Monday, October 27, 2014

Rain Rain go away

After getting some snow last week it has warmed up a little again and turned into rain...all day every day. I think Saturday was the first time we saw the sun in a couple weeks. We had this service project during the week helping some members attach some snow removing mechanism on their roof. It was nice to get wet and dirty and do some service.

It was one of those weeks where I look back through my planner and it doesn't really tell the story. A ton of unplanned teaches in unplanned areas. I guess that is how you know that spirit was guiding you. There was one time that we walked out of the apartment and started talking to this guy on our way to the city. He was pretty critical and loved to point to problems other people have with our church. We taught him for a while there on the street, but were not able to get anywhere. We gave him a card and continued on our way. 30 seconds later he called down to us and asked us if we wanted to come with him and talk to his friend. What?! We weren't going to say no to that. HIs friend ended up being our next door neighbor and we were able to have a nice conversation with them that really changed their perception of who we were. Hopefully, will be able to teach them again soon. 

We have begun teaching this cool lady from Ghana named Nancy. She let us teach her the first time mainly because she wanted to hear the word of God, didn't really want to change. As we taught her the plan of salvation, though, it hit her that we were teaching things that she hasn't thought about before. Without us even needing to extend the invitation she said she needs to read the Book of Mormon and pray for understanding. I keep learning more and more how the restored gospel answers the questions of the soul. Pure, 100 percent TRUTH.

We had Stake Conference this week, which was really inspiring. The Stake President talked about how in the church you are never "retired". There is no threshold of understanding or knowledge that exempts you from the work. Everybody, is invited to take part and work together in the work of salvation. There is always more to learn and always more to do. The whole conference confirmed to me that this church is led by revelation at every different level. 

We got an extra hour of sleep on Sunday! That was a blessing, although I'm so many hours behind at this point it didn't make a huge difference. With the darkness it is becoming necessary to have reflectors and a flashlight on you at all times haha.

Our Ward mission leader mentioned to me that the Kansas City Royals were in the World Series and I nearly lost it haha. I didn't bother asking for the record of Twins. It was weird feeling, though, that a whole baseball season has passed without me having a clue that it ever began. It made me realize how long I have been out here and how much we are literally separated from the world as missionaries.  

We should be getting the car tomorrow so that will revolutionize the proselyting. Although, it will take away all the time we get on public transportation to talk with people. Pros and cons. 

I got the birthday packages! It will take some patience to wait till the 7th to open them. Especially with the rumor that one of them has some peanut butter!!

Ha en fin uke! 
Love always, 
Eldste Parkinson


Monday, October 20, 2014


It has been one crazy week. Elder Abril arrived on Wednesday...but I wasn't there to pick him up...! On our way to the train station we got stuck in horrible traffic (not usual in Drammen). We had to park in a sketchy spot and sprint to the station, but when we got there we couldn't find Elder Abril! After a bunch of running and a few lost hairs we found him sitting composed on a bench. I felt horrible.
Elder Abril is from a small little town in Oregon only about an hour away from Boise! He lived in Sweden for about 7 years (Mom is swedish), so he speaks fluent Swedish! Swedish is very similar to Norwegian, so he understands people better than me haha. He is way excited to serve and willing to try anything!
On Saturday there was another baptism down in Drammen this time of a 19 year old guy from Angola. I was blessed with the opportunity to interview him. It was incredible to see how the gospel has helped him to turn his life around. He literally begging for commandments to keep. He is planning on serving a mission!
On this same Saturday I also made the brutal mistake of forgetting our phone on the train. You never think about how much you depend on something until you don't have it. How was missionary work done before cell phones?? Dad, are you that old? We borrowed a members phone to make some necessary calls to investigators and long story short we were able to retrieve the phone today from Oslo. A few more lost hairs.
We have this investigator who is a seventh day adventist that we found in this Ormåsen area. He is very satisfied with his beliefs, but talked to us just to see how we see things. We visited his church last Saturday and he came to our church on Sunday! It was a powerful sacrament meeting with a return missionary and a soon to leave missionary both speaking. I could tell the spirit touched him, but at the end of the meeting he simply went back to his concerns about the Book of Mormon not agreeing with the Bible. Agency. Even though he wasn't interested in the end, I was appreciative of his curiosity to learn about our message and what it is we do on Sundays.
We continue to find cool people, but are struggling to help them progress! I am also running out out of houses to bank on! Winter has begun and I finally got out the wallet and bought myself a parka. Should be another great week! Thanks for all the letters and for all the support! I appreciate it!
Eldste Parkinson

Got some snow! Check out that scarf, David! 

