Monday, May 30, 2016

Week 49

Saying goodbye to Elder Messer

The week was actually pretty good. Elder Hadley got here on Wednesday and we have been busy ever since. We have had appointment after appointment so we have been having a great time. One thing that has stood out to me recently is how much I just love Bergen. It is the best. I love Bergen and the ward more than just about anything. 

We have been going to a lot of appointments, member and investigator alike. It has been pretty sunny so walking around isn't too bad even though it's kind of weird just walking around in a white shirt instead of with a jacket and/or sweater on. A lot more dirty looks, but it doesn't even matter. Kind of weird that it's May and I think I have had a total of 6 days without a sweater or jacket. So, here a year and only six days of no jacket/sweater. Don't get me wrong though, I love Norway.

I think for p-day today we are going to go to the city and then get some of the best ice cream on the face of the earth.

At church, I understand Norwegian quite well now and it is just frustrating because when I hear myself talk I can hear the mistakes that I make and it drives me insane!

Staying after church to chat is the best. That's where you get cozy with the ward and learn who they really are and they can learn to like you. If you make them remember your name and face and who you are then you truly have built relationships and that's what it's all about.

There is only one ward, so sometimes we do have events but the thing is I am pretty sure that the Bergen ward has one of the largest ward boundaries in the whole world. Before it became a ward a few years ago it was the largest branch boundary. So it can be hard for people to make it out to everything. The farthest active member lives about 70 kilometers away, so yeah it's far. We did have a talent night on Friday, though, and of course the missionaries were supposed to do something. So last minute I decided that I would Norwegian. So I came with a couple lines and winged it. Here is the rap in Norwegian and the translation below that, it doesn't quite rhyme but you'll get the idea:

Hei, jeg heter eldste hoopes
og så skal jeg prøve å rhyme med hoopes
oops, ingenting går vet du
ikke do, de er forskjellige ting
liksom disse måkene som bæsjer på mitt
hodet og håret, lit æsj du forstår det
jeg kanke norske men du trodde
og så står jeg her og dumer meg ut
og så skal vi komme til å slutt
snart, fart, og så sier jeg bart
fordi det er morsomt også lit rart
menigheten er fin, hvitt skjorte er min
dere vet disse ting, ikke grinn
denne sangen var helt på bån
og så er jeg plutselig ferdig, sån !

hi my name is elder hoopes
and im going to try to rhyme with hoopes
oops, nothing goes yano
not bathroom, those are different things
like these seagulls that poop on my
head and hair and its gross you understand
i cant speak norwegian but you believed it
and i am here embarrassing myself
and and we are going to be done
soon, fast, and i also say mustache
because its funny and a little weird
the ward is cool, white shirt is mine
you guys know this stuff, dont cry
this song totally sucked
and now im suddenly done, boom

Doesn't really make sense but people seemed to get a kick out of it and I was kind of proud of it.

Have a great week! I took some pics of some Norwegian funnies.


Norwegian funny

A family picking up their missionary that just got released came and took the elders to lunch

Monday, May 23, 2016

Week 48 (week 47 "no time to email)

So this week was Syttende Mai, May 17 is Constitution Day in Norway. Everyone dresses up and the city is decorated and everyone marches in the parades. So we asked these girls for a picture in english and they said "of course." Later we saw the sister missionaries taking pictures with them and I totally forgot it was the girls we asked for a picture and we were speaking norwegian and they were totally shocked!

Everyone dresses up and the women and girls wear traditional Bunads (Boo-nod). 

I will be staying in Bergen for 6 more weeks!!! wooohoo. I will be getting a new companion, though. By the end of this stint I will be here for 6 months! And who knows, maybe I could stay for another? 

So the craziest thing I've seen in Bergen is probably last week when a girl hopped off the light rail in her Bunad on the 17th and she threw up everywhere. Maybe it wasn't the craziest but it was probably the funniest. I haven't seen too much crazy, Norway is pretty tame.

So Rus starts in the beginning of April and then the last day is May 17 (where the high school kids graduating wear red jump suits, party super hard, hand out funny trading cards to get ready for finals) and they stay up all night. They basically die but then they sleep and have school/finals the next day! They have a traditional summer break, done in May and go back to school in August/September.

