Monday, November 11, 2013

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!

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