Monday, November 24, 2014

November 24

Well hello, again, everyone! The way time is flying right now, it feels like I just barely typed up my last blog post, but here I am again and it is one week later. Crazy. We have done a lot of good things this week, and for some reason, the weekend was especially good, but we will get to that later. 

So first things first. The time has come for another transfer to happen, and this one was filled with rumors. I had no idea what was going to happen to me, but it turns out I am going to be transferred away from Trondheim. I am really sad to be saying goodbye to the members here, because I really love them a lot, and they have become my family in Norway. But that's life and I knew it would happen sometime. I am going to be moving to Sandvika to be an assistant to President Evans. It's a big change and will definitely be a challenge, but I am excited to go serve, and I am sure there will be a lot of great opportunities in the future. I don't actually know what the address of the apartment is at the moment because the APs just moved, but until further notice, those of you who wish to send something in the mail can send it to the address of the mission office:

Elder Dallin Childs
Postboks 894
1306 Sandvika

Anyway, that will be a change, but I'm sure it is going to be a lot of fun and I am really excited. This week has been a crazy one. We had a lot of good things happen on Tuesday, and for some reason, Tuesday is turning out to always be a really good day for us. Probably the biggest miracle story is a man named Svein. I met Svein on the streets about two months ago while we were on splits with some missionaries, and we taught him about the Book of Mormon. He was interested in how our message could help him to overcome problems in his life, including depression and struggles with drugs. I promised him that it would make all the difference, and after a prayer, we made an appointment for him to meet us at the church later that week to continue to talk. But he never showed up. Since then I have tried to get in contact with him, but to no avail. So honestly I had given up on him and moved on. This week we were out contacting on the streets when we ran into Svein again. It was the best, because I knew that this time is was going to work out. We talked again about the Book of Mormon again and invited him to come to the church on Sunday. He came and we were able to teach him about the Plan of Salvation and testify to him of the power of the atonement to change his life. I am so excited to watch his progress in the gospel. Svein committed to be baptized on the 24th of January, so I am excited for him to come unto Jesus Christ. 

There were a lot of other things which happened this week, including getting splits in Kristiansund canceled, seeing the northern lights, taking pictures of the Mockingjay movie posters, running from the church to the train station with the sisters to catch our train, and saying goodbye to all of the members. That was really sad. I am going to miss the people in Trondheim so much, and it is even worse because I don't know when I will see them again. But that is life. 

It's really good to be a missionary, and I am so excited for the experiences. You should try it sometime :) Have a great week, and we will be talking next week, from Oslo!!! Back to my home, baby!

This is me at the gågate, which means walking street. Every city has one, and it is the place where they have a lot of their stores and things. No cars allowed, which means it is full of pedestrians.

This is a famous statue of Olav Tryggvason, who was the guy who made Norway Christian a long time ago.

Arnold and Ali (from left to right.) Ali is probably the nicest man I have ever met.

One of the members in Trondheim, named Birgit, who is awesome.

This is the sweet hat I knitted!

It has the "marius" pattern, which is really traditional Norwegian. What do you think? :)

"Bestemor" which means grandma. it's an old lady in the ward who is really nice and she got surgery on her knee, so we went and visited her. She is the best.

Eli Johanne. One of my favorite members under the age of 8. She just follows me around all the time and tells me I can't leave Trondheim. She is the best :)​

This is Audie (at the house) who is a member and is also the less-active who has made the most progress on my mission. He referred his friend, who is in the other picture. His name is Sing and is from India.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

November 17

I am sitting here at the computer to write about this week, and to be honest I can't even remember when it started. Last Monday.... that seems like a really long time ago. What happened? Well, I am assuming we had Pday... let's see. Every Monday night we have an appointment with a member in the ward. We go to their house and eat dinner, and they usually invite a non-member or less-active friend. They are really cool. So we went there this week and had dinner together with a girl named Marita who is in the process of coming back to church right now, and she is really cool. Adrian, the husband, had told me beforehand what we were going to be eating, so I had been looking forward to it the whole day. We had open-faced sandwiches, but we made them ourselves. They set a giant bowl of shrimp on the table, heads and all, and we peeled a ton, put mayonnaise on bread, and piled a bunch of shrimp on top, and it was delicious. Pretty messy but really so good. So that was fun.

On Tuesday we had the whole zone in Trondheim again for a ZLT, and it turned out to be a big success. We talked a lot about the area book and about teaching and saw some huge miracles throughout the zone as a direct result of missionaries being more diligent with the area book. So that was cool.

We also went to Bodø in the middle of the week, and that was fun. For all of you who are complaining that it isn't even cold in Norway and it isn't fair, you should go to Bodø, because it is freezing, and the wind never stops blowing. So I had a cold 24 hours. I got to see my good friend Elder Brink and work with him while I was there as well. Here is a personal message to Sister Brink: Elder Brink is doing great, he looks healthy, and he is alive--You have nothing to worry about. :) It was good to see those elders again, and we did some good work. Between stake conference in the weekend and everything else that happened this week, we really didn't have time to do much of anything in our own area, but we somehow managed to have a great week again. The Lord sure does bless us. 

At Stake Conference there was a visiting area authority from Germany, and he gave a really good talk about joy. It is such an interesting topic, because we are all looking for joy, but no one seems to have it. I feel like we spend most of our time talking about our problems and the things that go wrong in the world. Sometimes I get to church and hear the different conversations people are having, and imagine myself being an investigator in our church. I think one of my first thoughts would be, "If I join this church, am I also going to start having all these problems? I haven't even heard of problems like these before!" I think that we should spend more time talking about the joy of the Savior and His atonement, and less time worrying about the things that aren't exactly perfect. I am convinced that one of the reasons God sent us to the earth was to convince us that it is possible to feel joy no matter what our circumstances are. We can have joy because we know that we are saved through Jesus Christ. I love that. That is why I am out here, and I am not going to let anything get in the way as I work on allowing the joy of the Savior to always dwell in my heart. I am so grateful for Him and that we can always know that no matter what, he will be there for us in our heart aches and trials.

