Sunday, August 11, 2013

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! 


   

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