Tuesday, February 28, 2017

It Was A Great Week Though In General

February 27, 2017

Hello Everyone!

I'm really starting to feel like the beginning of my emails are just turning into "This injury I got from running this week". So last week I wrote about scraping up my knee. That's whatever. I can live with that. In case you're wondering (which you're probably not but I'll tell you anyways) my scraped up knee is fine now. The Jurassic World band-aid made it feel a lot better. The story gets better (I know, how does someone top fun band-aid stories?). Anyways, the next day, I turn a corner on the run (it's EXTREMELY icy, FYI) and both of my legs fly out from under me, I'm parallel to the ground and land on my hip. I thought a scraped up knee wasn't fun, well, it's bruised to say the least. At least I don't feel it anymore. It just looks really gnarly. Way fun though.
We got dragonfruit this week. It tasted delicious. Weird, but good. Plus Elder Mitchell

As for the casual weather report. Norway is still being bipolar when it comes to snow, and sun, and rain, and refreezing. But luckily, spring is right around the corner.

It was a great week though in general. A lot happened. Everything from playing ping pong as a district again, to eating some food that didn't like me as much as I liked it, to trying to hand out free hot dogs.

Well, to start off with food. I first want to say, I haven't eaten a kebab that has completely wrecked me... yet... *knock on wood* But we went to this place with one of the youth in the ward to just see how it was going with him and stuff. He suggested this place, I had heard alright things about it, so we went. I ate it pretty quickly, but man... right as I finished it, I just felt like I had sat on a swing for a while (another FYI, I don't like swings too much. They're fun, just make me not feel so hot). The kebab tasted really good, don't get me wrong, I just didn't feel great the rest of the day. Almost had some kebab regret, but not quite.

Later throughout the week we had Zone Conference in Oslo. We caught the train into the city, and then got onto the Metro which got us to the church. It was a great conference, saw a lot of people because we combined to zones for it, and had a lot of fun. Learned a lot, etc.

Quick funny story from Zone Conference. On the way back, we were chilling at Oslo S, waiting for our train to head home, and one of the other missionaries was waiting there too, waiting for a train, but he had his ukulele in his backpack... Oh ya, we totally jammed out there. I've learned some ukulele while I've been out, but I'm still not very good. Anyways, he starts playing different songs and we're all just singing along. Needless to say, everyone around was just hardcore confused why people were playing and singing in public.
Elder Nelson, me, and Johnson

I don't know if this next story is funny, or just depressing. I guess I'll just kick it off with a quick explanation. So Drammen has been redoing one of their tunnels doing some repairs on the roof or something. Anyways, it happens to be this major tunnel that everyone uses leaving the city headed back home (you know, the commuter life). This tunnel has been open and closed off and on for like a month now, and luckily, we haven't driven TOO much in the ridiculous traffic it's caused. I didn't know how bad traffic actually got during rush hour, usually we're just in a small bit of it... I figured, oh, it should loosen up when we get passed the mall.... nope! So we were headed to a town like 8 or 9 miles away. Not too far. normally, it takes 15 minutes to get there. But knowing there'd be traffic, we gave it 30 minutes instead. Sounds reasonable right? NOPE. AN HOUR AND A HALF. We were basically parked on the road for most of it. It was bumper to bumper traffic the ENTIRE way, and like, not just bumper to bumper going fairly along, no, like snail pace the whole way. Oh, well, such is life, you live and you learn.

Some of us at the street stand trying to 
hand out hot dogs and talk with people

We had a little tent up in the middle of the city on Saturday. It was a lot of fun because we handed out free hot dogs and talked to people about the church. We even had a proper fire too to roast them over. It was cold, but the fire made it lots better!

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


Elder Mickelson

"May I share with you a formula that in my judgment will help you and help me to journey well through mortality... First, fill your mind with truth; second, fill your life with service; and third, fill your heart with love." —Thomas S. Monson

Monday, February 20, 2017

As Usual, But Still Worth Noting, I'm Doing Great!

View from above the morning's fog
February 20, 2017

Hello Everyone!

