Monday, November 30, 2015

WEEK 70, November 30, 2015: Christmas Tour Begins, Secret Weapon = Sister Van Orden, Death Crawl Scene from Facing the Giants = Missionary Life

Danish Word of the Week: Biltur (BEEL-toor) Road Trip!

Hey! The Christmas tour starts this week! I'm traveling to Copenhagen early Thursday morning. We'll rehearse Thursday and Friday, and then we'll have our first performance on Saturday. We have a fireside every night for the next 2 1/2 weeks! Mom asked about how we're traveling-the Assistants have a sweet 9 passenger van, and we are just going to pray really hard that it can fit 8 missionaries, 2 speakers, 4 microphones, 8 duffel bags, 8 blankets, a cooler, and a bunch of Book of Mormons. We are going to get to know each other reeeeeeeeeeally well. I'm just grateful that 8 year old Andrew isn't going to be riding in the car with us. If I can survive a 9 hour car trip to Idaho with that kid scream-laughing the entire way, I can survive anything. :)

We had such a fun Thanksgiving! We had a Zone Conference, a talent show, and a Turkey Bowl! And GUESS WHAT I CAUGHT THE FOOTBALL LIKE 6 TIMES AND SCORED A TOUCHDOWN! SECRET WEAPON SISTER VAN ORDEN. Our team killed it. It was so fun. I was sore for like 2 days in my whole body but it was so worth it.

This is actually one of the happiest Thanksgivings I've ever had. The zone training was on gratitude (of course), but also on feeling capable of fulfilling the calling that we have been given. That part really spoke to me. We watched this video that I sent to Frandy a couple months ago, and I want you all to go watch it. Don't be alarmed by all of the yelling. Listen to the words that are being yelled. On Youtube the video is called-'The Death Crawl Scene from Facing the Giants.'

Go watch it.

This video clip sums up a missionary's life in the mission. There are so many times when you don't think you can go anymore, you're so tired and your heart hurts-but we have a coach who knows our potential and knows that we frequently sell ourselves short. I love towards the end when he's reminding Brock, 'You promised me your VERY best.'  Brock never would have gotten that far without his coach kneeling down right beside him, directing him the entire way. I promised Heavenly Father at the beginning of my mission, and specifically at the beginning of this calendar year [see letter from week 20], that this year I would find out what it means to serve with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength. That promise has kept me going when I could easily give up or slack off. We are capable of so much more than we think!

As I was watching this video and as we were talking about it after, I wrote down some of the things that I thought about and felt like I needed to do in order to finish my mission strong. The night before, I had asked my Zone Leader, Elder Reber, one of my friends I served with in Horsens, for a blessing. He gave me a blessing right after this training. As he was speaking, I noticed that he began quoting-word for word-the things that I had written down in my journal just a couple hours before. I know that the Priesthood is real, the Spirit is real, and I felt like that blessing was a confirmation from my Heavenly Father that he knows exactly where I am, what I'm thinking, and what I need to hear to keep going.

I love you all so much! I'm glad you had a happy Thanksgiving! It looked so fun. Have a wonderful week! 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

WEEK 69, November 16, 2015: Family History Experts and Bike Repairmen Extrodinaire; Savior's birth and life brings hope, comfort, and happiness!

Danish Word of the Week: Julekoncert (YOO-luh-kon-SAIRT) Christmas Concert

Hey family!
So this week we finally got our training on how to start incorporating family history service into missionary work! We are so excited. We got these fancy new pass-along cards and everything-which is probably not a big deal to you but it is a big deal to us because the old family history cards literally put people to sleep. It's a big improvement. :)

Danes already keep really detailed records-a lot of families have a family history book with all kinds of pictures, stories, and birth certificates. So we're going to tell them about this great website called Family Search (maybe you've heard of it :) and we have like four lessons to help them get started with it. We don't try to teach them about the church unless they ask. (which they always do). It's a great idea because it's just pure service. We help people with something that's important to them with no strings attached, and then after they start getting to know us, asking questions, and finding out that we're not weirdos, we can teach more.

Sister Ferguson and I have discovered that this is the key to success with knocking houses! Usually knocking houses is a rough time because people won't even hold the door open long enough to hear where we're from, but with family history we have had good conversations like every other door! It's crazy! We found a handful of people this week that we're going to start helping! I really like pretending to be a family history expert. It's fun.

But seriously, did you know that the church stores their family history records in a high security vault in the side of a mountain? You could drop a nuclear bomb on that place and the family records wouldn't be damaged. PRESERVE THE GENERATION CHARTS AT ALL COSTS! It's way intense.

What else...umm....Christmas concert in two weeks! We have all of the music sent out, now we're just getting all the details into place and we should be ready! I just really want this to be a meaningful experience for everyone. I hope that people will come away with the feeling that the birth of the Savior isn't just a cute story we tell once a year, it's something that can help them in their lives today-even though it happened over 2,000 years ago. I want people to be able to feel that there is hope for the world. A lot of people are really scared about the things that are happening in France and elsewhere-there is a lot of tension and fear. We're not supposed to live our lives in fear. We're supposed to have hope and to love each other. Sometimes it's hard to have hope in society, but we can always have hope in the Savior and his ability to heal and comfort us. He overcame sin and death, and because he did that for us, what do we have to fear? I just want people to feel uplifted and be happy. So. Hopefully we can do that. :)
In other news-Sister Ferguson's back tire now has 6 patches on it, and my bike tire decided that it was done with life so it literally cracked in half the other day. We have spent so much time fixing bikes this week. Every time the district leader calls to see how we're doing we're like 'Well...we got another flat...' I think we've set a mission record! We finally just caved and replaced Sister Ferguson's tube so hopefully that'll hold for a little while.

