Monday, January 25, 2016

We Have Had Quite The Eventful Last Week!

January 25, 2016

Dear Family & Friends,

A sign of the city next to us, Sarpsborg,
that is celebrating their 1,000 year mark.
Yeah,1,000 years, that's a long time.
Warm weather is great... until it creates a slushy mess over the entire city haha!

We have had quite the eventful last week! Elder Arveseth got transferred to Oslo. We miss him, but it will only be a few weeks before we see him again at a Zone Conference. Elder McIntire came to replace Elder Arveseth. I'm still with Elder Mitchell, so that is exciting!

There was a worldwide missionary broadcast which we got to watch this last week. The focus was helping bring people to baptism. One thing that stuck out during the broadcast is that as missionaries, we "teach repentance, and baptize converts". We helped people become converted to Christ. It is after they become converted to Him, that we help them become baptized. One reason baptism is so important is that it allows us to receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost, by the laying on of hands. With that, we can have the Holy Ghost with us allows as a comfort and a guide for us in our lives.

We had a really fun experience this week. We met with an older lady this week for a lesson. She is one of the COOLEST people ever. She has practically been everywhere, seen everything, and done next to everything. Super cool lady. Anyways, we sat down to talk and she loves to talk a lot haha. But that's ok. It was really awesome to talk to her and teach her some more about the Christ's gospel. She has a desire to keep learning, so I'm really excited to see what happens!

This week's scripture comes from the Book of Ether in the Book of Mormon. In Ether 12:27 it says,

"27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."

I really like this scripture because it helps me see why we have our weaknesses, why we have our trials, and why we have our struggles. They help us become humbled. It is only in humility that we can grow and learn. When we think that we have it all figured out and are perfect at it, we quit trying to progress. In humility though, and with faith, what makes us we will become our strengths.

Pictures (sorry for the lack of pictures this week):


Elder Mickelson

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Zone Leader Training In Oslo This Last Week

The Fredrikstad State Church

January 18, 2016

Dear Family & Friends,

We had Zone Leader Training in Oslo this last week. It was a lot of fun! I got to see some of the guys from my MTC group, and I got to visit with everyone. We spent a lot of time talking about family history and how we can better be inviting others to do their family history work. It helped me realize how much we can learn about those that came before us, and the impact they made on why we are here.

We had an awesome experience this week. We were preparing for a lesson that we had. We weren't quite sure what we wanted to teach, so we decided that praying about it wasn't a bad idea at all. So with prayer and study, we both just felt a clarity on what this person needed to be taught. When the day of the lesson came around, we showed up, and throughout the lesson, the Spirit could be felt so strong. Hopefully, more progress will come because of it, but our testimony of receiving guidance by the Holy Ghost was strengthened because of it.
The river by our house with the sunrise and fog.

Norwegian driver's license! I'm now signed up to be taking my driving test in a couple months. Hopefully I get it, because that would be one of the coolest things to get, my very own, foreign driver's license. I'll just need to keep practicing. It's definitely interesting to see how it goes. As for now, I will just be waiting for the day to show up so I can take it!

I've thought about a part of the scriptures a lot lately. At the end of St John (ST John 21:, the resurrected Christ speaks to his apostle Simon:

" 15 ¶So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep."

There are many things which we have the opportunity to do. We have many opportunities to serve others. I believe that we should take some time and think about what Christ told Simon to do. What can we do to feed Christ's sheep? What can we do to lift another? What can we do for others to show our love for not only them, but for Christ? I believe that if we think about it, we will think of something that we can do for others.

By the way, transfers is this week, I'll be staying with my companion Elder Mitchell here in Fredrikstad for another transfer! Really excited for this transfer!


Elder Mickelson

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Snow! 8 Days Of Snow

Kids ice skating in the city
January 11, 2016

Dear Family & Friends,

Snow! It has snowed for the last 8 days, and it has barely ever stopped! It definitely feels like a proper Winter in Norway. I started asking around, and I guess that Fredrikstad doesn't normally get so much snow. There are spots that the snow is basically up to my knee. Although, most Places isn't too deep. It'll warm up every once in awhile and the snow will settle a bit. This last couple days have been above freezing, so naturally, we are walking around in a giant slush pile. It has made some great fun though having the snow. I got to go sledding! Super fun! It's been awhile since I've just thrown myself down a hill in hopes to go as far as I can! Such is life though. It's a blast here in Fredrikstad.
Overlook of Fredrikstad from
the top of the King's Hall

Elder Mitchell and I have been doing awesome here. It's been a blast this transfer. Our next transfer is next week. So we'll see how it all goes!

Now that Christmas is over, and New Year's is over, work has been picking up. We've been able to talk With more People and meet With others. It's really nice just to get back into the swing of things.