Baked goods in the store (Bakevarer)
As usual, but still worth noting, I'm doing great. This week came and went and who knows where it flew off to. But anyways, I'm chilling here on the computer with a Jurassic World Band-Aid on my knee. I was hoping for a Hello Kitty one, but I can't complain. Anyways, I totally fell on the ice... twice... while running this morning. Scraped it up more than I would like, but oh well. Needless to say, the ice was VERY slick this morning. We had run down to this ice skating rink (in the summer it's a soccer field I think), and back. WAAAAY too much uphill, but such is life.

Epic P-Day Ping Pong
(yes, we put two tables together)

We kicked off the week with an epic game of ping pong as a district. We all got together and played ping pong in the church (there's totally just a couple tables chilling there, so we used them). Proudly, I can say I won a lot, but practically at the expense of being dizzy. We started playing to where you had to spin in a circle every time you hit the ball. It made it REALLY hard. I'm surprised I didn't fall over.

We (Elder Mitchell and I) also bought ourselves a couple train tickets, and hopped on the next train headed down to Tønsberg to be a part of their district meeting. That was really great getting to be with all of the missionaries down there. Elder Mitchell and I parted ways for the next day, he stayed in Tønsberg, and Elder Rogers (one of the missionaries in Tønsberg) came with me back to Drammen for splits.

Elder Rogers and I on splits

Splits was way fun. We spent some good time doing a bit of everything, and walked A TON uphill. I've only been to Bergen once, but it felt like I was ALWAYS walking uphill. That's what it seemed like when he was here in Drammen this last week haha. But it was way fun and it was really enjoyable. We even remembered to get a splits selfie!

A blurry picture of me (all bundled up for the cold)
Wednesday night, we were headed back into town and we got a text if we could start the seminary class before the teacher got there a few minutes later. So we said yes and went. It was really great because we had a chance to teach a little bit and share our experiences a bit at the beginning. One thing I'm very impressed while I've been in Norway is the youth within the church. They are just so awesome. They're an example to me of deciding what your standards are and living them. It was just so prevalent while we were there that evening. They'd talk about different things during the lesson, and I was just blown away by how incredible they are. For them, it seems to just click. So it was a great time.

So I do not know why, but now all of a sudden, I seem to be coming across more people with animal mounts chilling in their living rooms. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind, it just throws me off because I haven't seen too many here in Norway. But we were talking to this lady at her door, and Elder Nelson asks what was on the wall behind her. I was off to the
An emu (imagine a small ostrich)
side so I couldn't see, but I moved a little, and there was this GIANT moose head right at the back of the entryway. I've seen quite a few moose, but this head was like one of the largest I've ever seen! just chilling on the back wall. Anyways, it led to a fun little discussion, but it was just so shocking, just because I haven't seen too many while I've been here. There's a start for everything I guess.

Well I hope you all had a great week! Take care everyone!


Elder Mickelson

"Seek forgiveness from those you have wronged. Forgive those who have wronged you. Forgive yourself." —C. Scott Grow

Headed over the bridge in the city (Those were some giant flags)

Me inside the Blueberry (our Opel Corsa)

Monday, February 13, 2017

My Bear Story

February 13, 2017

Hello Everyone!

Well, the snow's packed on the ground, and after a few weeks of little to no sun, the sky has cleared up, and the big bright thing in the sky (not the moon) is shining its rays down on the city of Drammen. It's been pretty consistent snow for the last week, and it's been pretty cold. Lucky for us, it's not Canada and a million degrees below zero.

I had this REALLY cool experience this last week. Elder Nelson and I decided one evening we would go knock some doors. As we walked up to the first door, I could see this silhouette through the giant frosted windows. It was a large bear. So I knock on the door, and this older gentleman answers the door. After about a minute, and the conversation came to a close, I asked him, "Is that your bear?" pointing towards the corner of the entryway. Looking behind the guy, I just see this giant room, with antlers and different mounts. I knew immediately that he was DEFINITELY a hunter. He said yes and asked If I wanted to see it. Naturally, I said yes and we went in and started talking with him. Needless to say, he's one of the coolest people I've met in Norway. It was fun getting to talk about hunting and outdoor things like that for a bit. As we were about to leave, he commented that if we had a camera we could get a picture with the bear. So I did. IT WAS SO COOL!!!!!!! It's amazing to meet just so many different kinds of people throughout the world.

