So it has been a crazy week! We got into Eugene and President Young interviewed Sister Grant and I together. He said, "We got a little bit of news. It's not bad, but... your visas came through! You leave next Tuesday for Denmark!"
Of course we were SUPER excited, but also really sad because Sister Hale wasn't going to be coming with us! But a few days later hers came through too, so we're all off to Denmark tomorrow! We fly to SLC, then from there straight to Paris (c'est la vie! Is that almost right?), and then to Copenhagen! I feel so European already. ;) Har har har!
Anyways a LOT has happened and it has been crazy and awesome and sometimes embarrassing but I have learned a lot. Here's a couple of things that really stood out to me!
1. I love Eugene. I LOVE EUGENE! Oh it is so great - there are so many different kinds of people all living in one city. We went to eat lunch at The Laughing Planet (they served sandwiches, soups, sort of Asian food bowls, and... burritos!), and within 10 minutes I saw a couple of hippies and two people dressed up in renaissance clothing. I love it.
2. It has rained almost nonstop since I got here! It's good practice for Denmark.
3. It's soooooo green and there are so many trees - it reminds me of Rapid City but greener and tree-ier.
4. Did I mention I love it? And could possibly live here sometime?
5. We went to Voodoo Doughnuts today. Oh yes we did. I got not one, but two doughnuts - the actual voodoo doll shaped one and the bacon maple one. I had to get both while I had the chance! They were delish.
Voodoo Doll donut and Maple Bacon donut
Donuts with my two new companions
6. Now to the amazing miracles/tender mercies/holy cow I'm really a missionary moments. On Sunday I met a really cute lady named Kimberly. She asked me where I was going and after I said Denmark she said, "Do you know the McBrides?" I'm pretty sure I almost passed out. I definitely started tearing up! It turns out she and Auntie Anna are really good friends, Anna had mentioned me before, and if Anna still lived in Eugene we would have been in the same ward! So cool!! Anyways we took a picture together and she sent it to Anna, who then sent it to my mom. Technology is great!
This is the photo that Anna sent to me (Hannah's mom) it was a fun surprise to see it on Sunday!
7. Also on Sunday, the bishop asked us to visit a 17-year-old girl whose records had just shown up in the ward. We went to her house and knocked on the door, and no one answered. So we started walking away, but then we really felt like we should try again so we did - and this time Charlie answered! She was so excited to see us. I guess she has just moved into the area to go to school, her mom is a member, and she wants to go to church. We gave her a Book of Mormon and the numbers of the missionaries who serve in the YSA (young single adults) ward. It was so cool because if we hadn't acted on the prompting to go back and knock again, none of that would have happened.
8. I've started getting more and more comfortable teaching and testifying - and by that I mean I'm following the Spirit a lot more and it's not even really about what I say (because let's be honest - I'm a pretty awkward person!) but about how the Holy Ghost touches other peoples' hearts.
So all in all it has been a great week. I am learning a lot and getting out of my comfort zone. I am sad that I only got to be here in Eugene for 5 or 6 days, but I am grateful I got to come here! It has been a fun adventure. Now on to Danmark! Vi ses!
random photos of a Santa pencil that someone gave me!
Oh PS I have two companions again! They're really nice and very patient with me. They found out they would be my companions the day we got to Eugene, and I have to say they rocked the last-minute assignment! It's been so fun. Also, I took a picture of the santa pencil someone gave to me. It's awesome.
So, my companions and I got reassigned... TO EUGENE OREGON! And, surprise surprise, we're still in the Provo MTC! Our flight leavestomorrow. We're getting all packed up and we said our goodbyes to the Elders (most of them are reassigned to Washington and two are reassigned to Phoenix, Arizona - also one got his visa and is already in Denmark!) last night. It was definitely sad, but we'll see them again!
The whole Danish Missionary Group, plus one Elder from Denmark (Elder Held in the back row with a red tie) who is going to Sweden
We are so excited! I AM SO EXCITED! I love Oregon. I used to live there and I still have family there. It's going to be a great experience and I know that I will be there for a reason.
All of us with our teacher Sister Taylor, who just got home from her mission to Denmark in July
This is a quick blog post - I have so much to do! And actually, from here on out all my posts will be pretty short most likely. Bummer! But hey, ya know I'll be working hard! :)
Our whole zone.
I just wanted to finish with a sweet little miracle/tender mercy. I think I have mentioned before that President Nally (the MTC President) used to be Stake President in Rapid City. This may sound silly, but ever since I found that out I may or may not have been praying that I could meet him before we left the MTC. I thought it would be really awesome to be able to tell him I'm from Rapid City too! By this last Sunday I had pretty much accepted that it wouldn't happen, since we were leaving in 3 days. But yesterday, while my companions and I were in the bookstore, I turned around and saw... President Nally and his wife! I was SO. EXCITED. We shook their hands, and when President Nally asked where we were all from and I told him I came from Rapid City, their expressions were priceless (I'm sure mine was too - I probably looked like I had just won a million dollars). We were all so excited! It was definitely a cute little answer to a prayer, and it reminded me that miracles do happen! And that Heavenly Father hears even the small things we hope and pray for.
