Well i must say that right now if i were to describe
a mission it would be, emotional rollercoaster haha.. I'm definately
learning how to control my thoughts more so I don't think of home as
often cuz so many things remind me of it.
I'm gonna try and
write today, but it's somewhat difficult though cuz my companion just
wants to go play games and stuff all day so i don't have much time to
write too much and I had trouble buying stamps so mom is working on
taking care of that issue with my bank account.
like Christmas went pretty good this year yeah? I can see how it would
go better with it being less chaotic and noisy haha.. I've been working
on greeting others with love and on having more charity towards
everyone around me. (Even strangers on the streets) It really helps you
be happier and it uplifts others as well :)
My comp is Elder
Lewis. He's from a small town in Utah that starts with a B and I can't
remember what it's called haha.. He is truly 100% better than my comp
from the mtc haha.. I know it sounds bad to say but it's very true :)
The only way we clash is that he is a very messy person and I like
things to be very organized haha but no biggy.
I am so grateful
to be serving a mission right now! It has blessed me so much. I have
such a greater appreciation for everything around me. Relationships
with the people I love means so much more now. We had dinner with this
family last night and they were so nice. The mom kept giving me
encouragement about how fast the mission will start to pass by and this
may sound bad but I look forward to that day when the days do go by
faster. Not just because I miss home so much but that I look forward to
what I will become after two years of this great work. When the days go
by faster it will mean I'm workin hard and stayin' busy too haha..
Also, as Elder Holland told us at the mtc "You cannot have a reunion
without leaving first. And oh how sweet that reunion will be upon
return from a successful mission" I am looking forward to that day! I
am working now so that when I look back at my two years I can say
without a doubt that I did my best and wouldn't do it any other way.
hope all goes well this week and good luck with everything! Thanks for
the emails, they truly mean so much not matter what they say :)
ps I'm workin on getting a name badge that says "Eldste Dano" how cool would that be?!
one more thing haha.. So we get to stay up til 1 am New Years eve to
New Years. It'll be crazy cuz we still have to wake up at 630 the next
morning! Also I'm gonna try for pics next week :)
Gud vær med deg til vi ses igjen - God be with you til me meet again
Monday, December 28, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
We are all exhausted! Everyone will be off tomorrow to their new
assignments! It was a great evening! This is an awesome group!
Eldste Mathews is off to Stavanger
Eldste Farrer Oslo
Eldste Brush Moss
Eldste Whitehead Fredrikstad
Soster Moholt Trondheim
They will email you on Monday! All is well!
Well we all made it here!! It’s way awesome and I’m excited to get started! Can’t wait to talk more on Christmas! Love you all!
Love, Elder Farrer
Dear Brother and Sisters,
We just wanted to let you know they have arrived and all is well! I will include some photos later tonight. Look for the email after we have dinner at the Mission Home.
We are glad to see them!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
I took a before and after pic of my stomach showing how much food we get here plus all the goodies everyone sends haha.. (my "fat" pic is a slight exaggeration haha) I've only gained like 3 pounds and i think it's because i just eat a ton of food (as usual) but then i sit and it begins to stick to the insides of my body haha.. It's true they give you like no good blankets to sleep with and this past week our room temp has been 63 degrees and maybe 65 on a "warm" day haha.. but you can ask for more blankets in the service area in his building cuz they will give you more. I've just been sleeping in my jacket and socks :) so no worries. The past two weeks I've had a bad sinus infection cuz of sleeping in the cold, go figure haha.. But I've been loading up on golden seal three times a day and i'm seeing some progress slowly.
