Sunday, April 28, 2013

Wow! I cannot believe that it has already been a week! This is so crazy! I don't remember all that I told you in my letter home so I'll start from the beginning. Okay so last week after you dropped me off my host walked me to building 1M where I got my name tag and my key card etc. It was so awesome to actually have my name tag, it made it real, you know? Then I met my host at the back of the building and she showed me to my dorm, in which 6 girls live and they are really made for 4...but we manage. I didn't meet anyone yet. Then we went to my classroom. My real classroom is under construction right now and so I'm in a temporary room and it is like walking into a sauna every morning. But that's okay. As soon as I walked in Sister Ausen jumped up saying
Sister Ausen and Sister Roe first companions!
"Sister Roe! My Companion!!" So that was how I found out who my comp was! :) Then I was taken to a lab and I had to watch an orientation thing and then went back to class. As soon as our class started my teachers Brother Bartholomew and Sister Brown started speaking in Norwegian to us and they don't really ever stop. I love them both! Brother Bartholomew is a very loud, happy, sing-songy guy. And Sister Brown has a certain quiet dignity about her. It has been a great class so far!
I saw Kaycie that night when she stuck her head in my classroom. I was just so excited to see her!! I think that I just hugged her for like three minutes...which was not so good because I had to be getting to a fireside for all the new missionaries. I think I already told you this but I'll tell you again anyways. The day I came in was the first time in history where there were more Sisters (259) than Elders (253). CRAZY AWESOME!! So we went to a fireside where as a group of like 50 missionaries or so we would teach three "investigators" collectively. They weren't kidding when they say that you are thrown into this! It was a wonderful experience though.
Best friends found each other! Sister Kaycie Brown and Sister Taylor Roe
 get to share 10 days together in MTC
The next day we were told that we would be teaching our first lesson on Friday! What?! And in Norwegian!? Did I type that right?? Why, yes, yes I did. So I don't really remember the distinction between days anymore, especially since at night time it kind of just feels like we take a power nap and then we're at it again.
But we taught our first lesson on Friday. Armand, our investigator, literally gave me nightmares. Seriously. He's a military man and has a very closed personality and in all of my dreams he's there yelling at me in Norsk and then saying "Stammer deg?!" (Make sense?) I couldn't understand anything elst that he would say. It was awful! Anyways besides the point. We taught out first lesson and it was absolutely terrible! He was 15 minutes late and when he walked in he was wearing his TEACHERS nametag still! I couldn't think of him as investigator until he pulled out his phone and got up and walked across the room during the opening prayer. And I not only couldn't speak norwegian but I couldn't understand it either. And we taught about the restoration and the Book of Mormon and asked him if we would read it and when he said no it broke my heart!
Then we taught him on Saturday and thing went a lot better! We had figured out how to say, "Kan du si det litt enkeler?" (Can you say that a little simpler?) And then that put all of the work on him! It was a brilliant maneuver! :) Then it was blessedly Sunday! It was so amazing to sing "As Sisters in Zion" with 500 other sisters, as well as called to serve later on. Then we went to a devotional (BYU mens chorus came) and later we watched a "movie" that was a recording of a talk from Elder Bednar called "The Character of Christ" and it was exactly what I needed to hear. It was all about the Character of Jesus and how he turns out when the rest of us turn inward and act selfishly. It was so good! Exactly what I needed to hear. It made me focus on what I could do to serve Armand the person, not just the investigator. It was excellent.
This tree smells like Creme Soda! :) Really!
My District! Sisters Ausen, Johnson, Thurgood, Hansen, Pitts, Roe, Nance, Hodgkiss, McArthur, and Elders Schultz and Gustafson.
We taught him Mon-Wed this week then he had to leave to go to military training for reals. Our Tuesday lesson was so good!! We were teaching about the importance of prayer and the role of the Holy Ghost and I shared an experience that I had had the day before. We had been caugh off gaurd when at 9 o'clock the other Norsk teacher came into our classroom to inform us that instead of teaching at 2:15 like we had planned we were going to be teaching at 9:30. We were completely unprepared. But as we went to teach I said a prayer that I wouldn't be stressed about the language and that I would be comfortable with talking. And then when we walked in he asked us how our day had been we said it was okay and he asked why just okay. Then we told him that we were worried about what to teach him and he said this, (in norwegian so it's definitely not a litteral translation) "Don't worry about what to say to me, and I understand English so if you have a little or a lot of English that's okay." I knew that it wasn't something to use to not speak Norsk, but it made me so much more relaxed! When I shared that experience with him I told him that that was the Holy Ghost answering my prayer through him. He cried, I bawled and it was great. But it gets better. Earier in our lesson we had asked him about praying aloud and he said that it wasn't for him but then as we asked him to pray for us at the end of the lesson he looked at me and said, "If you can speak Norwegian I can pray." AND HE DID!!! It was such a wonderful feeling! He came and talked to us before he left about life and such and he's going to be our teacher starting on May 11th when he gets back from training. He's surprisingly a cool guy.
The best thing about the first day was
getting my name tag .
I am so glad that it is P-day today I need a little bit of a break from class all day. But it's all good here! The spirit here is so amazing and I absolutely love the feeling that we always have. It's incredible to see 18-21 year old people praying in a cafeteria and being so on task even though for the majority of our day we're on our own to decide what to do. I love it here! I love my district!(Sisters, Johnson, Thurgood, Hansen, Pitts, Nance, Hodgkiss, McArthur, Ausen, and Elders Schultz and Gustafson.) I love my roommates (Sister Ausen, Sister McArthur, Sister Hodgkiss, Sister Harrison, and Sister Oldham)! It is such a wonderful place. Miss you all, Love you more!
Sister Roe                          

