Wednesday, January 7, 2015

WEEK 21: New Year's Eve Copenhagen Style = CRAZY!! Families are Eternal and the Lord's Tender Mercies

Danish word of the week: Skvat. (for once you can just sound this one out :)) WIMP. Søster Reed and I are branching out our Danish vocab. And we've started biking again-so I feel like a skvat all the time! So out of shape. It's fine.

Godt Nytår! Ok-New Years Eve in Copenhagen is the CRAZIEST thing I have ever experienced. Basically every kind of firework is legal here, so whatever money Danes don't spend on Christmas, they spend on enough fireworks to supply their own personal Stadium of Fire firework display. Not exaggerating, the booms of fireworks began at about 3pm on December 31st (it was definitely still light outside...), and did not stop for one second until about 3 am in the morning on January 1st!

So, how did the Copenhagen Sister missionaries spend their New Years Eve? Great question. We THOUGHT we were going to be spending it with the 4 Elders and the Senior missionaries-the senior missionaries have an apartment right in the middle of Copenhagen with an AMAZING view of the fireworks...but somebody put the Elders in charge of that plan. So, we ended up staying in our apartment. Søster Reed learned how to knit and I crocheted, we watched all of the church movies in our apartment, and ate brownies. We were a little bummed at first about not being able to see the legendary Copenhagen fireworks, but it turns out that we had nothing to worry about. When 12:00 am hit, like 5 of our neighbors came outside and put on the best firework show I've ever seen-right in front of our big bedroom window! We were only allowed to stay up until 1 am, but they were still going strong when we went to bed.

So we had New Years Eve, and then on New Years Day all of the missionaries stayed in all day long to deep clean the apartments. It felt so good to CLEAN! We have time during our normal days to like-maybe do the dishes and vacuum on P-day, so it was seriously a dream come true to just be able to throw stuff away and scrub some floors. Oh my gosh who am I? I'm turning into Dad. The whole day all I was thinking of is that weird thing he says whenever he cleans, 'Suburban life requires constant scrubbing.' Yes, Dad. Yes it does. :)

Aviaaja is back! We went to the temple with her on Saturday to do baptisms! I LOVE THAT GIRL! Her spirit just radiates. She came to church yesterday for the first time in almost 5 months, and was just so incredibly grateful to be together and to be able to take the sacrament. She reminds me over and over again to never take the opportunity to go to church for granted! We brought her to a fireside at President's house yesterday evening, and she was the best missionary in the room! She went around to all of the investigators who were there and made friends with them, and just genuinely shared her testimony about how happy the gospel makes her! It's like she can't even contain it! I think I say this every time I talk about her, but I am just so grateful I know her. AND I CAN'T BELIEVE SHE'S BACK IN COPENHAGEN!!

Ok-this is a story. Søster Reed and I were together with a third Sister for a couple of days because this third sister was getting ready to train a new missionary. She stayed in Copenhagen with us so that she could be close to the mission office when her baby got here. The day the new missionaries got there, we dropped her off at the office so she could have her quarterly interview with President, and then go see some sights with the new missionaries. As soon as we dropped her off and then left the office, we got a call telling us to come straight back. When we got back, one of the office missionaries pulled us aside and told us that they had just found out that her father had just died. Obviously she wasn't in a condition to go out and sight-see with new missionaries, so Sister Reed and I did that while she stayed in the office and talked on the phone with her family. When we got back from sightseeing, President pulled us into his office and asked if this Sister could spend one extra night at our apartment. It was only about 6pm, but he told us to just go home early, and stay with her. Of course we were happy to do that. It was such a heartbreaking thing, but there were also so many tender mercies that let this Sister know that Heavenly Father was aware of her at this time. She 'just happened to be' in Copenhagen, in an interview with President, right as she got the news. You can't get closer to a better support system than that. Søster Reed and I had had an appointment cancel on us earlier that day, but then because we had an empty evening, we were able to take her home early with us and give her some time to relax, and cry, and process. And I am so amazed by her strength. Of course she was heartbroken and worried about her family, nervous about training, but the next morning she woke up ready to go to the training meeting and pick up her new missionary. I have never been so grateful for the knowledge we have that families are eternal. This life is just a moment-it's just a preparation for so many amazing, eternal blessings yet to come. We will see our families again. We will be together! I think all three of us, but especially this Sister, were very aware of the Savior's love that night. Because the Savior overcame death, there is always hope for us - even in tragedies.  Heavenly Father really will strengthen us when we turn to him. I know she received strength beyond her own-I couldn't believe it when she woke up the next morning and said she was ready to go to the training meeting. She inspired all of us by her example.

So that was our week. It was a little bit different than a usual missionary week, but no less wonderful. I love being with the new Sister Reed! The Elders think we're a little too sassy together, but I think we're fun. :) ...maybe we're a little sassy. We'll make them cookies for district meeting or something to make it up to them.

I love you all!! Thanks for the love, support, emails, and prayers. It really means a lot! Have a great week! :)

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