Sunday, December 1, 2013

Monday, November 18th, 2013

We had a goal as a district this week to spend time every day from 6-9 being with the members, which we were able to do almost every day. It was really wonderful to spend time with them. Elder Linge and I do quite a lot of tracking, which is good, but member missionary work is the better way, and I feel like that is where our focus should be. All of us need to reach out in love to our brothers and sisters to help them come back and feel of Heavenly Father’s love for them and enjoy the blessings that he desires to give them. It is very easy to say that but difficult to know exactly how to apply those principles into bringing about significant change. The three people we met from teaching Norwegian last week are all progressing quite well. They are from Morocco, Holland, and Italy, so there is quite a mix. Two of them speak English, and they all speak French. We have a return missionary from France and a French woman in the ward who have both done wonderful jobs of fellowshipping them and helping them feel welcome by being with them at church and coming on teaches. Having member involvement with investigators from the beginning of the teaching process makes all the difference in the world. One of them has had a tremendous amount of miracles this past week, including her spouse who is in a different country having come in contact with missionaries there at the same time. The French member said that two of them would definitely get baptized soon, so we are very excited.

My Norwegian is as good as ever. Elder Linge is almost definitely the best missionary in the mission at Norwegian, so it is a great blessing to be able to serve with and learn from him. One thing I think is a big obstacle for missionaries and something that I am trying to over come is the amount of English spoke, which makes it very difficult to really learn Norwegian. We often fall to English with each other and meet a lot of English speaking people, not to mention Norwegians speak much better English than most of us do Norwegian. None of these are good reasons though. One thing that really strikes me is thinking about my call letter, which called me to preach the gospel in the Norwegian language. That is my call, and so I can and must do it. It is a really cool language, and I can communicate a lot with people. I have definitely been very blessed, but I have a lot to learn. There are a lot of really wonderful nature sights in Norway. The landscape is very diverse throughout Norway, unlike Sweden, which is flat. It is an incredibly beautiful country. The past couple of days have been very clear and absolutely gorgeous.

One thing I am trying to work on is relying on Heavenly Father to provide me with the strength I need in all things, and to trust that he will give me what is necessary and what is best. I have felt his influence very much thus far on my mission, but I simultaneously know how much more can be done here. I think it is very important to remember that we are nothing of ourselves but can through the power of our God do all things that are expedient in Him. It still has not snowed, which is very surprising, but I think that will change soon. The Swedish twins are getting baptized soon, which is very exciting. There is also going to be a baptism of a teenage boy this Saturday on his birthday. The Norwegian words of the weeks are å stole på, which means to trust/rely on and vennlig, which means friendly.

Elder Ankenman

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