Danish word of the week: velsignelser (vel-SEEN-els-er) BLESSINGS
First full week as a trainer-CHECK. We have gotten super lost like twice ... we're basically late all the time to everything but we're working on that one ... but we're doin' this thing! We have no idea what we're doing but we're excited about it! :)
I don't really know what to say except that it is amazing how much the Spirit helps us every day when we invite it. I am so grateful that I have the Spirit to be MY trainer while my companion and I try to figure out this mission thing. :)
On kind of a serious-but-then-it-turns-happy note: The first couple of days of training were REALLY hard. I finally understood why people say that a mission is the hardest thing they've ever done. I felt anxious all the time, I felt inadequate, I beat myself up about every little mistake I made and it was not a healthy mindset. I had a hard time sleeping at night and I just looked at the upcoming days with basically hopelessness because I had no idea what to fill them with. It was rough. But I kept going back to the blessing I received right before I started training and all of the many stories in the scriptures where blessings come after the trial of our faith. Those were my anchors and my sources of hope. I decided a couple of days into training to fast for sanity. I realized that I was NOT going to be able to make it through the next 12 weeks without some extra help. The day I decided to fast was the day where everything turned around. It was a pretty average missionary day schedule-wise, we taught some lessons, contacted, went to an eating appointment; but the spirit that I felt with me was entirely different. I felt so much peace and an inner-strength that I felt I had lost. I knew that I couldn't do it by myself, but I also knew that God was with me. I am so grateful for that day on my mission. I will always be able to look back on that turning point and know without a doubt that God strengthens us in our weakness. He doesn't take our problems away, but he gives us strength beyond our own to press forward, learn, and find our hope again!
Since that day-last Wednesday, our companionship has been doing so well. We have been learning SO MUCH every day. It seems like after every single person we contact, every lesson, every dinner appointment, everything we do, a voice comes into my mind and says, 'ok, what I wanted you to learn from that was this and this and this.' So really, I haven't been doing any of the training. It's all coming from Heavenly Father. And now we are just so excited! We talk to people all the time and they're totally understanding about our Danish - they're actually really impressed and want to listen to us more when they find out that we haven't been in the land for very long. We have met so many interesting, kind people in the last week. Heavenly Father is blessing us so much!
One of the best experiences we had this week was with a YSA member in our ward. We were going over to Skype with Aviaaja at her house, but Aviaaja ended up having to cancel our appointment. So instead of leaving the member's house without teaching anything, we asked her if there was anything we could do for her. It turns out that she's been thinking about going through the temple and she wanted to hear our thoughts about it! She had some concerns about not being ready--the normal pre-temple concerns--and we were just able to share our testimonies about how the temple has given us so much strength and a deeper understanding of our relationship with God. It's something to be excited about, not afraid of! We invited her to pray specifically about what she should do, and promised her that Heavenly Father would answer her. There are a lot of voices and opinions swirling around, but there is one voice that we know we can always listen to and trust!
And then we got to Skype with Aviaaja the next day and she is still doing SO WELL. She is so joyful. I am just amazed every time I talk to her by her understanding of the gospel. She has been a member for like a month and a half and she teaches US! I don't even know what to say. I just want you all to meet her. I want EVERYONE to meet her. AND she said that she likes our American accents when we speak Danish. I don't know why but that made me feel super validated.
I got to sing in church yesterday! That felt good. I can't speak Danish yet, I have yet to teach a perfect lesson, but you best believe I can bust out a musical number!! It was nice to do something that I felt semi-competent at. :)
Anywho. Life is so good. I GET MY CAST OFF THIS WEEKEND I AM SO EXCITED I HAVE NEVER HATED ANYTHING AS MUCH AS I HATE THIS CAST!
That's basically what's happening! I love hearing from all of you-thanks for all of the emails and updates. It means a lot to me! What is everyone being for Halloween?? I know Emma probably has about 50 ideas. They don't celebrate Halloween here so I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about that.
Have a fantastic week!
Love, Søster VO
LETTER to MOM:
Sounds like a great week!!!
I'm so glad you got to go to the Sisters Retreat! I'm sure those 5 performers in that theater were just overwhelmed with the unbelievable amount of cackling and scream laughing coming from the Sister's Retreat corner. You all are the best audience; I can't even imagine. Oh wait, yes I can.
I'm so glad that Saruh Jane is back on our couch! I forgot to comment on that last week! I love her and I'm glad she's there to have dance parties and eat our food :)
You did so good as Stake Young Women's President! I had a similar thought come into my mind like three weeks before I found out I was going to train - that it was probably going to be me and I should get ready! I'm super grateful to the Spirit for giving us a little heads up about things like that.
Love you all! Tell Frandy congrats on his game and Emma that I'm still laughing about the 'drive more slowlyer' sign.