Monday, November 26, 2012

November 26, 2012

HI Momsicle!!!

Hey! Ever'body else! Call mom momsicle! It'll be fun! 

Ok mom. Jeg gidder ikke å gjøre noe ellers.... Whats the translastion for that.... basically I can't be bothered to do anything else :) Aka i'm lazy. I hope that's good though! :) 
Business First: no I haven't gotten a package. Did you send one! Thats soo exciting! :D
I forgot a couple things for my christmas list!!! 
-a nice looking sweater. Preferably with color :) (i would get one here but they are sahuper expensive) 
-a recorder. This is more for you guys in reality. Mostly I want to be able to just send an audio file rather than writing for 9000 years.  
-erm... ooh! if you could find a very tiny version of risk. That would be awesome. I don't even know if those exsist though :) 
K well.... my week was.... Awesome. I don't even know why. It was just fun. Monday night I went on splits again with the same guy elder lillywhite I did at the beginning (where I got my ticket) only this time I was basically going to pirate one of the families that they are working with (because they were getting whitewashed). It was super fun. Talking to adults in norwegian is still pretty normal for me but talking to the little 12 year old kid was just fun. The Norsk tacos they fed us were also super good. They served the meat in a little um...... what would you call it... like a supsended bowl that had a little candle under it to keep it warm. It was super cool. It's also nice because I don't have to exert myself that much to understand what people are saying. So much easier. ANyways they were way cool. 
Tuesday.... oh yeah... hmm. I'll have to send some pictures next week because I forgot my cord... Sorry! I'll repent! Basically it was the last day before everyone moved, and there were some missionaries going home so we all went out and bought k babs which was really fun. That night we taught one of our progressing invs. with a member, and afterwords that member (25 year old guy with crazy hair, and.... he's so cool. THats all I can say about him) took us to a chinease resturaunt for dinner. It was really fun. I also am now the only teacher for the intermediate norwegian class. I have no Idea who's Idea it was to make me in charge of that but its not good :) Acutally its fun. I just don't feel like that great of a teacher. 

We visited Laila again this week. I don't remember if I mentioned her or not, but she is a 70 year old less active norwegian lady who is super nice, and feeds us SUPER good desserts whenever we go over. It's fun. I think in that whole 2 hour visit me and anderson said maybe... 9 sentences. She really just needs to talk. It's cool though. She wants to come back to church and eventually get to the temple. (I miss the temple so badly) We also got to move Mia this week with her family. It took like half the day but it was super fun. It was funny because Mia thinks i'm just this completely pure and innocent angel boy (that's my nickname) and she didn't want to see me have to move all of her stuff. She's so funny. Her mom also fed us a cake from what apparently is the best cake shop in Norway. I beleive. them. a lot. IT was SOOO good. Literally. I didn't think a cake could be that good. It was perfection. That's how I would describe it :D Thanksgiving actually..... hmm. I forgot about it. Turns out the couple here wasn't doing one with us, so we didn't actually have thanksgiving. I forgot about it to be honest. I didn't realize it was thanksgiving until that night. We did have spaghetti with a really cool family though. They had a little 1 year old girl who was super cute. She kept coming over and trying to attack my scriptures :) Anyways. It was fun. 

Lest everyone think I'm completly apostate and all I do is have fun at this point.... actually that's about it :) I have fun. But. In terms of success this week was one of our best. ( and worst... not our fault though :( ) We had a couple come to church yesterday who was super cool. Just to put in perspective how rare it is for couples to be baptized... just know it doesn't happen :) There has only been one couple in like... 5 years. Anyways they said they are coming to church every week and well... we'll just have to see. I don't know yet. But it would be super cool. In terms of poopieness the hard part was losing contact with Konrad. I'm pretty sure I mentioned him before. Basically he just dropped off the face of the planet. So that was really hard. But in all it was a really good week. Me and my comp. had a special fast for the things we wanted to accomplish this transfer, and it is just cool to know that you are doing what you need to be doing. I would also say I feel the prayers and the help i'm recieving in a very real way. I cannot say that I am perfect, but I am defenitely growing a changing like I need to be. 

That's about all I got for now :) It's so fun to hear about how all of you guys are doing at home! Just keep living it up, because honestly life is awesome! 

From the tall (not so skinny anymore dude...) running around Norway,

- Eldste Christopher Whetten

... No seriously. I've gained weight. I broke the 150 barrier this week! Woot! Go team not excercising!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

November 19, 2012


HI! So I have a question. Do these emails that I send you keep getting sent to everyone else as well? I don't really know anymore :) It's much more natural just to write directly to you. :) When was it..... It was a day earlier this week where I had just had a super up and down sort of day. You know, the one where you have about 70000 emotions all at once and you A: can't write them down, and B: You don't really have anyone right there that you can talk about them with. Don't get me wrong, Elder Anderson is probably one of the coolest people I will ever get the chance to know in my entire life, and he's a great listener, I just... can't speak like I could with you :

So. This week was probably one of my favorite ever. I'll start with the biggest news... I'M MOVING TO: oslo. GUESS WHO MY COMPANION IS!!!!!???????????? Anderson :) Again. I think he's going to kill me after 4 1\2 months. Me and him are probably equally surprised about this. Probably because, he is a very not normal missionary who will ingrain inside of me many of the things that he does, that are never going to come out again. I only remember 2 compliments I've ever gotten from him. The biggest is that he said I don't have anything else to learn from him, and that he said I'm completely prepared to take on pretty much anything or anyone at this point. You will enjoy especially mom, some of the biggest things I've learned from him are to not stress about time or numbers or anything. He does missionary work by being a non-missionary sort of person. Missionary work that involves really strengthening the area, people, missionaries and others around you, rather than worrying about how many teaches or investigators you have. (which btw we do pretty well at regardless) 

My point is: I'm excited. A lot. He will be with me longer than anyone else on his mission before, and I'm going to be with him within a couple months of his going home. In missions you have a Father who is your first comp. and then a Mother who is you second companion. (who finishes the little training book we have) I am going to be a single parent child so to speak, which will affect a lot what happens to me throughout my mission. The good news is, we have been entirely on the same page about everything for the last little while, with companionship unity being one of the best things we do, far beyond to actually being really good friends. Anyways. We'll see how that goes :) 

Also you mentioned a change in transfer lengths. Right now they are 9 week transfers :P Which actaully is perfect I think. President wants to change it to 12 weeks because that's how often we'll be getting new missionaries now. Bleh. 12 weeks is too long. That means I'll have 6 transfers after this one. Oh well. I'm not in charge! 

In other news of what happened this week: Guess What!?!? Our primary program was yesterday too! Guess what else? Norwegian kids are way cuter than american kids :) Every missionary's dream is to have a little norwegian kid one day. Cause really. It's soo fantastic.  Also norwegian pancakes are super good. You take bacon bits, slather it with jam and roll it up like a soft taco. :) mmmm. Jeg gleder meg til at jeg kan dele norske mat med dere :D We also had a baptism this week for this really cool dude named Hakim. The dude's a stud. THe sisters have been teaching him since I got here and it was way cool to see him get døpt! 
We also had an investigator there with us for the baptism. Did you know that 85% of investagtors who see dåps get døpt!?! thats awesome! Dåp= batism btw. å døpe = to baptize :D I'm tired of typing the word baptism :) Lets Dåp som people! Anyways. We have several progressing investigators now, and I guess we'll just have to see how that goes with them. All I can say is like... ah! All you want is for them to find out that it's true. Anyways. 

We met this way cool girl from trondheim on the street this week, who we ended up teaching the next day. I remember the first day,I couldn't really undrstand that much of what she said because Her dialect was waaay weird. Seriously though they use tons of different words like what would be pronounced Va, to me the prounounce Kæ. It's weird. like for realzies. But. The second day without even realizing it, I could understand her completely and participate in the conversation. I didn't even notice it until later, when Anderson looked over at me when we going back to help the Ap's  and said: You understood her today didn't you? I said yes, and he just shrugged and smiled a little. It's always a good reminder to know where my language skills really come from :) 

OOOh!!! I played the piano at the dåps meeting on saturday. by the time I practiced enough to play the songs I had them memorized :) It was pretty comical though. Elder Godfrey who we have now named elder Goob ( litterally you know exactly who is now :) was trying to learn how to conduct from me which was really funny :) I guess all that practicing paid off after all! I also taught an intermediate norwegian class all by myself this week which was only slightly awesome :) Oooh also guess What!? Since i'm not moving I'm actually having thanksgiving with all of the other young single adults here! (with food made by the ekte par... i mean senior couple here! ) they also moved moves day up one day so that the people going home could be there for thanksgiving. 

I was thinking I would send my christmas list in the handwritten letter today but you probably need it before the letter will get there.... 5 weeks!?!?!? boo. Kristy usually gets them the same week if I send them on monday... ;D so. I actually have a few things suprisingly... 

