Monday, December 26, 2016

Week 79

Our Christmas card to the ward for being awesome
It was a rough morning - ha ha

God Jul

This will be a short email but a few pics. We had a cool sacrament meeting on Christmas with a talk and the rest were musical numbers. They were actually super cool so that was awesome. Church was just an hour, crazy how fast everyone bounced so quick - ha ha. Have a great week!

Love
J
One more like I did last year at Christmas
Elder Mickelson and I


From mom - thought I'd add one of our own skyping with Elder Hoopes on Christmas morning




Monday, December 19, 2016

Week 78

Bundling up for the day

So it has stayed pretty consistent here at -6 C, which isn't bad at all. I'm hoping this keeps up until the warmth comes back. I do like to bundle up though, I feel more gangster and people are more likely to stop and talk because they can't see the tie :)

I'm with Elder Mickelson now, he was in my MTC group. It should be great - we've had fun talking about old times and how much we have left to do.

This week we had an investigator come to church!!! It was way awesome because he also played the piano in Sacrament meeting - twice! He is way awesome and we are hoping to meet with him again this week. 

We were able to teach a bit this week and take a youth along with us - it's super powerful - it has showed me that the Lord works on the bigger picture.

We will be going to some families this week - after being out this long I know now that skyping isn't for the missionaries but definitely for our families! 

Hope you all have a great week!

J

Last day with Elder Briggs


Monday, December 12, 2016

Week 77

Super windy day

Zone conference was actually great. Kind of sad, but it was the last day I will see Daly for a while since he goes home this week. They did a slideshow which was pretty funny, actually, of the missionaries at different stages in their life. I had actually never seen the baby picture that Mom sent in, but everyone knew it was me once a picture of me dressed as YuGiOh came on the screen. What a good one.

I am staying in Drammen at least 7 more week which means I will be here for Christmas!!! I am looking forward to it for sure. Good things happening. 

This week were able to teach a referral from one of our members. It was so amazing and the spirit was so strong. He's also so cool - really awesome experience and we are hoping to teach him some more this week!!

Not much else - hope you all have a great week!

J

Classic pose with Daly
Briggs and I





Monday, December 5, 2016

Week 76



So it's like way warm again and now it's kind of great because I'm sweating and stuff which is way better than freezing my toes off. So playing it by ear but things are good here.

The week was pretty good and busy. I wasn't in my area too  much so it looked like a weak week numbers wise, but good thing we aren't about numbers! I was on splits with other missionaries in the zone - some in Skien and in Sandvika this week. Happens around once a transfer and it is always good to see other missionaries you haven't seen in a while. This week will be hectic too with zone conference and more splits but we hope to teach our investigators. We were able to teach one on Saturday and we had a pretty good lesson about the plan of salvation. 

So I was at church on Sunday and a member came up to me and asked me if I had a grandpa who lived in England in the late 70's early 80's. I said no, but I did have a great-grandpa. He proceeded to tell me the story of my Great-grandpa Lorenzo Hoopes. So this person (he's actually an old companion of mine's uncle) was on a mission in Norway around that time and he was walking to church when he sees a man and a red-headed woman (his wife) get out of a VERY nice Mercedes-Benz. He got out and walked up to the two missionaries (one being this uncle) and asked them if there was an Andersen that was in the Oslo ward. They responded "yes" and Great-grandpa Lorenzo asked them to show him in to find Andersen because he had been a missionary for Lorenzo in England and he wanted to see him again. They go into the chapel and look for Andersen, but he happened to not be there that Sunday. So they stay for church with the missionaries. After Church, Lorenzo asks them if they had anything on their schedule and they said no. So he asked the missionaries if they would like to come with them to a house of a friend (who happened to be the ambassador at the time). So they drive their mission car with Grandpa following in his. They pull up to a house which my comp's uncle described as "a castle" and asked to speak to the ambassador through the intercom. The security guard said no and that he had strict orders not to let anyone in. They pleaded to no avail. After telling Lorenzo the situation, he went up to the intercom himself and said "Tell the ambassador that Lorenzo is here to see him and if you don't I will be very disappointed." The guard then proceeded to wake up the ambassador and they were let in. 

