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! 

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