Monday, July 28, 2014


We have been painting a house/touring Trondheim for most of the day (since 8 this morning), so I don't have a ton of time to write, but it has been a good week. Everything went well with transfers, and I love it here in Trondheim. It is just as good as it looks in the pictures, and it has a really great feel in the city. I could definitely live here if I were to live in Norway. I got here and it is so strange to be in a big city again. The ward has around 200 people in it, so it is a lot bigger, but there are still a ton of people that are on vacation at the moment. So it is going to feel even bigger in about a week when everyone gets back. The church building in Trondheim is the oldest one in Norway, and it was built in the early 1960s or something like that.  It is good to be back in a church building, and it is good to be back in a ward. The work is going really well, we taught several lessons, have baptismal dates with a guy named Trond and a guy named Piotr.

Trond is a Norwegian guy who has had a pretty rough life and has found a faith in Jesus Christ. He smokes a lot and has trouble breathing because of it, but we are helping him with that and it is cool to see the atonement in his life. He lives alone here. Piotr is a Polish guy who is here working, and he is just great as well. There is a slight language barrier, but it is cool to be able to teach him and help him to understand the church and the commandments. It will be fun to continue to work with them. We haven't been on any splits yet, but that will be happening soon. I got to Trondheim and instantly ran out of time. I have been crazy busy this whole week, and I think that it is just going to keep going that way into the future. But it has been good, and I am enjoying being a zone leader up in the north.

Man, life is crazy and I feel like a lot has happened, but I will leave it there for this week.

Love, Elder Childs

Nidaros dommen. The biggest and one of the only cathedrals in Norway.

Painting a house for p day :) We were lucky and had some old clothes lent to us so we didn't get paint all over our nice ones.

My new city :)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Transfer Time!

Hey there, it's been another week, and it has been a great one! We have seen miracles upon miracles, and it is all coming right when I am leaving the area. But it's all the same work, right? I am so happy that the Lord sees fit to bless us even in our weakness and to teach us even when we are the most unwilling to learn.

My Mom asked about Norwegian gardens:  one guy showed us his garden last week, and he had raspberries, currant berries, black currant berries, blackberries, some tomatoes, and some rhubarb. In the mountains here, blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries grow wild and just cover the mountainside during different times of the year, so that is really cool. Norwegians love their berries, and I think it is great.

Transfers time has rolled around again, and this week I found out I will be moving to Trondheim on Wednesday and I will be serving there as a new zone leader. It's all pretty overwhelming, but I am really excited, because Trondheim is one of my favorite cities in Norway. The only problem is they sound almost like they are speaking some Asian language there.... gotta love Norway and all of its crazy dialects. But I am really excited to go and emerge from the far north and have some human interaction again. Trondheim is a big city, it's beautiful, and I love the feeling there. Out of the places I've been so far, I would say that if I came back to live in Norway, I would probably live in Trondheim :) I will probably be traveling about the same amount that I have been now, and so that will be fun. My companion's name is Elder Hill, and he has been one of the zone leaders for the north for the past 2 transfers, so I know him pretty well. It should be fun to get to know him better and to work with him in Trondheim.For those of you who want it, my new address will be:

Elder Dallin Childs
Olav Tryggvassons Gate 30
7011 Trondheim

This week we found new investigators, taught lessons, and had people in church, plus several of our investigators came back from vacation this week---all things that are pretty rare in these little northern towns in the summer.  Kikka was in church and gave a really great talk this week. It was one of the sweeter moments of my mission to sit there and listen to her speak about the blessings the gospel has brought into her life and how grateful she is for it. That was cool. So I got up and talked about how great she is in my talk as well :) We exchanged emails, and we will be keeping in touch. She is great. so I am so grateful and so amazed at the way that the Lord's hand is in the work. He always blesses us every time when we keep the commandments and do what He says. I know that's true.

