Danish Word of the Week: Hygge. (hoo-guh) There isn't really a translation into English for this word, but it's a huge part of Danish culture. It basically just describes the way that Danes want you to stay forever in their houses and eat all of their food and talk about everything. Danes love to hygge. It's a fun time.
Embarrasing moment: In Denmark, it's rude to ask people how they're doing if you don't know them. Which makes it hard to start a conversation sometimes. ...all the time. But I forgot about that social norm a couple days ago and asked this old couple on the train how they were doing. The lady literally gasped, and her husband stared at me for a long time and was like, Do we know you? and then I crawled in a hole and died. My poor trainer.
You guys I broke my wrist! I have never broken a bone in my life and here I am the first week in the mission field with a ginormous cast on my arm. Living on the edge. Again: my poor trainer.
So here's the story. I was riding Sister Handley's bike because the bike lock on my bike decided to reset itself so I can't open it anymore. The thing about Sister Handley's bike is that skirts tend to get caught in the wheel. So we were biking along, and my skirt got really stuck in there. I pulled it out, but in so doing started to lose my balance, over-corrected, and basically did a somersault onto the pavement. I am so lucky that no one was following close behind me! My hand hit first, flat against the ground so my wrist took the majority of the impact. The weird thing is that it didn't hurt that bad. I had some bruises on my knees and on my hip, and my wrist kind of ached, but other than that I was totally fine. I jumped right back on my bike and kept riding. And then we went and helped an investigator unpack and move into her new apartment. I didn't lift anything too heavy, but still, my wrist felt fine. After that we had a dinner appointment and that's when it really started to hurt. (<to hurt> is <gøre mig ondt> which literally means <to do me evil> which I think is a very accurate translation.) It hurt SO bad. And it kind of locked up so I couldn't move it at all!
So we went into the hospital the next morning-we wanted to wait the night to see if it felt any better in the morning...which it didn't. So-yes. And we were in that hospital for EIGHT HOURS. Mostly just waiting in the waiting room. I got a lot of really awesome language study done! I know a ton of hospital words now. And Sister Handley was an EMT so she was just so excited about all of the ambulances and equipment. It was a fun time. They took a bunch of X-rays that they didn't show me, but apparently I broke the bone on the thumb side of my wrist. I'll be in this big cast for 10 days and then they'll check again and give me a smaller one. I shower with a plastic bag on my arm. What is my life. Haha :)
My trainer and I have been making a list of all of the blessings that are coming out of this.
1. I'm learning to be ambidextrous.
2. It's a great conversation starter when we're contacting.
3. The senior couples gave us treats
4. We're learning the bus routes really well since there will be no more biking for the rest of the transfer
5. We get to wear our pencil skirts since we're not on bikes! And maybe even do our hair.
Ok. Other CRAZY thing that happened this week. We were teaching a man outside the temple around 8 pm. The Elders were with us because we need either one other woman or the Elders when we're teaching a single man. Anyways. The man we were teaching was named Johnny and his main concern was that religion divides people and causes wars. So we were in the middle of talking about how Christ teaches us to love everyone when Elder Higby stands up and is like, <oh shoot, there's a fight!> And RIGHT across the street from the temple, there were about 20 men just beating each other. It was insane. There were people on the ground, people running all over the place and chasing each other down-just chaos. The church building is right behind the temple so we were just like, Okay, time to run and hide in the church! Johnny, the man we were teaching, just said <Maybe we can meet another time.> and took off down the street. So the four of us missionaries locked ourselves in the church until things quieted down. Elder Ogden tried to call the police but the call got dropped. We were all just sitting there staring at each other like <What just happened?!> Don't worry Mom, Denmark has one of the lowest crime rates in the world! We just happened to be right across the street from the one fight in the whole country. Hopefully we'll hear from Johnny again. We really were having a great conversation about peace and charity.
So two very strange things happened-but this week was also full of some really fantastic miracles! Søster Handley and I found a new investigator. My very first new investigator! She's a young mom named Evalina with a daughter and a twin boy and girl who are the cutest, happiest children I've ever seen. She was really interested in reading the Book of Mormon and hearing about how the gospel strengthens families. I'm so excited to teach her and her sweet family.
Also, Elder Bednar came to talk to our mission! All of the missionaries gathered here in Copenhagen-this is the first time the whole mission (including Iceland) has been together since the 1960's. I got to see everyone from my MTC group again! It was like a huge family reunion. President Sederholm told us before the meeting to think of Elder Bednar's words as if it were Christ speaking. <Whether by my own voice or by the voice of my servants it is the same.> Remember that scripture? Elder Bednar is an apostle of Christ, therefore he speaks the words that Christ would speak if he were here! It just gives you all the more motivation to pay attention in General Conference! It was amazing being taught by him. It was a three hour question and answer session. He taught us so much about how to create an environment where the Spirit could teach. He was answering our questions, but he kept emphasizing that the revelation we received from the Holy Ghost during the meeting was of more value to us than the words he said. It was amazing! Every question that has been going around in my head the last few days was answered in that meeting either by something Elder Bednar said or by an answer that I got through the Spirit. There is no doubt in my mind that he is an apostle of God. I know that the priesthood-the authority to act in God's name-is back on the earth today. All of the amazing miracles in our lives are possible because of that power!
Our district also had a baptism yesterday! Speaking of miracles. This girl is from Greenland. There isn't even a branch of the church in Greenland right now. Her name is Aviaga and she's 22. She was visiting Denmark for a surgery. She told us that she has always known there was a way to get close to God in this life, but she didn't know what it was. She prayed to find an answer and the next day Elder Ogden and Elder Higby contacted her on the street. They told her about how God is our Heavenly Father and he loves us. She said she knew right then that this was what she had been looking for. They taught her for just two weeks and she just knew that the gospel was true! She felt that it was what she had been missing her whole life. Her baptism was so special. She got baptized right before church and then got confirmed in sacrament meeting. Søster Handley, the Ældster,
President Sederholm and I all got to talk to her in place of Sunday School about how she was feeling and what questions she had. You guys. It is so amazing to see what the gift of the Holy Ghost feels like to someone who has never felt it before. She was absolutely glowing. She was speechless for a good 15 minutes. This is real! I know that she is going to take the gospel back to her family in Greenland and change lives there. Greenland is technically part of our mission but it's not open for proselyting right now. Søster Handley and I are going to Skype with her a couple of times a week to go over the lessons again and help her continue to learn. President Sederholm is trying to get permission to fly to Greenland every once in a while to give her the sacrament. Miracles are happening!
I just want to say-never take the gift of the Holy Ghost for granted. We can have a member of the Godhead with us at all times to guide us, teach us, and comfort us. This is an incredible gift! Always be grateful for it and do everything you can to be worthy of it. There is so much Heavenly Father wants to bless us with!
I love you all! I hope you're all happy and that school is going well and all of those fun things. I'm so grateful every day for my awesome family. We're all crazy, but the good kind. Thanks so much for not being the bad kind.
Jeg elsker jer!