Monday, September 28, 2015

Creeper saves the day!!!‏

Thank you so much for the email from everyone in the family!! Hayden, it was SO FUN for me to picture you saying those words even though you can't pronounce them. Takk google translate! ;) Heather, you look STUNNING in your homecoming dress, and Sarah, STOP GROWING, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
These week was full of some ups and downs and boring in betweens, but I'll try to give ya the general idea. :) 
We met with one of our investigators and talked about family history with him.  You guys.  Family.  Over these last couple months and with this lesson, I have a testimony of journal writing!  It is SO important.  Getting into the habit is hard, but it is SO important to remember.  I haven't kept a perfect journal on  my mission, but I have tried, and hopefully, as my kids or grandkids are preparing for their missions, I can have them read my journal.  Elder Lemon said that without keeping records, who we are as people on this earth is gone in about three generations if we're lucky.  So basically what I'm saying is get ready because I'll be interviewing you all when I get home (especially mom and dad). I want to hear stories :) Yup! There's that schpill... :)
I'm SOOOO excited for conference!!!! Oh man! This will be my third and last conference on the mission!... weird.  But Sister Randall and I haven't been able to talk about anything else! We are so excited!  Everybody be sure to watch! Then send me your favorite parts\quotes!
I love the members in Oslo so much.  We had lunch with the Relief Society President this week and we talked with her about the Atonement.  As we're talking, she just whips out a poem she wrote years ago that helped her understand the Atonement.  It's long, so I won't take time to write it here, but it is INCREDIBLE!!! She gave us each a copy.  We left the appointment agreeing that we didn't teach her at all. We needed that appointment.  Then at our ZLT on Friday, about 5ish members came to help (the theme was member missionary work).  It helped so much to see the members' perspective on the work that we do, and what they expect of and appreciate about missionaries.  SO helpful! These members are my favorite! 
There is on member in particular here I have become pretty much best friends with. (At least, I consider her one of my best friends).  She served her mission in Finland and knows the Londons. She has lived in Oslo only about as long as I have, and she is just SO GOOD!  At Institute on Friday, she asked if there was a time this week she could come contacting with us.  WHAT? This is a member asking to come contacting! As in talking to strangers on the street!  I told her I would definitely take her up on that! :) I love her so much!
Speaking of Institute, we really love going.  A lot.  And we can go if we bring a less active member or an investigator, so that was one of our goals for the week: Get someone to institute.  We tried all week with nothing, then on Friday, we went to visit a older lady, and on the way back, there was this pretty creepy guy in the elevator.  We gave him a pass along card and walked down to the train to go to our next appointment.  And he followed. When we got on the train, he was in the same car as us, and we just felt really uncomfortable, so at the next stop, we got off, and switched to a different car.  We never sit together on the train, so Sister Randall sat next to a girl who was about our age.  I was in a different conversation, but long story short, the girl wanted to come to institute! And she brought a friend.  They both really liked it and the lesson was about Jesus Christ.  Perfect! Creepy guy saves the day!
Some other fun things:
-the ward had a cowboy themed party this week and had all of the missionaries give their best cowboy accents.  One of the many times I'm thankful to be from Morgan :) It was SO FUNNY! Elder Lemon ended up winning!
-You know how we have apple pie? Well, in Norway they have apple cake, and it's AMAZING!!! Everyone makes it in the fall time! YUMMMMMM!!!!!
-A couple members threw Sister Larsen and Hoggard a birthday dinner yesterday.  They are the best! (And one of them is originally from Ålesund). Again... these members!
CHALLENGE FOR THE WEEK: Write in your journals everyday.  If you don't have a journal, GET ONE and start writing.  You'll never regret anything you write down.
I love you all!! Keep the faith! The church is true!
Love, Søster Heywood

