Saturday, July 27, 2013

July 22, 2013

Hey Crazy!

I do have to admit.... I think you take the crazy cake for this week :) So GJ! Bra Gjort! Det var dødsbra Altså!
I really have almost 0 idea what I'm going to say. I know... I'm terrible. I already spent way too much time freaking out at lauren about how awesome her story is :) Make sure she knows how awesome it is that I think it is.... Go Team! As for your weather, I might have to agrue and say that our weather for this week is actually going to be better than yours. It is absolutely nydeligt here right now. Its almost hot even. I almost don't even want to wear my new warm fuzzy sweater around the apartment :) 

K well. You all probably think i'm an apostate bum because all I ever say I feel like is weird random stuff and nothing about what actually is going on.... All you hear is the funny stories where we are walking to the bus by the pond stariing at this guy eating a big subway style sandwhich which.... gets knapped by a bird that swoops down over his shoulder after he takes a bite a flies off with it... THat bird was trailed by about 50 other birds who wanted a piece of that sandwich.... the only sad part was the crying dude with no sandwich, and my crying companion who couldn't breath or move he was laughing so hard.... that was a good boost to get us through that day :)

In other news I had one of the Elders from Bergen on splits with me this week, Elder Gustafson. :) He's a goofball but he was a way funny and chill kid. I'll just say we had a really good day. I actually had a fantastic week this week. I needed to know that the Lord was there and He showed me that. I think in a way the more I become immersed in serving and becoming the best I can be I tend to forget who is actually here helping me. I don't really think I ever had that greenie faith that people talk about so maybe mine is coming in just a little bit late :) It is a really cool experience, to look into yourself and to talk to others about where their faith in God really is. No faith is completely certain. No faith is provable. And it is never enough on it's own. Its really up to us to keep finding ways to become better and see His hand in our lives. One day I can't wait to be able to talk to you about some of the experiences that I've had here. I am actually really truly not that good in a lot of ways, but I think that's what's helped me to grow the most. Is through failure. I had a talk with some of the other missionaries last week where they got me talking a little bit about my experience in Oslo, and it's almost a joke its so funny. Its kinda a sad story, but it's one that means almost more than anything else i've ever experienced. But back to splits, Gustafson had an epifany that i'm actually a real person, and that made his life :) We taught Constantin and Generosa and that was probably one of the coolest teaches ever... She actally understood really well what we were teaching, she prayed, and it was just the perfect setting ever! She has no belief in Christ doesn't like church, but now she loves ours, and understands christ. Its the coolest thing in the world to see! He fell asleep, and constantin locked himself out :) 

We taught scottish guys who got way intense, romanians, guys who believe straight up in aliens, and a muslim who had a straight yelling sesh with burt. Wrong day bro. Du MÅ LESE KURANEN FORSTÅR DU?!?!? it was super funny and annoying :) We ran to busses and trains, coreagraphed a dance to backstreet boys, played signs, painted a house, talked with funny kids. I had an inactive man i just randomly sat with at church and I learned he hadn't been back for 15 years, and just decided by himself he wanted to come back... super cool. What a champ. I miss playing with kids... We have some phillipeno people who just moved here that we actually just barely taught, and we are going to go help them around the city right now. soooo yeah. I'm gonna go now. I feel like i just rambled a bunch anyways. A lot of things I learned and felt this week are too personal to share but it's been really good. 

Even if you don't understand, don't give up. Its interesting. I always thought missionaries just had these rock solid testimonies like: dude, I KNOW this is true... but I don't think I'll ever get to that point here. Sometimes its really easy to believe. More often than not it's a lot harder.  WHen the crap hits the fan and its time to go out sometimes you muster all the courage you can and wonder if you really are alone, or if there is someone there helping you, or if all the people who pray for you are really helping. You just keep striving, keep pushing. Nothing comes all once. God works one step at a time. :) 

I love you so much mom! Have fun painting up the biz!



