Tuesday, January 28, 2014

God is always teaching us

This week has truly been an awesome week! I really focused on listening to the spirit this week and being humble and patient. I noticed that a lot of the time, I was a little more hesitant to listen to Elder Chico because he has so little time. That's when the realization hit me: I have 6 months. I am in no position to judge someone elses ideas. I tried to be really open this week and really try to focus on feeling the spirit. It's amazing what happened! I have felt the spirit stronger this week than I have in my entire life!!!!!!! All of the lessons, even the lessons that started out a little rough, I felt some level of the spirit, and that's when it hit me. The spirit is ALWAYS trying to talk to us and reassure us of the love and comfort that god has for us. If we are genuinely trying to listen, we will ALWAYS FEEL IT. Makes sense right. So something I have neglected to write over the past few weeks is that I am in the choir, the Mission Choir! There are 12 of us: 6 elders and 6 sisters chosen out of the whole mission to make a choir because an apostle or 70 is going to come visit in 2 weeks! They called me! Not sure why.... Usually when i sing, you can hear the faint wine of dogs in the background saying "why are you doing this to me?" haha but apparently the president and sis. Luque saw something...

Ok, so There is good news and bad news. The bad news is that our baptism fell through this week, 20 minutes before it started.... We went to kevin's house to pick him up. We had his clothes and everything. All we needed was his mom's signature on the sedula to let us baptize him. He told us he was good for that day so we assumed he had talked to his mom. He left for a second, came back, no signature....... :/ NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! HIs mom came down and the first words out of her mouth were "I am not going to sign this".... Heart. Dropped. Kevin was devatated and it was heartbreaking as we watched his eyes start to water as he ran back up to the house. His mom started to talk like she wanted to fight: "he's already baptized and confirmed" "we want him to do his first communion (catholic inniciation)" and blah blah blah. ok. understandable. Then she said things I would never have expected. Time for a quick pause. Elders have been visiting that home teaching the family and kids for almost a year, but just read to find out what she told us....  "I don't understand why he needs to be baptized again. I don't even know what you guys are teaching my kids. WHAT RELIGION ARE YOU GUYS EVEN FROM????????!!!!!!!!!??????????!!!!!!!!!!!" ummm.... WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Missionaies have been teaching this family for a year and the mom doesn't even know what religion we are from?????? WOOOOOOOWWWWW!!! Ok, so I began to explain our church "we are from the church of Jesus Christ... Maybe you have heard of the mormons?" NO. Ok, well then i explained the importance of a baptism like Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and to recieve the holy ghost. Then I said something that I have never said to anyone in my entire mission. She told me that the only thing that all churches want to do is baptize and confirm. I then said words that I will never forget. "Hermana, that's true, but the only thing that's different about our church, is that it's true. The other churches DO NOT have the authority from God to perform ordinances in the way of God. No other church is the true church of God with that power." I thought by literally telling her that every other church was performing false ordinances would make her feel uncomfortable, maybe angry, but i said what I felt I needed to. She actaully got really calm and actually started to talk to us really nicely. She was smiling and explaining that she just doesn't know lots about our religion. I told her that we would set up an appointment this week to talk to the WHOLE FAMILY! That way everyone knows who we are, what we teach, and what we do. I know that this family needs the gospel, and we are going to do everything possible to help them get it!

We are working with the older son of that same family because he has a problem with the happy green stuff. He came to church this week and we talked about Fasting in gospel principles. It was made for him! The teacher talked about the importance of self mastery and the ability for fasting to help us learn self control and get extra help from god. We also got to explain to him the priesthood because a new convert received it on sunday. After church, michel was really thinking. We told him that we would do a fast with him on whatever day we needed to help him quite smoking and prepare for baptism. He told us Tuesday! We are praying that he will be able to overcome this challenge and grow to become the true man that we know he can be!

