Ok, so there is SOOOO much to tell you all!! First of all... Stavanger address:
Verksgata 1D #101
There ya go :) Ok, quick story to start off. Eirik collects guitars and plays them super well, and I always told him that I wanted to hear him play before I left Ålesund, so this last Tuesday, the day before I left, he texted me and asked me what my favorite song was! One he could learn to play before we met with him that night. I completely blanked and couldn't think of any songs!! So I asked Søster Buhler if she remembered any. He ended up playing "Wake Me Up When September Ends" haha!! It was so great, and it meant so much to me, becuase he doesn't really like showing off his talent! That same night, Åse Marie gave me a GORGEOUS charm necklace and a sweet goodbye card. There were lots of tears, mostly from me... but then I was off to Stavanger the next day.
Wednesday morning, there wasa GORGEOUS sunrise (at about 10:30). You could actually see the rays of sun coming up from behind the mountains! I'll send some pictures of it next week! Ålesund gave me a wonderful goodbye! We took the bus under the ocean and to the airport, picked up Søster Nielsen, then I hopped on the plane to Bergen, then to Stavanger!
Stavanger is AWESOME!! We have a couple missionary, and two pairs of elders in Stavanger, then we have two other sisters in Sandes, about a half hour north. It's really different from living in Ålesund. I had always heard that Ålesunds apartment was huge, but I had no idea how big... Here in Stavanger, the apartment is nicknamed the Hobbitt Hole, because it is so small. It's all pretty much one room, so nice and cozy :) (I'll send pictures next week) The dialect here is SO DIFFERENT! In Ålesund, I could pretty much understand everyone on the street, and here it sounds like a completely different language!! So that will be something to get used to. I's crazy being with Søster Peterson because we both feel like we just barely left the MTC! But we're doing our best and trying our hardest! :) For excercise every morning, we go on a run along the harbor where all the ships are docked! I love it. The sight is so pretty that I almost forget that I can barely breath the freezing cold air as I run! haha!
THEY HAVE A CHURCH HERE!!! We went there the first night to teach a recent convert and I could not get over being inside a church building again! It had been since my farewell that I had been to sacrament meeting an actual chapel! So that was super exciting!
Yes, mom, those famous hikes are all in Stavanger and I'm so excited to go see them!! I promise I won't get to close to the edge :) I'm you chicken child remember?? haha!! WE were going to do one of the hikes today, but we actually have a general authority coming to visit the mission, on Thursday, so we'll have our Pday in Bergen on Wednesday! I'm so excited!
This week, I learned that the Lord has been preparing me for a long time to do the things that I'm doing here. Our new convert, Casper, is deaf so we talk to him in Tegn Språk (Norwegian Sign Language...WAY different than ASL), but it's awesome, because Søster Peterson and I both have an ASl background which definitely helps! AHHH!! Family!!! Casper is INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot even descibe that to you enough! He was baptized at the end of November, and ever since has been an incredible missionary! In fact, this week, the Elders in Bergen were teaching a man they had found on the street who was deaf and asked if they could skype with Casper so he could help teach. So we had us and Casper here in Stavanger skyping with the Elders and their investigator in Bergen. And Casper just took it away! We all barely know how to sign, (except Søster Peterson.... she's awesome) but casper was showing the investigator scriptures, telling him about Joseph Smith, and just bearing testimony like a champion! Then when Casper found out that we were going to Bergen on Wednesday, he told us about his friend that lives there. We made a video of us signing and sent it to his friend. He is just SUCH and INCREDIBLE missionary already!! He's got a heart of gold! :)
A couple nights ago, we had a CRAZY storm. We were up a lot of the night trying to sleep, but it just didn't happen. It was hailing and the wind was SO strong! It was sad because we had planned to contact, but after about an hour, we had to give up. It made me think back to how I was terrified of storms when I was younger and how it was Heavenly Father that must have helped me get over that. He must have been like, "Oh no Jessica, you can't be scared of storms. You're serving in Stavanger in a couple years!" :) Just another way I can see how I've been prepared from a long time ago.
In church yesterday, I got asked to bear my testimony in sacrament meeting and I didn't realize how many people were in there til I got up. The first thing I said was, "Woah... this is bigger than Ålesund." It got some laughs but I was really super nervous. I have given tons of talks in sacrament meeting before in Norwegian, but not in front of more than about 6 people! haha! It was crazy!!
As of right now, we don't really have anyone that we're teaching, but we do already have some appointments set up for next week with some people we met on the street, so that will be awesome!
Jeg er så veldig glad i dere og jeg savne dere ganske mye, men ikke nok å dra fra her! Dette her er det beste stedet akkurat nå for meg! Jeg elsker å være en misjonær!!! Jeg vet at dette kirken virkelig er Jesu Kristi gjenopprette kirke på jorden. Gud elsker oss så utrolig mye og Han ønsker at vi skal være glad i dette livet. Jesus Kristus er vår Frelser. Og Jeg VET det!
Glad i dere! Vi snakkes neste uke!!!
p.s. Pictures coming next week!!!! Promise!!
-Mom note- That last part translated is: