Monday, December 7, 2015

All Coming Together

First full week in Bergen has come to an end and I love it here. 

Where to begin? We kicked off the Christmas initiative this week! It's extra exciting this year because we have it in Norwegian! check it out. It's been cool to have a unique and special way to approach people wherever we are. For example: We take the Bybane (metro car thing) in and out of the city every day and have been using that as an opportunity to talk to people. All of us in the district here committed to opening our mouths each time we get on the bybane. There have been tons of miracles finding prepared people and sharing the christmas video with people on their Iphones. Sometimes you get shut down hard, but it's always worth it for those that are prepared. Elder O. had an awesome experience talking to a lady about the church and showing her the video. In the end, she grabbed his planner wrote down her number and yelled out her name as she ran off the bybane to make her stop.  

Just like Oslo, there are quite a few members on the list here. One of the first things I did when I got here was call the three less-actives on the list from Liberia. It was funny because we went to visit one of them earlier this week and he wasn't home. We gave him a call as we were leaving and he told us he was on the Bybane now and could meet at the church in 20 minutes! We ended teaching him and establishing an awesome relationship with him!! Turns out, like it always does, that he knows Benjamin's sister very well and that she works right next door to the church! The other two members were way down to meet. 

Our Norwegian investigator M. keeps making awesome progress! He's got a pretty cool story. Turns out he met missionaries over a year ago and didn't show up at the appointment he set with them. A year later, he found himself working at a grocery store right by the church and saw the missionaries walking by. Feeling bad for what had happened a year ago, he yelled out to them and said he wanted to learn more. A month later and he is eating up everything we teach him! Awesome guy. 

As a missionary in Norway we meet and teach people from all over the world. This week we found a man from a country most people have never heard of: Swaziland! We met up at a bybane stop and invited him to church. Pretty quick contact and didn't think much of it. Come Sunday, a lot of the investigators we had been counting on coming to church had bailed. I was sitting in the front bench with the young men waiting to pass the Sacrament and my brother from Swaziland strolled right in and sat down! That moment was priceless. Turns out he lives right by the church and he loved everything about it. Looking forward to teaching him!!

Another cool story. There is an inactive member on the list that we got a hold of from Congo that turns out to be a "B".  2.0. Baptized when he was 16 in Congo and almost served a mission. Ended up in Norway and lost contact with the church when he got to Bergen. We dropped by last night and taught him with his non member brother! Way cool sheep rescuing experience. We've got it set up to teach him and his non member wife each week! Families!!

I've been feeling such a high level of urgency lately. Urgency to find, teach, serve, lift, baptize people here in Bergen. All the missionary work dots seemed to be connected right now and I honestly have no other desire than to eat, sleep, and drink missionary work.

A cool scripture I liked this week from Alma 61: 9 And now, in your epistle you have censured me, but it mattereth not; I am not angry, but do rejoice in the greatness of your heart.

Not sure quite what it means to be censured, but I think we all feel like we've been censured sometimes. Whether it's getting cut off while you are driving, getting "nei takk" on the street, or (in Pahoran's case) getting called out when you didn't do anything wrong. Getting offended drives the spirit away from your life/missionary work. Keeping a positive attitude keeps the spirit in you missionary work. This one is hard for me, but if you need the spirit to teach and find you can't afford to drive it away! 

Have a great week! Sorry, I have been horrible and sending snail mail/birthday notes/Christmas gift/anything. I'll repent when I get home, but know that I love you and am thinking of you! 

Eldste Parkinson

Bergen is a beaut!