Sunday, November 2, 2014

Monday, October 27th, 2014

It is still surprisingly not too cold. Narvik is a really cool and beautiful place. We do a lot of walking, and it is incredibly hilly, so I get a pretty good workout especially when we go far out to knock on doors. We have a really wonderful branch here with some very dedicated members, and we want to focus on helping and strengthening them, particularly in missionary work of course. It is such a wonderful feeling to be able to be a part of this wonderful work and serve the Lord. The fruits of our labors are not always immediate or evident, but they are there nonetheless. It is so moving for me to be able to see the strength of the testimonies of so many of the members here. It can be hard to stand-alone in the states as a member of the church at times, but it is a very different challenge being in such an isolated place. It is truly inspiring to see the light the gospel brings to all people who humbly seek to follow the Savior and His restored gospel. We can truly feel of the Lord's love as we forget ourselves and get to work.

One of the members who joined the church against his father's will when he was 15, he is much older now, gave a talk in Sunday bearing his testimony of the Book of Mormon and of the truthfulness of the message of the restoration. He used a story Hugh Nibley used to illustrate how people get caught up in the sideshow about how a boy had discovered a diamond. All sorts of different experts from various fields talked about how unlikely it would be or tried to come up with different explanations for why it would appear to be a diamond. None of them actually tested the gem to see if it is a diamond but simply talked about why they thought it is impossible and not even worth their time. That is exactly how many people who try to attack the church do it. They focus on the side points, they take things out of context, but they do not actually sincerely try the experiment, which will tell them whether Joseph Smith was a prophet. A diamond is a diamond, and a prophet is a prophet. It is by their fruits we shall know them as the Savior instructed. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that God is willing to reveal that to all who sincerely wish to attain that knowledge and act according to the light they receive as Moroni says those who have faith in Christ, a sincere heart and real intent.

We are really trying to find more people to teach. The man we found last week is actually very busy and will not be able to meet for a long time. His name is Eugene, so it would be wonderful if you all could pray for him. It would also be great if you could pray for the branch and that we can have baptisms. We have a goal for two more this year. We have an amazing branch president who is actually related to Linnea (church member in Alta). He is Finish, but his first language is Swedish. He teaches physics at the local community college. His name is President Nyman, which means new man. He is really cool. We also have a husband and wife who are both from Narvik and are both converts, the husband joined when he was fifteen and the wife after they had been married for a while. Tonight we are skyping with someone for a family home evening. They live in Harstad, which is about an hour and a half away.

We will be traveling later in the week to Bodø first to go on splits and then to Trondheim for a zone conference on Halloween. I also sent in my absentee ballot today. The Norwegian word of the week is greier, which means stuff. A lot of missionaries like to use it in their norwinglish e.g. and all that greier, thanks for the greier.

Elder Ankenman

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