Monday, August 27, 2012

Week 69

Hello Family!

I hope you all have had a good week! It is always great to hear from you. :)

My week has been really good! No migraines, thankfully!! Ha ha! We feel so blessed right now- things are going so well! We have a lot of member referrals, a lot of progressing investigators, and a lot of miracles taking place. It's wonderful! :) 

Bob is doing well. He is getting nervous for baptism because it is coming up really fast! But he has the desire and we haven't felt inspired to set his date back yet, so we will see. Apparently his family (who lives in Eastern Norway) is going through a hard time and it's really sad. He is still making good progress though. As we were planning last night, we felt like we needed to kneel down and ask if we should push his date back at all, but when we were done praying, the 8th still felt right and everything thing else felt wrong. He is such a good person! We ate waffles with him yesterday after church and we had a really good time. He is going to be a great member! :) Please keep him in your prayers!

That girl I mentioned last week- Adele- we were able to meet with her quite a bit and get a baptismal date with her! She has a goal set to be baptized on the 22 of September. She fits in great with the YSA, just like Bob! :) The last time we met with her, we had a really good chat and we got to know her really well. :) Her birthday is the 16 of September, so we decided to talk to one of the members here who bakes to invite the three of us over to make a birthday cake together! We thought it would be so fun! :) 

We had the opportunity to go visit a member family this week- the Andersens. It was the coolest dinner ever. It wasn't the food or anything like that that made it great- they had their less active son, their non-member son and their non-member and very interested neighbor there! It was incredible! We had a teach with their neighbor, Kari, and it was so good! The less active son, Trond, even helped by explaining the Book of Mormon promise to her. It was such a powerful teach! Kari began to cry and was very excited to read in the Book of Mormon. We look forward to working with ther in the near future! :)

Another miracle we experienced this week took place as we were out contacting. We didn't have a lot of time and we weren't feeling a lot of inspiration as to where we needed to go, but we headed back towards the main part of town and their we found a girl named Victoria. She actually came to us and asked what we were doing. She told us that she had once been Christian, had lost her faith, but wanted to find it again. GOLDEN! :) So we sat down on a bench and taught her the message of the Restoration- it was incredible and she was in agreement with everything we said. She was very interested in meeting with us again and we have an appointment for this evening! We are so excited! :)

As for our newspaper interview- it went really well! We had a really nice conversation with the reporter and it was cool. He took some dreamy pictures of us... it was kind of awkward... Ha ha! Hopefully the article turns out well! We'll keep you posted! :)

Well, that's about all that is happening here, fam... It's great! :)

I hope all is well there- you are always in my prayers! I love and miss you all! Have a great week! :)

♥- Søster Jessica Taylor

Monday, August 20, 2012

Week 68

Hey Fam!
It's so great to hear from you all! It has been an amazing week! It went by so fast. It feels like just yesterday I was sitting here emailing you.
First of all, I'll tell you about Bob. He is a champion! We are so happy about him. He is still progressing nicely towards his baptismal goal for the 8th of September. He has been really good about coming to church and activities. On Thursday, a family invited us and Bob out to their home for dinner and to teach him and we did just that. It was awesome! The Antonesen family took such good care of him and bore such powerful testimony about the Book of Mormon. So that was great. Earlier this week, we had taught him the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity and he readily accepted them. Then on Friday, we made dinner for the 3 of us and one of the YSA so that we could start a fast together. After we ate, Bob helped us clean up the kitchen and I got to have a really good chat with him. He told me that he had really decided to live the Word of Wisdom the day before. He hadn't really lived it after we taught him, but the day before, he had had some coffee and felt so bad about it after. It was because of those bad feelings that he decided to really live the Word of Wisdom. Yesterday in church, he asked me if we could teach him more about the priesthood- he wanted to know more about it. He asks such good questions and is doing so well! We are so happy about him and the ward is too! (That's the most important!) Please keep him in your prayers! :)
As for some other the other people we are working with- we have this girl named Siri who has been taught by elders but then came to us and wanted us to teach her. She is a free spirit and it has been really hard trying to get her a structured, organized faith. Ha ha! But she is super cool. We really like her becasue she is just so happy all of the time- she doesn't have a care in the world! :) We have another girl named Adel who lives a ways outside of town, but she comes to the city very often. She has had a hard life- we don't know what she has gone through, but it is obvious it has been a lot. When we first met with her, we taught her God's plan because she needed it so bad- it went so well! She even accepted a soft baptismal invitation. (Soft means not a date). We are going to be teaching her again tonight before FHE with the YSAs. It should be great! :)
On Friday, the 4 of us sisters went to an elderly couples home for lunch. They are 81 and 84 years old and He was a chef. He made us lots of fish and guess what... I loved it! :) The only sad part was that a migraine had started just before we caught the bus to their house, so I couldn't enjoy it to the fullest because I felt like I was going to throw up. No fun. I don't know why I am getting migraines... That's 2 in less than a month. I have never had them so close together. Oh well...
Saturday was,by far, one of my favorite days contacting on the street! The YSAs in Bergen planned an activity with the missionaries and we all met together in a big group in the middle of town to draw God's plan with sidewalk chalk and teach people about it. In about 3 hours we all had taught so many people and it was such a positive experience! We all loved every minute of it so much that I think we are doing it again next weekend! :) Coolest part is that there was no need for clean up- it started raining and washed it all away. Ha ha!
This work is just so amazing! I can't even begin to express how much love I feel all of the time! I love this work. I love my companion. I love our investigators. I love the members. I love this country. I even love the people who yell at me on the street! (That doesn't happen very often... Ha ha!) But most of all, I love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
And lets not forget... I LOVE YOU! :) You are all wonderful! I hope you have a great week.
Vi Snakkes!
♥- Søster Jessica Taylor
P.S. On Wednesday, Sister Pace and I will be meeting with a reporter for a local Christian newspaper for an article that they are doing. President Evans called us a couple of weeks ago and gave us the assignment. It should be super exciting- I'll let you know how it goes! :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Week 67

