Friday, November 21, 2014

WEEK Whatever: JOY, Buses, Baptisms, and Chivalry!

Danish Word of the Week: Glæde (Glel) JOY-Inspired by Mom's email this week. :)

We had so much fun in our tri-panionship this week! Søster Reed and I were together with another Søster Reed-so there was no end to the comments about 'Woah, TWO Søster Reeds?!' But we had a really fun, really weird week. We worked in two areas at once which was absolutely INSANE, but somehow we made it work. :)

It was such a blessing to be able to teach Edith! She is getting baptized this Friday and she is so excited. I haven't told you very much about her-so I'm going to do that now. She is from the Phillipines, but she's been living in Denmark for about 20 years. Right now she's living with a member family where the wife is also Phillipino and the husband is Danish! Edith and the wife, Theresa, work together. When Edith first started living with them, the Theresa and Lars invited her to come to church with them and she said she would! She met Søster Ripplinger and Søster Murray, and a few days later they stopped by the house and Edith said she wanted to keep learning about the church. Theresa and Lars always made it very clear that Edith didn't have to come to church just because she was living with them, they wanted her to make her own decision-but Edith said she loved church and loved how she felt when she was there, so she wanted to keep meeting with the missionaries! It was only her second or third lesson when she visited our ward and Søster Reed and I taught her and invited her to be baptized and she said yes! She is the sweetest woman. It is so fun teaching her with Theresa because they both speak Tagolic-so in those lessons there is Danish, English, and Tagolic happening all at the same time! It is so powerful to see her example of faith. She is learning a lot of new things, but she has such faith that if she obeys the commandments and trusts God that she and her family will be blessed. After the Sisters taught her about the Word of Wisdom, she stopped drinking coffee and was AMAZED by how much energy she had! She works late night/early morning shifts so she thought that there was no way she could get through work without coffee, but the Lord really, truly blesses us when we have enough faith to follow His counsel to us. It's like He knows everything or something. :) Anyways, her baptism is this weekend and we are so excited!! Apparently we're doing a musical number too so we'll see how that goes. :)

I don't know why this is notable but I'm going to tell you anyways-An old man tipped his hat to us! IT WAS THE CUTEST! CHIVALRY IS ALIVE! We were walking home and this sweet old man stopped on the sidewalk, took off his hat and said, 'God aften damer' (Good evening ladies!) It totally made our lives.

We were on a lot of buses and trains this week as we traveled back and forth to our different areas, so we had the chance to talk to a lot of people! It was so fun. Contacting can be really hard, but it definitely keeps things interesting. You never know what kinds of conversations you're going to have or who you're going to meet. Since there were three of us, we usually didn't sit together on the train just so we didn't make people feel like we were cornering them. :) This is kind of a crazy contacting story: So this morning, we all got on the train-the two Sister Reeds sat together with a man from Pakistan and I sat across the aisle. Søster Reed asked the man she was sitting by if he had had a good weekend, and a Danish man in the train wagon leaned over and said really loudly to the man, 'Don't worry, you're not in any danger from them. They're not real Christians, they're distorted Christians.' She didn't say anything back. Then the Danish man got on his phone, called whoever he was on his way to meet and said very loudly, making sure we could hear, 'I'm almost there-I'm on the train. I'm aware of three Mormon Sisters who are trying to convert everybody, but I'm fine and I'll be there in ten minutes.' (The ironic thing is literally the only thing that we had said to the first man so far was 'Have you had a good weekend?' Pretty normal question, I think.) Søster Reed ignored the Danish man and just kept chatting with the man she was sitting by. It sounded like they were having a really nice conversation. Meanwhile, the Danish man just sat there and alternated between glaring at me and listening in to their conversation. We meet a lot of people who aren't interested, but I've never seen anyone be so rude or aggressive towards us. Then, I felt the Spirit prompt me to get up and go talk to the Danish man. I was like, ARE YOU SERIOUS? And the Spirit was like. Yup. So I was like FINE. And I got up and sat across from him. Immediately as I sat down across from him he went on this rant about how he accepts all other forms of Christianity but he cannot tolerate Mormons and our distorted views and how we push our beliefs on everybody. I asked him what he believes-he told me he believes in accepting everyone and not judging people if they believe something different than you. I told him that I believe that too. I told him that we go on our missions to serve people and to help them build their faith in God, and that we respect everyone no matter their beliefs. His rant kind of ran out of steam after I said that. I don't think it was what he was expecting. Our stop came right after that so I told him 'I hope you have a great day,' stood up, and offered to shake his hand. He said, 'I'm not going to shake your hand.' I'm not really sure why the Spirit told me to go talk to him, but I tried to make peace and maybe one of these days his heart will be softened a little bit. I love grumpy people.

We got to eat dinner with Alexander's family! It was so fun!!! It's so crazy being in HIS home speaking Danish with him and his family! WORLDS COLLIDING! We sat there talking about Dylan Etter and how he's going on his mission soon-and it was the most surreal thing! Also, Alexander kept forgetting to call me Søster Van Orden so he kept calling me Amanda, and that was extra weird. It's been so long since I've heard my first name! WHO AM I.
[Alexander is a young Danish man who stayed with our friends the Briscoes here in Fort Collins for 6weeks this past summer.  He attended Amanda’s Open House Farewell and now she’s there J]

I love you all. I hope everyone's getting excited for Thanksgiving! It's so true what Mom said-Joy is gratitude and obedience. I would like to add that it's also cookie dough and Millie. But really though, have a fantastic week! Christmas pageant looks so fun-I might have cried and laughed at the same time looking at the pictures of Emma and Andrew but it's fine. I can just see that whole scene happening! Also tell Emma her shirt is cute.

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