Arendal and Kristiansand!

This past week, we went to the gravesite of Olaf Pederson (my great-great-great-great grandpa), but we could not find his grave. In Norway, the family must pay rent on a gravesite and if you don’t pay, they can take out your body and put someone else there. Since it is right by the ocean, there are a lot of gravestones that are so faded that we couldn’t read the words, so maybe it is one of those.

Right now, I am in a hotel in Kristiansand which is a city where my great great grandmother is from waiting for the zone conference tomorrow. It is fun to stay in a hotel and we had a fun, beautiful road-trip to get here. The hotel room is spotlessly clean and has a queen bed and a murphy pull-down bunkbeds. In Norway, the designs are so sleek and space conscious.

We spent last night in Arendal–the place they based Frozen on and we will go back through there on our way home. Today, we went with the sister missionaries living here in Kristiansand on a little boat ferry to see an island and took pictures. It was so beautiful.

People ask me if they could travel to Norway and get around. Everyone speaks Norwegian here 24/7. They can speak English but in Norway, they only speak Norwegian unless they need to switch.  At church, they have little headphones for visitors who don’t speak Norwegian that translate the talks into English. People who move here, however, don’t learn the language very often, so locals are shocked when we as missionaries have been here for such a short time and speak Norwegian. 

In July, we are getting 23 new missionaries and we will only have 28 missionaries left in the entire mission, so staying and training is going to be so needed. I’m supposed to leave in August, but I’m not sure how I and the others can leave when everyone in the mission will be new and will not be able to speak Norwegian yet.

I have had fun making origami and trying more complicated designs. We had splits last week and I made some for the sisters that visited. I was paired with my old MTC companion so it was fun to see her!

It doesn’t get dark until 9:30-10 p.m. and it is only April. So we are now getting the sunshine we needed through the winter. All the shops are opening up and people wear masks indoors. Soon it will be light pretty much all the time.

Yesterday we had a great lesson with a man named Knut. He was so so kind and he wants us to come over and dance to his records. He apparently makes the best waffles in town.
We got a referral a few days ago from a girl who wanted a Book of Mormon. She has two friends who are also interested so we delivered three books and some requested pamphlets to them. That was exciting!

Hope everyone is well. Here are some pictures from our boat ride etc.