So moves calls were yesterday and..... I will be STAYING in Tromsø for another transfer!! This will be number 4! Sadly Søster Bender will be leaving me and going to Stavanger, but I am way excited for her to be companions with my last companion Søster J and to go to the place where her mom grew up!! I will be getting Søster Nicole Neilsen! I have served around her in Stavanger and she was an STL who went on splits with me a couple times! So I already know her! We are also getting ELDERS!! I am way excited for that!! Elder Gingrich and a brand new greenie Elder Hoops will be coming up here! I am way pumped because Elder Gingrich served with me in Stavanger and he became one of my best buds!
Here is my address in case any of you forgot and want to send me a letter or something(: ''cough cough''. I LOVE hearing from you!!!
Søster Jordan Peterson
We met with Ole (member) this week and played chess like usual and shared a spiritual thought with him. Søster Bender beat him..... twice!!!! Let's just say you could tell he wasn't very happy especially since Søster Bender just learned and he has been playing his whole life. Ole is funny because whenever we talk to him and ask him questions about the gospel his answers are always like *well obviously the Book of Mormon comes from God* like who wouldn't believe that?
Janne (eternal investigator) had her daughter cut our hair this week! That was way nice of her to do especially for free considering the prices here to cut hair are so dang expensive!
So Jackson our investigator wanted to take Søster Bender and I to dinner. Oh my gosh was that the nicest restaurant and food I have ever been to or eaten in my life! It was an Asian restaurant and the food was to die for!! I wish I could have taken a picture. We had this type of salmon stuff and chocolate cake which Jackson forced us to get! We were so full, but he wouldn't take no for an answer.... That was seriously the nicest thing ever for Jackson to do! It was so fun and he is just the best!! We told him we didn't have to go anywhere nice, but he told us * You are my girls and we are going to eat expensive food! So you better come hungry!*
The STL's came to visit and it was Søster House and Søster Larsen!!! It was so great to see the both of them again! It was probably my favorite and best splits I have had with STL's so far! It was so fun and we had such a great time teaching people and kontakting. I loved being with Søster House again! She is awesome, I just love her! They both gave awesome advice and really helped me out and some of the things they talked to me about or told me were answers to my prayers so that was way cool! We had a goal of finding two new investigators that day and before we went out we prayed about it (missionaries always pray before they leave or go anywhere) and in the first 30 minutes all four of us went out to kontakt we got 2 new investigators!! I have a strong testimony that when you go out with a goal and have Heavenly Father involved, HE WILL HELP YOU!!!!!
A miracle happened when Søster House and I were together! We taught Lill (member) and for the first time since I have been in Tromsø Lill prayed with us!! She struggles with prayer and we have never gotten her to say a prayer in front of us before and she did it!!! It was the coolest thing ever!!!
Missionaries truly are blessed while on their missions!! Søster Bender and I were being running nuns again trying to catch a bus and I always (even while walking) trip or have my ankle like give out and it did that while I was running! Let's just say the after math wasn't so good and I fell into Søster Bender and she was dying laughing. Something definitely popped in my ankle, but I guess it was a missionary blessing that I haven't had any side effects from the fall because from the way I fell something should have happened to my ankle!
We went to visit Mami again and the friend that was there last time was there too! It was way awesome because we got to have a really cool lesson about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and share some clips from the restoration video with them. The friend Jude asked some great questions and we are hoping to meet with him this week sometime! So something Søster Bender and I learned was that when Africans cook, they cook for everyone! We had told Mami we weren't hungry and she was like *You aren't going to eat my food!?* So of course we couldn't say no! She made some kind of African soup again and I have to say it was very interesting.....Søster Bender was in the little kitchen with her and told me to come here so I walked in and about passed out! In the sink it was bloody water filled with a full chicken and other body parts that I have no idea what they were. They were just soaking..... Then when Mami gave us the stuff to put on the rice she goes *You gotta get the meat!* Søster Bender and I go well if what we put on our plate isn't meat than what is it!?!? Needless to say we didn't ask what we were eating and did not want to know!!! So we were eating it and those that know me know that I hate bones touching or being in my mouth and I took a bite and felt like a vessel from the mysterious meat pop and hit a bone in my mouth.... I looked at Søster Bender as like the food is coming out of my mouth and go *I'm going to be sick.....* She is dying laughing as I go into the corner and half gag my food back into my bowl and quickly throw it away before Mami could see.......
Mami does hair for a living and she was doing her hair before we came over. Søster Bender asked her to do her hair and next thing we know she is legit weaving her hair with some Orange colored hair!! Hahahahaha- Søster Bender got her hair weaved!!!!!!! We got home and were looking at it and I go *I think you are going to have to cut your hair to get those out.....* Søster Bender was freaking out because Mami had weaved the front of her head and did like 5 of them!! Luckily Søster Bender figured out how to get them out, but it was so funny!
We had a YSA night which is basically the whole branch and they aren't really like young so I don't know if it is technically YSA, but oh well! Lill, Petter, Zardasht, John, and Ramy came! (Selvano stopped by, but left soon because he had his baby daughter with him) It was seriously the funnest night ever!! Elder Crabtree gave a spiritual thought and then we all played games and had the best time together!! I played Phase 10 and man oh man did I really have to control my competitive side and remember I am a missionary haha. It was so fun to be with these awesome people and laugh and have a great time! hahahaha Elder Crabtree had to Google for Søster Bender and Zardasht the rules on how to play checkers. We all got a hoot out of that when we found out the real rules!
