Monday, January 25, 2016

Action Packed

WOW! This has been one of the most action packed weeks of my mission! I sent Elder Osguthorpe off to Tromsø on Wednesday. We had a couple awesome last days together, and despite a lot of our plans falling through, including one man that managed to cancel three different times with us in one day, it felt fulfilling. Tromsø is lucky to have him!

3 new elders came to Bergen this week and the Bergen district is officially stacked! Elder Hoopes, Beck, and Hailes are newbees. Elder Hailes arrived from Narvik in the afternoon after a long trek and we were quite busy the rest of the week with teaching appointments. The first one was actually an interview with 4 high school students that are doing a project on Mormons. We met them at the teaching appartment and they actually filmed us answering a bunch of questions that they had prepared (Don't worry, I screened them first). They had studied us up on the internet, but at the end they mentioned how little they actually knew and how much more normal we were then they thought haha. One of them said during the interview "Are all mormons this funny?" There is so much power in our example. "Be an example of the believers." 

This weeks country of interest is...China! Last Sunday night I found a guy from mainland China that is studying here. I told him about the Book of Mormon and we ended up teaching him this past Saturday! We talked a lot about faith and read from Alma 32 together and he was getting literally blasted by the spirit (he jumped out of his chair a few times haha). We prayed with him at the end and set another appointment for Saturday. When I was confirming the appointment he told me that he didn't think we could meet, he hadn't read and didn't feel prepared. I convinced him to come anyways and it turns out he had read all the way through 1 Nephi 4. The reason he didn't want to meet was because he was so frustrated by the story of Nephi killing Laban. And when I say frustrated I mean FRUSTRATED. It had been eating him up ever since our last meeting. We tried talking it through with him and helping him understand, but it wasn't really working. We finally said, Adam you need to receive your own answer from God." With that thought in mind we watched the 20 minute restoration film and then bore some powerful testimony at the end. It was cool to witness such a dramatic change from his frustration to the calm, peacefulness of the spirit. To top it all off, he kneeled down with us at the end of the lesson and said his first prayer ever. I could see and witness that day that people need the peace and joy that the gospel brings. He ended up coming to church with us yesterday for all three hours!

A lot of our investigators are progressing right now which is exciting! B. has been a bit busy with school, but he's doing great and we had an awesome convert with us on a teach this week. Had another awesome teach with A. There were a bunch of people that we were able to teach for the first time as well and it's weird how it never get old teaching the first lesson. 2 years later and there is still nothing better than reciting the first vision. 

We have been using the senior couple (Elder and Sister Cardon) a lot on our teaches this week. They are awesome and get so excited about our investigators and are so eager to help. All the other area here in Bergen are starting to flourish as well and we are hoping to get some baptisms here in February!

We have struggled this week with this whole eating thing. Elder Hailes is as petal to the metal as I am so sometimes we just forget (I think I got that trait from Dad), but the noises coming out of my stomach remind me and everyone else in the room. Takket være Eldste Holden I've been taking protein bars with me in my backpack. I refuse to step on a scale.

I just love life. We've been blessed with a lot of experiences and I feel a lot of confidence in my testimony right now. I can feel the spirit guiding and confirming what I say in lessons. The missionary broadcast was inspiring and spot on. I feel an increased urge and responsibility to always have Christ's name on my lips as I teach, talk to and serve my brothers and sister here in Norway. 

Eldste Parkinson