Oslo Norway Mission, Called to Serve

Oslo Norway Mission, Called to Serve

Monday, September 21, 2015

Fredrikstad, Norway - First week in Norway

Hey Family!!

Wow I am loving it here it Norway and I love being a missionary! 

So my companion is Eldste Nelson. He is from Vancouver, Washington. That is Paul's mission! He has one sister at Utah state. He has only been out for almost 6 months and fredrikstad is his second area. His first area was arendal. It's a small city on the southern coast, which is the city that is in Frozen. He is way chill and really nice and He likes to work hard. We get along great and I'm glad he is my companion.

President Hill sent Elder Nelson and I to Fredrikstad to open up a new area because The fredrikstad area has had so much success recently. We are with two other elders, Elder Tennant, who is also a new elder, one transfer before me, and Elder Phipps, who is our district leader. He has been out for  a year. Our apartment we are in is really tight because it was meant for just 2 elders but it is great. It's way fun having four elders together. 

Fredrikstad is in south east Norway and is the closest area, in the mission, to Sweden. Because there is a family in our ward boundaries from Sweden we have permission to travel to Sweden.So hopefully I will be able to go there sometime! We live really close to the city here and next to a big river. Fredrikstad is also the flattest area so not really any mountains but the landscape is still beautiful. It rains all the time here! my first two days here were nonstop rain. All the plants and grass are so green. There are hills after hills of thick forest and farms outside the city. Very gourgous. 

The ward here is amazing. The people are so nice. My first day here my companion and I went to young mens and played soccer with the youngmen. They are some great youngmen and I hope we can get to know them better. My second day here we had dinner with the landlord for our apartment\house. They are members. We had pizza, icecream, and soft. Soft is this drink that everyone has here. It is basically flavored water so comparable to really good kool-aid. The icecream here is amazing too. They are an older couple and the Man is convert to the Church. 

So when it comes to Norwegian it feels like the movie the best two years haha. Is this the language they taught me at the MTC?? It is hard understanding people because they speak so fast and well but that is okay! I know it takes time to become more used to the language. and when I think about how i've only been learning it for 7 weeks it encourages me. When talking to people in the city and telling them ive only been here for a couple days they would be shocked. So that is encouraging. We just have to be patient and trust in the Lord.

Anyway, so because we are starting fresh and opening up this new area we have done a lot of contacting in the city. We tried calling a lot of old investigators in the Area book no one is interested so we are going to focus on the less-actives, members and finding new people. We contacted Wednesday and Thursday with very little success so we decided to fast on Friday. a Fast to find. We fasted Friday and Friday things were much better. More people were interested and talkative. Sunday was the best though. Church was at 11 until 2. I didn't understand much but the spirit was the same and it felt like home. It was a good feeling. I played the piano in Priesthood :) We also taught Sunday school to the 14-18 year olds. In Sacrament meeting all the new missionaries bore their testimonies. It was great. I was able to go up and say what I wanted to say in Norwegian.  After sacrament meeting Our bishop had a big dinner at the church because he blessed his new baby. A lot of the ward is Phillipino so we had some good food.

After the ward dinner, my companion and I were trying to decide what to do. We had a couple of hours of proselyting time left. We hadn't done our language study yet but we wanted to go out and talk to people in the City. We decided it would be better if we went out and worked. We went out and it was amazing. In just one hour, we taught two lessons to two different people. It was a blessing and miracle. We met two women from Ukraine who are studying in Oslo and they just happened to be in Fredrikstad. We taught about the book of mormon because they are taking bible study classes and after we bore our testimonies they were interested. We got their number and gave it to the elders in Oslo. I hope they begin meeting with the elders in Oslo. The next lady we met was way excited to meet the mormon missionaries because she is also searching for the truth. Her name is Katherine I believe. She has been doing a lot of bible studying and believes in Christ but she doesn't like any of the churches. We taught her the book of mormon and restoration and as Elder Nelson taught the Joseph smith story the Spirit was powerful. We both felt it and I knew she did too. We got her number and we are hoping to meet with her this week. We felt so grateful that we went out and worked rather than stay in the Apartment for language study. I know the Lord put them in our path. We have been praying so much for people to teach and help. To find the people the lord has prepared for us. 

I haven't had any true Norwegian food yet but hopefully soon. Today for pday we are going to bike to the ocean and have lunch on the rocks. I'll take some pictures. Life is good. I know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live. Learn of them and rely on them.

