Tuesday, August 30, 2011


                                            I really don't have tacos, my rain jacket leaks!!!

It's Monday again!!! My favorite day of the week! :) I love hearing from you all- it is the best!
So I'm healed- I went to take a picture of my nice bruise, but it was gone! I swear, I'm not going to tell you any of my funny stories if you are going to take them so seriously! Sheeesh! Ha ha ha! :)
So last Monday, we went for a hike. It was so beautiful! Norway is absolutely incredible! :)
Tuesday was a day of food and lots of it! We had a member lunch with an older lady named Randi. She fed us pizza and strawberry short cake- it was fabulous! Then we went to go mop floors for a member who just had surgery, and she tried to feed us too, but right after, we had a member dinner so we had to eat again! We ate and ate and ate! I love the ward here thoug- they are amazing!
Well this week we had some splits going on. Sister Stevens went up to Tronheim for a few days and I had Sister Fredrickson for 2 and Sister Ray for 1. These were the 2 sisters who were delayed at the MTC when we first got there! It was so good to see them- they are amazing missionaries and I can't waith to be companions with them! We found lots of people to teach! I was so happy to work with them, but I missed Sister Stevens a bit. :) It's actually really sad because on Wednesday, Sister Stevens moves to Bergen and I get a new companion. We keep asking President Johansen if I can follow her there next transfer because we got jipped due to my visa delay... we'll see what the Lord says about that...
So splits took up most of the week. Yesterday we had 2 investigators in church which is awesome! We are teaching some really good people while still keeping tabs on Mia and Yusuf- the 2 recently baptized members. I am so grateful for them and their awesome testimonies!
It's been raining like crazy here lately. It's getting darker and darker everyday, but the rain is ridiculous! ha ha! A member actually gave me a rain jacket, but in one pic I'm sending shows a defect... looks like tacos! ha ha!
Funny story, I've been cutting lots of hair here. The elders need them often.. ha ha! One elder bought me a kebab to say thanks- it was awesome! So fun! :)
So I attached some pics from Yusuf's baptism, our hike, and some other stuff. :)
Sorry this is kinda short! Just know I love you all so much!
Vi Snakkes!
Lots of love,
Sister Taylor

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Week 16

Hi family!!!

Oh my goodness- thank you for the emails! They just make my whole week better. :) Ok, the stories from your week were hilarious! I shared the one about Mason with my comp and the zone leaders- we had a good laugh together. And Grandpa A... What a peach! Ha ha ha! Please send Grandma and Grandpa A my love. Sorry that my pictures were so crazy last week... They take forever to upload and I didn't have the time. I'm also sorry because today I left my cord at the apartment so I can't send anymore this week. Next week- I promise!! 

Well here's an account of my week:

Monday: P-day! We had to register for the city and that took up most of our time, but when we were all done, we went with the zone leaders (Elder DeCosta from Hawaii and Elder Davis from the Green Valley stake) took some city bikes (we have cards that allow us to rent bikes) and rode them to the building where they give the Nobel peace prize each year and then we went to the fortress. It's the old palace and church and military base... and it was bombed in WWII. Apparently the Norwegians are really superstitious because they say it is haunted. But we went and walked around the cobble stone streets up there. It was so cool! 

Tuesday: So we had a girl from the YW in the ward who wanted to go out tracting with us. Her name is Inger Sophie and can I just tell you- she is the Norwegian version of Lauren Grondel! She is so stinking sweet!!! She talks to me all the time in Norsk (because her English isn't so good) and I can barely understand her, but she told me the other day that we are best friends! Even though I have a hard time with the language, she will just come and stand by me and she'll give me hugs and tell me I'm smart. Ha ha! She even has the super curly hair! I love her! So anyways, we went tracting together and she helped me teach a man while Sister Stevens taught someone else.
That night, we took Yusuf (I think I've been calling him josef in my emails, but we were wrong... ha ha! He got baptized on Friday) to dinner with a member family- the Isaksens. Joakim and Marianna and their cute little 2 year old girl who reminds me of Charlie Ashton. I can understand when she speaks Norsk! Ha ha! They made us pizza and it was delicious!!! They had this yummy Norwegian sauce that you put on top and it is like a ranch/sour cream sauce- it's to die for! We talked about temples and it was grand!