So the reason for the title this week is actually some advice from Elder Burt, one of the zone leaders. He told us that on weeks that we don't baptize or don't have lots of success, it's because God is trying to teach us something and help us be better. He knows what we will face in the future (on the mission, in marriage, in school) and he is preparing us for those moments with the moments with live through each and every day. I can truly testify that this Gospel is true. If you want to know how I know, kneel down and ask God. He will answer you! I know that this is the true church of God and like Elder Uchtdorf said "There is a place for you here". God wants all of his children to recieve the ordinances in this life to help us be with him and our families forever after. I would just like to end with a story.

There was a mormon man, and every sunday he would go to church. Every sunday his neighbor was usually outside in the yard doing stuff and always asked the mormon man "where you headed?" The man would alway reply "I'm going to church, have a good one" Well, after some time, the non-member neighbor died, and at the funeral the mormon family was talking to the spouse. They asked her why her husband was always outside early in the morning in a shirt and tie working in the yard. She replied "he was out in the yard in a shirt and tie every sunday morning because he was waiting for you guys to invite him to go to church with you....." There are truly people who want and need this gospel in their lives. We need to be attentive and fearless to reach out and try to help all of them have the happiness and blessings we know we have recieved! 

I love you all, and I honestly get SO MUCH motivation and energy from reading your letters. Thank you for being such an awesome support to me! Ok, I have to go, but know that I love you all! Have a great week!

Love, Elder Norr

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

God is truly watching over us

Well, This kinda sucks. Put my usb into the computer and it wouldn't read. Ok. no big deal. I just left it in for a minute to see if it could read it. The computer decided to get super hot and melted my usb, and I don't know if it still works, but ALL OF THE PICTURES FROM MY MISSION were on it.... :( I am not going to check to see if it works on this computer because if not it will probably destroy my memory... Sorry, but no pictures this week...

So this week has truly been great, but it has also been a real struggle. If it wasn't obvious enough, I am not nearly humble enough. I truly try to listen to the spirit and be obedient to help people out, but I realized that I really i am not doing my best. I just felt aweful at the start of this last week, and then about thursday, after realizing truly how much I need god to have happiness in my life, God blessed me to feel the happiness of serving again. I have been praying so much to be humble, and even though it is uncomfortable to truly be humbled, it is definitely worth it. I still have a long ways to go to be truly humble though.

We went to play bowling today, and that was fun! wait.... play bowling? is that correct? it's a direct translation from spanish, and i am not goign to lie, it gets harder and harder to speak correct inglish. I find that I get mixed up a lot with direct translations and how I should really talk. Anyways, Bowling. We went to a place called Plaza Jardin, and it was SWEET! It was like a really nice mall straight out of the United States. I was so excited, happy, and slightly guilty for being there, but it was awesome! We got to go to some sporting good stores and see what new stuff there is, the only problem is everthing is for SOCCER! All I wanted was a VOLLEYBALL! Then elder Schaap and I went to.... DAIRY QUEEN! DELICIOUS! I haven't had a blizzard in FOREVER!!!! I can honestly say it was probably the greatest thing I have tasted in a while. We went bowling, and I WON!! YEAH! I ended up bowling a 170! Not sure how it happened because I am usually not a very good bowler, but it was really fun because the bowling center was really nice with couches and stuff, but I can't believe that I almost have 6 months on my mission! Sometimes the time goes by soo slow, but we are trying hard to do what is right, and God is blessing us.

Ok, so I don't really have much time, but I am going to explain to you guys my two super spiritual missionary experiences for the week! So, we finally contacted that lady that gave us all her information without even contacting her! She invited us in, even though we weren't announced and got the family together. We teach something called the vision for the first lesson. It includes an overview of all the lessons and an explication of pray in the way of God. We were talking to them, and the spirit just got so strong. When we got to the end of the lesson, I extended the invitation of baptism to them. THEY SAID YES! The mom is like 40 and so is the dad. One son is 14 and the other is 8, just turned 8!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This family explained to us that they are looking for a religion that is centered on the family and is going to help their kids have a testimony of christ and help their family grow in unity and love. DING DING DING!!!! We have a winner!!! The church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHOO! the spirit was soo strong in that lesson, and the mom (maritere) said the prayer to end the lesson. IT was incredible! My eyes watered up as she prayed and then broke into tears. They also came to church on Sunday and have the date of February 9th to get BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ok, they are awesome! Here is another one.

