Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Headed to Sarpsborg

Dear Weasley Family and Friends,
     Facts:
1. I am headed to Sarpsborg, Norway which is about 15 minutes outside
of Fredrikstad. Basically is going to be WARM this summer!! It will be
my
SEVENTH area. That's right, I've been everywhere except the West. I'm
hoping to get there!
2. I am going to be with Sister McArthur, my MTC comp. I actually prayed
and fasted that we would serve together last transfer, but Sister Johnson
and I were put together instead. Its been great with SoJo, and I am a
little bit worried to leave, but I am excited to be with Sister McArthur
again.
3. I may or may not have gone shopping today.... I was going through my
clothes and I realized I hated all of my shirts, so I went shopping and
bought some things... like... 2 shirts, 1 cardi, 1 skirt, 1 dress, and 1
pair of boots... I apologize ahead of time for the money I spent... but for
Norsk prices, I did good!
      So here's the low down, Torunn and Pelle came down and saw me for
Stake Conf. I about died I was so happy. It was cool because it was a bit
of a Trondheim reunion. Benjamin Weggerson (one of my heros), the MMK in
Trondheim was there. I was so excited to see him! And a lot of my Trondheim
distrikt was there: Elder Jones, Nielson, Leighton, and Shanklin. A big
hunk of my favorite elders! And then Tor and Pell which was SO great! I
know I just saw Tor like a month ago, but it has been a LONG 6 weeks, so I
was really happy to see her. Of course now I miss her like crazy and I'm
trying to get used to the fact that I don't get to see her once a month,
but other than that its good.
    I am excited to be with Sister McArthur again. Its been over a
year and we have wanted to serve together for a long time. I saw her
at the conference and she had talked to President already. President
wanted to give her the heads up about kinda where I am so that she is
prepared. If there is one thing about Mc its that she loves more than
anyone I know. She and I had a perfect companionship in the MTC. I'm
grateful that we are getting to serve together now. Of course I have
tons of anxiety about the move and starting over in a new place (this
is my 7th area and I still haven't gotten used to it). I honestly
believe that Sister McArthur is exactly what I need, its just hard
opening up and starting the whole "I'm a mess" all over again. It
seems like I just did that with SoJo! Its crazy how fast 6 weeks goes,
but yet it seems like its been an eternity at the same time. I guess
when we go through trials time has a way of slowing down and speeding
up at the same time.
    Today is just full of last minute packing (its what I always do,
guess I still haven't learned my lesson), last minute to-dos in Oslo,
and some good-byes with the distrikt and some members. It is really
nice not leaving an area that I have been in for 6 months. When you
get moved from those areas the last few days are filled with 4 middags
(dinners) and you are running around like crazy trying to see every
member you ever had a basic conversation with. Leaving Trondheim was
crazy. I miss that place. Last summer was heaven on earth. I remember
lots of struggles, but man did I have fun. My distrikt was awesome, I
loved my trainer, and I laughed my head off. I miss everything about
that place. I am hoping that I get to go back, but Sarpsborg could be
my last area. I can't believe that I even can say that, but its true.
I come home in 5 1/2 months! That's crazy! To say that my diet starts
tomorrow would be an understatement! It should have started like 1
MILLION YEARS AGO!! But really... that's soon. I am hoping that
Sarpsborg isn't my last area. Thinking of spending 6 months in another
area makes me want to shoot myself. So I am hoping that its only 3
months (2 transfers) there and then I can head to my last area to die!
Side note, when missionaries go home we call it "dying", and the
missionary that is with them up until they leave we say "he killed
him". Mission lingo, right? Who comes up with this stuff? But yes,
that would be my dream plan.
    Other than that I don't have much information. My head is all
boggled up with thoughts of what I need to do before Sister McArthur
comes to pick me up at 1030 tomorrow. I'm really nervous and anxious
about all the changes, but I feel good about Sister McArthur. It's
going to be a good transfer. I hope that you are all doing well. I
love you guys. Thanks for the emails of support. Heather and Mom, I
printed off your emails. They were way good. I miss you all a ton.
Lori, your belly is adorable!! I can't believe she is moving so much
that you can see! Yes, I said she.. I am just going to trust my
dreams!! I will talk to you all soon.
Love,
Kat

Monday, April 28, 2014

VISIT FROM TORUNN AND PELLE

Thanks for the package Mom!

I am obsessed with this necklace!

