Friday, February 10, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day

Dear Family and Friends;

January has been pretty dark and rainy.  Sometimes it is difficult when you don't see the sun for days on end.  We have enjoyed our visits to Haugesund every two weeks.  The ocean is a little rough this time of year.  It makes for interesting ferry rides.  The members are always so kind to have us over. The gospel is an important light this time of year for all of us.  We are so proud of how well all of kids and grand kids are doing.  Everyone is busy, busy.  It has been a tough year in the farm/ranch business, but Erik is holding things together. We are grateful for the notes and letters that many of you send us. We are grateful for good health and the energy to keep up with the demands of a mission including the YSA, missionaries and member visits. A highlight for us is when we get to help teach with the missionaries. I have been called as the member/missionary coordinator for the Stavanger ward until a new one can be called.  Sister Gormley's favorite meeting is our weekly district meeting where she feeds the missionaries a great lunch each week and we share testimony and train with each other.  We understand that many of you have had a wild winter.  Be careful out there and stay warm.  We feel your prayers and are grateful for your support.

Love, Elder and Sister Gormley

This was on January 15th.  It has been our only snow this winter,  We got about an inch.  It lasted about a day.  Our landlord said that this has been the mildest winter in his life, he is about 40.

This is Ingrid, one of our YSA young ladies.  She spend two years in Korea learning the language and working.  We are glad to have her back.

Once a month we have Family Night at a members house.  This was at the Oyama;s, an American family working with NATO.  They are great.

Another zone conference.  We feed about 35.  It is always fun to get the missionaries and our President together.

Sister Cockrell, on the right, broke her nose in 5 places.  She was learning an exercise using kickboxing with one of our YSA young men.  She was bobbing when she should have been weaving.  She had to go home to Salt Lake to have surgery.  We pray she will return to us soon.  

Sister Kari Nilsen.  She is one of our sweet single sisters in the Stavanger ward.  We was an airline stewardess for many years.  She now works in the Stockholm temple several weeks a year. 

This is where Kari Nielsen lives in Hommersåk, Norway.  A beautiful spot on the end of a fjord.

This is Leo.  He is one of our YSA from France.  He is an engineer at a window factory in Moi named Nordan. It is about 1.5 hours southeast of Stavanger.   He gave us a tour of the factory.  Most of the work is done by robots.  He manages them.  Very interesting.  We then went on another .5 hour to Flekkefjord to see one of our YSA's that got married, Brightess.  We were able to teach her husband a first discussion.  He is from Poland.  Great guy.  We then went on another .5 hour and visited our dear friends the Evangers who were baptized in late October.  It was great to be with them.  It is difficult for them to get to church.  It is a 5 hour round trip.  

This is our transfer breakfast the morning before the missionaries are transferred.  Sister Gormley cooks a nice breakfast.  We then go around and tell what we love and appreciate about those leaving.  We really enjoy this time together.  We sure miss the ones that leave, but always love the new ones.

This is our new district leader, Elder Davis from Gilbert AZ.  He is a character.  I think he is taking his new calling a little too serious, don't you?

This is Casper Vågen.  He is one of our YSA's.  He got called to the Arizona Scottsdale ASL Mission.  He has left this monday for the MTC to learn ASL and brush up on English.  ASL is a different sign language than Norwegian sign language.  We had a big ward going away party for him at the Bjerge's Sunday night.  I cooked up some Buffalo hot wings for the party.  He loves them.  He has been a member about two years and will be a wonderful missionary.  He has a powerful testimony.   

This is Alex with Sister Gormley.  He is about 6 months.  She crocheted him this blanket.  This is her new hobby.  She also made one for his brother Christopher and his sister Emily.  Their mom, Linda, is investigating the church.  She is amazing to keep up with triplets as a single mom.  They are a wonderful little family.
This is an invitation to our YSA Valentine's party we are having in Stavanger on the 17-19 of February.  We will have about 30 YSA from Bergen, Haugesund, Stavanger, Kristiansand and Arendal.  We are trying to broaden the YSA friendship circles.  We are excited for this event.