Friday, July 26, 2013

"Courage is a kind of salavation"--Beautiful Chaos

Dear Weasley Family and Friends,
     "Courage is a kind of salvation." - Beautiful Chaos
    Well, I should probably put this out there now. This email probably won't be very long. I went hiking today and then there was a mix up with the computer situation, so my time is running short on this p-day. Man. You want a day to get away from you, just have a p-day. Hiking was a blast though. We went with the Mckenzie family! They are from Idaho Falls, Idaho and moved here for a job. They have 4 kids, their youngest is 7. She looks just like Tommye-Lynn! Its crazy. Everyone who knows her and then looks at my family pictures says the same thing. Tom Tom, you have a twin on the other side of the world!
       You know courage is a hard thing to have. I find that in the mission field it is something I am constantly frustrated with that I don't have it. Contacting on the street is tough. Can you imagine going up to people you have never met and speaking to them about God? Then of course you add in the fact that it will be in a foreign lang and that just takes it to another level. I struggle with it. I have to battle myself every time! Its annoying and I hate that I give into my fears. The thing I have learned though is that when I am courageous and I speak up, I don't feel like a failure. Does it suck that they don't listen? Of course! But the fact is that at the end of the day I can account to the Lord and know that I did everything I could to bring His children back to Him. Courage is a kind of salvation. It pushes us to make choices that we need for our happiness. Satan doesn't need to kill us to accomplish his work. All he has to do is make us stop talking. Kinda intense when you think about it that way huh? 
           Investigator wise we are having trouble. I used to think I knew what heart break was like before I came on the mish. I had had some sucky break ups or some "depression" spells, but that is nothing compared to the heart break you feel on the mish. Nothing is worse then when your investigators don't progress. Nothing is worse then you baring your heart and soul out to them and putting it all on the line and then them telling you that they "don't need the Atonement". Heart break. I can't describe what it is like to teach someone for a long time and then have them not accept it. We have a lot of those this week. I called my ZL, Elder Earl, on Wednesday and just cried on the phone. I called to ask for advice on what to do, but it ended up me just kinda losing it. Its like a knife to the heart. You come to care about these people so much, and then they just say they don't want it. They don't want salvation. Many times, you know they have felt the Spirit. You know part of them believes it, but they just won't act or accept it in their head. That is a tough feeling. I really hope this week there will be less heart break and more success. I keep telling myself that if this week wasn't the greatest then that must mean something great is coming. We "receive not witness until after the trial of (our) faith." How true is that?
              Rami and our family are the ones that aren't doing too well. Our family dropped us. We found out that one of her son's has cancer. Søster Hilton tried to get an appointment, but she just wasn't having it. I took the phone and told her about my story and bore my testimony to her about the power of the Atonement through our trials. I told her about how my mom was the one to help me so much through my sickness, and my family was the only thing that made me happy. I felt the Spirit so strongly and she was just quiet after I finished. And then, she still said no. I cried a lot that night. I felt terrible. I have been through all of that, and I couldn't help. But the Lord has testified to me that I did all I could. I bore testimony of all I should, she still has her free agency.
             Today when we were hiking, we were climbing over these wobbly rocks and I started to lose my balance. I couldn't get my footing and so I just kept tripping and stumbling closer and closer to the edge. My ZL, E. Leighton, was there and just kept saying "! Whoa! Whoa!". He didn't even stick out his hand to help! Que "I see your true colors shinning through..." I mean really! I ALMOST DIED! Thank goodness there are Angels around us. I can't tell you the number of times I should have fallen straight on my face and magically didn't. #blessedarethosewhoarepersucutedformyname
                Mom, in my box home to you from the MTC are a few letters that I would LOVE to have. Shawn's letter and then the Dear Elder from Corby that talks about fear. Seriously, I want to kick myself in the face everyday for not having them. Do you think you could send them? Or maybe just scan them and send them in a email?
                It sounds like everyone is doing well. Party in Texas!! I loved all the pictures that got sent to me!! Everyone is so cute! The 3 month picture? I want to cry its so cute! Kate, you look amazing! Seriously the cutest. He is going to be here so soon! Eeekkk!!! I am sorry that this email is so short! I want to send pics though! I love you all! I will write a MUCH better email next week! But, to give you some good news, we are teaching a girl named Terri! She is from the US and is a neuroscience student here. She is way cool! I really hope we see success with her! I will hollar at you all laters! I want lots of detailed emails next week! Love you all! 
Keep it real. Keep it classy. And may the odds be ever in your favor.
Love,
Katniss

Shout Outs:
LIns & Jord- HAPPY 2nd ANNV!!! I love you guys! Man! Hollar at making it to 2 years. #overcomingdivorcestatistics I hope that you guys get to celebrate via skype or something. Just keep loving each other. Don't stop. Que "Don't stop believing..." 

