A Change in Plans

Mason Harris
Bergen, Norway

When we came to Norway in September of 1958, we had made plans and preparations to work here for a period of two years. Now we feel forced to change our plans. Our plans must be changed to include more years in this field. This change in plans is not because we enjoy being away from our families and our friends. It is not because of the enjoyment of living in a foreign country. We are happy here, but we do not hesitate to say that we would gladly exchange the world famous fish market for the cotton fields of Arkansas, and the towering mountains for a spot of ground level enough to play a game of marbles. We are changing our plans because we are needed in Norway.

The work was begun in Bergen a little over two years ago. It was not an easy beginning and we have not experienced a rapid growth. We have changed meeting places too many times to have many regular attenders. We are present1y conducting four meetings a week in as many different places. We have the reputation of being Mormons and are therefore avoided as if we had the itch. In addition to these and other hindering elements, there is our own inability to cope with every situation that arises.

However, at the present we seem to be standing upon the threshhold of a new era in the work here. We were promised a regular meeting place for the first of this year, but as expected we will receive it later. It will be so much better to have all of our meetings in the same building. We have a good supply of teaching materials and literature. More is in preparation. From the standpoint of the language, we are much more able to meet the task before us than we were a year ago.

Because our plans and preparations were made for two years, we believe it is best that we return to the states for a few weeks. This will enable us to "set our houses in order" for another season of work over here. This time at home will be spent in meetings and reports on the work. Also, we plan to receive as much spiritual strength as possible by singing, praying, and studying together with brethren who speak the language we understand without difficulty.

We plan to leave at a time that we can best be away from here. At the present, and from observations of the past, it seems that the Summer months constitute the slack season. Many of the people leave town for three weeks or longer during the summer. Many of the wives who are not engaged in public work take their children to the country for the months between school sessions. The husband stays in town to work, with the exception of the two or three weeks vacation he takes to be with his family. For this reason, our work with the children is slowed considerably. Originally our plans were to return in September, but now it seems that it would be better to make the trip in June and return to Bergen around the first of September.

When we talked to most of you concerning our support, we received promise for the two years we planned to be here. We would like to know if you can continue to help us for two or three years longer. It would save us the work of having to tour the country again if you would let us hear from you that you can continue our support. Will you let us hear from you soon?

Truth Magazine IV:5, p. 1
February 1960