" and looking for as many service opportunities as possible. Last Monday after P-day time we were out tracting and we noticed this guy out working in his yard with this HUGE hole and a bunch of rocks and stuff.  Naturally we went up and offered to help and he declined but we got into an awesome conversation! So this guy named Loc moved here from Vietnam about 30 years ago with not much money and not knowing any Swedish or anything, but now he has a house and 2 cars so I'd say he's killing it.  Anyways, we start talking about his huge hole with all the boulders (they're like 150 lb. each or something, how ever much 100 kilos is) and asked how he dug such a huge hole (probably 15x3 feet wide and 8 feet deep) and got all these boulders out and stuff. He said that he prays to God for strength and he's able to do a little bit every day. He does it all by himself, no machines or anything, just his two hands and a shovel.  We were like no way, because this guy is pretty small. Then he asked me if I wanted to try moving a boulder, so of course I did and I was just barely able to lift one up.  And I know I'm not that big or anything but then Loc goes to pick it up and went beast mode and lifts it like it was nothing! And he was smaller than me! He is such a hype beast and such an example of faith! We started talking about the Gospel and he has a very strong faith in God. We were able to give him a Book of Mormon in Swedish and we were able to give him a Vietnamese Book of Mormon a couple of days later and he wants us to come back and talk more about it :) It kinda got me thinking about how Loc did all this stuff though.  It was through those small and simple things everyday that he was able to do it! He didn't just move all these boulders in one day, it took many hours of hard work over months for him to be able to move all these boulders and stuff.  So don't get discouraged because you're not seeing results with something immediately, it comes over time by doing those small and simple things! And work of course!

Neat experience #2- We had an awesome lesson with one of the people we are teaching who hasn't been making a ton of progress recently. He's been taught for like 6 months and I don't think he's realized the change the gospel has had in his life.  We talked a lot about the Plan of Salvation and Christ's role in it all and after talking about each of the steps in the Doctrine of Christ, we asked him how Christ has made an impact in his life.  After thinking about it for a while, he started seeing the differences and basically started bearing testimony of the peace and joy that we receive from the gospel and it was so cool to hear this from him! We're working on some other stuff to prepare him for baptism, but he loves listening to the Book of Mormon and hopefully he can come to church soon! (His work schedule is kinda crazy.)

So those are the two biggest neat experiences but others include:

- After tracting for a while, I pulled a Book of Mormon out of my backpack and was determined to give it to the next house.  We knock and start talking to them and they weren't down, but right at the end we asked if they knew anyone who would be interested and she thought about it for a second and said yes! She has a friend that is a religion teacher and we gave her the book and a card to give to her friend. Referrals are always good :)

-This upcoming Saturday we have a branch activity called chill kväll and so on Saturday we took a bunch of invites to less actives to try and get as many people there as possible! We went by this one less active whose family members aren't members and gave his 18-19 year old daughter an invite and she said she would come!

Have an awesome week, but before I go, I was studying a lot about humility as well as meekness because I was trying to figure out the difference and why they're so important.  The answer that I got was that humility is not showing weakness, it's actually showing strength.  Humility is showing gratitude and giving credit to God instead of ourselves.  When we start to think that we don't need God, that's when our hearts become hard and proud.  Meekness, although connected to humility, is a little different. Meekness is being able and willing to learn from the Holy Ghost and from others who we might think don't know as much as us.  For example: when a 3 year old corrects your Swedish you can either reject it and keep making the same mistake or accept the advice and become better! Meekness is being teachable about anything by anyone. It's an attribute that I'm going to try and work on this week :)

You are all flawless and have an awesome week!
Äldste Nathan Balls


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