Monday, September 26, 2016

Wow! Packed Week!

Rainbow clouds/iridescent clouds (I saw them, it's a real thing. Google it if you don't believe me. My picture didn't even come close to truly capturing it though.) I took these pictures on the train ride to Mo i Rana

September 26, 2016

Hello Everyone!

Wow! Packed week! I don't even know where to start. I guess I can begin with the beginning of it all. Early this week we took the train down to Mo i Rana for splits. I cannot begin to express how incredible the sights were. It's about a three hour train ride, but holy cow, that is the prettiest landscape I've seen in Norway yet. It's a train ride that winds along the edge of Fjords, climbs up unbelievable mountains, and comes down betweens hills winding along a river. Words can't describe the trip. (I did get some pictures, although they don't do it justice)

Elder McIntire (in Mo i Rana) while we were on splits

Well we got into Mo i Rana that night and the Elders were kind enough (actually quite kind) and made us an AWESOME salmon dinner. Haha perks of Norway, casually just getting salmon when you want some.

Havman (the famous Mo 
i Rana statue in the sea)

We had splits and it was way cool. We had met some way awesome people while knocking on some doors. It was a lot of fun spending the day with them.

We got back from Mo i Rana on Thursday, and right as we got home, Elder Arnold from Narvik showed up in Bodø because he his companion had to fly down South for a visa appointment. So, Elder Arnold got to be with us for a couple days. That was really good having him here to help with missionary work.

Yesterday we found out that Elder Stephens will be getting moved. He'll be leaving Bodø, but I'll get to stay and be getting a new companion. It'll be exciting! Sad to see him leave as it always is, but it'll be good. We've had blast these last few months and now he'll be moving on to his next area!

A picture with me and the statue which has been nicknamed the consecrated missionary. (the statue isn't of a missionary though, just throwing that out there. I know he's dressed like one but he isn't)

After everyone had left, it had come to Saturday, which was the beginning of mission conference here. So all of the congregations in Northern Norway had a conference here in Bodø. There were so many people at the church meetings Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, we had a family history meeting and that was really cool because the member who gave the presentation went into a lot deeper of detail on how to more effectively to do family history. It was just a really great conference overall.

A wonderful talk was held yesterday in church about service. I'd like to share some of the points that were shared yesterday that really struck me.

-To serve others with all of our hearts is the most selfless thing we can do.
-We should ask ourselves, "What are my intentions with what I do?" Are we kind to others because we really want the best for them? Or do we just try to be good people so others can just see what we do?
-To serve others from our heart, we must think of others first.

Selfless service is how we find ourselves serving others with no ulterior motives. That is when we find ourselves truly happy because we are enriching someone else's life and doing it because we care about them.

In the Book of Mormon, in Mosiah 2:17, it says, "And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God."

It is my testimony for all of you that if we really want to serve God, it is by serving others. In the Bible in Matthew 25:34-40 it says,

" 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

Serving God goes beyond loving Him, but rather it is deeper. When we are serving and loving and helping His children, all of those around us, that is when we are serving God. A person cannot be truly happy and at peace in a state of selfishness and greed, but they can be when selfless and charitable.

We don't have to look far or long to find someone who needs a helping hand, or a friend, or someone to talk to. Many times in our own lives, knowingly or unknowingly, we are that person who needs the help, or needs a friend, or needs someone to listen. So why should we turn our shoulder to those who need it, if we also at times need the same help.

I remember an experience I had several years ago when I had just began driving. Winter had come around and that is all fun in of itself. But, there is one downside with ice, it makes it extremely slick. I was driving on a dirt road, covered in ice, had turned a corner, and my truck began to turn sideways. Without any to do, and moments later, I found myself and my truck stuck on the side of the road. Stuck in the snow and on a downhill slope I tried backing up, trying to have my tires grip something to help me get back on the road. When the tires kept spinning I tried sticking branches under the tires to gain some traction. It helped, but not enough. I was stuck. Couldn't go anywhere. No matter what I tried I couldn't move it. Stuck with nowhere to go, I hoped that someone would drive by that had a tow rope or something. After waiting and still attempting to get out on my own, a couple of guys that I went to school with came by on some fourwheelers, saw that I was clearly stuck, and offered to help. They rode down in front of the truck and they both began to push me out with the front of their fourwheelers while I drove in reverse. With their help, I got back onto the road really quickly. It was an act of service that only took a couple of minutes, but helped more than they would know. Something as simple as offering some help made the world of a difference. They could have rode past, but they didn't, because they understood helping others. They didn't expect anything out of it. They helped because they wanted to help. They saw someone in need and did what they could to help. Something that all of us should do.

