Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Spirit commands me to Stand in Holy Places


Moves week has come and gone!!! Getting Sisters Buhler, Burns, and Shaw off first thing in the morning was crazy! But they all made their trains and flights! As far as I know at least, then I went crazy deep cleaning our apartment! That was kinda nuts! And before I knew it I was running around trying to figure out how to pick up all three new sisters! Thankfully Sister Chapman had been to Trondheim before so she kinda knew where she was going! :) But everyone is safe and moved in successfully! 
Cooling off at night by my window

I'm really excited for this transfer, Sister Robbins is amazing! She's a huge blessing to me! And I think we're going to have a lot of grand adventures! :) And Sister Oldham and Sister Chapman are super funny too! I think it will be really good!

I have to tell you about an experience I had this past week though, before moves even happened.

Okay, I have had quite the history with bad situations and drunk or crazy men on my mission, so I tend to aviod these people like it's the plague. But on the bus, on Tuesday, we were sitting there and I was sitting just outside of the periphial vision of one such person. He was talking to himself at first, and I decided that I would just blend and try to not be the target of that kind of situation once again.
My new homies!

There was a mom on the bus with her newborn baby in a buggy, and her 3-4 year old son. She was standing by the stroller so that she could be there if her baby woke up and she accidentally made eye contact with this man. He started yelling at her, telling her that she was a terrible mother, and that she didn't love her children, and that her kids would be better off without her. I felt so trapped! I didn't know what to do! I couldn't get to the man, or to her on the overly crowded bus. And the many grown men that could have easily gotten him to shut up just sat there pretending like nothing was happening.

The woman made eye contact with me, and I gave her a re-assuring smile, not sure what else I could possibly do. She smiled back, but then her smile started to shake, her eyes welled with tears and she took several deep breaths. She pulled her sun glasses on so that no one else would see her cry. I know how she felt, I had been that person before, and I had felt so worthless, so alone. At that moment, inside I knew that it was my chance to make sure that someone did something to help her know that she wasn't alone, and that someone cared. The spirit whispered, "now it's your turn to help her."

At first I was so frustrated, "Why on earth should I help her, what would I even say? After all no one has ever been there for me, and I'm fine! She's going to be just right, and she'd probably feel awkward that I was talking to her, after all she's crying. No one likes for that to be pointed out!"

But then the spirit whispered straight into the depths of my soul, "How many times have you been in this position and wished for someone to be there for you? How often have you uttered the silent prayer for help, and not received it? You are a servant of the Lord. You are a representative of Jesus Christ. Your job is to do what He would do, and say what He would say. Would He walk away just cause He thought she might be embarrassed? Stop being selfish. Go and comfort her."

My new companion and me
I heard her tell her son that they were getting off at the next stop, right after which her little boy questioned, "mom, do you love me?" 

An extremely clear reminder of the Saviors question to Peter, "Do ye love me?" What was Peter's reply? "yea Lord, thou knowest that I love thee."

Then later the Lord said to this, His servant, "Then feed my sheep."

At this moment I felt that in that innocent little boy's question, based off the accusations of the man's shouts at his mother, with that question it was like the Lord asking me, "Sister Roe, Do you love me? Then feed my sheep. Take care of my children, show them that I am aware of them, that I love them, that I want to help them feel better." And with a gentle push off the bus, the spirit said, "Go."

The people getting off the bus consisted of this little family, me, sister Shaw, and this man. Sister Shaw, knowing of my rapp sheet with these kinds of men started to get away as fast as possible, but I couldn't do that. I had to go. So I walked towards him, to get to the woman behind him. He went to stop me, but I just pushed through, not taking the time to listen to the terrible things coming out of his mouth, and reached her side just as she was going to walk away. I didn't know what to do! I was terrified!

I reached out and touched her arm, she turned and said, "Oh, it's you!" 

I looked into her eyes and felt so much love for this stranger, "I just wanted to tell you that you have a beautiful little family, and it looks like you are a wonderful mother."

She started to cry again and I continued, "I hope that you know that you are never alone, and that you have a wonderful day."

She said to me, "I needed to hear that! That was really hard on the bus, thank you. I needed you."

Then she pulled me into a hug. As we parted her little boy said to her, "Mommy, God sends angels to watch over us, huh."
This is where I spent last pday

I don't tell you this experience to boast of my self. I honestly wouldn't have done it if the spirit hadn't been so strong. That was my challenge this week though, to do the christlike thing. To reach out. To be there, when no one else was. It was possibly the greatest teaching moment on my mission. 

Cool church with dragons on the scaffolding
I am not a perfect missionary, I'm not a perfect teacher, or contacter, or student, I'm not perfect at the language, I get tired, I am weak. But I can become better. I have come to realize more and more that I have to be the missionary that I can be. And even if that's just reaching out to someone in need, and trying the best I can at the rest of the stuff too, then that's enough. But the most important thing I can do as a missionary is to be as Christlike as I possibly can. 

