Saturday, July 4, 2015

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

It is certainly strange to see how time has gone by. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have had to serve. I am also grateful that it is not yet over. I am so very grateful for how my mission has taught me to always put the Lord first. If we do so, I know that everything else will always fall into place. I am so grateful for that knowledge. Life is not meant to be easy, but it is meant to be fulfilling as we rely solely upon our Savior. I am so grateful for this time I have had in Norway and indeed this time I have on earth to serve Him. I am so grateful for the love and support you all have shown me throughout my mission. It is impossible for me to express what it has meant for me. I know that I am so deeply blessed. Thank you all so much for the wonderful people you are. I know that this is the work of the Lord and that it will continue to go forward. He is indeed our Master. The Norwegian word of the week is hengivenhet, which means dedication.

Love,
Elder Ankenman

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Monday, June 15th, 2015

Time really does go by quickly though. We are trying to do our best in using our time well and pressing forward no matter what happens. I think that one of the greatest gifts of the gospel is knowing that everything will work out. Without the Savior, there would be no way for us to have that assurance. We have a member in the branch who is a very passionate filmmaker, and he and his son filmed Elder Garrard and me this past weekend bearing our testimonies of the Book of Mormon and sharing the impact it has had upon us. It was cool to see how it turned out. I am not sure what will come of it though. We will have to wait and see. I am so grateful for my testimony. It provides such strength no matter what happens. The most comforting thing I think is knowing that it is not my strength alone by Christ who strengthens me. I am so grateful for the love and support you all have given me. I still intend to endure to the end and not just as a missionary. The Norwegian word of the week is å ta opp, which means to record.

Love,
Elder Ankenman

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Monday, June 8th, 2015

I am of course very excited to be able to come home. It will be very bittersweet. I believed it to be true when he said it, but I now know that what Elder Perry said when he came and visited us in Oakland is true. Elder Perry said that we will try all of our lives to work to repay the Lord for all that He has done and does for us, but every time He will just continue to bless us more than we can imagine. No matter how hard we try we cannot even begin to repay Him. King Benjamin was right when He said that we would be unprofitable servants even if we served with all of our beings. It is because of that that it is hard for me to see my mission as a sacrifice. It is a blessing to be able to serve the Lord in any way I can. I am so grateful for your support and love. We were able to participate over the Internet in a stake conference in Edinborough where Elder Holland presided. It was broadcast to all of the UK, Ireland and the Nordic countries. It was really cool to be able to participate. Elder Holland spoke about the Book of Mormon. He also said that his great grandfather, who I believe is George Q. Cannon, found the gospel in the Isle of Man. He bore his testimony that he knew that the Book of Mormon was true and that it is indeed the greatest sign of the times that God speaks today and the world is being prepared for the return of the Savior. I am grateful for my testimony. I know that Jesus Christ lives and is our Savior and Redeemer, and I know that every person who lives, will live, or ever has lived is a child of God of infinite value. Thank you all so much for your love and support and prayers. The Norwegian word of the week is offer, which means sacrifice.

Love,
Elder Ankenman

Monday, June 8, 2015

Monday, June 1st, 2015

It is crazy to think about how quickly time goes. I am so grateful to be blessed to bring the gospel to our brothers and sisters. I was also very sad to hear the news about Elder Perry. He was and is awesome. He is truly a disciple of the Savior. I will miss him very much as so many others will. We had a really cool experience today. We have been teaching a man who was a little overwhelmed when we invited him to come to church for the first time. While we were teaching him this week we had talked about how we would need to be sensitive to his concerns about coming to church and perhaps be patient and give him time to adjust. When we were teaching him, we felt like we should invite him even though that was very much not what we had planned. We invited him to come, and lo and behold he came. It was a wonderful testimony to me of how the Spirit does guide and help us. We truly could not, cannot and do not do this work alone. I know that this is the Lord’s work. I feel truly blessed to be able to continue to serve Him. Though my days to be doing so as a full time missionary are at least temporarily numbered, I know that there are limitless opportunities to uplift, bless and serve others just as the Savior would. I know that He lives. I know that this work is true. I am so grateful for that testimony, and I strive to live in accordance with it. The Norwegian word of the week is disipelskap, which means discipleship.

Love,
Elder Ankenman

Monday, May 25th, 2015

President Evans has asked us a mission to recommit and refocus ourselves upon the Savior and our purpose to invite other to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. I have felt very blessed as we have begun to try to do better in fulfilling our purpose as missionaries. The Savior and His Atonement are the center of our faith and should be the focus of everything we do. I am grateful that we can build our lives upon the rock of our Redeemer and His gospel. I remember when I attended a music camp at BYU and my instructor said that Preach My Gospel changed his life. It helped him to know that faith in Jesus Christ and repentance were always the answer. That is true. I am grateful that the Holy Ghost helps us in our infirmities to know how we can follow the Savior and to testify with power and authority of His mission and divinity. I know that the Savior lives and loves us. He has restored His church. Heavenly Father has a plan for all of His children regardless of their circumstances. I know that we can receive personal revelation to guide us. Thank you all so much for your dedication to follow the Savior. I have learned so much from your examples. The Norwegian word of the week is kristi klippe, which means the rock of Christ.

Love,
Elder Ankenman

Monday, May 18, 2015

Monday, May 18th, 2015

It has been a very good week. I think that I will be staying with Elder Garrard in Tonsberg for the rest of my mission. I am very excited about that, and we are doing very well. We are trying to sprint to the finish as many missionaries say. Yesterday in particular was a very special day for Norway because it was May 17th, which is their independence day. We got to travel to Oslo and even got to go to church there, which was a great blessing. I was able to see some of my favorite people for which I was very grateful. It was very humbling and gratifying to be able to come back and see a bit of what has happened here since I left. I am so grateful to know that this is the Lord's work and that He is moving it forward.

We have been blessed with some very wonderful people to teach including a cool guy who is a sound engineer from Rio. I love this country so much, and I am so incredibly grateful for the chance I have had and will continue to have to serve the Norwegian people. We also got permission to take our p-day (preparation day) in Oslo today and travel back in the afternoon, so it will be great to be able to be here a little bit more. I know that the work is going forward. I know that God loves and knows each and every one of us. He is our Father. The Norwegian word of the week is tog, which means train and parade.

Love,
Elder Ankenman

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Monday, May 11th, 2015

I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day. I cannot believe how quickly time goes by. I am so grateful for the perspective the gospel gives us and for the assurances we receive as we truly do all we can to follow the Lord. I have thought a lot about grace recently. Without the Savior's grace we would not have hope for anything eternal, incorruptible or godly. There would be no chance for immortality. It would not be possible for us as hard as we may try to overcome the evil around us. But as Abinadi says there are a resurrection and redemption. I know that because of the Savior's Atonement we can do, be and become good in ways that would not otherwise be possible and indeed in ways we cannot comprehend. I know that without the grace of the Lord, it is impossible to get anywhere in an eternal perspective, especially in missionary work. I know that His grace is available to and sufficient to all who humble themselves and truly seek after it. I am grateful for the strength He gives us. I know that He is the vine and intends us as the branches to bring forth much fruit. We must not only be with Him for a season, or have superficial commitment but we must abide in Him. I am grateful for the wonderful examples you have all given me of how we can abide in Him and bring forth fruit.

I will be staying here in T√łnsberg with Elder Garrad. So as another missionary put it, we will be having the roommate experience. We have been getting a lot of help from our ward missionary here who was just ordained an elder and was baptized last year. His name is Manny, and he helps us teach a lot. We were able to find four new investigators last week, three of whom were referrals from him. It is amazing to see what happens when we as members and missionaries are equally yoked and are devoted to bring the gospel to as many as we can. We need not fear when we have the Lord on our side. I sang Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing yesterday in church with Elder Garrard. I thought that the lyrics really illustrated this point. The last verse says “O to grace how great a debtor ever I'm constrained to be. Let thy goodness like a fetter bind my wandering heart to thee. Prone to wander Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love. Here's my heart O take and seal it, Seal it for they courts above”. The Norwegian word of the week is tilstrekkelig, which means sufficient.

Love,
Elder Ankenman