Mills- HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You can't read, but I hope you look back on this one day and remember that your Aunt Le Le, who you won't remember when I get home, remembered YOUR birthday! I was THERE when you were BORN! 

Brent & Lor- HAPPY 5th ANNV!!! 5 years. Man. That's a lot. I love your marriage! You guys are so cute! Hopefully you get to celebrate together too. I know this has been a cra cra worldwind of a summer for you guys! Eat at some nice restaurant and have some chocolate for me. #stilldietingorshouldisaypretendingtodiet


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Norway has the best strawberries

3 months baby


We had 2 birthdays this last week. For elder Earl's, I made this! It is a famous Norwegian cake! It was so good! He was way happy. I cook all the time here. I am always pulling out my recipe book. It's now like my reputation in the mission. #itcouldbeworse

THE DISTRICT! If we were a band, this would be our cover photo!

Just hiking

World War 2 bunker

Elder Leighton in my sunglasses
Tommye-Lynn's look alike in Norway! Love this little girl! I have been teaching her primary class for awhile.
#sureIllteach7yearolds

Sister POWER


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

THE IMPORTANCE OF A MAN'S BANK ACCOUNT

Dear Weasley Famliy and Friends,
     "But love wasn't about sacrifice, and it wasn't about falling short of someone's expectations. By definition, love made you better than good enough; it redefined perfection to include your traits, instead of excluding them." - Handle with Care 
      My dear siblings!! That is how every sacrament meeting is started out here in the Norge. It obvie sounds better in Norsk, but we will have to wait for that one. How is everyone doing? It sounds like summer is going well and everyone is on the move. Thank you guys for being so good about writing me. I know I don't hear from all of you every week, but hey, life is busy. I totally understand. My p-days are always crazy. I feel like I am just running around like a chicken with their head cut off. I mean really. One day a week to do everything you need. #sketch 
      Here in the land of Norge things are going well. Let me start off by telling you about our gate stand. Gate, means street. So you know how as a missionary we believe that we are entitled to all good things? I learned this week that there is a catch.... it has to be on the Lord's time. Let me just tell you about the weather this week. Well, apparently Trondheim has been warmer than usual, but this week real Trondheim summer weather set in. It is cold. Like Fall/early winter in Tejas cold. It had been pretty crappy weather all week, but I just kept praying the weather would clear up. Well it didn't. Actually it was probably the worse weather I have seen yet. It rained and it rained hard. Tons of our stuff got soaked. Our tents weren't working. And here we are, 8 missionaries going out contacting trying to get anyone to come over to our stand that will. Honestly. The things we do as missionaries here. It was crazy. We had 5 booths and guess what the only one people were interested in? Helping us paint. It was a huge hit! And is already looking so good. I am really excited. There are some parts that we are covering up with white paint and having people paint again. Some people painted stick figures...... #didntknowhowtostopit 
       My favorite part? When Elder Leighton (from Britian), the most serious Elder you can imagine, asked a group of 20 teenage girls if they could ask God one question, what would it be? What was their answer? "When are we going to meet Justin Bieber?" His face was priceless. I mean honestly I don't know what he is upset about. Bieber Fever is a real thing. It's something the whole world believes in. #justinbieberforpresident2016 
         So to me.... the day was a little bit of a bust. Everyone else was happy with it though. I do agree that for the circumstances that it went really well. I don't think I have been that cold or wet in a long time. #flashbacktoRussia But the good news is that we know that the painting is going to get a lot of people to come over. Is it wrong that we are tricking them into gospel conversation? I think not. I will send pictures to you guys as it gets more and more done. 
     "Sometimes I wish we were Muslim and prayed 5 times a day so we could just lay on the floor all the time." - Me
         So today I woke up and you know what I wanted to do? I wanted Kate, Lor, Annie, Heather, Lins, and Mom to go shopping at North East and then to get Chick filet. Man. Talk about a fatty craving. I miss girl time with you guys. Sometimes I just get this random urge to call you all up. Obvie, I can't, but I think about you all often! The other night I played Christmas music on my ipod and if I just closed my eyes I could pretend I was in my room with it lightly dimmed by the Christmas lights on outside. Christmas lights lighting your room is much better than 24/7 sun. #excessive 
