Monday, February 29, 2016

Ja Jeg Elsker Dette Landet!‏

Wow... uh... how do I start the last email of my mission... hmm.. maybe with a quote from my awesome big sister:

"So I bet you're feeling all sort of emotions, huh?? I can only imagine the excitement, sadness, eagerness, longing, impatience.... And wanting time to go faster and slower all at once!"
Uh. Yup! That about hits the nail on the head! :) So I really could just end this email there ;)
But I won't because there was LOTS that happened.  I'll try to keep it short, but detailed because well... packing and whatnot... :)
Charlene came to church!!!! WOOHOO!!! That was awesome!  And Eline came to church too since it was my last week! (Side note: it will be super weird to hear the sacrament prayers in english again) Søster Peterson and I also sang in sacrament meeting again :)As we were sitting in Sunday School, Bishop came in and motioned for Søster Peterson and I to come.  So we left Eline and a member to take care of Charlene (Takk Eline), and went out.  Apparently the Singing Time leader for Primary hadn't come, and they needed us to come and lead singing time.  Yeah, I've never done that in my life.  But Norwegian kids are probably the best and cutest kids in the world and they love to sing, so it was super fun! 
We made a little Scripture-A-Day thing for a less active member.  Have any of you tried to write a scripture for every day of the year? by hand? woah! Our hands are sore.  But when we gave it to her, her face was PRICELESS!  She's the sweetest!
Some other fun things?
- I stood on the fjord!! 
- We went to do service at the old folks home and were greeted with lots of smily old faces :) Sweet moment.
-The Solberg family is basically the best.  The best ever.  They want to make sure I never forget Norwegian, so they gave me a book of fairytales, three movies, and a cd of an awesome Norwegian band :)  I love them so much.  SO MUCH!!!! 
Welp, that's about the time that I have to write.
I love Norway.  I know you all know that, but I just needed to say that.  I love this country and I love these people and their silly traditions and their obsession with nature, and their cheese slicers, and their wool sweaters!  I LOVE THEM!  Every last one of them. 
I love the gospel.  I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ with all that I have.  I LOVE THIS CHURCH.  I love the peace that living the gospel brings.  I have loved every minute of my mission.  Maybe not in the moment sometimes, but looking back, I LOVE my trials.  I wouldn't trade them and the lessons I've learned for all the Norwegian chocolate in the world! :)
-Søster Jessica Jo Heywood

