Monday, August 3, 2015

Teaching Isaiah :)‏

July 27, 2015

Hallo! God dag! Heisann! And all those other Norwegian greetings!
I have to start by thanking the fam for praying for Ricardo this week.  He is doing just great!  We met with him last Monday, and set a baptismal date for the 12th of August! He told us, "If I'm going to be baptized, I need you two to help me prepare." We were like yup! That's why we're here buddy boy! We taught him on Monday about the Word of Wisdom, and he told us that ever since coming to church, he wanted to stop because he could smell the smoke on himself while he was at church.  He also told us that coffee would be really hard to stop, but he said as the week went on that he could feel the Spirit leave ever time he drank it.  So he just stopped! He reads in the Book of Mormon more than we do probably.  He started reading the Book of Mormon with the ward for their summer reading challenge (about 4 chapters a day), but not only that, he STUDIES the chapters again and again throughout the day.  WE met with him and the Bishop on Friday and by the end of the lesson the bishop said, "Ya'know Ricardo, missionaries have a special term they use to describe people like you.  They call them GOLDEN INVESTIGATORS".  Half of me was like, WOAH! Bishop! Don't let him in on our secrets! then the other half was watching Ricardo react with a big smile at the idea of being called Golden.  With everything we teach Ricardo, he just nods and says "That makes sense" or "I felt that way as a kid. I already know that's true". He came to church on Sunday with a newly bought white shirt and tie.  Less people came up to talk to him this week and I think it was because he looked like a member! haha!
Though, something else about Ricardo, he loves to talk! We knew that when we first met him.  At first nothing of what he said made any sense at all and sometimes he'll still go on his rants, but now he comes to a conclusion that is wonderful and inspired! For example, we were sitting by the river teaching him this week and he said something along the lines of, "Look at the water.  It's almost completely still, you can almost see the reflection of the buildings on the other side.  Why do you think that is? *Insert theory of water and wind movement here* now if you think about that, I guess that's in a way how my life is right now.  I couldn't see anything clearly because nothing in my life was still or peaceful and now that I'm finding peace, I can see things clearly now." And that is why sister Larsen and I have decided to call him Isaiah.  Because he goes on and on about things that don't seem to make very much sense, but when you give him time, and really try to understand, the conclusion is something incredible! Not that I completely understand Isaiah now, but I'm beginning to understand Ricardo.
Our investigator Møyfrid also came to church! That was her first time coming since I've been here.  She fit right in with the members as well :) She has been an investigator for a long time, so a lot of the members know her too! 
Eline and Brede came to Drammen for an eye appointment with Eline, so Eline texted me and asked what I was doing.  We were on our dinner break, so I told them that they could come to the church if I could share something with them. They agreed of course.  So they came to the church and showed me pictures from their trip to Utah ;) Then I shared Ether 12:27.  I shared your story, Mom, about being called as the Relief Society President and how you didn't feel quite ready for that. Then I told them how I had had some hard times on my mission that have really humbled me and how my weaknesses really have been made strong through God's help.  After I bore my testimony, Brede told me how he had been humbled through meeting our family as well.  Right as we finished up talking, Ricardo walked in 45 minutes early to his appointment just because he wanted to sit in the chapel and read :) Whatcha gonna do eh?
Since it was pioneer day this last week I decided to read "Our Heritage" as part of personal study.  It basically starts with Joseph Smith and tells the history of the church up until today.  I'm just amazed every time by the stories of those that crossed the plains.  today I read about a man that came in one of the handcart companies, and a few years after arriving, he heard some church members criticising how the church had let it's members do that.  The man stood and said how thankful he was to be part of that group and how none of the survivors ever complained because through their experience, they gained a relationship with God unlike any other. 
That hit me hard today.  I don't know all the reasons that we on the earth have to go through so many hard things. But maybe one of the reasons is simply to strengthen our relationship with God.  Like this guy from the handcart company,  I don't regret a single hard day on my mission. The hard times just bring me to my knees to stand up stronger and better than I was before.  God gives us the chance to do that everyday! Why not take it?
I love you family!! Keep being strong.  Keep bearing your testimonies (with words if necessary).  And never forget who you are!
Ha det godt!
-Søster Heywood

p.s. Walking a half hour home in the pouring rain? Yup! We know we look like drowned rats :)

My picture wall.

Our bedroom.

Our bathroom

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