Monday, June 30, 2014
This week I hit my halfway mark. SAYETH WHAT?? Yup, I will have been out for 9 months. Crazy how fast the time flies!
So some updates for the week:
-Hunk will not be getting baptized this Thursday. He will be baptized in September. Explanation: He sent us a text saying he wasn't sure about being baptized but he was still willing to meet up to talk about it. He explained that his wife was worried that he would be breaking the law in China by joining the church and just didn't want him to get in trouble. We were able to explain it all and he still very much wants to be baptized but he first wants to go to China to explain to his wife face to face. He also told us that he will be back in Norway for another business trip in September and that he would want to be baptized then. So now, we're helping him to get all the information he needs before he leaves this Saturday. He truly does love the gospel and I'm so honored to have been apart of his learning process.
-We found a family! They are the Subbas from Nepal. Shanti and Hem are still learning Norwegian but they are incredibly quick. Hem and the kids even came to church!! Shanti couldn't due to work, but she will come next week. A FAMILY!! AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH (In case you couldn't tell, I'm stoked about this).
-Johnny actually came to church too! Holy cow, I was praying so much that he would recognize the Spirit during the meetings. When the sacrament meeting was over, he turned around and I saw this huge smile on his face. I asked how he liked it and he said after a little pause, "It was very nice. I'm glad I could come." I also had my first conversation with Johnny. Seriously, I have no idea why it took so long for me to open my mouth but now I have and I'm loving that I can talk with people!
-Found a new investigator named Josë. He is 35, from El Salvador, has lived in Norway for 4 years, and works in a elementary school. We met him on the street Thursday and we had our first teach with him yesterday. As we taught him the restoration, I could see the spirit working through him. He actually did the spirit squirm! I'm also grateful for how natural it was to talk with Josë and ah, I'm just exploding with Christlike love!
To close, I would like to share a quote from President Eyring's talk "The Priesthood Man" from this last conference. He said,
"Each of you will be a model of a [disciple of Christ] whether you want to be or not. You became a lighted candle when you accepted the [gospel]. The Lord put you on the candlestick to light the way for everyone who surrounds you... You can be a great model, an average one, or a bad model. You may think it doesn’t matter to you, but it does to the Lord."
I substituted the word priesthood to help liken it to myself. When I read this talk, Heavenly Father reminded me of how much we truly have no idea who is watching us. When we're on the street, knocking on doors, in the store, just going about our day, everyone and anyone is seeing what we do. They watch us because of the bright light of Christ within us. We are walking products of what happens when one beckons to the Savior's call to come unto Him. This was a simple but powerful reminder of how powerful we are as simply being a member of Christ's restored church.
Whoa, that was longer than I had intended. But I hope you still liked the thought!
Thank you everyone for helping me become the person I am today. You all are incredible and I'm blessed to have many wonderful people in my life.
Have a super duper week!
PS: So my district has dubbed Sister Burns and I "The BB Gun" combo so I decided to draw a little something. Hope you like it :)
Monday, June 23, 2014
Sorry that this is a less detailed update. We have a cleaning inspection today so we have some MAJOR deep cleaning to do. Wooo hooo!
So here are the updates:
-Hunk our super awesome Chinese investigator got a baptismal date for July 3rd!
-We found two incredible families, the Hti Shang Wan family (from Burma) and the Subba Family (from Nepal. They had Bollywood music playing. Felt weird to hear that again)
-Found a cool man named Oddbjørn who actually said, "I've been going to different churches for years, but I'm still searching for the right one." Golden right?
Yeah, the details are lacking, but the whole cleanign thing is acalling.
Quick spiritual thought: From Deuteronomy 20:4
For the your God he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.
The Lord is always fighting our enemies all so that we can always have that possibility to return to live with our Heavenly Father. He's always walked beside us and all He asks is to keep walking with Him.
Love you all and I hope you have a fantastic week!
Monday, June 16, 2014
Thank you so much for the emails and letters you all sent my way! I'm sorry that I haven't been så flink to reply quickly, but I'm working on it!
So Omar was baptized last Saturday. It was such a heartwarming experience! Before the baptism, Omar kept saying how he couldn't express how excited he was! It was a nice turn out with the ward and everything went really well. One super quick detail I would like to share: After Ben (our Ward Mission Leader or MMK) said the prayer, Omar said something in his mother tongue (Persian). After he came up from the water, Ben asked Omar what he said. Omar replied that he said, "Now I will follow God." When I heard that, my heart instantly almost exploded with joy.
I am just so grateful to have had the opportunity to see Omar throughout the entire process. It's been incredible to see how much his faith has grown and I can't wait to see his faith become even more stronger.
And since last week was all focused on making sure Omar's baptism happened, not a whole lot of things happened... Besides Hunk, our Chinese investigator. Yesterday during our teach he told us he wants to be baptized. We just have to coordinate with mission president to figure out what our options are because Hunk goes back to China July 5th. More on this as it develops!
