Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
I am well and trying to learn and understand all I can. I think I am getting more and more comfortable with the language and people. I have awesome and inspiring teachers. We have two new teachers who are each investigators for us. Brother Smith, who was Orjan, and Brother Barthalamuel (that's probably not the right spelling) who is new. They are both such beasts! Sunday night we watched a talk by Elder Bednar called "Character of Christ" that I highly recommend. He said that the fundamental character of Christ is that when the natural man or woman (he said that the cookie monster is a perfect example of such a person) would turn inward he would ALWAYS turn outward in love. Knowing who we are and what we have the potential to become brings incredible meaning to life and I am so grateful for the unique and powerful ways that I have been taught this lesson. It is a lesson I hope to bring to the Norwegian people with love. I know Heavenly Father, Christ and the Holy Ghost are watching over us all, helping us, blessing us, and guiding us in perfect love and unity.
Yesterday was a very tragic day in Norway two years ago, tantamount to 9/11 for us. I will not go into why since it is a long story, but suffice it to say that the essence of what it means to be Norwegian was destroyed and the fabric of life and the peace that the people had were shredded. Our teachers told us that we are the only people in the world who can give the Norwegian people what they need: the peace, love and happiness that come from living and knowing the true gospel. I pray that we will be able to fulfill this tremendous task.
I know that all religions and philosophies of which I know have a tremendous amount in common. We must not forget this and must never lose respect and admiration for those of other beliefs. I also know that the fullness of the truth provides a light and happiness that is unlike anything else. This truth is only taught and found in the church to which we belong. Anyone who is a sincere seeker of truth who will study and pray to know this is true can also know that the church is true. I have started reading the Book of Mormon again since I got here. It is just wonderful. I would urge you guys to study the scriptures together and on your own. It just fills my heart with joy to read and hear the hope that we have in the truth and the hope that there is for all, The purpose of my mission is to invite others to come unto Christ so that they can know the greatest joy that is available in this life and the life to come. We heard a great talk from Elder Holland in the 2009 October Conference about the Book of Mormon that I think you will like.
I am reminded that none of what happens, particularly when one is on the Lord's errand, is by chance. There is a reason I am going to Norway at this time with this group. I miss you very much, but I know that there is nothing more important or impactful than helping others come unto Christ.
While Elder Ankenman is in the MTC in Provo he can receive daily messages from Dear Elder.com. If anyone would like to contact him this way here is a link: http://www.dearelder.com/. He will still have access to email every Tuesday.