Oslo Norway Mission, Called to Serve

Oslo Norway Mission, Called to Serve

Monday, December 28, 2015

Tønsberg, Norway - 15th Week in Norway

Hey Family!

It was so good to talk with all of you on Christmas. I'm sure grateful for all of you and love you very much! 

Christmas in Norway was great. I loved spending Christmas Eve with the ---s. They are so generous and good. I've eaten a lot of traditional Norwegian Christmas food this last week. We had Ribbe , pinne kjøtt, Jule pølser, ris grøt, ris krem, and many others. Some of the foods are unusual but I love trying new things. 

After we finished skyping on Christmas, the ---s made us some trout, vegetables and potatoes. The fish in Norway is really fresh and tasty. 

On Saturday, we gave our apartment a nice deep clean in the morning, made another batch of sugar cookies and then delivered them to some members in the afternoon. In the evening we went over to --- and --- and watched meet the Mormons with them. --- loved the movie! She is really opening up and it is amazing to watch how the Gospel of Jesus Christ changes lives and makes people happy and want to be better. --- has a cold and wasn't feeling to well. We are still trying to figure out how we can have him open up. Good news though! They all came to church on Sunday which was fabulous! They are doing well. Saturday was the 2nd day of Christmas.

On Sunday, after church we went to member family's for dinner. They made us lots of christmas food and we read the story in Matthew and Luke together. Sunday was the 3rd day of Christmas. I'm not sure how many days there. 

This Christmas it really dawned on me the power of giving, serving, and loving others. At our Zone Conference a week or so ago, President Hill shared stories of some of his Most memorable Christmases. Over the years he has come to a conclusion as to why certain Christmases were more memorable than others. It was when he was more focused on others than himself. He received his call to serve as mission president when he was serving as a Branch president in the MTC. After he found out he was getting released he decided to go to the talk, Character of Christ, which is shown every week at the MTC. It is from Elder Bednar. It is when we turn outside from ourselves, and put others first that we find joy and satisfaction, and ultimately we find ourselves. Christ came into the world to minister, to serve, and to do the will of The Father.  

There is a quote from the December Liahona that I really like. It is: 

"Christmas is not a day or a season, but a condition of the heart and mind. If we love our neighbors as ourselves; if in our riches we are poor in spirit and in our poverty we are rich in grace; if our charity vaunteth not itself, but suffereth long and is kind; if when our brother asks for a loaf, we give ourselves instead; if each day dawns in opportunity and sets in achievement, however small-- then everyday is Christ's day and Christmas is always near." - James Wallingford

I believe that has a lot of meaning. Each day we have a new opportunity to do something good and when we achieve that then everyday we can have the Spirit of Christmas in our hearts. It doesn't need to be a big thing but a small thing. A smile, or a kind text, or a visit. 

I know the Church is true. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ with all my heart. It is a treasure to me. I love all of you and I pray for you daily.

Have a great New Year!!

Elder Witt
"Verdens Ende"
The end of the world




Traditional Cake

Making the Sugar Cookies

Tønsberg, Norway - 14th Week in Norway

Hey Family!

Thanks for all the love and support! You are all the best and I'm so grateful for all of you. 

So the weather here has been super weird! It's been really warm averaging around 8 degrees celcius so unfortunately, I probably won't be having a white christmas. It sounds like it is snowing a lot in Utah. That is good. I guess in Norway it is common for cities along the coast to have pretty mild temperatures with no snow. If you drive an hour inland you will find snow. 

So I saw the Northern lights this last week. It was super cool and also really rare. Usually you don't see them unless you are above the article circle in the North zone. It was like a white wave in the sky, pretty spectacular. I didn't have my camera on me so I wasn't able to get a picture :(

This last week was really good. I forgot my journal at home so I don't remember everything we did so I will just tell you the highlights!

On Tuesday, we were able to teach --- again. It was a great lesson! We taught him the Plan of Salvation. He had a lot of questions and some about life after death. He kept telling us that it makes sense and at the end of the lesson he even said the prayer. Our goal was to help him understand that through prayer he could receive answers and know things are true through the power of the Holy Ghost. It was awesome! 

