Monday, March 27, 2017

A Million Things We Did

Elder Briggs and I on splits.
March 27, 2017

Hello Everyone!

Wow. I can't ever quite get through a week and look back without there being a million things we did. But, I guess I can start at the beginning. A long time ago (last week)... In a church building not sofar away... we were bored one p-day. So we decided to play some
basketball. But to our disappointment, there was no basketball. So we snagged the closest thing to it, an indoor soccer ball. And that's all fine and dandy... until you start kicking the ball in a feeble attempt at getting it into the basketball hoop. It looks so easy in movies! They kick the ball. The ball goes in. IT DOESN'T WORK LIKE THAT!!! Well it does, but not that easy. Maybe if you were like Ronaldo or some other professional soccer player with mad skills. But a few average Americans have ZERO chance at it. So in the course of an hour, Elder Mitchell managed to tear his pants (doing this in church clothes was a bad idea in the first place). He reached out his foot a little too far to get the ball... and RIIIIIIIIP..... Just grateful it was his pants and not like his leg or something. Anyways, the sister missionaries walk in to see what we are doing, and the ball bounced over to me (my back is facing the hoop) and I kick it backwards. AND IT WENT IN!!!! It was the most epic thing ever!!!! An hour of kicking it over and over and over again, finally payed off. Too bad it wasn't on video....

Us trying to get a tan #reallywhitearms (I'm on the right, but it
doesn't look like me at all because of the angle the picture was

Another fun story. Driving around Drammen is a lot of fun. Quite enjoyable. You see trucks, and four-wheelers here. And this last week,

Dusk one evening

a bunch of people have pulled their Harley-Davidsons out of their
garages and are riding them around. But in the course of all of that,
every once in awhile someone would flash their lights at us. It only
takes a couple times to realize that it's probably your headlight out.
So sure enough, we check it out, and yes, the headlight was out. No
problem, we'll take care of that. Just a few days later, we're driving and it's dusk or dark or something, and we go, "I don't know if we have any headlights. i can't tell a difference between the burned out side and the side with the light." Sure enough, we now have TWO burned out headlights.

Story continues with the decision to change it ourselves. I've changed a headlight before. So what if it was only once. How hard could it be? And the rest of us had all changed a headlight once. What's the worst that could happen? (No, nothing too bad) Anyways, we pop the hood, and start looking inside. Yup. The engine was still there. Yup, that's the huge casing for the headlights... Now, how does someone get into that......? After fiddling around with it, and some dirty arms later, we EVENTUALLY got the lights out. It was a lot harder than we anticipated. Then came putting the replacements in. It was hard getting them out, but they like click into place, but it's at such an awkward angle and so cramped with the little car. Ya, what we assumed could take a few minutes took a couple hours........ Hey, bonding moments. hahah

Viking burial mound

We went on splits with the Sandvika Elders this week. I went with
Elder Briggs who started his mission here. It was way fun for him to
be back in Drammen, seeing the sights, talking to old friends, etc.
Anyways, we were out knocking on some doors, this older lady comes to
the window. Yes, she talked to us through the window, didn't open the
door OR the window. So it sounds a bit weird, and you can't quite hear
perfectly. To make a long story short, she couldn't hear too well, and when she asked why were were there. I told here, "Vi kommer fra kirkenvår" (we come from our church) and because of the window and not being able to hear too well, she thought I said "vi kommer fra kirkegården"

Viking well which by legend appeared

suddenly and sick/disabled
people went to it afterwards.

(We come from the cemetery). This poor lady, jaw dropped, hand on the
chest, distressed, was like "nei, kirkegården" (no, the cemetery!...)
Poor lady, thought we were there having some terribly tragic news....
Luckily, I clarified, and said it even louder so she could hear more
clearly what I said. But yes, it was a hilarious experience!

As a side note to the week, I saw the world's largest ski jump out in
Vikersund outside of Norway. The world record is held there for the
farthest jump which is over 200 meters. It was cool to see.

