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!