Danish Word of the Week: Juleaften (Yool-eh-ahf-en) Christmas Eve.
In Denmark they celebrate Christmas on December 24th, which is Christmas Eve for us.
Christmas was so much fun this year! We and the Elders were with a member named Sofie who is an INCREDIBLE cook. She taught us how to make all of the traditional Danish Christmas food. Duck, pork, sugar potatoes, gravy ... but it's way better than American gravy, red cabbage (don't knock it til you try it), potato chips, and rice pudding for dessert. I am going to have to make it for you on Second Christmas. It is probably the best meal I've had in Denmark.
We played a fun game called Pakkeleg. It's the Danish version of White Elephant. There is a pile of mystery packages in the middle of the table, and there are two dice that get sent around the circle. Every time you roll a 1 or a 6 you get to take a package out of the middle. Once all the packages are out of the middle, you set a timer and every time you roll a 1 or a 6 you steal a package from somebody else. It keeps going like that until the timer goes off. It was so much fun! I got a board game, candy, socks, patch kit for my bike, and soap. Pretty good haul.
On Christmas Morning we met the Elders at 7 am and opened presents under the Christmas tree in the church. I'm so glad we did that. It felt like real Christmas morning with a little family! A few members have given us presents over the past few weeks, and it was really sweet to open them and see that they had been thinking of us.
We even had our own Christmas miracle with finding Nikolaj and Genesis on that street corner. I still can't believe that happened. I'm so excited for missionaries to keep teaching him in the future. He's going places. I love seeing little glimpses of Heavenly Father's plan for people. I will never forget the hope and light in Nikolaj's face as he talked about how Christ can make him clean from the mistakes he's made in the past. I'm so grateful to know that it really is possible for people to change! That is the biggest miracle in the world!
I'm grateful that I get to end my mission on such a high note. The holiday season is the best time of year, and it is the best time to be a missionary. I'm so glad I got to talk with all of you on Christmas!!!!!!!!! Not trunky or anything, BUT I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOU. Thanks for the letters you all wrote to me. That was seriously the best Christmas present I could have gotten.
I am way looking forward to Second Christmas at home! Christmas was fun and everything, but it's just not quite the same without family. Keep the Christmas tree up!
Love you all so much! Have a good New Year!