Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Week 18

Another week just flies by! I can't believe it... Can you believe I have already been out for 4 months and a day??? It's even crazier that I have been in Norway for over 6 weeks!
So we just went through transfers. I am still in Oslo. The only thing that changes was that Sister Stevens moved to Bergen and I have a new companion who came from Trondheim (the most Northern city for sisters). Her name is Sister Johnston. She is from, guess... Centerville, UT! We were in the same 6th grade class! Mr. Volmar- eeek!! Ha ha ha! It's kinda weird. She is a super hard worker. It's funny because she is really good at the language, but new to Oslo and I am pretty good in Oslo, but not so much in the Language- we make the perfect pair! :) However, the language is definitely coming. In church yesterday, I understood most of what was being spoken and I was so happy! Of course, there were a few times where I got a little lost, but it honestly suprised me! :)
We were able to go visit Per and Margaretta Jacobsen again. (They are the older couple who Sister Stevens and I visited one of my first weeks in the land). I love them so much! They are 2 of the greatest people i have ever met! She made some yummy meat balls and we ate them with cranberry jam. Little different, but super delicious! They have the most amazing view from their home outside of Oslo and what great conversations we have together! We spoke a lot more Norsk this time around. :) They are great examples of pioneers in Norge!
We are teaching some really cool people right now and I am so happy about it! I will tell you a little about a few of them:
1. George- I found him on splits with Sister Fredrickson. He is from Romania and was here working to earn money for his girlfriend and son back at home. It was so sad- he didn't have a place to stay- he was collecting bottles and taking them to the recycling place where they give 1 kroner for every bottle. That was what he did to make money. He was very receptive when we told him about the restoration and he met with us everyday for 1 1/2 weeks. On our second visit, he committed to baptism. In that short amount of time, his testimony grew so much! We witnessed a miracle with him too. One night, he lost his wallet and when he found it, all the money was gone. That was the money he was going to use to go home. He was so upset. He almost didn't meet with us, but then he decided to come anyway. A few days later, we were talking about how faith in Jesus Christ has helped him. He told us that because of his faith, he was able to earn more money in the last 3 days than he had the whole time he had been in Norway! On Sunday, he was supposed to come to church, but he wasn't there. I called him up and he told me that he had was heading home to Romania. He said, "Taylor, thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn about this church. It has changed my life. I want to meet with the missionaries in Romania so that I can be baptized. I will never forget you. Thank you, Taylor." My heart melted! It was so sweet! It was in that moment that I knew that "the worth of every soul is great in the sigh tof God." What anamazing thing to be a part of! :)
2 and 3. Matilda and Alex- These 2 18 year olds I met outside the T-bane (Subway) station last week. Alex is from Denmark and is agnostic so she doesn't have a religion and isn't so sure about God, but thinks there might be something out there. Matilda is Norwegian and has a Christian background. I was so suprised that they actually wanted to hear more- normally girls their age would just laugh and walk away, but they had such good questions and wanted to learn more. Since our meeting, we have taught them a few times. Alex isn't progressing as much as Matilda is, but we will work on her. Matilda, however, I have been texting her- she told me that she has been reading her Book of Mormon and that whenever she does, she feels peace and she sleeps better at night. Oh man! That right there is progress! I will make sure that that girl is baptized if it is the last thing I do!
There are lots more, but I don't want to bore you... :)
Ok so those are just a few people that I am very glad in. :) I have also had some not so fun experiences this week. (But they were either super funny or necessary for better things to come)
1. I got my first kiss as a missionary... I was snagged by a drunk indian man who told me that God had commanded him to do it. I was freaking out- he almost got my mouth, but by some unknown power I was able to turn my face so he only got my cheek. I also don't know how, but I was able to push him off me and hand him a pass along card. ha ha ha ha ha! I was so freaked out, but me and Sister Johnston just laughed about it all night long! I'll never forget that one. DON"T WORRY- I am not hurt, injured, or mentally unstable now. Just wanted to share a funny story with you all. :)
2. We have come in contact with a lot of Bible-bashers lately. One group I was with Sister J., the other I was alone. It was not fun having to crazy Catholics down you're throat about why the BOM is so wrong in Gods eyes. It's like all you can do is invite them to read it and testify your heart out. So that's what I tried. THey basically told me I was stupid and misinformed and I had no idea what I was talking about, but as I walked away from them, I felt something unexpected... I thought it would cause me to question my beliefs, question why I was here, question what has been such a huge part of my life... I was waiting for these questions to wrack my soul with torment... but they didn't. I didn't understand why at first, then I realized: I KNOW it is true. I KNOW it. Nothing anyone says to me can ever change the fact that I KNOW this is true. YAY!!! It was so cool to realize the power of my own testimony even if didn't convince anyone at that moment. I was convinced. :)
So I was having a hard time the past couple of days. I've been feeling very lonely, inadequate, and yeah, just down on myself. But today, I was reading in 2 Nephi 33:3-4 and it's about Nephi praying for his people and crying for them at night. He doesn't talk about his own issues- he is focused on his people. He had faith that God would consecrate his prayers for the sake of his people. So I gained new perspective- to find joy here and stop being so selfish, I need to focus on my people, the Norwegians. I need to love them like I've never loved anyone before. So that is my new goal... I will stop worry about myself and worry more about my people. Pray more for them. Cry for them. Seek more to help them. Then no matter what, I will be happy! Yay for inspiration from the Spirit through the Word of God! :)
Anyways... That's my life for now. We are teaching teaching teaching all the time and I love it! So much fun! The Spirit is so strong all the time and it just makes me happy. Doesn't mean things are easy, but I am able to find strength in it.
Well I love you all tons! I spill my heart out to Heavenly Father for you everyday! You're the bestest in the westest!
Vi snakkes!!
Sister Jessica Taylor

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