Wednesday, September 23, 2015

WEEK 61; September 21, 2015: C.S. Lewis: "Any excuse, no matter how valid, only weakens the character." Living Church, Living Testimony = Treat it like the living thing it is :)

Danish Phrase of the Week: 
(it stoart o for-UN-er-leet vairk) A Great and Marvelous Work

We're not really sure what this thing is, but it was neat.  All the stones had a different Zodiac symbol.  And this is my companion, Sister Noorda!  

Feeding the deer
The deer really liked Elder Dickson


We live right by the beach! 

Again, don't know what this is, but it's kinda cool.
Hey! This week was way exciting. Yesterday was Stake Conference and so I got to see a lot of people I knew from Horsens. George and his mom were there, and a couple other people I taught-it's good to see that they're still coming to church and meeting with missionaries! George is so excited for his baptism. 2 more weeks!

We also had an amazing miracle with a man named Michael. His girlfriend is a member of the church, and he's been to church with her a lot over the last few years. She went through a period of not being super active and they were living together, but last month she decided to start living the commandments and to be active in the church again. She moved into her own apartment and started bringing Michael with her to church. Over the last couple of weeks we've been over there a few times and he's been really positive about things! On our second visit, he told us that he had been reading the Book of Mormon every day since we had been there last. This last week, we felt like we should teach him about Joseph Smith's story and the restoration of the church. It went super well and the Spirit was really present. Michael told us about all of the good he's seen the church do in other people's lives, and how he wants that in his own life. He talked about the focus on families, the word of wisdom, and the light that he sees in the people who are close to God. He said that since he's been trying to make more time for God, he's felt more joy and appreciation for his life. We asked him if he wanted to be baptized and he said he would! We set a date for the 7th of November. We are so excited! This one feels like it's for real. Pray for Michael!

I've been thinking a lot about the future this week...not trunkiness :) just application of everything I've learned out here. I've really been praying to know what I need to do to stay active in the church for the rest of my life. I have taught a lot of less-active members on my mission, and I've actually been putting together a list of their reasons for leaving the church. There are many. This really worries me. As I was praying about this, two things came into my head. The first was a quote from C.S. Lewis: 'Any excuse, no matter how valid, only weakens the character.' I thought that sounded a little harsh, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it's true. When we make excuses, we justify a lack of effort and show a great lack of understanding and appreciation for what is being offered to us. Excuses do not make us stronger.

The second was from Doctrine and Covenants 1:30 (this church is) 'the only true and living church on the face of the whole earth.' That phrase-'living church'-really stuck out to me. I felt impressed that my testimony of the church needs to be living as well. If something is alive, it grows, it needs nourishment, it interacts with its surroundings, and it fights to survive. I know that this church is God's church, and I know that following Christ is the only way to true and lasting happiness. If I want to maintain and add upon that knowledge, then I need to treat my testimony like a living thing. I can't just rely on my mission experiences for the rest of my life. I need to be having spiritual experiences every day!

Anyways. That's what I've been thinking about recently. Thank you all for being so wonderful. Have a great week!

I'm guessing I'll be in Esbjerg for the next couple of months, so I think it's safe to send stuff here. My address is: 
Nørregade 128,
6700 Esbjerg


  1. Amanda,
    Those statues caught my eye. I guess they're called White Giants Watching the Sea.
    Pat Weintraub

  2. Alternatively called: Esbjerg's new giants. Here's more info I found: they are four chalky white figures, the late Svend Wiig Hansen's enormous sculpture, "Man Meets the Sea