Monday, June 29, 2015

Sister Heywood? I did a bad thing...‏

Dear Family!
So, transfers happened this week and on Wednesday, it was time to say goodbye to the fabulous champion that is Sister Smith. Someone buy that Sister a cookie! But first, on Tuesday, the night before, we got to celebrate Sankthans Aften. (The longest day of the year aka THE SUN IS UP PAST MIDNIGHT DAY!) So we got special permission to stay up until 12 and out of the apartment as long as we were with a member. So we missionaries and a few members went to a park and played volleyball until 11:30, then drove home afterwards so Sister Smith could pack. It was so light outside! crazy.
On Wednesday, two of the other elders and I dropped Sister Smith off at the train station.  But alas, she needed help with her bags, so we got on the train to help her and the door shut behind us leaving one elder outside of the train, and the three of us on it headed to Kristiansand (The southern tip of Norway...)  The next stop was Kongsberg, so one of the elders and I got off and Sister Smith continued. After we got off, we realized that the next train back to Drammen didn't come for an hour... so we just chilled in Kongsberg for a while... yeah.... that was an awkward happenstance... and that's the last time I try to help my companion with her luggage ;)
Anywhoo... The week got better after that.  Sister Larsen came and we've been going hard ever since! Little run-down of Sister Larsen: She is from Seattle, she loves cows, SHE LOVES MUSICALS (really, I don't know how I keep getting so lucky!), and she is the fourth of 6 in her family! She's hilarious and inspires the title for this week's email.  I was in the bedroom getting ready for bed, and I hear from the other room, "Sister Heywooooood!!! I did a BAAAD thing!" So I chuckle and come into the kitchen to find Sister Larsen sitting at the table with a newly opened bag of pretzels... and the pretzels are ALL OVER THE KITCHEN!! She just sat there helplessly looking up at me.... it was adorable.... so naturally, I took a picture :) She's the best!
This time of summer is rough for missionary work because HALF of Norway goes on vacation to the rest of Europe.  Members, Investigators, they all leave! GAH! But luckily, it's still the Lord's work, and miracles still happen :)
The other day, one of our appointments cancelled, so we decided to go back to the apartment to grab some lunch, which we rarely do because our apartment is far away.  But as we got closer to home, we saw a lady struggling with some groceries.  Well are we missionaries or not? So we offered to help her, and she said she was fine, but we kept talking to her and she invited us over to teach her at her house (which is just down the hill from us).  We went there yesterday and she gathered her whole family to listen to what we had to say.  It is a family of four and all of them had LOTS of questions about what we believe in.  I guess their religion is basically to accept all religions... so we'll work on that one.  But they are so sweet and served us ice cream and told us we always have a place in their home as their "sisters".  We'll be going back to teach them this Thursday. 
Another miracle from this week was with one of our less actives. Her family doesn't support her being a member at all, in fact, they think she is literally mad, and have tried sending her to an institution.  So needless to say, her life is really hard right now.  She wasn't answering the door to anyone and just stayed in the apartment all day every day.  Then she called us last week and asked us if we could go on a walk with her.  We did and she is just the sweetest thing ever.  She told us she wanted a blessing for strength so she could come back to church, so later that day we walked with her to the church and one of the elders gave her a blessing.  Afterwards she asked if one of us played the piano and if she could sit in the chapel and just listen to music.  So I got to play the piano for her for about 45 minutes.  We both loved it! :) She is just so sweet. And it really showed me how powerful both the priesthood and music are.
Yesterday we got invited to dinner at a member's house with the precursor that it was going to be chaos.  And let me tell ya family, I felt SO AT HOME!  There were about 5 families total there plus the grandparents, and all of them are members.  It was like eating dinner at Grakum's house, (with a little less people).  They kept apologizing for the noise (Norwegians are REALLY quiet!) but I just told them it made me feel at home :)
I really learned this week how important family is and that the gospel really does bless families.  The world is tearing down families like crazy and that just proves how sacred they are.  I am so thankful for my family and that I can be blessed with a big crazy family.  I love you all so much, and I miss you! I'll be praying for all of you going on trek and those of you staying home too! Have an amazing week and an AWESOME 4th of July!!!
Love, Søster Heywood
"Sister Heywoooooood? I did a BAAAAD thing!"