          I feel like I always forget to tell you all about my investigators. Lezzzzz be honest y'all, investigators in the land of Norge are a little bit different then those of America. Like as in the number of them. Right now we are working with a few people, but we are struggling a bit to have them be real investigators. I mean read your book of mormon and pray people! This is not the time for failure! I am definitely learning to be patient and work with people. Rami is probably my problem child right now. He has so many questions! We can't keep our lessons shorter than 1 1/2 hours with him. The last lesson we had with him was about the Book of Mormon. I am so blunt with him. I just sit there and pound the pulpit. He takes it though and needs it. It is different for every investigator. I really hope that he can become more serious about the gospel and start taking some action. You can't just sit there and learn about it like a history book if you want to know if it is true. We have been fasting to find out what his real concern is and in our last lesson we finally figured it out. He told us right before he left that he is angry with God for the injustices of the world. Okay, Rami! I mean 7 lessons in you tell us! We are planning on teaching him about the Atonement. It is really difficult though because explaining the Atonement and actually feeling the Atonement are two different things. I really hope that he will understand God better and how he can let go of his anger. 
         But he really is the best. Drives me up a wall, but I love him like crazy. He is probably the funniest guy ever. He loves analogies. We were talking about finding the truth and knowing the truth and he started in on this analogy about how you can't just blindly follow something. He said, (Imagine in an Indian accent):
     "That is like a girl seeing a boy she loves and just blindly following him. She needs to find things out about him before she just loves him. She needs to know how he treats others, how he treats his mother, his character, his bank account." 
      He smiled and nodded his head on the bank account part. I died. He sounded like Aladdin. #dreamcometrue #thanksforthedatingadvice
      So miracle time. We found a family this week! They are perfect! And when I say perfect, I mean perfect. It is a Mom and two boys 7 and 13. The 7 year old is my favorite person in the whole wide world. When they came to the church he wanted to see every picture of Christ and each time he said "This is a GREAT picture of Christ!!!" Of course it was in Norwegian. So cute. They are from Lithuaina. They have lived here in Norway for 3 years. The mom knows Norwegian, but we are using a member of our ward who speaks Russian for translation next lesson. Pretty much Lithuaina used to be a part of Russia, so let's be real. These are my people. And I'm obessed. Keep them in your prayers. We really hope that we can have progress with them. They are just the cutest family. We had an amazing lesson on families and the book of mormon. The Spirit was so strong. The mom was so happy and was really just basking in that feeling. I love those moments!
       Worst fear came true this last Sunday. I got pulled out during the first hour of church and asked to give a talk for Sacrament meeting, which is the 3rd hour. Holy cow guys I don't think I have ever been more nervous! They had some people not come so they needed me to speak. I was scraping together anything I could find!!! And then translating it all! YIKES! I based my talk off of Holland's talk Saftey for the Soul. It is an amazing talk about the Book of Mormon as a defense against all that prevails us. I got up there and I just gave that talk. For the first time ever I didn't feel so weird speaking. It is funny because I only had like an hour to prepare, but I didn't say um too much. And I was able to look up in the audience. It ended up being a missionary sunday because Elder Badger talked, Søster Kitchen talked, then we all sang a song, then I talked, and then we finished it up with my main man Miran. My dream is to speak like him one day. I will have to tell you guys about him in a later email. #hesthebest 
      We sang Nearer My God to Thee in Norwegian for sacrament meeting. We did it without music and it was probably the funniest thing ever. The sisters sung the first verse, then the elders the second, and then all of us together. Well the Elders didn't all start together and then Elder Jensen got uncomfortable and started to laugh. I was dying. I was up on stage trying not to lose it. I could hardly control myself. Søster Kitchen was beside me just cracking up! Man, life as a missionary. These are the times, I tell you. 
       Well guys, I have to go do some shopping. I love you all! Sorry for the shorter email. Everyone sounds like they are doing well. Heather, I have been missing you a lot this week too. Kate, you look so cute. Mom, I love you. I can't wait for you to come to Norway. Send my love to Dad too. Everyone else, I think about you often. Every time I look at my blanket! Btw, Birget offered for me to live with her after my mission. #sketchy I wish you guys could have been with me in our lesson with her yesterday. I was dying. She is totally a crazy cat lady! But I love her. As a missionary you just love people through their craziness!
Keep it real. Keep it classy. And may the odds be ever in your favor.
Love,
Katniss 