We have talked to this lady, Carmen Rosiles, about coming to visit her 3 times before, and she has never been. After eating, we were walking by my house and Elder Chico told me we should knock. we did. and she came out! She invited us in, and again, she truly has been prepared by god to recieve the restored gospel in her life! She explained to us how she needs a direction, and that she has been having a lot of problems. She told us that she has lived in the same house for 5 years, and just a little while ago, she started to have serious problems with emotions and other stuff all piling up in her life. That's when we contacted her a couple weeks ago. She told us that she knows it is a sign from God, and we taught her the vision. She truly wants a good life for her son and her to be with God someday. She came to church on sunday, and she really liked it. Everyone in the ward was awesome, and welcomed her like she had been coming for months!

I have to go, but I can truly testify that God is preparing his children to recieve his gospel, but we have to be looking and listening to be able to be guided to those people. Luckily, my son Elder CHico was in tune and listened to wha the Holy Ghost was telling him. He is such an incredible companion and I am super lucky to be his dad. We are going to have salso classes a couple times each week because before his mission, he was a professional latin dance instructor. I truly know that god loves us and will help us find those people who need OUR help. There truly are people in the world that can only be helped by us, and we must be worthy to find those people. I know this church is true and I thank you all for all the support you have all given, and continue to give me! I love you all, and hope you have an awesome week!

Love Elder Nathan Norr

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sickness en sunday, and an interesting day

Hello there my wonderful family and friends! 

I hope you are all doing awesome! This week has been a tough one. Once again, I found out the hard way that the pork down here is not very healthy. I had some in my pazole on satuday night and woke up sunday morning feeling like GARBAGE! Couldn't go to stake conference, which sucked, and ended up throwing up and just chilling in my bed all day. It was aweful! But I have truly learned to appreciate good health, especially when you are away from home. I feel like we lost so much yesterday with me being sick, but we are going to try to make it up this week. 

I don't have much time, and i don't really have any random facts that I can tell you this week. We were contacting this awesome family when this drunk dude comes out of no where and begins to try to preach the word of god. Needless to say, I told the women we were contacting to leave and we were harrassed for a minute by the drunk dude. He then told me he would die for the US and that he was a citizen. Weird... We also contacted some dude who asked us what god did before he created everything. I explained to him that we as imperfect beings cannot comprehend, and will never be able to comprehend that. he retaliated with "yes we can" if we study enough we can know everything, We as humans don't have limits" Ummmm... Dude, no. It just makes me sad when people are so hardened to the wonderful blessings that they could have in religion, even moreso in the Restored Church of Jesus Christ. 

My mom told me that the theme for this year is growing together and she explained to me that some trees grow really tall, but have shallow roots, and that they are strengthened by intertwining roots with those around them to be strong. I hope you all know that You guys help strengthen me with your weekly emails and words of motivation. This work is hard, and we have really been struggling with finding people to teach. However, the lord will not give us a testimony until after the trial of our faith (ehter 12:6)

I love you all so much, and I know that God loves you all. he knows you and knows what you need, even when we don't. This church is truly a forest where we can connect with other to become strong. I truly know that the spirit speaks to each one of us, and if we are listening, we will always be the right place for God to use us for the best. Love you all, and remember to stay strong, no matter what may come, God will always be there to help us. Remember to talk to him DAILY! Love you all, and hope you have a great week!

Love elder norr!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Feliz Año Nuevo! 5 Months Out

Prospero año y felicidad! haha Hope you guys are all doing well this week! THis week has truly been a good week! We actually got some new investigators this week and we are so excited to teach them! We have been striving to do everything right this cycle and we are starting to get the blessings! God truly does not give us everything we want in the moment that we are obedient, but tries our faith to STAY obedient and then just DUMPS the blessings! Ok, but here we go!

