Monday, March 29, 2010

Happy Easter Time!

Dear All,

For the most part i'm doing good :) Mostly it just depends on the day and time of day. I still have those days where I just feel alone and I don't feel like I have anyone I can "really" talk to. Though it has brought me much closer to the Lord and I am very grateful for that :)

I finally made an appointment with an Ear, Nose, Throat specialist and met with him last Tuesday to work on the sinus problem some more. He was a Russian doctor who spoke only Norwegian and Russian (naturally haha). He had my companion wait outside so that was quite the "ride" :) Anyway they did a cat scan of my face and he said the problem is in my nose. He prescribed some more nose spray, supposedly a bit stronger, and he also shoved an over sized q-tip thing up there to test for bacteria. He'll be calling sometime this week to let me know the results. I don't really know what they'll try and do after that. All he really said, as a course of action, was to use the nose spray for 2-3 months and come back after that :S The weather is s-l-o-w-l-y getting warmer and melting the snow away so hopefully that'll help :)

I think allergies hit me pretty hard yesterday. Between that and sinus/nose problems I was about ready to fall over yesterday. It was then that I truly realized that yep, missionary work is quite difficult but it suddenly becomes all worth it once you're a part of the final result :) One good thing that came out of allergies was it made my nose run way bad. I caught small glimpse of what it's like to have a cleared nose and no sinus infection, it was so great! For a few hours I was just a power house full of ideas and new ways at going about things :) I really hope I can one day be completely rid of this cuz I know I can be so much better if I didn't have this thing holding me back.. Oh well, one day.

Carlos and Yamile got baptized on Saturday and it was such a great experience! I may have already mentioned this before but I got to baptize Yamile. I can't even begin to put into words how I felt during it. After Yamile got dressed in white, before she was baptized, she came out and just started to cry she was so happy. After Carlos came out of the water he just said, "Wow.. I feel so good right now." It was such a sweet experience.

Yes! haha we get to watch conference this weekend :) I don't think I've ever been this excited for conference to come before but I really am! I never took much thought to it before but if you think about it when the prophet & apostles speak it's pretty much new scripture coming directly from God. That to me is pretty exciting stuff :) They will also have it on in English here at the center so that'll be nice. Haven't quite mastered the language yet :) I'm not quite sure what we'll be doing for Easter.. We may be going over to a member's house on Saturday night for some sort of Norwegian Easter celebration but I'm not quite sure. It's interesting though, Norway celebrates all the Christian holidays to the max but they are mostly atheist people (or so they say). They get a week off of work and school, it's called Påskeferie, and pretty much all of the stores shut down from Wednesday until early next week sometime. I think we should do that in the US haha.

A mission is such an interesting thing.. I can't decide if it helps me or other people more. I have learned so much about myself and the gospel. This past week felt like the road was a little bit more rocky than usual. It was then that I determined once again that the best way to get through those difficult situations is to just grab the bull by the horns and trek on. Of course if you can do it with a smile on your face that's good too :)

Okay, Ha det bra alle sammen pretty much means the same as "Have a good one" or "Have a great day" but to more than one person. The common Norwegian term is "Ha det bra" to just one person. More than one you add "alle sammen" So "Vær så god" (There ya go)

Thanks for your prayers they really do help! I'm way excited for the peanut butter too haha, tell Christy thanks :) I have been so blessed with such a wonderful family and i'm so grateful for you and everyone else. What a great plan our Father in Heaven has created for us to be around our families throughout all eternity.

Ha det bra


Eldste Farrer

Monday, March 22, 2010

With Love To All

Dear everyone :)

I'm happy to hear you all enjoyed your trip up to Jackson this past week. That's one vacation I have always loved in spending time with all of the family. Although I realize now that I wasted a lot of time being lazy haha it was still fun. I definitely want to do much more in the future :) Oh and I agree with simple, I like simple too haha.