Shout Outs:
Sarah Wood- Happy Birthday! I missed it, but I was thinking about you! I hope it was a great day!
LO- everyone reading this send LO a happy early birthday text right now. Her birthday is coming up on the 17th! Yay!!! She will be the big 2-1!!!! I love you Lo!! I hope that it's a great day!! 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

4th of July, bestemor Bergit, and baby cars!

July 4th celebration

The Hansen's house--typical table setting for dinner!!

Me, Sister Peterson, Sister Kitchen. Sister Hilton

Typical Norsk dinner

Cake!! No worries guy, I am getting the recipe!

Yummy!

Deer in the Hansen's backyard!

Driving/filling up for the first time in Norge! Sketch!

Bergit's baby car...#soconfused

Kebab place! Norge has the best Kebab's! Trondheim's are especially yummy!

Kebab!

This is what life is like with 8 missionaries in one ward!

Bergit  #bestemor


Torget, the center of town where we had our gate stand

Pretty church in the middle of Trondheim

Had to send this one for Troll lover Mom!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hurrah for Israel?

Dear Weasley Family and Friends,
    "But as always, it is the ties and bonds of love and family that keep people from saving themselves." - The Bronze Horseman 
      Sometimes people ask me what the hardest thing about missionary work is. This week I have an answer or you guys: Agency. Agency is the hardest thing to deal with out here in the field. It isn't your own agency that is difficult, its the other people's agency. It is hard to talk to the people on the street, give lessons, and bare testimony and KNOW that people were touched by the Spirit and that their souls recognize the truth, and then, sadly, watch them tell you no and walk away. I don't think I have ever, or ever will be, as heart broken as I have here in the field. You poor your whole soul out. You tell these people how their whole lives can be changed and made better and then, you wait. And most of the time the use their agency to not listen. President always tells me, "Many people will tell you no, Sister Hodgkiss, but we are looking for gold." And as missionaries we are blessed to find that gold. But here's the thing about gold, the more you have it, the more you want it. The more I see people changed by the gospel, touched by our message, and humbled, the more I want everyone to have it. I wish that I could make the decision for them all. I wish that I could just baptize them and THEN let them see what it is like. I wish they knew what they were missing, but they don't, not unless they partake of gospel.
       The quote at the beginning has never been more true to me. I see these people, and many of them want to believe or maybe even do belive, and yet they still don't accept the gospel. This isn't a small thing. This isn't pettty work. This is salvation, and we are trying to bring it to all. I often see that people don't follow up on their commitments (CPR- church, pray, read scriptures) for 2 reasons. 1. They are too scared or 2. They just don't care. Most of the time I think that it is the first one. They are held back by all these things that Satan makes them think are the most important thing. They are too scared to ask if this gospel is true because what it will mean. It will require them to change everything, and that frightens them. It might even require them to lose everything they had. Many ask is it too much? Why would God ask us to give so much, to give up everything? They focus on the question "What will I HAVE to give up for God?" instead of "What MORE Can I give up so that God can bless me MORE?" We don't sacrifice just to sacrifice. God isn't a angry God. We sacrifice so that we can be blessed from on high. No family, relationship, or thing is an exception to the rule because in the gospel all things are better. Maybe not right now, maybe not tommorrow, but in the Eternities. People become so worried about offending others that they forget to save themselves. 
         Quote of the Week:
Me: I am just obsessed with the pioneers. I LOVE them. I LOVE reading about them. Etc, etc, etc
Søs Hilton: Do you have any pioneer ancestors?
Me: No
Hilt: Have you seen 17 Miracles?
Me: No....
Hilt: YOU ARE A PIONEER LOVER POSER!
