Monday, July 14, 2014

July 13, 2014

I love life! AH! I'm super happy right now. I'll just start with that. We had such an amazing week. Good lessons that we taught, and that I was taught. The best sunday i've had in norway, and incredible experiences. Soooo cool! i'mmma hop in. I say this to everyone, I wish I could comment more, but I simply can't. I'll talk to you when I see you agian,. hows that? :) 

FIRST OFF THOUGH. MOM. It was 100 degrees in Oslo this week. 80 percent humidity. AND NORWAY DOESNT HAVE ANY AC. i've never sweat so much in my life. Everywehere. at home, at work, outside. everywhere. its been incredible. 

Second off. THe beginning of the week was just work. We didn't really have any teaches, so if we werent slaving in the office we were on the streets. In all honesty we kinda go dominated. But it was still really good. I learned some incredible lessons. 

Wednesday we taught leif, with a sweet member anne edlund, and it actaully went really well. He's read half the book of mormon in just a few weeks and though he doesn't understand all of it, he feels good when he reads it. THe sad part is it didnt' sound like we were going to be able to get him in church this week. But he is this funny trønder man thats totally warming up to us. :) super cool.

Thursday in trondheim, we had a sweet meeting, followed by me and elder hill going out in the rain and getting compeltely drenched! I had forgotten to take with my rain jacket and so when it started pouring I just had to take it :) It was pretty funny trying to stop people on the street whilst getting completely soaked. But funny enough, we actually found some people, gave a book to a couple of girls we ended up walking with for a few minutes and teaching, and really jsut having a good time. Friday was another early morning and another sweet meeting. peopel have really enjoyed them even though its a lot of practicing I think peopel enjoy being able to learn just the basic skills of actually how to do thing.s 

Saturday we taught a man named Joachim. He was sooooo coool. I felt like there was something else I needed to accomplish on my mission and he was it. He is the cherry on top. A norwegian man, who quite honeslty just loves everything that we taught him. Next day he showed up 14 minutes early to church in a white shirt aand tie, and just got eaten up :) I loved it. He took every commitment, and then some. We were bold enough to invite him to our dinner with president and sister evans, and he came and brought her flowers. Sooo funny. :) Mircales. 

Whats funny about the whole experience is that is was a straight miracle and blessing from God. After fighting through so much it just had to come in God's timing. I learned an incredible lesson about that this week. Of the three people we invited to church 4 of them came, and all were norwegian. THats unprecedented. We had an amazing teach with Jon axel outside on taunte linge's little garden and he came. Leif came and loved it. Henrik the man I helped move from olso CAME! And we are teaching him and his family tommorow! Joachim came! And everyone loved it. later in the week our 10 minutes of contacting got us a new investigator whcih was exactly what we needed to het our goal for this last week. It honestly was God blessing us, because we really needed it, and we had been doing absolutely everything we can. 

ALSO. KNut andreas, Ole Gjevik, Ben Weggersen, Torjesen, and others rolled into SAndivika yestereday and I died. I didn't almost died. I did. I did died. I got sooo distracted when he walked in randomly, I jsut ran over and gave him the biggest hug ever. AH! and he had his retunred missionary fiance, who he had converted along with him. THe perfect story ever. It was sooo cute and wonderful. Also Matias isaksen was there. Just a row of straight bosses rolled in. Everything about my day was perfect.

I can't leave this place. I love all these people too much to leave. Arg. Samtidig, I'm excited. I'm completely in the middle. I love where I am. I'll love being home. I'll love whatever. Life is just sweet. I have a crap ton more to say. The end has been good. THis whole week is loaded. with cool stuff. Joachim is making me Lutafisk (Finally!) and I get to go back to bergen! nothing could make my life more perfect. ANd these meetings have been changing the ways missionaries work. What else could I ask for?

nothing. Except for maybe my family. But that's coming soon :) 

I love you so much mom!

