Wednesday, May 29, 2013

An Unexpected Delay!

Well I can honestly say that I did not expect to have another Pday here in the MTC! But I think that, even though I've already talked to mom and dad about this that I should send the whole story on to you. And let the games begin!
Once upon a time there was a Sister missionary in the MTC. This Sister was really looking forward to flying to her new home in Norway with 20 other companions and the morning of their first day of travel arrived quickly and with much enthusiasm. They all rushed back and forth figuring out how much their suitcases weighed, what they needed to get rid of, and where their name tags were. Then finally they pulled all of their luggage to the curb and walked into the travel office so they could get their tickets and check out of the MTC. They all chatted excitedly wondering where their first areas would be and who they would be sitting by on the plane(s) when this one Sister got her packet and realized that her passport was not in there. Now she had sent her passport to Salt Lake with her Visa application. The problem was set up when the Norwegian Missionaries found out that they were going to be blessed to not have to wait for their Visa's because now they didn't need them to get into the country. Because they didn't need them the offices didn't really pay any attention to their applications and for some reason overlooked the fact that this Sister's passport was still in their office and that she would need that to be able to get to their mission. (This is the part where this Sisters name changes to "The Situation")
When "The Situation" asked the man that was checking everyone out of the MTC about the whereabouts of her passport he called a woman on the phone...'cause how else would he call her? The woman on the phone informed him that the office that was holding "The Situation's" passport captive was closed for the Holiday and no one would be able to get it until the next day at the earliest. The Brother looked at "The Situation" and said, "it looks like you are going to be delayed. Sorry." At this point, "The Situation's" companion started to panic. However, "The Situation" felt oddly calm about it. They quickly made their way to the front desk and they tried everything they could to fix it. Then the Brother driving the bus full of missionaries called to the front desk telling them that he was pulling out and needed "The Situation's" ledsager to get on the bus. At this point her ledsager almost went on strike. She looked at "The Situation" and said, "I'm not going anywhere until I know what is going to happen to you! You are my ledsager!" The Situation, still feeling quite peaceful about the ongoing proceedings said to her, "For some reason I am not supposed to fly to Norway with you. You are supposed to be there though. Go, work hard, have fun."
When "The Situation" was alone with the sister working at the front desk she said, "Just tell me what to do." Her Sister Training Leaders came up to the front and sat with her. "The Situation" got to call her parents and let them know what was going on. And then she was shuffled to a district President's office where many phone calls were made to many people over and over agian and where everytime they began by saying, "Are you familiar with The Situation?" Hence she got her new name. She eventually got to her new classroom where everyone there is learning dutch as she strives to keep any and all the Norwegian that she has learned and figure out how she feels about what just happened. In all seriousness, I thought I had had enough of Norsk grammar in the past 6 weeks, but after studying that for 6 hours (which equals about 20 chapters) while hearing Dutch in the background she realizes that she had it easy on the grammar the first time around.
She kept thinking, "There is a reason for everything," and "God is in the details." But then she couldn't help but wonder, what are the details, what is the reason? This is the lesson that she has come to learn. On Sunday she watched a CES fireside from Elder Bednar about trusting in the Lord. In this fireside he told a story about how he was asked to give a blessing to a friend that was battling cancer and he, for some reason unknown to him, asked the question "Do you have the faith NOT to be healed?" As this came back to her mind she thought about the faith that she was, more than likely, lacking. She thought, "Do I trust in the Lord enough to believe that he will help me do, be, and become exactly what, where, and who he can BEST utalize? Do I trust him enough to put my hands completely in his hands?" Now some people think that because she is a missionary she has already put herself in the Lords hands completely. But what part of herself is she still holding back. She has determined that she needs to be more like Job. She needs to realize that she may not have done anything seriously wrong. But perhaps this is her refiners fire, or at least a part of it. Does she really trust and believe that God has a plan? Yes! Will she trust in it completely? Yes! After a day and a half of constant prayer to trust and not worry about the "why" behind His plan, she is comfortable with the fact that she is not with everyone else that are arriving at the mission home right now. She has decided that she is here to learn something, and the only way she can learn it is if she is a "good girl" and she does what she is supposed to!
She doesn't know yet when she will leave, she is hoping to find out this afternoon. But right now she is just greatful for a little more time to prepare. There is a lesson to learn in every situation, and every now and then you are sent a curve ball. "Trust in the Lord with all thy heart, might, mind, and strength, and lean not on thy own understanding." Proverbs 3:5-6
Well wasn't that a fun story!? Really this last week has been amazing. Every day I learn something new and every day I am challenged to apply it in my own life. I am so greatful for that. Last week I said goodbye to my teachers, my branch Presidency, and the MTC. Now this week I have said goodbye to 20 of my new friends. All of those to whom I have said goodbye have touched my life and changed it for the beter. I love them each. I keep thinking of the quote "Come what may, and love it." We must cherish every moment. We must be willing to learn and grow. We mush ALLOW the power of the Atonement to work in our lives. We must choose what kind of life we want to live. I don't know about you but I want to grow. I want to consistantly become better, I want to be an effective servant of the Lord. I want to be the best daughter of God that I can be. I know that He will give us the opportunities to become more than we ever could, but we have to choose to let him help us. We are never alone in the Lord. We always have a support system if we but use it. I love you. I am so greatful for you. I will talk to you soon! Hopefully from Norway! :)
Søster Roe

