Monday, August 29, 2016

Nearing the end of summer in Norway

Dear Family and Friends;

We have really enjoyed our last couple of weeks.  It is nearing the end of summer here.  It is getting cooler and darker much earlier.  We taught our last summer institute class last Friday.  They were a great class.  Studying the book of Moses with them was great.  We start our fall institute this Friday. We have several new YSA's this fall.  We are excited about them.  Early morning seminary started this week.  I am subbing this year.  I taught twice this week.  We have 12 attend each morning.  They are very faithful.  We had a baptism Friday.  A sweet young lady 16, that moved here from Spain 3 years ago.  She has wanted to be baptized for a several months.  Her parents would not allow it.  We all prayed and their hearts were softened.  The young women have been such good friends to her.  We have a young Norwegian man about 28 that has agreed to be baptized in September.  He is writing a Masters thesis on the Crusades.  He loves the gospel. We have help teach him.  We have a lady from Cameroon that we have helped the Sisters teach.  She just had triplets last week.  She has agreed to be baptized as soon as she is able.  What a sweet lady.  She has her hands full.  The work is moving forward.  Elder and Sister Lemon, the senior couple from Oslo, came and spent the week-end with us. I heard him give a fireside in Stockholm, so I asked him to give it to our YSA's and our ward.  It was awesome.  His conclusion was that God created an unbelievable universe, but that his joy comes from us, his children.  He created it for us. Laurie has had a sinus infection the last few weeks, but she is about over it.  We love each of you and are grateful for your prayers.  Have a wonderful week.

Elder & Sister Gormley

We had a ward BBQ at a lake last Saturday.  It was a great time.  This is one of our new missionaries, Elder Kemp, playing the Ukulele.  He is from Burley, Idaho.  

This is Linda's Triplets.  Emily, Alex and Christopher.  She named them after the Sister missionaries that are teaching her.  (Emily) Sister Etchells and  (Alexis) Sister Cook

We had a display for the church at the International School of Stavanger.  It was fun to talk to people from all over the world about the church. This is Elder Johnson, on the left, from Pleasant Grove, Utah. The one on the right is Elder Richardson from Fillmore, Utah.  He is one of our new missionaries.

This is Elder & Sister Lemon from Logan, Utah.  We went on a fjord cruise together.  Below is a synopsis of the fireside he gave.  If you would like to see the science behind his fireside you can find it on You Tube.  Just go there and search Douglas Lemon Universe.  Very interesting.They are going home in October and wanted to come back to Stavanger, where he served in 1970.  Great people.

TITLE:  God, the Universe, and You.  SUMMARY: In this visually rich fireside, Elder Doug Lemon takes the audience on a "journey of discovery" --first of the universe and then of themselves. The fireside begins with a visual tour of the universe to establish a "cosmic context" for the topics to follow. Then, using language and examples easily understood by the non-scientist, he discusses examples of how the laws of physics, as the scriptures attest, are finely tuned to make our galaxy and planet suitable for human life. He concludes the workshop with examples from the scriptures that confirm our relationship with God and our infinite worth as His children. The workshop promises to be interesting, thought provoking, and spiritually uplifting. Elder Lemon was born and raised in Cache Valley, Utah where he received BS and PhD degrees in Physics from Utah State University. While at USU, he met and married Alice Mae Baugh. They are the parents of 5 sons, all of whom are now married. They have 15 grandchildren. Elder Lemon has over 37 years experience as a scientist, program manager and senior executive with science and engineering organizations. He has developed and led research numerous research programs for applications in aerospace, defense, and homeland security. After 30 years working with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington, he returned to Logan to serve as Director of the Space Dynamics Laboratory, part of Utah State University. He later became president of the USU Research Foundation. He has written a book, Journey to the Stars, A History of the Space Dynamics Laboratory. He and Sister Lemon are serving a mission to Oslo, Norway supporting the Stake Young Single Adult Program, the Oslo Institute, and the Norway Oslo Mission office.

Mariana Munoz was baptized Saturday.  She is so sweet.  Sister Steffensen, her Young Women's President on the left gave a beautiful talk.  

We took the Lemons for a ride in the mountains.  We found Billy Goat Gruff.

Sister Gormley and I played our Ukulele's for the ward talent show Saturday night.  We sang Ghost Riders in the Sky.  It was a great evening with a lot of great talent.  We had a lot of fun.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Happy August from Norway

August 16, 2016

Dear Family and Friends;

