Monday, April 25, 2016

Joining the Ranks, Departure, and Germany

Another Couple Join the Force here in the Sweden Stockholm Mission!!!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016, we traveled to Arlanda Airport to greet our newest couple, Elder and Sister Mitchell, from the Cache Valley area near Logan, Utah.  The Mitchells arrived looking great and fresh from such a long flight.  They were supposed to be on the same flight with three new Sister missionaries, but due to Visa delays, the Sisters were reassigned to the Las Vegas West Mission for the next six weeks.  We will be so excited to finally get them here toward the end of May.  Pictured below, from left to right are:  President and Sister Beckstrand, Sister and Elder Clouse, Elder Hemmingsen, Sister and Elder Mitchell, Elder Archibald, Elder Weaver, Elder Bradshaw, Elder Kendall, and Elder and Sister Koyle.

Elder and Sister Mitchell will be serving in Örnsköldsvik, with special assignment of Branch support for the Branch there.  We are so excited to have the Mitchells with us here in Sweden and look forward to great things from them as they work closely with the members in Örnsköldsvik.

Departures are so hard!!!!

WEll, Wednesday, April 13, 2016, the missionaries who will be flying home arrived at the temple for their good-bye session.  Pictured below are: Elder Sweat, Elder Pearson, Sister Stetler, Sister Nielsen, Sister Griffes, and Sister and President Beckstrand.

A big shout out for a job well done for these wonderful missionaries.  We will miss them!

Final dinner for this great group of missionaries.  Pictured are Elder and Sister Clouse, Sister and Elder Koyle, Elder Pearson, Elder Sweat, Sister Stetler, Sister Griffes, Sister Nielsen, and Sister Beckstrand.

Well, after a no-show for the flight home, we brought 4 of the missionaries back to the mission home for an extra night with us.  Sister Griffes managed to book a later flight to Detroit and was able to fly home today, but these four weren't so lucky.  So, movies, games, and popcorn were on the schedule for them as they awaited an early 6:10 AM flight home to the USA.  Here they are enjoying a few fun moments together.  Sister Nielsen, Sister Stetler, Elder Pearson, and Elder Sweat.

Mission Leadership Council!!!!!!!

Due to the upcoming Mission President's Seminar in Germany next week, we held our MLC on Friday, April 15, 2016.  We started off with lunch form Pizza Hut and green salad, along with Ice Cream Sandwiches for desert.  Here we have Elder and Sister Wood, Sister Gardner, Sister Bateman, Sister Harkness, Elder Hemmingsen, Elder Johanson, Elder Payne, Sister Brink, Sister Banks, and Sister Crawford.

 Elder Bradshaw, Elder Carrigan, Elder Heiner, Elder Halterman, Elder Bradley, Elder Svensson, Elder Luke, Elder Liddle, Elder Larson, Elder Johnson, Elder Bailey, Elder Burton, and Elder Kendall.

More fun at lunch time.......

 Our theme for MLC this transfer is, "Keep the Commandments."  Our goal is to make sure that our missionaries are teaching the commandments for understanding to our investigators in order to allow them to fully take advantage of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  Our assistants, Elder Bradshaw and Elder Hemmingsen did a masterful job in teaching the "what and how" of the commandments.

We are always so pleased with our leaders here in the Sweden Stockholm Mission.  They are always attentive and so in tune with the spirit.  We are so blessed to have these great young leaders to help us in the Lord's work.  We truly love each one of them.

Mission President's Seminar in Frankfurt, Germany!!!!!

We were so blessed to be able to attend the Mission President's Seminar held in Frankfurt, Germany, April 19-21, 2016.  This was a great opportunity to be taught by our wonderful Europe Area Presidency.  These three gentlemen are so great and it is always a treat to be able to be with them.  Pictured from left to right are:  Elder Paul V. Johnson, 1st Quorum of the Seventy and 1st Councilor, Elder Patrick Kearon, 1st Quorum of the Seventy and Area President, and Elder Timothy J. Dyches, 2nd Quorum of the Seventy and 2nd Councilor.

Elder Johnson providing some training and teaching during the seminar.

This group of Mission Presidents and their wives are now preparing to be the Senior Class of the Europe Area Missions.  These ten couples first came together in June 2014 at the Provo MTC to receive instruction and be taught by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  We are still learning every day and are humbled by love, faith, and trust our Heavenly Father has in us to carry out His work in Europe.  Pictured left to right are:  President and Sister Ulrich, England Manchester Mission; President and Sister Ivory, Romania Moldova Mission; President and Sister Mathews, Cape Verde Praia Mission; President and Sister Weidmann, Adriatic South Mission; President and Sister Kohler, Alpine German-Speaking Mission; President and Sister Watson, Finland Helsinki Mission; President and Sister Babin, France Paris Mission; President and Sister Stoddard, Germany Frankfurt Mission; President and Sister Grant, Adriatic North Mission; and President and Sister Beckstrand, Sweden Stockholm Mission.