Wednesday: We were given free tickets to a play at the opera house from our investigator, Janne (said like Yanna). It was a beautiful evening- we bought a big chocolate bar at 711 to eat during the play. The play was very interesting. It was an Old Norwegian opera and I understood like 3 words. I felt so stupid, but then after we were told that it was in old Norwegian so no one could really understand! Yay! :) I'll have to send you the video of us reenacting the play- it was super weird, but we were so grateful for the opportunity! We ran home in the rain and it was just a fabulous night!

Thursday: I got hit by a trikk... ok, just my arm. It was awesome. It knocked my book of Mormon out of my hand and gave me a huge bruise. I was so embarrassed! The driver jumped out and asked me if I was ok. I turned bright red and said I was fine because I was. But man did I hurt my arm and my pride, and they are both still hurting today! Ha ha ha! I'll have to send you a pic of my battle scar.

Friday: Baptism day! It was interesting... It was rainy, we took the wrong subway about 3 times, Yusuf almost didn't show up and we almost freaked out, the other girl getting baptized had a break down, but it all worked out! Woooof! :) Yay for sharing the gospel! 

Saturday: We had another member dinner with a single woman who, to our surprise, invited a non-member to eat with us. We taught him a brief lesson about the Restoration and gave him a Book of Mormon. It was great! And it was chicken... Still no fish. I have a feeling it's coming fast though... we have a member lunch and diner tomorrow, so I'll let you know. Ha ha! 

On our walk back, we met a Polish man who spoke very little english, like 5 words... ha ha! We gave him a pass along card and then her gave me a bouquet of flowers that he had picked from the flower beds all over town. They were so pretty! I'll have to send you a picture- they were incredible!!

We had a teaching appointment too, a man from Sri Lanka and he gave sister stevens a gift- we thought it was perfume, but when she opened it, we found a light up cross with Jesus on it.

Sunday: Church is in all Norsk so it's good practice. I love the members! We had to visit a member about a referral and she had a cat... you can only guess what happened... ALLERGIES. Ha ha ha! I was a mess! Funny times.

Anyways... That was my week. I love you all so very much! Thank you for being so amazing! You're the bestest in the westest!!! 

Vi Skrives,
Søster Taylor

I need to send an amendment to this email:

I am just fine from getting hit by a trikk! It clipped the back of my arm and knocked the book out of my hand. I have a bruise about the size of an egg on my elbow, but I am totally fine. The only thing that still hurts is my pride. I was soooooo embarrassed! Don't worry about me- it was supposed to be something to laugh about. Sorry if I worried anyone! Love you tons! :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Week 15

Hi family!!!
I love you all so very much! So this week has been an interesting one. On Tuesday night, we had a little Chilean woman who only spoke spanish and Norwegian stay in our apartment. (She is from another area and is being taught by the missionaries, but she had to come to oslo to work something out at the embassy) We had to get special persmission because me and Sis Stevens had to sleep in the same twin sized bed in the loft of our apartment... Shoot me now! I had to take 2 tylenol PM and I still didn't sleep! Sounds like Cali to me! :) Ha ha ha!) Funny part of the story- I woke up to snoring and I could've sworn it was Sis Stevens, so in my drugged stuppor, I tapped her to make it stop and went back to sleep. Well that happened again, but to my horror, I realized that it wasn't sis Stevens snoring... It was the Chilean!!! I felt so bad! We now have a closer bond as a companionship- we've slept in the same bed and now our bond is even stronger! Ha ha ha!
Wednesday, we got lost again... But not in the middle of nowhere this time. See we were trying to find this referral man in the outskirts of Oslo, but we couldn't find his house. We walked throught this one neighborhood like 3 or 4 times and then, after a Polish man, a store clerk, and a random woman, we found that the apartment building was right off the main road... And to make it worse- the man wasn't even home!!! Bah!!!! Oh well... Ha ha ha!
Thursday, we had lunch with 2 older members in the ward. It was in all Norwegian, but I loved it and they are the coolest people EVER! They told me their conversion stories and how they met and it was so cute! They are 2 of the oldest, longest running members in the Oslo Ward. I am so grateful for amazing people like them! They are such amazing examples of being pioneers in Norway, because they are! 

