Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Dope, which is actually Dåp, is baptism in Norwegian!

Dear Weasley Family and Friends,
        Dope, which is actually Dåp, is baptism in Norwegian. And that my friends and dear loved ones, is what we had last week. Okay, now let me just say this. It was not as easy as we thought. Actually, it was very dramatic, in fact, and the elders saved the day twice, but he was baptized and confirmed. Thank all that is good, because it almost didn't happen! 
        So everything with Salko has been super easy. He stopped smoking, drinking coffee, and accepted everything else with ease. It only took him 4 weeks to be baptized. So going into this week, as a missionary you are always a bit nervous because you know how Satan works, but I also thought well that it would be just some minor things. Well the week comes and first Salko gets sick. Sister Hilton and I always talked about the fact that Satan and the immune system are directly related, and it was no different this time. *See Bible Dictionary: The Fall, Satan, Blood* He kept saying I hope I get better so that I can be baptized! Well Friday comes around and we call him and he tells us that he can't be baptized the next day. It was less than 24 hours left, and we didn't know what to do. We couldn't just call that baptism off! He needed to be baptized! So Elder Hall and Elder Ashton come to Sarpsborg with us and we try talking to Salko, except he won't really talk to us. He is doing like a million different things, and he keeps saying he is too sick, and then he leaves. We are all just praying our hearts out trying to figure out what to do. Finally, he comes back and we get him to sit down and talk to us. It turns out that he got a ticket in the mail that he supposedly didn't pay and he said that he had to pay it and deal with it, so he couldn't get baptized. Luckily the elders were there because I was speechless at this point. I have learned that in these situations its better for me to keep my mouth shut. The elders talked him down and figured out a plan and then offered him a blessing. In the blessing Elder Ashton was very clear about the fact that Salko needed to come to his baptism and the confirmation. After the blessing Salko was feeling a lot better, and so we made plans for the next day, and went to bed feeling pretty good. 
           The actual day of the baptism went smoothly. Everyone showed up on time and did exactly what they were supposed to. Well, one of the Talic kids that was supposed to sing was no where to be found, but that was minor. We had 4 of the Talic children there, and a cousin. It was a great show up from them! Many members came and there was lots of dessert afterwards. It was great! We came and saw them after the baptism and everyone was so excited. Salko was so excited to get the Holy Ghost the next day and the kids were excited that he was going to be finally a "real Christian" as they call it.  Salko talked to the police department about his ticket and found out that they had made a mistake and that he didn't have to pay anything. All was well in the Norway. It was an exhausting, but good day. 
             Sunday I woke up and didn't feel very well. I just felt really anxious and worried and I couldn't figure out why. I couldn't focus in personal study to save my life. I just kept thinking about everything coming up in the next 3 months that I have to do. It was so frustrating. When I was talking to Sister Trydal about it in comp study I just kept thinking that usually when I feel this way something goes wrong, but I brushed it off. Well pretty soon I found out what the feeling was about. We went to the Talic's house to get the kids ready and make sure that Salko was ready and it was pure madness. There was lots of tension and Salko wouldn't talk to us. He kept saying that he had stuff to do and that he couldn't come. Well I'm going to be honest, I freaked. He hadn't been confirmed and the chances are if he didn't come to church that he wouldn't be ever, so we followed him around his house trying to talk to him, but he wouldn't give us the time of day. The kids were ready and waiting so I decided to just go grab them when their dad came out yelled at Salko and the kids. Belma the 5 year old looked at me and said "We don't have permission to go." It all happened so fast, we didn't really know what was going on, not to mention the fact that it was all happening in Bosnisk, which we don't speak. So we left thinking that the dad said that no one had permission to go to church anymore, and I cried the entire was to church. 
              Once we got there we told the elders what had happened. We had to go to RS right away because we had a lesson to teach. After the first hour Elder Drage came up to me and said "Come on lets go, we are going to go get him." So Selwyn (the member that baptized him), Elder Drage, and Elder Hall drove to his house. 20 minutes later I get a text that said "You're welcome" from Elder Drage, and they all show up with 2 of the Talic kids about 10 minutes after Sacrament meeting started. Just in time for him to be confirmed as a new member. Moral of the story? Sister Hodgkiss is glad she is dying soon because I don't think my heart can take more of these last minute game changers! 
                I'm so glad that everything worked out. Apparently there was quiet a misunderstanding between everyone and Salko was overwhelmed so the dad told him to sleep it off. He had just woken up again when Selwyn and the elders got there. I'm grateful that Elder Drage listened to his promptings! And I am so glad that Salko is now baptized and confirmed. Now just to get him to church for the rest of his life.... Right, we will take that one next week! 
               The kids were the cutest and sang at the baptism! Everyone loved it and the kids were so proud of themselves. They had practiced for weeks. It was almost time to sing and the 10 year old, Selma was so nervous and told me she didn't think that she could do it. I told here the if we are scared then we can pray and Heavenly Father will help us. So we said a quick prayer. The song went great and they were all really happy. Afterwards it was my and Elder Drage's turn to sing and I told them I was super nervous. Selma looked at me and said "I guess we are going to need to say another prayer then." It was so cute! We said a prayer and then I went up and sang. Afterwards she smiled and beamed because Heavenly Father had heard our prayers. 
               The ward loved Elder Drage and I's song. They asked us to sing the next day. Selwyn is from Trinadad and has this deep black voice. He came up to me afterwards and said "That was just like sweet sugar bread. You're sweet sugar bread." I about died. Now the elders love to call me Sweet Sugar Bread whenever possible, and of course they say it in a deep black man's voice. I die laughing every time. Selwyn's Finnish wife came up to me and said "Your light reflects who you are. Yours is so pure and clean. Keep it." It made me smile and think about the light that we each have. I have been uplifted and strengthened by so many other's light. 
 "If you want to give light to others, you have to glow yourself." - President Monson
        When Elder Bednar was here he said something that caught my attention. He quoted D&C 50 "...that you may chase darkness from among you." I have been thinking about darkness and light so much lately! I don't know what it is, but its just been stuck in there. Maybe it's because I have had those dark times. Times where there seems to be no end, where there seems to be a heaviness that sits upon my shoulders, and even times where I have questioned if God loved me individually. I think back to those dark times and I think about the feelings that came when that light began to come back. Some times it was only for a few hours, I would visit a member I just loved or have a experience where I felt close to the Lord. And there would be so much peace. We all want peace from the world. We can look around today and there is so much happening. There is so much pain in the world, there is so much going on in our own lives. Do we ever take a moment to just sit? To just feel? And think things through? To we take time to bask in the light that we have? 
           I studied darkness and light today and I found a scripture that I really loved. It is D&C 88:67  And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.
   The gospel brings that light that we need. This weekend we have the wonderful opportunity to hear from those that carry much light, the prophet and the apostles. Who is excited? I am! I already made a list of questions that I am going to be looking for answers to. I don't know about you guys, but every time I listen to conference I come back feeling lighter. I definitely feel that there is more light around me around the weeks after conference. I am super excited!! 
     Belma the 5 year old was praying for after our meeting, on Friday, to encourage him to be baptized. I was helping her say the prayer and I said "thank you that Salko can be baptized" and she said "thank you that Salko can be killed." I said døpt and she said drept. We were all laughing and trying to remain reverent at the same time. Kids are so cute! 
      I hope everyone has a fabulous week! I love you all!! We will be facing soon!! 