Hope you all have a great week! Take care!


Elder Justin Mickelson

“God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” 
(2 Timothy 1:7)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring Is Around The Corner

Elder Johnson and I

March 20, 2017

Wow! Hello Everyone!

With the passing of the season (winter leaving) and spring around the corner, it was about that time that moves happened! Well, more like just 6 weeks had passed, but oh well. With it having been a hectic week, we managed to have a busy week, but a really fun one at that.

Our deeply missed Elder Johnson left.... :'( but that's ok, we'll see him around. But, we did get someone just as great to replace him. Elder Decker!!! He's from Oregon, and he's a pretty cool cat.

We found out about the moves on Monday morning. So we decided as a district to all meet at the church and have waffles for breakfast to kick off moves week. So we showed up, had some delicious Norwegian waffles, with everything on top of it from brown cheese, to jam, to
whipped cream, to sour cream. Yes, sour cream gets put on waffles. And yes, it's surprisingly good haha!

Elder Johnson left a couple days later and Elder Decker flew in. But right before Elder Johnson had left, we met with one of the church members and got kebab all together. So it was a nice ending to the transfer.

Fufu. For those that don't know what fufu is, just go look it up on the internet (I didn't even know what it was until we had it for dinner one night). Fufu is this really good food that is like a food staple in Africa, where exactly, I couldn't tell you, but a lot of
countries make it. Anyways, we were at dinner with one of the sweetest families, and they had made fufu as a part of dinner. And boy was it delicious! If only I could just travel the world and eat food for a living, that'd be incredible. But ya, it was made from maize flour, and ya, I might just have to learn how to make it.

We had a street stand in the city center this weekend, and it was so much fun. We had given out hot dogs like last time, and we also talked a lot with people about the Plan of Salvation. It was really fun. We invited a ton of people to our Open House at our church building that was held yesterday. It was so great. Tons of members from the ward were there out inviting people to it, and it was a great time!

And now, for the long-awaited story. How does one simply lose a key? Well, I had the car key in my pocket. And I sat down on a bus seat. And when I got off, the key wasn't in my pocket. That'll make a person have a small panic attack. Not being able to get back on the bus because it was long gone, we came up with a plan. We figured out when the bus should be coming back in the opposite direction, and decided to hop onto it, as the driver if someone had returned the key, and go on our way. So we did. And the key didn't get returned to the driver... Nor was the key chilling on the seat that I had sat on.... That was awkward. So we were out of luck. Anyways, fast forward to the next day, we were in a meeting, and one of the church members walks in asking if anyone had lost a key. It was definitely our key. Apparently, someone had been on the bus at the same time with us, and
had noticed that the key had fallen out of my pocket, and just shown up to church to return it.

Long story short, I'm really grateful for so many wonderful people here in Norway that are looking out for others!

To start out this next week, I hope you all have a good one. Take care!


Elder Mickelson

"Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good" D&C 90:24

Scenery from a bus

More pretty scenery from a bus

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

This Was A Great Week!

Set up for the world cup of sprint cross country skiing here in Drammen (the race went around the state church and through the city)

March 13, 2017

Hello Everyone!!!

This was a great week! We had a lot of stuff happened this week.

We started out with helping out a member move into his new house. It was really great. It even ended perfectly with a little barbecue! We had some hot dogs which were delicious. Anytime you put cheese or pepperoni in a hot dog, it suddenly gets a million times better.

Almost without fail, I take a train ride somewhere around the fjord for splits. This week, the lucky city was Oslo! After buying myself a skolebrød and a strawberry milk, I stepped on the eastbound train headed for the capital!

Elder Mitchell (not the one here in Drammen) picked me up and we headed back to the apartment. It was loads of fun talking with people there, talked with a really cool guy from northern Norway, and even met some of the members in Oslo. It was really enjoyable. Oslo is a great city, with tons of things happening ALL of the time. Basically just full of life. I guess, what can you expect from the largest city in Norway?