-A scarf. I'm not sure if you can hand do one in time but really. In terms of things I'll A: use B: love, this probably tops the list. 
-I need a couple more ties :) Get creative! Also. I cracked :) I'm not sure if I told you but the skinny tie look has grown on me a ton. Not super skinny. But like medium ish I loooove! And I don't have any yet. P.s. if there more than about 25 bucks I can get some cool norwegain ones instead. (don't know how exspensive they are) mostly I hate picking ties. :) Go team! 
-I still need journals. Like... soon! (i'm on the last limbs of the one i'm using :) 
-Music!!! HOly smokes! I need like.... a lot more. :) Mostly I'm thinking of things like laurnes flute music would be perfect, and enya and stuff like that. Anything that is just nice and quiet and awesome is what I need :) I want Sissel!!!! (norwegian person! it's sooo awesome!) maybe i'll get some here and send it home... :)
-Socks. :) I need some more gym type socks (no show is the only thing I will wear... just sayin) I've worn holes the two pair I brought. 
-I want everyone to do something creative and send me it. :) You all can decide what that is. 
-Maybe some sort of easily transportable picture. like, that I can hang up on my wall or something. Nothing fancy though!

In terms of sending stuff home... that's kinda up to you guys. :) The way that all the other missionaries send stuff home is by spending 550 kr. for a box that has a 20 ish pound limit. THats 100$ appx. THen there's the matter of I don't really have anything right now I could send home :S And it's going to be pretty expensive to send anything. So that's up to you guys. I'm definately doing things but in terms of a full blown package i'm not sure if you guys want that or not. Guaranteed I'll send at least one, But it's up to you guys really. 

K well. Dude. I wish I could see that video now. Apparantly pogosticking has gone crazy in our family and Matthew keeps claiming he'll send me stuff but he never has :) I guess it's prolly too big. Also... Dude! I'm prolly going to get to go to a Norwegain Christmas Concert! The lady singing is the rival to Sissel from Bergen ( member of the church btw) it'll be awesome :) 

Same as you, it's fun to get handwritten letters. But, it's so much easier to figure what's actually going on through emails. :) Just keep in mind I'll send handwritten letters to those who send them :) 

K. Well I love you all so much!!! I think i've said everything I need in this letter sooo. yeah! Tons of loves! I'm going to go relax and destressify. 

Love the little dude running around in Norge,


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November 12, 2012

HI Momma!

K i'm just going to respond to your email for a sec...
Sorry. Snart is Norsk for soon :) I didn't realize that one. The english language needs a word like koselig. :) (prounounced Cooshely)...sort of . :) Just tell me and I'll translate stuff :)

***********When did I ever say the Echo shoes hurt my feet?!?!?!?!?************* It was my tennis shoes. And i already got new ones :) Dude my echo shoes are bosslike. LIke, they couldnt be more perfect. There are no problems here :) !!!!

To be honest, I don't think I'm going to have Thanksgiving this year either, because it is moves day :) Crazy! I have like 10 more days left, and then I could move again! I dont really want to! ARGGH! We have like 4 people were are trying to get baptismal commitments with this week, and I can almost... garantee that one of them goes through, and I don't want to miss that. :P
Sigh... I guess we really don't get to pick. Also it's weird because I'm sad and not sad to be getting a new companion. I didn't think anyone could ever have the effect on me like he has, but at the same time Im excited to have a companion where that "Greenyness" never exsited. I honestly couldn't tell you how he feels because He really doesn't show like any emotion at all but I would have to guess it's been good for him too. I dunno. :) He's just an extremely stoic person who likes messing with people :) But I've come a lot farther than I thought I could before him.

To answer your questions I think we are both feeling much better now than before. This last week was my turn to get sick and I'm just mostly getting over it today. It wasn't as bad as his however so it didn't really change anything we did. It's just more fun when you don't have a headache and a sore throat all day when you're talking to people. This week was a lot of fun though. We had a lot more dinners this week than I've ever had before! We met with a Norsk family with three little boys 5 and under, and it was a ton of fun :) Dude I love little boys. THey are so crazy and fun :) Then we met with a guy from taiwain who had us over for dinner. And it was make it yourself sushi. mmmmm I've never had sushi before but it was waayyy good. :) LIke.... mmmm. And yesterday we actually met with a british family. Heh. British accents are so cool. Especially on little kids. It was funny because one of the boys wouldn't eat, so I ended up playing rock paper scissors, and the loser had to eat a bite of food. Needless to say I'm good and figuring out how to beat him when he tells me what I should be :) it was super fun. dude. I miss kids. Ok mostly my family :) Anyways, THis week was super fun. I taught the Norwegian class on thursday... and yup.

OOh I did go knocking this week. We got all 6 elders together along with 4 members and went and knocked on doors. It was really cool to be with all of them. Kinda like a small army. I went with a swedish guy :) He was cool. Hard to understand though. We also had a guy who we met with before and didn't want to meet again who is now super positive. Way cool! ANywas. I want to go play crud. A Super fun pool game with. yeah. Don't want to explain that right now.

But first... How, was I not told that Sarah was getting married in a month.... Lauren. You're in trouble. :) or maybe sarah. Say that to her. Also make sure if you do see a cool movie,  really do make a list for me. That will help a lot :)

I'm not sure if you knew this but I actually will be able to skype you guys on christmas. It's not just a call :) And yes I don't think there is a problem with Kristy coming :) Soooo yeah. I think that's all for this week! Next week I'll be able to tell you what's going to happen to me! Woot! I'm soooo excited!



Monday, November 5, 2012

November 5, 2012

Hi. My name is.... Billy :)

Dude!?! To answer a lot of questions that you guys have, I can probably sum most of them up by saying, You don't hear anything as a missionary. But I have heard blips here and there, and it sounds like america is suddenly exploding now that I'm gone :) Hopefully there is still something left when I get home! In terms of my halloween week.... Um. Nothing. I forgot it was halloween actually. Norway actually doesnt really celebrate it that much, and I'm kinda wholed up in the middle of a giant city which doesn't help anything. (mostly people just use it as an excuse to throw a party) I do remember talking with Anderson that night and being like... OH YEaH! its halloween dude! He told me he had a ward party last year that he went to. And then I thought about what I did for halloween, and got really burny :) 

I can't even believe that this transfer is almost over. What's sad is i've already heard rumors about whats going to happen to me next transfer. and the transfer after that. OK well I guess its not sad it's just that you kinda want it to be a surprise you know? Either way i'll still be surprised because all it is so far is just guesses and estimations, but there are some actual backing to a lot of it. It's going to be really weird if I have to leave Oslo though. Hopefully I can stay :) I like it here now. 

In terms of missionary work, its interesting because I came at a transition point in the mission. I still see a lot of the old things that the former president did, whilst also seeing how our new mission president wants to change things and push the work forward. I will say what happened in chuch yestereday according to the norwegian elder here, was nothing short of legendary. Our new Ward mish leader, basically wants ward members to come tract with us so that we can actually be let into houses. Which in all honesty from what I have learned about Norwegians is probably one of the best ways to actually do that. We have met with the Bishop as a group of missionaries which appartently has never happened before, and we are all striving to acheive the same goals. I hope I can stay to see just how much things start changing in the future. 

I will probably send you all a picture soon of what I look like when I dress in my winter coat. It's funny. I look like a giant marshmallow. :) I can't believe that it's still that warm there. Here it already gets dark by about 4:30 and most days are below freezing. It almost seemed like it went from light and sunny to cold and dark overnight. I can keep warm if I want to though :) 

This week anderson felt super sick and on Saturday I ended up having like 6 hours straight where I could just study. Back at home I my first thought would have probably been shoot me now. But here it's completely different. I knew before my mission I didn't really *know* the scriptures, but now I feel like I could study 2 hours a day for the rest of my mission and still not know as much as I wanted to. Anyways, just being able to study that long was something I actually really enjoyed. One thing you learn as a missionary is that church is true. :) crazy right?!? But you learn that mostly because you learn that you literally can answer any objection someone has against the church. Already I can defend almost everything we believe with bible scriptures to the point that they really can't do anything. But like it says in 1 cor. 2:5 It literally doesn't matter. All the proof for or against the BOM in the world cant replace the need for a testimony. For everything I've learned to 'prove' the book of mormon, none of it has really affected me at all. For better or worse. Because that's not what matters :) Speaking of which, does anyone have any fun questions they want me to answer? 

 I also don't know what was different this week but things with E. Anderson just went so much better. I honestly could not have handpicked a better trainer for me. The whole transfer he has pushed me to become my absolute best. I would say that beyond just building me up, he mostly just showed me that I already know exactly how to do missionary work. It's just me thats kinda slow about it. :) I'm not going to pass on mission gossip. But I will sum it up as, I am the most *not* greenie, anyone has seen :) Go team!

In terms of personal accomplishments... I can dunk a basketball :) but not consitently. I'll have to see if anyone can get a picture of it. :) Thats really all I have for this week. Anderson laughed when a drunk guy started yelling profanities at me. I didn't laugh, but I did smile. Everyone around was looking at him like he was a loon. Which he was. :) 

You all owe me pictures of HaLLOWEEN (excluding rachelle)! I owe you pictures of where I live and fun things. Lets trade by next week oK? :D

Ok well I need to go snart! I love you all soooooo much. Guess what!?!  I get to call you guys in like a month and a half! Woot!



