Oslo Norway Mission, Called to Serve

Oslo Norway Mission, Called to Serve

Friday, October 28, 2016

October 24 - Arendal

Hey family! 

Thanks for all your love and support. This week we went to Stavanger! 

On Tuesday, we took a bus to Kristiansand and then took the train with the rest of the district to Stavanger. It is about a 4-5 hour trip from Arendal to Stavanger. Stavanger is one of the big cities on the west coast of Norway. It has been raining so much in Arendal it was nice to go to Stavanger to see some sun. On Wednesday we had the conference. It was really good. The zone leaders focused on how we can help our investigators progress by commitments. focusing first on our personal preparation and then on our invitations. They asked us to reflect on our "whys" Why we are a missionary. Why you have a testimony Why you love the gospel. Because people don't buy what you do they buy why you do it. After the conference we took a train back to Kristiansand stayed the night there and then took a bus early to Arendal on Thursday.

On Thursday, we met with some Jehova's Witness who contacted us the week before. It actually went great! They shared with us some things they believe and then we shared with them some things we believed and they asked us questions and we were able to ask them some questions. I'm grateful we were able to meet because it helped me understand them better. Even though we have different beliefs it was cool to build on common ground and gain understanding. After that we went to area to knock on doors and try some try backs and then we visited a member who lived in the area.

On Friday, we visited a less active couple in the branch. They have some challenges in their life and it is always so neat to visit them because they love having us there. They treat us as if we are angels. They are some of the best people and are working to make changes in their lives. Then we took a bus to Eydehavn and tried back some potentials. Many many weeks ago we knocked on the door of a woman and had a great conversation with her and gave her a plan of salvation pamphlet. She told us we could come back and talk about it and so We have tried and tried back but she hasn't been home. This time she was home and we had another really great conversation and gave her a restoration pamphlet and she invited us back again. Then we visited -- and --. They invited us in again and this time we taught them the restoration. -- isn't so interested and just likes to be apart of the conversation. Gerd is interested but in just learning about our beliefs. She told us again that she won't become mormon but that we are always welcome for a visit. However last time she expressed some doubts she has and so we are hoping to make our lesson more personal next time and see how it goes.

On Saturday, we visited -- and it went good! His wife is totally interested in what we have to say and joined in this time. After that we went to --. It was another good lesson with Judy and she is keeping her commitments so we will see what happens. Sadly, -- canceled her appointment we had with her on Saturday because of a job she had. but we have one this upcoming week so we will keep our fingers crossed. 

On Sunday, I gave a talk in Church. I based it on Elder Hollands talk Lord I believe. It is one of my favorites on overcoming doubts and strengthening our faith. after church the branch president invited us over for dinner. We created a spreadsheet so that we can track the less active work in the branch. should be good.

Anyway love you all. I know the church is true. Sister Cheryl Esplin said "It is the love of god and neighbor that gives meaning to life"

Have a good week!

Elder Witt

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

October 17 - Arendal

Hey everyone! I hope you are all doing well. Thank you for your love and support! It was another exciting week in the Arendal area. 

On Tuesday, we had district meeting in Kristiansand. This time the meeting was divided into 2 sections. 1) relying on the spirit and then 2) asking questions and using the scriptures in teaching. We had time to share with each other experiences we've had where we have felt the Lord's direction in our life. It was cool to hear other's stories. I know the Savior leads His church and His work on the earth. After that we tried by some potentials, went banking and visited --!

On Wednesday, we went to the tax office in the morning to check Elder Hadley into the city and while Elder Hadley was filling out forms and stuff I was sitting by this guy from Africa. He was super nice and had lived in Norway for a while so he spoke good Norwegian. We talked for a while and then he asked about me and my stay in Norway and then we talked about the gospel for like 30 minutes! He had been apart of a church and then left it because he didn't think it was right and so he joined another one. I told him about the book of mormon and we're going to meet in about a week to give him one in his other language. Later in the day we went to Eydehavn to bank a little and also visit -- and -- again. They are the older couple that let us in last week. We knocked on their door and they let us right in again. We ended up talking about the plan of salvation because she had many questions. They are really really nice and so friendly to us. Hopefully something can come of it. They are very skeptik. 

Thursday was a learning day for me. I woke up feeling like,  today I want to focus on serving and so in my prayer I asked for opportunities to serve. We had an appointment in the morning that canceled so we had some time in the city. We were just walking around talking to people when we noticed this woman who was working at this chocolate shop caring in large bags of chocolate to the store. We went over and asked her if we could help and she said yes. So we spent like 10 minutes caring these bags of chocolate for her from outside into the shop. After we were done she insisted on giving us some chocolate as a thank you. Part of me was like yeah why not, that would be good. Fresh chocolate is good haha. but my companion was like no thanks we just wanted to do some service and so we left and afterwards I just had the warmest feeling! Sometimes we never know what our small acts of kindness will do for others but that isn't the issue. Service that comes from the heart doesn't need to know the results or accomplishments one makes. Service from the heart is rewarded with the priceless gift of love of our savior that fills all gaps. So we left and continued with our day. We ended up visiting another member and he told us about a a little yard work he would be doing and we offered our help. Finally he accepted and he invited us to come help and to have dinner with him. And so from the day we were able to find many little opportunities of service. I know that as we look for opportunities and pray for opportunities we will get them. We can be on the Lord's errand.