1. Standing on the fjord 

2. Crashing ice waves on the shore. #onlyinnorway

Monday, February 22, 2016

4 gifts‏

Wow, Heavenly Father has really blessed me with a couple awesome weeks to end the mission on!  SO many little tender mercies. I mean, missionary work is still hard.  It always has been and it always will be, but it's the little joys, if you find them, that make it all worth it.  Kinda like life eh?  
Charlene is a CHAMPION! We taught her on Tuesday and on Friday.  On Tuesday, we got to bring a member who has lived in Brazil (Where Charlene comes from).  It was so helpful.  We answered her questions about the Book of Mormon, then each shared a scripture that has helped us personally.  This stellar member, Synne, shared Ether 12:27. (I thought of you Mom.) A little while into explaining why she liked it, she started speaking Portugeuse so Charlene could fully understand.  The Spirit was SO strong.  I glanced over at Charlene, and she was crying.  She asked Synne, "How did you know?  I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to make it through this week."  Synne bore her testimony that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are our best friends and that NO MATTER WHAT, they will be there for us to strengthen us and love us.  It was a beautiful moment.
We went back on Friday to teach her the Plan of Salvation.  Before we started teaching it however, we asked if she had any questions about what she has been reading in the Book of Mormon.  She had a few little questions, then asked, "Sisters, do you ever wonder why in the world we are here?  Like why am I even on the Earth??!" #CanYouSpellPrepared? We showed her the scripture in Alma about preparing to meet God.  She said, "What do we need to do to prepare?" We continued on to teach the Plan of Salvation, and as we taught about Earth life, we taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ. (Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End).  We wrote down the list for her and she looked at it carefully then said, "OH! That's why you asked me to get baptized! That's the next step for me! How soon can I get baptized?? Do you think a month and a half is enough time to prepare??"  Our mouths kinda dropped open.  Her understanding is amazing! We barely even have to teach! haha! So yup! That's Charlene.
We had Zone Conference this week and since it was my last one, I got asked to bear my testimony.  Or as most missionaries call it BURNimony.  Or as President calls is LAUNCHimony.  So yep! That was fun. It kinda hit me though and I found myself looking back through my mission (it's been happening a lot lately) at all the times my testimony has been strengthened and how.  I realized something.  Heavenly Father helps us to strengthen our testimonies in SPECIFIC ways thought SPECIFIC experiences.  I remember early on my mission begging Heavenly Father for a testimony of Jesus Christ.  Like the unshakable kind.  Because of that I had an experience that I can't deny.  Jesus is the Christ.  I know that now.
anywho... I guess back to this week.  We took down some more wallpaper at Kay's house, went on a walk with the Relief Society that went along the beach (Covered in snow) and through some forests, ate some oysters, watched the Restoration movie with Bjørn Ivar, and played the piano for primary (little rusty).  
Now for the AH-HA moment of the week:  God has obviously given us a lot of gifts in this life.  If we are to narrow it down to four gifts, you might say; Jesus Christ, our agency, our families, and our bodies.  (At least that's what I would say, email me with others if ya want).  So four gifts.  I realized this week that everything that Satan does or has done attacks one of these four gifts.  We know that Satan attacks the body.  He's jealous.  He wants us to abuse and misuse our bodies in every way.  We know he attacks the family.  Hundreds of examples with that one.  Abortion, Divorce, Infidelity, etc.etc.etc.  He attacks our agency.  This one is a little more subtle.  Addiction takes that away.  Really, if you think about it, any kind of sin takes away agency.  He loves to attack this one and he has been doing that from the beginning.  Sometimes he attacks all three of these gifts at the same time.  But what about the fourth?... We know that Satan tempted Jesus Christ: attacked Him really.  But the difference with this one is that Jesus Christ has already won.  He overcame everything.  And because of Him, we can overcome any attacks that the devil throws our way.  And we will have the blessing of living with our Savior again, with our families, our agency, and our glorified and resurrected bodies.  We just have to choose to follow Him and His example.
That about sums up the week!!  I'm excited to see you all in a little while!  I LOVE YOU!!!!! 

Søster Heywood
The four leaving søsters at Zone Conference

The sign pointing to the church in Oslo

 Our walk with the Relief Society

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Happy Norwegian Mother's Day! (And Valentines Day) :)‏

