Monday, February 22, 2010

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Last week of February, a whole new beginning‏

Hi everyone,

The church just recently switched over to using gmail as their email provider, yay! So now my new email address is: Emails will still come from the other one but this is the new one :)

So this week has been one full of alot of changes but it has been way good! It is way crazy how fast February has gone by though. I can't believe it's the last week, THIS WEEK! We had like two teaches but it was a sweet learning experience to go through. I got my new companion on wednesday, he's a great guy and we get along really well :) Having been the only one in our area who know's "what's up" I had to put the senior pants on and take charge. It was an interesting and humbling experience haha. I realized how difficult it is to understand Norwegian over the phone. But it was a push that i really needed to get me progressing onward. I've been working on a way cool plan to try and get the members here excited about helping in missionary work.

I found that even though I still can't say or understand very much Norwegian I can still get things done, so that's what i'm doin. We're looking at trying to set up a class of some sort to help members know the best way to invite their friends and neighbors to learn about the gospel. So far we've gotten some pretty good ideas and it's looking like it'll work out for the better, we'll see :)

We've been really blessed this week as far as new investigators that are really positive. So i have a few cool stories :)

First, the other day we were sitting in district meeting talking about / practicing finding techniques when these two spanish people came into the center. They were interested in coming to our free language class that we offer here. Conveniently, the woman (Chamila) only spoke Spanish. But, my companion speaks spanish! This lady's husband spoke English pretty good but she did not haha. Anyway, she just started talking to Elder Harris (my comp) about how wonderful and awesome the church is. She talked about how great Joseph Smith was and did that Italian thing where they kiss their fingers and put their hand up after they've tasted something very delicious. They came to church the next day and we're meeting with them on Tuesday. It was great cuz they stayed for a dinner they had at the church and talked with a bunch of the Spanish speaking members in the ward! I know that the Lord's hand was definitely apart of this and it was not a coincidence that we met them here.

The next short story just has to do with finding. We had 3 people not show up to appointments we had set yesterday so we decided to go out and find some of the Lord's "elect." We prayed about going to a specific area and both felt good about getting 5 peoples numbers and at least one first appointment set. Oh and it was pretty much colder than Antarctica out too haha.. It turned into a great experience cuz we ended up getting very blessed for being out in those conditions. We got not one but three first appointments and three numbers with potential appointments later in the week! The Lord has blessed us so much and it is awesome :)

I was reading in Alma chapter 7 and thinking about how blessed we are to have been given this perfect plan to receive eternal happiness. That makes me so happy :) haha. I love reading the scriptures cuz they are so rich in promises and I just feel great after reading them. The words in the Book of Mormon are truly blessed words that have such and incredible power to strengthen, sustain and heal any need or problem we are faced with. I love this gospel and I am so grateful for everything it has given me and the person it is building me into.

I love you all and I hope the Lord's blessing will shower down upon you! Our Heavenly Father has so many blessings available for us we just have to work a little for them.


Elder Farrer

P.S. Some pics from Vigelands Parken are attached haha the arts of Europe. My trainer, Elder Lewis is in one of them :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

My final week as a "greeny"

Hello everyone,

Wow it's president's day? haha not for Norway :) Hey kak, Happy Belated Birthday!!! "Da da da Happy Birfday!" :) Hope you had a wonderful day!

This week has been a really good one actually and we had a lot more teaches too! We needed to teach a lot more though so i'm upping my number of teaches goal and hopefully increase the number of people who wanna get baptized.

I haven't seen too many tourist places except for Vigelands Parken last Monday. I'll send some pics of it. It's just a huge park of a ton of naked statues.. It was quite interesting haha.

So I had a somewhat humbling experience this past week during a teach with Emmanuel. He's from Africa and he's only been here for about a month. Anyway, as we were teaching him the restoration for the second time me and Elder Lewis noticed he wasn't really paying attention at all. We asked him what he was thinkin about and he just kinda paused for a while.. He started telling us that in about two weeks he won't have a place to stay anymore and he didn't know where to look for another apartment. He barely speaks English and doesn't speak any Norwegian. He continued to talk about how hard it is to survive here as he was fighiting back tears. He told us that he's here illegally and no one will hire him cuz he doesn't have any documents. I felt so bad for him and I really wanted to help but there was nothing we could do.

I've met a lot of people like Emmanuel. Hundreds of people are coming here from Africa cuz they had heard that life will be so much better for them. Once they get here they just end up fighting for a place to stay and someone to hire them.

On Friday morning i found out who my next companion is going to be. His names Elder Harris and from what I've heard about him he seems like a pretty good guy. I'll still be in Oslo for another two months which i think is good cuz I need more time to get to know the members.

It's been starting to warm up a little bit and the sun is staying out a little bit more each day. Anytime we go out finding I walk slower in the sunny areas away from all the buildings haha ah it feels soo nice.

I hope all goes well with everyone this week. The church is still true, even in the upper parts of the world :)


Elder Farrer

Monday, February 8, 2010

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Hello Everyone,

So this past week has been a pretty rough one.. It was looking to be a very good one but then people just kept on not showing up to appointments and they wouldn't call or anything. We ended up doing a whole lot of contacting to find more people who would accept the truth. About the end of the night on Thursday I just did not even know how I could continue on with this. I was so emotionally, physically and spiritually drained. But it turned out to be a blessing in disguise cuz I really found out more about who I am and how much I need my Savior.

