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Stories: Member Reactiviation

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Member Reactiviation 14 Dec 2005
Journal Entry, Trondheim, Norge: On November 9, 1961, Elder Donald J. Hammar came to town to be my new companion. As soon as we were put together, we were given the area of Trondheim called “Øya” (meaning, colloquially, “The Island”; formed by a nearly-complete circle in the now-meandering Nid {pronounced “Need”} River before it empties into the Trondheim Fjord; actually, as the river enters the fjord, it splits into at least two channels and forms a complete semi-elliptical island on which the Trondheim train station sits. with a bridge at each elongated end for the tracks to and from the station, and an automobile and passenger bridge on the shore side.), which was the area where the new church building was built. About 2 weeks after we became companions (Nov. 24, 1961), we were tracting out in “Nidarvoll.” Elder Hammar walked up to a door, knocked, and said the usual thing - “Goddag. Vi er misjonerer for Jesu Kristi Kirke av Siste Dagers Hellige.” The lady at the door reached out her right hand and said, “Goddag. Det gledder meg.” (Hello, it pleases me.) Elder Hammar was so surprised, he just about fell off the porch! “Gjør det det?” (It does?) he asked with a very surprised voice. We didn’t very often get a reception like that, and, at first, we were a little skeptical as to whether the lady was just playing us for fools or if she was serious. She invited us in and introduced herself as “Søster Anny Rønning,” a member of the Church. She explained to us that she and her husband, Odd, were both members, but had been away from the Church for 5 years. At that time they had a desire between them to come back to Church, but were afraid at what the local members might say when they found out about their inactivity. The Rønning family were all very wonderful to Elder Hammar and me. We spent many nights there discussing the Gospel and getting them reactivated in the Church. They started to go to Church, and they both quit the bad habits formed through these five long years of inactivity. They began paying their tithing and taking active part in the Church. We worked very closely with them, and, on the 14th of December, we baptized their oldest daughter, Toril, into the true Church of Jesus Christ. I shall never forget how the tears came to Søster Rønning’s eyes as we completed the necessary ordinances to make her daughter a “full-fledged” member of this wonderful Church. The Lord blessed this family very much, and soon they were more than making up for lost time with their activity and acceptance of responsibility. (In many ways, I think like Elder Hammar and I brought a very wonderful family into the Church.) Christmas 1961 rolled around all too fast. We really had some new and wonderful experiences during this joyful time of year. Trondheim was all decked out with Christmas decorations, and, with a little snow on the ground, everything was beautiful. (And cold!!) The sun came up about 9:00AM and set again about 3:00PM, so a lot of the time was spent in the dark of night. The members held some parties at the Church, and they were always merry and enjoyable. We spent the day before Christmas and that evening with the Rønning family. In Norway, the children receive a visit from the “Julenissen” the night before Christmas, and they open up all presents then. We had a very enjoyable time with the Rønnings! A Letter Home Dated Sunday, January 7, 1962, said, "Today we had three investigators to the meetings, and they liked the meetings very much - especially the Testimony Meeting. They are all referrals from the Rønning family whom we helped reactivate. The Rønnings are beginning to take a real interest in the Church again. It has really built up my testimony to see them become active again. They are helping us all they can to get good contacts. We are going out there tonight for a little get-together with some of our investigators and some of the members. That should help our investigators very much." A Letter Home Dated Tuesday, April 3, 1962, said this about my birthday the latter part of March: "Bror og Søster Rønning gave me an old Norwegian Bible. It was printed in 1862 in Christiania (Oslo). I think I will probably send it to you folks the first chance I get cause it is a little bit big and cumbersome (My English is terrible) to carry around."
Harold Oak Send Email
 
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