Monday, May 30, 2016

I Have A New Companion, Elder Rial

May 30, 2016

Hello Everyone!

Well this week has been jampacked with a lot of different things. To begin, I hit my 11 month mark this last week. That was SOOOOO weird. Norway is home to me. I can't imagine being anywhere else. I feel like I've always been in Norway, but at the same time, I feel as if I just got here. I was having this discussion with another missionary about reaching the halfway point in a mission. At around the halfway point, you feel as though you finally know what you're doing. You can speak the language without too much of a problem. You feel as though you just finally figured it out. Then you realize that you don't know anything. You realize that there is so much more you need to learn and do and become. It's a very strange point, but it's quite humbling. It's a point where you can look back and see all of the progress you've made. I see how I'm a changed person. I'm a better person now than before I board the plan to leave home. I can look forward and see my potential for growth in the year to come. It's really cool to me. Weird, but great regardless.

Elder Tangen left for a city called Mo i Rana this week. So I dropped him off at the train station and waited with some missionaries in Oslo to get my new companion! Needless to say, I picked up Elder Rial (my new companion) from the train station and brought him back. Elder Rial was just barely in Mo i Rana, so him and Elder Tangen switched. That was a pretty ironic haha! Elder Rial actually started his mission here in Sandvika, so he'll most likely be finishing it here too. If I'm lucky I'll end up as Elder Rial's last companion! haha

This week we spent a lot of time visiting different members. I just am amazed more and more how awesome they are. Everyone here is just so kind and helpful and just incredible people. I don't think that there really is any other way to describe it. I just know that I can't do it justice in attempting to explain it.

In church yesterday we talked about the parable of the sower. Because it's so long I won't send it in an email, but I encourage all of you to read it.  There were a few things that really impacted me. I do believe though that the biggest thing that I took away from it was the impact that the sower had on the harvest. The sower went everywhere, sowing seeds (hence his job description). But along the way, seeds feel wherever he went, regardless of whether he intended it or not. Ideally he would cast seeds on good soil, places where the seeds would have a chance to grow, but that isn't always the case. Seeds fell wherever he went. I believe that is the same for us. We have an effect wherever we go. Our "seeds" in life is the impact we have on others by our example. We leave an impression wherever we go. All of us are sowers in life. We just try to sow the best seeds we can. Hopefully it's a good example we leave for others. There comes at times when those seeds of our examples fall in good "soil". They leave an impression for others and it changes their lives. Everything we do has potential to influence others' lives for the good or the bad. It's up to us to do our best to make it for the better.

I hope you all have a great week. Take care everyone!


Elder Mickelson

Monday, May 23, 2016

Such Is Life On A Mission; You Never Know Who Will Stay

A snail that slowly made its way across the sidewalk

May 23, 2016

Hello everyone!

Such is life on a mission. You never know who will stay, who will leave, or in what combination. Missions have a way of mixing things up... for 2 years... with no breaks haha. As we were listening to the moves call, finding out who was going where, assuming that Elder Tangen and I were staying together her in Sandvika for another transfer, we find out a big surprise! Elder Tangen is moving up to Mo i Rana, and I'll be staying here in Sandvika for another while! It's really sad to have Elder Tangen move, especially considering we've only been serving together for 6 weeks, but he's needed elsewhere. I will be getting Elder Rial, who was Elder Tangen's trainer, this week. So that's really exciting. I'm excited to get to know him and keep serving here in such an awesome ward! Elder Rial actually started his mission here so that's really cool to be here for when he comes back!

A clay tennis court in literally the 
middle of the woods

So this week we have been trying to start an initiative to meet with as many members as we can. It's been really fun to start visiting as many as we can. This ward is really cool. It's fun to keep getting to know them better!

I thought I would share something that we do every week which most of you don't know. So every week, a bunch of us from the ward get together and play soccer. It's so fun. I've been getting good over the last 3 months. And by getting good, I mean that I don't suck terribly! haha I guess that's what happens when you don't play soccer much in the US. I've now got at least another 6 weeks to get mad soccer skills!

This scripture is one that I really like. It comes from Alma 17:2-3.

Some people riding horses in the middle 
of the city (Always great to see 
when you come from a small town)

2 Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.

3 But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God.

A common bread slicer in the grocery store. 
It gives a new meaning to the phrase 
"as great as sliced bread" considering you 
buy unsliced loaves at the store and put 
them in the bread machine to get it sliced.

I really liked these scriptures. I really liked how their bond as friends, as brethren in the Lord, had grown strong because of their service. Because they had served the Lord faithfully, and continued to trying to help others come to an understanding of Christ, and a knowledge of God's plan of happiness, they were strengthened. They grew because of their desire to bless others and their dedication to the work which they did.

I hope you all have a great week! Take care!


Eldste Mickelson

The dutch guy selling great cheese and stroopwaffles

Dutch stroopwaffles that I bought from the 
dutch guy selling cheese in the last picture

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Celebrating Norway's National Freedom Day

Some of us in Oslo (l-r Sis. Gagon, Sis. Horner, Eld. Jacobs, Sis. Hess, Sis. Wadley, Eld. Tangen, Eld. Killpack, me, and in the back ground not paying attention, Eld. Mitchell, and Eld. Arveseth)
May 18, 2016

Hello everyone!

Talk about patriotism! Yesterday was Syttende Mai, Norway's National Day. Everyone all over the country floods the streets to celebrate Norway and all of the freedoms that are enjoyed here.

