So on Monday a member named Ole called Søster Bender and I and we went out and got hamburgers. He picked the restaurant and let me tell you those hamburgers were the best I have ever eaten, but also the most expensive!!!!! So Søster Bender and I ate at a pretty normal American pace and by the time me and her were both done, Ole hadn't even finished his French fries!!!! hahah we were dying!! So we waited at least 45 minutes after we were done, no joke for him to finish his hamburger and fries.
We met with a way chill and cool guy named Cedrik. Sister Hartley and I had contacted him when we were on splits last week! He is very open and was very interested in what we had to say considering he doesn't really have a religious background and hadn't ever heard about anything we talked about before. He came to the appointment kind of late because he had fallen off his bike and his hand was like way cut up and bleeding bad! However, he wouldn't let us give him a band aid or clean it or anything..... I think he thought it made him look cool and tough.
The Crabtree’s found a new apartment for the Elders to have when they come back hopefully in August, but we will see! It is way nice!! Søster Bender and I wish we could move in hahaha. The only bummer part is we wouldn't be right across the street from the church anymore so that makes it okay. We helped the Crabtree’s move all the things in it and helped Elder Crabtree build the very cheap wood bunk bed. We did a pretty good job if I do say so myself, but if it breaks while the Elders are sleeping in it, I am taking no credit for helping build it! Some screws were missing so it is just a tad bit wobbly hahaha!!
So, my mattress is terrible - like the springs are coming out, so the Crabtree’s gave me an extra one that was in the Elders apartment and we just put it right on top of my old mattress. I am on the top bunk and now I cannot get into bed unless Sister Bender gives me a boost!! I can't even get my leg up it is so high! However now I sleep like a baby, so it is worth it!)
We met with Dennis this week. He is 17 or 18 and way cool. He is very interested and open as well and we have met with him a couple times before. He is very interested in how missionaries live and asked if Sister Bender and I could hang out with him or go clubbing with him hahaha. He got to learn all about the missionary rules haha!!
We met with the family we met with last week! (Richard and his cute family). Sadly they aren't too interested, but they said we are always welcome to come over and share a message! It was kind of frustrating because he said he was happy with the knowledge he had and didn't want any more... WHY WOULDN’T YOU WANT MORE KNOWLEDGE!?!?!? Come on! We are planting seeds.....Hopefully one day they will be interested!
So the Midnight Sun/Summer Solstice/Longest day of the year was this week (June 21st)!! Our mission President gave us permission to stay up/out until midnight as long as we were with members celebrating! It is a big deal around here! They do huge bonfires and everything! Well since we are in a branch and isolated and don't have that many members, Søster Bender and I called Kelly! We ended up going over to her house and playing games and hanging out! Around 11:30 Søster Bender and I headed home because we were dead tired! I don't know how I could stay up till 4 am or even past 10:30 at home! Seriously I look forward going to bed at 10:30.
We met a French man on the street last week and we went to his house to give him a French Book of Mormon. Did I mention he doesn't speak like any English at all!! While we are struggling to talk to him, Søster Bender thought he says that he knows how to click (he is an African man) and she starts making these clicking noises and I about died!! She was being dead serious!! He was looking at her like she was crazy, because he had said Greek, not click! How she got those two things mixed up I have no idea..... It made a good laugh though that is for sure! After that little fiasco as we were talking to him or at least trying to, a thought pops into my head that I know someone who knows French! It is Kayleigh Johns who just got home from her mission in France!! One thing leads to another and we had a skype appointment with her to help us teach this man! SHE WAS AWESOME!!!!!!!! I am so so grateful for her willingness to help Søster Bender and I! Even though I had no idea what she was saying, I felt the spirit multiple times as she talked and taught him.
(Not gonna lie, Søster Bender and I think he was a little drunk when we skyped with Kayleigh which made me feel really bad! Walking to the church with him Søster Bender was dying laughing because of how he was acting and I basically saved his life because he tried to go in the street in the middle of traffic and I ran after him and yanked him backwards by his backpack. All while Søster Bender is just dying laughing.)
THE CROWNING EVENT OF THE WEEK LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!!! Okay so as you all know Søster Bender and I are teaching Ramy, who speaks Arabic and we are teaching him English. Ramy is our favorite and the best ever! However, we have been trying to find someone that would be able to help us teach him who knows Arabic because we feel like with the language barrier he doesn't understand everything so well and sometimes we feel we are just going in circles! Well we found someone!! Søster Bender's brother has a friend who is a returned missionary, that grew up in Sudan where Ramy is from and KNOWS ARABIC!! Seriously prayers do come true!!!!!!! Well, Ramy was so excited let me tell you! We set up an appointment and it was game changing!! Atim (the guys name) is awesome!! He did such an awesome job and Søster Bender and I had to try our hardest to not let our mouths hang open when we heard them speak Arabic to each other. It really helped Ramy ALOT!! I know it has made the biggest difference!! We were finally able to help him understand his questions about the Book of Mormon and having a prophet today all thanks to Atim! We look forward to continuing to skype with him and to help Ramy progress and understand much better!
Søster Bender and I are trying to cook and eat better and so far it has been going really good!! Søster Crabtree is so sweet and gives us recipes and teaches us recipes and we always call her if we need help. She gave us this one recipe and we followed it exactly! Except for the fact that she didn't put - add water on it so we didn't add water..... It was supposed to be a type of gravy/sauce and turned into a mashed potato type substance hahaha. Needless to say we are still learning!
Remember how I said all of Norway leaves for the month of July.... Yeah it has begun...... We said goodbye to Kelly this week and she doesn't come home till the middle of August! It is going to be so lonesome around here pretty soon! Dingaan is gone and now Kelly! And then her parents are leaving soon too!!