I hope we all find our opportunities to help others. Even the little things we do for others can make a big change and help them.

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


Elder Mickelson

Monday, September 19, 2016

This Week Went Really Great!

Beautiful view of the Fjord

September 19, 2016

Hello Everyone!

This week went really great! The missionaries from Narvik came down for splits for a couple days, so it was a ton of fun having them over.

Other than that we didn't have anything too out of the ordinary happen. Although, I did give a talk in church yesterday, so that went really well.

I'd known about giving the talk for several weeks, and this last week I was still struggling to decide what I wanted to share. I think that's definitely a hard thing, when you don't know what to talk about. So after struggling with that for most of the week, and after a lot of time reading different talks and things, it finally all started coming together.

In the end I decided to hold a talk on how we can be strengthened in the Gospel. It never has been easy for people to follow God, not because God all of a sudden abandons you when you need Him and try to follow Him, because it is the opposite of that. God DEFINITELY supports us when we turn to Him and follow Him. But it is hard to follow Christ because it isn't popular. It goes against the grain, against the norms of society, it goes against the world's philosophies and ideas and ideals. There are definitely things that go together between the world's moral code and God's, with things such as loving one another, forgiving others, and the importance of families being a support for one another (the list goes on). But there are other things which doesn't seem to be so popular of opinions for religious people. All over the world, religious people are being criticized for their beliefs because it doesn't fit the social norm. It isn't particularly easy for young people in the church, but it is SOOO worth it!

In my talk I talked about different things that everyone needs (adapted from President Hinckley and Pres Uchtdorf):

1) A friend
2) A responsibility
3) Nourishment by the word of God
4) Keep the commandments
5) Trust in the Lord

Those things will help keep us on the right path, and also strengthen us in continuing forward.

I hope that we continue in our faith of God and keep trying to be strengthened by God. We also need to try to support and help others be strengthened in their faith of God.

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


Elder Mickelson
Sunset with some boats

Monday, September 12, 2016

I Started Off This Week By Flying Down To Trondheim (Again)!

Me and Elder Braunberger (he's a missionary up in Tromsø

September 12, 2016

Hello Everyone!

Normally, I feel like there isn't too many different things to talk about each week. It seems like each week is accompanied by the same events, or at least similar enough that it wouldn't be deemed necessary to mention time and time again. Although, this week was packed full of not so normal things, thus making an email with several topics to write home about.

A view of Trondheim over a river

I started off this week by flying down to Trondheim (again!). This time the trip was for Zone Conference rather than splits. It was a great conference. One thing that I took away from it was the importance of working with others. Within missionary work, the desire and goal is to help bring people to Christ. And the work that we do, doesn't rest entirely upon just our shoulders, but we need to continue working with members in the church to all be inviting others to Christ. One or two people reaching out to help others has its help and purpose, but what would it be if everyone was reaching out to help others, reaching out, willing to help strengthen others. There is a greater impact when there is more than just the missionaries doing that, and you can really see a difference.

Good ol' norwegian chocolate milk

We were on our way back home, so we were chilling in the Trondheim airport, waiting for our flight, and guess what I came across? A piano. Just casually parked in the airport... open for anyone to play it. So I did. I started out by playing Piano Man by Billy Joel, and people started noticing and "casually" sitting down in the vicinity to hear. What was way cool was this guy just came up and started filming me for a couple minutes straight XD haha it must've been good enough to film it haha. But it was a ton of fun. I just sat and played different stuff for a bit.

