Wednesday, November 25, 2009

November 25, 2009 "18 Days Left in the MTC"

Dear all,

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

November 18, 2009 "Another Week Gone By"

Hello all:

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
means.
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 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

Fulfilling Week!

Hello all,

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

What a week it has been!

Hello All:

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.

Love,

Elder Dano Farrer