Oslo Zone Leader Training

Cowboy Themed Ward Party

Monday, September 21, 2015

*I will be found of you*‏

Hallo family!
Crazy stuff this week.  SO MUCH happened! (and I'll have you know, Sister Randall has really helped me get a habit of writing in my journal EVERY NIGHT so I actually remember everything that happened this week) SCORE!
Last Monday Ricardo (from Drammen) sent me an email and said he would be in Oslo in the evening if we wanted to meet up. uh... SELVFØLGELIG (of course)! We met him by the palace, and he brought us both chocolate, (taking note of my favorite norwegian chocolate, SMIL which is basically like Rolos but SO MUCH BETTER!) He and I talked for a while while Sister Randall was on the phone and OH MAN! he is doing so good.  He has been helping to bless and pass the sacrament, and he teaches the missionaries the Preach My gospel lessons once or twice a week.  He opened his scriptures to show me Alma 26:15, and thanked me for giving him that chance.  I feel like I did nothing.  Absolutely nothing. He went on an on for an hour about the blessings he has been receiving. He's just so good! AH!
Wednesday was transfers and we got another 14 missionaries! So now officially half of the Elders in the mission are greenies and EVERY other Elder is training. Cray. Yup! We went to the mission home to return the car and got to meet them all. they were all SO jet lagged but SO happy to be in Norway.  Aw man! I remember that day like it was yesterday.  Those Elders don't even know the awesome stuff that is coming for them :)
Sister Randall woke up pretty sick halfway through the week, and Saturday we just decided to go home early so she could get some rest.  The journey home to Nordstrand that would have taken 15 minutes with a car took TWO AND A HALF HOURS on public transportation!! Uff da! Granted it was because there was a crash in the city.  But still!
Speaking of getting sick, I didn't! And I haven't... for my entire mission! So that's really awesome! Also, the other night, we were eating with a member, and after I had eaten two platefuls of this curry stuff with rice, she told us how she made it.... Coconut milk.  My heart kinda dropped and Sister Randall looked at me like... CRAP! We didn't say anything, but I was done anyway and we didn't want the member to feel bad.  But afterwards, we were walking back to the bus, and Sister Randall was like, are you okay??  I was fine.  And I stayed fine.  Does this mean I'm cured of being allergic to coconut?  I'm way confused, but WAY thankful that nothing happened.  Maybe it's just the Lord protecting His missionaries.  Love it when He does that.
We ate at another members house this week, which was a tender mercy in and of itself, but we messed up on the time and got there about 20 minutes early.  There were some people getting off of a bus stop a few meters away, so we stopped one of them, a 20ish year old kid that was pretty skeptical...until we brought up the Plan of Salvation.  We told him that we lived with God before and that we chose to come here because we wanted to be like him.  WE related it to a child wanting to grow up to be "just like daddy".  For some reason that really hit him and HE asked US if we could meet again and talk more about it.  Miracle! What if we hadn't have been early to that appointment?
The dinner appointment was so fun! One of the best EVER!  There were three adults there and 3 kids and we prepared my favorite spiritual thought: Hide and Seek.  We had the adults all hide, and had the little kids try and find them.  Of course, None of the adults are hiding especially well, and they were all found pretty quickly. We all came back to the table and read Jeremiah 19:12-14.  It talks about how the Lord hides sometimes, just to see if we will look for him,  verse 14 says "I will be found of you, saith the Lord."  He hides with the intention of being found easily, just like a parent hides form a child during the game of Hide and Seek.  The parent will stick out a foot, or make a noise, or even hide in the same spot that they have been found all the other times.  Our Heavenly Father gives us little hints and promptings as to where we can find him.  We can find Him by looking in places where we have found him before.  We just need to ACT and start looking.
Sister Randall have been studying the principle of prayer lately.  We both know for a fact that prayer works, but we've been asking questions and studying how and why it works.  On Saturday we went to a nonmember lady's house to do some yardwork, but instead of helping with the yard, she needed help with her cell phone.  So we tried to see what the problem was.  She had just lost her Sim card.  So we started looking all over her house for it.  We looked for about 20 minutes.  Last time we had come we talked about prayer with her.  She doesn't really believe in it, but in desperation, she said, "This is the only time I would ever pray".  I just smiled and said that that was a good idea.  She looked at me through pretty skeptical eyes, then agreed.  So I said a prayer, then we kept looking.  I kept praying in my head, "Heavenly Father, she really needs a testimony of prayer, please help us." Not a minute later, we found her card in a place that we had already looked.  It was a testimony to all three of us that prayer really works! God is SO aware of us!
That's about that for this week. Some other fun things:
-It's still hard not to hold little kids.
-We showed up an hour early to a dinner appointment.  #thoughtitwassixo'clock #itwasonly5 #SLOWDAY #whydidn'twerealizethat?
-It's Eline's birthday tomorrow and we're going out to dinner with her family!
-I gave a talk in church.  First time since Ålesund.... Oslo has more people than Ålesund...
-President randomly decided to come to the Oslo ward the one week I was giving a talk #takkprez
-I tried caviar.... It's gross... I thought it would taste like the orange things dad puts on sushi... not in Norway at least!
Mom's answers:
-Having no car has been crazy and we have been able to meet some awesome people because of it. :) And it's harder to estimate times we will be places.  Usually we're really late or really early.
-Elder Lemon teaches the English Institute class.  There are three classes taught every Friday and another one on Thursday.  Elder Lemon only teaches the one.

