Monday, January 25, 2010

Can't believe it's the last week of January!‏

Hei Hei! (As a true Norwegian would say haha)

I would've never believed it but the weeks keep passing by faster and faster. Some days seem to last longer at times but that changes really quickly. To begin I just have to say that i really miss peanut butter haha.. whew, now that that's off my chest :)

It's nice to hear the weather's getting warmer there. It stays pretty cool around here still. We had a warm period for a bit this past week but today has been quite cold haha. It hasn't snowed for a while so it's that kind of cold, dead air if that makes sense. But it's all good! I've gotten used to it so I stay warm. "The spirit of God like a fire is burning" haha I stay plenty warm with that :) I've had the hardest time figuring out what i need to do to get rid of my sinus infections. Finally I got home one night and took a way steaming hot shower to try and clear "things" out haha.. The next morning i felt way better, go figure haha! Now I just have to take a hot shower every night for a while and see what happens. I cannot tell you how great it feels to actually be able to think clearly and contribute to stuff around you :)

A moment about the food... Yes it's way delicious, which is somewhat of a problem for me ;) We truly never go hungry. Everyday I find myself overeating cuz they have so much food and lots of dessert haha. I haven't exercised as much so my muscle is just turning into fat plus all the cakes/sweet rolls makes for a real good time :) They eat a lot of hot dogs here but they are way better than in the states! They have this sweet kind of mustard to put on it that's kind of like a less sweet, caramel mustard. (It's soo good!) Another thing that's way common to put on a hotdog is potato salad haha which is also way tasty :) A normal meal they have often is they start with a slice of bread, some sort of meat like tuna or ham, then a random kind of delicious cheese, and maybe a slice of a pepper to top it off. Then they often eat boiled potatoes (not cut up or mashed) with kjøtt kaker (basically sausage, meat balls) and some gravy on top.. mmmhmmm, yum! I've had way good desserts like chocolate mousse pudding with Freia chocolate (the best) Oh and the bakery foods are just so delicious haha okay i better stop cuz I haven't had lunch yet:)

Yesterday we had a way cool investigator come to church with us. The best way to explain him is he's a Norwegian dude with African attributes haha. Normally Norwegians are fairly precise on what times we should meet and where but he's just like, "yeah yeah, call me later and we'll meet." But In priesthood meeting he was answering a lot of the questions and was way involved with it all. Then later that night we met with this way cool african lady! We had talked to her on a bus two days before and she said to just come over Sunday night, so we did haha. We taught her the first lesson and asked her to read a chapter from the Book of Mormon. The spirit was so strong and she accepted everything we told her. The best part was when she told us about this church she's been going to and said straight up, "Yeah I go to this church, it isn't true." Haha, i couldn't believe it! We read with her from Moroni 10 vs. 4&5 and after we read it she was just like, "Wow, that was so powerful! Did you feel that?" It was so sweet! She said we could come back anytime so we're meeting again tomorrow :) We've been really blessed this past week and i know this truly is the Lord's work. He is no doubt in control of it and i'm grateful to be an instrument in His hands.

It's too bad to hear about Natalie, i'll keep her in my prayers. I read something interesting in the Liahona the other day about trials and experiences. It was talking about this guy in Taiwan who is a mountain tour guide in a national park there. He compares climbing a mountain to our lives. So many people come to him and desire to see the beautiful waterfall at the top but they want the easiest way possible to get there. He gives them two options; they can take the shortest, easiest route to get there or they can choose a more difficult, but much more rewarding way. Then he explains how it is always so much more rewarding to look at something from the top, only if you've experienced the bottom. Our lives are similar to the climbing of a mountain and the beautiful sight from the top is getting back to live with our Heavenly Father again. So many times we pray for happiness and good experiences but we don't want to experience to hardship that comes with those experiences. But as much as i hate to admit it that is truly what makes it all worth it. They build us into who we can become. Then afterward, when we look back and see how far we've come it truly is a beautiful sight. I was thinking about that today during my personal study. I have been so blessed with all the experiences i've had cuz without them I would not be who I am today. I would not have the knowledge of how important the Savior is in our lives and I'm so grateful for that.

