Monday, February 24, 2014
First off I would like to thank each of you for the love and support you give me. You really are the best and I am blessed to have the honor of knowing such incredible people.
Second I am thankful for refiner's fires. In the moment they are incredible difficult but as soon as you're freed from it, you really can feel the change in yourself. You feel that sense of peace overcome you. They are neccesities of life. We are here to learn and to grow from personal experience. Sometimes we have bad times because we have to take the consequences of bad choices. Other times we simply have refiner's fires because we need the strength that comes from it.
From the end of the last week and into this week was just that for me. I was having a battle within myself because we have been struggling finding new investigators. When bishop and our ward mission leader ask how they can help I simply think, "I first need to know how I can help YOU." I was having an inner battle against bitter feelings I know were from the adversary. And then Thursday came.
Thursday we had the sister training leaders come, Sister Clark and Sister Burns. They were the blast of sunshine I need to make the acid rainstorm inside myself disappear. In the morning I was with Sister Burns and we had a drop teach with Veronique. In the moment I ABSOLUTELY hated it because I knew how much the gospel could bless Veronique but she was refusing to change. After we left for a split second I was so miserable. But then a huge wave of relief hit me. Sister Burns asked me to use three words to describe how I felt. I used: empathetic, content, and motivated. I was so sad that Veronique was refusing to change, but content that I had done all I could and motivated to get out there to find those who are wanting to change their lives. It was an incredible feeling!
In the afternoon, I was with Sister Clark bonking/tracting. We got one solid appointment with a potential we had named Nancy, and found two fantastic potentials named Nikolai and Annie. Being with Sister Clark reminded me of how fantastic it is that I am a missionary for the church. What a powerful calling!
My spiritual thought comes from a new favorite scripture I have discovered from Psalms 27:14 "Wait on the Lord: Be of good courage, and he will strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord." It's important that we have the faith to know that the Lord will bless us with strength and to accept in His timing. He sees the whole puzzle while we can only see some pieces here and there. The Lord is the constant we can truly reply on. Turn to Him and let Him help you.
Remember who you are, you are a child of God.
Have a fantastic week everyone.
Picture with Mitu, Veronique's parrot
I SAW A MOOSE!!!!!!! This is a baby moose. That's right, a BABY moose.
Us with the sister trianing leaders. Me, Sister Burns, Sister Clark, and Sister Johnson
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Thank you all for the letters and emails :) It's always a lovely surprise to receive your love and support!
Last monday we had a great lesson with Shangar. Else Stolp was with us and she was super! Shangar is just incredibly honest and so sweet. This lesson was a follow up with the Book of Mormon and he really loves it. He's already read the first 50 pages!! He tries to read 2-3 pages every day. He's the best!
We also got to do some service for the Fagerstrøm family. Their mother passed away about two weeks ago now so we helped set up for the memorial service. It was good to see that they had some of their silly-ness still but they were still understandly sad. I'm glad we were able to help them out in a simple way.
Tuesday we met Morin who is a less-active we will be working with. She and her son Jeremy just moved from Oslo and she's originally from Chile. She was baptized at 8 but she doesn't have any idea what the church believes. So we will be teaching her like she is an investigator to help her see why she was baptized.
Wednesday was Zone Leader Training and it was focused on baptism. Since our mission has a goal of getting 157 baptisms this year, president has been really emphasizing the importance of focusing on baptisms. Which was super cool because right afterwards we had a lesson with Mariann. She asked us some questions she had about what was said in Church, one of them was what is a convenant. Convinent that we just practiced that at ZLT! She even commited to a soft baptism!
Afterwards we went to visit Melinda and had a nice visit with her. Sister Johnson and I asked if it would be cool to have a Japanese dinner night with her and her husband Andres. Melinda said she's have to talk with Andres but she really liked the idea. We're hoping that through this, we can get Andres to see we are normal people. He doesn't like anything to do with church and when he's home when we're there, he hides from us. So hopefully this goal becomes a reality!
Thursday something pretty cool happened as we contacted. One, we got a new potential named Nazar. The another thing was on our way home we stopped this one older lady. She said that she believes in God and prays every day. She has some kind of problem with her legs and she told us that she's been praying for someone to help her clean her house. We asked if we could do that and she was so surpised yet so happy. We planned to come to her house on Tuesday. Her reply was so sweet, "I have been praying for so long and God has sent me angels." That brought on the biggest smile on my face.
Friday being Valentine's Day (Happy Belated Valentine's everyone!) made it a little difficult to do anything. So we made cookies and notes to give to the widows of the ward. They loved the little surprise!
On Sunday Joe and Shangar came to church! Of my goodness it was wonderful! Shanghar didn't call us to let us know if he was coming so we called him Sunday morning and he was like, "I am coming to Church. Can I get a ride?" After much scrambling with phone calls, we got him a ride. Joe really enjoyed himself and was glad to have been able to come since he will be on a buisness trip til the end of the month. It was a great end to the week!
