Monday, March 11, 2013

First Post From Norway

Hello everyone!

I just got to Norway this past Tuesday.  My first day in Norway (Wednesday) was spent in Øslo, Norway where we hung out at the Mission Home, were a little spoiled - but had some minor training. It's great to be a part of this work and also very humbling!  After a crazy day of jet lag - we all separated to our different areas.  Thursday, I was flown over to Stavanger (where I am currently living) but am serving in the area of Sandnes.  At this moment it is the 'hot spot' of the mission where we are currently teaching several investigators.  The first night, we went knocking on doors where I tried my best at some Norwegian and had many new experiences.  There was one man who did take a Book and we scheduled a return appointment, however he later canceled.  It is great to be a part of the work though.  A lot of good people to work with and very cool culture to be adjusting to.  Needless to say it is an adventure!  Since the first day - we have had different experiences contacting, teaching lessons, and everything missionary related.  I live right by Stavanger Sentrum (right by a center lake for those of you who want to look it up on Google Maps).  The mission is looking at getting us situated with an apartment in our area of Sandnes - we'll see how that is all worked out.

My first Sunday here, yesterday, we attended church where everything was in a different language.  It was pretty different for me obviously but I look forward to being able to speak and converse with people in the language of Norwegian.  Funny thing is that when you get in on an appointment - people want to speak English with you.  So you contact in Norwegian and eventually it turns into English and it sort of feels like cheating but until I am up to par with my Norwegian I will take it.  It's very cold here!  A little windy, but in my area (the west) it hardly gets snow, so there is no snow.  It was beautiful flying into the apartment here because there are many islands all around.  As I was initially flying into the country and was here, it was cool to see many snowy hills, farms, and everything all around.  It's very unique to be here.  I look forward to being more situated here, but it really is an adventure.  An adjustment I was not expecting was to be getting used to wearing a badge out in public.  You get some funny looks but I think I feel just as awkward as the people looking at me feel when they look at me.  I will get adjusted to it soon and it will be exciting to get used to.  I am excited to be a servant of the Lord, but I have some shoes to grow into while being here.  I hope everyone is doing very well at home!  I am here safe, working hard, and getting adjusted.  I love you all and I appreciate your love, encouragement, and support!


Eldste Holden

PS - When I look in the faces of women here in Norway, I see my Aunt Mary and Aunt Vicki's face in the women sometimes.  It's CRAZY crazy to see.  Especially Aunt Mary - you can just see how Norwegian she is, but I've seen some Vicki lookalikes too!

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