Oslo Norway Mission, Called to Serve

Oslo Norway Mission, Called to Serve

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

November 14 - Romerike

Hey everyone!

It was a successful first week here in Romerike! I'm already loving it here and looking forward to being here. 
So I took a plane from Kristiansand to  Oslo wednesday morning and then took a train from oslo to Lillestrøm. And when I got off the train we went straight to work. On Wednesday and thursday I was in a trio with Elders Gurr and Carver. They are just amazing people and it was a lot of fun. After dropping off my bags at home we drove straight to an investigators house. His name is -- and started investigating a month or two ago. He is an older Norwegian man who is struggling. He told us how he loves our visits and can feel the goodness and the spirit but when we leave he can't manage to keep his commitments. He has a good heart so we are going to keep working with him and see how we can help him with his commitments :) Then we went straight from his house to a recent Convert --. -- is amazing. Her story is incredible. After several coindences, miracles, she was led to the church and was baptized on the fourth of july this last summer. She went from an atheist preaching atheism to a member of the church. Her influence has seriously changed the heart of this ward and the members. 

Thursday morning we went over to a members house to prep for a highschool presentation we were going to give. That is why Elder Gurr stayed the extra day in romerike before he was transfered. In the highschools here in Norway for one of their class options is a world religions class. And so one of the members here got us signed up at this highschool. The way the presentation is layed out is actually really cool. It starts off with a few basic facts and statistics of the church and then there is a video. The video is off a member interviewing random people on the main street in Oslo. Very similar to the beginning of Meet the mormons. She asks these people what they have heard of mormons and other questions. And so many of the basic misconceptions and other beliefs come out such as the word of wisdom and law of chastity. Then the presentation goes into the WHY. Why do 15 million members do the things we do. It is because of "Lykke" which means happiness. So then we explain the plan of salvation, including the restoration very short. and then it is opened for questions. The presentation went great! Good honest questions were asked. The member with us is also a really good presenter which helped. And so after that we dropped elder Gurr at the airport. 

On Friday we had district meeting and then we had a lot of planning, shopping and cleaning we needed to do 

On Saturday, we visited a member for lunch. He lives in the middle of nowhere in the woods haha which was awesome. Later in the day we went to a town to try back a potential. We knocked on his door and he was just about to have a party with a bunch of family and friends for dinner but he invited us in anyway. He is from Eritrea in Africa and invited us to try some aritreisk food! It was really different food. You eat with your hands. It was like a spongy pancake that you eat with meat purrees with spicy sauces. They were super nice and we were able talk to quite a bit of people. We got his phone number and he said we can come back again. 

On Sunday, we had church and it was the primary program! The children did a great job and it was a special meeting. It was first time I've had official 3 hour church for over a year which was weird. The branches that I served in usually only went for 2 hours. And then in the evening we had a big open house at the church.  We worked with the Oslo missionaries in planning it. It's focus was on new converts and their conversion stories and we hoped to get all the investigators and members there we could. It turned out to be a success. One of our investigators sofie marie brought 2 friends who are both now interested. The oslo missioanreis also invited several members from oslo and investigators.

The work here in Romerike is way different than my other areas. Because the area is so large and we have a big ward we do a lot of visiting. Lillestrøm does not have a big down town city so street contacting isn't very effective and so what we are encouraged to do is plan formers, less actives and members, and then just visit people throughout the week and then find on the way. so find while you are walking, taking trains and busses and so on and then tracting in the areas you visit that day. We share a car with sisters so we switch with them often. 

I'm looking forward to being here. There comes a point in one's life where they must decide for themselves what they want in their lives starting with the basic question. Do they want to believe in God? That is what happen to me. Even though I grew up a member I still had to decide whether I wanted this in mylife and so I did what everyone must do. I searched. I started going to seminary to learn for myself, I started praying and reading the scriptures, I went to church searching. And sure enough I found the answers. I was surrounded by hundreds of people who had lived the miracle of the savior in their life. I had seen brothers and family go on missions and return changed. We can see the evidence of God's light in our daily lives and in the lives of those around us. I know it is true and real. God is real and I know that his light is real. 

Have a good week. love you all :)

Elder Witt

Monday, November 7, 2016

November 7 - Arendal

Hey everyone! 

Thank you for your love and support. It was transfer call this last week and I received the assignment to be a zone leader.  I'm moving to Romerike.  The city is Lillestrøm. It is very close to Oslo. I'll be companions with Elder Carver. I'm super nervous but also really excited! Romerike is one of Norway's biggest wards which will be a lot different than all the branches I've served in. Elder Carver is a really really good guy and It will be awesome to work with him. 

Because it is transfers I don't have very much time to email but here are some highlights of the week. 

On monday, our ward mission leader had a halloween party at their house. It was an open house and they invited some members, neighbors and friends to come. We were able to meet several new people. One in particular was this young couple from Great Britain. It rained and snowed a TON this weekend. And on Sunday this couple from Great britain had flooding in their house and a lot of shoveling to do so our ward mission leader's family invited us to come with them to help them.. A tractor ended up coming to move the snow and so they didn't need our help but we were able to go in and meet the whole family and leave a spiritual thought and a Book of Mormon for them. It was really awesome!

We were also able to meet with -- and -- this week and went over the plan of salvation with thme. This quote from Elder Oaks I believe summarizes -- and -- situation very well. 

