Monday, June 25, 2012

Week 60

Kjære familie-
Hello! :) How are you all doing? I hope all is well. :)
This has been a really good week. Sister Butter and I have been working our little tails off. Sadly, Charles didn't get baptized. That was really sad, but we will see what happens with him. As far as our other investigators go, we have seen some great things happen! :) For example- Brit. She is the referral from her friend, Sister Hansen. She dropped us becasue she didn't want to give up coffee, but then she randomly started coming to church again. On Tuesday, we went to visit her without an appointment. She had just had surgery, so we took her some chocolate and a church book that she could use as she studied. :) We were planning on just dropping it off, but hoping we could talk to her a little bit. We got what we hoped for. She totally let us in and we were able to teach her about faith, repentance, baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. The Spirit was so strong! After we taught her, we said a prayer and I felt like we needed to invite her to baptism, but I didn't feel good about pushing her into setting a date. I told her to pray about being baptized. Well, after that, we heard nothing. Then, yesterday, Sister Hansen told us that Brit had called her over to her house and told her that she wanted to be baptized! She is willing to give up coffee and tea. She wants to be baptized the first week of August. :) It was a miracle! I love her so very much and (I don't want to be cocky or anything, but...) she loves me too! :) Ha ha! Sad thing is, I might be transfered before she gets baptized... Oh well, at least I could teach her! :)
Agnes, our new convert, invited us to her house this week for ice cream. She is so cool! She met us at the bus stop and then showed us to her house. She turned on her favorite music (which was kind of crazy) and then made us eat tons of ice cream! Ha ha! We were there for a while, just talking about her life and listening to her stories. She is amazing! :) The gospel has just completed her life, it seems! She thinks I should study psychology and live in New York City. Random... Ha ha! She lended me 3 psychology text books to read. (Sadly, I can't read them as a missionary, but I just couldn't tell the woman no, so I stuffed them in my backpack and took them home. Ha ha!)
Friday was a very special day- it was Santans Aften of mid summer night. It was the night of the midnight sun! Sadly, we couldn't see it in Trondheim, but we got permission to stay out until midnight. We had a party with the Elders and played sand volleyball at a park near the church. It was 11 pm and it looked like the sun had just barely set. It was so cool! :)
Yesterday evening, we went to the Prestmo Family's home (we baptized their 9 year old, Mariell) They live about 30 minutes outside of town, by bus, but then it is a 20 minute walk from the bus stop to their house. EXERCISE!!! :) Ha ha! When we got their, she had barbeque chicken and rice for us to eat. We taught their girls and then played with them until it was time to go catch the bus. We played badmitton and then jumped on their trampoline. I haven't done that in forever! Ha ha! It was so much fun! :) They just loved us so very much and didn't want us to leave. Their little friend came to play with us and she asked why we couldn't just live there. Kids... :) Haha!
Well, that's about it.... Well of the exciting stuff at least. Ha ha! I feel bad- these emails aren't very special or spiritual. Is there anything I can do to better to make these emails more exciting? Just let me know! I love and miss you all so very much! Have a great week! :)
♥- Søster Jessica Taylor

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Week 59

Hello Family!

How are you all doing? Have you had a good week? I hope all is well there in the LV! :)

Well, this has been an interesting week. On Tuesday, we had our last zone conference with President and Sister Johansen. I love them so very much! They are 2 of the most amazing people I have ever met. I am so grateful for them and for all of the work they do for us missionaries and the members here in Norway. I plan on being friends with them FOREVER! Ha ha! Anyways, President gave us the advice that he gives every missionary that goes home. He committed us to never wake up past 6:30. NEVER. He also said never to leave the house without studying the scriptures and praying. So I basically made a blood oath that I would do it (without the blood of course! ha ha!) I never want to stop progressing in my knowledge of the Gospel! :)

Sadly, we didn't have a baptism on Saturday... It was really sad. We couldn't get a hold of Charles after Monday and we were super worried about him. Day after day past by with out any contact, but then on Saturday, he called me back and told me that he was coming to church. He never showed up to church. Oh, we were so frustrated! But then he came and met with us. He had to go to Oslo to look for work and didn't take his phone with him. He still wants to be baptized and he actually has a really strong testimony! We went through the baptismal interview questions with him and he knew everything really well, better than some converts I have seen... Ha ha! We are hoping that we can get him baptized on Wednesday! Cross your fingers (and pray! Ha ha!)

Funny experience... We went to visit this member woman and her inactive son on Friday. It was really nice. She had made us some Norwegian open-faced sandwiches and cake. :) While we were teaching them, her son mentioned that he could see light around both of us, then she agreed with him. Then she exclaimed, "We have 2 angels with us!" Ha ha! It was kinda cool and I'm not gonna lie, I felt a little special. :)

We had a ton of contacting this week without much luck, so that was kind of sad. We have been working so hard lately and seeing such great progress in our investigators, but it is starting to die down... The curse of SUMMER! It will definitely be a test of faith at this point. Ha ha! Thankfully, the weather is really mild - we have a couple of days with sunshine, then some with rain. So it stays pretty cool. :) I actually have a tan line on my feet from my old shoes! Ha ha!  It is so beautiful right now and Sister Butterfield and I are just soaking it up! I actually have a tan line on my feet from my old shoes! Ha ha!

