Monday, June 29, 2015

First week in Umeå

Wow, what a week!!!

My head was honestly spinning my first couple of days. I felt that same cultural shock when I came in as a greenie when I came up here, because the work is honestly so different here!!! I feel like I am serving in a completely different mission here, but I am loving it!! The people are strangely friendly here... It almost catches me off guard every time I contact someone. I am like wait... isn´t this the part when you are supposed to walk off and say you´re not interested?? NOT complaining. Other than that the work is pre-exploded here. Elder Israelsen has been working his tail off so we already have a ton going on and are teaching SO many lessons. It is nice having a companion who has such great work ethic, because every area I enter I usually have to get things going because there is nothing... but here it´s already going at full speed! We are going to do some fantastic things up here in Umeå together. 

So let me tell you about a few a things that happened this previous week, because if I wrote it all I would be writing all week...

So I left Stockholm and flew up to Umeå on Wednesday. I honestly have never felt so sad leaving an area!! That place was a special place and I miss it already. I flew up to Umeå, which was a pretty short flight (only like an hour). It felt like as soon as we got up to altitude they began to descent. It´s officially 1000 times easier to transfer by plane than it is by train. When I got here in Umeå, Elder Israelsen was waiting for me at the airport and everything after that has been a blur because we have been so dang busy!! I LOVE working with him though. It is so nice to have someone that wants to work so hard. I am learning so much from him. He is from Colorado and has been out about a year.

So I am going to go through kind of brief everything that has happened since. On Wednesday we met with an investigator named Ranja who has investigated the church for quite some time, and is honestly super positive. She is ready to be baptized, but it unsure about it. We are going to be pushing her!! She always keeps her Book of Mormon in her bag and reads whenever she can, which I think is super cool. We then met with an African investigator named Juliana. She lives in the same apartment building as a member named Daniel and he came with on the lesson. It was a super good lesson and she said she would be baptized, she just wants to come to church first and see how it feels, which she did. Julianna has the CUTEST African baby, named Helin. After teaching her we went to teach a couple named Emma and Joseph. Emma is a nonmember and Josef is a less active member. They both have a desire to quit smoking so we challenged them to read the Book of Mormon every day and to begin this journey. I called them yesterday and they have been reading and haven´t smoked!! It is super cool to see the Book of Mormon work in people´s lives. Later that night Elder Israelsen and I drove out to an apartment that the assistants wanted us to look at because the other elders here in Umeå are losing their apartment soon. I really love having a car!! You can get to appointments so much faster and don´t really have to take time to plan travel. I am a little rusty after not driving for a year and a half, but it´s getting better :). All of the roundabouts kind of throw me off too! 

Thursday morning was CRAZY!! We had district meeting in Örnskoldsvik and almost missed our bus and then realized that we forgot to pay for parking... so we were praying all morning that we didn´t get a parking ticket... and luckily we didn´t!! After district meeting we met with a Finnish man named Jakko. We teach him English and kind of manipulatively teach him the gospel at the same time, by showing him Mormon Messages and making him summarize what it talked about. We then went and taught a newer member named Tistou. He is a super cool guy! We then drove outside to the outskirts of the city and went to an investigator  family. Their names are Peter and Beatrice and they are insane! They have such strong testimonies of the church and have investigated for 6 years. The only thing is they are not married and are scared to be married. They have had so many spiritual experiences though. We had a really good lesson with them about the temple. 

So because of time I want to just talk about what happened on Sunday. I received a really warm welcome from the branch. There are a lot of great members here who are very enthusiastic about missionary work. I am really excited to be here. 

Tonight we are flying into Stockholm for MLC tomorrow and fly back Wednesday morning.  Elder Israelsen and I are going to try and make a trip to the temple while we are in Stockholm. 

I love you all!! Have a great week. 

Elder Kapp 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Midsommar week and transfers!

Wow this week has been CRAZY!!

This week has been so much fun with a lot of crazy things happening. We had Midsommar and also found out about transfers. I am transferring up to Northern Sweden, to Umeå!! I will be flying up on Wednesday. My companion is going to be Elder Israelsson. I am excited to go. I know it will be great, but I am going to miss this place SO much! 

Let me summarize what happened this week. We met with Fumi this week at the Heidenberg's house. It was such a spiritual lesson and a good follow up after her baptism. She kept saying that her baptism was the best day of her life. She was glowing. She also told us that she wants to be a missionary and prepare to serve. She was nervous telling her dad that she wanted to do it, because she didn´t want him to say no, but when she talked to him about it she said that he thought it sounded like a great idea and said he would support her. She would make an amazing missionary. She has such a warm spirit and a happy personality. I love people!! 