        Speaking of ancestors.... #livingthedream I found out some cool stuff this week! Everyone prepare yourself now! So here I am in a lesson with Miran #phantomofthechurch. Miran is ALWAYS here. Yesterday we walked in and he was just sitting in the back of the chapel in the dark. #sketch. But I love him! I love having lessons with the members because they just talk and my Norwegian gets SO much better as I listen and just have conversations with them. I mentioned that my anscetors were from Norway and he got all excited. He LOVES family history. He took my book and got on and looked up all the information of Carl and Astrid. He even got me Carl's address where he used to live! Can you believe that?! I am going to go visit and then take a picture. Actually... I'm thinking about bonking in that area and then asking people if I can come in and look around. I mean why not right? Got to use everything you can to get into houses!! I will send that picture ASAP to you guys so you can see it. What history do we know about Carl? I don't know very much. He used to be a sports shop keeper. He was the guy behind the desk that people would come in and give their lists to and he would go get all the items for them. Crazy right? But anything we know about him, I would love to know. I don't know if I mentioned this before, but Carl is from Trondheim. It is way cool to be living in the same city your great-grandfather lived in. I know he is helping the work progress! 
       Mom- can you send me the information on the relatives that we have in Norway still? I would love to go visit them! Also, go read the talk "Dear are the sheep that have wandered" in the June Liahona. It is bomb! 
       This week Elder Jensen and Elder Badger found a family to teach. You guys! This doesn't happen! But they made a goal at the start of this transfer. They decided the exact characteristics of the family that they wanted to teach. They wanted a Mom and a Dad, 2 older boys, and 1 younger girl. They have been bonking so much trying to find a family that would be open to the gospel. Yesterday, they met that family. A mom and a dad, 2 older boys, and one younger girl. The older boy had had many questions about religion and the topics we discuss in the 1st and 2nd lesson was exactly what he wanted to hear. They now have a family! Miracles are happening! Because of their sucess, Søster Hilton and I have decided that we want to find a family. We haven't set specifics yet, but we are going to. Please keep us in your prayers! It would be an amazing experience. We don't get the chance to teach many families often here. 
         Everyone go read "A God of Miracles" in the July Liahona. It will change your life. And watch "Hastening the Work". Its a 2 hour broadcast that was worldwide for everyone about missionary work. It said that missionaries are only there to help the members do their own missionary work. They said that they want missionaries to be so busy with members and their non-member friends that they won't have time to contact of bonk. WHAT?! I can't even imagine that! And..... drum roll please.... in the next year we are going to be getting Facebooks, and blogs, and I think ipads!! The church knows that just street contacting or bonking isn't working anymore and now we need to update our technology. I really hope we have ipads. We could show Mormon messages on the street! We could have pictures and words from prophets! It would be amazing! Keep your fingers crossed! 
         Also, I want to give a big shout out to Jen Nucklos! Her talk "Truths and LIes" is making its way around Norway! Yep! It is a big hit here. I have used it in 2 lessons in the last week. I read it at leasts 2 times a week in personal study and refer to it countless times a week. A few weeks ago I was talking to Søster Hilton about something I was struggling with and she pulled out a talk for me to read. I read the author and I turned to her and I said "That awkward moment when this is by my cousin...." Søster Hilton flipped! She LOVES that talk and she wants to meet Jen. I told her all about Jen and how awesome she is! I even showed her Jen's picture in my family history book. Søster Hilton was speachless. She got the talk from another Sister here in Norway. It is spreading! I thought that it would make Jen happy to know that her talk is changing people in Norway. I love the ring effect in life! Nothing we do just effects us! 
         Congrats to Jeff and Shira on their little boy! He is so cute! Thanks for the picture mom. I am so happy to hear that everything went well with the birth. And Aunt Karen is a Grandma now or a Bestemor as we call it here in Norge. That is just so great! I wish them all the best!! 
        What's the news with Kel and Sarah? Pics? Where they will be heading? Still keeping my fingers crossed for Norway! 
         Katie. You are going to be beat. No joke. Send me pictures!
         Saturday night is a #sketchy time to go contacting. Everyone is out drinking so you have to be careful. We were talking to people and we saw a guy. You know sometimes it feels like a waste of time to go contacting, but this night something really speacial happened. Søster Hilton found her husband. Yes. She found him in all his drunkedness glory. At first we just thought he was a nice guy, but all the sudden I was having flash backs from Russia because the alchoal smell was so strong! He told Søster Hilton that we would come to church if she was going to be there and then they could get married. But! He told her she had to forget about all this religion stuff otherwise it just wasn't going to work. I think that Søster Hilton is still weighing her options carefully. You know, you just never know when and where you are going to meet prince charming. Sadly though, he didn't come to church. Hey, don't be so judgy, we're missionaries! We will take anyone! 