On Wednesday, we were invited to a Christmas Concert. There is a half American Norwegian family that we met banking and their daughters were having their Highschool Band and Orchestra and Choir Concert They invited us to attend. It was really good. The concert was in the big State Norwegian Church. They ahve these massive Churchs in just about every city. They are pretty.They also invited us over on Christmas morning for brunch but they ahve yet to let us know the time. They are a nonmember family. They are really nice. 

On Thursday, we did some street contacting and weekly planning. That night we went over to the ---'s for dinner. We shared with them a message about the Sacrament. We talked about how important it is to prepare for the Sacrament each week. We talked about how during Christmas we  remember the Saviors birth and how each week we have a special opportunity to remember our Savior's Atonement. It is interesting how we are often told to remember in the Church. We are reminded often about the importance of prayer an Scripture Study. As we remember Jesus more in our lives we are drawn closer to him. We can follow his example and strive to become more like him. 

On Friday, we visited --- and ---. They had their baby a week ago so we stopped by and dropped off some banana bread we baked. They are doing really well. We shared with them the Christmas video, En Frelser er født, or A savior is born. I love that video. It really invites the Christmas spirit. We were also able to teach a man named ---. We met him on the street one time and he gave us his email address. We are meeting with him again tomorrow. We were also able to visit ---. --- has been super busy with his work schedule. They are doing really well though. ---'s mom is visiting for Christmas. --- has such a strong desire to start coming to church again. She is also a good missionary! She asked us to show ---'s mom some mormon messages and then she invited ---'s mom to Church. They were planning on comming but weren't able to make it. But they are doing really well and I'm excited for their progress. 

On Saturday, we had a Christmas Devotional with the Telemark and East zones. It was in Oslo. It was really fun. We had zone leader training for two hours and then lunch. After lunch we had a talent Show and a short Christmas Devotional. I love President and Sister Hill. They are so full of goodness and love. It was great to be with the other missionaries and to spend time all together. After that we went banking aka knocking on doors. We drove out into the Country side to try a area we had never been before. While we were out we saw the Northern lights. They weren't super bright but definitely a sight to behold.

On Sunday, we had a Christmas Sacrament meeting. We had musical numbers mixed with Scripture reading. I sang in the Choir which was fun. There were about 8 of us. After Church we went to the Engstrøms for dinner. They are a family that lives in the Drammen ward but they come to Tønsberg to help strengthen it. It was so fun. They had their son over and his wife and some grand children. The son said that he saw the new Star wars and that it was way good. Definitely looking for to seeing it someday!

Yesterday, we had an appointment with a less active member and after that we taught ---. He is a nice man. He kept wanting us to tell him the historical background and evidence of the Book of Mormon to give him proof. We told him that a witness of the truthfulness of the book of Mormon comes from reading it and praying aobut it. We found a talk, "What is the blue print of Christs Church" by Tad R Calister that we are going to share with him. I think he will like it. It is a really good talk that explains how our Church truly is Christ's Church.  After him, we visited ---. She is so nice. We helped her set up some Christmas decorations and she also made us porridge. It is a Norwegian Christmas tradition to eat Porridge. And part of the tradition is to hide 1 almond in the porridge and whoever gets it in their bowl wins a gift. I won! The gift was a couple Traditional Norwegian Christmas books. Really excited about that. 

Anyway, Things are going well.  Norway is a beautiful Country and the people are good. They love Christmas! In Norway their main Christmas celebration is Christmas Eve. That is when they open the presents together. Christmas also last several days. It Starts on the 23 and goes for several days after Christmas. I don't know all the traditions but it is something I want to learn. 

