Monday, April 28, 2014


Moves call was on Sunday and I'm staying in Tromsø with Elder Garrard! Four new missionaries arrived this transfer and supposedly two are native Norwegians. The sisters didn't move either. 

It was a pretty normal week until Thursday when everyone came up to Tromsø for zone leader training. Elder Skinner and Elder Clarke, the two ZL's, stayed the night in Tromsø and went on splits with us. Thursday night I went banking with Elder Skinner in that Hamna neighborhood we go to a lot. We didn't have much success so we left early and tried another neighborhood. At about 8;30, right before we were going to call it a night, we met this young guy named Sigbjørn. He let us inside and we taught him the whole first lesson. Probably the most positive person I've ever taught! He accepted all of our commitments and invited us back. This success continued on Saturday when I was out banking with elder Garrard. In one evening we taught two lessons and got two new investigators. There are people here to teach, and the spirit can lead us to them if we are willing to put in the work. 

Friday we threw a branch party! 23 people came which was awesome. One member brought dance dance revolution and then Elder Garrard and I put together a ping pong table using a net we found in the library and several tables. It was a hit!

We've been working a lot with some of the less active members in the branch as well. One of them, named John, is a recent convert from the Congo. He's about 21 and loves basketball! We've taken him on home teaching splits and we are trying to prepare him for the Melchizedek Priesthood and maybe even a full time mission. 

There is still plenty of snow on the ground, but it's definitely warming up. That's crazy that Erik only has a couple weeks! Time is flying! 

Eldste Parkinson

Monday, April 21, 2014


Parkinson Fam,

In Norway Easter is quite the holiday. Everybody takes the whole week off and everything pretty much shuts down. It was difficult for us to find appointments this week and even more difficult to find people home when we were banking. Those we did talk to, though, tended to be more open than normal (perks of a christian holiday). 

On Wednesday afternoon we flew out to Alta for splits. The two elders up there live with a member in a farm house right outside of town. We got to spend the night and part of the next day with them. It's crazy to think that I was the northern most missionary in the world while I was up there!

Friday Night we had a cool lesson with a new investigator and his friend. They are both in their 20's and strong atheists. One has a family. We taught them the plan of salvation, but about half way through it kind of just turned into a question and answer session. They both thought it was interesting, but they were not willing to pray about what we taught, they were determined to figure out through their own methods. We invited them to read Alma 32, which is a chapter I've been studying a lot lately. Often what we share with our investigators is that small, little seed and we just have to have faith and pray that they will recognize the seed swelling and enlarging with in them. That chapter really describes the process all of us go through to obtain spiritual truth and understanding. 

We had quite the Easter Sunday. The two investigators that we had committed to sacrament meeting both bailed out last second, but a bunch of surprise people randomly showed up. One member from the Philipines showed up with her non-member boyfriend that lives here in Tromsø. We are hoping that we will be able to teach him. I translated Sister Crabtree's talk, which was quite frightening and a first experience for me. I've also been using my piano skills up here...we sing "nearer my God to thee" almost every sacrament meeting haha. 

The snow is continuing to melt! I love you all!

Eldste Parkinson

Our little plane to Alta! I had to move to the back to "readjust the weight" haha

We went fishing today and caught some dinner!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Another Great Week!

Another great week above the arctic circle! I think Tuesday was my first day up here that it did not snow. It's actually starting to warm up now and the snow is beginning to melt quickly. We were in Oslo on Thursday for a leadership meeting. I went on splits the whole day with another Elder in Oslo and we pretty much street kontakted for 5 hours straight. I learned that people in Oslo are much busier and much less willing to talk than the people up here in Tromsø. The Norwegian, though, was much easier to understand.
We spent quite a bit of time banking on doors again this week. We've been trying a lot of different techniques and using a lot of the different resources we have such as the restoration DVD, the Proclamation to the Family, and several other pamphlets. I've gotten A LOT more comfortable with banking. I've also gotten more comfortable with talking to everyone that I can. We ride the bus a lot and I really try to use this time to start up conversations with people. It helps me with Norwegian and sometimes turns into an opportunity to share the gospel. It's priceless to see the look on their faces when you tell them you have only been in the land for 3 weeks. 

On Wednesday the Senior couple arrived, Elder and Sister Crabtree from Clinton, Utah. They are awesome. I think President is throwing everything he has at Tromsø. We've got a lot of lessons lined up this week and a bunch of call backs for after Påske (easter).We're hoping to have a solid teaching pool in the next couple weeks, hopefully with some families. 

With Påske coming up I've been thinking a lot lately about our Savior, Jesus Christ. I loved elder Bednar's talk conference about the strengthening power of the atonement. I've been thinking a lot about the scripture in Mosiah 24 that talks about how through Christ we can have the strength to carry our burdens. Fast Sunday reminded me how weak I am alone. Relying solely on yourself limits you so much. Relying on Christ takes away all limits.

I love and miss you all! Good luck with finals Erik! 

Eldste Parkinson
We've spent a lot of time banking in this neighborhood. Loaded with families. We hike a couple kilometers on the cross country ski trail to get there!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Some new pictures

Right outside Tromsø Kirken!

Meeting in Oslo today With President Evan's ~ doing great!   Got fed well today.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Vi har en bil!


The weeks are starting to fly by! I know lot of good things happened this week, but it's kind of hard for me to remember what. It's all a blur. It's been snowing every day, so that hasn't changed. It's weird how it was short-sleeve weather when I left Provo. 

We did a lot of banking this week in family neighborhoods. One of these days there was an old lady out shoveling her driveway and we stopped to ask if we could help. She said no (I've learned that Norwegians really like shoveling their snow). Anyways, she ended up letting us come in and share the first lesson with her. She was super nice, fed us chocolate while we taught, and willing to let us come back! It was a testimony to me that we are blessed when we reach out to serve others.

On Sunday, the AP's arrived in Tromsø with a car for the senior couple. Because my companion doesn't have his license yet, I got to drive it yesterday and today while we wait for the senior couple to arrive. Only problem is that the car didn't have its snow tires on. We quickly learned how important snow tires are in Norway. Last night it took us an hour to drive the short distance back to our apartment. We kept getting stuck going up hills and literally had zero traction the whole way. We had the same problem this morning. Luckily we recently made a friend who owns a car shop who replaced our tires for free this morning. Looking back we are definitely lucky nothing bad happened haha. 

General Konferanse was amazing! The Norwegian wan't working so we watched it all in English, which was a bit of a relief. I still haven't seen the last session so no spoilers please haha. Elder Holland's talk was probably my favorite. My favorite line was where he talked about man creating God in their own image. That's totally the case here in Norway. So many people say they are perfectly satisfied with the state church, yet I'm quite sure most of them haven't ever been. It's frustrating, but you have to respect people's agency. I'm confident that the rejection we experience as missionaries is all worth it for those few that will be willing to accept the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Thanks for the letters and support! Kirken er Sann. Boken er blå!
Med kjærlighet,
Eldste Parkinson