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