Tuesday, June 25, 2013

June 10, 2013

Well Momsie,

As much as you tell me about what's going on, it still doesn't feel real... ;) So sorry if that bursts your bubble. I see pictures of home and it might as well be a joke :) But that's ok. I've given up the thought that life is normal or stable or anything. I just kinda go with it and take every day as it comes :)

You will be pleased to know mom that long before I read what you said about what I would tell dad about his email, that is exactly what I said... I got owned on that one :) You had me picked out way to well on that one. The thing is today I don't have so much time because we are going to go 'pratice driving' *cough cough* around the countryside :) Cause.... NOrway blows my mind... But! I also really do need some practice for the test. It is not uncommon for missionaries to fail their driving test so I don't really have any intention of falilng mine, and I haven't driven for a year... A YEAR I haven't touched the wheel... I actually kinda miss it alot. ITs alright though. I enjoy the methods of transportaiion we have here. :D Yea for no 4000 krown speeding tickets! (that's not a joke)

As for my life... Its kindof really exciting and boring all at the same time :) I legitamtely haven't had time to really write in my journal about it. I'll write one morning about the week before, and not even get through one day, not neccassarily because I have loads to say but more becasue I don't have any time, (and I fall asleep) :P So with that pattern I really haven't been able to keep up yet. But there are lots of cool things that keep happening. The biggest change this week was with Constanitn. We were helping him with language in the library when he saw  one of his aftrican buddies and introduced us to his friend Collins. Collins was playing it pretty smooth, and starting asking some probing questions... So we answered and then constatin just said: Hey, why don't we set up an appointment to meet later because right now I need their help :) So later that week, we met with a Jehovahs witness dude along with our own investigator playing as the 'member' :) it was hilarious. Constantin was busting the questions out, and busting out the Joseph Smith and the Restoration pamphlets on this guy. When we visited hime and his wife last night it was so interesting becasue we asked him if he believed that God and Christ came down and visited this boy Joseph smith and he believed it 100 %. It was incredible. He still doesn't know how to not be catholic, but the more he is with our church the more he likes it. He says he has one foot with christ and one foot with the catholics. A very interesting way to state that :) He is soo cool though :) He just cracks up over the funniest stuff, and when he gives the best bro high fives ever it makes a cool cuppy sound :) His wife wants to learn though. So hopefully that goes well :) 

I went on splits with my good old friend Elder Callister (half companion from Sarpsborg) and that was super fun. We met with the Jdub, met with Gian this super crazy awesome dancing phillipino guy, and talked to some other people. We planned for our training meetings this week, gave a bunch of training, and somehow still had enough time go out and find people :) We had this funny italian guy come to church who had some weird fundamentalist views. He was cool though. Other than that, I had a whole bunch of way cool conversations this week, with companoins and friends. The stress finally bubbled over and somehow I can still feel all the pressure, but I feel at peace. With every new challenge I can just feel myself growing under the weight of it. For as much as I don't like being a leader sometimes, you learn to deal with really interesting problems that bring out the worst and best parts of your character all at the same time. :) 

I am a terrible person because I disagree with a few things. One thing I learned I disagree with is our rule to constantly be with someone alllllllll the time. ON thursday I had a couple hours while we waited for our companions to switch back, and I can't tell you how much I enjoyed that alone time. I would almost consider it a neccessary part of dealing with the stress and everything that piles up in life. It really helped me to get to this state of perfect peace and of a what you coould possibly call a bright hope :) I'm glad it's stuck around. 

OTher than that, I don't really have a whole lot to say. My life is weird. I'm broken, and so not broken at the same time :) I kinda like it :) Keep havin an awesome summer! ... and um.....

well. Trying to express love over an email is always awkward... :D



June 3, 2013

HEy Mom!

I'm glad Kristy showed you some of those pictures. I felt like death and wanted a nap so I only gave them to her, but today I'll make you a deal and send some more :) Do I really look older...? I haven't been gone for that long :) 

As for Preikestolen, Pictures are cool but don't do it justice for just how awesome it was to actually be up there. The rain left just in time so that we could see everything before we went down. It was sooooo coool! :)   I took some of the sisters backpacks and was still hopping around like a jack in the box. .  It's about an hour and a hlaf at our pace, and a little over 2 hours at the sisters pace :) 

As for Burt being my companion I'm pretty excited. I would say that there is a really good dynamic between the two of us. We teach differently but the same, and are really able to cover what the other doesn't have. However, what was cool in Moss was how much we grew together and that's not something that will just magically be recreated. So it will be fun. But different. And I can basicallly gurantee we are going to end up as one of each others favorite companions on the mission. Especially since they kicked Chancellor out so fast, we'll probably have the whole summer to just ... Do it. LETS GO!