Tomorrow we'll be headed to Oslo for a Conference. It'll just be a short one so just a day trip! I'm realizing now, that when my mission is over, I will have no problem traveling anywhere. I'll be used to driving anywhere, flying anywhere, and taking any form of public transportation. With as much travel as we do here, I'm set for life!
Entrance to the King's Hall

I'd like to share a really great scripture that I've thought about a bit lately. In Alma, a book in the Book of Mormon, in 7:11-12 it says, speaking about Christ,

"11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities."

A cool picture from inside one
of the hallways of an old guard post
Many times in life, I feel as though we believe that we have to take on a trial by ourselves. Many times we feel alone, insecure, scared, uneasy, or whatever the case may be. We learn that we can have Peace. Christ came into the world to not only die for us, but to suffer that he would know how to succor us. So when the time comes that Our burden becomes too great to bear, and Our trials feel as though they will knock us over, we can turn to Christ. He suffered so he could understand us. He suffered because he loved us. Because he loves us, and because he has felt every physical pain, spiritual pain, and emotional pain, he knows how to heal us. He knows how to give the Comfort and Peace in Our lives so we can move forward, so we can continue in life With hope, With joy, and With determination. We live in a world that is increasing With Challenges, heartache, and sorrow, but it is through Christ, Our Redeemer, Our savior, that we can keep moving forward. No matter what we struggle With in life, Christ is there. He understands when no one else can. I've felt His love in my life. He's helped me find Peace in times that were not easy, and He can and will for anyone else. Christ waits for us With outstretched hands, it's just a matter of us accepting the help.

That's my thoughts for the week. I hope everyone has an awesome week!


Elder Mickelson

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2016 Has Rolled In With...

Elder Mitchell, Elder Christensen, Sister Lowater and I for New Year's Eve.
January 4, 2016

Dear Family & Friends,

2016 has rolled in with fireworks, celebrations, and plenty of laughs. People all around the world have begun their New Year's resolutions, many of which are sticking to them, and in a few months time, most people will have stopped for one reason or another. But that is okay! We have a desire right now to try and make our lives better. To improve. To be healthier. To be happier. Whatever the case may be, we all see that there is something greater out in the world. There is something that we can achieve. There is something greater than ourselves that we cannot even completely understand. But at the end of the day, we still recognize that we have the potential to be something better, to be a part of something greater. I hope that all of us take our resolution, realize that we can achieve it, and put our minds to it and accomplish our goals. When the going gets tough and we don't want to keep trying, when we want to give up, or when we can't find the motivation to keep progressing, I hope that we all look back at why we wanted to start in the first place. Remember what we wanted to accomplish. Remember why we knew it would be good for us. Remember how it would benefit us. And then remember that we all had faith in ourselves. We knew that we could do it. After that, keep going.

I'm hoping that was pretty inspirational. It probably was cheesy, but that's alright. It's true though. I guess we try a lot in life to better ourselves. We try to be better today than we were yesterday, and better tomorrow than we were today.

This week was incredible. I had so much fun. We got to spend a lot of time with the members here in Fredrikstad. Much of our time was spent being with the members and helping out with whatever we could.

Our fantastic dessert after the
New Year's Eve dinner
(notice the Ben & Jerry's ice cream
on the back of the island)
For New Year's Eve we got to travel to Sweden and celebrate with a family in our ward that lives there. I never thought that I would be in Sweden during my life, but things happen, and we get surprised! We had so much fun there. All of us missionaries in the ward got to go and it was just a really cool experience. We played games (I did really well at Uno and managed not to lose any friends because of it. Some feelings were hurt though by the end) and had dinner together. We had dessert afterwards, and I was extremely happy. We had Ben & Jerry's ice cream. It was delicious! It's not very easy to find in Norway, well for a low price. I found some right across the street from where I live at a gas station. Expensive, but I might be buying myself some. It's the first time I have seen in in the last 6 months.

Every New Year's at midnight, to ring in the new year, everyone lights off a bunch of fireworks. It felt like the Fourth of July, just with smaller and fewer fireworks, but still, a ton of fireworks nonetheless! It's really awesome to be surrounded in another culture to celebrate New Years. It's just really cool to see how others celebrate differently than you, but we still are celebrating for the same reason.

Yesterday, Elder Mitchell and I got to teach a small lesson during Primary class in church. We joined in for singing time with all of the little kids (super fun) and afterwards, shared our little thought. We shared how the scriptures are the word of God. We all talked about how we use both the Bible and the Book of Mormon to learn about Christ and that if we follow what we learn, we'll have better lives. I think that is a really great though. If we read the word of God, and apply it in our lives, we will not only be blessed, but we will see a change in ourselves. Over time, we will find ourselves being kinder to others, having more patience, and living a better life. We need to be reading the scriptures to know how we can be better people. It's the beginning of the new year! We can learn in the scriptures of how to live a better life this coming year!

I hope all of you have a wonderful week, a happy new year, and keep up on your resolutions! Happy New Year everyone!


Elder Mickelson

Below are some pictures from a District Meeting Training on family search on December 30, 2015.

Elder Mitchell

Elder Mickelson, Elder Mitchell, President & Sister Hill