I know the Church is true. I know Jesus is the Christ. I know God is our Father in Heaven. I know that families can be together forever. This life is a test and with that comes challenges, but every challenge is their so we can learn from it. There is a quote that I will paraphrase. Every trial, challenge, and test we face is for one reason. That is, to give us the opportunity to apply the teachings of the Gosppel of Jesus Christ. When we apply the Gospel in our life, we learn, we grow, we are happy, we are at peace, and our testimony is strengthened. The more we apply the gospel the more we are converted. It is a process. 

I'm excited to talk to you all on Christmas!!!

Have a great week! Sure love you!

Elder Witt

Monday, December 14, 2015

Tønsberg, Norway - 13th Week in Norway

Hey family! Hope you all are doing well. Thanks for the love and support. It was a good week and I truly learned so much.

On Tuesday, we visited --- and ---. They invited us over for lunch to say goodbye to Elder Mckell before he left for transfers. We shared with them the mormon message, "Earthly Father, Heavenly Father". Out of all the titles God could have chosen he asks us to call him Father. I love that so much. He is our Father in Heaven and he loves us. His love for us is powerful. It was a neat experience. --- is really beginning to open up and she is recognizing the spirit and its impact on her life.  After that we had two teaching appointments fall through unfortunately. Then we drove to Sandefjord to teach --- Norwegian. We shared Alma 34 and talked about Prayer. We can pray to our Father in Heaven whenever and He is always listening. After that we went to ---'s house and continued doing service for her. She is so strong and such a good example of positivity and being happy.

On Wednesday, we visited the --- in the morning and shared with them the new Christmas videos. After that we drove to the airport and said goodbye to Elder Mckell. Elder Orr and I drove back to Tønsberg.  We picked up Elder Stephens at the train station and then went out finding. 

On Thursday, we had district meeting with our new district. I love district meeting because it is always a time where you can learn a lot from other missionaries and then just enjoy the time where you can all be together.  We were able to visit a family from Iceland. They were on the member list but only one of the daughters is a member. It was a really nice visit. They came to church for the longest time. Throughout the whole visit they were sharing with us all these old stories of them and the missionaries. I think it brought back a lot of good memories to them. We will visit them again soon. 

On Friday, Elder Beck from Drammen came down to be with us while Elde Orr went up for companion exchanges. It was a good day. We had a couple appointments fall through so we spent most of our day finding and going through the member list visiting inactive members. I had a neat experience while we were out street contacting. Because contacting in a trio can be overwhelming on the street sometimes we split 2 and 1 and just make sure we are close by each other. This time I was the solo. I was able to talk to this guy and teach him a short lesson there on the street. I know that is wasn't me that was able to do that, but that the Norwegian Skills, and everything else are blessings from our Father in Heaven. 

On Saturday, We drove down to Sandefjord. We visited the --- family and had a really good visit with them. Then we visited the --- so they could meet Elder Stephens and then we visited --- to help teach her more Norwegian. After that we went through the member list and visited in actives for the remainder of our day.

On Sunday, we watched the First Presidency Christmas devotional at Church. It was great! After Church we visited --- and ---. We had really nice visit with them and She showed great interest in starting a primary at Church for her son. We watched several Christmas mormon messages with them and it was so good! The spirit was there. --- and --- are so awesome! They are really good people.

It was another great week here in Tønsberg. I love being a missionary and I love all the opportunities it gives to me to serve, to learn and to grow. 

I know that the scriptures are the word of God. I know that God has prepared a plan for us. It is a plan of happiness. It is the way to lasting happiness in this life and in the life to come. I know that central to this plan is our Savior, Jesus Christ. I want everyone to know that I believe in Christ. Only through Christ and his Atonement can we overcome the sting of death and the burden of sin. I'm grateful for the christmas season and that we can celebrate the birth of our Savior. I love the Gospel and I love my Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ.

Have a great week. Love you all!

This blog post is the end of Elder Witt's 18th Week on his mission in total.
He is starting his 19th week 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Tønsberg, Norway - 12th Week in Norway

Hey family! 

We did service for --- and --- this morning and then drove down to Larvik for a District P-day so I'm running short on time. We visited a beach called Mølen. Supposedly, there are ancient viking burials there. It was pretty cool.

