Dearest Weasley Family and Friends,
I feel like its been forever since I wrote since I didn't have a Pday last week. Lots has happened! Well not really lots, but lots to write home about! Yesterday we had moves call. Unfortunately nothing changed in our district, and we ended up actually losing a whole companionship because Halden got closed down. We were hoping for some new Elders (like Gusty, Ashton, Rusty, or some of our other friends) to come in, but to no avail. I guess we will just keep pioneering it! Elder Gusty did get moved to the zone next to mine so I will get to see him next month at our combined zone conference. So that will be good! And Sister McAruther and I will be staying together until the end of July. I think after that we will be going our separate ways. We will see though! We both don't want this are to be our last area, so it will be exciting to see if we do leave where we will go. I'm already dropping hints to President to send me North or West. I only have 3 transfers left, which is CRAZY!!
Elder Leighton, the elder I have spent over 1/3 of my mission with, just went home today. It was super weird to watch him die. We talked about it all the time, but when I called him this morning to talk to him for one last time it just seemed so odd. In my head he is just leaving for another part of Norway, but then I'm like wait... he's going back to England. It was really funny, yesterday he talked to an Elder in Bergen and the Elder said "I heard a rumor that you are coming back to Norway to marry Sister Hodgkiss!" Elder Leighton was so uncomfortable telling me this story and it took FOREVER for him to just say. Finally he did and I looked at him and said "That doesn't even make sense. Why would we get married here, our families are in America and England." I about died watching his face turn different shades of pink and red. It was too funny!
So I hope that you all saw the pictures from Søtten av Mai. We went to Oslo to celebrate Norway's day of freedom. It was a HUGE event. I didn't even know that that many Norwegians existed. They like came out from under the rocks and then once it was over they just went right back under them. It was crazy! And it was HOT. I don't think that I have ever sweat that much in my entire life. Okay that was definitely an exaggeration, but I have forgotten what heat feels like. And YUCK! Norway is HUMID down here in the South. I need Prez to send me up North like last summer so that I can not want to just lay on the floor all the time.
Anyways, we left our house around 7 am and headed into Olso. We met up with the other missionaries and then took a train into Oslo. There, I met up with Celine. She is the best! I love her! She is from Stavanger, but lives in Sandefjord because she goes to pilot school. We were way close while I was there and then when I got emergency transferred it was kinda hard for her. Its a hard branch to be in if you are young. There really isn't anyone her age. Anywho, we talk a lot and I told her that she should come into Oslo for Søtten av Mai and then we could hang out. So we met up and spent the whole day together. It was great!! We watched the parade of kids (that went on for like 4 hours) and we waved to the Royal Family, and we combated the crowds of people to just go and buy a drink. It was a blast!
All the Norwegians dress up in their Bunads. It is so cool! You know in Hunger Games how they all have different outfits depending on where they are from? Well it is like that here too. There are different kinds of Bunads for each area, and they are all gorgeous. The Elders have this thing where they want to take pictures with pretty girls in Bunads. They have a contest actually. I heard them talking about how they wanted to break the record and get the most girls in Bunads in one picture. I was thinking how funny it would be if a Sister ended up doing it and how mad they would all be. So when I saw a group of 9 girls with Bunads I thought to myself, why not, and mustered up my courage and told them I had an American challenge that I wanted their help with. So I used my contacting skills and I just started rounding up all these girls from all over to take a picture with me. I counted to make sure that I had enough to break the record and went to take the picture when who shows up??? JONES!! And he JUMPS in my picture with me! Okay okay, the kid is my hero so I'm glad to have a pic with him, but not while I am breaking a record here! But it was super funny because he wanted it so bad, so I let him slide. I then spent the rest of the day bragging to all the elders. I got many text messages congratulating me. Then I told the sisters about it and we decided that we wanted to one up it even further and ended up taking a picture with 28 girls in one picture. It was super fun and super American, but sometimes you need that!
Afterwards we headed to Presidents house for a BBQ. That was a lot of fun! We had 45 missionaries all together and we just got to hang out, eat, and play games. Sister Hilton was there who I adore so I got to catch up with her. She goes home in 8 weeks!! But she is going to BYU and I think we might live together once I get back. She is the best! Most of us are going to BYU so its pretty much just going to be the mission all over again once we get back...well plus dating drama and the whole real life part. President and Sister Evans wanted us to stay as long as possible, so we all didn't start leaving until 730. Most of us didn't get home until 10 or 11. It was so much fun, but really I don't think I could do it again. I was so exhausted and it was so perfect, that I am so glad we don't have another one because nothing could top it. It has been my favorite celebration in Norway. So fun!
In other news Sister McArthur and I have started a 30 Days of Service challenge. It has been going great! Usually you don't get very many opportunities for service in Norway, but since we told them its a challenge we have set for ourselves they have been great about coming up with ideas for us! The first week was great! We did a Spa day with 3 little girls, helped out with a YW's activity, cleaned the church's kitchen, washed a car, did yard work, and delivered cookies. We already have people signed up for this week which is great! I love doing service! And its been fun to get to know so many people better while helping them out. I will keep you guys updated with pictures!
How are things going with y'all? How is Lori doing? She is due so soon! I talked to President and it looks like we are all scheduled to depart on October 16th. But I will get a more for sure date. I hope that all finds you well! Love you guys!!