Monday, March 28, 2011

March 28, 2011

Dear All,

We spent a lot of time cleaning our apartment today. There were dust
webs stuck all around the upper walls and ceilings, it was crazy! I
started wiping down one wall and noticed what the actual color of the
original paint job was haha it was a lot lighter. I hadn't realized
how much dust was actually in that apartment before but it was pretty
bad.

I'm so excited for spring to finally be here. It's been much warmer
and it is soo nice :) We've even been able to go running in the
mornings which, I must say, was much needed after the long winter
hibernation. The snow is also gone in many places. It's so nice to
finally see the sun out for most of the day :)

Love,

Daniel

Monday, March 21, 2011

March 21, 2011

Dear All,

This week was a very trying one for me. Everyday I've been having
pretty big headache's and I've been much more tired than usual. It's a
funny thing with being tired, it seems to increase my stress levels by
like one thousand haha. Anyway, basically it was like one thing after
another kept coming in the way of things. But in the end it has all
worked out and life is good now :)

We had a lot of time to be out contacting during the day on Wednesday
and we taught like crazy! On Friday we were able to teach a girl we
had met on the street and we invited her to be baptized. She said she
really wanted to be baptized and even wants to serve a mission, it was
really cool :)

The internet in the church here is down today so
we're having to use a member's computer and so I don't have too much
time to write.

Thanks for all your prayers.

Love,

Daniel

Monday, March 14, 2011

Simple

Hello All,

This week has been a really good one and I've learned a lot. Do you
ever have those moments where you're reading in the scriptures and you
come across something you've read or learned about many times before
but this time it clicks in a different way? That happened to me as I
was reading and pondering about the love of God. Suddenly it just
clicked and I think I felt a small bit of how much love He really has
for us. I think it's quite a bit :)

On Thursday, I went on splits in Tønsberg. I had just gotten back from
a Leadership Training Meeting in Oslo so I was excited to try some
things I had just learned. As we began our day with contacting people
on the streets things just weren't working out quite the same as they
did when I was in Oslo. Okay, before I go on with that story I need to
explain what happened in Oslo. So we did a finding activity where each
of us were assigned a companion and an area that we would be in. We
were told to set some goals, pray about them and then go to that area.
After we set some good goals and prayed we were on our way. Before
even getting to our assigned area we stopped a guy who turned out to
be interested. He walked with us back to the institute center and we
taught him there. He accepted a Book of Mormon and wanted to meet
again. This happened once more in almost the exact same way except it
took us even less time to find the next person, who was a lady from
Brazil. Basically it was a miracle that we found both of these people
in so short of time and since they were both so positive.

Anyway, I wanted to have this same type of experience while on splits
in Tønsberg but we soon found that it wasn't working. I was so puzzled
and unsure as to what it was we were doing wrong. We stopped to talk
about it and prayed to Heavenly Father for guidance. We soon realized
that while everything "mechanically" was spot on, those who we spoke
to could not feel how much we cared about them or our message. We then
prayed that we could have an increase of love for the people and we
went on our way. The third person we talked to stopped, was
interested, and we taught him right there on the street. After the
second or third positive person we couldn't wait to talk to the next
guy coming our way. We started crossing the street back and forth in
order to talk to everyone. It felt so good and I didn't ever want to
stop :) It was really cool!

My scripture of last week has been Ether chapter 2 and 3, the story of
the Jaredites building barges and then needing something to provide
light as they sailed across the ocean. I find it interesting how they
solve this problem. Especially when the Lord asks the brother of Jared
what it is that he would have him do to solve their problem. Instead
of giving him the answer he allows the brother of Jared the chance to
grow in faith. So he polishes up some stones and tells the Lord to
touch the stones so they will give light. Then, because he had so much
faith in the Lord he first see's the Lord's finger and then the rest
of him.

I've thought about this story many times this week. I think many times
I expect Heavenly Father to just solve my problems or make them go
away instead of studying out a solution then going to him after, like
it says in D&C 9:8. The brother of Jared probably thought it was
somewhat silly, bringing a bunch of polished rocks and having the Lord
make them light up, but that was the best he could come up with and so
the Lord accepted it.

I've tried to follow this process more with all challenges I face and
I have to admit I was pretty surprised at how things have been working
out. Heavenly Father is there to help us but he loves us so much that
he'll allow us to grow and learn for ourselves and then filling in
where we lack.

Personal revelation and the power of prayer are both so great. I'm
grateful to have these gifts available to us!