A note from Dad about this adventure...
 -- We were able to talk to Taylor today for about an hour while she was waiting for her flight from Salt Lake to Dallas. It was good to hear her voice and to hear that she is feeling good about things going forward. The call today was without question better than the one we got Monday when she sorrowfully let us know that she had been delayed and the rest of the missionaries were going without her. Her attitude is amazing though.  Taylor said that after the whole "situation" that she was walking down the hall the next day and the MTC President happened to walk along her. He asked, "where are you headed sister?" Taylor replied that she was going to Norway. He said oh, we had a situation with a sister going there to which Taylor commented, "I am the situation." We had a good laugh about that. As of this minute, she is flying over Cleveland, Ohio on her way to London, from there she will fly on to Norway. We are looking forward to hearing that she has arrived and where her first city to serve in will be. Thanks to all for the prays and faith. -- Eldon

Last email for a little bit...

Hello all!

I feel like I always say this, but What A Week! Let me begin by saying I can't believe that at this time next week I will have arrived in Norway! I don't know if I can believe that! But I will eventually, even if it's not until after I get home.

May 17th celebration!! (one month in the MTC)

Okay, so first off. Last Tuesday, we went to the temple just planning on doing a regular session, (Sisters Pitts, Hodgkiss, and myself) but when we went to get our clothing the temple worker looked at us and said, "would you sisters be interested in doing sealings today? I know they need some daughters." I had an overwhelming feeling that I needed to do the sealing session. When we got to the sealing room the other two sisters said that they had a similar experience. I think I now understand why. It took 20 minutes to get a group together to do sealings. I know that I needed to be there for those women. I know that the other sister that I would have done her work for in an endownment session got her work done, and promptly. I don't know how long the sisters that I did their sealings for were waiting, they probably wouldn't have had to wait much longer, but I did it. I know that they appreciated it, and I was so greatful for the beautiful experience.

Then we went to devotional. We were sitting there forever waiting to see who the speaker would be (they usually tell you 1/2 and hour before the meeting starts but they weren't showing it.) Then the front doors opened. We were sitting on the floor and couldn't see anything, but as soon as the doors opened the whole congregation stood, Elder Russell M. Nelson, and his beautiful wife walked in the door. They are amazing speakers. But that is not the most impressive thing. I know I told you, mom and dad, at least, about the strong spirit of being set apart as a missionary, and again as I walked into the MTC, the spirit about them was near to tangible. It was incredible. They both spoke on the importance of family history work. One thing that Elder Nelson said specifically about this life was this; "This isn't a place for people to rest, this is a place to progress. Otherwise there would be no point in mortality."  I loved that! We should always be progressing in some way or another. He also told us, "I have pounded the pulpit in your behalf by telling the whole world to ask the missionaries. So be prepared."

He also told us this important doctrine, "Just as a doctor can ease the physical ain of a person, a compassionate missionary can help ease the pain of the soul." (Quick side note; he said that by July 1st there will be 405 missions so be watching for that one!)

He then began to talk about the the work that was done on the other side, as well as before we got here. He told us to "Be humble, because a lot was accomplished before you were born." What a wonderful reminder. He began to speak about those on the other side of the veil, about how they love us and want us to succeed. He told us that we should feel free to ask our Heavenly Father for legions of angels, even to ask for them by name or by an attribute. I automatically thought of Grampa Craig, Grandpa Roe, Grandma Scott, and others. I know that they are there for me. I know that they will help me and continue to lift me up. Then I had a beautiful Allisa moment! I was sitting there thinking about how inadequate I am alone, and had this strong feeling that I wasn't alone, that Allisa was standing right behind me and saying, "I've got your back, I'll show you where to go. All you have to do is open your mouth." Needless to say the crying started then. I know that if we but look for the help that we are receiving we will see it. When we went back to our classroom and were talking about the meeting everyone shared an experience with when they knew that that had help, or that they weren't alone. We continued to talk about the importance of a mission and how we should, as Elder Nelson said, "Respect your mission for its sanctity and sacredness." Then Sister Johnson said something that has stuck with me, she said, "When I was little I used to look at missionaries and think, "wow they must be so good." I thought of missionaries as superheroes. Now we're going to be someone's superhero." I want to be able to be good enough to be thought of as someone's superhero.

Okay, so Helaman 1:13. It's talking about all the wars and contentions and problems and at the very end of the verse it says "...and it had an end." I don't know why that stuck out to me so much this time around but I love it. I probably love it for the same reason that "Sunday Will Come" is my favorite talk. All bad things, all hard times, all sadness will come to an end. We will have joy, and we can have joy now. We must find joy now. As sister Nance would say, #soldieron.

So our Sunday night devotional was with Mary Ellen Edmunds. She was so funny!!! I almost died laughing. She spoke to us about the plan of HAPPINESS and that we are hear for Joy. She told us a quick little tale about a woman who was losing all of her hair and one day she only had 3 hairs left. So she decided to put it in a braid. The next morning she only had two so she put it in pigtails. The next day she only had 1  so she put in in a pony tail. The next morning she didn't have any hair and as she looked at herself in the mirror she said, "I'm so glad I don't have to do my hair today!!" Sister Edmunds then counseled us, saying don't worry about losing your hair. You have far worse things you could lose, focus on not losing them.

Later as she was talking about the plan of salvation vs the devil (sneak peak, I can't use the word devil in Norway because it makes anything like the highest level of offensively swearing at someone possible) and his plan of misery. Then she smiled at us and said "What happened to those who followed his plan? They're NO bodies." Then proceeded to laugh at her own joke. I knew I liked her! She looked at us again and said, "So, what's his no-face...I like to call him that cause it annoys him." She was so funny! but taught with every joke and principle and truth.
17 Norwegian Sisters
Yesterday we were able to Skype for TRC (I think I've already explained TRC's basically like visiting teaching) with REAL NORWEGIANS IN NORWAY!!!! (Or in our case she was in England.) I won't tell you her name but I will tell you this. I was TERRIFIED to teach her. My teacher assigned me and Sister Ausen specifically to teach her and then pulled us out in the hall to tell us why. She was baptized a couple years ago and then dropped off the face of the earth and no one had heard from her until she signed up to Skype with us. So she is an inactive Norwegian who needs help. I must have looked as terrified as I felt because Bro. DeCosta looks as us and says, "I picked you two because I am impressed with how you taught me. I know I wasn't easy, but you made a difference in my life with your teaching." What a compliment!! Especially because I thought our lessons with Armand were a failure.

So we taught her. The video feed didn't work on Skype so it was basically like a phone call, but it was a wonderful experience. We got her address and are writing her a letter. She was so sweet, and just said "I am so glad to be able to talk to the missionaries again." She was an atheist and her family is still, she has no friends in the church and no support. But she agreed to find a church, or at least the missionaries, and meet with them. I hope she does. It was such a comforting experience to know that even though she is actually native Norwegian, I could understand her! And she's from Trondheim (one of the hardest dialects to understand.) I may not be able to say much. But I know what they're saying, and the Lord will help me with the rest.

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I love the Necklace that Grandma and Ron sent! It's beautiful!! The top clock tells the time in Norway and the bottom tells the time here in Utah. It's perfect! Thank you so much!! I love you all! I miss you all! I pray for you all every day! I know that as we all go separate ways and are doing different things that we will be blessed. There is no reason to be worried, afraid, or uncertain. We were chosen for the work that we all do. And we have the perfect boss. A perfect boss chooses a perfect employee for a job. He knows that we can do the things he asks, or else he wouldn't ask. He will help us every step of the way. Who knows where we will be in a day, a month, a year. Who knows who we will meet. What we will say, what we might do, or where we might go? Well someone does know. He knows better than anyone ever could. And we are all enlisted. Stand strong. Keep the faith. Remember where you come from. Always keep in mind where you're going. I love you.

Søster Roe

--"I don't think for myself anymore. I just follow schedules." Hodgkiss
--"Your tears are my happiness."--Sister Johnson to our always tender Bro. B
--"The person is the end, the lesson is the means." Bro B
--"This Gospel isn't about doing something, it's about experiencing and BECOMING." Bro. B
--"The plan of salvation is about taking men and women of the world and helping them become men and women of eternity." Elder Haite
--"Teaching with the spirit means teaching with understanding." Elder Holland
--"Learning this language I have come to understand how SIMPLE this gospel is." Pitts
--"That book contains Miracles!" Pitts about the grammar book "Nie! The scriptures contain mirables, that book contains trials!" Hodgkiss response.
--We have been nicknamed in the field as the Baby Boomers!
--"Even if we can't remember life before this, our spirits can and so we can recognize the familiarity of the message." Bro DeCosta
--"Oh one day I'll be happy!" Sister Hodgkiss in the middle of a grammar lesson
--"Do you believe that God lies?" Sister Johnson during group teaching
--"Life by the inch is a sinch. Life by the yard is pretty dang hard."
--"We are going to be missionaries for both sides of the veil."
(Sister Johnson and I have passed a note back and forth since Sunday Morning and it has now become communication only through hashtags...these are some of my favorites.)

PS Mom I love that we both studied Elder Hollands talk. Sister Ausen and I studied that all week to prepare for Kjetils lesson! It's a beautiful talk!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

13 days till Norway

Hallo Everyone!!!
Holy Moly! Already P-day again! Wow, it's amazing how quickly the time goes!! It feels like we were only just going to sleep and Sister Hodgkiss said "#6moredaystilPday" but really. It never ceases to amaze especially since the first month of my mission is gone!?! I should be getting my travel plans on Friday and then I'm outta here like 9ish days after that! I don't know if I'm ready to speak Norsk all the time, or if I'm ready for anything really...other than breaking out of prison...I mean the MTC.

I Sure Missed This Girl on Mother's Day
! Mom how was Mothers Day??? I hope you had an amazing day and that you enjoyed every minute of it! We celebrated Mothers Day here with our district...I don't have my camera right now but I'll send pictures later. On our temple walk we all took turns saying what we loved about our mothers, one trait that we wanted to get from them and use in our own families, and one tradition that they started that we want to keep. I loved it and it was a nice way to focus on our moms without being able to talk to them.

We got two new "investigators" this past week as well. Their names are Steve and Brian. We haven't really taught them yet but we have shared a little message, I am interested to see how it will go. We are also still teaching Kjetil. I have had a bit of a rough time with Kjetil just because I didn't understand what he needed from us, or why he was talking to us. (Other than the fact that it is the MTC and that's what he's here for...) But we had a lesson last week that we walked in and the first thing I said to him was, "Kjetil, I don't feel like I know who you are. I'm trying and would really like to know you, but I need your help. So will you help me out?" I'm not going to lie it definitely wasn't the most spiritual lesson we have ever had but I felt so much more able to focus on his needs and who he is as a person after that. Then yesterday we were teaching him and we were loving it! HE was the one asking questions and showing and interest in things and he finally prayed!! It was so good!! And we totally lost track of time. We ended up teaching him a 45 minute lesson, when we were supposed to be in and out in 20 minutes or less. Bu

t it was just so good! And there was another teacher observing the whole time and he talked to us afterwards telling us that he felt that it was a really great lesson, and that he was very impressed with our Norsk! (He is a he understood everything we were saying...)

Brother De Costa's back (remember the nightmare named Armond? Yeah he's now our teacher!) I think I am thoroughly going to enjoy him as a teacher! Brenna, he kind of reminds me of you! He says the weirdest things! Like yesterday he couldn't remember all of our names, he's been gone for three weeks, and he was getting frustrated with himself and out of nowhere he was like "Son of a Motherless Goat!" Really?! Who says things like that! But it's definitely going to be interesting! He's just so different from Bro B. or Sister Brown...but it will be good I think!

I love devotionals!!! Like seriously though! So last Tuesday, after running back from the temple in the rain, we went straight to devotional. It was so good!! We talked about how faith improves knowledge. And if we have the faith to jump then the Lord will help us to know what we should do next. We also talked about what kind of missionaries we need to be (see Mosiah 28:3), because we are on the "frontlines" of this earthly battle with Satan. We were informed that more than half of the quorum of the 12 are assigning 250+ mission calls a week per quorum member assigned. That is a lot of mission calls!! It is so exciting to be among those numbers myself. Then on Sunday night we talked about how everything you go though in preparing you to feel joy. I loved that. Everything prepares us to feel joy, but that doesn't mean that we won't/can't choose to have joy in those moments as well. Then we talked about the mission culture. Elder Littlefield was talking about how every mission he visits he gets a different ending to the statement "In this mission we..." Often, he said, we have things like "we baptize", we don't baptize, we serve, we ride bikes, we work hard, etc. Then he looked at us and said, "It is up to you to decide now what you want your mission culture to be like." I've been thinking about that a lot since then, what am I going to make my mission?

On Sunday in Relief Society, Sister Janice Kapp Perry came and spoke to us. It was AMAZING! (She wrote "A Childs Prayer", "As Sisters In Zion", "I'm Trying to Be like Jesus", "I love to see the Temple", "Love is Spoken Here", "I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ", "Army of Helaman"(which song is in the Norsk Hymn Book!!!), etc.) She talked about the two-fold purpose of serving a mission which are to 1) Sanctify the Missionary, 2) Bring others to the gospel. She was wonderful! And we sang a song that she wrote and were the first group ever to sing it! It's to the music "As Sisters In Zion" but she has written new lyrics that are specifically for Sister Missionaries and it's called "The Sisters of Zion". It's beautiful! She's making a whole album just for Sister if you see it you should get it.  
Sister Roe and Sister Ausen hanging really :) 

If there's anything that I am really learning here in the MTC it's to be more patient. I had been told several times that I am a very empathetic person by different people and blessings. But I don't think I ever thought of myself that way or really understood what that meant until I came here. It is so hard being with someone (Usually it's at least 10 other people) all the time and picking up on other people’s emotions and problems. I have been trying so hard to be more patient with others, and with myself. Because all too often I get frustrated with myself because I am not able to help others with their problems, frustrations, and difficulties..but I have decided that if I am able to remain positive and upbeat then that will be the best way to serve those around me.

Okay, Mom, remember those shoes that you got Brenna for Christmas? Remember how I brought my pair with me? Remember how I had already had them for almost a year? Yeah...they ripped. But they are possibly the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn in my life. If it is at all possible, I would be grateful  if you could send me some more like them....I'm a size 10, remember? :) If not that's okay, I can get by, it's just that they were nice and lightweight and all my other shoes are more...cold weather types. And while it won't be as hot there (Norway) as it will be here (Utah) it's still going to be pretty warm for a while, especially if I end up in Bergen, Stavanger, Trondheim, or Oslo....even though I'm praying for Tromsø. ;) Thanks.

Okay I have to do it. Harry Potter is never going to not be a part of my life. We were talking about the Holy Ghost, and promptings and I thought to myself. (You ready for this Porter?)
 "Professor, is this real or is it just in my head?
Of course it's all in your head, but that doesn't mean it's not real."
And to back that up with a quote from Elder Bednar on the subject of revelation/promptings: "Too often we ask, "Is this the Spirit, or is this just me?" Quit worrying about it!" I loved that! Quit worrying about it! If it's something good just do it! We shouldn't need to be directed in all the decisions we make! (Dad isn't that a scripture mastery...something about a slothful man that needs to be directed in all things....?)

Doing Laundry and writing letters -- sweet!~
Also, I'm going to send my SD card home to you this week. Please have dad, or Porter, or Brenna, download all of it's contents (there are pictures and videos on there that you haven't seen) and send it back to me. :) Thank you much!! Okay I think that's all for this week! I love you! I miss you! I'm praying for you! Porter I still want to hear all about Prom...and other people......just sayin'! have you done any new crafts (I would love to see pictures of them!!) Daddy I love you! I have written everyone back that wrote me. Grandma Linda, your letter is in the mail today! :) Oh and I'm going to write Joyce's today too. :) And to end this email, some of my favorite quotes of the week:

1."Son of a motherless goat!"--Bro. De Costa
2."What do you learn when you learn a foreign language? Your own." Sister McArthur
3."I only gave out 10 A's this semester, I'm sorry but you didn't make the curve. Too bad you didn't die next semester!"--Plan of salvation lesson with Bro. Bloomfield
4."JOIN OUR FREAKIN' CHURCH!"--Bro. Bloomfield on things that you wish you could say.
5."I love that you had cancer!" Elder Metcalf (going to Denmark) on Sister Hodgkiss day that we all tell her why we love her.
6."The language isn't a barrier, only you can become a barrier for yourself. Allow the spirit to testify, don't focus on your inadequacies."--Sister Pitts
7."The overwhelming majority of the impressions you will ever receive will come without you realizing that they are spiritual impressions. It will come from trying to be a good girl/boy."--Elder Bednar
And Last but certainly not least!! Our song we wrote entitled "Write Me Maybe" (Why yes it is to the tune of "Call Me Maybe")

"I gave my boyfriend a kiss
That's something he's gonna miss
I wasn't looking for this
But Monson changed the age!

We left our boyfriends at home
Future Song Writers
Gave up our cars and our phones
trade all our dollars for Krones
We're headed to Norway!

Long skirts are flowin'
No skin ever showin'
Our nametags are glowin'
Tryin' t' get to ALTA Baby!

Hey, I just left you
And this is Crazy
But here's my email
So write me maybe

And all the Elders here
Drive me crazy
But here's my email
So write me maybe."

Yeah it's pretty cool.....we're going to video it *hopefully* then I'll send it home soon! Love you all!
Sister Roe

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Forget me Not and a Pinata

Hello Family of mine!
I was beginning to worry about you all! I haven't heard from anyone since last Wednesday when I got mom's package! Glad to see you're still kickin' ;) Mom, I do have some ensign copies, I don't have the May ensign and I don't think I can get it here. And if you could possibly send me a couple pair of nylons that would be fantastic! Other than that I am doing well! This past week was a little bit of a rough one. I think it was tough because the first week of being here we took off going from knowing nothing to knowing enough to get by and teaching lessons in Norwegian. Then we kind of hit a wall. We didn't feel like we were progressing because we were measuring our progression to that of the first week, and not realizing the "fine tuning" that we were accomplishing and mastering. But it is a new week! Week 4! And we are ready to go again, especially after hearing stories from our teachers about their missions! I LEAVE FOR NORWAY IN 20 DAYS!!!! Unless something changes...but I don't think it will. That is so CRAZY! It blows my mind!
Oh yeah! I was going to explain this too you. At the MTC they count our weeks differently...well a little differently. From the first Wednesday that you dropped me off to that Saturday was counted as a week. So for me, as of Sunday, this is week 4! So that's why I said 3 weeks last time.
Celebrating Cinco De Mayo
We had a celebration for Cinco De Mayo yesterday...I know it was the 6th but we decided that we should probably keep things extra reverent on Sunday. Sister Pitts' mom sent a pinata...I don't know how to spell that...and we had a bit of a party. It was awesome!
It, being fast Sunday, was mission conference, which was excellent. We talked a lot about reverence and what reverence means, and how we can incorporate it into our daily lives, not only on the mission, but forever. Then for Sunday night devotional Chad Lewis came. He used to play for the Eagles. It was so good! He talked to us about never giving up, and how loving the people, looking past all the weird hair, tattoos, and lifestyles and looking straight to the heart of a person was the best thing that we could do on our missions. It was so good! If you haven't read his book "Surround yourself with greatness" or something like that you should, and then tell me all about it!
The Race is On!!
Sister Roe & Sister Ausen
We taught Kjetil again yesterday. (We hadn't taught since last Wednesday!) And it was so good!!! We got a soft commitment for baptism! And were able to teach about the restoration. It was so good and it felt like our Norwegian was so much smoother! Except for when Sister Ausen said, "When Jesus Christ was
killed, and the apostles dude..." It was pretty amusing. Oh! And then I prayed for the holy DUCK instead of the Holy Ghost on accident.....those words are way too close together! But it was humorous!
That's a lot to live up to.
We started a tradition where we pick someone every night and everyone tells one thing that they have learned from them or that they love about them. It was my turn on Sunday...I'll attatch a pic of what everyone said. It made my whole life! I am glad that people see in me the things that I want most to be!
Sister Hogkiss and I are about equally obsessed with Harry Potter! It makes for some glorious conversations while here at Hogwarts! Oh and wanna hear my great analogy from yesterday? So part of our branch left for Sweeden today and last night we were talking to them and they were saying "it's been real...but not really here and now it's really happening." And I said, "It's like in Harry Potter when they're training and learning up until the fourth book and then it's like BAM! Voldemort's back! Bring it!" Oh yeah, I'm brilliant!
Anyways, I'll send some pics and talk to you later...Alma 60:6 Look it up :)
Love you all! Miss you! Keep the faith! Stay Strong! #owlpostfromhogwarts
Sister Roe
PS After watching President Uchtdorf's talk we found FORGET ME NOTS!!!!!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Just know that I love Mail!!
SURPRISE!!! I know I told you that my p-day was on Thursdays, but they switched my schedule this past week so now I have pday on Tuesdays! Kaitlyn and Brenna! I got your letters yesterday, thank you so much! I know that I am only in my third week away but it feels like it has been FOREVER! So whenever I get a letter from home it makes my day so much better! Thank you for those! Mom, in your email you asked like a million questions, I know I didn't answer all of them in the letter I sent to you so I'll try to answer them now. :) Kaycie flew out yesterday morning and I already miss her again! She was so excited and I was so happy to be able to have some time with her!
We jokingly refer to the MTC as Hogwarts...also our district is the Hunger Games. It is so wonderful! I love my district. We all get along, there's no drama, we love to laugh and get to know each other. We all work together to keep the stress of learning a language away, and we do a pretty good job.
Oh!!! Here's some good news!!! I DON'T HAVE TO HAVE MY VISA TO GET INTO THE COUNTRY!!!!!! When we were informed of this fact all we had to say was "The Lord is hastening His work." What a  blessing! So I will have no problems at all getting to Norway.
I think you asked me about my room. I love everyone in my room! All 6 of us somehow fit all of our stuff and we all still have room to move around. It is a miracle that's for sure! We sleep really quite well. Every now and then we get talking and don't go to sleep for a little while....but that's okay. Enjoy it while you can right?
On Friday Sister Ausen started to get sick, we all figured it was just a cold but by the end of the night she had no voice at all and was running a bit of a temperature. No one knows what it was and her voice is slowly but surely coming back. :) We have a new investigator, his name is Kjetil (pronounced shetil) we taught him for the first time yesterday. It was okay...definitely could have been better. But as long as it continues to get better then I figure I'm on the right track. It's frustrating at times because I know the lessons and principles backwards and forwards in ENGLISH, but I can't express myself in Norsk yet...I know it will come and I know that there is a reason that I am not going English speaking. I just have to trust in the Lord. We got a new home on Saturday!! Our classroom had been under "construction" (they were fixing the AC) and so we are in a room now that has REAL DESKS with book storage and Super comfortable chairs!
A moment of power in the classroom.
I love my teachers. We had a really great heart-to-heart with Brother B the other day about how everyone has told us what a "hard" mission Norway is and he said, "Limits don't come from God, they come from what WE are willing to do!" What a great reminder that God didn't send us here to fail. Then! After a really frustrating day of being unable to elequently express ourselves in Norsk, Sister Brown quoted Da Vinci saying: "Simplicitly is the ultimate sophistication." And later I was reading in my scriptures where Nephi is talking about the plainness of the Lord and how he speaks to us. I loved it! I was not called to Norway because I can speak the language, I was not called because I will ever be able to speak beautifully, I was called to allow the Spirit to speak to the hearts of others, but also to my own heart.
I am a little annoyed with our new schedule (see picture attatched)

because it makes it impossible to follow some of the rules. For example, we are supposed to be up at 6:30, now we have gym at 6:25. On Mondays, well we are never supposed to be back in our dorms before 9:30, but now on Mondays we have to go back to our dorms right after our planning session, which ends at 8 so that we can do our own workout (not allowed to go to the gyms or the field) til 8:30, then we have half an hour to get ready for our next activity...which is it's definitely interesting. But we have SO MUCH DOWN TIME!
We were in class for almost 10 hours in a row yesterday. I was so tired by the end of it. I couldn't think, let alone talk in Norwegian! But ah well.
For my scripture study last week I studied the great missionaries in the scriptures. I was reading about Paul and came across this scripture in 1st Corinthians 1:12 (I think...somewhere around there...I don't have my scriptures with me.) And it is stating who Paul is and I love the last line when he says, "I am of Christ." I love that statement and everyday I take upon me the name of Christ. What an amazing experience it is to be a missionary for the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints. I love that the first thing I do every morning is put on my name tag and promise to Him that I will share His gospel. This week I am studying the women of the scriptures and the roles they played. I'm really excited to start learning. I also started keeping a "tender mercies" book. It is such a wonderful thing to have because it always reminds me that even though this is the hardest thing I have ever done I am so blessed to be here. It helps me to realize every little tender mercy in my life. I love it! 
Seriously there is no joking involved when people say that "the days here are long, but the weeks are short." When I arrived here three weeks ago tomorrow I remember talking to the people in my branch that had been here for three weeks then, they are flying to Sweden next Tuesday. Now we're the "old" ones and soon enough we will be the "ancient" ones of the MTC.
Okay, so an overview of the day to day life of the MTC:
Every day we wake up at 6 am and begin our day with prayer. Then after we get ready we go to our classroom and have personal study time til 8:45, then we have breakfast. Oh glorious breakfast. (Mom if you get the chance I could really use some granola bars...or poptarts...or cheez-its :) ) It feels like an eternity from the time that we eat the night before to the time that we go to breakfast. Seriously, like, I'm pretty sure that is what it was like for Christ when he fasted for 40 days and nights...okay maybe not that bad, but still. So after breakfast half of our district teaches, and the other half (me included in this) have companionship study for an hour. Then we have language study until lunch at 1:50, by then I am singing praises for the manna from heaven. Then we go back to the classroom and the half of us that didn't teach before teaches now. Then we have language study for two hours until we switch gears and have a fundamental study until dinner at 6:50. It makes for a lot of time in the classroom....but that's okay.
Wake up at 6:15 go get a sack breakfast and take it back to our rooms, we don't eat it yet but instead we do do service from 7-8, then go and eat breakfast. After that we go do laundry and write home. Then personal study. Comp study, sack lunch. Then get dressed up. Go to the temple, we are going to eat dinner at the temple because we have dinner at 6:15, but Tuesday nights also are devotional, and if you want a good seat for devotional then you have to be in line at 6. Then devotional starts at 7. WE have a district devotional review from 8-9, then daily planning session til 9:30 after which we go back to our dorm for personal study and comp prayer. Then lights out. It's amazing how long this day actually is.
The rest of the week is a lot like Mondays except we sometimes have gym at 7:20 instead of 6:25.
Sundays are my favorite days. We have breakfast at 7, then personal study until 9:15 when we have music and the spoken word followed by relief society. Last week at relief society there were 1258 sisters there. Can you imagine opening that meeting by singing "As  Sisters in Zion"? Well, let me tell you, it's incredible! This past Sunday our relief society speaker was Sister Oscarson, the new General YW's pres. And Bren, y'all are in good hands. She was so amazing. Then we have lunch, followed by Sacrament meeting, after which we study some more, then go to dinner. After dinner we (Sister Ausen and I) have companionship inventory and just get a feel for what's going on and how we're going as a companionship and set some goals. Then we go to stand in line for devotional. After which we go watch a "movie" which is really just a replay of a talk that has been given at the MTC. Last week we watched "Character of Christ" from Elder Bednar, this week we went to one from Elder Holland. They are so good and so uplifting, and just always what I need to hear.
Have you all seen "We Bought A Zoo"? You know the part that he talks about "20 seconds of insane courage"? Well there are 17 of us sisters going to Norway. So we are the 17 miracles, and our "motto" of sorts is "18 months of insane courage." I am attatching some pictures...I can only send three per email so it might be a few emails...I love you! I miss you!
Sister Roe

Norsk or Die -- The language is a work in progress. We  Hope!!

First week of the MTC!

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 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.
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.
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.
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