Monday, February 29, 2016

I Will Be Getting Transferred To Sandvika!

Amazing picture of Norway
February 29, 2016

Dear Family & Friends,

Crazy week! Yesterday we had moves call. We were just expecting Elder Mitchell move, and that I would stay. We learned that BOTH of us were moving! Elder Mitchell is getting transferred to Tønsberg and I will be getting transferred to Sandvika. I'll be serving with Elder Kemp, the man with the million dollar voice. Seriously though, he sounds like Johnny Cash. It's quite impressive.

It'll be really great to see what this next week holds in store!

-Eldste Mickelson

Epic picture of my name tag

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Went To A Nearby City Called Halden!

Elder Mickelson out by the fjord in Halden
February 22, 2016

Dear Family & Friends,

Halden Fort from the bottom.
Last P-Day we went to a nearby city called Halden... and visited a FORT!!! It was built over 400 years ago, and it is really cool. It's like one huge castle, without the castle. Kind of. Just a ton of huge stone walls and some fortresses inside, all of which is on top of a hill. It was loads of fun to explore! It's one of those places that you see only in pictures, and then you visit it, and it finally becomes a reality to you.

We had a zone conference in Oslo again this last week. One of the focuses at the conference was focusing our work. Through helping others understand the need for baptism, it would help bring more people to Christ. As missionaries, we teach repentance, and baptize converts. Through helping people understand Christ and his Atonement for us, people become greater converted to the Lord.
River through the middle of the city in Halden.

Work in Fredrikstad has been going awesome. Everything has picked up tremendously. In case you forgot this week's email title (I know you just looked at it again because I mentioned it), this week has been full of miracles. We had tried getting in contact with a person that we met previously on the street. Well, come to find out, through a series of problems, we weren't able to get in contact with them. That doesn't really help at all when you try to meet with them and you can't get a hold of them. We had been praying to come across this person again, and guess what?! In a city of 80,000 people, we came across them again. Heavenly Father answers our prayers. He is mindful of us, and is mindful of what we need. When we do what we need to do, Heavenly Father blesses us with what we need, and with even greater blessings. Heavenly Father looks out for us. When we pray, He really is listening, it's not just an empty prayer. He knows not only what we need, but how we need it, what will help us grow the most, and help us achieve to the greatest of our abilities.

It reminds me of the song, "You Raise Me Up" by Josh Groban.
At the top of the fort.

"When I am down and, oh, my soul, so weary,
When troubles come and my heart burdened be,
Then I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains,
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas,
I am strong when I am on your shoulders,
You raise me up to more than I can be."

Even when we don't think that we have help, when we feel the burdens of life, it is through Christ that we find comfort, and refuge. It is in Christ that we find peace. It is through Christ that our burdens our lifted. In Matthew 11:28-30, it says,

"28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

By turning to Christ we will receive the help, strength, and guidance we are searching for.

Thank you to everyone for your support and encouragement. Have an awesome week!


Elder Mickelson

Monday, February 15, 2016

This Week Went Pretty Great!

February 15, 2016

Dear Family & Friends,

This week went pretty great! It actually was really awesome. We got to go to Sweden to help a member with a service project! Super fun! It was really nice to be able to go do some more service! We helped do some work on their attic. It was so great! Afterwards, we ate dinner together. It was absolutely delicious! I think that anytime someone else makes food for you, it tastes tons better than if you tried to make it yourself. I'm not quite sure why that is, but it's true!
River in Fredrikstad

The sister missionaries in Sarpsborg had a baptism this week! It was so great to see another baptism here. The woman who was baptized is SOOOOO awesome. She knows so much and is so kind. She's going to be so wonderful at furthering the work of the Lord here in this ward. It was a really wonderful experience to have.

Because Valentine's Day was yesterday, here's a scripture on love. John 13:34

34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
River in Fredrikstad

I believe that if we take that counsel, and love those around us like Christ loves us, With a Perfect love, that we'll find not only ourselves happier, but also more of those that we come in contact With.