He was telling me this story with a gleam in his eye. So they go in and the ambassador gets them something to drink and Grandpa and the ambassador are talking while Grandma Stella and the two missionaries were talking. He could hear parts of the conversation between the ambassador and Great-grandpa Lorenzo and they were talking about how Grandpa Dave Hoopes was doing something for the president of the US and how Lorenzo and the ambassador really needed to talk to Reagan and get him going on what needed to be done. He said he was just on cloud nine after being in missionary work but now getting to listen about how two men whom he had just met were talking about consulting the President of the United States. It was just so awesome also to hear how Grandma Stella just chatted their ears off for hours and hours and how she felt her conversation with the boys (missionaries) about their families was so much more worth while. They then all had dinner together. 

It was fun to hear a family story I had never heard before from a third party. 

Other than all that - nothing to report on this week. I hope you all have an awesome week!!!!!

J

Monday, November 28, 2016

Week 75



This week has been pretty hectic traveling back and forth with thing to thing to splits to other people. Julitoner was on Saturday and that was an awesome way to kick off Christmas. I forgot how much I actually love Christmas here in Norway. It's just so special. I've realized it's because in the States a lot of people have traditions and stuff and like things they do but there are no set traditions. Whereas, here, there are things that everyone does and the whole country recognizes them. Way cool. The first day of advent was yesterday which means that Christmas has officially started.

We were back and forth in Oslo this week on splits and the Turkey bowl (see pics) and then this week we have new missionary training which means we will be taking another trip to Oslo tomorrow and Wednesday. Lots of back and forth but it is nice that I know the city pretty well and can navigate just fine. Oh what a beautiful city it is.

Christmas is in full swing but not too much we are in charge of just yet. We will have our Christmas conference next week so this week we are just busy doing normal missionary stuff. We have some appointments and some time to find, so good things should come to pass. Unfortunately our investigators did not come to the Christmas concert we had on Saturday.

One thing that was awesome this week tho!! We were talking with a guy on the street and it was really good and I felt really confident about it, but he wasn't interested. It was kind of sad, but the thing that was awesome was that when we were saying goodbye and he was shaking my hand he had this weird look on his face and was like "where in Norway are you from? Wait are you from Norway?" YESSSSS I finally did it! Someone got me confused for a Norwegian!! Even though its was maybe for just a brief second. Wow, it felt good. 

I missed everyone on Thanksgiving but we did have Thanksgiving with some Americans and it felt just a little more like home. Thankful for everything and everyone. Have an awesome week!

J

Monday, November 21, 2016

Week 74




Well, the darkness is ok, but a tough one. Last night we were at an appointment and on the way home I was falling asleep (not really but yano) because it was pitch black outside and I look at the clock and it's only 4:30pm! Are you kidding me??? I forget just how dark it does get, just got to make use of the light time.

Today we are going to do a turkey bowl with the two zones in the Oslo fjord. Should be around 40 people so it should be good. Going to see a lot of old comps and other good friends we don't usually get to see :) Don't worry I won't go too hard. I was at the one last year so I know what needs to be done to win. LOL

Thanksgiving is this week and it is so weird because we don't even think twice about it. It's kind of hard being in another country but around Americans so we know, but not quite. It gets hard in the holiday season when everyone is with their family and that's really all I care about too, but I know it's worth it and if I keep going it will, not only come to an end, but that I will be satisfied with what I have put in. 

So there's a big Christmas push on service. As missionaries we get to see it a little earlier but we do put in a little more time :) It is awesome and we are totally gearing up for it!! Do some service, dang it!! #lighttheworld  We have been doing a ton and I even sliced my finger open tearing up some floors. Don't worry everything is fine, if anything it has taught me how and how not to fix a house.

I'm so thankful for my family and friends. It really means a lot with the holiday season - sending my love from Norway. And hey everyone - find someone for the missionaries to teach!!! Even if they have triple the investigators we do, they need more! Love ya'll and be cool. 

J

Monday, November 14, 2016

Week 73



We got a text from the mission president the morning after the election to let us know the outcome - but we really aren't supposed to talk about it. Everyone here gets hyped up for it - as someone told us a couple of months ago "We are so into it because American politics is world politics."

Training is going awesome - he is such a stud it's basically not even training - but we are having a good time for sure.

So we got a greenie (a missionary in his first area) in the apartment  - so our landlord puts out the American flag whenever someone new comes. 

