Monday, September 9, 2013

Serving in Northernmost Norway

I just looked on our mission website to see a 'quote of the week' from a couple weeks back. One that applies directly to me is one said by Eleanor Roosevelt:

''We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.''
With that, I just want to start by first saying I used to doubt that I could serve a mission.  I was afraid to take a step of faith and to see what the Lord could transform me into.  Here I am as the Northern-most missionary in the world and I have never had to rely on the Lord more in everything that I do. . . but I have done so, and as I have done so I have drawn closer to Him, I have learned a lot about myself, but I have also increased in my own capacity.  I have never absorbed scriptures so much, never overcome my own doubts and fears as much.  This past week I had the experience to fly from Alta to Trondheim and back.  It consisted of 6 different flights - between take-off's and landings.  As a kid growing up, I used to hate the thought of a flight.  Now as a missionary, I have to take many flights - and I'm expected to get a full day of missionary work in.  It's only been through the blessings of the Lord that I have overcome motion-sickness.  I can now fly 6 flights in a day, sit in a window seat, aisle seat, any seat and read or look out the window.  This may not seem like a big deal to people but for myself as a kid - we used to fly to France - 9 hour flights and the turbulance and everything got me incredibly sick.  Now because I have faced my fears, I serve the Lord and it's only through His grace that I am being incredibly blessed.
We serve in a city of about 20,000 people.  Some of the nicest people I've encountered while knocking on doors -not always interested of course, but it's the hours we spend knocking on doors.  Contacting so many few people on the streets  has helped me to draw closer to the Lord.  It's no longer the faster-paced Stavanger/Sandnes.  There aren't as many people out on the streets or on the g├ągate.  It's a small town, but it's been through my prayers and through scripture study that I've been able to derive more strength and understanding of what exactly Christ did for us.  For every single one of God's children He suffered for us.  He overcame death so that we too may do so.  I am able to share this message, and also the message that we have a living prophet that leads our church.  We believe our families can be together forever.  I am so grateful to know that as well.  It's such a comfort to know that.  As I miss my family back home, I have the opportunity to be with them forever.  It brings such a comfort and confidence to know that.  The blessings of this gospel are real and I am grateful to share that with others.  I am facing my fears as a missionary, I'd like to say I've overcome all of them to be where I am, but I've still got so much more to learn and grow.  I am so grateful for this opportunity to grow into what my Heavenly Father has always known I could become. I hope everyone has a great week!

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