Hope everyone has a lovely week! Remember to always remember the good things in life, both big and small :)
Monday, June 9, 2014
Gooooooooooooooood Day Gov'nar!
Besides the fact that I'm turning more and more British with every passing day, life has been pretty sweet over here in Norway!
It's been exciting helping Omar prepare for his baptism this Saturday! I can't believe how fast the time and flown and, really, just how much has happened during this short two month period. I am so grateful that I got to a part of the whole process from finding Omar to seeing him be baptized! It's an amazing thing to witness!!
We did find a great new investigator named Morten. He doesn't have a belief in God but he is very open to learn more about it. One cool thing he said was that people can't close their minds to the idea that there is a God because that forces your brain to be limited. He's a man with great wisdom and it'll be exciting to see where he goes from here.
Johnny's back from vacation!! We got to meet with him yesterday after church. He is still skeptical about the Book of Mormon but even after taking a three week pause from meeting with us, he still has a desire to find out if this is all really true. Fantastic right? It's cool to see how everyone we've met and taught all have incredible potential.
Speaking of potential, not sure if I've talked about Hunk... Hunk is a Chinese man whose here in Trondheim for a business trip. We have met with him three times now and already he believes in God, Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that the Book of Mormon is God's word. HOLY GUACAMOLE. He's the most prepared person I've met!
One cool highlight of the week was visiting a less active named Turid. At some point in our conversation, she talked about how missionaries do the finding and members help with the fellowshipping. Both Sister Burns and I were like, "WHOA. Pause right there (we didn't actually say this of course. This was just the thought that popped into my head at the moment)." We ended up actually having a great discussion about how much members can really do with missionary work. Turid ended up having all these people pop into her head and she got excited! It was so amazing to see that spark ignite so quickly once Turid's mind started to gain a bigger understanding of missionary work. It'll be exciting to continue to help her act on that growing desire to help in the Lord's work.
To close, I came across a scripture in Deuteronomy 6:2-3 which says,
"That thou mightest fear the Lord thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee... all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. Hear therefore, [insert your name], and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised thee..."
First of all, no the scripture doesn't actually say "[insert your name]" but it's a small thing I like to do to help me apply the scripture in my life. I love how Moses tells the children of Israel here the importance of observing the commandments, or studying them. The more I study in the scriptures, the more I gain the understanding of the WHY we need to do it - To learn and apply God's counsel to our lives. Heavenly Father has promised us if we do this, we will increase. I believe that to mean we increase in fulfilling our divine potential and becoming more like our father.
I do know that both the Bible and Book of Mormon are the word of God. The more we take the time to study them, the more we become in tune with Heavenly Father's "voice." He speaks to us through scripture and His living prophets because He loves us. Every day I am able to feel a little more strongly how much Heavenly Father loves His children here in Norway and also for me personally. He loves you and He never forgets you. Always remember that.
Sorry this update is a bit on the rambling side, but I'm exploding with excitement for Omar's baptism and just love. Hopefully at the end of the day all of this made a bit of sense... But I do thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope you have a lovely day and week!
Monday, June 2, 2014
Can I just say how awesome it is to have found my sister? Sister Burns and I have a CRAZY amount of similarities in almost every aspect of our lives. We both watched Calamity Jane and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers as kids, have favorite breakfast toppings, and it's even crazier that we MET one another before the mission. I was in her ward in London for about two months and even watched the Olympics in her apartment!! It's so cool when the Lord sends you these kinds of reminders how small the world is through the gospel.
Anyways, this week has been very cool. We found a new investigator named Fajaz. He comes from a Muslim background, from Pakistan but grew up in Norway, and is just one funny kid. He's a bit skeptical that the gospel wouldn't affect him but he is willing to give it a try. We'll see where it'll go with him!
Omar is still looking very solid with his baptismal date. He is incredibly faithful and accepts the commandments so easily. Amazing how much faith he has build up in God and Christ just from coming to church. The only thing he is struggling with is I think drinking coffee. I thought I heard him say he had a cup of coffee at the end of church. We'll go over the word of wisdom again just to make sure he REALLY gets it.
I'm just very excited for this transfer. Just this week I've seen so many miracles, both big and small. It'll be exciting to learn more about myself and to learn from Sister Burns my British sister. To close, I would like to share a quick thought I discovered from this morning's personal studies. It's from Brother Randall Ridd's "The Choice Generation." He just testifies how agency, "is the power to not only act on your desires but also to refine, purify, and elevate your desires. Agency is your power to become. Each choice takes you closer to or further from what you are meant to become; each click has meaning. Always ask yourself, “Where will this choice lead?” Develop the ability to see beyond the moment."
I know that not only the mission, but life is meant to be the time to strengthen our ability to use our agency wisely. The only way to be able to use our agency wisely is when we choose to apply and live the gospel of Jesus Christ in His life. The popular things of life come and go, but God and His teachings are constant. I know this to be true and am thankful that my personal conversion is strengthened every day.
Sorry this week is short, we had a shorter amount of time for emailing. But I hope you all have a great week!