Monday, March 26, 2012

Week 47

Kjære Familie-

(Dear Family)

How are you all doing? Like every Monday, it is great being able to hear from you and be able to tell you about all that is happening here. I hope you all have had a great week! :)

Everything is going well here in Trondheim. The weather is kind of blah... We are having lots of rain. One night it was so bad that we came home dripping wet, after only an hour of contacting. (When we first went out, it was barely sprinkling so we didn't bring umbrellas, but it turned into a full on downpour!) It was really funny! Sister Butterfield and I are getting along really well. We are having a lot of fun together. We laugh all of the time. :)

As for the work, it is going a little slow right now. We are working really hard, but because Easter is coming up and many Norwegians leave town, pickings are slim. We are having to fight a lot harder to find people to teach. We are seeing miracles though. For example, last night, we were not quite to our goal on teaches and so we decided to go out and just bust them out! We said a heartfelt prayer, and about 30 seconds after we stepped out of our apartment, we met this girl named Eila (eye-la) and she was very interested. We taught her on the street and it was so awesome! She talked about how she didn't have any specific faith, but that she knew there was something more to life that just what we can see with our physical eyes. We gave her a Book of Mormon with a chapter for her to read and got her phone number so that we can meet another day. Tender Mercy! :)

The miracle of Annetta form last week is no longer a miracle. She never showed up to her appointment on Tuesday and won't answer her phone... just like before. :( We have been teaching this man named Hessam. He has a baptismal date for the 14th of April, but things aren't looking very good. We have had a really hard time getting him to do anything and yet he wants to learn more because he feels something different. It has been a huge trial of patience with him. We are going to fast for him and for the rest of our area tomorrow. Things have been hard lately with all of our investigators. We feel like Heavenly Father is trying to teach us or prepare us for something coming in the future... we just don't know what that is.

We had Zone Conference this week with President Johansen and it was AMAZING!!! Normally, we talk about being obedient and getting baptisms, but this time around, it was more of a spiritual experience. We had a testimony meeting and we focused on how to have more
effective studies. President also talked about overcoming the natural man. It was incredible! :)

Here is a funny story for you all! So do you remember Mariell, the nine year old who was baptized? Well, her mother invited us to a party for her and her husbands 10 year wedding anniversary. She told us that there would be lots of nonmembers there. We decided that it would be a good way to support them, so we decided to go. They live about 30 minutes outside of the city, but no one was able to drive us, so we had to resort to the bus. However, the bus only took us part of the way. We had to walk about 30 more minutes to get to their house. We planned it all out and it was great. Well, as it got closer, we had a guy come to his appointment, and lets just say he was a talker... We were with him for WAY TOO LONG, and missed our bus. So we waited for the next one, but we were so late already, so we start running to this house. Mind you, it's about 2 miles away and we have backpacks, coats,
thermals, wool socks, boots, scarves, hats and gloves on. By the time we got to the house, all but the backpacks, boots, socks, and thermals were off and we were sweating like nothing else! We walk in to their house and there were tons of people and tons of food and it was like a sauna in there! We were dying! I was sweating so bad, I had tacos and hamburgers for everyone! Ha ha! Just kidding! It ended up being a really good night though. It was great being able to support this family. :)

Well, that's about all I have. Sorry it was kind of depressing. I am trying to be a good missionary, some weeks show it better than others though... Ha ha!

I hope you all have a great week and know that I love and miss you all!

Vi snakkes! :)

♥- Søster Taylor

Monday, March 19, 2012

Week 46

Hi Family!

I have to first apologize because I have exactly one hour to email you
and the mission president because we are going out to Mali and
Daniel's house again to eat Norwegian food and to knit. :) So our bus
leaves in 58 minutes and I just barely got onto the computer. I just
printed out all of your emails so that I can read them on the bus
ride, but that means I have 0 time to reply individually. I am
SOOOOOOO sorry! :(

Well, this week has been 100 times better than last week, so that is
good :) Sister Butterfield and I are getting along really well and we
are working really hard! We are both really surprised at how happy we
are all of the time... Randomly during the day we will just look and
each other and say how happy we are. It is really weird! I guess we
both have just been under so much pressure for the whole first half of
our missions that we are finally sinking into the groove of how we do
missionary work and it feels really nice. :)

We have had a lot of luck this week- we were able to get a baptismal
date with a guy named Hessam. I believe I have told you guys about him
before. He is from Iran and has a Muslim background, but he feels so
much peace when he reads the Book of Mormon and his biggest desire in
life is to feel God's love all of the time. So the last time we met
with him, we talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ (Article of faith
#4 faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost.) We
explained that when we follow these steps, it allows us to feel His
love so much! So we set a goal for the 14th of April. Hopefully he
makes it... :) Also, there was a girl named Annetta who had a
baptismal date when I first got here, but she fell off the face of the
planet and I never met with her. I have called her at least once a
week since I got here. Well, three months later, I called to invite
her to institute and she said that she would come. I feel bad, but I
didn't really believe her because she has told me many times before
that she would come, but never followed through. Guess what... I was
wrong this time! She showed up at the church and we were able to talk
to her about what had happened. She said that she understands how
important baptism is to God and she wants to make sure that her heart
is in the right place before she jumps into it. She also told us that
she has been reading the Book of Mormon for the last 3 months too. :)
Oh man, we are going to get this girl baptized! She is wonderful and
we have another appointment with her tomorrow. Nothing like
persistence! :)

