Monday, November 30, 2015

11 More Days.

Hey guys, 

Well, this morning was interesting. My companion and I woke up a little earlier, since the other missionaries email later in the day. We got to the church and there was a suspicious car sitting in the parking lot and one of the classroom windows of the church was wide open. We went inside and saw that it was broken open. So we went throughout the church, turned on all of the lights, and then opened all of the doors. Nobody was in the church so we went outside and looked inside the car. There was somebody passed out in the back. The whole situation seemed a little iffy so I called the police. We knocked on the window of the car and two guys sat up and opened the car door. It was obvious that they were smoking something! They took off before I could get the license plate number. Luckily, nothing seems to be taken! That was my little piece of excitement for the day. 

I never thought I would be at this point of my mission, but I can now say that the end is very, very close. We have had a good week here. Last Monday, I got my last haircut before going home and then my companion and I just did a bunch of random things... played ping pong and went to a mall. Later on Monday we went and ate dinner at a member's house. After that, we went by an in-active member that the ward wanted us to go by. We called him on the port-telefon by the apartment door and he answered, asked who it was, and said he wasn´t interested. I have done that 1000 times and have had that response so many of those times, but it still hurts me a little when people turn away from the church. After going by him, we went contacting. It was COLD! We were able to give out a Book of Mormon to a guy on the street. 

On Tuesday, we spent the first half of the day contacting and doing swing bys. At 4:00 we met with a new investigator we found. His name is Russell and he is from Bangladesh. He is studying here at the university in Malmö. We taught him about the Restoration. The lesson went well. He has had a hard life and I know our message could really help him. After, we went and met with Thomas and Tisha. They were able to make it to church this last Sunday, which was great! We talked a lot about how Thomas´ faith can grow in what we are teaching. We read from Alma 32 and discussed how he can nourish his faith in what we are teaching. I am confident he will one day become a member, but not until he dedicates time to read and pray. We then had a lesson set up with a new investigator named Maria, but she cancelled. Instead we went by a less-active member named Nancy. She was not home, but her teenage boys were so we talked to them for a little bit. 

Wednesday we had district meeting. After that we had a meeting with the missionaries in Malmö and planned out our part of the Christmas party, since the ward wants us to take 10 minutes. We are going to do something similar to "Kid History." We recorded a bunch of the primary kids telling us the nativity scene. We are going to act out teaching people on the street about the nativity, acting out to their voices. It will either be really funny and good or a train wreck... haha. After that we went and helped Elisabeth take some things out of her apartment. We finished the night off by going to ward council. The ward council is GREAT here. They focus so much on us missionaries. 

Thursday was Thanksgiving!! We went to Lund and ate as a district. The Neihbuhrs, the senior couple put together a great dinner and we played some fun games afterwards. Once we got back to Malmö, we went and visited a less-active young man, with one of the young men leaders. We had a really good lesson with him and talked to him about the basic principles of the gospel. He lives about 40 minutes away from the church, so it is really hard for him to come. We are just trying to keep contact with him so he doesn´t fall through the cracks and hopefully he will be able to stay afloat until he one day lives closer to a church. 

So on Friday we had a visitor in Malmö. Mahin... one of our investigators in Linköping was visiting Malmö. She is a post pHd student and was writing an article that she asked me to help edit. So we met her at the church and helped her for a little bit. We didn´t have very much time, so had to finish helping her on Saturday morning. Later on Friday we went to an in-active member´s house who called and asked us to come and bless his apartment. He is a younger guy, about the same age as us, and is a DJ here in Malmö. He hasn´t been to church for quite a while, but felt like he wanted to bless his apartment, so called us missionaries. He had two friends over, so it was cool to be able to talk to them a little about the church. We then had a lesson set up with Russell, but it fell through so we ended up just doing our monthly car report. We then had correlation meeting with our ward mission leader and then had sports night at the church. 

Saturday morning we went and finished helping Mahin with her paper. After, we went over to Brandon and Stina´s and taught them one of the post-baptism lessons. They are doing really well. Teaching new members is always fun. They are filled with so many questions and some are really hard to answer. We then went and got some groceries for them, because they both were sick. After that, we came back to our apartment and did weekly planning. We then had a lesson with two new investigators at the church. We waited for them at the church for a while and they finally came an hour late. We taught them a good lesson, however they are both Muslim and pretty set in their ways. They said they would take a Book of Mormon and if they felt the Spirit, they would meet with us again. 