Ps. Dude..... We might have a mormon president. I guarantee I'll hear about that :)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

October 30, 2012

Hi Mom!!!

(and evry'body ellers!!)

Ok OK Ok mom!!!! :) Sorry :) I'll answer your questions first, and then tell you how awesome my week was :)  However, Since I can email you, (which is a lot faster anyway) I'm prolly not going to have time to write you a personal letter every week. Well, mostly its the fact that sending a single letter costs over 3$. And I can't email the other people who are writing me. And I'm going to starve if I spend all my money on postage :D So I'll try and balance everything ok? :)

So my shoe size is 11, (or 11.5 if they are smaller shoes). I dunno it's really hard to say. I've worn 12's that were perfect, and the 11's that I have right now are a little too big :) So it depends! What else... Send any packages to the mission home for now. It's prolly easier just because I live in Olso (dude.... I live in Oslo Heck yes! :) and olso is about 40 minutes from the mission office, so the AP's when they come around they'll prolly just bring it too me. It would prolly work at my normal adress too... actually. Assuming I dont move in three weeks (holy smokes another transfer... GONE! ) Just send me stuff at my normal address. but like if for example you send something before Nov 22 (which is moves day) I'm not certain I'll still be at my apt. :) In terms of stuff... Good clicky pens :) Ask Kristy or Lauren. I'm pretty sure they remember the ones I always used. Oh and a couple journals. like a small one for spiritual stuff district meetings and conferences etc... and one for a personal because the one i'm using right now is going to be filled within the next month...and journals cost (cheapest I've found) 50$. Thats insane. it would be cheper to have you buy some and send them than that., Skittles and Starbursts (i miss american candy) :) Mostly this stuff can just fill the box up to the weight limit :D

Sooo what else. I can't believe you got an Ipad. That's ridiculous. It's funny because our companionships phone is literally a brick from like the year 2000. I should take a picture of it because its so old. Anyways, it's hilarious, because literally every single person in Norway has a smart phone, and when we ask for peoples numbers on the street, we pull out this brick... and they usually start laughing a little bit. I miss technology. :( Hey if I was a senior couple I could have an Ipad!

Speaking of Word of Wisdom problems. Norway has many of the same problems (and a whole bunch of law of chastity ones too very... specail to norway) :) It's interesting because Friday and Saturday nights are literally pointless for us because everyone is drunk. I hate the smell of smoke here too. I don't know if its 50% but it's close. and I know that almost EVERYONE drinks. This last Friday, after we had given Mia a blessing, we were on the trikk back and these two drunk guys got on and just starting to talk to me. It was way funny. The blessing was way cool by the way. Not in Norwegian mind you but it was really special because that is the lady who is 100% convinced im an angel. Speaking of speaking. I gave a talk yesterday! Wow. Cool stuff. On saturday night we got called at like 10 to see if we could give talks in church the next day (5 ish minutes a peice) and of course we said yes. So the next morning I prepared something and studied about takknemlighet eller gratitude. In church I learned that E. Anderson wouldnt actually speak and mine needed to be 8-10 minutes. Oh, and 3 priests from the state church were on visit. :D Just to .. you know... take any pressure off of it. :) So with about as much faith as I could muster, (which ive learned as a missionary that I really dont have all that much) I got up as the first speaker. For some reason I decided to abandon my plan and not use any notes or bullet points I had written down, and just go. The whole experience was incredibly strengthening and humbling for me because... well it wasn't me that could really do that. And it went really well actually. Probably one of the better talks Ive ever given. And in a language I've know studied for 3 months completely freeballed. I will share a couple of the things I was told and know however. More than half the ward has no idea, or won't believe that i've only been here for over a month. The other half... Is surprised lets say. The stake patriarch talked to the senior couple who related to me just how much he was impressed. I didn't really care about anything afterwords however because I ran down to talk to one of the investigators we had in church who I was in charge of.

Speaking of which, I dont want to tell you too much before things happen, but I will say we have a few people who we are starting to teach that are going way good. The guy I'm talking about is Konrad, who is basically the champ of the world. Like... holy smokes I love him. We taught him right before mission conference this week. After we got taught by this really intense muslim guy :) Funny story: I was talking to him afterwords (konrad...not muslim dude) and talking about how he needs more sleep (heh, I can relate to that one) and I just put my arm around him and he just sat there and leaned his head on me for a minute... first thought: This is a 35 year old man.... and then I just went with it. :) He's way put together though and way normal! yay for normal! I'm way looking forward to this next week. Like, its going to be awesome! We also taught this guy who's going on a wilderness adventure in... Thailand! for a month. He was way cool though.

Anyways. Oh yeah we had misison conference this last week with President Teixera. It was way fun to see all my old MTC buddies again and to get to know some more of the missionaries. hooo. I feel bad for whatever area we're in if me and E. linge ever serve together. :) Basically Teixera promised us that By the end of my mission, we will have doubled the number of missionaries and that a whole bunch of stuff is going to happen, and that we need to lead that.  Anywaze.

K well that's about all I got. This week was a lot better. I've starting contacting people and talking people on my own, and me and Elder Anderson are doing a lot better. It's really impossible to give you a good description of how things are. He is just... him. I don't know. I don't even think I've really given a good description in my journal. It's hard to write down how someone is like. He's just way chill, and now that we have goals that we're working towards together things are going way better. Honestly, im not even going to try to describe it. I will fail. I'll try in my journal so you can read that. :D Eldste Godfrey and Eldste Torjesen are our Zone leaders. They are way spunky and cool. We spend most of our evenings down in their apt.. Anderson heckles them too much :) I cant really describe people very well. :P Oh well. I'll try another time when I have more time!

MATTHEW: HELLO?.... IS ANYONE .........THERE?  apparantley not. did you even get my email homie bro? Did you move your adress or somthin? Anyways. I don't think I heard from anyone this week... soo I'll talk to you next week!

K well imma go now! I don't have any money for stamps this week. Sooooo. Sorry peoples. This email was extra long to make up for that right!?

I really love all of you sooo much! I wish I could carry you around in my pocket, or give you a bucket of thoughts so you could know just how crazy all of this is!

Have a great week all of you ok! I love you all!

-Eldste Christopher Whetten

P.S. It's snowing! but we prolly wont go sledding until next week. ALso. It's cold. Really cold. I had some thought about this that I wanted to share.... but I got nothing :) Definetely time to go get a hat and some gloves :D
and its dark.... very dark....

October 25, 2012


I do have to start out by saying sorry that I didnt write anything last week. Since this is probably to everyone sorry that I didn't write last week. We drove all the way out of Oslo to go shopping which was way cool. A got a super sweet Jacket that is pretty much the best. Ok well its not THE best, but it is cool. Norwegians loved colored rain jackets, which is super cool except if you are a missionary. (because we aren't allowed to have fancy colors... sad day ) Anyways, I love the style, and may or may not have to buy one thats cool before I come home, but thats a subject for another day. So I don't forget I'll just say this now: if anyone ever sends me a surprise package, I am going to need some stuff that is insanely expensive in Norway. (for example if I want a normal pen like the ones I used at college, it costs at least 30 kroner or 6-8 dollars) anyways, crazy stuff. Don't go crazy and send a package now, but all i'm saying is a package does need to include some unattainables. :D

Soooo Unexplained stories from last week: At church I was helping a whole bunch of different investigators, which was way cool. On your mission church really is not about you at all. You are there to work, prolly more than at any other time of the week. But anyways, we got done with everything, and I went downstairs to grab my backpack only to find everything completely gone from the shelf where me and Anderson had put our stuff. After alerting the other missionaries, and asking everyone if they had moved our stuff, we came to the conclusion that nobody had moved it, and it was all now stolen. Great. Awesome. The whole time, I was praying that I had left my camera at home but I wasn't completely sure about it. Anyways, after about an hour of looking around we found our backpacks overturned in the back of the stake presidents office. In all I didn't lose very much, but I did learn my camera was in there. It was safely secured in a small ipod pocket tucked underneath in the big pocket. Its sad because whoever it was went really fast trying to look through everything other wise it would have been found. Anyways, I got waaay super lucky on that one! To celebrate, I will send a video of me and my zone leader arm wrestling. And my jacket!

That week was way good. I think it was thursday that week, that when I went around I literally just poured my soul into every single person we talked to, and we ended up being able to talk to a lot of different people. And for everyone I talked to every single one stopped for at least little bit. It was awesome. Normally I would say 1 out of every 2 people we try and talk to dont even stop walking or even look at us or awknowledge our presence, so the fact that every one stopped to talk to me that day was basically a miracle. We'll have to see if any of them turn out to be really good progressing investigators, but I don't know yet.

Umm... what else! Oooh, I got escorted through a Jehovah's Witness church last saturday when we were meeting with a couple of them. It was funny :) That's really all I have to say about that one. Other than the building is kindove this weird hole in the wall in the middle of Majorstuen.

