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!