Stories: Elder Jacobson and I
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|Trondhiem, Norge, From My Missionary Journal: "The next Tuesday, August 29, 1961, I found out I was receiving a new assignment. On Wednesday, I made the longest move in my history of the Norwegian mission - from the first floor to just above on the second floor at Leiv Ericksons Vei 11. However, the now-four of us could only use the facilities on the first floor. I was now the junior companion to Elder David A. Jacobson from Provo, Utah. Elder Jacobson was the Supervising Elder of Trondheim at the time.
That same night, I had the privilege of baptizing and, then, of helping to confirm Ruth Arntsen Sumstad a member of The Church. It was a very noteworthy and unforgettable experience as I led this wonderful sister down the steps into the baptismal font. In the months to come, I had many outstanding experiences with and came to love Søster Sumstad and her family very much. Elder Jacobson remarked after the baptism on our way home, 'That was a good way to start our companionship off right.'”
"And success it was!! On September 7, 1961, Elder Jacobson and I had two more wonderful souls brought into the Kingdom of our Heavenly Father. Their names: Liv and Frode Nilsen Jensen, daughter and son of Brother Thor Jensen by adoption. Brother Jensen had married their mother while I was with Elder Thomsen. She had been baptized sometime before their marriage, but her children, five in all, had not been baptized or blessed. Elder Jacobson and I were instrumental in getting them prepared for baptism. Their step-father baptized and confirmed them with our assistance as witnesses and helping with the confirmations."
"When I became the Junior Companion to Elder Jacobson, Elder D. Jerald Nielsen took my place with Elder Thomsen. Elder Nielsen was from Providence, Utah. In the months to come, I came to know and love Elder Nielsen as if he had been my own companion. He was a very wonderful friend and had a glowing personality. Many times he brightened my day with his big, ear-to-ear smile - I will not long forget Elder D. Jerald Nielsen."
"I found out while with Elder Jacobson that the S. E. (and his companion) knows just about everything that goes on in a district, and they have their hands in just about as much. Elder Jacobson, especially, made it his program of knowing just what went on with his other Elders, and was constantly going with the other missionaries to see what they were accomplishing. Consequently, being the junior companion, I found myself tracting with the other Elders, especially with the other juniors quite a bit. Many nights I tracted until quitting time (9:00 PM). Jokingly, I, at least once, said to Elder Jacobson, 'I think I am just about the only Elder here in Norway who tracts 30 nights a month.' But, really, it was good experience that I was thankful to get, I found out later as a Senior Companion.
“Sometime during the 3 months I served with Elder Jacobson, he got a 'Dear John' letter from his girl friend at home. However, Elder Jacobson was a rock, and didn’t let that little setback get him down. He just moved forward knowing that Heavenly Father would provide when the right time came along.
On September 21, 1961, I had the opportunity of anointing Søster Sara Pedersen. My hands trembled as I laid them on the head of this sweet sister and pronounced the few words of the anointing prayer that I had so diligently memorized in Norwegian. On the following Sunday, I baptized and assisted in confirming Rebekka Margrete Berg Skarsvaag a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She was kind of a 'weird' lady. Elder Jacobson and his previous companion had brought her son into the Church, and she had thought it was such a change for her previously-alcoholic son that she wanted to be a member also. When I baptized her, she wanted to sit down in the water before I had said the baptismal prayer. Shortly, thereafter, alcohol get the best of her son, and both gradually fell 'along the wayside.' It is really hard to see people who do this, because in a way you feel like you have failed on your [own] behalf. But, all people aren’t the same – everyone thinks differently, likes different things, and does different things.
"The Trondheim Team now consisted of these very fine companionships: SE Elder David Jacobson and Elder Harold Oak; Elder Brooks Larsen and Elder Carvel Harward,; Elder Glen Maw and Elder Don Rogers; Elder Poul Thomsen and Elder David Nielsen; and Elder Allen Watkins and Elder Howard Williams "
"One night after I had been in Norway about 3 ½ months (October 9, 1961), I went out together with Elder Carvel Royal Harward from Loa, Utah. We had one appointment, along with several 'calls back' to visit. The appointment held, and, after Elder Harward gave the lady a “Manner of Conversion” discussion, I gave my first 'Inquiry and Challenge' discussion. She was a rather passive lady and didn’t accept the challenge, but I still felt like I had really accomplished something when I left the house. Elder Harward said he couldn’t 'believe [his] ears” when he heard that - hah!! Shortly after that, we received the new worldwide lesson plan consisting of six well-planned discussions. (I heard that we were one of the first foreign language missions to get them, having seen the English versions in the Mission Home in Salt Lake City before they were issued to the field.) I got right to work learning them, and, on November 5th or 6th, I gave my first 'first discussions.' The first one I had to use the book to get through it, and I called the man “Herr Olsen' once or twice, even though his name wasn’t Olsen. ('Herr Olsen' was the person in the discussions on paper who answered the questions that the elder asked.) The next night it went a little better - without a book, but I needed a few promptings from my companion for the night, again Elder Harward, who was also learning the new discussions."
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