Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Week 34

Hi Family!!

Oh my goodness, it was so good talking to you all yesterday! It was the best part of my Christmas. :) I loved being able to see all of you... It felt like you were so close! You guys are amazing. :)

It sounded like you guys had a good day... I hope so! After we skyped, we ate dinner with some of the members and investigators in the area. There was the 6 missionaries and the senior couple, this guy named Mack who is American (he baked the turkeys), Myren who is a Norwegian man and works at the church all day everyday (he always helps us with our Norsk skills. I need to send you pictures of him- he is so funny!), Hande who is blind and is investigating the church (she should be getting baptized real soon), Corrie a new convert from the netherlands, and 2 investigators named Shirwan and Mike.  It was really nice! The meal was absolutely delicious- turkey, roast, yams, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and chocolate cake for dessert. We all cleaned  up and then Mack and Mike did magic tricks for everyone and Myren was baffled by ther skills! He kept asking them how they were doing it... So hilarious! You had to be there... After, we played ping pong and talked. Myren sat on a table that cost 1100 kroner (200 dollars) and broke it like it was made of toothpicks! Oh man! :) Then we all sat around and watched "It's a wonderful life". That is such a cute movie! I loved it so very much! We need that one for Christmas next year. :) I cannot wait for that!

Man, I miss you guys so much! I am so excited for Mothers' Day when we can talk again! (Can you believe that about 5 months after that, I will be home again?! Crazy...)

This week is going to be great- we are just gonna hop right back into the swing of things and take those things we learned at the mission conference to find some people to baptize. Super exciting! :)

I love you all tons and tons! I hope you have a great week. Sorry this is so short- I have nothing to say since we just talked... :)

You are the best!
Vi Snakkes :)

♥-Søster Jessica Taylor

P.S. here is a link to some of the pictures from the mission conference. Some of them are a little crazy...


P.S.S. I attached a few more pictures as well. Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Week 33

Hello Family! I love you all so very much and I am so excited to see you all over skype in a few days! :)

So I am now in Trondheim. I thought Oslo was beautiful... Oh man! Trondheim beats it by a landslide! This place is unlike anywhere I have ever seen before! This is the city where they crown the king of Norway because they have a famous cathedral here and it is absolutely breath-taking. :) My companion, Sister Grass is wonderful. She has been here for one month less than I have, so I met here in the MTC. I love her to pieces. She knows this city really well and she is helping me to get to know everyone. So on Sunday, I was asked to give a talk in Sacrament meeting. It was the first talk that I have given here in Norway and, being in Norway, it was in Norwegian. I was terrified! But just like what happened with my farewell talk and that fireside, I just stood up there and let Heavenly Father do the rest. Ha ha! I hope my Norwegian wasn't too bad. The girl that was translating from Norwegian to English said that I sounded great for only being here for 4 ish months. I was grateful for that. :) I am just glad that it is over. Ha ha!

Anyways, the people here are wonderful. The ward is full of lots of older people and some YSA's I love it so much. We are teaching some really cool people as well. One of them is Marita. She has been taught all of the lessons and is working on setting a date. We challenged her to be baptized on the 7th of January, but she wasn't so sure about that. She is supposed to pray about it and tell us in our next meeting. Abdul is a guy from Morocco who speaks a whole lot of Spanish and not so much Norsk, but he has met with us twice and he came to church yesterday. We are going to set a baptismal date with him tonight. :) Daniel is actually the brother of a girl named Mali who was baptized 4 months ago. He is atheist but is starting to feel something as we teach him. He is so smart- actually he is a rocket scientist! It was a miracle because we actually got him to set a date for the 21 of January. So those are the top people in our are right now. I love it so much! We are just working so hard to keep this area built up and we are loving every minute of it. I am learning so much everyday! :)

So I will get my Christmas when i am in Oslo on Thursday- we have a mission conference and it is supposed to be AMAZING! I will tell you all about it next week. :)

Well Fam, it is time for me to go. I can't wait to skype. Love you tons!

Vi Snakkes!
♥-Søster Jessica Taylor

Monday, December 12, 2011

Week 32

Hi Fam!

Man, I love you guys so very much! Thank you so much for the birthday package- it was wonderful! I loved it all so much. :) You guys are the best!

So we got our first snow on Monday! It wasn't very much, but it was beautiful! But it has warmed up a little bit since and so now the city is just covered in ice... I haven't fallen yet... Knock on wood! Ha ha!

We have around 4 people in the area who are looking pretty good for baptism within the next 2 months. The mission set a goal for 100 baptisms before June of next year. It is totally possible- we just have to work super hard! I am planning to work hard in Trondheim... Oh yeah...

So transfers were announced on Saturday night and I will be heading up to Trondheim. It is in the North. It is the northern-most city for sisters and I will be there when it is the coldest and the darkest! Booyah! :)
I know my companion- her name is Sister Grass. I knew her in the MTC- she came when I was delayed. It should be really exciting.

Yesterday was an ok day. It was really hard saying goodbye to everyone in the ward. I didn't realize how many people I truly grew to love. It was super rough. A family invited us over for dinner and we ate ice cream and brownies for dessert- they totally sang to me and everything. That was so nice of them!