Stake conference was really cool yesterday. I should have taken some pictures of the building we met in because it is a way cool building and if this were in person I would make everyone guess how much it costed. So guess: ..... Ok you're all wrong. :) Over 7 Million. For a singular, one, church meeting house. prolly 60 % the size of the one on healy blv. It was cool though. Afterwords, I went on splits with one of the AP's and we went tracting (bonking på norsk... not street contacting :) for my first time! It was cool. But nothing super exciting happened other than I realized how much I miss homecooked foods. This time it was bananna bread that sister Evans made for them. Oooh and after that we picked up a new convert, and went to a members house to talk about temples. I miss them a lot. But it was a way cool experience, and I'm starting to get more aquainted with the members here. It was also nice to get out of Oslo for a day seeing as how I've never left before.

Anyways, I hope that was good enough! This week really wasn't all that exciting. In fact it was really hard. So keep me in your prayers! That said, I do know that I'm giving it my all and I'm just trying not to get stressed about it. (which may or may not be working very well :)

Also mom, I'm sorry I can't share enough about what I'm doing here. It's really hard to know what to say, and what will be interesting to you guys. Also I'll try and get some better pictures this week. I don't really have any from last week either. :P anyways. Thank you all so much for everything you do! I love hearing from you and I like that I get emails to answer to now. We literally have no time on p-days, and emails are much better :) So your inspirational scripture of the week is 1 Cor. 2:9. Go Team!

I love you all!

-Christopher Nordmann

Hvis noen av dere skal oversette dette, det skal være morsomt. Men, hvis du egently gjør det, jeg skal si at min norsk, er skikkelige bedre nå. Nesten alle som snakke med meg synes at det er urolig hvor mye jeg kan si til dem, og hvor mye jeg forstår.

October 8, 2012

Hi Peoples of the United states where I am not!

I hope all of you had a blast at conference like we did! This week was full of more craziness, and also a lot more understanding for me. So far, to be honest I hadn't the foggiest idea what was going on around me :) To be honest it's really impossible to describe just how everything is, so i'm just glad that i'm finally starting to get used to it! In general I feel more directed, and I know more of who I am and what I can contribute even now. Despite my desires to be filled with faith, it was really hard when everything around you just gave you a headache, and was so different than what you expected. Now however I feel much more comfortable with all the missionaries around me (who are all awesome) and everyone I get to work with. (the only bad part is that the other 5 elders in oslo are going home soon which means that I'm the youngest and least experienced by a lot)

This week was full of more ups and downs, but I'd say a lot more ups than downs. I was introduced to my first Jehovahs witness teach this week. The whole experience was just kinda funny. We planned to meet him at the library at noon after we went to a funeral, so we took to T-bane, (subway) to Mæjorstuen, and waited for him there. When he got there he called us and told us that the library wouldnt want us to meet there, so we pretty much were like, yeah sure we'll do whatever. Also he was bringing his finance. So we hopped in his car and he drove us pretty much outside of Oslo, to a little kafe. From there they pretty much tried to teach us and convince us that we were wrong for like 3 hours. I was just smiling. By the end they were extremely agitated. I was happy because I actually just smiled and bore testimony, and they couldnt really say anything. It was just like raw greenie testimony vs. them. Go team. The gospel is true. As I have been studying the scriptures and as we watched General Conference, the Gospel has come alive to me more than it ever has before. As I have studied with my companion it has just become clear how bulletproof the church is. They can send 19 (now 18 year old) boys out who dont know absolutely anything and it works. It's awesome because it's true! It's like oh yeah, right. you don't have nothing against us. Despite what I know spiritually, Everything makes sense. As we combine our spiritual knowledge and experiences with the witness of the Book of Mormon, and the testimony of living prophets, we can know without a doubt that this gospel is true. (dont worry i'm still a long ways away from this) Anyways, they offered to give us a ride home but we were like heck no we have public transportation. Ha det! Unfortuneatly we had no idea where the flip we were. And it was pouring rain. What's ironic is we were about 50 feet away from realizing where we were but we didnt realize that until saturday. So we pulled out a little map and finally came to the conclusion that there was no way we were going to be able to figure it out. All we knew is that we were too far west of the city center. So we wandered around until we found a bus station, and whilst Elder anderson planned on taking a bus farther away before we could take a t-bane back I found a trykk we couldd take ( an overground city train thingy) (super cool) so we wandered around some more and finally found it and got back soaking wet. In all I think we were gone for like 5 hours. Effective: probably not. Fun: Definately :) I'll never forget what it feels like to just be standing in the middle of the rain with Elder Anderson, just laughing because you have no peiling where the heck you are.

Anyways Conference was the BESST! So we watched the saturday morning, and the two sunday sessions live. This means our schedule was as follows. 6-8 saturday was sat morn. sunday 11-1 priesthood, 2-4 sat afternoon, 6-8 sunday morn and then we got permission to stay up last night to watch sun afternoon live too! woot! I would like to point out that conference was the beessst! It is also super exciting to be a missionary for this one! Holy Smokes!!!! 18 and 19!!! DUDUE! Being here with a bunch of missionaries was awesome! We projected that Norway will prolly get a ton more sisters (because they are actually allowed to come here) and less elders. But in total over the world there could be like 100,000 missionaries soon. I'm so pumped! Also they changed mtc length by 30%. you might think this doesnt affect you or me because hey I'm already done with that. Well your wrong. All of you. :) I didn't tell any of you this because you would all murder me, but my projected release date was about August 18 ish 2014. This means I literally would not live at home before college again. This happens because transfers in norway are 9 weeks exactly. Do the math and you end up either a month early or a month late of 24 months. And they almost always keep missionaries for an extra month.

BUT. Now they will have to change transfers in some way because new missionaries will be coming ever 6 weeks instead of 9. New game plan entirely. (all of the older missionaries are really excited to hear what happens about this. Im more of a meh, I pretty much still have an eternity) anyways. So it doesn't really change anything for you. I guess. Because you prolly thought I was coming home on time. But hey now I probably am! In other news... The food they fed us for conference was divine. Really you get so used to frozen pizza and eggs that anything else that is real food is heavenly. yum. Cornbread. (Our limited budget in Norway comes out to about 5 dollars a day for food) (which isnt a lot when a liter of milk costs 3 dollars)(and a pack of ramen costs like 1) anyways. I'm poor in Norway! But I love it! Ooh more questions! Send them to me! P.s. Mail takes a long time to get here. Next week will be a month, and I still have not recieved a letter that was sent after I sent my first email. Anyways!

I love you all! The church is true! Thank you for all the love and support!

October 1, 2012

Hey People!

You guys are not very helpful did you know that? I have way too much that I could talk about but I don't really know what you guys want to hear about :) Well, anyways, here goes nothing! So I'm just going to chill and eat my chocolate filled Boller (which are soo good btw) and just write random stuff. Also i'm getting kindove bored of writing. Which prolly isnt good :) I mostly just want to go beat some elders at pool and take a nap :)

Firstly, Norway is awesome. But, I think I only realized that after I came to grips with the knowledge that "normal people" literally do not exist for me anymroe. So I'm going to start backwards just for funsies today! So yesterday was a similar experience to having your brain placed gently on a flat square table in the middle of a completely white room, and then this guy comes in with plain white doctors coat, a face mask on, and black goggles; pulls out a bat, and then proceeds to beat you several times with it, and walks out again. OK so my brain really wasn't surgically removed and beaten with a bat, but it kinda felt like it. We had church meetings from 10 am to 5 pm straight yesterday. I honsetly couldnt say a whole lot of what happened. I spend 110% of my brain capacity trying just to understand what is happening, and most of the time I forget the chronilogical order of events and the topics and general ideas of what was said in less than 10 seconds. I did meet a whole bunch of cool people though! While I know working witht the members here is important, its hard for me because i never really had missionaries in our ward ever, and so the thought of just being this random guy who barely speaks the language who goes and meets a whole bunch of sourly looking norwegians scares the pants off of me. But it was actually ok. Heh, there were a several people who asked me which area I had just come from because they were trying to figure out my accent and it was funny to tell them I had just come from the states. Last Night we visited this lady who is waay smart but is disabled because of a surgery. Named Mia? Anyways she was super funny and apparantely she calls all the missionaries all the time. Also she is madly in love with my old teach brother Decosta and she calls me a little boy. (though I dont have an official nickname yet ):) Anyways, You will probalby hear random stories on and off for the next while about her :)

Saturday we did this awesome Gatastand in the middle of Downtown Oslo which was sooo cool. (street stand) It was way fun to chill there with some tables of Boms and have people come talk to us... (sometimes. we still had to walk around and talk to people a lot) We got these giant pieces of chalk that looked like crayons, and drew a giant plan of salvation on the sidewalk! Anyways, it was awesome. And it was scary because I taught people alone and not with a companion. There were many times, when all 8 missionaries were teaching someone each by themselves. It still suprises me that people actually undesrtand anything I'm saying. We gave out an entire box of book of mormons in 3 hours and got rained on and attacked by a swarm of pigeons. Then we had this Jubileam thingy which we went to and took our investigator Mortin to. It was a celebration for all the church members to celebrate the church being in Norway for 160 years! Woot! Other than the food I had no idea what was going on. Friday.... hmmm what was friday... OH! I was on splits. So that started thursday night, and I was supposed to go with elder lillywhite to my first dinner appt. but Brother TomTom led us an hour and a half the wrong direction (he's the gps in the oslo senior couples car which we stole) anyways. so shamefully, we went back and bought pretty much the only thing left we had money for which was a junky frozen pizza because we were both completely out of money. Sad day. Good news. The next day we got 2 new investigators contacting on the street! it was the most successful weve ever been! aaaannnnd. then I talked to people in Norwegian on the phone (because I was technically the senior comp) and it was scary.... aaaannnndd then I got a ticket. And almost got escorted to the police station because I didnt have any identification on me. (this was only completely terrifying)  Whew that one was a close one :) Anyways Fun splits time!