We went and were with the young men for their activity this week. They played some different sports. I got schooled in soccer. Again. Ehh, but such is life. If anything, I'm much better now than I was back in the States. Improvement. That's for sure. But we did do pretty good in basketball. Perks of playing basketball during gym time back in school!

There is one of the nicest guys in the ward here in Drammen. We got a call this week if we'd be able to help move some flooring into his home and move some furniture around so new flooring could get put in. It was really interesting because I didn't know who he was at first. Then after getting to know him, I recognized him immediately in church yesterday. He's always been there, I just hadn't gotten to know him. It just made me realize that helping people out is a wonderful way to get to meet people you don't know. Sometimes it is just that little thing that helps you make a new friend.

A few days ago, we held a little film evening and invited a bunch people to watch Meet the Mormons. There was tons of food (snacks really, but you know), and it was really enjoyable. It didn't turn out half bad.

Overall, it was a really great week. I'm looking forward to this one! It'll be loads of fun! I hope you all have a great week!


Elder Justin Mickelson

"God's ultimate purpose is our progress." -D. Todd Christofferson

Monday, February 6, 2017

This Week Has Been Super Crazy!

Drammen in the evening
February 6, 2016

Hey Everyone!

This week has been super crazy! One of the busiest ones I might dare say. Elder Hoopes and Jefferies moved this last week. And, naturally when anyone moves, it involves visiting a lot of people and saying goodbye. It was really good getting to meet with a bunch of people Elder Hoopes had gotten close with, but sad for him saying goodbye. Well, nice thing is that you can still stay in touch after moving!

Elder Nelson (my new companion) got here this last week too. He's from Lehi, UT and actually played some lacrosse! I think he's the second person I've met that played lacrosse. Not too huge of a sport in small towns ya know. But that's what happens when schools and cities and everything is small.
Elder Jefferies, Hoopes, Me, Johnson
Elder Mitchell, who I was with in Fredrikstad, moved here to Drammen too, and that's been a blast. He's also been way fun to have in the apartment. Old inside jokes, and catching up has been so much fun. That and quoting The Other Guys with him has been awesome.

We try working a lot with the youth here in Drammen. So we were at the young men's activity night this week. We got there a little later than we expected but it was no problem. They had it set up like a man cave. The young men had set up a small FIFA tournament, and I tried my hand at beating them at ping pong... My somewhat ping pong skills are rusty to say the least. But that's ok. I still held my own.

We were out visiting a family for dinner, and we hopped on the bus to go out there (mind you, I've been in that area only once before) and we started our little adventure there. We got to where I thought the bus was supposed to turn and go up their road... and it just kept on going forward... even further down the hillside. After a few bus stops I knew we were way past where we needed to be. We were a few minute drive PAST where we were supposed to be. I found out later after so kindly getting picked up that there's two busses, which both go along the same road, and only one of them turned on to their road, and that was the OTHER bus, NOT the one we were on. Well, I won't make that mistake again. Luckily, we weren't too late getting there.

So, as the subject of the email led you all to wonder, working out. So this week I've worked out A LOT. More than usual. We even had an apartment run this morning. It wasn't so bad running downhill, it was run back that sucked. So that, in addition to other work outs, and over 500 squats in one day, and other stuff spread out this week, my body (mainly my legs) has been hating me. But I'm finally feeling good again.

We had sport this Saturday, us missionaries and a few other from the church, we played soccer, and basketball, and indoor hockey (another reason my body was aching). Anyways, because I'm American I'm naturally bad at soccer, and then at basketball, the Norwegians dominated us... (Disappointing, I know), but I didn't do too bad at indoor hockey. I'm much better at it than I thought I was. So that was loads of fun.

Church was really good yesterday. We had a great class on charity and how we can find more opportunities to help others in our daily lives. It was a great class.

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


Elder Justin Mickelson

"But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him." Moroni 7:47