Monday, February 3, 2014

Blue Skies

Kjære alle sammen,
HELLO! I am just so happy right now. The sun is OUT today. It is the first time I have seen it since Christmas Eve and I am welcoming it gladly. It is amazing what the sun does for us, and how much you crave it when it is taken away. This is the first day in a long time without it snowing. The buildings, the people, the streets just seem to be beaming today. It is wonderful.
This afternoon, one of our super sweet investigators, Monika, took us ice skating in the center of Oslo. It could not have been a better day for ice skating outside! It was a dream. I am so bad on skates, I seriously looked like a toddler learning to walk. Monika was doing tricks and skating backwards.... And then there was me holding on to the wall and taking baby steps. After a while I actually got a hang of it! My confidence started to grow. Then, an elementary school class field trip came and joined us on the rink. Five year olds were racing and turning and jumping! I decided to get off the ice and stop embarrassing myself after that. I will be surprised if Norway doesn't win the ice skating in the Olympics this year...Keep me filled in.
Well, the bad news has come. Søster Pyne is getting transferred to Bergen on Wednesday! I am staying here in Oslo and will get my new companion. Her name is Søster Oldham and she has been serving in Sandes. She has been out about 9 months, so I will still have a little crutch on the language. As hard as it is to see Søster Pyne go, I know it is just part of the mission. And I am so happy to be staying in Oslo for many reasons. Some reasons being that I have made such good relationships with members in the ward, I know the city, and the other being that there is no weird dialect or accent! So, I am guaranteed at least one more transfer in Oslo, and then we will see after that.
So I will tell you a little bit about Monika right now. She is 20 and her parents are from Poland. She came to Norway when she was little so she is perfectly fluent in Polish, Norwegian and English. She is so cute and just fun! She was one of those people that you connect with instantly. Søster Pyne and I met her through a member of the church and have taught her a few times. The other night we watched the Mormon message about Stephanie Neilson and it really touched her. Monika explained that the feeling she felt after watching that reminded her of Austrailia. When we asked her to expound I was in awe. Monika lived in Australia for a year for a foreign exchange student. One of the best friends she had made in Australia was a Mormon and Monika would be over at her house almost everyday. She would have meals, scripture study and family home evening with them. She said that she became really, really close to this family and it was hard for her to leave. Well, the day before she traveled back to Norway the father of this family gave her a priesthood blessing, and Monika said it was the strongest, warmest feeling she had ever felt! It was an amazing opportunity Søster Pyne and I had to explain to her that that was the Holy Ghost and confirmation that God knows and loves her so much!
We are really excited about people we are teaching right now. They are so sweet and just anxious to learn about the gospel. We met this really cute Norwegian/Indian couple on the street the other day. He is a professional dart player! How cool is that? Him and his wife have been married for about a year and were so excited to meet people that were talking about Jesus Christ. They invited us over to dinner for this Friday! I will just have to bury my disliking and fear of Indian food for the night I guess! haha But really, I am really excited to start teaching them. Street contacting is probably one of my least favorite things to do, but after meeting someone like that, it just makes it worth it!
I don't have too much to write this week, but just want you all to know how much love I have for people. I am finally seeing just a little bit how much each one of us means to Heavenly Father. I just love each person that I meet whether it be in the library on the train or on the street. Once you break down the "Norwegian wall" they seriously let you into their hearts. Each one of them have such amazing stories, talents and personalities. It has been so fun for me to get to know people that I would have never met without coming here. The relationships that I have made mean so much to me, and I can already tell it will be hard for me to leave one day. I know without a doubt that this church is true. It brings me so much happiness, and I want to share that as much as I can. I miss you all SO MUCH and pray for you everyday. I hope you are happy and appreciating the small things.
Talk to you soon!
Med kjærlighet,
Søster Frampton

