Dear Weasley Family and Friends,
Did I just get my car stuck in the snow about 2 minutes ago trying to park in the church parking lot? Absolutely. Has winter officially started? Yes. Do me and TJ (Thurgood) speak in rhetorical questions ALL THE TIME now? Absolutely. Will we ever stop? One can only hope.
We woke up Sunday morning and I about died. The ground was white, and not in the "field is white and ready to harvest" kind of white, but like there was 6 inches of snow and the blizzard was just starting kind of white. Eww. I yelled at TJ to get her butt upstairs because she had been complaining about no snow for at least 3 days #3daystoolong. TJ came running upstairs and pretty much about had a heart attack. She comes from New Mexico so this much snow was kinda a dream for her. Guess who hates the snow? Me. Guess who has to drive in the snow? Me. Guess who is still asking rhetorical questions? Me.
So yeah. This is my life now. Yesterday before church started I got in a snow ball fight with the Elders. #norwaylife And this morning when I left my house I fell down the stairs slowly because the snow looks really sturdy, but it really just isn't. They do a pretty good job of plowing the streets, but there are always those sketch places (like our church parking lot) that I am really good at getting stuck in. I am only counting down the days until TJ actually has to get out of the car to push it. No worries, I will for sure give you all an update when that goes down!
You guys, I love scrap booking. Like a lot. We do this thing called Minne Boks here, basically what they are is a scrapbook from your mission and you get people to sign them and decorate a page and write about their time with you. Its awesome. The members are way bomb at it because they have been doing it forever. I wish I would have made mine cuter from the beginning, but whatever. Læll, Torunn gave me hers to decorate and I have had it kinda forever, but my creative juices sunk in this week and I have just been scrap booking a little bit before bed. It keeps me sane, y'all. I feel like I am still a person because I can still do something that is just a chill no brain thing. After we are done for the day and we have a little time before bed we just get all crafty.
Today TJ decided that we needed to have a Christmas party as a distrikt and that she wanted to send out personal invites to everyone. Honestly, at this point, I love it. This is Sister Missionary life. We bake, we create, and we celebrate. Count down til Christmas and our 9 month mark!
TJ's counselor is big about doing fun things as a missionary and using what you like to do to get the work done. She told us that our 9 month mark is coming up and we should probably start planning a party. Would I be lying to you if I told you that we haven't thought of the idea of inviting members from our favorite areas to come? Yes. Will we actually do it? Still not sure....
TJ and I are having probably a little too much fun here in Tønsberg. There is just a lot of sass, sarcasm, and fits of laughter in our household these days. With the Holidays coming both of our motherly nesting senses have kicked in, so we have been making our house nice and cozy or koselig, as we say here in The Norg. It's way great to be with someone that just thinks like me. She is real like I am. She doesn't take crap from investigators and she doesn't put up this wall. Its chill. I love it. We teach together and it just flows. We are going to tear Tønsberg up.
Gusty: "I read Luke 22 today and I realized that Jesus was sassy! People say I'm trying to be like Jesus, and I'm like, Yeah I am like Jesus!"
Conversation between TJ and I this morning...
Me: "Where are you going? Are you coming back up here?"
TJ: "No, I just thought I would chill down here for the rest of the day...."
Get that sass out-a-here!!!
TJ and I were talking about things coming up and being stressed and I said "Oh I'm supposed to start my period!" She gets her planner out and says, "Okay. I'm writing HP. Not for Harry Potter, but for Hodgkiss Period."
Are we spending too much time together? Probably. Can it be stopped? Absolutely not.
So this last week was a good one. The weeks keep going by way fast, but the days sometimes just drag. I haven't been sleeping well this last week which is way annoying. It is so dark, so I don't know how I can't sleep, but I have been waking up a lot in the middle of the night. Prayers please? I got multiple compliments on looking skinny this week. I am pretty sure that everyone's eye site is just off, but I'll take what I can get. Am I trying to lose 10 pounds before we skype in 16 days? Absolutely.