This past week has been pretty stressful but very rewarding. I have seen so many miracles go into play and i'm just amazed at how blessed we have been. Carlos and Yamilla are getting baptized this Saturday! It's incredible how prepared they are and how willing they are to accept every commitment we give them. They are both such great people and are so grateful for all that Heavenly Father has given. I'll be baptizing Yamilla and confirming Carlos. Yamilla doesn't speak or understand English so this will be my first time baptizing someone and it will be in Spanish :) That's one thing i never thought i'd say haha. I'm way excited though and I've been working on memorizing the baptismal prayer, it's pretty sweet in Spanish.

Well the weather is starting to warm up a little (in a rainy sort of way haha). It rained quite a bit yesterday and got rid of most of the snow :) The sun is out longer everyday so i'm starting to see more and more of Norway haha. It really is a beautiful country in the daylight. Being here has made me appreciate sunlight a whole lot more. It's such a rare occurance cuz if it's not night time then it's cloudy. When the sun finally comes out it's for a very short period of time, but it's awesome to see! My favorite are to be is either up on a mountain top looking down over the valley or on a hilltop looking over the harbor. Something about the way the sunlight shines through the clouds across a quiet harbor makes me feel so good :) I can't wait til summer time haha.

Back to miracles.. Since they have both been working so much we were only able to meet with them maybe once last week (up until Saturday.) We had planned to teach them at least three times that week cuz we weren't able to teach them enough times the week before. So it was looking like we wouldn't be able to teach them until Sunday and we would have to move there date to April sometime. Around Saturday afternoon we were heading back to the center to teach another one of our investigators when Carlos and Yamilla happened to be waiting outside for us to, hopefully, show up. The guy we were supposed to be teaching didn't show up so it actually worked out nicely cuz we got to teach them. We ended up going through pretty much every commandment ever made that they need to follow haha. Once again Carlos accepted everything with "Of course man, why wouldn't I do that if it's what God wants me to do?!" They're both so great and I'm so excited for this Saturday :)

I'm so grateful for all the experiences I've been put through and continue to go through that help me see how our Heavenly Father works and helps us along the way. As I was sitting and thinking about many of the things I have gone through up to this point I started to see more and more how much support He gave me. There are so many different ways He "sends" help by things like a thought to read the scriptures or a person who says something that was exactly what we needed to hear. That's one of my favorite things that happen; when i've been worried or wondering about something and somebody comes along as an answer to my prayer. Prayer is so wonderful :) It has such a tremendous power and I witness its effect everyday. I've enjoyed looking back and realizing how often my prayers were answered in ways I never noticed before.

Thanks everyone for all your prayers and support for me! It really means alot and I'm so lucky to have all of you :) I'm so grateful for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ! It's all true and I'm happy to tell the world about it. I can't even count how many people I've talked to who have said they don't believe in God and they're not interested in finding out for themselves if He's there. I guess that's where every other member of the church has to come in and shine as an example to everyone else. I've talked to so many more who aren't interested but they know about "the Mormons" haha so we ask them what they know about us. The first or second thing is always, "Well, they're really kind people and always happy." That in itself makes them curious to know more.

I hope all is going well with everyone in the great U S of A :) I love you all!

Ha det bra alle sammen!


Eldste Farrer

Monday, March 15, 2010

No Fear-Only Faith!

It's been a really good week. I've officially been in the land for 3 months, yay!! We had another baptism on Saturday with a guy named Johnny P Bandura haha. He's a way awesome dude and his name is just great. So the sister's asked me and two of the members from the ward to sing for it. We sang "Be Still my Soul" with different words. I don't know how well I did but the spirit was way strong and it felt wonderful! I wish I could explain better how strong the spirituality level was. All I can say is that on a scale of 1-10 it was way higher than 10 :)

We met with Carlos and Yamilla last night and things are still going great with them. It's so easy to teach them because any time we teach they agree with everything. It's especially sweet after we say something like "One day we'll live with God again" and Yamilla goes "WOW!" haha she's great. They're both so willing and humble to do everything we tell them they need to before baptism. It's incredible how prepared some people are by the time they meet us. We also told them about general conference and she's super excited to hear from the prophet :)

I decided the week before last that I wanted to see more of the Lord's hand in my life and in others' lives. As i payed attention more often I could really see how much help I've been getting and how everything works out when in reality it shouldn't work out that perfectly haha.

