Monday, August 19, 2013

STAYING TRONDHEIM!!!!!!!!!!



Dear Weasley Family and Friends,
  "It is more important to not shrink than to survive." -Elder Maxwell
      Family!!! Millie took her first steps! Are we all freaking out about this? I feel we should. I died when I saw the video! She is so cute and so big! When did this happen? I can't even tell you how happy I was to see that you sent me that video, and that you thought of me. I feel so lucky to have a family like you guys. You include me in everything!!! I never feel left out! I am just so excited! The family is getting so old and presh. #cantgetoverthis 
       Also, Dad sent me a RAD email. This week I made it a goal to try to bring RAD back. I don't know how it's going though.... it's a hard one. I'll keep working though. Seriously though, I wish you were all on missions so that you could get Dad's good sweet emails. He just talked about Mom and how much he loves her. I have to marry someone like him. Man, we are lucky. We have amazing parents. The more I teach people the more I realize how lucky we are to have a family like ours. #lovethis
         So transfer calls were yesterday. Oh man guys, I was sick to my stomach! I had no idea what was going to happen. I knew that the moves call was going to be HUGE, but I didn't know where I would be going. I really had zero desire to leave. At 730 am yesterday we all got on a conference call. Can you imagine a conference call with 100 teenagers dying to know where they are going? It's like opening your mission call all over again. They do it by zones, and I am in the North Zone, so I knew if I stayed I would have to survive 3 other zones. Søster Hilton and I both survived. WE'RE STILL COMPANIONS!!!!!!!!! I about died when I heard we were still together. I LOVE Søster Hilton. She is amazing, and honestly just like an extension of my brain. We are very different, but so similar too. She reminds me a lot of Heather actually. When we are together with our district we just die laughing because it really is like we are in our own world. We have so many inside jokes and we just pick up on all these little things that everyone does and we just laugh. I think everyone probably thinks we are crazy, but Søster Hilton and I love to laugh. She can do these accents that seriously change my life. Man, I am so happy we are staying together here in Trondheim! We have so many cool things going on here, and we plan to have 3 baptisms this transfer! It is going to be AMAZING! 
         Some crazy things are going on in the mish. 64% of our mission has been here 6 months or less. We are a YOUNG mission. With these new missionaries coming in on Thursday, President really changed things up. So usually we have a companionship of Zone Leaders, then another companionship where one is District leader and then the other is just junior companion. This helps to share all the responsibilities, but because we are so young we are switching things up. We are one of the first missions to do this. Now, our Zone leaders will be split up in two different championships. So Elder Leighton and Elder Jones are our Zone Leaders now, but they will be in separate companionship's. They both will be training 2 brand new missionaries. And Elder Jones will also be our district leader. Kinda crazy! Lot's of responsibility on everyone. Elder Jones is my hero though, so he will be perfect for it. We are getting 3 new greenies to the district. Søster Knapp is training a girl from Norway. She was in my ward in Skien, so that will be cool to see her again. My lang will be way better because we will just speak Norsk all the time with her here. I don't know the 2 new elders we are getting, but I am sure it's going to be great. I can't believe I'm not the baby of the mission any more!!! How have I already been here 3 months?!
              Quotes and Funny Story Break! 
   Talking to a member in church. He is 83 and just very old. He likes to speak to us in English. He was talking about missionary work and how we need to be better. Good stuff, just a little on the long side. He pointed to the left and said "I really wish that he could come and tell us how to do it." I looked to where he was pointing and saw Brother McKenzie (amazing American family). i said "Brother McKenzie?" I was thinking, if you want him to, we can just ask him, but then the member said, "No, him." and pointed again. I looked to where he was pointing and saw that it was actually a picture of Jesus Christ.... and then I said "OOOOH, JESUS CHRIST!" But somehow in between the awkwardness and the misunderstanding it just came out really loudly and exasperated. And everyone around me looked at me. I died. I tried really hard to silence my laugh. You guys, for real I laugh so much on the mish. Even when contacting people. Life is just awkward as a mish. 
     Yesterday, Søster Hilton and I were trying to explain to Elder Jones a metaphor that we like to use when talking about the Holy Ghost, and Jonesy just wasn't getting it. We kept talking and talking and finally he said "I don't get the point of this conversation." I died. I just looked at him. #boyswillbeboys 
                    Back to Real Life!     
         This week I had some surreal moments. You know as a missionary we sometimes just have to do things because you are a missionary. When I first got to the field I hated it, but I always told myself this is your calling so better shape up. It was really hard for me to step out of my comfort zone, but I would just do things over and over again, and over time it got better. This last week I really realized how comfortable I have gotten with all those things that I hated. I will give a few examples. So, this happens a lot in lessons, but I will be sitting there talking and all the sudden I realized that I am having full conversations in another language. What? How this happen? And then they start speaking and I can understand everything that they say? It's crazy guys. Probably because I don't understand how I know anything that I know. I don't even remember learning most of the stuff that I have learned. It's insane! 
          Another story that I still kinda don't believe is one that happened on Friday. We had our painting gate sing and were just out talking to people about the Tree of Life and the Book of Mormon. It was a down time and so Elder Jones and I were talking and out of the corner of my eye I saw this group of 8 black guys walking on the other side of the street. In the middle of Elder Jones talking to me I say really quick "I have to go talk to them." and in a split second I ran over to the other side of the street and contacted them. I started out in Norsk, but then I learned that they have come for school and have only been here for 2 weeks. They were from Ghana. They all introduced themselves to me and told me about how there are tons of Mormons where they are from. I was about half way through the conversation when I all the sudden realized what just happened. I would have NEVER done that 6 months ago, and all the sudden I was standing in front of 8 random men from Ghana. I was just like WOAH. It was a sweet contact. They were busy, so I wasn't able to get any of their information, but I am sure I will see them again! 
