Monday, December 15, 2014

Santa Lucia

Hey guys!

This has been a really fun week, with a lot of Swedish traditions! On Thursday we had district meeting in Norrköping and interviews with President Beckstrand. It was a lot of fun! President and Sister Beckstrand are a lot of fun and it was fun to listen to funny stories from Sister Beckstrand while president was interviewing. We also practiced our skit for the Christmas conference in Stockholm that we are having next week. Our district is doing a Home Alone (missionary addition)... it's going to be pretty funny ;) Thursday evening we went to a member named Miriam and with a nonmember family that she lives with and made lussekatter, which are these saffron roll things you make around Lucia. They were SUPER good!! 

Saturday was also so much fun! We woke up and went to Dom Kyrkan (one of the biggest churches in Sweden) to watch their Lucia celebration. For those of you who do not know what Lucia is, it's an old Christmas tradition in Sweden, where one girl is chosen to be Lucia and wears a white dress, with a crown of candles on her head. They walk in and sing a lot of traditional songs and then exit. After the Lucia celebration, we went and got some hot chocolate at Wayne's Coffee and then went to our branch christmas party. The average age of everyone at the party was probably 80 years old... but it was still fun :) We ate some food and then read through the nativity scene out of Luke. After the christmas party we went to Norrköping for another Lucia celebration with other missionaries. This church was absolutely packed and they had a really cool celebration!! 

Sunday night the branch watched the Christmas Devotional. I really liked it and got a lot out of it. One thing that I was reminded is that every single thing in this world is to bless us. Our blessings and our trials. Because of these things we can become better and grow. And everything is made possible through the Savior. Sunday night I had the opportunity to pray for a really long time. I decided in the morning that I would try and give an extra sincere prayer, as I strive to find answers to things I need help with right now in my life. The spirit was so strong! The answer I received is that it is going to be okay. And really that is what the gospel gives us and why we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Because we know that through Him we can look forward and say "it is going to be okay." And what peace this can bring to us in trying times. I am so grateful for this Christmas season! 

I love you all and I am so grateful for the letters and packages, and most of all for the prayers. I hope you can enjoy this Christmas season! 


Elder Kapp

                                                                        Snow storm! 

                                                          I teach, even when I am not teaching!    


                                                          Ward christmas party   

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas is coming

Hey everyone!

This week has been another good week here in Linköping. We have had a lot of awesome opportunities being able to spread the true meaning of Christmas to people we talk to, that is focusing on Jesus Christ. It is amazing being able to talk to so many people about this message and the joy it brings to everyone.

So it seems like this week in a lot of our lessons we have been teaching people a lot about personal revelation. We have shown the "Patterns of Light" videos to multiple people and have talked about receiving this revelation for yourself. This is something that I love about our message. I find myself often telling people that I know that this church is true, but I also tell them to not depend on my knowledge, rather than to find out for themselves. What a wonderful thing! The fact that we can ask our Father in Heaven ourselves for help and He will answer 100 percent of the time. We just need to recognize those patterns of light. I have seen them in my life and have seen how each small ray of light has brought me one step at a time, closer to my Heavenly Father. So I invite YOU, to use this promise in your everyday life. Create that relationship with God, that will help you recognize the patterns of light, in your daily life.

So on Saturday we had the opportunity to go to that African worship night thing. It was really fun and cool because they asked us to "Preach." We once again showed the "He is the Gift" video and they absolutely loved it! They really love us missionaries and respect what we do.

In Sacrament Meeting we had a total of 8 members this week. Not so many!! So I took the opportunity to share my testimony. I felt like sticking with what has seemed to be the subject of my week, which is personal revelation. I shared about my experience at AP Camp and how President Reed invited us to have our own "Sacred Grove Experiences." I also shared how this has been such a different Christmas because I haven't really thought about presents, parties, food, etc. Nothing is wrong with those things... it is just so nice to focus completely on the Savior. It has been awesome.

I hope everyone else can welcome in this same special Christmas spirit. I love you all!

