Friday, July 31, 2015

Another Baptism

Baptism of Kahled Marea in Kristianstad, May 9, 2015.    Pictured left to right are:  Elder Smith, Kahled, and Elder Jones.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

4th of July in Sweden

Saturday, July 4, 2015, Happy 4th of July America.  Even here in Sweden, the 4th is recognized by many Swedes.  Here is our lovely flag, waving softly in the breeze in Västerås, home of the World's Largest Car Show.


After the car show, we stopped in at the old Viking burial grounds, just outside of Västerås.  We will certainly miss this great couple, as they prepare to travel back home to Wyoming in a few weeks.  They have served faithfully, and have gone the extra mile for the Lord here in Sweden.

Welcome Koyles and more Training and a Goodbye

Early in the morning on Friday, July 10, 2015, we traveled to Arlanda Airport to greet and pick up our newest Senior Couple, Elder and Sister Koyle, who will be training in the office with Elder and Sister Taylor.  The pressure is on to get the Koyles up and going before the Taylors head for the wide open spaces of Cokeville, Wyoming.  We are truly blessed to have had the Taylors with us here in the office and blessed to have a great couple, the Koyles, take over for them.  We are in good hands.  Pictured left to right are;  Elder Bliss, Elder Liddle, Sister Taylor, Elder Taylor, Elder Sahlin, Elder Koyle, Elder Noso, Sister Koyle, Elder Rasmussen, Sister Beckstrand and President Beckstrand.

After picking up the Koyles, we traveled to Västerhaninge to meet with the Stockholm South Zone.  These are great missionaries and it was fun to provide our specialized training to them along with our Family Home Evening.  Lunch was super good as we had Pizza Hut pizza and salad for these hungry souls.  I have never seen that many pizzas disapear so fast in all my life.

 Sunday, July 12, 2015, Elder Dallin H. Oaks showed up for Sacrament meeting at the Gubbängen Ward building.  He was on a cruise vacation with members of his family.  Moral of the story is, attend your meetings as you never know who might show up.  What a thrill for the members of the Gubbängen Ward.

Monday, July 13, 2015, we traveled by van with our assistants to Malmö to continue our round of Special Zone Trainings.  On Tuesday, July 14, 2015, we met with the members of the Malmö Zone and truly enjoyed ourselves.  We provided our training and Family Home Evening to these great missionaries and as always, enjoyed lunch with them.  This time, Subway sandwiches, chips and watermelon.

On Wednesday, July 15, 2015, we found ourselves in Utby with the Göteborg Zone missionaries.  Another great specialized Zone Training and it was so good to meet with these fine missionaries.  Lunch was pizza and salad, and the missionaries slicked up every last piece of Kebab Pizza.  I still can't figure out why they dump french fries on the pizza???????

Well, on Friday, July 17, 2015, we held our final Zone Training for this round.  Last, b ut not least, the Södertälje Zone.  This is a great group of hard working missionaries and we loved being with them for the day.  More Book of Mormon training and Family Home Evening, and you guessed it.....Lunch from Subway with chips and plenty of watermelon.

Monday morning, July 20, 2015, we said a very fond farewell to one of our great missionaries, Elder Mads Held, from Denmark.  Elder Held has served faithfully and now it is time for him to return home.  Here, he is greeted by his family at the mission home.

Elder Held greets his parents.

Sister Beckstrand, Elder Held and President Beckstrand at the mission home.  We will miss you Elder Held but know that you will accomplish great things in Denmark and Scandanavia.

From MLC to Zones...

Monday, July 6, 2015, we traveled with the assistants to Umeå for specialized Zone Training with the Norrland Zone members.  As you can see, our assistants catch up on any moment of sleep that they can.  They work so hard to serve the missionaries here in Sweden.  Here, Elder Noso catches a few ZZZZZs on the plane to Umeå.

In the rental car in Umeå, Elder Rasmussen tries his best to catch flies, while Elder Noso and Elder Sahlin pull faces.

We had to stop in Ratan to check out the "Hedgehog Crossing" to see if we could see any of these massive beasts.

Watch out......we have a sighting of a real Hedgehog.  They do truly exist.  Don't pick them up, because they are full of lice.

Elders Noso, Sahlin, and Rasmussen at the Norrland Port, in Ratan, Sweden.

President and Sister Beckstrand enjoying a few moments at the Norrland Port in Ratan, Sweden.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015, we held our Mission Leadership Council meeting at the mission home in Danderyd.  We invited our MLC members to come early and the assistants put on a special activity, "Acting out different scriptures from the Book of Mormon.  It was a great activity and all the MLC members had a great time.  While the missionaries played, the President cooked hamburgers and hot dogs for a real American BBQ.

 After the activity, a BBQ lunch was enjoyed by the MLC members.  Here we have all 8 Sister Trainer Leaders.

Outside on the deck enjoying lunch.

Get after those hamburgers and hot dogs!    Notice the smiles, nothing makes an Elder happier than eating food, except baptizing!

The MLC members feasting on food, in preparation for feasting on the Words of Christ.

After arriving in Umeå, we had a few hours to see some of the sights around Umeå.  We treasure these moments and it is always fun to have our hard working assistants spend a little time with us.  Our visit to Ratan, Sweden was so enjoyable.  Ratan sits at the port of Norrland and is extremely charming, and very old.

We stumbled onto two very old Russian soldiers on our visit.  Sister Beckstrand and Elder Noso doing their very best impressions of Russian soldiers.

This is the hill where the Swedish Battery was positioned, cannons pointing towards the village of Ratan.  It is here where the last battle was fought on Swedish Soil.  It was called the Year War of 1808 - 1809, and was fought between a Swedish armada of 7,500 soldiers, called to defend Sweden against the Russian invasion.  At the time, Europe was divided between the French Emporer Napolean and the Russian Tsar Alexander.  Russia had pushed into Finland, which was Swedish teritory and started to push southward into Västerbotten.  Swedish troops were defeated and forced to retreat.  At the peace negotiations, Sweden gave up Finland to Russia.  This last battle was fought on August 20, 1809.

On Tuesday, July 7, 2015, we conducted a very special Zone Training for the Norrland Zone on the Book of Mormon and how we can use it more intensely in our teaching and finding.  We also held a very fun Family Home Evening activity in the afternoon session.  Here, our Norrland Zone missionaries enjoy a great lunch.

Thursday, July 9, 2015, we were back from Norrland and found ourselves in Gubbängen with the members of the Stockholm Zone.  We were honored to be with these great missionaries and provided the same specialized training and Family Home Evening.  Lunch time is always a hit and this time is was Mexican food to entertain the appetites.

Our assistants, Elder Rasmussen, Elder Noso, and Elder Sahlin, singing the hymn, "Närmare Gud Till Dig" at the start of the MLC meeting.  These Elders provided some great training to our MLC members on the Book of Mormon and it's importance in the missionary work here in Sweden.  President and Sister Beckstrand provided training in how to help our church members here in Sweden use the Book of Mormon in their member missionary work, along with the importance of our personal testimony of the Book of Mormon.  We are truly blessed to have such great leaders here in the Sweden Stockholm Mission.