Monday, April 21, 2014

April 21, 2014

Hey M!

I just figured I cut out giving you any name at all and just use the one letter, most lazy way of saying anyones name. You are now M. :)

And about the socks, at this point I can't see any reason to spend all that money on a package just for that. I'll make it to the end. And even if I need new one's it'll probably be cheaper for me to go get a couple of cheap pairs rather than spending the postage, and the precious room in my luggage on the way home that is going to be used on chocolate. 

Anyways. I'm glad that you love music. I think it has a similar effect on me, if not to the same degree as it does to you. I'm pretty decided on the fact that i'm coming home and devoloping my musical talents a little more. Especially in the piano area. 

About this week, we ... just went to work. If there is only one thing I could convey it's that me and Elder JOnes (yes I got a new companion... poor elder linge is already home with his family now :) We just went to work. And God made the actual miracles happen. Sometimes you actually work and things don't happen. But I think my level of faith has been changing a lot. THere have been lots of things changing a lot. My commitment, my consecration to the work and to God, my love of work, my lack of any real understanding about how important everything is :) Or at least the realization of the latter. But it was amazing. 

This week was påske week, which is the week where ALL the stores close for 5 days and everyone leaves to go spend time skiing in the mountains. There really isn't anything in america anything like what happens in Norway during holidays. Where it literally just becomse a ghost town. But anyways. Usually this makes missionary work really hard. But at the beginning of the week, I had just barely gotten with my new, and last companion ever, and we sat down in a meeting with president and looked at the worst week the Norway Oslo mission had seen in a long time. Like really the report was terrible. And its not like he hated us or thought we were bad, it was more of a: 'what in the world are we going to do?' We have such good spiritual missionaries here, that we are just baffled when we aren't having as much success. We identified some problems, and let me tell you, Elder Jones and I felt the heat. Especially when you know, if we as the assistants aren't able to pull this off, we can't be able to expect everyone else to do it either. It has to start with us. Not that we are the only one's capable but just that all the Area 70's tell us is as the leadership goes, so goes the mission. So it started with us, and then we needed  to be abel to help all the zone leaders feel the same thing. So this whole week we went hard. And even though it was påske we made things happen. It was unreal. My whole outlook changed from 'hoping' that things would happen. Hoping is good. But this week and for the rest of my time, things MUST happen. We have to make the difference. People just need to be lining up for baptism. So me and elder Jones set out to beat that. I can't even explain it. But I like... really believe that we are going to make things happen. And this week that's what happened. 

We had 45 minutes to contact with the Elders and honestly I didn't know if we were going to reach our goal of setting an appointment with someone that week. Instead, we got 2 appts. and some toher numbers. people that Elder Cooper and Curtis are now teaching. sweet. That day we went out to Hønefoss and met with this woman named Liv and her grandson. She is crazy. Super nice. And way funny. But crazy. Probably one of the worst lessons I've had in a long time. But we came back. We had splits with the Drammen zone leaders the next day after their zone meeting and we knew we needed to light things up. We had a super koselig little member dinner, and really commited them to doing missionary work both to members and nonmembers and I can tell i've gotten way more bold and direct with people in these invitations. And I do it not because I needed anything, but because you know it will make them soo happy! DAng it. Then me and Elder Holden (whom I half trained and LOVE) went knocking and wrecked it. We found a family and like 5 other potentials, went out on the street and immedattely just sat down on a bench and starting talking to someone and got a new investigator for them on the spot and the same happened with Elder JOnes. Btw's earlier that week we went out to go knocking, again, first kid we talked to, got his number. RAinmaker. It happens every rime. After the splits we had a cool splits review, and I felt like we were literally on fire. Under pressure of course, to do well and do our best, but we had a ton of urgency. ANd just a ton of faith that we can actaully do this. 