After we got back to the apartment I dropped my bags and coat on the floor and sat in a chair. I just sat there and pondered for almost 45 minutes about how in the world I am going to do this for 2 years. I was simply worn out and tired of being a missionary.. As I sat there thinking I realized that I'm not alone in this and I've been given ways to make it through. I started to think about Christ's life and what He had to do each and every day. He walked many miles a day and healed anyone who came to Him and asked in faith for help. That night I said a very simple and sincere prayer to our Heavenly Father. I pretty much let out every one of my weaknesses and asked for forgiveness. I felt such an incredible and overwhelming comfort of His tremendous love for me. I am so grateful for the great comfort that comes through prayer and the Spirit. Prayer is such an awesome gift we have to use as often as we want to!

We did have one appointment that stuck though :) We ended up doing the presentation for that company I mentioned last week. It went well and they had a lot of questions but I think they mostly wanted to know how we stay motivated. We pretty much told them straight up the reason we stay motivated is because it's true. "Teach people the correct principles and they will govern themselves" I think Joseph Smith said that but i'm not sure haha.. Anyway, we gave a few of them copies of The Book of Mormon and we shall see. If nothing else we gave them a better understanding of the truth.

I guess I shouldn't complain so much cuz we got two more baptismal dates haha. One is for the end of this month and the other is for the first week in March! The first one we have is with Senthil. He's a 23 year old from India. It's interesting how the Lord brings people to Him. Senthil's uncle passed away about two weeks ago and we've been telling him alot about the spirit world. He was way worried about his uncle cuz a priest in India told him that since his uncle wasn't baptized he is dammed. As you can imagine Senthil didn't really like this response haha. We told him about baptisms for the dead and said he could be baptized for his uncle one day if he get's baptized first with the correct authority of course. After we told him all this and asked him if he'll be baptized he quietly said, "Yes, I want to do that." It was so good to hear that! He was so happy to know that he'll be with his uncle again one day :)

The other person is Joel. Joel is a way happy, African guy who was taught like six months ago then went out of the country until now. We basically asked him why he isn't baptized yet and he said he didn't know haha.. Then we asked him if he wants to and he said yes! He didn't want it too soon so it'll be within the first week of March :)

It's been way cold this past week here! (No surprises right? haha) The members here keep sayin' "This cold weather is just not normal for this time of year." Haha I think I heard that every year back home because for some reason the weather is never exactly the same as the year before :) I just keep thinkin, "Well I wasn't here last year but it is definitely freezing this year!" It's all good though :) I just cover up every part of bare skin except my eyes haha.

Well I hope everyone is doing well! I love the gospel and I'm so grateful to be serving my Heavenly Father. No matter how hard it gets the blessings always outweigh the rest of it. I know it's true and now one could ever convince me otherwise!


Elder Dano

Monday, February 1, 2010

Happy 1st Day of February:)‏

Hey everyone,

Well I still have about a tablespoon of peanut butter haha.. i've been trying to save it for as long as possible. We got three small containers of it for christmas but I really like peanut butter :) It'll be gone in a few days i'm sure.

The sinuses are progressing slowly but surely. I haven't taken the hot showers at night for at least a week but they are still progressing. No doubt it's our Heavenly Father's hand in my life cuz the more busy and focus i stay on this great work the better i feel. I've been trying way hard to just contribute even though I couldn't think very clearly and it's payed off. The lord has truly blessed me and I'm so thankful for it!

I definitely get plenty of food to eat. I feel like i'm getting a little bit chubby haha.. We eat at member's houses about 2-3 times a week then make meals at home or eat meal's at the institute center. They have dinner on fridays and sundays so we eat those fairly often.

So about the baptism on Saturday. It was so cool and the spirit was so strong! This was the first baptism where i've been there teaching the person the entire time. The girl's name is Aslaug and she's 11 years old. It was great to see her make that decision that will have a big effect on the rest of her life. it really made me want to find more people to baptize so that they can experience the joy and happiness it brings into our lives.

I've had some really incredible experiences this past week and it's been great! First we taught this lady, Anita, on Tuesday and asked her if she'll be baptized on the 20th of February. This was only the second time meeting with her but she agreed and we're continuing to teach her until then :) The spirit was so strong in the teach and afterward i could hardly remember what we even taught her but the Holy Ghost touched her heart.

So we did this thing during district meeting where we got into our companionships and decided to pray about who we need to find, what we need to talk to them about and where to find them. It was such a sweet experience cuz we would pray and know exactly who we needed to find that day. i told my comp who i thought we should talk to and where and he just stared at me as I described exactly what he thought too! It's amazing how Heavenly Father brings our thoughts together through the spirit to help us find those who are really seeking the truth. It is such a wonderful gift we are given to receive personal revelation and inspiration from the Lord. I hadn't realized before how much guidance we can receive if we just ask, seek, and knock like it says so many times in the scriptures.

The last main great thing that happened this past week was on Sunday. It was the first Sunday here that I felt like I had a general idea of what was being said in all the lessons/talks. It felt great to somewhat know what was goin on :) But if the conversation goes outside of "gospel terms" I'm practically toast haha.. I'm just way happy that it's coming along, slowly, but it's coming.

Something crazy also that i just remembered that's pretty cool. We talked with this guy on the street. He asked us if we'd come to his business meeting and present a 45 min thing about our message haha. We'll be talking to about 15 people and presenting basically a first lesson! I'm hoping we'll find someone that will want to hear more but it'll be interesting :) The best part about it is that it'll be in Norwegian haha.. Well who the Lord calls the Lord qualifies right? It's gonna be way sweet!

I just can't even believe how much Heavenly Father has blessed me with and continues to bless me with. He gives us all the tools to be successful in this life if we only follow Him. I know Christ lives and this is His church that is the only true church.

I love you all and hope all is going well.