Monday, February 23, 2015

High School Rivals turned Søsters??‏


Wow, last Monday feels like a month ago! I feel like so much has happened since the last email! But at the same time, time is going too fast and next week is my 6 month mark! WHA??? Suuper weird.  I feel like I just got out here!..... crazy....

Last Monday was Søster Peterson's birthday, and to celebrate, we went out to Chinese food with all of the missionaries, a few investigators, and some of the YSA.  She opened some presents from home earlier in the day and we made her some Norwegian waffles for breakfast!  It was nice for her to have it be on a P-day :) To be honest though, we probably spent most of her birthday packing her things for Tromsø! She had so much stuff!!! haha! She ended up having to wear five outfits, two scarfs, and both of her coats onto the plane because she didn't have room enough in her suitcase! haha! She left Wednesday morning and Søster Horner didn't get in until Wednesday night, so I spent the day with Søster Sorensen, until her companion Søster Firth came in.

We had a few plans for that day, but still had quite a bit of open time, so we decided to call a media referral that we received last Monday.  We called the number, and a lady named Silvia answered.  When we told her who we were, she said, "YES! I've been waiting for you to call me! When can you come over?"  haha! She spoke English and gave us her address, and we were there within a couple hours.  He apartment was on top of this little corner bakery and it took us probably ten minutes to find out how to get to the apartments on top. (all of the apartments here are on top of stores) :) We finally found it, and she let us in and immediately started telling us about herself.  She originally comes from Peru, but has lived in Florida the majority of her life.  Her son, who lives in Florida is actually the one who reffered her to us.  He had been smoking and drinking since he was 13 and had had a really hard life.  Now he is in his late 20s, and met two sister missionaries who taught him about the church.  He called his mom after his baptism, and was telling her all about it, and how much his life had changed.  She was sick at the time, and he told her, the he would fast for her and that she needed to stop drinking tea and coffee.  And it worked!! :) She kept telling us about all of the blessings that her son has received since joining the church and Søster Sorensen and I just sat there completely in awe!!  This woman is INCREDIBLE!!! She was so excited for us to share our message with her and was hanging onto every word that we said!  She is the BEST!!!! I'm so excited to meet with her again this week :)

We walked out of the appointment and turned to eachother and just laughed! Søster Sorensen was like, "Is that what it feels like in South America??" haha!  But we quickly got reoriented as we were contacting people on the street again. :)  I love Norway so much though and yeah, we don't have people lining up to get baptized, but the people we do meet and get to talk to are that much more amazing! :) If that makes sense at all! haha!

A few hours later, Søster Horner came!!!!!! :) :) :) And she is simply spectacular! She has 11 older siblings, did choir in high school, loves to run, and graduated from Wasatch High School! (I know I know... I'm companions with a Wasp....)  But she is the coolest!  And she is SO good at speaking Norwegian! The ward already loves her too!  She so humble and so motivated to do missionary work!  She was actually one of the missionaries who didn't get her visa last transfer, so she spent the last six weeks in Texas.  She loved it there, but she has already fallen in love with Norway in her first couple of days. (i mean... who wouldn't??) :)

Oooh! This part is for Daddy! We have a member in the ward named Stuart who is from South Africa and when I told him that that is where my dad went on his mission, he freaked out! haha! He has THE COOLEST accent and he is so funny!  On Sunday he gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting and talked a lot about the church history in South Africa.  It was so cool to hear about him talk about the years when dad was there too.  SO FUN! 

Well Family, that's about all I got for ya this week :) Have an AWESOME week and keep being awesome missionaries!!

Challenge for the week:  Ask the missionaries to bring an INVESTIGATOR to dinner :) We've had a couple appointments like that and they have been INCREDIBLE! :) Lykke til!

I love you family!! Vi snakkes neste uke!

Love, Søster Heywood

1. Søster Horner and I (please excuse our hair.... it rains a lot here.... :)

2.  Just out contacting :)

Monday, February 16, 2015

Habari Jambo!‏

Habari Jambo!

Hey family!!

No that title is not in Norwegian.... it's Swahili! haha! We met with Louis a couple times this week and he decided to teach us a little bit in return for us teaching him! He also taught us how do African dance.... I couldn't do it.  You know me family! Do I dance?... Probably not... :) But it sure was fun!  It amazes me how ready and prepared Louis is! We just need to get his girlfriend on board, and we'll be set :)

WE had a YSA FHE activity last week at the bishops house.  It was a music night.  Apparently the bishop and his counselor (and brother in law) are in a band together and all of their kids play too.  We sang songs in different languages, tried the different instruments, and I got to play some piano! It was so fun.  Louis came to that as well, and he just loved it.  He was laughing the whole time!  We were split into three groups at one point and told to learn and sing a song in another language.  My group got Dutch, and family....... I am SO glad I am learning Norwegian, because that language was HARD! haha!

