Monday, November 28, 2016

We Eat Whale For Thanksgiving, Right?

Whale, homemade rolls, mashed potatoes, veggies, and some julebrus (Christmas soda)

November 28, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone,

Us with our Thanksgiving

This week was packed full of delicious food and great company. On Thursday, Thanksgiving, Elder Dawes and I made up a pretty simple, but great dinner! It was a bit of a flashback to last year's Thanksgiving. Whale, mashed potatoes, and some good vegetables.

Me with my food

Hmmm... how can I explain what whale tastes like? Hmmm... Well whale doesn't really taste like beef, or chicken. I've heard it tastes like seal. But I don't know. I haven't tried seal yet. I guess I would say whale tastes like a mix of fish and beef. Yes, more like fishy beef.

The next day, Friday, we had a Branch Thanksgiving dinner. A nice potluck with turkey, stuffing, potatoes, vegetables, etc. It was great. Maybe one day I can cook as good of food as the food that I've eaten while in here.

The Narvik missionaries came down to Bodø for splits this week too. Elders Arnold and Mckell came and visited. It was great having them over.
Elder Dawes and I with our winter coats and shorts

It's been raining/snowing/hailing/freezing the slush since Thanksgiving. So the street has gotten REALLY slick. We were walking down the sidewalk and we hit a pretty smooth spot, and I look to my side, and before I know it, Elder Dawes' feet slipped out from underneath him and he hit the ground. Well, to say the least, the first fall of the year! I guess we'll see who falls next!

The city's tree

Yesterday was the first Sunday in Advent. Advent marks the beginning of the Christmas season here. In Norway, they have a pretty fun tradition each Sunday of Advent. They light a candle each Sunday of Advent and sing a short song each time.

By the way, you should all check out and look at the Light the World project. It's a series of little ideas we can do each day to help someone else. Christmas time is a great time for us to think of ways we can help those around us.

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

Have a great week!


Elder Mickelson

A "tree" of Christmas lights.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Weather Cleared Up

Bodø Sunset

November 21, 2016

Hi Everyone!

After having not seen the sun for a week *cough cough* thanks clouds, the weather cleared up and I saw the sun rising/setting at the same time. I do have to say, it's been really nice here because we still don't have snow, it hasn't been too bitter cold, and the sun still rises every day. So I'm grateful for that.

Speaking of gratitude, this week is Thanksgiving! It's not really a Norwegian holiday, although there are a few people who do celebrate it. We are celebrating it still! I hope we all take a little time to think about how much we have and take that time to appreciate it. It's easy to take some things in life for granted, but it's the little things in life (in addition to the big) that make life so wonderful!

We were walking around this week, talking to different people, and we started talking with a man from Oslo. I recognized his dialect really easily and asked where he was from down there. Well, after the conversation, I turned to Elder Dawes and asked him how much he understood of the conversation. He said that the guy's dialect was really hard to follow. Laughingly, I told him that what he was saying was closest to the Norwegian he learned in the MTC. We both had a pretty good laugh about it.

Now, I hope the No-Christmas-Music-Before-Thanksgiving Mob doesn't get together against me anytime soon. This week a few of us from the church got together and sang a bunch of Norwegian Christmas songs. It was so much fun getting to sing some new ones, and sing some classics that I remember from last year. By the way, if you all want a cool Norwegian Christmas song to listen to, Nordnorsk Julesalme. It's a beautiful northern Norwegian Christmas song!

A few days ago, the Norwegian Navy docked in Bodø and was out and about. Now, I have to say this. It was SOOO fun having them around! They had a tug of war competition with just a bunch of guys from the Navy against different random people from Bodø. It was so fun to watch Navy vs. Bodø. I guess the Navy has a tradition of holding tug of war competitions with the different cities they stop at. Such a great thing in my opinion.

