Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June 13, 2011


Found a new apartment! Here's our address:

C/ Gonzalo Nuñez de Sepúlveda Nº1, 2ºD
41009 Sevilla, Sevilla

We had a fantastic week. There are so many things that we can learn and feel and know. Then, we have to opportunity to put those things into practice, to do them. These are experiences that help us grow and change and progress.

This Sunday, the 19th, is Father's Day! I love and appreciate you Dad. You were the first Elder Fagersten, and there are two more Elder Fagerstens serving as full-time missionaries right now. You have always taught me, through example more than words, about hard work and dedicated service. I remember so many instances that you would remind us of how important our time is and that we would do well to use it wisely. That counsel has taken new and added meaning while I have served as a missionary. This week will also mark one year since I began this mission and it has gone quickly, but I have learned a lot, and hope to change and improve in this year that I have left.

Our lives are easier, they are better, and we are happier when we accept and do the Lord's will. It is more difficult to fight that inner battle between obeying and not obeying than it is to surrender our will to His. I used the word "surrender" but it is in fact a victory, a victory over pride, temptation, selfishness and the natural man. It is a victory over our adversary and those who follow him when we "surrender" our will to the Lord's, give our hearts to Him, and are willing to know, do, and become what He would have us know, do and become. It is in fact easier to obey than it is to resist and fight and battle within ourselves. We know that "the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them" (1 Nephi 3:7).

He has prepared the way. The Savior said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6). We follow Him. It is His will that we are happy, and that we have "eternal life" (2 Nephi 2:27-28). Through His atonement, we can be healed, we can change, and we can know, do and become all those things that will give us "peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come" (D&C 59:23).

I know He lives. It is an honor and a privilege to bear witness of Him, to be His representative, and bring the world His truth. He leads this work. He leads this Church. Joseph Smith was the prophet He called to be the instrument by which He would restore His church and His authority. Because of that, we are able to perform and participate in all the ordinances and covenants of life and salvation.

I love all of you so very much, and I know He loves you even more!

Elder Fagersten

Monday, June 6, 2011

June 6, 2011


I love being a missionary. It's wonderful. The joy comes from sharing the gospel, not just being a missionary.

We continue to learn and progress every day, and help others do the same. I know that the Lord appreciates every effort we make to live the gospel. He is aware of us, our strengths, our weaknesses, our goals, our hopes, our fears, all of it. He has provided for us these opportunities, these experiences, to grow and continue in our eternal progression. There is so much more to this life than what we see. Truth has been restored, in its fulness. Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. Only through Him can we return to live with our Heavenly Father again.

I love you all so much. Thank you so much for helping me learn and grow and accept the beautiful, healing gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Elder Fagersten

May 30, 2011


We had a great week. We didn't have any meetings or conferences or things like that. It was a pretty normal week, but it was still great.

God has not ceased to be a God of miracles (Mormon 9:15). I know that miracles happen. They occur every day. The Bible Dictionary says that, "Miracles should not be considered as deviations from the ordinary course of nature so much as manifestations of divine or spiritual power. Some lower law was in each case superseded by the action of a higher." To forgive and be forgiven is a miracle. To live with faith instead of fear is a miracle. To feel the prompting of the Holy Ghost is a miracle. To show love for another person is a miracle. To pray and know your voice is heard is a miracle.

I know that our Heavenly Father lives and loves us. The greatest miracle we have in our lives is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He extends His arms to us daily, inviting us to come unto Him. It is a privilege, an honor, and a joy to be a voice of that invitation and see the peace and light and blessings that come into the lives of those who accept it.

Elder Fagersten

a bit of business...

Our purpose for this letter is to discuss and share a few problems we have been having with packages being sent to your missionary, but first we have to say something about your son or daughter.

We are sure that we have the best missionaries in the entire church. All over the mission our missionaries are doing their very best to be a “Consecrated Missionary” and to be focused on their purpose; that of inviting all to “Come Unto Christ.” The enthusiasm we feel from every Zone is fantastic. We are exceeding our goal of 300+ baptisms and know it is largely because of the dedication and commitment of every single missionary. That is impressive, and it is because your son or daughter is doing all that he or she can to further the work and demonstrate their faith in the Lord We love each one of them and thank-you for sending them to us so prepared and ready to work.

Now to address the problem of packages. For some reason Spain has been targeting large packages that come from the United States and holding them in the customs in Madrid. When they do deliver them we are obliged to pay 50 Euros (around $70.00) to receive the package. We cannot continue to do this so as of June 1st, we will be refusing packages that have been sent after May 25th. This means all the money you, as a parent, have spent to send the package, plus the contents, will be sent back to you.

