Oslo Norway Mission, Called to Serve

Oslo Norway Mission, Called to Serve

Thursday, September 29, 2016

September 26 - Arendal

Hey everyone!

Thanks for all your love and support! It was moves call on Sunday and I found out that I will be staying in Arendal however I will be getting a new companion. I will miss working with Elder Dial. He has been a great companion and we've done well together but it is time for him to go bless another area! My new companion is going to be Elder Hadley, he has been in the field almost a year and I'm excited to be with him! 

It was a great last week of the transfer. On Tuesday, I stayed down in Kristiansand after district meeting to go on splits with Elder Hall. He was in the same MTC group as me so it was fun to be with him. We also had a really successful day which was awesome. We were out on the street to contact people and the first guy we talked to turned out to be a christian college student interested in the book of mormon and so now the elders down there have contact with him. After that we were just walking around and 2 other college students stopped us and asked if we could be apart of a project they were doing and they interviewed us and asked questions about our beliefs and our experience in Norway. It was first official time I've been interviewed in Norway with a big camera and microphone. It was cool! After that we went and met with one of their investigators. And to finish out the day we were out banking and it was getting time to catch the bus but we had decided to do one more house and so we hurried and knocked on the last house and it was a woman who was interested in the book of Mormon and we gave her one! it always turns out to be the last house haha but it was sweet. 

On Wednesday, we spent the day in Grimstad finding. We went to the university and talked with people around there and also knocked on doors!

Thursday was a busy day. We met with our ward mission leader to finish some last minute plans for the baptism. Then we went with -- to a members house and had a lesson about the blessings of being a member and it turned into a small testimony meeting. Then we went to the Library and met with -- again, and then we visited Judy and had a lesson with her, and because -- lives right next to the beach where -- was baptized we spent some time to go scope it out and then we finishing knocking on some doors! 

On Friday, we went back to Grimstad to continue finding down there. I had to check into the city at the tax office and we finished some things with the baptism program. 

On Saturday, -- was baptized!!! It turned out to be a fabulous day! The sun came out right as she walked into the water. There were a lot of people at the baptism, including most of her family which was awesome. --, our investigator came and had a good time. We had another investigator that was planning on coming but she couldn't at the last minute. It was too bad. And on Sunday, she was confirmed by Elder Dial and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. It turned out to be a wonderful weekend. :)

As for some of our other investigators. -- had to cancel this week because of work. -- -- also canceled on us because she was sick and -- and -- come back from Fredrikstad today and we have an appointment with them on Thursday. So we should be meeting with all of them again this week. 

I'm excited this weekend for general conference! I love conference because it is a source of spiritual strength and direction in our life. I know that President Monson is a prophet. As we follow the counsel of the leaders of the church we will be safely guided through today's trials. 

Love you all!!

Eldste Witt

Friday, September 23, 2016

September 19 - Arendal

Hey everyone! 

Thanks for all your love and support. I pray for your safety and happiness and hope everything is going well. Trust in God and draw near unto him and everything will work out! It was another great week! A lot of things are happening and the work is moving forward. 

First, -- is getting baptized this week on Saturday! We went with her down to Kristiansand on Friday for her baptismal interview with a zone leader. Everything went well and so now we are just finishing up plans for her baptism. Since we don't have a baptismal font, It is going to be at a beach on a fjord in a town called Fevik. We are really excited. It is a beautiful area. It is very close to where --, -- and -- live so we are hoping it will help get more of our investigators there. A lot of members have said they are coming. 

This week we were also able to meet with --. We rode our bikes to his house and he let us in. He told us that he was talking with his mom the other day and when he was just a baby, the missionaries would visit his mom. He is a really friendly and nice guy and open to talk. We mainly focused on talking about families and that God is our Heavenly Father and the book of mormon. He believes in a higher energy but isn't sure what or who God is. This next time we are going to watch meet the mormons with him. 

We also met with two new investigators, -- and --. We met -- on the bus about 3 weeks ago and finally got an appointment with him. We ended up meeting with him and his friend two days this week both on Wednesday and Thursday. They are both in their 20's, newly religious and very passionate about their beliefs. They are going out of town this week but we gave them both book of mormons and will be meeting when they come back. 

Another new person we were able to meet with is --, he was a former investigator who got busy and lost contact. We met him in the library and talked about the Book of Mormon. He is active in his own congregation but is open to try reading. 