Thursday, July 18, 2013

July 15, 2013

Hey Morami!
I would like to start out by saying...  Preikestolen is totally worth the lack of emails that you get though... so sorry. When we went this time there were two main differences from last time: The first was the scouts.... there were, at least 5 billion scouts on that mountian. So the uncool part is that I don't think there was a single section of the trail we weren't trying to pass up a whole bunch of little kids. so that was annoying. The cool part of that, (thought this isn't point number 2yet) is that that day was the official record for the number of people to hike that mountain in one day :) I'm glad we took the bus, because there was literally nowhere to park! The Cooler part, was that the weather was awesoem! I actually prefer some clouds to give some definition to the sky, but to have a view with a completely blue sky was pretty cool too. :) I'll take that.
Unfortunately I don't really remember anything from last week so I can't really update you about it.... Here. I'll engage the Hukommelse.... OH! Last week was awsesome! I may have mentioned the youth mtc thing that we did but I would like to reiterate how cool that was. We had two hours with all of them to teach them and work with them and it was super cool. Unfortunately becasue me and elder burt were in Oslo last week, and were super busy the rest of the week, we didn't have a whole bunch of time to plan anything. The good news is that missionary work is pretty easy for me to talk about so when they all just stared at me like I was supposed to know what was going on... I just went for it. I guess since i'm such an oldie they all expect me to be able to do that now :) Um... I feel like i'm boring you... What else was exciting... OH! That couple that came last week to church came again! And we went bowling with them this week :) I've definately lsot my bowling skill however... sad day :) Yeah well. Neither of them had bowled before, so after explaining the rules they just went for it. Whats awesome is she's a rather shy person. In fact thats why the missionaries haven't been able to get her to come to church before. But when she started beating all the old guys they were playing with she started exclaiming things in her funny norwegian that were hilaroius. She either fikk masse, eller bare litt. :) Good times. We are teaching them while i'm on splits with a new missionary and going for baptism. Its going to be epic :)
This week we held zone confrences is Stavanger and Bergen, and it actually was pretty cool. its interesting the dynamic of the entire mission right now because it is quickly becoming super SUPER young. Us older missionaries are quickly become those that are supposed to be experts at teaching and at the language. I'll be in the top 10 oldest missionaries in a month.... And i'm only halfway. That's crazy. We played a funny game where we had a funny scavanger hunt around the church, and I got frowned at :) Thursday we were out knocking on doors and we ended up having someone point us to this group of rekkehus, or town houses basically, and this funny guy named Olav answered the door. He was really opptatt with a lot of things, and he doesn't like jdubs. I don't really remember what I was going to say about him... other than it was nice to have someone who despite being against churches whould stop and talk to us about what he believed and why he believed it :) Unfortunately I forgot my happy book so those are most of the things I can pull of the top of my head rigth now.. :)
I also realized if I end up with Elder burt again, which is completely likely since I don't really have anywhere else that he can send me, I will ahve spent half my mission with 2 companions. I love them both though. Yesterday the Sisters got me talking about some of my funny experiences from oslo, and I just went for several minutes... I guess I don't really have anyone I can just talk to like that anymore.... But it was cool to think about my time there. There are some experiences I will always remember very clearly, and the feelings associatied with them. Hmmm good times. :) Sometimes I wonder how I've ended up like I am.

I would say that my midlife crisis is over. Lest I forget it takes a lot out of me to go out and try my absolute best every single day despite all the negative influences around, but somehow you just keep going. I don't know if I never felt stress before my mission or if I just didn't deal with it, but I've definitely learned how to keep myself more balanced, thought that doesnt mean it happens overnight. The beginning of this week was hard. And the decision to completely not care what other people thought about what I was doing was the only thing that took me out of it. I think too many missionaries and people get caught up in impressing people, rather than just becoming that sincerely and not worrying about what they think. I've probalby dealt with different aspects of the same problem a million times so far.  Anyways. wow more ranting. i can't even rant about anything. the more I learn the less I think I know... crazy right?
ANyways. I love you guys. Americans are awesome. ANd so much different. We have a famliy that just moved from america and I think they're crazy. But I think I would have thought they were completely normal a year ago... That's whats weird. They also think we don't get fed tacos... heh. we shouldn't have told them. That would have made it more funny :) Also, can someone tell Elder burt to stop spraying this nasty oily 'good' smelling stuff.... One spray will get me out of the room. He sprayed it straight for like a minute. I had to leave the appt. And when I came back all the floors were covered in oil... 'bleh. 