I love you all SO much! Sorry this week was really long! Enjoy the novel! The Church is True!!! Prayer works.  God loves us!
-Love Søster Heywood
 p.s. Selfies with our favorite 95 year old! :)

p.p.s. Soldiers marching up to the palace. Not sure why!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Can I go to the temple now?‏

Hey Familie! 
Wow, this week felt long.  Part of me feels like I did a ton of stuff this week and part of me feels like nothing happened.  Yup! It's one of those kind of weeks.  Not terrible, not amazing, just another week of serving the Lord, speaking Norwegian, and growing my testimony (Okay, maybe that is pretty amazing!)
This week is our last week with the car, so we made the most of it, and drove to all of the less active members that live super far away.  So that was LOTS of time in a car.  But it's ok. Later this week I'll beable to contact people on the busses and trains again. YAY! (didn't think I would ever actually miss that).
We visited and had lunch with a member this week, and talked about temples.  *Oh man!.... I seriouly cannot stress it enough how badly I want to go to the temple.  I hope you guys are okay with going on the way home from the airport in 6 months.  Really though.  We were all talking about the peace we feel in the temple and how it is a kind of peace that you really can't feel anywhere else on this earth.  there were so many times when I was at home that I just went to the temple because I was having a bad day.  I guess it just put things into perspective.  When I have hard times out here, all I want to do is go to the temple, but instead, I just think about it.  that helps alright :)
Anywhooo.... Eline and I and Søster Randall went to lunch this week at a Norwegian Food Festival!! There were so many different food from all around Norway. MAN! I love that girl so much!  We went to her school, saw her through the window, then contacted for a little while until her lunch break.  (Who knew her school was like 5 blocks from the institute center?) Speaking of Institute, to answer your question mom, The younger missionaries don't have any of the responsibility for it, but we are welcome to bring investigators and less actives. (So we try to do that so we can listen to Elder Lemon's awesome lessons) :) Elder Lemon is the best.  He is really good to answer any questions we have about the gospel.  We usually set asaide a dinner hour every week so we can eat and ask questions.  It's awesome! and the Lemons made all 9 of us missionaries waffles for breakfast on Saturday. Senior Couples are the BEST!
We had moves call on Sunday and neither I nor Søster Randall is leaving. (Hallelujah) I'm not sure what I would do if she left right now... This place is still kinda a maze to me.  Hopefully it will help to be on publlic transportation from now on. 
We met a really cool and open Norwegian man on the street the other day.  He told us that he didn't believe in God, but that he was willing to listen.  We got his number, then on a whim asked him to pray before we met up again.  He said he would, but we kinda forgot about it.  When we met with him on Saturday, that was one of the first things he mentioned.  He told us that he had prayed right before coming to meet with us.  He actually prayed!! We taught him about the Restoration with a big focus on praying in order to know the truth.  He was really interested in what it feolt like to us to feel the Holy Ghost.  He really is just so sincere.  We're excited to meet with him again :)
More fun things:
-Norwegian cheese is the BEST!
-Aviz asked me to summarize the entire Book of Mormon in sign language for her.  That was interesting...
-A less active lady named Astrid gave us about 5 gallons of soup to take home with us because she is worried we aren't getting fed enough.
-There are ALWAYS students from the university in church because they are studying different religions.  It's kinda awesome!
-The bishop called us "canaries in a mine shaft" during ward council.  He was referring to less active work.... yup! Takk bishop! haha
-Sister Hoggard and I were talking about plans for school after the mission.  I think I might go into speech therapy.
Welp! That's about it for this week! I love you all SO much!  
Challenge for the week: Find something during scripture studay that you never noticed before, then email me about it next week.  There is SO much to learn!
Love you! The Church is true.  
-Søster Heywood

