Monday, November 29, 2010

It's Been Awhile:)

Dear All,

I haven't really noticed a difference since using the medication the doctor gave me but I don't really
think I have nerve allergies, whatever that is :S The stuff he gave me
is an anti-inflammatory. I've still been really stressed and I go to
bed stressed each night, plus having cars drive by all night doesn't
help any. Interestingly enough I decided when I woke up this morning
that I should go to a local gym and get some sort of a trial pass. I
ran for 20 minutes then did weight lifting afterwards and guess what?!
The pain was practically gone and I felt soo much better :) I release
stress by working out or running but I haven't been able to since it's
been so cold outside. Simply put I have not been able to find any
other ways of relieving stress so it has just remained in my muscles.
My body wants to get rid of the stress but doesn't know how so I
clench my teeth all night long and possibly keep my face muscles
tightened as well. So basically I'm not good at taking the stress of
the work and I don't know how to relieve the effects it has on my
body, except by working out.. There's no way I could get a pass for a
gym here cuz it'd be at least $100 a month which doesn't quite work.
This morning I felt good after working out but now I'm stressed out
again and it's right back to square one. I aways think about what I
can do to fix it cuz I don't want it to be like this for another whole
year ya know? Okay nuff bout that.

It sounds like you guys had a good Thanksgiving :)We had a good snow storm last night. I woke up early this morning to a ton of snowplow's cruisin down the street outside our window haha. Oh so we're having the ward Christmas party this Friday and I'm way excited!
So It looks way sweet in the city cuz they have all the trees covered
with Christmas lights, kinda like temple square :) Do they have the
lights up at temple square yet?

I hope you have a good week :)



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

All is Well...Almost?

Recent Update:
I received a call from Daniel this morning and he says he will be having surgery on his sinuses as soon as possible.  I will keep you all informed on when the surgery is to take place and would appreciate your prayers in his behalf so that all will go well during the surgery.  
Thanks so much,  Patty/Mom  

Dear All,
We still haven't found an apartment to move into. We looked at many but they were all.. well
yeah.. But there was one we saw that was pretty much a very nice one
so we're just waiting to see if we'll get it. The lady who's moving
had to show a few other people after us so I'm not sure if we'll get
it. Hopefully we get it so we can move in sometime next week :) My
sinuses have actually gotten a lot worse. I have this constant
pressure that just doesn't go away, and gets worse from time to time.
I'm going to a doctor in Oslo this Thursday to try and see what needs
to be done with it. I think there is some sort of blockage up there
but I can't seem to find anyone to look at it here. It's actually
quite the interesting story..

So a few days ago I started trying to find an ear, nose and throat
specialist. After much trial and tribulation I made the difficult
decision of calling the one specialist they have in the area ;) I
called them and they told me I have to be referred by a regular
doctor, after he sends the referral to them I have to wait until I get
a letter in the mail saying when my appointment will be with the
specialist. haha it was ridiculous. And so began my search for a
regular doctor.. First I had to find out which doctor has been
assigned to me, great healthcare system here haha.. not.. Not a single
city office could tell me who it was, they just gave me a website I'm
supposed to find it on. The problem was that the website required a
pincode that I didn't have and never got. So I was given a number to
call. I waited almost an entire day on hold until finally I called
back and they were closed. I decided to just go to the hospital and
see if either they would help me or just tell me who my doctor is.
They had no idea who it was and they would not help me, so ya know
what they did.? Gave me the same number to call haha. The next day I
went into a doctor's office with a group of about 10 doctor's. They
would NOT let me see a doctor until I found out who my assigned doctor
was. Of course they gave me, yet again, the same number to call. Oh
and they also told me that if I haven't been assigned a doctor I just
need to go to the hospital and they'll treat me there. What a joke. I
was sent in circles, multiple times. I finally got through to someone
on that number they gave me and they assigned me a doctor. As soon as
I did that I was admitted to see a doctor.

