On Monday night we flew to Oslo for first transfer training, which is where we review some of the teaching and contacting skills we should be developing. We stayed with the Sandvika Elders. Sandvika is the area right next to Oslo.
Tuesday we did a lot of practice and discussions. After spending the morning and afternoon with that we got to walk over the the Norwegian Palace. It was a massive structure. The guards there were pretty chill, and let us take pictures by them. We then watched the best two years to finish off the evening. Wednesday was more learning and practices. One of the things we did was call some people from our area book. I didn't get anyone who picked up, but did leave a message on one guys phone. He ended up calling back and we had a meeting with him yesterday. After that and a few more discussions we flew home.
Thursday was a miracle day. Between District meeting and studies and weekly planning we didn't have a lot of time to go finding, but we decided to go banking for just an hour. I was driving and Elder Rumsey told me to turn into a neighborhood, so I did. We drove around it for a little bit until Elder Rumsey told me to park. We got out and started knocking. First house nothing. The second house main door also wasn't interested, but some houses in Norway have multiple doors with different residents. We knocked there, and the guy that answered said he was a very strong Atheist. We started talking to him for a bit and he started to be more open. We eventually got to the point where he accepted a BoM and said we could come back. We go to the next house, and another man answers. He also conversed with us, took a BoM, and said we could come back. As we walked off his porch we looked at our car, and it was parked between these two houses.
After that it was almost time to head back. We decided to do one more house, and the Older gentleman that answered let us in after about 2 minutes. He has a huge knowledge about Americans with Norwegian ancestry, and showed us quite a few books he had about some of the history of America. He even had a hat that looked like an American soldier's civil war hat. He also took a BoM, and said we could come back. That night was just awesome.
We also had a lot of meetings with people from our area book this week. Oscar was the first. He is from the Congo, and knows a lot of people we do as well. About half a dozen people who we interact with are all from the Congo and know each other. It's crazy how well connected we are to him, and another person from our area book we have been trying to get in contact with is actually his little brother. Henok was another person we met with from the Congo. We will be meeting with them again next week.
On Saturday we met with Ali from Sudan. He also came from our area book but he had only 1 previous meeting with missionaries. He was super interested and was understanding what we taught, so that lesson was great. Then on Sunday we met with Ståle and Emil, who are father and son. Emil was the person who I left a message on his phone. They know a lot about the church are some of the nicest people we have met in Norway.
We also banked on a Lithuanian Man's home Saturday. He let us in and we talked about the Book of Mormon for a little bit. He could only speak some English, so he said we could come back and bring him a Lithuanian copy. As we were leaving, he asked if we wanted some Lithuanian candy. Of course we said yes to that.
The final major thing of the week was dinner with the American family who has been visiting for the past few months. We had some Salmon that was the best Salmon I've ever had.
We've had a lot of questions about the Book of Mormon versus the bible this week, so the scripture is Ezekiel 37:15-17 15 The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying,16 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. We been doing a lot of studying about the need for a restoration as that has been a main question for a lot of our new investigators, and this is one prophecy concerning it and reaffirming the church is true.
Pictures: 1. Mission "family" picture. Elder Rumsey(My Trainer and Companion) in back, Elder Shanklin(Elder Rumsey's former trainee) to my side, and Elder Fowler at bottom, who is Elder Shanklin's trainee currently.2. In front of Palace with the guard.3. Family we had dinner with.--
Current AddressElder James AlandBergvegen 236003 ÅlesundNorge