Monday, November 30, 2015

"Takknemlighets dag?... Jeg vet ikke."‏

Kjære Familie!
Ok, first to explain the title... We were eating Thanksgiving at President's house on Thursday and he said that in his prayer.  Norwegian doesn't have a word for Thanksgiving since they don't even celebrate it, so President basically said, "Thankfulness's day?... I dunno." It was pretty great.  President is pretty good at Norwegian  though.  I'm always impressed.
Let's see... On Monday all of the missionaries in Oslo, Sandvika, and Drammen got together to have a turkey bowl football game, and though I may be getting better at soccer, my football skills..... just don't exist at all.  But it was fun running around on the ice and trying not to die...
That's another thing, we've had a little bit of snow, but mostly it's just rain and ICE!  Tuesday was really bad.  Sister Firth was backing down our driveway, and the car just turned to the side and slid down sideways the whole way! SO SCARY! And that's with winter tires.  And since I know you're all wondering, I'll have you know I only fell down three times that day.  Not too bad eh? I think I'm emotionally attached to the gravel they put on the ground so you don't slip. :)
We did a lot of solo contacting this week so we can talk to more people.  We really need new investigators.  We're working hard and the Lord has been setting people in our path.  For example,  last Monday, we were contacting in Sandvika and I saw this guy (Arthur) with his hoodie up and earphones in, looking at the ground.  Probably the most unapproachable human being ever.  But I was like, welp! Why not? So I walked up and started talking with him.  We had a really awesome little chat about who God is and at the end he was like, "I think God knew I needed help tonight, thanks"  WHAT? Who says that?  We agreed to meet up again on Saturday to teach him the first lesson.  And we did.  We found him in the same spot, with his hoodie up, waiting for us.  We gave him a Book of Mormon and he immediately asked us where our favorite scriptures were.  At the end of the lesson we asked him if he had any questions and he said, "Just one." Then he turned to me and asked, "Why did you talk to me the other night? No one talks to me. Why did you?" I felt my eyes start to water up. (Yup, that still happens) I told him that it was because God was reaching out to him and helped me open my mouth.  I told him how much God loved him.  It was one of those moments that I felt the spirit telling me that what I was saying was true.  I know God loves Arthur.

But since missions are a rollercoaster, there had to be some hard things too right?  We had to drop another one of our investigators after he plainly told us that he didn't really care to know if the church was true.  We bore our testimonies and did our best, but he just didn't care.  That was a bummer.  
We got a phone call on Friday asking if the missionaries could sing in Sacrament meeting on Sunday.  How's that for short notice? I'm pretty sure it turned out okay though.  We sang "It Came upon a Midnight Clear" in Norwegian.  I LOVE when we can officially start singing Christmas songs in Sacrament meeting! Iz da BESST!!
Couple more fun things:
-We helped the Brostrums clean out an old elders apartment. No one has lived there for about a year.... SO GROSS. So so gross.
- Grakum sent me a story of how she moved from Illinois when she was 15.  We shared it with Eline's family on Saturday.
- Eline is pretty much a professional chef.  Like... she should open up her own restaurant... :) mmm.  Also, she gave us a string of presents one to open every day until Christmas.  I love her.
-Check out this website:
-Ricardo is going to the temple the first week in March! AH! Just for baptisms, but still! AH! He's the best.
-Visited a 90 year old lady that probably passes out more Mormons Boks than we do.  She always has a BIG smile on her face and people are always asking why she is happy.  She tells them, "Because I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and I have a Book for you." WHAT?  She's da bomb!
I studied D&C 103 this week during personal study.  There is a verse there that talks about giving your life for the work of God.  Until this week, I always assumed that meant dying.  This week it hit me that it means to live each day for the work of God.  His work and His glory is to bring to pass the immortality and the eternal life of man.  He wants our help.  Not because He needs it.  I mean, He's God.  He doesn't need us to do this work.  WE need us to do this work.  Being a part of helping people receive eternal life helps us.  god allows us to share in the joy of His work.  Isn't He the best?
I love you family!! Have an awesome week!!!
-Søster Heywood

p.s. takk for the Christmas Package!!! I'll be spending the next month staring at presents, and loving every minute! 
p.p.s Our investigator Magni and I next to a weird deer\rabbit statue :) 

p.p.p.s Borghild and I :)  (She's the one that passes out all the Mormons Boks)