Eldste Whetten

Thursday, July 10, 2014

July 7, 2014

I'm tired. we had a very short stressful week. Short just because it flew by soo stinking fast. Guarenteed this week will be even worse. We've done one of our meetings and have 4 left to go. two back to back this week and two next week. Something tells me i'm going to be a little burned out by the end of it all. We're also planning a general authorities mission tour to norway, and I won't even be here. Other cool/sad news. Elder Bednar is coming to Norway!!! In September!!!! I .... won't be here in .... september.... sob sob. 

oh well. I'll have other good things happening. I think one has to have the attitude that you will just go forward with life and take every challenge as it comes. ANyways. I don't have that much exciting to say from this week. Because it basically consisted of sitting in MLC a 7 hour meeting, getting an agenda, and then having 2 days to plan another 7 hour meeting. and then friday we were gone all day leading a hour meeting. just practicing over and over again in front of entire zones. Stressful. Also, we have to buy flights, and oh by the way, don't forget that my only and one job is just to actually baptize people and set the example in that way. Ug. I'm stressed. I am super happy, but just a little stressed. by the end of friday I literally just thought I was going to fall over. It was cool though. We only spent a couple days writing reports and help sheets for the workshop we were doing, and planning the whole stinking 7 hour meeting, and all told, there is NOO way we should have been able to get it done in that time. And we didn't. We had 5 minutes to plan how we were going to do a 45 minute introduction. Incredible. I am getting better at just pulling out scriptures and other things on the spot. :) And for the most part, we were only able to make it a success by grace. We got helped. Thats all I can say. But it was a good meeting. 

For one of the practicals we set up a mock buss, gave them some funny props to play with and pretend like they were really there playing on their Iphone, or ipad, or headphones, or just other stuff, and we bascially just gave them 30 seconds to start a conversation and figure out something interesting about the person. It was sweet. :) That probably doesn't really make sense to you now that I think about it. :)

we did find and teach a waaaay cool family this week. Leon and Kari live out in a town called Sylling whcih is more or less a farmers town on the outskirts of oslo. We turned a corner, and were met with an incredible fjord and found that this famliy we had met on the street lived down this long dirt row all the way down to the fjord shore. Unreal. It was incredible. :) They are sheep farmers and have renovated a chicken barn for their home. :) But we had a way cool first teach with them, and Really just a super fun day. You all have talked about car problems and we were met with some of our own. First the Asker Sisters (Sister Hunt and Trydal) blew two tires at once. Incredible. :) So we came back and instead of lunch we were getting the office couple and making the drive out to help them. When we got there we learned that we were missing the spare tire in the Allens car so we had to drive out again to get one of the winter spiked tires to replace it with. And somethings messed witht the transmission so the poor allens are using this way janky car right now. Hopefully it doesnt break on them when we are gone to Trondheim this week. :) Later after a wonderful teach with Leif at a members house, we were most of the way home when she called us and said that she had gotten her car stuck trying to get out of the garage... Huh? ANyways so we turned around again and drove back. She basically sideswiped a pillar trying to get out of her stall and the car was stuck onto the pillar. So after trying frutiessly to lift the car a move it, I jsut got into the drivers seat and got it off :) Yay for being abl to drive stickshift'!

The last thing was John Axel who we have been teaching a lot. We taught him on saturday night, and it was one of the most powerful teaches I've ever been in. Its been a whilie since  I literally started crying in the middle of a teach. The man just needs to realize that God doesn't expect anything more than his best. And that he really can just make a desciion. We are getting to the point where we will have to tell him that by not making a descision that he's making a decision to say no... Anyways. it was kraftig. 

I don't have a ton else to say. Our area needs to be doing better, but like 80 percenct of our people are on vacation right now. So thats making it tough.Its just one of those things you have to make it through thogh. 


I have on my planner.... TAKE A NAP. So i'mma go do that. I'll be able to speak to you soon enough. Then I can tell you all about this wonderful place. :) And mostly just the wonderful experiences that I've had.

June 30, 2014

Well, some of your kids have boring lives. :) A few of us don't though. I don't think I could handle not having anything to do. I'm pretty sure at this point I would go completely insane. :) 

The balloot really wasn't that bad mom :) It tasted like boiled egg. You just have to get past what it actually is. And the little eyes. You gotta get past those too :)

YOU should TOtally get a job at the library though! That would be sooo cool :) You would love it :) And I think they would love you too. Thats a fun thought. I don't know how serious you were with that, but I think you would really like it :) Which library is it by the way? Is it the one in AF? Because if my memeory hasn't completely failed me Alpine and Highland don't even have one.

