Monday, October 24, 2011
This week has been a very good week compared to last. We are still missing our old baptismal candidates, but we are gaining some more. For example, we met a man named Hamid a couple of weeks ago. He is from Italy and speaks only a little bit of Norsk and a whole lot of Italian. (and NO english) As we teach him, we have a member named Arben come with us. (I'll give you his story real quick- he is from Albania, but lived in Italy for a lot of years. He was actually a member of the Mafia there, so he is filthy rich! Ha ha! But He met the missionaries a year ago and couldn't speak english or norsk, so they taught him through google translate! He was baptized on my birthday last year and is so strong in the church. He is amazing!) Arben speaks Italian and he comes to translate. The coolest thing was that the 1st time we met, we taught him the Restoration very, very simply. The 2nd, we needed to review it just because translation is hard because Arben is still trying to learn English. So we decided to watch the Restoration movie in Italian. After, he was saying "I want to know more. Teach me something new. I need to be able to tell my family more about this!" It was super cool. We actually gave him the movie and made another appointment. When we met with him last, we asked him if had been reading the Book of Mormon. He told us that sometimes it is really hard for him to read because he is tired and he works a lot. We were disappointed, but then he continued to tell us that when he was too tired to read, he would watch the Restoration movie. He loves it! He knows that Joseph Smith really was called as a prophet! Even though there is sucha huge language barrier, the Spirit is speaking stronger! He set his baptismal date for the middle of November. He is a gem!!! :)
On Thursday and Friday, we had splits. Sister Johnston went to Stavanger, and a Sister Mergens came from Trondheim to serve with me. It was a lot of fun. It was nice to switch things up a little bit. It's fun to see how other missionaries do things and it's a good way to learn. So I got to ride with President and Sister Johansen to the airport to pick up my companion. It's about a 30-45 minute drive, so we had a nice talk. I really love them so much! They work so hard to help us and make us better instruments in the Lord's hands. So it was great to get my companion back. I didn't realize how much I'd miss her til she was gone. Sister Johnston is helping me a lot. She teaches me a lot every day. The cool thing was that even though it was just 2 days apart, she noticed a change in me. Lately, I have had a hard time with finding out exactly who I am (as in what I like about myself, my talents, my gifts, etc). So she would ask me 5 or 6 times a day something that I like about myself. At first it was difficult, but when she got back, I could answer her quickly and easily. I was too busy comparing myself to everyone else that I wasn't recognizing my own strengths. So she is helping me overcome that. :) She is helping me prepare to be an old missionary. I'll explain what I mean by that- so in there are 10 sisters herein Norway right now. 4 of them have been here for 15 months. 2 got here 2 months before I did, and then there is me and Sister Butterfield who got here almost 3 months ago, then there are the 2 that got here after us. So the 4 old ones will be leaving in mid-December, which means the oldest sister missionaries will be the 2 before Sister Butterfield and I... Eeekk! That is so scary! Anyways, Sister Johnston is helping me prep up by making me take more control to build up my confidence... it's pretty shaky right now... Ha ha! So that is what's going on here.
Ok- I had a super cool experience last night that I have to tell you about! So earlier this week, I was studying in the book of Mosiah. I was studying the story of Abinadi and how he was crying repentance to the people out of sincere love for them. Well, I kind of put that study on the back burner for a while. So last night, we were teaching this guy named Jacek. He is having a really hard time with life. He is from Poland, he is having a super hard time finding work, and because of this, he will potentially lose his home. He wants to change his life, but it's almost like it's hard enough just hanging on to his sanity at the moment. So we were teaching him last night. Lately, all of our teaches are just like pep talks and trying to help him change his attitude. Last night started out the same... it got to the point where Sister Johnston just got very quiet and it was like there was nothing more to be said. Then I thought of Abinadi crying repentance to the people. I looked at him and I said, "Jacek, you need to repent." What are you saying??? I thought to myself; I was afraid he would get mad or something. However, I proceeded to tell him that when he lets go of his guilt and the things have have happened in the past, he will be able to change his life for the better. I bore my testimony of the cleansing power of the Atonement and how much it can make us better and more happy. I was crying repentance just like Abinadi! It was so stinking cool! It was in the process of bearing testimony of the Atonement that I realized how powerful it really is. Anyways, I was on fire. Ha ha! I told him to go home that night and think of one thing that he wanted to be rid of, to get down on his knees and ask Heavenly Father for forgiveness until the guilt is gone. He said he would. Then Sister Johnston invited him to say a kneeling prayer with us to close. Well Jacek would not kneel, not if his life depended on it. So I told him about the Children of Israel who began to worship idols and were plagued. They were told that if they just looked at Moses' staff they would be healed, but because of their pride they wouldn't and died. That wasn't enough... Then I told him to think about Jesus Christ, when he was taking upon him our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane, He kneeled before God... That did it. He was down on his knees and he even said the prayer. Man! It is amazing to watch people, as they feel the Spirit, completely change their perspective. And it's even cooler being the instrument that God uses to help them feel it! I love being a missionary!
Well family, that is about all I've got for this week. Please send my love to the family... I hope everything goes ok with Russell... Man, I'm super worried about him! That is so scary. Have a safe trip up there. I will miss Nevada Day! Just know I'll be celebrating in my heart... Ha ha ha! I love you all so very much! Have a great week!
Lots of love,
Sister Jessica Taylor
Posted by Sister Jessica Taylor at Monday, October 24, 2011