Here is a little miracle for you all- Sister Butterfield and I were
out on the street contacting, and we were having no luck. Every single
person said no and if they said yes to hear more, it was because they
were crazy or drunk or something. (I am not kidding!) Well, we decided
to sit down on a bench, take a little break and say a prayer. Almost
immediately after the prayer, (first of all, I got the hiccups. ha
ha!) I looked up and saw a girl walking down the road across from us
and I knew I needed to talk to her. So i got up, hiccups and all, and
went to talk to her. She was really sweet and we had a nice chat about
finding a belief in God. I had to hiccup every now and then and we
would just laugh! (Mom would've killed me! Ha ha! Just kidding...) But
I ended up getting an appointment to meet with her tomorrow! So, yes
it was small, but in Alma 37:6-7 it says, "Now ye may suppose that
this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small
and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in
many instances doth confound the wise. And the Lord God doth work by
means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small
means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation
of many souls." So, yes, it was just a little miracle, but that is how
the Lord works! It's fun to see it!! :)

Well family, I hope you all have a wonderful week! I love and miss you
all so very much. You are always in my thoughts and prayers!
Vi Sees om 6 uker! (We'll be seeing each other in 6 weeks... On SKYPE!

 Love you!

Søster Jessica Taylor

Monday, March 12, 2012

Week 45

Hi Fam!

How are you all doing? I hope you all have had a great week! I absolutely love hearing from you all on Mondays- it makes my week! :) You all are wonderful! :)

So I hear that Mason and Zach are in the teachers quorum presidency together! That is so cool! You boys are so very wonderful! :)

This week has been a wild one! On Wednesday, Marita was baptized and it was amazing! Planning the baptism was actually really hard this time around, but it turned out AMAZING!!! The program was actually done mostly by the newest of the new of members. Daniel, who was just baptized a few weeks ago, actually gave one of the talks and he did do good! He told me afterwards that he had written out his whole talk, but he didn't say a word of it. He spoke solely by the Spirit! It amazes me that I have been a member of this church my whole life and it took me forever to be able to do what he did after a few weeks. The Spirit was so strong and it was just incredible! That program was not only for Marita, but it strengthened everyone who participated. The Branch Missionary leader was so happy because that is the future of the Trondheim branch. After the baptism, Elder Beisinger (a Sr. Missionary) came up to me after the baptism and, with tears in his eyes, told me that I did a wonderful job organizing it. I love this work!

Last night, Sister Butterfield and I had a really cool experience with teaching an atheist on the street. I have never been able to really get through to one of them before because they are so against even trying to find God. Last night was special though. We were actually heading home for the night and we didn't want to be late, so I was just going to pass this guy, but something told me to talk to him, so I did. He is Norwegian and we taught him for about 15 minutes on the street. In that short period of time, we were able to bear testimony so strongly that we were able to give him the Book of Mormon and commit him to read it daily, pray daily, come to church for 3 weeks and meet with us at least once a week! WOW!!! So stinking cool! It is really hard to talk to someone who only believes in science because it is something you can see, where you can't see God, but I know He is there and that He loves us. The man's heart was softened by the Spirit. I am so excited to teach him! I will let you know how it goes.

Well, I hope things are going really well at home. I love and miss you guys very much! The Church is true!!! :)

Have a great week! :)

♥- Søster Jessica Taylor

Here is a note from Elder Strange:

hey I love you guys Taylor is the BOMB.COM way awesome!!!
Love Strange.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Week 44

Hi Family!

Remember how I said that I was going to start these things differently? Well, I lied... How are you all doing? Oh I love and miss you all so much!

The weather here is awesome- when we went to buy our groceries this morning, the sun was out! It was a miracle! It gets a little bit warmer everyday- Spring is in the air!!! :)

I hope you have had a wonderful week- I have! Actually, things have been really crazy. See, last Sunday, we were at a member's house for dinner, and we found out that Sister Butterfield was going to be transferred to Trondheim, so now we have a trio... This is extremely awkward, but whatever. We are making it work. :) It has been a lot of fun thinking back on the memories of the MTC and seeing how much we have changed.

This week has been a week of miracles!!! We had a former investigator walk into the church and ask to be taught again. That just doesn't happen! His name is Trygve and he is 19 and really cool. :) It has been exciting working with him! (Our whole district has been really lucky to have several people just walk into the church and want to be baptized!) The Lord is working in the hearts of the people here! :) We met with Cecilia again- she is the single mom who wants to find a church to baptize her children into. She has been reading in the Book of Mormon and praying- she has such real intent and it is amazing! I am pretty sure she will be getting baptized real soon! ;) Marita will be getting baptized on Wednesday! That is the most exciting thing EVER!!! We have really come to love this girl so much! I can't wait to see her enter the waters of baptism! Remember the mother and daughter that were referred to us (we taught them about God's plan?) We were able to meet with them last night! We gave the little girl the Stories of the Book Of Mormon- the picture book- so that she can understand! It was so sweet and I think they are coming to Marita's baptism on Wednesday. :)

On Friday, the branch celebrated its 51 birthday with a big party! It was so much fun to be there with all of the members! I felt so much love- I felt like my heart was going to explode out of my chest! :) There was a wonderful dinner and the missionaries got to serve everyone. Then there was dancing and we got permission to dance with the people over 60! :) It was so great! I seriously, honestly love these people, and it probably sounds cocky, but they love me too! I never want to leave them! (except to see you guys...) Ha ha!

I want you all to know that I love you so very much! You are in my thoughts and prayers ALWAYS!!! Thank you for all you do- you are my heros!!! :)

Have a wonderful week and I will let you know how the baptism goes! :)

♥- Søster Jessica Taylor