         So you know if someone would have told me everything I woudl be doing right now a year ago I would have laughed in their face. I don't think I have ever been so out of my comfort zone in my entire life. And you know what the crazy part is? I have forgotten it is out of my comfort zone and now its just real life. We started doing street signs here in Trondheim. And its kinda gotten crazy. We don't just have some lame table, oh no, we go all out. For our weekly one we have copies of Book of Mormons in tons of languages and all this cool stuff and.... we sing. Yep. That's right. I am in Norway singing on the streets of Trondheim. #thisisreallife People are way receptive. They come and listen to us sing and we have all the Elders swoop in and talk to them about religion and stuff. Tons of fun conversations! Street signs are the best! I started talking to people alone, which I never do, and it actually went pretty well. There was this one guy that just would not believe that I had only been in Norway for a month. Seriously, it was flattering for like a total of 2 seconds and then I was just annoyed. I'm like SIR. I AM NOT LYING! #peoplethesedays He was also the same man that when I told him that I know God is there he said "You do not KNOW you HOPE He is there" Oh sir. Good luck. Then when I let him talk and ramble for a second and started to talk he told me he didn't have time. Obvie you had time to stop and chat for 3 years, but now that I want to chat you don't? #overit 
         This Saturday we are doing something really special. We are having pretty much a Mormon fair. Okay so this is how it all started. We have been thinking about ways that we can get more people to talk to us, but not be so intimidating. For some reason, Russia popped into my head. In one of the cities that we visited they did this cool thing. They had these huge white eggs and were letting people paint them. They gave out paint and let people decorate them with a theme. So many people helped out. There were families and kids and people that were really good at art. We even helped out. While we painted we talked to them about why they were doing it and about the city. When we finished they were going to move the eggs to all over the city for display. The thought occured to me that if they did it, why couldn't we? So the plan was born. After much converstation we decided that that was exactly what we needed. It gave us 1. A community project and 2. An easy way to talk to people about our faith in a non intimidating way. 
        So this is how it is going down. We have a huge canvas that is blank. It is 5 ft X 7ft, and we are going to have people come up and help us paint the Tree of Life picture by Greg Olsen. We of course won't be coping it directly, but we will recreate the story in a painting. To be able to paint people have to come up to us and get paint and a paint brush. When they ask what we are painting we tell them that we are painting a story and we tell them the story of the tree of life in simple terms. What does this do? This brings the Spirit, and helps the people see us as normal people. Everyone will want to paint just like they did in Russia. They don't have to hear a lesson or even talk to us about the Church, they just have to listen to the simple story and then they can paint. Anyone can do it! Kids and artist! We are going to have multiple pictures of paintings done of the Tree of Life so that people can get a vision. It is going to be awesome! While we paint we will be able to discuss the gospel and what we do here as missionaries. Then we can tell them how this story is found in the Book or Mormon and ask if they would like to hear more. The options are limitless! But we don't only have this painting. 
    We also have 5 booths, Book of Mormon, Family History, Mormon.org, Servie, and feedback. We are getting the whole ward to be involved to help us. At each booth we will have unique things. At the family history station people will be able to look up their families on the spot and can sign up to come to a class. They also can write letters to their families and we will send them. Also we will talk about family home evenings and things we can do with our families to be better. At the Mormon.org one we will have a huge flat screen tv that is playing Mormon Messages and I'm A Mormon videos. At the Service one people can write down things that they need done or need help with and we will help or assign members to help them. The feedback station is cool because people can give us reviews and can also fill out their information if they want to be visited by the missionaries. Guys. I am stocked. I don't know if this has ever been done before here in Norway, but we are putting SO much time and energy into this. We have 1/4 of the downtown cicle area. It's HUGE! And we have a stage so we are going to be singing and having Elder Leighton play the guitar. This is a BIG event! Please oh please pray that it goes well and we have a lot of success from it. I really think its going to be great!
