Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving Norwegian Style

We had the most fun surprise today.  We received the following message and pictures...

God Dag Brother & Sister Childs,

We are the new senior couple working at the Oslo YSA Center. We have gotten to know your son the past few weeks, and grow to love and appreciate him. He is also sharing his talents on the piano and singing. He is a wonderful, faithful missionary.

Elder & Sister Rasmussen

November 25

So we don't really have any time to email today, but I just thought that I would get on and say hello before I get back to work.  This week has been really long. We had 9 appointments with non-members this week, all of which fell through, so we have been knocking on a lot of doors. Just pushing through! But that is what I am here for, right? I knew it would be hard work when I came, so it is all good.

So for Thanksgiving dinner tonight- we had turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, fruit, rolls, and lots and lots of pie. It was a real Thanksgiving. Elder Tate and I made fruit salad so it was really easy. Thanksgiving is the best!

 Castles in Norway!

Spent one evening this week picking hair balls out of the shower drain... :( at least now it drains!

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Blessings of Heaven

So I thought that nothing exciting happened this week, or at least nothing that anyone would actually want to read about, but I was dead wrong! My problem is that this week has seemed so long that I forgot which things actually happened in the recent past.
But. To start off the week, I spent the whole night on Tuesday in the Emergency Room here! That was interesting because I have never actually been to the doctor's office here in Norway, let alone the hospital, so I had to learn the words for those things, ask someone how to get there, and then actually find the place, all before my companion died. Okay so maybe that is a little dramatic, but only a little. We were eating dinner with a member here in Oslo, and we were all talking and laughing and having a really great time. We ate a delicious dinner and talked for a while, and finally I delivered a spiritual thought before we left. I thought it was a little bit weird that my companion wasn't coming in with his part of the lesson, but since someone had to finish it, I just went ahead with our plan. Everything went well, and we thanked them for dinner and left. As soon as we got outside, I looked over at my companion to ask him what he thought about the visit, only to discover that his face was bright red, twice its normal size, and breaking out in a rash. I am not even being a little bit dramatic this time. I don't have any idea how we didn't notice it in the dinner, but there wasn't really time to ask questions about that. So, we rushed him, by bus (which is actually not in a rush at all) to the ER and got everything taken care of.
It turns out that the members used buckwheat in the meal, which my companion, as we found out, was obviously allergic to, and his body didn't handle it very well. But, everything went well in the end, and it made for a great story. I am just glad that everything is alright.

My companion has had a rough week I guess, because one day we were on the bus, on fold up seats, and he stood up a little bit to hit the button that signaled that we needed to get off. His seat folded back up, but he didn't know it, so when he sat back down, he just fell on the ground. It was really funny and we both laughed about it :)

I am doing well here, but it has been raining pretty often. My umbrella is holding up well, except that my companion stole it and took it clear up to Mo i Rana. On accident. So he is sending it back, so who knows when I will get it? But that is okay, I have a different one that I am using for the time being.
I am the senior companion right now, but that doesn't mean a whole lot right now. It is probably just because I know the area and Elder Tate doesn't yet. We are doing really well, and I enjoy being around him. We just knock on doors all day long, and it gets really really long. But sånn er livet. I just have to keep pushing through, right? There isn't really anything going on in our area right now, but we have a lot of appointments with potential investigators this week, so we will have to see what the future holds. Lisa didn't show up to church, and we haven't been able to get ahold of Rhoda for a while.  Last night we ended up walking down a road which took us on a hike through the forest to the middle of a field, and a ski resort, in front of these really weird apartment complexes, which were bad for knocking on, so we hiked up the hill right there and ended up in the exact same spot where we started. Then we went home. So it was a rough night :)

Other than that, it has pretty much just been another week on the mission. They come and they go, but it feels, to me at least, like we are just doing the mission things every day, and that is about it. We get up in the morning and move our feet and the Lord blesses us for it. Sometimes we don't want to talk, and the Lord blesses us for it. There are a lot of times that I would rather just sleep in or something, but I get up and smile, and the Lord blesses us for it.

We didn't come to this life for it to be easy. We came here to learn and to grow and to the things that we need to do. And, if we are faithful and put in the effort to do them, the Lord blesses us for it.

I am so grateful for the opportunities that I have to learn and to grow out here; I wouldn't rather do anything else right now. I love you all and I hope you have a great week!

PS: Gratitude for This Week:

an extra umbrella at the center
floor heaters at the apartment (they are the BEST!)
scripture study in the morning
people who open the door and are nice
laughter-a tender mercy of the Lord

Monday, November 11, 2013

More Pictures

Here are a few more pictures from Dallin's first area in Oslo, with his companion and trainer, Elder Badger.