Well, that's about all I've got at the moment... Sorry it was kind of boring... I love and miss you all! See you in 5 months and 3 days! :)

♥- Søster Jessica Taylor

Monday, June 11, 2012

Week 58

Hi Family!!

I have to apologize- I feel like I tell you guys the same things over and over and over again. You are probably sick of me and I can't argue with you! Ha ha!

Well, today has been a lovely P-day. We woke up, got ready, studied, then took a ferry to this island just off the coast. I have to tell you- never have I felt such an urge to wakeboard! The water was like glass (and probably freezing). It just about killed me! Ha ha! So the island was really really small, but was used as a prison in the 1100's, then became a Montessori for monks, and then a fort in WWII. It was awesome! Sister Butterfield and I got to crawl into some of the dungeons where people were kept and some died... It was kind of creepy, but we loved it! :) It was a beautiful place! I wish you all could have been with me there. :)

This week has been kind of dead. However, we are gearing up for a baptism on Saturday for Charles, our little African friend. He is a cool guy. He will most likely be moving to Switzerland very soon, so that will be sad. We won't get to see him blossom and grow in the gospel... (That sounded gay... Ha ha!) At least he will be able to have the gift of the Holy Ghost to guide him in his life and we will help him find the church where he is moving. :)

I had to teach gospel principles yesterday. It went well. I love that class because 1. it's in English 2. everyone  participates. Perfect! :) But yeah, the lesson was on eternal families. It made me really grateful for all of you. You mean the world to me! On top of that, I was talking to this guy on the street the other day who wasn't very interested in learning about the gospel, but we were just chatting a little bit. I asked him what mattered most to him and he told me something like his health. Then he asked me the same question. I told him that my family means the most to me. He couldn't believe that I had traveled so far away from my family just to share some religious book. Then I explained that it's through a knowledge of the truthfulness of that book that I know that I can be with my family forever. I told him that even though I was far away from my family, 1 1/2 years isn't that long and if I can share this knowledge with other people, it would make me happy. He had nothing more to say. He thanked me and wished me luck. It was cool... Basically, I just love you, family!! :)

So Agnes is doing really well. She was just set apart as a counselor in the relief society. She rocks! She told us that she wasn't planning on going to church when she was in Oslo last week because she was busy studying for her exams. The spirit spoke to her in English (and she speaks in norweigan) and told her "you're planning on living with God forever and you're willing to put this temporary thing (her exams) in front of the Lord?" So she dropped everything and went to the ward in Oslo and lOVED IT! I'm so grateful for her example. I love listening to how she prayers. She really has a conversation with God. It's like Heavenly Father is in the room with her. she laughs, and chuckles as she talks to him. It's so cool!

Our mission president here in Norway is leaving on the 30th! We are going to miss him so much. He is known for changing the church history here in Norway by all the members. He is doing his last zone conference in Trondheim tomorrow. We are sad!

So we had this fireside last night and learned that the first missionaries in norway were sent on this day 188 years ago! Cool, huh? They were talking about all the persecution that the Norwegian saints experienced. They were stoned and sent to prison for preaching and baptizing because they weren't considered Christians. It was cool to hear about. :)

Well, that was a lot of randomness... Sorry! :) I love you so very much and I hope you have a great week! Vi snakkes! :)

♥- Søster Jessica Taylor

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Week 57

Hello Family!

How are you all doing this week? I hope all is going well! :)

This week has been rather uneventful... the weather has been bad- rain everyday. But other than that, everything is going well! Sister Butterfield and I are working really hard to get some more poeple ready for baptism. Want a list of some of those people? Here you go!

Brit- she is the referral who dropped us because of coffee. We see her all over the place! It seems like everyday we see her somewhere in the city and every time she hugs us and tells us that she loves us and is coming to church. We are taking it kind of slow with her so that she can gain a stronger testimony of the main principles of the gospel. We are hoping to go for a date next Sunday during church. :)

Charles- I guess he should be at the top. He has a baptismal date for the 23 of this month. He is really cool and feels the Spirit working inside of him. It took him a while to put together the idea that God speaks to us through feelings of peace and joy, but now he understands! We will probably move up his date this week to earlier this month.

James- believe it or not, but he called us to meet with him. He was a former investigator and decided he needed to come closer to God. He is from Kenya and is studying at the university. He is really cool, but hasn't been able to come to church yet becasue he is so busy... We'll get him this week- I can feel it!

Juliana- Our Easter miracle. She is still hanging in there. It is hard for her to meet and we are worried about her, but we know that Heavenly Father is preparing her- she wants to come, but work and other life circumstances are just making it hard right now.

Those are the most positive peole righ tnow. We are being blessed! :)

Agnes is doing great! She was in Oslo this weekend to take her exams. She took the time to go to church there and ended up loving it! She actually just called me and told me that her exams went really well and she is so happy! I love her and I love the gospel! :)

The members here are wonderful! This week we were invited to eat smores on the bank of a river near the big cathedral. It was so funny, but kind of gross... you see, all of the state workers are on strike because they want higher salaries. So all of the garbage workers are not working and the city is covered in trash! It is so fært! That is norsk for disgusting! It looks like fart... Ha ha! I'm real mature, I know... But hey, it's easy to remember! :)

Anyways, I better get going. I love and miss you all very much! Have a great week!

♥- Søster Jessica Taylor