This week I learned, That it is all about loving and serving others.The Norwegian people are so friendly and Kind and I can't wait to learn more of the culture, the language, and get to know the members better, Even though we were rejected so many times because people werent interested I just could't help but smile. Everyone has agency. We have the good news of the Gospel so let us love it and live it. Im grateful for the gospel and I love being a missionary. 

Love you all!!

Have a great week!!

Eldste Witt

Elder Witt's House in Norway

Elder Witt in Fredrikstad, Norway!

Monday, September 14, 2015

MTC Week 5

Wow, I can't believe my time here at the MTC is coming to a close. It went by so fast! I absolutely love the MTC. It was a time of much growth for me. All the devotionals, classroom lessons, choir practices, Sunday meetings, personal study time. I learned a lot, and I can't wait to learn more!! My favorite thing about the MTC is choir and the devotionals. You get to see so many missionaries and the spirit is always present and strong. 

Soooo, we got our flight plans last week! I'm so pumped to go to Norway but also nervous haha. It will be a new but good adventure. We leave the MTC at 8:30 A.m. on Sept 14. Our flight leaves SLC at 1:40 Pm. We fly to Dallas, then to London, then to Oslo. We should arrive in Oslo in the evening of sept 15. We are all excited!

We ended up not skyping this last week which made me sad. Because we moved classrooms, we were automatically taken off the system so they didn't have us scheduled. We should be skyping tomorrow though, so that will be good.

Having all the Norwegians together in one classroom has been so fun. I absolutely love all of them. WE are all so different but we get along well.  I'll send a picture and tell you more about them.

Norwegian is coming along better, but there is still much to learn. 

The devotionals this week were fabulous!

On Sunday, the speaker was Alan C. Ashton. He is the Provo temple president. He talked about opening your mouth and teaching by the spirit. The Lord pours out his spirit more abundantly before us if we act, and work diligently. His wife shared something that I really liked. She talked about the Savior. How when he was in the deepest struggle, in the Garden of Gethsemane, a scripture says: And being in agony, he prayed more earnestly." Our father in Heaven is one prayer away. He loves us

After Sunday Night devotional, we went to the video, "open your mouth" by Elder Holland. It was powerful. He talked briefly about Ephesians 6:11-16, the armor of God. He said the armor of God is not just for defense. The armor includes the "sword of the spirit". So when you go out each day, put on the defensive armor to protect you from the world, but also remember to have the spirit with you and be anxiously engaged in a good cause. Elder Holland applied it to opening your mouth as missionaries. We should be talking to everyone we can and following promptings of the spirit and serving everyone.

On Tuesday, the speaker was Bishop Causse, from the presiding bishopric. His talk was awesome!! His wife shared some touching remarks. She explained how when her husband was called to be a general authority, it was hard for her. She didn't want to leave her family in France and move to Utah. She asked us the question, Why are you leaving everything for 2 years? She had to ask herself the same question when her Husband was called to leave France. She said, ultimately, It's because of My Savior, Jesus Christ. I love my Savior more than anything and I would give up everything to feel my Savior's love. She said, "Never decide to quit without turning your heart to your Savior. Never give up without giving Heavenly Father a chance to answer your fervent prayer." If there is anything I've learned while being here at the MTC it is this. With My heavenly Father, and Savior Jesus Christ, I am nothing and I have nothing. But with them I can do all things, because THEY can do all things. Relying on the Lord is including him in everything you do, not just when you need help. Bishop Causse shared many awesome experiences and stories. I enjoy hearing him speak in Conference.

So when I learn Norwegian on my own I like listening to conference talks with Norwegian and English side by side. This week I listened to President Monson's talk "I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee".  I encourage you all to listen to it.

Here is a snippet I like from it. 
Our Heavenly Father, who gives us so much to delight in, also knows that we learn and grow and become stronger as we face and survive the trials through which we must pass. We know that there are times when we will experience heartbreaking sorrow, when we will grieve,
 and when we may be tested tour limits.However, such difficulties allow us to change for the better, to rebuild our lives in the way our Heavenly Father teaches us, and to become something different from what we were—better than we were, more understanding than we were, more empathetic than we were, with stronger testimonies than we had before.

I love you all! Thanks for you prayers and support. Jeg er takknemlig for dere. Jeg vet at Gud elsker oss. Gjennom Jesu Kristi forsoning, kan vi føle styrke. Jeg elsker misjonærarbeid. Tusen Takk.
Love, Eldste Witt. 

