Monday, January 2, 2017

Merry Christmas and God Jul!!!!!!! 2016 Christmas Zone Conferences!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016, we traveled to the Gubbängen Chapel for the start of our 2016 Christmas Zone Conferences.  In Gubbängen we met with the members of the Norrland and Stockholm Zones.  We start with a picture of the Norrland Zone.

And here we have the members of the Stockholm Zone.

Oh no, a sign of things to come possibly?????????

We started our Zone Conference out with introducing Elder Hall to the missionaries.  Elder Hall and his wife Sister Hall, have been called as YSA missionaries and they will are assigned to the Stockholm YSA Center.  In addition, Elder Hall (a physician before his mission) will be handling all of our medical issues for missionaries here in Sweden.  We are thrilled to have the Halls with us in Sweden.  Elder Hall took some time to visit with the missionaries regarding the dark periods of winter and things that missionaries can do to keep depression away.  Elder Hall answered many questions and our missionaries received some valuable information to help them stay healthy this winter.

Our Assistants, Elder Johanson and Elder Halterman then provided training on "Light the Way" in our missionary work.  They reviewed the Jul Initiative and success stories were shared by missionaries.  We then were taught how opposition provides opportunities if our desires and attitudes are in sync with the Lord's plan.  A challenge was then issued by the Assistants to our missionaries, wherein they were charged to "Ask God what He wants you to learn."

Sister Beckstrand taught on the importance of having Charity in our lives as missionaries and after, when our missionary service is concluded.  She provided insights with respect to Christ and the love that He has for all men, irregardless of their status of situation in life.  Charity allows us to serve others as Christ served all mankind.

Sister Beckstrand then provided the missionaries with a little "Christmas Bucket List" which if followed, will bring more Charity into our lives this Christmas Season.  Hence, Be present; Wrap someone in a hug; Send Love; Donate Food; Make memories; and Be the Light.

President Beckstrand taught on the theme, "I am the Light."  President instructed on the LIght of Christ that all men have and how it provides enlightenment, knowledge, and uplifts and inspires men.  He reviewed the first principle of the gospel, which is Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and how we need to continue daily in developing our faith.  Faith leads to Firm Belief and True Faith leads to Righteous Action.  He shared with the missionaries the teaching of the Prophet Joseph Smith;  "Faith is the principle of action in all intelligent beings."

As missionaries and members of the church, we can increase our Faith in Jesus Christ through Diligent Study, Prayer, Dedicated Service, and Obedience.

After the morning confernce, we gathered for our Christmas Feast, where there was plenty of food and Julmust for one and all..........

We so appreciate the dedicated service of our Senior Couples as they take care of the Christmas Lunch.  Elder Clouse, Elder Anderson, Sister Anderson, and Sister Clouse.

After lunch, we enjoyed a little Christmas game of "Pass the Present" hosted by none other than our Swedish Tomta (aka. President Beckstrand).

Here is a look at the look carefully for your missionary.

After the fun with the Pass the Present Game, we re-assembled in the chapel to continue on with our conference.  President and Sister Beckstrand presented a Christmas program and several of our missionaries shared their talent with us.  First, Sister Shin played a piano number, "Oh Come All Ye Faithful";

Second, Elders Blackburn, Olson, Halterman, and Harrison shared "O Come O Come Emanuel";

Third, Sister Cappuccio and Elder Baquedano stay a duet "What Child Is This".  These Elders and Sisters did a masterful job and we enjoy hearing them perform.

 Well, after the Christmas Program, the Office Elders had some fun by doing a little rap dance for us to introduce the last segment of our Zone Conference.  Sister Beckstrand had arranged for our missionaires to be able to watch the movie, "Saturday's Warrior."  So Elders and Sisters we hope you enjoyed the movie .

Wednesday, December 7, 2016, we traveled to Handen to meet with the Stockholm South and Södertälje Zones.  We met in the beautiful new Handen Church Building.  Here are members of the Stockholm South Zone.

Here are the members of the Södertälje Zone.

Elder Hall started us off with his training the missionaries on those things that will help them to keep depression away during the long cold, dark days and nights of Sweden's winter.

The Assistants provided their training to the missionaries on "Light the Way."

Sister Beckstrand once again trained on Charity and letting Christ's love shine through you this Christmas Season.

 President Beckstrand provided training on having and developing faith in Jesus Christ.

Lunch time in Handen with the Christmas Feast!!!!!!!!

After lunch, so let the games begin......."Pass the Present" is in full swing in Handen.

After the games were done, we reverently came back together in the Handen Chapel for our Christmas Program.  The Stockholm South Zone Leaders, Elder Castleton-Rudolph and Elder Hart conducted the meeting.

President and Sister Beckstrand presented the Christmas Program.

Elder Kilton and Sister Christoffersen presented a lovely duet.

Sister Anderson, Sister Hatch, Elder Halterman, and Elder Johanson sang "The First Noel."

Elder Clouse read a Christmas Story that touched us all.

Sister Hansen, Sister McWhorter, Elder Harrell, and Elder Petersen sang "Nu Tändas Tusen Juleljus" with Elder Castleton-Rudolph on the piano.

Elder Dean performed a wonderful violin piece, "Still, Still, Still", accompanied by Elder Castleton-Rudolph on the piano.

Thursday, December 8, 2016, after traveling 6 hours the night before, we met at the Västra Frölunda Chapel in Göteborg with the Göteborg and Malmö Zones.  This was our final day of Christmas Zone Conferences and we were pretty tired at the start of the morning, but the tiredness left quickly as soon as we saw these great missionaries in these two zones.  Below are members of the Göteborg Zone.

Here are the members of the Malmö Zone.

Elder and Sister Hall flew in this morning in order to help us provide the same instruction to the missionaries here in the south of Sweden.  Elder Hall did a wonderful job and we are so happy and blessed to have the Halls here in the Sweden Stockholm Mission.

In each of our conferences, we provided several minutes to our Office Elders (POEs) to talk about and explain a new app that they installed on each phone in order to help the missionaries navigate their way around train and bus schedules and to locate addresses in their areas of service.  A big Thank You to Elder Nielsen, Elder Hawkins, and Elder Chugg for all that they do in the Mission Office and to help us with our Zone Conferences.

The Assistants take center stage and begin teaching our missinaries.

Sister Beckstrand is passionate when she teaches and she loves to teach about the Savior and His love for each one of us.

After the morning session of Zone Conference, it is time for the Christmas Feast.  Elder Kendall and Elder Burton re-uniting.  It has been a long time since those days in Skellefteå.

Sister Watson, Elders Kendall, Burton, and Hawkins.  Grandfather, Father, and Son.

Alright, let's eat..............

A special "Thank You" to Elder and Sister Mitchell and Elder and Sister Watson for the wonderful Christmas Feast and for all of their service to our missionaries.

And now, on to the games, Presents beware!!!!!!!!

Well, time for our Christmas Program with the missionaries.  President and Sister Beckstrand present the program.

Sister McClatchie and Elder Frankman sing "Still, Still, Still" with Sister May on the piano.

Elders Holt, Johanson, Barnes, and Halterman sing "Angels We Have Heard On High."

Elder Watson reads a Christmas story for our missionaries.

Elder Holt sings "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" with Elder Barnes at the piano.

It was a great round of Christmas Zone Conferences.  May we always remember Christ in Christmas.  He is our Savior and Redeemer, the Only Begotten Son of God.  Merry Christmas to you all!!!!   We love you!!!!!

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