Ok so Firstly, this actually kinda sucks, but anyways  I have been banned from physical activities for the next 3 MONTHS!!!!!! Freak! Apparently after lots of volleyball knee-banging and jumping in addition with my auschter slaughter did some damage to the cartiledge in my left knee! So two injections and 3 months and I should be good. Just figured i would get JACKED in my upper body over the next three months! :) hah that's right kyle, I'm COMING FOR YOU! haha, but it's all good! cause I am helping the Lord push his work in these last days!

Next, we had a party on new years eve, and first went with Hermana Lupita (mama galleta) and we did... Karoake! Elder Walker and I did the rendition to "love song" by Selena gomez, and then one of the daughters put on a song by 50 cent. NOw that was my old life, but I just went off! I started wrapping and everyone started to crack up because they were still recording us. I realized that what I was singing was... not right for the time, and went into a freestyle rap about mexico! haha it was pretty cool and maybe I can show it too you guys some day! Then we went to ANOTHER PARTY (mexicans know how to party ;)  and we ate... AGAIN. At like 11 when all of the us were out of our mission clothes in Elder Schaaps house, they walked up and asked us to present a message at their new year's party. None of us had clothes, so we all put on Elder Schaaps clothes (210 lbs) I looked like a thug. I didn't feel too good just cause they were going to stay up super late so I went up and went to sleep. I woke up for a second at 4 and the members were still going hard downs stairs with piñatas and fireworks! New years was pretty chill, and we got to just hang out for a minute, and I finally opened my new year's package from my family! IT WAS DOPE! All of the other missionaries want My "green eggs and ham" book. We had two really cool experiences that I will tell you guys cause we don't have a ton a time today. 

First, we walked by the fuentes family house and they asked us for help picking their lime tree. We said yeah and they brought out a chair to stand on. Wasn't tall enough... So I decided to climb up on their 10 foot rickety chainlink fence and pick limes!  It was pretty fun cause usually the members think they are burdening us when they ask for help, but nonetheless, I had a lot of fun picking limes. 

Sidenote just to keep you from getting bored. I'm getting fat... :( kinda sucks cause with my knee I am restricted from cardio so I am slowly starting to get my little gut. We have belly fat talks sometimes, which usually end in laughing and talking about the importance of exercise! haha

Ok, so this truly was one of those moments that I truly just LOVE being a missionary. Elder Schaap and I had to go to a meeting at the stake center and when we got back, we decided to keep doing divisions and go work. We felt we should go visit Hermano Hajj because he wasn't in the capilla on sunday. We go, and the light is on in their kitchen and their window is open (the sign that they ARE HOME) We yelled "hermana Cruz" (his wife's name), and... no one. We yelled again... NO ONE... We look around, and there is this lady that looks to be staring at nothing... weird. I walk around to the other side of her where she could see me and I asked her if she was ok. She said that she was fine, just looking at a nicely decorated house. She then began to talk to us about how we were doing. We thought about contacting her, but we never did. Her sons showed up out of no where and introduced themselves. Without telling her from what church we were, or what our message was about, she told us, "i don't live on this street, but I live one street back in House number 100, whenever you guys want to visit me would be great! ummm..... WHAT!!!!!!! YES!!!!!!!!! then we proceeded to plan an appointment with her. She told us good night and took a few steps. Schaap and I were still standing like deer in the headlights with our jaws almost touching the street when she takes another step turns around walks back, and says, "here is my telephone number so you guys can call me to get a hold of me!" Um...... Again, WHAT?! THANK YOU! SHE IS CHOSEN! We have an appointment with her this saturday and her name is Mariseti. I guess we will see what wil happen with her! Fingers crossed. Please pray for us! We have lots of incredible people that we are teaching right now and I am super excited to get to work! 