We finally got our investigator, Thomas, to come to church yesterday. He had been meeting with the missionaries for a long time and had never come to church before. It hasn't been until recently that he's realized the spirit he feels here in the center and when we teach him. We've been working with him on choosing a baptism through prayer and we're hoping to get him closer to deciding.

Everyday I realize how much more we have available as far as help that comes from our Heavenly Father. I have definitely not used all the tools he has given me as much as i could have. He offers so much and asks for so very little in return. If that isn't the best bargain you can find I don't know what is. Sorry for such a short update, we still have lot's of errands to run and i didn't have time earlier cuz we took a tour of the Freia chocolate factory (currently owned by kraft haha) The gospel is still the greatest news around and everyone needs to hear about it :)


Eldste Farrer

Monday, March 8, 2010

Multitudes of prepared Spanish people!

I realized the other day that after this week i will have been out for 5 months! It's weird cuz it feels like it's been a long time but not really that long at all. Time definitely flies by fast when you are staying busy.

So I'm sitting next to another Elder in my district (not my comp) and it's way funny cuz he's a bigger guy who just randomly hits/punches things. I think he just really likes loud noises but it always catches me off guard when we're standing in a quiet elevator and he just punches one of the buttons haha.

Well let me explain the title of this email. So remember how last week i talked about Carlos and Yamilla? They introduced us to one of their friends and we taught him for the first time last night (in Spanish) haha.. It's a good thing my comp speaks Spanish cuz the only thing I catch is when they say Jesus Christ or when setting up a new appointment :) I still remember numbers in Spanish but everything else is pretty much not there. Anyway Yamilla sat in on the teach and basically told him that he needs to pray and be baptized! There was a really cool spirit present and I could follow the general direction the teach was going. This guy (Pablo) said he didn't know how to pray and asked if we could help him develop a faith. I was just like, "Yep, we can do that." Now I just have to balance my language studies with both Norwegian and Spanish haha.

Unfortunately Senthil will not be getting baptized anytime soon. In fact we kind of gave up meeting with him cuz he hasn't come to church in a long time. We had another way good teach with him this week about the Restoration and about our church having the only authority from God to do things like baptism. I asked him straight up if he believed that this is the Lord's only true church on the earth and he basically said no. I realized that he is not willing to pray to ask our Heavenly Father if this is His one and only true church. Obviously that is the only way to know if it is or not..

I had a pretty cool experience yesterday at church. I was heading to a meeting right after church ended when I decided to stop at talk with one of the younger members in the ward. It was way cool cuz afterward I realized that i just got through an entire conversation and was able to say pretty much everything i wanted to! That was such an awesome feeling :) I've found that when I focus too much on trying to understand I usually don't. But when I just listen normally and let the language juices flow then what I've studied comes out more naturally. The problem is I know a lot more than I have confidence in.

It's interesting how much Satan uses doubt and fear against us. I think there have been way too many times where I didn't do something because I was afraid of the outcome or doubted I could even do it. It really is true that fear is the opposite of faith cuz if you have faith you can accomplish all that you need to. That's my new theme for this week, "No Fear" haha we'll see how far it gets me :)

I'm always amazed at how much the Lord blesses us with each and every day. I was sitting there thinking in my personal study about all the things He has blessed me with. I started writing them down and continued to throughout the week whenever i though of something new. After awhile I decided that it's probably best to just keep a mental list cuz it was so long! I love watching to see the Lord's hand in things cuz it make me so much more grateful and I realize that I am never really alone. He's always there helping us. Sometimes i think it's harder to notice all the little things He does but He truly helps with so much :)

I'm so grateful to have a loving Heavenly Father who only wants us to be happy. I know this is His church and He is in it. He's always with us and I'm grateful for the opportunities I am given to learn and to grow into a better person. This church is true and I know it! It's about time we tell the world what we know :)



