K well.... Do you know what my problem is today? It's a good problem really :) It's the problem where I could write constantly for the next three hours with ease, and I still wouldn't be able to convey how I feel completely. I literally had more incredible experiences than can fit in one small email to peoples. But enough chatter. :)
I blame my camera :) I promise my tree is DECKED with ornaments! Do you crazy people know how many you gave me? A lot. I think the poor little tree is going to cave under the weight of it all :) I'm sorry. I'll take a better picture when it's light (which by the way... I haven't seen the sun in a long time... It barely gets over the horizon covered by buildings for me :) just so I can prove how awesome it looks :) But in terms of having any artistic skill, where in the world did you get that silly idea? I actually thought about that as I was setting it up: wow, I have 0 artistic ability :) But seriously, that little tree has filled me with a lot of joy when I needed it :)
My package is here! The Ap's told me that they had a package for me last night and that this time they will just bring it with them the next time they come to Oslo which is at the latest tomorrow. Woot! I'm so excited. I've heard from several sources mom, that you're pretty much killing yourself making all of this wonderfullness for me :) Thank you so much! I don't even have any of it yet and it already makes me more happy than you will ever know. So, hopefully I can get all of them before Christmas, but we'll have to see :)
Heh that's funny. I realize I've probably done the worst job of anyone in the world at describing who my companion is :) I would say he is completely the opposite of a trial for me. Actually I take that back :) He is. But that's because he pushes me to become my best. There are so many things that I have been able to acheive and do, only because I had him as a way to help me acomplish that. :) When I say he's burny and girl crazy, I wouldn't say he's any worse than myself :) It's mostly just if he smells one. It's more of a joke than anything else :) If I was to get completely serious on you, I would say be completely honest and tell you than Elder Anderson has changed me for the rest of my life. He loves my more personally and deeply than I can understand, And of every person I can or could ever think of, there was not one that could be more well hand-picked than him. The fact that he is my companion was complete revalation, and neither of us want to go anywhere. We are going through an exteremely difficult time on our missions, but despite that we are more united, and lift and strengthen each other as much as is humanly possible. The amount of progress I've made on my mission is on large part him, no matter if it's language, teaching, people, missionary work, or personal growth. Anything. We both have what the other lack, and can lift and strengthen each other.
Anyways no I didn't get to go to the Christmas Concert... :( Sad day. I would only go if we had an investigator, and all of ours dropped off the face of the planet right before it all happened... sad. oh well. You can't win them all :) I did watch the whole Christmas Concert from like... 2007 (with sidssel) while I made cookies for dinner one night! That was fun! So I'm not completely deprived. :) K well... that's about it for answering questions. We are making hand-made candles for some of the old ladies that we visit, and I scrounged together some pretty good american Chocolate Chip Cookies for some of the families in the ward :) It's hard when Vanilla, Brown sugar, and Chocolate Chips, and Shortening, doen't exsist here. Thankfully the old senior missionary couple helped me :)
I'm going to go crazy.... Hobbitssss... Everywhere..... Around the T-bane stasjon.... :) I want to know... Has anyone seen it yet? How good is it? Actually... Don't tell me. :) I would burn. I'll just have to wait for that. :) Also.
Does anyone realize that this is my last email home..... See everyone on the other side!
Ok. Well I wish that I had 5 hours to write to you guys. Because basically it would take that long to write all of the incredible experiences I've had this week. Don't get me wrong. It wasn't all farts and sunshine, and there were times where if I had tripped and fallen, I probably wouldn't have gotten back up. But I would probably count this week as an early Christmas gift to me. :) I don't even know really where to start with that. Basically our week consisted of a lot of appointments falling through, us going to the completely wrong side of the fjord for an appointment, and just a bunch of other things. This being almost the entire transfer like this so far, it took a lot out of me, to keep pushing to be effective and stay positive. I will say that we were very blessed for our efforts to just keep going, and never give up. I was lead more by the spirit this week than I probably ever have been in my life. Almost every single day I knew where to go what to do and what to say. I always thought something like that wouldn't be as incredible as I think it is now. On tuesday, we felt impressed to walk up this weird little sidepath that led into a grove of trees and pretty much the middle of nowhere. But we did, and talked to the first guy we stopped for like 45 minutes. the only problem with this, is that it was about -15 degrees Celcius and all we did was stand. ow. I literally do not think I've ever had my whole body lose as much heat as it did at that time and be as cold. The Freezing Humid air literally rips through whatever it is your wearing almost instantly when you walk outside. I wasn't ever warm for like 2 days afterwords. Though we don't know why we were led to that guy, we did know that it was the spirit that led us there. He was pretty funny though :) He had us call upon the name of the Lord with him to be saved... Oh the things you do on missions :) I wish i had had that videotaped.
