Dear Family and Friends;
Well November is just about over. We are enjoying the cooler weather. It has not yet frozen yet. We are in the banana belt of Norway. We have had a lot of snow in the mountains and in other parts of Norway, but not here. We are soo.. glad the elections are over. Maybe we can see something else on the news. We pray that a divided country will become united. We have been visiting inactive members for the ward. Sister Gormley has never had a door slammed on her before. She doesn't like it. We have enjoyed meeting these people. Everyone has a story. I have learned that guilt can be disabling. We all need the relief that comes from the atonement. It is sad that so many will not accept this gift. We had transfers on the 10th. I think I made 8 trips to the airport shuffling missionaries. We had Sister Etchels and Elders Kemp and Merritt leave. We had Sister Cockrell, Elder Osguthorpe, Elder Davis, Elder Hailes and Elder Sadler, all from Utah come to our district. It is hard to see them leave and fun to see them come. We spent three days in Haugesund last week helping the Elders and the branch there. Sister Gormley and I spoke in church there. We visited 12 inactive investigators in one day. 3 asked us to come back. Sister Gormley bore testimony of the Book of Mormon to a sweet inactive sister. It really touched her. We had a busy few days this week getting ready for our Thanksgiving dinner here in Stavanger. We fed 54 people. We had about 25 older members of our ward that came. The others were Ward leadership, YSA and missionaries that helped serve and do set up and clean up. We cooked 5 turkeys, made stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, yams, carrots, homemade rolls and a bunch of pies. We had several people play the piano and sing. Sister Gormley and I sang Mary Did You Know. We had a great time. The older people were so grateful and kind. We are doing well. Some days we get a little tired, but all in all we are really enjoying serving here in Norway. We sure missed being with our family this Thanksgiving, but are so grateful they are all doing well. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas here in Norway. All of the decorations are going up. Hope you all have a blessed December as we all look forward to celebrating the birth of the Savior.
Love, Elder and Sister Gormley
Alex, Christopher and Emily
Linda (an investigator), Sister Etchels and Sister Gormley with the triplets
We serve the missionaries breakfast, in our apartment, before each transfer. We all enjoy it.
The Sisters and Elders at Transfer Breakfast
Front: Sister Davidson, Elders Kemp and Merritt
Rear: Sister Etchells, Elders Killpack and Steed
Ice Cream at McDonald's with the Meade kids. They are an American family from Laramie, WY. Sam, between us, is our little buddy. His parents adopted him from China a year ago.
Sister Gormley and I with Tolleif Hidle from Bømlo island. He has family that are members in the states. We are helping the missionaries teach him.
Elder Sadler, Sister Gormley and Elder Killpack dancing with Aurora. Her mother made us a nice dinner.
Sister Gormley and I with Sister Reidun Solmunde. She made us an excellent dinner. She is such a faithful member in Haugesund and serves in the temple in Stockholm.
Sister Gormley hasn't lost her sense of humor.
Mariana Munoz, a new member in April, invited us to her orchestra performance. It was excellent. She is 16 and the sweetest young lady. She is the only member in her family. They moved from Columbia to Spain and then to Norway about 5 years ago.
This is Alemat Gebru Gerecheal. He was one of our YSA leaders. We have really grown close to him. He came to Norway as a refugee and was able to complete his college education. He has not been able to find work because of the poor oil economy. He joined the church a little over a year ago. I was recently able to ordain him an Elder. He was deported back to Ethiopia yesterday. We will really miss him. Adrian Preator, from Burlington, served a mission in Ethiopia and is in contact with him. He is getting him the church contacts there. He will be a great blessing to the church there. We will sure miss his warm smile.
Sister Gormley made a Tree of Life pumpkin pie for the Thanksgiving dinner. She is so talented. Sure glad that she is my companion.
This is Casper Vaagen. He is one of our YSA. He is deaf. He joined the church a little over two years ago. He just got his mission call and brought it to the Thanksgiving dinner to read it to us. Sister Davidson had been leaning sign language and read it for us. He is going to the Arizona Scottsdale ASL mission. We are so excited for him.
Our Thanksgiving dinner crowd. Almost half of the members that came are inactive. We were so glad to see them.
On the left is Sister Meling. She is 93. She hasn't been to church in several years. She came and read several of the poems she has written over the years. She was so happy to be there.