              The last story takes place on Friday night. We had volleyball and Søster Hilton and I were in charge of the Spiritual thought. We stood up in front of the group and gave the thought. Do you guys know that before my mission I hated praying or reading the scriptures in front of people. It just made me super uncomfortable. All the sudden I'm doing all these things and I don't even give them a second thought. I really feel blessed to have so much help to accomplish what I must do everyday as a missionary.
              I am way pumped about the mission president speaking at Stake Conference. You guys, are more than ready to do missionary work. I wish that the members of wards realized how important their part is to us. How much they make a difference. In Hastening the Work, a missionary broadcast about a month ago, they said that the only reason that missionaries are actually there is to help the members share the gospel. They shouldn't be bonking or contacting. They should have their schedules filled with appointments from the members friends and families. Wouldn't it be great if that was the way that missionary work was? I know when I get referrals from members I am just in shock. You mean you want me to teach your friends? You mean I can actually spend an hour teaching instead of bonking and having people tell me that don't want to hear anything I have to say? Wow. You guys play an important role! Make small goals and work towards them. You have talents and gifts you are unaware of. Every time that I get nervous or worried before I contact someone I think about how it matters to one. Everyone could say no, but if one says yes and they get baptized and they get to make all the convents with God that are required to return to him, then doesn't that make all the difference? It might not matter to the million, but it will matter to the one. So, get fired up! You guys can do it! If they say no, then they weren't prepared anyways, and no one wants unprepared people! :) 
      We have some exciting things coming up in the next bit. On the 26th, next Monday, everyone from the West and North Zone is flying in for Monday and Tuesday. Elder Kearon, of the 70?, is coming to visit our mission. We are dividing the mission in two and having and having the West Zone and North Zone meet in Trondheim and have a conference, and then the East Zone and Telemark Zone meet in Oslo and have their own conference. This means that about 35 missionaries will be coming here to stay over. We will have like 16 sisters all in our apartment!!! Its going to be a blast!!! There will probably be about 40 missionaries all together and we get to spend all pday together. We are going to be outside and play tons of games and just tour Trondheim. I GET TO SEE MCARTHUR AND GUSTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so excited! It is not often that we get together like this as a mission. So happy! After pday is over we will all go on splits and go contacting and bonking. This is going to be crazy! We are going to get so many contacts for Trondheim that night. Trondheim won't even know what hit them. 40 missionaries all out ready to get numbers and appointments. It's going to be RAD! (how do we feel about the RAD thing)
            Kate, I really am praying for you. Nixon needs to get on this. I mean come on! I think about it all week and think that this is going to be the week, and then I get on and nothing.... I bet he is going to come this next week! You need to send me another picture! I am thinking about you and praying that everything goes perfectly. I pray for all of you in everything that you are trying to do and accomplish. I know that the Lord will bless all of you! 
             Yesterday, I was sitting in Relief Society taking notes, I dated the top of my paper and realized that it was that day 7 years ago that I was told that I had cancer. I didn't feel the sadness or the emptiness like I did that day, as I looked back and thought of the events that seemed like they happened a short time ago. It isn't something that I will ever be able to forget. It pressed on my memories often like a soft brush of the hand, but on this day I let myself get lost in my memories.
                I remember sitting in the small clinic with Dr. Lee listening to him explain to me what acute lymphoblastic leukemia was. I was only 14, and my future already seemed to be closing around me. It's funny how quickly one sentence can shatter all your dreams and hopes. It's funny how words shape us as people. I had clung to the words healthy, strong, and hopeful. Those words had been replaced with phrases and terms I could not grasp. Cancer, cells, bald, and sickness jumped out at me and stuck to me as my new labels. I could not see past that day or even that hour. I felt the world had stopped and darkness was creeping in. All I could do was blindly walk forward following the distant voices of my parents, family, and my doctors.
          Now, seven years later I look back with gratitude and awe. I vividly remember my first spinal tap where my nurse, Liz, told me that soon I would be finishing my treatment and wondering where the 2 1/2 years went. I found that to be true and even truer for the next 5 years after treatment. 
        As a missionary, I see things I have never seen before. As I strive to remain close to the Lord, I feel my view of myself change. I can see just a sliver of what the Lord sees in me. I remember thinking "Why me" when I was diagnosed. I am sure my parent asked the same question multiple times, as they watched me struggle to hold my head up. Today, as I sit here, I ask the same question again, but with a little different connotation. "Why me? Why have I been so blessed?" On that day, I could not see what I see now. I could not see how Heavenly Father's plan was taking place in my life, but now I understand. 
        I understand that the Lord knows me perfectly. He has known me longer than I even remember because I was always with Him. He sent me here not to suffer, but to learn to see what He sees in me. He knows my potential and who He not only wants me to be, but who I will be. And most importantly, he knows exactly what i need to experience to reach my true potential. 