We have enjoyed a couple of rainy weeks.  I understand some of you would like a like a little of this rain.  I finally passed my drivers test.  3 months and $750.00 later,  Norway is one of the few countries that do not accept a US licence for an extended period of time. I felt like a teenager.  I had to take two driving lessons and a driving test.  We bought a ukulele.  We have really enjoyed learning to play it.  We have a very musical ward and have many that can show us.  We had one of our sweet YSA sisters get married.  Brightess has the right name.  She is a shining light.  She married a young man from Poland.  They are moving from the ward.  We will really miss her.  Her family couldn't come from the Philippines, so she had them on Skype for the wedding.  The Stephen Glenn Family is moving back to Houston.  They have been here for 5 years and will really be missed.  He took all of the missionaries to the North Sea Oil Museum before he left.  We really enjoyed it.   We have had great response to our summer Friday night institute class.  We really enjoy the YSA.  We met an inactive YSA young man this week.  He was in the hospital for surgery.  He told us how he was bullied in school and how it has affected his life.  We asked him if he would consider speaking to the youth of the ward on the harms of bullying.  He said he would consider it.  Sister Gormley and him have fantasy books in common.  He has a series he wants her to read.  We look forward to working with him.  We went to Haugesund this last week.  We really enjoy working with the Elders there.  We took them back to Tysnes to visit Sister FlatrÃ¥ker, an inactive sister.  Her husband has not allowed her to attend church.  We were able to meet him and have a nice conversation.  He has a farm and animals so we were able to discuss that.  She is two hours from the church.  We hope she can start coming. We had 41 out to our Branch Sacrament meeting, a record for a long time.  Sister Gormley spoke on forgiveness. She did a wonderful job.  Elder Christiansen, From Napa Idaho is going home this week. We have enjoyed working with him.  We stayed with the Branch President, Ismo Hiltunen and his family.  They have an attic apartment.  They are so kind to give us a bed and feed us. We had all of the missionaries over this morning for a transfer breakfast.  Elder Nelson and Phipps are being transferred.  You get attached to this young missionaries.  We continue to enjoy riding our bikes. Good way to get a little exercise. Not that we need it, haha.  We love you all and are thankful for your prayers.  Keep the faith.

Love Elder & Sister Gormley

My new Norwegian drivers licence. 

Our newlyweds, Brightess and John

Missionaries at the North Sea Oil Museum.  They had to try on the survival suits.
(L to R.)Sister Cook form Roosevelt, UT, Elder Phipps from Moses Lake WA, 
Sister Echells from Castle Rock, CO, Elder Johnson from Pleasant Grove, UT.

Haugesund Elders.  (L to R) Elder Merritt from Spokane, WA
Elder Christiansen from Napa, ID

Hiltunen's apartment in Hausesund

Left, Elder Phipps from Moses Lake WA
Right, Elder Nelson from Vancouver, WA 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A week in Stockholm, August 6, 2016

August 2, 2016

Dear Family and Friends;

We had quite a trip this last couple of weeks to Stockholm Sweden.  On the way we stopped and spent the night with our dear friends, The Evangers, that are investigating the church.  We so enjoy spending time with them. We drove about 14 hours each way to attend a regional young adult conference called Festinord (Festival in the North).  We went with two other couples from Norway.  We drove with the Torgesen's and car pooled with the Lemon's.  There were also senior couples from Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Germany.  There were over 800 young adults from 31 countries.  They are so spread out in Europe that it is exciting to see them get together.  There were many activities and classes.  Some of the classes were: Accept and handle life's challenges, God-The Universe and You, Create Church History through Personal Histories, Faith under Fire, Dance for your life, If not flee Babylon, then how to attack.  They were really informative and faith building.  We met many great youth from all over the world.  We spent a lot of time in the kitchen, serving and doing dishes.  We really enjoyed serving together with the other couples.  On the way home we stopped at Kristiansand for the night.  It was the first area that I served in on my mission.  The young men and women when I was on my mission were now in their 50's.    It reminded me of when Alma met the sons of  Mosiah. "therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord.  What a blessing to see how many were still strong in the church.  It was there in that little branch that I found my testimony and my direction.  I bore my testimony.  That was not easy, but a special experience.  It is great to be back in Stavanger, our home away from home.  Love you all and have a great week.

Elder and Sister Gormley

Evanger's parents home in Farsund.  Home built in 1770's.  Has 38 rooms.  They were very kind to us and had us spend the night.  Philip gave us a tour of Farsund on his boat.  

Much of the furniture was from the 16 and 1700's.  

Fountain in Old Town Stockholm.  I thought Erik and others would find it interesting that they decorated with Foxtail??

Part of the Old Town of Stockholm.  Founded in the 13th century, most of the buildings from the 1700's and 1800's.

Medieval Church in Stockholm built in Late 1200's

Swedish Royal Palace with it's 600 rooms.

Stockholm Temple.  We have really missed the temple.  It was great to be there.

Tammy from the a YSA from the Isle of Jersey.  We met here in Old Town.  

Germany/Finland won the boys soccer, Sweden won girls soccer and Norway won co-ed basketball.

John Wennerlund from Stockholm.  Great guy and a super hard worker at the conference.

Sweet young lady we met.  She was from Mozambique but has recently moved to Vienna, Austria.  

Nick Blosil from Orem and F. Lomel from Seattle

Couples from Norway.  Front to back: 
Torgesen's from Old Town,Idaho serving in Kristiansand, Norway
Lemon's from Logan, Utah serving in Oslo, Norway
Gormley's from Burlington, Wyoming serving in Stavanger, Norway
Pedersen's from Drammen, Norway (Stake President)