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Historical Day at the MTC

April 17, 2013 proved to be a historical day for us and for the Church of Jesus Christ. Never before in the history of the Missionary Training Center have they had more Sister Missionaries checking in than Elders! And, Taylor was one of them! It was a great unforgettable milestone. But, let me back up a little bit.

The ride down to Provo was really interesting. Taylor, Porter and Brenna were in tip top comical mode! They were hilarious and laughing and signing much of the way down. Two of my favorite song  choices were "You'll be in my Heart" from Lion King, and then Porter's impersonation of Clint Eastwood's version of "You are my Sunshine" which is spot on and freakishly hysterical. It was an awesome time for them and they enjoyed every last minute together. I tried to keep the tears at bay and Eldon occasionally squeezed my hand  to show support. We told Taylor she could choose where she wanted to eat and she picked Panda Express for some Chinese food. There were a few other missionaries coming in and out throughout our lunch and some of the boys looked like they were about 12 years old! The funny thing was people had a difficult time trying to guess which of my kids was the missionary.

We went to the Provo temple for a little photo shoot and it was interesting to me to see more Sister missionaries than Elders there and I mentioned that to Taylor which later was validated with the news we received at the MTC. The weather was cold and when the wind blew which was often, it was bitter. But, we enjoyed our time on the temple grounds and really said our goodbyes there. Mine consisted of sitting on a bench and holding Taylor's hand tightly for the last 20 minutes before we departed there. It was a very sweet time. Oh, how I love that girl of mine.

The dropoff at the MTC was such a whirlwind and quick goodbye that I thought my heart would literally burst. It was an amazing sight seeing the Sister's jumping out of cars with enthusiasm and energy and the Spirit testified to me...."these girls will change the world". Quick hugs and wishes were exchanged and then Brenna hugged her best friend good-bye and Porter finished his hug off with the declaration "see ya in 3 years" which nearly brought me to my knees right there!

Taylor took off toward the building with luggage in tow and a cute little sister that will be gracing the Philippines with her sweet presence and only looked back for one second and smiled broadly and memorably. The car ride from there was an emotional one for all! And, I managed to stutter out instructions to Eldon to stop at Scheel's so we could all ride the Ferris wheel and make a lasting memory. We marched into Scheel's and bought our tickets for the ride, and boarded for our fun family memory time! Brenna and I got on first and the operator quickly flipped a lever and soon we were on the very top of the Ferris wheel which is quite high and also creaky and the seats tipsy! I looked over to see Brenna had a 'death grip...white knuckle' grasp on the bar and then looked at her face which was ashen. She blurted out, "Mom, I know you are trying to create a happy diversion for us....but, I hate heights and this is the last place I want to be right now". That did it for me...I burst out laughing and we started a combination duet of crying and laughing at the same time. Meanwhile Eldon and Porter were also on the ride and watching us wondering what the heck had happened. Funniest thing ever was the operation of the ride who had to be wondering why 4 people all dressed in their Sunday best wear and there obviously traumatic day had chosen to ride the Ferris wheel of all things! He didn't know whether to stop the ride, or let us ride extra long! He chose the latter. Wow. All I can say is I was trying to do something symbolic and it turned out that it was just an insult to injury! Now, we have a funny story to tell Taylor!

We haven't heard anything from Taylor yet. But, I know she is doing great. My heart knows that. And, now we begin the journey. I just hope it doesn't involve any more Ferris wheels.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Mission Scripture and Goodbye

Well I know it's hard to believe but I really am leaving this Wednesday to report to the Provo MTC. It's really a hard concept for me to grasp that tomorrow night I will be set apart as a missionary and that in a mere two days I'm outta here! I don't know if I will actually believe it until it happens. But I know that it will be a wonderful thing and a blessing.