Here. Let me tell you about my nonboring life :)

President Evans broke his iphone in water. I vannskapet. So me and elder jones spent several hours trying to track down a new iphone for him. By the end, we had to run to an appointment with a part member family I had never met before. Annnd it was super cool. When we got to their house I didn't notice anything weird at first but then once we stepped onto the doorstep my thougth was: 'Wait a minute'.... I looked around, looked back at the house and saw Henrik and was like, WOA! I have seen you before! My mind was blown. Long story short:

One of my first weeks in Norway me and Elder Anderson were contacting down the streets of Majorstuen ihn Oslo when this lady just started laughing at us when we talked to her. She told us her name and that she was a member of the church who comes from Arizona. She was way nice, but said she was too busy to meet or anything. when we asked if we could just help her with something she told us that she was actually moving that weekend and we were able to help her with that. We called the AP's in Sandvika where she was moving to, and got them to help us as well. We spent several hours, and I remember driving around, but I was still so new that I had 0 idea where we were or where we were going. Anyways. They were way nice, we met her husband and talked with him, and set them up with the missionaries. (Her records didn't exist in Norway before... So no one knew about her)

Almost 2 years later, I walked back into the door, their baby was now almost 3 years old, and Henrik is about half of the way through the book of Mormon, and loves it. It was soooopuyer cool to be able to talk to them again and just have such a huge blast from the past like that. My mind was blown. It was soooo cool that I got to go back and I didn't even know it. 

Another WAAY cool blast form the past this week: Zone conference in Stavanger, We were talking about the book of mormon and things were in general going very well, and then there was a couple of people asked to bear their testimonies. Out of nowhere, Evelyn came out to bear her testimony. :) you may not remember her, because I wasn't actually there for her baptism. But it was amazing. I was dying. It was soo cool to see her again. At break I basically just ran over to her and ignored everyone else and just talked to her. It was sweet. She thougth I had gone home a long time ago, so that was a surprise fro her too. :) It was way cool. 

We went on splits with the Zone leaders there Elder Gilreath and Elder Garrard, both whom have been my companions, and elder garrard whom I trained. i love him :) It was actually way fun to be witht hem both. I spent the evening with elder Garrard, and they ended up planning randomly on visiting a less active which was really a part member family that I had taught when I was there. So I actually knew the way and got them hooked up with the famliy again. As we walked we found more people, and then as we visited another less active, we showed up at exctly the right time to help her and her extended famliy set up for a big party. Her sister had written herself out of the church, and invited us to come back later because we had helped, and there were a ton of cool people there. Also. Stavangersk, or the dialect in stavanger, is my absolute favorite. 

The saturday with elder garrard was supercool. We had 5 hours with basically nothing planned but we decided on a few less actives to try, and then just went for it and ended up having a way cool time. Our practicals that morning were actually one of my favorite things about the day. It jsut flowed, and we learned some cool things we could do. As we went around we were reading the book of mormon on peoples doorstep with them all day, and actually got let in to teach a lesson. The lady had grown up muslim, but really wasn't all that strong about it, which is rare. She was really open and at the end of the lesson, she said a kneeling prayer with us where she prayed in christs name. So cool. The spirit was  super strong and we set up some way cool stuff for them. 

Sunday we had some of our own miracles. We had had a busy but hard week, with a lot of appointments that didn't go through, and on sunday we needed peopple to come to church. Jonaxel, is the father of a boy who has been baptized, and Jon-axel has kknown the chuch basically his whole life. Axel hsi son left for the phillipines this week and we were interested to see if John-axel would come on his own. When he wasn't there at the first hour, we thought that he wasn't going to come, but then he came during sunday school and It was cool to see him there on his own, because he wanted to be there. We had an incredible lesson with him last night, where we were able to focus in with him, and help him understand that if he had a testimony of the book of mormon, everything else that he has questions about would fall into place. In church there was also a couple of other guys who were brought by members, that we were able to talk with and get appointments with for later this week. So there are some really cool things happening. 

We taught Inge borg, who is a norwegain girl, who is basically a dry member. She will be ruus next year (the crazy graduation party for a month, where nothing good happens) and so I was able to just ask her how she felt about it. She said she was excited, but when you really asked her about any of the activities that she wanted to be a part of, she didn't want to do any of it. Its all disgusting. And she knows that. She said pretty clearly that if she ever had a life crisis she would belive in God, but until then she didn't really need to worry about it that much. ... Huh? come on people. dang it. She was cool though. Hun trenger evangeliet.