Keep it real. Keep it classy. And may the odds ever be in your favor!


Monday, September 29, 2014

Saldo on his Dap day!

This is what our church experience is like... #loveFredrikstadward

Salko on his Dåp day" 

Salko and Selwyn
 Elders these days...

Family pic! 

Group pic with the Olsens and the Langbachs

Lil-Clarissa and Erin!! 

Selma Talic and I

Add caption

 I said "If you Elders touch my cake I will kill you." I come into the kitchen to find this... 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Last minute talk!

Dear Weasley Family and Friends,
                   Well I was excited to see that I had lots of emails about the "what's happening" in everyone's lives. Shout outs to Kate, Annie, Heather, and Mom for keeping me up to date! I loved all the pictures and I love hearing about all of you! I sounds like you guys are all busy! Isn't that what Fall always brings? Its like summer everything just goes into slow motion and Fall comes and BAM! Its Christmas! I am excited for Christmas! So many things remind me of it. Like weird things, like, the smell that the car has when the heater is on. I guess in Texas that's the only time its on? Yeah, I'm not sure, and still a little confused about that one, but I am excited for the Holidays, nonetheless! 
    But, to tell you the truth talk about plans and trips and things after the mish really freak me out. I don't really understand it because I am quite ready to be done. I don't know if that makes me a bad person or not, but I don't have anything left to go longer than my time. The phrase I keep using is "Its all heart from here" I honestly feel like physically, emotionally, and mentally everyday is a struggle. Finding the energy and capacity to serve as I always have is getting more difficult, and at the same time easier. Although I feel as my resources are limited, I feel that things have finally fallen into place. Things I have wanted or tried to make happen my whole mission are just happening now. Everyone always told me that once it starts to feel comfortable and you get the hang of it, its time to go. 
      It kind of reminds me of something that I remember Corby saying once. He was talking about 2-a-days and he said that they would start with one workout and it would be really hard. Just when his body was getting used to it, Coach would change the workout up, and he would constantly stay in a state of exhaustion and soreness. This week we had the STL's (Sister Training Leaders) for a visit. I was talking with Sister Harrison about our missions and things that we had learned. She said to me, "You know I used to think that the Sister Training Leaders or Trainers had the leadership position that had because they were this or they were that, but now I've learned that they had it because it was what would keep them on their knees." That really hit me. Keep them on their knees? What did that really even mean? 
       I thought about it a lot and I realized how true that statement was. I spent a lot of time on my mission looking at other's missions and thinking "Why is mine so different?" I've had a lot of challenges that many didn't have to go through, and I've been put in a lot of situations I would not have chosen to be placed in, but one thing that is common with all of my experiences is it has been exactly what I needed to keep me on my knees. If there is one thing that I have learned, if I really had to buckle it down to one thing, I would say it has been the power of the Atonement. Not the Atonement in broad general terms, but the real, everyday, tangible power of the Atonement in my life. If I had to go one step further and set it to a scripture I say this one:  O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.
        To tell you guys the truth I am very nervous for the next stage of life. I guess I don't like the fact that I have to put away my missionary planner and lose my Distrikt Leader who tells me what meetings I have and where. Starting new chapters are always exciting and scary, but this one seems so much scarier then the others? I don't really like the fact that when I step off that plane that my life becomes a blank piece of paper. Sure I can write whatever I want, but some guidelines would be nice! I guess that's where the whole "continuous revelation" principle becomes so important. I know that it's all going to work out, but its definitely going to be an adjustment! You guys will just have to help me adjust as best as possible. Who's with me at waking up every morning at 630?! Anyone?! Anyone?! Just kidding guys... that's probs the thing I am looking forward to the most! 7 am sleep ins! Whoot! Whoot! 
          But, like I said earlier, the time is coming snartly for me to go. How do I know this? Besides the fact that everything is breaking and running out and being lost? Well because I gave a talk in church on Sunday. Someone couldn't do it last minute, so I was called Saturday night at 730, and asked to present the last few principles in the first lesson that the missionaries teach. My first thoughts were "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Talks are hard. Talks in a language that isn't your own become harder. But, as I stood up there to give my talk I realized that I knew how to do this. I wasn't nervous and I could give a talk my talk just as easily as I could if it was in English. Yep. It's time to go. Got to stay sore, right? 
           As I said I spoke about the Restoration, but I didn't want it to be like I teach to investigators, so I used a few talks from May's conference and a couple other ones. I love cross referencing! I love going through my library of talks and matching things up! Here is a run down of my talk:
  • What is truth? This is a question that has been asked for years.
  • Pilate asked Christ in John 18:37-38 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
     38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?
  • We all want truth, but we want truth that will not change. When Pilate asked Christ what is truth? he searched for heavens truth. Heavens truth exists beyond belief. It exists even if no one believes it. 
  • President Utchdorf: Well over one hundred years ago, an American poet put to rhyme an ancient parable. The first verse of the poem speaks about:
    Six men of Indostan
    To learning much inclined,
    Who went to see the Elephant
    (Though all of them were blind),
    That each by observation
    Might satisfy his mind.
    In the poem each of the six travelers takes hold of a different part of the elephant and then describes to the others what he has discovered.
    One of the men finds the elephant’s leg and describes it as being round and rough like a tree. Another feels the tusk and describes the elephant as a spear. A third grabs the tail and insists that an elephant is like a rope. A fourth discovers the trunk and insists that the elephant is like a large snake.
    Each is describing truth.