Eline with Søster Heywood in Oslo (notice the cool phone booth)

Oslo missionaries

Monday, September 7, 2015

1 Year!.............wait what?‏

Okay, so there was this one time, like a couple of weeks ago that I was eating Costa Vida with my family on the way to the MTC.... Oh wait...
There is NO WAY it has been a year since that day! AH! Okay. Done with that part. Not thinking about it. La La La..
This week though! It was so good!  We met with the family again, and the mom leaned over to Sister Randall during dinner and told her that she really identifies with this church than she does with the Catholic church that she grew up in.  That is a MIRACLE because before, she was VERY VERY strong in her faith. Still is.  But now she is open to adding to it.  We are SO excited for them.  They are planning on coming to church this Sunday.  All 4 of them! YAYAYAYAYAY!
Another really cool thing. There is a member named Tora Nyman who just got home from her mission in Finland a few months ago. (Yup! She knows the Londons).  Last week at church she walked in and told us about a guy that she had met on the train on the way there.  She mentioned she was on her way to church, and he said that he was looking for a Christian church.  So she invited him to institute that Friday, and wanted us to come and teach him afterwards. Uhm... yep, I'm pretty sure we can most definitely do that... :D So fast forward to friday... Evans came to institute, loved it but was way confused, then we met with him afterwards.  He is actually from Zimbabwe and has lived in Norway for about a year.  When we handed him a Book of Mormon, he looked at the church logo on the back and realized that his house in Zimbabwe is right by one of the church buildings! WAY COOL! Also, we told him about the Book of Mormon and where it came from and his only concern was, "Wait, why doesn't everyone know about this book? This is really important!" We just said, "Yup! That's why we're here!" :) He's a champ.  Tora is a champ. yup. Aviz came to church again yesterday and I got to translate for her again.  It's a workout I'm telling ya.  She's doing well.  Our other investigator Eystein is getting baptized in Utah on December 19th. (A TON of his family lives there) He's basically a member and instead of teaching him the lessons for the 300th time, he just tells us what he wants to learn about.  So that's fun.  He calls himself a dry mormon :)
At Institute on Friday, (all the Ysa in the Telamark and East come to it), I saw Madelen, who just got taught and baptized in Skien.  She was taught by none other than the GORGEOUS Sister Horner! (My little girl is growin' up) *Wipe away a tear* Madelen and I basically talked about how awesome Sister Horner and Grubaugh are the whole time :) She's awesome.
Other fun things:
-Had lunch with a girl who was an exchange student in America.  She's not interested, but we ate some yummy pizza with her.
- Went to the KonTiki museum. Norway just keeps getting cooler.  I had no idea the guy who sailed the Kontiki was Norwegian. CRAZY! (Also, he proves that Lehi and his family definitely could have crossed the ocean way back then.) #butwealreadyknewthat
-Went on splits and met some people from Utah who were here on a cruise.  They were wondering we wanted them to look you guys up when they got home. :)
-Got flipped off.... that like NEVER happens here.  I kinda forgot it was a thing...
I know the church is true.  I mean, Norway is awesome and beautiful and breathtaking, but I'd be on the next plane out of here if I didn't know this was true.  I miss you all way too much.  I love my Savior Jesus Christ.  The Book of Mormon is SO TRUE! Read it every day!
Love you all!
Sister Heywood

 Madelen and I 

Kontiki Museum! (The actual ship!)