We had a really good day in church on Sunday. After church we went and ate dinner at a member´s house, name Per Larsson. After dinner we went and taught Leschelle, with Johan. She is really positive towards us, but doesn´t keep commitments and isn´t progressing. So we tried to reestablish expectations and will see if she starts doing things. After that we went with Johan and gave the sacrament for some people who couldn´t come to church. 

This is my last full week as a missionaries. I am both very sad and very happy to be coming home. This last week should be a good one though! I love you all. 

Elder Kapp
                       When Paris plays Malmö in the champions league... They call him Zlatan. 

                                            The district in the elevator leaving district meeting.


                                                                        Thanksgiving

Monday, November 23, 2015

2 weeks...

Hey guys, 

First, I am glad to hear that Elder Kapp 2.0 is happy and healthy in the MTC. Just keep pushing Elder! The beginning is a little different and slightly uncomfortable... especially for those who haven´t lived away from home for a long period of time. ENJOY it too! The MTC can seem long, because you are in classrooms all day, but I honestly took those 6 weeks in that spiritual bubble for granted. I love you man!

Anyways... this week has been good. We have not been able to meet with Helen, because she has been in and out of the hospital. So the baptism probably isn´t going to happen on the 5th, but that´s okay. She is still going to make a baptismal date, just not that date. 

Monday we didn´t really do pday since we were visiting the temple this week. We visited a less-active member named Kevin. We talked to him just about everything. We kind of just focused on how by following the basic principles of the gospel and doing those basic things, the Spirit will help us have a desire to come to church. After visiting him, we went by the Paxsen family, a family who lives really far away from the church and has no car, so for them to get to church they have to stay with family here in Malmö the night before, which makes it so they come rarely. They are an awesome family though! Their 8 year old son, Christoffer, really wanted to make sure he got to say goodbye before I took off, so he and Brother Paxsen made it to church on Sunday. They are really good people! 

Tuesday was spent doing a lot of finding. We went contacting for hours and then went by some investigators. Tuesday night we had a special broadcast in Europe for all of the ward councils. The area presidency, along with Elder Ballard spoke to us about working in the ward councils. Elder Ballard gave an awesome talk. They all basically talked about how the ward council is the working engine of the church and how it needs to function for the rest of the ward to function. They focused on one of the goals for Europe for the year, which is that every member would bring one friend to church during the year 2015. Think of the effect that would have if EVERY member brought just one friend to church once. Many would come and would probably not come again, but there would also be so many that would feel the Spirit and want to learn more. I hope we can all make a goal to invite 1 friend. That would do so much! 

Wednesday morning we had district meeting. After the meeting we ate lunch and then went contacting for a couple of hours. Haha we got a call from Elisabeth... she needed help setting one of her alarm clocks. We went over with the other elders. After that we went and ate a member´s named David Fondell. 

Thursday morning we drove up to Helsingborg and went to their district meeting. I then went on splits with Elder Groberg in Helsingborg. We first did some swing-bys and contacting. After we went and ate dinner at a member´s house. The wife there was the cutest/funniest, old Filipino lady. Her name is Lucy and she is like 4 feet tall and fed us SO much food. She just kept piling food on our plates and said, "Don´t shy. Feel like home." After meeting with her we went and met with an investigator named Mats. We met him at a grocery store and taught him outside on a bench, so he could smoke. We taught him about the Restoration. It was cold. Really cold! But the lesson went pretty good and he seems like he is willing to read and pray. 

Friday morning we drove back to Malmö. On our way back we stopped by Lund to pick something up and ended up eating lunch at the YSA center with the Neihbuhrs, the senior couple and the missionaries in Lund. After that we did some planning. We then went to some members house to borrow their bridge pass, so we could get to Denmark on Saturday. While we were there, Sister Saffer asked us if she could make us dinner. So we stayed and she made some food for me and my companion, which was really nice of her! After that, we went to the church for sports night. We had a decent turn out, but only one non-member came this week. 

Saturday was great! We got to drive to Copenhagen and got to visit the temple. We first did baptisms with some of the youth from Denmark. After that we did a session. Copenhagen is an awesome city! After the temple we went and got KFC and Dunkin Donuts (since they have them in Denmark). It snowed like crazy on the drive home and snowed all day Sunday! 

