Jord's Adventures in Norway

Jord's Adventures in Norway

Monday, July 13, 2015

Sunday Miracles!!

On Monday and Tuesday we flew to Trondheim to have a Zone Conference to meet our new President and his wife!! President Hill and his wife are just the best!! They are so awesome and I love them!! They are very different from our last mission president, but in a good way! It is so crazy that they are gone now! With a new mission president comes new rules...... and one of the new rules they gave the sisters was..... WE NO LONGER HAVE TO WEAR NYLONS OR TIGHTS!!!!! We are no longer required to wear them in the summer or basically whenever! They told us to use our best judgement and wear them when appropriate for example Sundays at church. Pretty sure all the sisters were crying tears of joy (the only bummer part is that in Tromsø it is too cold not to wear tights.....)
President and Sister Hill talked a lot about how much they look up to and are grateful for the senior couples that come out and serve. They leave their families, grandchildren, etc... And it is not an easy thing to do. Really strengthened my appreciation for the senior couples! It was very touching!

When we got to Trondheim we met up with the other missionaries in the airport and took the train to town together! The elders forgot to tell Søster Bender, Firth,  Carpenter, and I that we got off at a different stop than them, so we all got off together and went and ate a delicious kebab! Then we had to walk probably 5 miles maybe 10 in the pouring rain with our suitcases to the Trondheim sisters apartment.......... We were soaked and so was everything inside our suitcases hahaha oh well!! It is always a fun time having sleepovers with a bunch of sisters!! Also to see other missionaries since Søster Bender and I are loners up here.
 Sister Sims... she is a cutie!
 Friends from the MTC!!
 Elder Nilsson and Elder Duncan.  So great to see them again.  We served in Stavanger together.  The two of them go home at the end of the transfer.  And below is Sister Carpenter.  She just came to Norway.  It was great meeting her.  It was fun to realize we know mutual people from Idaho!~
We took the train back to the airport the next day after the conference with Elder Hinton (my fellow Texan – he is from Ft Worth) and his companion Elder Kemp (his voice is like way deep). We all kinda split up when we sat down so we could talk to people, but were still fairly close together. The guy next to me was totally taking snapchats of me and Sister Bender and Elder Kemp and like not being secretive about it at all. Elder Hinton who had been sitting behind me had obviously had enough so next thing I know in Norwegian of course I hear him asking the guy next to me if everything is okay because he sees that he is taking pictures of us! Needless to say I was dying and Elder Hinton is a champ! He was so riled up after we got off the train, he was like he is so lucky I am a missionary right now....His Texan side was coming out hahaha ***Hint to Elders and guys: Don't be afraid to call someone out or stand up for other people! It really shows a lot about you!
For the first time the sun was out all day!!! For two days in a row!! Søster Bender and I took advantage and did our weekly planning outside to try to get a tan as best as we could in missionary clothes hahaha and to enjoy the sunshine!

I gave another talk in church on Sunday about honesty. That's what you get for serving in a small branch and with summer vacation in Norway and the few members you do have are out of town! I think I did way better on this one Norwegian wise than the last one, so that is good!

Sunday was the best day ever! I may or may not have cried hahahaha. We had 4 investigators in church and for here that is like a lot and a miracle!! That never happens especially since two of them just like showed up randomly. Jackson always comes in snazzy suits to church and he brought one of our other investigators Mami (say it like mommy) He went to her house (they are friends) and said get in we are going to church! He is the best!! We also had one of our recent investigators we began teaching who is young and way cool named Cedric come to church and of course Janne. When I saw all these people I was just so happy I did cry tears of joy and Søster Bender and I couldn't stop smiling at each other! People are finally coming to church!! It was the best Sunday ever!!!
John, one of the less actives who is becoming to be not less active anymore hit it off real well with Cedric! That made us so happy because he will be able to be fellowshipped and have a friend and it will help John too!