If anyone needs a boost at any time, go read joseph smith history and the first vision. There is something there that doesn't exist anywhere else.
Have a spendexical Oink!


June 24, 2013

Heh Hei Momsworms!

Slaptastic... Such a good word :) Thats the kind of word I need to be using in my everyday life except for the fact that this week I won't be speaking any english... (except for with people that only speak that :)) I've kinda done something like it before but really never all the way like this week... We'll see how it goes(or lasts :)

Sometimes I am amazed by the little details some people can remember... like this for example. I don't ever remember telling anyone that I had bought an african mask from him :) I will admit it is super cool but I don't even remember telling you guys about it. Anyways. That said i'm not quite sure how you wanted me to know that your aunt went to south africa. Sorry on that one. :) Det visste ikke jeg :) Its cool that she got some stuff like that. I personally think that it's super cool. 

As for Jdub. Its short for 'J' 'W' but you just say 'J' Dub for shortelse :) Like... Dubble U... but just dub.... anyone? No ok. Well they are at least dubbed the J because they are so stinking delirous :) (sorry, I didn't have any good adjectives for J :) No matthew this has nothing to do with dub step. :) though that would be hilarious if he was a jdub. I doubt they would allow that though :) In retrospect, They can be really nice too :) I think it's hilarious to get stopped by some of their proselyting people :) and there have been a few i've gotten to be friends with. Collins = no-friendy bueno though :) And he's dropped :) And were now teaching his friend :) Kiso :) That kids chill out of his mind :) Just a cool kid. 

A little more about our week is that it was weird. I'm doing really well actually :) I learned I need a testimony that isn't based upon the amount that other people are converted and much more based upon how much it has converted me. :) Somthing I'd prolly only learn if i'm actually trying to help other people get a testimony of the same thing that I know to be true. In a weird way though, I would describe my overall feeling as the one you get when you ride wicked at Lagoon. Right after you've shot up you get to the very top, and at that short moment at the top you realize a couple of things: Life is good especially when life includes the people that you love, who may or may not be sitting right next to you in the particular instance in which I am remembering this :) The scenery is awesome :) But at the same time you get this awesomely weird feeling inside your stomach where everything just kinds of lifts up and almost feels like there is no real ground or reality any more. You are flying, standing still, and falling all in the same instant. That is how I feel :) 

As a short sidenote, what I mean about midlife crisis, is much like that :) I think I meant that it was my life inside a life (or the mission life) midlife crisis :) Does that make any sense? Mostly in the way that on a mission I am not perfect. Its really hard. I miss you guys a bunch of bannanas. But every single day is so fulfiling. With the nature of the call comes a sense of resposiblity and understanding about what all this (pretend i'm waving my hands wildly around in a jerky and yet really determined fashion pointing at everything at once) actually means that I never want to go away. I think of the day I leave and I almost want to deny it. Not even because I dont want to go home because if I said that I would be lying... I just don't want to lose the closeness to my savior. This new higher plane of living I've found I never want to go away. I feel myself stretching all the time, and I never want to fall back to who I was before. I don't have to worry about this too much yet, but when I go home, to be able to get there in one solid emotional and spiritual piece, I'm going to have to realize it wont quite be the way it was. 

*Short Sidenote Over*

This weekend was super fun. Siri said the weatherman said it was supposed to rain, and so did my pet rat jimmy, but despite all that we went out and played soccer frisbee and volleyball anyways. :) When I got here sport was cool but over time we've built it a ton so there are actually a good number of investigators and less actives that come now. Turned out to be a really cool thing to do. :) After that I beatboxed to song where you have three people singing all at the same time, and it was way trippy and cool. (that was by the way with the sisters while we were waiting for the bus) Constantin thought it was awesome though some of the other people waiting for the buss probably thought we were a bit strange :) Then I made the sisters dinner :) yay for meatball sandwhiches! (we were there to protect them from crazy muslims actually... :) oh and we had taught this crazy italian philosopher guy who didn't believe in absolute truth... well. anyways it was pretty intense. :) I had my game cap on :) ok actually it wasn't really intense. This guy is pretty much just weird and crazy and funny :) Yeah well. Anyways back to the first train of thought after all that we went the stephensons for... the entire night til 12 :) It was awesome. Now before you all freak out I did have permission to do this. It was Santansaften which is the longest day of the year.... so we got permission to spend the night with members. I should have already told you about this family, its anita and her daughters (the crazy one who reminds me of Julie) and it was super fun. The bishops sons were also there with some other people and amongst all of them, I think there was more prodigy youth musical talent in one room than i've ever seen in my life :) All of them could just bust out songs if you would name one. it was ridiculous. and super cool. Ps. I have videos of all almost the entire weekend. 

