3) I was so stoked to be at the chocolate factory!
Monday, August 25, 2014
RECAP: I had PDay last Wednesday so you may or may not have skipped over an email/post by the title "Greetings from 1527." Sorry, this whole time traveling business can be a bit confusing at times but you eventually just learn to go with it.
3) I was so stoked to be at the chocolate factory!
ANYWAYS, Back to business:
Fall has made it's way to Oslo, Norway. It was a bit of a WA-BAM, IN YOUR FACE kind of transition, but hey I like the fall so this missionary is a happy camper!
So here are the highlights of the week:
- Got new investigators named Irene and Chris
- Had a Zone Workshop on planning
- Elizabeth came to all three meetings of church!
- Miracle: Marcel
We met with Irene a week after we first knocked on her door. She told us after we first came by, her brother (who lives in the upstairs of the house apartment) was like, "WHY WOULD YOU TELL THOSE MISSIONARIES TO COME BACK?" To which she responded, "I'm curious and want to know what's so different about them." Irene decided at age 16 she doesn't believe in God but she likes reading about different religions. We mainly talked about who God is and what we can do to build our relationship with him. She had a cool breakthrough when she realized that the reason she lacks a strong relationship with God is because she hasn't been reaching out to Him. We invited her to pray and she refused to so we invited her to read a chapter in the Book of Mormon and watch "Patterns of Light" on lds.org by Elder Bednar to which she easily accepted to do.
The other investigator, Chris, was one that Sister Olsen met before I got here. He's from Hungary and loves nature. We met him in a park that he works in which was GORGEOUS. He is so spiritually receptive! He asked us what makes us different from other Christian churches which lead us into the restoration. At the end of our discussion when we invited him to pray about what we talked about and to begin reading, he was more than willing. He said that he's seen so much both good and bad, and is still looking for something. Christ then looked right at us and said, "You have such a bright light in you." It was a small but powerful reminder to me that people really can recognize the spirit that around us missionaries.
This week we had a zone workshop all about........... wait for it............... PLANNING! Yes that's right. It actually was an incredible workshop for me. As missionaries we have something called Weekly Planning that we use to fill in our planners for the next 10 days, talk about what the needs of our investigators are, and set goals for the week. A good weekly planning session prepares you for a good daily planning session so you already know what you're going to teach, you just comb through to get all the details down. This leads you up to companionship study where you and your companion can have the time to practice how to get the best result possible for teaches. Being a planner, I absolutely loved it and just the last few days of applying the principles I learned for daily planning and companionship study, I've experienced an excellent uplifting change! These times together with your companion really do help you to sync with one another. It's the best!
The last two highlights happened yesterday at church. Elizabeth came and enjoyed all three meetings! She even studied for the lessons in Relief Society and Gospel Principals!! Holy cow, she's the best!
And as for the miracle: When Sister Olsen was on splits with Sister Ausen, they met Marcel and taught him on the street. Even committed him to baptism and he accepted! We had an appointment with him but something happened and we ended up not meeting. We then go into Gospel Principles and Sister Olsen sees him and is like, "Marcel! Good to see you!" To which he replied, "Yeah! I couldn't get a hold of you guys so I thought I would come to you since you gave me the card with the church information." HOW AWESOME IS THAT?? He even brought a friend with him to church! FANTASTIC right??
As for my spiritual thought: With the zone workshop being about planning, I spent a good amount of my study time on specifically goal setting. When we take the time to think not only on WHAT the goal is but also HOW to get there, you're blessed with the result of things ACTUALLY happening. Like the Lord said, "For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it (Luke 14:28)?"
I would like to close with something that Elder M. Russel Ballard Said:
“I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don’t set goals in our life and learn how to master the techniques of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential. When one learns to master the principles of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life.”
I have been learning this principle and I am gaining a stronger testimony every day as I learn how to set and work towards goals. So I would like to invite each one of us to set a goal that we want to work towards to next week. Ponder it, write it down, and put it somewhere you'll see it everyday. It takes time, but it is worth it!
I love you all so much and thank you for your examples. You're all the best and I wish you the best!
1) This is a picture Elder Edwards (my MTC brother) requested of him in knight's armor, on a unicorn, fighting a dragon. I figured I would do the complete opposite of what he actually wanted.... Totes adorbs! :P2) Us in the time traveling machine! We made our way back to 2014... eventually
3) I was so stoked to be at the chocolate factory!
