Monday, June 24, 2013

I know that this is Jesus Christ's church and that Jesus Christ leads and directs it today through his prophet Thomas S. Monson.

Hallo!  det er godt å høre fra deg igjen denne strålende dagen! (Hello! It is good to hear from you again this glorious day!)

I have to say that your letter was pretty full of some ups and downs.  I am so sad to hear about Aunt Sandy.  Please tell her how much I love her and that I am so thankful for all the love and support that she gave me while I worked in the temple with her.  I wish her the best and I will be praying for her.

As far as your questions though... no there has been no travelling this week.  We just worked Narvik for the first whole week since we got here.  That made for what seemed like a long week.  Our potentials have been rather difficult to turn into investigators, essentially no one answers their phone.  Yes we do get fed, once a week.  The branch president has us over every Sunday for dinner.  Other than that I make a lot of peanut butter and honey sandwiches, pasta, burritos, stir fry, or hotdogs. Those are the staples of the missionary diet.  Every morning I have Granola cereal with yogurt, and sometimes a banana.  But ya, I think that I am still losing weight.  Last time I checked I was at 229. So I am getting back to high school weight!  I recently got p90x from one of the other missionaries and put it on my jump drive, so I do that 3 times a week.  

As far as the summer solstice, yes it gets celebrated but, nothing huge, just bonfires at midnight.  It was rainy here though that night so we didn't do it even though we had permission.  And yes, it is light 24\7.  The sun never goes down, hasn't since I got here 4 weeks ago.

Now about the week.

Things here have been pretty crazy.  We have had some very interesting experiences this week, to say the least.  We have had some serious ups and downs. This week might have topped the list for the longest week in the mission too... but I honestly wouldn't trade it for the world.  

Bad things first I guess... this week has been a lot of tracting.  I mean a lot.  We would work all day.  5 hours contacting on the main street, just walking up and down it, and then 3 hours of doors at night.  Most of the time just looking for people in the rain. So that was a little interesting. We have a lot of potentials that we are trying back to get to be investigators with not much luck as well.  BUt that being said, I now come to the experience of the week.  

When the Travelling Ap's were here Elder T and I had banked a street and given a book of mormon to a philipino kid.  He was way nice and said that he would read and we could come back in a week.  So this week Elder M and I tried to do just that.  We arrive at the house and try and ring the doorbell, it didn't sound like it worked so we decide to knock.  We see a shadow walk by the front door right after we do that so we assume that they are going to open up.  We wait a minute or two and nothing had happened.  So we decided to knock again. Just as we do so I here something strike the ground behind me, maybe 10 yards away.  I look behind me to find our Book of Mormon.  It had been cast out of the 2nd story window. I figured that means that they were not interested so we started walking away.  As I picked up the Book I realize was really had been done. The word Mormon had been cut out of the front cover, the back cover was ripped in half, some of the pages edges had been burned (an obvious attempt to try and set it on fire as they cast it out the window), the book completely destroyed.

I picked up the book and we left the house, never talking to whoever had done this.  

That was probably one of the most discouraging things that I had experienced, not only rejection but a literally attempt to destroy that which I know to be true.

So needless to say that was a hard experience.  But, after that we kept on working.  We had an amazing lessons with others.  One in particular being a man named M.  We had taught him the restoration before but we wanted to see how it was going with him and how it was going with the Book of Mormon we had left him.  We began to discuss and he told us about how he was beginning to be convinced that the Book was true.  I asked him if it was the words that were convincing him or if it was his feelings.  He then told me that it was his feeling that were telling him that the Book was true!

I echo that testimony. I know that if any honest seeker of truth reads the Book of Mormon they will know of its truthfulness.  I know because I have done that.  I know that this is Jesus Christ's church and that Jesus Christ leads and directs it today through his prophet Thomas S. Monson. 

We had many other great lessons throughout the week, some with people we taught others just to ourselves as we thought and pondered.  I have learned a great deal this week, and I am excited to continue to grow.

One of the other things that happened this week was that I finally had to give my first talk in Norwegian!  So that was yesterday!  I spoke about how happy missionary work makes us.  I shared my experience of my mission and how I am happier now than I ever have been.  How I have seen the gospel change the life of someone I know, how I receive joy as a result of seeing that person becoming a better person.

It really enjoyed the experience.

Now maybe to finish of with a funny experience...  One day Elder M and I were tracting.  We come across the street onto a new block and we look to our left and there is this abandoned house on our left. The weeds are almost as tall as us the paint chipping and falling off, the house in complete and utter disarray.  As we walk past we see these seagulls sitting on top like they own the place.  Just as we see them and they see us, and they take action.  They started dive bombing us and harassing us til we were half-way down the street haha.  Now every time we walk by the house they do the same thing.  We think that they actually have a nest or something on the top of the roof or something. 

The real funny part was when they began to do the same thing to the people behind us.  Some poor elderly woman couldn't really get away from them either.  

So that was some quality entertainment while contacting.

Anyways, that is about it.  I am still loving the mission, loving the people here, and loving the chance to be a missionary during this historic time.  We watched the conference to the mission presidents this morning and all I can say is wow.  We are so lucky to be living at this time to experience this kind of thing happening in the work.  

I know that if we seek to help others as we are motivated by love we will find success, that as we act on our love and faith the lord will bring miracles into our lives!  

Jeg elsker deg så mye!

Din sønn,
Eldste Jones

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