There's a quote, I think I've shared it before, from Elder Ballard; 

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

That quote to me, is the essence of missionary work! As missionaires this is what we invite others to do, but more than anything this is what we get to practice and try to develop everyday! What a blessing this gospel is! What strålende budskap we have to share and what a fantastisk invitation we have to offer! What wonderful lives we can lead!

I love you all! I miss you all! I'm praying for you all!!

Søster Roe 

1) Last pday, at the beach!
2) Sittin in the window at the end of the night! It's so hot still!!!
3) Rainbow!!!!!
4) Cool church with dragons on the scaffolding...I think that's what it's called.
5) The new household! Front, Sister Oldham, Behind her is Robbins, then Chapman and me

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Trondheim Take 2

What up, what up?

Well folks, transfers are this week! And I am going to be staying here in Trondheim for at least another 6 weeks, partying it up with my new companion, Sister Robins! It should be great! 

You know how sometimes you are walking down the street and you think to yourself, "I am so glad that it's Friday!" But then two seconds later you realize that it's actually only Tuesday....yeah. That was what this week was like. Which was weird, cause we were just as busy as we have been the whole transfer, this summer definitely hasn't slowed down the missionary work at all, and we were running around like crazy. So why did this week feel like it was an eternity???? I decided that it was because of moves call. The anticipation of moves call is the absolute worst thing in my life. Just sayin. But it has come and gone, and so has yet another week! Goodness gracious, that's weird. I don't have too many weeks left on the mish........not thinking about that though. 

FLast pday was super chill! We just walked to gamle brua, and took pictures and ate some deilig sorbet, and then walked over to Nidaros Domen and took some sweet pictures there! It was a much needed, very relaxing day! :)

For you Porter... I am learning!
We had this sykt awesome Chinese party!! It was so much fun! Porter! I learned how to write some words in Chinese!!!! OH YEAH! :) But it was super fun, we had tons of chinese mat, learned some chinese words, painted them, and played games! It was super cool! And the best part?? We had more nonmembers there than members! That was kinda fun to see!!! 

Also, this week I was told by one of my leaders the following; "12 weeks left. That's all you've got! Your job now is to enjoy the journey. Do what it takes, but enjoy it." 

That was crazy! Especially when they said, "You're basically done!" Automatically I said, "No I'm not! Not even close!!!" But I know that this is going to fly by! Especially with the changes in companions and or areas this transfer and possibly next. We'll see. 

As Sister Shaw and I talked about it this week we decided that the most important thing we can do is make sure that we are creating the right memories for our missions! 

Nidaros Domen
We ended up eating dinner at 2000 one night, so we went to the grocery store, bought some ice cream on a stick and sat above the river and just chilled eating our dinner and talking. I think that was one of the greatest moments, for me, of this past week. Being able to just sit still and appreciate the beautiful country that I live in and how much I love this place! 

We met with this super cool guy this week! He started sort of investigating the church about 10 years ago, and has been slowly reading through Mormons Bok. We met with him and were just setting up some expectations, and he said, "I believe that this book is the word of God." We said awesome, so, what's the next step for you? His reply, I kid you not, "Well, I need to come to church. Then I need to get baptized. I can't give you a date that I can get baptized yet, but  I can in a week, does that work?" 

What?! I didn't really know what to say to that! How prepared can a person get?! Haha It was an amazing experience! What a huge blessing! He's super cool and I can't wait to meet with him again! :) 

Life is good, Norway is gorgeous, the work is progressing, and so am I. Live in the moment, love the moment. 
I love this beautiful country
Made Great Memories with Shaw

I hope you all have a wonderful week and that you feel of Gods love!

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

Søster Roe

1) Chillin at the river!
2) down by gamle brua
3) flowers at Nidaros 
4) My chinese abilities!! ;)
5) gamle brua
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Monday, July 14, 2014

Hotter than Hell...and I am not cussing!

God Morgen Alle Sammen!                                                                       July 14, 2014

Okay, let me explain, I'm not swearing with the subject title here, haha. Just outside of Trondheim there is a city that is literally named Hell. So yes. And Trondheim has been incredibly hot this week, even hotter than Hell at one point! :) 

We went to an Island last pday! Greatest thing ever! It was so nice and the fjord was fantastic, I've missed seeing the fjords all the time! So it was wonderful, we just chilled out there on the island, walking barefoot through the sand, it was glorious! But it was also just the beginning of the heat! 