    And because his truth comes from personal experience, each insists that he knows what he knows.
  • I 1820 there was a boy who desired truth. Raised in a time with many churches. Confused. Joseph said JSH 1:10 In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them beright, which is it, and how shall I know it?
  • His search brought him to James 1:5  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
  • He decided to pray. Elder Corbridge said : And yet as anxious as he is, he doesn’t run to a quiet corner and rattle off a hurried prayer. He is only 14, but in his haste to know, he is not hasty. This is not to be just any prayer. He decides where to go and when to make the attempt. He prepares to talk to God.
  • He thought over everything and he went to a near by grove. There, he found a quite place where he knelled down and offered his first uttered prayer
  • But he had opposition. He said: I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.
  • Elder Corbridge: Opposition, criticism, and antagonism are companions to the truth. Whenever the truth with regard to the purpose and destiny of man is revealed, there will always be a force to oppose it. Beginning with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, down to the ministry of Christ, and on down to our day, there has always been and will ever be an effort to deceive, derail, oppose, and frustrate the plan of life.
  • How many times has this happened to us? I know for me every time that I try to start doing something good I meet opposition. But Joseph had a perfect faith. We learn from the Brother of Jared that to see God you have to have perfect faith. Joseph had an absolute hope and faith that God would answer his prayer. 
  • JSH 1:16-17: at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction...I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me...When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description,standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!
  • Joseph saw God and Jesus Christ. They spoke to him and answered his question, the same question that many had asked for thousands of years. And this question, What is truth, was answered all because one boy decided to pray. 
  • Now we didn't have to listen to one blind man explain to us the way, we could see and feel for ourselves. The gospel was restored in its fullness. 
  • But do we know what we have?
  • President Utchdorf: Sometimes we think of the Restoration of the gospel as something that is complete, already behind us—Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, he received priesthood keys, the Church was organized. In reality, the Restoration is an ongoing process; we are living in it right now. It includes “all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal,” and the “many great and important things” that “He will yet reveal.”2Brethren, the exciting developments of today are part of that long-foretold period of preparation that will culminate in the glorious Second Coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
  • Are you sleeping through the Restoration? 
  • We believe in living prophets which means that we believe that God is still revealing things for our lives. Contentious revelation. 
  • Through Joseph Smith we know that Gud lives. He knows his children personally and he has a active hand in our lives. 
  • This is not a small thing
  • God has given us everything that we need so that we can come back to him.
  • He guided Joseph Smith to the gold plates and gave him power to translate them. 
  • Today we have the Book of Mormon. We can hold it in our hands, see it, and read it. 
  • (holding book) This is the answer to Pilate's and Joseph's answer. This is truth.
  • Joseph said: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”
  • Do you read from the Book of Mormon every day?
  • Do you know what you have?
  •  We are promised that if we read the Book of Mormon with an sincere heart that we will know by the Holy Ghost that it is true.
  • This is not just a one time thing. This is an everyday thing. 
  • As we read the Book of Mormon and pray, the Lord will answer our questions, give us guidance, and lead us to truth. 
  • Testimony 
            That was that! I felt happy when I sat down. A little bit like I had overcome some of my biggest fears. I still get nervous to speak, but I think its been cool to see all the ways my mission has molded me. 
            Btw, I would encourage everyone to watch the new Mormon Message: You Never Know. Seriously. Watch it. Esp. if you are a mom.      http://www.mormonchannel.org/video/mormon-messages?v=3792885561001&cid=HPFR091914425
            In the news of the Talics things are still going well. This is a big week! Salko is going to be baptized on Saturday. 3 of the Talics will be singing at his baptism. I have taught them A Child's Prayer and now when we go over there we sing it a million times. I fall asleep with it in my head. I will record it and send it home to you guys next week. Belma, the 5 year old starts the song off with a solo. Its so cute! We practiced a lot after church tomorrow. The kids have been coming to church and they love it. They love primary and they love singing. It's so good for them. The gospel really blesses families. I have seen the light it brings into those that don't have very much light in their lives. We are planning on talking to the mom next week about the kids being baptized. I am praying my heart out that she says yes. We are hoping to have her at the baptism on Saturday and that the Spirit will touch her heart. It will be an exciting, busy week! 
             Our days are filled with floor games, children's church activities, and many hugs. I don't think I could say that I have had a more fulfilling time on my mission. I love kids! I really do! And I am always so blown away by the fact that for so long I didn't want kids at all. Now, let's not get a head of ourselves, I don't want a million, but I definitely want a few! I can't wait to see all the nieces and nephews at home! It is going to be so fun! 
              Oh, btw, Mom can you call the secretary in the Irving Ward and ask when they want me to do my Homecoming Speech and on what subject. Also, if they give you a lame subject, tell them that I will probably just end up speaking about what I want, so they should probably re-think that one. 
                Anywho, I hope that you all have a great week! I don't really have time to write all of you that wrote me back, but I want you guys to know, that I LOVE your letters. I love all the pictures and I love being updated on your lives. It's what I miss the most about being home! Just hearing about what is going on in the every day! I loved the pics from Knox's baptism, and hearing all about it. I am so glad that so many of the fam could be there! It sounded like it was a wonderful day! Brent and Lori you guys are just the cutest! Anywho, I better get! 

