What an awesome week. Always. I am starting to realize that I don't really get to write that very many more times, and that is a scary thought. But Norway is great and this week was especially good because we celebrated the country's birthday on the 17th! And if you remember from last year, that is a pretty big deal for Norwegians. The awkward part of the whole thing is that the holiday was on a Sunday this year, which made life a little bit interesting, but the Norwegians have a tenacious history when it comes to their national day celebrations and this year, true to form, church was shortened to an hour and moved to 6 pm, and we were all free to enjoy the parades, rain or shine. Turns out we had a little of both.
There was a children's parade, live music, a citizen's parade in which everyone was welcome to participate, the main parade, and a lot of street vendors. I am proud to say that we didn't spend a dime yesterday :) Or a crown... We were, however, able to enjoy the day thoroughly, and I am grateful to have been able to have the experience. There seemed to be a bit more happening here than there was last year in Narvik :)
One other thing jumps out to me when I think of the highlights of the week, and that is the fact that we were able to get a baptismal date with a guy named Erlend. He is amazing and a lot of fun to talk to, and it is so fun to see the desire that he has to come closer to Christ and be baptized. It is amazing when we don't have to force things on people; when they are the driving force. I literally live to teach out here in Norway. When we are teaching life is amazing. I don't have a care in the world other than the investigator sitting in front of me and the Spirit. And quite frankly, that's the way I prefer it. I like being consecrated, and I am hooked on the feeling that comes when the Spirit flows through me as a tool in God's hands to touch the open heart of investigator. There is nothing like it.
Erlend has been to church three times already, and he is preparing to be baptized on the 19th of June. That is going to be a wonderful day for the church in Stavanger.
On a slightly less spiritual note, there was a cruise ship in Stavanger today carrying tons of Nu Skin employees who are members from Utah, so if you know someone who is on that cruise to Norway, I probably met them today and they probably told me to tell you hello. So hello everybody! :) There's my mass shout-out. It was a lot of fun to see so many members in the city and to be able to be recognized by so many. I feel like I got a little taste of what it is like to be a missionary in Utah.
Missions are so good and Christ is so good. Listen to his promises, because He never lies. Thanks for all the support and have an amazing week!
|We had a lot of fun on the 17th! This is me and a lot of Norwegians in their Bunads. It's the traditional dress of the country and I think it is really awesome :)|
|Me and Elder Allen by the Flag.|
|Me and some Russ girls who somehow randomly knew who the Mormons were. I think one of them lived in Utah or something. I thought you would like to see what Russ is (Norwegian graduation celebration that is celebrated on and around the 17th of May).|