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

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