Wednesday... was probably the most interesting day Ive ever had. We taught Espen-Alexander and then we taught mortin. I dont have time or care enough to explain why this was so interesting. But my companion said after a year and half of being here that might have been his most interesting teach. Anyways. Missionary work here is nothing like I expected. For as much as I can understand, Mortrin has some of the most interesting experiences with dreams and just other weird things. I'm not sure exactly how much he is willing to do, but im way excited to continue to teach him. Espen probably wont go anywhere but we'll see. Monday was way cool because we went around this island and ran around some old ruins. Hmmm... OK, i'm going to wrap up.

In all, I already have had incredible and crazy expreiences here. I love being a representative of Jesus Christ. In everywhere I go I'm always expected to do my best and be my best. It is a little bit stressful sometimes... ok a lot of the times, but I'm getting more used to it, and I know that everything will come in time. I hope that everything goes well at home! I love all of you so much! For me it feels like life may or may not exist at home, but I can say it feels like I'm probably never going to get home :) Don't worry I will, but it'll probably just sneak up on me. Loves! Thanks for the letters I got by the way! I cant possibly write you all back but I love hearing from you all!


-Christopher Whetten

September 24, 2012


I don`t even know where to start. This is the weirderst thing I think has ever happened to me. You guys probably don't even feel that different, but i'm over here, just like I don't even know how to explain it. So talking to you guys was pretty much the best. It's hard to explain your experiences but it's sure fun to try! For the most part my plane ride went just fine other than just not being able to sleep at all. On the plane to London I was able to sit next to this guy and answer a whole bunch of questions. Our plane was delayed on the runway, so we ended up just sitting in the plane with the engines off for over an hour. So I just chilled there and talked to him about life and I don't even really know what, but it was cool to answer his questions about missionaries and what they do. (it may have limited my effectiveness however when he became drunk on the plane though) He actually thought I was cool enough that in the London airport he found me and came over and talked to me again! Woot! Apparently I looked completely dead when we got to London which is probably true. It's sooo crazy to just walk around and realize that you stick out like a soar thumb. I'm still not used to having people stare at me all the time. I think it really stressed me out at the beginning because you know everyone is watching every little thing you do as a missionary. Anyways, there are tons of weird little rants that I could do on things but don't really have time for right now. When I said I wouldn't have as much time to write on Pdays that was a huge understatement. I could do a whole bunch of rants on the crazy people I've already ran into though :) (did you know its hard to type with a norwegian keyboard. im prolly going to get really lazy with my apostorphes because they are really hard to type on the keyboard)

Ok so more stuff. by the time I boarded the plane for norway i thought I was going to throw up. so I was happy when I was put on the window seat with another missionary next to me so I didnt feel obligated to talk to someone. I could just sleep. Which I did until we were over land in Norway. When we were coming down into the airport in Olso it was like 40% cloudy in the sky which was PERFECT (not for flying but for sightseeing) It was the coolest flight Ive been on ever! It was sooo gorgeous. Anywas, You guys need to tell me where the name whetten comes from cause everyone asks me and no one can figure it out. (including me) I remember the first time they came over the intercom and started speaking Norwegian to us, I know its classic missionary but you really are just like, oh snap. We met president, and that was cool, and then we drove for an hour to get to the mission home. The mission president and his wife are sooo nice to us. She made us so much food, and pretty much said just go downstairs and sleep. I love the bedding they use. Next morning they did orientation, and we went to the mission office and got a whole bunch of papers and instructions on money and stuff and then they took us to the streets of oslo and dropped us with some ap's and zone learders. My first contact was with elder weaver (from the mtc) and elder williams. Even though oslo speaks Bokmål, the nice kind of norwegian, I still have a really hard time understanding anyone. It was cool though. My and weaver taught a whole short lesson by ourselves, and we actually got a return appointment for the actual oslo elders to use (they didnt give it to me boo). It was the scariest thing of my life. But by the end of the four hours of being completely lost and just talking to people I was much less scared, and just felt peace that I could figure all of this out. Later that night we had a fantastic dinner and then we were all interviewed by the president. Thursday, we drove out to the young single adults center in the middle of the city (which is where I spend most of my time now) and waited for our companions. Apparantely norwegians eat a lot of pizza. I got so lost when we drove to the train station to grab my companion. Like, uber lost. I honestly couldnt tell you which way is north right now. My companinon elder anderson is actually a super cool guy and Ive already learned a ton from him. I cant quite figure him out though, and I think he thinks im a weirdo geeky guy. Thats alright for now. Its hard when you cant speak to many people in Norwegian. Though on friday he was in an interview with the mission president and I actually talked to some members at the center by myself in norwegian for like 30 minutes. They were actually pretty suprised I had only been there for 3 days.

At the center is where we do tons of what we do. currently it is where I will be teaching investigators, im going to be teaching a language class in a couple weeks (scary) and there is a whole bunch of single activities here. On saturday, we picked up this investigator named Mortin, who wants to learn more about Jesus Christ, and has had it kinda rough in the past. The thing thats coolest is that he is actually norwegian which makes all the missionaries really excited because it helps bulid up the churhc here more when you can find actual norwegians. He came to a special singles ward meeting here at the center (church usually isnt here) (btw im at the center currently so no we dont have computers in our apt. Our apt is actually just a single room, maybe a little smaller than the size of the front room in matthews room. We have basically nothing to cook with, and so far all ive eaten is kjøttdeig (ground chicken) mixed with eggs, and veggies. ( I put cheese on mine.) oohhh and the chocolate milk is sooooooo good!!! Ah. heaven. and I got some way good yogurt to. Anyways, if you have more questions about my apt your going to have to ask :) ) back to mortin he came to church and he said he felt the spirit though he thinks hes kindove like a prophet (in the way that we think he may have had some sort of revelation) so were going to have to talk to him about that tonight when we meet with him before we take him to FHE. While we were waiting for him to show up though there was this other guy named alexander who showed up just completely randomly. Comepletely. He saw the sign that said Jesus on it and came in. He is sort of baptist but he doesnt really belong to a specific church right now. He though we were way cool, but he was kinda a creeper with all the girls. So we are going to teach him later this week. I was scared out of my pants mostly because Elder anderson took Mortin so I got this new guy I dont even know. He was like: "k you take him" And I was like... what? Snap. im the missionary huh. anyways after sunday school i talked with him for like 10 minutes and taught him aobut the book of mormon and he seemed super interested then. After when Elder anderson and I were talking to him though he was kindof different, and he wants to show us this online preacher he listens to and anyways... hes weird. I cant really tell you everything about everyone. but it was cool to get a new investigator that I personally set up an apointment with and taught just completely randomly. It was cool that we were here also because all of the other missionaries in oslo went to the oslo ward that day.

I dont think my feet have ever hurt more than when we just tracted for pretty much forver. mmm. yup this is fun. But it wierd because both me and my companion are new to this area so everything we are doing we have to build from scratch. I still feel weird and like im not myself yet, so hopefully i can get rid of that soon.  I love all of you guys. That was a big bllalahh. Ask questions if you want to know specifics about anything else. I dont realy have time like you guys to give you my life story so yeah. Im doing a little better everyday and this is soo crazy! Through it all though, im soo excited to serve. I still dont really know what to expect other than just keep going. :) Good luck to all of you with everything! I really Love you guys sooo much! Im excited to hear how things are going, and I hope that my life is exciting enough to tell you guys too! AH! Im a missionary!

Super lots of Love,,,

Eldste Whetten

September 18, 2012


I'm in NORWAY!!! Anyways, this is mostly just to let you guys know that I'm here, safe, and completely and entirely overwhelmed. :) I loved talking with you guys soooooo much!! I love you all!!! but I'm so excited to go get started! My first area is Downtown Oslo. Holy smokes I'm so excited! Population: 1 (ish) million. Voted #1 most expensive city in the world. My trainer will be elder Anderson, but I can't really tell you anything about him because I don't know him yet :) I love you all and thank you so much for all of your support and prayers! The church is true. I'll let you know when it hits me that I'm on the other side of the world. Because it hasn't yet. President Evans should send something a little later tonight, but for now, Ha det bra. Jeg er kjempe slitten. Talk to you next week!


