Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Elder Mitchell and I (with Elder Arveseth photobombing) next to our Bishop's Christmas tree we got to help decorate after some REALLY amazing food.

December 21, 2015

Dear Family & Friends,

Merry Christmas everyone!  So I figured I'd start out and explain a little bit about Christmas here in Norway. I guess it'd be awkward for me to randomly explain in July, so I figured now would be a good time.

Christmas in Norway is practically better than sliced bread, which by the way, you slice your own bread at the stores. When you buy a loaf of bread, it's uncut. So there's a bread slicer at the store where you set the loaf inside of it and it comes out sliced. So because of being in Norway, I now understand why we can compare things to sliced bread. But, Christmas. Christmas in the United States lasts for two days, the 24th and 25th of December, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. In Norway, Christmas lasts for four days, December 23rd - December 26. The first day is Lillejulaften (Little Christmas Eve). The second is Julaften (Christmas Eve). The Third is Første juledag (First Christmas Day). The last is Andre juledag (Second Christmas Day).

Part of me feels that they have four days of Christmas so they can celebrate more... Part of me wouldn't actually be surprised. I think it's a genius idea. Who doesn't want Christmas twice as much? I think that all of us ought to begin celebrating Christmas for four days. Norwegians definitely figured out Christmas!

This week was incredible! We were SUPER busy With traveling and appointments and meetings. But, it made for a fantastic week! I want to share one experience we had this week. Elder Mitchell and I were preparing what to teach before we had our appointment. We didn't really know what to teach beforehand, but we just said a prayer and asked for the guidance that we would need to know the needs of those we'd teach. Afterwards, we both felt prompted to teach the same principle. When we finished the lesson, we both just knew that it was exactly what they needed. We had both just felt guided in what to say and what to teach. We just followed the impressions that we felt. Everything just worked perfectly. I don't really know how else to explain it. This week I learned the importance of just following promptings that we feel in our lives. When we do that, everything just works out how it's supposed to.

This last week we had a Zone Conference. We were able to take the train to Oslo and have our Zone Leader Training. It was really amazing to get to see some familiar faces from missionaries that used to serve way up North, and then also to be able to meet new people. It was a TON of fun.

I got to visit the King's Palace and a Christmas market. We got to see a bunch of other sites along the way!
Our Barbershop Quartet... well, quartet, staged in a barbershop

There was a Christmas fireside/talent show after the conference. The Fredrikstad Elders (us) and the Sister missionaries in Sarpsborg (the town next to Fredrikstad) got together for this Christmas program and did a barbershop quartet of Frosty the Snowman! It was fantastic. Well, not our singing, but it was entertaining! We had so much fun and everyone had a lot of laughs.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas! Have an amazing Christmas week everybody!


Elder Mickelson

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