In our own area the next day, we spent a lot of time working on moves with president (AH ITS STILL NOT DONE AND WE HAVE TO MAKE THE CALL AND PLAN EVERYTHING IN LIKE 6 DAYS!!!!) (REALLY THOUGH: its been changing a ton. This one has been a beast to figure out) and then me and elder Jones went out knocking and even though most people weren't home, we ended up teaching a full hour lesson to a man, and we're going back later this week. Friday I was on splits with Elder cooper and the whole day was just filled with awesomeness. We were together with Axel and his family and his dad (whom we are taecing) and had an easter activity, and then we had like 5 hours to just hit the streets and kncok doors. There were a grand total of 24 people that answered the door. of the those 24, 6 were interested in having us come back a share our message this week. THat's an insane number. Then, we had tried to visit this polish man earlier that day, and he hadn't been there, and so with an hour left we prayed to know if we should keep going or if we should go try somewhere else, and we felt really strongly that we needed to go somewhere else. Well we went and on the way we remembered to stop by the polish man again. ANd he and his freind were home! So we were able to teach a lesson and reach our goal of finding 2 investigators that day. In my whole time in Sandvika, i've found 1. We doubled that in one day when no one was home, only because God knew what we needed to do. ANd we had set a goal that day that we were commited to it. Then i made them chocolate frosty'es. ( I can by the way, legit make wendy's frosty :) It was soooo good. We knew how to help these people and what to do. 

Saturday we helped the allens move, and it was funny to be dressed in jeans and seeing everyone else from the office who usualy wears a suit in normal clothes to help :) Elder and Sister Allen make my life. :) We taught John axel and Axel and it went really well actually. ANd then to top it off, we started sunday feeling like we were going to get a baptismal date with someone, even though we had no one really planned on getting one. So when we got to church and there were 2 men who randomly showed up miracles just came pouring down. We taught them afterword and both of them loved the church and want to get baptized. They literally have been in norway for a week, and just decided to drive and park in our church parkinglot and then come to church. It was soooo cool. Me and Elder Jones were pumped. THat was a huge miracle for us. We know these things have to happen. And God answered. 

I've learned that the Gospel is perfect. And every single verse, every thing that is told is just a small piece in the puzzle that eventually will make sense with everything else. "For he that saveth his life shall lose it, but he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." As I have over the weeks and months given up everything that I want or the things that I think will make me happy for what I know that He wants I have truly found myself. I've never before known myself better than the instant that I gave up everything I want for myself for what I know He wants me to do. I'm absolutely exhausted. And I have very strong opinions about how things should be done. But at the same time, I feel like I only found myself, because I just forgot about it trying to do what was best for others. Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of Heaven. Consecration is more than just sacrificing things that you want, and is much more about how much our will is combinded with the Will of God. When I give up the very desire to be lazy, or to turn back, or to focus on anything but now, and rather have all of my wants and desires to go out and to serve and talk to people and dot things that are hard for me, I am consecrated. And I realize how much potential I really have as a person. I need to believe that we can baptize, and serve and help others. 

Mom, I am learning so much. Every day brings something new. Something new I wish I could write down and keep, but there simply isn't time for it all. So This is all I have. Is that we have to do hard things. And we have to learn to love it. We learn to love a life completely dedicated to the service of others. Missions are awesome. I'll have a few words for any poor soul who doesn't want to go or doesn't think the sacrifice of change and time is worth it. :)


I love you with all my heart and soul mom! I hope you are able to do everything you need to!



Wait! I'm not done yet!

Just one last thought: 

I used to think that everyone who said that all they wanted to do is go out and do missionary work and help others all the time were crazy. More than that I thought they were complete robots. That you really had no personality of your own if all you did was missionary work or serving other people. Its kindof a hard thought to describe, but I really thought that their lives must not be that enjoyable because they didn't have anything that made them 'different'. 

Well... I was wrong. Or at least i'm pretty sure I was wrong. Because this newfound change is amazing. I feel less robotic than ever. I don't feel like I do anything because i'm told to, but rather because I want to. And in the process I found what truly brings me hapiness. Really. Anyone who tries to focus on themself, will in the end completely end up losing it. Christ really had the only way where we figure out what we're really made of. What pushes us to our limits, and helps us to grow beyond a walking pile of dirt that is influenced by others, rather than making the difference in the world around him. 

Wow. OK. anyways. I can't really share all the thoughts I've had. Me and Elder Jones have been up talking almost every night this week about the mission and the challegnes and blessings and just everything. I love it.