Keep it real. Keep it classy. And may the odds be ever in your favor! 


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Picking up our missionary

Dear Parents,
Just a follow up on previous emails or letters sent to you concerning the pick up of your missionaries in Norway.  President and Sister Evans would like to invite you as parents to dinner the evening of October 15th at 6:00 pm at the mission home.  There will be quite a few in attendance to this dinner so if you have children or others traveling with you please know that this dinner is just for parents and not for siblings.  There is limited space in the mission home. 
If you would please respond to this email and let me know for sure that you will be there or not so I can pass this information onto Sister Evans.  We look forward to meeting you all.  We have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know your daughters.  They all have been diligent in their service here as missionaries and many love them, as do we.  Thanks for sharing them with us.
Sister Allen
Norway Oslo Mission Secretary

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Dinner at CeCe

Liss-Andrea and Lil- Clarissa and I taking mirror pictures! 

Dinner with CeCe 

Dinner with CeCe 

Monday, September 15, 2014

"The Lord is in the details of our lives."

Dear Weasley Family and Friends,
              I would like to formally announce that I bought books 2-5 of the Harry Potter series in Norwegian. Are we excited? Yes! Are we worried that I won't be able to read them because I don't have magic/wizard vocabulary? Absolutely! Am I going to read them anyways? Yes! In like a month because I don't think it talks about Christ in those books. Exciting times. Exciting times! 
            So another week has come and gone and I look back and think "What have I even done?" I really don't even remember the details of the weeks anymore, they seem to just clash together. Jumping on the trampoline with the Talics, baking brownies, eating too much. It all just wraps itself up into one episode that I call "my mission". And today is the 15th meaning that I see Mom and Dad in exactly a month. I feel like I should be losing weight for this, but the members have other ideas. One day last week all I honestly did all day was teach and eat cake. Every house we went to had cake. What am I supposed to do? Probably tell them I am terrified of di-a-beat-is, but instead I just put on this surprised look and say "Cake?! My favorite!" I have perfected the "I'm so happy you made more bad food for me to eat" face. Also, the "I know what you are saying" face. I gained that talent when I came into the land and people started speaking a million words an hour. The probably is that now I'm too good at the face, so when I'm with Familien Talic and they start speaking Bosnisk I put the face on and then they think I know what they are saying. The gift of tongues is a gift of the Spirit, but I don't got it, that's for sure! #Moroni10 #rambling 
                  I saw the pic of Lins and Brent and Lori and Baby Knox! You guys are all adorable! Knox is getting so big. I know it's hard on him that I'm gone, but I will be there soon! Can't wait to meet him and Nixon. And get to know Heston because I held him like "ah" time before my mish. And Mills probs doesn't even remember me, so that will be new. And Gavin still thinks I'm bringing a dragon home for him, so I don't know what to do about that. And Tommye is like almost in YW. And Brylee is talking up a storm and probably has enough sass for all of us. And Jade's hair is longer than mine and prettier. And the rest of you are all skinny. So I guess there is some proof that its really been 18 months? At least we have some mile stones. As for me, I've just gained weight and my teeth are stupid now because my dang retainer broke a few months ago. Yes Mom, this is me breaking it to you lightly that my retainer is broken. I figured since you have 4 weeks, you will be able to forgive me by the time I see you. Hey, at least I was using it! 
                    We did have a really cool miracle at the beginning of the week! So the week before last week, Sister Trydal and I were doing our weekly planning. We were talking about working with the youth because we really felt like that would help them a lot. So as we were discussing ways that we could help the youth. We decided that it would be really great if we invited one of the YW to be with us for an entire day. She lives a long way out and has a hard time coming to church, and we wanted her to be at the Sister's Conference Broadcast so we decided that we could have her on Tuesday. We wrote in in our planners and planned most of the day so that we would have good activities to do with her. That was Thursday. Well the week gets busy and we kind of forgot to call her and talk to her about it. So Monday night comes and we give her a call. No answer. So we decided that we could just do it another time. Tuesday comes and we have some time so we go into the city center and are kontakting and talking to people. Sister Trydal stopped this