It has been a very intereseting week missionary work wise. Norway pretty much shuts down for the holidays and it has been near impossible to get appointments set up with our investigators. We were in members homes nearly every night this past week, which helped us buld up relationships and put on a few needed holiday pounds. It was quite the blessing. The family we were with on Julaften (Christmas Eve) is the brother to the Isaksen family in Kongsberg that I knew so well! There are lots of cool Christmas traditions that it was fun to be a part of. For one, on Julaften you always eat a dessert called riskrem. Hidden in the dessert is an Almond, and whoever finds it wins a pig cake. Anyways, I was the lucky one this year and earned myself a pretty gnarly pig! They also have this ancient tradition of walking in circles around the Christmas tree singing Christmas songs. good stuff.
It has been a special experience to dedicate the Christmas season to serving others. Our district organized a caroling activity one night in which we were able to sing to several member and non-members. There was one older lady that we visited who has been inactive because of her poor health. We went into her house and she told us her favorite hymn, which we then sang with her and despite her poor health she sang along with us! Another day, we went to a care facility to give a blessing to a member that is dying from cancer. He could hardly move and was in a lot of pain. It was really neat to give him a blessing and see the peace it brought to his soul. As we were about to head home for dinner I saw a chessboard on his table and asked him if he played chess. He said yes and asked if I wanted to play with him. So, for the first time in many years, I played chess with this man and he beat me pretty good! "When you are in the service of your fellow beings you are only in the service of your God."
2014 has been a very special year. I remember just 4 years ago I was David's age beginning school in Boise. I wasn't very sure what I was doing with my life. 2 years ago I was writing up countless college applications to schools across the country. I was devestated when the responses of every school was a resounding NO apart from one school: BYU. One year ago, I had just finished up my second semester of college, two semesters that allowed me to really develop a testimony for the Gospel and a desire to serve a mission. For almost all of 2014 I have been serving as a missionary in Norway doing a work that I know is good and true. Looking back, I am so grateful for the ways in which God has directed my path over the years. I have a testimony that God has a plan for us and is mindful of us every step of the way!
have a great week and a godt nyttår!