We be walruses!!

 The car of legends: aka Kongsberg Elders drive us everywhere

Monday, June 22, 2015


Sorry, I didn't get to write on our actual birthday or actual father's day.  But I Love you both SO much! and I thought about you lots!
This week was CRAZY trying to keep track of the investigators we found last week. So a lot of it was running all over the place from appointment to appointment... which is like the best feeling EVER! I LOVE being busy! But here's some highlights from this last week:
We taught one of our investigators about the word of wisdom, then went the next day with a garbage bag to throw out ALL her tea, coffee, and cigarettes.  Then she surprised us by even throwing away her ash trays! It was lots of fun! 
We had our last Zone Conference with President and Sister Evans.  They each gave their last testimonies to us and it was incredible!  They ave given so much to this country, and it will be hard for them to leave.  As far as me leaving someday, mom, we won't even think about that yet... :) 
We got a referral from a member this week to their deaf neighbor after I told them I knew sign language.  We went to this lady's house and I started signing with her on he doorstep.  She loved talking, but wasn't into the message too much BUT! She said I could come back whenever and practice my sign language, so that is AWESOME!!

We have transfers this week and I will be saying goodbye to Sister Smith.  She is a SPECTACULAR missionary, and she will be greatly missed by me and the members! She will be going to Kristiansand which is the southernmost point of Norway.  She's lucky to go here in the summer. Nice and warm! :)
For P-day today, we hiked up a river, and it was BEAUTIFUL!! It seriously felt like we were in the Amazon! haha! We went with two members and the rest of the district.  And there was a GORGEOUS lake at the top which reminded me so much of the UINTAHS!  we got there and I couldn't help saying, "who brought the fishing poles??"
We met with one of our investigators, Ricardo, and he is RIDICULOUSLY prepared! Everything he says is exactly in line with the gospel.  For example, we talked to him about baptism, and he said, "You know? I really don't think little kids should be baptized... at least until they're about 8 years old" I'm pretty sure my jaw dropped! He is SO COOL!
Some more random tidbits: 1. We saw a square roundabout this week.... Norway logic... 2. Norway has a RIDICULOUS amount of tunnels.  Everytime we are in a car, we go through a tunnel! 3.  Working graveyard shifts and sleeping during the day prepared me for my mission.  I have never seen Drammen in the dark... :)
I love you family! I know the church is true!!! Ha det!
-Søster Heywood

