Danish Word of the Week: Tilfældigheder (till-fail-dee-hill-uh) Coincidences. There aren't any.
I think I forgot to tell you this story, but do you want to know what the new mission president's first impression of me was? Ok. So we show up to their house, ready to go on splits with his wife, and he shakes my hand and says, 'Van Orden. Do you have any friends in California?' and me thinking that I'm so funny just said, 'I don't have any friends.' Expecting him to at least crack a smile, right??? ... He didn't. It was embarrassing. And then we had a really awkward conversation about how I don't know the people that he knows. Woo! Gettin off on the right foot! :)
Ok-Sister Perkins just emailed me, and there are some miracles happening back in Horsens! Do you remember when I told you about the day where we spent forever knocking in the rain trying to find this one house, because a previous missionary referred a family to us but could only remember the street but not the house number, and we finally found the house and the mom was miraculously home?? It's this family. The mom grew up going to church but never got baptized, and her oldest daughter knew a little bit about it too. Sister Perkins and I met with the mom and her oldest daughter three-ish times after that. They are the kindest most amazing people-they loaned me a bike one time. We love them so so much! This is the email Sister Perkins sent me!
'Sara (I'm changing her name, but this is the daughter) is doing amazing! When we got back from leadership we saw her for the first time after like a week and she has been reading and studying from the Book of Mormon every day and knows that it is true, she has been praying and getting answers and she wants to get baptized! We haven't set a date yet because she isn't sure if her dad will give her permission, but she said that even if he doesn't give permission, that she will just wait until she turns 18 in November and get baptized then!!!!! She came to church yesterday and the young women and young women leaders just loved her and talked to her and it was awesome!! We are going to a genbrug (that's a thrift shop) today with her to help her find some dresses that she can wear to church because she doesn't have any!!! AAHHH!! She is so awesome!!'
Miracles happen! Sometimes missionary work can be stressful because we want things to happen fast. We hear stories all the time about people who hear about the church and then get baptized 3 weeks later. I have seen that happen to people on my mission, those stories are real. But honestly, many many more stories take longer. They take multiple sets of missionaries, sometimes with pauses in between. They can even take years of the right people being in the right places at the right times. It's hard to be patient, but we never know what link we are in the chain! We've just got to be a strong link, no matter where we are placed. God's plan for his children WILL happen at the pace that He needs it to. God must be so organized. It amazes me. Anyways! Exciting things.
I love you all so much! Thanks for the faith and prayers. I'm so grateful for my mission. This week is my year mark! I can't even believe it! This time has flown. Have fun getting ready for Emma's baby and know that I love you and pray for you every day!