I walk into this doctor's office and he just says, "What can I do for
you?" He sits down in his chair and stairs at his computer screen
while I'm just standing in the middle of this room, quite confused at
what he wants me to do in there haha. The moment I said something
about sinus problems he begins typing on his computer and stops
listening to any other explanation I had. He prints something out with
a prescription on it, signs it, stamps it and passes it over to me. I
read the name of the medicine and it was some sort of penicillan. I
just told him that I'm pretty sure I'm allergic to that stuff. He
says, "Oh well then you shouldn't take that one then." Types some more
on his computer then prints out another paper, says "Hope that helps."
And then I walked out. Anyway if anyone ever says that socialist
healthcare or Norways healthcare is so great cuz it helps everyone is
nuts. I have to say it's a miracle that I was even able to talk to a
doctor. That I am grateful for :)

Yeah so that was an excting few days this past week haha but even with
all that craziness going on it was still a really good week :) Sunday
was just awesome! It's so great to feel the difference in Spirit
that's in the meetings each week. Karl Fredrik got his call on Sunday
and he's the new Young Men's President, which is perfect for him.

I'm actually in Kristiansand today with the rest of our district,
playing ping pong haha it's great. Have a good week:)



Monday, November 15, 2010

Another Great Week:)

So we had a conference in Stavanger this last Thursday and it was
fabulous as usual :) They had a big focus on making sure that
everything we do gets done by the Spirit. That having the Spirit guide
in every aspect of the work is a tough thing to accomplish but it is
such a great thing. It was cool too cuz President Johansen talked
about how much progress Norway has made in the last year. He said that
he looked back into the last 30 years of Norway's history and its
amount of baptisms has never exceeded 86 total baptisms in any one
year. Each year they got 86 or less. What's great about that is that
we aren't even threw with the year and we've already gotten 96
baptisms! The Lord has blessed Norway so much and it's wonderful :)
It's amazing how well the work is progressing all around the world. I
just heard a few days ago that negotiations are going on with China in
trying to allow missionaries to be sent there and it's going very
well. It's so cool what can happen with the power of faith.

Things have been going great here as well. I can't remember if I told
you but Tor Åge has been called as the Branch mission leader. He's
been on fire with it too! He's already got two meetings/activities set
up that are geared towards missionary work. It's so exciting :)
Yesterday we had even more members show up to church. The fire is
spreading and it can't be put out :-) I'm so glad I ended up staying
here for another transfer. I've gotten to know all the members so well
and I just love them.

Yesterday I taught the lesson in priesthood, which was way fun! We
taught about the Gift of the Holy Ghost and it went really well.
Usually I get pretty nervous before giving lessons like that,
especially when it's in Norsk but this time i just enjoyed it :)

Anyway I gotta get to finding an apartment.



Monday, November 8, 2010

Norway doesn't have Thanksgiving..? Well then, Christmas is coming soon!

In the Heart of Arendal and Sunrise

Helping Dagfinn move a bunch of trees...................................Elder Vaughan

Dear Mom,

Guess what? It's snowing! I don't think it will last very long this
time but it has been way cold this week so I think winter is finally
here for sure. These pictures are from last week, when it was still
fairly nice weather.
I think Satan is really working hard to stop the work from pressing
forward in all ways possible. A few days ago we had an activity in the
church where I ate plenty of delicious goodies :) The unfortunate part
about it was that the next day I had a terrible sinus infection that
left me almost completely useless. I was way tired from the infection
and I could not even think straight. I am so sick of it cuz I honestly
almost cannot eat any form of dessert due to the effect the sugar has
on my sinuses. That mixed with stress, my sinuses have become my
achilles heal.. If I eat sweets later on I can't even function in the
work, it's not good. So I decided on fast Sunday that I would go on a
"desserts fast." I told the Lord that I'm going to do everything
within my power to be as healthy as possible and He needs to make up
for the rest, and so far He has :)

Yesterday was a day of miracles! The Spirit was so strong in fast and
testimony meeting that I think if you were outside of the building you
could've seen that the building was floating in the air haha. I got up
and bore my testimony, I love bearing my testimony :) As I was sitting
in the congregation, listening to all the other testimonies, my heart
started to beat so fast and hard that I truly could not sit any
longer! The branch president talked about how much the branch has
changed in the last little while; how much more the Spirit has been
present and how it has effected everyone.

