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.