Then before I knew it Porter was going to the MTC and I was on splits with the sister training leaders. It was really good. I usually really struggle with stl visits and I feel super stressed out the whole time. But it wasn't that bad this time, even with nearly 5 hours of just street contacting, which is my least favorite thing to do! 
Elders enjoyed the beach

But it was super cool! We talked to a lot of cool people, taught this one guy that was super cool. And let me tell you, the gospel changes people. We were teaching this guy and at first he was saying, "I don't believe in God and I never will." Then as we talked to him about God, who He is and how He can help us through life, his statement changed slightly to "I'm not ready to believe in God."

It was a super subtle change, but a change none the less! We have been meeting with him everyday since that first meeting. It was a really cool experience. And it got me thinking, how has the gospel changed me? Not just my life, or my situation, but me as a person.

And it really has, I mean because of the gospel and my relationship with my Heavenly Father, I am better understanding my worth as a daughter of God. I am changing, it's a gradual, subtle process. Sometimes you can't see any change whatsoever. But it's there. I am so thankful for the gospel in my life, to be able to look back and see how it has and does continue to change me.
Selfie on the Beach... My Taylor is looking good!

We had a workshop meeting all day long on Thursday, it was actually pretty great! I mean I was definitely not looking forward to the planned 7 hours of practicals, but you know what. It was actually a great experience. It helps that we have some awesome missionaries that just love to enjoy the work in our zone and that help make the practical interesting. But yeah. I feel like I learned a lot from that, about how contacting, banking, and such can actually be fun!

After we had the workshop the whole zone went out for kebabs! :) Here's the deal. The best kebab, this is a debate found frequently discussed among the missionaries. Personally the best kebab I've had on my mission was in Fstad. Kebab house in fstad to be precise. I mean it was sersiouly amazing! I still remember it even though it was about a year ago. But I will say this, Sesam's kebabs here are a pretty dang close second! Mostly because of the homemade pita....just sayin'.

It was a really good teaching week this week, even though all of our members are bortreist. But hey! It works, and we continue working. 

I've been thinking a lot about the atonement. And how it is part of the process of becoming better, of changing to become more like God. More perfected in Him. I am so thankful for the changes I have seen in my life, for the hurdles I have jumped over, and with the help of the atonement, I have cleared them. God is real. Because of His son, Jesus Christ, all things are possible. This life cannot hinder us from reaching our divine potential. Only we can do that. God loves us, His children!

I love you all! I miss you all! I'm praying for you all!

Sister Roe

Monday, July 7, 2014

Happy Birthday America.....from Norway


Goodness gracious what a week it's been! And let me tell you it has been an extremely warm one at that!!! It's so humid that I feel like I'm going to drown from being outside! At night time my favorite spot to sit is on the window sill because it is just too hot inside, and outside....there is no neutral! It's kinda nuts, especially for Norway, especially for this far North in Norway!

Ah well, life is good! My amazing little brother is going into the MTC on Wednesday of this week and that is just bizarre to me! I am so excited for him, and I know that he will be able to accomplish wonders in Taiwan! I'm so happy for him! 
Porter and Taylor....both missionaries!

This week we had some pretty cool experiences! We were out banking, we do that a lot since the whole city is on vacation and all the students are gone, therefore the streets are rediculously empty. But that's aight. So back to the story, we were out banking and we found like 6 potentials in a row that we got appointments with, which was awesome, but we wanted to teach someone right then! 

The next house that we banked on the man opened the door, was super open to talk and wanted to hear more, then he mentioned that his girlfriend was upstairs and we could talk to her too. So we did. They're aweome, super open to learn and have super strong faith already in God. It was really fun. 
We know how to celebrate America's 4th of July!

Then we also taught another woman, who straight up told us that she's looking for the right church, because God should only have one church, and there are too many Christian churches in the world today. When we told her that we have the true church, and that we are led by a prophet today just like in the bible she got so excited! She said, "I want to read this book. I want to come to church, I want to find out if this is true!" 

So that was cool! It's always nice to see that you can still find people, even though everyone has run away for the summer. :) Sometimes they even come find you! We were out banking....on a different day...and my phone rang, it was a number I didn't recognize, but I answered it, cause that's what missionaries do, ya know, answer the phone even if they don't know who it is on the other end. And he said that he had met the missionaries in the winter and had been out of the country, but now he's back and wants to meet with us. Kan du sei BLESSING?

We celebrated the 4th hardcore this year! It was awesome! We had a huge ward party with a bunch of investigators and non members. We had god mat, had a quiz about the states, and the best part of the night? The missionaries were incharge of teaching line dancing! PARTY IN THE USA.....except for the fact that we're in Norway. :)
We had lunch in this cool little restaurant, courtesy of a sweet couple here!

We danced for the better part of an hour just teaching line dances, it was so much fun to look around at all the people and see their huge smiles, some of them even clapping along! It was a great moment! 

That's basically our week this past week. It was pretty sick. :)
Our party group! Had a blast!