        As I struggled through treatment there were times where another day seemed too overwhelming. Many say that we don't know how strong we are until there isn't any other choice. I would argue that we don't learn how strong we are, but how strong the Savior's Atonement is and how far His love reaches. No one could come with me to the depths of sadness and heart ache I experienced except the Savior. It was not possible for me to sink lower than the infinite virtue of His love.  For each day, he stood beside me and beckoned to me, "Come unto me. I will walk with you and carry your burdens. I will hold your hand and lead you through the dark. I will go with you on the road no one else can." 
         It was only though the Atonement that I was able to go through my trials and come out not bitter. It wasn't that I never felt bitter or angry, it was that the Savior took my anger and bitterness and turned it into something useful. Using the Atonement didn't make me emotionless, it made me free. Free to look ahead into the darkness with hope and faith. 
          If someone told me on that day, that in seven years I would be looking back while sitting in a Relief Society lesson in Norwegian, I wouldn't have believed them. I am grateful that I was so important to the Lord that I was given a trial so hard and consuming. It was through this time that I gained my testimony of the Savior and Book of Mormon. I don't know if I would be writing this same email, or even an email at all, if I hadn't had the experiences that I had in life. I do know that the lessons that I learned from cancer are invaluable. I know what it feels like to be at the depths of despair and only smiling so that everyone around you is in less pain, but more importantly, I know what it is like to be saved by grace.  
         One of my favorite talks is His Grace is Sufficient by Brad Wilcox. He said "The miracle of the Atonement is not just that we can live after we die but that we can live more abundantly. The miracle of the Atonement is not just that we can be cleansed and consoled but that we can be transformed. Scriptures make it clear that no unclean thing can dwell with God, but no unchanged thing will even want to... Grace is not a booster engine that kicks in once our fuel supply is exhausted. Rather, it is our constant energy source. It is not the light at the end of the tunnel but the light that moves us through the tunnel. Grace is not achieved somewhere down the road. It is received right here and right now."
          I know the grace of the Atonement is real and for everyone. I know that although our trials are hard and make us question God, that they are given to us because Heavenly Father loves us. When we stop asking why and starting asking "What can I learn?" we are empowered from on high. We were not sent to earth to fail, but to succeed gloriously. Our trials and our grief do not make us, they reveal us. I am humbled by the blessings in my life. I am grateful for a family that did all they could to support me and help me through every step of my life. 
           When I think of them I see flashes of memories. I see Darrin blessing me that I would be healed, and Annie bringing Tommye down to be with me as much as possible. I see me sitting in Shawn's lap throwing up on the way to Corby's game, and ruining his sweatshirt. When I told him I was sorry, he only looked at me and said "Baby, don't worry about it." I see myself curled up in Heather's lap while she rocked me and sang "Give Said the Little Stream". I see Corby with his chart and giving me 4 oz. of water every 29 min.. I won't ever forget the pain in his eyes when he first saw me bald, or when he surprised me and came home for the weekend. He woke me up to give me medicine and I looked up and fell into his arms crying. I see Katie at her Soccer game, the first time we met. She wrote me a note that I still have. She called me awhile later and we talked for 3 hours while I had a blood transfusion. I see Brent leaning over me and kissing me head and whispering "Why wasn't it me?" I imagine him sitting down after football practice and calling me each day thinking of something positive and funny to say even when there wasn't anything positive left to say. I see Lori, staying in my hospital room with me and talking about anything and everything. She would eat all my crazy cravings with me and was willing to break me out of the hospital to go to the Aquarium. I see Kyle crying as he came back from football practice after telling his whole team about his baby sister. He always had a smile on, even when no one else could smile. I see Linsey with her broken leg sitting in the bed next to me. I can't count the number of sleep overs that we had in my hospital room, or how many times we would raise and lower the bed. She was my rock. I never saw her cry once. She just took her sadness out on anyone that even thought of saying a rude comment to me about my short hair, as I started back to high school. Lastly I see Mom and Dad. Mom coming to the hospital every evening and staying up with me all through the night. She would then get up at 6 am and head home to work. When I finally would wake up Dad would be there sitting in the chair next to my bed and say "How are you doing baby?" They sacrificed more for me than I can ever repay. They never let me see them sad. They were a constant force of positive energy, even when things didn't look good. I remember when I asked Mom if I was going to die. Her face twisting in emotion for only a second and then she said. "No, you aren't." I learned later that she called Heather and cried for hours. 
              These memories are all painful for me to think back on, but they are honest and raw. I didn't know how important family really was until they were the only ones that kept me going. When times got tough or when I didn't think I could go another day, I thought about them. Their love and their sacrifice made me strong. It made me remember what was worth living for. I can never repay them for what they did for me as I struggled through treatment. It was a terrifying few years, but it is something that bonded us forever. I love you all so much. I know that every year I pretty much do this, but it's because I believe that it is important to look back, to be thankful for your past and where you are now. I don't know what I did to have such an amazing family. I love you all. 
          I hope that everything is going well. I am excited that Lins got to move to be with Jord! That is super awesome! Kate, focus on having that baby this week! I want to see tons of pictures next pday! Everyone else, you know the drill...
    Keep it real. Keep it classy. And may the odds be ever in your favor.
Love,
Kat

