Dear Weasley Family and Friends,
"One most always be careful of books, and what is inside, for words have the power to change us." -Clockwork Angel
First and for most, I cried a little when I opened up my email today. NIXON GRAHAM HODGKISS is here! What? There is a new person in our family and I have no idea what he looks like or the details of his entrance. #alittleontheweirdyside I am so EXCITED though. I can only imagine what he looks like. I can't believe he was born so late! Jadders, obvie just jumped the gun a little. Man, this is great. Congrats Kate and Bucky! That really is awesome. If you want I can go on and on about how cool it is that now you have a new little boy to set on the path to righteousness, but because you guys are my family I will skip that crap and just say YAY!!! CONGRATS!! Or GRATULERE MED DAGEN! I can't wait to hear ALL the details and see ALL the pictures!!!! (this small paragraph only covers about 1/3 of what I am feeling.... #underratted)
The second reason I cried a little bit is because Lins and Jord went to my favorite pizza place which I can still remember the taste even 7 years later, I don't care what Corbs or Lins say. Man. Let me tell you, Norsk pizza is a sad excuse of food. I mean what is wrong with the pizza in this world? It's not that hard of a concept. I think its probably the #1 thing wrong here. It's a sad sad thing.
I am excited to hear everything about Jordan that is going on. I know that you guys were a little disappointed at first, but it sounds like really this is going to be a great thing. I can't wait to hear all about your work outs and life in Baltimore! :)
So, this week was great in terms of inspirational moments, not so great in terms of how I feel like I am doing has a missionary. I have been struggling a lot this week with feeling inadequate. I know that it is a good thing to feel a little uncomfortable. That what helps us to be better, to always look to the next thing, but when you feel like you don't have the resources to be better, that's where the struggle comes in. I am just a little frustrated. We all know how I am with emotions. I throw myself completely into them. I am either bouncing off the walls or giving people fake smiles and not making eye contact. It's a problem on the mission because I don't really have a time for fake smiles, not when people's salvation is on the line. How much can I allow myself? I don't know. I'm human and so I am going to have times where, but I feel as a missionary that I really don't have time to be human.
It's a funny thing. I teach and testify to people all day about their diving heritage. I tell them the most important thing they could ever know which is that they are a child of God and He personally loves them, but do I really believe that for myself. I have been thinking about blessings of all kinds lately. I was given one by Elder Jones this week. I probably get a blessing once a month, and when I do I have the tendency to feel that my blessings aren't very personal. It's hard for me. All I want is to feel that connection that I'm Heavenly Father's daughter. I think that a lot of us struggle with this same thing. It is easy for us to look at others and their talents and their gifts and feel inadequate, to feel that God has a more personal relationship with them. If there is one thing I have learned on my mission, it's that you really find out what your testimony is out here. It is bashed so many times a day. Everyone looks to us to have
all the answers. Sometimes the answers they want we really have to work for. None of this probably even makes sense, but it has been on my mind a lot. How do we deal with our inadequacies? How do we carry on even with weak parts of our testimonies? How do we ever feel we have done enough?
At the conference, Elder Kearon spent a lot of time making sure we knew how proud of us he and Heavenly Father was for accepting the call. After the meeting he had all the sisters come into a separate room with him and he said something to the effect of, "I will never understand why you chose to serve or everything that you had to sacrifice, but the Lord is proud of you." I was in tears. I think we all were. It is so easy to feel like we aren't doing enough. These days, I feel like it is always present on my mind trying to make me pay attention to it, but I know that it is something I have struggled with my whole life. I know that it is something that is not unique to missionary work. I know that each of us feel inadequate in our different roles. We never feel good enough or strong enough or prepared enough. We don't know how we are going to be a daughter, sister, mother, brother, husband, friend, or spiritual leader. We don't know how we will fulfill our callings or live up to someone's expectations. I know we all wonder why we were given certain callings, jobs, or trials, but I also know that through the Atonement of the Savior we are all good enough. Elder Kearon said, "We keep going on in faith, know that there is always someone better than us, but knowing that's not what matters... You are here, you are invested, so be free. Be free."
