Monday, June 5, 2017

Week 102 - Coming Home!

Raining my last week!
Last zone conference
Elders from my MTC group at zone conference

Jackson just sent photos home this week as he will return to California on June 8, completing his two year mission. 

He will be speaking in church on Sunday June 11 at 1:30pm -- 22851 Aliso Creek Road, Aliso Viejo - please join us!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Week 101

Frisbee golf - we won!

Sickkkkk so last full week. Wow - we are pretty loaded on appointments right now so the week should be pretty good and on Thursday we have zone conference so that should be fun and stuff. Excited to stick it out just one more week.

The rest of last week was ok. Pretty good but we weren't able to meet up with any investigators. The weather was way good over the weekend but then yesterday afternoon and today it kind of has been cloudy and overcast and rainy but that's life. I would say more people are out in the good weather but not necessarily more likely to talk considering they would rather enjoy the weather than us, but we try!!!

Well anyways this is going to be like my last real letter so might as well say something insightful. It's been awesome being out here and it really has been good. It has been difficult and tough and at times, long, but it has been awesome! I have learned so much, from others, about others, about myself and about God. It really is an experience that you cannot replicate in any way. I am so thankful for the experiences that I've had and for the support I have gotten. I love Norway, I love the Norwegian people, I love Norwegian and I have had an awesome time. 

As unique as it is, I know this mission was exactly for me and for that I am grateful! 

Well, that's all I've got for now, until next time.

See you next week!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Week 100

17 of mai celebrations
Got to see some returned missionaries that served in Norway
Played Bean Boozled at the mission home

Did not fair well

So good to hear about Ethan receiving his Patriarchal Blessing, we actually talked about that in the lesson we taught in Sunday School! 

This week was okay. We had many appointments set up, but they had to be postponed - that's just the way it goes, I guess. Literally anything else comes before us, but you know the prepared people when they put us first, though they are few and far between - it helps to know they're out there.

This week I have my exit interview. I don't know what to think. It will be kind of odd because I will still be working two weeks after it - but I'm not too worried. Still working.

Love you all so much  - things are rocking and rolling here, trying to meet with our investigators. 

17 of mai was awesome and fun to spend it in Oslo. (Constitution Day/ Norway's birthday)

Have a great week! J

Monday, May 15, 2017

Week 99

The silver sign says "Jesu Kristi Krike av Siste Dagers Hellige" (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

From mom: Last Skype with Elder Hoopes on Mother's Day

I'm not going to write a big blast - since I talked with the fam and not too much that I didn't just say. But things are good. I'm starting to get ready to get back into the swing of things...BUT at the same time I'm still loving it, so I can't complain :)

Have a great week, J

Monday, May 8, 2017

Week 98

May 8th snowed.

So we had a great week of awesome weather and it was way warm all week, like 20 degrees (celsius) and stuff. Even getting some sun on the face but then as soon as it was time to run this morning, it decided to start snowing. Nothing too bad, just Norway wanting to give me a little fun - ha ha.

This week was pretty good actually! We were able to find 5 investigators!!! I don't know if I have found 5 investigators in my whole mission combined, ha ha just kidding, but it was a really good week. We were blessed when we met with 3 people that we planned to meet and they brought friends - so that was an awesome opportunity to teach them and their friends. Of course it happens to happen in the last transfer of my mission. We taught a lot about the Book of Mormon and introduced them to what we are doing as missionaries. It was just the first meeting and we are hoping to get together again to talk about the restoration.

We do help out a little with the branch, like on Sundays, but not too much - the branch is small but they are self sufficient and totally awesome. We had an awesome fast and testimony meeting yesterday where about 70% of the branch got up and bore their testimonies. Not too many congregations can say that besides small ones in Norway :)

In our district we also have Romerike, which is about an hour drive. In our zone we have Oslo, Moss, Romerike, Fredrikstad, Sarpsborg and us. Probably the closest distance in the whole mission - only a 2 1/2 hour drive between the farthest ones.

Anyways - that's about it - have an awesome week!


Monday, May 1, 2017

Week 97

Snowing and knocking
But then a sunny day!

Trying to keep the washer stable for studies

So branch life is a little different because you can get acquainted with people a little quicker which helps when you don't have a lot of time left. The youth we are working with - we're already best friends and they are totally awesome - stoked they we were all at church. I also had a talk yesterday at church and it really is the first one I've given since I was in Tromsø. Back then I had to write out my whole talk, so it was nice to go with the flow this time around - considering I can actually kind of speak Norwegian fluently now. :)

So today is Norwegian Labor Day which means that everything is closed, but that's just how it goes. Last night everyone went hard (Norwegian tradition) so we heard all the bumping going down from the hifi speakers and stuff. Haha talk about in the world, but not of the world. I would say that is exactly what Norway is, but I love it. I actually did have a super scary realization the other day, that I am one day going to leave Norway and that is not ok. I love it here so much. It just feels like my home now and I don't know what I'm going to do without the all the quirks and stuff that it holds. Like putting sour cream and brown cheese on waffles and having rush hour around 2pm. So I'm going (nyte) is the Norwegian word, but I think enjoy is the English word, but it's just not quite strong enough. Maybe savor? Whatever - I'm going to nyte my last few weeks here. I love it here in Hamar too. 

We have an appointment with a connection from Drammen - got to love the connections you have all around Norway - the benefit of a small country. 

We did some Sunday school teaching too - I anticipate I will be talking and doing more in church than I have in other areas and I'm good with that. 

Even though my time is coming to an end - I'm not giving up quite yet!!! Got to love each day!!

Have an awesome week

Monday, April 24, 2017

Week 96

On our way to do service

So Hamar is close to Lillehammer - in fact it's in our district and our area is humongous. Maybe we'll even be able to go there on a pday, but just as soon as we thought the weather should be fine, it snowed. Unbelievable, but got to love it. We'll see if the shoes make it. I can hear mom's voice right now which whispers "boots, boots." Don't worry yourselves, I'll make it through. 

Yesterday we went to stake conference in Oslo, so I haven't been to church in Hamar yet but it is a great branch - the members seem nice and it's fun to be back in a branch. The members are spread out and most have to come from a good distance to get to the building. There are some youth who we play soccer with. Most around here speak english really well, but most just speak Norwegian. It helps when you speak Norwegian well so they don't question whether you speak the language or not.

I'm reflecting, working and looking forward all in one. I admit, it's hard not to think about home but I"m not really longing for it, more just getting ready if that makes sense. 

This week was good. We visited some people and were able to do some service - we get to go down to Romerike for district meeting because they are in our district and we are kind of alone up here so it's always good to be surrounded by other missionaries.

It was kind of a hectic week trying to get down to Hamar with my suitcases - just had to superman it, but other than that things are peachy :)

Have an awesome week!