Moving on later that week, we went out contacting one day on our way to the church, and literally I felt impressed not to stop people, and Anderson ended up stopping this way cool lady who we just barely met with an hour ago again. She's cool :) We went the next day to find the address that she had given us... which really wasn't an address it was just the number 15 and her name.... We didn't even have a street name, just what she had pointed at. So after trying for about 40 minutes we said a prayer and finally found the place that she had told us about. Unfortunately we had to try back again today cause she was busy but today, I just kept going through all the locked doors in her building until we found her :) She was super Koselig :) and Hyggelig Anyways.
Later that first night we hurried after helping at the center to go out knocking. As we prayed for where to go I felt impressed to go try a potential investigator back who lived about 40 minutes away. I knew that was a lot of wasted travel time on the chance that he wasn't home again because we didn't have that much time, but I knew I needed to go there so we went. As we got to his door his lights were off and we knew he wasn't home again. I knew we were there for a reason though so we continued down the small path looking for some other houses we could knock on. Basically we found nothing, and we had spent almost all our time in just traveling. But as we walked back I turned off the path to go up to an apartment building. Now, normally we don't knock whole apt buildings because the Main door requires a code or someone to let you in, but we decided to try this one because all the doors were accessible. After humoursly watching my poor companion from arizona struggle up the slippery hill behind me refusing any help because of his stubornness, we knocked on the first door. A little boy came to the door, and we asked for his parents. When his mom came to the door, i started by talking about faith, and then for almost no reason at all, finished my sentence with: Have you heard of the book of Mormon?
This is basically what she said:
Yes actually, I just read it. And I really liked the part where it talks about life after death. My faith doesn't believe in that. :) ....
Well, have you ever seen the missionaries before or talked to us?
Nope she said.
Do you know where you got the book from?
It was a long time ago and I don't really remember. Hey I have some questions....
Basically..... She's what missionaries might call a golden investigator :) Like. I don't think I can explain just how much of a miracle this is. Of the over 1 million people in my entire area, we were led to one door that night. The only one. There is absolutely no way that we did that. Tell me where there is a person like that anywhere else. Elder Anderson said, it is probably the most prepared person he's ever met on his mission. She literally was in the middle of nowhere. She has kids... like... If that is not a miracle I don't know what is.
Then the next day we were led to a street, and there were about 4 or 5 people right in a row. You can't pick them all but I knew exactly the one to talk to. His name is Kim, and by the end of about 20 minutes he asked if there was any way that we could meet with him again. He, is also Norwegian. and ... like wow! He asked me why I stopped him, and as prompted I basically told him I knew exactly who to talk to out of all those people. Again, Elder Anderson said probably one of the most prepared people he's met on his entire mission. (There were 2!)
That's just the beggining. We met with a hardcore Atheist, who in reality is not atheist. :) Sorry, but Atheism doesn't exsist. But he did have a socialogical explanaition for every function in christianity and religion in general. Last time he kinda lectured us on philisophical principles. This time he still talked the most, but we led him to the point he admitted He knew that God exsisted and that he just wasn't willing to do anything about it. Probably one of the smartest men I've ever met, knows like 8 languages, and teaches philosophy and the university, and we basically showed him that he had the knowledge, and that everything else was just him proving to himself that he didn't have to do anything about it. That is our job :) We brought him to the point that he himself could make the choice even if he wasn't willing to do that. That doesn't happen through wrote lessons 1,2,3, and 4, that happens because you listen to him and listen to the spirit. I could go on. :) But just know that The Lord is in this work.
The last while has been hard, but also extremely rewarding. I truly love being here, and I'm sooooo SUPER excited to teach the people that we just found after Christmas. Even if nothing happens. Even if everyone falls off the face of the planet again and again and again, I know that I won't give up :) I have learned humility only in the way you can learn it directly from experiences with the spirit. I have learned Diligence, patience, trust, and love. As I told Dad, for me it is not important how long that you can stay standing during the fight, it's about how many times you can pick yourself back up again. That's what endurance is.
So that's really my Christmas Gift to all of you! :) K well it's not really mine... but anyway. :) Just know that your son, brother, cousin, grandson, nephew, friend, whoever I am to you, is having a rough go, but that he is doing what he needs to, and is loving all of it (k well, there are those times where you just lie on the ground and feel like dying... but hey :)). Also know that he loves you. A lot. And though he may not be able to write many handwritten letters to you today, he wanted to share some special things that he had seen this week. And as apparent by the length of this email, spent a considerable amount of time to tell you all of this :) I hope thats ok :) I hope you all have the most fantastically wonderful Christmas ever! Some other time when I have less important things to talk about I'll share some of the cool Norwegain Christmas traditions that I'm learning about. Really, Norway's the place to be man :) Being 'the missionary' of the family I could lecture you all on the meaning of Christmas, but I won't do that :) You already know :) You all are much smarter than me, even if you don't know it :) So just do somehting with it!
Have a superly Fantastical Christmas everyone!