January 29, 2018


Visby, Gotland Island, Sweden


Elder Spencer Ashford

I'm in to Older Guys

I don't know if it's just me or if this is the case for other Missionaries, but I found myself spending a lot of time with old Men.  Starting on Tuesday we went and visited an man named Erik.  He's 92 years old and used to be the Branch President here in Visby many years ago.  Now he says he's too old to come to church, but for being 92 he gets around pretty well.  So if anyone has any tips for getting old people back to church I would love it!  
We also visited another less active named Pablo.  He's from Chile and he's not quite as old as some of the others. We shared a message with Pablo, but has lost interest in the church over the years.  The third Old guy from the week is named Benny.  He's actually a new investigator!  He's also past alcoholic and has got wild hair and never turns the lights on in his apartment.  He's great though!  We have two other investigators Per and Staffan.  Both retried Swedish guys.  Oh and I can't forget Ingvar and Robert!  Ingvar is the biggest Cowboys and Indians fan in the world and he's never been to America.  Like just take a look at the picture I took with him.  And words can't describe Robert.  He was the one who took Elder Strong and I to see some waterfalls a couple weeks ago.  Robert has very strong opinions and isn't afraid to speak his mind and last night some how he gave the Birds and the Bees talk.  Don't ask me how or why because I don't know.   
Oh and on Friday night, Elder Ashford and I went to visit another Old Swedish guy named Kaj and we caught him right as he was coming home.  He had two other friends with him, Thomas and Bjorn, and he invited us in.  After they had all cracked some Beers, offered us some rotten apples, we were able to share a short message with them.  And to finish it off we have Richard.  An old guy from Africa who when he answered the door, was only wearing a towel around his waste and latex gloves. So hopefully I have helped paint a picture of the people I've been around.  It's awesome!  
Being a missionary is so great!  You get to meet so many cool people and have so many cool experiences and learn a lot about the gospel, about people, and about yourself!  And one of my favorite things as a Missionary is you just kind of go for it!  We have a schedule and lessons plans and stuff, but every situation and person is so different that you are often just figuring things out as you go.  But it always seems to work out in the end. How?  I would say because the Lord is leading us.  Elder Ballard has some short videos called Patterns of Light that we have used to teach a couple times this week and I would invite you to watch.  In his 3rd video he explained how at times revelation comes like a foggy day.  We can't see very far ahead, but we can see enough to take a few steps in front of us.  And as we take those steps we can see enough to take a few more.  In the moment, I don't necessarily see the Lord guiding me, but as I take those steps of faith and then look back I see how the Lord has been helping me the whole way.  For example, 3 times this week we just happened to run into a potential investigator on the street.  It allowed us to have a positive conversation that wouldn't have been possible if we hadn't been at that exact spot at that exact moment.  I know that we have a Father in Heaven that loves us.  That he watches over us and has given us guidance through the journey of life.  He has given us our Families, Prophets, Scriptures, the Holy Ghost and most of all his Son, Jesus Christ, to lead us home.  As we follow Jesus Christ, one step at a time, I promise you that you will feel your Heavenly Father's love for you and will receive guidance through personal revelation.  
Elder Beckman

Pictures:1. Swedish/Cowboy/Indian Ingvar and his dog too!2-4. More pics of Snowy Sweden


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