Monday, May 18, 2015

Monday, May 18th, 2015

It has been a very good week. I think that I will be staying with Elder Garrard in Tonsberg for the rest of my mission. I am very excited about that, and we are doing very well. We are trying to sprint to the finish as many missionaries say. Yesterday in particular was a very special day for Norway because it was May 17th, which is their independence day. We got to travel to Oslo and even got to go to church there, which was a great blessing. I was able to see some of my favorite people for which I was very grateful. It was very humbling and gratifying to be able to come back and see a bit of what has happened here since I left. I am so grateful to know that this is the Lord's work and that He is moving it forward.

We have been blessed with some very wonderful people to teach including a cool guy who is a sound engineer from Rio. I love this country so much, and I am so incredibly grateful for the chance I have had and will continue to have to serve the Norwegian people. We also got permission to take our p-day (preparation day) in Oslo today and travel back in the afternoon, so it will be great to be able to be here a little bit more. I know that the work is going forward. I know that God loves and knows each and every one of us. He is our Father. The Norwegian word of the week is tog, which means train and parade.

Love,
Elder Ankenman

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Monday, May 11th, 2015

I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day. I cannot believe how quickly time goes by. I am so grateful for the perspective the gospel gives us and for the assurances we receive as we truly do all we can to follow the Lord. I have thought a lot about grace recently. Without the Savior's grace we would not have hope for anything eternal, incorruptible or godly. There would be no chance for immortality. It would not be possible for us as hard as we may try to overcome the evil around us. But as Abinadi says there are a resurrection and redemption. I know that because of the Savior's Atonement we can do, be and become good in ways that would not otherwise be possible and indeed in ways we cannot comprehend. I know that without the grace of the Lord, it is impossible to get anywhere in an eternal perspective, especially in missionary work. I know that His grace is available to and sufficient to all who humble themselves and truly seek after it. I am grateful for the strength He gives us. I know that He is the vine and intends us as the branches to bring forth much fruit. We must not only be with Him for a season, or have superficial commitment but we must abide in Him. I am grateful for the wonderful examples you have all given me of how we can abide in Him and bring forth fruit.

I will be staying here in T√łnsberg with Elder Garrad. So as another missionary put it, we will be having the roommate experience. We have been getting a lot of help from our ward missionary here who was just ordained an elder and was baptized last year. His name is Manny, and he helps us teach a lot. We were able to find four new investigators last week, three of whom were referrals from him. It is amazing to see what happens when we as members and missionaries are equally yoked and are devoted to bring the gospel to as many as we can. We need not fear when we have the Lord on our side. I sang Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing yesterday in church with Elder Garrard. I thought that the lyrics really illustrated this point. The last verse says “O to grace how great a debtor ever I'm constrained to be. Let thy goodness like a fetter bind my wandering heart to thee. Prone to wander Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love. Here's my heart O take and seal it, Seal it for they courts above”. The Norwegian word of the week is tilstrekkelig, which means sufficient.

Love,
Elder Ankenman

Monday, May 4th, 2015

We have talked to a lot of people this past week, and I have been really struck by the clarity, simplicity and power of the principles of the restored gospel. The unique knowledge and understanding we are blessed with by revelation of the Plan of Salvation is so precious. I know for example that each one of us has been sent here with a purpose, a mission and a divine potential. Opposition and death are not flaws in the Plan of Salvation, but are rather essential parts of the plan. I know that Heavenly Father is indeed our Heavenly Father who has designed His plan so that we may enjoy all of the blessings of eternity. I know that families are an essential part of the plan. I am so grateful to know that they are eternal. Thank you all so much for standing for and living the truth. I know that Heavenly Father loves and knows each one of us. The Norwegian word of the week is dyrebar, which means precious.

Love,
Elder Ankenman

Monday, April 27th, 2015

We had stake conference yesterday. I was able to see a lot of people from the Skien Ward again and was also able to meet some new people. It is very inspiring to see how many lives the gospel touches. We got to hear an area seventy from Sweden and his wife speak as well as the temple President and Matron in Sweden who are members of our stake. It was wonderful to hear them talk about how the temple should be the center of our universe. I am so grateful for temples and for the wonderful blessings they bring. They have broken ground for the Wyoming temple, which they estimate will be done in about two years. It is very exciting for me to see how temple blessings become more and more available to people all over the world. I am so grateful to know that Heavenly Father lives. I know that He is ready and willing to guide us and that He is also fighting for our families. It is such a blessing to know that families are forever and that the restored gospel and its blessings are not only for the living.

We use our time doing quite a lot of things. We teach people, visit less active and active members, knock on doors, talk to people on the street, try back with people, work on activities at the church and so forth. The days vary quite a bit, which is nice. I have been working on overcome my fear of men and talking with as many people as I can, and it has been a really wonderful blessing to feel that the Lord blesses me for my efforts as imperfect as they are. I know that Heavenly Father is mindful of each and every one of us. I know that Christ's hand is extended to each and every one of us. I am so grateful to know that. Thank you all for your love, support and prayers. The Norwegian word of the week is mot, which means courage

Love,
Elder Ankenman