One of the talks that I am obsessed with as of late is by Neal. A Maxwell. It is called Notwithstanding My Weakness. He said, "... I speak, not to the slackers in the kingdom, but to those who carry their owl load and more, not to those lulled into false security, but to those buffeted by false insecurity, who, though laboring devotedly in the kingdom, have recurring feeling of falling short... this feeling of inadequacy is...normal. There is no way the church can honestly describe where we must yet go and what me must yet do without creating a sense of immense distance. Following celestial road signs while in telestial traffic jams is not easy... the feeling of inadequacy are common. So are the feelings of fatigue..."Do not run faster or labor more than you have strength"... There is a difference, therefore, between being "anxiously engaged" and being over-anxious and thus under-engaged...Some of us stand before no more harsh a judge than ourselves, a judge who stubbornly refuses to admit much happy evidence and who cares nothing for due process... A constructive critic truly cares for that which he criticizes, including himself, whereas self-pity is the most condescending form of pity, it soon cannibalizes all other concerns...Fortunately, the Lord loves us more than we love ourselves." I can testify that this is true, that although we feel we aren't good enough, we are. We must always move forward, but first we should look back to see how far we have come. My testimony is long off from perfect on this principle, but the more I ponder, pray, and study on the subject the more I come to know of its truth. We are children of a Heavenly Father which entitles us to heavenly potential.
The conference with Elder Kearon was amazing. It was amazing to see all my friends too! Man how I have missed them. Monday night all 50 of us went out contacting and bonking. I was able to go with Søster McArthur. It was honestly like a dream. I just love her so much. I cannot even explain why or how much I love her, she is just special. Everything about her screams virtue and love. She is so good and so sweet and makes me want to be better every time I think or her, hear from her, or am around her. I want to be her companion so bad! We had so much fun together. And of course seeing Gusty was just like a dream! They really are the best. I am lucky to have so many good friends here!
Søster Hilton: "I'm like a bear. I wish I could put my face in it, but I can't....Maybe I should use the scissors... Yeah... I'm going to need the scissors..."
I looked up and Søster Hilton is scraping out the rest of the Nutella in the jar. #missionarylife
The coolest part of this week was Sunday. Sunday are #badmooddays. They are so stressful! I don't know how I ever survive them. Getting investigators to church is #anightmare (Speaking of nightmares, I had one that I came home with zero baptisms....) Anywho, after helping Jonesy translate the first meeting, Søster Hilton and I were given the YSA lesson to teach about 1 minute before it started. Ask me how much I love that? #notatall Anyways I was pretty annoyed and frustrated and then I get a text from Jonesy telling me that our Napoli family is at church. Sidenote: Don't know if I have told you about them. It is a mom and dad and two children. We can't communicate with them very well because Napolese is like an nonresistant language, but they are awesome. Well I march myself into sacrament meeting and look at the back to not only see our Napoli family, but their grandma and their sister! Hollar! #Napolipartyintheback We were able to teach them afterwards and at the end we had a prayer and all of us knelled down together, even the kids. I almost cried. Man, missionary work is cool.
We are really trying to get things going in our area. We have been doing a lot of contacting on the streets. I am getting much better at it! My goal is to be really comfortable with it by the November transfer. Btw, our transfers have been shortened to 6 weeks because now missionaries are coming every 6 weeks for awhile, so there is another transfer in Oct. Shoot me now. My dream is to stay in Trondheim and start training in Nov. I doubt it will happen though. I would love to train here though. It would be nice to know an area before training. We have a lot of different sisters that can train now though, so who knows what will happen.
I am going to go and get Søster Hilton some new shoes. They have terrible holes in them and its started to affect our contacting. People see her shoes and then give us weird looks. #satan I love you all. Brent and Lori, you guys are always in my prayers. I think about you often. Kate and Corbs, congrats again! You guys are the awesome! Heather, thank you for your email last week. You guys are on my mind often too. And of course everyone else. I hope that everything is going well. Fill me in on all of your lives! Fall is here in Trondheim. It's cold!!!!!!!!!!!!! Eeeekkk!! Feels like football season!
Keep it real. Keep it classy. And may the odds be ever in your favor.
Nixon- Happy Day of Birth!
Annie- Happy birthday Annie! I think you are just amazing and your hair is so cute! I can't wait to hear about what you do for your birthday! I hope that it is a great one! Send lots of pics of you and your cute family! Love you!