Friday, we had district meeting with President Johansen. He is so cool! He is a short man, but he is a spiritual powerhouse! Our meeting stressed me out hard core though- we had to role play in Norwegian in front of everyone, and I just about had a nervous breakdown. When we were prepping for it, I shed my second set of tears over this language. It is SOOOOOOOOOOOO hard! One day, I feel like I,m grasping it, and the next I don't understand anything. Oh well- I have to be grateful for the blessings and help that I have received. :) I had my first real interview with President. He is really nice! He told me that I will be getting a new companion soon. Because of the stupid visa mess, my time with Sister Stevens has been cut short! I am so sad! We have about 3 more weeks together. But apparently, I was in the same 6th grade class with my new companion, Sister Johnston. That should be cool to see her again! :) 

Now for the amazingness- Mia's baptism! Oh my goodness- it was so AMAZING! There were so many people there to support her- everyone just loves her! She was so cute in her white baptism dress and her family who are atheists came and her mom helped get her all ready. Her program was in english (the ward mission leader wasn't too happy about that... Ha ha ha! This church isn't an american church- it's a world-wide church) Anyways... I guess the font was filled to early because the water was freezing- she told everyone as they prepared to baptize her. :) There were 4 priesthood holders in the font to help her because she can't stand on her own, so they had to push her under and then quickly pull her out. It was so amazing to see her face as she came out of the water! I am so grateful to be here!!!! Yesterday she was confirmed and the blessing was so sweet! I love being a missionary!!! We have another baptism this coming Saturday too- Josef is so quiet, but is such a strong guy. He is always saying "Why not?" Will you live the word of wisdom... law of chastity... etc? "Why not?" Ha ha! He's great! :) I'll let you know how it goes! 

What else.... There's not really much else. Dad wanted me to tell you more about our 3 miracle teaches- We needed three more by 9pm that evening... as we headed towards home, we came across 3 different people within a short period of time. We taught each of them the restoration in about 5 minutes and invited them to learn more. So we got our teaches! Yay for miracles!!! :) 

I absolutely love my companion! We work so well together and we have a great time. We are trying to find new people to teach, but it's kinda difficult because not many people are willing to listen, but I know that the Lord has people prepared for us to find, so we just need to find them! I'm working on reading the Book of Mormon before Thanksgiving (which they don't have here...Ha ha ha!) and it is amazing! I love that book with all of my heart!

Well family, I love you so very much! Thank you for all you do- you're amazing!!!