A couple of pictures of Bad Homburg, where the Mission President's Seminar was held.  Such a beautiful area of Germany.  We love being able to meet with all of the Europe Area Mission Presidents and their wives for a few days.  We always come away with renewed spirits and a determination to do our very best to help our Swedish Missionaries be successful in their work.  We truly are so blessed and so thankful for this calling the Lord has entrusted us with.  We will always stand with our Savior and testify of Him and His glorious gospel!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Zone Conferences and a Sweet Farewell

Members of the Stockholm Zone.

 Members of the Norrland Zone.

Elder Burton and Elder Liddle, Zone Leaders for the Stockholm Zone.
Lunch time with our missionaries.  Pick out your Elder or Sister.......

March Zone Conferences!!!
Tuesday, March 22, 2016, we traveled to Västerhaninge for our first Zone Conference of 2016.  We met with the Norrland and Stockholm Zones in the Västerhaninge Chapel due to the Gubbängen Chapel being closed for some renovation.  It was so good to be able to be with our missionaries from these two Zones and to be able to enjoy the spirit with them.  Our theme for our Zone Conference  was, "Finding Energy and Strength through Jesus Christ", and it was just what our missionaries needed.  President Beckstrand taught our missionaries how they can find renewed energy and strength through relying on the Savior and knowing that He is always there for them.  He will never give up on us and He asks that we don't give up on Him.  Our Assistants, Elder Archibald and Elder Hemmingsen taught on the subject of "As Christ Would" and they did a wonderful job of helping our missionaries understand the importance of always doing things, "as Christ would!"
 We were blessed to hear Elder Lohmeier, Elder George, Elder Pearson, and Elder Frankman sing a wonderful hymn.

 Sister Beckstrand taught on building your personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  She showed the missionaries a video clip on a silent interview with people and their relationship with the Savior.  It was very powerful and she provided an example of her son Josh, and how he came to developments his personal relationship with the Savior while on his mission to Cebu, Phillipines.  She then finished her teaching with surprising the missionaries with a special video put together with personal pictures of our missionaries and their loved ones, both living and those who have passed on.  This is the reason we are here on our missions, to spread the message that families are forever and that we will see our loved ones again because of Him, He lives and blesses each of us with the gift of immortality.  Now, it is our charge to do all that we can to receive eternal life with our loved ones.

After lunch, Elder Barnes sang, "Oh Lord, My Redeemer" and it was wonderful.

Lunch time with our missionaries.  Elder and Sister Madden, serving Visby on the Island of Gotland.  Elder Madden serves as Branch President for the Visby Branch.

Pick out your favorite Missionary........

Wednesday, March 23, 2016, we traveled back to Västerhaninge for Zone Conference with the Stockholm South Zone and the Södertälje Zone.  Our selekterat song for Conference was performed by Elder Larson and Sister Giles, "Oh Lord, My Redeemer!"  They were masterful.

Members of the Stockholm South Zone.
 Members of the Södertälje Zone.

Thursday, March 24, 2016, we traveled with our Assistants and Office Elders to Göteborg for our Zone Conference with the Malmö and Göteborg Zones.  Along the way, we stopped outside of Jönköping to see some ruins and stretch our legs.

Elder Weaver, Elder Kendall, Elder Hemmingsen and Elder Archibald.
 Obviously, these young Elders have gotten into some trouble while here in Sweden.  A little "behind bars" time should settle the score.

Friday, March 25, 2016, we met with the Malmö Zone and Göteborg Zone for our final conference in March.  It was a great concluding conference, highlighted by Sister Bateman singing our conference song, "Oh Lord, My Redeemer!"  She did a fantastic job.  Here are the members of the Malmö Zone.

Members of the Göteborg Zone.

Elder Mecham and Elder Pärkkä, smelling the roses!!!!!!!!!!

Lunch time with the missionaries.......Pick out your favorite.......

Elder and Sister Watson helping to feed the missionaries at Zone Conference.

Easter Sunday!!!!!!!
March 27, 2016, some of the sights of Easter in Sweden for your enjoyment.  Mölndal, Sweden.

 Jönköping, Sweden.
 Ystad, Sweden.

Farewell to the Hawleys!!!!!!
Monday, April 4, 2016, we met as Senior Couples at the Stockholm YSA for a good-bye brunch for Elder and Sister Hawley, who return home to Montana on April 5, 2016.  We will miss this wonderful couple as they have done so much good here in Sweden to help the Lord's work move  forward.  We love them and we will miss them.  Thank you Elder and Sister Hawley for a job well done.

 Elder and Sister Clouse, Elder and Sister Hawley, Elder and Sister Robinson, Elder and Sister Britton, Sister Wood (standing), and Elder and Sister Koyle.