Eldste Christopher Whetten

September 13, 2012


I don't think I could possibly use enough capitilaztion and exclamation points to get across just how life feels right now. Needless to say, I have less than 0 time today, and reaaally want a nap. Thank you soo much for the reply back!!!! I'm super duper excited!!! The last 2 months have been so crazy I can't even describe it. Sooo back to my earlier point I don't really have a whole bunch of time to send off personsal letters today. I have bum loads of packing to do and haricuts, and shots and som other stuff. Anyways, I think this is all finally starting to hit me. We said goodbye to one of our teachers (brother DeCosta) yesterday and it was sad but strangely super exciting. Somebody left some mystery brownies in our classroom while we were away helping the new missionaries so we practiced having a Dinner with Norwegians, with the brownies. (this is technically breaking the rules by the way) Thankfully no laxcitives (no idea how to spell that, ... (not that it matters because I know I'm already slaughtering my splelign ringht now.)) :) Anywaze, no laxies, but me and all of my Companions have been sick this week. It sucks. But I think it will get better soon. Brother Decosta was great, and we were theorhetically supposed to teach him but E. Gilreath had already taught him that morning while he was on splits so instead of us trying to come up with a lesson for him on the spot, he clearly just wanted to tell us a whole bunch more of cool stories, of champ africans being studly, all of the beautiful girls which apparantley have driven him crazy, cool baptims and just a lot of ... Dude. You just gotta hit it and baptize everybody. Never ever give up. The sweds got to see pictures of Sweden and the saw some of Norway too and they said when we see pictures we're all going to die. They said that they can't even handle the excitmetn. well.... too late for me. I'MM SOO EXCITED!! Also they've given up this foolish notion that Sweden is better than Norway. :) There were several of them who want to switch after they saw all the crazy awesomeness of Norway. Basically I'm going to the most unique beautiful place in the world with the coolest people, and the coolest sounding language. (this is not boasting this is just pure gushy excitement!!!) :) Jeg bare tuller. Sweden and Norway are both the best but hey... Norway is the best. I get too have just a: take pictures and look at pictures and talk about norway session on saturday and i'm soo excited. Ahhh. I just can't communicate the pure awesomeness! (btw Splits is when you go with a teacher from another class and spend 3 hours with them personal study, comp study, and lang, study. I got this guy who teaches Dutch and he was a champ. It was soo much fun. He had never done it with anyone before, and he refused to use any English in our lesson, so I got to teach him a whole buch of language, and then I was pretty much in charge of a whole 40 minute lesson which ended in dåp!!! (baptism) Woot! IT was fun and it was also a confindence booster ... wow long sidenot)

It'ss CRAZY to think that 4-5 days (ish) I will be in Norway! Halfway across the world!!! I wish I could tell you guys everything I've heard but that will just have to wait I guess. I'm pretty much going to get destroyed btw. We talked to a girl from Haugensund, (western norway... with crazy dialects) and I didn't understand hardly anything. The guy from Oslo I understand just fine but yeah. They almost speak a completely different language in the west which, there is a pretty decent chance that you get to greenie there... woot. Did you know that my mission president already knows where I'm going? Or atl least thats what our teachers said. IT's weird w'ere the only group of missionaries I've heard of who haven't heard from their mission president. weird. Anyways, everything is about to become loads different. I will by the way have more than 30 minutes to email next P-day, so if anyone would enjoy just emailing me rather than writing me ( at least in my immediate family, I'll have to see the rules on everything else from the pres) you are more than welcome to do that. But I really do enjoy all the letters I've recieved. They helped a ton! K well, Timma go now. Hmmm anything else.... AHAHHk it's just weird. I love my companinons and my district and everything. I'm so used to life here now that it's a little sad to leave but I know it's going to be bomb. I'll probably never see the Finnish Elder Nieminen again etiher... too bad. He was waay cool (maybe to flirtatious though)

I love you all! This is the Lord's work. I serve Him more directly than I would have ever realized before. I have learned and changed so much even in the 2 months I've been here. Have hope in the Savior. I testify that he lives.

With bucket loads of love,

-Eldste Christopher Whetten

September 6, 2012

Dearest Family,

This concludes my last week where I'm on the same exact schedule! Hooray! On the one hand (not counting the fact that I get to go to Norway) I'm kinda sad to feel like I'm going to be leaving the MTC soon. I'm going to miss having the setting where you were always in a place that you could feel the spirit and learn and grow. I hope however that even after I am gone to Norway though, I can keep this constant drive to always be focused on helping and serving others. In fact I bet that will increase, because I'll probably have more ways to do it than just beating my head against a wall trying to learn Norwegain :)  On the other hand... It will be so nice to (sort of) be thrown into the semi-normal world again...(ok it won't really be that normal :) But, it's going to be Norway!!! Holy smokes! 2 weeks from this moment, i could be on the streets of Ålesund, doing something that is probably quite similar to death :) But I feel much more prepared now. Over the course of being here I can't be quite certain how many words I have in vocabulary, but I roughly estimate it at about 1200+... That's awesome :) And I can probably understand a little bit more than that. I'm definately not fluent or anything, but I know without a doubt that if I continue to do everything I can to learn the language instead of just letting it passively happen to me, that I will have the language skills I need in the time that I need them. For the next week and half, and well, probably the next 2 years 90% of what I say will be in Norwegian. Cool! (I don't think this has really hit me yet)

This last week was full of more experiences that tested my ability to keep a really positive attitude. Last thursday, we say brother Gardener and Brother Bartholmew together for the first time, and there were only three of us in class that day. I sum up my feelings on that by saying, those are some of the most intense people I've ever met, and they work wonders together. As my skills in study, teaching, speaking, helping, and everything else improve, it's hard not to feel a little overwhelmed because so much is asked of you. But I have felt the constant comfort and strength of him whom I serve and I know I couldn't do this without his help. Sundays are always fantastic, and on this particular sunday I was reminded of the simply things the Lord does for us to lift us higher. Instead of hearing another talk on sunday night, as we usually do (for like the 17th time), this time we just watched a broadcast of a Motab concert and I dunno. It was just what I needed. And then we watched like a 40 year old movie on missionaries entitled "labor of love"... heh :) it's a winner.

I thank all of you for your support and your love. I honestly don't know what to expect in the coming days, but I think that's ok :) I know what I know, and I'm going to continue doing anything and everything that is asked of me. I may have said this before, and even if I can I know I cannot possibly describe exactly how I feel, But I really had no idea how much I would miss my family until I got here. Take away everything else, and that's just fine. no problem. But I can't wait to see and talk to all of you guys again! Have a fantastic week!

-Eldste Christopher Whetten!

August 30, 2012

Hello FaMiliE!

So, first off, I would like to say that this is getting really hard to come up with new things to say every week. There really isn't a whole lot interesting to say when you have been doing the same thing for like a month and a half. This is one of the things me and District discuss sometimes: Well.... we woke up... and then we ate, and went to class, and ate, and went to class, and then ate...again.... and.... went back to class... :P If you say it like that it sounds like it would get pretty boring pretty fast, which is completely untrue. I continue to have the best teachers, and the best Elders to work with in the entire world. There is no shortage of the amount that they care about each one of us personally and want us to succeed. There are just those days where we are trying so hard to keep engaged and lively but despite our best efforts we just can't seem to pull it off on our own. So our teachers will do fun stuff like take us on a walk were we walk around the MTC campus speaking Norwegian and practicing those little things that NONE of us can seem to get right. I think Brother Bartholemew is probably the best at helping me personally learn the language better, because every time I make one of those really stupid mistakes that I know how to make better, I can just hear his booming voice in my head: Eldste Vhetten! Hva bare sa du? or, Hvis bruker du er eller var mislykkes en gang til, du skal sparkes, av MEG! Which translates (roughly to)...(Because for tons of Norwegian the translation is way more direct. We have learned that the Norwegian people are super direct) What did you just say? and, If you use the word, is or was wrong one more time, You will be kicked, courtesty of me. I think Brother Bartholemew is so interesting because I can tell he loves us and cares for us sooo much, but at the same time, HE HAS NO SOUL. And he admits it on a pretty regular basis. He finds the most joy in being the most impossible investigator ever and he'll just sit there and smile devilishly and clap his hands together before we teach him. Heh. But in his defense, he really has pushed us to rely on faith to teach him. We have been teaching him for a while, and admist his character openly making fun of us being american, we have actually begun to develop a really good relationship with him. When we taught him this week, we pretty much said: You know we want you to get baptized because you openly make fun of us for it, so why are you still meeting with us if you don't feel comfortable with that. (or something kinda like that...  ok not really. it was a lot better when we said it :) anyways but we continued by helping him and him helping us understand what needed to happen before he would get baptized, and since that lesson he has been our favortite person to teach.