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
OK, so I forgot to mention last week that my P-Day was moved to today (Wednesday). My apologizes for lack of communication :(
The reason why our PDay moved because we went to the Freia Chocolate Factory! It's the Norwegian Willy Wonka Factory and it was FANTASTIC! I would say that I am a bit sick from all the chocolate samples we got to eat, but let's be real nobody can have too much chocolate right?? And the reason why the subject line says, "Greetings from 1527" is because on the tour we went back in time to 1527 BUT we never got back on the time machine to go back to 2014... So I'm not quite sure which time I'm in so I'm going with the last year I was told I was in... yeah.
Anyhoo, here's a quick review of last week:
- Met with a less active named Gullveig Smeby
- Our investigator Elizabeth got a baptismal date for September 27th!!!!!!!!!
- Had an incredible conference with Elder Dyches from the Seventy
- Had a mini Romerike reunion on Sunday
- Miracle Story: We needed a member to come with us on a teach and...
Gullveig is such an incredible person! She hasn't been to church due to health problems but man, when I walked into her home, the spirit was like WHAM! None of her family are members and they have not been supportive at all, but she truly does have a strong testimony. Her grandson lives with her now and she's been trying to find ways to help him develop a desire to learn about the gospel. Ahh!! I just love her so much!
So Elizabeth. Can I just say that I love her so much!! We taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ and when baptism came up she was like, "So what do I need to do to be baptized?" After we talked about it, we asked her "when would you like to be baptized?" Then she picked the date. Afterwards, she said the closing prayer to confirm the date and the spirit was there so strongly.
It truly is incredible to see how much Elizabeth has grown since we began teaching her. It's also been so cool to see the difference between receiving a referral and finding on our own. Referrals really do have an immediate support system and while we're not meeting with Elizabeth, she talks with her friend Are and he helps give her even more support. AAHHH!! I really do just love Elizabeth!
Last Friday we had a Zone Conference with Elder Dyches. He actually gave one of my favorite talks from the last October conference, "Wilt Thou Be Made Whole?" (If you haven't read that talk, HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT). When I shook his hand, he told me he was a mission president for the Portland Oregon Mission which was awesome! It was a phenomenal opportunity to hear from him, his wife, and the Stake Presidents. To share what I learned I will share a parable that Elder Dyches shared with us. It's called "The Parable of the Oranges":
Justin worked at this one company for about three years. He was always on time, never had a sick day, was an effective worker, did everything he was supposed to do. One day, on the board there was a posting about an opening to be the boss' assistants. Everyone told Justin he should apply for it and that he deserved it. Justin applied for the job and a few weeks later he was denied the job. After hearing this, Justin went up to see the boss and asked him why he didn't get the job. "Well, the best way to explain why you didn't get the job is by asking you to do one thing, " said his boss. "My wife needs oranges for a dessert she's making for a party tonight. Could you get some oranges?" "Oh yeah, I can do that," replied Justin. He runs down to the store, gets two bags of oranges, and comes back in 15 minutes. The boss tells Justin to take a seat and he calls in Jeremy, who got the position. "Jeremy, my wife needs oranges for a dessert she's making for a party tonight. Could you get some oranges please?" "Sure thing," replied Jeremy, and he left. Thirty minutes go by and Jeremy returns with four bags of oranges. "Now Jeremy," said the boss, with Justin listening, "Can you tell me what happened in the last thirty minutes?"
"Well, I went down to the grocery store and not knowing a thing about oranges, I went over to the produce manager. He asked what kind of oranges did I need, and I said I had no clue. So I called your wife to ask what the dessert was supposed to taste like. She said it was a sweet with a bit of tang taste. I then asked her how many she needed and she says the recipe calls for one and a half oranges per person and there will be thirty people at the party. So the produce manager helped me pick out the oranges I need and I got the 45 that was needed for the recipe. There was also a deal on the oranges as well so I got a 15% discount. I got a good deal and I hope I did well boss."
"Thank you Jeremy," says the boss. "You did good."
Pretty good story right? The conference overall was about focusing on how to use our tools more effectively to help us get the best results possible with teaches and with our investigators.
On Sunday, I ended up seeing a lot of members who moved from Romerike (my first area) to the Oslo ward I'm in now. It was really cool to not only see them again, but I could have a legit Norsk conversation with them!