We have a few guidelines to suggest and hope that they will aid you in deciding what to send to your missionary.

1.Don’t send large packages, which are bigger than 12 by 12 or the rectangular priority box that is a little bit bigger. They seem to target the larger ones more than any other. Remember that Spain is a modern country and if you want them to have some clothes or personal supplies, just add money to their debit card (if they have one) and tell them to buy it here in Spain. It is so much cheaper than mailing.

2.Send your packages directly to your missionary’s address. Also, don’t send them a package after they have been in an area for over two transfers. The mail is slow here and there is a good chance they will move after 3 or 4 transfers in an area. Send packages just after they have been transferred. Don’t send anything express; there is no such thing here. They deliver it when they get around to it.

3.Fill out customs forms completely and don’t send anything of real value. Again, they can buy anything here. They will almost always hold up packages that say “medicines” and will not allow them in and more than likely they will be returned. Again, we have most all the same things here and we now have Elder and Sister Massaro, two retired registered nurses, who are helping our missionaries and they can find what medicine they need here in Spain.

4.Send letters. I know what you are saying, we e-mail them every week. If you could see all the missionaries when we come around to Zone Conferences or trainings and see how much they hope they get a letter. They love the e-mails; don’t stop them, but to have a hand written letter is better than a package. As one missionary described it, “it’s like gold.’ Pictures are also a big hit. Small envelopes and letters come just fine.

5.Finally, please don’t send CD’S and items that are not “mission approved.” They can listen to anything that can be played in a Sacrament Meeting. Don’t send headsets or fancy electronics. They cannot use them and they will be held in the mission office until they go home. Send them uplifting and encouraging letters and e-mails. You can’t believe how hard it is on them to be burdened down with concerns from home. Write them your testimonies often and build them up, they love this. And please don’t miss a week of e-mailing them, they look forward to this and when they haven’t heard from you for more than a week or two it affects their work tremendously.

We hope this will be helpful. We hate to see you spend a lot of money on a package that is held up for 3-6 months and then gets returned back home. We love our missionaries and just want what is best for them.

President and Sister Clegg

May 23, 2011

Buenos días,

We had transfers this week, but nothing happened here in my companionship. The week went great and we continue to enjoy this special time. It is getting hotter here in Sevilla, and all the people are telling us that it still hasn't even begun. We'll see how it is around July and August.

A few days ago we were on the bus and an old lady got up to get off at the stop. She had been talking to a couple of other oldre folks and as she got off the bus she said, "Que Dios te conserve." I laughed so hard. It doesn't quite translate literally, but the verb conservar is "to preserve" so, she basically said, "May God preserve you." Ya know, sometimes people say, "God bless you," stuff like that, well, she hoped that God preserved these other old folks. It was hilarious.

The opportunities we have to learn come every day, almost constantly. I am grateful that the gospel gives us guidance to make correct decisions. The Lord gives us our agency, our ability to choose, so that we can act for ourselves, learn, grow, and progress. All choices have a consequence - this is the law of justice. The consequence can be good or bad, but the consequence will come. Heavenly Father wants us to become like Him and be able to enjoy all of his blessings. We do this by choosing to be obedient to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. Jesus Christ's atonement is central to this plan. I know that He lives and that He loves us. I have faith in Him. I want to believe that He lives, that He is my Savior, that He will forgive me, and that I can change. I want to believe that Heavenly Father has a plan for my happiness, that I have purpose, and that things will work out. That desire has turned into faith, which has brought me to a knowledge of the truthfulness of these things by the power of the Holy Ghost.

I love all of you so much. It's amazing and beautiful to see how the gospel brings so many changes and so much happiness to the lives of those who accept it. The Book of Mormon is powerful evidence of the restoration of the gospel and Church of Jesus Christ through the prophet, Joseph Smith. I know that it is true.

Elder Fagersten

May 16, 2011

Buenos dias,

I always say "hola" so I decided to change it up this week. MY LITTLE BROTHER IS A FULL-TIME MISSIONARY!!! I feel so excited every time I think about it. I love you Ben, I mean, ELDER FAGERSTEN!