Brother DeCosta on the other hand, became much more difficult. He basically ended up thinking we thought he was racist, and then he left to serve for afganistan. So now we're teaching an African. Heh, much MUCH different experience. But it's a good lesson that every person is so unique, and our message really applies to everyone. FYI, Bror Decosta, when he was in Norway, got attacked by a muslim. And ended up beating him up and getting him sent to Jail. Heh, that was a pretty fun story. Anyways, all of our teachers have way cool stories, and they may or may not be one of the reasons that all of us haven't gone completely insane. (That doesn't mean we aren't getting close though). (Quick story, Elder Donahue ate a bannana straigh. Peel and all. We were all dying laughing , oh and he got suspenders :) It's funny how when we have been pulled out of real life, our perspectives of each other have changed, and the unity and brotherhood we feel has only increased. Though we all admit we feel a little weird, and accept the fact that after two years of this not a single one of us is going to be very normal when we get home) For the most part Brother Gardener is gone, but the enthusiasm he had for learning and teaching us is still here. I still want to be better every week at the language and at teaching, though I feel like both are coming very slowly. And you don't always do amazing. Sometimes are better than others. But you keep pressing forward and enjoying it, and all the time, you know more, and you have more experience which I think is huge. Sometimes though I feel like as I push stuff in, what I learned before just falls out. :P

Anyways, I'm out of time! If you have more questions I would love to answer them!

And until then have it the super fantasticest with school and everything else.

AHAHHAHAHHA 2 1/2 weeks!!!!! I'm not ready, and yet I can't stay here anymore!

-Eldste Christopher Whetten

P.S. We have all learned that we have the COOOOLEST MISSION EVER!!!

August 16, 2012

Hello Mom, Dad, Brothers, Sisters, and Loved ones!

I really dont like starting emails... So pardon my lack of creativity. =)

Thank you all so much for the continued love and support! I love all of you! So about my week...

In terms of my district, we have pretty much teamed up with the swedish full time now. The unity and brotherhood you feel with fellow missionaries is really cool. It has been a long time now that we have been doing the same thing day after day, but the love that I feel with them as we all are working to improve is really cool. Our teachers have said that we have become a super fun group to teach because... I dunno actually. I think its because we are all working really hard to improve, and at this point we know how to have fun with our teachers and really connect with them. Hmmm.... This is a lot harder this week. Because, I guess you just do the same thing every single week. As I have learned more and more about teaching it has been incredible to see the change in the way that I think about things, and the way that has affected those whom I teach. Also thankfully, our teachers said that they didnt give us easy investigators either so at least we know what to expect. So many things were right before my eyes the whole time and I guess it just takes practice before you can really teach everything that you need to. With Max, (our atheist investigator who went to church, thought they were weird, and think that we as missionaries were the weirdest people he had ever seen, and constantly makes fun of the fact that we are americans) it is hard because he doesnt really care what we have to say, and we cant figure out why he even is taking the time to meet with us. But over the last couple of times, it has been interesting to watch as he began to accept the concept of God in his life, and how the Book of Mormon is really the best way that we can help him.

In terms of language (in addition to teaching) I know that the savior truly is helping us learn everything that we are doing. I memorized my purpose in Norwegian yesterday! Innbyr andre til å komme til kristus ved å jelpe dem å motta det gjengitte evangalium gjennom tro på Jesus Kristus og hans forsoning, omvendelse, dåp, å motta den Hellige Ånds gave, og holde ut til enden. Woot! I have also been able to undrstand entire chapters in my Norsk Mormons Bok, and I have started listening to general conference translated into Norsk. I understand much less of that, but Im still amazed that I can undrstand anything.

On sunday I got to give a short little talk in sacrament meeting. This is interesting because we have 35 ish missionaries in our zone (branch) and they choose 2 of us randomly every sunday to give a talk. So every week you have to prepare a talk you probably will never have to give (at least at the MTC). I gave mine on how charity and the pure love of Christ will help each of us to endure to the end. I did it with 0 notes and while I didnt do amazing I didnt do horrible either. Much improvement over when I left!

Well Im out of time, but I want to thank you all so much for your prayers and your love. If youre not careful Im not going to be able to keep hanging on to all of these letters! I pray that the blessings of Heavely Father will be with each of you! Know that I care about you and love you and miss you with all of my heart and soul. Im only a month in and I already bounce around like a child because I love it so much. I have no idea what Im going to do in 2 years.

Until next week!

Eldste Christopher Whetten

August 9, 2012

Hello Family!

I know I said this last week, but I honestly have to say it again. You are all the BEST. This week has been super good, stressfull, but good. I'm pretty sure my mind exploded on tuesday when I recieved no less than 7 letters from everyone. I would like to point out at this juncture, that whilst everyone else in my district gets a whole bunch of DearElder letters (an online... mailish service for MISH's) I definately am loved the most. I think I was happier this week consistently than I ever have been previous in my experience here. Again I wish I could write and say everything, but you will just have to settle for what you've got because I only get about 4 ish hours a week to write letters. Boo. The rule makes sense though. I think more than just recieving love though, I'm really getting comfortable with the lifestyle, and more importantly more satisfied that as I truly just do my bestest I can and will succeed.

In terms of language this week I have seen a lot of improvement in myself and in my district. I'm getting really good at understanding what they are saying, though I'm still terrible at speaking with any speed or clarity. For example, my crazy teacher...(ok they're all crazy) but the CRAZIEST (happy smiley sort of jumps around and claps his hands and yelps like a little girl when things make him "happy" a.k.a. our misery) before we went off to teach him as an investigator said: Hvem skal bli vår første offer? Translated to: Who is going to be our first sacrifice? I just looked up at him and asked: did you just say what I think you said? And he just laughed at me. Then turned to Brother DeCosta and said, well it seems we have someone who can understand us, so we must be much more careful. So the good news, i can understand they're much slowed speech... Sort of. Bad news: When we tried talking to some RM's at the TRC last friday I think I cried. Because, well... I didn't really understand them at all. Nor could I speak anything sensible to them. :( But we're getting there.

Teaching our "investigators" (our teachers who act suddenly like they are ready to fall asleep when we start talking) is actaully going really well. We had a rough start last week, but it got a lot better this week. My companionship has become ten times better at balancing the lesson between the three of us, and we are starting to get the hang of helping the investigator get engaged whilst still teaching them what the spirtit needs them to hear. I think all of our lessons have ended up being easliy a half our each and every day.  As a super random addition to our group this week, there is a sister we met our first day at the MTC. We learned she was also going to Norway though she wouldnt be in our class because she had taken the language at BYU, and was on an English Fast track route. Well, it took a little more time for her VISA to come through so she has actually been in our class all week. It's soooo nice to have a girl to balance out all of the .... boyness. It's a huge confidence booster for us because we can totally have a small conversation with her, and she's leaving in like 3 days! Crazy!

Norway is going to be the best. I can't wait any longer! I wan't to serve. I have learned the literally EVERYTHING I do is to help them. As I leave out every distraction and every thought and commit my language study personal study, and companion study and goals, everything I do is for them. The people of Norway. I also promise that your prayers and your love are truly helping. Slowly but surely I am getting this, and it is an incredible experience. Through your help you can also help them. I promise to do everything for them. I love my savior. As I bore testimony of him on Sunday I cannot explain nor desribe the power of his love for his chilren. I am honored to be a full-time vessel of that love. The only other place I can feel I am showing sincere and unrequited love, is well... with my family. :) For now though, I am a missionary. And I love it. And you guys! Sooo much! Stay uber awesome! All of you!

-Eldste Christopher Whetten

August 2, 2012

Hi Family!

Firstly, Thank you all so much for your letters. I feel like I've been thrown onto another planet and the only communication, or the only normal thing I do is read and write letters. So thank you all so much! I don't think I could really explain well just how much they mean to me. You are all the bestest, and though I won't admit it to anyone here, I miss you all so much it hurts!

That said, they have kept me pretty busy! The language is crazy. I didn't understand at first why everyone said it was a hard language because a lot of the words looked the same. But, the sounds are very different, and it has been challenging just trying to figure out what noise you're supposed to making. Also, you have to conjugate everything. Like its annoying. There are 7 different ways to say to. You use your mouth a lot more than english too, so it almost ends up sounding like a song. I don't think I'll feel very comfortable talking until I hear some natives speakers at which point I'm pretty sure my world will explode a couple more times. Languages in general are hard, and it's pretty daunting to just look at the thousands of words that you have to learn. At the same time however, I have already mastered hundreds of words, and I have gotten to the point that I understand most of what my teachers say in class. My teachers are the best by the way. They work with each of us individually, and they are always there to pick us up. They are also my worst enemies. :) Secretly Daniel our first investigator is a teacher. And just when we had a breakthrough, and got him to read the BOM and feel the spirit he was like, good job! Secretly I'm your teacher! He is way cool though. He is probably the most encouraging of them all. When we met with our other teachers as 'ivestigators" I don't think I undrstood a word. It was rather humbling. This is going to take a lot of work.

