(From October 27th)
Danish phrase of the week: Det var det (day var day) that was that. I'm attaching a picture of the FUNNIEST headstone I have ever seen. Pia took Søster Reed, the Ældster, and I to see Hans Christian Andersen's grave this week and we all just laughed so hard at this random headstone we found! It has a weird little play-dough looking man on top of it and the only thing it says besides the dead guy's name is ...that was that! I love it. I think it's a great idea. It's impossible to be sad when you look at that headstone.
This week was hard and a little slow, but we think it's because good things are coming! It was like a transition week. We are trying to make a lot of changes in our area in the way that we work with members and the people that we meet with. Frederiksberg is a great area, it's a big area, but it's been in a little bit of a rut for the past few months. We had a lot of really fantastic meetings with our ward mission leader, the bishop, and us 6 missionaries to figure out how we can really divide and conquer to strengthen our ward, help bring people back, and find more! It's exciting.
Even though it was a slow week, we taught some AMAZING lessons! It seems like the theme of this week was the Book of Mormon. That was what every single one of our investigators needed to hear about. One of them, a woman from Brazil, has been meeting with the Sister missionaries since February and she just couldn't figure out why she hadn't gotten an answer yet about whether or not the church was true. We talked through her concerns, and I just felt prompted to ask her how her Book of Mormon reading was going. She admitted that she hadn't read very much because she always put it off and then never got around to it. It was amazing because in the middle of her sentence, she just kind of stopped, and it was like a switch flipped in her brain! She was like, I need to read that book! There's a reason why it's been sitting in my house for 7 months! I need to read it! I'm going to read it. So-she committed herself to reading the Book of Mormon! Something that I have learned so far on my mission is that if you want to have a testimony of something, you have to DO something about it! If you want to know if a commandment is true, you have to live it and look for the blessings. If you want to know if the Book of Mormon is true, you have to read it and look for your answer! The exciting thing is, that it IS true. It really is God's word to us in our day-it's a miracle that we have that book! So we're really excited to follow up with her on that. :)
Søndag was our miracle day. There was a family visiting from another ward who brought an investigator with them to church. When investigators are in church, we teach a guest sunday school class instead of having them go to the regular sunday school. The family came with us and we taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ. She had already had the Restoration lesson from other missionaries, so we just built off of that. We read 3 Nephi 27:20-21 with her and talked about how Christ wants us to follow his example in all things. We had a really great conversation and then-crazy part- we ended up inviting her to be baptized! It was so funny because as soon as the words were out of my mouth the whole member family kind of gasped and held their breath. She was quiet for a few seconds and then she said yes! And then everyone just breathed this huge sigh of relief, and then Søster Reed and I didn't know what to do because let's face it: we never know what we're doing :) haha. But it was so exciting! She doesn't live in our area so other sisters will take it over from here, but I feel so blessed that we got to be a part of her learning process!
Then, we had a really awesome, REALLY LONG-way too long- #badtrainermoment-lesson with a young Danish couple named Søren and Tilde. This is a miracle story. Missionaries contacted both of them back in JUNE and gave them a Book of Mormon. They said they would be open to hearing more, but nothing ever worked out. We've basically been playing phone tag with them for four months. But last week, we called people on our potential investigators sheet and Søren answered the phone! He said that he had some questions and that he would love to meet! So-fast forward to Sunday. We brough a YSA member named Heidi with us-she's a return missionary from the Temple Square mission and it was such a blessing to have her there! Both because of the happy coincidence that she is also fluent in Danish, and because she is a fantastic missionary. Søren and Tilde had so many sincere questions! We ended up switching into English during the lesson because some of the questions were a little complex - way more complex than our 8 week and 3 week Danish could handle, but we had a fantastic conversation with them. They are both really aware of the Spirit-they just don't have that word for it. We taught them that God is aware of us and can be involved in our every-day lives and that we can feel close to Him. We also talked a lot about the Plan of Salvation-'have you ever asked yerself where you come from, why yer here, and where yer goin'?' (name that movie). We also invited them to continue reading the Book of Mormon and told them that we were here to answer any questions they had. They want to meet with us again! It's a little tricky because they are literally going to have a baby in 10 days, but they were really sincerely open to having us back. The Spirit was super strong in that lesson and I feel like they gave us a lot to think about and we gave them a lot to think about. Good work.
Finally, we met with a sweet young mom named Emma. I helped her move into her new apartment my first day in Denmark. My first service project as a jet-lagged and confused new missionary was carrying her bookshelves down crazy steep stairs. :) She has an amazing relationship with God already. She loves the Bible, understands repentance and the Atonement, and prays every day. She knows that God is there and that he loves her. She also said that she believes that God could call prophets again because the Bible prophecies that God will call a prophet in the last days. When we asked her if she believed that Joseph Smith was a prophet she thought about it for a little while and said, 'Yes, I do. I don't have any reason to doubt it.' Søster Reed asked her how she feels when she reads the Bible. She said that she reads it with the expectation that she's going to hear God's words to her. We promised her that if she reads the Book of Mormon with that same intent and expectation that she would find out for herself if it was also true. I just feel so lucky that it's my full time job right now to invite the Spirit into people's homes and teach them the gospel. It doesn't get much better than that.
So-det var det! There are a lot of ups and downs on a mission! We had some really great ups this week, and I need to be better about focusing on those! That's actually one of our companionship goals for this week. Every night after we plan for the next day, we're going to talk about the miracles that we saw that day. They happen all the time, we just have to be aware of them and not let discouragement overshadow the good things!
I love you all, I'm so proud of the fabulous people you are! Also, our last name is a Danish word! Orden-means order. People say 'det er i orden.' Like-it's all in order; it's fine. So I'm trying to live up to my name and be more organized :) I'll let you know how that goes. Love you! Have a great week!!!