How are you all doing? Thanks for your emails- they make me happy! :)
Well, I'll get back to the subject of this email... Guess what! Remember how I told you about Brit wanting to be baptized last week? Well, we had another SURPRISE BAPTISM yesterday!!!! It was a miracle! Brit is now a confirmed member of the church and I am SOOOO HAPPY!!! So here is what happened- get comfortable because this is a long one! :) Sister Hansen (Brit's friend) told us that Brit would be calling us this week to set up a baptismal date. So it was Wednesday and we hadn't heard anything, so I decided to send her a quick text and see how she was doing (acting like I had no idea about the conversation between her and Sister Hansen... I'm sneaky! Ha ha!) She told me that everything was going well and that she wanted us to come and visit her on Friday. We scheduled the appointment and then I asked if there was anything we could do to help her. She told me that there would be something on Friday. :) Sister Butterfield and I were talking about it and thinking that if I just told her that I was leaving, she would totally get baptized earlier. I wasn't too sure about it though... (I so do not have enough faith!)
So Friday came and we went over to her home, which is a 5 minute walk from the church. First thing, we sat down and she told us that she wanted to be baptized. We were excited to actually hear it from her! She told us that she has wanted to be baptized for a long time and has had many dreams that have been signs to her that it is the right thing to do. She had one dream where there were little children standing around her and they were telling her that they were angels and that she needed to continue on the path she was on. Sister Butterfield alluded to the idea that they might be people who have gone before her and want their work done. It was cool. :) She opened up her calendar and told us that she wanted to do it the first week of August and we told her that it would be great. My heart kind of sunk a little because I knew I might not be there. Then, (I will be eternally grateful to Sister Butterfield for this one) The Butter told Brit that I might not be there because of the upcoming transfer. She pulled out her cell phone and called Sister Hansen. See, Sister Hansen is going out of town. She actually leaves today and won't be back until the end of July. So Brit was calling to see the exact date they were coming back because she wanted me to be there. Then Sister Butterfield said, "There is always Sunday..." Brit asked if that was possible and we told her that we just needed to teach her the commandments and get her an interview. She said, "Let's do it!" We asked if she wanted to be taught tonight and do the interview tomorrow and she said no- she wanted to do it all right then! I stepped into the hall and called the zone leaders and had them come over while Sister Butterfield started going over all of the commandments. I'm not going to lie, I started crying in the hall as I called the elders. I was so overcome with gratitude! It was surreal!! I came back into the room with tears in my eyes and just told her how much I love her and how much she means to me. I feel like I've known her forever and we shared a very tender moment, both of us crying. Herlighet!!! (Google translate that! Ha ha!) So we started teaching her. We started going over the baptismal interview questions and she was golden! The Spirit was so strong!! When we got to the ones about the commandments, we stopped and started going through them. Obedience- good. Pray always- good. Study the scriptures- good. Keep the Sabbath day holy- good. Follow the prophet- good. Law of Chastity- good. Word of Wisdom- AMAZING (considering that was why she dropped us!). Then we came to tithing. We had a hiccup. She is doing a lot of volunteer work and not a lot of work that is bringing in income. She has a loan on her apartment and not much extra after that. She said that 10% of her income would be so difficult. I'm not going to lie, I felt a little stuck. I was nervous to tell this woman to not worry about it because of everything that is going on at home. But, something just lead us to promise her that Heavenly Father really would pour out the blessing of heaven upon her and she won't have room enough to receive them. She accepted and there was no more problem! :) The Lord's promises are sure! The interview went off without a hitch and she was ready for baptism! To give her peace, the elders gave her a beautiful blessing telling her that She is a light for those around her and that God loves her so much. They also told her that baptism is a part of His plan for her. YAY!!!
We spent all day Saturday calling members, making programs and preparing for Sunday and I also had to prepare a talk because Brit asked me to speak. :) Then we went to visit Brit that night. We bought her some cookies that are called Skjokoklem which translates as chocolate hug and then some hot chocolate to cover the desire for coffee. She was a little nervous, but very excited. She asked me to say a prayer for her before we left. I still feel like this all was a dream! :)
The baptism was beautiful! I was there when she came out of the water, and the first thing she said was "This water is warm!" She was glowing! She told me that she felt something very peaceful under the water and she was so grateful that she didn't wait. Oh it was so beautiful!!! When she was done changing, she didn't walk out of the dressing room... She danced out! Ha ha! She felt so good and I was so happy for her! :) After the baptism, I gave a talk in Norwegian about the Holy Ghost. It went pretty well, I guess. I didn't follow my notes at all... (It's a new gift I have... Ha ha!) Right after the program, they decided not to wait to give her the gift of the Holy Ghost. The blessing was wonderful! The first thing that was said was that there were many on the other side who had been waiting for her to make this decision. :) Everyone was so excited for her! All of the members just sucked her in- just like they did with Agnes. (I have to tell you something about Agnes a little later. Don't let me forget!) all I know is that it was an a amazing experience and I am so very happy! This work blows my mind!! :)
So remember how Agnes was called to the Relief Society presidency? Well, the only part about the calling that she hasn't been able to handle was sitting in front of all of the sisters before the lesson. Funny, but true. She doesn't like too much attention. :) Well, yesterday morning, she overcame her fear and ended up sitting in the front with the rest of the presidency! Everyone clapped when she did- it was so sweet! It was the perfect example of building and strengthening one another in the church. My heart felt like it was going to burst! :) All of the Relief Society sisters had a great time before church started- we laughed together as Sister Hansen taught swimming lessons (check out the picture- you'll understand. :) Ha ha!) I just felt like I was with all my sisters and we were all happy! I love my Trondheim family! :)
Well, I'm all out of exciting things to say... but check out how long this email was.... SWEET! I hope it wasn't too boring! I love and miss you guys a ton! Have a great week. See you in 4 months!!! :)
- Søster Jessica Taylor