Until next week,
Sister Jessica Taylor

Monday, August 8, 2011


Hi Family!!!
I love and miss you so very much! I hope all is going well for you! Just know you are always in my prayers!!!
So this week in Norway has been crazy! We are so very busy all of the time! We spend a lot of time talking to people on buses and subways and the trikk (tracks in SLC, remember?) That's where we find a lot of people to teach. We also walk through the streets and talk to EVERYONE. :) People see us coming and avoid us like the plague! It's so funny! I smile at everyone and they look at me like I'm crazy- it is hilarious!!! And people think it is so weird when we just randomly start talking to them... What a weird culture! I love it!
Weather- It has been SOOOO HOT here! I hate it because it is super humid too! Ugh! But yesterday it poured rain, then it misted... It was so weird! Like you could see drops in the air, but you couldn't feel them hit you- like there was no need for an umbrella because we just got soaked from this mist! Awesome! I've never seen anything like it.
Well something that I've known for a while, but am still not used to is that everyone here (pretty much) is atheist. It is so very sad to me. No one thinks they need God and a lot of them freak out at us when we mention Him. I am trying to think of a cool Norsk line that will make them re-think their strategy a little bit, but it's not going well. If you think of a short powerful statement that can nail an atheist to the wall in a kind and Christ-like manner, please let me know! :)
So this week, we worked with this member from Albania. His name is Arben and he is super funny. He is kinda short and he is always commenting on my height. ha ha! Well he went out contacting with us in the park, but he had an appointment and said he would come back to meet us. Well when he came back he had 2 gifts- one for each of us. We were so flattered! He had bought us perfume... like full bottles! That's so expensive here! I got calvin klein and Sister Stevens got... some other kind. I can't remember. Ha ha!
Saturday was a super cool day because we had a miracle happen. :) We have a goal to get at least 21 teaches per week. Well we needed 3 more and it was like 8pm ish. We were heading home because we were quite a ways away, and BAM- we found a man who liked what we said (but he didn't like my Norwegian and only wanted to hear sister Stevens. I was so mad. Whenever I tried to talk he would just cut me off. MEANIE!!!) Oh well. Then right after that, a girl from Belgium walked out of a store and BAM- she was super interested! Then as she walked away, we saw an african couple and BAM- they invited us to their house and let us teach them! 3 teaches in like 30 minutes!
Funny story about the last couple- they lived on the 4th floor so we got in the elevator, but something stunk in there SO BAD! So we all gasped and plugged our noses. Well the man had his fingers up his nostrils try to clog them up. It was SO funny! It looked like he was digging for gold! :)
I'm so very excited- we have a baptism on Saturday!! It's for Mia. She is one of the coolest people I have ever met! She bore her testimony yesterday and it was incredible! She is so ready to be baptized and the cool thing about it is that she wants the whole program to be in English (yay for me!) and she is inviting her whole nonmember family to come- MISSIONARY WORK!!! :) It's funny because when we go to teach her, she usually ends up teaching us and it is so sweet! She is having a hard time sleeping and it's messing with her health so we fasted for her yesterday. I hope she gets feeling better soon!!
So my companion is so inspired! She is doing such a good job with helping me learn what I need to and I am so grateful for her. (She is from Colorado) This week, she started testimony week. She made us little cards with gospel topics on them and randomly we would ask eachother to bear testimony on one of them. It was so fun! Last night, we had a testimony meeting after watching the Restoration video on our roof. (We just climb out our window and we're there. :) ) So awesome!!! I just love her so much!
Well I shed my first tears today. The language barrier finally got to me and we had a super rough teach last night. I know I've only been here for a little over a week, but I just feel so stupid sometimes and that I'm not improving. Plus it doesn't help that EVERYONE speaks english... Blast! Oh well. Ha ha! I know I'm here for a reason and I know the gift of tongues is real. I just gotta have faith and work my tail off! But that's how we gotta handle all challenges in life- have total trust and faith in the Lord and then work out our own salvation. If we don't do those 2 things, then Heavenly Father has nothing to work with! :) But no worries- I am SOOO Happy!!!!
No fish yet, but we have our first member dinner, so maybe tonight will be the first! I'll let you all know! We're going island hopping today so I'll send pics next week. (Sorry- I forgot my camera cord so I can't send you any today :( Next week for sure!) Good luck with everything this week! You're in my prayers. I love you all so very much!!!
Vi snakkes!
Sister Jessica Taylor

