Monday, November 3, 2014

Week 2 in Alesund

Kjære Familie,

This week has just been another crazy one, and I'm realizing that I need to "fill my tank" each day in order to have the motivation that I need.  I'm not sure what I would do without that personal study in the mornings!  Missionary life is HARD.  It's the hardest thing I've ever done, and sometimes, I want to jump into the ocean here and swim back to America!  But then I remember why I'm here, what I'm doing and WHO I am with.

One thing I've learned especially this week is that we  are called to walk the path that Christ walked.  All of us are, but especially as missionaries, where we are literally called as representatives of Christ.  It's just like President Monson said in his talk this conference.  Christ walked lot's of paths that were very hard, so when we are called to walk those same paths, we can get just a taste of what He felt.  For example, yesterday morning, we went to visit this lady out in Hessa, (about 2 miles from the apartment) and it was POURING RAIN.  The buses weren't running that early, so we decided to walk. This wind was so strong, that we had to stop walking sometimes just so we wouldn't lose our balance.  WE got to the bridge that we had to cross and literally just had to hold on for dear life.  Søster Shaw kept saying, "This is when we get to be like Christ!"  And she was right! (Though I wished that we could also be like Christ and calm that storm...) Haha! But it was HARD.  Christ went through hard times, so why should I as a representative of Him, expect anything less?

That being said, Christ also performed miracles in His life and OH MY GOODNESS miracles still happen, I promise you all that!  Last night, we were sitting in the apartment getting ready for bed, and we decided to call one of our new investigators that we had met with only once.  His name is Kristian, and he is from Romania!  He speaks English too though so we teach him in English (tender mercy!) But yeah, we called him to see if he had read any of the Book of Mormon we gave him last time and he said, "yes, I read it. I stayed up all night reading it, and I know it's 100% true."  WHAAAAA???? We only met him once, told him the Restoration story, and gave him the Book of Mormon.  It just goes to show that we as missionaries do .01% of this work, and our Heavenly Father does the other 99.99%.  but He allows us to feel good about that small percentage that we do.  I'll keep you all updated on him, because he sure seems promising!! :) 

I'm so happy to hear about Kasey's baptism!!! I'm SO happy for her and I want to see pictures!! I'm just so proud of her and I know that she will see SO MANY blessings come into her life following that decision.  And she has the Holy Ghost to follow now too!! Ah! just too cool!

I loved hearing about Hayden and Heather's concerts!! I'm glad it all went well, and I really wish I could have heard it in person.  I heard from Grakum that Heather had a solo too!! That's awesome girl! way to go!! Hayden is such a boss too! I can't believe that the middle school has a drum line now! That's so awesome!

I have missed Rachel and Adam especially this week for some reason... It might have been all of these little blonde norwegian girls running around that remind me of Rachel so much, so send my love to them, and just tell them that Aunt Jess loves them SOOOOO much!! I'm glad Adam still recognizes the picture of me.  That makes me feel a TON better! I'm always worried about that... haha! 

Ok, so to answer more questions, I am slowly but surely picking up on this language.  It's super hard with the dialect, but I can understand Søster Shaw almost completely when she speaks Norwegian... just not anyone else really.  I'm getting to the point that I can get the "gist" of what Eirik and Åse Marie are saying, but I still feel like I have no idea what's going on half of the time. Which probably isn't too far from the truth.  We had Stake Conference this week via broadcast and it was two hours of picking up a few words here and there... so yeah! But I just have to remind myself to be patient and that I have only been here for two weeks.  I can do it.  It's going to take time, but I can do it! As far as your question about Christmas... I don't really know. I'll be thinking but I think the only thing I really miss about America is ice.... like ice that you put into your drink! In fact, I'm not sure Dad could make it here because they NEVER put ice in their drinks... so I don't know, maybe an ice cube tray? haha!! I'll let you know if I think of anything else! haha!! Am I staying warm and dry???...... Well, it rains ALL DAY EVERYDAY right now, so not so dry or warm, but it's all ok! The apartment is warm and the church is warm! :)

EIRIK GETS BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY!!!! We are so excited for him and more importantly, HE is so excited!!! I'll be sure to take pictures!  It will be really cool because it will be out in the fjord!  He's going to be absolutely freezing but that's okay!  He'll feel warm afterwards :) 

I had a really hard day this week and I was reading my scriptures and found Romans 8:18!  It helped SO MUCH!! In fact, read all of Chapter 8, because it is AWESOME!!

Alright Family, I'm about out of time, but I love you all SOOOO much and I miss you a ton!  Write me lots! and I'll talk to ya soon! The church is TRUE!!!!!!

Love Søster Heywood

p.s. Mom maybe for Family home Evening at The Family Tree you could buy some stamps and have them all write me letters!! :) The ones that remember me and want to! Because that would be SUPER COOL! I miss those people so much! Send my love to Rosella and everyone else!!

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