So we when we sing in church we sing the hymns in Norwegian. It's funny how they always make the notes work with the words, the church is pretty clever like that. My favorite hymn is Nærmere deg min Gud (nearer my god to thee). Its great : )

We have zone conferences every transfer on week 4. It's good to come together and we always have a good time. Daly is still my zone leader so I will see him in a couple of weeks. 

This week it's back to business as usual. Have a great week!


Rus, the kids graduating and partying are in the parade in their jumpsuits and overalls

Monday, May 9, 2016

Week 46

This week went by pretty fast being the first week of May and it's already the 9th! Crazy but I was able to break out the shorts today for P-day, would never have thought that would happen, in fact I almost didn't even bring them but I guess I'm glad I did. 

Tuesday we had an american dinner with a member and her brother who are both from Brooklyn - so cool.

Exciting thing, tho, just barely a lady came and knocked on the church (we are at the church to email) and was asking us some questions and stuff and asking us about the church building. Then after she asked us where I was from and I said the U.S. she was like "no, you sound like you're from Iceland" ICELAND? ARE YOU KIDDING ME, THAT'S LIKE IN SCANDINAVIA. Wow, I didn't think anyone has ever felt this good after being called Icelandic but hey I will take what I can get.

Wednesday and Thursday we were in Stavanger and went on splits with Daly and Gingrich so that was great. In Norway on the 5th of May or whatever the first Thursday in May is, it's Christ Ascension Day back into heaven, so it's a day Norway takes off. 

Friday was pretty average but Saturday we were invited by one of our investigators to go play soccer with him and his buddies down at the field, but when we got there it turned out it was a full on match. So Elder Messer got to play on a Ghanaian team against an Ethiopian team and it was sweet. I was supposed to go in the second half but we had to be somewhere so we had to bounce. Probably for the better though, since I have lost all balance, skill, speed, agility, anything. Oh what a sad mess that I have become.

Sunday we got to Skype - and it was such a nice day and oh so beautiful. Love to you all.


From Mom:
We got to Skype with Elder Hoopes and it was so awesome to see his smiling face and laugh and tell stories. He's happy and healthy and we even got to hear him speak a little Norwegian. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Week 45

First - call to everyone who reads the blog, please send me a recent pic of yourself or you and a friend asap. Pictures are sooooo fantastic!

There's a thing called Russ where Norwegians who are graduating in three weeks go as hard as they can before finals and do a bunch of teenage stuff probably not all legal. They wear red jump suits and have little trading cards. It's hard to describe, you just might have to come to Norway to see it.

We met with a lot of members this week and were able to share a bunch of spiritual thoughts. I have a favorite one at the moment but I'm keeping it to myself because people might read it and it will blow the secret. Let's just say it has to do with faith. It's a fun activity for families. 

We go to Stavanger this week for zone conference!!! Excited to see the zone leaders (my past companions) Woo!

So the one food I miss the most is good fast food. We don't have too much of it and it's so expensive that it's not even worth it. In the US you can go to McDonald's if you have a little money and need a bunch of food. Here McDonald's is bank and it's a treat.

But Norway has kebabs - they are sooo good! It's pita dough with meat and vegetables and bunch of sauce in the middle and all good stuff. Rumor has it that Norway has the best kebabs in Europe. 

The hardest part about the Norwegian language is the prepositions. They make no english translation sense and you just have to learn every one. 

My favorite thing about the Norwegian culture is how they are all about families. Women get 49 weeks off and 100% salary for maternity leave and husbands do too. Everything here is for families.

The hardest part about the culture is if you talk to a random person they basically think you're going to rob them. But once they get to know you, you have a friend for life.

Something I've learned about myself is that I just want to help people in life. That is what I have come down to. No matter what it is I want to help people. I have learned on my mission that being selfish is the most disgusting thing ever. If you are selfish it is very hard to love. I know I probably sound like a typical missionary, but if people put their pride aside and step to help someone other than themselves this world would be translated tomorrow. I know I haven't been perfect at it but it is something I have tried really hard in the last few months to grow toward. I have had to swallow some pride, and get humbled a ton (ps never ask for humility because look out!) It is hard in places where people have it so good, but try to help someone other than yourselves. 

That's about it. Have a great week!


From Mom: We got this random text a couple of days ago - what an awesome surprise!