Monday, July 28, 2014
It's been..... Well, I can't quite describe how it's been so I'll just go through with what happened throughout the week and hopefully by the end I will have a better idea of what to say:
My last two days in Trondheim were INTENSE. We got a baptismal date with Sharifi and Hem!!! Seriously, boldest moments of my life. Sister Burns and I definitely left our area stronger than when we found it and I am stoked to hear about their baptisms in August!
On Wednesday, I got on the train to head back to the East. It was the exact same train ride I took to get up to Trondheim, just in reverse (of course). When we cut through the Romerike area, I was like, "Holy cow, I contacted on those streets - Hey! I bonked on those houses!" and so forth. It was kind of fun to go through memory lane and see everything in summer time inside of winter time.
As I got off the train, guess who the first person was that greeted me? Nope, that my new companion, but Elder Edwards my MTC brother. Turns out we are in the same district! How fun is that! As we were all walking to get to the institute center, Elder Clarke (he was in Trondheim with me as my zone leader and we both moved to Oslo together) and I were like "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore."
When we got to the center, I saw all the missionaries that are going home! I got to see Sister Knapp (I knew her at BYU!!), Sister Burns again, and all my buddies so that was fun!
So this is the dealio with my new area Nordstrand - We actually live in the other sister's area, we contact in Oslo, and we bonk in our ACTUAL area. We do lots of traveling throughout the day which is really cool to meet people on public transport!
Also - Sister Olsen and I are like two peas in a pod! It's only been like what, 5 days? And it already feels like we have been best companions since the pre-existence. It's the best! The ward here is pretty great. I've seen some people that moved from the Romerike ward and it was cool to catch up with them. They're some people that I've hit it off with so I'm already super stoked to work with the Oslo ward :)
So we have this super awesome investigator named Jordan. He's a scientist from Africa whose lived in Norway for about 6 years. We taught him about God's plan and the reviewed the restoration with him and he's so spiritually receptive. He's always like, "Everything you guys teach just makes logical sense." He's really intrigued to find out if the Book of Mormon is true and he's committed to be baptized when he gets his answer!
We found a new investigator named Gabriel from Romania. We saw him smoking by a cemetery and the next thing we know, we're teaching him the restoration! He's really interested in hearing about living prophets and we'll be meeting up with him again tomorrow!
So I guess overall I am feeling really pumped to be back in the east. It feels like I'm getting a second chance from when I served in Romerike and the Lord's getting ready to show me that I am more capable than I realized.
My spiritual thought is brought to you by President Uchtdorf's "The Reflection in the Water." Here's the video link: https://www.lds.org/youth/video/our-true-identity?lang=eng
Just remember when those around you are telling you that you are not good enough, that YOU (yes YOU) are a child with an eternal potential. You're here on earth to grow into the best version of yourself. It'll take time and effort, but it will happen as you remember to reply upon our Savior Jesus Christ and the power of His Atonement.
I hope you each have a fantastic week!
And here's my new address!
Breiens Vei 1H
Monday, July 21, 2014
So my time in Trondheim is coming to an end. I will be leaving for the Nordstrand area this Wednesday! It's outside of Oslo so it'll be fun to be back in that neck of the woods :)
I'm a bit limited for time for writing so here's the quick updates for the week:
-We found Rune who is this really cool artsy guy who is very open to hearing about God!
-Got to meet with Morten who is committed to read in the Book of Mormon everyday and begin praying about it. I love that he's an all in kind of person!
We got to met with Evalina and Lars (the people I met last week). We chatted for a LONG time and I got to know them pretty well. We were able to introduce the Book of Mormon to Lars and he was excited to get his own copy in Norwegian.
-Met Stjerne who is a friend of the elders' investigator Rahel. She went through TONS of bad stuff growing up and she absolutely knows she went through that so she could appreciate the happiness she has today. Way awesome lady!
-On Saturday we had a Chinese Party which was a success!
-On Sunday the bishopric asked all the departing missionaries (6 of us are leaving! WHOA!) to bear their testimonies. Afterwards, I was honestly surprised how many people came up to say goodbye to me and sincerely told me that I was a help.
Guess that is my spiritual closing thought: You make a bigger difference than you realize. I'm glad that I had the opportunity to meet all the wonderful people I have met, see the miracles I saw, and that the Lord's work is always moving forward!
I don't have my new address now, but I'll be sure to send it out next week. Until then, have a great one!
Monday, July 7, 2014
You know, as I went through this week I was like, "Man this was a super chill week" but now as I'm sitting here REALLY reflecting about it, there have been some incredible things that happened.
On Tuesday we met with Johanna, our less active we work with in this cool little bakery. We had to run some errands to prepare for a fourth of July activity (more on this later, don't worry I won't leave you hanging), and we got on this one bus. Sister Burns sits down and says hi to the man next to her. The next thing I heard was the man saying, "I think we need to meet and talk about God. Could we meet on Thursday?"
And this is how we met Ali, one of the most prepared people I have ever met. He is from Iran and has lived in Norway for about four years now. His wife and two sons are still in Iran and he's working on moving them to Norway. He's English is a bit rusty because he hasn't used it for over 20 years but man, you can see how much the Spirit works through Him. He's so faithful!
Wednesday we met with Johnny and he's progressing little by little. It was really cool when we all found out that Sister Jørgensen (the member who came with us on the teach) was a member of Johnny's church so they had some bonding time over that. The more members Johnny meets, the more he is opening up. It's pretty cool to see.
We also said good bye to Hunk, our Chinese investigator. We had a dinner and discussion activity at the church and had a great turn out! We made a little card for Hunk and said a final prayer together. He kept telling us thank you for everything and the nice memories. Such a sweet man!
Now here's the bit that REALLY reflects why I've chosen "line upon line" as this week's title:
So Friday, we finish studies and we both get the idea that we need to check Sister Burns into the city. We go out the door and Johanna calls asking if we can meet. We went.
On the way there, we saw the elders' investigator on the bus and got to chat with him and see what's been up with him.
After Johanna, we go to the office to check Sister Burns into the city and we met another investigator of the elders and her friend. We all go to the bus stop together and chat away as we wait for the bus. We end up getting the friend's number!
On the bus back home, I talk with this one lady. I find out through our conversation that she the former investigator that we tried to look for last week! I got her new number just in time before we had to get on the bus!
And then we had our 4th of July party! SO MANY PEOPLE CAME AND IT WAS AWESOME! We had some sloppy joes among other yummy foods and afterwards I got to teach people some line dancing. Who would have thought I would need my dancing skills on the mission?? :)
My quick little thought about the week: I've begun reading in Joshua and the Lord tells him multiple times, "be strong and of a good courage." I can imagine that Joshua was worried about being as powerful as Moses and worried about people's expectations. But the Lord is letting him know, "Moses was Moses, and you are you. I had Moses' back and I got yours. Just do your best, and I will take care of the rest." The same goes for us - We are all unique with a unique calling while we are on earth. Just rely on the Lord and He will never let you down.
Love you all and I hope you keep on rocking it this week!