Monday, April 20, 2015

Second Wind

Where to start. This week really was a special one full of incredible experiences. A lot of the days this week seemed to follow a pattern: a really tough beginning to the day followed by an outpouring of blessings in the end. God always blesses you for remaining diligent to the end. I remember learning this principle when I was with Erik and Dad biking in the sawtooth mountains of Idaho. Dad had found a "short" bike ride to go on before the rest of the crew from the ward came. I remember the whole bike ride being straight up hill on a pretty boring gravel road. I remember how frustrated i got thinking that this is not what I signed up for. I think i attempted to convince Dad to turn around, but he just calmly kept biking up the hill. After what seemed like a 30 mile ascent we came to the top and enjoyed an incredibly scenic and awesome trail down. I remember how by the end I had completely forgotten about how the bike ride had begun. I think this principle can apply to almost everything in life. I remember in basketball my coach Bernie would always tell us at the end of games to dig for our "second wind." Whenever you feel like you've got nothing left, that last breath, that last effort is the one that makes all the difference.

Wednesday was a perfect example of one of those days. We had a several experiences early in the day of people just criticizing our church, our beliefs, our skin color, America, you name it. One guy was so shocked that I would pay money to go around just to get rejected. The only thing I could think to say back is that those aren't the experiences I will remember. That night we were supposed to be bringing a new convert to a volleyball activity, but he canceled on us last minute. We call up this new investigator we have named M. and get an appointment with him that evening. With out much expectations we meet him at the train station and find a few seats in the station to sit down and teach him. It was an incredible lesson about the restoration and the spirit was strong. Right after we finished, the man that had been sitting nearby us asked if we were Christians! Needless to say, we sat down again and began teaching him as well! He was quite positive and agreed to a return appointment. As he walked over to get some money on his phone so we could exchange numbers another man came up to us and told us he wanted to be taught next!! It was a surreal experience having people wait in line to hear your message.

This past Friday we were able to teach J. and His family again! We took a member with us that lived in the area and had a great discussion about the Gospel of Jesus Christ using the Book of Mormon. Our one concern with this family was getting them to church, because they live a ways away and the Buss doesn't go on Sunday mornings.To add to that they have 3 kids, and finding a ride for 5 people isn't easy. As we were discussing this concern, the member we had with us chimed in "my brother owns a mini buss that I could drive your family in!" Thanks to this miracle buss, this whole family made it to church this past Sunday! There is nothing better than teaching a family and it has really helped me to understand and see first-hand the second principle that we teach in every lesson: "The Gospel blesses Families."

Norway is starting to get beautiful, which I swear has a correlation to the effectiveness of the missionary work here. It's weird going around in just white shirts now. When you have a coat on you can kind of blend in to the crowd, but with a white shirt on there is no mixing in with the crowd. I love it. 

I am loving the work here in Norway! Thanks for all the support, prayers, and love! 

Elder Parkinson

My new pose

Got to see Elder Reber again!

Halverson, Duncan, Shanklin. Love these guys!! 
Hike Throwback
Some Icelandic boys that we teach.
They are teaching me Icelandic!!