Love,

Dano

ps. "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." I really like this
quote. Every time I came across something and started to think it was
way too hard I'd try to focus on how simple it really is. The gospel
is so great that way. It's all simply there, we just have to apply it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

March 7, 2011

Dear All,

Well the investigator that said she was going to call the police
actually ended up not calling the police but she's taking a break from
investigating the church right now. Guess she has to take care of some
psychological difficulties for now. So don't know about that one but
we're still on the search for more people seeking the truth :)

On Saturday night we were invited to a one year anniversary dinner for
two of our investigator's. It was way cool cuz they had a few other
friends there as well which made for great opportunity to talk about
the gospel (Especially since we were in suits and had missionary
name tags on). At one point the entire dinner conversation turned to us
and everyone was listening to what we do and why. It was exciting cuz
usually people are more afraid to talk when we're out on the streets
but at a dinner like that it was interesting to see how much people
actually wonder.

Another time when we were teaching the same two investigator's they
had a friend show up unexpectedly. She had a little extra time and
decided to sit in on the teach for a bit. I could definitely feel she
wasn't too interested to hear but rather to raise argument or show
that she knew more than us since she was much older. It was kinda
funny cuz she expected us to react and argue but when we responded
calmly and moved on with teaching she wasn't too happy. Her final
comments before leaving were to declare that Elder Whitehead and I are
all too young to know the truth of things like this. When you're at
that age you see the world and everything around you as perfect and
happy haha. I thought by then we'd have to whip out the boxing gloves
and start up a match but that was all she wanted to say. It all ended
well though cuz our investigator's were basically bearing testimony
about the church as she tried to convince them otherwise so that was
cool to see :)

Love,

Daniel

February 28, 2011

Dear All,

Well it sounds like you all had a good time in Jackson this week. Yep,
that type of weather definitely sounds familiar :) Last week it
started snowing on Tuesday or Wednesday and almost never stopped until
Saturday evening. It wasn't a constant, heavy snow the entire time but
there was always a constant mist sort of stuff in the air. It was
interesting. My face was moist each time we went outside :)

During the week we met with a guy and his wife who have come to church
off and on since a little before Christmas. The wife is from Northern
Norway and grew up with a Christian belief but the guy has never
believed in God until recently. He's had some self-esteem challenges
and talks alot about how he still is learning about what love is. It's
funny because even though she's more christian than he is, she won't
really pray to find out if the Book of Mormon is true but he will. She
is convinced that she'll be shown the way and that she doesn't need to
ask any question's through prayer. They are both very talkative people
though so teaches with them can take some time :)

We had a very strange teaching situation with another woman we've been
teaching at a member's house the other day. She had some problem come
up right before we met with her so it kind of made things challenging.
After we finished eating dinner I started to begin with the lesson
when all of the sudden our investigator stands up and says, "No! I've
gotta call the police! I think I need to be driven home now!" So the
member drove her home and that was that haha. I guess she had loaned
one of her friends 80,000 krones at one point in time and when she
recently tried to get this friend to pay her back she wouldn't. She
just started calling all of our investigator's friends and spreading
rumors about her. Our investigator was really scared of what was being
said so that's why she freaked out during the teach. I just never
thought my teaching could lead someone to call the police ;-) hehe

I can't even believe how fast the time has flown! It's already been
nine weeks and I'll be getting a new companion this Wednesday. Can you
guess who it is? Haha Elder Whitehead, my companion from when I was in
the MTC. I haven't really talked to him too much since we were in the
MTC so I think it'll be interesting :) It's amazing how quickly time
goes once you look back at it. It's strange to think that I was in the
MTC more than a year ago.


Love,

Daniel



The Work Goes On:)

Dear All,

We had a pretty good week with a lot of teaches, but on Sunday none of
our investigator's were able to come to church.. That didn't feel too
good cuz we had taken lot's of time and energy to help them get there
but in the end it seemed like we had nothing to show for it. That
morning I read a talk called "That We Might Have Joy." It was about
being able to still experience happiness and joy even when things for
you aren't going exactly the way you want them to. How we can feel joy
by choosing to open our hearts to the Savior's redeeming power and by
sharing our testimony of that power with others. There is so much that
can come from understanding the Savior's Atonement. In this article
the author talks about how our situations and surroundings shouldn't
have a lasting impact on is. But that true joy comes by obedience to
Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Understanding how much they've done
for us and realizing that, like the scripture in 2 Nephi says, "men
are that they might have joy."

Last week we had an interesting teach with a lady named Evy Ann.
Eventually the lesson got around to me asking her what it was that she
was looking for in life. What is was that she really wanted. After she
answered and we talked about it for a little while she then turned and
asked me the same thing, "What do you desire in life?" I have to admit
that out of all the times I've asked people that they've never asked
me so I had to think about it for a minute. I responded, "True joy."
Then it was like a light bulb came on for me. Everything I'm doing and
everything I've been doing has lead me to experience more of that
"true joy" I want. The gospel is all about happiness and it is the
only way to find lasting happiness. I am so thankful to know of His
gospel.

love, Daniel