So a lot of new exciting things have started happening and so we will see where it goes. I'm optimistic. We also had a really cool experience while out tracting on Saturday. We knocked into the house of this woman and her family. We had a long conversation on her door step about the plan of salvation and the hope we can find in God. She was interested in our message but was hesitant in meeting with us so thankfully we had a plan of salvation pamphlet that she gladly accepted and said she would read it. We asked her if we could come back and follow up on if she read and she said of course. It was a really great conversation and I know the spirit was there. I'm really excited on trying back with her in a week. Right after that we had another cool experience. This week in District meeting we were talking about finding and one of the members of the district said that his trainer (he was an AP that recently went home) went tracting he would always use Family History as a conversation starter for older people. So as we approached this house on Saturday, there was an elderly couple outside and so my thought process was was, "District meeting, elderly people, family history, go fight win!"  We tell the man that we are out to talk with people about family history work and his answer, "You are talking with the right man, come on in boys" Yesssss, jackpock! Family history for the win! He invited us in and we ended up talking with him about family history and the church for about a half hour. He said he has been doing family history for 11 years and uses the churches family search program often. We explained a little about the WHY we do family history and he thought it was interesting. He told us if we are ever in the area that we can come back and say hi. It was a testimony builder to me of the promptings of the spirit and taught me more about how the spirit works. The spirit didn't just say in my head, "It's the spirit, talk about family history work," It could have done that but that is more rare than common. Instead it brought back to my memory the experience I had in district meeting, where one missionary would approach elderly with family history, and gave me the idea to do the same. That is why feasting upon the word, and treasuring up the word is so important. The spirit commonly brings things to our remembrance and so we need to have a source where the spirit can do that. 

I love you all and am grateful for your love support and prayers. I know Heavenly lives and loves us. We are his children. Jesus is our Savior and redeemer. Have a great week!

Elder Witt

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

September 12 - Arendal

Hey everyone!

It was another great week here in Southern Norway. We were able to learn a lot at zone conference, and had many other neat experiences. Life is good and I'm grateful to be here in Norway. It is crazy to think that we are almost half way done with the month of September. Fall is in on its way.  

On Tuesday, after studies in the morning we took a bus to tried back this potential we had. she said we could come on Tuesdays and Thursdays but no one is home to we will keep trying. After that we grabbed all our stuff and walked to the train station and took a 5 hour train to Stavanger! Woo! It was fun to be with our district and also see the beautiful scenery. 

On Wednesday, we had the conference. It was on working with members and also teaching skills. It was focused on gaining the members trust, and working with the ward mission leader. Both good things to know. President Hill shared with us a training video from Elder Bednar. Elder Bednar shared the idea of serving the  "one"s in our wards, branches, communities. That the work of God goes forth by ones. We are all individuals and children of God. We can carry forth the work by looking for the "one" around us who needs a little extra encouragement today. We can find those ones who are searching for the truth. And then it works like a chain reaction. They will then go forth to bless the lives of those around them. The other half was focused on teaching skills. president explained that effective missionaries have 4 things.  1) faith 2) obedience 3) work hard 4) skills and so he has made a big push for the mission to focus on our district meetings, companionship studies and make sure we are practicing and developing skills. I think it is a great idea. After the conference Wednesday night we went on splits with the zone leaders. I went out tracting with Elder Steed and we knocked on the door of this really cool man. As we were talking with him you could tell he was having an inside battle. You could tell deep down he is searching for something in life. We kept talking to him and gave him a plan of salvation pamphlet which he gladly took and said we could come back in a week after he had read it. It was awesome and I really hope things work out for him.

On Thursday, we continued splits with the zone leaders. We went street contacting in the city and met this other cool guy who works as a chef at a nearby restaurant. We then took a train in the after noon back to Kristiansand where we switched to a bus and went to Arendal. On the bus we saw --, our really cool friend with the many dogs. We had a good chat with him and he asked us some more questions. We have an appointment with him this week on Wednesday.

On Friday, we went to the university to contact. Going to the university has proved successful. The majority of people stop to talk to us and are willing to listen. After that we did some planning for the next week and made a ton of appointments with all of our potentials from last week. It is awesome. This week is looking just wonderful. 

