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!
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 thenwe 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!"
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!!