HAIR BE GONE!!!

The before picture

All my hair in a hand!

Finished product

On my way out that afternoon! No more braids:(
but so much more healthy

A WEEK OF MIRACLES

Dear Weasley Family and Friends,
     "Men at some time are masters of their fates: The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings." -Julius Cesar
   This week I had a quater-life crisis. Meaning that I, at the age of 21 (only 4 years till 25 where your spirituality begins to drop if you aren't married), realized that ALMOST a QUARTER of my life is over. What?! And then I realized that I, at the age of 21, am not married like my sister, and not going to be married. And then I realized that I needed to do something drastic. And so..... I cut my hair. Yep! Just chopped it off. Søster Hilton and I were sitting in companionship study talking about our week and I just kept starring at her hair. Both or our hair was pretty damaged and gross and I just kept starring at her dead ends thinking about my dead ends, and she said to me "Do you want me to cut your hair?" It was like a marriage proposal, or at least the closest thing I will get to one any time soon. I took a moment to think it over and weigh my options and then said "Yes, just do it." So during lunch, we grabbed some scissors from the kitchen and she chopped it. It was so much hair! I am sure that you all remember why I was growing it out... marriage.... cough cough. But I said GOODBYE to my old life, and chopped like 4 inches off. SEE YA! And then later that night Søster Hilton cut off 4 inches of her hair too. Now, my past, and dreams of the future are gone. #wontmissyou 
     Thank you for all those that told me about Daniel writing on my wall for my birthday. I mean I cannot imagine how hard it was for him to write on my wall. I mean the amount of energy it must have took! And "Happy Birthday" is just so well written. Man, some people have skills for writing. I have decided that being broken up with/ forgotten on the mission is the best thing because you don't really care that much until pday comes around and you have time to think about it. I thought it would be hard before the mish, but honestly I'm just glad I am where I am now. I can't imagine having stayed home. I'm so glad that the Lord knows what I need better than me. #gotmeoutofsomestickysituations
      My last email was a pretty sad one. I had a lot of heart break and sadness after a week of low numbers and losing some investigators, but this week was a great one. It is always interesting when you start to see what happens in the scriptures is happening to you. Time after time in we see that Either 12:6 is so true. We are tried and tried and things are hard, but if we endure well, we are blessed from on high. This happened to Nephi, Joseph Smith, and many others throughout history. I have seen it many times in my own life as well. I saw it especially while I was on treatment. It was the hardest time of my life physically, but I chose to endure with faith. The blessings that I saw were overwhelming. I grew so much and learned so much about myself. I endured my trials and I received a witness of my faith. This last week was another example of that. Søster Hilton and I really focused on accountability. We made several goals to make sure that we were accounting to the Lord in all things. We really saw miracles from it. We made contact with Sassy again, and he is willing to work towards being baptized. He felt that he was unworthy to be developing faith because of his past. By a complete miracle the door to the apartment building happened to be open and we were able to get in and knock on his door. We taught him about God's love and how through the Atonement we are never turned away. We all gave very powerful testimonies about the Savior, and then we let silence follow. The Spirit was so strong. He looked at us and said "I accept. I'm ready to be baptized." It was an amazing feeling. Seeing him accept to be baptized. We have many things to work through with Sassy. I don't know when he will be baptized or if we will be able to come to that point. It seems like it is far off in the future, but I am trusting in the Lord that he is working with Sassy to prepare him. This is a huge commitment for him, and we have a lot to cover and a lot of faith we have to work on, but as long as our faith is set in correct principles we can see the effects we desire. 
       We also happened upon a great investigator this week. Elder Jones and Elder Ashton called us Wednesday night and asked us to be on a teach with them at the church. We came in a little late because we were on another teach, but as soon as we stepped into the room we felt an immediate familiarity. Maria greeted us and her attention quickly turned from the Elders to us. It was a bit awkward because it wasn't our teach and we were just there for background, but Maria wanted to know everything about us. The Elders were so great and so patient. I heard so many horror stories of what the relationships was like between elders and sisters in the field and it can't be more off than what it is here in Norway. More of that later though. Some crazy things went down during the lesson. A member from France, visiting, came in and needed a blessing. The Elders had to leave the teach several times. We didn't know what to do! It wasn't even our teach. But the elders had started talking about the Book of Mormon, so we just decided to read the first chapter together. We went through the chapter and explained EVERYTHING to Maria. She would just close her eyes and listen to us tell her the stories. My testimony was burning. I felt like I was the one reading the Book of Mormon for the first time. In the middle of it the Elders came back, grabbed their stuff, and said they had to go. Maria hardly noticed. Elder Jones on the way out mouthed to me "You guys can take her", I was worried. I don't want to be that sister that is an investigator stealer, but I couldn't do much about it because we had just been left. The lesson was great and Maria commited to meet with us the next day. We felt great, but it only got better when we saw Elder Jones and Ashton later that night. 
       They came in from contacting and had huge smiles on their faces. They told us that they had run into Maria on the way here and she couldn't stop talking about us and how much she loved reading the Book of Mormon with us. She told the Elders that we were the smartest and prettiest girls ever. This was a miracle. Maria has met with the missionaries off and on for a long time and has never been interested in reading the Book of Mormon. For the first time ever she has a desire to read and to know more. She loves it. I was still worried so I asked the Elders what exactly happened. Elder Jones and Elder Ashton explained to me that in the middle of the lesson they felt like they needed to get up and go check the front. There they found a member and that member needed a blessing. They were able to give him a blessing, and then came back to the lesson. Once they came back they sat there and they felt that they should leave and allow us to teach. They didn't have much to go off of, but they decided to just follow the prompting, and because they did we now have this amazing investigator. The Elders were way pumped. They were so excited that were able to give Maria exactly what she needed to have the desire to investigate the church. It is cool to see how the Lord provides for his lost sheep.
