Monday, December 29, 2014

Reflections This Holiday Season

Monday, December 15, 2014

He Is The Gift

A turn of events here in the last leg of my mission - instead of going to Romerike, I was called the night before I moved and was told I'd serve back in Sandvika instead!  So, back I went to my previous Ward, this time serving with Elder Allen.  I was looking forward to traveling to the area my ancestors come from, but instead find myself here!  Of course, it leads me to think, "Alright, what does the Lord need me for for a second time?"

Last night, we had a pretty cool experience.  We had dinner with a family here in Sandvika.  During our conversation, it came up that my mom was from a small town in Eastern France where she originally joined the church.  The family told me that they had a son who had served in that very town.  They mentioned that they stayed with a family years back - a family who had a lot of kids and the wife decorated eggs.  I shouted, "DET ER TANTEN MIN!!!" "That's my aunt!!"  I was so excited that they had met my family!  They then shared pictures that had my uncle in them!  It was so crazy!!

It was one of those experiences where Heavenly Father was reminding me that He is mindful of where I am.  There have been several experiences I've had like this on my mission.  I generally tell people I am from Chicago in passing, but sometimes it comes out that the very people I meet have been to or even come from Rockford, IL.  I was so amazed at the one time when I spoke to a man on the street - he said, "My wife is from Rockford" and I was shocked and said, "THAT'S WHERE I'M FROM!"  I am certainly confident that our Heavenly Father knows exactly where we are, what we're going through, and who we are to become.

This Christmas, we are focusing on "He Is The Gift" which is being shared by our church.  The church has made a powerful 3-minute film reminding us of what the true meaning of Christmas really is all about.  Attached is a link to the film, so that all can see:

He Is The Gift 

Just before I left Oslo, I had the opportunity to give a blessing to a woman who was just diagnosed with cancer for the second time.  After the blessing was completed, she put her face in her hands and cried.  She thanked us for coming over and sharing in the Spirit with her.  We concluded by reading a chapter from the Book of Mormon, where Christ comes to visit the people.  As we passed the book around, she could hardly stop herself from reading the whole chapter by herself.

This Christmas, it is such a blessing to be able to share The Gift of Jesus Christ.  It has been the greatest blessing to me, to be able to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone here in Norway.  I love this land and I love this work - this is such a special thing to be part of!  I hope everyone is able to enjoy The Gift this Christmas!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Sincerity in the Search for Truth

Only about a month more to go!

With the time winding down, I've still been trying to give it my best!  It's been so strange coming here to Oslo and to only be here for a couple weeks.  This week, I will be moving to my final area, Romerike.  One missionary needed to go home early because of an injury - so it has caused some changes in callings.  This has resulted in me being moved to Romerike to be in a threesome for my last 4 weeks!  It'll be exciting!  Romerike hasn't had a a baptism in 5 years.  I'm very excited to see if we can get a Christmas miracle in right before I leave to go home. 

This past week, we had a couple special moments.  We taught a couple - the woman's back was hurting so we gave her a priesthood blessing.  It was quite special to do.  It was our first time teaching them and they were very open to our message!  They asked about the differences between our church and other churches.  Since she will be studying medicine, I compared the authority in our church to that of a doctor - a doctor who has the education and is certified has the right to practice medicine.  One would not just go to a medical student who may be very knowledgeable about these things - they need to right to know these things.  The couple then said, "Now that you put it that way, we understand!" It's so fun to teach using analogies.

The same day, we taught a young guy from Iceland who is very open to our message.  We stopped him on the street to talk to him about the meaning of life.  We set up an appointment for the next day.  We taught him how to pray. He was asking so many incredible questions like, "How do I know when I get an answer?" and was very sincere in his search.  We shared with him a scripture that the purpose of life is to find joy.  It confirmed what he had said to us on the street - his thought on the meaning of life.  He was very grateful for it and said, "I have to sleep on this now." It's so great to hear about his desire to know!

This week, I'll be moving to Romerike, but it's so nice to know that every day is worth it.  As long as we give our best to the right cause - in the Lord's work - it makes all the difference.  I'm so grateful for the gospel in my life.  It has changed absolutely everything in regards to my life.  I love the Lord and His ways.  I hope everyone experiences the joy that this gospel brings!

Monday, December 1, 2014

President Evans

Hey everyone!!

This week was quite exciting!  I was sent to Oslo to serve with my new companion, Elder Parkinson!  I have very little time left here on the mission, but recently, it has been very exciting to be going around and sharing the gospel!

This past week, I served half in Sandvika and half in Oslo.  We found a lot of different people to teach - both from knocking on doors and by contacting on the streets.  It has been quite an adjustment to get back to full-time finding.  However, as I ponder on the thoughts of the experiences I've had from working closely with President Evans, I am so grateful to have seen his example.  He is an extremely focused man and has a deep care for the missionaries to whom he serves.  I have a lot of respect for his example, and I am grateful that I've been sent here to be a missionary to learn from him.

The best lesson I feel that I've learned from him - is consecration.  Through his example, and by the spiritual thoughts that he has shared; they have helped me to understand how to not only sacrifice, but to follow the Lord in His example.  I am so grateful for the opportunities that I have in serving here in Norway - it has been the greatest blessing that I've been able to enjoy!

I hope everyone has a great week!