16 July 2009

Sérstakur dagur…í gær (A special day...yesterday).

Two months ago a 19 year old young man named Eric Ellsworth went into the MTC to begin his mission. He arrived in Iceland this month, July, having not had a companion in the MTC who was also learning Icelandic. This is one of my pictures of Eric. I discussed his family and history a bit in a previous post.

Yesterday, another missionary went into the MTC who was called to Iceland. His name is Peter Christensen. I am glad that he will have another missionary who is going to Iceland to practice the language with while in the MTC. His name is Peter Christensen from Salt Lake City. This is a picture of Peter and his family in my office. Peter's dad is a lawyer in Salt Lake and his mother used to work at BYU in the Admissions Office like I do, but before I ever arrived on the scene as an employee. He seems eager and excited about his call to Iceland, though he did seem shocked when he found out he was going to that little spot in the ocean. He and his companion to be are in for a unique and wonderful experience there. Guð blessi þá.

And for those of you who are interested in knowing what grammar texts the University of Iceland is using to teach foreigners Icelandic, you can go to http://www.icelandreview.com/ and click on the "Ask Eyglo" icon at the top. Foreigners can ask questions there about Icelandic life and travel and, if the questions aren't too hard to answer or wouldn't take too much space to answer, they'll be answered. I submitted three related questions about six months ago and the answers finally came up today, July 16th. Both the grammar texts and the best Icelandic-English dictionaries (hard copy and online) are mentioned. This will help me at BYU as I choose which books to use as I teach Icelandic, but might also help others who are interested in learning Icelandic at home from a text or online. Hope these resources help.

And finally, the Icelandic Parliament (the Althing) votes today on whether or not to "begin discussions" about applying for EU membership. Many Icelanders want the benefits which come from EU membership, including a more stable currency, but many do not. Icelanders have always been fiercely independent and a large percentage of the people want to stay that way, in part by staying out of the EU. Two years ago NATO closed its military base in Iceland, last year Iceland's banks collapse and now Iceland is discussing EU membership. A lot can happen in a very short time.

13 July 2009

Nýir (gamlar) myndir frá 1981. (New (old) pictures from 1981).

I've been in recent contact with a former missionary who served in Iceland back in 1981. His name is Grant Grow. He served most all of his mission in Denmark but, at the request of the mission president there, he agreed to extend his mission to serve an extra six months in Iceland. He finally tracked down his mission photos, scanned a bunch and sent them to me. These are a few of them. Grant is in the first picture, missionary Mike DeYoung is in the second picture with Halldór Hansen and an unidentified woman. The last picture is of Orell Anderson and an unknown scantily clad statue.