Monday, June 5, 2017

This Is My Last Group Email Here In Norway

Getting burgers as a district
June 5, 2017

Hello Everyone!

Wow. This is my last group email here in Norway... This seriously has been the best 2 years for my life. It's been an incredible experience. Wow, I can go into that a little bit later. First off, my week.

Volleyball on pday!

I had an incredible week! Wow. What an ending. We had a great p-day last week. We played some volleyball as a district. That was tons of fun! We just relaxed and had a good day!

We had a mission conference too this week! That was really great. It was a blast! Elder Herland, an Area 70 came and visited all of the missionaries. So it was great. He shared a lot of wonderful experiences from his life and his mission. It was real funny to listen to him.

I even made up some homemade barbecue sauce too this week. That was delicious. When I first tasted it, I didn't like it, and it tasted funny. It was then that I realized it was because I had just brushed my teeth. Yuuuuuum! Minty barbecue!..... haha It turned out good after all.
Elder Decker nearly getting 
attacked by the swan

Yesterday we were out visiting a family in a town way out there. Anyways, after we left, we were waiting for the other Elders to pick us up after their appointment. Out of nowhere, it started raining, and it was some of the biggest raindrops I've seen! It was crazy. Got soaking wet, and all of a sudden we get a phone call, and the family we just visited were calling wondering if we were still out in the rain or had gotten picked up, so they had us come back to dry off real quick. Anyways, just a fun little story about being a missionary. The little blessings in life when others are looking out for you. Always appreciative of that.

I guess this is down to my closing remarks now. Maybe a mission recap. I don't really know what I want to go with. Yup, we'll go with a recap.

I started out my mission up in Alta. Got to be the furthest north missionary in the world for a bit. Saw the northern lights a lot. Saw a lot of cool sights. No polar bears though, didn't see any of those haha. Met some great people and made wonderful friends. I learned how important it was to be yourself.

Moved on down to Fredrikstad. I remember walking into church and one member welcomed me and said that he hoped I would feel at home there. And that's what it was. I was only there for a few months, but I got to know everyone, and it felt like home. I learned what it meant to love others. To really care about others and how to do that. What a loving place. Plus I got to be with Elder Mitchell and we had a blast. So can't complain any. Real good memories.

Moved on over to Sandvika. What a fun city. I had some great companions, was in a great ward, made some great friends, and had a great time.

A year ago I moved to Bodø. Got back up into the North. Picked up the northern dialect again (I've lost it since then). Went to Lofoten. Got to train a new missionary (Shoutout to Elder Dawes woohoo!). I experienced both the midnight sun and no sun 24/7 while I was there. I really got to know the members up there. Well, that's a bit easier when there's like 10 of you. But that's what made that so cool. It was really tight-knit. I learned there how to truly live what you believe. They were such incredible examples of that.

Then I moved down to Drammen. And I've been here for the last 6 months. What a wonderful place. It's so great here. Wonderful members. Way fun city. Great people. It's a little bit more redneck, and I like that. It feels more like home here. I like it a lot. I've made incredible lifelong friends here. And they're awesome. I'm so grateful for them.

This has been an incredible couple years. I've seen most of the major cities of Norway, seen the sights, eaten crazy awesome food (fell in love with Filipino food. holy cow!), made amazing friends, had wonderful experiences, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. And I'm so grateful I got to share the gospel here in Norway. I'm grateful I could come here to help people come closer to Christ. And I feel like everything I've experienced has just helped me in every way. But I think the greatest thing though at the end of the day, is that when I set aside the cool stuff, I've personally grown a lot. I'm a lot better of a person now than I was a couple years ago. I've come to understand who Christ is and what he means for me personally. My testimony in the gospel has been greatly strengthened over my time here. I'm so thankful for that.

It's been real. It's been fun. It's been real fun. Thank you all for everything! Have a great week everyone!

Ending it off with an irish poem.

"May those who love us, love us.
And those that don't love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn't turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles,
So we'll know them by their limping."



Elder Justin Mickelson