First, I'm staying in Tønsberg! Wooo! I'm excited for that. The missionary work is picking up and I think there is a lot of potential here. Eldste Mckell is leaving and going to Haugesund. We are going to still have a trio here so Eldste Stephens is coming. He was also in my MTC group. It will be good. 

On Tuesday, we drove to Skien for district meeting. I always love going to District meeting. It is always so edifying and the other missionaries in my District are so great. In District meeting we talked about the new Christmas Initiative, A savior is born. The Church put out their new Christmas video and they want us to use it in our missionary work. I love the new film and it is something I love sharing with people. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World. He is my savior and your Savior. Many people in the world don't know or understand that they have a Father in Heaven who knows them personally, that they have a savior who died for them and did it all out of love. It truly is glad tidings of great joy. I love the Christmas season and the opportunity we have to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. We also were able to visit --- and help move some couches in her house for her. Then we finished the day street contacting and tracting. That night, Elder Hall and Beck from Drammen came down for companion exchanges the next day and Elder Orr went up to Drammen.

On Wednesday, we had companion exchanges. I was with Elder Hall. He was in my MTC group also. It was a great day. We went to the ---'s house for breakfast and we did some scripture studying with them.  After that we went street contacting and taught a new investigator ---. Elder Mckell and I met him on the street. He had talked with the missionaries before but lost contact with them. We are hoping to meet with him again this upcoming week.

On Thursday, it was just Elder Mckell and I in Tønsberg. Elder Orr had a zone leader meeting in Oslo so he was gone for the day. We spent most of our day finding and tried visiting two inactive members. One was busy and one wasn't home. It was a great day. I have absolutely loved working with Elder Mckell. He is a hard worker and so kind.

On Friday, we started the day out with some street contacting and were able to visit ---, ---, and --- in the afternoon. We shared with them the Christmas message and it went really well. Every time we meet with ---, I become more and more impressed with him. You can tell that he loves his family and he is a really funny guy. That night one of the Sisters in the branch took us to a pizza restuarant for dinner. It was way good!

On Saturday, we visited this family that is Thai and the Dad is Norwegian. Elder Orr met him on the street and for the past several weeks we have been teaching His daughter Norwegian. It is a funny story, because when Elder Orr met the Man we thought he invited us over to teach his daughters IN norwegian but when we got there he wanted us to teach his daughters Norwegian. So we have been teaching her and we gave her a Book of Mormon in Thai and in Norwegian and we have been reading a chapter together everytime we visit so we will see where it goes. After that, we went over to the ---'s. It was Sister --- birthday so they had a big party. It was fun. 

On Sunday, we had a good day at Church. An inactive member showed up and there were more people at church than usual which was great. This inactive member who came invited us over later that day to visit him. it went really well. Sunday was the last day of my 2nd transfer and so I finished my first 12 weeks. I'm no longer considered a "greenie"!

We were able to find a lot of postive potential investigators this week in our finding so I'm feeling pretty optimistic about this upcoming week. Tomorrow, our day is packed and we have two lessons planned. One with --- who we met with a week ago, and another with a potential we met on the street. 

I love all of you and I'm grateful for your love and support. I know that Jesus is the Christ. He lives. Come unto Christ, trust in him, lean on him for strength, use the Atonement, partake of His love, and I promise you feel joy and peace. I've been studying the latest General Conference and I love it! Elder Lawrence's talk, "What lack I yet" really impressed me. Part of the purpose of Earth life is to learn, grow and progress. We must always make sure that we are focused on growing spiritually every day. He says, "He [Heavenly Father] rejoices every time we take a step forward. To Him, our direction is ever more important than our speed". That is so true. We must always be faced forward, down the narrow path back to our Father in Heaven. We must press forward feasting upon the words of Christ. Righteous living is the only way to experience real joy and happiness. 

I know the Church is true. Love you all and have a great week! 

Shout out to my bro, Jeff, who is engaged! Love you man!

Elder Witt