Oslo Norway Mission, Called to Serve

Oslo Norway Mission, Called to Serve

Monday, July 17, 2017

July 17 - Sandvika - Last Email of Jake's Mission

Hey everyone!
Thanks for your love and support. This will be my last letter as I will be flying home on Thursday. Thank you for your prayers, for your examples and for your love! 
This last week was great! We didn't get in contact with any investigators, they are either  on vacation and don't come back before August or September or they blocked us on their phone, or they haven't been answering haha but it didn't stop us and we had some great opportunities to find new people. One happened on Thursday. We were on our way to the church for an appointment with a potential, but we never heard anything back from the potential. We were on the bus, and I was talking with a guy who was reading a music score so I asked him about it and he just loved to talk and talk so we miss the bus stop at the church. We stayed on the bus and got off at the next stop. It was right next to a pizza restaurant that we had given the worker a book of mormon. We had tried back at this pizza place several times before but she was never working. But this time she was! So we went and talked to her and she had several good questions. She said it was hard for her to read english so we ended up going back at getting her one in Lithuanian the same day. She is way awesome! It was another testimony to me of God's hand in our life. We hadn't even thought about trying the pizza place that day but things worked out that we ended up there and talked with her. And she even made us a free pizza haha so that was a bonus!
Our mission has also had a big focus this last transfer on the Book of Mormon and we have been trained and practiced in our finding using it and I have loved sharing the book of mormon with people. It is amazing all the different opportunities we have had to give them away and meet new people. 
Anyway we are short on time. But I would like to share just a few thoughts. I am so grateful for my mission and the experiences I have had. It has not been easy, in fact probably the most challenging thing of my life but I would not change it for anything. The Lord blesses us in so many ways. Often in ways that we don't recognize. I don't know where I would be if the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ never happened. I know with certainty that God lives, That Jesus is our Savior, Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. The Book of Mormon is evidence of all 3 of those truths. How grateful I am for the prophets in the Book of Mormon who pictured us as they wrote down their testimonies and experiences. I love Norway, Norwegian and the saints here. Gud vær med dem til vi sees igjen.
See you soon. :)
Elder Witt

Thursday, July 13, 2017

July 10 - Sandvika

Hey everyone!
It was a great week! We were busy busy busy and a lot of good things happened. This week is the stake temple week so the majority of the members will be gone in Sweden so before they left they had us over for dinner every night this last week. I love seeing how the Gospel is the same everywhere and how it blesses families and individuals.
Don't have a ton of time, but I did want to share one experience we had this week. We were coming home from an appointment when we took the train and ran to the bus but we miss the bus. so we went into the city center to talk to people and we met a man from China. He was leading a tour group in Norway. He said he had done tour groups in the States and knew some members of the church. We talked to him and he was interested in our message. He talked about how China's current situation is not religious but he explained how there are several people in China including himself that see the benefit religion brings to society. We gave him a book of mormon in english but told him that we could get him one in Chinese before he leaves. He gave us his email and we tentatively made an appointment for Sunday night before they would leave Oslo area. Long story short, we got him one in Chinese and he was excited to start reading. They were leaving Oslo the next day. Another reminder to me that God has a much bigger plan and his plan is always what is best for us and our growth.

one quote I wanted to share is.

"Men and Women who turn their lives over to God will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace. Whoever will lose his life in the service of God will find eternal life."

President Ezra T. Benson

Love you all. Have a good week!

Elder Witt

July 3 - Sandvika

Hey everyone!
Happy 4th of July tomorrow! Thanks for your love and support. The weather has been hot and sunny! 

It was a good week to be a missionary. Not too many new things happened in our area but we were finally able to get in contact with the woman who we knocked on her door, (the wallet experience) We had written down the wrong telephone number but we finally fixed that. We will be meeting with her this coming week and we are excited about that! 
-- got really busy with work this week and had to cancel several different appointments and -- and -- were on vacation. 

