Our First Blizzard!

Last night (Monday), I went to sleep around midnight! As a missionary, that basically never happens. My companion, Sister Deere, and I went caroling with the Elders and two of our friends (Celine and Maria) to people in our congregation. It was snowing really hard outside. As we were getting ready to head home, our friend Celine got a call from her friend who had slid something like 100 feet off the road. He needed her to come help. It was approaching 9 o’clock, when we’re supposed to be home, but the roads were dangerous enough that we didn’t feel like she should go alone. Celine drove her car and the rest of us followed behind her in Maria’s car.

We hadn’t been driving long when we saw Celine’s car stop. We thought maybe this was where her friend was. She had actually scraped her car on the metal fence separating the road from a deep ditch. Her tire was also flat! We’re not supposed to change tires, but this was an emergency situation, so Elder Fjord changed her tire. She tried to start her car, but the battery was dead. We decided to push the car to a nearby house where it could stay for the night. 

I had a reflective vest on from Celine’s car, so I was directing traffic. In North Dakota, I directed traffic for a few hours nearly every week, so that really came in handy! I walked behind Maria as she backed her car all the way to the nearby house and out of the snowy road. Then we went back and started pushing Celine’s car. We were making good progress until we had to stop because a car was coming. Then we couldn’t get the momentum anymore because the road began to incline. Maria had a tow rope in her car, so we hooked the cars together and were about to start pulling the car.

A man drove up and asked to help. He was a mechanic. He got in Celine’s car and steered while we towed it to the house. He absolutely insisted on jump-starting and moving the car, even though it was in no condition to drive. Part of the car was torn and dragging on the ground. It was a little ridiculous. He wanted to take it to his house where it could stay overnight, but we asked the owner of the house and they were happy to let us park her car there temporarily.

Anyway, it all worked out. We waited in Maria’s car for someone to pick Celine up, and then she drove us home. We were SO cold. It had been snowing the whole time we were outside, around 2 hours. I learned that my very nice coat is apparently not at all waterproof! Also that rainboots are not warm. But it was honestly pretty fun. 

Yesterday we also helped a ward member clean her house before her fiance moves in, and then we had dinner with some other ward members.

On Sunday we filmed a video for our Facebook page and I sang O Holy Night in Norwegian. I memorized the song while we were recording, and there were a lot of technical difficulties, so it was in many many ways not my best, but that’s okay! I’m not a professional performer.

This week we also filmed simple videos of me singing Mariä Wiegenlied and O Divine Redeemer at the church. They need musical numbers for our Zoom church meetings with the whole mission.
Today we filmed a video for our Facebook page, Kom til Kristus. It went decently well. For one of the clips, Elder Høstet drove as fast as he could through a puddle to splash Elder Fjord on the sidewalk. I protected the camera from the huge splash of water with an umbrella.

We had dinner tonight at a pretty nice place with the Elders and Celine and Maria. It was a lot of fun. I got a really good hamburger and ate it with a knife and fork so I wouldn’t upset the Norwegians who were with us. We got ice cream at Burger King afterward. The only American fast food places they have in Norway are McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, and Dominoes. No KFC, which they have in most places!

One of the ward members we meet with a lot (to teach English) suggested that we make a group chat where we could remind her to read the Book of Mormon every day. She was happy to let us add other people to the chat. We added Ricardo, a man we’re teaching who lives in Mexico, to the chat. He’s learning Norwegian, so it’s perfect! He’s messaged the chat twice with insights about what he’s reading. Katrine, a woman we’re teaching here in Norway, also shared her thoughts about some verses she read. It’s been fantastic to see what they’re learning.

Tomorrow morning I’ll say goodbye to my companion, Sister Deere. She’s going home Thursday but she’ll be spending the rest of her time at the mission home. I’ll be splitting my time between Oslo and Lillestrøm for the next two weeks until our two-week transfer ends. Tomorrow night I’ll spend in Oslo and we’ll see after that! 

It will be interesting to serve with Sister Benedict again, because she was my companion just 3 weeks ago! She’s a fantastic person. Hopefully I will also get to know Oslo a little better.
It’s been just crazy the last little while, and I don’t think it will ever slow down. But I am grateful to be busy, and so grateful that we can meet with people in person here in Norway. Fun Norwegian fact: if they drive through a yellow light, they say “taxigrønnt!” which means “taxi green.” The taxi drivers are really aggressive here, so they always drive even if the light is turning red.

Pictures:

  • At dinner tonight
  • Filming the video today. I’m the one with the umbrella
  • Lillestrøm all decorated for Christmas.
  • Our gingerbread houses
  • I decorated our neighbor’s door for Christmas. She’s a really sweet old lady.
  • Some treats that a ward member gave us when we had dinner at her house. You just snap off pieces of the gingerbread tree and eat them. It’s so cute!