     You know my toe nail that fell off in Russia? I'm pretty sure its going to fall off again. #ash. ash= gross in Norwegian
     For the 4th of July we all had dinner together! We have hot dogs and Søster Hilton and I made this apple crisp delite. The Elders have now began to put orders in for things they want us to make. So funny. Mom, you talked about an Elder that records things and also has a hard drive. That's Elder Jensen, basically Jordan's twin. They are so much alike! It kills me. We are currently in a scare war. I try to hide every time he comes in the church, but he has gotten really good at finding out where I am. I must pray harder about this.... He is so funny though. Seriously sometimes I can't look at him he is so much like Jordan. So great. But yeah he has this HUGE hard drive that he got from the states. He just loads everything on there. He has movies in Norwegian from members, music, pics, recordings, everything. And he records conversations all the time. Like you will be telling him a story and BAM! Its recorded. #iwishicouldhithim But yeah, way cool thing. Obvs. I'm here now, so idk what to do about that. But yeah, it works for him.
     Birthday= tampons. Tampys are weird here. Not a fan. Also Clinique makeup. That eye stuff you use to make your eye make up stay on? The tint I have is canvas. Lotion. The powder that is like the bare minerals that you turn to make it come out? Lightest shade? I don't know. Make up these days. Every time I think about not doing my hair or make up I think about Corby telling me to just give in when I feel the ugliness coming on. NEVER!!!!!!!!! 
     You guys all look like you are having a blast this summer. I loved the video! I cried when I watched it. It was a good cry though. Jordan! You are my hero! That outfit for the 4th? LIFE CHANGING! Lins, you looked so cute. You guys are such hipsters. Gavin and Bry and Tom and Heston are so cute! Heston is huge! He tots looks like one of my favorite celebs. Oh man! You guys asked about the food, so yesterday at a meal with a member I took pictures! Just you wait! Also, here in Norway we are asked to do everything. For example yesterday.... 1 set of elders taught sunday school the other set translated for the English speakers. Søs Pet. and Søs Kit. taught primary and Søs Hilt and I taught young mens. Then for RS Søs Kit translated everything that was said in English into Norwegian and I translated everything that was said in Norwegian into English because we had a English teacher and everyone was up in arms about that. I get so much translating practice at Church! Its crazy how much I have already learned! 
      I have loved hearing from all that I have heard from. Shout out to getting a bunch of mail this week: The Dick Family, Em, Sister Jones, and Andrew!!! It was a great week! You will all be getting mail back! Don't know how long it will take though! 
       Mom and dad, thanks for all you do! I love you! It is always so good to hear from dad. He always tells me about Shadow, which non of the rest of you hoodlums do. Tisk, tisk. I am grateful for all the love and the support!!! It makes being out here easier! 
      Oh man, I have to share one last story. So last week I was talking to my ZL, Elder Earl, who is the bomb, about how I was feeling. I was frustrated and annoyed with the lang and the mission life. He was telling me how it gets better, and I told him that I was sick of everyone saying that! Well when we did the street sign last Sat. we were contacting together and talking in between. He told me to ask Elder Badger about how depressing his journal entries were for the first 6 months. I asked Elder Badger and this is what he quoted to me "Today I realized that there are more people that hate me than there are that like me. Today I realized how difficult of a person I am to live with. Why am I here? This is a waste of time!" I died guys. Died laughing. Not because it's funny, but because that's what ALL of our journal entries sound like from the beginning. I was told that until about month 6 you kinda hate mission life. Elder Earl is the bomb though. He seriously is the best missionary. He can tell me exactly the page number of where everything is in the White Handbook and PMG. Seriously. My hero. He tries to help so much and I just loved that he was like look I hated it, but I'm awesome now. Of course he would never say that out loud though! The missionaries here are great! 
       Well that's all for now guys! I will send some pictures later! I love you all! 
Love,
Søster Hodgkiss