Kjære Fam,
Yup! Mother's day here in Norway is on the second sunday of February, so that means that this year, it fell on Valentines day!  SO HAPPY Mother's day Mom!!!
Let's see... this week... OOH! We had an awesome day on Wednesday.  Like, literally it was the day that every missionary dreams about.  No cancelled appointments, members on teaches, every hour has something productive to do, and you just feel BUSY!  It was the best! We met with Magni in the morning and just kinda had a "okay here's the dealio" type lesson with her which ended with her committing to praying about the Book of Mormon specifically! She has never said a solid YES to that commitment so it's coming for her slowly but surely.  After we taught her, we went and picked up our ward mission leader's wife, Evelyn to come with us to teach Bjørn Ivar.  Evelyn is hilarious! And so pregnant! haha! We taught Bjørn Ivar and I think it's going to be a slow process for him too.  I think right now he is just really into comparing our church with other churches numberwise.  So I mean, that's pretty lame. BUT!  Right after his lesson we went to pick up the elders and drive to the Karlssons house for dinner.  They are arguably one of the absolute cutest member families here.  (And if you listen to conference talks in Norwegian, it's usually the dad's voice).  They used to live in Utah, and the kids LOVE speaking English with us. We asked the boys where they would want to go on their missions and one of them said ,"OREM UTAH!!" haha! 
We took the elders back to the city, and drove out to Nesøya, an island pretty close to Sandvika, to contact a referral.  Her name is Charlene, and she is from Brazil.  GET THIS.  She met the elders a few months ago, and at the time she was married to a Norwegian man, who didn't believe in God and didn't like that she believed.  Later, and for other reasons too I'm sure, they got divorced and the elders happened to call her up again asking if she was interested right after it happened.  So when we called her, she said, "Are you bringing me that book?? I NEED that book!" So of course we told her that we had The Book of Mormon and would bring it to her.  We came to her house Wednesday night and taught her about the Restoration.  Her face lit up as we showed her a picture of Alma baptizing in the waters of Mormon.  She said, "You guys do baptism like that??? I want to be baptized like that!!"  So we helped her set a baptismal date for the 26th of March.  She is so prepared!
On Sunday we had a lesson about adversity and how it is necessary for our eternal progression.  One sister expressed a concern about her sister who had some kind of mental illness and could hardly think for herself.  She said, "What is she supposed to learn from her trial? She can't learn from it."  For some reason, my mind went to my little cousin Emma, and I thought to myself, "What is she supposed to learn?" hmm... Then I had another thought: Maybe it's not her that needs the lesson.  Emma has taught everyone in our family a little bit about Christlike love.  We needed that.  We don't know all the answers to all of the whys, but we can choose to take a lesson from any situation.  Anyway, just some thoughts going around in my head.  I'm excited to see that sweet little girl again :)
On Thursday, we got a call from a number that niether of us had.  She said that she needed help.  We tried to get more information, but she just gave us her address and said that she needed help.  So, we got in the car, and headed to the address she gave us.  We walked into her already open front door into the most disgusting place I have ever been.  There were cigarrette butts and piles of black gunk everywhere.  There was a closet practically falling apart with bags of garbage inside of it, and there was a scary one-eyed cat that had a nasty habit of spreading it's food all over the apartment.  I looked around the room, and saw a lady sitting on her couch (if you could call it a couch).  She looked relieved that we came and asked us if we could take her to the pharmacy to pick up some medicine.  Unfortunately, there is a missionary rule that says we can't do that, so she decided to call a taxi instead.  We ended up staying for an hour or so and cleaning her apartment.  (Mom, I'll have you know, I can handle ANY mess now :) I think that year and a half of CNA work helped a little too).  I did her dishes, then went to put them away and realized that every dish she owned had food on it.  So I washed them.  ÆSJ.  Yup! Still had no idea who this lady was, but I took a pause from cleaning and leaned down to talk to her for a little while.  Apparently, she had met missionaries a year ago, and still had their number.  When she was looking through her phone for someone to come and help her, the saw the missionaries' number and thought, "I KNOW they'll help!".  Then she went on to express her thanks and how much it meant to her that we came.  then we told her about the Word of Wisdom. So moral of the story: 1. Don't smoke.  It's gross.  2. Be the type of person that other people will say, "I know they will help." about.

Some other fun things:
-The reason I'm late emailing today is because the elders needed haircuts.  So guess who cut their hair #AuntCatieWouldBeSoProud!
-We had a mix up on Saturday and ended up eating two dinners in a row.  I was literally in pain! haha!
-We found a giant chair today and sat on it :)

How about a quote to end on?  Our district meeting this week was about the Atonement and it was SO good!! I've been wondering about certain ways the atonement applies to missionary work, and I asked the question, "Does the Atonement still work if you feel like you make the same stupid mistake every day?"  And one of the missionaries, Elder Rolfsen, said something awesome.  "The thing about a mission is that you push as hard as you can, and it is NEVER enough.  And that's humbling.  THAT is where the Atonement comes in."  It was definitely food for thought.  I'm still trying to fully understand the Atonement, and I have a feeling it will be a lifelong process to figure it out.  I'm so thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ.  I know He lives.  I know he loves us.  He loves us so much. 
D&C 122:7-9
And if thou shouldst be cast into the pitor into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deepif the billowing surge conspire againstthee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouthwide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experienceand shall be for thy good.
 The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?
 Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore,fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.
Love ya Fam!!!!
Vi snakkes!
Søster Heywood
  Some late night contacting

Giant Chair!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Who can glory too much??‏

