Monday, August 17, 2015

Out with a BANG!!‏

Kjære Familien min,
OH MY! This week was the BEST! ok... That's a lie... from Saturday on was the BEST!!! 
We warned Ricardo last week that satan didn't want him to get baptized and that he'd have to be really strong to keep away from temptation.  He took it seriously.  but the thing is, nothing even touched him! He was walking on sunshine all week long which was a HUGE relief! However... I guess we took the hit for him because this week was rough! Not just missionary rough, but just ROUGH.  WE contacted on the street a TON trying to find new people to teach and we had a lot of people just say really disgusting disturbing things to us.  Lot's of creeps. Lot's of jerks. There were tears... just rough. But we were happy to take the "Baptism week hit" for Ricardo.
Let's just fast-forward to Saturday shall we? We had planned to be at the church two hours early so we could get things ready, but we missed our bus by about 10 seconds so instead of a ten minute trip, it turned into an hour... yup! But we got there, and the Elders had filled the font and were making cookies. #CHAMPS. We were a little stressed, but soon enough, Ricardo walked in.  IN A SUIT!!! I almost started crying! We showed him the font, got him his clothes and started handing out programs. 
It was BEAUTIFUL! I couldn't describe his baptism if I wanted to.  And for the first time in ALL HISTORY, Ricardo was SPEECHLESS! haha! When he came back in the chapel for the rest of the meeting, I asked him how he felt and he just said ".....bubbly?..." haha! He didn't know how to describe it. I gave the talk on the Holy Ghost (first talk in English since my farewell) (That was rough) #should'vebeenpåNorsk... But hopefully it turned out alright.  Then the Eduardo family, (One of the best families in the whole ward) sang "I am a Child of God" in Portuguese! Needless to say, the baptism was perfect!
After the Baptism, I got a call from President Hill. One of the sisters went home, so the sisters have to move around a bit... so I'm headed to OSLO on Wednesday.  That was a shocker! Saying as it's only two weeks into the transfer. I'm so sad to leave Drammen, Ricardo, and Søster Larsen, but again, like every transfer call, as soon as he said it, it felt right.  So I'm headed to the BIG CITY! I'm just SO glad that the baptism happened first!

The next day, he came to church in his suit again, and apparently, the bishop asked him to give a talk!!! I love this ward!!! So after Ricardo was confirmed, he went up to the stand, pulled the microphone down and in the best Norwegian he could, bore his testimony.  My favorite part -> "I look out at all of you, and I can say, you really are my family.  It means so much.  Because of my mistakes, I've lost my family, but now I can say, I truly have a BIG family"  yup! I was BAWLIN! :') Ricardo has changed my life. Absolutely changed my life.  I'm going to be friends with that man for a LONG time.  In Norway, it's rare for a missionary to meet someone on the street and stay long enough to see their baptism.  I'm SO thankful I got that chance.  I love Ricardo.
So since I will be leaving on Wednesday, Sunday also was my "saying goodbye to the ward" sunday.  This ward is so big and even though I tried my best, I still didn't get to know everyone, so that's a bummer, but I said goodbye to some ward favorites and during sacrament meeting, they announced that I would be leaving, and the member of the bishopric who was announcing looked around until he could make eye contact with me and said, "Thank you so much for your service here in Drammen." I think that was the first time someone looked me in the eye and really thanked me.  So of course.... again.... for the third time in two days... I started crying... GAH! Before this week, I hadn't cried once since being in Stavanger! grr... anywhoo...
I think that's all the big news for this week. Some other funpoints:
-We played sand volleyball with the elders and the ward mission leader this morning. WAY FUN!
-Found some SERIOUS anti material at one of our less actives house...
-Sister Training leaders came and sister Hartley will be leaving this week! LOVE THAT SISTER!
-One of the Elders that went home last transfer is engaged and the WHOLE ward is talking about it...
-The bishop here looks like James Marsden
-There was a youth mission prep activity this week, so I got to see one of the youth from STAVANGER, Annett! 
-Casper went to the temple to do baptisms (found out from Annett) :)
WELP! I think that's about it! OH!! Here's my new address as of this Wednesday:
Breiens Vei 19
1165 Oslo

There we go!  I sure do love you family! I know this church is true! It's changing my life! I thought I knew earlier in my life, but I'm pretty sure I was just saying things that sounded nice. I love telling random people on the street about God and that He loves them.  It is SO true! This is SO real! LOVE YOU ALL!
-Søster Heywood

 Ricardo's baptism

 Ward members

Beautiful places in Drammen

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