Yesterday was the day where you burn stuff and unfortunately it was pretty much hailing on us. But hey we were there anyway! Basically the tradition is to just build the biggest bonfire ever and light it that night. You can cook hotdogs if you want and play games cause its light pretty much the whole time. this is a tradition that probably goes back to the vikings when they would celebrate their precious sun :) Speaking of vikings for pday last week we went and found an old viking sacrificial altar whcih was awesome and then sacrificed some people! Then we went and found an old ww2 bunker down by the beach! It was pretty much awesome. ANyways I feel like i'm just rambling now. IN other news I've been adopted by a philipeno mom who we helped move, became a professional barber as dubbed by Constantin and more. :) 

I mentioned a little about having it a little rough this week which is true, but what is a life without some rough as well? It was mostly just a combination of weirdness and some of the people we had high hopes for not really going anywhere... yet :) I am doing as much as I can to stay positive, and to really become the person I need to be. I may not be very good at butting into other peoples business, but I can definitely at least take care of my own. :) And I will say that with all the youth and familes we met with this week I know that I'm doing what i'm supposed to :) I think in this particular case I didn't even really know what the problem was, let alone how to fix it :) So all there is to do is just move forward, and trust deeply that everything will work itself out. 

OK. well that was probably too much. So i'm gonna bounce now :) But have a great week mom. I would like you to envision me passing out. While that isn't what happened when I saw your painting, its probably what should have happened. I must just be immune somehow :) Even in an entire week I don't think I coould paint a platypus on a octupus if all I had was a leaf. Question: have you ever painted anything Norwayish?

I love you sooo much!



Ps. Of course you would know someone tightroped the grand canyon :) 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

June 17, 2013

Hey Mom!

I could say it really doesn't matter how long your emails are, but you probably wouldn't listen to me anyways :) So thank you :) Usually since the week before, my life would have hit an up and down rollercoaster like 3 times over but actually this week I have been able to stay quite constant. I still feel pressure, but I can deal with it now. :) So thank you for your prayers mom. I have been made to match the challenge at hand, and miracles are falling from the sky at an incredible rate :) The only night I really didn't have a good sleep was saturday night and that was because of the crazy drunk people partying all night. Literally they were still rocking out by like 8 in the morning. I was not a happy camper that morning :) Other than that I have been sleeping quite well :) .. Even though its only dary for like 4 hours in the night... So I go to sleep in and wake up in light :) its kinda funny! Norways bonfire holdiay comes up this week! tHats where we get to go light a bonfire because its the longest day in Norway! Woot! 

In terms of others stuff, I would like to say that I have been broken on my mission mom. I know that some people get a lot more stiff on their missions, and.... I've done the opposite. So that one definately makees the list :D I guess it's just been my lot in life to be with very different missionaries than myslef. Almost every one of my companions has had the worst most immature potty \ I would have thought you were retarded in high school humors, and I've grown to really like it. :) I've grown a certain liking for Coke and... yup :) Thats about all I have to say about that :) I think the mission is supposed to make you better but I'm getting exposed to like everything and going downhill pretty fast :) My Judgement factor has also broken... judging people doesn't really work. ... like ever. I used to think I didn't but I did. ANd yup I'm going to stop confusing you :) 

As for driving! I practiced for the first time in like a year this week woot! And the lady wants me to take the test in a stickshift. In norway youhave to get a special liscence to drive stick :) sooo. yup. Its weird though. They do the brake before clutch and it just goes against every natural reaction in my whole body. So I had to get used to that. so no I don't have a car. I'm just getting my liscence. :) There are a few areas that have cars though... mostly up north and inland  :) On the west (WITH ALL THE AWESOME FJORDS!) you're exactly right... it makees no sense to have a car. :) so none of us do :) in the EAst they do though .

