Happy 4th of July, everyone!!
Today we woke up to get ready for church and the hosts we were staying with made us "American Pancakes" to celebrate the 4th of July!! But with goat cheese and other such Norwegian treasures :)
Then we went to church where I was spontaneously called upon to sing a duet with my friend Kevin - we sang a great rendition of "I Know that my Redeemer Lives." Very nice. They did a great job of accommodating us in the Sunday school lessons - saying everything in both Norwegian and English.
After church they made us a "picnic" even though we just ate it in the main hall of the building. What they know is that it was the 4th of July, and on the 4th of July Americans have "picnics" so for lunch they made us a "picnic" of hot dogs and egg salad and open faced sandwiches and DELICIOUS desserts (with vanilla sauce!! Mmmm...) And they drew that lovely American flag above for us :) We sang the national anthem and felt patriotic.
I loved staying in Skien. Not only was the nature beautiful, so were the people!! They were so friendly!!!
This is the family I stayed with:
And these are the sweet oh-so-scandinavian twins, Lucy Lill and Eleanor, I played "Stein, Saks, Papier" with (they don't speak English yet but Rock, Paper, Scissors is pretty universal...):
We then drove back from Skien to Oslo to play a musical fireside. Afterwards, some of the younger members there insisted that they come grill hot dogs with us for a 4th of July picnic!! Mmmmm! More hot dogs! This one really was a picnic - outside our hostel (same one we stayed in 3 nights ago) - in the grass and on picnic tables. Perfect.
And this is Marie. I met her at BYU earlier this year, but she was here. She was actually the one who insisted that we have another picnic! She's great. She has this neat blog. And she said something perfect about what I'm supposed to do with my life.
"Keep walking. That's all. And you'll find it."
(The lovely Vatir and Lillian Top - he basically coordinated EVERYTHING locally for our performances - called hundreds of people and such - they really helped make it happen for us!! - It's their little girls pictured above, too.)