The difference between Moss and Ålesund is crazy, I'm probably going to forget a lot of stuff but there is so much to tell.
First, my companion told me Moss is the most concentrated area of Members in Europe, so that is quite different. We have a Ward with well over 100 active members, Sunday flew by because there were so many people to meet and talk to. They are super supportive of the missionaries and just so awesome. I will definitely be working hard and enjoy life!
My new Companion is Elder Love from Centerville. This is his second transfer in moss, and He only has 2 transfers left so chances are that I will be his last companion. He had me take a Personality test for Companion inventory and it turns out we have a very similar personality, so we already are getting along great. There are a lot of things that we just agree on right off the bat because we think a similar way.
Our area is the only one in the mission with bikes, but I'm not sure how much we will be using them as there is a decent amount of ice, and typically anywhere we want to go is either within walking distance or better to take a bus, but there is a decent chance I'll be riding a bike eventually.
Now on to what has happened this week. Wednesday was moves day, I flew out early afternoon and landed in oslo, then had to take a train to Moss. My flight got delayed so I missed the first train I was supposed to take but it ended up working out fine. It was the first time on my mission that I had traveled alone, so it was a different experience. I got to Moss safely and was picked up by my companion and a member, and proceeded to their house, the Wennerberg's, to eat some pizza. They have a son around 13 who made a recording on our phone so we wake up to his voice telling us to pray in the morning, it's a very unique alarm.
Thursday we had District Meeting in Fredrikstad, about an hour away. My district is in the south east part of Norway, and the sisters in Sarpsborg and Elders in Fredikstad actually get to go to sweden once a month to buy groceries, so that is pretty cool. In the Evening we ate some Chili with the Andersen family, an older couple in their 60's or so. We also met with our Ward mission leader and the Bishop in order to set the year's goals for missionary work this year. They gave us some people we should try to get in contact with, and they were super helpful and supportive.
Friday we helped move and organize some art, most of it I think was not the highest quality, but we are happy to serve. We then went to the Hagen's family and had some homemade pizza. They have a huge family with 7 or 8 kids so that was a party.
Norwegians also like to celebrate a lot, so we had a ward end of christmas party on Saturday. One of the most interesting things to me was they played Kahoot in the middle of it, which is a trivia game where everyone can use their smartphones to play. We also ended up with some of the leftovers from the party so that's a bonus as well.
Sunday was almost quite different as we had a normal 3 hour block where the missionaries were just normal members, not the ones in charge of everything. The time flew by so fast.
Spiritual Thought this week is a quote by President Monson “Your Heavenly Father loves you—each of you. That love never changes. It is not influenced by your appearance, by your possessions, or by the amount of money you have in your bank account. It is not changed by your talents and abilities. It is simply there. It is there for you when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful. God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve love. It is simply always there” This is so true and so essential to life to know. We have a loving heavenly father who is always present, and will always love us.
It's been great hearing from everybody and I'm excited to be in a new area with lots to do and learn!
Photos 1. and 2. Leaving Ålesund 3. and 4. Pretty Pictures--
Current AddressElder James AlandKirkegata 31530 MossNorge