Thursday, February 19, 2015

Week 27: LOVING new area; LEARNING Danish all over again; TEACHING someone to pray; how to play Uno :)

Danish Word of the Week: CYKEL (SOO-kul) Bike. Bicycle. My other half.

Where do I even start with this week?? Horsens is like a whole new mission! Everything-the city, the apartment, the ACCENT (I'm learning Danish all over again :)  Everything is different. And I LOVE IT! This place is beautiful. We bike up and down all kinds of hills. There were no hills in Copenhagen, so I am gradually remembering how to use the muscles in my legs. It's fun. It's great. I'm sore. :) Another fun thing-Søster Briscoe [Diana Briscoe] was in this area too! So many people remember her and love her here. Godt arbejde søster! :)

I love being with Søster Barrett. She is such a creative missionary. She's getting ready to go home soon, but she is not letting her missionary work become rou tine! It is so much fun to be her companion.

As far as the Sister Training Leader thing goes-we're getting ready to go on our first companion exchanges tonight! I'm excited to get to know our sisters! I always felt so motivated after exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders, so I hope I can pass that on to these Sisters now that it's my turn to be the leader. 

We have already had some pretty wonderful experiences. We taught a new investigator how to pray this week. I think that one of my all time favorite things about being a missionary is hearing people's first prayers. It is such a touching experience and it's always so sweet to hear what they choose to say to their Heavenly Father. This particular girl is from China, and I don't think she had ever prayed out loud before. To open she said, 'Dear Heavenly Father, I'm Amy.'  I don't know why, but that simple statement really struck me. I really felt the Spirit manifest in that moment that Heavenly Father knows each of us by name. Heavenly Father knows exactly who Amy is. He is just waiting for us to turn our thoughts to Him so that he can help us understand his love for us. That simple statement, or introduction, was Amy's first step towards getting to know God. It was really special to be a part of that moment.  

One thing that we've been challenged with a lot this week is people telling us that they don't like the fact that God has so many rules. Why can't we just do whatever we want and do whatever we think will make us happy? Søster Barrett has a really great object lesson to illustrate this point. Take a deck of Uno cards and deal them out to a group of people who have never played Uno before. Don't explain any of the rules, just tell them to start playing. ... ... not too much fun, right? There's no point to the game. There are no rules, there is no skill involved- so there is no winning or losing and it's boring. Then deal the cards out again, but this time give every player a slightly different set of rules. Let them decide which rules they want to follow and which ones they don't. Again, the game can't function. Everyone has their own version of what is right and what is wrong. It's frustrating, there's miscommunication, and again-basically no point in even playing the game. But if you deal out the Uno cards, clearly explain the rules, and then play-the purpose becomes clear. Many different things can happen within the rules, but everyone is on the same page and can have a lovely time playing Uno together

I guess this week has really strengthened my testimony that eternal truth does exist. Heavenly Father has a perfect understanding of what we need to do to be happiest in this life. He has clearly explained His commandments, and he will bless us with peace as we follow them. He has also given us the ability to choose for ourselves, so he won't force us to do anything. But, while we can choose our choices, we can't choose our consequences. Choose good consequences! TRUST Heavenly Father. Trust him enough to be obedient. We know that His work and His glory is to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life. Trust that. He loves us, and he will not lead us astray. And-unlike Uno-there can be more than one 'winner.' Heavenly Father wants to see us all safely home with him again. 

'He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.'  2 Nephi 26:24

I invite you all to gain a personal testimony of this. We are not expected to blindly follow. He wants us to choose for ourselves to follow Him and partake of His salvation! We can receive our own confirmation of this directly from God through prayer. That is also such an incredible blessing! We can communicate with God! I know and I promise that He loves you and will answer you when you ask Him questions. He welcomes your questions.

Family! I sure love you all. And-can you maybe mail me some family pictures? I only have one kind of weird one and I miss seeing your faces.  Keep being wonderful and have a great week! 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

WEEK 26: New Area and New Reponsibilities! P.S. I also live in a CASTLE!

Danish Word of the Week: VI SES! (vee sees)  See you later! This is what I said to everyone in Frederiksberg because it was too sad to say goodbye!

Family! I transferred! Oh man this is the weirdest feeling. This morning I made it to my new area-a city called Horsens. It is absolutely beautiful here - we live in a building that I seriously thought was a CASTLE when I first saw it. But then my new companion-Søster Barrett was like, nope, that's our HOME! I live in a castle. Pictures will follow. Next week.

Other crazy thing about this transfer, I'm a Sister Training Leader now. That's the Sister version of a Zone Leader. That means that I get to go out on splits with all of the sisters in the zone every transfer and teach little sections of zone training every month. I'm excited!

Søster Barrett is going home before the end of this transfer (she extended her mission but she could only stay in the country for an extra 30 days instead of a full transfer), so that means that I'm going to have to learn this new area and the STL thing really fast before she leaves me! Craziness!