"We need to remember “that people learn when they’re ready to learn, not when we’re ready to teach them.” What we are interested in, like the important additional doctrinal teachings in the restored Church, usually isn’t what others are interested in. Others typically want the results of the doctrine, not the doctrine. As they observe or experience the effects of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives, they feel the Spirit and begin to be interested in the doctrine. They may also be interested when they are seeking more happiness,closeness to God, or a better understanding of the purpose of life" 

They both aren't religious but as we have visited them and done service for them they see how our faith makes us happy. They expressed in this last visit how they are envious of us. They envy the joy, the purpose, and the church community that we have. So as we try to share the gospel with those around us remember that it is not always the doctrine that sparks interest at first. The majority of people are interested in the fruits of the gospel. Strong families, increased purpose and satisfaction in life and increased happieness and hope. A great way to share the gospel with those around you is just to bare your testimony and explain the WHY. Why you are a member and why you do the things you do. 

We weren't able to meet with -- . She got a job this last week and has been busy. But after we taught Judy this week we knocked on her door and she was super upbeat and happy and we were able to give her the next pamphlet for the next lesson which will be good!

Also, this weeek the zone leaders from Stavanger came on splits. It was a lot of fun. They came Wednesday night and were with us all day thursday. We all did service in the morning for some members and then I went with Elder Steed to go try with -- and --. They were busy so we went banking and were able to talk to several  great people! 

My thought for the week is that Christ's Atonement is continuous. Jesus taught "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which isin heaven is perfect.” Perfection is the goal. We are here to learn and grow and we will continue to learn and grow after we die. Because of that Christ's antonement is continuous. and will be there to continually help us as we continually strive to be better. Christ's atoning sacrafice and love for us will continually lift us, heal us, change us, comfort us for as long as the process to perfection takes. I testify that God and Jesus Christ will NEVER give up on you so don't give up on yourself. Their love is a perfect love, a love that can change us. 

I love you all.

Elder Witt

October 31 - Arendal

Hey everyone! Happy Halloween! Hope you have a good week and get to eat lots of candy! Thanks for your love and support. 

Halloween has not always been a traditional holiday in Norway but over the years it has adopted it from the states. Every year more and more people celebrate halloween and it is not uncommon to see trick or treaters. Other good news is that the weather has been much better and the sun is finally out! We have been enjoying that. 

It was a slower week but a good one nonetheless. On Tuesday we were finally able to meet with --! She is so awesome. Several weeks ago she came to church. She told us that as she sat down in Relief society and sacrament meeting all of her stress, troubles and challenges just went away and she felt good the whole time. And she told us that she feels that as she meets with us to. definitely a tender mercy! We taught her the plan of Salvation. On Wednesday, -- needed some more help so we did some service for him. We watched the Hope of God's light. One of my favorite mormon messages. It teaches us several points. That God's light is real and can illuminate our lives but it takes an act of faith to immerse ourselves in His light. On Wednesday we also had dinner with -- and --, a less active couple were working with. On Thursday, we had district meeting. This week it was on guiding our investigators through the repentance process by giving commitments. As missionaries our call is to teach repentance and baptize converts. Repentance is change. The word repentance in Norwegian is Omvendelse which literally means to turn around. When we repent we make changes in our lives that turn us towards God. It is a blessing. So by giving commitments we invite people to make changes to help them repent. After district meeting we tried visiting a youth in the branch from the Phillipines. His family isn't active and he is the only young men in the branch so we're going to try to befriend him and see where it goes! He was super nice and let us right in. Then one of the greatest people I know invited us over to dinner. She is a member here and she lives the message of the gospel and is always a burst of energy and happiness and always there to lend a hand and serve. On Friday, we went early to the university to see if there would be people to talk to. In the past we usually go to the university in the afternoon and we noticed we started seeing the same people. Unfortunately I think the morning is a little to early because there wasn't anyone out and so instead we walked Grimstad to contact. Also on Friday, some members took us out to dinner which was super nice of them! The members are just so good! One beautiful thing about the gospel is that where ever you are in the world the church is the same. That night we took a bus to Kristiansand for splits! Saturday I was in Kristiansand on splits. We spent most of the time finding and actually were able to talk to a couple really nice people! Then we had dinner with some of the new convert members who are also the YSA in the ward and then we took a bus back to Arendal in the night to finish off splits. 

This upcoming Sunday is moves call so it will be interesting to see what will happen and who is moving. This week I read an article on LDS.org that really inspired me. It was titled "The Perfect Lie" The author shares several interesting and insights from her own life. The idea is that Satans lie is that "Me + More = Christlike". While Christ's truth is "Me + Christ = More" I think the key is that we put our confidence and trust in Christ. We are all imperfect and because of that we all can be better and we all have a lot of work to do. Christ takes broken things and people and makes them whole. We don't have to become something before we can be healed or before we can have Christ's help in our life. He will take us where we are now and transform us into something better. We just have to be willing to make sacrifices and put in work. I find it helpful to remember who we are and where we came from. We are glorious sons and daughters of almighty God. Him who knows all things. he knows what will make you happy and what will make your life meaningful. We can give ourselves to Christ by yielding to the enticings of the holy spirit and by being willing to sacrifice your will to his.   I'm so grateful to be here and to be having the experiences I'm having and learning that I'm learning. I know this work is true!!!

Have a good week. Love you all! 

Elder Witt