Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Whoa wrong language.... been listening to "Feliz Navidad" often which sometimes leads me to forget what language I'm suppose to be speaking.... so a redo:
Last week was wonderful because, as you know, it was CHRISTMAS!! Need I say more? So to close.... I am totally kidding. Here are some highlights from last week:
-Met with Sara Z (a less active)
-Had our interviews with President Evans
-Christmas surprise deliverers!
-And yesterday's Christmas fest
We got miracle contact with Sara who had been away serving in the military and turns out just got back! We didn't have much time so we had a very nice get to know each other chat.
So we did interviews a bit differently this time. Due to it being the holiday season, we were not able to have our interviews in person. We did a techno remix and did it over the phone. It still was a very good interview. Actually uplifting because well it just feels incredible when people point out how much you've grown.
Since nobody appreciates strangers talking to them on the streets and knocking on their doors, we decided to do investigator tracting - with cookies! We went all over the place delivering cookies to everyone. No really, everyone. We did not want to have any leftovers so when we gave all the investigators some, we gave cookies to people on the street, the bus driver, and gave some to the neighbors on the way home. Their faces were priceless. They did not expect to get free cookies but then they burst into a big smile and said, takk! Pretty great moments.
For Christmas it was a very simple but special day. On Christmas eve, Sister Heywood and I were in our apartment listening/performing to Christmas songs, drawing, catching up with the journal writing, and being our fun yet awkward selves.
Christmas day we were with our superb member, Ase Marie. We got to watch Frozen in Norwegian!! Oh mah goodness, it's even more hilarious!! And of course the real highlight was skyping with the family!! It simple blows my mind that even though the there's a rather big pond separating us, we can still communicate. Technology blows my mind!
And finally, we had a little Christmas party with the missionaries in Trondheim and the Kristiansund Elders. Twas a joyful and joke-filled day! We had a talent show and wow we have some super cool talents! Sister Heywood and I did a parody of "In Summer" called "In Alesund" and just because you are awesome people, here are the words:
Tourists come, I can't believe where they come from,"Snakker du Norsk? English? Ummmm..." In Alesund.
Some cards in my hand, Books of Mormon from every land, probably getting appointments planned in Alesund!
Finally see the northern lights light up the winter sky, the alarm goes off, it was just a dream so then we cry,
But we can't wait to see, what today's gonna bring, just imagine the miracles that we're gonna see in Alesund!
The "ja"s and the "nei"s are both so intense, put them together it just.... wait what?
Winter's a good time to stay in and cuddle, but us på gaten and we'll be - "nei takk".... Happy missionaries!!
When life gets rough we get a kebab from the stand, remembering that joy and trials go hand in hand!
Cause the font will be blue, I guess the fjord works too, when we get up and do, what good sisters do in Alesund!
"You're getting transfered" "Don't you dare!"
For a super short spiritual thought, this Christmas I was blessed with many service opportunities, both planned and unexpected. Even though Christmas this year was spent mainly with strangers, I was able to strengthen the personal knowledge I have that we are all children of God who may be fixer uppers but are all spectacular.
Love you all and we'll be talking in 2015!
Monday, December 22, 2014
This is it! I'm gettin' my restaurant! Nah, not really (hope you got the reference) but this is it, Christmas is this week!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! This one will be a quick update due to the fact I get to Skype my family on Christmas (Yoo hoo, hi family!) but here's some very quick updates:
-Had a great day working with Åse Marie our Relief Society President visiting some members and spreading Christmas cheer.
-Met this really cool guy named Jostein! We ended up teaching him about the Restoration and giving him a Book of Mormon right there on his doorstep! The good news- He's open to meet again! The bad news - He studies in Trondheim and is here for the holidays... BUT good news again - he let us videresende his information to the missionaries up in Trondheim!
-Had Distrikts Møte i Molde! Great to see the elders in person instead of just talking on the phone. Got to share our favorite stories of Christ from the Bible which is always fun to hear about other's favorites :D
-We had our branch Nissefest on Friday! It was super cute and just a nice koselig time!
To close, I just want to wish each of you a very merry Christmas and say thank you. Yes I know I say this a lot but I am so unbelievably grateful to have you apart of my life. Thank you for your example, love, laughs and memories we've shared, and I hope you realy do know how incredible you are.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
It's starting to get a bit chilly up in the northwest of Norway but that's all good! Things are starting to pick up in the Ålesund area! And OH MAH GOODNESS now I am coming to understand why this place is called "Miracle Sund!" Here are some updates from the past week!