Sunday was a really good day in church. We had the primary program and guess who got to translate to English this week... Haha those kids speak REALLY fast so I was having a really hard time translating and then keeping up with what they were saying at the same time. It was fun though! After church, we went over with Johan and gave Elisabeth the sacrament. After that, we visited a 96 year old member, named Märta, at her nursing home. We were able to give her the sacrament and give her a blessing as well. We then went by a member named Kent, who we are working with trying to help quit smoking and talked about submitting to the Savior and letting him take our weaknesses. 

It´s been a really good week. I am so excited for the Christmas season to be around the corner, which makes it a perfect time to share with people the true meaning of Christmas. 

I love you all and hope you have a great week. 

Love,
Elder Kapp  
                                                    The Kristus statue in Copenhagen

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

GOOD LUCK ERIK!!!!

Well, I want to first wish my brother, Erik, good luck this week! I love you so much and hope know you will do such a great job!! 

Well, this first half on my last transfer is over. It´s been so far, so good. 

Monday was good! We had just a normal pday. We had an apartment inspection and then got a new car. Not a bad deal! Monday night we met with an African member named Innocent. He is the nicest guy in the world and his arms are bigger than my thighs. I feel really, really small next to him. But anyways we are just working with him and trying to help him be active in the church. We watched the Mormon Message "Your Potential, Your Privileges." He ended up coming to church on Sunday, which was great to see! Monday night was freezing and we were slightly under dressed. We went tracting and it was cold, but good! 

Tuesday we had an appointment cancel on us so we went into the city and contacted people for a couple of hours. We are having a hard time finding new people, I don´t know why. It has never felt this hard to find potential investigators. Our area of Malmö in general is the "nicer" part of town and the other elders have the ghetto, so it may have something to do with that. But we are doing all we can and I know there is some prepared people in our area. Tuesday evening we went and taught Tommie, a less-active member. He has some Word of Wisdom problems to overcome and we are just trying to help him prepare to go to the temple. 

Wednesday morning we went over with the other elders to Elisabeth´s house. We just visited with her, talking about favorite movies haha! For the record, hers is Mrs. Doubtfire ;) After meeting with her we went contacting for a little bit. We then had double lessons set up so I went on splits with Jakob Stigsson, a member who is leaving on his mission this week. We went to teach Helen and Jeremy, but they did not answer. I was like "NO!!!" I really wanted Jakob to get a good missionary experience before he left. We had another investigator close by named Leschelle. We went over to her house and got in. We followed up on her reading. She hadn´t read so we read with her and talked a lot about the Plan of Salvation. After that we went to the church for ward council. 

On Thursday we had a specialized zone training, where President and Sister Beckstrand came with the assistants. The training was really good! I am going to miss the Spirit in those meetings. They talked about this years Christmas Initiative and they showed us the video we will be using. It is very different from last years video, but will be really good. I am excited to use it the last week of my mission! President and Sister Beckstrand also told me I have to share it over social media when I get home. You know you´re close when the mission president is already telling you what to do when you get home! After the training I went on splits with Elder Archibald, one of the assistants right now, from Shelly, Idaho. We went and taught Brandon and Stina one of the post-member lessons. 

Friday we were still on splits. That morning we went and taught Leschelle with our assistant ward mission leader, Johan. It was good, but she still hadn´t read in the Book of Mormon, so we told her we would save our lesson for next time and read with her. After that we had an awesome lesson with a new investigator! Her name is Mirjana, and she is just somebody I pulled from the area book and called. She is from Croatia, but has lived in Sweden for quite a while and speaks good Swedish. We taught her the restoration and she had a lot of really good questions. The lesson went great! She seems really positive. After that, we switched back with our normal companions. Elder Johnson and I then went to correlation meeting at the church. After that we had sports night. We are getting more and more non-members to come each week. We don´t have a big enough gym to fit everyone! 

Saturday morning we did weekly planning. That took a couple of hours. Later, we had an elders quorum activity. We had invited a ton of less-actives and investigators, but unfortunately none of them made it. It was still really good! We were able to get to know members better and had a good time! Haha we ended up having an arm wrestle battle against Dennis (another ripped African member). The only one who could beat him was Jakov, a really big guy from Croatia. This ward is so international, which makes it super fun! It´s cool that you can literally have people from every region of the world at an activity. Saturday night was spent tracting and then contacting people in downtown. 