We had a fantastic week. We had Zone Conference on Tuesday and heard some great workshops, learned a lot, and really felt the Spirit. We talked about the Book of Mormon, commitments, obedience, attitude, agency, faith, and diligence. It was an opportunity to identify those things that I can improve and the things that will help me be a more faithful servant of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

On Sunday, the story of "The Little Engine That Could" was shared during our Priesthood class. That story really touched my heart. I haven't thought about it in years, but when it was shared, it taught me a lot. A while ago, while thinking of the Savior's statement about our faith being able to move mountains, I thought about spiritual mountains we face in our lives - temptation, doubt, fear, a grudge - whatever it might be, and that our faith in the Savior and his atonement can move them. While listening to the story of the "Little Engine That Could," the thought occurred to me that our faith can also move us over the mountain. The little engine that could kept saying, "Creo que puedo," or, "I think I can!" In Spanish, the verb creer means "to think" or "to believe." Faith is to believe, to hope that it is possible. We put our faith in Jesus Christ, but we must also believe in ourselves. You remember the story, that after he had reached the summit and came down the other side, the little engine said, "Sabía que podía", or, "I knew I could!" The little engine had faith from beginning to end. By putting our faith in the Lord we too can put faith in ourselves. "And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me" (Moroni 7:33).

I know that the Lord is by our side when we try our best to do what is right. He loves us and appreciates every effort we make to live His gospel. It is amazing to see how His love, His atonement, change lives.

I receive emails sent by Elder Frodsham, and I appreciate his testimony of the atonement of Jesus Christ. I feel the Spirit bear testimony of his words. Elder Frodsham is one of my best friends and he has such an amazing love for the Savior and for the people he is serving.

Jesus Christ lives. He is our light. He is our hope. Our faith in Him will build a foundation for our lives that nothing can shake. One day, we will have the opportunity to thank Him, personally.

Elder Fagersten

May 9, 2011


Sevilla isn't too hot yet but they say the temperatures will be rising soon. You should watch the temperatures in Phoenix and Sevilla and see what kind of weather the Elder Fagerstens are working in.

This past week in Sevilla was La Feria, "The Fair." Basically, it was a big party all week long. But one thing that was different was that all of the girls dress up in flamenco dresses and all the boys dress up in suits to go down to the fair grounds. It was pretty cool to see all of the different colors and flowers and everything. The city buses were PACKED. It was crazy, but fun. We didn't go down to the fair grounds, but we did go by on the bus.

We had a great week. Yesterday was great, to be able to talk with Mom. I'm so grateful for Mom and Dad and for all the things they have given us and done for us and continue to do and give. They're amazing people. The thing I'm most grateful for is that they helped me gain a testimony and knowledge of my Savior, Jesus Christ, and our Heavenly Father's plan for our happiness.

We visited a member on Friday afternoon, and she shared her testimony with us. She shared how she gained her testimony, and made a comment that taught me a lot. She said, "Sometimes our testimonies are strengthened more by opposition than by spiritual experiences." Both types of experiences - spiritual ones, where we feel that warmth and peace, and opposition, where we might have to fight to hold on to and defend what we believe to be true - are opportunities for our testimonies to be strengthened. That impacted me a lot because we face a lot of opposition in our lives. For this sister, she faced a lot within her own family, and at times it was really difficult for her to even be able to go to church. But she held on to that feeling, that hope, that belief that God really was her Heavenly Father, and that He loved her, that He had a plan for her to be happy, that He sent his Son to be her Savior and Redeemer, and that Christ had called a prophet again to restore His church and His gospel and all of His promised blessings.

The Lord will help us as we do all we can to hold on to our faith in Him, and trust that He will give us rest from our troubles, sorrows and cares. One way He has done that for me is through the Book of Mormon. Another way is through each of you, and the love and support you give to me. I appreciate it, and I love you. I know that my Redeemer lives.

Elder Fagersten

May 2, 2011


You have no idea how happy it makes me to know that there are TWO Elder Fagerstens.

We had an awesome week! Elder Kirkham arrived on Tuesday and he is now my companion. Elder Pallas is in Almería, where I started my mission! Elder Stanley's companion is now Elder Walton, and Elder Phillips went to Antequera. We are all doing well and enjoying this great work.

I had the opportunity to do an exchange with the missionaries in Huelva, where I served before. I was able to say hi to some of the members there and we had a great time!

I know that the Lord loves all of us. There is NOTHING that is more important than the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It leads us on the path of happiness and our lives have purpose. I invite all of you to read the Book of Mormon, to study it, to ponder and meditate about it, and ask God, in humble and sincere prayer, if it is true. This is promise given in the final pages of the Book of Mormon, in Moroni 10:3-5.

The Book of Mormon testifies of Christ. Through it we come to know Him. I know that Joseph Smith was called of God and that he was a prophet. I love all of you soo much. You are such a blessing to me. Sometimes these emails are short, and sometimes you write to me and I don't respond for a really long time, but it's not because I don't love you! Haha.

Remember who you are. The love of our Father in Heaven has the power to change our lives, but it's our choice to accept it.

Elder Fagersten