Dear Weasley Family and Friends,
Today on the bus I heard I'll wait for you and Just Give Me A Reason. Ask me if I sang out loud to it? Hollar at your Søster, of course I did! #livingthedream
"But it's true. What do they call it these days- no pain, no gain? Same concept. You do the easy thing, the appealing thing, the peaceful thing, mostly it turns out sour in the end. But if you take the hard path- ah, that's how you reep the sweet rewards. Duty, sacrifice. They mean something." - Heros of Olympus: The son of Neptune
Okay I'm just going to come out and say it. I don't understand Norsk!!!!!!!!! #norskordie Okay that's a lie. I understand a lot. Sometimes. But when people start going really fast, I just kinda look around and think to myself "Is this real life?"....... You're joking right? How about when they look directly at me and ask me a question and I just keep starring at them because I don't understand? How about when we sat with an "investigator" for an hour and a half and she was just spouting off anti stuff the whole time, and we walk out and my compy comps are all annoyed and frustrated, and I'm like #livingthedream because I didn't understand a thing that was said. See guys, this is real life. I've gotten really good at smiling and nodding. Basically it's a good thing I'm so pretty. #blessings
So this last week was good. SO MUCH better than that first week! Honestly, it probably sucks to read, but you guys know how I am. I just say it how it is. I am not head over heels in love with it all yet, but I'm getting there. I know it will come! No one tells you about this part before you leave. I guess they don't want you to get freaked out and decide to not go or something..... idk. But it is a part of a mission for some of us. If you are learning a lang. it is only harder. It's hard not knowing what is going on more than 60% of the time. Honestly. The youth at church always laugh at me because I just stare at their mouths trying to like telepathically understand them, but they don't get it. This is how it is for me. I have thousands of flash cards in my head. They have grammer principals on them and words and the translations. As they talk, my head is going through every flashcard and trying to match what they are saying up with what I know so far. It's like a game!!! I didn't even know my brain could work so fast before I came on a mission! But, yeah. Sometimes its fun because you match up all the cards right, and other times its awkward because they just asked you a question and they are just starring at you waiting for an response. #areyoutalkingtome
The good news is that Norsk is a cute language. Here are some of my favorite phrases they use here:
Vær så god (vare so goo) - they use it for everything! The direct translation is be so good, but the way they say it is so cute! When you are waiting to do something, like eat, they will tell you to start by using this phrase. Or it means you're welcome. Or it means... well Idk. My thought process is over use it because honestly its just adorbs.
Takk skal du ha!- This translates to thanks shall you have. But you just say it really fast all together. So it sounds something like this - takskaldooha! It is precious.
Koselig (cushly)- This translates to cozy. Oh man this one is used ALL the time. I had no idea so many things were cozy before I came to Norway. I mean I guess I just don't use cozy that often in English. Well that's changed. Let me tell you!
Anyways- So I have a favorite family here. Okay well not a favorite because seriously my ward is Bomb, but this family is pretty great. The Isaksens family is the best! I LOVE them! Brother Isaksen uses anways all the time. Like he is talking in full norwegian and then he will be like anyways... and then go on to full norwegian. Cracks me up! The mix of the english-norsk is so funny here!
Quotes of the week!
In a lesson with one of our "investigators" who isn't really an investigator. But anywho, he LOVES the Bible, is a bit older, and didn't quite understand we weren't catholic until like our 3rd meeting. #sofunny #lovehim
Søster Landry (to me in English): ......pause...... (no response so she turns to me)
Søster Hodgkiss, can you tell Androwes what happens when we don't listen to the prophets on the earth?
Me (in Norwegian): When the people don't listen to the prophets, they are taken from the earth.
and then I turned to søster Thurgood and whispered, Testify!
Søster Thurgood: When the people don't listen to the prophets, they are taken from the earth.
Søster Landry: Yeah....so.... um..... Like they said...
When we finally got out of this lesson, I almost died. Poor Søster Landry! We try so hard, but fail so miserably! Cracks us up!!! Also at the end we asked Androwes to say the prayer. We all closed our eyes and folded our arms and sat there..... and sat there..... and sat there.... After about a minute I opened my eyes. Everyone had their eyes closed except Søster Thurgood. Guess who made eye contact and started laughing? Yep. Us. Then we sat there for another minute of silence and then Androwes loudly said "Horde på meg" which is basically a really gramatically bad way of saying, listen to me. Thank you Androwes for the silent prayer you gave. #lifeisawkward
You guys. Being a missionary is strange. You know what I use most often? My watch. Are we on time? Should we be praying? Is this lesson going too long? Is her testimony going to long? Can we leave now? How fast can I put makeup on today? 10 minute nap? Who knew a watch would be so handy!