Our Tromsø Branch
This week did have some really rough days..... Søster Bender and I after much prayer and fasting have decided to take a break with Ramy. That was probably one of the worst things I have ever done on my mission. Yes I did cry..... we aren't going to stop meeting with him completely, but not have him be so much of a focus for a little while. We have both had impressions that he isn't prepared for the gospel yet and I know I have been pushing them away and ignoring them. Ramy is the best and we will always be friends! Søster Bender and I have both put so much effort, hours, lessons, time, prayers, tears, and fasts for him over these past 12 weeks and have invested so much in him, but right now he just isn't ready for the gospel.....Something I have learned as a missionary is that when you are doing your job, and bearing testimony, and bringing the spirit, if the person is open and ready, it shouldn't matter what you say, they will accept the gospel. With Ramy we have had our ups and downs and have felt the spirit so strongly and many times it doesn't even phase him. Which breaks my heart, but I know that one day he will be ready and have no doubt in my mind that he will get baptized some day! Something someone told me was that *You have to have faith and trust in the Lord that when you let someone go, he will replace that person with someone who is prepared* That is exactly what I am doing and am leaving this all up to the Lord!
Church this week was awesome!!!! We had so many visitors from around the world and it was great! It was such a cool experience for me to see that people who are on vacation will still go to Church! It was fast Sunday this Sunday too and some of them even bore their testimony! One of the visitors was a boy from the states. Funny story.... His mom somehow got ahold of a member's number in Alta and called her to get our number so that we could go meet him and bring him to Church because he didn't know where to go!
Zardasht bore his testimony in Church!!! I was so proud of him!! He is a refugee and is from Syria then moved to Greece and now Norway. English or Norwegian isn't his first Language and we have helped him a little with his Norwegian. He bore his testimony in the Norwegian that he knew and it was awesome!!!
Have I mentioned how much I love the Reynolds kids??
Søster Bender and I were out kontakting this week and the funniest thing happened!!! We were walking down the street and this group of Asian tourists said *hello sisters* jokingly because they had seen our tags. Søster Bender stops in her tracks turns around and yells *Hey wait!! And runs up to them and goes *Are you members!?* All excitedly! I was dying!!!! The group of people looked at her like she was crazy and walked away laughing...... Søster Bender learned the hard way that we aren't in America hahahah
Not gonna lie this week Satan worked real hard on me and it was not fun at all! Missionary work isn't always sunshine and rainbows even though we all wish it would be! Being a missionary is the best thing I have ever done, but also one of the hardest things I have ever done.
Fra Søster Bender:
Firday we had an institute thing and even though there were only 5 people besides us missionaries, it was so much fun! One of the members, who is way smart and knows 6 different languages, taught me how to play chess the other week and now I keep beating him and he is kind of a sore loser so it's pretty funny. I'm a huge chess fan now and I will challenge anyone.
Sunday was fast and testimony meeting. Zardasht is a Kurdish refugee. He can speak VERY little English and Norwegian. He has been practicing saying his testimony in Norwegian ever since I got here and finally said it in church!! I knew exactly what he was going to say because I've read it so many times to help him, but I have never heard something so sincere and honest. It was super special. All he said was (in Norsk) "Good morning brothers and sisters. I want to bare my testimony. I am thankful to be a member of the church. When I read the Book of Mormon for the first time, I felt like I already knew it. My soul was filled with peace. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." There are many people in this far north city with stories that you read about in the news. These people are forced out of their countries because of the wars. Most of them don't know where their family is or if they are even alive. I have met one too many people with this background. I've heard about these kind of stories, but it is something else when these people with these backgrounds become so close to your heart. Though I am not serving in a 3rd world country, Tromsø has brought me to be humble. I will never forget some of the experiences I've had with these people. It's a whole different world.
We were at Mamie's and she made this African soup thing again, of course we had to eat it even though we told her we had already ate. I look in the kitchen sink and there is SO MUCH RAW MEET JUST SITTING IN WATER I ALMOST THRU UP! I have no idea what it was. I saw a big leg in there. I was picking out my little serving of it and I thought I was getting meat, but she comes up to me and says "no, you have to get the meat" I thought i was getting the meat! I have no idea what was in that soup.... We just had to scarf it down. Sister Peterson bit into something and it popped in her mouth hahahah she spit it all out when Mamie turned away then had to run to the trash! I was dying
When the clouds are out, the mountains look like the misty mountains in Lord of the Rings and I always sing that song from the Hobbit
In Helaman Chapter 12 verse 3, 4, and 5. It talks about how quick men are to do iniquity and sin and how slow they are to remember God. Nobody is perfect and I know I am guilty of being slow to remember God just like the people in the Book of Mormon. However I think it is important that we all work to have the Savior in our everyday lives more each day! It can be by saying a prayer, or reading from the scriptures, or by putting a picture on your mirror. I promise that by including the Savior in everyday life more, you will feel a difference, and be able to quickly remember the Lord in the good and bad times!
It also talks about how the Lord gives us trials to chasten us and turn to Him and without the trials we will not remember Him. Many times in life when things are going good, we forget to include the Lord and so it makes sense that he will give us Challenges to help remind us that we still need Him!
My motto for this next transfer:
*Og hvis menneskene kommer til meg, vil jeg vise dem deres svakhet. jeg gir menneskene svakhet så de kan være ydmyke, og min nåde er tilstrekkelig for alle mennesker som ydmyker seg for meg og har tro på meg, da vil jeg la det SVAKE BLI TIL STYRKE for dem!*
I know that the Lord gives us weaknesses to help us overcome them and turn to him for help. With the Lord all things are possible and when we accept our faults and imperfections and work to strengthen them, the Lord will help us and our weaknesses WILL become strengths!
ha en fin uke dere!!! glad i dåkker!