So there are a few things I want to tell you about:

We have been teaching a boy who is Jehovah Witness. This has been slightly difficult because their beliefs are very interesting. I have had to do a lot of studying in the Bible and church doctrine so that I can answer his questions in the best way possible. It is really cool being able to expand my knowledge of the scriptures and begin to understand more about what we really believe. I love this gospel so much!

This week we taught this Norwegian girl named Elisa. Sister Ray found her and when she did Elisa was open, but not at the same time. She told Sister Ray that she would take the book and hear where it came from, but she didn't want to meet again. We took her to the center and had an amazing teach about the Restoration. The Spirit was really strong and I called it out so that she could recognize it. After she left, she sent us a text saying that she was so grateful for the message we shared and also for the book. She then said that she just couldn't stop smiling and she was heading home to read it. This just made me realize how powerful the message of the gospel is. She will be meeting with the sisters again after Christmas and if all goes well, she will accept the invitation to be baptized. The Spirit truly has the power to change people and it is amazing to watch! :)

Well Family, this is kind of a short email... once again. Sorry! Maybe one day I will be better at it... I love you all so much and I miss you tons! Can't wait to skype in a few days! :)

Vi Snakkes!
♥- Søster Jessica Taylor

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Week 31

Hei hei Familie! Hvordan går det med dere? Det går kjempe fint med meg. Jeg savner dere så mye og det gleder meg at vi kan skype så snart!

There's some Norsk for y'all! Man, I miss you guys so much! Especially now that Christmas is coming. It is so beautiful here right now. There are Christmas lights everywhere and it is so pretty, but still no snow... It has rained quite a bit though. We are still waiting for the white stuff. It's not looking like we are going to have a white Christmas here... Crazy, huh?!

So last week I had an amazing high, but this week has been not as amazing. To be honest, it has been really stressful actually. I just feel like I am giving this all I have and yet I am not seeing the results. Our numbers aren't where they should be and I am not exactly sure what to do. It was like we put all of our efforts on getting Teya baptized and now that he is, we have nothing... Oh well. Things will get better! :)

Speaking of Teya... Oh my goodness! My joy is still full over that boy! :) I needed to work out an appointment with him on Tuesday and so I called him after nightly planning. I am going to cry just thinking about this- He began telling me how much he has changed for the better since he met me on the T-bane (subway) 2 months ago. He talked about how he can feel the Spirit guide him in the things he says and that he is just so happy. But then he asked me: "Why did you pick me?" I told him that I honestly had no idea why, just felt like I should talk to him. I told him about the scripture I had on my missionary plaque at home (Alma 29:9) and explained that I was just the instrument. He then said that he thanks God everyday for me because now he knows who he is and whose he is. He said that I am his example and he wants to be a missionary like me one day. We decided that we are going to be friends forever. :) After I got off the phone with him, I decided to look through my planner for the day that I found him. It was October 22. Sister Johnston and I were supposed to be on T-bane 5 to go visit an investigator, but there was something wrong with the sign that said which one was in the station, so we accidentally got on T-bane 3 and headed in the wrong direction. I was so disappointed because I felt like I had failed. I talked to many people on that train and only got 2 phone numbers. Here I thought that we had just wasted a ton of time on the wrong T-bane when really, I found Teya who is now baptized! I was so privileged to have been able to find him! When I realized this, I was overcome with gratitude- that God would use me as an instrument in bringing Teya to a knowledge of the gospel. I just sat there and cried and cried and cried. I thank Heavenly Father everyday for that opportunity. :)  Teya is already a fantastic member. He told me a few days later that he is going to save up some money, then go back to India to share the gospel with his family there. He also wants to travel to Salt Lake City one day. He does missionary work with us all the time and just loves bearing his testimony! Also, next Sunday, he will get the Priesthood. I am so proud of him! I wish you guys could meet him- the boys would love him tons! :) I am so happy!

On Wednesday, we had dinner at a member family's home. They invited Sister Ray and I and also a companionship of Elders. They are actually from England so it was in English... Yes! :) I love English. (I am getting worse and worse at speaking it every single day...) So, being from England, they had awesome accents and we all started speaking with one after about 15 minutes... Ha ha! They have 3 little kids and it was like a circus, but so much fun! I love being at members homes. It makes me feel almost normal. Ha ha! Umm... I don't know what else to say about that...

Last night, the Stake had a huge Christmas concert in a suburb of Oslo called Romerike. It was a beautiful meeting- they had a mini Norwegian mo-tab and orchestra. It was very impressive!

So transfers are coming up next week... I know I am moving, I just don't know where yet. It is getting really sad. I have started taking pictures with all the members and investigators so I will never forget any of them... I can't wait to be able to tell you all of my fun stories and stuff. :) I love you guys so much!

Well, this is kind of a sorry email. Maybe next week will be better... I love you tons! Thanks for all you do! :) I hope you have a great week!

Vi Snakkes!
Lots and lots of love,
Søster Jessica Taylor

P.S. Thank you for the Birthday wishes! I actually received that package earlier this week. THANK YOU SO MUCH! I am not gonna lie- I opened up 2 of the presents early... I couldn't wait! It was torturous! Ha ha! I LOVE the scarf and the necklace- so beautiful! The rest is still wrapped and will be until my birthday, I hope. I can't promise anything. My self control isn't very strong... Ha ha! THANK YOU AGAIN!!!