Something that is kinda cool is, I'm reading the book of Mormon and going through and highlighting all of the references to Christ, His attributes, or His words. But today I went through and wrote the different names used in the back of my copy of the book of Mormon, I'm almost done with 2nd Nephi and so far there have been around 25 different names used to refer to the savior. The best thing is that each of these names represent the man, the son of God, the redeemer of the world. The savior of my soul. He is merciful, loving, full of grace, understanding, patient, and just. He is all of this and more and it is because of him that we have the blessings we have, the knowledge, the understanding, and the comfort, in this life. I am so thankful for my savior and for the Book of Mormon, which really, truly is Another Testament of Jesus Christ. He is found on every page, in every word. I love this book. I know it is true. 

I love you all! I miss you all! I'm praying for you all!
My companion and I are ready to celebrate!

Søster Roe

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Boldly proclaiming the Gospel

Hallo!!!                                                                                                       June 30, 2014

What a week it has been my friends! Goodness I seriously don't know how we even had time to breathe! It has been absolutely nuts! But I have to say, the Lord really does take care and He does qualify the called! 

I have to share really quickly before getting into the rest of this week. One day this week we taught a man who was Swedish in Norwegian, contacted a deaf person, so I was able to use the Tegnspråk I learned in Stavanger, talked to a French person so I got to use the little French I remember, and taught in English. The Lord really used the gifts and knowledge that we have gained over the years to help further His work. It's cool to see!
Here we are all on the bus headed to zone conference!

Oh! Okay, I have to share this because this is something that I am really pleased with myself for! I have worked really, really hard lately to get my Norwegian the best it can be, and I've learned Stavangersk dialekt too. It's been really fun, and I feel like I've done really well in it. It has been confirmed to me on several different accounts now too! We went to visit a member and she asked me if I could bless the food, I did and she said, "Well you are NOT American or English. Where in Norway are you from? Stavanger?

I blushed saying that I am American. She looked confused and said, "Are your parents Norwegain?" I again replied in the negative and she said, "Well you sound like a Norwegian. You sound like a native Norwegian speaker. And I don't lie about these things."

WHAT?!?!?! I blushed a lot. Then later we were teaching our investigator, who knows I'm American and he said to me, "If I didn't know you were American, I would think you were Norwegian. I forget sometimes listening to you."

Oh what a blessing this has been, to have received so much help to learn this language. :)
Sentrum Church resembles Notre Dame in 0015!

Okay. So being bold. That's the topic of this week. 

The thing that I have learned this week is that I have to be bold. I have to, because gospel isn't apologetic, or shy, so why should I be?

On Tuesday we had zone conference. One of our investigators, who is a major alcoholic, texted me asking me if we could call him. I called him as soon as the meeting was over. I was out in the hallway surrounded by a billion missionaries, trying to talk on the phone. Our investigator told me that he wanted to meet with us and that he knew that he needs to quite drinking. Then right as Pres. walks out (I'm on the phone with my investigator that tells me that he's drinking right then and that it's dumb) to hear me say, "You're right, drinking is dumb. You need to quit because it's not good for you, it doesn't help you at all does it? It just makes you feel worse. So, quit." 

President looked at me a little surprised, then nodded and waited for me to proceed. I said, "Will you do something. Will you walk away right now and quit drinking. We are meeting with you in two days. Will you quit drinking and we can talk more on Thursday?"

He agreed and he did it. It's better to be bold.

My Departure Info! AAAHHHH!

Then we dad the opportunity to teach another investigator, he has been really awesome, and we are teaching him the commandments right now. We taught him the law of chastity, which can be an interesting lesson to teach, but it was probably the best lesson we've had with him. We were really clear and he automatically said "Yeah, that makes sense, it would make your family relationship so much stronger if you respected each other to keep the sexual relationship for marriage."

Was not afraid to ask us questions, and to listen to our answers. It was so much more comfortable because we were bold and straight forward! It was awesome!

So that's what I learned this week, that we should be bold in declaring the word of the Lord.

I love you all! I miss you all! I am praying for you all! Hope you find a chance to share a principle of the gospel, and do with without apologizing. 

In our zone conference this week we talked about the importance of using the book of Mormon in our teaching. In opening up to scriptures to do the teaching for us it is so much better. The spirit is stronger, the message is clearer. The scriptures, specifically the book of Mormon cannot be anything but clear, when used under the direction of the spirit. So open up to them. Use them at home in teaching opportunities with your children, siblings, or parents, use them with friends. Use them at church. I know that as we look to the scriptures to teach the important lessons of life and the gospel that the teachings will be more clearly understood, accepted, and adapted.

Love you all! Miss you all! Praying for you all!
At Midnight! A glimpse of the midnight sun!

Søster Roe

PS We celebrated St Hans Aften last Monday, were out til midnight! It was super awesome, great to get a glimpse of the "midnight sun", I say it like that because I'm not quite far enough north to get the complete effect. :)