THat said, moves has never been harder for me than it was this week... actually I take that back, leaving Anderson was harder. But this one was surprisingly very hard. I had 0 desire to leave elder Chancellor. In a few short weeks, had really drawn a connection with him that feels like it got ripped away super prematurely. With being sick, and him not wanting to leave, the time before wednesday was really hard, and quite draining. Then the whole rest of the week was just a mess, and now we have 2 zone conferences in a row... (dont ask me why... i dont know)... it'll be fun. I love going to Bergen, so I can't complain too much. just our topic this time is really hard to make interesting, or even to do in the hele tatt. (at all) 

Despite how I felt, Thursday I woke up feeling more sick than I ever have on my mission. With all this new stress and responsiblity, and sickness, I was not too happy. But I fought through it. :) And through studies I learned some really cool things about prayer, and how to make your prayers meaningful. It has a lot to do with what your honest desires are. If you pray for what you honestly sincerely want, that prayer will mean the world to you and you can feel that it gets answered. The rest of the day was awesome. We had a member call us with a refferal who wanted help moving and they ended up being super cool. WE had a cool pump up session with all the youth that night, showed the poor three new sisters and burt around stavanger, and finally had an hour phone call from one of the former members here who said is 110% convinced of the church and will do everything he can to get baptized. 

Calls like that are not super normal. :) 

We flew into Oslo again on friday, watched a kid tackle a girl playing volleyball on saturday, and I met with our sweet berudian guy again last night. Saturday we met with the cooolest norwegain atheist who is sincere and honest and prepared and AHHHH! This morning I woke up feeling better than I did all last week so thats a good thing. I really need to not be sick anymore. WIth 20 new sisters in the mission now, the mission is 40% sisters and more than half of those are new. 

On a very personal level, the lessons I am learning are becoming more confusing, and more clear at the same time. :) I'm learning how to write down how I feel a lot better, but at the same time, I look at the last 3 months since I left oslo (DUDE ITS ONLY BEEN 3 MONTHS!!?!?!) And I've learned and grown so much I couldn't even tell you. THis week was Persistence. I'm not allowed to give up now. I feel more exhausted in a 'life force' kind of sense than ever before, but I can't give in...I can never give up. No matter what you feel, you need to get up, deal with the problems of the day, fight to do your best to be creative and loving and christlike, and then when you sleep terribly you go again. 

I don't really know what it is about a mission that is so specail yet, but there is something different here. LIke I know we are here to help people, but sometimes I feel like the Lord has other things in mind. ANyways. I just love you enough to wish I could share what I feel with exactness. Unfortunatlely, i'm a lazy 20 year old who wants to go play basketball and sleep, and try and get ready for another week. ANd it's kindof really hard anyways. Thank you so much for what you shared mom :) Despite every challenge and every weakness, I know we can all make it :) Have a fantastical week!


May 27, 2013

If I gave a bloomin' sunflower about how long your emails are then that.... would be ridiculous. :) You can say as little or as much as you want and i'll still just say whatever it is i'm going to say :) If you start stressing out about saying the right things, then i'm going to start stressing... which isn't good. I like just being able to email whatever the heck I want for as long as I want because I'm just talking to my mother who I know loves me no matter who I am or what I'm doing. so sorry for the short email. the goodside to boring pdays is that you'll get longer letters. the downside to really awesome pdays is that you haven't nearly any time at all. For example: Last pday was my favorite so far. Or I guess you could say the friday and that one. There is nothing like really experiencing norway like that. Super cool :) So I apologize for the shortness, but short of being as short as Matthew, I really had to keep that letter short otherwise, I may have shorted the rules, and President would have had to be short with me. To make up for it, I sent matthew a really long letter this week :)
And as for what to put in emails, I still 95% of the time walk up to the computer screen with absolutely no idea with what i'm going to say. I have this image ingrained in my brain of some lady in our ward who talked about watching what her son said over the course of two years and how she could see him change from being him to being a missionary. I think i must either be not cool enough, or too goofy, cause I don't think that's neccessarily how mine have been. But that's just one of those things you learn here, is that there is not point in worrying about it. :) One of the coolest things I have learned, is the feeling you get from knowing that the Lord has prepared every step of the way for you. When you feel like you're not good enough, you can either find something to change all the time, or you can realize that your path of life, from the second you pray and ask for help, is exactly where the Lord meant you to be. The atonement has so much more meaning than just covering up mistakes. It means the reassurance that you actually are good enough. :) As I look back a little I realize that during the times I thought I was struggling I really was doing fine. I was learning helping and doing exactly what I was intended to do.