Tor and I

Pele, me, and Torunn

Monday, April 21, 2014

THE SWEET AMONG THE SOUR

Dear Weasley Family and Friends,
    I have always said that I wanted to sit down and create a playlist for my mission. I think when I first got to the MTC the song in the background would have been some song by Justin Bieber or One Direction or maybe even the Black Eyed Peas (Let's Get it Started, anyone? Anyone?). As I've gone through my mission, different songs have become my saving grace. You know, the song you always play and you just silently cry while you listen to it because it describes exactly how you are feeling. Oh wait... maybe that's just me... Awkward... But this is a song that I play a lot. Its by Mindy Gledhill and its called I Will Rest In You. Here are the lyrics..

Lord I´m in the dark
Seems to me the line
is dead when I come calling
No one there, the sky is falling

Lord I need to know
My mind is playing games again
You´re right where you have always been

Take me back to you
The place that I once knew
As a little child
Constantly the eyes of
God watched over me

Oh, I want to be
In the place that I once knew
As a little child
Fall into the bed of faith
prepared for me

I will rest in you
I will rest in you
I will rest in you

Tell me I´m a fool
Tell me that you love
me for the fool I am
And comfort me
like only you can

Tell me there´s a place
Where I can feel your breath
Like sweet caresses
on my face again

Take me back to you
the place that I once knew
As a little child
Constantly the eyes of
God watched over me

Oh, I want to be
In the place that I once knew
As a little child
Fall into the bed of faith
prepared for me

I will rest in you
I will rest in you
I will rest in you

    Today the sun is shinning, families are out hiking, and I was planning on writing an email that was both witty and moving, but as I sit down to begin this email, my words evade me. Sometimes I think about how I got to where I am in life. I think about my road map and the perfection that it would be, and then I measure myself compared it. I'm not where I wanted to be or who I wanted to be, but I also am not the map maker. Although things are difficult, and the trials seem never ending, I have this odd sense that I am right where I need to be and exactly who I need to be.
     Something happened to me on my mission. I learned that all those questions and doubts that other people have that I try to help them were the same doubts, fears, and concerns I have. All the sudden I wasn't sure if God loved me or my prayers were being answered. I realized I felt alone and lost and confused too. And then what do you do then? What happens when you were supposed to be the one to help everyone else, but you don't have those answers yourself? I've asked myself that a lot. Every time I meet someone new or get to know a member and they start to tell me their concerns I think "How am I going to even open my mouth about this when I am struggling with the same thing?" But time and time again the Lord has given me the words I have needed. I haven't acted like those weren't questions that I had too, but been able to tell them that I have been there or that I am there. I've been able to testify of the power of the Atonement and that Sunday always comes. On the Friday of Christ's death the world was in turmoil. There was little hope, light, or faith for the future. I am sure that the Apostles felt dark, forgotten, and misunderstood. They had memories of happy moments, and maybe even glimpses of light, but it wasn't enough. It was a day of despair. But time went on, as it always does, and Sunday came. The Savior was Resurrected and the sorrow and pain of Friday was swallowed up in the joy of Sunday. Sunday always comes.
        I had hoped that my Sunday would come all at once, that I would wake up and the pain and the problems of the past would be gone, but it seems that my Sunday is coming by degrees. My Sunday isn't coming by my problems being swept away, but in the small and simple things, the sweet among the sour. It's coming in pretty sunsets, friendly English speaking travelers on the street, and Pepsi Maxs. Its coming in taking the long way home so we can walk through a pretty cemetery, and late night pillow talk with a companion. It isn't a light being turned on in a dark room, but the sun rising, slowing and steadily. And although I find it hard and I don't know what to do a lot of the time, I know its what I need, and its going to make me into who I need to be.
         Before I came on my mission I would imagine how my 18 months of service would go. I saw lasting friendships, amazing conversion stories, and testimony after testimony builders. I thought that I would look back on my mission and the days that meant the most were the days that I call the "big" days. The days spent at Zone conferences, miracles stories to find a golden investigator, or watching your investigator be baptized. That is what I thought a mission was about, because that was what I had heard, but that's not my mission. It isn't that those things don't matter, because they do. They are sweet memories and they add to my mission experience, but the things that have made my mission aren't the "big" days. When I think back on my mission so far I see a flurry of memories. Laying in bed talking to my first trainer and both of us apologizing about being wrong about each other, TJ and I standing in the snow yelling at the top of our lungs, Sister Hilton and I singing in the elevator even though we knew there were people at the bottom that could hear us, watching Marianne break down and holding her while she cried, sitting on the ground while Elder Rushton told me about everything he had been through, playing in the rain with Sister Bradley. The memories rush by, and I think about how I have been strengthened by the little things. It reminds me of something I read in Do Not Attempt in Heels. She said,
"As I look back on my mission, I see so many different faces and places. I feel like I must have walked all over this country! I've talked to so many people, looked into so many Italian eyes. I've borne my testimony, invited people to listed to the discussions, come to church, read the Book of Mormon, come to English class, be baptized. I've talked about the Madonna, the Saints, the Pope, the Bible, Padre Pio, Jehovah's Witnesses, Evangelists, miracles, visions. I've felt the influence of the Holy Ghost upon me as I've borne my testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. And I've told these children of God time and time again that God loves them. And who's listened? A handful of people. Whose life has been changed? Mine has."
   And from Emily Snyder, who said...
"When I turned in my papers, I had no idea what I had signed up for. I had no idea how truly broken I would become. I had no idea the depths of pain and confusion I would experience. So many people say that their years on a mission were the best years of their lives. I would never say that. But my mission gave me the greatest years for my life- mainly, because I have learned to be okay with broken dreams and broken expectations.
    I wish I could say that I never question and that I never doubt why certain things have happened. I still shed tears over things that haven't happened the way I had expected they would. I am still waiting for many of my hopes and desires to be fulfilled, but I have learned the absolute beauty and power of broken dreams. My brokenness bonds me to my Savior and makes me more of who I ultimately want to become. Because of my mission, I cannot doubt His love and His hand in orchestrating the details of my life. It has all be worth every tear."
   I'm learning a lot and growing a lot through all of this. Sometimes I don't really know how I make it through the day, and then I remember the promise the Savior gave us, "And whoso receiveth you, there will I be also, of I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you to bear you up." (D&C 84:88). The Lord is with us, and his angles bare us up. I know that to be true.
    But, I'm now going to change the subject to some lighter material...
        Funny Quotes!
SoJo: "...if I were to birth the Holy Ghost..."