One of our teachers was tellin' us that in Norway the apartments are way nice as far as staying warm. When you turn on the heater it gives instant heat! The floors are also heated which is pretty much better than what we have here haha.. I think they live fairly well over there :)
We got flight plans!! So my flight leaves at 8:30 am Monday morning. We have to meet in the travel office at 5 am that morning! I'll try and call from the SLC airport but i don't know how much time I'll have.. but in JFK airport we have a 3 hour layover so I'll call from there. Then we fly from there to Austria then to Oslo! I don't think I'll be calling from Austria haha but I'll be calling again in a few weeks for Christmas :)
I am so excited to go to Norway! Both of our teachers have been bringing pictures and telling us about all their experiences they had there. It just makes me want to be there and meet all the people! Everyday I gain a stronger testimony in knowing that Norway is exactly where I'm supposed to serve. It all just feels/sounds so right it's great!
Yesterday was kinda weird cuz I've had many deja vu's here before but never as many as yesterday. I think it's one of my favorite things to be sitting listening to someone talk or be reading/ pondering and feel like "I've seen this before" or "I've been here before." It's kinda like a testimony that I'm making the right decisions and I'm at the right place in my life.
Looking back at my stay here I have thought many times that "wow, i really don't like the mtc" haha but I truly have grown so close to my Savior and my testimony of the truthfulness of His gospel has grown exponentially! I am so grateful for that :) I want to continue to grow closer to Him. That has been the greatest part of my mission thus far, learning of the Lord and all He does/ has done for us. (and continues to do!) I am thankful for the gift of the Holy Ghost, without it i could not do what I'm set out to do. It is such a great gift and we need to exercise this gift as much as possible. I came to the realization that i had never really thought about before, this past week. I never realized that we should truly be relying on and using the Spirit all the time! I've never really done that before and I feel so much better when I do use it. For some reason I've just thought that "oh I'll just listen to the spirit when i write a talk or read the scriptures." but listening to the spirit can never be over used. It is there for our benefit and it has so many roles that only have positive influences on us.
I am so happy to be serving our Savior. I've come so much closer to him and all that he does for me. We are so blessed in every way we can possibly think of! I know this is the only true church and we are so lucky cuz we know it's true! I love you all and can't wait to talk to you on Monday :)
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Well I haven't received my flight plans and departure info yet and I am both nervous and anxious to leave. No joke i am getting so tired of being inside all day, i love to be outside. I think it's so interesting how many things we take for granted when we have them all of the time. That's one of the biggest things i've learned thus far is how much I care about all the blessings i had before. I mean i still have them i'm just leaving them behind for a period of time. But i never realized how nice it is to just say i feel like taking a walk, and then doing it haha. Having said that, I am happy to be a missionary and servant of the Lord! It is such a privilege and honor to try to repay even a small fraction of what He has given me. I am so grateful for all the things i am learning here and i feel like i've grown so much closer to my savior. I can't wait to help bring this truth to a person in Norway and see that light come into their eyes that says, "I know it's true!"
So i'm really starting to miss listening to music. I've been singing a lot but believe it or not that can actually get old after a while haha.. Another reason why i can't wait to get into the field, of course that's obviously not the biggest reason:) I'm happy to report that the language has been coming along much better (though it's still quite difficult to understand someone when they speak it at their normal speed). Elder Brush told me the other night i was saying some stuff in Norwegian in my sleep! haha it's weird cuz the words i've learned and practiced saying i find myself just saying them and not having to think of the words in English first, It's wonderful!
So thanksgiving was a little different here as you can probably imagine. We started the day off with plenty of study time and then a morning devotional after that. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland spoke and it was so sweet! He went about his talk a little differently. A few weeks ago we were all asked to write down questions about missionary work and submit them to the MTC prez. So Elder Holland picked some of these and decided to answer them. He just taught us by the spirit and it was so powerful. The biggest thing that stuck out to me was when he said, "It's good that your homesick; in fact I want you to be!" He talked about how important the family is and that we should never forget that. It was such a powerful meeting. We had our thanksgiving dinner after that (not anything like what you make mom:) And after that we did a humanitarian service project where we put together first aid kits. I was definately homesick cuz we had lots of extra time to think; so i had to make sure and keep myself busy haha.