Monday, January 27, 2014

Goodbye January

Kjære alle,
Haloooo! Right now, I wish I had all of you here to complete my fairy tale of a snow globe world I am living in. It has not stopped snowing since the last time we talked, and the sky is constantly a mysterious gray-purple color with no traces of sun. I am hoping that February will promise some sun, but I heard that I will have to wait until April. We will see I guess! Other than the sunless sky, I am continually amazed at the beauty of this place! It seems so surreal on the most normal of days. Words cannot even describe. I guess you will just have to come see it for yourself!
The beginning of February also means that transfers are soon. Next sunday is 'transfers call' when President Evans tells the whole mission who is moving and to where. I am almost certain that Søster Pyne is getting transferred since she has been in Oslo for 5 months and with me for almost 3! I am so sad about that, but know that we can't be together forever...
Oh, I almost forgot! February first is good ole mama and papa's wedding anniversary. Congratulations you two, you still love each other! Seriously though, thanks everything you both do as parents to us four and especially for me!! Keep doing what you're doing, you got another 50 mortal years to go!
None of our investigators came to church this Sunday, bummer! It is always disappointing when they don't come to church or follow through on their commitments, but I just have to remember that they have their agency too! We have a new investigator named Anton and he is from Iceland! Did you even know people lived there? haha. He is so neat! He is 26 and loves the Bible. He is so interested in the Book of Mormon and just finding the TRUTH! We have not been able to get a hold of Gustav this week which is disappointing, but we will continue to try! Teaching is probably my favorite part of being a missionary. It is so fun to get to konw all kinds of people and teach them about God's plan for them. Watching the fire in their eyes get lit is so rewarding to me.
Last night, we were coming home from an appointment with our investigator Monika and we got on the wrong T-bane (subway). We figured it out quickly and was able to get off and change to the right one. It probably put an extra 10 minutes on our travel, so it was not too bad. Well, once we got to our stop Søster Pyne noticed a man walking right in front of us on the sidewalk and questioned if it was one of our investigators we haven't been able to contact. Sure enough, it was Svein! We caught up to him and starting chatting on the street. He apologized for not being in contact with us and blaimed it on his busy-ness. We asked him where he was headed to and he said the Pentecostal church service, and then he invited us to come with him! Long story short, we went with him, and it was the craziest thing I have ever been to! Good crazy. First of all, their church has a beautiful starbucks-like cafe in it. (who wouldn't go to church?!) Their 'chapel' was more like an auditorium and reminded me of being at byu. The first 30 minutes of the service was a full on concert. Lights, live instruments, and beautiful voices. Not a gospel choir though, it was a bunch of young, hipster Norwegians sinGing about Jesus in a Mumford & Sons kind of way. I was loving it, and was disappointed there wasn't a CD to buy afterward! haha. Having said that, it was more like a social event than church. It was a good experience, and we were able to schedule a meeting with Svein for this week! God works in myserious ways I guess!
Last thing, I was reading President Packer's October conference talk this morning and loved the simple straight forward council he gave. He tells us that the Scriptures are the KEY to spiritual protection. There is so much bad in this world, but amid the evil we have something SO good to learn from and to protect us. In his words, 'The scriptures teach us where to go and what to do. They offer us hope and knowledge. Make scripture reading a part of your regular routine and the blessings with follow. The gospel teaches us to be happy, to have faith rather than fear, to find hope and overcome dispair, to leave darkness and turn toward the light of the everlasting gospel. Peace can be settled in the heart of each who turns to the scriptures and unlocks the promises of protection and redemption that are taught therein.' SO POWERFUL!
Thank you as always, for your incredible support and love. I sure do love you!
Med vennlig hilsen, 
Søster Frampton