Kjære Fam,
This week has felt SUPER LONG.  I mean, it was really good, but just felt way long.  Let's see... On Tuesday the Sister Training Leaders came and this time it was Søster Carpenter (The only other sister who has greenied in Ålesund) and Søster Williams (My companion from the MTC).  I spent the whole day with Sister Williams! Oh! And it was Norwegian only week so there was no speaking English allowed!  Wow.  That was a super experience.  It was fun to see how much we've both grown since the MTC.  The day was so crazy! We visited a less active, taught the shortest lesson I've ever taught on my mission, banked on some doors, etc etc etc.  It was a blast!
So a few weeks ago, Søster Peterson and I were weekly planning and we decided to call the volunteer center in Sandvika to see if we could get a service project going.  cuz we miss doing service of course.  They gave us a job of visiting an old folks home and just talking to the residents there since the CNAs don't have time to sit and listen.  Oh man, that was the DREAM!! I mean, of course there was a ridiculous amount of dejavu from the Family Tree, except this time, everyone was speaking Norwegian.  I repeat, THE DREAM! haha!  We went into their little cafeteria where they can all eat for free and everyone else can buy something to eat.  This old lady walked up behind us and said, "I'm paying for these two beautiful girls!"  I mean, we had already eaten lunch and weren't even planning on eating anything, but when we protested, she said, "I insist. You girls are taking time to come chat with us, the least I can do is make sure you're not hungry".  And if there's one thing I've learned on my mission it's that when a Norwegian lady says "I insist", you best not say no. haha! So we had a koselig lunch with a table of the funniest cutest old ladies ever.  It meant so much to them that we were there.  (Especially when they heard that we had come "all the way from America").
On Friday we were getting ready to leave the house when we got a call from one of our investigators, Bjørn Ivar, saying, "Sisters! I want you to come teach me about your church in an hour!"  We already had an appointment set up with him for nest week, so it was really weird to get this call from him.  So we called one of our member missionaries (An 80 year old woman mind you), and she was happy to come and help us teach him.  We taught him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and it was really cool to see how he recognized the truth of what we were saying.  Also, he thought that Jesus Christ was baptized as a baby.  So uh... It made a lot more sense to him that Jesus Christ actually chose to be baptized.
Mom, I loved hearing about Grandpa finding his journal from the 70s! I would love to help with that project!  Man! sometimes I wish I had more time out here to do family history.  Hopefully all the grandparents are up for an interview when I get home :)  We went to a member's house this week to help her and her husband scan in pictures to familysearch.  It was so fun!  We found a new challenge on the website that I'm excited to figure out more when I get home, but it all worked out in the end :)

Yesterday was fast and testimony meeting and as I'm sitting there I start thinking, "huh. Søster Johannessen went home on Friday.  That's kinda nice that she gets to have a testimony meeting as her first Sunday home.  Wait, that's how it will be for me too.... wait.... THAT'S NEXT MONTH! wait.... this is my last testimony meeting in Norway. GAH!!" Yup! That's kinda what went on in my head for the first few minutes of the meeting. Uff da.  But at the same time, I didn't really feel like I needed to get up and bear my testimony, since I already spoke in church like 2 weeks ago.  So I just listened.  Until Borghild, my favorite 91 year old member EVER stood up and with great difficulty got herself up to the stand (There's no deacons with a microphone here).  That's when the Spirit said to me, "Look how much effort she just went through so that people could hear her testimony.  You need to put in a little effort so that these members know that you have a testimony.  This is your last chance to tell them." So before I knew it, I was up on the stand. Teared up, but didn't cry *insert fist pump*.
I've been reading in Alma lately and I just read Alma 26.  I think this has been my favorite chapter for a long time, but something different hits me every time!  It's the story of the sons of Mosiah coming back from their "missions".  And Ammon just can't hold it in.  The joy of the work they have accomplished is to big for him to keep inside and Alma 26 is the result.  I especially noticed v. 16 this time: 

16 Therefore, let us gloryyea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy,and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, say unto you, cannot say the smallest part which feel.
Who can glory too much in the Lord?  Don't give in to Satan's lie that some people are "too churchy" or "a little too Mormon".  I hope for the rest of my life people can know me as the "way Mormon" girl.  the Book of Mormon has changed my life.  Because of it, I know that Jesus Christ lives and that He will live again.  Because of it, I know that I know that everyone on this earth is a child of God (myself included) and as such every person on this earth has a divine purpose and an indescribable worth.  Because of the Book of Mormon, I know that my Heavenly Father is aware of me.  God is not an abstract power that people have created to give them comfort.  He is real.  He is there.  But we have to turn to Him first.  We find Him as we take that step of hope into the dark.  He will always be there.  That's not just a nice idea, that is truth. I won't go on forever because like Alma, "I cannot say the smallest part of what I feel" :)  
Quote of the week: "A person with an experience is NEVER at the mercy of a person with an opinion!" -Hank Smith.  There are a lot of people in this world with opinions about what I believe, but there is not a single person in this world who can convince me that I have not experienced God's love.
Love you all!!! Have a great week!!!!
-Søster Heywood
p.p.s Ya know Claude Monet? Søster Heywood's favorite artist? of course you do :) He painted this bridge.  And I stood on it! WOAH!

