I never really imagined being a missionary who is nearly one year out on a mission. I'm almost at the peak of the mountain and coming down the other side. To think about the last 7 weeks I have spent here in Stavanger - I've never been challenged this much in my life. I came to this area 7 weeks ago with a lot of pressure mounted. My president told me that I needed to 'bring a fire' to the area. We had a lot of success in Alta, our area began to take off between the new investigators we were finding and many people whom we met. My trainee who is still serving there (Elder Hurst from Hawaii, serving like a champ through mørke-tid) has really allowed the area to take off even more. The people in the area are saying that they don't want the missionaries to leave the area because of the special things that are happening! It's really cool to be a 'proud parent' in mission talk - when you train a missionary, they become your son. If you are the second missionary to serve with a missionary on their mission, you are their 'mother'. So, I am currently a father and a mother in mission-talk. I am currently mothering a missionary as I serve here in Stavanger again.
However, as I look back on the week - we were able to get a second baptismal date in our area. We have one for Jan 12 and another for Jan 26. I have felt that it is better to be bold and extremely loving at the same time. I have been able to find a balance in the two. I know that in missionary work, some people may not be willing to change - but there are many people out there who really are seeking for a knowledge of the things we have to share with them. It's up to us to invite them. I have a good time inviting people to many different things!
Wednesday we flew to Oslo for Mission Leadership Council, where we come together and discussed where to take the mission moving forward. It was a very uplifting meeting and I enjoyed being part of that and learning how to continue to help the work go forward. Of course, the answer to taking missionary work forward is through the members in the ward. It is our responsibility to find the best matches with members and also help the members become missionaries and invite their friends. The gospel is a huge blessing to us and we need to continue to help it move forward!
Unfortunately, we had a crazy wind storm on Thursday of this week. It destroyed our plans of having a great day. Everything became canceled and we ended up going to a member's for dinner and tried to be most effective with our time. The next day (Friday), we woke up with about 4 inches of snow! It never snows in Stavanger! It only stayed for that day, because the next day there was a ton of rain and all the snow was gone. Amidst all of that, we were able to get an additional baptismal date.
Next week is looking impressive though! Our mission president and his wife will be coming to our area to hold a Zone Leader Training meeting. Fortunately, we don't have to put on a meeting - so it finally gives me a break from having to prepare a lesson! We also have a baptism in Stavanger coming up next Sunday, the sister missionaries from Sandnes (they took over my old area and are amazing missionaries) have been teaching a young guy from Germany. He is very special. I was able to give him his baptismal interview and he passed. Very awesome guy!
I hope everyone has a great week! The work continues to roll forward!