And for the miracle story of the week: On Sunday, I called a potential we had and got an appointment with him an hour after church. Sister Olsen and I had not been able to get a member to come on a teach with us all week so we said a prayer asking for help and asked people after church was over. No one could come and we had to go in order to get to our meeting place on time. We get off the trikk and start walking. As we get on the street, we run into two members that were out for a walk. We ask if they could be with for our teach right then and they said yes! It was a 10 minute teach, but it was a solid one about how faith in Christ helps strengthen our families. Really is true when we do our best, the Lord takes care of the rest!
So that was last week! Since this Pday is in the middle of this week, I'm saving all the good stuff that's happened so far from this week for next PDay (hopefully you could understand that last sentence...).
I hope you all have a super duper day and again, I'm sorry for throwing off the Monday Email pattern... Breaking the mold! Just for today, you'll hear from me next Monday :)
Have a great week you wonderful people!
Monday, August 11, 2014
We have a mission conference this week with Elder Dyches from the Seventy so our email time has been cut short. By like A LOT. So this will be a quick update:
-Elizabeth our new investigator is FANTASTIC!! She reads, prays, and already lives the Word of Wisdom. She has been struggling because she hasn't been getting support from her family and friends, but she does want to know for herself if the church is true. We were able to arrange for her to get a blessing and she appreciated it.
And the highlight of the week:
So on Friday, Sister Olsen and I went on splits with the Sister Training leaders (Sister Aasen and Sister Harrison). On our way to the institute center to meet up wit them, I took a pretty good fall and banged up my knees. It was really painful to just stand up and even more painful to try walking. So I was couch bound all day. The other sisters got to tag team it and get to go out. It was very hard for me to not be allowed to do anything. I was commanded multiple times by multiple people to sit back down on the couch and keep the ice (well, technically hot dogs. We didn't have ice) on the knees. To be honest, it was difficult to not be up and about. I was able to call some people but I just felt guilty for not being more careful. As the other sisters were going in and out, they would share these cool miracles that just happened with them and I was like, "HOLY GUACAMOLE THAT'S AWESOME!" But as the day went along, I was feeling sad because I was beginning to feel left out.
Towards the end of the day, I could walk but very slow. As Sister Olsen and I were making our way down the stairs, these two guys stop us and ask what do we do in the center. We invited them to come up and talk more.
We ended up getting to teach them the restoration and getting Ben and Joseph as two new investigators!
Moral of the story - God really is our loving Heavenly Father who saw one of His missionaries feeling down in the dumps and was merciful enough to let her be apart of a teach to help end the day on an incredible note.
Sorry it's a short update but I still think you are all wonderful and I wish you a marvelous week!
Lots of love,
PS: The knees are much better now and I can walk like a normal person again!
Monday, August 4, 2014
How are you doing?? We've been having some FANTASTIC lightning storms the last few days so it's been pretty cool falling asleep to that. Who needs those fancy apps on smartphones to listen to nature sounds :P
Anyways, so this week was a difficult one. It was challenging to find people let alone teach. Sister Olsen and I have had really good bonding time this week with a raging fire of excitement for this new week. Even though the hard times are, well you know hard, it's during those times that I really do know that my Savior is standing beside me.
I would like to share a really cool miracle story:
During the week I set myself a goal to teach someone on Saturday at 2pm. I had no idea who it would be or where we would be, but I set that goal and worked as best as I could to show Heavenly Father my faith. Saturday came around and we had no appointments that day so we had a day packed with contacting and knock on doors. As we contact, we find this man named Daniel. We talk for about 10 minutes when I ask, "Do you want to sit down?" and he said "Sure, I got time." We taught him about the restoration and after we said the closing prayer, I looked over at his watch and saw it was 2:45pm. We were able to teach someone at 2pm on Saturday.
Even though Daniel didn't want to meet again, Heavenly Father knew that I had that goal and as I worked to the best of my abilities, He helped me with the rest so it would really happen. I know that Heavenly Father is mindful of everyone of His children and never forgets about us. As it says in Doctrine and Covenants 100:21 - "Therefore, continue your journey and let your hearts rejoice; for behold, and lo, I am with you even unto the end."
Remember how much you are loved and how much potential you have. YOU are a child of God. He has a unique plan and purpose for you here on earth. We need both the ups and downs of the roller coaster of life, but the ups ALWAYS outnumber the downs.
Be the heros that your cities don't deserve but the ones they need (I know that's not the EXACT quote, just work with me) and carpe diem!