A couple days ago, President Uchtdorf (one of the church leaders) came to Norway after rededicating the temple in Germany. He spoke down in the southern part of Norway, so I didn't get to go to the meeting, but it was broadcasted so we got to watch it over the internet which was really cool. One thing he said that I really liked was to "share who you are and then live up to it". I thought that was interesting to think about. As people we say what our opinions or beliefs are, or whatever the case may be, but then we should live up to that. We should "practice what we preach" so to speak. Granted, no one is perfect. And we shouldn't expect others to be perfect either, regardless of beliefs or whatever. But we as people should try our best to live up to what we do believe, and try to be the people we aspire to be.

Me with pigs (they were enjoying
their food a lot at the time)

To end I'd like to share a quick little story about the little piggies I walked past. We were headed out to meet some members for dinner. They live out in a farming community (totally reminded me a lot of home) and I walked past a little pig pen, and decided to get a picture. Because it's not everyday you can just go take a picture with some little pigs. So I did.

Well I hope you all have a great week! Take care and thanks for all of your support! Bye!


Elder Mickelson

Monday, September 5, 2016

Wow, Not Really Quite Sure Where This Last Month Went!

Trondheim docks

September 5, 2016

Dear Family & Friends,

Wow. I'm not really quite sure where this last month went. It kind of just happened. And now it's September... Hmmm... I don't really quite know what to think about that. A weird moment I had this week was when I realized that I'd be going home in 9 months. That was pretty weird. All I can say is time just keeps going faster and faster. Honestly, I hope that life doesn't keep on accelerating like it is.

Well, such is life in the Northern part of the world, that when this time of year rolls around, the sun finally sets. Yes, it's been setting for a month or something like that, but it's finally getting dark. Like legitimately dark. You know it's not bright outside when the street lamps actually start making a difference.

Northern Lights (proof I saw them, I got pics)

Although, now it's especially. I know that because the Northern lights finally started coming out again!!! YAY! Sadly though, Northern lights come at a price, it means Winter is coming, and with that, the Winter coats start getting brought out, and all of a sudden, heaters are getting switched on, and all you want to do is just curl up in your dyne (I believe in States it'd be called a duvet or something like that. Basically the most comfortable blanket/comforter/wonderfulness thing to sleep in). But yes, Northern lights came out, and that was so fun to see them again. I had started to miss them, and now they're back! :D
Elder Mickelson and Elder Broadbent

I flew down to Trondheim for splits this week. Soooooo much fun getting to go back. I hadn't been in Trondheim for almost a year, so it was pretty fun to go back and see it all again. I had a lot of fun, I was with Elder Broadbent, and we had a blast on splits! (Don't worry, I took some pictures of it. And yes, I'm in some of them haha).

Other than that, this was a pretty normal week, not too much out of the ordinary. Still finding people and meeting with others, so that's been pretty great!

My thought this week comes from the sunday school lesson we had yesterday. It was about the 2,000 stripling warriors. Long story short, they were a bunch of young men that took up arms to defend their families, land, freedoms, and beliefs against a bunch of unrighteous people which desired to kill them. In Alma 56:47-48, it says,

"47 ...yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.

48 And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it."

What really impressed me was their faith in God. But they had been taught from when they were born to follow God, to be a good, righteous people, and to stay close to God. But they're mothers helped them along the way to learn between right and wrong. These sons, they knew without a doubt that their mothers had such a strong faith in God. That it was more than a hope, or a whimsical wish, but a complete belief and a knowledge of the things of God.
When the button on your 
keyboard looks like it's crying

Their mothers were probably the greatest examples they had in their lives. They were directed to always do good because that it is what they were taught. So it made me think about the examples we have in our lives. We all have people that direct us to do good, that encourage us to be good people, and follow God. And that is something I'm grateful for, are those examples in my life. I think at the same time, even though we have examples to look up to, we also can be that example for others, and help them continue to become better people. We should all just try and support each other to always be doing good and kind things. I believe that would make more of a difference in our lives, and the lives around us than we normally think it would.

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


Elder Mickelson
Old part of Trondheim (way cool with the houses over that water and stuff)

Me, Elder Mickelson

More of the old part of Trondheim

Nidaros Cathedral in the background of the river casually floating through the city