SoJo: "I'm the worst homing pigeon ever! I am!"

SoJo: "I mean we all have good consciences... I mean some of ours get fudged up..."

Elder Shanklin (my DL): "If you could choose between being the Avatar..."
Elder Ellsworth (my ZL): "NO ONE wants to be the Avatar!!! Everyone thinks they do, but really the don't... TOO MUCH RESPONSIBILITY!!"

Emma (a member from Sweden) to SoJo: "You're from Arizona? Why aren't you brown?"

Me talking about a future spouse: "The most important thing to me is that I can be myself around him..."
Emma: "RIGHT? Me too! Let's face it, we're going to fart in the future!"

Me to SoJo: "Is this about me? Am I going home? Is he writing the 1st presidency?!"
SoJo: "No... he would probably talk to one of the twelve first..."

President Evans: "I'll always remember the 17 Miracles... and those elders..."

Elder Duncan: "THE 17 MIRACLES ARE ONE?!"
        Happy Birthday 17 Miracles!
    I hope that everyone is doing well back home! I know that it's a busy time of year, but summer is coming soon! Before you know it the kids will be out of school, the temperatures will be soaring, and we will all be praying for fall to come. Well... all of us except me because I live in Norway where you have the most beautiful weather around. But I love you all and think of you often. I'll be seeing ya in 6!
Lots of love,
Kat
P.S. Lori!!! Happy birthday girl!! I need to see a pic of that cute baby bump of yours!! I hope that this week is great and that you had a blast with all your favorite Easter candies!! Can't wait to hear what you guys did! Love you!