Muslim man and said "We are from the Church of Jesus Christ..." he didn't really understand her and so he said "No, but she is really beautiful" and pointed at me. Sorry, that had nothing to do with the miracle, but nonetheless.. Anywho, so we were talking to people and I was tired so we decided to go inside the mall, find a bench, and make some phone calls. We sit down and who do we see on the bottom floor below us? The Young Woman we had planned to spend the day with! We went up to her and we asked what she was doing in Sarpsborg and she told us that her bus card wasn't working and she didn't know how she was going to be able to get home. I told her that I had a good idea, she could just come spend the day with us. She quickly called her parents and we got the green light and she was able to spend the whole day with us, including going to the Sister's Meeting. It was a wonderful day! On the way home, she said "Would it be okay if we did this one day every week?" I tried to hide my excitement and play it cool, but really I was jumping for joy! It was so cool because everything worked out just as we had planned it. It was a huge tender mercy and the Lord really led us, without us even knowing it. It reminds me of the quote by President Monson, "The Lord is in the details of our lives." He loves his children and he works all the details out so that we can be blessed. 
                     Things are still going well with the Talic family! We teach them everyday and they are getting into better routines. They are going to be singing "A child's prayer" for Salko's baptism, so I have been teaching them that. Belma is 5 and can't read so we sing it over and over again. It will make sure they are at the baptism, and it will just be the cutest. Salko also wants me to sing in English at the baptism, so I dragged Elder Drage, my distrikt leader into singing with me. Its the last few weeks before Salko is baptized, so things are pretty crazy. It always last minute teaching, hair pulling, someone forgot to bake brownies kind of ordeal, but its always a happy ending! Salko is so excited to be baptized and the ward has been great with welcoming him. The kids are fitting in well with the other kids, and love primary. They have a primary program coming up and they have been promised cake if they sing well. To say the least, they are very excited for that! I feel a little bit like a mom because my days are filled with bicycle rides, and family home evening, and homemade treats and meals, but man do I love it. Working with families is the best! It definitely has its challenges that single investigators don't have, but its so much more rewarding. I have learned that I really just love kids. I don't know exactly what I want to do with my life, but I know that it has to do with kids because I'm the happiest with them. It's been a huge blessing to be with them so often! This ward has so many kids and families and I am lucky to be in so many of their homes. 
                          Yesterday we were able to eat dinner at CeCe's house. She is the professional golfer and basically the coolest. The discussions at her house are always so enriching and uplifting! Her friend from Tyland was also with us. She spoke in church and CeCe translated! Mom and Dad do you guys want to speak in church when you are here? ;) I am so grateful for the people that I've met here on my mission. There are so many amazing wonderful people who have uplifted me and inspired me to reach my potential. CeCe and so many of the other members here are some of those people. There is just a light that comes from them that is unmistakable! Elder Bednar talked about this in his talks. He quoted D&C 50 "light will case away the darkness". As I meet with these members and families, and investigators I see how that light is what we all need, its what we cling to. This gospel chases away the darkness. It chases away questions, doubts, weaknesses, and insecurities. A life in Christ is a life in the light. 
                I hope that you guys all had a wonderful week! I love you all and you know I am so looking forward to seeing you! You're always in my thoughts and prayers!

Keep it real. Keep it classy. And may the odds be ever in your favor! 


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Reunions and 17 miracles

Benedikte's birthday party

 We had a ward party in the park and I brought all the games that mom sent me. I did bubbles with the kids for like 30 minutes! This is Liam, Wellah's kid. He loved it! 

R-Pitts! I love this girl! 

TJ, after 6 months of being apart

Me, Celine, and TJ

Me, Gusty, and Roe 

Me, Nielson, and Shank! These guys were greenies in Trondheim, and now they have been out over a year and are ZLs and DLs! I love them! 

Ap Dallin Jonesy! Got to love him! And I don't know what TJ is doing in the back there..

Sister Hartley! She is my sister because we were both trained by Hilty. She is the cutest! 

17 Miracles 

17 Miracles 

My MTC district 

All the Sisters in the mission 

My entire mission

Visiting with ELDER BEDNAR and SISTER BEDNAR...Amazing!