So the spiritual thought for today comes from Princess and the Frog. Even though we didn't find our two new investigators, we didn't lose focus on our other goals. When we push ourselves to "dig a little deeper" we not only see results but we also obtain a bigger picture of what God sees is possible for us. When we "dig a little deeper, you find out who you are." You are a child of a loving Hevaenly Father. He knows what you need when you need it. We will never have a perfect understanding of things as we go into the future but that is how our faith is tested and then strengthened. All Heavenly Father asks us is to do our part and He'll do the rest.
Have a fantastic week everyone! May the force be with each of you :)
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
This week has been a slower one but had some great moments happen here and there!
We had a good first official visit with Mariann. Since she is coming from an atheist background, we've been starting with the basics of God and Christ. This visit we were getting to know how she came to learn that there was something out there and her as a person. She has so many questions and she is honestly wanting to know truth. I'm excited stoked to be able to teach her!
Our visit with Melinda (the less-active we work with) was super great. It was the first time that we both opened up to each other and I learned that we had similar hardships. Melinda has been struggling with prayer and we're focusing on helping her with that. Oh my goodness, I just love Melinda with all my heart and I really hope to be able to help reactivate her! She's the best!
We had our District meeting on friday. It was super fun to be able to see the MTC broskies and it was an excellent meeting about proselytting. We watched a youtube video called "Vaildation" (if you haven't seen it, WATCH IT) which in a nutshell is about this man who loves to make people smile by complimenting them. Afterwards we went around and gave each other compliments. It was not only a great meeting but also filled me with nice warm fuzzies. Yeah!
We saw Semhar and she's in the process of moving. She has been reading everyday in the Book of Mormon and praying which is fantastic. However, we will be taking a break with meeting with her as she's taking care of the whole moving thing.
This week we have been able to meet with a lot of the members. I'm about 99.9% sure I've already said this, but oh mah goodness I LOVE THIS WARD! They all are absolutely good to us missionaries and love us back. I'm very grateful to be able to stay with this ward for another trasnfer!
So my little spiritual thought comes with a funny story: We were out bonking yesterday after church and we come to this one house. A old man answered the door and we told him who we were to which he replied, "Come on in and pray with us!" So we with the old man and his wife get into a circle and we all say a prayer. As a person was praying, the couple would say, "amen," "praise Jesus, "Hallelujia" and so forth. After we had all prayed, they told us that they were pentacosts. We told them who Christ is to us and they were in total agreement. We had to run or we were going to be late but right before we left, the old man put his hands on Sister Johnson's head and my head to give us a blessing... Yeah. It was a hilarious experience but it also reminded me of how prayer truly is an amazing thing. We have the chance to talk DIRECTLY to God. That is pretty awesome! Prayer is an incredible gift from our Father in Heaven. Whether life's been good, down, alright, or out of control prayer is always available. So use it.
Hope you all have a wonderful week! You can shine no matter what you're made of!
This is me having fun in snow and this is why I live in Narnia!
Fun with our punk rock snowman and more Narnia!
The old district before transfers (me, Soster Johnson, Elder Garrard, Elder Arsnes, Elder Hall, and Elder Hill)
The Stolp Family - Rebekah, me, Else, and Daniel. They are the best!!!
and...Happy Birthday, Mom!
Monday, February 3, 2014
So we got the transfers call yestermorning... AND I will be staying in Romerike with Sister Johnson! But oh boy this transfer was pretty complicated. President said this is the most complex transfer he's ever had. He was not kidding! We sadly will be losing Elder Garrad but Elder Jensen will be coming to Romerike (he was in my MTC group!) and Elder Vause (another elder from my MTC group!!) will be in the Hamar area so in my district. MTC SIBLINGS REUNION!!!! Not going to lie, I'm pretty excited to be seeing them snart (soon):
Anyhoo, so this week was fairly calm. Wednesday was our missionary "hastening the work" workshop for the ward. I had two ward council members helping me but 30 minutes before the workshop was to start, I was informed that one of them couldn't make it. My brain kind of exploded that point. BUT I was able to talk with my ward council member (Nils Peter) and we came up with a super quick plan. About 15 people came and we split into two groups. I was with Elder Årsnes and our ward council members. I talked about scripture studies and Elder Årsnes helped explain how to answer FAQs. Søster Johnson and Elder Garrard did a little workshop on Preach My Gospel and practiced inviting people to different things (to church, to an activity, to FHE, etc).
Before we started, I was freaking out. I hadn't planned what I was saying in Norwegian but I had outlines in English. As the elders were opening, I was pleading to Heavenly Father for help. I asked, "Please help me so that I can tell these wonderful members what they need to hear to help them in their missionary efforts." When I got up for the two different groups, I honestly have no idea what I said. I just remember that I said something different to each group. What I do remember though was a strong sense of comfort that came over me. I trusted in Hevaenly Father that He would answer my prayer and I opened my mouth. Then the spirit did the rest.
As we ate refreshments afterwards, the members came up to each of the missionaries to thank them. It was a big relief that the members felt the spirit throughout the evening and it was a great success.
Sorry this week is super short but time was a little shorter for me today.
Quick spiritual thought: D&C 6:36 "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not."
When you focus on the Lord, you'll never be lost. He is our perfect example. He is our Savior. Look unto him and have faith. He's already conquered everything so just have trust in the Lord that He will help you through anything that life throws your way.
Have a wonderful week everyone and may the force be with you.