Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Dallin and Some Buddies from School

Us Expressing Our Feelings About Our Sunday Temple Walks

They are SOOOOOO Hot!

MTC Classroom

We spend 10 hours of every day here, studying everything from the language to the gospel to other random things.

District 37-L

Three Week Thoughts

Okay so before I really begin this week, here are a few things I have noticed about the MTC as of late:
-EVERYONE uses mechanical tooth brushes. And I mean everyone. Is that even what they are called? And what is the advantage as opposed to brushing by hand? I am not sure, but it is interesting to note that so many of the elders here use extra brushing power.
-There is nothing like receiving a letter in the mail. We check the mail twice a day, and every time there is a letter there addressed to Elder Childs, it is like Christmas, only better. It is slightly comical to watch a less than pleased elder's face light up when he gets something in the mail.
-Time flies. Literally flies. It seems like I have been here since yesterday, yet I have already been here three weeks and my MTC experience is half way over.
-Donuts are served for every meal. Oh, and french fries. I am pretty sure the kitchen staff gets together on Monday morning and has an enormous french fry, or pommes frites, in Norwegian, cookoff and then for the rest of the week they kind of just....reuse the leftovers. So it is easy to see how an elder could gain some weight here.
Anyway, as you can probably tell, life here is pretty exciting. A normal night at the residence hall includes blowing bubbles, playing with nerf guns, and hunting through the ceiling tiles to find packages from past elders. (There are a ton, by the way. Thus we have the nerf guns.) This week Elder Line and Elder Mayne arrived at the MTC, so all of my very best friends are doing the work of the Lord. The four amigos are here at the MTC, and Hermana Brown is serving in Spain. It is so comforting to me to know that we are all united in purpose and serving our Savior.

Life is going well.  I am feeling pretty confident with the language. On Friday we had TRC or teaching resource center, which is basically like home teaching in Norwegian, and I taught two different people that live in Trondheim, Norway. It was a good experience because they talk really fast so I was able to see what Norway is really going to be like. Despite the speed and excitement of their speech, I was able to both understand them and talk back, so I am making progress
If I learn one thing here at the MTC, it is going to be how to get over myself and focus on other people, because that is really what this is all about. I am not here because I am going to be a better person at the end of this, even though I will. I am not giving these two years because my leaders back home want me to or even because I want to, though those are both true. I am not even serving here because of the blessings my family will receive as a result of my service, though the Lord has promised to bless them more than they can possibly realize. I am here to serve my Savior Jesus Christ and to do whatever it is that He wants me to do. I am here to reach His children and to do His work and proclaim His gospel. As I remember that, I learn to see people how He sees them and to treat them how He would treat them. As I learn to lose myself in the will of the Lord, THAT is when I truly become a missionary.
I am far from perfect, but I am already learning and growing. I can feel the Lord stretching me and pulling me out of my comfort zone, and I am so grateful for the knowledge that He knows best. I love my Savior with everything that I am, and I would not be anywhere other than here on my mission, carrying out His will. I love all of you, so God be with you til we meet again!

Vi ses!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


So let me tell you a little bit about district 37-L here at the MTC, A.K.A. the best district of Norwegians ever. There are eight elders, and I swear, they picked all of the most opposite elders they could find and stuck us all together to see how we would interact. And trust me, it has been interesting to watch. We have someone from every stereotype out there, and it is almost comical to think about. There is one elder who was the jock and played football during his high school career. There is an elder who is in the band and went to a charter school. There is an elder who has had some medical problems in the past and has had to go through a lot to deal with them. There is a student council elder, and an elder who kind of just went through high school without choosing any single hobby. There is an elder who was enthralled with drama, and there is an elder who just finished boot camp and has been in the Air Force for the last year.
And then there is me.
If I am honest, we are not very alike at all. We probably wouldn't even have been that great of friends in high school. But we do have one thing in common. We are all here to serve the Lord. And does anything else really matter? Friendships can be made and differences can be overcome, but at the end of the day, we are the Lord's servants and we are all here to accomplish His will. It is amazing to watch the Lord work in my life, because as I have prayed for charity and studied and submitted my will to Him, I can feel Him changing my heart. I am already becoming more like Him and I am growing to love all of the missionaries around me, which, as with all people, can be a difficult thing to do at times. As these two weeks have passed, we have all become so close, and I can honestly say that these are some of my favorite people in the world. Each of them brings unique insights and qualities to the table, and we help each other grow. I am coming to understand why the Lord gives each of us differences. If we were all the same, how could we help each other become better people? When we look for the good in others, the Lord truly blesses us with Charity, to see them how He sees them: as children of God with divine potential.
If there is one thing I have learned here in the last two weeks, it is to rely on the Spirit when teaching. That is all we really have, since we cannot really speak Norwegian. But something I have realized is that in two years when I am a seasoned missionary and am fluent in the language, (essentially a Norwegian) I will not be able to convert anyone any more than I was able to on day one. It will always be and always has been the Spirit of the Lord which will touch the lives and hearts of investigators and teach them of the truth. When I realize that, I can focus my teaching on inviting the Spirit and can more effectively help others to come unto Christ and receive His gospel. Missionary work is truly amazing, and I am happy as I do the Lord's will.  Until next week, and until we meet again!

