Monday, December 28, 2015

December 28, 2015

Not much to say since I got to speak to the family on Christmas. 

So this week was basically spent all at members' houses. Dinners and dinners and dinners. Me and somewhat Daly did the Christmas fast where you don't eat unless you're fed. It worked out great and I was still full every time. It's amäzing how much food a missionary can eat. Truly a marvel in and of itself. The other marvel is how I was able to understand the stuff that was going on. It was like they were speaking a language I was familiar with and it didn't take much effort for me to understand. Wow, guess that's what happens when you actually study and get to work on the language.

We ate the typical Norwegian Christmas food which is Christmas ribs, Christmas hot dogs and Christmas meat. It was so good. They have this stuff called tyttebær which is like better cranberry sauce, it's crazy good. We did get some presents from the ward which we were so grateful for and opened them in true Norwegian fashion on the 24th night with the family we were with. It's kind of weird but also kind of cool. The whole city shuts down for essentially two weeks until the new year. It's awesome but also frustrating at the same time because we can't teach anybody.

We went to a hill the other day and slid down like 10 meters (yes, the metric system) at a time just in our shoes. Wow these shoes are getting some work and I intend to keep the same ones all 24 months. It's a Norwegian missionary tradition.

Eldste Daly and I matched for Christmas and it was truly a beautiful sight. Wow, are you sick of the power duo yet? Because I'm not.

We will probably dance around the Christmas tree next week. Real old fashion around here, but it's beautiful.

Love you all and spread my love to anyone else you think deserves it (and also to those you think may not deserve it too).

Love, J

Our district

Skyping with the fam

Monday, December 21, 2015

December 21, 2015

What what it's Christmas week??? So stoked finally! And it also means I start my sister mission soon (18 months). It went fast, kind of slow and kind of all of the above. 

Wow Holland killed it with the chalk walk art. Elder Daly when he saw the picture was like "wow, why is your sister so talented?" I also loved the missionary flag art that Sister Carr and Sister Merrifield did - so glad I'm not forgotten. Just yet ;)

Well we had eight appointments cancel in three days. A new record for us. Wow we just got thrashed, but that's Norway for Christmas. Most of the time that doesn't happen, but with Christmas in the air people think they have way more important things to do than talk to two kids who barely know Norwegian (ha ha funny story we don't have one Norwegian investigator, funny how that works.) But then again in my mission call is doesn't say I'm preaching to Norwegians, it says I'm preaching in Norway. 

Our Christmas tree looks great and we finally had some snow so that's cool! It was -9 C at the beginning of the week, snowed a little, stopped and now it's like 7 C. So that's a big change. Today is the longest night of the year so that's fun. About 21 hours of darkness, but right now it's light. By the time you read this though, darkness will be upon me.

Things are fine, I'm going to get fat this week with how much we are being fed. Norwegians stretch out Christmas to like 10 days. Can't wait to talk! 

(Yes some of the pics are blurry, but whatever I'm not an expert)


Monday, December 14, 2015

December 14, 2015

Our week was great! The winter is settling in with people not wanting to meet and people going home and on vacation but it's no biggy, we do the same thing every day so it's not too shocking. 

You don't need to worry about me here, even if I am eating hot dogs. Fun fact they eat hot dogs and frozen pizza here way more than any American could ever dream. Never thought Norway would be big on such things, except they put potato salad on their hot dogs. It's dank, though and super cheap.

The girls that we teach are exactly like Holland. They love TV, music, mine craft, girly stuff, and when we come over to teach them we always entertain them for a bit. Object lessons, object lessons, object lessons.

Not too sure on Christmas, we might be in a member's or we might just be at the center. 

I would say that my understanding of Norwegian is around an 8 but my speaking is more around a 6. I am a little more advanced than most considering I had a Norwegian companion for 10 weeks which surprisingly (sarcasm) helps out quite a bit.

We have around 8 investigators and progressing with about three. The ward is about 120-150 that come to church, but in the winter it's a little less. It is a huge area. All of Oslo and all of the suburbs too. We have eight missionaries - four elders and four sisters.

Not too much has happened this week except that we got a Christmas tree!!! What what. That's right. You didn't think I would go without one did you? If you did then you underestimate the power of the power duo. 

We bought a bunch of cookies and Norwegian soda for the equivalent of 10 US cents so that's cool. Norway is weird like that. Most of the time every thing is like 400 times more expensive and then randomly you have these weird sales that make zero sense whatsoever.

It was pretty warm this week until today which is like -7 degrees which is pretty cold and to make it worse there is no snow and no sign of it anyway. I don't really know if it will ever snow down here!

But I'm fine, way warm and we work so it's not too hard to get the blood pumping! 

Love always and forever (just like kip)

Eldste Hoopes

Monday, December 7, 2015

December 7, 2015

Nope not getting transferred. Christmas in the capitol. Kind of like Hunger Games and stuff. Ugh, we would see the posters for Hunger Games all the time and it would totally kills us. Problems with serving in a first world country.

I have officially gone a whole week without ripping my pants, I hope to keep it that way.

I do remember Jeremy Guthrie speaking a few years ago and I can't believe Ethan is as tall as him, wow, Ethan is a straight stud. I can never get over how cool he is. Almost all of the time whenever I talk about my inspirations or motivations or families with people, they almost always revert back to Ethan and Holland. Yeah, mom and dad are great too but they're like 57 years older than me. They truly are a kicking force in my life even if they are such young children (I'm still convinced Ethan is not a full person yet.) We teach these two daughters of a less active in our ward and the girls are ten and twelve. If you were to combine both of them together you would get Holland. So when we teach them and stuff, I just imagine that I'm teaching Holland.

We are fully submerged in Christmas time here in Norway. All the traditions: eating risgrøt, lille julaften, julaften, første juledag, all the jazz you can think of. I'll be sure to update you more, but you'd also be surprised at how American the culture is becoming. But they are for sure still prideful with their norwegian ways, and with good reason too.

Kind of a slow week last week but we are still chugging and I believe today we will be getting a real Christmas tree for our apartment. yup, that's right, the power duo of Oslo will be (maybe) cutting down a tree. If not maybe just getting on at a lot. But it isn't Christmas without a tree and lights. Daly and I will still be together so you know this is going to be an awesome Christmas here.

Love you guys,
Eldste Hoopes