Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Week 30

Hi Family! It was so good hearing from you this week!

I am so glad that you had a good Thanksgiving. :) I have to tell you, mine was pretty awesome as well! See we celebrated on Friday with the YSA, so that was pretty fun. Sister Ray and I were asked to cook one of the 3 turkeys. That was quite an experience! We were cooped up in our apartment for about 4 1/2 hours trying to prepare and cook it. We named him Birdy. I had to reach inside of him and pull our the bag of guts. That was gross, but I survived. We were so nervous that he wasn't going to be ready in time, so we prayed that heavenly Father would sweeten the meat like he did for Lehi and Nephi when they were in the wilderness... Ha ha! He did, and everything went well. :) He was delicious! So we successfully cooked our first Thanksgiving turkey. Maybe I'll show you my skills next year... :) Ha ha! (P.S. I ate some turkey heart; it was interesting...)

So I have to tell you- my joy is completely full right now! Teya was baptized and confirmed this weekend and I have to say it was probably one of the most amazing experiences of my life! Oh my goodness! I found this kid almost 2 months ago and he was not believing in anything, but now he has an amazing testimony and the gift of the Holy Ghost to help him in his life. I seriously feel like this kid is my brother- I love him so much! So his last week before baptism was very difficult. He wanted to invite his family and the members of the church that he went to with his sister and their family, but when he tried, they thought that he was crazy and basically told him that he wouldn't be accepted there anymore. This freaked him out big time. He told us this on Monday night. We had the elders give him a priesthood blessing and after the blessing he said that he was still getting baptized. I was super worried about him, I don't think I have ever prayed so hard for another person in my life! I just wanted him to be happy... Oh man- it was so stressful! Anyways, we were meeting with him everyday to help him prepare. So on Wednesday, we watched the long Joseph Smith movie with 2 members from the ward. We also had some ben & jerry's ice cream to share because he had never had american ice cream before. :) It was so awesome! He loved the movie, and afterwards, we had a little testimony meeting. It was amazing!!! Friday evening, we had Thanksgiving at the institute center and he was there. (Funny story about that evening- we were supposed to be able to teach him before dinner, but he didn't show up early, so I was super worried. Well, when we finally got a hold of him, he told us that he was cutting his hair for the baptism tomorrow- he wanted a new look for his special day! It was so funny!) He fit right in with all of the YSA that night. He loves the elders so much and just kept talking about his baptism the next day. He was very nervous and anxious and kept asking if I was going to be there, so before bed, I sent him a text with a chapter in the Book of Mormon to read. Saturday morning, when he got to the church, he told me that he had read it and that it pumped him right up! We got him all suited up and took some pictures. It was so hectic trying to get everything ready, but then as I look back at it, it was so peaceful. The program was beautiful. His sister and her daughter came to support him. :) Teya was so nervous before he went into the water, but he told me afterward that as soon as his foot was in the water, his nerves were gone and he just felt good! After the program was done, we gave him a gift from the mission- a nice leather triple combination. He was so excited about it! On Sunday, he came to church in a suit and looked so darn cute! He went to priesthood with the elders- I was like a proud mamma! Ha ha! Right before sacrament meeting he pulled out his nice new scriptures and asked me to hold them for him while he was getting the Holy Ghost. (It was so funny- I had asked him who he wanted to give him the Holy Ghost and who he wanted in the circle. He didn't really care who gave the blessing, but he asked if I could stand in the circle... ooops! The lesson he missed to cut his hair was the one on the priesthood... good thing that one is not necessary before baptism. Too late! Ha ha! We will be teaching that one real soon...) His blessing was so good- I took notes for him so that he could read it later. Afterwards, he was just so happy! He looked different even. I can't explain it! After church, he wanted to go do missionary work- he was in his suit and he had his backpack- the only thing he was missing was a name tag. :) As we were out n the street he told me that he felt like he could do anything! I am so happy to see him so happy! This gospel is so amazing- how it can completely change a person and just give them so much joy! I am sooooooo HAPPY!!! I never ever expected to feel this good- I cannot even begin to explain it! My heart is too big for my chest... I could just dance down the streets and sing from the mountain tops! :) (I hope that all made sense... it's a bunch of jumbled thoughts- I am too happy to focus!)     

Christmas has officially exploded all over Oslo! It is like a Christmas wonderland without the snow. :) We listen to Christmas music every morning while we are getting ready and when we walk down the streets, there are lights everywhere- it is so magical! I will try to take pictures today, but I doubt they will do it justice. Today we are going to go to a Christmas festival in the middle of the city- they have an outdoor ice skating rink in the middle of it all. It is Wonderful! We have started getting lots of invitations for Christmas from ward members, so that is super nice... I won't be in Oslo though. I can't wait to be able to skype you all! It is getting so close! Wahoo!!!! :)

Well, that's about all I've got at the moment. I'll send you some pics of the baptism and our turkey adventures. :)

Have a great week! I love you all so very much!! You're the best!

Lots and lots of love,

Søster Jessica Taylor

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