Monday, April 28, 2014

IT'S UP TO YOU!

God Morgen!                                                                                        April 28, 2014

Well folks, shall we do business first here? I think yes. Moves call was yesterday! And you know how Sister Roe has never been in an area longer than four and a half months?? Well that record has officially been broken! Cause guess what! Sister Roe is staying in Stavanger for at least one more transfer! And the best part! She is staying with Sister Thurgood! Oh yeah! So we're pretty excited! But we do have some change headed our way, as we will be moving apartments! 
Taylor is famous in Norway for her sheep laugh!

Okay. So this past week we had stake conference, which was awesome! I love stake conference! I love the fact that there are so many people involved in it, and how focused it is on missionary work and how it's a team effort. At one point in Stake Conference Elder Herbertson of the 70 was speaking and he asked 2 questions, he asked how many missionaries there are in our stake, the answer being around 40. Then he asked how many members are in the stake. Answer: 2000 circa. 

That means that the percentage of missionaries to members is about 2%. Then we went through how many missionaries and members there are in the world. And the percentage of missionaries to members is roughly .5...

Then he said, "Are we as members of the Lords restored church going to leave the MOST IMPORTANT WORK IN THE CHURCH to .5% of the membership? No. It is too important for that."  

You see, the thing is, we can't do it alone. Yeah we do work, and we do our best. But there aren't enough of us to go around, and we can't do missionary work in the most effective manner. Only the members can do that kind of missionary work, only members can reach some of those people. 

Then, talking to a couple different missionaries this week too I've noticed a couple of patterns about a mission. When we're on missions, we are on a rate of accelerated growth. Growth occurs most when facing trials and hardships. So missions are hard. 
We are staying in Stavanger for another transfer!

Then I remembered a quote from Elder Richard G. Scott, of the matter he said, "May I share some suggestions with you who face...the testing that a wise Heavenly Father determines is needed even when you are living a worthy, righteous life and are obedient to His commandments.

Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously. When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are EVIDENCE THAT THE LORD FEELS YOU ARE PREPARED TO GROW MORE. He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit. To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain."

So while we are on our missions, we are stretched to the limit faster and more often, perhaps, than if we didn't serve missions. But why would anyone choose such a thing, knowing that, it will not be easy, it will not be comfortable, and it will hurt. How many times do we, as missionaries become irritated or frustrated when we are just trying to do what we know is best?

In the Book of Mormon in 1st Nephi 16:18-32 we read of the story of Nephi's broken bow. Nephi was just trying to take care of those around him yet he was given this trial. Why was he given the trial though? Elder Neal A Maxwell tells us;

"Nephi's broken bow doubtless brought him some irritation, but not immobilizing bitterness. After all, he was just trying to feed the extended family, so why should he have to contend with a broken bow as well? Yet out of that episode came a great teaching moment. Irritation often precedes instruction!

So what is the point of this monologue? The greatest pattern I have seen on my mission is that it's up to us! We get to decide HOW we react to situations we are in, how quickly we will learn the lessons the Lord has for us to learn. We can make whatever situation into what we want it to be, whether we will be irritated, frustrated, flabbergasted, happy, humble, patient, or willing. IT IS UP TO US.
Staying together!

And part of that is based on our understanding of the Atonement and our personal knowledge of our individual worth. There's a quote from Elder M. Russell Ballard that was shared in my sophomore seminary class that I will never forget, especially after recognizing this pattern in my life. It says: 

"...When Jesus Christ becomes a reality in your life. It isn't that He somehow makes you do things that you wouldn't do otherwise. Rather, you find yourself wanting to do that He would do and respond as He would respond in an effort to bring your life into harmony with His. "

So, it's up to us. Are we going to enjoy life?

I know that because of our faith, our willingness to be taught, and to actually learn and apply the lessons of the gospel, that we really can enjoy every moment. Life is a blessing, it's just up to us to choose to view it as such. 

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

Always!!!
Søster Roe

Monday, April 14, 2014

Easter in Norway


                                                                                                                              April 14, 2014

Påske!!!! (Read that in your head like how the greeks yell OOOPPPAAAA!)   

Guess what y'all! It's EASTER! Wow! Guess what else it is this week! The first full week of RUSS!!! pronounced like roos....like rooster, without the ter. :)

 

I know that My Redeemer Lives
 
Easter in Norway is a BIG DEAL! It lasts all week long, and everything is closed...all week long. But that's alright. You know, I always wondered why we didn't celebrate the whole last week of Christ's life...now I know, it's cause I didn't live in Norway until now. 

Problem with Påske, is that it's basically the beginning of summer. Meaning that everyone and their dog, and the great granny's are on vacation. But what are ya gonna do?

Sis Thurgood and Sis Roe

You know what a mission does to people? It helps build their confidence! I have never been so confident in my own skin as I am now. I love it. I know exactly who I am, I know what God wants me to focus on becoming, and I have a bit of an idea of how to start. I love my life, and I love my mission. 

Russ. I feel like I should probably explain this. Russ is the graduating class of every year. They wear the same pair of overalls (red is the most popular...but there is also blue and it depends on your school what color you have) for a month. And they have a bunch of little tasks they do to get knots tied in their hats. Some of which involve the mormon missionaries...so we are paying close attention to the packs of Russ kids walking around. :) 

Also, I'm hitting my year mark....it's weird. That's all I'm going to say about that.
Fishing for Sis Thurgood's nametag!