Happy Thanksgiving!!!‏

November 23, 2015

Kjære Familie,
Holy Smokes has it really been a week since I last emailed.  Asker time has just flown by, and I keep praying for time to move slower, but we'll see how that works out... :) Man, what even happened this week... let's see...
We hit the streets like crazy this week and found two new people to teach.  We had set return appointments with them, then by the end of the week right before their appointments, they each sent a text saying that they weren't interested anymore. DOUBLE WHAMMY! Uff... That was rough.  But hey, at least they both have a Book of Mormon and know where to find us now. #plantthemseeds
There is an awesome member here who is really into the Doctrine and Covenants so we're meeting with her once a week so she can help us understand.  (Since personal study is mostly book of Mormon and PMG, there hasn't really been enough space or time to study D&C).  Luckily I have the rest of my life to study the scriptures :) 
We got sick this week... both of us... No worries, we were still hitting those streets hard, but oi! It was SO cold!  It has been around -5 C to -7 C. This is literally the coldest I've ever been in my entire life.  I feel like I have ice crystals growing on my face.  Okay, that was a little dramatic, but really though.  Super cold.  Last year when I was in Ålesund, it was mostly rain and wind, but never quite got this cold.  And it's not even december yet. Oh Norway... how I love ya! :) 
Our investigators are doing great.  Just gotta get them to church. We invited Adrian and his family, and he came!  He brought Belle, his little three year old daughter.  She is ADORABLE! She speaks Norwegian, Chinese, and a little English, but to her, it's all one language, so none of us can really understand her.  It's so funny.  After church yesterday, the ward had a Thanksgiving dinner.  They don't celebrate Thanksgiving here, but they mostly did it for the missionaries so we could feel at home.  I love this ward.  They had Elder Parkinsen, one of the Aps, stand up and explain a little bit about Thanksgiving and why and how we celebrate it.  He said, "I promise, it's not just another excuse Americans have to eat food." haha! These members though! They make turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc... they went all out! That was probably the most American food made by Norwegians I've ever eaten. :) Though they missed the stuffing.... ;) I'll forgive them. haha!
We also had Zone conference this week!  Sister Hill wanted us all to wear the most "norwegian" things we had.  so naturally, I had to wear the beautiful skirt that Eline made. #she'sthebomb!  Sister Firth had also bought a Marius sweater when she was in Ålesund, so we were twinners! aww! presh! I know I know... we're too adorable ;)  We went to Eline's house for dinner afterwards and she just happened to be wearing hers too.  Let me tell ya, we were all just stylin'!
Zone conference was great though.  I love President and Sister Hill.  So much.  They are the greatest!  The conference was about being a successful missionary and how we define success.  I'll be honest, in Norway, missionary work is hard, and it's hard to feel like we're making any progress at all.  So it's hard to feel successful.  But if our commitment and obedience level is at it's highest, we are successful.  When those two things are in check, the rest kinda falls into place.  Let's just say, I had a lot a really tough questions answered this zone conference.  :)
Other little tidbits from this week:
-Eline made this really yummy homemade garlic bread mmmmm.... she so flink :)
-We had a district lunch on tuesday and we ate way too many Norwegian waffles.
-We won the gospel conversation competition I mentioned last week.  The prize was a statue of a dog... :) Zone leaders are weird... haha! But hey! We kinda have an apartment pet now. Now taking suggestions for names :)
- Snow is here!!
- I forget sometimes that we don't travel everywhere by train in Utah... that's lame :)
I love you family!! I know the church is true.  Jesus Christ wasn't just a good person that lived a long time ago.  He is the Son of God and our Savior.  He loves us whether we love Him back or not.  He died for us whether we believe it or not.  He is our Redeemer and my best friend.  He makes change and peace possible.  The Book of Mormon testifies of Him.  The Book of Mormon is true.  I know that.  God loves us and He has a plan.  
Have a great week!! HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!
Love, Søster Heywood


 1- Sunrise right out our window... at about 10:30

2- Marius twinners!

3- Our first place trophy!

