Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Förstått God Jul!!

This sure was one memorable Christmas. It was one of those weeks where everything fell into place and by the end of the week you feel really, really blessed.
Christmas week kicked off on Monday night with this big refugee dinner that we hosted at the church. A member of the ward, who works a lot with refugee orphans, was in charge of the whole thing. It was very similar to the one we did in Boise. It made me realize how much I love young people. It was blast getting to know them and serve them, whether I could communicate with them or not. After the food there was a big limbo competition. I was the tallest by a good foot, but made it to the second to last round! Everybody got a kick out of big, tall, skinny Parkinson going under the beam haha.
We were in the homes of members for dinner every day after that. We got to spend Christmas eve with the Pedersen family, who are the parent to the stake president (I knew there fam pretty well in Drammen). Awesome traditional Norwegian dinner and it was cool talking to two of the coolest, most experienced members in Norway. On Christmas day we were with the legendary "missionary Grandma" named Else. She lives out on a farm and had all the missionaries over for a meal. Saturday we were with a newly wed couple. He is from Germany she is from Czek and they met each other in Norway and got married a couple weeks ago! Sunday, we were with the awesome Berg family! So cool to be with so many different people all celebrating the same hendelse.
Apart from being with some awesome members we found a lot of other cool things to do this week as a district. We went out on the streets with our umbrellas and sang a bunch of carols, ran around to bus drivers and gave them cookies (made by the sisters of course), and visited some less active members that had nobody to be with for Christmas. The week really taught me that the more you look outside of yourself and the more you look for opportunities to make somebody else have a great Christmas, the more meaningful Christmas will be for yourself.
Some awesome finding magic...ready for it??? Alright, so it was a rainy night in Bergen about a week ago. Nothing unusual yet. Elder Osguthorpe and I wanted to find a new investigator so we said a prayer, opened our umbrellas and walked out into the pouring rain. We were in this big open area and both ended up contacting two separate people. I contacted a 20 something year old woman from Poland that I ended up teaching for about 30 minutes! Elder O. talked to this 20 something year old guy from Norway that he ended up teaching for like 30 minutes. After those 30 minutes came to an end we came together and did an NFL bum touch celebration and were way excited! We ended up teaching both of them again this week and it went really well. It was cool to look back at the week and recognize that perfect timing and the fruits that came from it. 

More magic...on Tuesday this week I was on splits with Elder Crump and we found one of the coolest guys I've met on my mission. What made him so cool is that he was so easy to talk to! We started teaching him about the Book of Mormon and the restoration and he was feeling the power of the spirit. Out of nowhere he asked this soul piercing question: "How do you know this is true?" You could tell he was asking cause he really wanted to know. Man did it feel good to share my experience of reading the Book of Mormon and receiving an answer! I could feel the spirit giving me utterance and exactly what this young man needed to hear. Turns out this guys grandpa is a man named Åge who is a member and in charge of the maintenance of the church. You should of seen the smile on his face when I told him who we found. It was cool to feel that by the end of a 30 minute contact you were talking to a good friend, not just a random Norwegian that you met 30 minutes ago. To top things off this guy is a way good beat boxer and we started jamming out right there on the street to some "O Holy Night." :)
I enjoyed seeing you all on Friday! Looking good! Thanks for your love, prayers, and support!
Eldste Parkinson 

Stavkirke near our apartment

View of Bergen