Monday, July 28, 2014

In the big city now.

Hey guys,

I want to start off my email this week by sending my condolences to the Whatcott family and loved ones. It was an honor to play alongside Daulton and to get to know him over the years. I know he influenced me and many other athletes and students at Syracuse High. 

This week I had my first transfer. I was transferred right outside of the heart of Stockholm, in the Hägersten ward. It is so different here and I am still trying to get used to it. Everything is just at a little bit faster pace. I am living in a 4 man apartment, but our apartment isn't even in our area. We have to take a train to get to our area and it takes about a half hour. It's not very convenient, but not too much we can do about it. The four man apartment is fun. The other two missionaries serve in a different ward (Elders Cushing and Walker).  Elder Walker is Elder Cushing's greenie. And then we have my companion, Elder Steen. We all get along pretty well! The four man is a little tight and hard to keep clean, but it's good. 

The ward here has a huge ward roster, but a TON are not active. I did the math and the activity rate is about 11 percent... So we have our work cut out for us. The members who are active are super strong though.

This week we have done a lot knocking and contacting. I still haven't met with any investigators, so we have a lot of finding work to do here. I have also spent a lot of time organizing the area book, trying to find past investigators to work with. Hopefully we will be able to get things warming up in this area and get the work moving forward.

I want to finish by saying something that I learned personally and something I want to improve on in my life. In priesthood yesterday we talked about being grateful in our circumstances. I know as a missionary I have gotten myself in the habit at times at seeing everything that's wrong or everything I wished I did better. When we count our blessings and are grateful in our circumstances, I have noticed we tend to forget about everything that is wrong. The self judgments and sorrows seem to slowly disappear. This is something I trying to be better at and has helped me a lot!

I love you all. Have a great week.

Elder Kapp

An investigator named Andreas who has investigated the church for 17 years.
He is super funny!! 

A guy named Omar who was always on the bus with us and loves Americans... 
pretty sure he is a drug dealer but a super funny guy!,

 Me and Lennart, a member who loves the missionaries, and is super cool.
 He always leaves food outside our apartment door.

Me and Rikard Magnusson. I skyped at his house on Mother's Day.
 He took us out for sushi and frozen yogurt the day before I transferred! 

Picture of us outside the church before district meeting. 

Catherine's baptism

Monday, July 21, 2014

7 months out... and finally... my FIRST transfer!!!

Hey guys!!

So this has been an eventful week! We had Catherine's baptism and I found out I will be transferring to Hägersten, which is right outside of Stockholm. It will be exciting, but very different adjusting to the big city atmosphere! I leave on Wednesday! 

We also had Catherine's baptism this week, which went really well. She is really happy with the choice she made. We didn't have a huge turnout for the baptism unfortunately, because so many people are out of town! Elder Simas baptized and I confirmed the next day. It has been great to see this area come to life over the last couple of months. 

Yesterday I was able to share my testimony in sacrament meeting. It hit me really hard when I stood up at the pulpit that I was standing at that same pulpit 6 months ago, sharing my very American accented/simple testimony. It's crazy... it feels like it was just yesterday, but here I am today 6 months later! It's sad saying goodbye to people I have gotten to know so well and families I feel so close to. The people I have served among have really influenced my life. 

Well I am not feeling super well today so this week is going to be a little shorter. I love you all and will be sending my next email from the other side of Sweden!


Elder Kapp

Monday, July 14, 2014

And you thought I wouldn't go road biking for two years... ;)

Hey guys,

It's been a really good week. We have Catherine's baptism coming up this Saturday and she is doing really well. It is amazing to see everything in her life that has prepared her to meeting us. It hit me really hard that the Lord really prepares everyone and small events in one's life leads them closer and closer until they are ready to hear the wonderful message of the gospel. She will make another strong addition to the Alingsås ward. 

Next, I have to talk about a proselyting activity that was a little different this week. Haha I went on a bike ride with a member here in Alingsås, named Gerth Persson. With permission, my comp went on splits with one of the elderly missionary couples and did service, while I got to bike across the beautiful Swedish terrain ;).  I have pictures to send home. It was GREAT!!

We also had another interesting proselyting activity this week. On Friday night we met with at a Jewish investigator's Sabbath dinner with his mom and some other friends. It was a completely new thing and was cool to see their beliefs and customs. After the dinner, we were able to talk about our beliefs and about the Book of Mormon. The Spirit was definitely present. 

Saturday morning we went to the elders quorum activity and played frisbee golf. It was super fun! This was my second time playing frisbee golf in Alingsås. Can't say I have any promising careers as a frisbee golfer though. 

Let me finish off by saying one last thing that was cool this week. On Saturday we went over to Fahms, but this time not to teach her, but her husband and friend who had questions about the church. It was super good! Her husband had a lot of questions about missionary work, because he really doesn't want his daughters to go, because a year and a half is too long ;) Anyways, we answered a lot of their questions and Fahm's husband was in church the next day. It was exciting to see him there, knowing that they are moving closer to be able to go through the temple, as soon as he accepts the gospel. 

Sorry, one last thing!! So this couple from Utah came to our ward yesterday. The husband served here in Alingsås 14 years ago. He was here in Alingsås for 8 months. It was funny to talk to him. We are living in the same apartment he lived in when he served here. And some of the people he taught are STILL investigating the church and we meet with them. I hope I can come back to this ward too, one day. Well I love you all. Have a great week.

Elder Kapp

Monday, July 7, 2014

Hey guys!!

Hej sann!
Wow... what a week. Let me start off by telling you about our meet and greet with President and Sister Beckstrand. They are really good, and I am excited to serve with them! I have to say though, they are completely different from the Newells. My mission feels very different with them, but I am excited. Each mission president is very different but in a good way. It's going to be great!

We are meeting with Catherine still and we have a baptismal date set up with her for the 20th of July. She is super prepared. It's amazing the role of the Spirit in conversion. We met with her yesterday and she said, "I feel something in your church that I didn't feel before in other churches."  We were able to testify that that is the spirit testifying unto her that this is true. She wants all of her family to be part of the church as well and has been inviting family members here and in Africa to find the missionaries. She told us her story about coming here to Sweden from Africa. She said in Congo, there were wars and violence and her and her family tried to escape. They were constantly hiding to avoid the violence and she said she would pray to God for a miracle, so she and her family would be unharmed and find a way to escape, even though they didn't have the money to. Well obviously a miracle happened, because they escaped and have been here in Sweden for the last 10 years. I often feel like the people we teach are teaching me more than I am teaching them, by their faith and overcoming trials in their lives. 

It's been a great week. I want to finish by saying good luck to Emma, who will be entering the MTC this week. I hope you enjoy this exciting time and wonderful first couple of days of entering the work of the Lord! 

Love you all!

Elder Kapp