Sunday was great! There were so many people in church!! The chapel was filled to capacity. We were able to get quite a few less-actives we are working with there and an investigator. The first speaker in sacrament meeting was Danish and gave her talk in Danish. Haha it was SO hard to understand. The members understand it pretty well down here, because their dialects are a mix between Swedish and Danish, but us missionaries feel just lost! I looked back at Elder Nelson, who was translating in the microphone for the English speakers and his face was priceless! Needless to say... he made up his own talk for the most part. After church we went and visited a member who has recently coming back into activity and is working to overcome some word of wisdom problems, so he can return to the temple. After that we went tracting! 

Well, that was my week! Love you guys and hope you have a great week. 

Elder Kapp

Monday, November 9, 2015

Travel Itinerary... :(

Hey...

It´s getting real. I got my travel plans. I arrive in Salt Lake at 7:17 on December 10th. I really don´t feel ready for this, but ready or not... here we come. I love my mission so much and I hope I can make the most of these last 4 weeks. 

So we started this week off by heading down to Stockholm for MLC. We left Monday morning anndd... of course we went over to the Pence family´s house. We had a family home evening with the missionaries in Stockholm and some of their investigators (one of them was from Brazil, dad... can´t remember the name of the city, but he said it was pretty close to Recife). Fumi, the girl we baptized in Stockholm, was also there and she is doing great! They have taken such good care of her and she is still going strong. Crazy to think that the next time I am in Stockholm will be when I fly home! 

MLC was super good! The focus was on faith and diligence... a good topic to focus on going into these cold, dark winter months. We mostly talked on the simplicity of the gospel and how by simply doing what we are supposed to and having faith in the Savior everything else just kind of falls into place. I have seen this especially on my mission. For the most part, I have not done anything crazy and spectacular. But by simply working hard and being obedient I have been able to find the success that the Lord sees fit for me. By simply doing those simple things like waking up on time and reading my scriptures, I have been able to see a change in myself and in other's lives too. I still shake my head every time I go tracting or contacting and the fact that we are able to get so many people to let us in or give us their phone number. That alone is a miracle. And once again, it´s not me. I am not something special. But it´s through the Lord. So when we see our lives with tasks that seem impossible, whether it's a missionary trying to find someone to teach or a "normal" person trying to make a big decision, by simply doing what´s right, the Lord can work miracles and do more with our lives than we ever imagined. 
 
Wednesday was a cool day. We spent a good portion of the day planning for our zone training that we had on Thursday and after we were able to meet with some previous investigators named Helen and Jeremy. They are a married couple, with a baby boy. Helen is from Columbia and Jeremy is from France. Helen knows a lot about the church. Her ex husband is a member and she has met the missionaries quite a bit. We were able to get in and teach an awesome lesson about how the gospel will bless their family. We set a baptismal date for Helen for December 5th... my last Saturday as a missionary. Jeremy needs a little bit more time because he doesn´t know that much about the church, but I am sure he will come around. Before we left, Helen said her biggest dream is to have their family sealed together in the temple. 

Thursday morning we had zone training. It was my last time teaching other missionaries. It was weird sharing my thoughts and feelings in front of them for the last time. We had some lessons after on Thursday night. One was with someone that I found in Linköping, named Costa. He has since moved to Malmö to study. There have been so many miracles teaching him. The first day that I contacted him in Linköping he was smoking and we showed him the "He is the Gift" video. He later told us that he, in a desperate and depressed part of his life, prayed for the first time in a very long time the day we contacted him. And then a year later I called him here in Malmö. When I called him and set up a time to meet he said, "this is a super weird coincidence, but I just happened to pick up that book you gave me a year ago and read it for a couple of hours yesterday." There have just been a lot of weird "coincidences" with him. He admits that he has felt the Spirit while studying the Book of Mormon, just has a hard time wrapping his head around Joseph Smith. I don´t know why, but the Lord wants him, because he keeps sending Costa in my path. 

Well, I would say that is it for the cool things that happened this week. I love you all and hope you have a great week! 

Love,

Elder Kapp

Monday, November 2, 2015

The beginning of the end...

I am going to try and be a bit more detailed this week, since my last couple of emails have been kind of lame!