Hei Hei!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Week One, Check!

A sea of ties and skirts, so many new places and faces and things. Welcoming words and smiles and all offered because of a little orange dot on my chest. A dork dot as some veterans like to say. But I am past all that, the dot is gone, and life is begun. Oh, and I guess you all might like to know, I am the district leader of District 37-L, so that is one more new adventure that is coming my way!  My district has 8 elders in it, and I was a little worried about how everyone would get along at first because they are all so different, but we have come together and are really good friends now. Oh and Eldste Gunther is in the room next to me and he is in my district! So that is a lot of fun. My companion, Eldste Hall, is a nice kid from St George. He was a soccer player and we are very different people but we are learning a lot from each other.  We have the largest branch here in the MTC and it is made up of missionaries going to Norway, Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands, Iceland and Suriname. The zone leaders are headed to Iceland and they are the only two missionaries in the MTC going there right now....the gospel is spreading to all the world!
Life here at the MTC is nothing like anything I have experienced before. They fill the days so full of language learning and gospel study that I barely have time to breathe. It is a blessing though. I am progressing so fast in Norwegian and the Gospel and this is perhaps the most Spirit I have ever felt in my life. Here at the MTC, they believe in taking the new missionaries, ripping them from the arms of their families, and throwing them directly into the ice cold lake of missionary life. And believe me, it comes as a shock. The teachers then watch the new elders and sisters come crawling back, dripping wet and panting like a dog, begging the instructors to teach them how to swim. And then life begins.  My teacher, Bror De Costa doesnt speak any English, so the first day it was tough to understand him, but it is incredible how quickly I am learning. On Friday we taught our first lesson to an investigator in Norwegian, and I wasn't aware that it would be so soon! I wasn't ready for that, but once I found out I would be teaching I prayed, prepared, and relied a lot on the Spirit. It didn't go perfectly, but I was able to say the things I needed to, and I understood Annette as well! Since then we have taught two more lessons about the restoration and the plan of salvation. I sit in class all day every day and it is, at times, very tedious, but in all honesty it is so exciting to be doing the Lord's work. I am learning Norwegian and I am understanding. That is one thing I cannot believe has happened in 5 days. I am having conversations and teaching in a language I knew nothing of not even one week ago. The Lord enables His servants to do all things which are expedient in Him, and for me, it is expedient to learn this language and do everything that I can to prepare to invite the Norwegian people to come unto Christ in any way that I can. And I am preparing. Slowly. At times with doubts and frustrations. But at all times with an eye single to the Glory of God with faith that He will enable His servants to grow in ways that they never thought possible. And I am growing.

I love you all, your love and support are all I could really ask for. So, until next time, farvel!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Let the Journey Begin

My whole life has been leading up to this moment. As a primary child I sang of these years, and as a youth every lesson in church was designed to take me in this direction. I have had so many experiences throughout my life, and learned so many things. I have made many acquaintances along the way, many of whom have become my closest friends. It has been such a long time coming and now, all of a sudden, my time has come. It is here. There can be no more last minute preparations or worries.

18 years. Three boxes. So many memories.

All left behind as I leave my entire life and everything that I know and love to serve the Lord and the people of Norway. I am taking all the experiences I have gained, gathering them up, and traveling across the world to a foreign land with new people and a strange language. I can feel the love of so many people behind me as I not only go out on a limb but run across it, gathering speed until the final leap of faith into the open air. I may fall at first, unsteady as I learn, but I know that I will leap and soon discover that I have been given wings and flight, for the Lord is on my side and would never let me fall. I could not be more excited to embark on this part of my life, and I would invite all of you to go with me on this adventure and to press forward in the work of the Lord. I know that this church is true, and I love it with all of my heart.

So let the journey begin.