Monday, June 10, 2013

Borlänge Episode 2: The Return of the Missionaries

Käre Familj och Vänner,
     Hej och hallå from Borlänge once again! Man, let me tell you, last week was exhausting. Amazing, but still exhausting. So remember how I said that We would be packing like an entire week into like 4 days? Yeah, that went down, and it went down like a boss! We pumped out 17 super amazing lessons, only a few of which I am not completely satisfied with. It's hard sometimes to remember the Lord expects us to be working towards perfection, not there right now, but it's a lesson I have been trying to keep in mind.
     Another awesome thing that I thought might be worth mentioning is how absolutely awesome my grandparents are! Grandma and Grandpa, thank you so much for the package! I'm not going to lie, I haven't even opened the peanut butter yet; I know how sad I'm going to be when it's gone. =) Oh, and that music is absolutely brilliant. I don't know why, but I have been missing Amazing Grace so much, and now I have it! Anyways, thanks so much. It made my day.
     I'm glad to hear that all is doing well at home with everyone, and man can I say that my friends get around. I did a little thinking today, and came to the realization that excluding Australia and Antarctica (but come on, who counts Antarctica?), I have friends on every continent in the world. I would particularly like to give a shout out to Megan Blease, who -if my calculations are correct- is now down in Peru, serving the people there and spreading the love of Christ. Oddly enough, I have a friend here in Sweden who comes from Peru. I tell you, the world gets smaller and smaller every day.
     Ok, so I promised you all last week that I would tell you all about this wonderful conference that I was talking up so much. Let me tell you, it was perhaps the coolest thing I have had the chance to experience in a long time. We started on Saturday: I, Äldste Anderson, and the Davis' traveled down to Hägersten (southern Stockholm) for a meeting with ALL THE MISSIONARIES IN SWEDEN. Let me tell you, I was afraid that chapel was going to disintegrate with all the energy in there. It was so cool! I got to see new missionaries, old missionaries, friends who I hadn't seen in months, and of course, my best bud here on the mission, Äldste Asp (who, by the way, is getting transferred to Eskilstuna, which is out of my zone *tear*).
     So here we were, chatting away, when BAM! Elder Ballard walks into the room. Dead silence. I'll tell you this right now: I've met with an apostle once before, but you can never get used to the feeling of the sheer power and spirit of these special servants of the Lord. I imagine it must have been the same way for the disciples when Peter or Paul walked in the room.
     So we begin the meeting, and man, I was blown away. When I came, I had so many questions, so many concerns. Within the end of that meeting, I had received answers to my questions, and answers to questions I didn't even know I was really asking. I don't have the time to share everything I learned during that meeting, but suffice it to say that I have a lot of changes to make. I need to step up my game a little, and then see the miracles fly. lol.
     After the meeting, we had a quick lunch (AKA, talk for an hour with all your missionary friends then quickly wolf down a sandwich), then we headed out on companion exchanges. I worked with two elders: Äldste Keetch (one time companion of Asp and all around awesome guy), and Äldste Muirbrook (former Borlänge elder with a fiery spirit and an always open ear). Oh man, we tore up the area we worked in (Handen). We taught a foreign exchange student from Colorado on the train, got asked if we were Jehovah's Witness by someone who I think was high, and had an amazing dinner with a Filipino member named Mary. Afterwords we went to a conference for all the YSAs (Young Single Adults) in all of Europe led by -guess who- Elder Ballard! It was so packed in that building, and so warm that we were all melting -Swedes don't use AC- but let me tell you, the Spirit was just so powerful in there. The general authorities really talked a lot about missionary work, and I was so amazed and proud of how boldly they challenged those in attendance. Elder Ballard gave a challenge to all the YSAs in Europe to help one person come back to or find the Gospel of Jesus Christ by the end of the year. We really hope they took that to heart, because this is truly the Lord hastening His work, and I so want for everyone to experience the joy that comes from participating in helping others come unto Christ.
     After our YSA conference, we headed to the Handen elders' apartment, where we stayed the night, and then headed off to the Stockholm Waterfront Congress Center, where the Regional Conference was held. It blew. my. mind. Imagine, just imagine this: middle of downtown Stockholm, 3000 LDS members and their friends, gathered together to listen to an Apostle of the Lord. Man, I saw so many people it was crazy! I saw people from all over, including my dearly beloved Västerås! The twins were there, Alejandra was there, her friend Mordjane was there... Basically, it was like a family reunion for me.
     And then, the conference. Man, all of the speakers laid down the law! It was a missionary's dream meeting! Everyone was totally called to put their shoulder to the wheel, to have the courage to help others, to shout the Gospel and glad tidings of Christ's restored church on the mountain tops! I see fantastic things coming from this.
Anyways, I just looked over this email and saw it was like a billion pages long and discombobulated as all get out, so I think I'll end it here by saying yeah, it was an amazing week.
I love you all, and hope to hear from you soon.
Äldste Kody Christopher Ogaard

1 comment:

  1. Dear Äldste ogaard, I served in Borlänge back in 1984-5. I was wondering if you could tell me if Harry Sigebjer is still around. I feel bad that I didn't stay in touch better.... you can reach me at it was such an awesome time to be in Sweden. I was there for both the ground breaking and dedication of the Temple. Thank you for your time!