Pictures to come of the greatness that is about to hit Trondheim! I hope you all have a wonderful week, and remember that I am sending my love from Norway!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Halfway There -- Living on a Prayer

Well, it's been one more week, and this week was a special one, because it was my Hump Day this week! Pretty exciting stuff. The day included waking up at 2:45 a.m. to catch an early bus to get on a plane that was hopefully going to get us to our connection in Bodø on time to go to a zone meeting, but that's a story for a different day. Let's just leave it with the fact that it is really difficult to travel in and out of Narvik sometimes. We had a good meeting, I saw some of my friends, ate a really great Kebab, and then got back on a plane to go home. It was a pretty great day. But one year. That is a crazy thought. One year is a long time and it is a short time. So much has happened and I have learned so many things, but at the same time, I feel like it has gone too quickly; that I have too much to do and too little time. One year of being a full-time servant of the Lord. One year of learning who I am and how to overcome that. One year of being a crazy, stressed-out, fun-loving missionary in Norway. It has been the toughest year of my life by far, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

I love my mission and I love everything about serving the Lord. There is nothing like it. If any of you are considering it, do it. I can guarantee you won't regret it.

We have been helping this American lady named Kelly to learn the language lately, and this week we had our last visit with her. She is from Texas and moved here to live with her boyfriend. He had noticed that the missionaries learned the language really fast, so he called us and asked if we could help. We accepted and it has been a lot of fun to get to know them and be of service. They aren't super interested in the gospel, but we have been able to make a good impression on them about the church and I have enjoyed doing it. They are now visiting Texas and after that they will move to a different part of the country, so who knows if I will see them again.

My hump day! We didn't do anything all that big, but the night before, we bought ice cream and ate it while we watched the best two years. It was fun and good to be able to think about the last year and how good it really has been.

Traveling to Trondheim. We had a zone meeting during which the assistants talked about missionary skills and how we can improve them and practice them. It was a good meeting and it lasted the entire day, and it was good to see the other missionaries and have a chance to really practice things. President was conducting interviews during the meeting, and when it was my turn, he called me to be a zone leader this next transfer. He wouldn't tell me where I will be serving, but I am moving on the 23rd, and I am excited for the opportunity to be able to serve more missionaries and hopefully help them to be better and come closer to Christ. It is a wonderful opportunity and I am excited to serve. I will find out on Sunday where I will be serving.

In church yesterday, we only had 3 members from our branch, but we had 25 people in church. There were a lot of members from other parts of the country visiting and it was really good to see them all. We even had a family from Finland, and they had 8 kids who all looked like they were between the ages of 1-8. It was good to have so many people, but it caused a slight problem for us because we didn't have enough space for everyone! It was even worse because the main room at the Red Cross building where we meet is being renovated, so we meet now in a room upstairs which is pretty tight. We brought in a lot of extra chairs, but we still had people sitting out in the hall, and it was really tight. Everyone is out of town right now, so I conducted and presided at sacrament meeting, and also gave the talk, and Elder Forsberg taught Sunday School and blessed the sacrament. I hope the members aren't sick of hearing from us yet! It's a lot of fun :)

We were finally able to visit Inge and Gro again last night, and it was a good lesson. We recommitted Gro to pray about the Book of Mormon, so I am expecting her to get an answer about it this week. She already believes strongly in answer to prayer, so that is a really great start. As we were leaving, they invited us to drive to Lofoten with them, which is arguably the most beautiful place in Norway, and I was going to say yes, but unfortunately president said no when we called to ask. I was really close to getting there at least.... I will have to go after I get back :)

We kind of had a rough week because literally everyone is on vacation right now, but we are working our hardest and seeing miracles. We find people when I am ready to believe there is no one to find. We teach lessons at the very moment before I give up and say, Let's go back for the night. It's always that "one more door," or "one more time." Sometimes in life, I think that God lets us walk to the very edge of our ability and our understanding--or maybe even a little bit into the fringe of darkness surrounding us--before He opens the windows of heaven to lighten our way. It is easy to get frustrated when we feel neglected or left to our own devices, but really it is a divine stroke of brilliance. God lets us walk according to our own understanding because that is how we learn; that is the only way we can grow. Even though it is hard and our fears lurk in the darkness, it is only by walking with faith that dawn will follow the darkness that we can learn to trust in His light. Sometimes we are called upon to hold our candle for the world even though the wind blows and the world does everything it can to extinguish our flame. But God will never let that happen. If we rely on Him, we will find that He will always be there to give us a little extra fuel, or to show us the next few steps of the way. I have had to rely on the Lord to do everything I have been asked to do for the last year, but that is why I have learned so much. No one ever learned anything because they had it easy.

To all of you who feel like the darkness is almost too much to handle, hang in there, the Lord is on the other side, calling us gently to Him. I know it, I hear His voice. I love you all, just keep on keeping on, because in life, every day is a battle, but every night is a victory. I love you!