After church we went over to an area to knock on people's doors for a
while. We went down about one block with not a single positive
response, but I didn't care. As we were going from house to house I
really felt like somebody there needed our message, and that they
would let us in. A few more houses went by; still nothing. Finally we
knocked on the door of a small, red house at the end of the block. I
saw an older lady through a small window in the door. She opened the
door and I told her we were out to talk with people about Jesus
Christ. She smiled and said, "I've met with some of your colleagues
awhile back." We talked for a while and after which she told us, "I am
pretty firm in my own faith, but you boys are more than welcome to
come in and share what you've got." I quickly accepted the invitation
and went inside. She told us about a spiritual experience she had had
with the missionaries many years ago. She explained that she prayed
about something, the way the missionaries had told her to, and
afterwards she felt a strong, calm, peaceful feeling that overcame
her. I told her that was the Spirit confirming truth to her and I
asked if she would like to feel that more often. She said yes. It was
such an amazing teach! So her name is Marit and we're teaching her on
Tuesday :)

Once we came out of her house I felt great! We had originally planned
to go home and eat dinner but I just didn't want to stop. So we
knocked on two more doors but got nothing. The third door we tried the
guy asked us if we drank coffee. My companion told him we don't. Then
he looked around and asked if it was cold outside. We realized that
after I had asked him if we could come in and share our message he
wasn't really sure if he wanted to let us in. But he was sort of
trying to justify letting us in because it was cold or what not. I
wasn't too cold but I immediately told him, "Yes sir it's quite cold
out here!" He thought for a second and said, "Alright then why don't
you guys come in warm yourselves up?" It was amazing :) I don't think
I've ever been let in by so many people in so short of time. I know
the Lord blessed us because we fasted for the work and because we had
faith that the miracle would happen, it happened :)

Something changed inside of me yesterday and I feel like my
testimony has grown incredibly. I've had a desire to be here before to
serve as a missionary. I have had a testimony of this gospel. But
yesterday I truly felt such a burning desire to share the gospel that
I wanted to shout it off the rooftops to everyone I could see! The
truth has become a part of me and I absolutely love it :) I am so grateful for the
testimony I have been blessed with and I know it's true. I love you



Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!

The picture was taken from the window of the church. It was just a normal, "rainin' cats and dogs" day in Arendal :)

Dear All,

So we didn't do anything special for Halloween.. When I first woke up
Sunday morning I said to my comp in a half asleep voice, "Happy
Halloween." :) Later on that day I had actually forgotten that it was
Halloween until we saw some kids walking around in costumes :) It's
not a real big holiday here so there were only a few people out for it
but I think it's becoming bigger. Norway just loves America :)

Well I got my new companion last Wednesday. I stay over night in
Kristiansand with the other Elders in our district and sent Elder
Passey off on a plane ride to Oslo. It was a crazy morning with a
bunch of driving back and forth from the airport, apartment and train
station. When Elder Vaughan (my new comp) finally came in with two
other new elders. My first words to him were, "Hey man, how ya doin?
Wanna boller?" It was great :) Though I was slightly disappointed cuz
he's from a town right around New Orleans but he doesn't have any
accent. Oh well it'll just have to do ;)

We taught Tobi this past week and he's way fun to teach. He always
ask's the best questions and is just really sincere about learning. At
the end of our last teach with him he said, "Before I pray, can I ask
one more question?" We agreed and then he asked, "What was it like
before you found out the Book of Mormon was true?" It was a perfect
opportunity to bare testimony and allow the spirit to witness of the
truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.

On Saturday we helped Dagfinn build two nightstands he had gotten from
Ikea. That was fun! I must say I really do love working with my hands
:) I think I want to build a house when I get home ;-) Maybe I'll
start with a shed and then a house after that just to get in some good
practice first.

Sunday was great, as usual. We had a woppin 10 men in Priesthood
meeting which was great! Oh and Karl Fredrik (our recent convert)
brought his brother, a non-member, with to all of the meetings. It has
been cool to see how far this branch has come. Priesthood meeting is
usually so empty with very few members there but even though 10 isn't
a whole lot it was great to have more around to help build the church