Live, Laugh, Love

Hello there again! It feels like it has been at least a year since I was on the computer typing up my last blog entry for the week. The days are kind of blending together, and it is getting tough to tell the difference between the things that happened this week and the things I have already mentioned. However, here is a quick rundown of what happened to us this week:

On Monday we just relaxed and played ping pong and crud (a game involving a pool table and the balls). I also found a classical piano book, so I spent a lot of the day playing sonatas and rags and a lot of random things that make me happy. I forgot how much I love to play the piano! On Tuesday we had district meeting, and then dinner with a family named the Ivanov's. They are from England, and I am pretty sure that if my family ended up being a little bit like theirs one day, I would consider myself a successful father. They brought out the guitar while we were there, so I got to play that, and it's safe to say I was in my own little corner of heaven for about 20 minutes. The middle of the week is kind of just a blur for me, because we spent most of our time out knocking on doors, without any real results. On Friday we taught a man from Spain, so I thought that was cool, and Saturday was just another one of those days. On Sunday I found out I will be staying in Nordstrand for another transfer, with my new companion Elder Tate, who is from the same MTC group as me. I am really excited, because he was one of my best friends there. I couldn't ask for anything more this next transfer. Bring on the baptisms!

It was a really long week, but somehow I managed to stay happy despite everything that happened. I think before it would have been really easy to get frustrated and down on myself and on everything, and ask questions like "Why me?" or "When is this going to end?" I have to admit, my thoughts aren't always completely positive out here, and there are days that are really hard, but if there is one thing that I have learned on my mission so far, it is that we just need to learn to live, laugh, and love.

There are going to be times in life where everything does not go as planned, and it might not always be "fun." We don't have control over the things people do or say, or a lot of the things that happen in our lives. Sometimes that is just the way that it is. However, when life gets hard and we begin to feel the weight, we all have a choice to make. We can either dwell on the bad things and wonder how long we will have to endure, or we can choose to see the good, keep on living and find something to laugh about.

It is incredible how much power something as simple as laughter can have in our lives. Laughter transforms frowns to smiles and hatred to love. If we look for something to laugh about and a reason to be happy, there is nothing in life that will ever be able to get us down. If we focus on the things that are really important, like the Savior and the people we love, then we will be able to have a happy life, regardless of what happens.

I am so grateful for all the support I receive from all of you, and I hope that as Thanksgiving approaches, we can all find things to be grateful for.  Here is a list of some of mine for this week:

Gloves to keep my fingers warm in the cold nights.
The few people who are kind to us on their doorsteps.
Awesome members who are willing to work with us.
Norwegian sunsets.
The fjord!
Pepper kaker.
The swamp of the graveyard was frozen this morning so that when we walked through it, it didn't get our shoes all dirty.
Good friends here in the mission.

 I love you all!

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Here are some pictures we received from Dallin last week.  He was able to send us a bunch of pictures from his first companion's camera that they took while Dallin's camera was lost.  He now has a new camera, so we should be seeing more pictures.  Yay!

Monday, November 4, 2013


Hello everyone! November is here, and it is beautiful in Norway. I don't really remember what it is like back home very well, but I don't think that there is anything that can compare to the sight of a beautiful sunset over the Norwegian fjords. I really can't think of anything better. Except that it happens at 4 o'clock in the afternoon right now. But, other than that, I can't complain :)

Life on a mission is really good, because you have time to focus on Christ, the investigators, and yourself. Christ is always there and always the same, so we learn about Him; the investigators are out there somewhere, so we do everything we possibly can to find them- literally there are some nights where it is all we can do to take our shoes off before we fall onto the couch when we get home; and we are never quite good enough, so we focus on changing ourselves and becoming more like Christ.

This week we had a little party with the members on Saturday to celebrate the Fall. We were a little apprehensive when it was 5 minutes after time to begin and no one had arrived (especially when the mission president walked in the door), but after a little while the people began to trickle in and it really was a party. People came and brought soup, we decorated cookies, and we spent the evening talking and laughing. We even gathered fallen leaves and these white berries to decorate the table with. Getting creative! It was definitely a success.  It was a nice break and it made me realize how grateful I really am for the amazing members in Oslo.

I have had a lot of thoughts this week as I have tried to become a better missionary, but one word has really been on my mind more than any other. Relentless.

Christ has asked us to dedicate everything that we are to His gospel, and that is a promise that is often difficult to keep. There are so many things that are constantly battling to take our attention from the things that are truly important and take our sight off of the Lord. Whether it is fatigue, temptations, or other "good" things which maybe aren't the best, there is always something that can distract us from the path to our Savior. If we let our guard slip, it is too easy to be drawn from the way.

One scripture I really like is Alma 37:46 which says, "O my son, do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way; for so was it with our fathers; for so was it prepared for them, that if they would look they might live; even so it is with us. The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever."
The Lord has prepared the way for us, and it is our job to follow Him. If we will look to His guidance and His example, we can live forever. It is as simple as that. We need to be relentless in keeping the commandments of the Lord, relentless in following in His way, and relentless in making a stand for what is right. I know that if we remember to always look to Him and follow in His footsteps, we can truly live forever in His glory. This is the Lord's promise to us, and He will keep His end of it if we do our part.

I love you all, and I hope that you have a great week!