Something i've thought about a lot more this past week is how happy you can feel when you forget about yourself and worry about others. I've been striving to do this and when i do focus more on helping others i am so much happier. It reminds me of that scripture in Matthew that says he who finds his life shall lose it and he who loses his life for my sake shall find it. It almost seems backwards to think about but I know this is true! If you are feeling down and are searching for happiness; forget yourself and help others. It's difficult to do but the blessing that comes from it is almost indescribable.
Well i'm about out of time again.. This is always the fastest 30 min of my day haha. We are so blessed to have the truth in our lives! I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father that I have been given this opportunity to serve Him for these two years. I love this gospel, it makes me so happy and i don't know what i would do without it! I love you all and pray for you always! I have felt your prayers and thank you for them.
Love Elder Farrer
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
As you could have guessed from the subject of this email I am so excited to go to Norway! Only 18 days til we leave, Heia Norge! Though it's probably a good thing that i'm not leaving just yet cuz i still have plenty to learn and get better at before then.. The language has been getting better but I still can't understand as much as i would like. I learned something new about myself and i figured out why i have a hard time teaching in norwegian. When i teach i don't like to have anything written down before hand so i can focus solely on the investigator, i find it makes it easier to rely on the spirit when teaching like this also. The problem is that when i ask a question i can't understand their answer haha it is difficult to help people when you don't understand what their problem is. The one thing i do know how to do is testify and it brings the spirit into the teach ever time, I love it!
Elder Dallin H. Oaks and his wife came to speak to us last night for the devotional! One thing his wife said that i liked was that she said, "no matter how well you know the language, the spirit has no language boundaries or barriers." This has helped me a lot cuz too often i feel disappointed in myself for little i can actually speak and even more how little i can understand. Oh well, as i have heard it so many times from people here as well as from you mom that if i work hard it will come :)
So speaking of Elder Oaks, it was so awesome when he came! He joked around and was waving to everyone as he left. I could see the spirit in him by how happy he was. We all have different ways that the spirit manifests itself to us, the key is to find and strengthen that specific way. I have found that i am so much happier when i am feeling the spirit strongly! I always get excited when I'm reading in the Book of Mormon and some small portion of inspiration comes in directing my thoughts towards a new idea or way i can teach someone a principle. When you have the spirit with you you can do so much more it's great! And it's amazing all the different things it does for you too. The Holy Ghost can help you in those times when you don't know what to say, He will comfort you when you feel sad, down or alone. He can give you strength and energy to continue on. His power is truly limitless and it is such a great gift our Heavenly Father has given us.
I have been getting so excited to go to Norway! I know i mentioned this before but i've been meeting and getting to know people who served their recently and it makes me want to just go right now haha.. Another thing i was just reminded of that Elder and Sister Oaks said multiple times was that we are all Gods sons and daughters. I've heard that so many times throughout my life but i guess it never really hit me as hard as it did last night. Heavenly Father loves us and he is always there for us! I love thinking about that, and i love thinking about all the blessings he gives us by His plan. It's just all so great!
This past week i have especially thought a lot about the word forever.. It is mentioned so many times in the scriptures and really we can't even comprehend it. But just thinking about it more made me realize how true and real it actually is! We WILL be with our families and those we love forever. We will be happy forever. Good things never come to an end! It may seem like it cuz of the trials and pains we go through but there is always more good that will come :) I am so grateful that i have this knowledge cuz it puts all my worries at ease. This is why we share the gospel with others, because so many people are seeking this happiness and joy but "they know not where to find it." I think it is so important to hold on to the burning flame of truth within us and live our lives so that others can see how important knowing this truth really is.
I'm so grateful and blessed to have this knowledge that our Heavenly Father loves each of us personally and he knows how we're feeling all of the time. He is always there for us even if we don't always remember him. I love you all and am so grateful for your examples to me! Thank you for your support and prayers! I hope you have a happy thanksgiving and try not to get too caught up in the business of it haha.. Take time to write out and think about all we have truly been given. I have done this and it was such a blessing to me!