In the course of the week, Elder Nelson also got to take a driving course with one of the local traffic school in preparation for taking his driving test soon. So hopefully, he'll soon be getting the plastic card with all of the privileges of getting to drive in Norway!

There's a couple members that I knew really well in one of my earlier cities I was in. Anyways, they had moved here to Drammen recently, and we got to drive out to their home and have dinner with them. And yes, they're just as funny as when I first met them. They live way out in the middle of nowhere essentially, but that's ok, it has a nice small town feel to the place.

So we were out knocking on some doors, talking to people and stuff, and the sweetest older lady answered the door. She comments on how she'd love to have us come in and share our message with her, but she says, "but I'm sorry. I've just been really sick lately". She goes on to say how she doesn't think she has much time left to live (really depressing to hear by the way). At this point, I kid you not, I could've sworn she was like 75 or 80, and she says she thinks she'll die soon because she's 96!!! Ok, I don't know what it is, but Norwegians have this odd ability to live basically forever. They just keep on cross country skiing when they're 80 years old like it's nobody else's business. It's just really impressive.

Well yes, I had a wonderful week, and I hope the rest of you all do too. Take care! Have a great week!


Elder Justin Mickelson

Opera house in Oslo

Monday, March 6, 2017

I'm Back In The Saddle Again!

One of my best games of bowling. A whopping 118!!! Yay for me! I also beat the 
high score at their little arcade thing at the bowling alley. Bumped it up to 111! from like 
80 or something like that up even more! Felt so proud of myself! haha

March 6, 2017

Hello Everyone!

Well, as the title suggests. I'm back in the saddle again! (Song reference anyone?) Actually, I'm still impressed I remember any music lyrics. So good for me I guess. Well, this week was a crazy awesome one, I got to go back to a land of fairy tales and the city that I know and love all so well. Sandvika! I'll talk more about that later, but it was loads of fun and got to see a ton of people I know.

This week, we went to a family's home for dinner, and then we were invited to stay with them for family home evening. They have the most adorable little kids and they're just such a blast. Anyways, it was the funnest little activity we played for it. It basically ended up being scripture charades. Now just imagine playing charades with a few little kids. It's REALLY animated and TONS of fun! I don't know, I might have almost gotten more into it than they did, but I guess that's what happens when you never really grow up huh? (It's a joke, I've kinda grown up. At least I like to think I know what I'm doing and think I'm responsible haha).

Elder Mitchell and I caught a train (Again, I feel like every week I'm taking a train somewhere, oh well, it's great!) to Sandvika for their district meeting. It was wonderful seeing them all and being a part of their meeting. Afterwards, we decided to go to this restaurant called Egon's and get their all you can eat pizza. Boy was I stuffed after eating! I think in total, the six of us downed like 3 or 4 pizzas. I know I had like 7 or 8 pieces. I guess that's what happens when you have like a bunch of younger americans, and you tell them that they can eat AS MUCH AS THEY WANT. At that point you don't just eat until you're not hungry, you eat until you're stuffed. Plus, I wanted my money's worth out of it. Restaurant's aren't too cheap in Norway! haha

A few days later I went back to Sandvika on splits. So I was with Elder Hansen. We had loads of fun! I had already gone on splits with him a couple months ago back when he was in Tønsberg, so it was a lot of fun getting to be with him again.

Being there was great. We even met one guy that had been baptized while I was serving in Sandvika, so it was wonderful getting to see him again.

I even had a chance to meet with our awesome landlords there. It had been a while since I'd seen them, so it was a blast to catch up with them and see how they were doing. They're awesome so we had a lot of fun.

Right before I came back to Drammen, we had all played soccer together. So it was us, a bunch of people from the ward, and a few other friends there. I got to see several of the youth, and reminisce on good times and try to school them in soccer. Sadly, I still get beat. I guess that's what happens when you don't grow up playing soccer a ton. Oh well, but it was great!

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


Elder Mickelson

"Sometimes we can learn, study, and know, and sometimes we have to believe, trust, and hope." —M. Russell Ballard