Monday, September 27, 2010

Evy Got Baptized:)

Dear All,

Yes I got the package! :) Thank you! It really made my day :) Anyway it all turned out good cuz about five days after my birthday Tor Åge and Evy remembered that it was my birthday so they surprised us when we came over for a teach. They made me a cake and sang happy birthday haha in English even :)

So this last week was pretty good and very busy; I am quite tired today haha. Evy's baptism was great and there was a really strong Spirit as usual with baptisms. It has been so awesome to be able to see how much she has changed since we first met her months ago. After she quit smoking, drinking and everything else bad it was like this new light and life came back into her. We've been over to their house a time or two since the baptism and there is such a special spirit at their house now it's great :) Her and Tor Åge are so happy now and he's so happy that she's a member of the church.

Another one of our investigators, Mats, is going to get baptized on the 16th of October! He came to Evy's baptism on Saturday and said that that was the third baptism that he's been to and he really enjoyed it. He's been reading and praying about the Book of Mormon everyday for the past week it's awesome :) We have been so blessed here in Arendal and it's brought such an awesome spirit into the meetings each Sunday.

All and all it was a pretty good week.



Monday, September 20, 2010

I Stand All Amazed!

Picture of a "Morning in Kristiansand"

Dear All,

First of all I just want to say thank you for the wonderful Birthday wishes!

So yesterday I finally gave my talk that I was asked to give the week before. It was looking to be a pretty busy day at church since the Elders quorum president had asked us to give the lesson in priesthood, then we were going to be teaching the investigator class, and of course I would then give my talk in sacrament. Well when it came to priesthood the branch president wanted to take a little bit of time at the beginning which actually turned into a really good discussion about priesthood blessings. Long story short he took the entire time so we didn't end up teaching at all during that block time haha. But the next hour I did end up teaching which went fairly well and I was able to give my whole talk this time which went well :)

It just turned out to be such a good. I started fasting Saturday night to get a little extra spiritual boost. Once we got home from church I told Elder Passey, "Ya know, I really want to help somebody who need's us today." I didn't think too much on the thought until later that night when Tor Åge called and asked if we could come and give him and Evy Priesthood blessings. We gave them each a blessing and it felt so awesome to just be in that house! The Spirit was so strong and I felt soo good :) It wasn't after we had left that I realized the Lord had blessed me with what I wanted, to help someone in need that day. It was an incredible experience!

So then during studies this morning I thought a bit about yesterday and thought again, "Ya know that was really cool, I want to help somebody else in need again today." Not even five minutes after I had thought that the phone rang with one of the member's on the other side. She said she was in the hospital and wondered if we could come give her a blessing. I was able to give the blessing and it felt so wonderful. I wish there were better words to describe it then "it was great" but it truly was. I've never given so many blessings having them be so near each other, but I am so grateful for the opportunity to do so :) Both times after giving the blessing I felt like I was on top of the world. I love feeling the Spirit :)

The wedding went well with Tor Åge and Evy. Harald sang the song "Jesus it's me again" once again but this time I got a lot of it on video. They had so much food there! One of the member's made a bunch of Iraqi type food, which was interesting but quite good. Then of course they had plenty of dessert's to go around :) We had to leave right as they started dancing so we could get home on time but that was okay since we can't exactly dance with anyone anyway haha. It's exciting cuz their goal is to go to the temple in one year to be sealed and she'll be getting baptized this Saturday :) I think it'll be a good week!

Hope you have a good week!



Monday, September 13, 2010

Tender Mercies of the Lord‏

Dear All,

We went to the zoo today (2nd time for me) since Elder Passey hadn't been before. Well all the animals are still there and living :) I dropped my camera and the battery holder thing broke so now if I want to turn it on I have to hold it shut otherwise it just turns right off again.. Makes for an exciting time to take pictures :) haha

So this last Sunday both me and Elder Passey were asked to give talks (once again haha). As it turned out the first speaker took a lot longer than was expected. Then Elder Passey took quite a long time so by the time it came around to me I just stood up, bore my testimony and then sat back down again haha.. It was actually kinda nice since I didn't have too much time to prepare so it would have been a surprise for both sides on how it would've turned out :) Anyway it was great to be able to bare my testimony, that's never a problem haha.

Things are starting to really pick up around here, it's great! On Sunday Tor Åge and Evy brought two of their friends to church with them. Our branch president talked to them and committed them to meet with us at least three times a week for the next month! And this was before we had even gotten a chance to talk to them. Then later that day Karl Fredrik's daughter told us that he has two people that are interested in being taught as well! I don't think I've ever had so many people come to me with friend's they have who want to be taught, it's a little different but I love it :) Things have been moving so well in this branch and it's very exciting to be a part of it.

