So let's get down to business: Last Tuesday (10/29) we had a wonderful devotional by Elder Carlos B. Godoy of the Seventy. He shared his conversion story to illustrate these points: 1) We are called to teach ALL, 2) Not to judge anyone, 3) Involve the members so investigators can have a safe conversion (fulfill the spiritual part and have the social aspect of the gospel), 4) Assist the less active and 5) Baptizing one leads to saving generations of thousands. In a nutshell, his conversion story started when he went with his sister's friend to a church activity as a teenager. He was attracted to how happy the members were and told the sister missionaries (oh yeah!) that he'd like to learn more. A few months later he was baptized, but became inactive because he didn't have much support from the ward. A year later he went to a youth conference, met his wife at the dance, and her support along with her friends helped bring him back to the church and continuing being a faithful member to this day. He even had the opportunity to act as the sealer for the son of one of the sister missionaries that taught him. How fantastic is that 1) he got to perform an ordinance for the one that helped to bring the gospel into his life and 2) for that sister to see how far that one teenage boy has come since she taught him. This gospel is truly amazing.
On Wednesday (10/30), I got to host the new missionaries! I helped this one sister from Vancouver, Canada and it took a little longer to help her because she was international. I also got to host a sister going to Mexico, and a sister from North Carolina going to Paris France. It was pretty cool to go full circle from when I first reported to now hosting new missionaries. It was super fun but MAN. After awhile, carrying all that luggage is EXHAUSTING. I got in a excellent workout that day.
Halloween was... good. Yeah, let't call it that. I attempted to dress up as Mushu (the dragon from Mulan) by dressing in his colors. It was fun to attempt dressing up! We didn't have a teacher in the morning, but our district was so good about it. We played a verb game where we practice conjugating verbs in all their forms before the other person can write it all down. It gets pretty intense. Trust me. In the afternoon we played another game called "pang" (how Norwegians say "bang") where the teacher says a word in English and you have to say the word then "pang" to "kill" the other person. We usually turn it into a Western Showdown. Later on in the day, the Danish missionaries had some fake mustaches and accessories sent by someone's mom and we had a fun mini Halloween party.
Friday (11/1) was our last gym time with the Danish missionaries. We had an excellent game of volleyball with many excellent plays. I apparently break dance as I play volleyball. Seriously, I have a problem with multitasking that I need to work on. At one point in the game, I lost my balance, caught myself with my leg extending back and somehow spun in a perfect circle. The game paused so everyone could watch my fantastic break dance. Yeah.
**During personal study, Sister Maxwell (going to Sweden) made a marvelous connection: Missionary work is like the movie "Hitch." In the movie, Will Smith's character says once the girl says yes to you asking her on a date, you don't have to worry about impressing her anymore. She said yes when she could have said no. So now just be your awesome self and hope she accepts you. Same with missionary work. Once a person says yes to let you teach them, you don't have to worry about impressing them no more. They said yes when they very well could have said no. So now, just teach your awesome message and hope they'll accept it. Another connection is the 90%/10% thing. In the movie, you lean in 90% but let the girl have that 10% to decide whether or not she wants to kiss. With missionary work, we do 90% of the work. We teach the lessons, provide the investigators with what they need, and let them have that 10% to decide if they want to be baptized. How awesome is that connection?
We also got our travel plans! But we still haven't heard about our visas so we're all hoping and praying that we get to travel together. As of now, we go from Utah to Texas to London to Norway. It's going to be a long but epic day of traveling.
Our lessons with Marita and Frederik have been going well. With Marita, she has come to church with us, prayed out loud with us, and has even stopped doing homework on Sunday to keep the Sabbath day holy. But she still struggles to believe in God because she can't see him.
With Frederik, he finally believes in God and Jesus Christ! We taught him the Plan of Salvation and he thought it was interesting how there's three degrees of glory. We are introducing the commandments to him/ Last time, we helped to establish that commandments are laws God gives us to help protect us and give us blessings throughout out lives. He always thought they were just lame rules that hold people back but by the end, he liked about we taught that commandments can bless those who obey them.
And I have finished creating bookmarks for everyone! It was super fun to see everyone smile when they saw their pictures and smile even bigger after reading the note on the back. This is the spiritual message I would like to leave for you all: no matter how small the act of service, it can bring a smile to someone's face. Remember Mosiah 2:17 (When ye are in the service or your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God."
Take care everyone!
Elder Edwards and Elder Vause remind me of Mike and Sulley so I drew on for the comedy duo
and the last one is a baby bat that was outside our door yesterday morning. His name is George Bartok Junior.