My district is still the best. We all have jokes that we use to keep us sane as we are in class. Waking up at 8 and sitting in the same classroom all day can make you a little stressed and a little loopy. Hmmm... what else... Oh, concerning letters, I love them. But I simply can't write as much as I would like to all of you. So If I send you short letters please forgive me. I love you enough to send you a 12 page letter, I just don't have the time. And right now I feel sick, so I might just end this here. I promise that the Lord will provide. I testify that he lives, and that this work is his work. This was a really hard week. Though I think I might have many more to come. Just when you think you understand, you realize that teaching someone about the gospel is impossible even in English. I can't do it. The only thing that ever works is the testimony they recieve through the Holy Ghost. I promise you all as you do the things that will bring you closer to your Heavenly Father, he will pour out his blessings. It is amazing the simple power of the scriptures or prayer. You are all the best! I Pray for each of you and I look forward to the day when I can come home and be with my family again. But, until then... I have a lot to do :) And it's going to be awesome. it's everything I've waited for for my entire life. It's weird to actually be here. And time doesn't excist anymore anyway, so for me, I'll have absolutely no idea how long I've been gone. It feels like I still have an eternity left at the MTC, and that I've been here a year. when, in reality I only have 6 weeks left on monday. Crazy right! Ok, so maybe its not as crazy for you guys... :)

Tons of love!

Eldste Whetten

July 26, 2012

Hey Everyone!!

Normally I think I would send this email to mom's email, but since i'm not 100% sure that i could actually get it right i'm just going to send it to dad's :)

I hope everything has been going ok for you guys back home! It sounds like matthew's camping trip was totally crazy.

This whole week has been completely insane. I'm pretty sure the word 'time' means absolutely nothing anymore. The first day felt like an eternity, and yesterday didn't even feel like it happened. Since nobody really knows anything about what happens at the MTC I will do my best to let you know. The first day they took me straight into a room filled with a bunch of sisters to give me everything I'm going to need as a missionary. They gave me my namebadge, and a packet full of keys, instructions, and took my picture for my MTC (sort of like a money card) card. If you remember the student ID at BYU that pretty much you used to buy stuff and get into buildings thats pretty much what it is. After that they take you throught a line and they give you a bucketfull of books. Really it was huge. Most of them were Norwegian books, with dictionaries, scriptures, and other random stuff. After I dropped my stuff off in my room I was taken straight to my classroom. I wasn't quite sure what they meant by 'my' classroom but I think I know now. I have two teachers Brother Bartholemew and Brother De Costa. They are pretty much the greatest, and I will probably have to talk more about them in another letter since I have like 0 time to write emails. (seriously they only give me 30 minutes to read and write emails). (at least at the MTC). The classroom is roughly the size of half our computer room. I was the last one there, and there were 4 other elders just sitting there looking rather dumbfounded. Our teachers were talking straight Norwegain to us and we all just looked around at each other with blank looks. It was clear that all of them were as scared or more scared than i was. After attempting to learn something I was introduced to my two companions. Yes, I have 2 of them. It's kindof a crazy setup but we're doing ok. Elder Gilreath is super funny and super stoked to be on a mission. He is from virginia and he is the biggest batman fan you will ever see in your life. He was in the Air force ROTC at BYU, and is determined to make me a "tank". Though he says he is really impressed with how much I can do already. Elder Badger Or Badgemann, just likes to laugh. Not as embarassing as me but he still likes it. He is from Salt Lake, and has man crushes on pretty much all of the elders from the swedish district. I'll talk more about them later.

After mind explosions, we went to a meeting with all the new missionaries. My favorite part was when we sang. I think it caught me and everyone else off gaurd when they had changed the words in the army of heleman song from "And we will be the lords missionaries" to "And we are now the lords missionaries". I don't know. It just kinda hits you when you sing that along with thousands of other missionaries who are also scared out of their minds. We've heard from pretty much everyone that the first few days are the hardest and they were totally right. OK moving on, ... ah I'll talk about the food later, and my district (the 5 Norsk missionaries) and the languange. no time. sorry. Moving on, Day 2 we had to meet a new Norwegian investigator who doesn't speak english... or at least not to us. :) It's probably the most challenging thing I've ever done to have to teach someone in a language you know nothing about. We did it though. And every day as he came back we studied harder and harder. If there is anything the nords are now known for it is hard work. Also, it has been incredible how the spirit has worked to help all of us learn the language. there is no way i could have done this alone. You get completely ripped out of life and you feel like you don't know anyone or anything and it's pretty scary. but my district is awesome, and we are pretty mcuh together 24 hours a day 7 days a week. i'm glad i got a good one! :) We all agree that we would have wanted to go home for sure if it wasn't for the instant love and support we felt from each other. Ahhh!!! um, well I'll write a letter home about the rest of our Visits with Daniel because they were amazing and super awesome. It is an incredible feeling to bear powerful testimony in a completely different language.

I know that I'm doing the ritght thing! There is no greater service I can give than the one I am doing right now! The lord has poured his spirit upon me like I have never before known, which is actaully saying something.

I miss you all so much! I hope to hear from all of you!

August 23, 2012

Hello Family that is mine!

K this week has been crazzzy, but it's going to be really hard for me to remember everything i need to tell you. To explain a little bit about why time feels so weird, I'll give you an example: I could not tell you a single thing I ate yesterday, or a single thing that was unique to our class, even though I know it was really funny, and super duper spectacular. I'm totally used to the scedule here now, and all of the crazy things we do everyday, so I get it just gets melted into one big blob in my brain. I honestly probably won't be able to remember most of what has happened here short of looking at my journal. Therefore, good principle of life: Journals are really important to write down the spiritual experiences we all have every day so that we can continue to build our testiomies on the foundation that is already there and is much more available when you use a journal.

So my week, started last thursday night as it was just my companionship in class (because the othere 2 guys are zone leaders and had a meeting :) and it was awesome. Slightly sad because that is one of the last times we'll get to teach, and be taught by brother Gardener because he's quitting once school starts (which unless I'm mistaken is starting or has already started for most of you) It was way cool to have extra time to teach him and we used it. We ended up having a whole lesson in Norwegian for almost an hour. It was crazy how much we could say with our limited vocabulary. Then me and Elder Badger sang Norsk songs for like an hour :) it was super fun. Friday we were all a little stressed for TRC. It's hard to teach you teachers, but it's even harder to just walk into a room with people you don't even know and try to talk to them in a language you barely know. But I think we did our best to prepare and just went for it. Oh man. I don't think I've ever been more happy about anything I as have been here. As a missionary especially ( though this applies to everyone ) you rely so much on faith to know what to do and say, and trust that you'll be able to understand what everyone else is talking about. The first teach was 20 minutes to three guys who were super cool, and even though one of my companions used a scripture that we hadn't really planned on using, I was able to understand what was read, and found another verse in ether that totally tied in with what he was trying to say. (Btw we were teaching how to recieve Revelation through the Book of Mormon and why that is so important for us as members of the church, oh, heh. and you're trying to teach RM's who have about 2 years of experience on you, little stressful maybe? :) The second group was really my favorite though. We started talking about things and our favorite scriptures, and literally I felt like I was having a legit conversation about their favorite scriptures, and how those had affected my life and how it had affected theirs. I tied it into another couple of key points and, yeeaah. I dunno. It was just incredible to really feel like I was having a conversation with someone else after little more than a month. The really cool part though was just an answer to my prayer that even though I was new and inexperienced, I could still help these people grow their testimonies in Jesus Christ. Chris, one of the guys in the second room was way cool, and as I was talking with him, I felt promted to commit him to something that we handn't planned into our lesson at all. I don't even really remember what I said, but I know that I said exactly as the spirit had prompted me and the joy that I felt by becoming a vessel of the Lord to help him tell someone else what He need them to do was really quite spectacular.

The second cool thing, was another of the Lords tender mercies to help me know that he was there to support me and help me every step of the way. On sunday mornings we had a ton of time to just study the scriptures on our own. Normally I do just fine but this time, my emotional state was pretty shot. There were some questions asked by our teachers that I was trying so hard to understand, and to understand what the Lord was trying to tell me with agency, and conversion, and my part in all of this. I think I've mentioned that we practice on the most part on Atheists (except for TRC, they're members) and it's really taken me deep into my testimony of why I do what I do and why I even looked for it in the first place. So sunday morning, I was struggling to stay awake, and as hard as I tried, I just couldn't seem to get anything out of it. The day continued as such, with me just trying to keep positive, and keep going even though I guess I was angry at myself because I felt I should be doing better. In sacrament meeting however, I had an incredible experience. I have no Idea what my branch president said. But I remember sitting there and recieving revalation through pretty much the entire meeting. All the scriptures I had read that morning in Mosiah 18, and Ether, and Nephi 2, just started to fit together in my head and make sense. It wasn't like some big woa, but everything was suddenly so much better. I still have no idea how to help these people. But, I'm getting closer to the answers that i'm looking for. Our teachers said on saturday that they know that they are putting a lot of pressure on us, but I also feel like I improve so much faster because of it as long as I keep positive! ( Which this week, I think I was bothering some of the other peoople because I was so happy all the time)

I end with my testimony that I know, if we press forward with a steadfast faith in Christ, we will succeed. Life is to be enjoyed. Even when it's hard there is so much to look forward too and so much that the lord has given us that we should take advatage of. I know that He lives. I love my family to death! I pray for each of you! Like Nephi, I pray with all the energy of my heart that you will all be happy, and find success as you trust in the love of our Heavenly Father.

Eldste Christopher Whetten

P.S (pardon my rapid typing mistakes :)