Saturday, October 19, 2013

Monday, October 14th, 2013

We have been very blessed this past week. It is funny that on the one hand I feel that there is always so much room for me to improve and so many things I could be doing better while on the other hand I feel so blessed for the strengths and blessings I have received in order to accomplish what I have. The ten-year-old boy from Portugal will not be baptized this week, but we have a goal for him for the 26th of October. We were finally able to have a lesson with the Swedish twins yesterday, and it was really cool. They expressed that they would like to get baptized as soon as they could. They essentially grew up in the church, but their father would not allow them to get baptized. Now that they are living on their own in Norway nothing can stop them. We are not sure what the date will be yet because they have to talk to their Mom and they need to check their work schedules, but it should be no later than the beginning of November. It is incredible to think that there are three baptisms that will happen in Oslo. We also have some other investigators whom I feel very strongly about.

I do not attend the Spanish gospel principles class right now because we do not have investigators there anymore. I still do have quite a few opportunities to speak Spanish with the members though. I have even been able to participate in priesthood blessings in Spanish, which has been really cool.

It is key for us to have strong testimonies of the restoration of the gospel through Joseph Smith. If we know that the restoration happened then any other concerns or questions we have are resolved. The only question any investigator needs to ask her-himself is if Joseph Smith was a prophet. Anyone who actually wants to know, and seeks sincerely will come to know that he was indeed a prophet.

It is a comfort and blessing to me to know how universal the message of the gospel is. When we have knowledge of the restoration, those other differences that might divide us really become so insignificant. Political views, nationality, culture, language and so forth really do not make a difference. I think that it is so essential for people to get over the boundaries that we create to separate ourselves from one another. We are all children of Heavenly Father, so we all have divine potentials and he loves us all perfectly. One thing that I have been contemplating recently is unity. It is so essential that we be united. Members of the church in particular should not let our differences separate us. Rather they should bring us together in the cause of helping others to come to the light of the gospel. We must always demonstrate love for our brothers and sisters regardless of what happens. We are indeed nothing without charity, for without charity our actions are hollow. I hope we may all be filled with that pure love.

Elder Linge and I live with Elder Bitner and Elder Wineager who are the AP¨s (assistants to the president), so there are four of us sharing the apartment. It is fine in terms of space. The only issue is that we are not there very often since it is not in Oslo (where Elder Linge and I are assigned to work) and the assistants hardly spend any time at home to begin with.

I feel like there is so much potential for Oslo and all of Norway. It is truly wonderful to be able to serve here. I know that Heavenly Father is mindful of us all. There is no question that His hand is manifest in all of our lives. The key is to learn to get rid of the pavilions that appear to separate us from Him. When I think about how blessed I am to be able to help others come unto Christ and return to Heavenly Father, I cannot help but smile and be grateful. The Norwegian word of the week is forsoningen, which means the atonement.

Elder Ankenman

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