Happy New year! 2014 is going to be the best ever! Something that is exciting is that this will be the only year of my life that I am a missionary the entire time. And the year that I will be away from home the whole time. Bittersweet, huh? But I am really excited. New Year's in Oslo was absolutely incredible. On New Year's Eve we worked until 9 o'clock, which was really hard because everyone was already partying, and then we went over to the senior couple's apartment and had a party, ate food, and played games until midnight. We had a white elephant gift exchange, and we had a really good time. At midnight we went outside and watched as the fireworks began. It was incredible. Everyone was shooting rockets into the sky throughout the entire city, and there were soooo many. Then the city started a huge firework show over the fjord which we watched, and then someone started lighting off huge fireworks in the middle of the apartment complex we were in. They were huge and really close, so it was scary but awesome. It was such a strange feeling to be entering into my "black" year, and just to know that I am here in Oslo for a new year. It was strange. Then we went home and I am not sure that we walked past or sat next to one person that was not drunk. Not surprising, I guess, but I have never been more grateful for the Word of Wisdom in my life than on that night. I am so grateful that I got to be here in Oslo for this exciting holiday.
As district leader, I have been trying to figure out what we are going to be doing this transfer, and how we can work better with the ward. I had a meeting with the bishop and ward mission leader yesterday to talk about it, and we have decided to work pretty heavily with the YSA in the ward for the next month. We have almost 100 less active YSA, so there is some real potential there. If we can get them excited about the work, then it will give the rest of the ward energy as well, and get things moving along.
With the new year I have been thinking a lot about New Year's resolutions and what they really mean for us in our lives. I feel like for most of my life, I have set new year's resolutions and other goals, which I work really hard to accomplish for a little while...but I end up forgetting about all of them. And I can't help but feel like that is the way that it is for a lot of us. One thing that my mission has done for me has been to make me a lot more goal oriented. I have witnessed the changes that can happen in my life because of goals that I prayerfully set and earnestly work to achieve. I have seen the way that the atonement can enter into my life as I sincerely desire to change and become better, and then help me to accomplish things that I would never have accomplished alone. I know that as we set righteous goals and work together with the Lord to achieve them, we can change in ways that we never thought were possible. I am so grateful for the opportunity that we all have to start over and become something better this year, so let's all make 2014 the best year yet!
I love you guys!