Monday, April 28, 2014

Another 6 Weeks...Gone!

It's transfers time again, and I can't believe that yet another 6 weeks has gone by. It feels like it was only yesterday that I left my home town of Oslo to come up here to the remote north, not having a clue what to expect. I have discovered a lot about myself, grown a lot, and learned the truth of the old saying, "It was the north wind that made the vikings." The north wind is everything you imagine it to be, and let me tell you, I am going to be one real viking when I am through with this. They say that the north of Norway is the only place in the world where you can walk all the way around the block and still have the wind blowing in your face the whole way. I don't know how, but it is just another thing that makes my experience here in Narvik unique.

I am sad to say that Elder Crook is going to be leaving Narvik and going down to Sandvika (which is really close to Oslo). I have enjoyed serving with him, but I am also excited that I am going to be training this transfer! It will be a cool opportunity to shape an elder's mission, and what is even better, is that he is Norwegian! For at least the next 6 weeks, I will be with a Norwegian 24/7- speaking Norwegian, learning to live like a Norwegian, yep, basically just becoming a Norwegian. Life is good, and I am grateful for the opportunities the Lord has given me.

This week we found out that our miracle from last week, Krystyna, has to sort out her personal life before she can think about baptism. Talk about crushed dreams. The man she is living with banned her from talking to the Mormons ever again, so that kind of threw a wrench in our relationship. But it's okay, I only let my feelings be crushed for a few minutes, and then it was back to the drawing board. No, it wasn't that bad, but I was disappointed that Satan works so hard against us. Just one more witness for the truthfulness of the work, am I right?

As far as Stanley and Paulina go, we met with Stanley this week and literally the only thing standing in the way right now is he is attached to the Catholic church for the social aspect. So we are focusing really hard on helping him to gain a testimony that ours is the only true church, and after that it will be a breeze. His date is still on for the 31st of March, though. Paulina is also doing really well and says she will be baptized, but I think she is a little bit scared and is holding back a bit. She says she wants to really feel ready first, so we have to help her with that. Also, she goes back home to visit her family every weekend and it has proved extremely difficult to get her out to church as well. Church! It is the main problem right now. I just wish I could find a way to help people feel it the way I feel it, you know? I talk about the truth of the gospel and it burns inside me until I think I won't be able to bear it any longer. It is one of the saddest and most frustrating things I have experienced to be on the street or someone's porch and to pour my soul out to them, completely every drop I can muster. To feel like the Spirit is just hitting them in the face, and then to have them look at you and say, yeah, but I don't really care. I'm just like, what?? Did you not just feel that? It is the weirdest thing to me, but everyone has their agency, of course.

This week on Thursday, we woke up at 3:45 to get on a bus to Tromsø for ZLT, and it was light outside! The sun wasn't up but it was light. So weird. I wasn't even tired because it felt like a regular morning (don't worry, the tiredness came on strong later). So we were on a bus for 8 hours that day travelling, and that took a lot out of me. We had a good week, though, and it was good to see everyone again before transfers mixed it up. We ate dinner with the branch president last week, and he made us salmon and I think it is really tough to be branch president up here. I just want to help him somehow! We are trying.

At the beginning of the transfer we knocked on the door of some people named Inge and Gro, I don't remember if I told you about them, but they let us in. We talked for a while, and Gro has MS and breast cancer, but has had some cool experiences with being healed and things, which have led to them both developing a faith in God and Christ. At the end of the lesson, I got the strongest impression that we should offer to give her a priesthood blessing, so I did, which she did not accept, but she let us pray for her there. We hadn't heard from them again, but we went to their house again last night, and she said that not too long after that first visit, they went back to the hospital to get her cancer checked, and the doctors couldn't find anything at all. It was completely gone, and she attributed it to our prayer. She even told that to the doctors. She has read in the Book of Mormon and thinks it is an easy read, so hopefully we will be able to continue to help them to progress toward the truth. The Lord works miracles for those who believe.

I wish that I had some profound piece of spiritual knowledge, but I really don't. What I do have, however, is a challenge. I challenge everybody out there to actually read the story of the prophet Joseph Smith's life and the Book of Mormon, and try to tell me that he was not called of God. I talk about him and the testimony burns inside me- I know that Joseph Smith was called of God to usher in the dispensation of the fulness of times. I spend my days talking about him, and there is no doubt in my mind that he was called to do the work he said he was called to do. His name will be had for good and evil throughout the world, but the truth remains that he was a prophet of God. I know it.

I love you all so much, and thanks for all of the support! It means the world to me.

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