Monday, June 15, 2015

Husker du den mannen?...‏

June 15, 2015

Hei family!!
(Translation for the title "Remember that guy?...").  My first week in Drammen, Sister smith woke up in the middle of the night and kept asking me, "Husker du den mannen?"... Turns out she was sleep talking, which is HILARIOUS! i hope I get to the point that I'm sleep talking in Norwegian! :) But we have also decided it is the theme of this transfer, because we have been led to so many incredible people lately, and find ourselves saying, "remember that one guy? Yep, he is golden!"
One day in particular this last week, we walked a few miles out to a less active member's house to visit her.  She ended up being sick... so we went out to the street and started talking to this kid, he told us he had to go, but that we could walk with him and tell him more.  So we did (of course) and after about a half hour, he told us he really wasn't that interested.  So we were feeling pretty bummed at this point because we were now in the middle of a random neighborhood with about an hour left before our next appointment.  We decided we would walk a little further, and we came to a little soccer field where a guy was walking his dog.  And his dog looked JUST LIKE DEXTER! So naturally, I had to talk to him. Long story short, we ended up talking to him for about an hour about Jesus Christ and He had changed this guy's life! We gave him the Book of Mormon and he kissed it and said, "I need this book". We were like... uh... YEAH YA DO! We told him that we needed to get to another appointment and started walking back the way we came and he said, "Wait, weren't you girls walking the other way?" So, we outright told him how we had been led to talk to him specifically and that God needed us to find him, and he said, "wow, that is a miracle!!" So there ya go! Miracles happen!!! (But we knew that ;)
We found 6 new investigators this week and for each and every one of them we had felt really strongly to talk to them.  On Saturday, we had planned to visit a member, and she forgot.  Luckily we were in the city center and could do some contacting.  We talked to these two ladies from Romania, who just opened up their life stories immediately and started telling us about trials that they were facing.  Amazingly, Søster Smith had grabbed a Romanian Book of Mormon that morning and put it in her bag! Again, miracles happen!
So, to answer some questions: Yes I got the hump day package, (It came last week) and I LOVED IT!!!! I loved all of the letters too! And the AWESOME analogy about a camel being like a seasoned missionary! And just so ya know, they don't have Graham Crackers here... so those were GREATLY needed...and almost gone by now... ;) Drammen is beautiful.  It is a smaller city, and it has a big river that divides the city in half.  Our apartment is quite a ways from the city, so that's a little different.  I really took living in the city for granted... :) The ward is the biggest in all of Norway!  There are around 220 members that come each week, and three sets of missionaries.  It's mostly families, but it's not like Stavanger where the entire ward was related! Currently we are teaching...about 20 people, and about 5 are officially progressing. President Evans and Sister Evans are going home really soon and we will have our last Zone Conference with them on Thursday.  They are the sweetest people ever and they have changed my life, I'm going to miss them so much!
We had the sister training leaders come this week, Sister Hartley and Sister Neilsen. They are just awesome! Søster Neilsen and I taught a lady and her daughter and we decided to bring one of the young women, Erica, to teach them.  We brought up baptism and the mom told us that she just needed to decide.  Erica spoke up and said, "When I was trying to decide if I should get baptized, I knelt down and said a prayer.  Can we try that?" My jaw dropped.  Ok family, this girl is 13!!! And she invited our investigators to pray about baptism!! SO POWERFUL! That lesson went so well, and hopefully we'll be able to set a date with them soon.
Hitting my halfway mark last week has really got me thinking about what kind of missionary I'm becoming.  If I've really tried my best each day, and what more I can do.  Sometimes I look back on my mission so far, and it doesn't really feel like I've done much or really helped anyone.  I hope I have, but what I do know, is that I am being changed and refined into the person that I can become.  I'm figuring out what it really means to lose yourself in order to find yourself.  That always really confused me before, but the more I focus on myself and what I want, the less I progress.  The more I focus on others and their needs, the more I surprise myself with who I am becoming.  I know that this church is true.  I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and that He performed the Atonement in order to know exactly how I feel.  I know that the Book of Mormon is true.  I have seen it shake people, give peace, and change so many lives.  I know that God loves His children.  He loves them SO MUCH! We can't even comprehend it!  
I LOVE YOU ALL!! I'm so proud of you! I love showing off our family picture to everyone, then testifying about eternal families! You are amazing every last one of ya!!
Love, Søster Heywood