Monday, January 20, 2014

High Five

Min kjære familie og venner,
Hei hei! I hope all of you are keeping warm where ever you might be. It has been COLD in Oslo this week, and I don't see any signs of that stopping any time soon. Seeing my familys' pictures in Hawaii today made me SICK! I have not seen sun like that since October! I have been singing 'The sun will come out tomorrow' for the past month.... Maybe someday it will actually happen! It is hard to be the sunshine when everything and everyone is so gray. It actually gets to be a bit draining, but I pray that I can avoid the grayness to get to my heart! Luckily the snow continues to fall, so I continue to feel like I am living in a snow globe. I really cannot complain about that.
Our investigator Gustav is doing great! He came to church yesterday, and we gave him a Doctrine & Covenants and a Pearl of Great Price to read. Knowing him, they will be completely read by tomorrow. He continues to be a sponge trying to soak up all the knowledge we give him, and for that reason, I really love teaching him. He has not committed to a specific baptismal date yet, but we are still working hard to get him there. We are still teaching Umar, David, and Andreas pretty consistently, but they just don't want to make the gospel a priority in their lives. As much as we emphasize the reason and importance of the gospel, people still have their agency. But I am not going to lie, it is frustrating! We got two new investigators this week which seem very positive. We will be meeting with Monika on Tuesday, which was a referral from a member. And we will be meeting with Andrei tonight, and he is bringing a referral WITH him! Exciting stuff!
Sometimes it is really hard to walk the streets of the city and try to find that one person who is prepared to hear the gospel. It is discouraging when your toes and fingers are freezing and no one is interested in talking to you. Sometimes I think to myself 'What in the world am I doing here?' but what I seem to forget is that the Lord is on my side! Preach my gospel reminded me of that 'God loves you and all of His children. He is anxious to support you in your practical AND specific challenges. You have been promised inspiration to know what to do and have been given the power to do it. He will help you as you try to recognize and understand the spirit through diligent scripture study. He will guide you to people who will receive the message of the restoration. He will give you power to deliver the message and testify of Christ and His gospel. He will shower His blessing upon you through the gift of the Holy Ghost. He asks that you remain worthy of this gift and ask, seek and knock.'
I am still absolutely amazed at the beauty that I see everyday here in Norway. We were contacting in a large, popular park on Saturday and I could barely focus on actually finding people! The simplest things are the most stunning. There was a young couple with their three little kids just out for a fun and snow-filled afternoon. The mom and dad were on their cross-country skis and their kids slowly followed behind falling and laughing and wobbling along. The huge naked trees draped over the emaculate white powder and I was just standing in awe. I had to pinch myself to remember this is really where I live.
Well, this week I begin my sixth month of being away! It has actually gone kinda fast... I never thought I would be saying that. But, the work is moving along here. Søster Pyne is probably going to be transferred away from me on February 5, so I am savoring every moment until then. I am doing well, and I hope all of you are too! Have a great week! Love you guys.
Ha det godt!
Søster Frampton

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Ice Age

Kjære alle,
Halo! Wow the temps have seriously dropped from the last time we talked. Oslo is like a big freezer. And walking around without slipping every three steps is the everyday challenge. The snow, though, lightens everything up so I don't miss the sun as much. With the cold temperatures came the cold apartment. We have two small heaters in our apartment that are usually sufficient to keep us warm inside, but not this week! We were both bundled for studies and ended up turning on and opening the oven for some extra heat. I was just grateful that we had closests full of more clothes to keep putting on!
I started the Norwegian Book of Mormon for the new year, and it is awesome! The cool thing about Norwegian is that they don't have as many words as we do in English so the Book of Mormon is a lot simpler. It is a whole new book to me and it is wonderful! I sit back after reading a few chapters and I am like did I really just read that and get something out of it? I feel so lucky to be learning a language, have I said that before? It challenges a whole new side of my brain than I have ever used before. I don't judge people by what they say, because half the time I don't even know what they are saying! But really all I wanted to say is how grateful I am to be learning a new language, and completely relying on The Lord as I do so. 

Gustav is our most positive investigator right now. He read the whole Book of Mormon in three days! He asked where he could get the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price so he could start reading those. How cool is that? We are SO blessed to have sciptures. As they sit there on our bed side tables I hope we don't let them collect dust. We literally have God's words right there at our finger tips!!! We are so lucky. We challenged him to be baptized yesterday and he told us he would pray about it!! I wonder what his answer will be. Daily miracles!
One of the questions that we get from investigators is that "If God loves us so much, why do people go through trials and hard times?" That was a hard question for me, but after studying about it over the past few weeks I think I have finally got a sufficient answer. In Ether, we read about the Brother of Jared and how hard it was for them to cross the waters in a boat with little light. But, the Lord was the one causing the wind, rain and waves. Even though they were suffering in the storm, the wind was blowing them in the direction of the promise land! Sister Reeves said,
"The Lord allows us to be tried and tested, sometimes to our maximum capacity. We have seen the lives of loved ones—and maybe our own—figuratively burned to the ground and have wondered why a loving and caring Heavenly Father would allow such things to happen. But He does not leave us in the ashes; He stands with open arms, eagerly inviting us to come to Him. He is building our lives into magnificent temples where His Spirit can dwell eternally. The Lord has a plan for each of our lives. Nothing that happens is a shock or a surprise to Him. He is all-knowing and all-loving. He is eager to help us, to comfort us, and to ease our pain as we rely on the power of the Atonement and honor our covenants. The trials and tribulation that we experience may be the very things that guide us to come unto Him and cling to our covenants so that we might return to His presence and receive all that the Father hath."
"No matter how well prepared you think you are, there are hills on the course. People cheering for you along the way are absolutely essential. We are never alone. Our Heavenly Father is only a prayer away, and the Holy Ghost is within whispering distance." -Sister Dalton
Each of us have many hills ahead of us, but the Lord is by our side every step of the way. This mission is one of those hills for me, but I am down on my knees as much as I can and clinging to my testimony of the gospel. You are all my cheerleaders on the sides of the course, and I really could not do it without you there. Thank you for your prayers and cheers! I could not appreciate them more!
Så glad i dere!!!
Søster Frampton