It isn't quite Christmas but in Norway they like to start early. It's the greatest time of the year - especially because of the darkness and snow. 

This week was good, we were able to meet up with two of our investigators who will probably be coming to the Christmas concert in a week so that could be an awesome experience!!! 

Zone conference will be the first week in December I believe and we'll have new missionary training just before that so it should be a packed month especially since this transfer is cut a week short to not have them right before Christmas.

Everything is good, don't worry about the cold too much I'm wearing a turtleneck right now on Pday and so I'm set. Have a good week.

J


Monday, November 7, 2016

Week 72 (the real snow)


So I guess the real story and news for this week was the snow. Yes, so much right now and as I write this it is -10 C and the snow is becoming ice. I'm saying we got a meter of snow because that is how much it looks like and feels like. It's insane. So naturally as missionaries when you don't have cell phones to stare at when you're inside - you go outside. And for the first time I built a legit large snowman. And you know I love the quote "anything worth doing is worth overdoing" so we built a large snowman and I mean 8 feet tall.  Because of the down pour there wasn't too much to do when it came to knocking doors or talking to people on the street so instead we got the shovels and helped some people shoveling snow. Wow, that was a ton of snow. Like 5 hours worth of shoveling. The bad part in all of this is the road. The roads are not plowed really until the snow is done so it took like two  days, so unfortunately our winter tires couldn't take that and got shredded. Nothing dangerous, just annoying, so we don't have a car now.  Hopefully we can get it back soon in order to be rolling again instead of taking 2 hours to get everywhere. Never realize how much you appreciate it until it's gone, right?

We are taking the bus and walking in this is not always the most fun, but that's what being a missionary in Norway is sometimes about. The snow was awesome, though.

We actually have quite a few youth in our ward I would say probably around 20 that are between the ages of 12-18 which is awesome. That's just for the boys.

Well, that's it - all you in So Cal enjoy the winter and by winter I mean everyone pulling out their beanies, sweaters and scarves when it's only 55 F.

Ha det! (that means see ya in Norwegian, basically fluent)

J

Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 71


The teaching this week was a little bit slower because we had a missionary fireside that we had to plan for and stuff. It was how to missionary. So I wrote some scripts of first How to not missionary and then after that we had a rerun of how to missionary. I know how to missionary isn't correct grammar but that's how you say it in Norwegian so I'm going to go with that. So it was a success and people came, so now that it's over we can get back to it, but there was a super funny teaching experience this week.

So we had knocked on this lady's door earlier in the week and she said that we could come back the next day and talk to her a little bit more. So we thought "awesome, things are rocking and rolling" so we took another youth with us to go teach her. So we arrive at the door and her car is in the driveway and everything so we're thinking "perfect". We see in the window that she had made some Grandiosa and there was a half drunk cup of milk on the table and her dogs were running around (also found out that dogs are not my most favorite animal). So we knock and wait a few seconds and no answer. Maybe she isn't home. NO. She gets up from the couch goes into the kitchen, slices herself a little pizza and sits back not he couch and starts eating. She got up from the couch and saw us!!! Our youth was so confused and just kept knocking on the door but she was not going to get up. Ha ha, dang it so I gave up but it was seriously just so funny because we were all just like "seriously, purposeful ignorance" after being told to come back. Hahahahahahah. #life

We also were able to get back to our try back and teach a little bit, so we got some new investigators! We will see how interested this week, but still awesome to have more opportunities, right????

Well, hope you all have a great week! It was real busy with the fireside so no pics, but some from the Zone conference.

J


Monday, October 24, 2016

Week 70 (aka beginning of snow)

The pride of Norway is Grandiosa pizza, I love it so much - but it doesn't taste like pizza, it's just Grandiosa

This is snow - ha ha


From Mom: This photo was sent to us via text from the man on the right who had served in Norway 27 years ago


So yes, it snowed on Saturday. Hard to believe in the middle of October is when the end is near. Wow, I thought I would get until at least November, but that's ok. Got some new socks from my grandma and things are ready to go.

There is only one ward in Drammen, 6 missionaries in the ward and district.

On Saturday we helped some members with construction. First, it was so cold. I had a bunch of layers on and stuff which kept me warm but wearing Vans in the winter time when it's like -2 excluding wind chill - I had three pairs of socks on and my toes were still cold.