       I really have felt so blessed to work with the Elders that I have. Each of them have helped me in so many different ways, and crazily enough they are each what I need at the time. Elder Ashton is back in my district. We were in the MTC together, and he lights up my day. He is so funny and so down to earth. At the Friday night activity we happened to be on a team together with a bunch of people that were either way young, or way nonathletic. We just split the court in two and tried to get every ball so we could win. Maybe we got a little too competitive. #neversaynever Elder Jones is also new to this area. Honestly, this elder is on fire. First off his language skills are incredible. He is one of the best I have heard and that is also comparing him to elders that have been here much longer. Second of all, we all know he has lost 60 POUNDS on his mission, and has only been in the land for 6 months. Basically I want to be him in every sense. #toohighofdreams He is our district leader and he calls in for numbers each week. Last week after our terrible week he called in and we were just pretty down. We had planned so much, but fell so short. Pretty much by direct revelation he started talking to us about accountability. He explained that we can't blame our circumstances on other people and that we have to look at our lives and decide what we can change. It is kinda funny because when he called in this week for numbers and we just #blewthemup he asked what changed. We told him that after he had talked to us about accountability we really worked hard to make sure that we were worthy to be accountable to the Lord. He told us that he didn't really remember anything that he said. I find it crazy that we can say things to people and have no idea the effect it takes. I hope that in the field I am a missionary that does this, that I challenge and testify with love, but in a way that makes people really look at their lives and have a desire to be better. Thats what I look for in other missionaries I work with and my leaders. Do they inspire me to be better? I am lucky! I have tons of missionaries that really make me want to be better every day. Norway has amazing missionaries. How did I get so lucky?
        Last miracle I will talk about. Getting people to come to church is probably one of the hardest steps here in the Norge. It just seems that so many people tell us they can come to something and then just don't. Sundays are hard and stressful and I am usually in a bad mood because my investigators don't show up. I was feeling that way yesterday when I realized that Maria and Sassy both could not come to church. Btw, investigators have to come 3 weeks to church before they can be baptized, so you can imagine how hard Satan works on them to not come. Stupid. Anyways we decided to give this contact we had in our phone a call and ask them if they would like to come to church. Her name is Shanit and her husbands names is Him. They are from Napal and moved here about 1 year ago. We met them on the street and got their number, but weren't able to teach them because they were busy. We called and they said they would like to come, so we left church and walked down the street to their house and knocked on the door. They opened it up and we see two children. All the sudden our married couple becomes a family of 4. Wow. We waited in their living room while they got ready and then were able to walk with them to church. They have a little boy who is 5 and a little girl who is 1. When we got to church we looked like super stars. No one ever comes to church and all the sudden we have a family with us! It was amazing. We were able to introduce them to many people and sit with them for sacrament meeting. Afterwards we were able to teach them. We have a huge language barrier because we don't have the Book of Mormon in Napalese, but we are trying to figure out how to overcome that. I know the Lord will provide.
           This week was an amazing week full of so many miracles. I love this quote by President Monson, My dear sisters, do not pray for tasks equal to your abilities, but pray for abilities equal to your tasks. Then the performance of your tasks will be no miracle, but you will be the miracle.   
I think that we can change out dear sisters to any of our names. As missionaries we are lucky. We get to see miracles everyday. We get to be someone's angels, and many times they tell us, but there are many more unseen angels here. You are all the angels I think about when I read quotes like that. You have helped me and shaped me in so many ways. I am here doing this work because of you. I am grateful for the angels in my life every single day. I am thankful for you guys. I love you all so much. Mom, you asked if it makes me sad when you tell me that you miss me. I kinda laughed because I remember being worried about that when Dan was on the mish. It doesn't make me sad. I should be missed. Hello! I am everyone's favorite in the family. HonestlyI don't know how life is going on while I am gone. I am glad to see that Jade is up to par though. Obviously she is the only one that remembers I'm gone! :) I love all the stories you all send. I really thought that this was the week I was going to open my email and see that Little Bradley Copper Hodgkiss was born. Hahaha. #Stellername. Mom, can't believe that you are back on trek duty! I would so go with you if I was there. How is it already time for trek again? Seems just like yesterday when it was me going!!! 
       I was so proud and excited to hear about Jordan! This is just so awesome! Thank you for the pictures. I love pictures and videos from you guys! Its like I am just sitting there talking. The kids are all getting so big! I can't get over Jades hair! So much! I love that she is wearing the Russian hat! I knew she would love it one day. I will never ever ever get over the pictures from Millie's birthday. Dang was that cute! And Mills and Gav are just presh. So great! I hope that everyone is doing well! I think about you guys often. I know I say that a lot, but its true. I love my mission, but I love you guys. The great thing about a mission is that one day, it will end. I only have to leave my family for just a short time and then I get to come back and be with you guys forever. Well... until I go teach in Thailand....we can talk about that later though.... hahahah. Anywho, I really am so glad that I came from such an amazing family. I am really lucky to have the background I do. It has blessed me so much. I hope all of you are doing well! 
Keep it real. Keep it classy. And may the odds be ever in your favor.