I'm still not very good at the language but I have been so blessed in every aspect of my mission. I am so grateful for this experience i've been given. I feel so bad for anyone who chooses not to serve a mission cuz I have learned so much about who I am in the process of coming closer to Christ. I know this church is God's true church and it's the only true church on the earth. Joseph Smith was a true prophet who brought the truth back for us. I know Christ lives and He loves each and every one of us. One of the best things i've come to know is that if you wanna be a better person, try to be like Christ for He is the greatest example! I love this gospel, it has brought me so much happiness and it continues to do so each and every day :)

Thank you mom for raising me in this great and wonderful church! We are so blessed to reap the benefits of all it has to offer. I never knew how important it is until now and i'm so happy to know it now. That's the greatest blessing ever, to know it is true. I know it! Many people say they are atheist but there really is no such thing. An atheist just refuses to look for the truth cuz they're fed up with trying to find it. The best part is, we have it! If you seek the truth all you have to do is ask. Our Heavenly Father is there and I know He wants us to find Him.

We live in such an amazing time and i'm so grateful to be a part of it :) I love you all and pray for you always! Have a great week :)



Monday, January 18, 2010

Wow, where did the week go?!‏

Hi everyone,

This past week has been very rewarding! Looking back I really can't believe where it went. I'm more than half way done with my first moves period and that's just crazy!

On Thursday I had my first zone conference and it was way sweet. As usual the food was incredibly delicious (I'll talk more about that later :) We did a bunch of practice teaches and door contacts that really helped with the language. It also helped to get some more ideas one what i can use to talk with people out on the street. Pres. Johansen is on fire! He finished off the conference with an inspirational talk that made me wanna stand up and cry repentance to all the people of Oslo haha.

Later that night we had a teach with this Frances (she's from Scotland. What parts of Scotland was Brent in?) It was a way sweet experience and the spirit was so incredibly strong. She told us about a dream she had where her son, who died as a small baby, came to her and said not to worry about him, he was happy now. She said he was in an incredibly beautiful garden, just playing and laughing. We told her about how babies are saved through Christ and about the ability to be sealed to our families forever through the temple. Pretty much we were all tearing up and she started to tell us how it all make more sense now. She's getting baptized on the 13th of February :)

Friday was a way good day of finding out on the streets of Oslo city :) I decided I was just going to talk to every person that walked by and hit'em hard with the Spirit through testimony haha. We were talking with this one guy about Christ and prophets when he started to turn away. I asked him if we could just give him a card (the 1st vision) As I was giving it to him I started to tell him about it in Joseph's own words. He didn't accept to meet with us but a seed was definitely planted cuz there is no way he didn't feel the spirit that was present. I think he may have been a little afraid of what he was feeling. Oh well, he's progressed a little further than where he was before at least.

This week we're focusing a lot on finding. Yesterday (Sunday) we were out talking with people and we just kept getting a bunch of "nei takks" (no thanks) or Muslims that would just tell us we needed to go to more schooling before we can tell people about religion haha.. Anyway we finally talked with this guy and he sort of kept walking but just looked at me. So I just stared him down with a disappointed look and he spoke to us in English. He asked what we wanted so I told him what we were out doing. He basically said in an enthusiastic way, "Yes, I want to meet with you guys!" We asked when and he said "Anytime." We're meeting with him tonight :) This guy is from Africa and is way cool!

It's crazy to hear about all that's happening with the economy back home. Nobody says anything about it here so I have no idea how it is haha.. We've had alot of people tell us on the streets that when asked what they think about prophets they respond with "Obama, that guys a real prophet." The Norwegians really think Obama's a great guy (talk about a blinded people haha)

I got a way strong antibiotic from a doctor here who was way nice haha. He gave me this three day thing and now i'm doing much better than before but I still have a lot of congestion around my eyebrows and in-between. I've been tryin to do more of that meditating stuff that lady showed me before I came. It works really well to help me focus and calm down. This sounds bad but church has been one of the worst days for me. I get way stressed out when everyone is talking Norwegian and I understand so little. Then I get carried away in thinking how little I know. I then have to think about how far i really have come and try to just "chill" a little more haha. I have realized though that there is only so much i can do and the rest have to come from on high; that just takes patience :)

Happiness is definitely a state of mind and it is so wonderful. I'm getting more happy, more often as time goes by and it feels so good :) It's kinda funny cuz sometimes i tell people on the street that we're out to tell them about how you can have so much more true joy in your life. We just wanna give you a giant platter of true, eternal joy :) But your right, that's not a very good deal (free) haha your excuse of not having time is perfectly legitimate. It really is sad that they won't except this great offer but hopefully one day they will.