This week was actually pretty good. It was busy, but I can't think of all what happened every day. One cool thing is that we got to teach  little bit on Saturday. After doing some construction work, we took one of the youth with us to try a house we had previously been to where they told us to come back. They weren't home, but we had another potential family in the area and they let us right in and we had a great conversation. It was great and we were able to teach a natural first lesson. It felt like we were just old friends and the points and questions came up naturally instead of sitting them down and being like "okay, this is what we are talking about." We talked about issues and the current world and it all just meshed in so great. We were coming to the close of the lesson and Elder Briggs (who's way good at Norwegian) was talking about Joseph Smith and they were kind of like "ok, cool" but you could tell they were ready to move on with a different topic. But then the youth that we brought with us who is usually quiet, came in with just this awesome testimony about missionary work and preserving and how you can't blame God for everything and for the things that other people do and just happen. The couple we were teaching, just stopped and were blown away and it was way cool to see them just get kind of spiritually hit. Way cool!!! Hoping to get back this week and get them to church.

Other than that, not too much. Working really hard with Norwegian and trying and working with everything I got!!!

Hope you all have the best week!
J

Monday, October 17, 2016

Week 69



Wow, almost week 70, time is flying. The transfer is flying by just like the last ones. I feel like once you get into the routine of something it all starts to just blend in. 

One of our investigators from tracting dropped us. That's ok, just how life goes but we do have some miracles from this week. 

A typical Sunday for us starts with waking up at 6:30am and lounging until about 7 because you don't work out on Sundays and then we all get ready for church. We study for an hour and finish getting ready and head to church. We drop off the elders and then go to pick up the sisters and get ready for our first meeting at 10am which is MMK. It's a ward mission meeting, not sure what it's called in english. After that meeting, we have church services, and we are running around talking to people seeing how people are doing, getting updates on their lives, if they need anything and if we can come over and share a spiritual thought with them. Sunday is Game Day. Then after that we have Sunday school which is taught by the missionaries every other week so I think it will be our turn in 2 weeks. Should be fun. After that we boys go to Priesthood which we tend to do to with the Priests (16-17 year olds). Church is over around 2pm and we mingle for a little and after usually go make some food or have an appointment with a member, do some planning and may hit the streets for an hour. Sunday is slow in Norway but we get practical things done and for planning. The ward (congregation) is about 200 active members which is huge. Sometimes we may give a talk if asked, just depends.

We usually carry a couple of Books of Mormon in Norwegian, and we have a pamphlet for the first three lessons and I always hand out mormon.org cards. It has been the most successful for us so far. Usually if people won't take a card they aren't interested in hearing about the gospel, but we got to try!

This week was good. The kids here had school off the week before but on the west side of the country they had it this last week. 

We were knocking on doors and we had a youth with us that we picked up from school and decided to knock in the neighborhood by his school. He was kind of nervous to be close to his school, but it was good. We came to a house and knocked and asked if we could share a message with this lady and she said she really didn't understand, so we asked if english was better and she said, nah French. We all looked at each other and were like "uhhh" and then she ran upstairs and grabbed her husband and he spoke Norwegian and we asked if we could share a message and he said tomorrow. We went back the next day and she was just about to leave so we got another appointment for this week, so we will be going back and hopefully be able to teach her!

That same day we were out with the youth, we were out in that neighborhood and started knocking again and came to a house and we had been asking people where the nearest church was. Just a question to get a conversation going but it was working and a guy was giving us directions and then he was like "wait that isn't your church?" and we were like "yes, we know" and then he said "I've chatted with you guys before." So we naturally asked if we could chat now and he invited us in!! It was so great and we taught an awesome lesson with our youth, who was with us for his first time knocking doors with missionaries. It was an awesome experience and we will also be going back this week! Woohoo!!!!

We had a funny story when me and my comp were knocking doors and a lady answered and cut us off when started introducing ourselves, saying she couldn't believe what we do. She started telling us we were Jehovah Witnesses and we were the devil, and then we explained that we are Mormons, and she said that's worse! She kept saying stuff and we just asked if there was anything we could do for her and she cried telling us we were horrible. Well, there you go. 

All is well here, everyone have a great week!
J

Monday, October 3, 2016

Week 67

With my new comp

So this week was General Conference and as missionaries we are stoked because it is kind of a break. It was really nice actually and we got to go to the mission home to watch the Sunday morning session and Sister Hill made some great food. It was good to be in an actual "home" instead of just a place where you eat and sleep. Different feeling.