We went and hiked around in the mountains this morning and found a little lake in the middle of nowhere! It was pretty cool, so we decided to take some pictures :)

 Elder Halvorsen and I on our Hump Day in Trondheim.

The district for our final district picture before we get transferred. Sad day! 

Norway from the air :) 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Month of Boldness

It has been really hot this weekend in Narvik. Well, at least hot for Narvik. It's been up at 90 degrees, which isn't too bad, but when you are in church clothes and walking all day, it gets to be a lot. And it would be alright, except for Norway doesn't have air conditioning! For some reason, it just doesn't exist, and the sun never goes down, so it is ALWAYS hot. We walk into our apartment every night and it is also hovering around 85 degrees, and I have no idea how to cool it down. So I just feel like I live in a furnace, which makes it slightly difficult to sleep at night, but hey, I just think cool thoughts :) 

This week we traveled to Bodø and back for splits, and it was really great to be there and see the other elders, but on the way back, our plane got delayed two hours, which made me miss a meeting, but it was okay because they gave us 20 dollars each to get some food at the airport and we got some good study time in :) I feel like I am always traveling, but it is fun.
Some other exciting news is that I found out this week that Elder Bednar is going to be coming to Norway on September 7! Cool, right? So I will get to meet him and he will speak to the missionaries, and it is pretty exciting. 

Our less-active family came to church again, and it was really good to see them there. They showed up right before I was about to bless the sacrament, but it was good to have them anyway because sacrament meeting would have been pretty empty if they weren't there. It was time to start church, and we had Elder Forsberg and I, and then one more member, and that was it. So crazy, right? Everyone is still out of town, including the branch president now, so we are in charge of running church. It is weird. But we ended up getting some visitors from down south who were vacationing up here, so it turned out to be a decent meeting after all. I have taught sunday school/ priesthood for the past several weeks, and this week I played the piano, but I had to have the pedal on my knee and move my leg up to press it against the bottom of the table (if that makes sense) because the cord was too short to reach the floor. And then I was also blessing the sacrament, so there was some awkward time after them hymn during which I prepared the sacrament, but it all went okay in the end. Church in the north :)
Kikka, Kai, and the Fransens are all still out of town. Well, I am assuming that Kikka is still gone, because she wasn't in church yesterday and we called her and she didn't answer. Kai doesn't get back until the end of July, and I am not exactly sure what the Fransens' plan is. It is definitely a little frustrating, but I am sure that it is fun for them to travel. 

Happy late 4th of July! I wasn't quite sure what to do to celebrate as a missionary, but I wanted to do something, so I landed on just buying some meet and making my own hamburgers. We didn't have a grill or anything, so I just did them on the stove, but they actually turned out pretty good, and it was good to remember all the barbecues we always had. It could have been great with some sparklers or something, but it was still a lot of fun :)  I hope you all enjoyed the celebrations, and especially the fireworks. I hope you loved the fireworks. There is something so special about gathering together to celebrate the independence which has made our lives the beautiful way they are. The freedom which allows us to worship the true and living God in the way that we choose and the opportunity which this country, born of a desire for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, allowed for the Church of Jesus Christ to be restored to the earth through the boy prophet. What an amazing opportunity we have each year to thank the courageous men who risked everything so that those who came after, their children, would have the religious freedom which means everything to us today. I love America, and I love the 4th of July.
In the Norway Oslo mission, July has been titled the month of boldness. I think it's great for missionary work, but I have been thinking a lot about what boldness really means and how it should play a role in our lives as members of the church as well. To me, being bold is having the courage to tell it how it is without a fear of the consequences or opinion of others. Boldness is being willing to follow through with the will of God without hesitation or second thought. And in the world today, we could all use a little more boldness. The standards of the world are moving steadily away from God's standards, and with that shift comes a temptation to hide our standards from the view of the world in an effort to not offend or to fit in with the crowd. But God needs members who will keep His commandments with exactness and with boldness. President Uchtdorf said that if we are bold because of love, then it can never become over-bearance, and I know that one of the best ways to help others come unto Christ is by living in a way that others will see our example and ask. They become curious about the happiness that comes into our lives and their hearts are opened to the message of the restoration. Let us all be a little more bold in our faith and live valiantly for the truth and for God. Love you all!