(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!(:
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.
- 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.
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,
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!!!