Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Arendal

Thankfully Ronny provided us with step-by-step directions to get to his family's home, because we never would have found it otherwise.  The Stulens live in a wonderfully unique location; isolated enough to be nice, but close enough to civilization to be convenient.

The Stulen's property, front view, notice the 15-seater van

The Stulen's house, back view

When we arrived we were greeted by one of the Stulen's eleven children.  That's right, eleven children.  We didn't meet all of them but the ones we did meet were very well behaved and friendly.  They all spoke English with great fluency as well.  One of their daughters attends an American school and one of the subjects Ronny teaches is English at the local high school.  Ronny and his wife, Ylva, were at a wedding the night we arrived (Ronny was performing the ceremony) and they told us we should just come join in the celebration.  At the wedding there was lots of food (some Norwegian, some not) and many nice people from all around Scandinavia and a few from other parts of the world.

Ronny with his youngest son just after finishing his dessert--in the church kitchen

If you spend time in Norway you will certainly notice how rocky everything is.  That was probably the biggest surprise about the landscape.  There a tons of tunnels and the roads just wind in and out.  The Stulen's home, like many in Norway, is built "upon [a] rock."  The night we stayed there they graciously gave us the basement, which Richard really loved because the basement was hollowed-out rock.

We attended Church in Arendal and the missionaries and a 17 year old girl in the ward did their best to translate for us.  Marijke helped teach primary and Richard was asked to speak in the sacrament meeting.  The Church members meet in an office building but they've done a lot to really make it feel like a place of worship.  The views out the windows are of the beautiful Arendal harbour.

Photo taken just outside the Church building

Photo taken on the bridge connecting Tromøy (the island where the Stulens live) to Arendal

2 comments:

Lori said...

Richard did they tell you ahead of time you were speaking ? in sacrament or did they just call you up from the audience?

Marijke said...

No they didn't tell him before, just called him up.