Monday, October 20, 2014

Chillin' With the Fam!

Hallo!

Oh my goodness this week has been awesome! I cannot tell you how much I love this life right now! I have to say, seeing my family (with an extra member that I did not know would be coming) was a complete surprise and a great moment!

Mom and Me in the airport!


I was so worried that I would not make it to the airport to get my parents on time because their flight was supposed to land at 1535 and I was on the train to go the airport at 1534...bad timing on my part...but thankfully as I rushed through the airport towards where I assumed that my parents were waiting for me and I was quite relieved to see on the flights board that their flight had actually landed a half and hour later than it was supposed to, four minutes before I got to the airport. But thankfully I ended up waiting for them for another 15 minutes.

Then the door opened and all of the sudden my dad was standing there. All I could do was stand there, not moving, and say om og om igjen, "That's my dad! That's my dad! That's my dad!" Then my mom came around the corner and I lost it all over again! I just started crying as I hugged my mother, after 18 months, once again being wrapped in a mothers embrace! I love family.

But alas, even though I hate surprises they just keep coming, and they are slowly becoming less painful....don't tell anyone I said that though. :)

Brenna came too!!!! (To all of you who knew about that particular surprise, I promise you I have forgiven you.) I was so shocked and pleased to see my little sister--who is not so little anymore--and to be together with these people here in the best place ever! NORWAY! Goodness I love this country!

Goodness I have missed her!!!!! (And what a beautiful young women she's become)

We got to go to my first area and visit some of my best friends and favorite members in Sarpsborg. It was great! And I loved that we could eat dinner with the Olsen and Langbach families that night! They are so sweet! And I am going to miss them when we go back to the US.

Me and the Olsen and Langbach kids!


Anyways, after that we spent the next day driving to Stavanger, my home. I love this place! So much!  We drove in the pouring rain all day long on the way down to Kristiansand and then up to Stavanger. And we are just loving our time here in Stavanger. Mostly I'm loving my time here. I love this place and I love being with my best friend, Celine, and her family! Goodness I am so blessed!

Today we went to the beach on the North Sea and then walked around to city! Just loving life! Hope all is well with everyone else!

The North Sea
In church yesterday we had a really great discussion about the atonement. So good! That is my favorite gospel topic I think. The idea that someone can love us so much that they would literally give their all for us. And the fact that He did that, He went through that for every single one of us, whether we accept that or not, whether we use it or not, He did it. And He loves us. I love that God is so kind to us, and that He is so merciful to create such a perfect plan for us. I am so grateful for the reminders  about this His plan of happiness, and for the knowledge of my place in it. The Lord loves us.

Well until next time! Keep up the good times! Miss you! Love you! Praying for you!

Always!

Søster Roe

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Run and ye shall obtain

Kjære Alle Sammen,                                                                                               10/13/14

Well people, this is it, my last email as a missionary for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. What an adventure it has been! I cannot believe that it is coming to a close, and honestly it scares me. I can't help but ask, "Have I learned all the question's I'm supposed too?" and "Have I become the person that God needs me to be??" I mean no pressure, but we're on missions to change and become. I just hope that I have changed for the better. 

Beautiful Kaitlyn and Beckett!
I am so happy for my family! I just have to say my sister is amazing! And now she and her husband are the proud parents of a newborn son! His name's Beckett! And I cannot wait to meet him and teach him some legit Norwegian!

 Call us Grandma and Grandpa!!!
But I have a few things I gotta do before I can do that! The mission isn't quite over yet, and looking at tomorrow's crazy schedule just confirms that! But let me tell you about this past week!

We have been teaching this 9 year old girl for what seems like ein halv evighet! She's had a shaky baptismal date for a while too, but this week she finally said YES to baptism and we are going nuts throwing it together for this coming Sunday. I am so thankful that she's finally going to go through with it! She's going to be so thankful someday! (As well as right now obviously)

Today I am just super thankful! I love this life! I am so thankful for the opportunity I have had to serve the Lord in this amazing place, to get to know these incredible people, and to be able to make life-long friends! 
5 wonderful girls!!!

But more than anything I am thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. His sacrafice for us, the fact that he came to earth, he lived, he endured temptations, persecutions, sorrows, and frustrations, that he suffered and died for our sins, all so that we wouldn't have to do it alone. I am so thankful for a loving Redeemer that knows me and what I am going through. He gets it! When no one else does, when no one else is allowed to see how frustrated, tired, impatient, or uncharitable you may be feeling; When no one else understands the joy you feel out of something so simple as a rainbow in the sky or a beautiful word; When you think that there is no way that anyone could understand, or that no one see's there is always someone. He knows. He feels. He loves. He sympathizes. He listens. He helps. And He invites.
Sunday Evening Sunset

One thing I have learned about this gospel is that it is a gospel of invitation. We are never to sit still, we are meant to progress, forever. And we are the only one's that can do that for ourselves. No one can invite you to learn, or to become better. There are certain things that we can do to help others recognize their capability to change or to become, but they have to decide that it's something they want. 
Deep Fried....Delig!

At the beginning of this adventure, when I was preparing to leave on my mission I shared an experience about learning to love yourself and how in life it is not a leisurely stroll through the park but that it is often a hard run that is uncomfortable and possibly even painful at times. I shared the following scripture;

First Corinthians 9:24: "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain."

