Monday, September 15, 2014

The Ups and Downs of Missionary Life

A run-down of my week:

Monday: We had pday and literally did nothing. Sounds really lame, but it was the most glorious thing I have experienced in a long time. We woke up really early to fly back from Oslo and there aren't a whole lot of silent moments on a mission, so it was much needed. 

Tuesday: I don't know if you remember Trond, but we met with him again this week, and nothing has really changed. It has been two weeks since the last time and we committed him to read the Book of Mormon for a few minutes every day but when we came back to follow up he hadn't even done it once. It is so hard to teach people when they just insist on being objects all the time. We are supposed to be agents in this life, but I think that by our own choices we can change that. Sitting on your couch all day doing nothing is one way to turn yourself into an object. But we will keep trying. But something cool did happen. At the beginning of my time in Trondheim, I met a girl named Miranda on the street and she was really great, but we haven't been able to contact her ever since. But on Tuesday we were waiting at a bus stop and I looked over my shoulder and realized that Miranda was standing right there. I said, hey it's good to see you! And then she told us she is having a tough time and would love to talk. We walked back to the church together and talked about the Book of Mormon and she said she would be baptized. It was definitely a miracle from God that we found her again. It's all about the small, day to day miracles. 

Wednesday: We had Mission Leadership Council, which means we woke up really early (again) to fly down to Oslo (for the second time in a week). I really love that place. Every time we have MLC, Sister Evans makes us the most amazing cinnamon rolls for breakfast and this time she made us Cafe Rio style burritos and I was dying. I am convinced that Sister Evans is an angel in disguise sent from Heaven down to Norway to protect all of us elders from ourselves. (And not just because of the food :) We love her so much. MLC is always a great experience and I can't believe it has already been a month since the last one.  

Thursday: On Thursday we met with Evelyne, who we were expecting to be baptized this week, but unfortunately there was a bit of a hiccup in the plans. She has been having problems keeping the Word of Wisdom completely, so we were talking with her about that during our meeting, and started to say things that made me a little suspicious. My last companion taught her the Law of Chastity a while ago while I wasn't there and he said she agreed with it and had committed to live it, but after our meeting I wasn't so sure. So we retaught the commandment and she flipped out about it. Said it was really old-fashioned and unnecessary. So she left because she was too upset. And we haven't heard from her since. It was really disappointing, but I think she will be back this week and I think she just needs some time. She will be baptized, she has done this before. I should have known there no such thing as a smooth road to baptism. 

Friday: We are working with a less-active member named Audie, and he is really cool. He is from Sri Lanka and he has been a member for 20 years, but is only just now really learning about the gospel. We have been teaching him about the Book of Mormon, and with every visit we make he gets a little happier and a little more willing to open up to us. He is having a lot of problems in his life at the moment and the gospel is really helping him with everything. On Friday we were able to meet with him and he referred his friend to us! That is a big deal in Norway and his friend is so cool. He came to church on Sunday as well and he loves the Book of Mormon and loves the gospel. He and Audie are having some shared financial problems and they are both relying on God to help them through it. It is moments like that, sitting in the room with Audie and Kulwant, that I am reminded why it is so amazing to be a missionary.

Saturday: We played soccer, met the coolest couple ever, and picked up the new senior couple in Trondheim, the Rappleyes. They are really great and so excited to be here and serve. We picked them up at the airport and then drove them to their apartment and ate dinner together. It reminded me of my first days in Norway and that was a really long time ago. Sometimes I miss being a greenie.

Sunday: Sunday was really good because we had a ward activity we planned as missionaries to try to give our investigators a chance to meet the members and get involved. I kind of took the lead on this one and I didn't know how it was going to turn out, but we had 65 people there and a lot of food, so it ended up being a really good turn out for a nice event. I was pleased and I feel like it really helped the investigators who came, so I suppose all the stress was worth it. Looking back, it has been a really good week. There were obviously bad parts, like there always are, but overall, everything was really really good.

Have a great week everyone!

Eldste Childs

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