I truly know that this church is true and that we ahve a living prophet, Thomas. S. Monson to lead and guide us. I truly know that if this work wasn't true, I and my buddies wouldn't spend two years of our lives in other countries getting fat and talking to such incredible people. The blessings of the gospel are so incredible and I ask that each one of you can always be greatful and diligent for the blessings from God! I truly love you all and Hope you have an awesome week! 

Love Elder Norr

P.S. Mom, it is Feliz Navidad and Navidad means christmas. Cristo means christ. The translations just aren't the same here :/ Love you all and hope you are doing well!

  a bad picture day when i had a monster pimple...
 That time in central when Elder schaap and I bought ice cream 
 Christmas, and the baptism of Naheli. 

 here are just some pics of us on new years and on the day of the temple trip!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

What's it's really like to be a dad!‏

Well, to start off, Feliz navidad! Hopefully you guys will have a great new year too! This week has been AWESOME! First, christmas was weird. I love my district, but it was still pretty weird to not be around the people that I love and miss so much! It was also kinda weird to get to talk to them on skype. I haven't seen a white person that spoke english in almost 5 months! haha but these weren't just any white people, they were my incredibly attractive family members. it went by so fast! I swear we were only talking for like 15 minutes, but I look down.... 1 hour 45 minutes! WHAT? Where did the time go? But I only cried once, while I was bearing my testimony to my family in spanish. It was such a strong moment for me that i really couldn't help but crying, hard... But it was great and they are all doing well and with that I was happy :)

Ok, WE WENT TO THE TEMPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh wow! it was the most incredible thing that I have done in so long! I haven't went to the temple for 4 months and I have honestly never been so excited to go anywhere in my whole life! We showed up, and it was ENORMOUS!!!!!!! This is the largest builing I have ever seen! We couldn't go to the visitor's center or the store where they sell scriptures and stuff though :/ It was the most spiritual experience in my entire life, and I went through the temple.... IN SPANISH!!!!1 It was so weird. I had never spoken spanish in the temple before, and then whi9le we were waiting in the room before we left, I started to cry. It is such an incredible place and I have never felt the spirit so strong in my entire life! It truly was gorgeous! the only problem was that we thought we were going to be there until 12 and then go home.... NOPE.... We got home at 4 and we had tio sprint to a............... BAPTISM!!!!!!!!!

We baptized alan this week and he truly was really nervous and because his family has never had a religion and so he didn't really know what to expect, but he got baptized twice..... The first time I thought it was good. Apparently not... But nonetheless it was incredible and The spirit was truly there!

So saturday I found out what it was truly like to be a dad when Elder Chico decided to get sick in the middle of the street.... We were walking down the middle of the street and he just looks at me "Voy a vomitar" (I'm going to throw up) Seriously?, Yeah. He tries to get to the other side of the street to throw up in the grass, but doesn't make it.... He jsut lets it out in the middle of the street... :( I felt so bad. But after he threw up, he said lets go work, cause he felt better haha however, he threw up after our next couple appointments and then i decided we had better head for the house. We got home at like 7 and he got changed to sleep. He kept throwing up and I tried to help him. I wanted to call my family so bad for help. But luckily for me, especially with the family that I come from, he is the best sick person I have ever met. I could hear him getting sick and I would ask him "elder, are you ok? What can i do for you?" and h would respond like nothing was wrong. 

It's going to sound bad to say, but I like chico being sick. I got to sit and study the scriptures, magazines, and church stuff for 3 hours!!!!!! LOVED IT! I truly do have an incredible love for the scriptures, and the temple! The scriptures truly are the keystone to our religion and they have so much increidble information and guidance that will bless our lives. We need only open the pages and read. This church is truly the true church of God on our earth. if you have any questions, then ask. It is a promise from god that "ask, and ye shall recieve. knock and it shall be opened unto you" and I truly have a testimony of that scripture. God is willing to give us everything we need, but remember that in the scriptures, everything that god says he will give us is proceeded with an action word. Be Active! God needs to bless you! But we must be actively angaged to get all the blessings of god! I love you all, and hope you all have an incredible new year!! LOVE YOU SO MUCH!

Love Elder NOrr