why norway

i love Norway.
i mean i really really love it. 

i'm convinced that if i wasn't an American that i'd be a Norwegian. 

when i was 12 years old i had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Trondheim, Norway. 
where my cute grandmother is from. 
after WWII my grandmother & her small family immigrated over here. 
she's lived in Utah ever since. 

i loved Norway! i loved the mountains, the sunny days, (i was there in June.) 
the unique language. the different breads and the weird brunost cheese. 
i really do love that cheese. 

i remember visiting my grandmother's childhood home, her relatives, and exploring her hometown.

on one of my last days there i remember wandering down a cobble street listening to my 
norwegian family discuss where we were going next. (at least i assume that's what they were saying. i didn't have much understanding of Norwegian than.) and thinking to myself. "i belong here". kind of a funny thing for a little 12-year-old girl to say. but i just desired all of it. knowing this family. understanding the language. i remember wanting to just shout how much i loved it there. that i wanted to stay. 

i realized that i could. that i could love Norway. that i could know this family. that i could belong there. that i can. 

on that day i made a promise to myself that i would learn that language. that i would live in Trondheim. and that i would combine two things that i loved. the gospel  and my cute Norwegian family. 

for 10 years i believed that i'd be a Mormon missionary in Norway. HAHA. i laugh now because i wouldn't change my experience serving in Alaska for anything. but at the time i was devastated. i eventually realized that the Lord always has a better plan. after serving for 1.5 years in Alaska i came home dead set on making this Norwegian dream a reality. 

after returning home in march i attended BYU-Idaho. and i searched and searched for somebody who might know this language. (my grandma lives in Utah and to her Norwegian makes complete sense. she is somebody i can practice with. but i needed someone who had learned the language around the age that i was). i looked and looked. no avail. except on my last day. HAHA an old communication counselor happened to have served there 30 years ago. we talked for an hour. 

i started to think more into my plan. what does it take to move to an entirely different country? how long should i stay there? who can i stay with? when should i go? 

most these questions were easy. i realized i need money to move. that i should stay about 6 months. i can stay with my family. (i messaged them. and they agreed. thank you Lennart and Tone!) but when? now that was the real question. 

i toyed with the idea of going after i graduated college. more than a year away.
but that just didn't feel right. 
i remember thinking about it while i was shampooing my hair. and it just hit me.
smack.

"January... you need to go in January and come home in June." . 
"but that's insane!" 
it worked. it just made sense. and then the questions came pouring in.

i'm in Idaho. should i move back to Utah? save money? spend time with friends? family? get a job?
uh duh. it all sounds so stupid now. haha
"yes. yes you should." 
 okay, I'll go back to the college i attended before serving in Alaska and finish up my degree. i did the math and realized i only had the one semester left. SWEET! 

but who's going to teach me? i can't just not have a teacher. i've got way too many questions. i need one.
many people thought i was kinda crazy for needing one.
 "oh i'd just wing it once i got there."
but my goal is to master the language. i see the time spent in Norway as a way to practice what i know and work on what i don't. i need a strong foundation. 
it made me nervous to think that i was planning on avoiding English for a few months and just spend all my time speaking Norwegian. 

this all happened around May 17th. Norway's independence day. 
 i posted a photo of me wearing a bunad (a traditional Norwegian outfit.) saying that i wished i had my own. 
and you'll never believe it. 

a boy that i went to high school posted on the picture. "Du er Norsk?" 
and BAM. it hit me. OH MY GOODNESS. i've found somebody!!! more like he found me. haha
on my next trip home. (i flew home most weekends. it was summer and my family had some trips planned.) i attended the Singles Ward. the same ward as this incredibly cute Norwegian speaking boy. 

gosh, i was so nervous. i'd always thought he was suppper nice and out of my league. and had always been too nervous to ever befriend him.what on earth was i going to say? this has got to be the most random request
 i just kept thinking "i've got to ask him. what's the worst he's gonna say? no. than okay. at least you asked." 
"oh but school is starting. he'll be too busy." 
"he'd never wanna teach you. you're so weird."
stupid right? 
anyways wayyyyy to many doubts running around my brain. 
but i just kept thinking this is perfect! i mean perfect! 
we live insanely close. 
same ward. 
it'd be only a small inconvenience. and i will work off his schedule.

so i built up the courage and i asked him. 
and he said yes!
biggest blessing of my life.  
this may sound ridiculous. 
but i doubt i'd be going in January without his help. 

i don't know how he's so patient. but he is. 
i always have questions. sometimes the same questions. making the same mistakes. ("hyggelig" or "mange". took me ages to say those right. HA).  i'm usually too embarrassed or nervous to speak. and he has to push it out of me. 
i just remind myself that he won't judge me and that all people learning a language have been where i am. haha it doesn't always work though. 


and that my friends is the why to Norway. and why i'm moving there.