Last pday was super chill. We just sat on the docks at one of the inlets with the elders and talked. It was really fun...then Sister Thurgood lost her only name tag in the water, thankfully the water was only about 4 feet deep, Elder Taylor went in after it for her, cause otherwise she would have been very confused as to her purpose, and who she is. 

This pday is actually not today...it's on Wednesday. We're just taking emails today and are headed to either Kjerag or Preikestolen. So that will be fun! I'll be sure and take lots of pictures!!! :)

I never tire of Norway's beauty

Well, I hope that you all enjoy this week. I hope that we can all take the time to focus on the Savior, and remember that which He did for us. He died for us, He atoned for our sins, so that we could have the possibility of becoming perfect one day and living in the presence of our Heavenly Father again. And because He did it alone, I know we don't have too. I am so grateful for His sacrifice, humility, and incredible example!

I love you all! Miss you all! Praying for you all! 

Always!
Søster Roe

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Cherishing the Moments of Life

Kjære alle sammen!                                                                                  April 7, 2014

Well lets start with last monday shall we? It was pretty awesome! We went on a hike with our district to a place called Dalsnuten! It was gorgeous! From the top you could see both Stavanger and Sandnes! It was so much fun! Four of the Elders basically ran up the mountain, looked at the view and then ran back down it, the other two went on splits and kept pace with us and we just laughed the whole time. On the way back we stopped at a lake and enjoyed the moment.
The view was worth the hike!

If I had the choose one of the lessons that I have learned (or have at least been trying to learn) on my mission is to enjoy the moment! 

I talked about this with Sister Knapp, while she and Sister Peterson were here on splits this past week. It is so important to realize that as missionaries we are still people. People have emotions, and people perform best when they enjoy what they are doing. That is the reason that it has been a focus of mine, to enjoy the moments on the mission. Because they don't last forever.

Taylor watching Conference!!!! So happy!

We met with Louis this past week, and Eirin, and Chitre. All of them are awesome! Louis is doing so good! He seems to just get it! And his desire to learn and understanding of our job here as teachers and
guides is so refreshing! I love it! 

Next up, wasn't conference amazing!? I loved it, as always! I was trying to decide what talk I loved most....all of them, maybe? :) I loved Elder Hollands talk, about how we walk with Christ! I love that! Missions are hard. There's no doubt about that. On occasion it seems like people throw all human curtesy and basic manners out the window because we are wearing name tags, but knowing that Christ is there. He loves us. He's been there. He's walked these paths so that we don't have to do it alone. That knowledge makes everything else worth it, and do-able. 

I loved Elder Scotts talk about how we make differences in others peoples lives. Do we ever take the time to realize just how much of an influence we may have on a person? What kind of influence are we creating? What kind of influence would we like to have?

This impressed me because I realized just how moldable I can be. I know that it's up to me, ultimately, to decide who I am and what I'll do. But how often do I let someone's opinion sway how I do things, or say things? And is it a good thing or a bad thing? Life is a gift, and everyone around us is placed there for a reason, so that we can be an influence for good to each other. 

We were lucky enough to be able to watch all of conference! We even watched 3 sessions live! :) Saturday morning (on Saturday at 6 pm), Sunday morning (on Sunday at 6 pm), and Sunday afternoon (Sunday at 10 pm). We stayed up with our whole district! It was lots of fun!
Enjoying the moment
Arendal....the actual place where the hit movie Frozen is based on!!!

Life is good, people. Stavanger is beautiful! Norway is incredible! I'm freaking out about the whole 6 months left idea... But life is good! :) 

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

Always!
Søster Roe

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Missionary Sisters sang as they walked and walked and walked and walked!

Hallo Alle Sammen!                                                                                          March 31, 2014

Well how are you all?! Life here in Norway is beautiful! The days are filled with sunlight, and laughter! I really think that between Sister Thurgood and I we literally laugh constantly! Hello six pack! Welcome to my life! 

We also had the great opportunity of going to a spinning class that a member teaches this week! I really need to get into spinning when I get home! I mean really! It was so much fun!!! :) :) The whole time that we were cycling I was smiling and laughing and the member would look at me and just start laughing and then yell in her mic "kom igjen folkens!" It was the greatest 45 minutes of exercise on the mission thus far!
My companion....Sister Thurgood

Then I have to tell you about Erlend! The kid is a better missionary than I'll ever be! He is so cool! He had member missionary experience yesterday, where he was on the bus and sitting next to a stranger. He talked to her and invited her to come to church! What?! We taught her yesterday and are teaching her again today! It was a really exciting moment! Then too! He blessed the sacrament yesterday and I was so excited for him! It was just a cool experience! :) 

Wanna know a fun fact of the sister missionaries here in Stavanger!? This past week we walked 70+ miles!! What up! Yeah, I have a pedometer on my phone and it is based off of my bmi and measures my steps, calories burned, and miles walked! It's pretty handy, I will tell you that we average 18000 steps a day. Yeah...missionaries! Be prepared to walk! A lot! It's pretty great! 
Crazy Taylor being herself!

On another note. We had the "stuck inside your head" song by Julian smith stuck inside our heads all week long.....yep. We may have sung it everywhere.
The Christus! Just like the one at Temple Square...one of 3 in the WORLD!

We also went to one of the churches in town for studies one morning! And in it is the same statue as in the SL visitors center at temple square, there are only three that big in the world. Salt Lake, Stavanger, and in Denmark! :) Cool eh?

Well I love you all! Miss you all! Praying for you all!!

Always!
Søster Roe