Also, we were raining some fire this week. I have been feeling for some time, that the general skill level of our mission has been pretty poor, and we need to be good at what we do. so we rained some fire when Elder Badger and Elder Weaver came back. We asked them what they thought, and as we opened up the probelem, they realized that what they had seen was young missionaries who were willing, but really didn't know what to do. So that spurred us into a conversation with president about what we could do about it, and whats about to happen, is we are touring norway with presdent, and he is going to interview people, while me and elder jones just do practicals with people all day. Its going to be long. and a lot of practicing. But it will be good. it was fun to just get enraged about how things are going in the mission. :) 

yup. That was basically it. A bunch of blasts from the past and miracles. We ate with the figuroa family and they were both making fun of each other and their families for getting fat. It was hilarious. Married couple humor is the best. :) 

We are actually in Trondheim right now and we should have a pretty fun night set up. I wish I could say everything, cause there's more. But I love it here. Its hard. Leaving is going to be even harder. Anywazey. 

I love you tons mom! I have to admit I am excited to see you all again. I also have to admit, I'm scared... It finally hit me that life is about to start... and eh. I'm not sure if I'm ready for that, even thoguh I feel much better equipped now. Itll work out i'm sure. :) 


Eldste Whetten

June 15, 2014 ish

Hey Mom!

For your information, I'm doing fantastically! :) 

I don't have a ton of time today cause we spent most of our day doing service for an older lady, and I will always remember running around her yard picking wild strawberries and eating them. :) So yummy! Kristine Jacobsen was the name of lady... she's soo funny :) Also I have to start planning a 7 hour meeting that me and elder Jones will be travelling with, on top of putting together something for our Mission Leadership Council tommorrow. So... yeah. ANd on top of that, I have to, must, must must keep our area going strong. I will not let it die just because we have so much to do... :) 

K well I have like no time, and there is a few things I really just want to dive into! 

First of all I spen a lot of monday with Elder Hill contacting, and he is frustrated with the missionaries up there and wanted help to know what to do. I had some tips but not all the answers, but I think the thing that struck home the most for me was when he said they were basically breaking rules and using my name as the excuse because of things that they had seen me do in the past. 

I wish I could describe how this feels.... It feels terrible. Awful. Despicable. It makes you realize that despite all the repentance in the world you want to do, you can't go back and change what happened. Its impossible. Usually I don't think I see as much the bad effects of things that I do, but in this case I did, and these things stick out like a sore thumb, and compeltely degrade me and my whole role in life which is to be a good example. an example of someone who is actually willing to just go ahead and do the rigth thing. I was needless to say very stressed about it. 

BUt I learned a lot from the experieence. I was able to talk to the missionaries there afterwords which can help a little bit, but it also helped me realize that sometimes, you just have to have faith that God will help you to work everything else out. and thats easier said than done. Jon axel our investigator this week, when I asked him if he believes God forgives sins, he answered with uncertainty. .. that would be so hard. To believe that God was not willing to forgive. It would in the words of Paul, make someone the most miserable. To have completely clear view of Heaven and a Hope of its existence, and have no faith in the Atonement that is supposed to get us there. I think I take for granted the faith in Christ, and teh atonement and especially about forgivesness that I have. THat I truly believe in a merciful God is a wonderful thing :) In conjuctino with that I had an absolutely wonderful experience yesterday. I think the worst thing would be to go home after your missoin and believe that you hadn't fulfilled your mission. President talks about that spiritual confirmation that you can get that you know you have done what you need to... In a way I got one for me. little early, but I'll take it. :) 

AHHH NO more zone conferences... ever! patly yay! and partly..... oh no.... THis last friday I gave what we call in our mission as the BURNIMONY. This is symbolic for a dying missionaries final testimony. its always weird to watch missionaries give their burnimonies... and. well die. Of the million things I could have said I just talked about not giving up. :) And more of what that actually means. It was sooo weird to watch Elder Badger, and Elder WEaver, and then me get up right after another. ... strange. Well glad thats over. At least I ddin't stress out about it as much as they did. They were both way stressed about it :) 

There were some other cool things that happened this week, but that was the gist of it. WE went on a walk with John axerl and the allens, and that was way fun. WE had an atheist offer to let us in if we'd just listen to him rant for an hour... nei takk bro. I wasn't feelin it that day unfortunately :) I've come to the conclusion that we cant soften peoples hearts by arguing with them.... why did it take me so long to figure that out? Also I love the rain, and eldeer jones hates it. I think thats funny :)

ANyways. Yup That first weekend woudl work great mom :) It'd be nice to get it over with anyways when you know the whole 2 years is still fresh on my mind. jk. its gonna be fresh for a good while. :)

 You'll be happy to know I only broke my pinky toe in the fall to the floor in amazment :) So i can still walk alright :) I love you so much mom :) It literally feels like june just started.... THis is gonezo. I feel my whole life is just going to start flying away from me... not cool :)



Eldste Whetten