Tuesday, March 29, 2016


There is no place like home ... and family!

This sign, on the garage door, greeted us as we arrived home!

We were so excited to see our family!

Macie and Drake!

Hugs felt sooooo good!

Lots of happy smiles and some happy tears too!

Our mission accomplished!

It was so fun to see everyone dressed in a
Norwegian flag T shirt!

The Jone's girls made a fun sign and hung it on the garage door -
telling is many things that we had missed.
We missed that cute family too!

We went straight from the airport to Dad's.

He woke up and I am sure recognized me -
gave me a few sweet pecks on the cheek before
going back to sleep.
He passed away 3 days later.  I'm so grateful
he "waited" for us to get home before passing.
It was a very special and tender experience to
be there with him surrounded by so many family
members who loved and admired him. 

I am grateful for the Gospel Plan - the wonderful 
Plan of Happiness.  I know Dad is with Mom, Deb, 
Jennifer and many other loved ones in a wonderful
Our mission to Norway ended and Dad's new mission,
in the Spirit World, was just beginning.

Friday, February 12, 2016


Exactly how we feel!

"You will never be completely at home again.
Because part of your heart will always be elsewhere.
That is the price you pay for the richness of loving
 and knowing people in more than one place."

The Bishopric Jim served in -
Jaimie Montanares, Egil Reiraskag, 
Bishop McFadzen and Kenneth McCabe

Bishop Jared McFadzen and Jim

The ward had a wonderful farewell pot luck
on the Sunday we gave our farewell talks.

Some of the Bishop's family

Our new friend, Seif

Enjoying the delicious food

Kristiansand Menighet

Miriam, her son, Tor Carlos and Grandma Maria
made an amazing cream cake, covered in
marzipan and decorated as a suitcase with 
our badges and the Norwegian flag

We have come to love and admire the great
members in Kristiansand!


Our final Friday night dinner and activity

Maria, Ida, Søsters Williams and Carpenter,
Seif and Eldstes Rial and Davis

Evan, Frederik, Jaimie, Atle and Hannah

Hannah and Atle offered to wash the dishes
and clean up after dinner

Decided to see how many could fit in the bathroom

Fun times playing ping pong - getting
everyone involved


Fun selfie with Seif, Maria and Even

Jennifer and Frederik

Ida and Atle

Seif and us

Even and us

Mats had just returned from the USA, visiting
Jocelyn.  We had a great visit, hearing about
his first trip to America and how it was going
with Jocelyn!  His mother, Ingvild came in too.

Eldstes Rial og Davis and the Ektepar

Jim, expressing our love and hopes for
each one of these very special young adults!
They have touched our lives and our hearts and
we are better people for knowing them!


We enjoyed one last lunch with these great friends,
 Ingvild and Kari Tamper

Also, an amazing dinner of moose steak
with Vigo and Ana Svendsen

Hege, Mortin, Tuva and Oda invited us
over for waffles and cake

These two beauties are our adopted grand daughters

We might have left this beautiful country but
part of our hearts will remain.
We are so grateful for the amazing experience
we have been blessed to have, serving in Norway!

Monday, January 25, 2016


Frozen is right!  But so beautiful!
Our first winter in Norway was a very mild one, 
just a couple of small snow storms, but this 
winter is a different story!
Kristiansand, the "Caribbean of Scandinavia",
got dumped on!

Our drive into Kristiansand.

For the last couple of weeks, the temperature
has stayed between minus 5 and 17 degrees
celsius - thus, frozen!
Views from around "our" lake.

The skies stayed clear, the
sun did shine and the air was crisp!

Another enjoyable drive to do our 
Home teaching.

We are grateful for down coats,
woolen mittens, spikes on our boots ...

...and warm hearts.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Chasing the Lights!


Jim and I, along with Eldste og Søster Whitaker, decided to take
a chance to see the Aurora Borealis, so we flew way up
north to beautiful Tromsø for a couple of days.

Being it was almost mid January, the polar
nights were coming to an end.  The sun still
hadn't made it over the horizon but it was close.

It's a beautiful city in the dark too.

Søsters Larsen and Wadley met us at the
airport and helped us get to the hotel.  It was so
fun to see two of our favorite søster missionaries!

Eldste og Søster Olsen serve in Tromsø.  He is the
acting branch president in a very small branch. 
We sure appreciated their hospitality in showing us
around their city and fixing us a wonderful dinner!

Lil lives in Tromsø.  She was my "language buddy",
when I was studying Norwegian before we came on our
mission.  It was so fun to meet up with her.


We decided that our best chance to see the "lights",
would be to go with a tour group that really does 
"chase" them - well they chase to find the right
conditions to see the lights.  We went with
Arctic Explorers and they were great!
First we all got outfitted in "polar gear" -
thermal suits, boots and gloves.  This was put
on top of our wool underwear, sweaters, 
socks and hats. It did get down to -21degrees
celsius so we were grateful for our gear!

With all that on, we felt like arctic explorers!
We were ready!

 And we saw them!

We saw spires, arches, dancing curtains...

Hour after hour...

... we watched in awesome wonder!

Aurore, our guide, (yes, that is her real name),
couldn't believe how lucky we were.

Both evenings, Aurore built a fire on
the snow, served us hot chocolate, fed us
a hot dish like reindeer stew, roasted marshmallows
and provided mats where we could lie down
and gaze up to the sky.

For two nights, we were entertained by
these amazing lights!

On the last night, we were treated with an
Aurora Borealis Corona - the lights, straight
over our heads, filling up the whole sky.

We felt very lucky but also so very blessed to
experience these amazing creations of our
Heavenly Father! 
In our hearts, we humbly shouted out,
"How Great Thou Art"!