Norwegians have like everything. EVERYTHING. Except the gospel, and an Norwegian to English picture dictionary. So I have made it a habit to just #firstwordproblems So when ever someone says to me "Nei takk" which basically means no thanks I just think well #firstworldproblems. I mean come on! These people are rich and good looking! Life is tough. And this is one of those times. There are people that are prepared though! I know it! I have to believe it, otherwise I'm just pointless here. But one of those people that are prepared are Alex. I contacted him! Go me! #hatecontacting But he is a doctor here and knows Norsk, English, and Spanish. He is from Spain. We teach him in English because he really likes it. We taught him for the first time last wednesday. We told him about all these beginning teaching things and were talking about how he has to pray to find an answer. He cut us off right there and said "Yes, yes. But first I MUST read this book right here and then pray to know that it is true." He had pointed to the Book of Mormon. We were like YES!!!!! Yes! Read it! No one ever wants to read the Book of Mormon! He is the best! He only had one real question...... "What does your church think about nice things?" Which resulted in Søster Thurgood and I talking about all the nice things we have and like. #squirrel Alex is the best! I am excited to see how things go with him. I will keep you guys updated!
Did I tell you guys about the first full day I was here? We went to this familys house and they are TALKERS! Man the wife talked for about 30 minutes before she realized teamThurgood and I didn't have an idea what she was saying! But she is great. At the end of the dinner they asked me to pray. Man I thought I was going to throw up. But you know what? I did it. I said a crappy prayer finished with an amen and then.... they started clapping. Never had anyone clap for me after a prayer, but I think I like it!
Biskop Top is the best bishop ever. Man this ward is the best ward ever. I wanted to talk about that for a bit. Don't forget your role as a ward member and what you can bring to a missionaries life. Being out on a mish is hard! Esp. if you are far away. The ward and the Bishop is a safe haven. #lovethatmovie #bestkissoftheyear They are what I hold on to when things suck. Because everyone may hate me on the street and not want to talk to me, but the ward loves me. They don't care I can't speak and they don't stress over my errors. They help me with the language and they push me. Biskop Top likes to put me on the spot. I think he has caught on to I'm the quiet one in lessons, and is trying to bring me out. At our open house on Thursday he asked me to tell about my experience with cancer and how my testimony of the plan of salvation helped me. I thought I was going to be sick! Man! But I got up there and I bore my testimony and I brought the Spirit. Hook. Line. Sinker. Done. He also likes to get me to pray as much as possible! It is hard and sometimes I am so annoyed by it, but I get it now. It's because he loves me and wants to give me the opprotunity to grow and learn. I can't learn if I don't speak, and its so much easier to not speak. But each time I get a little more confidence that "Oh that's right, I do get a little bit of this language!"
Me: Søster Landry, what are you doing????
Søster Landry: ......licking my wart......
ST and Me: um..........
Søster Landry gives me two taps if she needs me to bare a testimony in lessons. Yeah..... this is real life. People like to name their kids American names here and then pronouce them some weirdy way. #getyourownnames I got shin splints and decided to ice them. I didn't put a towel on it and you know how my body hates me. Well after the skin was all frozen I massaged my legs with the ice. Guess who got like 6 huge blisters on my shin? This girl. They filled up with fluid and I drain them and they fill back up. #cutthosesuckersopen They are getting better though. Not a cute leg at this point. The Isaksens live out of town a ways and I'm pretty sure its my dream life. They live by a huge lake and forest. #thisiswhereedwardlives Its gorgeous. We all just leave our windows and doors open here because its nice and cool. So pretty! Did I mention the Isaksens have 4 sons? One just got back from his mission and served with my good friend Michael #biglips in the SLC mission. Small world! #4sons. The younger one is 18 and is named Ben. He likes to make fun of my Norwegian. Thats when I start talking about Chemistry and Biology in English and sit back and laugh. #hethinksheissosmart I sit in church on Sundays now and just pray I don't get called on because I don't understand anything. One day we were running late and needed to be on the other side of the town so we sprinted..... Yeah that's right. I said sprinted. There was a huge group of guys just starring. #Iknowimnotwearingasportsbra #notmyfault #whyarewesprinting This week I was talking to my compy comps and I forgot a word in English and could only remember the Norsk word. #yes #score #dreamsdocometrueifyouworkhardenough
Pretty much we are working our tails off. We are trying hard to find people and we are working a ton with the members! There is so much that goes into it all! I mean come on people! Just come to us! But I know its going to be worth it! We will start seeing some real progress here! I hope that all is going well back at home! Some of you *cough cough* haven't written. But you know... whatever.... I love you and I am thankful for your support! I couldn't be doing what I'm doing without you guys! Keep it real. Keep it classy. And may the odds be ever in your favor.
Daniel- I will literally beat you if you don''t write me and tell me how being home is. No joke.
Heather & Shawn- HAPPY 10TH ANNV!!!! You guys are the best! Keep on loving!
Bry- I'm sorry baby girl! But you cast is so cute! All your friends will have to sign it!
Summer is here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!