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Week 13

Hello Family!!!!
Holy cow- I'm finally here in Norway! And can I just tell you- it's BEAUTIFUL!!!! The pictures from google don't even do it justice. So my assignment is right in downtown Oslo and our "headquarters" is at a center where they hold institute. It is so great! We come here for meals and to study and to teach people lessons. It's so nice!
So first things first- when I got here, I met my companion, Sister Stevens. She is from Colorado. I really like here alot! She is really nice and a super hard worker... YAY!!! :) After we met, we dropped my stuff off at the apartment. Super small! It's got a tiny cruise ship bathroom and the kitchen and bedroom are the same. There is one bed on the ground- that's mine- and then there is a loft thingy- that's Sis Stevens. It's so cute because everything is ikea! :) After we dropped that off, we went out contacting. At first I was super scared, but I ended up talking to a lot of people! we had our first planning session back at the apartment and Sis Stevens had some Norsk chocolate for me- AMAZING!!!!! Then I took some nyquil and hit the hay on my new bedding. (They gave us sheets, a pillow, and what is called a dine- an ikea down comforter and cover. mine is white and cream with flowers all over it. I love it! Ikea stuff is the bomb!) Anyways, I slept like a baby, until the sun came up at 4 in the morning and I thought it was time to get up! ha ha! Yeah, the sun starts coming up then, then it goes down after ten. It's nuts! I guess it's been super hot lately for Norway, which I don't think it's too bad, but the humidity is KILLING me! I'm sweaty all the time! It's gross... I feel like dad! Ha ha ha! Jk. The worst part about it is no one has A/C because it's never hot here... Argh! Anyways, Saturday was a day full of cancelled appointments and lots of contacting. We invited EVERYONE we talked to to church and I used A LOT of Norsk. It was so surprising because I feel SOOOO nervous inside whenever I know I have to talk to someone, but for some reason, I have not held back for one second! It's like the Spirit just takes control and puts me into full throttle. It forces me to stop being so self-concious about my language skills and insecurities and so I just talk...and talk... and talk! It's a miracle because inside I feel so scared, but if you were to see me, I probably wouldn't seem that way at all because I will talk to anyone and everyone! I haven't ever felt anything like this! Hopefully my Norsk skills will start picking up so I can understand what people are saying to me and know how to reply. It's going so much better than I thought it would! Thank heavens for the gift of tongues!!! :)
There are many different modes of transportation that we use here. There's bussen which is the bus, there's trikk which remnds me of tracks in SLC, and then there is the t-bane which is the subway. We have used all of them and today we are even going to rent bikes to go to the "Naked Park." That's where they have statues by this local artist and they are all naked... like David. :) So we went to the dom kirke today- that's a church in town where everyone put flowers after the bomb/shooting incident. It's like a sea of flowers and candles. I'll send you pics next week. H&M is everywhere and I'm so happy because that is like the cheapest place to buy clothes. They have one on almost every corner! Yay!!! :) Ha ha ha!
Well Family, I love you so very much! I hope all is well! Tell me everything!!! Thanks so very much for the sweet package that was given to me right when I got off the airplane in Oslo! It made me cry. I love you all so very much! You mean the world to me!!!!! We'll talk again soon!
Sister Jessica Taylor
So we have met some awesome people!! I'll tell you about some of them:
(These 2 have baptismal dates in a few weeks)
Mia- She is the coolest person in the whole world! Native Norwegian, anthropologist, loves people, knows norsk, englisk, and spanish (a little). She has cerebral palsy and when they treid to fix it with surgery, something went wrong, so she is wheel chair bound. She is the most Christlike person and her testimony is so strong- she teaches the lessons when we come! :) I love her so much!
Joseph- He is from Somalia and he has lived in Norway for 10 years. He is so kind and super quiet, but he also has a super strong testimony. Yesterday we taught him about the word of wisdom, and he didn't understand why we can't drink tea or coffee, but he said he would live it just because it is a commandment. (We explained why we don't, of course. :) ) So cool!
Victoria is a member who also speaks spanish, norsk, and english and she is super nice! We took her with us to teach Mia and she has a brother with special needs so it was sweet to see her talk to Mia.