I love you all.
Love Elder Farrer
Hello all:One thing I have been working on this past week is working to have a desire to study and learn more. I think the number one thing i realized when i first got here is that i do not like to study ha ha. But this is such a different kind of study. It's truly a study that will make you a more perfect person. Each day I have grown to be excited to study the scriptures and learn about this gospel. It wasn't easy though ha ha.. It took many nights and days of praying to have a desire to study. And it payed off! I now look forward to the time I have to study Norsk as well as Preach My Gospel :) I often feel like I'm running out of time cuz there is so much more I want to learn. In one of the Mormon message videos I mentioned earlier an apostle says something like our Heavenly Father sees us as glorious, perfected beings we are capable of becoming. We have been given this opportunity on Earth to work towards becoming glorious and perfected beings. I think that's so awesome to think about that we will one day be perfect!
I'm not sure if you all know this or not but on lds.org and on mormon.org
they have great, uplifting youtube videos about different topics in the
church. They are somewhat geared to nonmembers but I find them a great
strength when i'm feeling down or confused about some things. If you have
a minute or two go and watch some of them, I think we watch at least two
per day and there are maybe fifteen total ha ha..
I think that's what makes this gospel so wonderful. I heard this past week
someone say that we have an inexhaustible gospel. It's so true!
Every time i read a scripture or think about a topic I get some new
insight on how it applies to us. It doesn't matter what source of media
you look to, you can always get something new from it if you are looking
and listening closely. I have so many scriptures marked and every time i
go back to them i find a new part of it to mark or a new idea of what it
I have definitely come to appreciate opportunities to learn more about all that God has to teach us. In the fireside on Sunday it was mentioned that we have been given the gift of the holy ghost and we need to work to exercise this gift. The one thing that stuck out the most was that it is a tool we can learn to use. Everyone has to learn to use it. And as we learn to use it we grow stronger in following and listening to it's promptings. this is something i had never really thought about before, that being led by the spirit is something that we need to practice using so we can get better at it! Even better it's not just left at that; we can pray for help in getting better at recognizing how to listen and act on spiritual promptings. It is so awesome how much the Lord truly gives us, and He gives us countless ways to accomplish all the challenges that come our way.
This past week at a time when i was feeling down cuz I'm not able to speak Norsk as well as i would like to I decided to list out all of my blessings. I finally had to just stop cuz i had so many and they just kept coming to mind! What a great way to spiritually recharge; thinking about everything we have been given. I am so grateful for all the blessings I have been given in my life!
I'm starting to feel a little bit more confident in speaking Norsk now. After having our first practice in the language on Monday i realized that there is so much i want to say but i just can't find the Norwegian words to say it. it was definitely a motivator to study harder and use all the time I have been given!
So I realized that my number one blessings I listed were all of you at home. It was thinking about all the people I love and care about that helped me to continue on! Thank you for your love and support :) I feel your prayers everyday and they help greatly!
I am so grateful to be apart of the Lord's true church. I know it is His church and it will only continue to grow as we share the gospel with the world! My time is up but I love you all and again thank you for everything!
> Love Elder Farrer
> Gå med Gud!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
It has truly been such an enlightening week and it continues to get better!
I am so blessed to have this opportunity to grow much closer to our Savior! Brother Howard (Branch Presidency) said something that I really liked in Sacrament meeting on Sunday. He said that we are here to learn the ways of the Lord. I have learned so much here and I have grown to love it so much more!
I am so excited to be able to serve in this great work! Last night at the devotional a member of the seventy came and talked to us about all the temples that have been built. It is truly amazing how much progress the church has made in the last years. It got me thinking a lot about how much i love going to the temple and the great feelings i have there. No doubt, every time i go I have a spiritual experience that uplifts me greatly! Every time my questions are answered and I can progress in this great work.
I keep hearing stories about Norway and it gets me so excited to go there! Also, thanks Mom for the info about the people there being Lutheran and such cuz now i'm going to research their beliefs so I can be more familiar with the differences and similarities.