On Saturday, we met with our investigator --, who is getting baptized in two weeks! Just a little background on that. She met the missionaries about 2 years ago and has been meeting with them on and off since. When I first arrived to Arendal she was meeting with the Kristiansand sisters but we would occasionally meet with her when she was in Arendal. Anyway, she wants to be baptized and she wants to be baptized in Arendal, because she will be moving here soon, and it is where she has gone to church the most. (she lives in a city halfway between Kristiansand and Arendal) She is awesome, and bore her testimony in church last fast and testimony meeting. 

Now a word for the wise. Wear your helmets. We were biking home from our appointment with her when I made a really stupid mistake. We were biking down a hill and I clutched the left brake which stops the front tire and flew over my handlebars. I'm okay, and survived thanks to my helmet. Also thank you for your prayers :)

But heres the best for last! We were able to meet with -- neighbor from Romania. Wow, is it a miracle. She explained to us the trials she has been having, and how much she wants to change her life and it was the sweetest experience to testify to her that Jesus Christ, her savior, could heal her. We met with her and she accepted the invitation to read the book of mormon and we will be meeting with her again on Friday.  Also later Saturday, night we had a devotional broadcasted from Oslo. President Uchtdorf did a question answer with the saints in Oslo. He is a good man. 

President Uchtdorf's main message was to be a disciple. Don't be afraid to share your beliefs with others. He also said, Keep the commandments, and trust in the lord. I know the church is true. This is his work and I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet. 

Have a great week, 

Love you all

Elder Witt

Monday, September 5, 2016

September 5 - Arendal

Hey Family! 

So we went to the zoo this morning with our district and so I don't have a ton of time today to email so I will give you the highlights. I'll be sure to send a lot of pictures instead. It was an awesome week!! Just incredible. There are some great things happening and I'm grateful to be apart of it. 

I'm loving and loving Arendal more each day. I'm starting to get to know and meet more of the members which is nice. We were able to have many great member dinners. We will be going to Stavanger this week for zone conference. We take a five-hour train ride on Tuesday, we will have the conference on Wednesday, and then after the conference we will be doing splits with the zone leaders on Thursday and come back Thursday night. The zone conference is going to be on Member work which will be helpful. It will be a big trip but I'm excited. I've also heard the train ride is gorgeous :) Also, other exciting news, President Uchtdorf is visiting Norway on Saturday!! There will be a broadcast Saturday night across Norway for us to watch. It is not often that a member of the first presidency visits Norway so we are excited. 

This week, we went on splits with the elders in Kristiansand. I was with Elder Norman in Ksand and my companion and the other missionary were in Arendal. It was a good time. We did mostly finding and were able to talk to this guy who has never heard of mormons before and was interested in our message so that's a plus!

here are some highlights of the things that happened in Arendal this week:

1) Follow up on --, the man we met on the bus last week. He gave us his address and told us to come by on Wednesday so we did. First, this guy is way cool. He has 3 or 4 massive huskies. Every day he hooks them up to his push-scooter and they pull him around on the road. Second, we met his wife and she was super nice! They were on their way to the dentist so we weren't able to meet with him but we got an appointment with them next week. 

2) We were visiting -- this week and while we were leaving her neighbors who live below her in the same house were outside. (-- referred us to them and we gave them a book of mormon about two weeks ago) As we were leaving the mom said thanks for the book of mormon and said she read in it and wants to learn more about our church and meet. She also said that she wants to bring her sister and her daughter to church with her. Awesome!

3) We were leaving the library one day and a former investigator stopped us saying she wants to meet again! sounds good to us

4) We met this week with another woman . She is a young mother and is very best friends with a recent convert from the Romerike ward. The story about her and her friend is a long but great story. In Short, the both submitted themselves on mormon.org as referrals for the missionaries and as a result 1 of them was baptized but, the other one got busy and is still investigating. The missionaries here have been trying for months to get an appointment with her and finally this last week we were able to meet with her and her best friend (the recent convert) who was visiting Arendal for the weekend. 

We went to the zoo today and it was a lot of fun. We saw them feed the Lions and also the "Norwegian wilderness predators" There were wolves, foxes, wolverines, and lynxes. We had a lot of fun watching the monkeys. They were joking with each other and swinging all over the ropes. It was a high quality zoo.