My new comp is from Utah. Things are good!!! He's getting used to things so I talk a lot! The language is going great. I'm actually still improving which is important. In this mission it is really hard to "master" the language because it is so diverse here and the fact that everyone speaks english. So it is easy for us to plateau, but I am determined not to stop. I gotta keep going, otherwise I won't have it mastered like the missionaries that go to South America and master Spanish. My dad knows what I mean. 

Our investigators are doing well. We were able to teach one this last week and it went well. It is going to take a little bit but things are good. Our other investigator we were not able to meet up just with how things worked out, so I believe this week we will be taking a trip back out and knocking on more doors and stop by to share a lesson. 

Joy is great. Joy comes from the way you choose to feel while doing things, rather than only having joy because of what you're doing. 

We haven't heard Sunday afternoon's conference session yet since we are 9 hours ahead but we will be watching that tomorrow so I will let you know what peaks my ears :)

We were busy this week with practical stuff but that's good nonetheless. 

That's about it, have a great week!

J

I always trip on these stairs so had to get a pic
Last moments before transfer





Monday, September 26, 2016

Week 66


So it is way humid here. If you exert any sort of energy or any warmth then we just get drenched. On average it's like 85% humidity which is way bad for the kids from the desert.

We are familiar here on the mission with the church's addiction recovery program. You all NEED to see the videos they have for each of the 12 steps. They are insane. The church really stepped up their game with these bad boys.

Sounds like President Uchtdorf shared the same story at the women's broadcast as he did when he was here in Norway about how the missionaries knocked on the last door of the last floor in an apartment in Germany which eventually led to his wife being baptized and how he met her when she started coming to church. What a great example those missionaries were, and kind of goes along with our miracles here this week :)

This week we found 2 investigators. First, we had been knocking doors for an hour or two and came to one guy's door and asked if he needed help with his lawn and he said it wasn't his house so that was okay. Then he asked us where we were from and we said America and as soon as he said that we promptly asked if we could come in and share a message and he was like "yeah, of course." It was the first house I had been let in in my whole mission!!! It was a great lesson and he was way interested and we will be going back again this week! The next one was awesome as well. We drove out to the middle of nowhere to find some houses that we had never knocked on before so we took an hour drive and found a place. We ate some lunch and then had 4 hours of knocking to go. We were doing random approaches with just anything. Whatever it takes to not say church until the time is right. Some people were nice...others were not...but then after about 2 hours we knocked on this one guy's house and we started talking about his motorcycle out front and then started playing with his dog, asked if we could come in and he promptly let us in. He young and way awesome. Two investigators in one week. After 15 months I finally did it! Well WE did it :) Great experience. Looking forward to teaching them this week. 

I am getting a brand new missionary this week! Sad that as soon as we find some people to teach Elder Cole has to leave. On the bright side, it should be great for the new missionary to teach some people right off the bat. 

Hope you all have a great week! I will be wearing the "slekt" tie which is the tie every trainer has picked up the previous trainer with. It's actually a norwegian bus driver tie. Don't know how the first elder got it, but he did ha ha.

J

Monday, September 19, 2016

Week 65


65, whoah. So the primary kids here all seem to know my name (even the ones I don't talk to too often) which is really fun. They always say "Hoopes" and then proceed to tell me about how their soccer game went. Super cute.

We helped someone move this week. Actually a family from Bergen that I knew from when I was there, so it was fun to talk to them. It is really nice because in Norway everyone is on top of things. We carried the boxes, but I am a packing master. I often get asked how I'm so good at it. I tell them that every Saturday since I was 14 I helped my dad move people until I left for college. 

Government talk is actually really popular here. You can imagine with the elections. Everyone is really scared what's going to happen and they ask us about it and we have no clue so we feel out of place on it, but I have gotten really into Norwegian policies and by "into it" I mean I know who the leaders of the parties are. Ha ha. 

This week was pretty good. It was way fast and I don't have many pictures because we were just everywhere! Wow, I'm out of shape, though. So one of the members owns the local grocery store and at closing they gave us all the baked goods and stuff so we kind of just started eating. Eating 5 heft rolls in 20 minutes was not my best idea. It's a good time to be alive. How sad that our mission problems are holding back and working on self control but isn't that life?