I have made a lot of new goals this past week. One of them is that with the Lord's help of course we are going to get a temple in Norway! I've heard many times go big or go home, well i'm goin' big and there's no way i'm gonna give up!
I have been struggling with the language a little bit. Until just recently I haven't been able to find the best way for me to learn Norsk. I am still working on how I can study it and remember everything i've studied to then apply it. I have a few new ideas but we will see how they go.
One part of this gospel i have really grown to love, well actually two things now that i think about it, but it's how perfectly all the principles and doctrines tie together. The second thing is I have come to truly love the Book of Mormon. It has so many answers for us and it's there for our use, if we just pick it up and search. I have found it especially fulfilling to read then ponder for a while what I just read. My studies are made even better when I have a specific topic in mind before hand to study. For example, my favorite topic to study has been the atonement because of all the things it ties into. It has helped me realize how much the Savior truly loves us and feels exactly what we are feeling. The scriptures have strengthened my testimony in so many aspects and i'm so grateful for that.
I hope all is going well and i can't wait to hear from you again. I have felt your prayers and I am thankful for them! I know the Lord is with us all. If you get a chance read in John chapter 14, I love to read this chapter cuz it has so many verses about how much we are loved and how the Lord is always with us. I love you all and again I am so grateful for your support in me.
Love, Elder Farrer
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Well it's extremely busy but oh so worth it! I have been reflecting often in Matthew 25 where Christ tells the parable of the three men and the talents they are given. I like to read verse 21 and picture myself in the end and hopefully the Lord will have reason to say to me also, "Well done thou good and faithful servant." That statement is so powerful to me and makes me want to do so much more.
The language has been coming fairly well. I can talk as if i were four years old in Norwegian haha but it'll come. They continuously throw us into these crash courses where we learn a principle in Norske (norwegian) then we have to talk to a volunteer who speaks it extremely well! What a humbling experience that is every time! I can pick out maybe two or three words each time and can almost guess to see what they are asking/trying to tell me. It truly is a major learning experience every time. But honestly Norske is not that bad, it's easier when you are reading it cuz a lot of the words in English look the same like fader is father haha.. And some words I like to imagine a cave man saying it and then i can translate better, like when you say "you" it's "du" haha.
On Sunday's we get to watch one of four church movies they show. We watched the Joseph Smith movie like they have playing in salt lake. This was the second time I had watched it and it is so wonderful! I felt the spirit so strongly when I was watching it and if you get the chance maybe go and see it for family night or something. It lit a fire within me that will never be put out for I know that he was a prophet of God and this is the true church on this earth today! It made me want to go up to a stranger and say hey let me tell you about what i know is true! haha.. I also discovered a new passion for bagpipes. In it praise to the man is played on bagpipes and it is awesome! I now want to learn to play the bagpipes and also the harmonica.
We had a devotional last night and the spirit was so strong. It was a member of the seventy who spoke and he told stories about many different ways you can get people to listen to our message. One of them he told about the first day he got to his mission in new york they had all the new elders go down to wall street and start singing primary songs. I want to do that in Norway! I have realized how much more I like to sing and i think that's a great way to get people curious cuz the spirit is always present when you sing hymns.
There's an elder here from Norway and he gave us all some Norwegian chocolate and it was most delicious! I will definitely be buying some of this and sending it home when I get there :) I have had so many ups and downs this past week. There have been times where I felt like I have no idea how I'm going to learn and remember all the things I have to before I leave. But it seems like every time I get to that point I come across another scripture that pushes me to continue on. I have had so many moments of feeling overwhelmed but I read this scripture in Luke 1:27 and it says nothing is impossible with God. This is so true! it's hard to believe but it really is correct.
Elder Dano Farrer
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Wow I have so much to say and so little time so here goes. First off I don't really have time to read emails so if you could just print them off and send them that would help a ton. Or even use dearelder.com so I can get the letter the same day it's written.