Book of Mormon!‏

June 8, 2015

Hey family!!! 
okay, so I'm just gonna apologize in advance, today's email is gonna be a short one.  We went dumpster diving for some free books in Norwegian (Free books! Why not? Ya'll know me) ;) Then we headed to go tour some old silver mines in Kongsberg! WAY FUN! But unfortunately doesn't leave me with much time to email... sorry... :\
But I will say this: Members here are incredible! We had two member families gather together some hand me down shirts and ties from their kids to give to one of our investigators, Midia because her little boy wanted a shirt and tie, "like all the other little boys in church".  And they not only did that, but came with us to give them to her! She was so happy! This investigator can't get baptized because of complications with the war in Syria... won't say to much.. but she has SUCH a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon! I look up to her for that! She always tells us how she can't wait until about 3 years down the road when she can get baptized :) Maybe I'll just have to come back for it eh?
On Sunday, we got to watch a broadcast from Scotland because Elder Holland was speaking at it! He bore such a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and had me almost in tears! It was amazing! I'm so glad that Midia could be there as well. She LOVED it!
I LOVED seeing the pictures of Owen!! I'm SOOOO excited to meet him! And Collins too! Kayli, Klydi... No more having kids until I'm back ya'hear?  
I'm so glad the Solbergs made it there safely! Send them my love!! They are AMAZING!!! :) They really are a second family!
Sorry again for the short email! I love you all SO much!! the church is true!! I know it! I love Norway SO MUCH! But I would have come home by now if I didn't know this church was true!!! Have a great week!! 
Love, Søster Heywood


June 1, 2015

Ok, typing the title this week feels really weird... There is NO WAY I'm halfway done. I JUST GOT HERE! Holy Guacamole! the 11 of us sisters in my group are trying to figure out what we should do for it... maybe burn a scarf? We'll see....
This week was a little crazy! We have taught more lesson than I have in my entire mission so far, and most of them were people on the street.  These streets are on fire lately! Sister Smith and I were out contacting the other day, and we passed this girl who looked about liike she was 13 (Complete with the One Direction backpack! -Shoutout to Corinne ;) Anyway, we don't really stop 13 year olds, so we passed her and kept walking.  After a minute, Sister Smith says, "Wait, we were supposed to talk to her!" So what did this two crazy sister missionaries do? We followed this little girl all over the city until we finally caught up to her at a bus station. (i've never felt so creepy in my whole life! haha) But we walked up to her and asked if she believed in God.  She said yes, and we ended up talking to her for about a half hour, giving her a Book of Mormon, and teaching her the first lesson.  At the end I asked her how old she was and she is 20!! WHA??? yep... there's Norway for ya! There's no telling how old these people are! But she was super awesome!
We met with Christoffer this week, and taught him about baptism.  He commited to be baptized on July 1st :) After we met with him, we showed him around the church and he loved it.  We walked into the chapel and explained a bit about our meetings.  We explained how no one in the church gets paid for what they do, and he loved that!  He couldn't make it to church this week, but hopefully next week! He's SO cool!
We had a youth missionary kickoff yesterday after church.  We have been really wanting to involve the youth more, and a lot of them want to go on missions.  For the activity, they had to call a member, and book an appointment to teach the member a missionary lesson, (with the missionaries of course) so this week is nice and filled with some member visits. But I've said this before, these youth out here are INCREDIBLE! Last week, one of the girls in the young women came up to us and asked us for advice.  She told us that her friends at school had started saying inappropriate things around her and she really wanted to know the best way to be a good example to them! This girl is 14! I grabbed her and hugged her so tight! Then we sat down and talked for a little bit and worked out what she could do :)
This week, I really got the chance to see the power of the Book of Mormon in a more physical way than I ever have before.  We taught this kid that we met on the street, and asked him to read a bit from the Book of Mormon. We handed him the introduction to read, and when he was done, he just kept going until he had read all of the testimonies, and was about to start on to first Nephi.  As he was reading, the spirit was so strong, and his hands we literally shaking as he read.  We asked him right there to pray and ask if the Book was true.  So he prayed, and we sat and waited...and waited.... the spirit was SOO strong, then he said, "It feels too different" He felt the spirit, and since it was something he hadn't felt before, it scared him.  We bore testimony more of the spirit and tried to help him recognize it. hopefully we'll get to meet with him again this week.
Welp! That's all for this week! I love you all SOO much! I loved seeing the pictures of Åse Marie and Søster Buhler!! uhm... I mean Hana... :) I can't believe they were there! AH! CRAZY! Tell the Payne family that they are in my prayers too! LOVE YOU ALL!