Last Month... wha???‏

February 1, 2016

Dear Family,
Wow, this week went by so fast.  I feel like I was just barely emailing.  uff da.  What even happened this week?
Let's see, on Monday, Søster Peterson and I had quite a few errands to run, one of which was getting new windshield wipers for the car.  We felt pretty clueless walking up to the car place in our skirts holding the old wipers because we had no clue which ones we needed... I think the guy who helped us realized we didn't know anything about cars.  (And needless to say, my Norwegian vocab when it comes to cars is pretty limited).  Yup! Turns out they didn't even have the ones we needed, so we had to go to a different store and go through the process all over again.  Then we had to figure out how to even put the new ones on.... oi. And that's just windshield wipers!!! Laugh all you want, I'm still clueless with cars :)
One morning this week we decided to go on a walk around our neighborhood and talk to anyone who was outside.  So we get walking and pretty soon we're on a road leading into a bunch of trees... I mean, there's a few houses, but it's pretty much a good ole Norwegian forest.  But for some reason, we felt like we should keep going.  So we did, and we ended up talking to this really awesome guy named Johan.  We asked him if he believed in God, and he said, "I want to, but I don't feel like the Bible is complete.  I feel like there's more." uhh... Johan, you're on to something there. :) So we talked to him for a little while longer, and got his number and continued on our way.  only to run into him again later #Ipromisewe'renotstalkers.
Our investigator from Germany, Thomas is doing well.  We had an awesome appointment planned with him, but he ended up needing to work.  Boo.  People with their jobs and whatnot... :) BUT! He came to church on Sunday, and loved it!  And he says he'll be coming back next week. WOOHOO!
We took a road trip to Hønefoss on Saturday to visit the members out there. LOTS of time in a car.  Oi.  We visited three families, and ate a full meal at each of them.  Lots of food, lots of sitting. :) I love the people we visited though.  One of them, Arne Pedersen, reminds me a lot of Dad.  It reminded me of when dad would say, "I know something about everything, but I don't know everything about anything." haha! Really though, this guy was SOO smart, and no matter what the conversation topic was, he had a bunch of fun facts up his sleeve.
Right now I'm reading in the Book of Mormon and just finished Mosiah.  I guess it kinda hit me again how important Abinadi's role was.  I mean, his story really only takes up a couple chapters and he is awesome!! The Lord commands him to do something, and he does it, even though he died probably thinking that he didn't influence anybody.  Probably thinking, "Well, no one listened...", but little did he know that Alma was listening.  Alma would lead a group of 4ooish people out in the wilderness to be baptized.  That same Alma would become the high priest of the city of Zarahemla.  I'm pretty positive Abinadi had a sucessful mission.  Sometimes we don't see the results of the things that we do until later, but when the Lord commands, and we follow, miracles happen.
Love ya fam!! Have a great week!!!
-Søster Heywood