Monday, January 6, 2014

December 6th Pictures

Nytt år! January 6th 2014

Kjære alle,
Happy new year! Okay so yes, New Year's Eve was incredible. Looking over Oslo city was seriously a dream come true. I didn't get a New Year's kiss, or was I able to sleep in after staying up until 1am, but what I did get is a big, fat cold! As you can see in some of the pictures I sent home, all the missionaries serving in Oslo spent the evening at the senior couple's apartment. Around 11:30p we went outside as the fireworks were beginning to start. Everyone except for me grabbed their coats. I was just too excited and distracted by the celebration! So yes, I spent an hour on the balcony outside watching the snow fall and fireworks all across the city exploding. Did I mention that Norway has no firework laws? Yes, drunken people were lighting mortars left and right. It was magical, and a bit chilly.
Something I did accomplish successfully though, is the Book of Mormon!!! Wow, I do love that book a lot. It never ceases to amaze me. It truly is God's word and the most perfect book for the most imperfect life! ...aka my life! I have never had such a strong testimony or love for those 530-something pages!
This last week, we visited this perfectly ancient and Norwegian couple. He is 94 and She is 88. They are both walking around like its nothing... A few pairs of glasses and some hearing aids and they are as good as new! Seriously though, they are my favorite people in Norway. He was trained and performed as an opera singer his whole life. After eating with them, we went into their living room and he turned on an old record of him performing 'Abide with me' from about 50 years ago. It was awesome! What was even better though, was when Søster Pyne started playing 'Deilig er Jorden' and I nudged Brother Gaarder to accompany her. He popped up so fast and marched over to lean on the piano. I thought, 'No way is this happening.' What happened after this is too good for words to describe. His 94 year old lungs opened up and he sang an angelic opera performance that was even better than his 45 year old record performance! It ended with tears running down my face and a hug that probably wasn't allowed. It was an experience I will never forget.
Saturday, the Christmas celebrations finally came to a close. The ward had a traditional Jul tre fest, which is when they finally take down the Christmas tree. Almost 200 people were there, so that was really good for the ward, even one of our investigators came! The missionaries were asked to perform 3 Christmas numbers to bring American traditions to the party. We got a little carried away and put some special twists on Jingle Bells, Rockin around the Christmas Tree, and Rudolph. I have been involved in more musical numbers on my mission than I ever have in my whole life. Its not because I am musically talented by any means, it is just because as a missionary you can't say NO! Well, the party continued with the ward members holding hands, singing, and dancing around the Christmas tree until Santa came! He passed out bags of candy and took a few pictures with kids that were brave enough to sit on his lap. I sent a picture home, but this Santa looked like he could star in a scary movie! Ho ho ho!
I will end on an amazing experience we had with our investigator Umar this week. Umar has been searching for God ever since I first arrived here. He has been keeping his commitments here and there, but we really wanted him to actually progress. We had a lesson with him about how the Holy Ghost will communicate with him, and it was really insightful. We then got down on our knees together to say a closing prayer. We asked him to pray, like we always do in hopes that he would finally pray with us, and he did! He was very nervous, but said a beautiful, simple and sincere prayer. It went a little like this, "Dear God, I thank you for leading me to these fantastic people. Please help me to find the truth. A lot of time in my life I have forgotten you, but I know you haven't forgotten me. You know what is in my heart and I can't know the truth with out your help. Please help me to know you are there. Thank you. Amen." The spirit was so strong, it was almost tangible. Søster Pyne and I sat back with tears in our eyes and told him the feeling that was there was the spirit! With shaking hands and a fast-beating heart he told us that he could feel it!!!! It was at that moment that I was again reminded why I am on a mission. It is hard to be away, there is no argument with that. But it is the look in their eyes when they seriously find their Father in Heaven and feel of His love that I am so glad that I am here.
We are all human, and we are going to continue to forget simple gospel truths that have been testified to us at one time. But, I have learned that if you sincerely study and pray just a little bit every single day, your testimony will not ever faulter! "Conversion is not an event, it is a process!"
The work is working! Thank you for all of your love, prayers and thoughts!
Love you all,
Søster Frampton

DECEMBER 30th Pictures