I've studied a lot this week on the topic of hope. Hope is an anchor of the soul and can sustain us through good times and bad times. I've come to learn that hope is trust and an expression of Confidence. It is trusting in the Lord and his promises to you. When we have hope we can believe that everything will work out, always, if our desires and actions are in line with Savior and his teachings. And with all other attributes, Hope is a gift of God and comes through prayer and experience. As we live the gospel and strive to apply hope i our life, we can developed it and it will be anchor for us. I know the church is true. I love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Witt

August 29 - Arendal

Hey everyone!

Thanks for all your love and support. It was a great first week in Arendal. We had many neat experiences and there is potential here in the Area. definitely good things to come! :) 

Here in Arendal, we take buses quite often, at least twice a day whether to a members house, or to investigators, or to areas to go tracting.  And what I've come to learn is that talking to people on the bus tends to be some of the most effective finding but unfortunately that is also one of my weaknesses. And so that is my goal for my time here in Arendal to use the busses. And it proved to be successful this week!

On Tuesday, we had district meeting in Kristiansand.  The meeting was on "Establishing the church in our areas."Kristiansand is considered to be "the Bahamas of Norway". There is a lot of vegetation in the south and it is way humid! After district meeting we went to the university in Grimstad. Our ward mission leader suggested that we try proselytting in Grimstad where the university is because there are a lot of young  adults there and the younger generation are the most open. So we did and he was right. We had many good conversations there but unfortunately we didn't have a lot of time. After that we visited a member named --. He is older man who can't make it to church because of health. He loves the missionaries and is a recent convert with a great conversion story. I'll share it another week.

On Wednesday, we met with --, the woman from Taiwan we met last week. We taught her about the history of the church and she is amazed by Mormons and their lifestyle. She isn't interested investigating the church but she was really nice nonetheless. While we were out on the street we saw a member and called her name and she waved us down and told us to come because she bought pizza and soda for us. So we went and visited with her. Then we visited --, one of our investigators. She is the one who has been investigating for a long time and We decided to try something new and taught her about family history work and temples. It went well. 

Thursday was awesome! Just a great day. We went to the -- house to do service. they are a member family and after that we took a bus back to Arendal. We barely made the bus and had to run to catch it. We sat down and there was a college student next to us. Elder Dial and I were talking and asked her what the Norwegian expression for "that was close" was and she told us and we ended up talking a bit when another man came and sat down by us. We ended up asking them how do you say mustache in Norwegian and they laughed and answered and then the man says, "I didn't know there were mormons in Norway" and then we ended up talking with him for the rest of the bus ride maybe 20 minutes and taught him a lesson there! He gave us his number and address and said we could visit him on Wednesday. After we had shared our message he told us he had something to show us and it was pictures of his young baby that he had just barely got printed. It was awesome. You could tell his family means a lot to him and I really hope this goes well. But the day gets better. We visit Leila, a member in the branch, and then --, who is another member but inactive, and on the bus back, we are just sitting down and we wave at this guy on the bus and he stands up and comes down and talks to us. He told us that he just recently began being religious and had never heard of the book of mormon before. We got his number and are hoping to meet with him too. 

Friday and saturday were a little slower, but still good nonethe less. we had dinner with a member. It was salmon and absolutely amazing! and also spent a lot of time contacting and trying back formers and potentials and also did weekly planning.

Church was also really good on Sunday. I played piano for sacrament meeting and also for choir practice. They really appreciated that. Anyways I hope and pray that we can start getting some things going here in Arendal. I had confidence that it will work out. I love you all and love the gospel. 

My spiritual thougth this week comes from district meeting. There were a coupel ideas on establishing the church that stood out to me and that is we establish the church in our areas by "1) fulfilling our purpose as missionaries and 2)helping members fulfill their purpose as member-missionaries. There is a quote from President benson that I like.

“We must share the gospel with others. That is our responsibility—every member a missionary. That is the call of prophets of God. …… Member-missionary work is one of the great keys to the individual growth of our members. It is my conviction that member-missionary work will raise the spirituality in any ward where applied” 

(Teachings of EzraTaft Benson, 208–9).

This principle can apply to all of us even if we are not full time missionaries. I would say that we build those around us by 1) finding, devoloping and using our talents to bless God's children and those around us. You never know how much good you do, or the effects of one smile or one friendly conversation with a stranger. We can all be apart of the building of the kingdom of God. And I know we will be blessed immensely for our efforts. 

Love you all and I hope you have a fantastic week!
The church is true!

Elder Witt