Well, here's the beginning of the lasts as a missionary! I just had my last transfer and got my last companion. Like I said last week, my companion is Elder Johnson. The guy has a great enthusiasm for the work and is pretty lovable. Should be a solid last 6 weeks! 

So the beginning of the week was full of goodbyes for Elder Ahlstrom, before he left for home. He left Wednesday morning and we spent Monday and Tuesday seeing quite a bit of people. On Tuesday night we met with Thomas and his wife, who is a member. When we began the lesson he said he received an answer... but not the answer we want to hear. He said he feels like the Book of Mormon is true, but isn´t the only way to God. He said he might become a member in the church one day, but now isn´t his time. The thing is, he hasn't read in the Book of Mormon for a long time, since they got married and he got a new job. Before he was sharing his testimony in elders quorum. It is so easy to lose Spiritual light. Just like President Hinckley says, faith is like a muscle. If you don't exercise it becomes weak. Even though we were disappointed, I think there is a good lesson learned here. It shows how fast we can get lost if we stop doing those simple, but important things. 

On a lighter note... Tuesday evening we went over to a members house for pizza. The dad of the family has a recording studio in his basement and he wanted us to record a missionary rap. Haha it was pretty funny... be ready for it. 

Wednesday was transfer day and it was CRAZY! I spent most the day helping missionaries with luggage and driving to and from the station. In the middle of the day I was on splits with Elder Rowley and we went to the church to teach one of our investigators, Jukko. We taught him about the restoration and had a really good lesson. He is really sincere and I know that this gospel can change his life. My companions train was delayed because there were some problems and he had to take a replacement bus. He came in pretty late, but after a while he finally showed up. 

Thursday morning we had district meeting in Lund. After that we came back into Malmö and went to teach a less-active member named Tommie, with a member. Tommie had been less active for a really long time, but he came last Sunday. We found out that he has had cancer and has had treatment in the past. The cancer has become malignant again and is spreading throughout his body. We gave him a blessing while we were there. He seems to be very humbled and I think that is why he came to church. Trials seem to help people remember the Lord a little more. After Tommie on Tuesday we went over to the second counselor of the bishopric´s house and helped him and his family clean, because they were moving the next day and had a lot to do. After that we went to the church for the ward Halloween party. They did a bunch of different activities and had a spook alley in the basement of the church. There was a really good turnout! 

Friday we went over to Elizabeth´s with the other elders. We go over there weekly to strengthen her and help her with anything she needs around her apartment. After that my companion and I did weekly planning. After weekly planning we went to the church and had correlation meeting with our assistant ward mission leader. We finished off the night by having sports night at the church. We had a really good turnout from the members, but not our investigators... Too bad! 

Saturday morning we went over to the church to help out with fall cleaning. We raked some leaves and got the garden ready for winter. Right after that the sisters had a baptism. My companion and I were the witnesses. The girl being baptized, Shanice, was baptized by her brother Mike. They are both Norwegian, so my comp and I were scrambling to find the baptismal prayer in Norwegian, since we were witnessing. It was luckily basically the same as it is in Swedish! After the baptism my companion and I began the funnest thing ever... Stake Reports!! (That was sarcasm... they are the worst). We basically write a report about less actives, new converts, and other stuff that we send to the mission president, who then forwards it to the stake and ward leaders. It takes like 6 hours!! We spent the rest of the day Saturday doing those and still didn´t finish. Saturday was "Alla Helgons Dag" (All Saints Day). So that evening we went to a cemetery with the other missionaries to look at the candles. There were some really cool ones! I will send pictures. 

Sunday morning, my companion and I got to drive to Helsingborg to pick up some phones that we need to take with us to Stockholm to be fixed. So we drove there and back before church. Church was really good. The ward kind of dropped the youth Sunday School lesson on my companion and me, because the teacher didn´t show. Since we didn´t really have time to prepare anything we just opened it up to a Q&A about missions and preparing for a mission. It was really good. There is a pretty large group of youth here! After church we went and ate dinner at the Grant family´s house. After that my companion and I finished stake reports. When we got done it was about 8 o´clock. So we drove into downtown Malmö and just contacted people until we needed to go home. We talked to a couple for a really long time and we able to give them a Book of Mormon. Like always, it seems like it is the last contacts late at night that you have success with. When we give the Lord just a little more and sacrifice just a little more, He provides success in our lives. 

Have a great week! 

Love,

Elder Kapp