That said, I am soooo excited to be feeling better again. When I moved from Moss to Sandnes, that was probably one of the most challenging times so far. to live on the floor with nothing to do while you don't really feel wanted is a great way to spend the time you set aside to serve the Lord instead of being at home with the ones who love you and care about you. But hey. I grew a ton. :) And being with Chancellor has been awesome :D I say has been, because he's leaving this week... I'm feel like i'm getting totally jipped of a companion, but there isn't much I can do about it at this point :) We actually got to be really good friends really fast, and we have had a lot of cool things to do here. So since he's leaving, I get to train the next ZL who will be coming... who is....
Elder Burt. :)
Woot! It's going to be awesome. The man I destroyed Moss with is coming to paradise! To be my fellow ZL! heh.. it's going to be fun :) I'll miss Chancellor though. I'm sick of all these changes. I just want somehting to stay the same for once. I guess I should have appreciated more the chance I got to stay in Oslo with Anderson so long more. Because really... that was awesome. Coolest expererience ever :)
I have a confession to make: I have been coveting all of my pictures on purpose... because they are awesome.... You really have to get the story behind a lot of them to get the whole meaning, so while I'll send some home, I won't send them all :) I'll get on the other compy though and send a few though once i'm done here.

In terms of this last few weeks, We have been meeting with an african guy and his wife from Berundi who is super cool, and gave me a LEGIT looking african mask. The fed us food and their apt. felt like aftrica it was soo hot in there :) He is such a suave guy though :) he hiked preikestolen with us on monday and loved it, and he has been coming to church, and he has a testimony of the church. We just need to get the catholic out of him somehow. We help This scottish former member guy put a door on upsidedown, cleaned his basement, and put a faulty basketball hoop. This guy is awesome... he's about fifty, and he talks at LITERALLY 4 times the speed of any normal human being, in a scootish accent that i'm only starting to get used to :) our ward mission leadeer is also scottish, only he was in the military as a trained killer :) He treats us like we're his squardron and that we have to grab every guy off the street and dunk em' in the water :) It's pretty legit. He told us about some War Toture methods he's gone through for real before, and gave a self defense class where he started stabbing his wife with a fake knife :) The man is awesome. His wife is just as crazy though :) We go to a cycling class every once in a while and she just straight yells at us in norweiganin to go harder. Its awesome. If you ever come to stavanger, or I come back, they have already offered to take us in and give us a place to sleep :) Way cool family.

I flew to Oslo for a leadership training meeting last week, and i'm flying out again this week for Zone leader Council, and then the week after that is Zone conferance, and before I know it The summer will be over and ahhhh!
I should say a little about Preikestolen.... it was about a 2 hour hike up, and we drove onto a ferry that took us over the fjord to get us there but the whole way there I thought I must be drooling. It was so amazing. Preikestolen lies on the Lysefjord, which is one of the most famous in Norway. You'll see why when you see some pictures. I've never seen anything like it :) It was raining the whole way up which was actually kinda fun (and dangerous) and when we got to the top I got to be mr. photagrapher (and i'm really proud of some of my pictures) and then the sun came out and we hiked down. We drove around the fjord to get home a different way and by this time it was clear blue skies and i'm pretty sure we all were dying of joy as we drove home. Then we threw Holden inthe back and drove around some round abouts :)
MOm. When I write in my journal I feel like it's never good enough. I can't capture my feelings in words. Mind you, I actually am getting slighlty more poetic and cool at parts, I simply can't do it. This week was stressful, tiring, magical, thoughtful, sickness, chill, fun, patience inducing, and everything. I'm trying to do everything I can, and sometimes it's easy to look at the results and there isn't a whole lot to show for everything that you've done. The coolest experiences are often the most simple. When i went back to oslo, just sitting in the center I was at every day for six months just brought back those emotions that were so specific to how life was training and with Elder Anderson. THough you can't describe it, I look at how much i've changed even in the few short months since i've been in oslo, and the change is huge. I continue to learn so much, and I wishh I could hold it all in my brain. Anyways.
Enough babbling! The only reason you would have a norweigain flag at a zoo... no idea :) The only cool animals native to norway I know of are some sort of giant forest cat and regnsdyr.... reindeer. I like panda bears too :) If you were an animal, what would you be? Oooh, or if you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
K well... this has been a really short email. Hopefully i'll have more time to write you next week :) Once things settle down a bit that should be good. Course, i'm the only one in stavanger not getting moved out, so i'm going to have to help a lot of new missionaries get to know this place and get around, when I've only been here for like 3 weeks :) Should be fun. I have no idea what i'm doing man. Just going to town. thats what. playing fetch with dogs on the pier.... so pretty. Cool guy too :)

I love you tons mom! Continue to have it well there up in Seattle!