Elder Mickelson

Monday, February 8, 2016

This Week Has Been So Fun!

Me with a random cat that lives somewhere by our house. The cat likes to follow us around sometimes too.

February 8, 2016

Dear Family & Friends,

This week has been so fun! This last week was an "English fast" where we tried to go the entire week with just speaking Norwegian. It was really fun. Now that it's over, I've realized that I can speak Norwegian more fluently. It isn't as rough as it was when I started. It was quite good to see how much Norwegian I actually know. I was told before my mission that at about the 6 month mark is when you finally start to figure out the language. Surprisingly enough, they were right! I've been out for nearly 8 months now, and I think I'm getting a hang of it. Of course I still have tons to learn and will keep improving my pronunciation, but I can talk to most people now, actually understand them, and be able to respond. I'm marking that one up as a success.

We had a very cool miracle story this week. We were walking up and down the streets this week. We had walked past this woman on the street and we thought she would not be interested at all. We kept walking and stopped other people and tried talking with them. We saw the lady again later, just sitting down and upset. We thought she would probably just want her space. As we turned the corner, Elder Mitchell and I had this feeling that we needed to talk to her. We knew that she needed to hear our message. We had gone back and she wasn't there anymore. Still feeling the need to talk with her, we searched the streets trying to find her. After a few minutes, we had seen her coming towards us. As we stopped and talked with her, she talked about all of these different problems she was having. She talked about how she's been trying to find some direction in her life. It was really great to talk with her and help her out. If it hadn't for feeling a prompting to talk with her, we probably wouldn't have been able to help her when she needed it.

Big news! We, the four of us missionaries in Fredrikstad, will not all be in the same cozy little apartment together. Now, we will just be a snowball's throw away. We are getting a second apartment now, so each set of missionaries will be in separate apartments. The apartment is just next door so it works perfect. We can just lean out the window and talk to each other! One plus of having gotten the new apartment means that I will be sleeping on a bed now instead of a fold down couch! It's pretty exciting! Today, Elder Mitchell and I put together the bunkbed for the other apartment. The big move will be here in a couple of days!

Have a great week everyone!


Elder Mickelson

Monday, February 1, 2016

All Of The Snow Finally Disappeared!

A spot where an ancient Roman Tower used to stand here in Fredrikstad.
February 1, 2016

Dear Family & Friends,

All of the snow finally disappeared! We had several days of warmth and sunshine. Then, just a few hours ago, we were reminded that it's only February.

This week has been full of adventures and loads of fun. We were able to visit Sweden again. We had dinner with some members there. We had a wonderful time. It's always a blast getting to visit them.

I've started trying to find out where exactly my ancestors come from in the last week. I have family that comes from Norway, so I've started finding which farms they grew up on. I think it would be really cool to figure out where those places are in relation to me. Maybe someday I'll get to visit where they grew up!

Me and my stocked up candy for awhile.
A mix of American and Norwegian candy.
We have had a couple birthdays here in Fredrikstad this last week! You know what that means! More food and sweets than we've seen since Christmas! We had made up around 60 or so cookies this week. It's a good thing that they taste good! Speaking of good food, Elder McIntire made up some enchiladas this last week. Delicious. I was impressed, especially because we didn't have any enchilada sauce. As missionaries, we get pretty creative and somehow we manage to pull off making pretty good food.

Overall it's been a great week. I'd like to share a last thought to end the letter. In James 2:17-18 it says,

"17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my Works."

We start with faith, just a little bit of it. We have a hope for things. Then, over time, we build that faith and it is strengthened by keeping the commandments and trying to be more like the Savior. We must have faith in Christ, and then continue to build on that faith by showing by our works what we believe. We express what we believe through our actions. I hope that we remember this, and strive to be better everyday, and continue to try to be good examples for others. Obviously, none of us are perfect, but we can continually try to be better over time.

Have a great week everyone!

Elder Mickelson