I had another great experience yesterday. We were given the opportunity to bless a member in the ward who's been sick and having a hard time. I am so grateful to the gift and power of the priesthood. It is such a blessing to bare it and I love to use it :)

The more I learn about and observe Norwegian people the more I just have to laugh haha. They have a very different sense of humor than we have. Many of them just don't have a sense of humor :) It makes it so much more funnier after saying something and they just look at you like "what the heck are you talking about?"

I'm so grateful for this opportunity to serve a mission. It has blessed me in so many different ways. I continuously learn so much more about myself and who I am as well as more about the gospel. It truly is amazing how carefully thought out His plan for us is. We are given many chances to succeed and that means so much to me :)

This world is full of so much confusion and turmoil. I'm so happy to know even a fraction of what of what my place in this life is. The gospel is true and miracles really do happen today, we just have to watch for them and expect the miracle :) I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!


Eldste Dano

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pictures in Oslo

On the way to a jul middag(Christmas dinner)We walked down this path
that was a winter wonderland. Pretty sure Winnie the Pooh
was in the trees (aka the hundred acre woods)

New Year's Eve in Oslo with my comp, Elder Lewis and sister Wallace in background.

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Happy January:)

God Morgen!

I'm feeling so happy this morning it has been so great! I had a great study on relying on the spirit and i absolutely loved it :) I feel so blessed in all the our heavenly father does for us, it truly is amazing how he teaches us by the spirit. He teaches us lessons all the time and it helps so much.

It's interesting how we can go for so long hearing/being taught the same things and still not quite get it. Then all of the sudden it just clicks and pierces to the heart. At least that's how it often is for me. I often find myself looking for an answer, feeling completely lost and hopeless. Then a thought comes to mind or someone says something that just says "duh!" and that's it :)

It's been way cold here haha oh goodness! It's hard to stay positive when your outer extremities start to get numb haha but i'm workin on it. Yes, I got the package a few days ago actually and it was so wonderful to have a warm coat to wear:) Thanks for all that was in there! The pillow has been nice as well, i think it's helping my sinuses also. The letters were very nice to read too since i really don't get any out here haha.

Miracles are definitely happening here in our mission. My mission president is so ecstatic about baptisms and they are happening! Our goal for this year is 120 baptisms and we are well on our way for it :) I know that the Lord is with us always for i have seen it in my life and in other people's lives here. We had a baptism this last Saturday and the spirit was so wonderful to feel there! It was such a sweet experience and I was so happy to be a part of it :)

I'm so grateful you mentioned the lord won't allow me to hinder his work because of a language barrier. I really needed to hear that and it is good to think about. It's hard to not be hard on myself. I just want to be able to speak it cuz i know i could do so much more if i only could. Oh well your right, patience is a virtue. I think the lord has been teaching me patience my entire life and I'm just as stubborn in learning it now as i always have been. I don't like waiting haha.

It sure is important to laugh and smile, especially in the hardest of times! That is my goal this week, and my goal overall i guess. I am going to find more happiness than I could have ever possibly dream of. Then I am going to share that with others. I've already been given happiness in this gospel, but i want more :) I think it's interesting that when we talk about greed we use it more commonly in a negative sense like wanting more money. But we really are just greedy with happiness, we want more of it and i don't think that's a bad thing at all. In fact i think that's what keeps us going. I yearn for happiness and that's what motivates me to achieve something greater.

So the other day i sat in on a teach with the sister missionaries. They were talking with this guy name Senthil. This dude is so amazing! He kept telling the sister that he expects them to teach him more than what they have been teaching about. He wants more details and more scriptural references so that he can become a member. He wants to learn literally everything so that he can teach other people! The thing is that he wants us to teach him everything and not do very much studying on his own. But he is such a positive investigatore. He said to them "I believe what you are telling me is true, I want to get baptised." It was way cool :)

It's interesting, sometimes i find myself thinking that i'll be doing this forever but really i don't have much time to serve. Two years is truly not that long and I'm grateful for the time that i do have to serve. I just hope i can have enough time to be more successful in the time i have been given. The hardest thing for me has been not being able to think clearly cuz of my sinuses. I have a hard time focusing on teaching by the spirit when i just feel like i'm in a fog. But i know that if the lord wants me here then it will work out, whether it's by drugs or something else haha.