Funny story to end this week's email. This is another flashback to a couple months ago. Back when Elder Dawes had first gotten here, and was hit pretty hard with jet lag, it made him a bit tired. Tired enough that once he was saying a prayer... and the poor guy was so tuckered out, he fell asleep... midsentence haha. It was really hilarious to see. Luckily, the jet lag didn't last very long, but it was funny while it happened.

I hope you all have a great week!


Elder Mickelson

"Think to thank" -Thomas S. Monson

Happy Thanksgiving this week!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

My Fun Adventures This Last Week Started On Monday

Elder Dawes and I by the bridge. The wind was like 20 mph 
(not an exaggeration) at the top when we went over.

Hey Everyone!

Me by the river of death, 
I mean Saltstraumen.

My fun adventures this last week started on Monday. If you were to look up on the internet the world's strongest whirlpool on the internet, you'd get what's called Saltstraumen. It's on the other side of the fjord from Bodø. So we took the bus out there to go. Getting dropped off right before the bridge, we started walking down towards the channel. So the water going through it shifts directions according to the tide, and it creates these giant whirlpools which can get to be like 10 meters in diameter. The water can get going like 25ish miles per hour roughly, Crazy giant whirlpools! Anyways, we went down, took some pictures, and then hiked over the bridge on to the other side, got more pictures, and then walked back. Much to our surprise, we actually managed to not have to walk home and got a bus coming headed back home.
The Bridge

Our toaster didn't work this week. So after fiddling with it for a bit (just trying to keep pushing the button down with toast inside) and realized that it was just the outlet. So I we then walked to a different outlet and it toasted just fine. It was then that we realized half of the lights/outlets in the house weren't working either. Off to the breaker box we went! So when I think of a breaker box, I imagine a box with switches inside. WRONG! Not ours! It's basically bunch of ceramic casings. And the guide on the side for which one went to each circuit was not very clear and hard to follow. I found out that unscrewing all of them and screwing them back in didn't actually work. Thanks any tech advisers ever. Unplugging it and plugging it back in didn't work. So later that night I was talking with the Branch President and found out that those ceramic things, had replaceable fuses in them, so we just had to find the popped fuse and luckily had some replacements there too. Thankfully, we had light that night.

We were out talking to people a few days ago and after talking to this guy for a bit, I realized that what he was saying didn't sound like Norwegian. Come to find out, he was visiting from Denmark. And despite the jokes of not being able to understand Danish, I actually managed to carry a conversation while knowing what he said back. That was quite the experience. Me speaking Norwegian. The other guy Danish. And following it all. Good conversation!

To end this week's email, I'd like to take a flashback to about a month and a half ago. Before Elder Dawes got here to Norway, and knowing he'd be coming here, I decided that while at the beginning of his mission, he should have a very Norwegian experience. And what a better way than food! So I decided to make him some stereotypical Norwegian food for his first week. Potatoes. Fiskekaker (fish cakes). And kjøttkaker (meat cakes). This is primarily what was common food back in the days when a lot of people were more poor. And that's mostly what we had. From that Wednesday until Sunday night, cereal for breakfast, and combinations of potatoes, meat cakes, and fish cakes for the other meals. Don't worry, it didn't taste bad, it just starts to wear on you after a few days. By Friday, Elder Dawes pulled out a cookbook from home (with great recipes by the way) suggesting we could have some of those maybe the next week or in the future or something. Then on Saturday, he asked if I usually bought the same food every week, and I said yes. Normally, I tend to buy the same food each week (just not that week). On Sunday, he asked the same question, same response. Well, when planning for what to buy the next day at the grocery store he started making a list. So I told him we'd need some oil, butter, cereal, milk, bread (the normal everyday stuff that you'd normally have in most places in the world). So he says, "And kjøttkaker (meat cakes) too?" I turned to him and said, "What if I told you we don't eat this normally?" He then looked really confused, and I continued and said, "This is Norway. We live in a first world country. We eat normal food here!" Needless to say, he wasn't happy with me for having us eat the same food over and over again (don't worry, there was gravy too so that was good). But despite being not pleased with me, he was still sooooooo relieved to not be eating that much again! We ate much better after that.