Norwegian District

Sunday, September 6, 2015

MTC Week 4

Hallo familie og venner!!

Wow! I can't believe I've already been on my mission and at the MTC for 4 weeks. It's amazing! I love being a missionary. 

This last week was great! I think I'm finally starting to get the hang of things. Norwegian is coming along well. Our "investigator" Eva is progressing so well! Even though it's roleplay, when you really focus and pray, it feels like they are an actually an investigator. It is fun! She has "come to church" the last two weeks and reads the Book of Mormon and prays everyday. We committed her to baptism and set a date for september 12. The saturday before we leave to Norway :) We've been teaching about baptism and how it is the gate to the path of eternal life. We asked her how her preparation is coming for baptism and she said something awesome. She said, I feel like I should be nervous but I'm not nervous, I feel peaceful about it. Heavenly Father truly does answer our prayers and supports us in our righteous desires and decisions. We also got two new 'investigators". Each of the Elders created our own character and role and we are teaching each other. It is good practice and very helpful.

So every Thursday we do this thing called TRC, Teaching Resource Classroom. We go to this building and share a message with other returned missionaries who aren't our teachers. It is almost like home teaching. We do all our teaching in Norwegian. It is fun because we can talk to them about their experiences in Norway. I can't wait until Norway!! Tomorrow, we have TRC again and this time we are skyping a family in Norway. It's pretty intimidating but it will be fun.

So because BYU started this week, our teachers are busy. They combined both districts of Norwegians so now we are in one classroom. That way we still get the same amount of Teacher instruction every day. It can be crazy at times but it is really fun. All the Elders are good people and I'm looking forward to getting to know them all. 

The devotionals this week were fabulous! The Sunday Night speaker was Brother Charles W. Dahlquist. He was a former general young men's president. You could tell he has so much love for the missionaries and missionary work. He organized his remarks into 3 sections. 1) Reassurance 2) Suggestion 3) Invitation. For his reassurance, he reminded us that we are all Children of God. Heavenly Father loves us very much and we are not alone in this work. For his suggestions, he said, 1) use your time to search diligently the scriptures every day. 2) Pray sincerely with all your heart. 3) Obey: He shared a quote from Gandalf that I really liked. Gandalf said to Bilbo Baggins, "take care of yourself and don't leave the path." Commandments are for our protection. God gave us commandments because he loves us and knows what will help us. 4) Be aware of what your put into your minds. Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly. In a world of increasing darkness we need to become brighter ourselves to cast out the darkness. Light always trumps darkness. For his invitation to us he invited us to be become solidly anchored and converted unto Christ. And then when you are converted strengthen others. He said service is a way of life, not a project. I really liked his thoughts and testimony and I know his words are true and helpful to everyone not just missionaries.

The Tuesday night speaker was Elder Oaks!!! Oh yeah! He talked about teaching with the spirit. He based much of his remarks off Preach My Gospel which I thought was cool. Preach my Gospel is a great tool and resource. He began his remarks explaining "How do we obtain the spirit?" and what can we do to always have the spirit to be with us? My initial thought to his question was, pray and read the scriptures every day, but then He said, Worthily partaking of the sacrament every Sunday. That really stood out to me. The Sacrament is a sacred ordinances and truly a spiritual experience. The power of God is manifest in the Ordinances. He reminded us that "every member a missionary, but every missionary a member" The sacrament is so essential to having the spirit with us. In the covenant God promises to bless us with his spirit always. It is important to prepare for each sunday by repenting and having a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Sabbath Day worship has been a topic focused on by the leaders of the Church and I like how ELder Oaks applied its importance to missionary work also.

Anyways, I'm doing really well and I love being a missionary. One last thought and invitation to you all, is to be grateful in your circumstances. I read President Uchtdorf's talk, "Grateful in any circumstances". It is amazing and I encourage you to read it. He said, "We are grateful to God in our circumstances, we can experience gentle peace in the midst of tribulation. In grief, we can still lift up our hearts in praise. In pain, we can glory in Christ's Atonement. In the cold of bitter sorrow, we can experience the closeness and warmth of Heaven's embrace." Sister Dahlquist, On Sunday Night said, "Everyday look for something that Heavenly Father has done or given just for you." I know Heavenly father loves us and blesses us more than we can comprehend.

I love you all. Have a great week.

Eldste Witt