This week was absolutely exhausting but unbelievable as well! I have to share some great experiences. We had Zone Leader Training Meetings this week in Stavanger and Bergen. On Tuesday, we had the missionaries from down in Kristiansand/Arendal come up for a 3 hour meeting that we hosted. The next day. . . Wednesday - we flew up to Bergen and had the same meeting with the Bergen missionaries. That was a beautiful area! Everything here in Norway has been absolutely beautiful! Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures this trip, but I will be there again soon! It was a great learning experience and one for growth that I was able to experience in hosting those meetings!
We had some absolutely incredible miracles as well. There was one night we were out contacting in Stavanger Sentrum - from a distance I saw a woman who was carrying many bags - looking like she had just done a lot of shopping. I was trying to form the words to say that even the woman doing a lot of shopping needs the gospel. Instead, I just stopped her and began to talk to her. She started explaining she wasn't raised in a religious home (many Norwegians are similar to this) but that she had prayed at one point when she really needed help. At this point in her life she didn't want to live - but through prayer and some experiences she had, she knew that God and Jesus Christ cared about her. The next 30 minutes we walked around to different bus stations with her, carrying her shopping bags. She was looking for a way to get home and we were teaching her about a loving Heavenly Father who knows her personally and loves her. She said it made her a little nervous (something she said a couple times throughout the night when I knew what she was feeling was the Spirit).
We continued to walk around town and help her until eventually she decided she would just go to McDonald's and we could teach her there. On our way to McDonald's we ran into the sister missionaries and she was excited to meet sister missionaries. Later, we ran into the other elders (a total of 7 missionaries who have been present but we decided not to bring the other missionaries with us, so there were just 5 of us). We all went to McDonald's and taught her and she kept asking us to tell her more about our God and Jesus Christ. She was absolutely amazing and was so excited (she's only lived in Stavanger for 4 days - moved from Oslo) and she wants to come to church! We gave her a Book of Mormon with a personal note written to her in it. She was so happy to get the book and we all signed our names in it for her.
A couple days later, we walked into the church in Stavanger as a woman was walking out. I noticed she was a little shy so I asked her her name. She then opened up and told us she had the feeling she wanted to come to church for 7 years but made the decision that day. Another missionary asked her why she made the decision that day, and she said it was because she thought about taking her life that day but came to the church instead. She met with the sister missionaries who taught her about the Plan of Salvation (God's plan for us) and committed her to being baptized so that her sins could be washed away. Her date is set for December 8th.
The last miracle we had this week was with a woman with whom we had a 2nd teach. Included on the teach, was a member who was recently baptized. I was part of the companionship that first taught this man before we were transferred out. I kept close tabs on the story behind him - miracle story of course! He said one day he woke up without the desire to smoke - and that week was able to be baptized.
He came with us on a teach with the woman here at the church. This woman has been so prepared to hear this message. When she came in, the member told her immediately about how he was baptized on Sept 5th. Throughout the whole lesson she would ask him about his experiences and what the Holy Ghost was. It was amazing to see the faith and testimony of this man I had the opportunity to teach at first. He was now bearing testimony to this woman about the Book of Mormon. I was blown away in this teach of how amazing miracles happen when we just exercise our faith in the Lord.
I am blown away every day we have been here experiencing incredible things as missionaries. The miracles we see are so real! I am so grateful to be an instrument for God in His work. That's all that I am. We just keep working and working and He continues to prepare these people. I love to be an instrument for Him and I am grateful to have the knowledge that I do have. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the whole world. He lived and died for each one of us - all we need to do is trust in Him and He will provide for us!
I hope everyone has an incredible week this week!