We knocked doors again. Our approach this week was more natural and kind of weird to us and them, but in a real life situation was way normal. Certain people we would go up and just ask them about their day and they would be all confused why we rang their doorbell to ask them about their day. But then we would ask about their flowers or the color of their house or something like that and work it into what we were doing. We knocked on a Polish man's door and after talking to him, he wasn't too interested but then when it was time for us to leave I asked him his name and it was way Polish so I asked him to spell it and he walked back into his house to find pen and paper to spell it for us. Of course, being a missionary I followed promptly behind him - ha ha. Good stuff.

Sunday is moves call already - hoping nothing changes since Elder Cole and I are getting along way well. 

Have a great week!!




Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Week 64



So President Uchtdorf (a leader in the church) came to Norway - Romerike. It was a huge meeting and was broadcast all over Norway because of the magnitude of the meeting. He did not get to meet with the missionaries, only those in Romerike but it was still good to see it in our own building. Some great thoughts from Uchtdorf - be proud of the gospel and to be proud to be a member of the church. It is not always easy especially in cultures like Norway (or even Southern California) but to stand proud. This is what you believe and who you are so stay true to it. I liked it a lot because I wasn't always one to go shouting from rooftops but since being on a mission I have realized it doesn't really matter what others think about this especially when it is such a big role in our life and does influence so much of who we are. I really liked his thoughts on that. He was just so much more relaxed than when I've heard him speak in conferences or things. You could tell he was thinking out loud and he wasn't reading a written talk. Way cool!!!

Things this week were pretty good. Pretty normal, no teaching but working a lot with the youth and staying busy with activities and stuff like that. It is nice to be able to work around not just knocking doors even though that is pretty fun for us. This week we had a great approach. Instead of coming straight out the gate when someone opened the door, we decided we were going to wait for them to say something instead. Which led to MANY MANY awkward situations of us just standing there smiling and confusing Norwegians looking at us. Some would ask us what we were doing but most of the time they would just be like "hello? hello? sorry I'm not interested." Many laughs, BUT also many good questions - stay tuned!!!

We switched PDays this week because we had a bunch of appointments on Monday. 

Have a great week!
J

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Week 63

"Norwegian Propoganda" - ha ha just blank sheets of paper on a pole
Me and Elder Cole

I got a hair got - it's a little shorter than usual but that's okay because I decided to change it up. It is getting way blonde over here where it does rain...every...single...day. I complain about the rain but it really isn't bad, just if you're a missionary.

So we share a car between the two companionships here and also have bus passes and also walk and do whatever we can to get around (except for swimming of course - ha ha). A good thing for those far away members but also the weight will sneak up on the underside of your chin if you're not too careful.

We got stuck in traffic for 35 minutes without moving. You would think in a city with barely any people that traffic wouldn't be a problem, but then also remember unlike America the country wasn't built with roads for a lot of traffic, so it's a little harder.

We don't really teach very much here, which is kind of hard and most members have jobs and lives and kids and stuff, so the beginnings of the days are usually slow, but we are doing our best to find.

Elder Cole and I have been doing pretty great work, even though it's a bit slow. We applying new (hilarious) techniques to try to get people to talk to us who usually wouldn't.

For example: When knocking doors we decided to do something great and when the door opens, I would say something along the lines of "I'm a missionary from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I'm here to share a book from heaven." Then Elder Cole would toss the Book of Mormon over to me and I catch it. It actually worked great and flawless aside from the fact that people said no anyways, but most of the time people have had a great look on their face and gave us credit. Still not interested. Stay tuned, this week we could be singing or something - you know, whatever gets the job done.

Have a great week and keep cool :)

J

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Week 62

The sister missionaries were generous

So President Uchtdorf (apostle in the church) is coming in September which should be a way cool experience. It will be neat and I feel lucky that I will be close enough to get to go. I don't know if there will be a missionary section because he's going all over Europe, but still cool nonetheless. 

The cool part about Drammen is that it is a quiet little town with its people but everyone is so proud of their city. Just like in Bergen. Its weird but I like how everyone loves where they live. Virtually no one will say (or at least admit) that they don't like being in their city even if they aren't from here. Some things that are hard is that people really don't seem to like us. I mean that's Norway, but when the population is smaller, people really like telling you. I just laugh, though, and press on. But it really is awesome when you find the people who do like you or at least those that respect what you're doing. It's not every day that people do.

