What a week!

It’s been crazy here in Lillestrøm the last week! The other day we had lunch with a ward member who lives in a tiny cabin with no electricity or running water. I was a little nervous about drinking the water he had because it was in a plastic jug and I could tell it wasn’t fresh. But all the other missionaries who had been there before were drinking it and I was really thirsty! So I had some of the water.

We drank what was left in the jug and he said that he didn’t have any more water, so the Elders volunteered do help him fetch more. There were enough jugs for all of us so we took them down to the spring where he usually gets his water. When he took off the lid of the wooden container, the Elders said that there was a dead bird in the water! I assumed that the bird had only been in there a short time. The ward member then said that if we weren’t there, he would have drunk the water. My heart just stopped. Had we just been drinking that water? He asked the Elders if they were absolutely sure he shouldn’t drink it. They said they were. He said we didn’t have to get water *right now* then.

He told the Elders that he had gotten the water we drank from the gym, and I really hope that’s true. I’m just not as sure as I usually am that the water I drank did not have a long-dead bird in it. We haven’t been sick yet, so we think we’re safe.

Also, when we were leaving the church on Sunday, I had been listening to and speaking Norwegian to everyone for at least three hours and then speaking it to my companion for far more. I started getting a headache, which other missionaries have said is very common after going to church as a new missionary trying to learn Norwegian. Then, as I was talking to Sister Benedict, my face started to feel really hot and red and I felt weak. I checked my temperature a few times and I had a fever! I was really worried, because typically a fever means you’re quite sick and I had been around people for days. So I laid down on the cold floor for quite a while until I started to get cold. I checked my temperature again, and it was normal. It looks like I got a temporary fever from overusing my brain, haha. I have never heard of that!

A man that we’ve been practicing Norwegian with who lives in Mexico messaged me a few days ago and said that he has been feeling hopeless lately and like everything has been falling apart. He said that after we prayed for him, his life turned around completely, like a miracle, and he has seen improvement after improvement in a way he can’t explain. That was so wonderful to hear! He is very interested in what it’s like to be a missionary and is interested in maybe becoming one. We think there are a few steps before that, but it’s exciting that he’s interested!

Norwegian has been coming pretty quickly, with God’s help, but it’s exhausting to learn a brand-new language! I hadn’t spoken much Norwegian at all since I was in the MTC over 6 months ago. But God really does help us if we are willing to try and we’re doing it to help others!

My companion is a wonderful person and we’ve had so much fun together! Last week on our preparation day, we went to the Munch museum in Oslo and I got to see The Scream, my favorite painting, in person! Then we went to this great little pastry shop in the city and I got three pain au chocolates because I learned from last time that one is not enough! The pastries there are amazing and not expensive. I also got a traditional Norwegian pastry with vanilla pudding on it and the best sandwich ever. So it was a great day!!

Sister Benedict also likes to cook which is awesome. Yesterday we made some really great pesto pasta with roasted sweet potatoes and I made some cardamom and cinnamon scones with lemon-chocolate icing. I know it’s kind of wild to put that many flavors together, but they were really good!

We have spent a lot of our time trying to strengthen the members here who are struggling in various ways. It has been great serving them, talking to them, and teaching them. We hope that we can help them find people in the ward who can support them as well. The Romerike ward is absolutely amazing. Everyone is so friendly and kind, and I love being around them. There are just so many good people here.

Everyone stay safe in the U.S.! I know things are going haywire right now. I hope everyone is okay. All is good of course here in Norway