Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
Well well well. Here we are at another pday! This week has been one of many fun things. Sister McArthur and I hit our YEAR MARK in the land. Our black year (year without touching American soil) is now over. We have about 18 weeks left. I feel like that means the pressure is on! What wisdom and fun adventures can I tell in my time left?! We also had a music night at the church and Sister McArthur and I both sang. Of course we had the whole visiting the doctor in another country experience. I guess I had to do it in Russia, so I have to do it in Norway too. My doctor was actually from some country around Russia and spoke Swedish. That was fun! But all went well. He understood me and I understood him. Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian are all close enough that you can get the jist of everything going on. Sister McArthur hadn't been able to hear out of her left ear for 7 weeks and we got that fixed! I would say that that's a success if I ever heard one! All and all it was a good week.
We have a cool investigator named Leni that we are teaching. She is from the Philippians and moved here when she got married. She is married to a member and basically has been living the gospel for the last year. It is really cool because she just glows. She is doing great and moving right along. I guess she really doesn't have too much of a choice since her husband is super active. It's been cool to see the impact of having a member so directly involved in her teaching. It has really been so helpful. It makes me want to have all my investigators marry a member so that they can have the same experience. We taught her the Word of Wisdom yesterday and I asked her if she would begin living it and she told me that she had been for a year now. I was like "Oh... um... okay then..... (think Lou, think...) Um... how has it blessed your life then?" It was funny. But she has already seen so many blessings and strengths even though she didn't really know what she was doing. She still wants to know more before she is baptized, but she is doing great!
Guess who showed up at my door this week? Torunn Hansen. First off, how is she so tan? Second off, she came just in time to meet the May deadline. I've seen here March, April, and now May. I mean I don't mean to be high maintenance, but I'm just going to say I expect a June and July visit as well. It was way good to see her. She is as cute as ever! And I got to see her sister too. #teamHansen
I haven't heard anything back from the doctor yet. I am slightly annoyed because I feel like they are going to find out there isn't anything wrong, and I would rather there just be SOMETHING off so that it would explain everything. Just a small something like needing more iron or vitamin D or Mono. I don't know, something that could get better so that I would feel better. I haven't felt too bad in the last few days, but sometimes I think its getting better and bam I'm back to square one. I don't know! But I'm not expecting any terrible news, so we can rest easy on that one. As soon as I find out I will send you guys an update!
Yesterday after church we had a music night. It was so much fun!! I love music so much. There is just something about having a piano and a microphone and singing your heart out that is like therapy. Music really is the voice of the soul. Sister McArthur sang Hallelujah, the song from Shrek, and I sang Dream by Priscilla Ahn. Where did I fall in love with that song? When Katie had it on her blog. I knew blog stalking would pay off! Wellah, this adorable member here in Sarpsborg, is so talented. She can hear a song and then sit down at the piano and just play it by ear. It is so cool to listen to her play! She played for both Sister McArthur and I. I was so nervous!! If I'm not in costume and on stage I get way nervous, but it was so fun. It turned out great and afterwards everyone was treating us like celebrities. I love this ward! They are just the sweetest and most welcoming.
We are also continuing our 30 Days of Service. This week the line up was:
DAY SEVEN: We made Cds with our favorite church songs for our investigators and some members
DAY EIGHT: Washed an inactive's windows!
DAY NINE: Helped prepare a meal!
DAY TEN: Thank you cards!
DAY ELEVEN: We picked wild flowers and gave them to an inactive
DAY TWELVE: We made Homemade American Oreo Milkshakes and ate them with 2 young women
DAY THIRTEEN: We sang in the concert!!!
We are running out of set ways to serve people because we are running out of members and inactives, so we are having to get a little creative, but its been really fun!
This week for distrikt meetings and whatnot we talked about the importance of the scriptures, specifically the Book of Mormon. Growing up with the Book of Mormon I have always just taken it for granted. I didn't ever know what it was like to not have it, so sometimes baring testimony about it can be difficult. During one of my studies I studied about it in Preach My Gospel. I got about one page in before I asked "Why is the Book of Mormon really important to me?" So I sat there and I thought about it for a bit and then I decided to write my testimony of it. I thought that I could share with you guys what I wrote.
" As I sit here and think about what the Book of Mormon has done for me, memories rush by. Three have been so many night ans days where the Book of Mormon was what gave me the push to get through the day or to the next day. There are so many blessings that come form this Holy Scripture. I have had prayers answered, I have felt peace, I have been guided an corrected, and my testimony of this Church has grown, but what I hold most dear about the Book of Mormon is that it teaches me more about God, our Heavenly Father, and His son, Jesus Christ. Through the Book of Mormon I come to know them personally. I come to understand their attributes and the way they interact with us. By coming to understand them better, I come to understand who I am better, for they are my Father and Brother.
I see in them talents, gifts, and attributes that I have been given. This reminds me of who I am, and who I can become. I see their goodness and perfection as they show mercy and compassion. This inspires me to be better. I can learn from their example and work on traits I want to acquire. As I come to know them, I come to understand that God has given me a small portion of Him. All that is good in me are attributes that He has. These same attributes were given to Christ in their fullness. This testifies to me that we are eternal beings and destines to be like our Father in Heaven.
I know that I have weaknesses and flaws but through the Book of Mormon we see how we are strengthened about changed through Christ. We, like Him, can grow grace by grace. And through His Atonement we can experience this change that those of the scriptures did.
The Book of Mormon testifies of a loving Heavenly Father who is actively involved in His children's lives. It teaches u that we belong to Him and our lives have purpose. We have all that we need to change and become like Him, for He love us and desires our happiness. The Book of Mormon reminds me of my divine heritage and helps me to look through my current circumstance with eternal eyes of faith."
I think that Moroni 10:32-33 explains what we are all trying to do. We are all trying to be perfected in Christ, to come closer to Heaven, to be more like our Father. On your mission you feel like its a completely separate life time. Each transfer is its own separate eternity. But as I have been out here I have seen how through Christ we can be changed. He says to us "This is going to be the hardest thing you have ever done, but I'm willing to go to Hell and back with you if it means that you can be saved." And he does. He stands by us through everything and as we are refined we are blessed. The Atonement is real.
I love you all!! I am praying that the baby comes soon and that everyone gets to be tilsted (um... translation... gets to be there? sorta)!! I can't wait to see pictures of her! And the outfits are to die for!! Eeekk!! Summer sounds like it is on and in full bloom! ENJOY it! I hope everyone has a great week!!
Keep it real. Keep it classy. And may the odds be ever in your favor!
I forgot to add a subject AND funny quotes!
Here we go:
"What do you do when you want to throw up because you have eaten so much but you still want to eat more? What do you do when you know your morbidly obese because of that?" - McArthur
"I sent her a text last night that said 'This isn't a fairy-tale women..." - Leighton
"What do you do when you've become everything you don't want to be on your mission?" - McArthur
"I am thoroughly surprised that I have not resorted to cutting my wrists at night in the bathroom..." #sistermisionarylife