Monday, May 12, 2014

Monday, April 14th, 2014

I am so grateful to be able to serve in this branch with such wonderful people. They have such wonderful, kind and loving spirits. We drove to Hammerfest this week and visited some members and taught the member’s sister and her husband as well, which was really cool. It was our branch president’s birthday this past week, and he got some dogs and is trying to put together a dog sledding team. We were over at our branch president’s house to celebrate his birthday and he and Geir were jamming. He is a quite good guitar player. He asked me if I wanted to play his strat, and I could not say no. It was great to play an electric guitar again. The sun is up from before we wake up until 9:30 at night or so, which is crazy considering that it never came up when I came here.

I had a really cool experience this week. We were praying to begin planning when I got an impression that I should call a less active member who is from Alta but may or may not have been in Oslo. I had heard about the member since I was in Oslo and missionaries had been trying to get in contact for months. No one had ever gotten an answer though. But when I called, we finally got an answer, which was an incredible miracle. It goes to show that this is not our work. We are the instruments, imperfect as we may be, through which Heavenly Father works to save His children. When we serve with all of our hearts, we are able to receive such profound guidance and power. I really loved Elder Bednard’s talk about the Atonement. All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Christ as Preach My Gospel says. We can be happy knowing that Christ has overcome the world. He has asked us to be of good cheer and to press forward in patience until we are perfected. I know he understands each of us perfectly and that He loves each of us and wants to and can bring us all safely and gloriously home.

I have been trying to work on being more grateful, which has been a very big blessing even though I still have a long ways to go. We truly can never be grateful enough. As King Benjamin says, even if we cried all of our days in gratitude and served all of our days, we would never even begin to repay God for what He has done for us. It is humbling and empowering to know this to be true. Heavenly Father and Christ do not ask us to repay them for what they have done for us, but to appreciate and use the gifts they have given us. Their glory and their happiness are our immortality and eternal life. They are always willing to help and bless us the question truly is if we will accept those blessings. When we live the gospel and keep our covenants, we are able to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost to guide us. We will be blessed in incredible ways. Obedience brings blessings and happiness. I know that Christ has given the gift of life to all of us. He died and rose again and so shall we all. He has taken upon himself our sins, griefs, weaknesses, infirmities and heartaches, and all can be made right through His atonement. May we remember this gift, use and accept it is my prayer. The Norwegian word of the week is God PĂ„ske, which means Happy Easter. Have a wonderful Easter and keep on keeping on!

Elder Ankenman

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