By the way! While walking past a café Saturday, they were playing the radio outside and all of a sudden we start hearing English. American commercials. They were playing an American radio station! I died laughing because I hadn't heard commercials for appliance stores in a long time. It was just funny having some commercial going for like Home Depot or something.

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


Elder Mickelson

“We can say we believe in Christ as we believe in the sun at noon day, not that we can see it, but that by it, we can see everything else”. -C.S. Lewis

Looking at Bodø from Saltstraumen's bridge

Big whirlpools 
Saltstraumen whirlpools plus mountains

Monday, November 7, 2016

A "Shocking" Experience

November 7, 2016

Hello Everyone!

Wow. This week. Where to even begin. Well, I think this week's email would be great to start off with one of the most shocking experiences I've had yet. Well, maybe electrifying is a more appropriate way to describe it.

We were changing light bulbs in our apartment because about half of them were burned out and needed replacing. There's like no need for them in the Summer because it's sunny 24/7, but with Winter rolling around and it getting dark by 3:00 pm, and in the dead of Winter there is no snow, you start to realize really quickly which bulbs ought to be working.

We had this one light which should have been dangling from the ceiling, but it had fallen months ago, breaking the bulb, and the cord came down with it. I'd consider it as more of a free-range light. Anyways, with buying new lights, and taking the liberty to fix this one, I replaced the bulb, plugged it in and it worked! Now we just need to get it connected to the ceiling. So I unscrewed the light bulb, and while moving the light bulb and the socket to a different spot, I managed to stick my finger in the socket.

It doesn't take a genius to know that touching the metal inside a socket while plugged in will certainly shock you! Some people have to just do it once to learn their lesson. *cough* *cough* *me*

I know understand why people getting shocked with a taser fall to the ground, because it hurts and that's the first thing you do. Fall. So, I hit the ground, drop the bulb and the socket, and I just start running throughout the room, into the hallway, yelling and a screaming, words a flying. I nearly was swearing in two different languages! It didn't feel too good to say the least. I got by the door and had nowhere to run so I checked my vitals, realized I was still breathing, could feel my entire body, and in being electrocuted, I didn't poop my pants. I'd call that a success!

That's one way to wake someone up. I sure felt a little bit more energetic through the rest of the day!

This week we also were extremely busy delivering some newsletters around for the branch. And, with any great trip, comes a great story.

Us walking home after the
school bus wouldn't pick us up.
To say the least, in Norway, everyone lives far away from each other. And we decided to bus out to an area, and work from the farthest family out, in towards the city. We had all of the bus times and everything down, all in place. Ya, come to find out, some buses listed that you can supposedly ride, are school buses. People not students can't really ride school buses. So after waiting for the bus which never came, and realizing it was getting dark, and cold, we had no other option than to start walking. Three miles later (an hour walk) we reached bus stop we needed to catch our way home. I guess what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

The Trondheim missionaries got to stay with us one night this week while in transit to Narvik. I guess when there isn't too many flights going somewhere so small, it makes connecting flights more difficult. So they got to stay for a night.

For those who like the Northern lights, it went crazy one night this week. While getting into bed, I looked out the window, and there was nothing. I adjusted my dyne (I think it's called a duvet in the states) for 5 seconds, got into bed, and looked out the window. And there's was this GIANT green thing in the sky dancing around. It proceeded to do that for like a half hour. Always a good time.

Northern lights on the night 
it went crazy dancing.

Moves call was yesterday and I'll be staying in Bodø for another transfer! I was really excited to stay. I love it here and everyone here is so wonderful!

Well I hope you all have a wonderful week. Keep on keepin on!


Elder Mickelson

"I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants." -Mosiah 4:26

Let's all take care of those around us!

We slow cooked a pork roast for 24 hours and made some 
pulled pork out of it with some homemade barbecue sauce. 
Needless to say, some of the best food I've made yet on my mission!