Cedric invited Søster Bender and I to go on this hike thing with him. So we went and let me tell you, we were not prepared for this hike! We were in jeans and dying and breathing hard haha it was kinda embarrassing! It was like all up hill and about an hour long! However when we got to the place it was so beautiful! Cedric is way awesome and I really feel like he has potential! When we met with him earlier in the week he brought his Book of Mormon to meet with us and everything! He doesn't really have a religious background, so he asks some great questions!
A member (Ole) taught Søster Bender and I how to play chess and boy is chess hard!! He always asks us now if we want to play chess with him haha

We try to meet with Arnt and Bianca once a week and sadly this is the last week we will meet with them before they leave for summer vacation for 3 weeks.... lame! We gave them a Preach My Gospel book last time and Bianca loves it! She is highlighting and taking notes and carries it around with her!! They are so solid and have the strongest testimonies! She goes this book is awesome and explains things so clearly and simply!
We met with Brenda this week and went to her house! She had made us American pumpkin pie and had watermelon! That was a wonderful surprise! She downloaded the Book of Mormon on her phone in audio so she can listen to it! She never stops surprising Søster Bender and I.

Remember Selvano? Well we met with another one of his friends he introduced us too and he seems pretty positive! His name is Lino and is way cool! He is from Peru! He asked a lot of questions about things we can and cannot do and let’s just say we got the Law of Chastity and Word of Wisdom knocked out in that lesson as well. He really loved when we talked to him about Christ coming to the Americas and when we showed him a picture he got all excited and goes hey that looks like Mexico!!

We met with AJ a less active and he loves to get ice cream or milkshakes with us and he brought some of his friends! We were able to talk about missionary work with them and it was a good time! Norwegian ice cream is to die for!

Contacting on the street this week was rough....... There are some days where you feel like you are rocking at Norwegian and then there are others where you can't even say hello...... This week Søster Bender and I both had one of those we can't even say hello moments.....Mine was awful!! Like I was so embarrassed because of how bad it was!! Søster Bender and I saw this girl on the street and I was feeling really good about talking to her, so we walk up and I literally couldn't speak Norwegian and when I did manage to get something out it didn't even make sense and the girl was pretty sure trying not to laugh at me..... Søster Bender and I walk around the corner and just die laughing! I was so ashamed of myself hahaha I didn't even have a contact that bad when I was a greenie!! You win some you lose some am I right? With Søster Bender we stopped this kinda older lady and Søster Bender began to talk to her and Søster Bender asked her a question and the lady in Norwegian goes that was not Norwegian what you just said. Søster Bender said the same thing again and yes she did say it in Norwegian and the lady just stared at her... hahahah so I ask the question to the lady and she responds and starts talking to me. Søster Bender was not happy about that hahaha but I thought it was pretty funny

***Søster Bender and I are going to be singing in church next week!!

Jordan's Tidbits:
- Norwegians don't say *work out* they say *Train*

- The People that live below us literally are stinking up the stairway! Søster Bender and I have to plug our noses every time we leave or come in! They keep all of their shoes in the stairwell and it is awful!

- I was vacuuming and accidentally vacuumed up Søster Bender's sock hahahah I was so shocked and was like oh my gosh! And she goes what!? I go ummm I may have sucked up your sock.... hahaha we were both dying laughing and took the vacuum apart to find her sock

- Norwegians love to snack and walk around eating a banana

- It's crazy how Søster Bender and I have only known each other for 9 weeks and it feels like we have been serving together and friends for like years! We are pretty comfortable around each other hahaha

- Norwegians seriously have the best style

- A perk about traveling and flying and having your seat next to your companion is that you get to take a nap!

- Søster Bender loves to go up to people when we are on the street and say: jeg vet at gud elser deg hva sinnes du om det? She gets some not very nice faces or remarks but it is so awesome that she just does it anyways!

Åndelig Tanker:
I love Alma Chapter 26 especially verses 12 and 16: *Behold who can glory too much in the Lord?* *... I know that I am nothing, as to my strength I am weak, therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things...* I feel like many times in life, people including myself do not give God enough praise, credit, or thanks especially when good things no matter how small they are happen. Especially as a missionary our success isn't us, but it is because of God.

***There is an awesome film about the prophet called *On the Lord's Errand* I would highly recommend it! It talks all about his life leading up to being the prophet and his life as the prophet it is so awesome!!