Monday, March 1, 2010

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It's.. kind of getting warmer :)‏

Well looking back this past week has gone by pretty fast yet again. I just barely heard about the earthquake in Chili, that's crazy! There's a less active member who is from Chili and she's over there right now visiting so I'm hoping they're okay. It is sad to see all the disasters that are happening but isn't it great to know that the church is always one of the first to respond in relief efforts in these places? I love it! We are truly a part of God's church and it's such a blessing. We are definitely seeing the signs of the times. It's a very trying yet exciting time I think :) It's amazing how much missionary work is increasing. All over Europe more and more people are being baptized and brought into the fold!

We had another baptism in the ward on Saturday. His name is Raj Thapa and he was the sister's investigator but we became really good friends. There's something about people from Nepal haha i dunno what it is but we really hit it off :) When i first got here i met another great convert from nepal, his name is Sam. Nepali people are just so great and so humble! Oh and of course the Norwegian people are great too haha.

The Lord has blessed us so much this past week. Remember the two people i talked about last week who came in randomly during our district meeting? Well they're getting baptized on March 27th! We've taught them 2 times now and both the teaches went way good :) They came to church again on Sunday and are way excited to join the church it's great! They are just two way humble people who acknowledge God's hand in everything. It's amazing to me how prepared the people are who come from other countries with pretty much nothing just to try and find work.

Unfortunately Senthil didn't get baptized this last Saturday like he was supposed to. He just hasn't wanted to meet with us but he still wants to be baptized. He won't come to church or any other activities which is not good haha. Our last teach was a way cool experience though. We went in with a plan and it didn't really work out exactly as we'd hoped it would. He came into the teach very unhappy and angry about something we weren't sure what it was. He just kept going on about how difficult it is to survive in Norway when you haven't grown up here. Then he talked about how everyone in America has everything (finance wise) given to them. I was just thinkin "haha not quite buddy." Anyway he kept goin on about this when I just had a "random" thought to ask him if he's happy. Cuz i always ask him how he's doing and he just says great. So i looked at him and simply asked, "Senthil, are you happy?" He was stunned and I could see the wall he had set up at the beginning of our teach slowly begin to fade away and the spirit filled the room. He basically said he wasn't and that he didn't know how to find that happiness. After that I said many more things that I really can't remember cuz i know they weren't my words entirely. I am so grateful for the power and gift of the spirit. I was truly used as an instrument in Heavenly Father's hands and it felt so incredibly good :)

Too often i find myself complaining about why certain things are the way they are; but whenever the spirit is present I start to realize how much my trials have actually made me into who i am. They continually bless me and help me become a much better person. I was talking with a recent convert last night about how he felt after meeting with the missionaries. He talked about how quickly his knowledge and outlook on life changed. The gospel has tremendous power to increase our understandings and ability when we have the spirit with us. It is such a blessing!

At the end of every week I think about how much I've learned in just that past week and I think "wow, I never imagined all this was even there." My understanding of the Father's plan for us is continually growing and I am so grateful for all that I continue to learn. Yesterday my companion and I taught the lesson in Sunday school about prayer. One thing that kept coming up was that some of the most powerful prayers offered are those offered by a young child. I thought that was so great to hear cuz I feel many times that a prayer needs to be eloquent and great but it's just as simple as a child talking to their father.

The Lord has been blessing Norway with so much success and sometimes is seems like he's been blessing me more than anything! I feel so blessed and i'm so grateful that we have a loving Heavenly Father who truly wants us to succeed. I know this is His church and it is so important that we are actively a part of it to obtain the highest level of joy possible. I love to think about all the happy times i've had in my life and think about how we will be that happy all the time in eternity :) I can't even imagine how great it will be!

I love you all and as always hope everything is going good :) I always enjoy counting all my blessings cuz it takes such a long time. I've especially grown to appreciate sunlight a lot more!


Elder Farrer