What an incredible week it has been! First, I just want to start by saying that my new baby niece - Claire Evelyn Dodson was born yesterday!! What a miracle she is to my family! I am so grateful to know of the blessings that prayer and sacrifice bring about! Before my mission, I really did envision my family in a certain way and felt it could only be accomplished through exercising our faith. Our Heavenly Father has blessed us tremendously and continues to do so! I am extremely grateful!
This past Wednesday, we had our Missionary Leadership Council in Oslo. It was great once again to come together as a mission and discuss how we can improve as a whole. It's so nice to always be improving, setting goals, and making things happen. Our Mission President shared a spiritual thought this past week from the talk that Elder Holland gave on Missionary Work and the Atonement. In the talk - there is a line that says, "It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary." As my president said this, I felt the Spirit so strongly and was so grateful for the many things that I'd had to go through in order to become more refined. I know as we continue to work hard, there are even more people who are prepared to hear this very special message we have to share!
We then went to Arendal on Thursday - where it was a rather difficult day, but I had the feeling that I knew that I didn't care what people thought of me - walking around, wearing a badge, stopping people on the street. I was doing exactly what I needed to be doing - and enjoying it, regardless of the outcome! I felt more converted through the process. It really doesn't matter what the world thinks, but what I know to be true. I know Heavenly Father knows us individually - and it's a special thing to have that knowledge!
On Saturday, we had an amazing opportunity to be part of a service project where we were helping a member move her business into a shop. We were putting tape up in a room to prep for painting. Another missionary and I were talking with a woman who was helping. She was pretty excited we could speak Norwegian and as she asked why we were here, we were able to share the gospel with her in a very natural way. She was amazed with the job that we do here and around the world. She told us, "This is going to sound weird, but there is a glow about you guys." It was really special to hear her say that and we were able to say that we get to serve Heavenly Father's children. She was so proud of what we do. We then gave her a mormon.org card - planting seeds of faith!
It was a very special week! It just continues to get better and better as we strive to improve. There was also a baptism here that the sisters had this past Sunday. The young man 'referred' himself to learn about the gospel. On Sunday, he brought his friend to church whom I sat next to and was able to expand on some of the gospel to him. I shared with him about the Sacrament, the Holy Ghost, and Baptism - we ended up teaching him after church, as the newly baptized member was along on the teach! It really is fun to share the gospel!
Some thoughts I have had here recently - I know my parents' example of sharing the gospel is the reason why I am here today. When I saw the joy and excitement that comes from sharing the gospel, it became contagious. It's like a fire that you want to share with everyone else. When I saw many people from the Congo becoming interested in learning about the Restoration of the Gospel, I knew it was so important for me to also take part in the work. It is through our examples that we can instill in others the desire to serve Heavenly Father's children. Always remember - the example is the most powerful living testimony.
I hope that everyone has an incredible week!