Saturday, August 31, 2013

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

I am leaving for Norway on Monday the 19th. I am excited but nervous to be heading out to Norway, but I think I am ready. I know that my weaknesses will not matter as I rely upon the strengthening power of the atonement. I have been reading the Book of Mormon in Norwegian some, but probably not as much as I should be. It is a really good way to learn new words that may come up quite a bit. I think Preach My Gospel in Norwegian is also a really good learning tool.

It is still scary and incredible to think how quickly everything has happened. I feel myself drawing closer to Christ and Heavenly Father each day. The wisdom and love behind this work is beyond comprehension. I will be attending the temple today for the first time in the MTC and probably for the last time for the next two years. It is truly a joy to be able to participate in temple ordinances, particularly when you are aiding in the salvation and eternal happiness of your family members.

I know that family history is a powerful missionary tool. People love their families, and I cannot imagine how one could not be at the very least interested in the prospect of living with one's family forever. The assurance that we can do so is one of the greatest blessings of the gospel. I am so grateful to be blessed by the restored gospel and to be able to have so much more of a knowledge of human nature and the purpose of life. Whether the Norwegian people know it yet or not, they need the gospel to be really and truly happy, just like everyone else. It is difficult not to feel that we are on the verge of something huge here. If the Lord wants us to be able to convert hundreds or even thousands at this time, there is no doubt that we could do so. If the time is not yet, that is also fine. I cannot wrap my head around being in Norway and doing missionary work there so soon. I know that there are so many ways in which I am weak, but through Christ, and truly by no other means, I can become strong.

I wanted to share my daily schedule in the MTC (Missionary Training Center). It is mostly scripture study, teaching exercises, language study, and eating. This is a very exciting time for missionary work, and I am so glad that there are so many in our ward that has answered the Prophet's call.

We heard a talk on Sunday about the purpose of our purpose as missionaries. Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ and 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. The reason we want people to do this is not because we want the church to have more members. It is because we want our brothers and sisters to feel their Heavenly Father's love for them. This is the source of the greatest happiness we can experience in this life and the next. The Norwegian word of the week is skjelden (pronounced like Sheldon), and it means rarely. As in skjelden does a physicist like Sheldon appear.

Elder Ankenman

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