These next four photos are of our apartment in Asker


November 16, 2015

Hey family!
I hope you've all had a fantastic week! I feel like no matter how long I've been on my mission there is always something I have to learn.  This week it was humility.  Now before you get ready for some crazy embarrassing moment leading to humility, you should probably know that Sister Firth was writing a talk with that topic this week, so it was basically the hot topic of conversation in the apartment. :) But I've learned a lot.  I think it's hard sometimes to balance between being confident and being humble.  It is possible to be both.   The key is to be confident IN THE LORD.  If we believe we can do this alone, we can't.  If we believe we can't do this alone, and turn to the Lord, we can. 
Yup! Humility. but I'll hop down off the soapbox and tell ya what actually happened this week :) *side note* I am SO thankful I don't have to preach on a soapbox.... That would be the worst...
So our zone did a competition this week to see who could get the most gospel conversations, i.e. conversations with people on the street that end with a commitment.  So, that was super motivating and made contacting a lot more fun :) Søster Firth and I usually contact on separate sides of the street.  One day this week, an older man saw me get rejected pretty bad and asked me if I was a Jehovahs Witness.  I said, "no, I'm a Mormon".  He told me how he was so fascinated by religion and was trying to really find out what they each believed.  He hadn't learned about Mormons yet, so I gave him a Mormons Bok, and asked if we could meet up again.  Unfortunately, he was leaving the next day to Nepal to study Hinduism and doesn't know when he'll be back.  But still! SUPER cool guy!
Last week, Sister Firth got a text from this guy named Trym. We had no idea who it was, but basically, the text was like, "Hi, I gave it more thought, and I have some questions about baptism."  WHATT??? We didn't even have his number.  So we met with him this week and I'm not even kidding, the guys brings out his copy of the Book of Mormon COVERED in notes.  Then he pulls out a full piece of paper covered back and front with questions.  Everything from "Why weren't the gold plates in the hands of the Native Americans?", to "Do I need to agree to everything if I want to be baptized?".  He was so sincere with everything and really wants to understand.  What a cool cat!
Other random notes:
-It snowed today!! YES!!! 
-I'm never going to get over Norwegian sunrises! BEAUT!
-A guy stopped me on the street.... then asked me out... I felt kinda like...uhmm.. "Don't you see this woman is a NUN!?!?!?!" -Nacho Libre 
-Sister Hill made us Navajo tacos yesterday! mmmmmmmmhhhmmmm!
-Grakums side of the family is officially connected to us on FamilySearch :)
-Eline came to church with me :)
- is a story about a member that lives here.  It was in the Ensign!! Read it and be inspired!  Music is AMAZING!
How about an awesome story from James E Talmage to close eh? Bee Thou Humble! ;)
The Parable of the Unwise Bee
Sometimes I find myself under obligations of work requiring quiet and seclusion such as neither my comfortable office nor the cozy study at home insures. My favorite retreat is an upper room in the tower of a large building, well removed from the noise and confusion of the city streets. The room is somewhat difficult of access and relatively secure against human intrusion. Therein I have spent many peaceful and busy hours with books and pen. I am not always without visitors, however, especially in summertime; for when I sit with windows open, flying insects occasionally find entrance and share the place with me. These self-invited guests are not unwelcome. Many a time I have laid down the pen and, forgetful of my theme, have watched with interest the activities of these winged visitants, with an afterthought that the time so spent had not been wasted, for is it not true that even a butterfly, a beetle, or a bee may be a bearer of lessons to the receptive student?
A wild bee from the neighboring hills once flew into the room, and at intervals during an hour or more I caught the pleasing hum of its flight. The little creature realized that it was a prisoner, yet all its efforts to find the exit through the partly opened casement failed. When ready to close up the room and leave, I threw the window wide and tried at first to guide and then to drive the bee to liberty and safety, knowing well that if left in the room it would die as other insects there entrapped had perished in the dry atmosphere of the enclosure. The more I tried to drive it out, the more determinedly did it oppose and resist my efforts. Its erstwhile peaceful hum developed into an angry roar; its darting flight became hostile and threatening.Then it caught me off my guard and stung my hand—the hand that would have guided it to freedom. At last it alighted on a pendant attached to the ceiling, beyond my reach of help or injury. The sharp pain of its unkind sting aroused in me rather pity than anger. I knew the inevitable penalty of its mistaken opposition and defiance, and I had to leave the creature to its fate. Three days later I returned to the room and found the dried, lifeless body of the bee on the writing table. It had paid for its stubbornness with its life.To the bee’s shortsightedness and selfish misunderstanding I was a foe, a persistent persecutor, a mortal enemy bent on its destruction; while in truth I was its friend, offering it ransom of the life it had put in forfeit through its own error, striving to redeem it, in spite of itself, from the prison house of death and restore it to the outer air of liberty.Are we so much wiser than the bee that no analogy lies between its unwise course and our lives? We are prone to contend, sometimes with vehemence and anger, against the adversity which after all may be the manifestation of superior wisdom and loving care, directed against our temporary comfort for our permanent blessing. In the tribulations and sufferings of mortality there is a divine ministry which only the godless soul can wholly fail to discern. To many the loss of wealth has been a boon, a providential means of leading or driving them from the confines of selfish indulgence to the sunshine and the open, where boundless opportunity waits on effort. Disappointment, sorrow, and affliction may be the expression of an all-wise Father’s kindness.Consider the lesson of the unwise bee!
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Prov. 3:5–6). 
I love you family!!! Have an amazing week!!! The church is TRUE! 
Love Søster Heywood
p.s. christmas packages can be sent to the mission home :) 

Monday, November 9, 2015

I live in a cloud... :)‏

Hey family!
Mørketid has officially begun and each day it get's dark 15 minutes earlierthan the previous day.  It's crazy! It now starts getting dark around 5 p.m.! And the sun isn't up until 9! And it's just getting darker.  Uff da.  Also, THE FOG!!!! I have never seen fog this thick in my life.  I get claustrophobic sometimes.  It was like that pretty much all week long, and then came Sunday with BEAUTIFUL clear sky! It's amazing the things you take for granted. 
The two of us got invited to dinner at President's house (along with the Nordstrand Sisters, and The Bodø Sisters).  The four of them were there as "Family History Leaders" So they will be traveling the mission talking about how we can better use family history.  After dinner, we shared stories about our ancestors. Sister Hill shared about her Norwegian ancestors too.  I thought about Joseph Leland Heywood and his conversion story, and how Joseph Smith helped cut the ice in the Mississippi river so he could be baptized.  The Spirit was so strong as we all shared! Than we got a challenge: Start collecting not only names, but stories of our family.  So.... Anyone reading this who is related to me in anyway, please find one story of an ancestor of ours and send it on over to me :) That would be superb! Tusen takk!!
Yesterday, Oslo Stake had their Stake Conference and oh man! I have never seen that many Norwegian mormons in one room! It was AMAZING! And all of the members from Oslo were there so I got to catch up with a few of them.  I know I've said this about a bajillion times, but I LOVE these members!!! They are so good! I was walking out in the foyer of the church and all of a sudden Sister Sorensen calls out, "Sister Heywood turn around!" I turned to see the Bjergas coming into the church!! Who are the Bjergas you ask? Probably one of the best member families in all of Norway.  And they are from Stavanger! I hadn't seen them since May! I seriously almost started crying! Stavanger is not in Oslo Stake, so I have no idea why they traveled across the country to come to the wrong Stake Conference, but I'm really really REALLY glad they did!  I can honestly say that their home in Stavanger is where I have felt the most at home here in Norway.  Johannes, the dad, plays guitar and would always play for us, Johanna, the mom, is just SO loving and honest and GOOD! So yeah! definitely a tender mercy to see them again!
I also got to see my best friend Tora Nyman again, and she gave me the cutest little note ever! AH! These people! I could honestly go on for ever and ever about them.  

As an update from last week, I am still SO SORE! But I'm pretty sure most of it is from soccer on Saturday.  Norwegians are all crazy good at soccer and it is so hard to keep up! But I'm getting better.
As far as investigators go, we met with an awesome lady named Magni this week.  She is a single mom, and Norwegian!! I swear, most of the people we teach don't come from Norway so it is always awesome when we get to teach Norwegians.  She is so sincere, and she really sees how this could help her if it is true.  Which it is.  So that's lucky ;) Really though, I've been feeling just so lucky lately.  The gospel is SO amazing and SO true.  I'm so lucky to know that.
Contacting this week has kinda been like trying to hand out a 100 dollar bill on the street and no one will take it.  But then again, it's just a peice of paper until people try to use it.  Same with the gospel.  Question is, how do we get more people to try? :)  but we have found some pretty awesome people that are open to meeting again.  Sister Firth met a girl on the train who had met with the missionaries before and wanted us to visit again!  Sister Firth hardly did anything.  This girl was just prepared.  All Sister Firth had to do was open her mouth.  There are prepared people here :) sometimes I forget that.
Welp family, I love you all so much! I think about you all the time.  I love talking to people on the street about my family and how we get to be together forever.  Thank you all so much for the prayers, and emails! Ya'll are amazing!
Ha det!
Søster Heywood!