Friday, we visited a less active couple in the branch. We had been trying for months to get an appointment with them and finally did. It was awesome and they want us to come more often. They also came to church on Sunday which was sweet! Later in the day we visited the member form yesterday and did some service! and we finished the night knocking on doors!

On Saturday, we had a lesson with Judy. and it was awesome! best lesson we have had with her. It boosted both Elder Hadley and I to try to make all of our lessons more like that and more effective. Also just a little follow up from last week...The guy that came to our street stand we have an appoinntment with him this thursday. And also another exciting news.. we were contacted by this american who is a Jehova's witness who talks with the missionaries in arendal maybe a year or two ago and she wanted to learn more about our church so she invited us over to meet with her and her husband! Sweeeeet. 

Sunday, we had church. Now one last cool miracle story. Several several weeks ago we had a lesson with a woman named --. She is from Romania. The lesson was really cool and she expressed to us the desire to make a new chapter in her life and how she thought the book of mormon could be a new start for her. Anyway for weeks and weeks we tried to get an appointment with her and it would either cancel or we would lose contact BUT. After our lesson with -- we knocked on her door and she answered. She told us that -- invited her to church and that she was coming. So the next day at church she came with --! It was testimony meeting and it was very powerful. Some members had just barely gotten back from the Stockholm temple. 

That was a huge blessing and miracle. Judy our investigator brought another investigator to church and made all the arangments. It was perfect!

My thought of the week comes from President Howard w. Hunters lesson Walking the Savior's path of charity. It was the lesson for priesthood and we were asked to teach it. President hunter says that Loving others is “a more excellent way.” Charity never faileth! when in doubt be kind, loving and genuine in all we do. 

Hope you have a great week! We are going to stavanger tomorrow for a zone meeting. Love you all!

Elder Witt

October 10 - Arendal

Hey family and friends!

Thanks for your love and support! To start off I want to share a quote off a sign I saw while we were out knocking on doors. It says"

Tenk positive tanker
Si positive ord
Gjør positive handlinger
Og det positive gror.

It was a good week here in Arendal. We were able to have many neat experiences! On Tuesday, we had district meeting down in Kristiansand. District meeting is split into 2 parts. There is a doctrine part and a skills part. The doctrine was on the doctrine of christ: teaching repentance and baptizing converts and the skills part was on listening and teaching to needs. Listening is super important and one of my old companions shared with me a quote i have liked. It is paraphrased as: One of the biggest communication problems of today is that we listen to reply rather than to understand. After district meeting we stopped in Grimstad and did a little street contacting there and then visited -- and -- who are two less active members.

On Wednesday, we went to the police station so I could renew my visa, and then we went and did service for a contact we have. We go over every other week or so to mow her lawn and do some yard work. She is preparing to sell her house. Then we finishing the day by going tracting!

On Thursday, we met with -- and --. It didn't go too well. They looked up quite a bit of anti church material and just tried to convince us the whole time that we are wrong. We are going to meet one more time and invite them to read the book of mormon but we will most likely be dropping them. It was a little disappointing. After that, -- sent us a text and asked if we had some time to go help him again with some service. We rode our bikes to our house and helped him. I really like --. We watched meet the mormons with him and his wife on Monday and it went well. He doesn't believe in God and is very skeptic but  he asks good questions and we have good conversations. He is super nice and we'll continue to pray it goes somewhere :) after that we visited a member who we've started teaching the missionary lessons to. 

Friday, was an experimental zone wide finding day. It's purpose was to experiment in finding and trying new things that we've never done to find people and make it fun. It turned out to be a big success. The elders in Bergen took the church's ping pong table to the city square and got games going. If they won they could teach the person a short message. Here in Arendal, we did a street stand and it turned out to go better than I'd thought. we had a couple people come up and talk to us. One was this man who investigated for about 2 years ago. He came up to us and asked some questions and then said I'll think about it and come back to the stand later in the day. He never ended up coming back so we didn't think to much of it. Then the next day, we were out in the city and were in this area of the city where we usually don't contact. and then all of a sudden we see this man and we stop him and it turns out to be the same guy that came to the street stand. It was a miracle. We talked to him more and he expressed his desire to quit smoking and we told him we have a little program we could work with him and he said yes and gave us his number freely without asking. I'm grateful for the Lord's guidance in finding this man. Later in this experimental finding day we were out knocking on doors. and we took with us all sorts of different materials. We trind handing out dvds, pamphlets and such. We decided to knock on doors in this certain area where we had a try back potential who was Lithuanian. We had a Lithuanian book of mormon and pamphlets. We knocked on her door and she was busy so we gave her the book of mormon and left. We continued banking on doors in the area and met another Lithuanian. we talked and gave him the pamphlets in Lithuanian and he loved them and was excited to read something in his language. We are going to visit him again.  It was another miracle that we so happen had with us the pamphlets in that language. 