-The Accordian Guy:Trygve
-Yan:The Awesome Progressor
-A very very VERY belated Companion 411: Sister Heywood!
-Spiritual Thought: Our Heavenly Father
We went through our areabook and found this former investigator named Trygve. We gave him a call and he was so excited we called! We met up with him and oh boy this man LOVES three things a lot: 1) boats, 2) accordians, and 3) talking. He would get sidetracted VERY easily but we were able to help keep the focus and had a great lesson about the restoration! I am very grateful that Heavenly Father is helping me to just dive in with the lessons. Before I would be concerned that the investigators would think we didn't care if we didn't listen to what they were saying but I know that what we share with them is so important for them to know about. That is why I am here! Once the lesson picked up momentum, it was easily for Trygve to focus. Power of the spirit!
Yan is just awesome. Since he works all day on Sundays we decided that we needed to talk about the importance of Church with him so he can work it out to go. Sister Heywood and I were both worried that he would put up a fight with us because it is not cheap living in Norway but we both felt that this was important to address. When we were in the lesson, we told him about church and how it is another important step for him to take to come to learn that what we are teaching him is true. He surprised us by saying, "Well I am actually leaving next week to go home for Christmas but when I get back I will tell my supervisor I can't work on Sundays anymore so I can come to church. Would that be okay?" I almost fell out of my seat. Yan is just so incredibly recpetive to the spirit and he acts on it!! We were able to exchange emails with him and are planning to Skype with him while he's away which will be awesome. My goodness, Yan is just the best!
(All the miracles that shall proceed in the following section all happened in the space of four hours.)
While making lunch on Saturday, I get a text. It's from a girl that Sister Heywood contacted on the bus about three weeks ago and she was like, "Hey! Sorry it's been awhile, things have been crazy busy. But how are you?" and we were like, "WHAAAT?" So we were able to get a potential's number. No biggie.
After lunch, we went to meet up with a potential named Aslami from Afghanistan. Had a POWERFUL restoration lesson with him in the library. He was very the Holy Ghost so strong and just couldn't stop smiling! He's such an adorable old man!
After that we felt we should contact over in a part of town we never went over to before. As we contacted, every person we stopped actually stopper and we had a great conversation with them. We met a tourist from Morocco who gave us his information to pass on to the missioanries there, Erstein who we gave a Mormons Bok to, and lots of others who even though in the end they didn't want to meet up, they told us thank you for what we are doing. One of my personal favorites was this contact named Bjørned.
When we first stopped Bjørned, he gave off the impression, "Psh, are you guys serious?" But as we continued to talk about who God is and how we can develop faith in Him, Bjørned's countenace totally changed. Insteading of smirking, he grew more intrigued. He really did begin to glow. After a slight pause he asked, "Do you two really go around every day talking to people about that?" We replied yes to which he said, "What you two are doing is wonderful." Not going to lie, that got my teared up a bit.
We then got the impression to try this less active new convert (Øystein) who we haven't heard from for a LONG time. We walked to his apartment, the front door was locked. We tried ringing the doorbell, but no answer. It was weird because I was thinking, "Okay he's not home so we should go," but I felt like we needed to stay right there for a few minutes. After awhile we both felt like we needed to go and when we turned the corner, there was a man walking on the other side of the street. Sister Heywood looked at him and thought she knew him. I looked to see him turn the corner towards Øystein's apartment. I thought, what the heck? And we ran back. Turns out it was Øystein! He has been in a bad depression but when we were talking with him, he was smiling. Like the entire time we were talking. He talked about how things have been turning around for him. Also, since the last time the missionaries met with him (about 2 months ago), he has read the Book of Mormon two and a half times!! SAYETH WHAT? He says he's not quite ready to come to church until he gets cleared with his doctor but he can't wait to come to church again. He's such a sweet sweet person!
As we're walking away, I get a text from this super awesome potential named Arthur. He's been super busy with helping his dad at work that it's been a struggle to meet up with him the last two weeks. He texted me and said that he'd be in the city today if we watned to meet up. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT? We of course said yes. Because he didn't have much time, we went to the first place we could find - the bus station. Not going to lie, I was worried it was going to be loud but it ended up being quiet. As we taught Arthur the restoration, he was just soaking it all in. When we commited him to read the Book of Mormon and to pray about Joesph Smith, instead of being a usually "yeah yeah if I get around to it" he looks at the both of us and says, "Yes, I can promise you I will do that." WHOA.
This all happened two days ago and I still cannot get over it!
And for the introduction for the new ledsager! Sister Heywood!!