Love ya like a fat kid loves chocolate,
Kat 

P.S. As of next Sunday, it will have been 7 years since I was diagnosed. Can you guys believe it? Where does the time  

Sunday, August 11, 2013

BIRTHDAY FUN TIMES

 Birthday ME! 21 today

Three birthday cakes

After my birthday dinner (line up. Starting in front)
Elder Earl, Jones, Bradford
Elder Ashton,Leighton, Sister Bradford, Kitchen, ME, Hilton, Knapp

Never Enough Time!

Dear Weasley Family and Friends,
   This is will short because I have like 40 minutes before pday ends and probs like a million things I still need to do. But I wanted to say all the important things first:

   1. Thank you for all the birthday wishes. It is quite weird to not be home and get to talk to you all. Birthdays in the mission field are interesting. I didn't tell anyone in the ward it was my birthday, so I just got to quietly enjoy church. Afterwards my district leader put on a great birthday dinner for me. Elder Jones is rocking the DL position. Somehow he guessed all my favorite things. It was great. I will send a few pictures from that. Then we went on contacting splits with the Elders (Jones and Ashton). It was way fun. It is always great to mix it up a bit and go out with the Elders. That was basically my birthday. I got the package from home and loved it. Thank you so much for all the things. I have pretty much already worn most of them, and of course am using the make up. You def go through a lot of it out here in the mish field. Thanks! The emails were honestly my favorite part. I'm not much for gifts, but I love me some words of affirmation. Thank you to all who wrote! It really meant a lot! 
   2. Today we went on a hike, so that's why I only have like 2 seconds to write
   3. Jordan! Your game is coming up this week. I got the pictures and I am so excited! You look so legit! Man, this is crazy! I can't wait to hear EVERYTHING about it. I will be thinking about you tons this week! FOOTBALL SEASON HERE WE COME!!!
   4. This week was probably the hardest week of my whole mission. Let's just say, Shawn, your this is the only letter I am ever going to write you part II, came in real handy this week. I cried myself to sleep probably 3 days in a row and woke up crying too. Thursday night we committed Sassy to a baptism date. Friday, he texted us and said that he had prayed and felt like he needed to tell us that he was gay. We told him that we wanted to talk to him in person about everything so that we could really explain, but he said he left the city and needed the weekend to think over it. That awkward moment when we saw him the next day in the middle of the city. I get his reasoning. I mean we aren't just asking him to quit smoking or drinking. We are asking him to be celebrate for the rest of his life. Can it be done? Yep, but most people wont rise up to the challenge. Idk. It is real heartbreak right now. I have felt so empty. I mean, he was so positive! I saw the gospel really make a difference, and then just nothing.... blah. I am feeling better though. At first you feel like you just can't even go on because you are so in shock. Now, I feel like I can move forward a bit. We are calling him tonight and talking to him. I really hope that we can at least explain. I really don't know how it will go. I guess we will see... I layed on the floor re-reading Shawn's letter over and over and crying this week. I would say its a miracle that he just happen to write me about this particular subject. Prayers are always answered, even when we didn't think to ask. 
    5. Mom, you asked a few questions, so I thought I would answer them. No, I have not received any mail from home from anyone. I don't know how long it takes to send everything, but nothing has come for me yet. I would like it very much if you would write me though like you mentioned. I like hand written letters much better. I wish I had time to write you all hand written letters, but with my long emails there never seems to be much time. I kinda have to pick. Do you want info now or in 2 weeks? 
Anyways, this last week was really hard. Basically all of our investigators have been dropped and we are just trying to find new ones. Back to ground zero.... I really hope I am not leaving Trondheim in a few weeks, because the area we started hasn't seen much progress. Who knows though, maybe we will really meet some cool people in these next few weeks. I love the Trondheim area and the district. Elder Ashton and I have a lot of fun together. It's like the MTC all over again. Well I better get off now. I love you all. 
Har det bra! 
Keep it real. Keep it classy. And may the odds be ever in your favor.

Love,
Katniss  

What do missionaries look like in Norway?

This is what a Norwegian missionary looks like

Round one of painting. J.Biebs made an appearance. We painted over the parts we didn't like.

We had some very talented 3 yr. olds help us paint.

More White paint needed?

One of our favorite members, Ingrid, gave us this! Sister Hilton and I love her.

My favorite thing about Norway...the openess. We just leave our windows open and let the cool wind come in. Reminds me allot of how it is in Ruidoso!


We are starting to get sunsets!!! It will continue to get progressively darker now!

Let's get Sassy

Dearest Weasly Family and Friends,
   "Life was an uncertain thing, and there were some moments one wished to remember, to imprint upon one's mind that the memory might be taken out later, like a flower pressed between the pages of a book, and admired and recollected anew." - Clockwork Princess
   Family. Let me just begin with telling you all the funny things that happened this week. Okay first off, have I told you about Auden? Oh man, he is the best. He basically looks like a time traveler. He wears a Newsboy cap and touches it to say goodbye. He basically looks like he could be a member of the cast Fiddler on the Roof. #nojudginghere He sings like the cast too, and I bet if I asked he would dance. He is great. One of those I need to convert because I have like 30 different Norwegian girls that would love him. Is it wrong to convert someone based off looks? I ask myself that question too often. Anywho he isn't interested in the Church #jointheclubofeveryoneelse, but he is so nice and we have actually run into him a lot this last week. Broke my heart when he read and the Book of Mormon and told us that faith is just something he can't do right now. Who says that? He just doesn't know how to believe, and he isn't willing for us to help him. We cried a bit, and figured that would be the end, but then we started running into him a lot. 
    We've taken the be friends and chill form of attack. Did I say attack? I mean approach... or uhhhh... anyways... #missionaries=vultures So when we ran into him the other day we talked for him for a long time. This is some of the quotes from that:
    Me: Have you heard Mylie Cyris's song, Party in the USA?
  Auden: No I haven't. Call me crazy, or.... Call Me Maybe
(To those of you that aren't "music buffs" Call Me Maybe is a popular song)
    Then I was telling him about my life in Russia....
   Me: Yeah, they use vodka for everything over there....
 Auden: It's the duct tape of Russia!
    You would think that this long conversation with him would be enough, but then we saw him walking with a bottle in his hand. We tried to wave him down, but we were on the bus so he didn't see us. We decided to call him. This is how that conversation went....
  Hilton: What's in that bottle?
    A: Whats that you said?..... Are you watching me?....
  Hilton: We just saw you from the bus...
    A: Okay. Not stalkerish at all...
    