The gym times have been really great here. I can still do MOST of my regular gym workouts like running, abs, biceps and pec stuff. The equipment is very well used but it works. The best is getting to go outside, on sunday's we get to walk around the temple grounds for like two hours! Sunday's have been one of my favorite parts here, except for Wednesday's when we get to do endowment sessions.
Last wednesday I had such an awesome experience in the Celestial room! I decided that I knew I made the right choice to serve the Lord but I wanted a definate confirmation of that. So as I was sitting there in the temple I prayed to Heavenly Father and asked Him if he would make it known to me that what I am doing is the right thing and that it is the truth I am preparing to share. Not even seconds later I knew, without a doubt that His gospel is true and that everyone in the world needs to hear it. I am so grateful for the power of prayer and the answers He so willingly gives to us if we only ask as it says in the last verse of D&C 4; all you have to do is ask.
Something else that was so sweet; last night we had a devotional and Elder L. Tom Perry spoke to us! As he entered a hush fell over the entire assembly hall and you could tell without even looking that one of the Lord's apostles had entered. His spirit instantly filled the room! He talked to us about how teaching is a noble and great responsiblity. And I felt so blessed and humbled to have been given this great responsiblity.
Well that's all the time I have left. I know this is our Lord's work and everyday the spirit confirms it to me in more ways than one. I have been reading the scriptures like crazy and I love it!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
New missionaries arrived today; I already feel like a veteran Elder who's been here for months at a time. I heard just the other day a nickname for the MTC, "spirit prison." It kinda got me thinkin about how if we had chosen Satan's plan to have all of us come to earth and not be tested or trialed but receive a one way ticket to exaltation. That would so boring, and considering the fact that I have never really liked studying all that much this is somewhat similar haha..
Having said that this is also one of the best places I have ever been. The biggest hang up I have is that we don't do anything outside. I can get by with the studying part because studying the Lord's gospel makes me so much happier. It's the fact that we have to stay inside a small classroom that has white walls all around and no fresh air. I am 100 % certain that I was born to be out doors. I was born to take on every adventure that comes my way, which although I didn't expect this kind of adventure it definitely is one that is well worth it!
A day hasn't gone by that I haven't felt the spirit in great amounts. I also realized I have never prayed so much in one day as I do here. It's amazing how much we take for granted the power and gift of prayer. It doesn't matter in what circumstances you pray to Him he listens every single time. I found this to be true when on the first or second day (I can't remember which) me and my comp were told we would be teaching this "investigator" about the gospel. I felt so nervous and overwhelmed that all I can remember doing is saying a prayer to Heavenly Father, "Please tell me what to say cuz I have no idea what to do now." I waited for what seemed like forever and then a thought came into my mind so I asked them a question and the spirit continued to flow again. It was so awesome!
We have lot's of devotionals and small meetings. The devotionals are the best cuz a general authority usually comes and they always have something inspiring to say. As we were talking in our district meeting afterward about it, one of the sisters said something about how we have angels round about us to uplift us when we are down. She mentioned the picture of the pioneers and the angels were helping push the handcarts.
Side note: About my companion, I am very much convinced that Heavenly Father has quite the sense of humor. My comp and I do not get along very well. We are pretty much polar opposites! I've been praying to find a way to help and slowly we are making progress. I've met so many people like him in the past it's not even coincidence. The Lord prepares everyone for what is to come in the future. He knows all and I have seen this throughout my life.
My time is getting short, I'm hoping to be able to get faster at this. We only get a half an hour to write emails and maybe one hour of uninterupted time to write letters. Thank you for everything! There really is nothing you can do that prepares you for MTC life but I feel like there are so many areas where you, mom, have prepared me for it! For instance, one of the Elders has never done laundry before and didn't know how.
I know I am supposed to be here and I know this is the Lord's work. I have one minute left so hopefully this all makes sense! This gospel is true, it has been testified to me by the Holy Ghost.