Monday, September 23, 2013

A Baptismal Date and a Friend's Mission Call

Another pretty amazing week here in Alta.  I really never thought that I would be saying that - and it has been 2 weeks straight.  The Lord has answered so many of our prayers.  Our area is currently at one of those 'areas of excellence' with regards to the numbers that we reported.  On a completely spiritual note, this is an excellent area.  The Spirit is absolutely present in the Alta/Hammerfest Branch.  It is a special place to attend church here in the most northern part of Norway.  There is only 1 Branch that is more north than us in the world (we have the most Northern missionaries in all the world).  It's unbelievable to be part of this work.  The people here are so nice.  We can stop someone on the street and have a full on conversation with them.  My language skills are improving daily.  It is very satisfying to feel and know the growth I have come to make.  I used to think I'd be serving a French speaking mission, but our Heavenly Father had something else in store for me.  So, here I am in Northern Norway speaking Norwegian and I love this country like nothing else.

To the fun stuff, we had the traveling assistants with us this past Monday and Tuesday.  The President has assigned missionaries to travel around the country and to train missionaries and companionships.  We are an extremely young mission.  We need all the help we can get, but we have gotten a tremendous amount of help.  It's by those forces seen and unseen all around us that it's happened.  With the help of the assistants we found much potential here in this area.  Much more.  They helped me to see how to become a better contacter up here in the North.  All areas are different in Norway.  My last area we relied on busses, trains, city transportation to get around.  Up here in Alta we've got a car.  There are much fewer people, the culture is much more laid back and we live out on a farm.  It's pretty special to know the contrasts, but here in the North we have found much success through contacting former investigators.  We've been knocking on doors and finding people.  One of our newest investigators this week was a woman - married with a couple children who had lost a child in the past.  At one point she had searched for answers.  'What happens to us after we die?'   She even said she was angry at God, then realized that there might have been a purpose to it.  That is why we are missionaries; we help others peace the puzzle together and help them see the truh of our message.  Next week we will be sharing the Plan of Salvation with her.  It is my most favorite lesson that we get to share with people.  Where we came from, why we are here, where are we going. . .  It was an approach I made to two teenage boys here the other day.  One of them was smoking and I spotted them from much distance.  I asked them if they wanted to know the purpose of why we are here.  Who wouldn't want to know that question?  We invited them to church, and they sort of humorously said that they would come.  They didn't show up, but I did get their number.  It is our job as missionaries to teach everyone about the truths of this gospel.  It's really quite fun!

We have a young woman we are working with.  She was a foreign exchange student in Kansas City this past year.  I wrote about her from the past week's post.  She met a young man who had introduced her to the church.  He has been visiting her for the past 2 weeks here in northern Norway. He will be going on a mission to South Korea in December, but he has had the opportunity to vacation here in the north before he gets into the real serious work.  What an opportunity and a blessing it is for him to be able to vacation here!  He has been a tremendous help.  It's been a special experience to teach his friend the gospel.  Due to members in the branch going on vacation to Spain for 2 weeks, we've been forced to change her baptismal date . . . to this week! It added an exciting twist to the work, but she was prepared before we even got her.  It really is up to her to make the choice.  We are her guides to help her prepare and progress, but we know she is ready.  So, Friday will be the day!  It is a very exciting experience.  I have not seen a single one of these on my mission.  Not that it bothers me in the least bit.  I am here to help people come closer to our Heavenly Father.  It's not an easy thing to do, but it's the most beneficial thing.  It often comes with tremendouse sacrifice,but as we sacrifice we come to learn more about what the Savior Jesus Christ did for us.  He did everything for us.  If we rely on Him throughout our days and turn to Him in prayer and faith, He will always provide.  I know He does and I am so grateful to have such a real opportunity to understand more of the sacrifice He made for us as I teach our brothers and sisters.

I will also add that I received news that a friend of mine down in Stavanger received her mission call to the London South Mission!  I am so excited to know that there are many people who continue to respond to the call.  This has been the most unbelievable experience anyone could ask for.  Through the help of the Lord, I have turned many weaknesses into strengths.  I know that I have many weaknesses.  I continue to overcome them.  My MANY weaknesses, but I know that it is only through His grace that I can overcome my weaknesses. I love the people of Norway, I love the gospel I have the opportunity to study and share every day, I love coming home tired because I knew I worked hard that day.  I love this town of Alta and the people who live and thrive here in Norway.  I am grateful to share my experiences through this blog.  As of today, I am officially 8-months through my missionary time.  Unbelievable! I hope everyone has an excellent week!

No comments:

Post a Comment