And I love you mom :) Happy day of birth! You should go thank your mom for that one ;) That should be the real celebration on birthdays :) JK. We can celebrate how awesome you are too!

Love ya!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

To the Mission. And to You.

Dear Elders and Sisters,

The message of easter is one that should fill every heart with joy. It at least does that for us. Christ was chosen before the world was made so that everyone would have the chance to make it back to our Heavenly Father. He lived a life that if completely understood would lead any honest man to desire to become more like him in every way. On top of His example in living was His example in sacrifice even unto death. Our message to the world and to the norwegian people is that through him we will live again and through our own personal sacrifice we can become sanctified and return to our Heavenly Fathers presence.

We too were called before in the council of Heaven. We have been called because our Heavenly Father needs us to serve His children right now! No one questioned Christ's commitment. Can we say the same for us? President Joseph Fielding Smith in talking about the savior said:

" If we fully appreciated the many blessings which are ours through the redemption made for us, there is nothing that the Lord could ask of us that we would not anxiously and willingly do."

Well God is asking us to work hard, be obedient, and make sure His children make it home safely. I know we can do it. We challenge each one of you to think about the lessons learned in conference, to apply them, and to really try to appreciate more what Christ actually did for us through our actions and our faith. May God bless you and those you serve as you do so.

- Elder Whetten and Elder Jones

April 14, 2014

Hey Mom!

You're first today! Yay! Turns out who I end up emailing first makes a huge difference :) 

Wow. Where do I even begin? :)  I have become more mellow and less mellow... More because things seem to affect me for a much shorter period of time. Downs just can't stay very long, Though I've become less mellow by becoming a lot more passionate and opinionated about things that really mean a lot to me. I'm to the point where there are some definate things I really believe in and i'm ready to fight people about it :) Can't imagine what sitting in a meeting with the 12 apostles would feel like. But I definately won't stress about that. I've got PLENTY of other things to stress about, that I definately can't waste my energy on that. :) 

For example, several nights this week, I was called into the office late to take care of an emergency transfers that had to happen... like right then. So I was up coordinating that and just counseling with President on what he could do about the situation. I have to admit it was fun to be the one that he calls when something goes amiss. :) So that ended up being a lot of our weekend. People missing expensive flights that couldn't be rescheduled.... ug. anyways. ... *eye twitch*... 

In other news, my trip was off the handle. Rainmaker as elder Jones would say :) That trip was a rain maker. Fact. It was unreal. Me and Elder Linge couldn't even believe what we were seeing. Also I must include a few tidbits about Kbabs.

First, The Kbab in Kristiansund is excellent. Excellently priced for a solid quality kebab. President had us go a little out of our way to check out an area that should have a branch being established soon so he can send misisonaries there, and our job was to essentially asses the situation. Unbelievalbly beautiful. Good kbab. Nice people. Good busses. Best hour and a half pitstop ever.

Random Sidenote: OUR whole trip every single time me or elder linge would stop to talk to somebody they were super cool and gave us at least their name and number and often and appointment. it happened with us is ksund, Trondheim(to both of us seperately) Narvik, tromsø, sandvika you name it. We felt sooo blessed by that. So that was a way cool experience.

 Ok. For generations. Many have have searched for a wellpriced good, delicious kebab to be found in the north of norway.... No man has ever succeeded. There just isn't any good kebab. Legend has it they are all just super sketchy... Unreal poor quality. We join our two travelers, sitting in a car, having driven for 5 or so hours being plauged with exceeding hunger. They decided that they would eat somewhere epic... yes. We must eat somewhere epic said the other. The first problem to meet our travellers is that they A: were in the middle of toodling nowhere. and B: the next 'farm' wasn't for like 100 Kilometers. Ok so that might be an exxageration. Needless to say they hadn't seen a living soul in many a turn of the tires. 

Suddenly they are met with a sign that says, Fork and knife, 800 meters. Excellent... Where are we agian? Trofors. Population: The local squirrel hunting lodge. But ok. We drive up, and of course it says: 'Trixie kebab and Pizza' no.
No way did we just find a kebab in the middle of nowhere. But ok. We went in. A kebab was 130 krowns! ok, that doesn't mean anything to you. A simple kebab was roughly 26$. That would be the equivalent of buying a burrito in the middle of nowhere for like 25 bucks. Just you know. A simple wrapped burrito... ok back to the story. Elder linge goes and asks the man to back up his kebab. And he wont do it. But we were somewhere no missionary could EVER step foot even if they drove all pday, so we had to try it.... 