Ha en fin uke!! Jeg er så glad og takknemlig for dere!!
Søster Peterson

Thursday, July 9, 2015

10 måneder allerede!? (10 months already)

(Our New convert Bianca talking about the Book of Mormon)

I cannot believe I hit my 10 month mark!! That is insane!! Time is flying by!! 8 months left.... not enough time!! I feel like I have so much to do before I go home!
You will read the details later in my letter, but we met with Brenda and her kids and husband at 6:30 AM and went running!!! Than after Brenda and her kids did personal and companionship study with Søster Bender and I in the Church, we gave one of her sons the Book of Mormon Picture book and he was just eating that up!! He loved it!!! It was so interesting to me that they wanted to do that with us! Brenda is planting seeds for her family and doesn’t' even realize the impact she is going to have on them(:

Even though Norway doesn't celebrate 4th of July, Søster Bender and I still dressed up!! We even found an American flag!! Lill one of the ladies we visit threw a little get together with the Crabtree’s, Linda, and some other people and we celebrated Lill's birthday, 4th of July, and father's day haha. I don't think Lill wanted all the attention on her. She even had Søster Bender, Elder Crabtree, and I sing the Star Spangled Banner in front of everyone! That was interesting, but we actually didn't sound too bad!! When it came to the high part we all started laughing and kinda skipped over it.

Søster Bender and I always see one of our former investigators on the street, Selvano. He always introduces us to his friends and tells them they need to meet with us, etc.. It is so funny! We decided to meet with him and guess what... HE BROUGHT A FRIEND WITH HIM!! Søster Bender and I were so excited!! This was the first time I have ever seen Selvano focused, etc... It was awesome! Throughout the whole lesson Selvano would be like *He needs one of your books, and tell him about this and this* It was great!! His friend is from Guatemala and turns out he has a temple right by his house and he would walk by it every day and never really knew what it was! Tusen takk Selvano for the help!!

Walking home one night Søster Bender and I saw one of Selvano's friends he had introduced us to and we stopped and talked to him and next thing you know we have an appointment to meet!

Ramy and Jackson came to Church!! OH IT WAS A HAPPY DAY!!! I was so so excited!! It was fast Sunday so that was awesome and I just love being able to bear my testimony!! It's funny because before the mission I was completely terrified to bear my testimony especially in front of people, but now if you really think about it, you are just sharing something that you love and know to be true, so there is no need to be embarrassed!(:
For the second week in a row we had 4 priesthood members do the sacrament who were all part of the Tromsø Branch and no missionaries (we have no elders at the moment) or Elder Crabtree had to help! One member Zardasht just moved close to town, so he can come to church now, and another is visiting till December!! Miracles are happening!!

We visited the Reynolds (the American Family) We talked to them about Joseph Smith and the Apostasy and played a game called Apostasy Jacks! (Putting those Jacks you sent to good use mom) It was way cool, their kids loved it! They are the cutest family and their kids are so smart and very knowledgeable about the gospel and they are all under the age of 10! It is insane!! They know things I don't even know!! haha

Side note: they are moving back to America in December!! That is going to be way sad and the branch is really going to miss them! They make up basically half of the branch

We visited a lady named Mami! She is way cool and Søster House and Bender contacted her on the street before I got here. We haven't been able to meet with her, but she finally let us come over! We talked about the Restoration and Book of Mormon and that was probably the best lesson Søster Bender and I have taught together! It was awesome!! We bounced right off of one another and backed up each other's testimony. It was so cool! Mami said she would read a little bit at a time and we can come back next week! Even though practicaling in the morning isn't one of our favorite things to do (or really any missionary's favorite thing to do), it does pays off over time!

The other day I was talking on the phone with Søster Johannessen and Boud and they were with Casper!! So they video called me on our super ghetto phones which amazes me it can video call and I got to see him!!! BEST DAY EVER!!! He was also wearing the Texas t-shirt I gave him! I miss that guy!! He is just the best and still going strong as ever!(: He just went to the temple and that makes my heart so happy! Missionary work is worth it everyone!

There is a new bus driver that Søster Bender and I love!! He is just the happiest, smiliest guy and blares the music on the bus which is not normal here (he plays American Music too!).... We always wave to him and talk to him.

Jordan's Tidbits:
- It is July and I am still wearing a scarf.... while all the missionaries below the Arctic Circle in the South (Stavanger, Bergen, Oslo, etc...) are sweating bullets.....

- Norwegians do not have air conditioning or dryers for their clothes

- 10 kr muffins are the best thing ever!!! Sister Bender and I get some like every day hahah

- This morning (Monday) I woke up to Sister Bender turning on the lights...This was strange because usually I wake her up because she can never hear the alarm even though it is right by her head..... I looked at my phone to see what time it was and it was 1:00 in the morning! I looked at her and said,  *What are you doing!? She goes *It's time to Wake up! and I go *No it's not, it is 1 in the morning! and she goes *Oh.... and turns off the light and gets back into bed. hahahah then when we wake up she goes *did I wake up in the middle of the night? It is never a dull moment with Sister Bender!! I love this girl!!(:

- I love going running when the sun is up!! Søster Bender and I run down by the water and it is so pretty! We have been pretty good at running every day!