Monday, April 7, 2014

PEPSI BOTTLES IN THE SAND

Dear Family and Friends,
   "Endings are not our destiny!" -President Uchtdorf 
     You guys, let's just have like a 10 second general conference rant sesh. I LOVED it. Honestly, GC, for missionaries, is better than Christmas. It starts, President Uchtdorf gets up there, and I feel like I'm waiting for the line up to the next big football game. I just want a drum roll or some start up music or something because I'm just freaking out. Elder Holland starting conference off early? Well played, President Monson, well played. The Preisthood session (which we go to as missionaries :) )? I was speechless. The flower arrangements and the outfits for the MoTab? I would rather not comment on those, but what I am trying to say was conference was AWESOME!!!! I have just been starring at my notes since it all started. And here we watched like 4 sessions on Sunday so it was just a marathon of inspiration. All and all lets talk about my favorites:
     Dallin H. Oaks (priesthood session)- Talked about the Priesthood like a champ. Discussed how women don't have the priesthood but do use the authority of the priesthood. Changed my whole view of the power and authority I have as a missionary. 
     Elder Hallstrom (priesthood session)- "That's just the way I am!" NO!!! It's not just the way you are! Don't even think it! The Savior did not die so that you could just remain the way you are! He died so that you could become infinitely more than what you are!! Okay, he didn't say it quite like that, but we all know that I've always been a little on the dramatic side...
      Richard D. Scott (Saturday afternoon session)- How to become someone that inspires others. I LOVED this talk!! I loved the patterns of the Savior throughout the entire talk. He could have easily been like "How do we become someone that influences others?" and then said "Be like the Savior" and moved on, but he didn't! He used the story of his grandmother and wife to illustrate it. That has always been one of my favorite things about the Savior. He loved people and opened up and allowed them the opportunity to decide where the gospel could heal them. Our character is always strengthened when we choose for ourselves how we will act. I want to be the kind of person that he talks about!! I need this talk like STAT so I can start high lighting and cross referencing!! 
    And last, but not least.... President Uchtdorf (Sunday morning session)- Gratitude y'all. I mean who knew? Its funny actually because I was talking to Elder Rushton about having a hard time and he started talking to me about gratitude and how he we focusing on it. Ever since then it just kept popping up. So I loved this talk because I find it so true, when we are grateful through our trials it really does change things. I loved that he said that just because we are grateful doesn't mean that we are happy with our circumstances, that we look through the eyes of faith and see something more than our current situations. Great talk! Love this man! 
      All and all it was a great conference. I loved all of it, but those were my favorites. What did you guys like? It kinda was just as great as Christmas too because I got to talk to a lot of you on the phone! That was kinda insane, but I really felt like I needed it so I am so glad that everything is playing out like it is!! And it will be great to skype with Jordan and Lins and have my convert talk to them. I think it will really help him with the eternal perspective. President was super excited about the idea as soon as I said it. It was great!! And it was great to talk to a lot of you. Its funny because I feel like nothing has changed. Like I get on the phone and I might as well be calling you from Utah after a class. And I can't believe that in 10 days I will have been gone for a year!!! And in 6 months I will be back home! Man, time goes fast. I'm not even going to start thinking about the future because that just stresses me out! 
     This last week was good. We had a lot of appointments and things to do. On missions, the days are long and the weeks are short. Time is weird. We did a lot of service outside in members yards. I've come to really love yard work. Anything that can put me outside in the fresh air with blue skies is something I'm down for. And a lot of members grilled out for us too. The weather is starting to turn to perfection. No one has better Springs and Summers than Norway. I am definitely getting enough vitamin D! 
      But to break up the monotonous of this e-post let's see a few funny quotes from SoJO:
  SoJo bearing her testimony after personal study about how everyone will know that the Jesus is the Savior: "And one day everyone is going to know its TRUE!!! And I don't like to na-na-boo-boo people but..."
       SoJo and I's conversation about an Elder we know...
   Me: "Oh. His widows peak is awful..."
 SoJo: "That's not a window peak, Sister. That's a widow perch. It looks like he's wearing some kind of Indian tribal garb!" 
     I about peed in my pants when she said that one. We were laying in bed talking about all sorts of things and I just laughed and snorted forever. Oh man! I laugh all the time. I've been so lucky to have FUNNY companions pretty much my whole mission. I think I laugh like crazy probably every day, and if I don't then there is something seriously wrong and we go and get ice cream! 
   Guys... I know mishes aren't supposed to be judgey, but what was Jean A. Stevens thinking? I mean she is a pretty lady. I loved her make up and her fake eye lashes, but the hot pink dress? That was bold. I am shocked. Props to you, Jeany. 
    Last Monday a member invited us over to play karaoke. Talk about a blast. The elders were all sassy about it and then they got there and loved it. We couldn't get them to stop singing. It was super funny! And I feel like we discovered some real covered talent. 
    Also... I closed my eyes for like 2 seconds at the beach last pday and then the next thing I know my 2 liter Pepsi Bottle is buried in the sand. #Rushton #deathstare #whyohwhy
     Basically it was a good week all and all. I was able to talk to my convert and get everything worked out. Basically he struggles with depression and when he was texting me he was having a hard day and he said some crazy things, but he is doing good and we worked through it :)
  I love you all!
Keep it real. Keep it classy. And may the odds be ever in your favor!

Love,
Kat

P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO LINSEY AND DAD!!!! I hope that your birthdays are awesome and fun! And that you both eat lots of cake :) Lins, I'll be talking to you soon på skype so you can tell me all about it. Daddy- just be good to yourself. I know things are crazy with tax season, but at least eat one of your favorite meals.... nachos in the oven! Love you both!!