You guys are probably worried about me and my focus with the Holidays coming up. Really y'all, its not a problem. For me Christmas means being home with all of you and being done with school and deciding to never eat again after the 1st. Since I am here and busy and everything is different I don't really think about it. I mean, don't get me wrong I am way excited to talk to you guys snart da, but it is Christmasy enough that I get to celebrate, but different enough that my head isn't always stuck on you guys. I love you all though. Don't question it!
The snow actually makes things really light. It is really annoying to deal with, but it helps with it being so dark all the time. You guys would die if you saw how cute and presh everything looks. You know those old sleds that you see on those old Christmas postcards? They use those. Can't use a stroller with all this snow!!! Did you guys know that our Christmas Eve meal is the typical mean that Norwegians have for Christmas day? And that they have their big Christmas stuff on the 24th. I am way stoked about celebrating full out Norsk. TJ and I are also going to go to a service at the Norwegian State Church. Its a big deal and most Norwegians go (even the Mormons) so we are excited about that. I am really happy about Christmas, I just kinda wish I was in Trondheim spending it with TJ, Torunn, and her family. But that's okay! You know, there is nothing like your first area, and relationships you have there. I left my heart there. I can't wait till we go to Trondheim! You guys are going to die!! You will just love it. Man, its the coolest.
Speaking of Trondheim and Trøndisk (their dialect), I have been working way hard to get out of the awkward in between stage between normal norsk (bokmal) and Trøndisk. I was thinking about it this week and I thought, hey you know what? My great-grandfather came from Trondheim, so I am 1/8 Trøndisk, which means I can speak this language! It's been good ever since. Torunn is helping me get into shape. On Friday we had dinner with our branch president here, Pål. Man, I love that guy. He is so funny! And when he sits up on the stand and the speakers are speaking he makes the funniest faces. I told you guys that our ward is a little bit "special". It is an adventure every Sunday. Læll, when we were at dinner Pål informed me that we needed another speaker and asked if I could do it. Man, I'm still a nervous wreck after all this time!!! But I spoke on prayer, and I think it was pretty good. I wrote it up in English for you guys, so I will send it. It's like you were almost there. Now just to be clear when you read it and the English is way simple and way weird, you have to not be so judgey because I wrote it that way so when I translated it it would actually work. It was really cool to see how much I knew because I sat down to translate it and I just started reading it in English and writing in Norsk. It's crazy. But it was cool because I did the whole thing in Trøndisk. I don't think anyone understood what I said, but that's okay :) Tor and Jonsey would have been proud!
We are still working to get this ward in shape. President says that the key to Norway getting a 3rd stake is this area, so TJ and I are working hard. It needs A LOT of work, but we are the perfect people for this ward! We are doing missionary in a different way than I have ever done it before, and that's pretty cool. We are starting to get back in touch with some of the investigators we lost before I came. We are still teaching Willow. We met with her on Thursday and it was sick. She told us some hard things she has been going through and it was the perfect lead up to what we had planned to teach, the Plan of Salvation. I was able to look her in the eyes and testify to her that she would be able to raise the baby she lost in the next life. That was cool guys. I haven't had an experience like that before. Missions are awesome!
Things are going well here guys. Is everyone doing good and gearing up for Christmas? You all haven't written me, but its way chill because I know that in 16 days I can get all caught up! I am excited. I have managed to only fall once so far, so I think that it looks like it will be a hopeful winter. We are loving it here! I love Norway guys! I feel guilty that other missionaries don't get to serve here, but man it is the best. The people. The language. It's just me, you know? TJ and I have been talking a lot about how weird it will be to talk to you guys and not speak any Norwegian because its so much apart of us that our conversations are half Norwegian and half English. You guys know that this place drives me up a wall, but its just because I love it so much that I want to be better for it, because it deserves that and the members, and investigators, and randos on the street deserve that. One day I am going to get it down, and then its going to be time to go, and I won't know what to do because I will have left my heart here. Its a good time to be on a mission.
I love you all and we will talk soon!!
Keep it real. Keep it classy. And may the odds be ever in your favor!
Æ e gla i dåkker,