That being said, it was really, really hard to say goodbye to Copenhagen! My home!! But our district finished out the week strong. The Elders had a baptism on Saturday and one of our investigators was able to come watch. It was a really special experience. This last week was full of a lot of goodbyes-it was definitely bittersweet. I am so grateful for all of the people that I love and everything I've learned from them, and I'm of course sad to leave that behind. But on the other hand I know that there are even more wonderful experiences waiting for me.

But, before I left, we were able to set a baptismal date with one of the investigators I've worked with since the beginning of my mission. She is Brazilian and she actually took a break from meeting with us for a couple of months so that she could go to Brazil for Christmas and New Years. Last Tuesday, I felt prompted to change our plans a little bit and stop by her. It had been about 2 months since we had had any contact with her. She didn't let us in that night, but she told us to come back on Friday. We came back of Friday and she told us that the day we stopped by she had just been praying that she would find out what she was supposed to change in her life to find more happiness. She said that she realized that she missed the spirit the missionaries used to bring into her home. She was thinking of calling us to invite us back over, but then we came over on our own! She believes that was a sign that God heard her prayer.  We were just grateful that we were in tune enough with the Spirit to change our plans and stop by her! Anyways, she's just wonderful and she wants to be baptized March 21st. YAY.

I love you all so much! I'm sorry that I don't always have time to write back to each of you individually. Know that I read all of your emails every week and am just so grateful to hear how you're doing. You strengthen me more than you know! :)

Hi mom! sorry I have been so bad at emailing lately. The time goes by so fast and we have to write our mission president and do a bunch of other random stuff. So anyways. That's why.  It sounds like everything is going well! I'm so glad the shows are going to be fun and that you're working with Dulcie a little bit!! Say hi to her for me :)

I'm a Sister Training Leader now. I'm excited and nervous for this. I've only been in the country for 6 months-this is only my second area-and it's a lot of new responsibility! I hope I can be a good example to all of the sisters in my zone-and learn this new area and how to do zone reports and organize splits AND be a good missionary on top of it all! One of the elders in my district gave me a blessing before transfers. Søster Reed got one too. She's training a brand new missionary this transfer :) They are going to do wonderful things in Frederiksberg. 

But anyways, the blessing helped calm my nerves a lot and it just let me know what I need to personally focus on. We talked a lot in zone training last week about making sure that we are personally converted to the gospel before we try to help others become converted. The Sister Training Leaders shared the analogy of helping others into a boat vs. jumping into the with them and trying to push them into the boat. It's much easier to be in the boat yourself and pull others up than to jump in the Water and struggle with them. We have to make sure that our own testimonies are being cared for every day before we can ever hope to help anyone else. That's basically what my blessing talked about. It reminded me to take care of my testimony and to focus on the little daily things I can do to stay close to God so that I'll be able to help others.

Also, mother, I have had THE WORST LUCK with cameras so far on my mission. My SIM card got stolen, I lost my charger, and now my camera is completely broken. Every time I take a picture it gets all distorted and there are weird lines all over it. I've tried every trick I know besides actually taking it in to a shop to get it looked at-but basically I have no camera now. I hope you've all been getting sufficient Pictures from me mooching off of my companions for the last 6 months :) I don't really know what to do about this, but just so you, know that's the situation.

I love you! Thank you for everything you do. You're a nice lady. :)
Have a good week and have fun with the SHOWS! I wish I could be there.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Week 25: Transfers, Translating, and Temples!

Danish word of the week: SKÆG (skayg) Definition 1: BEARD Definition 2: FUN So if you want to say that something is fun/funny, you're basically saying, 'That's so beard!' What is this language. :)

So, we were supposed to get transfer calls today, but they told us last night that they're waiting until FRIDAY. I'm dying. Transfers are still a week from today, but we don't find out where we're going until the END of the week. So next time I write to you I'll either be writing from my new mystery area, or I'll still be here in the good old Valby Library. No matter what happens, it'll be great. But I just want to KNOW! Apparently I still need to work on my patience.

We had a great week this week-we taught some really good lessons. We've been staying busy and happy and relatively dry. Søster Reed and I tag-team translated in sacrament meeting yesterday! I might have accidentally told all of the English speakers that one of the men who bore his testimony got called as a Counselor to President Ezra Taft Benson. Søster Reed just started cracking up. Translating is so hard! You have to use like every part of your brain at the same time. But for the most part I think it went well. I was proud of us.

We get to go to the temple again on Saturday! There's a girl in our ward who is a recent convert from Thailand, and she's never been to the temple before. We helped her get ready for her temple recommend interview so we get to go with her. 

I love you all-have a fantastic week. :) 

Such colorful buildings in Denmark :)

Don't know if they are sharing a bike ...?  

Our lovely and happy Amanda.  She's doing so well and we're so proud of her!