That has been my mission. Whether literally running for buses (like this past Saturday all day long) or running an emotional or mental marathon. But every second I have been able to know that we are running for the greatest prize, eternal peace, eternal life. 

I am excited to see you all again! I can't believe that 18 months have gone by so quickly! But it has! #sånnelivet

Mom and Dad are coming to pick me up on Thursday and we'll travel around Norway a bit before we head home, so until then, and for the last time on this blog, farewell my friends!

Gud vær med deg te me sees igjen!

Always!
Søster Roe

1) District pday last week :)
2) The sisters and Majken last week
3) Deep fried food party with Pelle...probably not the healthiest...but is was deilig!
4) Sunday morning sunrise

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Final Week of my Mission!!!

Ein uke te.                                                                                                   Oct. 6, 2014

To begin today I am going to share with you a quote. This quote encompasses the consistent theme that we saw throughout this past week.

"The creator of the seas, sands, and endless stars is reaching out to you this very day." --President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

This quote, when I heard it on Saturday hit me and made it oh so clear the truth and the patterns that I have seen through my whole mission, but especially through the past week of experiences. Shall we, as per usual, begin at the beginning?

Last Tuesday was Sister Robbins' birthday. I was really nervous about it because I know how close she is to her family and how difficult it could potentially be spending her birthday away from them. I was praying and pleading with the Lord that it would be a great day and that everything would go as planned. Well half of the appointments we had that day fell through but it was still a great day. 
My last full week as a missionary! Sister Robbins and Sister Roe.

We had district meeting, at which the district had decorated the room for Sister Robbins' birthday and sang to her. We celebrated with cake and good conversation. Then we ran to an appointment with a member who has two really little kids. It was so nice to be there and to be able to talk and strengthen one another. After that it just continued to get better and we went to another member who made the day extra special for sister Robbins by baking cupcakes, giving her a little gift as well as a beautiful bouquet of flowers. This sweet member probably has no idea how happy she made me by blessing my sweet companion! I am so grateful for the people that go the extra mile to make the big difference. I need to be more like them. 

Then we went to Charles and Arnold's house, and what a party that was! We ate African food that was native to the Ivory coast. The whole household joined us in singing "Happy Birthday" to Sister Robbins. We ate some crazy mat! But it was deilig! We ate with our hands, I had some of the spiciest chicken I think I've ever seen! As well as having the interesting experience of eating fish in such a way as this; it was cooked whole and the head was still attached....it's eyes just stared at me as if asking my why on earth I would eat such and innocent creature. The head was lopped off and the rest of the fish was put onto my plate. I had to take out the spine and the bones and pick through that to the meat. It wasn't all the bad. It was Talapia....I don't know how to spell it. But it was messy! 
African cuisine

Then the guys brought down a cake to Sister Robbins that they had decorated themselves! It was so sweet! 

This whole day was, to me, a testimony that God is aware of us. He loves us. He knows our needs, and He will do what He can to fill those needs! He helped make it an amazing day for Sister Robbins, and for me. 

The rest of this week passed in slight frustration as almost every appointment that we had fell through. It felt like everything that we tried to accomplish we failed at and I was beginning to get frustrated. Then it was finally the weekend, the time that we had been anticipating for weeks! General Conference! I love general conference! 
Dinner with Charles and group...what a great night!

On Saturday we got to watch the women's session as well as the Saturday Morning session of conference! It was so good. So uplifting and I got so much out of it! I loved the focuses, especially the mentioning of the temple. I love the focus of preparing for the future. What a bright happy future we have in this life! We are so blessed! 

Sunday rolled around and we prepared for another 6 hours of conference! We had scheduled to have about an hour and a half to contact in between sessions and try to find much needed new investigators. We listened to the Saturday evening session and afterwards were invited to join the Elders for dinner cutting our contacting time from 1 and a half hours to just a half an hour. 
Steeple in Fall Wonder

We gathered our things and stood at the door of the church to pray before leaving and hitting the streets. As we walked out the door we looked at each other and said, "We're not contacting. We're teaching." 

As we walked I said another silent prayer in my heard, "Heavenly Father, we have been diligent. We have been talking to people all week. We have had appointments with people that they have not held. I feel as if I have done absolutely everything I can this week to help this work go forth and I feel like I'm not making much ground. Please, help us. Please? We only have so much time."

Not more than 2 minutes later we stopped a man, a student, on the street. He stopped, he talked with us, we asked him if we could teach him right then. He said yes! We went back to the church with him and we taught him and were able to get another appointment with him for this week. 

What a miracle this was! As he left Sister Robbins and I looked at each other and started crying. We knew that God was aware of us and our needs! He knew that we had done absolutely everything that we could and through this miracle He showed us that He is aware of us and the things we do. He knows that we are doing our absolute best and that we need his help to accomplish the rest. Yesterday it was as if God said, "Here you go Sisters. I know. I love you. You're doing a good job."

"Courage is the form of every virtue at it's testing point." --C S Lewis

Sometimes it takes courage to continue. 

I love this life! I am shocked that this is my last week as a missionary. Time goes so fast. I hope that you all have a fantastic week, I know I will! I love you all! I miss you all! I pray for you all!  

Until next week!

Always!
Søster Roe

1) Me and sister Robbins.
2) Fall in Trondheim
3) Afrikansk mat
4) Charles and the household!