Born in Ogden, raised in Morgan, Utah. Comes from a family of eight (Mom, Dad, Kyle(brother, 25), Kayli(sister, 23), her, Heather(sister, 16), Hayden(brother, 13), and Sarah (sister, 9).
She did theater and choir in high school! She was Cinderella in the musical "Cinderella" in her senior year!! (And yes, we break out into song. A lot)
Favorite food: sushi! Favorite color: probably light purple! Favorite Dsiney moive: Classic: Peter Pan and Newer: Princess and the Frog! And........ If she could be any mythical creature, she would be a mermaid :)
We are like two peas in a pod and hit it off right from the beginning. Everyday is quite hilarious!
So to close, I just want to bear my testimony about our Heavenly Father. Even though there are things we can always improve on, He is aware of our efforts. He appreciates our effort we put in to change and become better. Looking back on that incredible miracle day, I still feel like I did not deserve that. But Heavenly Father saw that I was trying to do my best and just sent me many miracles to remind me that I'm doing good. He really does hear our prayers and answers them. He loves us and I am thankful that every day He helps me to understand that a little more.
I hope you all have a wonderful day and week! Remember to keep smiling! It takes more effort to frown so why bother?
Love you all and take care,
Monday, December 1, 2014
Hello Family and Friends!
It's officially the most wonderful time of the year! Happy First of December!! The streets of Ålesund are getting all decorated which is wonderful and just jolly!! While the Christmas buzz is growing, people are getting busier with prepping for family visits or going to visit family. Been a tough week for finding and teaching, but luckily the world is my oyster and I got lots of blessings to be thankful for! Here are some highlights of the week:
-Decorated our branch windows
-Brand New Progressor: Yen Johnson
-Tea Party with Uncle Martin
-Adventure out to Vestnes
-Spiritual Thought: What We Know
Since the city was being decke dout, we thought we would decorate our windows for Christmas too! We had a little Relief Society craft night to make all the decorations and we made a former investigaot come and help us out! So cool! I did sadly forget to take pictures so that will be in next week's update.... My apologizes.
So Yen is so incredible! He met with the sisters earlier this year and for one reason or another, the missionaries lost contact with him. We called him up and he was still very interested in meeting with us. Where on earth do I even begin to describe Yen? Perhaps the beginning would be good:
Yen is from Shanghai and has been in Norway for about a year now studying engineering. Being from China, he didn't have a belief in God but since coming to Norway he's had some way cool experiences that he says he cannot call just coincidences. One for exmaple, he was doing laundry one day and there were two american pennies on his washer. One was dated 1993 (when he was born) and 2014. Within that same week he met the sisters. He took that to mean that God wanted him to talk with these two American missionaries. So amazing!
He is just so receptive to the spirit and is so eager to learn! When I texted him the next day to follow up he had already read the restoration pamphlet we gave him and started reading in the Book of Mormon!! So excited for him!!
Quick background story: Uncle Martin is a referral we got from Inger Anne Amundsen in Oslo (she was in Romerike my first area!). She told us that we could pop in and say hi for her and just ask if they'd want to learn more. We stopped by about a week ago and he was pretty excited to see us! He loves family history and really liked talking with us. We got each other's numbers and planned to meet up this past Friday.
So what happened on Friday - We come up to the door and as we walk in, he had his table set up for a tea party! It was super delicious and we were able to talk about the church. He did accept to learn more!! Inger was super excited to hear that as well :)
We went out to visit a less active family in Vestnes which is about an hour and 20 minutes away. GORGOUS drive on the bus by the way. Anyways, we visited Helene and her two kids Brigham and Logan. Helene is Norwegian and her exhusband is American (from Logan). When we got there, we found out that she has an American boyfriend named John (also from Logan). They are so adorable! They talked about how they are aware they are less active and just are struggling with finances right now. They both have strong testimonies and really wonderful! I hope things will be able to turn around for them soon.
During my studies this week I was reading in John 9. In this chapter, Christ heals a blind man and this man becomes one of the quickest and strongest converts ever! After he is healed, he gets taken to the Pharisees and they question him if he was really blind before. This former blind man was being attacked right after his incredible miracle. But one of the things he says that I love is in verse 25, "He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner of no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was bling, now I see."
This man was aware of his lack of knowledge but that did not get in his way of what he knew. He not only shared his newly found testimony to the Pharisees but he defended it. What incredible faith! I know that this faith is possible for each one of us when we do the same - rely on what we know.
Have a wonderful week and kick off the best time of year! If you haven't done so, check out the new video "He is the Gift" on christmas.mormon.org
It's wonderful to me :)
Love you and take care everyone!