Even though I have those days where I am so utterly confused and can't decipher my own thought process I still know one thing with absolute assurance. God is here with each of us. He knows each one of us. I know this is His true church. Christ knows each one of us. I know He loves us. Sometimes it's hard to believe but He has an unconditional love for us. I am so grateful for all that he does for me and continues to do.

I hope your week goes good and all is well. Stay warm :) I love you!

With love,

Eldste Dano

Monday, January 4, 2010

Another Interesting Week Has Come & Gone:)

This past week has been way crazy! I cannot believe it's only been a week cuz it felt like a lot longer with all that has happened haha..

First about New Year's Eve. So we went to Romerike to help some members with their party. We ended up helping make food for like 7 hours straight! I was cutting garlic for most of that time as well as peeling pretty much a million potatoes and my fingers still smell from the garlic haha..

We got permission from president to stay out til one that night so we hung out for a while after the food was all ready. The Norwegians really take New Year's seriously here. I think us Americans need to take notes on all the fireworks they use. I took a small video of all the fireworks going off and they were all around us in the sky! Nothing is illegal so they use any kind of firework they can find :) It was great but i decided one thing, the holidays kinda suck when you're not with your family.. Maybe next year will be easier.

Anyway, after the party we got stuck with taking this random guy to his supposed place he had reserved to stay in that night. No one could understand him when he spoke and we thought he was from germany. It turned out he's from sweden and just speaks really badly haha.. So we took him to this place and we later realized (after reading an email he got from these people) that they told him before that they didn't have any place for him to stay. We then drove around Oslo to try and find him a hotel, yeah hotels are filled during new years! He ended up staying in the mission home that night and had to figure out something else for the next night. This guy had nothing planned and i have no idea how he even got here! Nobody knew anything about him and he just kinda hung around. The best way i can think to describe him is that he is a swedish version of mr. bean haha..

Now for a way cool spiritual experience i had. Well i've never really felt like i was that good at responding/acting by promptings of the spirit, but last night was an experience that helped strengthen my testimony. So I went out contacting with Elder Hill and I had prayed, the night before, about where we should go. I felt like we should go to this specific place. After we got there we decided to pray that we would find someone who was prepared and needed the gospel. We walked up from the T-bane and waited for the spirit. Suddenly i saw this older guy walking across the street and I felt like we had to talk to him! We promptly walked over to him and I about fell down right in front of him cuz of all the ice everywhere haha.. Anyway I said we were out talking to people about how god helps families today. Then i asked him what his family means to him. He of course said they mean everything to him. He then proceeded to tell us that his son died about five years ago. We asked him if he had ever thought about if he can see his son again. He said he thinks about that everyday! Then we got his number and will call him later today. I am so grateful for that opportunity to be an instrument in our heavenly father's hands! We said something to him that was exactly what he needed to hear and I know we couldn't have done it without the spirit! It is so important to live our lives to be worthy of this great gift. It can help us with everything if we just be patient and let it.

I love having the gift of the holy ghost, it is such a blessing! I feel so much happier when I utilize it more often. I am constantly reminded by the thought that you can never use it enough. You can always use it more and we should use it much more.

Oh i almost forgot, we got a baptismal date this past week too! An 11 year old girl named Aslaug will be getting baptised on the 30th of this month. It's great, everytime we go to teach her she pretty much knows everything about what we talk about. Her parents and older siblings are members but they haven't come to church very often. But her dad and bro came this sunday so that was great to see!

I've been very blessed with many spiritual experiences that I needed so much! Yesterday I felt so close to the spirit that i know that's why we got 4 new potential investigators and I actually said some things in norwegian that helped :) I think missionary work becomes a lot better when you can actually be involved with it all.

I am grateful for so many things! I have been blessed and I continue to be everyday. Sometimes I need to look closer for those blessings than others but they are still there! I love the lord and I love this gospel. If we truly embrace it it makes us happier.

i hope this week goes well. We're going sledding right now but i think i'll have a little more time for email later.

Though we are so far away may the spirit bring us close together.


Eldste Farrer