We usually fend for ourselves (me and my companion) but if we want to make a big dinner or get some good food going then we'll make something together with the other missionaries in our apartment. A lot of scrambling to make food. 

Well this week was pretty good and this next one doesn't look too bad. Nothing too special but you never know what happens! One year older and wiser too. Love you all and have a blessed week and don't let the birds poop on you :)

I do have stories, I just can't think or type fast enough. 

J


Our sign fell so we had to just stand and hold it up and a member got our picture



Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Week 61

The day the sun didn't shine

Woooooohjooooo Drammen baby. It is pretty great actually and the sun has been shining (except for Sunday). It is a little different because the population is significantly different than other cities I have been in so far, but the ward is humongous. It totally reminds me of a ward in the states. It's just an awesome ward.

My new companion is from Idaho. He's been out a few months, so he is pretty new, but it is awesome getting put with elders younger than you because that way you can do it together. I'm way into the whole shared thing. We have around 130 in the ward I believe, I don't know I don't usually count.

Drammen is great and I'm totally excited to get this new adventure underway. It is pretty great being here and being able to have a new opportunity. 

There are 7 missionaries in the district - 3 sisters and 4 elders. We are part of the Telemark zone which is way more suburbs than most places in Norway, considering I have been in the two biggest cities in the country.

Weird that I am turning 20 and I feel like I should be super wise and stuff, but I still feel like a little kid sometimes. But, I am totally okay with that attitude at appropriate times. Norway is not too shabby of a place to be spending a birthday, even if it is with a white shirt and tie on. I imagine Jesus would wear a white shirt and tie on his birthday, either that or a robe. Maybe I could wear a robe on mine? 

Thanks to everyone for the support, much love and have a great week!
E. Hoopes

Monday, August 15, 2016

Week 60


So I will be moving away from Bergen. I have been here a long time and it was truly sad to say goodbye to all of the wonderful members and people that I have met along the way. It for sure has not hit me yet that I am actually going to move. This place just seems like home now. When I think of the end of the day I just think of our nice apartment in Paradis where I can unwind and be at peace. It is not all places that such a feeling comes. At the end of my stint on Wednesday, I will have lived here longer than when I lived in BYU. That is truly crazy. I love this place but I am excited and ready for a new adventure in Drammen. It is more in the east which means warmer in the summer, colder in the winter and less rain (maybe no more orange pants) and a dialect that I can copy to help my Norwegian. Always blessed for change.

I will be living with my first companion (he's not my new companion but there will be four missionaries in our apartment.) This is his last transfer, so he was there for my first and I will be there for his last. Funny how it works like that.

We had a ton of appointments with members but since school hasn't started here yet we haven't been able to meet with investigators but we are doing that today because they all get back in town so we should be meeting up with a lot of people which should be good and also a little sad to say goodbye.

Until next week in Drammen, have a great week!



Monday, August 8, 2016

Week 59

Your weekly modeling pic. It was the perfect place to perch whilst waiting for the bus so Hadley took a pic.

So I met a couple whose son was a missionary in Grandpa's mission in Chile. Everyone is always so shocked when I meet people and we know each other. By this time I have come to realize that is just what is normal now. As long as you are in a big city in Norway in the summer, you will meet people you know. I just feel bad for all those that come to Bergen in the rain. But Bergen on its worst day is still pretty much better than any other city on its best. Biased?

I got to bless the sacrament on Sunday, it's been a while since I've done that. Now me and Ethan together can do it. Ha ha.

We were unable to meet with the lady we met the other week, this week. But this upcoming week we will be trying really hard, we have a bunch of appointments so hopefully we can have some good success here. 

This week was good, we were able to be on the streets a little and able to teach some lessons. We had an awesome spiritual thought with a family about repentance, love object lessons. 

Quote of the week was from a gentleman at church: Wow you have beautiful teeth. They are so straight and white. Lucky you. 

It was just so sweet the way he said it. 

Hope you all have a great week and always remember to help older people cross the street!

J

Grass roof, quite common

Sprinkler for the roof, not so common


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Week 58

My comp's uncle was in town and got permission to take us to dinner. It was awesome.