I got the package with the Spooky Pops! They were all in one piece and tasted so good! Thank you!

I think that's about it. Life is good. I love you all so much! Have a great week!

WEEK 68, November 9, 2015; Short and Sweet with pictures!

Danish Word of the Week: AT SKRIVE (at SKREE-vuh) TO WRITE

'Vi kan stadig nå en JuleDåb! I'm dreaming of a White Christmas!' (We can still have a Christmas Baptism! I'm dreaming of a White Christmas!) -Our enthusiastic bishop

'Are you happy? I won't be happy unless you're happy. Don't do it for you, do it for me.' -
Our peppy district leader Ældste Jensen. We love him.

Found these in the garbage. We were like WHY WOULD ANYONE THROW THESE AWAY. And then we smelled them and we're like. OH. THAT'S WHY. #dumpsterdiving #dontjudge #europeanhygiene

Sometimes I sit here in front of the computer forever just wondering what to write to all of you. It is so hard to describe and put into an email all of the things that happen in one week. I feel like I always talk way too much about some things, and then don't do other things justice. There are so many things that happen! And then aside from all of the things that happen schedule-wise, there's all of the things I learned in personal study, and then there's all of the things I learned from the people we talked to, and then there's all of the other stuff like knocking for 2 hours and not finding anyone and trying, yet again, to learn how to feel love for people who aren't nice to me. Sometimes I'm good at that, and other times it still gets under my skin. 

So I don't really know what you all like to hear about.

I guess they're home!

 The Christmas concert is going well! We spent a big chunk of time on Saturday finding sheet music. I am just going to say right now that I am so grateful for all of the blessed musically talented members who just put their beautiful arrangements on the internet for people to use for free. Seriously, I love them. is my favorite website right now. It's going to be good! It's also sneaking up on us really fast, SURPRISE IT'S IN THREE WEEKS!

Michael is still wonderful, but he doesn't have a baptismal date anymore. He decided that after he broke up with Genesis that he needed a little bit of time to think about his life, but he still wants to meet with us and come to church and stuff. He was like,'I'm making a new life for myself, and the church is a big part of my life, so it doesn't make any sense to just give up.' I love that man.

We had a great lesson in Sunday School which actually turned into a conversation about the changes in church policy regarding the baptism of children whose parents are gay or lesbian. Mom, thanks so much for the articles you sent. I sent them forward to some of the members in the ward. I just want to say that I know that the church is guided by our Heavenly Father, who knows and loves all of his children. The first presidency of the church cannot lead the church astray. If they did, they would be 'removed from their place.' I understand why people are freaking out, and I'm really grateful I don't have a Facebook right now-but I know that everything will work out. I believe that this decision was inspired by a God who has his childrens' best interests at heart. We can always pray and take our questions to him.

I hope you all are doing well. I love you lots! Have a wonderful week!!

A very long train ride
A secret bunker we found!

Showed up to a dinner appointment soaking wet so the member let us wear her pjs while our clothes dried. 

WEEK 67; November 2, 2015: Halloween, Christmas, and Sunshine all in one!! And, Be Nice - It's Important!

Danish Phrase of the Week: SLIK ELLER BALLADE (slick eller beh-LELL)
TRICK OR TREAT-really it's 'Candy or Trouble'


Hey! This week has been good-the Christmas Concert is taking up a lot of my thoughts. There are so many logistics oh my gosh. Me and Sister Ferguson have been listening to all of our Christmas CD's to get ideas for music, and a couple of days ago we were just like, you know what? Let's just put up our Christmas tree right now! So we decorated the apartment's plastic Christmas tree and brought out all of our Nativity sets on Halloween. It looks great. It's my inspiration corner. Things are coming together though! We have basically all of our concerts scheduled, so now it's just figuring out what we're performing, sound equipment, how to feed everyone, what we're wearing, what our companions are going to do without us for 2 1/2 weeks, how to advertise...all of that good stuff. It's been amazing to see everyone just jump up and help. I'm learning a lot about delegating. 


We had a great miracle this week! Our upstairs neighbor actually used to be a member of the church. We have talked with him a few times, and he's having it really rough right now. Last Friday, he invited us and the Elder's over and we had a good chat. He said he loves music so we sang some Primary songs with him. He told us that his problem wasn't with the church necessarily, he just felt like the ward didn't like him so every time he tried to go to church, he would always just talk himself out of it. We were like, you could bike to church with us! We'll come get you at 9:30! He thought that was a good idea, and he actually biked with us on Sunday! He was all dressed up in a suit and tie, and there were a good number of members who remembered him and were happy to see him. He had nothing to worry about! He told us before church that if he started to feel bad then he would just leave quietly, but he stayed for all three hours! That night he texted us and said 'Thank you for a wonderful day. I really appreciated that.' and we were like, No problem, anytime! and then he texted back and said, 'That was one of the best days of my life and I will never forget that. Thank you.' WE DIEEDDDD! It was so sweet! Just another testimony of how important it is to be nice to everyone at church. Everyone should feel welcome and appreciated. It makes a HUGE difference! 

I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week!

This cat would not stop walking in circles around my feet. It did this for like 5 minutes!