Hi family!!
How are you all doing? I hope you all have had a great week! As always, thanks for the great emails. I love hearing from you! :)
This has been quite the week. Bob was out of town so it was kind of crazy because we realized we had a ton of finding to do. Also, the Relief Society President gave us an assignment to call all of the less active sisters in the ward and see if they want visiting teachers. So each day, we spent a little bit of time calling and then the rest was spent on the streets. Between Wednesday and Saturday we were stood up for 12 appointments. That was so frusturating! We were trying so hard to get lots and lots of sit-down teaches where we could start and end with a prayer, but it didn't ever work out... Miracle from it all: we ended up having 3 people in church on Sunday and one of those people was a referral. That to me was a huge testimony builder of how hard work leads to blessings. There were many days that we went home disappointed because it felt like none of our efforts were paying off, but because we just kept going, regardless of the results, and things paid off. There is a phrase I read in the Book of Mormon that illustrates this perfectly: "...for according to his works shall his wages be..." and also, "He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully." We are not sure, but maybe if we had not pushed so hard to keep going, we may not have seen the blessing of having people in church. We have to work according to the results that we want to see, and that is applicable to everything in life... not just missionary work. :)
Bob came back into town on Friday and was able to come to church yesterday. He is so great! His testimony is just growing and growing. He is beginning to feel more and more comfortable with the members... That is the most important thing! :)  Sister Pace, Bob and I were invited to a members house for dinner on Thursday and he was able to come to a dinner with us last night. It has been so great to see how the ward has just taken him in and helped him in this journey. Watching the members take care of him has made me want to be a better member missionary when my full-time missionary service is complete. I really want to be a ward missionary- that would be so cool! Dream Calling!!! :) Anyways, Bob's baptismal date is still set for the 8th of September, but we are still planning to bump it up... Hopefully to the 25th of this month! Pray for him! :)
Sorry- this email is really short and pretty lame. Ha ha! I love and miss you all very much! I hope you have a fantastic week! Vi Snakkes! :)
♥- Søster Jessica Taylor

Monday, August 6, 2012

Week 66

Hello, Hello!

How are you all doing? I hope everyone is doing so very well this week. :) 

Sister Pace and I have had an amazing week! It all started out with Bob. We felt like we needed to take a step backwards a little bit and emphasize the Atonement a little bit more. We were able to create such and intense spiritual environment in that teach that we were able to help him realize what the Spirit feels like. It was GREAT! :) As we were teaching, Sister Pace and I both had the opportunity to bear testimony about the Atonement and after that, it was just silent... The first person to talk was Bob and he told us that he felt his faith in Jesus Christ growing. It was so funny because we asked him what that made him want to do. He paused for a minute. (See, we had mentioned earlier in the teach that the way that we accept the atonement is through baptism.) And the he said, "Keep the 10 commandments..." And we just kept sitting there quietly... Then he added, "And be baptized." BINGO! :) He was feeling the Holy Ghost in all kinds of ways and it was so great! :) So right after that, we had him pick a day to be baptized. He chose the 8th of September. (Happy Birthday to Kelsie! Ha ha!) I know it's kind of far out, but we have a solid plan to get that moved up sooner. Just gotta give it a little bit of time. It worked with Agnes, Brit, and Marita in Trondheim, so I know it will work for Bob too. :) He is out of town right now, but he will be back on Friday and we will get back to teaching him. :)

We have seen some amazing miracles as far as finding people goes. We have been given several referrals. President and Sister Evans were in town and they found this girl at the restaurant they were eating at and gave her info to us. Daniel is a young adult who has been taught before, but got dropped because he wasn't progressing, but he is still coming to all of the activities even though he is an atheist. He wanted to come out and see what it was like to be a missionary so he came with us on Friday and we were able to talk to him about his faith and what he wants. He said that sharing the Book of Mormon with people really made him want to really read it and find out. He is super cool and we want to start teaching him. Saturday, we had 2 first teaches- one woman named Geralyn from the Philippines and an African man named Dennis- and both went absolutely amazing. We were able to help them recognize the Spirit, have the desire to read the Book of Mormon, and we committed them both to baptism. It was so amazing to watch how we taught them the exact same lesson, but we were able to tailor it to their specific needs. That is how both teaches were so successful! :) Then, yesterday, there was this girl in church and she randomly asked us to start teaching her and so we are! Wow! We have people popping out everywhere! I feel so blessed!  This city is amazing!

On Thursday, we had the opportunity to fly to Oslo for a training meeting with all of the trainers and new missionaries. It was really fun! I love flying and I love being in Oslo and I love being with President and Sister Evans. They are such amazing people! :) Yeah... That's about all I have to say about that. Ha ha! I turned in my paperwork about flight information. I'm coming home to SLC. I hope that's ok... You guys better tell me quick if it's not! Ha ha! :)

Well, thanks for the great emails- I loved everyone! :) Well, one of the computers in broken, so I can't take anymore time. Sorry- no personal emails! :( Just know that I love and miss all of you very much! :) Have a great week!

♥- Søster Jessica Taylor