So that being said, this will be the last post "by" me. I mean, I will be the ones writing the majority of these posts still, but they will be through an email to my family which is super weird. Ah well. It has been a very crazy few days, saying goodbye to family and ward members, making trips to see both of my Grandma's and say bye to them, which were both so hard, writing thank you cards, and spending time with family as much as possible. Thankfully I have been packed for almost three weeks now so I don't need to worry too much about that.

The Provo Missionary Training Center

I am so excited because my best friend in the whole world, Miss Kaycie Brown, and I will be in the same branch at the MTC. Granted, we most likely won't be seeing much of each other in the ten days that we will both be there I will be glad just to see her at all!

I have been trying for weeks to decide on a scripture to go on my plaque for the church, but also that would be a theme for me; not just a theme for my mission though, but one for my life. Because life is a mission, it is full of service, trials, happy and sad days, loving the Lord, and learning more about yourself and the gospel. I think I have finally found one, and not too soon either.

"And again, verily I say unto you that IT IS YOUR PRIVILEGE, and a promise I give unto you who have been ordained unto this ministry, that insomuch as you STRIP YOURSELVES FROM JEALOUSIES AND FEARS, AND HUMBLE YOURSELVES BEFORE ME, FOR YE ARE NOT SUFFICIENTLY HUMBLE, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I am, not with the carnal neither natural mind, but with the spiritual." 
Doctrine and Covenants 67:10

I love this scripture. What a wonderful reminder to me this is, a reminder that I am the only one holding me back from my full potential. I am the one that is a hindrance to myself and I can change that. We must not blame others for our problems, rather we must learn from our problems and become better. And with that I say goodbye for now. The next post here I will be in the MTC learning how to be the best missionary I can be. Wish me luck! 

Much Love, 

Tromsø, Norway

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A Message From Mom

You saved me Taylor. I know I've mentioned this fact to you before in passing, but let me make it undeniably clear saved me. The day you came into my life as a beautiful infant was such a turning point for me. That happy moment just happened to top off many many sad days for our family. Just six months prior to your birth, I said goodbye to my best friend, hero and Dad. It was the most difficult experience in my 26 years of life. To describe my state of mind as depressed would be underestimating it. Then, all of a sudden there was this unexpected joy delivered to me December 30, 1992. You, with your round little face, dark hair, green eyes and calm spirit spoke to my heart and said "it's all going to be okay" and my zest for life returned gradually and consistently. Since those early days, you have continued to be a joy in my life.

I recall your toddler years with your cute bob haircut and pudgy little legs carrying you wherever your sister Kaitlyn ventured. You would stand at the screen door and wait for 2 hours for her to come home from preschool so she could pull you around again in the green wagon. Watching your Dad run beside you on a 2 wheeler bicycle and letting go and seeing your determination and fear battling each other to steady the bike and ride on your own is ingrained in my mind forever. Seeing you dance at your dance revues over the years in pink lace and tights and watching with every step your confidence grow was a gift to me. Your toothless grin was priceless and unforgettable to me especially as you attempted to eat your cob of corn in frustration and the way you spoke as you proclaimed you had a 'loose tooth' and couldn't do it. The crack of the bat and the flight of the softball was music to my ears as you took off and ran the bases all the way to home plate to sounds of your teammates yelps and your coaches praises (Mom). Volleyball games, and school plays, and football games where I watched you reach out and lift others on that field with your enthusiasm and kindness were memories to treasure. And, then letting you go to college nearly killed me Tay... A mere 10 miles away! But, seeing the challenges you would meet there helped me realize what a stalwart young woman you had become. And now here we are Tay. You have accepted the call to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Norway! As you stood at that pulpit Sunday and delivered your talk, I marveled at your grasp of the atonement of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. You said you have come to understand a part of the power that comes from that infinite and eternal gift. I felt great comfort as you spoke and great pride as well. I know that you know!!! I know you know He will be your constant companion and that the Holy Ghost will be your guide. I know you know that when you are on the Lord's errand, you are entitled to the Lord's help. I know you know He loves the Norwegian people and they are His. I know you know having the Spirit be the teacher is more important that language fluency, gospel scholarship, or scripture mastery. I know you know that your Dad and I know beyond a shadow of doubt that Heavenly Father lives, Jesus Christ is His Son and directs this church through the prophet Thomas S. Monson and that you CANNOT fail when you obey their teachings. You are a beautiful daughter of God, and a priceless gift to us Taylor. I will miss you Tay. But, I know you are doing the will of the Lord. You have our undying love and support and faith. Go LOVE the people and teach them truth. You are a great example to me.I love you. Wherever you go, my heart is with you.