On Saturday the next day we had another exciting story. We were knocking on doors and an older couple answered the door. They were extremely nice and friendly and we talked about their faith on their door step for a little bit and then asked if we could share a message about the book of mormon and they let us in! We sat down and talked with them and they gave us apple cake and soda and it was super awesome! they accepted the book of mormon and said we could come back! 

This weekend was stake conference in Drammen and so we watched that. It was good! I'm grateful for the gospel. It is the greatest news we could ever hear. I'm grateful for general conference. For me often the ideals presented and challenges given to us members can be big and intimidating. But As Elder Holland so testified 6 months ago that we get credit for trying. Success in gospel living comes as we strive to do the will of the father. Simply put much of that is simply improvement. We don't need to be perfect but if we set small goals we can improve and then act in faith knowing that we are on the right path and repentance is the key to getting back on the path. I love you all! Thanks for your support!

Elder Witt

Saturday, October 8, 2016

October 3 - Arendal

Hey friends and family!

Thank you for your love and support! I'm so grateful it was general conference this last weekend. I love hearing from the prophet and other leaders of the church. It is indeed a spiritual feast full of instruction on how we can better apply the doctrine of Christ in our life and follow the principles of the gospel. 

It was another good week in Arendal. It was transfers this week so I said goodbye to Eldste Dial and said hello to Eldste Hadley. Eldste Hadley is from Las Vegas. He is a really friendly guy. He has served in Drammen and Bergen. He has a good heart and I'm looking forward to the experiences we will have! On Tuesday, we visited several different members before transfers. One visit was the legend -- and his wife. -- is an older man who worked as a captain for large cargo ships. He has traveled all over the world for his work and he is a great example to us all. He is amazing and comes to church every week in his walker and slowly one step at a time climbs the flight of stairs to the church. He also has a special handshake to great all the members and missionaries. He touches the hearts of all the members here. You never know how much good you do. On Tuesday night the elders from skien drove down and picked up elder dial so I took a bus to Kristiansand to stay the night down there with them until Elder Hadley's plane arrived the next day.

After Elder Hadley and I arrived back in Arendal, we visited a less active member. In the last Zone Conference President Hill challenged us to begin involving the members more by going in their homes and teaching them the missionary lesson. It was a great reminder and I'm excited to start doing it more. After the appointment we went banking in the area and actually got a couple houses that said we could come back which was good!

On Thursday, we had district meeting with the district. this transfer of district meetings is on teaching skills. After that we met with --. She is from Brazil and is a former investigator. We also met with -- again! His friend didn't come this time but it was a great meeting. Meetings with -- remind me of meeting with -- and -- when I was in Tromsø. -- had done a lot of research on the church but this time instead of trying to prove us wrong he sincerely wanted to find out if it is right. I'm excited to see where it goes. 

On Friday, we visited -- and did some service for him. We helped him move a bunch of tiles for his roof. It was good to be there with him and develop a stronger relationship. Him and his wife invited us over for dinner tonight and we will be watching meet the mormons with them. We also met with a man named --. He is from the middle east and brought with him 3 of his friends. We introduced our message and gave them a Book of Mormon in Arabic and then they shared with us some of their beliefs. It was a neat experience. He wanted so strongly to build on common beliefs and we talked a lot about peace and understanding each other. 

On Saturday, it was conference! Because of the time difference we went banking in the afternoon until it was time to watch conference. We had conference shown at the church Saturday at 6pm , Sunday at 11 am, 2 pm and 6 pm. We still haven't seen the Sunday afternoon session but Elder Hadley and I are going to watch that today. 

I loved all the different talks. There were great talks on Prayer, the Book of Mormon, the plan of salvation, repentance, God's love and mercy. As we all strive to live the gospel, become disciples, and be more like the savior it is important to remember to not compare ourselves to others. We cannot let thoughts of discouragement stop us from trying. Remember that God loves us. It isn't a love that justifies laziness or sin but it is love that will lift us, change us and transform us if we are willing to improve and try. We are all at different points in our path of life. God just wants us to move in the right direction, which is towards him. I know that he loves us. I hope you have a great week!

Love, Eldste Witt