Monday, November 9, 2015



It's been a great week! The weather has gotten pretty nice and I keep forgetting I am in Norway. I don't know if it was the Minnesota in me, but I was in shorts and a tee-shirt playing fotball on Saturday!

We have introduced a new key indicator into the mission called "gospel conversations" as a way to encourage us to open our mouths. A gospel conversation is basically any time you teach a principle of the gospel, share testimony, and invite to act. It's something that is achievable anywhere we are and can be done in a very short period of time! Elder Rolfson and I have been having fun with it and it's been a great way to stay accountable for how we are using our time. 

I taught a guy in French this week! He speaks no english and no Norsk so it was cool to be of use. We had a quick gospel conversation earlier in the week and then we taught him on Saturday. It was a bit rough, but the spirit definitely helped! 

We had a couple investigators that we taught this week that are really struggling to read the Book of Mormon. They love to be taught, they love to hear about things we believe in, but they won't open the Book of Mormon and read it. Rather, they both decided to read "about" the Book of Mormon from various sources on the internet. And then, of course, that leads to misunderstanding and confusion. It's interesting this "information age" that we live in. There is SO much available to us on the internet, which is an incredible resource and benefit in so many ways, But at the same time, googling Book of Mormon will probably give you more information about South Park and musicals than what is actually about: the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I have been trying to focus lately on having quality personal studies. I've been thinking lately about how my mission has taught me tons about "living" and "sharing" the gospel. I feel like half of my letters I am talking about how much of a joy it is to serve others and live God's commandments. However, I think sometimes I overlook the principle of "learning." That is, our personal understanding of the Gospel through study. I've never loved the sound of the term "deep doctrine," but it is so important that we have a deep understanding of the doctrine. Deep roots, so that when winds, hail and storms beat upon you it will have no power over you. Lately I've been going slowly and deeply through Chapter 3 of Preach my Gospel where all the doctrines that we teach are. This week was the plan of Salvation and I read this boss talk from Elder Christofferson called "Moral Agency." So good. 

I'm trying to make it so my personal study is quality each and every day. It's interesting looking back on my personal studies from before the mission and it's evident that it was more about obedience than learning. Dad, for some reason I've had the image this week of you sitting at the kitchen table studying your scriptures and eating you oatmeal as I frantically tried to get ready for Seminary in 5 minutes or less (usually forgetting a trumpet, a basketball bag, or a school assignmnent in the process). Every single morning I saw that. It's cool to recognize your love for learning and it's no wonder your roots are so deep. 

I've building up my tolerance to hot food lately. Everything B. makes has Habaneros in it, even his spaghetti and scrambled eggs. It's so good, though! And I've gone down from like 10 glasses of water a meal to about 2. My latest favorite recipes are "Pepper soup," "spinach," and "okra." There was this other kind of powdery peanutty stuff that you eat like cookie dough and then it expands in your stomach when you drink water. Not sure what it's called, but I've started packing it for when we are out and don't get breakfast/lunch. Apparently they ate it all the time during the war. We were over there on my birthday and they sang an epic rendition of "Happy Birthday." Love 'em!

Thanks for all the Birthday wishes! Erik, I hope you had an awesome 20th as well! 

Eldste Parkinson

Out with the old...

In with the new!