We had our usual sign language class on Tuesday and Louis came to that too.  He loves talking with Casper and wants to be able to sign with him too.  They are SO GOOD!! :) He is like a protective big brother to us two little girls :)

On Wednesday, I flew down to Oslo to go to a meeting so I can be ready to TRAIN starting this Wednesday!  I'll be training a new sister named Søster Horner and I'm SO excited to meet her!  She is from Heber, so not to far from home eh?? President told me that she is the youngest of 12 siblings! That might include inlaws... but I'll keep ya posted on that when I find out for myself!  I'm so excited, and definitely nervous.  Adventure is out there!!! :)  But yeah,  I flew down to Oslo by myself and took a train... by myself, then walked the streets of downtown Oslo... by myself, and eventually found the YSA center I was supposed to be at... Not having a companion and walking around the streets is SO weird!!!! But I eventually got there, talked to President for a little while while we waited for the other trainers to come.  Søster Boud and Søster Williams and Søster Hoggard all from the MTC will be training this transfer!! It's crazy! It was SO good to see them all again as always and I hadn't seen Søster Boud since the MTC so that was spectacular! :) Her companion, Søster Firth (also from MTC group) was there too! :) So a nice big happy reunion!! haha!

When I got back to Stavanger, I got a phonecall from Søster Buhler up in Ålesund with Eirik on speakerphone!!!! He asked me if I had been in Oslo the day before and that he saw me there!!!!!! He wasn't sure it was me, so he didn't say hi. (And it confused him that I was alone, so it couldn't have been me.... haha!) But AHH!!!!!! I was so close to seeing Eirik again!

As far as other tranfer info goes... Søster Peterson will be transferring to TROMSØ!! Which is not even an area for sisters right now, so she and her companion from the MTC, Søster House will be opening the area... and it is SUUUPER north... haha! So she's excited for that! :)

Overall, we had a better week than last week, but it's still a little rough trying to get people to listen to us.  But the work is moving forward and it's doing great!!! The Lord loves Norway, and he is definitely here in His work!  I love you all SOO much! We be snakkin' neste uke!! :)

Verdens Største Klem,

Søster Heywood

p.s. Mom, I finally met Elder Hurst while I was in Olso, so theres a picture for ya!

With Elder Hurst (his mom and my mom were college friends)

New Sister Trainers

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Poor Spot of Ground??‏

Dearest darlingest family,

I won't sugar coat it, this week has been a hard one. During the middle of last week, Søster Peterson's foot started hurting whenever we would contact for a long time. We didn't really worry about it at first because hey, we're missionaries and our feet just hurt sometimes. :) But at the beginning of this week, it was just killing her. (Though she wouldn't let it show... the trooper) I didn't realize how bad it was until we were walking down the street one day and she started crying and had to stop walking. So we called Sister Evans, and got a doctors appointment set up for her. We found out that she has tendonitis, and that she needed to take it easy this week. The doctor actually asked her if she did a lot of walking and she just laughed and said yes. :) He suggested that she try to not walk on pavement or cement.... That's all that Stavanger has... so that advice wasn't too terribly helpful. We got some medicine for her foot and took it a little more easy the rest of the week.

We're really trying to find investigators right now, and for the most part, that means we have to contact. We contacted this week for at least two hours a day with no real luck. Maybe it's the fact that the sun has gone back behind the clouds, but people on the street were just not nice this week. I would just feel so terrible, because at the end of the day, there wouldn't be much to show for our work other than the ache in Søster Peterson's foot. So it's been a little rough.

But on the up side of the week, we met with Louis again and talked with him more about the plan of Salvation. We told him about living with our families forever and he really loves the idea of it. He loves his family SO much. Whenever we explain how Heavenly Father interacts with us as His children, we relate it to Louis and his son, and he understands perfectly. He's just so good!

We had a dinner appointment this week with the Redford family and the dad is actually from Scotland. (BEST ACCENT EVER) He is hilarious. He is actually the one who teaches self defense every once in a while. He actually reminds me a lot of dad. Over dinner we were talking about Man vs. Food and other TV shows like that, and he told us that his dream job would be to travel the world and eat lots of weird foods. For dinner, he brought out his hot sauce that only he uses because it is too hot for the rest of his family.... yup! That sounded familiar to me ;)

Søster Peterson and I hit our 5 month mark this week and to celebrate, we climbed Phil, the 20 ft tall giraffe outside of our apartment. (Pictures to follow) :) It was crazy fun! We did it with Søster Sorensen as well, (another missionary from our MTC group). We had to hoist eachother up and I'm sure it looked really funny to anyone watching. Yaknow... Three little girls in skirts trying to climb a huge wooden giraffe.... fun times! :)

On Saturday, we took a road trip with two of the Elders down to visit some members who lived about 2 hours away. They are a newlywed couple and the girl is from Burma! He name is Su and she is the most adorable lady I have met in my entire life! He conversion story is one of the coolest I've ever heard. Once she met the missionaries, she asked to meet with them everyday after her school until she got baptized! She is basically spectaular.

I've been reading in the Book of Mormon for personal study and right now I'm reading in Jacob. This morning I read Jacob 5, (yaknow, that really long one) :) but reading it as a missionary I got so much out of it. There is a part where the servant of the vineyard is asking the Lord of the vineyard why in the world he would graft in these young and tender branches in a "poor spot of ground". The Lord tells him that he know from the beginning that it was a poor spot, but that he had nurtured it and it was ready to bring forth fruit. Then it hit me. This is totally Norway. I think I had people telling me even before my mission that I wouldn't see very many baptisms or that I would have a hard time finding people who would listen. Which is true to a point. But the Lord really has nurtured this beautiful country and we see miracles everyday because of it. It's hard sometimes, but I have to remember how the Lord sees things for what they can become. I'm so glad I get to be "grafted in" to what might seem like a "poor spot of ground", because then I get a front row seat to watch the hand of the Lord really move His work forward!

Well, family! I love you all and I hope you have a FANTASTIC week!!! The Church is true!!


Søster Heywood

p.s. #1-Climbing Phil

#2- Road trip... and my sleepy companion :)

Monday, February 2, 2015

This is FOREVER!‏

Hei Family!!!

This week we got to have the Sister Training Leaders, Søster Campbell and Søster Hartley, for a visit. We went on splits with them, and I really learned a lot.  The night before they came, Søster Peterson and I were out on the street contacting, and we talked with this guy who was not so interested, but asked, "What's so great about being a Mormon?" Yeah, usually we don't get asked that... I was caught a little off guard and felt like a sorta stuttered out a lame explanation.  Then he told us that he would listen to our message if we let him buy us drinks.... uh... NEI TAKK!!! But I thought about his question the rest of that night, and thought about all the different ways I could have answered it better.  Then we had the STLs come the next day and while we were contacting, I asked Søster Hartley what she would have said in that situation.  She told me,"Being a Mormon is great because someday, I'm going to be sitting in the car with my husband on the way to the temple.  Then he's going to grab my hand, turn to me and say, this is FOREVER!"  We kept talking about how this really is eternal.  There are so many people, especially here in Norway, who believe that you have this life, and that is it!  When a family member dies, they are gone.  But we know better!! This really is forever and it's awesome!

We visited one of our less actives this week who hasn't been to church in a long time because she has social anxiety.  We visit her every week, and usually read from the Book of Mormon with her.  But this week, we decided to get her a Personal Progress Book and do that with her.  I remembered back in Ålesund when Søster Buhler and I had done that with a less active lady and it helped her so much!  So we're really excited to start it with this lady now.  Personal Progress is just awesome!

One of the hardest things about being on a mission is definitely not being able to hold little kids!  Our ward mission leader, Kjetil, has two ADORABLE kids and they always run up to us and put their little arms up wanting "up"!  And we can't pick them up!!! It's torture.... haha! :) But these kids are so cute! I decided I'm going to teach my kids to speak Norwegian someday because little kids speaking Norwegian is by far the cutest thing in the whole wide world! haha!

Louis is doing fantastic! We shared The Family: A Proclamation to the World with him this week, and he commited to sharing it with Maria, his girlfriend as well.  He loves coming to all of the church activities and always texts us asking when the next one is.  He really wants to come to church, but had to pick up his son from Sandes this week so he couldn't come. We actually had a FHE last Monday that he came to.  We had a self-defense night because one of our members is REALLY good at that kind of stuff.  It was so much fun! Louis just loved it and he and Casper are already really good friends (given the fact that they can't really talk to each other unless Søster Peterson and I are there... Then our other investigator Pawet came.  He is actually from Poland and was there visiting his family for the whole time that I've been here.  But he's back now, and we're back to teaching him.

Today for P-day, we took a bus out to "Sverd Fjellen" or The Three Swords as we would call it! It was super fun, and SO beautiful.  There are some times that I have to remind myself that I actually live here... It is amazing!

Welp Family, I love you all SOO much! Sorry this week's email was a little short. We've been doing a lot of contacting this week.... :) But that's still fun! HAR EN FANTASTISK UKE ALLE! Vi snakkes neste uke!

Søster Heywood


#1 The Three Swords

#2 Casper, me, Louis, and Pawet :)