-Søster Heywood

(Our view from the apartment window... taken at 6:35 in the morning... yup! the sun rises at about 3:30 am now...)


May 25, 2015

Hei Family!!
Alright, so first to explain the title for today... (Put on the nerd glasses) we had Telemark ZLT this week and took the train down to Tønsberg.  Zone Leaders usually try to be creative with the ZLTs, but I think this one took the cake! It was HARRY POTTER THEMED! Oh yeah!!! Finally got to let out my inner nerd a bit.  So the real theme was getting investigators with a baptismal date to actually get baptized. We all started in a room where they gave us a letter and told us that it was as exciting as our mission call :) It was an acceptance letter into the "Telemark School of Teachcrapt and Baptistry".  Oh yeah... they went all out.  We were all given wands, an sorted into houses.... I got Hufflepuff... go ahead and laugh Heather ;) We started to our first class "Charms of Commitment" Where we practiced extending the baptismal commitment. Then we went to our next class taught by the Sister Training Leaders, "Defense Against the Dark Arts". Ok, and for a minute here.... I'm going to assume that everyone reading this has seen Harry Potter... There is one scene in the third movie where they have to practice fighting  a creature that takes the shape of whatever you fear most. The way you defeat it is by thinking of someway to make it funny, then saying, ,"Ridikulus!".  We talked about how people's concerns about baptism or any commitment are individual to them and only they can decide that the concerns are ridiculous. But we can help them by giving them a new perspective.  Then I thought a little more and that really is how it is with any adversary we face in life.  I had a member in Stavanger tell me once, "Opposition is only Opposition until you realize it is just opposition. Then you just laugh."  Once we realize that satan is going to try his hardest and still lose, it almost becomes funny how hard he tries He plays to our fears and doubts but we get to point at him and say, "That's Ridikulus!" :) Anyway... it was a really cool analogy if you know Harry Potter (Nerd glasses off)
Alrighty! It was a perfect ZLT because a few days earlier, we met with our investigator, Midia.  We had given her 2 Nephi 31 to read last time so she could be ready to learn about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So to this lesson, she came with not only the chapter read, but also with a page of NOTES that she had taken on the chapter.  She then continued to teach US about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She told us all about how it begins with faith, how we need to repent, and how we need to be baptized.  She stressed the importance of being baptized as Christ was.  We showed her a picture of the baptism of Christ, and she said, "yeah! Like that. We need to be baptized like that".  So I guess you could say it wasn't terribly difficult to set a specific baptismal date with her.  She will be baptized on June 10th :) She is INCREDIBLE!
Another tender mercy of the week... we met a man on the street and started teaching him about the gospel and he stopped us ans asked where we come from.  We told him and he said, "So you're here in Norway doing nothing but teaching people about God?" We said YUP! Then he asked how much the church was paying us to do that, and we told him nothing, in fact we pay to do this.  His eyes got really BIG and he paused for a minute and said, "So you two are 19 years old, and instead of hanging out with friends, partying, going to school, etc... instead you come here to help people come nearer to God? And you pay for it?"  We said yes, and he said, "Ok, I need to hear your message then!" We explained more about it, and he listened then asked if we could meet again.  Sometimes it's just good to get a little confirmation that missionary work is incredible.  It wouldn't work if it wasn't true.  I mean, think about it.  A bunch of kids going to foreign countries trying to baptize people? That would never work! Unless it is true :) Which it is :)
I didn't explain much about Søster Smith last time.  She comes from Layton Utah, did show Choir in High School (YES!) has 8 kids in her family, and loves talking musicals with me:) ( I know! Another musical lovin companion! Where are these ladies coming from??) She is a REALLY hard worker and loves the people here so much! :) She's a CHAMP!
I love you family!!! Keep being amazing! Go to the temple! Read your Scriptures! Pray Always! And eat Otter Pops for me... CUZ IT'S SUMMER! Talk to ya next week!
Love, Søster Heywood

Syttende Mai i OSLO!!!!!‏

Parade in Oslo - May 17

Reunited with Eline Solberg - my Norwegian sister!

