Monday, December 21, 2015

God Jul fra Bergen

God Jul!!

Christmas is just around the corner! It's odd being so wet and warm compared to Christmas last year. It hasn't snowed since I got here. 

The ward in Bergen is very musically talented. Every single Sunday they have a musical number and this Sunday was especially special. A couple opera performances during sacrament meeting and the primary put on a full scale broadway nativity performance during the Sunday School hour! 

On Thursday we flew over to Stavanger for a Zone Leader Training and a Christmas fireside. It was awesome to see President and Sister Hill once again  as well as the rest of the missionaries from the west zone. It was a very spiritual meeting and a good reminder to look outside of yourself during this season and serve others. As part of the fireside there was a talent show and the Bergen district threw together a pretty goofy musical number. Given the short notice preparation it turned out pretty nice and I think the audience got a kick out of it. I'll have to see if I can get a video of it over to you guys in some way or another. 

I think I told you that we are working with a less active/part member family from the Congo? Anyways, we had an awesome visit with them this week. We got there right as they were finishing up a big dinner get together. They invited us in and fed us TONS of food, the highlight being the fufu. Afterwards we got to teach J., his sister, wife, niece, and sister-in-law all at the same time! It's been awesome getting to know this family.

I've spent a lot of time this week studying the attributes of Christ. Both from Preach my Gospel and as I study in the New Testament. It seems like every attribute I study becomes really relevant during the day as I'm out. I've been especially trying to be patient the last couple days. I've got so much urgency for investigators/members to progress and keep commitments and there is nothing more frustrating then when they let you down, especially when they confirmed the appointment the night before, or as in one case, called to say they were on the way and changed their mind 15 minutes later. I was sitting in Priesthood on Sunday staring at my watch and the door in anticipation for our investigators to show up. As I was sitting there, stressing out, and unable to focus on the lesson I was reminded of what I had studied this week and I felt a calmness and a peace come over me. I had done what I could and things were in the Lord's hands and in His timing. It's good to be passionate and good to be saddened when disappointments come, but you cannot become discouraged and let it weaken your faith. That is the challenge of missionary work. 

There have been so many finding miracles this week! Work + the Spirit = success. I remember one day it was just pouring rain and super windy. Our appointment had fallen through and we had some time to street contact in the city. Given the weather I don't think either of us really wanted to do that...but, we did it! And 5 minutes later we were both split up standing under an awning and teaching two separate people a lesson. It's clear as the rain water in Bergen that if an appointment falls through there is somebody else that needs us. We made it a habit at the end of the day to count those miracles that came during the time periods in which appointments fell through. 

We're doing a big refugee dinner at the church tonight!  A similar kind of thing to the one we did in Boise so I'm way excited! I look forward to seeing you all on Friday! 

Love always, 
Eldste Parkinson 

Bergen District - minus photographer Elder Osguthorpe