OK! wow. I don't have time. but i'll throw in my 2 cents for this week anyways! This week was epic. like for realsies. 
Tuesday we had a planned teach with a Jehovahs Witness (referall from our invs.) with Constanin. When we got there, he had brought a friend who is learning norwegian with him and then Collins (JW) had a freind with him as well. So there were 6 of us sitting around one table in the library... and then the awesomeness began. He started arguing with us. Apparantly I was the nice patient one so he kept trying to convince me but it was completely retarded. So the polish kid Constantin brought started asking me questions. ANd before collins could get in I just started teaching him (cause I was actually strategically positioned to block him off) So while Burt distracted the Jdub, I taught Kamil a first lesson. By the time I got to Collins's friend and started to get to know him, Collins and Burt were straight yelling at each other. If we weren't 6 dudes around a table we prolly would have been thrown out :) So while they were doing that, I learned that his friend Kiso was from Sri lanka, was catholic, and missed his church, and really liked everything I had said to Kamil. I through down neccesity of authoratative baptism in front of Constantin, and at the end Collins wanted to meet again, I told him no, and then said but hey Kiso can we meet with you? Sure. ... way sweet :) Thanks for the referall collins. Ha det bra :) IT was awesome. One of the coolest teaches I've ever had. Burt was flaming afterwords, and I was bubbling like a balloon. I had had a way spiritual teach with 3 other people while Burt and a Jdub were yelling at each other. QUite fun actually :) 

Wednesday was Zone Conference which I really don't have that much to say about. Apparantly I was supposed to prepare some intro to a practical that I ended up just winging, but I think it went really well :) We met the coolest chilliest muslim ever,,, like really... he was chill out of his mind. So cool :) Thursday we fixed a bike with Alastair and then he took us to the SUPER expensive sea food buffet again. Taught Kamil again with Constantin and it was just awesome. Then I drove, and then.... 

Friday ended up being a really cool day when I felt like I should give one of the former members we are working with a call and he said it must have been straight revalation that I called him. It was just a good convo. with him. He is soooo hard ot understand htough. Stavangersk is the worst dialect. I like it... but its hard. Especially when some people put way more throat into it than they need to. Saturday we had a whooole bunch of people show up to play soccer, and then we ate fried rice... who knew I could make that :) 

In other news, I had a short freak out as I hit what i'm going to call my other life mid life crisis. :) Sometimes im dead and want to just relax. But right now I just feel chill and like I love life whether i'm being pushed donw or whether i'm just getting carried along my way. Its not possible for me to feel bad about what i'm doing here, so in a way i really don't want this to end. But that's ok. I have a long way left. I'm not even to the halfway point yet. whoo. I'm still ok :) Missions are just awesome. MIne is 0 of what I thought it would be. Its 10 times better. That's all I have to say about it. When I share experiences, you prolly don't realize just how cool it is to see the Lord lead you to do the things you need to do. We have like 15 solid people we are working with now. only noine of them has anything to do with me or the work I did. And you probably don't realize how much I freaked out when someone ACTUALLY CALLED ME!!! LIke... I gave him a card. He ran off.... and then called me the next day!!!!!! OH BABY!!! I*M SOOOSOYS STOKED!!!! Best voice message ever!!!! WE are meeting with him in an hour... sooo cool!!! It's unheard of to have someone actually call the number on your card.... woa.

ANyways. My week was great. There is so much more.Last note.... 
MOm. I apologize for not saying:

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE BIRTHDAY PACKAGE!!!! WOOOOOOTTT!!! I love it. Your easter candy is legit. mmmmmmm..... butterfigner eggs kill me. and kit kats.... and mmmm... thank you. ANd the harddvrive is the best! thank you THank you thank you! ANyways. I gotta go now! but I love you all so much!