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Church of JESUS CHRIST!‏

Hey Family!!
Quote of the week: "Stupid people are not the ones that don't know anything, but the ones who CHOOSE not to know anything." -Søster Peterson.
Story behind the quote: We were out on a walk, and stopped to talk to a guy with a HUGE beard.  I mean, this guy easily puts Santa Claus to shame.  Anywho, this guy was SO SMART as far as religion goes.  We had a cool talk with him about the Bible, then he asked us what was so different about Mormons.  So we told him about prophets, and that we have a living prophet today.  His eyes got big and he said, "Seriously, you guys really believe that God's prophet leads the Mormon church?"  We said, "Well, he leads the Church of Jesus Christ."  Then he said,  "Wait,  you guys believe that Jesus Christ's church, prior to His second coming is your church?  And that this is His church in the last days?? That's a little bold to say, don't you think??" I looked at him, and said, "You're right.  That is incredibly bold to say.  But it's true.  It's 100% true.  This is the church of Jesus Christ, and it is led by a prophet who is called of God.  And the two of us have given up a lot to come to Norway and tell you this.  What if it's true?"  I almost put my hand over my mouth.  Borderline too bold don'tcha think? He looked at us and thought for a while, shook his head, said he had to go, then walked away. Just walked away.  It was one of those moments that I wanted to run after him and grab his shoulders and say, "THIS IS TRUE!! And you need it!"  But the Spirit told me that I probably shouldn't do that.... ;) During that conversation, I had the Holy Ghost testify to me again how true the church really is.  And not just the church.  God's plan for us is perfect.  Through it and ONLY through it can we live with our families forever.  Through His plan we can become better.  We can overcome impossible things.  Through the Gospel of Jesus Christ we can feel the peace that this world doesn't want us to feel.  It's delicious.  It is oh so good!  I want everyone to feel it. 
On Wednesday we had a missionary broadcast where David A Bednar, Bonnie Oscarsen, Neil L Andersen etc etc etc, spoke about how we can refocus on our purpose as missionaries.  One thing that was said it that we should ALWAYS have the name of Jesus Christ on our lips.  We should be testifying of His ALWAYS.  It was SO good!!! And to be honest, it was pretty humbling.  There is so much I need to be doing that I'm not doing.  There is SO much I could be doing better.  Like SO MUCH!! And I've only got 6 weeks to fix it! haha! Uff da. 
With all these thoughts stressing me out, plus investigators not answering their phones, plus other stress, the week started out a little rough.  I had a feeling even on Monday that I should ask for a priesthood blessing.  I pushed it away thinking, "Nah, it's just a little stress.  I'm fine."  Then I kept getting the same feeling everytime I said my personal prayers.  I kept thinking, "It's fine,  I've had worse stress than this over the last year and a half.  I can do this."  The feeling never went away, so I told Søster Peterson about it on Wednesday after the broadcast.  She goes, "Hello, Søster Heywood! The Lord obviously wants to tell you something!" I love my companion, did I mention that? I laughed and agreed to ask for a blessing the next day.  We had district meeting on Thursday and afterwards, the elders were in weekly planning, and I didn't want to bug them.... So Søster Peterson knocked on the door for me because I was being a chicken.  I asked them for a blessing, and they said "Of course!"  I won't go into the details of the blessing here, but it opened with, "Your Heavenly Father wanted to let you know...."  And from then on, the water works didn't stop.  Sånn er det.  I am so thankful for the priesthood.  I had no idea why I needed a blessing until after, but boy did I need it.  I am thankful for worthy priesthood holders.  I am thankful that even over here in Norway, a priesthood blessing isn't too far away.  I know that it wasn't just an elder with his hands on my head saying nice things.  Those words said were from God.  I know that.
On Friday, we decided to call through the area book and see if anyone was interested in meeting again.  We called a man named Truls and met with him on Saturday.  He loves the Book of Mormon and LOVES meeting with missionaries, just never has time to meet.  A few nights before we called him, he was looking for his Book of Mormon (Which he usually kept on his bedside table).  He couldn't find it anywhere and was pretty sure that his girlfriend had thrown it away.  (Girlfriends are dumb.  Don't get girlfriends ;)  But we called him and he took it as a sign that God wants him to have that Book! So we gave him another one and taught him about the Plan of Salvation.  He loved it!  He wants to meet again, but is worried about his work schedule getting in the way.  (You guys can send a prayer his way if ya want :)  God has literally been saving his life over and over and over again and he just "keeps running into Mormons".  Haha! Søster Peterson was like, "Uh, that's not a coincidence" :) 

Last cool story.  We have an eternal investigator that comes to church every Sunday.  In fact, He drives one of the older ladies that can't drive herself.  (She has basically adopted him.) He's awesome.  I've never taught him because he has literally had all the lessons over and over, and just won't decide to be baptized.  This guy has read the Book of Mormon TWICE! And knows it's true.  He even says he'll be baptized "someday".  But the ward loves him.  We got invited to a family's house after church for dinner, and they invited him to.  We got there before he did and the family sat us down and said, "okay Sisters, What are we teaching him?"  Literally, this appointment was every missionary's dream.  We started the lesson, and everyone sitting around the table bore awesome testimony, and taught from their own experiences.  It was awesome.  He will be baptized for sure.  I just don't know when.  But I'll keep ya'll updated :)