Excerpts from Søster Bender's email:
We didn't really make our own fireworks because in the MTC I heard a story of these missionaries who made their own bomb and lit it off outside and the police were sent to their apartment. The police went in their apartment and saw things such as the area map with pin-points and strings to people’s houses and different neighborhoods, the area book, pictures of all the members and what not--perfect for if you are trying to look like someone planning to blow these places up!

Unfortunately, these missionaries spent the night in jail and were sent home.

And thus we see that when we disobey the Lord's commandments we become servants to the devil, and the devil will not be there to save us in the end.
(True story. We heard it at a devo in the MTC from a general authority)

We went to Lill Kitty's (a member) house for cake for the 4th! She had a small gathering and it was really nice. She made me and Sister Peterson sing the Star-Spangled Banner in front of everyone and it was probably one of the most awkward things I have ever done because we didn't even know those people PLUS singing isn't my forte.

Something funny that happened this week.... So Brenda is this crazy loud lady who once had a lot of potential, but later had to stop meeting with us because her husband didn't like it. She has two goofy sons. We still call her and give her scriptures to read and we follow-up to see how she is doing and invite her to all the activities. Anyway, we called her the other day and asked her how she was doing and what not and somehow, by the end of the phone call, one thing leading to another and we had planned to meet her and her sons outside at 6:30 AM to do our morning exercise and then our personal and companionship studies with them!! She wanted us to show her sons how "real Christians" live hahah. We go outside (6:30 IN THE MORNING) to meet them and her husband was there too!! We ran with them and it was really weird and interesting then went to the church and did personal and companionship study with them which was even more weird and interesting, but it was really fun and I think her sons enjoyed it a lot because they said they want to do it again! I just read that and it doesn't sound that weird or funny, but I promise it would be hilarious if you had ever met this family. Moral of the story, life is a little bit easier when we have good examples to follow.

Åndelig Tanker:
Marriage and Chastity:
 “[Recently] the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve published a letter to leaders of the Church across the world. In part it read: ‘Changes in the civil law do not, indeed cannot, change the moral law that God has established. God expects us to uphold and keep His commandments regardless of divergent opinions or trends in society. His law of chastity is clear: sexual relations are proper only between a man and a woman who are legally and lawfully wedded as husband and wife.’

“As the world slips away from the Lord’s law of chastity, we do not. …

“While many governments and well-meaning individuals have redefined marriage, the Lord has not. In the very beginning, God initiated marriage between a man and a woman—Adam and Eve. He designated the purposes of marriage to go far beyond the personal satisfaction and fulfillment of adults to, more importantly, advancing the ideal setting for children to be born, reared, and nurtured. Families are the treasure of heaven.”

Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles,
Article link:

Quotes of the week: I have lots this week!
- Søster Bender: oh my gosh I think I have a wart!! Just kidding it is icing from my boller

- "Faith requires action. We must act in faith first, and then comes power, which leads to more faith, and then we gain more power."

- "Don't use the word 'weaknesses'. Instead, replace it with 'opportunities'. (From our New mission President Tracy Hill)

- "It had become critically important to establish this intention between me and the Lord so that I knew that He knew which way I had committed my agency. I went before Him and said, ‘I’m not neutral, and you can do with me what you want. If you need my vote, it’s there. I don’t care what you do with me and you don’t have to take anything from me because I give it to you—everything, all I own, all I am.’” Boyd K Packer

- I encourage you all to continue to endure and push forward on your paths upwards - upwards toward joy, glory, laud and honour.  Never give up!  This is so worth it and you have all the help, love and support you need.  Remember... PLEASE remember, that His love ''beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, [and] endureth all things.'' (Moroni 7:45) from Elder Benjamin Hunter

- "When adversity comes, don't let something you don't fully understand unravel everything you do know." - Elder Kevin Pearson

I really liked that thought, since we all let fear and doubt creep in during our weak moments.  Be strong, and rely on the strength of what you know to pull you through those times of uncertainty. - Aunt Kelsey

Glad I dere!!! Jeg håper at dere ha en fin uke!!! Get a tan, read the scriptures, do something Nice for someone, og alltid husker at KIRKEN ER SANT!!!

Søster Peterson