Dear Weasley Family and Friends,
           First and foremost, I would like everyone to know that I woke up Wednesday morning, sat straight up, and thought "SHAWN'S BIRTHDAY IS IN NOVEMBER!!" I don't know what I was thinking! I think I just say that Sunday was the 7th and the just jumped the boat. Needless to say, I apologize for the 2 month early birthday wishing. Good news? I'll be home for you're real birthday, so I can just give you a call. #yourewelcome #stillhashtagging
            Now that that's taken care of, we can move on. #1. Elder Gusty is now in my distrikt! I drove him and his comp home from Oslo yesterday and it was the best. Everyone asked me what I did to end up with Elder Ashton and Gusty in my distrikt, and really I don't know, but I'm pretty much dying with the best elders around. #feelinglucky #2. I saw TJ!! She's great. End of story. #3. I was 5 feet from Elder Bednar yesterday, and I talked to him and he asked me questions, and I about died. 
                  You guys, ELDER BEDNAR IS SO COOL!!!! He is seriously one of the coolest people I have ever met. And his wife is AMAZING!! The whole thing was amazing. They are so real and personable. They make jokes and talk like us and think like us, except like 1000 times better. And the Spirit is so strong! They just have this light and way of saying things and the Spirit can just teach you everything that you need to know. I will start with the missionary meeting and work backwards. We had the missionary meeting after the conference. We didn't have much time in between so we had to leave the conference and book it to get to the other side of Oslo. We ate sack lunches on the way and got to the Oslo church and sat down and started reading our scriptures. Who can read your scriptures when an Apostle of the Lord is down stairs? I struggled to focus! When he came in we all stood up and the room filled with the Spirit. I think we were all a little nervous and worried. I sat there and thought "Oh my, I should memorize a scripture, or my purpose, or my name or something..." But he came in and the meeting started and when he got up to speak the first thing he talked about was that he would not be quizzing us. He talked about how when we make someone answer we turn them into an object instead of an agent. An object is acted upon, an agent acts. And he asked us to be willing to ask questions and have dialogues with him. I had already decided that I would just listen because I didn't feel like I had any questions, but the first question he asked was what did we learn from the talks he asked us to study, and the next thing I know my hand is in the air. It was like an out of body experience! I looked at my hand and thought, "Well heck, now it's too late." and then I thought that I should probably not be thinking that because he is an Apostle of the Lord and he can probably hear my thoughts. So I stood up and I explained that what I had learned was the power of questions, that even God, who knows everything asks us questions. Like in the garden after Adam ate from the Tree of Life. God comes and he says "Adam where art thou?" God knew where he was, but God wanted Adam to be an agent, not an object. He didn't want to say "Adam! I see you! Get over here NOW"! He understands that we learn better by choosing to act and not being acted upon, so he always offers us the choice. Elder Bednar asked me a few questions like why do I think that is, and how has it changed things for me. And then, like he did with all the comments and expounded upon it and told stories and used scriptures and asked more questions. It was the coolest thing! We talked a long time about everything we learned and then he opened up the conversation for questions. Everyone was very nervous to say anything at the beginning, but as the time went on we began to really believe that he wasn't going to ask us to recite D&C 4 or the principles of the Gospel backwards. He said "The Spirit doesn't play guess what's in my head." and that he wouldn't ask questions where we had to guess what answer he wanted, but that he would ask questions to know what he honestly thought. The Spirit was so strong. He did a lot of talking, but we did a lot of talking too and as we did we taught each other. It really taught me the power of learning together. Here we were with an Apostle of the Lord and he could tell us EVERYTHING. He has so many answers and so many experiences, but he was more interested in knowing our experiences and our thoughts. It was amazing.
     I never did ask a question, but I had so many questions answered. One question was one I had had for about 8 years now, ever since I got my patriarchal blessing. My blessing mentioned that I have a certain gift, and I never understood how I did because I never felt like it. Actually, if you asked I would say it was one of my weaknesses, but then Elder Bednar said something about it yesterday, and he explained the two principles to the gift I have. I realized that I had spent so long beating myself up for not having what the Lord thought I had, and the only real problem was that I was looking at only one side of the gift. It was a huge weight reliever for me, and so much understanding flooded in. One of my favorite things that Elder Bednar said was that the most important teaching that we do is when we aren't speaking. He said "Teaching, is not talking." When we create an atmosphere where the Spirit can be, and we open our hearts, the Spirit can teach us what we need to know. I didn't raise my hand and ask Elder Bednar about this principle. I didn't even think about it as we sat there, but as he spoke the Spirit testified to me what I need to hear and taught me without words. I feel so blessed in uplifted from the experience! I almost don't want to go back to normal work because I don't want to lose the level of Spirit that we were able to experience while being with an Apostle. From the meeting I have decided that I want to work on praying as an agent and asking inspired questions and allowing people to teach themselves. I know that as I do this that the Spirit will be able to be there with far more abundance. ELDER BEDNAR AND SISTER BEDNAR ARE AMAZING! #sharegoodness #cantheycomeback 