ANd he walked out with two Gigantic rolls with sauce drizzled on the top, filled with straight steak. They were unreal. SOO good. And thus, the legend of the quality kebab in the North was born.... and died. because no one can actually get to it :)

Also, Elder linge took home 1500 krowns worth of chocolate. Again... like almost 300 dollars worth of chocolate. He was cool though. As a quick note about him, since he's not even my companion anymore (he had is final dinner with us at presidents house last night) I jsut need to say how much I liked him. I could talk a lot about what it was like to serve with him, and I think some of my thoughts might be mixed in with how much just my calling in general has been teaching me, but I learned a lot from that one :) He was way focused and he never took excuses. Sometimes when I'm having a hard time or not doing it completely right I just kinda shake it off but that was never how he did it. We ran, we went hard. We had to be exactly obedient in everything. He never stopped. And he definatly never mentioned going home. Not once. So if there was ever a way to honorably die, he did it. I hope I can do the same. 

Speaking of which, this week was amazing. His last week was definately a good one. I went on contacting splits with elder cooper and elder curtis this week and we saw some really cool things happen. We were inviting people to church and this super nice norwegian girl totally said yes! and really meant it. And then there was this crazy guy who was getting all up on her grill trying to get her to believe that we were a joke like right there on the street.... Unfortunatly for him he was completely drunk. And she wasn't buying it from him. :) That was way cool. ANd then we taught the COOLEST norwegian dood ever who lives right above us, and was suuuper open. LIke. you don't just find people like him. And yeah. anyways. We actually got to go outside and feel like missionaries this week and it was fantastic! So many good things happened even in such a short amount of time. We had a leadership training meeting, and yup. Crazy greier. 

Ok well that was way too long. :) But It gives you a ttiiiiiiiiinnny tidbit of what happend. Elder linge flips over tables. And we got to drive presidents car. 

THe bennys man. This whole experience is completely insane. I love you all. I love my mission president. I LOVE being able to just go out and work harder than i've ever worked in my whole life. To jsut give body and soul to my calling. 

As a final note, I'll share one thing I learned at conference. It had nothing to do with any of the talks or anything special that was shared. It was jsut a thought I had. It was a thought of christs life and the miracles he did. He went around to help the blind to see and the lame to walk. I put my shoes of one of those men sitting on the side of the road. (See John 9.)  I tried to imagine what it would be like to have been blind or lame my ENTIRE life. To be hated, and cast out. In my mind I think, I've always been this way. How could that ever change. And then there is this man who walks over, kneels down and puts clay upon my eyes and tells me to wash, be clean, and to see. He tells me to change my entire life in a single instant. If He walked up to me grabbed my hand and told me to stand... would I have the faith to believe him? Who is this man? But the hope of becoming something more than we are is always the drive to have faith and to change. We are all born blind. But through Christ we can see. So if ever He comes around, and tells you to change everything in a single instant. Have the faith to do so.  

Anyways. Have a wonderful easter! I'll send you the message I sent to my mission today :) That would be fun. :) 

I love you so much mom! Sorry about the neklace. That would be slightly frustrating. but hey. such is life. :) 


Eldste Christopher Whetten

April 1, 2014

Hey MOm!

I'm sorry about the wrong date to begin with. THat was probably really dumb to think one and then randomly be like, oh wait just kidding its actually another. Anyways. Turns out President had marked a different date than Sister Allen. Anyways. I feel like they should have talked to me about it anyways. I mean. anyways.

