Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday, September 9th, 2013

It has been a good week. I have really felt that I have had many opportunities to serve people and show them Heavenly Father's love for them, which is the greatest feeling in the world. I have actually now met four Latinos who we have taught: two from Peru and two from Colombia. One of them has already agreed to be baptized and said that he received a spiritual confirmation of the restoration and the Book of Mormon. This made me elated. I am having to learn gospel words in Spanish. One investigator said that my Spanish has improved quite a bit since I began teaching him so that is good. I find Spanish to be a very spiritual language. It moves me so very much, so I am also tremendously grateful to have the opportunity to teach the gospel in it.

Sadly, the man who was going to be baptized on the 21st has asked to cancel the baptism and to stop meeting with us because he has realized the size of the commitment. He has spent his time on Sundays watching his grandchildren play sports for the past 10-15 years, so he feels like he would have to choose between his family and Heavenly Father. He feels he would be living a lie if he got baptized and did not come to church as often as he possibly could. We hope to be able to get him back and to get him to trust Heavenly Father and that He will provide a way always, as we are obedient. The saddest part is that he knows the church is true, but still will not join. Nevertheless, he is a wonderful man, and I know that it is not over yet.

We have had a lot of miracles this week where people have been put exactly in our path ready for the gospel. There was one time we were boarding the T-bane, which is the subway, and a man just came up to us and said are you Mormons? We talked to him for a half hour about the gospel and got his phone number. We should be having a lesson with him soon. I am so thankful to have Heavenly Father always watching over me. I receive so much strength that is beyond my own. There is no greater feeling in this world than being able to serve others, I have felt that feeling a lot as a missionary and have been very grateful for it.

When we contact, we usually just say hi we are from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and we would like to share a message that has brought us tremendous peace and happiness. We often talk to people about their beliefs and what is important to them and try to see if they would be able to meet with us and/or if we can have their phone number to contact them. We also have pass along cards that we use a lot if people are in a rush.

The members here are just wonderful, and it is so rewarding to see the light that the gospel brings. There is a member in Oslo who is from Taiwan and is a Mandarin professor at the University of Oslo. He does a lot of translation into Mandarin for the church. He joined the church against the will of his parents when he was eighteen. He has an incredible testimony and is a great guy. He also won best teacher in Oslo a couple years back. He invited us to dinner where we made sushi! It was Elder Bitner's first time eating sushi, and we ate with a senior couple who also had ever had sushi before. It was really good and a lot of fun. I have felt recently much love, peace and guidance from Heavenly Father, for which I have been very grateful. The Norwegian word of the week is herrlig, which means awesome that describes the members here perfectly!

Elder Ankenman

1 comment:

  1. Dear Elder Ankenman,

    Thank you for your wonderful and uplifting stories. They are fantastic! They do a great job of conveying how bouyed up you feel serving your mission. I find it so ironic that you are teaching so much in Spanish, when you are in Norway!! So fascinating, and further confirmation that you are in exactly the right place! Richard