Doing some service

Wow it is really kind of crazy that this is week 58. I know I say that every week and sooner or later I'll be home and I will be like "wow I can't believe I was gone for two years" but the time is a little crazy here. Kind of feels like detached reality. Like we see everything that is going on around us but we have no affect and no influence on it. It's kind of nice being a fly on the wall, but then again you know that I am not the fly on the wall. I think I get that one from my grandma.

The teaching was a little slow this week but we were able to be out on the streets for quite some time and soak up the water. My pants have actually become orange from the rain soaking into them. It has a great tint and I am very proud. 

Sorry not too much happened this week. July (supposedly the hottest month to everyone else in the world) had only 4 days without rain. Yes, I know I'm still talking about the weather, but come on.

We had a great lesson with a lady we found a couple of weeks ago. We were knocking on doors and took a random bus and saw a house and got off the bus and just went up to the door and knocked and the guy who answered the door didn't care, but we asked if he knew anyone who would be interested and then he called to his wife and she came downstairs and we had a great discussion and she said we could come back. So we went on Friday and it was great and hopefully will be visiting her again this week. #Ibelieveinmiracles

Hope you all have a great week!



Monday, July 25, 2016

Week 57



So it was a bit hard for Norwegians to say "Hoopes" so I requested a name tag that when Norwegians read it, they could pronounce it how it should be pronounced. That's why my tag now says Eldste Hops. Very satisfying when people say it right.

I will be getting my driver's license. Here it's a little different and like a billion dollars more expensive and way harder. Normally for Norwegians getting their license costs somewhere around $5,500 dollars, YES dollars!! A small fortune. Fortunately, we just have to take the test. The thing is it is super hard and is an hour long and Europe is way different and way slower than all streets in the states. It should be interesting but I think I should manage. Just have to drive with confidence. No written because I already have a US license.

This last week was good. It was pretty warm a couple of days and then the next two weeks are supposed to rain right on schedule so not too much variation. We weren't able to meet up with our soccer playing investigator because he was busy, but things are going well. We are meeting with another investigator again and he's doing really well, yesterday we ate at his house and it was so good!

Yesterday I hit 13 months which is crazy and on August 6 I will have been in Norway a year. Big days and they are going by way fast.

Good things to come and life is going great.

J

HP Sauce from England it's so good on fish cakes!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Week 56


We decided to walk home from the city

Just making our way home through the forest

So we did a little bit of teaching this week. Had some good lessons, especially with one guy from Ghana. He's been in Norway for 10 years, so basically Norwegian. Way cool guy and we have played with him on his soccer team, we will be meeting up with him again this week.

We have gotten really good at painting and moving for service. Glad I have the experience and so I know how it's supposed to be done. Elder Hadley and I basically always have normal clothes with us so that whenever the opportunity presents itself we can hop in our normal clothes, move boxes and change without going back home. I wish I could say without breaking a sweat, but I have learned I get quite sweaty.

It's been raining all week. And not like rain and stop and then the ground is wet. It's like "okay we are just going to rain for the next 156 years and then after the world runs out of water, then we will stop raining." Ahh, but yanno I can't complain too much because I am in Bergen. But they do have a word in Norwegian that has been very useful the past week. "Gjennomvåt" which means through wet. Yes, a word to describe how wet you are because someone dumped a bucket on you. But like I said, best city ever, can't complain.

Our week was kind of slow but we were still able to teach some good lessons and avoid standing in the rain too much. Unfortunately, my rain jacket is coming apart pretty good so that is a sad thing. So my white shirt is pretty damp most of the time but I will hopefully be able to hold out and soon it will be cold enough to where I can break out my winter coat and then I will never be cold or wet again (until I get banished to the north, of course.)

Zone conference is usually week 4 (except of course last one because we had an area authority visit) so that will be next week. Crazy how it is already like halfway through the transfer. Sometimes I have no idea where the time goes and other times I know exactly where it goes. I think they're going to do it a little different this time so it will only be the zone leaders coming here, so I won't see Daly this transfer for the first time since last October.

I will be taking my driving test here in Bergen before I leave so that should be awesome and interesting. The rumor is that no one passes their test here. Yeah, but most people aren't Californian drivers ;)

Quote of the week from Hadley "You drive like you're from California." Yes, yes I do thank you very much.

Love and have a great week :)