Speaking of the Allens Elder Allen is hilarious. So for april fools we TP'd his computer :) Yay for the mischevious assistants! :) Really though, we probably are the most unserious, while still be completely serious at the same time ever :) I really like Elder Linge. He's taught me a ton about urgency and Honestly about how you should finish your mission and anything else for that matter. At a full sprint. we're going sooo hard right now which almost makes it frustrating because if we were going this hard in normal misionary work I feel like there would be even more things happening. I didn't realize how much I would be jealous of the other missionaries who get to you konw, go outside and experience miracles everday while they're on their missions whilst we buy flights, drive cars around, figure out moves, and other such things. Don't get me wrong. There is a really cool spirit in the office... but after a full couple weeks of this its already driving me insane. No wonder AP's always come out of it completely off the handle. 

In other knews we made some shazzy brownies for President and Sister Evans which we then just left on their doorstep as we ran from their hous yesterday (they invited us to dinner whcih was sooo nice :) (and fun) (they don't scare me at all anymore. I just love them...) Long story short, Sister evans had told a parable of missionaries who had shortcutted on making brownies by using powdered sugar, oatmeal instead of flour, hot cocoa mix instead of powdered cocoa, milk instead of eggs, and finally using a microwave instead of an oven. So for our joke on them we decided to actually make the terrible thing that she had described jokingly before. It was pretty funny. I do have to say though we ran like crazy from their to our apt. with a norwegian woman, and she had this suuuper cute 8 year old son. 

Like its perfect. And shee was sooooo nice. She had remembered, made us muffins, and was super cool. When she read moroni's promise at the end of the lesson I at least felt the spirit super strong. Their little family is sooo cute!!! And I have to tell you the story behind this. After last week emials, we ran out because we just wanted to GET OUT and work! I'm at the point where taking a break feels silly and you might as well just keep going. Elder Linge agrees. So as we were driving we both felt almost at the exact same time that we needed to go try back this lady we had tried knocking before. We went, she was there, and told us to come back yesterday. We did, she let us in, and we ahd one of the best lessons of my entire mission. AH!!!! I just want her to make it soooo badly. I'm literally giving away more limbs than I have to make these things possible. Elder linge thinks its funny how many limbs i've given away so far in joking. :) AH! 

Also last monday we visited the stake president to follow up on a commitment to lead from the front in missionary work! We had had a supre powerful prayer and when we came back and just asked, sooo what are your thoughts since the last time we came, HE WENT OFF FOR LIKE A HALF OUR. most unreal member visit of my life. They've had allll these cool things happening to them. And now I was asked to give a 10 minute talk in stake conference. ... ahhh. Thats in front of everyone... oi. 

What else!!??! There has beeen soooooo much that has happened. I'm probably going to explode. We were in Trondheim for 2 days and on splits we ACTUALLY GOT TO JUST GO OUT AND TALK TO PEOPLE. We met this surfer dude from Lofoten (the number 1 place I want to go because even norwegians say its UNREAL PRETTY) And he was sooo chill. We taught him on a park bench because he had time, just staring out over the river and gamle trondhiem. Sooo prettyy. I'm sorry I can't send more pictures. I have thousands upon thousands at this point. all of them are amazing. OHH the prettiest sunsets here. At this point you're just going to have to wait.

So Its very likely I wont have time to write like anything next week becasue we are going on a 5 day road trip starting tomorrow and ending sunday night... ahh! and then we'll have tons of work piled up. Oh dear. But WE are driving FROM ÅLESUND TO TROMSØ. LOOK THAT UP. THATS LIKE THE ENNNNNTIIIIRRREEE COAST OF NORWAY!!! AHHHHH. WE ARE LITERALLY THE LUCKIEST PEOPLE ON EARTH. Hotel in ålesund sentrum. AND i get to go on splits with all my buddies up north all the way up to just find with them. Wow. I've done this whole email in 15 minutes so far. 

In other news pretty much every time we go outside we have found unreal positive people the FIRST TIME we stop anyone. Its incredible. God is literally jsut handing us people to teach without even making us work for it. Ah my life. 

BUT IM STILL GOING CRAZY BECAUSE WE DONT HAVE ANY TIME!!!! AH! In a week and half I will have a new companion and that companion will be my last. Its over. dangit. Yay for chocolate. K well i'm starving. We skipped dinner. Imma go home and eat now. But I love you in unreal amounts mom! Send my loove to everyone! I hate life, but at the same time, I LOVE just going as hard as I possibly can. Its just annoying that now of all times im in an office. maybe thats what does it.