On Wednesday I took a trip to Kristiansand for splits until Thursday and that was fairly exciting. Kristiansand is a lot bigger city and it reminds me a lot of Oslo. It was pretty cool though cuz when we went out to contact people in the city the first lady I started talking to stopped! I was kinda surprised cuz usually it takes a few before you start getting into the groove of things. Anyway she ended up being really interested and wanted to meet later on. Then, yesterday the Elder I was with that day asked me if I remembered her. He said that she is still interested in meeting but actually lives in Grimstad, which is mine and Elder Passey's area. So basically I didn't even know it then but I was talking to someone that I was going to be teaching later on :) It was awesome, I love the tender mercies of the Lord!

I started noticing all the tender mercies I've been given this last week. I think it makes life a lot more enjoyable when your looking for the small things that the Lord does to help you. Sometimes I've just felt like there is so much more I can do or more people I could be talking with but whenever I'm doing my best He really does provide for the rest. Something else that was interesting about church yesterday.. You don't get assigned a specific topic to talk about so you just choose your own. It was great to be sitting there during sacrament meeting and see how well all the talks tied together even though nobody had told the other what they had prayed about then chosen. The Spirit is so great :)

We had an interesting teach last Monday that afterwards I couldn't help but laugh. We had knocked on this guys door a few weeks before and he said come back another time. So we knocked on his door another time. He answered and before I could even get a few words out he just invited us in. I thought, "Hmm.. That went well. He must really be elect!" After we sat down he started to ask us question about where we are from and how long we've been in Arendal. It was really strange and not usual. By the way he was talking it sounded to me like he was a member of the church already. I kept wanting to just ask him straight out but I thought I'd ask some other questions as to not look to clueless ;) Finally I came to the conclusion that he is a member. We both headed for the door to leave when I shook his hand and asked him what his last name was. He said, "Hinkle." It all made sense! Long story short what we thought was a really positive guy who was so ready to be baptized is actually a member of the church and he is an american from Oregon :) I must say though it wouldn't have been so difficult to tell if he was a member if he had been coming to church haha. It was definitely something to laugh about in the end and now we're going to meet with him more to get him back to church :)

I'm so grateful for the incredible power the Spirit has on us all. It's so great to know that it really isn't me that's converting anyone but the Spirit. (which is good cuz I don't think I am that convincing :) I know it's all true!



PS ...I realized after I was done emailing last week that I had forgotten to send a picture of the baptism haha so here it is now :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Arendal now has a new member! That's one point for the good guys :)‏

Dear All,

So the baptism on Saturday went great, it was amazing! The spirit was there so strong and it was such a sweet experience :) What made it especially sweet was that Karl Fredrik (the one who got baptized) has always had a testimony of the church for so long and all the member's of the branch have looked forward to this day for a very long time. He had his family there, of which only his youngest daughter is a member. Brother Thommesen played a church country song on the guitar and sang. He chose a particular song called "Jesus it's me again" that pretty much described Karl Fredrik's "journey" to getting baptized. If you get a chance, look up that song cuz it has a really good message. Though I don't know if it would be quite the same haha Brother Thommesen has a really good voice. Anyway after he had finished singing the spirit really was there and it felt so good :)

Our fast and testimony was one of the better one's I have been to in a long time haha. Not to say the other's are bad but this one was truly special since Karl Fredrik got confirmed. Something about a baptism brings the spirit so strongly and then it just carried over even more into the meeting :) I am so grateful to have been able to be a part of it.

Things are going well with Tor Åge and Evy. They're actually getting married on the 18th now but this time it's for sure :) I'm not so sure now if i'll be playing any music for the wedding but I think photographer would definitely be fun. I've never been very good at taking pics of myself but I do like taking pictures :) So they came to the baptism on Saturday and then on Sunday Evy asked if she could have "How Great Thou Art" as one of the hymns at her baptism cuz she liked it from Karl Fredrik's. It was so cool too cuz after she came out from Relief Society we asked how it was and she said she loved it and she just loves coming every time! Last week was way fun with them since they just barely moved to Arendal they've invited us to come over almost every day haha. Tor Åge wanted us to eat dinner with them every time and when we protested he said, "Why won't you? We are going to be eating anyway." Something else we've been working on is trying to get a new ward mission leader cuz our last one was released a few months ago and there hasn't been another one called due to lack of able priesthood holders. As we were talking with Tor Åge last night he mentioned something about how we don't have one and then trailed off with, "Oh so that's why..." I got to thinking maybe he'll be the next one once he's fully active and that would be so cool :) It makes me so happy to see this branch growing so well! Heavenly Father has truly blessed the member's and missionary work here.



ps. As you can see from the pic Brother Berg took us to the driving range today. He gave me some really good pointers and I really enjoyed it. We'll have to go golfing again with Grandpa when I get back :)