    I wish you guys could hear his voice. He has this sound of those people that start the movies off. "In the beginning..." It's so funny. We have been telling him to move to LA. I feel that is probably breaking like 3 different rules in the White Hand Book. #awks
    Well, this week we had surprise transfers to move things around because 6 missionaries went home. I survived them! I'm still in the land of Trondheim! But we have 19 more missionaries coming on Aug 19th so I have been told that those transferres are going to be pretty big. Who knows?! I really hope I am not leaving. I am not ready to leave this area. I am hoping I will be here for a good 3-5 months. We will see. Elder Jensen and Badger got transferred out and so did Søster Peterson. Elder Ashton, the one that the Devey's know, is coming! He is following me I think. It is so exciting! Transferres are really hard sometimes. There is always lots of crying with goodbyes. Goodbyes just get harder the longer you are here. 
     We had a new missionary couple come to Trondheim this week. Their names are Elder and Søster Bradford. They are from Utah. Meeting them just made me realize how cool Mom and Dad would be as missionaries. These are the reasons I have come up with that Mom and Dad need to go on a mission. 1. It's only one year! That flies! 2. You can go to a cool #firstworldcountry like Norway. 3. You get to skype with your family, your family can visit you, and you can chat, and talk on the phone. 4. If Dad is going to be a General Authority, he really needs the mission experience 5. You would rock it here. You get to plan activities all the time and make food. 6. You don't have to learn the language. English is something most people know, and the younger missionaries can translate! 7. It would just be awesome. I say #6years. I'll come visit you often, especially if it's Norway! 
     We talk to many new people a week and I always try to stay positive. I think every time "Maybe this is the prepared person they talk about in Preach My Gospel" I try not to be jaded. As you talk to more people and teach more lessons its easy to become bitter. Its easy to lose faith and except your current state as the truth, instead of looking for the miracles that will come. You think about these miracles and you pray for them constantly. Sometimes as missionaries we lose sight of the promises we've been given, but then comes these moments that renew us. Some moments on your mission are ones that are unforgettable. They happen and you literally walk away a new person. One of those moments happened on Saturday.
     Friday we decided to do the Tree of Life painting on the street. It was a day I woke up and decided to give my all to. I decided to be fearless and courageous. The day went well. I talked to many people alone and figured out my Norsk is much better than I give myself credit for. I didn't have any amazing experiences, but Søster Hilton talked to a guy who was very positive. She had decided to all away from the painting and contact for a bit. She stopped this man and asked if he had time to talk. He said he was running into the Apotek but he was willing to talk after. Time passed. We decided to take a lunch break with one companionship going at a time. Søster P and Søster K offered for us to go first, but Søster H said she wanted to wait. Then she said to me "You know what? Let's go. He probably just went out another door." as her companion and knowing her, I felt like it was a time I needed to support her. I told her that we should stay. Who knew, maybe he would come back?
    I got busy and started painting and helping others paint, but I noticed Søster H talking to a man. Afterwards I went and talked to her. She said to me, “You're going to die!” I asked her to explain. She told me the man she talked to was named Sassy and he was from Singapore. She had talked to him a lot about the Book of Mormon and he was really excited about it. She read with him Moroni's promise and he was really touched. He invited us over for the next day. I hadn't talked to him and so I wasn't quite sure what to expect from our lesson. We decided that we would teach him the first and invited the new senior missionary, Søster Bradford with us.
   The next day we arrived at Sassy's building and I was feeling very nervous. First teaches can be rough sometimes, and I wasn't sure what I could expect from it. We knocked on the door and Sassy answered. As soon as we walked in my nervous diminished and I felt a calmness. Sassy had such a brightness about him. I already felt the Spirit there helping to calm my fears.
   We sat down and got to know Sassy a little bit. He told us that he was raised as a Hindu. As he grew up he realized that he didn't believe in Hinduism. He didn't believe in selling things or getting piercing in the name of God. He told us that that wasn't God, God wasn't something you just pray to or idolize, God is with us always and cares about us. He explained that he had never been to church and never prayed. He told us that he didn't feel worthy to go to church because he needed to at least know how to pray first. He explained he was new to Christianity and wanted to know who God was. It isn't often that you talk to a person and you can see exactly how the gospel is what they are looking for, but with Sassy that is exactly the way it happened.
    We began teaching him the first. He was extremely positive all the way through. Everything we told him he seemed to eat up. He was reverent and still. His eyes focused on us, hungering for more information. It was like we couldn't give him enough. Half way through the lesson he said “Can I come to church? I want to make friends through you. I must come and meet all of the people there.” We said, of course! We told him exactly when church was. People never come to church!
    We read the first vision aloud and afterwards silence came. He sat there smiling, feeling everything, and then said “So there are two people?” We explained that God and Jesus Christ are two people, and that Joseph's experience is important for many reasons. We told him “This prayer means two things. One, that God knows who we are because he called Joseph by name. He knows us personally and cares about us. The second is that he wanted Joseph to know who Jesus Christ was his son. This means that he wants us to know Christ and listen to him.” Sassy said to us “This means God answers prayers.
