A lot of exciting things happening this week! The weather has gotten real nice, and the suit jackets are finally off!A lot of cool miracle stories this week, but the best one goes to a guy named J. that we found this week. We actually found him on the streets in Drammen on Easter weekend and were able to get a return appointment for this past Friday! We had the address, but when we were on our way we found out that the address wasn't in the GPS for some reason. We drove towards the area we thought it was and gave him a call, but due to the fact that he is quite new to Norway he was unable to really give us any directions. We pulled into a gas station and I ran up to a random guy and he gave us some really vague directions, "go through some round abouts and turn left after a while" is basically what he told us. We drove for a while longer, pretty much just guessing and praying we were on the right roads (we are in the middle of nowhere by the way). We end up on an unmarked road and decided to ask some people if they know where ______ road is. To our surprise, we were on the road and only a few houses from the right address!
That was only the beginning, though, because the teach ended up being legendary! J. happened to have a whole family that was way prepared and interested to hear our message. He told us about how missionaries always ran into him on the streets (in Africa, Greece, and even here in Drammen), and how he always would reject them and say no. When we contacted him he decided it was time to finally give us a chance. He told us about his conversion from Islam to Christianity and his desire to have a strong Christian family. He even told us a crazy story of giving up everything because of a spiritual prompting to move his family to Norway! It gives me hope to see how people are literally prepared to receive the Gospel.We did a Zone Leader Training meeting this week all about planning. Planning is a skill that I lacked before my mission. I remember growing up I would always throw away the planners that they gave us in school and pretty much try to keep track of things in my head. No wonder I always found myself finishing assignments the class period before it was do. With missionary work, I have learned how crucial planning is in helping us be effective, urgent, and miracle working missionaries. One thing we initiated in the zone is that you can no longer simply write "contacting" and "banking" in your planners. It can be a bad habit in smaller areas to simply study in the morning, contact on the streets until dinner, and bank on doors until the end of the day. As much as anything it is exhausting and hard to keep a positive attitude through it all.
We talked a lot about how all your finding should be "on the way" to something. Contacting on the way to an investigators house, banking near a members home, etc. There are so many creative things you can do to give yourself a purpose while you are out! Yesterday, Elder Shanklin and I had an hour after church that we needed to find a new investigator, but we were struggling to think of a Point B. So, we made a focus of talking to people that were sitting down (#findthesquatters)! Nobody was responding at first, but we eventually found a guy that we were able to sit down with and teach a short lesson! When you have plans the spirit is with you. This makes you passionate, which leads to miracles! ! !I've been reflecting a lot this week on Elder Holland's talk from conference and the story of the two brothers. First off, it made me grateful for my two brothers and the examples that they are for me! Second, it has made me grateful for my elder brother Jesus Christ. I think one of the most powerful parts of the story was how the Boy was afraid to have his younger brother see him fall to his death. How often are we afraid to involve Jesus Christ in our lives when things are tough? It is so natural to try and manage things on our own and even feel unworthy of Christ's willing and opened hands. I hope I can always be humble enough to accept and embrace Christ's help in my life!
It was awesome to be back in church for the first time this past Sunday! It was cool to see so many familiar faces! It was funny, I was sitting there in church yesterday, struggling to stay awake and focused, yet feeling so grateful to be there. It made me realize how much church is like a hospital. I'm grateful for the ordinance of the Sacrament and the spirit that is present each and every Sunday to HEAL us, comfort us, and inspire us. That's what it's all about.
Have an awesome week!! Jeg er glad i dere!
Here are some pictures from our hike.