So another funny/frustrating story. We pulled a number out of the area book that we decided to call. It was this guy named Abraham. He sounded really positive and we agreed to meet at Central Station and then we were planning on going to the YSA center to teach him. Well we get there and wait and wait and wait and nothing. He finally calls us and says, "Where are you guys?! I have been waiting?!" We were like... we are here! Long story short we spend like an hour looking for him and can´t find him ANYWHERE. We call him again and ask,"You are at central station, right?!" He said, "Yes, Central station in Karlstad!" (Karlstad is a city on the opposite side of Sweden) I was like... you have got to be kidding me! I explained that we are the missionaries in Stockholm and I then had the missionaries in Karlstad contact him. I am so good at communicating...not. 

We also had Midsommar this week, which was a non-proselyting day, so we got to spend the day doing activities and got to spend time with members. We weren´t blessed with the same weather as last year... It rained ALL day! It was still a lot of fun! Us and the sisters basically hung out with the Pence family all day. After going to the celebration with the maypole and everything we went to their house to dry off and eat lunch. 

On Saturday we went to a baptism in a neighboring ward with our investigator Javid. Javid is doing great. He called US earlier this week asking to meet. He is very sincere and has a lot of questions. The Spirit was so strong at the baptism. 

Well there are some of the highlights from this week. I have loved this area. It has never been so hard to leave. I am excited for Umeå though!! I love you all!

Love 

Elder Kapp   




(The following pictures are ones Sister Pence, from his ward, sent me of Jake's last p-day in Stockholm.)










Monday, June 15, 2015

Fumi´s Baptism

Wow, 


This week has been great. It has been busy trying to prepare and have everything ready for the baptism on Saturday, but everything went really smoothly. I have never had a baptism go so smoothly before. We had so much help and support from the ward and sister missionaries. Fumi was so happy! She kept saying,"This is the best day of my life!" We were all very happy. 

So not a lot happened this week besides the baptism because we were so busy cleaning, making programs, making assignments, etc. So I am going to just talk about some of the highlights! 

We found a new investigator this week who is really positive. His name is Javid and he is from Pakistan and works as a car mechanic here in Stockholm. He is not religious, but has studied just about every religion. He says he has spent his whole life searching and he just wants the truth, but can´t find it. Well my friend, you have come to the right place. The second time we met with him we asked if he read in the Book of Mormon at all, and he disappointingly said, yes, but I am very sorry, I have not had time to read much at all. I have only read the first 15 pages. We were like, no that´s really good!! I really like teaching him. He is super humble and sincere. 

On Thursday it was the sister´s year mark and the Pence family threw a party for them, and they even invited us elders (we feel special). That family is the greatest. They are our best friends and are constantly serving us. I also get to play lacrosse with Cash when I am there, too, which makes it that much better! 

Sunday morning was insane... We almost missed Fumi´s confirmation. We were waiting at the station for Javid so we could help him find the church. He was running late and we eventually called him and said we would be back at the station after the confirmation. We were then running to the church to get there in time and literally walked in the door when they were about to bless her. We got in the circle and it was a great blessing. We took the sacrament and then left to pick up Javid. CRAZY!! It all worked out though.

Well, I love you all very much. Hope you have a great week!

Love 

Äldste Kapp

                                                                          Baptism
                                                           
                                               Look what I found at a store in Sweden, Dad!!!!


                                                                  Party at the Pence´s

Monday, June 8, 2015

Spiritual fire hose week!

Wow, this has been a really uplifting week. We have had some cool experiences. 

Let me start off by talking about our zone conference on Tuesday. It was so uplifting! It was focused on magnifying our callings as missionaries. The assistants had two recent converts come and they sat on the stand and shared their thoughts on what a consecrated missionary is and how consecrated missionaries helped them accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. President and Sister Beckstrand talked about being disciples in the digital age. They were at a meeting with Elder and Sister Bednar a couple of weeks ago and it's official... our mission is getting ipads! They have not given us a specific date yet, but they are coming! But they talked a lot about using technology wisely and brought up some really good insights. First, when they were in their meeting with Elder Bednar, he shared an experience where he was preparing one of his talks for a conference on his computer and went to click on an icon and was physically unable to click on the tab. He said the Spirit restricted him to the point where his finger could not push the button. He never knew what was behind that tab and he never will, but it was not virtuous or uplifting. We and our youth can have this same power if we fortify ourselves. We all have filters that attempt to block all inappropriate media, but the filter only does so much. The true filter is the filter upon our minds and our hearts. So the question is how do we help ourselves and our kids become this kind of generation? How can we be physically restrained like Elder Bednar to refrain from evil. I have some of my own Elder Kapp suggestions :)...
1. Fortify our homes! Do the simple things. Morning and evening family prayers. Weekly family home evenings where the gospel is taught and cherished. (Are our children really becoming fortified and educated to fight against the evils of the world during family home evening or are we just going through the motions?) Daily family scripture study. 
2. My second suggestion is regular interviews with our children. Now this does not have to be formal in any way. Find a time where you are alone and ask them how they are doing. I would suggest that you probe a little bit. Ask questions, even if they are uncomfortable subjects. Offer loving counsel. This can be the best time to teach our children how to fight against the evils of the world. Teach them what to do if they come across pornography, just like you would teach them if they were to be offered drugs or alcohol. Help them realize the destroying consequences of pornography. Tell them what inform you if they do come across it. And most importantly... follow up. These interviews should be done frequently. I would also suggest that if they are old enough to use a computer or any device that has access to the Internet, they are old to have these personal/loving interviews. 
3. My final suggestion would be to not let things that are not virtuous enter our homes. Our homes are the closest thing to temples when it come to sacredness. Do not watch anything that can take away from this Spirit. Parents, do not watch or listen to anything your would not want your children to also watch or listen to. 