We also were able to visit some members and do some hometeaching. One older member who lives farther away invited us and the sisters over for dinner. She is a great example and wants to find a T-shirt, that says "I'm a Mormon"  
On Saturday, we had a fun time playing sport with some members from the ward. Afterwards we helped a famliy from Romerike ward move in to the Sandvika ward. It was fun to see them again. When I was in Romerike, I remember them telling us they were moving and it is funny to be on the other side now to welcome them in. 

This coming week is going to be busy busy. The members are about to head out to sweden for a temple trip as a ward and so they all wanted to invite us over for dinner this week haha. :) We also got some new potential this week so we are optimistic.

As I'm nearing the end of my mission, I've been thinking about the lessons and blessings I have learned and experienced for the past 2 years. I know there are certain blessings, opportunities, and challenges that were meant for me to experience. 
The opportunity I have had to serve a mission is one of the greatest blessings I have experienced. I know with certainty that God lives, that he is good, that he loves us. 
My thought for this week is around the story of the Savior feeding the 5000. 

I invite you to watch it and pay attention to the Savior's attitude, behavior and every thing he does. He is calm, patient, compassionate, and with perfect faith. A faith that casts out doubt and fear. As we give our 100%. Give our whole 5 loves and 2 fishes. God's miracles can happen today in your life and the lives around you.
I love ya all!
PS. My mission president shared with us a link to a recent story that Elder Holland gave to  new mission presidents at MTC. It is amazing. You should read it


Thursday, June 29, 2017

June 26 - Sandvika

Hey everyone!
Thanks for your love and support! It was an awesome week, but we don't have a ton of time, because we got some things we need to do, so I'll just give you the highlights.
On Tuesday, we had zone conference. It was an awesome day. They had all the missionaries going home at the end of the transfer bear their testimonies. It was so powerful!! It was special to participate and watch as a dozen other missionaries got up and shared how their missions and the gospel had changed their lives and blessed the lives of their families and themselves. I was reminded up Alma's words when he asked "is not this real?" We President and Sister Hill gave great presentations. Sister Hill on Joy and President Hill reviewed from our last mission Conference with Elder Herland.  The AP's gave us some good training on using the Book of Mormon in our finding.
On Thursday, we were heading out our apartment, when Elder Briggs couldn't find his wallet. We looked everyone but couldn't find it. We went to the bus stop and called the company and they said they had it at the lost and found.  They gave us the address where we could pick it up and it turned out to be right next to a street where we had knocked doors and had some potential investigators. We took the bus to the lost and found and got his wallet back and tried back the potentials in the area. 1 woman who we had tried 3 times already was home and we were able to teach her. She said how grateful she was we came back because she thought after 3 tries we would just give up haha. It was cool because we probably wouldn't have decided to go back to that area at that time if it wasn't for the lost wallet.
Also on thursday, we had an appointment cancel so instead the member who was with us wanted to go street contacting with us. It was so cool! he had no fear and we had some great success.
On Friday, we had a ward party where our investigator -- came. That was fun.
On Saturday, we had a lesson with -- and also had a good session knocking doors.
Sunday was also a good day. A former investigator came to church so that was good. Mihai didn't make it this week. we were a little bummed. He said he was going to visit his brother. After church we had dinner at the Robinsons and the Hills and also a member in the ward. They made "cafe rio" pork. :)

This week I had an experience that really meant a lot to me and helped re-energize and strengthen my faith. It was right after dinner on Sunday at the Robinisons. We walked out of the apartment and headed towards the main road, when I randomly looked to the left and and saw a man sitting on a bench. I immediately thought that we should talk to him but then began to rationalize why it would be okay to keep going. I recognized this thought process and realized that we had nothing to lose by talking to him but if we passed by him then we could be missing something really big. So we turned around and went and talked to him and it turned out to be a sweet experience! We gave him a book of mormon and have his number. It was perfect timing because his friend arrived so he had to leave. It was such a special experience and I'm grateful for God's love and awareness and the Holy Ghost.
So my encouragement this week is to trust those impressions and thoughts you have that lead you to do good and then act on them!
Love you all so much!
Elder Witt

Monday, June 19, 2017

June 19 - Sandvika

Hey everyone!

