Monday, July 28, 2014


As sad as it was to leave Tromsø, I have arrived safely in my new area! My companion is Elder Gustafson, from good ol' Utah. He has a bout 8 months left of his mission. Cool dude. Right before leaving Tromsø we got a baptismal date with a man named Rogers, someone I taught on and off my whole time there. He is a way cool guy from Uganda. Exciting!

Anyway, Kongsberg! Kongsberg is actually a pretty small town (about 25,000). The area was just opened up about 9 months ago. It is part of the Drammen ward, which is about a 40 minute drive from Kongsberg. Church on Sunday was an awesome, completely new experience. Despite almost everybody being on summer vacation there was still tons of people. Youth passing the sacrament. The primary sang a musical number. The missionary work in this ward has been on fire too. A lot of recent baptisms and a lot of member support. There is an awesome family that I have already eaten dinner with twice (they live right outside of Kongsberg).Most of the members are in Drammen, though, so there are not that many members we can work with. 

When I got here we had one really awesome investigator. A 19 year old Norwegian that will be baptized!... but she is moving to Oslo for school. So we just referred her to the sisters. Other than that we do not have any investigators. So find, find, find. We literally spend 4 straight hours contacting on the streets and then the whole evening banking on doors. And the streets of Kongsberg are quite empty haha. But, we found quite a bunch of potentials and set up a bunch of appointments next week. And we have an appointment with C's family on Thursday! They still have no idea that he is a member, but he told us to bank on their door! 

It's hard starting over again, but I feel a renewed sense of urgency and determination since switching areas. It's a great opportunity to really get re-committed. It's also been cool to reflect on how much my testimony of the restored gospel grew while I was in Tromsø. I really do love this message and I love sharing it with others, whether through words or action. That is how you live the gospel and that is how you experience true happiness.

Have a great week!!
Eldste Parkinson

NOTE:  We got an email from Tom's Mission President that they are getting good information from the U.S. Embassy on the Terrorist threat in Norway.  Threat level has been downgraded, but they keep monitoring the situation and will do all in their power to keep the missionaries safe.

Monday, July 21, 2014

This week...

This week was Moves call! AND........They are taking me from Tromsø. I'm headed down south to Kongsberg! A city south from Oslo. I'll be serving in the Drammen ward, which is supposedly one of the biggest wards in Norway. It seems like a good change. It will be a lot of new things though. The sisters are being taken out of Tromsø (Sister Rupp is going home), so there will be 4 elders up here again.

It was a great week, though. We were able to teach a lot of great lessons and found a lot of cool people. One girl actually contacted us on the street and said she had two books that she needed to give back to us. Apparently 3 years ago a missionary gave her two book of Mormons that she didn't want. We set up a book hand off, turned it into a lesson, and turned her into an investigator! Sweet!

Cruising to church with Arvid!

It was a great last Sunday! We got special permission from president to drive Arvid to church, which was a highlight. We had a really good turnout and a nice potluck type meal together afterwards. For me, the saddest part about leaving this area is leaving the people. That's really what comes to matter most. And there are some cool people that I've gotten to know up here. One cool thing, though, is that Chilonda will be heading down to Kongsberg for school in a few weeks, so I'll get to reconnect with him. John may come visit. I keep pushing for those two to serve missions, especially John. 

It seems like in a lot of our lessons lately we have talked a lot about agency. A lot of people ask us why God would let there be war and suffering. We've been using 2 Nephi 2 a lot as we answer that question. We are all free to choose between good and evil and the consequences of our choices can't be blamed on God. At the same time, though, how awesome is it that we have the ability to choose and actually find and experience joy. When you have that perspective it actually makes you grateful for opposition. 

Shout out to Erik as he flies to Hungary this week! An congrats to Sean on getting cleared to go to Spain! It's cool knowing so many people that are beginning there missions right now! Drep dragger!

Deuces Tromsø!!

Love always, 
Eldste Parkinson 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Not much time to write this week, but I'll try to send some pictures as consolation. Thursday morning at 6 we flew down to Trondheim for training from the assistants. It was basically 6 hours of practicals and skill training. Tiring, but really helpful. We flew back to Tromsø pretty late and then missed our bus...didn't get home til midnight. Very long day.

We met a really cool person this week named Ellen. We banked on her door last Sunday and she told us to try back sometime in the afternoon. A pretty typical try back. We tried back on Wednesday and she wasn't home, so we just went out banking in another neighborhood. About an hour or so later I felt a strong prompting to go back and try Ellen again. After much hesitation, we went back and tried again, this time finding her home and in the middle of dinner. She said try again in 45 minutes. We went and banked more and came back for the third time and taught a lesson on her porch! She is absolutely golden! She's a single mom with three kids (a set of twins!), a member of the Baptist church, but admitted she is searching for a new church. We taught her again yesterday, and have another appointment scheduled this next Wednesday!  It pays off to follow up!

It's amazing how much joy it brings you to find prepared people and watch them grown in the gospel.There is nothing that makes me happier. Makes me think of when Lehi eats the fruit and find the real joy when he can share it with others. Share the Fruit! 

We had a branch movie night on Saturday. Watched the one hour Joseph Smith movie. Had a good turnout and ate ice cream after. John and Chilonda (another young member from the Congo) were both there and had a blast. We are going to go play some bball with John today, so that will be fun! Also might be climbing a mountain.

Love you all! 
Eldste Parkinson

View of Tromsø

Love this city!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Hei du der!

It was a long and pretty difficult week here in Tromsø. Everybody is leaving town on vacation, and in Norway when you go on vacation often it is for the whole summer. But, as always, we still saw many miracles and had a lot of cool experiences. 

We had a really solid teach this week with Andre and he came to church for the first time! The spirit was strong the whole meeting, as it always seems to be with fast and testimony meetings. Andre is so golden! His one concern is that he doesn't feel ready to share what he's been investigating with his family, afraid of how they will respond. However, I know that things are going to work out with him and his family in the long run. They leave for Svalbard in a few weeks!

We had a interesting teach with this member of the pentecostal church here in Norway. He's from Cameroon and actually came to Norway as a missionary for his church. Really strong faith. We gave him a Book of Mormon in French a week ago and taught him again on Saturday, However, as people so often do he turned to the internet instead of the Book of Mormon to learn about our doctrine. He started asking us questions about baptisms for the dead and other deep doctrines he didn't agree with. We also got the typical Revelation 22;18 concern about the Book of Mormon. Elder Årsnes and I would respond to his concerns and kept attempting to bring the discussion to our fundamental doctrine, but with no luck. It made me think of that quote that says something like "the fundamental principles of our religion are that Christ died and resurrected, everything else is only appendages to that." So true.

Well, today we are driving a couple hours out of town to some members that live on a farm! They have started coming to church in their electric car lately, and we promised we would come out and help them with their strawberry patch! 

Weather has gotten really hot the last few days, and with the sun being up all day. our air conditionless apartment has become a sauna. The tin foil we put over our windows a while back might have something to do with it too...

Love you all and have a great week!
Eldste Parkinson