Familien min <3

Syttende Mai i OSLO!!!!!‏

May 18, 2015

Wait... hold on... was it seriously a whole week ago that I emailed last? I feel like SOO much has happened since then... WELP! Let's get started!
Goodbyes in Stavanger were WAY hard.  There are so many families there that I feel so at home with. (we did LOTS of member visits my last two days... haha!) Then the dreaded Tuesday night came when I had to say goodbye to Casper.  We had Tegnspråk class as usual and when it was over, we took LOTS of pictures then finally had to say goodbye.  Though, I think I prefer saying goodbye in Sign Language because I don't have to worry about my voice shaking when I cry :) Casper has changed my life.  He's SO GOOD! GAH!
I left the BEAUTIFUL Stavanger on Wednesday, said goodbye to the Hobbit Hole and my beautiful companion and hopped on the 8-hour train to Drammen.  I HATED that train ride.  the train was pretty much empty, and I couldn't even call and make appointments or anything.  I felt so unproductive.  Way weird, but eventually, I made it to Drammen.  It is beautiful here as well.  I'm pretty sure all of Norway is just gorgeous!  We live a good distance from the city center which is way different from my other areas and we have to hike up a big hill in order to go home at the end of the day, but we live in a much bigger apartment than the Hobbit Hole! haha! there is a HUGE river that divides the city in half, so we like to go contacting on the bridges a lot :)

One of the first appointments we had was with a lady named Møyfrid.  Søster Smith told me that this was her make it or break it lesson.  In other words, they were planning on dropping her if the lesson didn't go well.  we read a little in the Book of Mormon with her like missionaries usually do, then we brought up baptism.  She started talking about how she had been baptized in the Norwegian State Church as a baby.  We then asked her if she believed the Book of Mormon was true.  She told us she didn't know, but it made her feel so peaceful whenever she read it. After reading Moroni 10:4-5, we asked her to pray right then and there to find out for herself. She sat and waited for a little while, then said a very simple prayer.  after she was done, we just sat in silence and felt the spirit.  It was one of the strongest times I have felt the spirit on my whole mission.  We asked how she felt, and she said, "This is true. This is right." It was SO COOL!!! So make it or break it worked out ok :)
We found out that since we live so close to Oslo, we would get to go there for Syttende Mai!!!! (Norwegian Independance Day) Dreams come true family! We watched the parade from the palace grounds, waved to the king, and sang the Norwegian National Anthem! It was AMAZING!! then we went to church in Oslo, then to President's house for a barbeque, then to the Solbergs house for dinner! Rewind to a couple days earlier...... when I found out that I would be in Oslo for Syttende Mai, I texted Eline, and asked her if she would be in Oslo that day.  Then she offered to feed us dinner.  We both thought... uh..... Is that allowed??? So we called President, and he said it sounded like a GREAT Idea :) :) :) I was SO happy! It has been about 8 months since seeing Eline, and now I get to go to her house!!! 5 years waiting, and I finally got there :) Like I said... Dreams come true! ;) when we got there, Eline, Brede, and Eva all ran out to give me a hug!  It was almost like a mini homecoming! haha!! It was so fun to be able to talk to them in Norwegian too!
There was lot's more that happened in the week, but I don't have much time, so I'll write more next week I promise :) Oh! and before I forget, here's my new address:
Tomineborg 47
3011 Drammen
Værsågod! Have an INCREDIBLE WEEK!!! And tell Åse Marie and Søster Buhler hi from me!! :) :)
-Søster Heywood

#1- Me and Casper
#2- Palace grounds for Syttende Mai!