Well to start off with I want to express my gratitude for a missionary planner, without out it my emails would be considerably shorter. Every week I open it up and am amazed, so much stuff happens that it is hard for me to believe what happened last tuesday was only a week ago.
Our first adventure of the week was after district meeting, we barely missed our bus back to moss but thankfully the Oslo bus hadn't quite left yet. It doesn't go right to the Moss bussterminal but it passes through Rygge which is in our area and has a lot of connecting busses to Moss. However, Both my companion and I had forgotten which bus we were on so we missed our Stop. We ended up in Ås, and had to find our way to the train station. Norwegians are super helpful with giving directions, so we got there without too much difficulty. While waiting for the train we ran into one of our members who goes to school in Ås, Marcus. Once we were in Moss he was able to give us a ride to our dinner appointment so we were right on time. I'm grateful for how often "things just coincidentally work out" as a missionary. My companion and I don't frequently miss busses, but we do catch quite a few just by the skin of our teach. Being a missionary is great.
Thursday I had my first apartment check, and yes, everything went fine. We had the Bergquist's come down, who are a senior couple serving in Oslo. Elder Bergquist served in Norway ~40 years ago, and served in Moss. After our apartment check we tagged along to track down a member who he spent Christmas with. We successfully found the house, his wife answered and said he wasn't home. They live quite a bit away from the city center so busses only go out to their house 3 times a day. And thus the reason for the bikes...
This member is inactive and his wife and children are not members, and as we had had some form of contact we decided to try to visit them on Saturday evening. They live 6 kilometers from our apartment so we decided to take our first bike trip. However, we probably should have checked the conditions of the bikes before our attempt. We got to the church, which is about a third of the distance, and then my companion noticed he had a flat tire. So that was the end of that attempt. We will be working on the bikes today and try again tomorrow, hopefully with better results. I will also be investing in a seat cushion because a previous elder lost it and knowing how uncomfortable it was for only a third of the way it will be worth the investment.
We also helped out a member with tearing down some wallpaper in his kitchen he is redoing. We also got to tag along with him to the Norwegian version of Home Depot to pick up some tools. It was fun to be able to do some manual labor. I never thought I would be able to say that, but a mission does change you.
We also got to help pass out books at the Musical again, pretty standard night. I did however get asked to be in a picture with someone, so I'm guessing somewhere on social media there is a picture of me holding a book of mormon standing next to a stranger! So that was pretty cool. Also the member who drove us made some fish soup for us and the Oslo Elders, and that was delicious.
In Sunday School we were talking about prayer, and the importance of Praying even when you don't have a desire to pray. 2 Nephi 32: 8-9: 8 And now, my beloved brethren, I perceive that ye ponder still in your hearts; and it grieveth me that I must speak concerning this thing. For if ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray, ye would know that ye must pray; for the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray.9 But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul. I know in the past I've always thought prayer is something that I should only do when I am able to express love and gratitude, but we also need to pray when we feel tempted or when we really don't feel like praying. Even when we make mistakes our Heavenly Father wants to hear from us.
Pictures: 1. Sign at the Ås train station. 2. My attempt at a selfie. 3. An ad we pass frequently while contacting, "ikke en" means "not a", and I'll leave it to you to figure out the rest. 😊
Current AddressElder James AlandKirkegata 31530 MossNorge