Elder Abril!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Should I stay or should I go?

MOVES CALL! Should I stay or should I go? Well......I'm staying here in Kongsberg! I will be getting a new comp straight from the states named Elder Abril. Apparently his mom is Swedish so he has already gotten a head start with the language. Elder Skøien is moving down to Drammen so we will still be in the same district and see each other on Sundays. It's going to be a great learning experience to train and I feel like it is coming at a good time in my mission. A real opportunity to get reenergized and really focus on doing things right. I remember how clueless I was when I came to the land and I know the first several weeks are key to starting off your mission on the right note. 

It seems like most of this week has been spent on trains. We had a zone leader training in Tønsberg. I had a trainers meeting in Oslo. Ward Council  in Drammen. Church on Sunday in Drammen. We really travel a lot, but good news came in today that we will be getting the car back! Skøien's bike is still in the shop (Don't ask me why it's taking so long) so it will be a big blessing. It may take a week or two though. 

We had a really cool experience teaching these two guys from Iran. Both live here alone with families in dangerous situations back in Iran. They are really searching for comfort, peace, and protection. One of them speaks Norwegian and the other only speaks Persian. It's unfortunate because the one who is searching the most can only be communicated to through his friend. We gave him the Book of Mormon in Persian and a week later he told us he had finished it! He said he loved it. We taught him about prayer and how he could find out if it is true. He literally interrupted us and asked us if he could pray. I have no idea what he said, but the spirit was there. They each payed 200 crowns to take the train with us to church on Sunday. Do to safety concerns they probably won't be able to be baptized for a while, but it was a really special experience. Reminded me of my man Amiri back in Minnesota. 

Due to the difficulty of transporting members and investigators to church we have begun praying to find a van. Kind of weird, but we didn't know what else to do. Me and elder Skinner had a cool experience on splits last week finding this investigator with a huge van. And then this past week when visiting a young member couple, we saw this huge 8 passenger  van in the driveway! No idea why they bought it, but all of the sudden we've got way to get people to church as well as a way to get the members involved. Crazy. 

Elder Skøien and I tried speaking Norwegian the whole week and made it most of the way! He's been a great hard working comp. Gonna miss him. 

Mom, I ate that whole Peanut Butter jar. Literally put it on everything. Easily ten times as big as the peanut butter jars they sell here. 'MERICA

Jeg elsker dere! Snakkes!

Every morning the whole valley is just covered with fog!

Eldste Parkinson

Monday, October 6, 2014


It was a high energy week! The highlight was probably on Thursday when the ZL's came to Kongsberg for some splits. We were able to find and teach a lot of people. The bold move of the day was when I was with Elder Skinner. We saw some guy sitting in a car and decided to just walk over and bank on the window (I guess we were getting kind of fed up with banking on doors). The guy let us teach him right there and we got another appointment!
General Conference was amazing! Because Norwegians are so fluent in english, almost everyone watches it in english. So that was a blessing. I still haven't seen the last session though. I loved the talk by Elder Anderson. Elder Uchtdorf's talk was sweet as well. This church is led by inspired men. Now let's all do as President Eyring directed and pray for confirming revelation!
I had a funny experience this week that kind of made me think. We were on splits and one of the elders had to mail something. Our toilet brush had broken and I decided to go buy a new one while waiting. As I was standing in the checkout line I realized how goofy I looked. An 18 year old in a suit buying just one item: a toilet brush. I realized, though, that it is only awkward if you make it awkward, so I just smiled right through the whole thing with no shame. I feel like a lot of times when we we knock on doors or contact people it feels kind of like I'm holding a toilet brush. We testify of things that seem weird to todays standards (a living profet, the first vision, golden plates, the word of wisdom). But, why should we be ashamed? We've got the restored gospel of Jesus Christ! It doesn't mean it's not the truth simply because it doesn't coincide with society. I'm pretty sure that was a theme in conference too. Anyway, kind of a dumb analogy, but don't be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ!
That sounds like a sweet trip Dave had with the young men! Bummer about Taysom Hill and the cougs :(
It is getting darker and darker every day. It seems like just yesterday that the sun never went down.

Have an awesome week! I love you all and appreciate the support!
Eldste Parkinson