       Before the missionary meeting, we had the conference with the members. Okay, lets talk about that for like 5 seconds. That was amazing! I got to see most of my members from all over Norway. I saw Torunn's whole family which was awesome. I saw Celine and got to meet her adorable mom, which I loved. I saw my convert, who I have completely forgiven for all the craziness of that. He is doing so great! I talked to the mishes that are there now and they said that he has stopped doing steroids and now is stabilized and doing amazing. He is planning on going on a mission next year. I told him I am way proud of him for everything that he has decided to do and all the progress he has made. He was so happy to see me! He said "I'm going to become the next Elder Hodgkiss!" What a cutie! I really believe he is my convert because I was the only one who could love him through all the other stuff. Proud of him! It was so good to see everyone and I felt so blessed to have that experience before going back home. 
           Of course, the meeting its self was amazing! Elder Bednar laid down the law. He was so bold which I loved. I told you guys about my patience and politeness running out? Well, before Elder Bednar spoke a few of the leaders from Norway spoke and it was all sunshine and roses. I thought to myself as everyone was talking about missionary work "We'll they aren't doing it, so why doesn't someone tell them that?" Then Elder Bednar got up and basically said, I'm not going to talk about missionary work because missionary work isn't the problem, your conversion is. He spoke about if you are truly converted to the gospel then you do missionary work. Bam! Hook, line, sinker, done. I wanted to clap! I wanted to praise his name forever! I turned to Torunn and said " You guys are going to have to change." That probably didn't make her too happy, but hey I'm only a missionary with an excuse to tell people what to do for 5 more weeks, then I have to find another excuse! Got to soak it up while I can! Sister Bednar spoke before him and she called a 6 year old little girl to come up to the podium. She turned to Elder Bednar and said "Can you help me get her on this table?" She then had the little girl stand on the table as she talked about how much we have to learn from children. Elder Bednar got up to speak and he said "My name is Elder Bednar and my job is to travel the world and help my wife with her visual aids." It was the cutest thing! You could see how much he loved her with everything he had. In our meeting with him he would often invite her up and have her answer questions or share experiences. He then said, "I would like to start by talking the those who are not members of our faith." And then he gave a perfect first lesson. It was amazing! I was so happy! I had multiple investigators there and inactives that I knew needed to hear that message. So inspired! He later spoke to the members about missionary work and that what they need to do is just live the gospel and then people will come to them and ask "Why are you so weird?" He asked how do you say weird in Norwegian, but he just said "WHAT?" after he was told. It was super funny. His whole talk was bold and unapologetic. I loved it. Norway needs that. You have to be direct or they just don't get it, and sometimes they need a couple of kicks in the behind before they get going. Elder Bednar told the members to not be scared about missionary work and if they are that they can talk to their bishop and get permission to go to primary for 3 weeks and then they will know all the answers they need know to be able tell people. I loved it! I loved how simple he made it. It is so true. We don't have to go into deep explanations. When people ask us why we are "weird" we can tell them its because we know that God lives and that he has a plan and that we are following that plan. Amazing talk! And the members and investigators loved it! 
                 We also had the sister's conference this week, which was amazing. I cried like 9 times. We had a workshop on language and confidence in the morning and then we had lunch and "shopping". We all brought clothes we didn't want and then we could go and find other clothes. I got a new skirt that is adorable from Sister Frampton. I will have to send a picture next week! After that we had a workshop on obedience, and then Sister Evans talked to us, and then we broke out into activities. We did nail painting, sack lunch making for the conference the next day, and arts and crafts. Then we had dinner and dessert and then we talked for a little bit and drove to our places where we spent the night. It was so great! I sat with MAC and TJ and we talked forever. It was good to be together as sisters and just to cry whenever we wanted and play with each other's hair and not care about the boys. Girl time was much needed! We were also able to take our 17 Miracle picture. It's crazy because we have done 17 months and served with each other most of the time and we are still all best friends. We have decided that when someone gets engaged they have to call the other 16 and discuss dates so that no one is getting married at the same time. People are already calling dates, so I threw my second weekend of June out there so no one takes it. It was good to be with the girls. We have all come a long way. It was an uplifting meeting! One of my favorite quotes from it was "Have you ever stopped and looking in the mirror and asked yourself how God sees you, as a glorified woman?" Loved it! 
                       As far as the normal part of my week goes, things are going well here. We met Zilfa's mother on the street this week and guess what? She invited us to come over and talk! And guess also what? She has cancer. And guess who used to have cancer? Me. Do you see how the Lord is working here. Small miracles, people. Small miracles. Elder Bednar said that the miracles that matter are the small ones. Everything is falling into place and we are having progress! Zilfa also sat down during one of the teaches and talked to me about what she believes happens after this life. It was cool. She called us her best friends yesterday. The kids are learning fast and have started to pray on their own. Belma said the cutest prayer. She told God that she missed him. I love kids. Salko is doing well and is loving the gospel. He is still on schedule to be baptized Sept. 27. We are hoping all the family can come and the kids can be baptized 2 weeks later. We will see though! Elder Bednar talked a lot about faith and he said " You can only have enough faith to do what God wants." If it is their time, it is their time, and God will make it happen. If it isn't, then their time will come, I know it! It was a great week! We celebrated Benedikte's birthday, a new convert from Alta, and went bowling. I won! We all scored low, but I got lucky in the end. Actually that bowling class I took to graduate early came in handy! This week we have a lot planned so it should be a great week! Looks like a great ending to my  mission! #ding 
              I love you all and pray for your daily! I hope that you are all doing well!! 
Keep it real. Keep it simple. And may the odds be ever in your favor!