Elder Kapp

Monday, December 1, 2014

Now in Linköping

Hey everyone! It feels like it has been forever since I have written. So much has happened in this past week. So last Monday we had our Thanksgiving dinner with the Holmberg and Andersson family in Hägersten. It was super fun!! So don't worry... I didn't miss out this year. On Tuesday I transferred. It is always weird leaving an area. On the train ride you have the opportunity to think about everything you accomplished in that area. What makes it cool is to see all of the lives that you touched in the short time there, and all of the people that changed you in return. I am so grateful for every experience and every area I have served in. Although it hasn't always been easy, I have grown and have loved every minute of it. 

So I got here in Linköping and the sun was shining (this is very unusual for this time of the year). There was literally not a single cloud in the sky. When I got off the train I took a deep breath, took in some precious vitamin D, and knew that everything was going to be good. And it has been!! I absolutely love this branch. It is so small, but so strong. I think it's a David and Goliath kind of branch and we are David. If you look at it from the outside it looks pretty small and weak, but when you get to know each member you can realize that there is so much strength and potential. 

My comp is Äldste Aabo. For those of who are not Norwegian or Swedish, it is pronounced "oh-a-boe." He is a super fun guy and very optimistic. Haha he definitely knows how to have fun :)!! He is really good at Swedish, being that Norwegian and Swedish are very similar. And he is a super good teacher. Things will be good with him!! 

The first night I got here I unpacked my bags and we went over to a members house named Carl Gentz. We go over there once a week to read scriptures. We just read, read, read. He is a super nice guy! After that we went to an investigator's apartment and played a board game, while talking about church stuff with her and her boyfriend that she is living with. We had some really good discussions and had a lot of fun! 

The next day I was here we spent in a city called Västervik, which is like a hour and a half train ride there are back. It took most of the day up! We have a investigator there named Hampus. He is a 17 year old Swedish teen who referred himself to the temple square missionaries and they have been teaching him over the phone. Now we have also been teaching him. I have to say he is so prepared!! He knows the church is true and knows just about everything. We can't really teach him anything more. He has to wait until he is 18 to be baptized so we are just waiting until next October !:) After teaching him we had branch council. I got to meet the branch president and some other members. The branch president in this ward is such an awesome leader. His name is Rene and he is from Denmark. There are also a bunch a members from different countries. A couple from the Netherlands and an American family as well. 

On Thursday morning we had zone training in Södertälje. We found out about this awesome program that the church is doing this Christmas called the "Christmas Initiative." The church has made a new video called "He is the Gift," and they are trying to spread this video all over the world. It is being placed on the front page of YouTube and on advertisements in New York Time Square. And WE as missionaries have also been asked to help spread it. We have been contacting people by showing them the video on our iPhone and it has been a HUGE success. We usually just start by telling them we are out from our church to ask a simple question... what do you do to celebrate Christmas? And after discussing for a while we tell them that our church has made a short video with a Christmas message. We have had a lot of positive reactions and have gotten a lot of phone numbers. One guy even liked it so much that he asked if we could meet now. So we walked over to the church and had an awesome restoration lesson. He loved it and is super sincere! 

On Friday we helped out at a funeral of an old member who just passed away. We spent most the day there. 

Saturday evening was one of the craziest experiences of my life. We were calling people earlier in the day trying to set up appointments and this one guy we called invited us over to his house and said they have like a little gospel night every Saturday where they talk about faith and stuff... so we were like, sure! Why not?! We get there and there was about 15 African people sitting in their living room. And then they started....... they started just singing and praying randomly and screaming and dancing!! Literally just about 15 people screaming at the top of their lungs Hallelujah!! AMEN!!! It was pretty interesting! After they just ate a bunch of food and talked. Seriously the nicest people in the world. They asked if we would "preach" next time for them. I am going to have to work on my black man bible teaching voice... (AMEN!!) 

Church was great on Sunday. They asked me to share my testimony in sacrament meeting. I really love being in a smaller branch. I feel like I am able to contribute so much more. Also, Sofia is in this branch... the lady who took us out to eat in Gamla Stan when I was in Hägersten. 

I am excited to be here! This area has a lot of potential! I love you all. 

Remember to share the "He is the Gift" video! 


Elder Kapp