Monday, May 25, 2015

Like a Rollercoaster!


Dear FAM 
As a missionary you become pretty used to experiencing a lot of ups and downs. At one moment you can be the happiest person on earth until you receive a drop message from an investigator and suddenly your feelings are flipped upside down. I've come to appreciate these ups and downs as learning experiences and opportunities to get back up stronger than you fell down. This week seemed to be a quite violent rollercoaster, but in the end it is the good things that happened that I will remember most! 

We had a lot of success with finding this week and I really felt like the spirit was guiding us to specific people that we could help! We had one experience a few days ago when we went out to visit a potential that we found in the Area Book. We knocked on the door and this teenage kid answered. He told us that his whole family was devout Muslims and that they were not interested at all. He told us to leave and we asked him if he knew someone that could be interested in our message. Without putting much thought into it he kind of sarcastically pointed at a small group of apartments in the distance that we should try.Why not? We tried the first two doors and nobody was home, but something very special happened with the next two doors! They both let us in and we got to teach them! At the second one the Dad told us that he felt like we had brought angels with us to bless and protect his home! It was cool to see the way in which God directed us to these two families that needed to hear  our wonderful message!

On Thursday we had a particularly tough day. Ironically, it wasn't with missionary work, but with some other stressful things in the office. I was feeling rather inadequate and useless towards the end of the day...and then out of nowhere I got a phone call from Thomas (The Icelandic boy I was teaching back in Drammen). He told me that he and his brother wanted to invite me to their baptism on Saturday! I was shocked and overjoyed by the news! We made the trip down to Drammen on Saturday evening and were able to take part in one of the most powerful baptismal meetings I have been to. The pure joy in these two boys faces after they had come out of the water is something I will never forget. And it was a joy that I immediately desired for everyone. With them getting baptized one after the other it brought back memories of the day Erik and I got baptized back in MN. It was a special day on the mission that is summed up by the words I whispered to Elder Duncan right at the end of the meeting: "The church is true."

One thing I have appreciated this week is the power of silence. I think early on in my mission silence was something that made me uncomfortable. In reality, silence is what allows people to recognize the spirit and receive revelation! We had one experience this last week where we invited an investigator to pray for an answer at the end of the lesson and he wouldn't do it. We decided to kneel down and each say a prayer. I said one, Elder Duncan said one, and the member with us said one. After the 3rd prayer we waited in silence for a long time before the investigator gave one of the most heartfelt prayers I have ever heard. In the Book of Mormon, Ammon waited in silence for a whole hour after asking King Lamoni a question. In New York they built 10 feet (something like that) thick walls in the Temple to make sure it was free from noise. The spirit often whispers in silent settings with a silent voice. 

I was able to go to Oslo a few times in the last little bit. It was nice to see familiar faces! I was able to go on a few teaches with A. from Poland and he's doing great! I love this country and the people that live here!

Have a great week!
Eldste Parkinson

T and S on their big day!

Another picture form the baptism!