These things can strengthen our families and fortify us. Technology is inspired and heaven sent if used how the Lord wants us to. 

One more cool Spiritual experience I had this week. Yesterday they had a stake conference broadcasted for all of Northern Europe. It was broadcasted from Scotland and we watched it here live in Stockholm. Elder Holland was there and spoke to us. I have never in my entire life heard such a powerful and convincing testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. I do not know how anyone could deny the Book of Mormon after such a testimony. The church is true.

Well, besides these two highlights of the week it has been a bunch of finding and teaching and next week baptizing. Poor Elder Reed got sick when we went and ate out with a member this week and was throwing up in a garbage can on the way out. We are back up to 100 percent though.

I love you all. Hope you have a great week! 

Love 

Äldste Kapp

Monday, June 1, 2015

A week of service

Hey guys, 

Well this week has been another busy one and one with us doing a lot of service! We started off the week last Monday going to eat at the bishop's house. They have a really funny family! After, we went with the bishop and helped an African member in our ward named Honest move. 

Tuesday morning we had district meeting! After, we went by Tiki and got in. We wanted to watch the restoration film with them, but they had guests coming so we just had a couple minutes to check up on them. We then swung by a couple of other people, but weren´t able to get in. We finished the day by going to ward council. 

Wednesday morning we went and did some swing-bys on Lidingö. We didn´t get in anywhere so we decided to go to downtown Stockholm and contact some people. We did that for a couple of hours. Later, we met one of the sister´s investigators from Trollhättan. His name is Prashant and he is from India. He was going to the U.S. Embassy to apply for a student visa. So we met with him, took him to institute, and then showed him where the embassy was. He was a super funny guy and we had fun hanging out with him.

Thursday was service... ALL DAY! We helped Prashant get from his hotel, then to the embassy. He got approved for his visa!!! We were super happy! After helping him we went straight to another service project. We went and helped a member´s sister´s family move into a new apartment. They just built this new apartment building and there were like 10 different families moving in on the same day. After we helped the people we came to help, we figured we would help others move as well. So we spent the rest of the day helping other families load their stuff up the apartment building. We thought it would be a great opportunity to serve and were able to talk to people a little bit of what we were doing in Sweden. We were DEAD after. My arms and legs felt like they were going to fall off. 

Friday morning we did MORE service! We went to a less-active member named Sarah with the sisters and helped her move boxes out from her storage area so she could go through and sort them. After that we did something super cool! We went to Sergels Torg... which is like Stockholm's "time square." We did a chalk drawing on the ground of the world with a banner that said in Swedish. "Meaning of life?" And then under the drawing is said... mormon.org. It was a very fun and effective activity. We had like 8 missionaries doing it and a TON of people came up to talk to us. We gave out TONS of Book of Mormons. After we went and taught Fumi and Anna. The lesson went really well. We taught about following the prophet and the Word of Wisdom. She is doing really awesome. The ward has been taking really good care of her and they are going to have a little party with the young women the night before her baptism. After teaching Fumi we went and taught David. We talked about baptism. He is ready for it! I don´t know what is keeping him back. We keep trying to push and encourage him. 

Saturday morning we went and played soccer with the ward. After, we used the rest of the day for weekly planning and preparing for a lesson we had in church on Sunday. 

Sunday we really good. It was the 5th Sunday so the priesthood and relief society were combined. They asked us to teach a lesson about missionary work. During the lesson my companion read Alma 26:11-12. Elder Reed made the best language mistake of all time. This is the scripture where Ammon says "I will not boast of my own strength." The word boast is "skryter." The word crap in Swedish is "skiter." He said the latter haha. Go ahead and read this scripture and replace boast with crap and that is what he said hahaha! I looked up and half the congregation was holding back laughter. Elder Reed is a legend. 

Haha well I love you guys. I hope you have a great week!

Love 

Äldste Kapp