Monday, June 1, 2015

Hei dere!

Hei dere!

It has been an exciting week here in Sandvika! A lot of rain and chilly weather, but it's been beautiful to see everything turning green and starting to bloom! Norway is looking like a national geographic poster right now. 

We took a roadtrip out to a place called Hønefoss to meet with an investigator. The drive was way scenic and the teach was worth the drive! There is this mom that is fairly interested in the church and even more interested in her 17 year old son finding a faith in God. We came to the house and began talking with the mom as we waited for the son to come out. It was funny because the mom kept yelling at the son to come out and he wouldn't budge for the longest time. It seemed like the typical *mom I didn't sign up for this" situation. Anyways, he eventually came out and eventually warmed up to us once he realized that we weren't going to just command him to repentance, but really just wanted to get to know him and be friends. He started asking those golden, truth seeking questions that got me real excited and led to an awesome teach about God and prayer. 

We have this other cool investigator named N. that has started progressing towards baptism. He is originally from Portugal and we found him on the streets a few weeks back. He loves music and plays either the guitar or piano for us at the end of our lessons. He lives alone and is coming out of a very tough period in his life and is a pretty lonely man who really has only had is guitar to turn to as a friend. It got me thinking about how many people there are out there that are and feel very alone and neglected. We live in such a huge world that it can be so easy to feel lost amongst the crowd. I know for sure that I have felt like this at points in my life. The first paragraph in Preach my Gospel talks about this very point of living in a world surrounded by individuals and each individual is on their personal journey to find purpose and happiness. The gospel that we share, the message of a loving Heavenly Father and eternal families, is what leads to the peace that every individual is looking for, whether they know it or not. I think one of the greatest blessings of the gospel in my life is that at the end of the day, no matter the stresses or trials that I experienced, I can feel this sense of peace and comfort and the assurance that I am not alone.

It's so easy to undervalue to role of Jesus Christ as missionaries. It's ironic because we are literally representatives of Him. I read this talk from elder Holland where he mentioned how he asked a group of missionaries what they wanted their investigators to do as a result of their teaching. "Baptism" was the unanimous response. But what has to proceed baptism? All the missionaries in this talk began to list commitments such as reading in the Book of Mormon, coming to church, Praying, the Word of Wisdom, etc. As important as these things are, they are really just ways to measure the two underlying principles that we read in the 4th article of faith: faith in Jesus Christ and Repentance. After every lesson lately I have been trying to ask myself, "Did I help them find/strengthen their faith in Christ? Did I help them to repent?" With such a beautiful message to share, with so many answers to so many questions, it is so important to remember the rock and foundation to our whole message, Jesus Christ. It is His church that was restored. It is through Him that the plan of salvation is possible. It is His gospel that will keep us on the straight and narrow path and His commandments that will enable us to live happy and healthy lives.

We are entering President Evans' last month as mission president. We've got zone conferences lined up later in the month, and we will be leading a training meeting in conjunction with that. The mission is at a really pivotal point right now! 

We got a parking ticket this week. We bought the parking billet but apparently didn't read the sign closely enough. I think Norway's whole economy runs of these things. 

I appreciate all the love and support and hope you have a great week! 

Eldste Parkinson

The famous Oslo Ski jump with a YSA member!

I got this pic from President Evans from the Mission conference they had up in Tromsø this past weekend. A lot of familiar faces. You can see O. towards the back on the right. He is doing great. Quite a few other recent converts in the pic as well as a few members from Alta/Bodø. Miss that place!