Hi Family! I love you all so very much! I hope everything is going well for all of you. I miss you all tons!
So last week, we had zone conference. It was in a city called Mås. So this city is about an hour away from Oslo. It is a beautiful city right on the ocean. However, this beautiful little city has a horrible problem- it stinks SO BAD!!! They have several factories there- a newspaper factory, a glue factory, etc... So when we first pulled into this cute little town, we were all admiring it, then the STINK hit us like a ton of bricks. I thought I was going to puke! Ha ha ha ha! Anyways, enough about smelly cities. The conference was fantastic! We learned so much about how to really meet the needs of our investigators and we actually got to practice teaching native norwegians, so that was an awesome experience (Normally they only practice on each other). For lunch, this member lady had lunch made for the whole zone! It was authentic Indian food and it took her 3 days to prepare all of it! She was probably one of the most amazing people I have ever met. She has such a strong testimony and she just loves the missionaries- I think she wishes she was one. :) Anyways, after the conference, the ward had this amazing activity planned for as many members were available to go on splits with the elders. So they stormed this little city of 20,000 people! It was super cool. :) The super cool thing was the members thought it was the coolest thing that there were sister missionaries there, so we were like famous! Everyone wanted to talk to us. :) So they were having their young women/young men activity and we were the main event! They had us act as investigators and they paired them up and made them share about their beliefs to us. They were awesome kids! Afterwards, they had typical Mås desserts, including hot dog wrapped in waffle... Super weird!
This week has been really hard. At this point, all of our baptismal dates have fallen through. We don't have anything to show for all of the hard work we have been doing. Ugo, from Nigeria, was super positive and has a baptismal date for Saturday, but we lost contact with him last week and he won't answer our calls. Lidija, from Lithuania, was doing really well, but lost her job and decided to go back to Lithuania. She might come back, but we don't know when. This is super upsetting. Every one of our investigators is depressed or not willing to keep commitments and we don't know how to help them get passed the difficulties in their lives and turn to the Savior. Oh man! Missionary work is hard...
On a happier note, David (from the Ivory Coast who speaks Italian, French, Spanish, Arabic, but not English or Norwegian. Yeah, there is a slight language barrier.) is doing quite well! He can't communicate, but he can progress and keep commitments and we even found a couple of members who speak his languages and that makes it even better! He told us that he even had a dream about the Book of Mormon and he knows its true. It's just a matter of time before he is baptized... Knock on wood... :)
So Sister Johnston, my companion, is a really good missionary. She is helping become a better person. It's crazy to me because I thought I knew who I was before I left, but turns out, I really don't. It's been super hard to realize that. I have been comparing myself to others and I determine my success and talents on what other people do or say... That is so wrong and a hard thing to overcome. There are so many things I need to change about myself. Good thing I am living in the refiners fire! Through the Atonement, we can overcome all of our weaknesses. I am SOOO grateful for that. I hope I come home a better person than I left! :)
Oh Family, I love you so very much! I hope you have a great week and I am so grateful for the package you sent me! I miss you so much and, again I love you tons and tons!
Until next week,
Søster Jessica Taylor