Food for thought for the week.  Ya'know how in 3 Nephi 11, Heavenly Father introduces Jesus Christ and says, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name.  Hear ye Him."?   He was so proud of His Son.  As He is proud of each of us when we follow His will.  How would Heavenly Father introduce you to a group of people?  What would He say?   
Other fun things
-The air was so cold on Monday that there were litterally ice crystals floating in the air. That's what you get when you live by the ocean way up north. It was so cool!!
-Søster Peterson and I had two service projects this week.  One of which was peeling wallpaper for a less active member, and the other was stacking a garage full of wood (for the same less active member) It was a BLAST! I love serving.
-Mom, you'll be glad to know that the childhood "Sheri Lewis 101 fun things to do" came in handy as I taught a nine year old how to make cat ears :)
I love you Family!!!! Have an AWESOME week!  Have Christ's name on your lips ALWAYS!
-Søster Heywood

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Many are COLD but few are FROZEN‏

January 18, 2016

Kjære Fam,
Whelp!  It was -17 degrees this morning and that about sums up the week :) haha! It was SO cold.  So we said a big goodbye for being on the streets for more than 15 minutes at a time.  More than that and it gets a little dangerous.
But because of the cold, we decided to go banking in our neighborhood.  Usually I assume that these houses have been tried about a million times, but that is NOT safe to assume.  DISCLAIMER FOR THE UPCOMING STORY:  I have never been let in to a house while banking.  (Except once in Drammen because the lady thought we were JWs).  So we went out, and talked to a few cool people, then we met a German guy, Thomas, that I had actually met once already.  He couldn't speak Norwegian very well back when I met him, but now he's pretty good and can understand almost everything we say!  We made a plan to come back to him another day (We couldn't go in right then... mission rules :) We continued down the street though and a few houses later, a Norwegian man answered the door and listened!  Then he told us to come in out of the cold.  #pitycard Then we taught him and his family! It was a miracle!!! Also... he thought Mormons were kinda the same thing as Amish and that this was our first time "out in the real world".  Oh man...
Before we had gone out banking, we were coming home from emailing at the library and had the hardest time getting our car up our driveway.  Just imagine driving up an ice rink with a layer of snow on it.  Uff da.  Anywhoo... I got out of the car and shoveled while Søster Peterson tried again and again and again and again.  Seriously about 15 times.  As I was shoveling, a lady (Ellen) walked by and looked at me and BUSTED up laughing.  Something about a little girl in a dress shoveling a gross slushy driveway was funny to her I guess :) Well, we chatted for about 15 minutes and near the end of it, I told her I was a missionary from America.  Her mouth dropped.  She asked if I had Norwegian parents who had taught me Norwegian my whole life.  I was like... When I told her I t been in Norway for a little over a year, she about died.  It was cool and it made me think of when I was set apart the night before going to the MTC.  In my blessing it said that Norwegians would think I was a native speaker.  #Finallyfulfilled :) 
She invited us to her house later in the week for some coffee.  So we went, didn't drink coffee, and taught her about the Restoration instead :) So koselig.  And get this.  She LOVES art and music! Like... more than I do... I think we're gonna be good friends :)
I'm emailing a little later today because we decided to go sledding as a district.  SUPER fun!  We used these little shovel-ish things as sleds and went down a huge, steep hill! I definitely never made it to the bottom without falling off.  You're welcome for that mental picture. ;)
We had ZLT this week and talked lots more about Family History and how we can use it to find people to teach.  I made a decision.  I'm going to go crazy with Family History when I come home.   I'm sorry for anyone within 50 meters of me ;) haha! I LOVE IT!!!!

Grakum sent me an email today asking how the Holy Ghost helps us teach.  Which is super cool because that was really similar to the topic I spoke about in church yesterday.  My topic was how the Holy Ghost helps us everyday.  I focused a lot on the fact that it was EVERY day.  Not just the days that we have a really cool big spiritual experience.  As far as how the Holy Ghost helps us teach, I think that it is most important that He is both inspiring the learner and the teacher.   It doesn't matter how well the lesson is planned out.  If the learners aren't open to the Holy Ghost or the teacher hasn't followed the spirit in her preparation, the lesson will be a less effective.  Joseph Smith said that it is even vain for anyone to minister (or teach) without the Spirit. (PMG ch 4)  I have definitely seen that on my mission.  All the time.  If the Spirit is the copilot in a lesson, I need to switch seats with Him :) The Spirit is the Teacher. So really the topic should be how we help the Holy Ghost teach :) haha
A couple other fun things:
-had two crockpot meals this week.  Feels like home :)
-Started my last transfer today... weird...
-Norwegians ride their skis to school.... I'm a little jealous

I love you family! Have an AWESOME week!!!
Love Søster Heywood