Game night with the homies. That's the typical Friday night for ya.

The super solid dinner we made the other night. A member bought us a ton of chicken breasts, which are suuuuper expensive in Norway, so we made up a batter and deep fat fried it and made wok. It was delicious :) #asianskillz

The actual food.

The Norwegian sunrise.

Bodø splits.

Look! It's Elder Brink!

Me with my two friends who went home this week. Way sad, but I guess that's life.

Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10

In Norway some of the holidays are a little bit different, and one of those is Father's Day, which was yesterday. Happy Father's Day, Dad! And happy Father's Day to all the rest of you dads as well. I always think it's funny because on Mother's Day and Father's Day in the states, the primary always gets up and sings and then they give everyone a gift afterward, but in Norway it really isn't much of a big deal. Weird culture differences. 

It's been a good week for me. But I feel like I always say that. If I had a bad week, I wonder if I would say anything else.... Probably not :) We have been working really hard, and it is paying off. Last week was pretty rough, so we decided that we needed to go out and change it, and we were able to see some miracles. The week reminded me a lot of the scripture which talks about us receiving blessings only after the trial of our faith. We went out and were going ham at the beginning of the week and we found some of the coolest, most prepared people I have ever met. The only problem was that they were all from different parts of Norway, so we couldn't actually teach any of them. I know it really doesn't matter as long as they are baptized, but it was a little frustrating anyway. But we just kept going out to work and finally on Sunday had the miracles come rushing in and we were able to find some new investigators and commit a guy named Gebru to baptism, and I was just really grateful to the Lord. He always pulls through.

I guess I don't really have a lot to say today, but I just want to end with a scripture I memorized recently, because it has really meant a lot to me lately. It is in D&C 84:88 and says, "And whoso receiveth you, there will I be also. For I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my spirit shall dwell in your hearts, and my angels round about you to bear you up." Every time I read that scripture before, I though about the angels lifting and protecting us, because that is pretty dang cool, let's be honest. But I think a really important part that I have missed before is when the Lord tells us that His spirit shall dwell in our hearts. It is so comforting to know that whenever things get hard and the road gets dark in front of us, that the Lord not only sends angels to be with us, but that he sends His spirit to dwell within us, because of the covenant of baptism which we have made with Him. Because of this, there is no darkness that can penetrate us, and no evil or negative influence which can ultimately crush our hope for salvation through Jesus Christ. We will always have the power to overcome whatever comes our way. No matter how big the trials, the Lord starts from our hearts, the very core of our being, and gives us strength to go forward into whatever the future has to offer. So hope on, dream on, and live on, because the Lord dwells among us in Zion. It really is a glad message we share with people.

I love you all and hope you will have a wonderful week. Go be true disciples of Christ!

Monday, November 3, 2014

November 3

Hey everybody!! One thing Norwegians say to greet each other (or say goodbye) is "hei hei." It means "hi hi" and is pronounced in exactly the same way. Probably the most versatile greeting known to man- just think about it. It doesn't even matter if people are walking toward you or away from you, it just always works. This is especially useful when we are contacting on the street and people don't even give us a chance to say anything at all. Then we only have to say it once and we have both greeted and bid farewell, all with two simple words. So hei hei everyone! Now you don't know if I am finished with the blog post or only beginning :)

It has been a pretty good week for me here in Trondheim. We haven't been doing a whole lot of traveling lately, though, which is weird for me. I have gotten so used to traveling at least once a week on my mission that when we don't do it, it just feels rather strange. Like something is missing. But October came and went before I could even blink. I haven't quite accepted the fact that we are living in 2014 yet and it is almost over, so I guess I had better get on that. We had a lot of exciting things happen this week, though, including splits with the assistants, a Halloween party, and a zone conference, so there was plenty of stuff going on to keep us busy.

During the zone conference, we talked mostly about member missionary work and the specific thing that we can do as missionaries to help it go forward. You might say that the work here in Norway isn't exactly hastened as much as some other parts of the world yet, so we have a big role to play in helping things to happen in that area of life. But I was also reminded of just how important the members are in the eternal scheme of things. Sure, we as missionaries could probably baptize people without the members (and past results show that we can), but if we want to bring people into the church to stay and contribute to real growth, it has to be with the help of the members. Always and at all costs. So that's me going off on my soapbox about member missionary work. I love the members here in Trondheim; they do a wonderful job. I know that I am going to be so sad when I have to leave them.

Here's a quick update on the work in our area: Uy came to church again and we were able to teach him afterward and give him the Book of Mormon to read. He is really sincere and this is the first time he has really given religion a chance, so I am confident that he is going to get his answer that it's true. We are hoping to get a baptismal date with him next week, so please keep him in your prayers for us. We are also going to go back to Juan's place next week and hopefully commit him to baptize his daughter as well, so the work is going forward for us here. We are expecting miracles and they are coming. I am so grateful for the help. 

From the emails I have received today, it sounds like you all are doing wonderfully well. I pray that life continues to go smoothly, but most of all that you all will find joy in the journey. Because that's what is most important, right? Talk to you later! Love you all!

Us at an art exhibit calleld "salamandernatten" or the night of the salamander.

Norway, it's awesome :) 

The tiniest room ever (where we helped a lady move)

An awesome sunrise we had.

Here is a picture of the Halloween party :)