Streets of Oslo

Elder Tangen and I got to drive into Oslo, the capital city to celebrate. We were out by the King's Palace and saw the streets get FILLED. Everyone was packed just about shoulder to shoulder and it was incredible. We watched the parades go by and we got to see King Harald V waving to everyone. It was so exciting seeing everyone out and about and having a great time.

More crowded streets from 17 Mai in Oslo

A couple of very traditional things to do on the 17th of May is to eat hot dogs and ice cream. And boy was there a lot of that! We had so much fun going around and seeing all of the sights and being around everyone. Everyone is so happy with each other and celebrating. I can't say that I've ever seen so much national pride in my life! It was just so awesome.
Elder Mickelson and Elder Gurr

After being in Oslo, a bunch of the missionaries, including us, went back to our mission president's home and had a barbecue (yes, there were hot dogs haha). We got to relax all day, sit and visit, and play some games. It definitely has been a highlight of my mission so far!

I hope all of you have a great week!


Eldste Mickelson
Picture from a hike on Monday (Me, Jakob, Jonathan, Elder Rolfsen)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Happy Mother's Day!

May 9, 2016

Dear Family & Friends,

Elder Tangen and I at Zone Conference
I believe that when you put Zone Conference and Mother's Day in the same week, you're bound to have plenty to write home about. As you all can tell, this has been quite an eventful week!

We drove to Oslo for Zone Conference this last week. We had a great conference. There were a couple points that I took away from the conference.

1. Studying effectively allows us to better prepare for the day.
2. Reading the Book of Mormon each day will bring spiritual strength.

I believe that these points can make a difference in everyone's lives, not just for those that are missionaries. No matter what we do in life, we should always be striving to grow. That means that throughout our lives, we ought to be continually learning. By taking some time every day to study (study of the scriptures, school, learning more about your career field) it allows us to grow. It allows us to be greater that day than the day before because we are better prepared to take on the world, and better prepared to move forward in life.
A giant art piece in the middle
of a roundabout.  I saw a picture
once of it somewhere so it must
be a popular.

Daily study and personal application of the Book of Mormon will bring us closer to Christ than by any other means. Many times I think we take for granted the necessity of the Book of Mormon in our lives. Daily study allows us to greater understand Christ's teachings and doctrine. It allows us to daily continue to build upon our faith and testimony of Christ. By doing so, we will find ourselves closer to Him and have a greater understanding of what He really means for each of us personally.

Yesterday was Mother's Day! It meant that I got to Skype home to my family! It was so wonderful to talk with them and see how everything was going. It was so amazing to see them all and talk about life. I'm sure every Mother with a missionary out serving loved yesterday because they got to talk with their son or daughter and see their smiling faces!
A beautiful view from the street somewhere
we were at in Sandvika.

While I was thinking yesterday, I remembered a couple talks that have been given by different general authorities of the church. A couple have been titled, "Behold, thy Mother". If you haven't heard them or haven't listened to them in a while, do it! They are wonderful talks about mothers and the great impact that they make in our lives.

I wish you all a great week and hope you all enjoy the upcoming Spring weather!


Elder Mickelson
A part of our district in a place called Baerums Verk
(Sister Petersen, Elder Mickelson, Sister Neilson, Elder Tangen)

Monday, May 2, 2016

This Week Has Been Really Awesome!

May 2, 2016


This week has been really awesome! We have come across some really wonderful people this week! We have been able to talk with several people this last week while knocking on doors. Along with some amazing people, comes some incredible stories.

We were going down the street and we hear this voice from across the street yelling towards us. She yells (because we wouldn't be able to hear her if she was just talking normally) asking if we wanted to come over for a visit. She invited us over, and said that she saw us walking and wanted to hear what our message was. In Norway, it's not too often that you have someone call you over from across the street to come visit them. It was definitely a blessing that we had. Because she had invited us over, we were able to share with her the message of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a wonderful lesson and conversation we had.
Some farms near Sandvika

Another experience that we had occured yesterday. We were going around trying to find people, and there was a lady that told us that we ought to visit a certain neighbor of hers. We were told that there was an older couple that had lived over there and might be interested. So naturally, we went over to see if they would be interested. An older lady answered the door and said she wasn't too interested. She asked if we were Mormons and we said yes. She proceeded to talk to us how a number of years ago her and her husband had been taught by the missionaries. Then we kept talking about her experience with that. As the conversation continued, you could see her eyes begin to tear a bit. She mentioned how when she was younger she had visited Temple Square and heard the tabernacle choir and saw the temple. We talked about why we have temples and how wonderful of a blessing it is in our lives. With the whole conversation, a peace had come, and she was reflecting on fond memories from this earlier time in her life. It was a blessing to see and hear her experiences that she had had. She told us that we would be able to come back later, so it was a really wonderful blessing to find her.
Some farms near Sandvika

Through this week I've been able to see the hand of the Lord more and more in my life and in the lives of others. There are blessings that all of us have that we don't recognize. Many times when God helps us, even in the smallest ways, sometimes we forget why we have them. Our Heavenly Father loves us and wants to bless us. The more good we do, the more we do to live a Christ-like life, the more that God can bless us. If we keep turning to Him, we will be able to see His guidance, direction, and love for us.

Some farms near Sandvika
I hope all of you have a wonderful week!


Elder Mickelson