Saturday, June 23, 2012

Two Years Ago Today

Here it is, June 23rd is here again. Two years ago this very day I reported to the MTC, beginning my 18-month mission. I know I say this a lot, but really, time just flies! I still remember details from this day so clearly. On June 23, 2010 I woke up up some hotel outside Manti just feeling...anxious, excited, tense, calm...everything. My first day in the MTC I forgot my scanning card for dinner and Sister Mergens and I had to go back to our room for it (the first of many times I'd forget it). In my journal I simply wrote, "the beginning of a grand adventure." Amen Sister!

On June 23, 2011 Sister Berggren and I were serving in Oslo. Here's an excerpt from the email I send home about my year mark:

 That's so crazy that Isaac's in the MTC right now. Sometimes I think about him sitting there in class, or devotional, or in the's strange. It was especially trippy for me because he's exactly where I was...a YEAR AGO!!! Agh! Can you believe it!? I reported as a missionary a year ago. Man, I'm getting old. One year as a missionary. That's awesome. June 23rd this year was fun and I thought it was a fantastic milestone on this great journey. I coined it "my day" for fun, and Arben, an Albanian member that's has nothing to do and is always hanging out at the center, bought pizza to celebrate. Wee! I got to reflect a lot about where I was a year ago. It's chilling to think about all the valuable lessons I've been learning and about all the stellar people I've meet. I'm flattered God has placed so many wonderful things and people in my path. Allow me to take a step down "my mission thus far" lane:

I've grown up a LOT. I've prayed and prayed for an increase of love and God has provided. A lot of little things don't bother me anymore **if this isn't marriage training than I don't know what is**, and I've seen clearer than ever before that I'm actually a fairly "chill" person. It takes quite a bit to stress me out. I've developed my yellow personality and am always looking for something to laugh about. My TESTIMONY has grown. I know that God always keeps his promises when we keep ours. I KNOW that there is a special power in fasting. I know we can be valuable instruments for God. I know this work will just continue moving forward and no force can stop it's progression. I know that light always drives out darkness. I know that there are good, solid people over the entire world. I know that God has a wonderful plan for each of His children, and that good decisions on our part lead us to the happiness that truly lasts. 

...I love being a missionary. I love this small window of my life. I am so, utrolig takknemelig for alt Gud gir meg. I'm so happy that it felt natural to slip into Norwegian there. I am grateful beyond words for this opportunity. Ah, what have I ever done to ever have such a charmed life?

And here I am, June 23, 2012, and my life continues to roll forward with momentum. I've experienced the long days of a Norwegian summer, I walked the streets of beautiful Bergen, I saw people change their lives in accepting the gospel of Jesus Christ, I completed another semester at BYU-I, I interned with a publishing company, I still get to share the gospel with people, I have a real job, and I still have some of the choicest people in the world in my life. Yes, another great year has gone by. I'm still so grateful for it all. Again, I ask, what have I ever done to have such a charmed life?

June 23, 2011: my one-year day in Norway. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Back at the Burg

Hello blog. It's been a while. Allow me to briefly catch you up. My mission was perfect. I wasn't a perfect missionary of course, but my mission is just what I needed. I LOVED it. I miss it. But I'm still doing good things so it doesn't pain me to look back.
Mom and Dad picking me up at DIA on December 15. A happy reunion!
I returned in December and jumped into another semester at BYU-I until April. 16 credits and a working part-time for the school paper reminded me why school was hard, but I learned valuable lessons. I roomed with Hannah Christensen and we became good friends. I also took on the role of "mom" at my apartment. I guess that's what happens when you come back to BYU-I after a mission.

One of my highlights of the semester is when three buddies and former mission companions come up to visit over a three-day weekend. One of our adventures was going to a dog sledding event in Ashton, Idaho. Here we've got Kaitlin Berggren, me, Balto, and Whitney Johnston.  

One of my favorite things we did was go singing at a local retirement home. We enjoy singing with each other more than you'd think.