Thanks for your love and support! It was an awesome week! We were able to experience several tender mercies and feel the lord's guiding hand in the work. It is encouraging to see some progress!
We met again with Justo. One of our good member friends, assistant ward mission leader was with us. He is a convert of two years and shared with -- his conversion story especially about the Book of Mormon. It was good for -- to hear and hopefully will get him to start reading in the Book of Mormon.
Another awesome thing about the week is our investigator -- (-- is his romanian name so I will probably use that because it is cool ). Mihai came to church! We met with him on Friday with one of the youth in the ward. The actual lesson didn't go the best. Mihai had several concerns but it worked out because he came to church and wants to learn more. The ward members were really good at welcoming him and talking with him. Elder and Sister Robinsion, the mission office couple were so good and including him in the sunday school lesson. (we went to the english class with him) -- is a good guy.
Another cool highlight of the week was on Thursday. We tried back a potential who said we could come back after a month. We sat down and talked with her outside and answered her questions. She is a teacher at the highschool and loves learning about religions. She asked several good questions and we had a good meeting. She wants missionaries to come back in the fall and line up a time for them to come and do a presentation at the school.
Overall it was a great week, and I'm grateful to be here in Sandvika. I appreciate the support of the members here and it was fun visiting several of them this week. One took us out to IKEA after carrying some furniture he bought. He bought us the Large size of the Large plate of Meatballs, potatoes and gravy. Traditional scandanavia food :) Soooo good!
Thought: President Eyring gave a talk in the recent Women's session of conference about the Holy Ghost. He taught how the Holy Ghost, or the Comforter is God given to bring us peace. But he connected it to the verse from D&C 11:12  And now, verily, verily, say unto thee, put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good—yea, to do justlyto walk humblyto judgerighteously; and this is my Spirit.  President Eyring said, "Most often, the good He will lead you to do will involve helping someone else receive comfort from God." Let us be on the Lord's errand and trust in that spirit which leadeth to do good. Let's comfort those that stand in need of comfort and share the peace offered by the Savior.
Have a good week!
Elder Witt

Monday, June 12, 2017

June 13 - Sandvika

Hey everyone! 

Thanks for your love and support! It's been raining and raining here in Norway and the rivers are flooding but today the sun is out and everything is beautiful and green. It was transfers last week and crazy to say goodbye to 13 elders who just went home. They are studs and I'm glad I was able to serve with some of them. I'm excited to be here another transfer with Elder Briggs in Sandvika. Things are picking up and we had a good week.

The highlight of the week was definitely a guy name -- that we met on the street. We were out knocking doors Wednesday night and having no success and we felt like we should go somewhere else. We went back to the city and met --. He is from Romania and was really nice and believes in God and Jesus Christ. On Friday we were doing some weekly planning and gave him a call to get an appointment for the next week. He answered and said he could meet in 20 minutes haha. We called the sisters in the area and it worked out great because they were able to get us some pamphlets in Romanian. We took the bus with Michael to the church and showed him around and then talked with him about the restoration. . He loved the message we shared and was interested. It is experiences like these that just remind you who's work this really is. It is so cool to be a part of it!

This week we met with a Newer convert in the ward and did some service for our Ward Organist. She is one of the most positive people I know! She also made us homemade Kjøttkaker which is very Norwegian and delicious! We also got to play some soccer with some of our friends and a few members of the ward on Saturday like usual. 

We weren't able to meet with some of our other investigators this last week but we got some lined up for this week.

I was insprired from another missionary to start a little tradition this week with Elder Briggs. "Skikkelig Norsk" We are going to do something fun each week that is just super Norwegian. This last week we bought Oranges and a kvikk lunsj for a snack while we were out. Kvikk lunsj is a kit kat but x 10 in goodness. It is very Norwegian to take a kvikk lunsj and an orange when you go for a hike or skiing especially during easter time. 

My thought for the week is from the Book of Mormon. Alma 48: 17-18 

17 "Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.

18 Behold, he was a man like unto Ammon, the son of Mosiah, yea, and even the other sons of Mosiah, yea, and also Alma and his sons, for they were all men of God.

How powerful those verses are. These people in the scriptures are real. Picture it. They had families, friends, and they labored hard to preserve their freedom and their faith. They are our examples. We get a little insight into what kind of a man Moroni was in earlier verses...

One that I particularly like is in verse 12. Moroni was a "man whose heart did swell with thanksgiving to his God, for the many privileges and blessings which he bestowed upon his people; a man who did labor exceedingly for the welfare and safety of his people."

He was grateful and diligent. Signs of humility and love.

Have a good week!

Elder Witt

June 5 - Sandvika

Hey everyone!

Thanks for your love and support. The weather is gorgeous today and the sky is blue and sunny. I am not used to the warm weather haha because last year in Tromso it never got this warm. I am grateful for Norway, and for the Norwegian people. You come to appreciate the differences, uniqueness of each of us over the world.  It is transfers this week and I will be staying in Sandvika with Elder Briggs! I'm happy about that. 

It was a great week! We were visited by an area authority 70 for mission conference. Elder Herland, who actually is Norwegian, served his mission in Norway, served as a bishop and stake president in Norway. If there is anyone who understands missionary work in Norway it would be him. He was very personable and gave great encouragement, counsel, and instruction. 

Mission conference was on Wednesday with us and we were combined with the West Zone. It was fun seeing old companions. Sister Hill shared with us thoughts on the Christlike attribute of Hope. She shared stories from the lives and missions of her 3 sons. President Hill shared with us thoughts on "our missionary adventure". He shared a quote from Elder Ballard that I love "Adverstity becomes adventure in the service of the Lord" . He also shared a cool story about gratitude form church history. Lastly, Elder Herland taught us about obedience, and based many of his remarks on the recent conference talk "stand up inside and be all in" He shared his life story and taught us about the change in his life and about repentance and invited us to join "the club". We all have our own problems, weaknesses and challenges. The issue is not our problems, but the real question and issue is are we all in? Are wededicated disciples or are we rationalizing behavior that needs change or are we holding anything back. He shared a strong testimony of God's love and that No effort in the service of the Lord is wasted. 

Also this week we met again with Justo. He is such a optimistic guy and has a strong faith in God and Jesus Christ. We began talking about the plan of salvation and focused on the spirit and temples. Without us evening saying anything, he taught us about Jesus Christ organizing missionary work i the spirit world after he died on the cross and before his resurrection. It is interesting how well he understands the Bible, especially the old testiment and all the truths taught by the restoration. We invited him to baptism but he dodged the question and explained to us that his quest is to know god. He isn't really looking for anything else. But he is still positive and wants to learn more. 

We also met with  Samad, the man who lived over by the robinsons. We gave him the Book of Mormon in Persian. We will see what happens.

On Thursday, the other two zones had mission conference and afterwards the Missionaries in Narvik and alesund were staying at the mission home but their flights didn't leave until the next day so they went on splits with us. It was so fun going on splits with Elder Osguthorpe.! Wow it had been almost a year but it was like the good old times contacting in Tromso. 

My thought this week is from this short video 

The story of Gideon is inspiring. It is an example of God's pattern in taking ordinary people and making them extraordinary.  Doing the unlikely to accomplish the impossible. Gideon and a small army of 300 men defeat the mideonites with a ratio of 1 of them to 500. Blessings will flow into your life as you "stand up inside and be all in" in your discipleship to our Savior Jesus Christ. Love you all and have a good week.

Elder Witt