I love being in a branch, but one bad thing about it is because we don't have that many members to begin with, with the summer ferie coming up, everyone is leaving!!! Which means this past Sunday we almost didn't even have enough priesthood holders to do the sacrament!! We need elder missionaries to come back fast! However a miracle happened!!! A family who was visiting in Tromsø who are members in Bodø came to church and they made it possible to do sacrament! AND..one of the members who is a male who wasn't supposed to be coming to church came as well, so the day was saved!!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY THIS WEEK AMERIKA!!!! Norway doesn't celebrate 4th of July.... bummer!! Norway doesn't celebrate a lot of holidays that Amerika does actually.. who would have thought?(; and it is probably a good thing Norway doesn't celebrate it because missionaries aren't allowed to play with fireworks anyways so it makes it a lot easier on us!
The New misison president comes tomorrow!! Bittersweet feelings! So sad to see Sister and President Evans go, but so excited to see and have President and Sister Hill!!
***hopefully my tidbits this week make up for all the terrible previous weeks****
- Norwegian's think cupcakes are muffins........ but I'm not complaining because they are dang good muffins!
- It is almost July and I am wearing a scarf...... A SCARF!!! I am really missing the Texas heat
- Honestly really glad that I am out of the world and don't have to hear or deal with technology, or worry about the next new thing, and the craziness, war, etc... going on in the world today
- Please care about your teeth and dental hygiene!! So many people here do not care and it is so gross!!! Brush your teeth, floss, chew gum, whiten your teeth! No one wants to see gunk in your teeth
- Smoking is a horrid thing.... Søster Bender and I don't appreciate it when people smoke right by us or in front of us and blow it in our faces!! You wouldn't believe the amount of smoking people do here and at such a young age too!! It is insane!
- Our investigator Ramy tells me I look like Barbie hahaha
- The birds here are insane and devils!!! Søster Bender is terrified of them and it is so funny to see her reaction when they come close to us. Seriously the birds here just attack random people and if you have food they swarm you!!!
- It is common for people here to eat anything and everything with a fork and knife in hand and cut everything up!! French fries, sandwiches, everything! It has grown on me! You put the fork in the left hand and knife in the right. I can't eat without those two and I can't eat with a fork in my right hand anymore.
- Norwegians also eat open faced sandwiches and other things open faced. I didn't realize I had adopted this as well until we were eating sloppy joes with the Crabtree’s and I open faced my buns and ate them both separately and Sister Crabtree was just laughing and laughing
- Burger King is like the popular place here.... So weird to me
- My hair is getting longer so that is a plus
- If I keep typing this much I am going to get arthritis...
- Met a man on the street who said he would meet with us than if he agreed with our message he would choose between Søster Bender and I who he would marry.... He wasn't kidding.....
- It got so cold this week, Søster Bender and I had to pull out Our WINTER COATS
Excerpts from my companions email that describes how I feel as well:
“I wish I could say that I ate at Burger King, but one fry costs about 10 dollars! I love eating food here. Sister Peterson likes to cook and get creative with food. Last night we tried making pancakes and they turned out OK when we covered them with Jam and Brown cheese :) Norway doesn't have syrup. Or ranch. Or any salad dressing. I miss cheap, unhealthy, American food.
This week was good! We met with a few interesting people. We met with one kid from Haiti, Claude. Our appointment was supposed to be at 3 so Sister Peterson and I waited outside the church until 3:15, then we just went back inside and came back out only 5 minutes later and he was standing outside the door! We opened the door and said hi and he didn't really say anything except "I have been waiting right here since 3" and we were just like "hahahaha no you weren't." I wish I could explain our meeting just with words on here, but I cant! It was very, very interesting and I couldn't help myself but laugh out loud at one point. I had to cover my face with a pamphlet while Sister Peterson took his attention away from me and talked to him so he wouldn't see me laughing! Let's just say, he likes to talk to himself a lot.
Shout out to Brodie (my brother) for knowing someone who speaks Arabic and can help us with Ramy!! Ramy still doesn't understand why we need the Book of Mormon. We can try to explain it 100 different ways, 100 different times, but it won't mean anything unless he has his mind and his heart open. Though he reads everything we give him, he still doesn't understand. But he was way excited to meet with Atim (Brodie's friend) and I think Atim is really going to help us get to Ramy!
I also don't like when investigators say they will be at church and never show!! It is the worst. I want to tie them up and bring them to church myself. But, everyone has their agency and I only have control over mine.”
- In a wicked world today always remember to hold true to your beliefs, standards, and what you know to be true! Cherish your family, loved ones, and friends and hold them dear to you!
- Because of the many events going on in the world today, many times on the street we are asked what the church thinks about gay rights, etc... For those of you who are curious here is where the Church stands:
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints acknowledges that following today's ruling by the Supreme Court, same-sex marriages are now legal in the United States. The Court's decision does not alter the Lord's doctrine that marriage is a union between a man and a woman ordained by God. While showing respect for those who think differently, the Church will continue to teach and promote marriage between a man and a woman as a central part of our doctrine and practice.”
Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion and belief, but as far as the Church goes, this is the standard. The Church will respect those who think differently and it is in no one's place to judge, however the Church will continue to teach and encourage marriage between a man and women
Quote from Grandma Bills: “If you understand the great plan of happiness and follow it, what goes on in the world will not determine your happiness.” - Boyd K. Packer
Ha en fin uke dere!! Enjoy the sun, be daring and bear your testimony on fast Sunday, read the scriptures, hang out with the fam, BE HAPPY!!!(: