Monday, February 24, 2014

Spring is Coming

Kjære Alle Sammen,                                                                                    Feb. 24, 2014

Well life is good! It was a very weird moment this morning when I realized that we are going to be coming toward the end of this transfer in a couple of weeks! I don't understand how fast time can go! 

Beautiful Stavanger! 

This past week was good! We had an awesome family invite us over with Erlend for dinner and a teach. That was so nice! It was wonderful to see them just embrace him as a friend, and to learn together with him! It was so nice to see! 

We also had a cool experience on Sunday! There is a member that asked us if we would visit a less active. We called her and set up and appointment, she then called a couple days later to cancel the appointment. But said that instead she would come to church on Sunday and we could talk there. It was wonderful to see her come into church and the whole ward was so excited to see her! She's been away for a while. But now she's going to go to a couple of the youth activities and she even had a member family invite her home to dinner too! That was really good to see the ward reaching out to those who need it! 


Other adventures of this week!:

  • I'm not that far away from home when there is still a resturant called the "Bluebird" in town
  • Still living in the world of Harry Potter! Found Privat Drive in Sentrum!
  • We also made tinfoil dinners one day! It was delicious and tasted like camping! :)
  • We fed the birds!!! It was nuts to see the seagulls snatching food out of the air!
  • And we found flowers!!!!!!! Greatest moment of that day! :)
  • AND! We were given this awesome drawing from one of the YW in the ward! She's a sweetheart! :)


Feeding the birds was fun cause it reminded me of another time that I was around a bunch of seagulls! One day Nance and I were down by the harbor eating some boler, bad idea. The seagulls were literally chasing us through sentrum as we ran, or at least tried to run, from them whilst also trying to eat our boler. The Norwegians were just laughing as the saw us running past closely followed by a flock of seagulls. 

Thankfully this time feeding the birds didn't end up like that! :)
Spring is coming
Nance and our encounter with the Seagulls

Life is good though. Just trying to teach the gospel. It could be an interesting week with winter vacation all week. The whole country is on vacation! It's like summer again!

Anyways, love you all, miss you all, praying for you all!

Always!
Søster Roe

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Peaceful Goodbye

Kjære søsken,                                                                                              Feb. 17, 2014

Waddling. What do you think of when you see this verb? To waddle? I think of geese, penguins, pregnant women, other various birds, and Sister Roe. Why? 

Well you see, here in Stavanger, the missionaries have an activity with members and investigators ever Saturday from 11-13. What did we do during those two hours this pastSaturday? We played what was possibly the most intense game of dodgeball in my life. And yes it was one game that lasted two hours. I am so sore. It was a blast! And I loved it! But now my whole body is making me pay. I waddle.

Peaceful Gift...Goodbye Grandma LaVene

That was just one moment of this crazy week though. 

Last pday we got on a bus and were going to go to this playground that a member had shown us. We were on the bus for about 25 minutes when we came to the conclusion that we were actually on the wrong bus. So we just decided to get off at a random bus stop and go exploring!

 It was really fun as Nance and I walked down this path by a skog, singing random songs and stopping to play on random playground objects. And then we looked up. We were at the ocean! And even better! It was low tide! :) We made our way down to was is usually the ocean bed of giant boulders and climbed all over them! There was a bunch of seaweed, some crabs, oyster shells, and tide pools. It was beautiful and such a needed, peaceful place after hearing about Grandma LaVene's passing.

We talked to Erlend with the Bishop yesterday and finally, everyone is on the same page with getting him baptized!!! Wahoo!!!! So his date has been moved (due to winter break) to 9.Mars! But it's going to happen! As long as nothing else goes wrong! But we were excited! 

Nance and I have been thinking a lot about what our missions mean to us, what we have learned, what we would like to learn, and what we need to change. One of the things that we decided we need to do, is learn to just relax and enjoy the ride. 

So to help us do this, we wrote down all of our problems/frustrations/things that were just plain holding us back. We went to a lake called Mossvannet, and found a couple rocks. We walked around the lake until we found a good spot. Then we went down to the water, read our lists out loud, wrapped them around the rocks and threw them as hard as we could into the water. Our problems were gone. The burden was a little lighter, and we could keep going. It was probably one of the best things I have done for myself on the mission.
Letting go of our problems!

BTW's happy Valentines day! That was an awkward day! Love was in the air, flowers were all around, everywhere you looked there were hearts, and chocolates, and people kissing! I just stood there awkwardly! It was great! But the ward did have a party! And that was even more interesting...listening to worldly music, there was karaoke, dancing, the lights were low...Nance and I sat in the corner and ate food. It was good. 

Life is a Blessing!

You know what. Life is good. Life is happy, and sad. Life is a blessing, and a challenge. Life is stressful and relaxing. Life is full of opposites that make life interesting. I am so thankful that we have "opposition in all things" so that we can learn, grow, and experience. 10 months today. 8 months again of this wonderful life. Embrace it, enjoy it. 

Love you all! Miss you all! Praying for you all! 

Always!
Søster Roe

Monday, February 10, 2014

Miracles!

Well Hello There!                                                                                              Feb 10,2014

To begin this email I would like to tell you about something that we tend to do. Every morning we read in the missionary handbook. It's just what we do. As we read in this handbook though, it seems that often, the rules are a little different in Norway. Now, it's really just a joke, but it is a fun one. For example:

"As a missionary you should avoid being out after dark..." Unless you're serving in Norway, where it's dark for 9 months out of the year.
"You should refer to others by their title such as Bishop, or as Brother or Sister..." Unless you're serving in Norway where they freak out a little if you do that.
Elder Perry says that knocking on doors and contacting on the street is a thing of the past... Unless you're serving in Norway. Then you do it ever day.

I find them to be quite amusing. It's always interesting to think about what it would be like, to be in a mission where these things actually happened. :)

This week we had some crazy days though!! 

First and foremost, Erlend. The kid is prepared and ready to go. We are just stuck in a bit of a pickle with the ward. But that's okay. We'll figure it out some day. It has been incredible to see, however, that the painfully shy, and reserved person that I first met and began teaching is a complete opposite from the person that we are teaching now. He talks to people, participates in lessons, asks us questions, and is anxious and excited to receive answers. He studies faithfully and is already over half way through the book of Alma in Mormons Bok! It has been an adventure to see that the gospel really does bring confidence into our lives and changes us each for the better. 

We did also get our washing machine!! And dang is it a nice one!! We are so grateful! Especially for the fact that it no longer takes three ours for us to do one load of wash! It's a beautiful thing! 

Our new washer we named "Elin"

On Wednesday we were running around like chickens with our heads cut off! Boy were we busy! We met with a less active member that is the sweetest girl! Her family is against the church, and she's living at home (she wasn't at the time of baptism) so she can't come to church. But we went out to lunch with here and talked to her. She is super faithful, she's just trying to find out how to deal with her trial. Then we had an appointment 45 minutes away. We ran to the bus stop, got on, and were on our way. One of our investigators that we hadn't been able to meet with in weeks texted us in the middle of it and asked if we could meet him at the library in  an hour and a half. We said yes, praying that it would somehow work out that we could meet with him. 

We couldn't find the right person that we had our appointment with, and the member that had come was kind enough to drive us back into Stavanger so that we were able to, barely, be on time for our appointment with Louis! We were able to have a great discussion with him and get him to really consider baptism. It was a huge blessing. 

Then we ran to the bus to head  to the church for a teach with Erlend, and while running there the bishop called us and said that a woman he has never met, nor spoken with before, just called him and asked if she could meet with the sister missionaries!! WHAT?!

We taught Erlend, then had two more appointments that night with members. It was crazy! And I somehow ended up getting myself into a competition with a third grader over who could draw the better airplane....he kicked my trash.

But then on Friday we had the chance to meet with Eirin. She's the woman that called the bishop. We got to her house and were just going to get to know hear, teach her the restoration, and go through her questions (Bishop having told us that she mentioned she had some questions and would feel more comfortable asking them to women.) We got there a little early and knocked on the door. And man came running to the door with a big grin on his face, then she came zipping up behind him in her wheel chair. They were so excited and it was AMAZING! 

Well at first I thought they were just going to be crazy people....but they're completely normal and awesome people! He doesn't want anything to do with religion personally, but is so excited for her, that she's has found something she loves. 

She asked us her list of questions, all of which were based on physical limitations for when she becomes a member, and is baptized. It was awesome! Then we asked her how she found out about the church. She said that she went to an activity with a friend about 11 years ago with a friend, and the name of the church has been in the back of her mind since then. (INVITE YOUR FRIENDS TO ACTIVITIES ALWAYS, EVEN IF YOU DON'T THINK IT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE.) 

Then, about a week and a half earlier she had prayed wanting to know what was true, and which church she should join. Then over the next few days all over the place Mormons, or The Book of Mornon kept popping up everywhere. She also took a test online where it asked 20 questions about what you believe and matched you up with a religion, she was 100% Latter-day Saint. She read stuff on LDS.org, she even downloaded the Mormon app to her iphone, and decided to get in contact with the missionaries. First she came to the church in Stavanger (She lives about 45 minutes away) but it was locked and no one was there. So she decided to call. She called information and asked for the church headquarters in Norway. Information sent her to Oslo and they gave her the Bishops number. He called us because even though she is in the Elders area she requested Sisters because of physical and personal questions she had. So after talking to the Elders in the area they told us that they agreed with Bishop, that we should teach her. So we went.

It was an amazing teaching experience. She cried as we told her about Joseph Smith and said, "He had the same question as me." She was so eager that as we pulled out the book of Mormon in Norwegian (everything that she had been able to find was in English) She exclaimed "Oh! I was going to ask you if I could get was in Norwegian! I can't wait to start reading!" 

What a miracle!!!

As we closed the lesson we asked "So will you prepare to be baptized?" She looked at us and said, "Well of course! Why else would I listen?" 

Prepared people are out there. EVEN if you're serving in Norway!

I love you all! I miss you all! I pray for you all!! 

Always! 
Søster Roe

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

MISSING THE SUPERBOWL.....ROUGH!!!

Hey! Hey! Hey!                                                                                                      Feb 3, 2010

Honestly the one thing that surprises people most about me, at least that I've seen on the mission, is how much I love football! I mean I really Love football! And this weekend, not being able to watch the Superbowl, now that was rough. But I have made friends with the office couple, specifically Elder Allen. And one night talking to him, for about the 18th time in 3 days, he said "I've heard, Sister Roe, that you're a big football fan! Is that correct?" 

So we talked about college ball and then we got onto the subject of the Superbowl. I mentioned how I was loyal to the Seahawks and he mentioned that his allegiances lied with the Bronco's. But he did promise to text me the score of the game first thing Monday morning. And bless his heart he did! 

Of course I jumped for joy reading the score and the victory that the Seahawks held! What a good day! :) 
Congrats DAD!!! SO HAPPY OUR SEAHAWKS WON!!!

You may be wondering why I talked to the office so much this past week. No it is not a normal thing, but here is what happened. Our washing machine broke. So what does a sister missionary do? She calls the office. Elder Allen asked us to get an estimate on it and when we found out the ridiculous price to even get someone to come give us an estimate we called him again. 

So one morning, we made our way to the nearest store and went Washing machine shopping for our apartment. I was pretty pleased with Nance and myself. We went about it in a very educated manner, asked lots of questions, and were able to even get a couple hundred kroner knocked off the price of our new washer that will be delivered today! 

My question with all of this is, When on Earth did I become responsible enough to live half way across the world from my parents with a person that I didn't know 9 months ago, AND to buy a washing machine?! 

To quote Nance, "I'm not even able to pick out what to wear in the morning, but I'm able to purchase major household appliances?!" That basically sums up how I felt about that. 

This week we also had to take Nance back to the doctor again. I have been doing much better since last Monday,  but she was not getting any better! So we went back to the doctor and he ORDERED her to stay inside and give herself a chance to get better. So this week we were inside for most of it, once again. But we did get our deep cleaning done! 
Doing Everything I can to help Nance feel better!

We cleaned our apartment for 7 hours on Saturday! I am pretty sure that it hadn't been deep cleaned in the four years that missionaries had been living there. But it has been done now! 
Cleaned up our whole apt. Even these messy desks!

Also this week while we were at home doing weekly planning, we were shocked when our doorbell rang. First of all because I forgot that we have a doorbell, and second because no one really knows where we live. So both of us curiously made our way to the door. As we opened it the Jehovah Witnesses looked at us and said "Oh, the Mormons live here!" 

They were kind of flustered and we just sat there and listened to them for a moment, they shared a scripture, and asked us over and over if we agreed with their doctrine. They were shocked when we would say "yes" and kept trying to find something that was different. We explained to them the difference. Then they invited us to visit their church and we said thank you. They walked away quickly. The younger of the two, as they walked past our house asked why they didn't push harder, the older one said, "The Mormons, well they don't budge. They just tell you that they know the truth. And those ones were their missionaries." 

It was pretty humorous. 
We are the Sister Missionaries!!!

Things with Erlend are going alright. Still trying to get all of the cooks on the same page. And there are just so many opinions. The thing is that WE have done our job. We have prepared him for baptism. He is ready. He needs to be baptized because he KNOWS the truth. We are praying for a miracle to happen that everyone will come to the same conclusion. And that we can help someone come closer to God and Eternal Life. 

Life is so good! Spring is coming to Stavanger, bring on the rain! Not that there ever was any snow to wash away...but that's okay. I love you all, I miss you all! I'm praying for you all! 

Always! 

Søster Roe

PS Moves call came and went, we're staying! :) Another 6 weeks! :) :) 

(Here's an excerpt from the email she wrote to me)

WOW!!!
What a weekend is right!! It's a good thing that nance and I are the only ones in the library right now! Cause reading your guys' emails I may have jumped for joy! WOW! WAY TO GO PORTER!!! What a night! I bet he was feeling good! :) :) I bet you were feeling good!!! :D 

And Brenna! Wow! These two are really excelling! I am so proud of them! I wish I could be there in person! But I'm definitely there in spirit! Sounds like you have a nice little break before the hectic starts in again! 

I also jumped for joy when Elder Allen (of the office couple) texted me at 6:30 this morning to tell me that my seahawks had won the superbowl!!!! BLESSINGS FROM HEAVEN!!!!!!!!!

Thank you so much for being so thoughful to put us all on the prayer roll! That was so nice of you! Hopefully it does the trick with getting Erlend baptized! I love you so much mom!!! Miss you! Praying for you!! 

Always!
Taylor