   We continued talking to Sassy about the importance of prayer and using prayer to find answers. We explained that through faith we can receive answers and this helps our faith grow. I said “Sassy, when you pray about the Book of Mormon you will come to know that it is true. This will strengthen your faith. Your faith will grow and move you to action. The action you will want to take is baptism. When you come to know the Book of Mormon is true will you be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints?” Sassy looked at me, took it all in, smiled and said, “Of course. When I come to know this is true, I will be baptized.” The room light up. The Spirit was so strong. I felt like it was going to bubble over out of my heart.
   I had remembered that he said that he wasn't familiar with prayer so I asked him if he would like us to teach him. He obliged and I began to teach him. We explained the steps to prayer and why we pray the way we do and Sassy was very receptive. I remembered that in lessons with Søster Landry my first trainer that she always wrote down the steps for investigators. I decided to do the same. I handed him the paper and he put it in his Book of Mormon. We talked a little more, and finally Søster H asked if we could end with a prayer. Sassy said “Of course!” and Søster H had the insight to ask Sassy if he would like to pray. He said “I can give it a try!” And he prayed.
   Honestly, I wish that I had recorded his prayer because it was the most beautiful prayer I had ever heard. Here was a man that had never prayed before in his life offering up the most sincere prayer I had ever heard. He thanked God for us and leading him to us. He thanked God for the Book of Mormon, and told him that he knew that he would strengthen him as he tried to find the truth. He said everything he was feeling which was full of faith, hope, and goodness. It was raw. It was real. It brought the Spirit, and brought us all to tears. When he finished we just sat there feeling it. He looked at us and said “This feels good, doesn't it?”
    It was the most perfect teach I have ever had. Maybe, the most perfect teach I will ever have. The goodness that was there is indescribable. As I write this I think back and I almost start to think “Is this even real?” I can tell you it is. It is exactly how it happened. Sassy has been prepared beyond belief. I might be being overly positive, but I give Sassy not more than a month before he is baptized. That sounds crazy, but Sassy is looking for something, and the gospel is exactly what he wants to find. Before we left he said “I will see you tomorrow. I will meet everyone there and tell them about my experience today. Please come back. You can have all your lessons here at my apartment. You can bring as many friends as you want.”
     If I could take this memory and press it like a flower I would. This lesson changed me. There are prepared people. There are people that are looking for the gospel and want to listen, want to change. You start to realize that as a missionary, you don't know much. You start to realize that really your investigators are teaching you. Sassy has so much faith and desire. He wants every part of the gospel. No task is too much. Am I like that? Do I view the gospel as filling my every crevice and whole. Am I really applying it in my life like I should, or like Sassy is. He doesn't even know everything and he already believes! It just goes to show that miracles don't produce faith, faith produces miracles. It is an amazing thing to be a missionary. Miracles do happen. 
    Sassy didn't come to church so we went to his house. He was sick! He started to taking medicine and had a bad reaction to it. We are really looking forward to seeing him quite a lot this week. Please keep Søster Hilton and I in your prayers! We need all the help we can get making sure that Sassy goes forward. 
     Woah. Serious time. A little quote to break it up?
  The other day while talking to a man about the Tree of life picture I asked him where he wants to be.
    He pointed to the tree and said, "I want to right there in the tree."
     Ummmmm, Sir.... you don't really get to be IN the tree...... 
    Basically that was my week. It was one of ups and downs as always. This is my birthday week. Oh... did I say that out loud... I mean I'm a missionary. I don't need birthday time! I think that I will have some fun things with some members. Always awkward bringing your birthday up. I'm just like UH.... yeah... Man, guys. I'm going to be 21. Remember how I thought I would be married by now? Whatever. I'm sure I will make a lovely 30 year old bride! I will keep you all up to date on everything going on with Sassy. You guys keep me up to date with everything going on with Katie. Kate, your belly is adorable! I wish I was there to feel baby boy kick. I think he will be making his grand entrance very soon! I can't believe it is time!!! I am so excited!! I can't believe that story about Jade. That freaks me out and I wasn't even there. Her eyes just looking at you?! Ah!! And her hair is so long! That video was adorable! She just looks so old! All the grand kids do. I love it! I love you all so much! I think about you all the time. I know I say that a lot, but it's true. Sometimes I cry when I talk about you guys. It's fine... not big deal... Hahaha. I have a great family, that's for sure! Have a fantastic week! 
Keep it real. Keep it classy. And may the odds be ever in your favor.
Love,
Katniss 

Shout Outs:
Harry Potter- Happy bday Harry on July 31st! Time sure does fly! 
Mom and Dad- Happy 40th Annv!!! I love you guys so much! You have taught me so much through your marriage and parenting. I am grateful for parents like you. You have raised an amazing family. You have wonderful, strong children. You should take a second to look around and realize how much good you have done. You have taught us so much about life and what kind of people to be. I wouldn't be here without you both. I love you so much! Happy 40th! I will be sending you guys a present to open once you all are together in Cali. Be excited!! I love you!