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.


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!

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 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 :)