    Tuesday, September 9, 2014

    Picking Berries and Perhaps buying a potatoe farm?

    Talic Family after we all made cupcakes together 

     Selma, Erin, and Belma 

    We went with our amazing friend Ann-Cathrine this last week and picked berries!! It was the coolest thing!! I felt so Norwegian. We made jam afterwards and put it on our waffles! Don't worry Mom and Dad, I save some in the freezer for you! 

    Waterfall in the forest 

     Our spoils! 

    Blue is the best! 

    We ate lunch by this lake! Mom and Dad we will be visiting here! 

    Norwegian "sack" lunch for days out hiking! Boiled hot dogs in a thermos! 

    #ilovenorway #thisisnotaflatteringpicture

     Okay this a cool story... We went to the Relief Society activity this last weekend and we got to help pick potatoes! They have this huge tractor with a potatoes picker on it. It scoops up the potatoes and then you have to grab them and put them in the bucket while the tractor is moving. It was so fun! In my defense, it was raining so the hair was a mess! But, thoughts on buying a potato farm and picking? I say yes! 

    Monday, September 1, 2014

    Another Baptism!

    Dear Weasley Family and Friends,
                      We had moves call yesterday, and I found out that I will be spending my last 6 weeks here in Sarpsborg with Sister Trydal. I am happy to be staying. I really didn't want to have to move and get to know new people with such little time left. I'm really close the members and investigators here and I don't think I could stand to leave them for my last 6 weeks. I secretly do wish that I had a new comp, just to change things up, but its all good. Time is flying and not flying fast enough all at the same time. But I have exciting news.... We will be having a baptism on Sept. 27th! 
                 Do you guys remember me telling you about our friend Salko who came to church and said that he wanted to be baptized? I was excited, but I wasn't really sure about him and so I didn't think too much of it, but this last week we have spent about every day over there teaching him and the kids. So here's the relation chart. Zaltan and Zilfa are married. Zaltan is a member, Zilfa is not. They have 8 children and one on the way. Salko is Zaltans cousin. I would draw a family tree, but that would take way too much time. Læll, Salk is getting baptized on the 27th. He is doing so great! He told us that he prayed about the Book of Mormon and he knows its true. He actually reminds me a lot of Kyle. He practically fellowships himself because he comes to church and just talks to everyone. Its so great! We are also teaching the 4 of the kids of Zaltan and Zilfa. Belma is 5, Leo is 8, Selma is 10, and Zlatko is 12. Leo, Selma, and Zlatko want to be baptized. All except Selma because she was sick came to church yesterday. It was crazy guys! I was cursing myself for not bringing any snacks or coloring books! It was fast and testimony meeting and that was the part I was scared for. I just thought " I don't know if these kids have ever sat quietly in their lives..." But it started and they were great! Zlatko is the cutest. He was just eating it up. He folded his arms and sat there revently. He has become good friends with Bishop's son, Stein-Aaron. He watch Stein- Aaron pass the sacrament with wide eyes. He wants to be just like him. We took the sacrament and everyone did great! They thought it was the coolest thing and wanted to do it again. Then, the testimonies started. I leaned over to Leo and I said "You know, anyone that wants to can go up there and talk about Jesus." He looked at me with his big brown eyes and said "Can I?" So I helped him write out what he wanted to say on a piece of paper and we quietly practiced it, and then it was his turn. He just took his paper up there and smiled really big and said "Hello, my name is Leo. I know that Christ died for us and that he lives today. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." I was smiling from ear to ear! It was his first time in church EVER! Then Zlatko, the 12 year old, leaned over to me and said "Can you help me write one too?" So Bishop's son and I helped him write one. He went up there and said "Hello my name is Zlatko. My Dad was baptized when I was 5 or 6. It is good to be back in church after 6 years. I have been to many activities with the young men. I know that Jesus lived here on the earth and that he lives today with the angles. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." It was great! I had asked Bishop's son to bare his testimony before the meeting started, so he did it before Zlatko. The Spirit was so strong! And I was so proud of them!! Bishop's son asked Zlatko if he wanted to be baptized, and Zlatko said "Yes!" and then Stein-Aaron looked at him and said "Well, you are going to have to stop cussing then." I just laughed silently on the inside. 
                   So here I had it in my head. You know what I mean, that thing we do as humans where we start planning the rest of forever because of one thing. I had it in my head, September 27, 4 people getting baptized, and how amazing that would be. Of course though, they are children and so we have to have permission to baptize them. So when we were there last night I just brought up baptism casually to Zilfa. She said "I think that it's great that Salko is getting baptized, but as for me and my children we won't." And my heart broke in probably one million pieces. It wasn't in a confrontational way, she was just talking but she went on to say that her mom is Muslim and it would break her heart if they were Christian. And so I drove home last night so excited for Salko, but so broken hearted over the kids. But as I was sitting there trying not to cry in our lesson with Salko I had the thought come to me, well actually Liahona article, Act upon this land as for years. https://www.lds.org/liahona/2014/08/young-adults/act-upon-this-land-as-for-years?lang=eng  It talks about going forward with faith even though we don't know how long some things will last. So I felt that we should continue to teach the kids and teach them as if they were getting baptized. And then fast and pray along the way that Zilfa will have a change of heart. That she will see how happy the kids are and she will allow them to be baptized. And then next time we ask her go in with guns a blazing and bring Bishop to talk it over. So this is a huge step of faith for me! If you know me well, which you guys do, you know I don't like investing time and my heart into something that might not work out. I like sure things! But I am putting my faith in the Lord that he will provide a way for those kids to be baptized. I studied Alma 26 and Ether 3 today in my personal study. I loved the part in Ether 3:2 where it says "...O Lord, thou hast given us a commandment that we must call upon thee, that from thee we may receive according to our desires." I know that as we pray we are able to receive things that the Lord wants to give us, but are conditional upon our asking. And we are going to see miracles with the Talic Family!! #prayingourwaytobaptism #catchthewave #gobigorgohome #sharethegoodness
                     In other words though, I wanted to give a big shout out to JORDAN!! I am so proud of you!! Congrats!! And I am so happy you guys get to stay in Boston! I am looking forward to seeing you play!! You are so great!!
                     Funny quote of the week: 
                             Ashton talking about this CRAZY travel plan he has 
          "This is happening. Your absolute hatred to this plan confirms to me that this is the stupidest plan I have ever had which means I am SO doing this." 
                Welp, I think that's all for me folks! I have an exciting week coming up. We have the Sister's Conference on Saturday and then Elder Bednar on Sunday. I get to see all my members and then have a 3 hour meeting with Elder Bednar. It is a question and answer meeting, so it is going to be amazing!!! I am so pumped! Is it wrong that I am more excited about seeing TJ than Elder Bednar? Probably. #sinner #repetanceisreal #stillnotperfect 
                I love you all and I hope that you have a great week!!! #keeppraying #seeyousoon #ding

    Shouts to:
    Annie & Shawn!! Happy birthday guys!! I hope that you each have a wonderful day where you spouse makes you something yummy and lets you play xbox or gives you a massage, or both! You guys are amazing and I'm grateful that I have such wonderful in-laws! I will see you guys super soon!! Love you!