Tuesday, August 26, 2014

WEEK 5: Tillykke med fodselsdagen! means Happy Birthday!

Danish phrase of the week: Tillykke med fødselsdagen! (Til-lookah mell fool-ses-day-en!) HAPPY BIRTHDAY! [Why didn't they include that in the Happy Birthday Primary song?]

I was so spoiled on my birthday yesterday. It was seriously one of the best! I woke up to the Sisters in my zone yelling happy birthday, and a chocolate muffin from the vending machine. (that's about as fancy as it gets around here). It was perfect. I basically had a heart attack but in a fun sort of way.

Aunt Anna, you sneaky lady, thank you so much for the ten-layer cake! I got called down to the Health Clinic early yesterday morning and could not figure out why! I was confused until I got there and the receptionist told me that Karen wanted to see me! And then I remembered. She is so great! She delivered the cake and gave me a big hug-hopefully you've seen the picture by now. It made my day and I loved sharing it with my district! And thanks to the whole White family for the sweet card! I miss eating your food. :)

The MTC bookstore has a pretty amazing selection of cheesy anniversary cards, so I got about four from some of the Elders in my district. They also put together a box filled with random presents like candy, hand sanitizer, a keychain, and Gas-X. ... ... thanks Elders. But really, it was hilarious and I loved it. Except the Gas-X. I threw that at Elder Porter. 

Also, because of Sister Moseley's anxiety, she has connections at the counseling office. Last week through the counseling office, we met the most glamorous 75 year old Danish woman. Her name was Lisbeth Hopper. She talked to our companionship all about Denmark-the people, the traditions, the food. It was so fun. We talked for like 2 hours. But she told us about this amazing traditional Danish cake that she always makes for her grandchildren on their birthdays. My companion was like, "Sister Van Orden's birthday is in four days!" and Sister Hopper got so excited and was like, "I'll try to sneak you a cake!" And she did!! Right after I got called down to the Health clinic to get my amazing cake from Aunt Anna, Sister Moseley got called down to the counseling office-and this Danish cake covered in Marzipan frosting was waiting for us. 2 surprise cakes! Plus the mustache cake from you guys-which didn't quite make it in one piece but I could tell it was a great one :). So spoiled. Thank you all!
AND-for Tuesday night devotional, the Young Women General President came to speak to us! She and her husband were Temple Matron and President in Sweden, and all of her kids served missions in Scandinavia (one even went to Denmark!) so a lot of the Scandinavian missionaries went up to talk to her afterwards. She gave all of the Sister missionaries hugs, and she gave me an extra one when she found out it was my birthday. I HUGGED A MORMON TEEN IDOL YOU GUYS. :) 

Since my birthday came the day before P-Day, the sisters in my zone decided to have a sleepover to finish celebrating. We pulled extra mattresses into our room and ate cake and popcorn and stayed up WAY past our missionary bed-time. It was such a fun day

Other exciting news-TRAVEL PLANS. We got them last Thursday! We leave the MTC for the Salt Lake Airport on Monday morning at 6 am. 
Leave SLC at 11:15 AM
Arrive Chicago at 3:30 PM
Leave Chicago at 6:10 PM
Arrive London at 7:50 AM (the next day, Aug 26th)
Leave London at 9:55 AM
ARRIVE IN COPENHAGEN AT 12:50 pm on August 26th.

So basically we can't wait! Also, I can call home from the airport! I'm going to buy a phone card from the MTC Bookstore. So I can call between 7 am and 11 am on Monday morning or between 3:30 and 6 Monday afternoon. DearElder me and let me know what time works best for you all! 

I have learned so much about how to be a good missionary here at the MTC. I'm excited to get back into the real world and grow even more! One of my teachers, Brother Williamson, has been an especially fantastic teacher and friend to all of us. He tells so many stories to help us understand how to teach people as individuals. Also a lot of hilarious and off-topic stories, but he really does have such an amazing love for the people of Denmark and he has inspired all of us to work hard! He said that if we leave the MTC with a desire to love and serve the people, then he has done his job well. We are so excited. I can't wait to get there and meet everyone and become a part of this new place! It really is so important to get to know people on an individual level. The message of the gospel is for everyone, but that doesn't mean it's generic. It's specific and highly personal to each individual who hears it. Jesus Christ taught people one by one. He served people one by one. As representatives of Him and His church, that's our job too! Really it's everyone's job. I have such a testimony that we're put here on earth to help each other. That's why we have families! My companion who is struggling with anxiety has received so much strength from her family over the last few weeks because they know her and love her on a deep, personal level. I constantly receive strength from my family. Every time I hear from each of you and hear about the wonderful, amazing individuals you are it just lifts me up. I am so proud of all of you. Take the time to help each other and talk with each other. We are not meant to be alone. Genuinely reach out to people who need a friend; everyone has something important to share!

Thank you so much for the letters, cards, and the wonderful Birthday Box from home! My birthday was a great one because of all of you!
I love you all!
~Sister Van Orden

Oh! And Hayden (personal shout-out, you should feel so important)-thanks for all of your DearElders! I wrote you a letter back a couple of weeks ago-I'm not sure if it got to you. Mail is sketchy sometimes! But send me your email address so I can keep in touch once I leave the MTC!

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