 1- Johanna Bjerga and I :)

2- Sandvika Church

Monday, November 2, 2015

So Sore!

*Hey FAM!!
Okay, let's just start this one out with a little confession.  So you know how missionaries should exercise every morning from 6:30 to 7:00? Yeah, let's just say that that area has been slackin over the last few months. (Ya know... rain and other excuses)  BUT! Sister Firth and I want to be better at that so we have been running... a TON! Like the entire half hour without stopping! I know that to a lot of people reading this that isn't too bad, but just throw Norwegian fog and rain on top of it :) It's a downright blast!! haha! But seeing as it had been a few months since any REAL exercise had happened, we have been so sore! It's nice.  We played soccer with some members on Saturday and after that... we were just dead.  Uff da. But hey! It's better than the stretches and "crunches" that we were doing before :)
As far as the actual missionary work side of things... Asker is awesome, and the Sandvika ward is SPECTACULAR! I have never felt more welcome in a new ward before.  Sometimes when you are a new missionary in the ward it feels like you're running for President, constantly trying to earn trust and get members to like you.  I didn't have to do that here.  Every member I made eye contact with came up to me, shook my hand, and said, "Er du ny?" It was so nice.  It's definitely a smaller ward, in fact I would say it's the smallest ward I've served in.  (Other than Ålesund of course).  There's about 80-100 people that come every week.  It's nice though.  That way we can work a little more personally instead of just trying to remember the names of 300 people. 
Also, President and Sister Hill and the office couple, the Brostrums are in our ward! So that's rad! They are all so good with the members!
Our investigators are great. (at least the ones I've met so far). We are teaching a couple from China who have the cutest little 3 year old girl!  We watched Finding Faith in Christ with them and had an awesome talk afterwards.  We are also teaching a lady named Karimatu who has such a strong desire to know if this is true.  She kept saying, "I just want to understand".  I wish more people would realize like she does that that is why we're here.  We're here as missionaries to invite people to come unto Christ and find truth.  We aren't here to increase the church membership or trick people into the water.  We have found something that gives real peace and happiness, and we just invite people to try and see if it does the same for them.  We invite people to experiment.
Sister Firth and I had a rough contacting night last night.   Here's the thing.  Asker city is smaller than Oslo city.  By a long shot.  And there just aren't too many people on the streets at 7 in the evening.  But we felt like we should be there, so we kept going through the almost empty streets (All 5 of them!).  We stopped everyone we saw and usually before we could say much, they turn and walk away.  Sånn er det.  Finally, we decided that we would talk to one more person, then call it a night.  We talked to a girl who wasn't sure if God existed or not.  She opened up a little to us and told us that her best friend had just passed away 5 days ago.  We told her about the
 Plan of Salvation and that she would see her friend again.  She put her hands over her heart and said a sincere thank you.  She had to leave, and she said she wasn't ready to meet and talk more, so we gave her a Plan of Salvation pamphlet, and a card with our number.  Who knows if she'll call, but I know that she needed to hear that. 
As far as other fun facts about Asker and Sister Firth:
-Sister Firth went to Wasatch High School and knows Sister Horner (2nd wasp companion...What am I gonna do with these girls...? ;)
- Our house is on this long stretch of road that kinda has a Morgan Valley Drive feel to it... Lots of farmland..except like... with the ocean :)
- In Asker sentrum there is a giant statue of a reindeer kneeling like a human... it's weird and big... Pictures to come next week :)
- There are 6 missionaries total in the ward, 4 Elders, and us. 
- The drive to Sandvika is about 15 minutes so it's kinda like a Morgan/Mountain Green deal going on... except bigger
- Our study area is huge and we already have a Christmas tree in the apartment!
- There is a barnehage (preschool) in a teepee in a field across our house.  I want to go to preschool in a Teepee!!!
- Sister Firth had 120 stitches in her finger! And was the captain of her soccer team in high school. 
Yup! That's about all the random facts I've got for you today. I love you all so much.  The church is true, and even more than that, the gospel is! This world is absolutely crazy, but there is a way to find real peace.  That's awesome.
Ha det godt!!!
-Søster Heywood
*Teepee preschool!
*My adorable companion!
Teepee Preschool!

My adorable companion!

Chocolate Factory on Monday.

Last time at the palace.

A member in Oslo, Anne.  this is the second pinapple she has bought me.  (I told her how I always used to get them for my birthdays :)