All of the Sisters in our Zone
I hope everyone is having a great week! I hope the people of Eugene are ready for me! :)
ps - one more photo
another successful facial Friday. This time we got some of the Swedish Elders involved.
This post is going to be rather quick today! I apologize! But from here on out my posts will probably all be that way. Bynext TuesdayI'll be out in the field! More on that later.
This week we had... Facial Friday!!
It's something my siblings and I used to do. Since my mom is awesome, she sent me 4 peel-off facial packets.
My companions and I were going to do it one night in our residence hall, but then we decided to ask the Elders if they wanted to join in!
You can imagine my surprise when they got more excited about Facial Friday than we were. So, Friday night (after we finished everything we needed to do, of course!) we pulled out the facials.
In the pictures you can see the elders putting the facials on each other.
Ahhh it was hilarious!
Here they are pealing off the facial stuff in the window!
After we finished they asked me if I could get my mom to send more this week, because they felt a little awkward asking their mom to send them facials. ;)
Ok, so the big news. We got our travel plans on Friday! According to the travel plans, we were to leave next Monday at 10:45 am with layovers in Chicago and London.
It would have been super awesome, but unfortunately our visas didn't come through! So we're actually getting temporarily reassigned (we'll find out exactly where on Thursday or Friday) to a stateside mission for the next six weeks.
I am SO. EXCITED.
It's like I'm serving 2 missions! Who knows where I'll end up?! Tennessee, California, or maybe even South Dakota. ;) But seriously I've heard of people getting reassigned to the mission where they're from.
You never know! I'm not sure if that would be super awesome or super sad. Probably both!
I am so excited to get out there and be a real missionary!
It's going to be hard but I know I can do it. What's that quote from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland? He says something like "I believe missionary work isn't easy for us because it was never easy for Him." Jesus Christ suffered everything for us. I know that through His Atonement and because of Heavenly Father's love, I can do all things. I can't wait to share this gospel with those who need to hear it.
Vi ses! Next time you hear from me, who knows where I'll be?! :)
We are counting down from THIRTEEN DAYS, people. Thirteen days 'til I ship off to Danmark! My companions and I are SO excited.
So my mom asked about what my schedule is like in the MTC and I thought it would be fun to explain a typical day in the MTC! (have I written about this before? I can't remember. If I have, sorry! Now you'll be MTC pros!)
On a normal day, we wake up at 6:30. Haha ok that's every day!
Then we have an hour of exercise, an hour or two of personal study, and breakfast.
After breakfast, we have 3 hours of class with one of our teachers, then either an hour of TALL time (that's basically on-line language study) or additional study (when we can write letters, catch up on study, or watch Mormon Messages. I kid you not, I think I've seen every "I'm a Mormon" video out there!).
Then we spiser frokost (eat lunch), and it's back to class for another 3 hours.
We have about an hour and a half of language study before dinner, then after dinner we either have additional study, TALL time, or other studious stuff that I can't remember at the moment.
Then it's time to plan, and head back to the residence hall and go to sleep!
Søster Grant's Aunt sent us cupcakes from Cocoa Bean!
Every day is great, but Sundays and Tuesdays are super great because it's the Sabbath and P-day! On Sunday, we have breakfast at 7, then study time until Relief Society at 10. Relief Society is really great here because all of the sisters in the MTC meet together and really inspirational women speak to us. After Relief Society we have lunch, more study time, then Sacrament meeting. Every week we prepare a 3 to 5 minute talk on an assigned topic and then during Sacrament they randomly choose one Elder and one Sister to speak! It's kind of stressful but exciting. After Sacrament we have a District Meeting, and then (my favorite part of the day) we go walk around the temple. We finish up the day with an hour-long devotional and then a church movie of your choice. It's almost as exciting as going to the movies with your friends on a Friday night! ...almost. ;)
On P-Days my companions and I have started waking up at 4:30 to get laundry, e-mailing, and our cleaning service done before breakfast. It's kind of fun to be up before almost anyone else in the MTC, plus it gives us a lot more time to nap later.
A story about cleaning: Today during service we got to use these super awesome backpack vacuums to vacuum the entryway rugs outside a building - they look like the yellow guys in Monsters Inc! We kept saying "23-19! We have a 23-19!" (isn't that what they say whenever a monster is contaminated with human clothes?)
We have a 23-19!
Then we nap. Ahhhh, next to reading e-mails from home, going to the temple, and going to the devotional, it's the best part of the day. Once we wake up, we do personal/companion study, go to the temple, and then go to the devotional!
So that was probably boring and way too detailed, but that has been my life for the last four weeks! It's great. But I'm glad it won't be this way my whole mission; I can't wait to walk and bike around. And talk to lots of people!
Funny story of the week: Up until this week, I have basically been wearing a sweater every day. I don't know why, but I barely packed any shirts that I could wear without a sweater! I didn't really think anything of it, and I definitely didn't think anyone else noticed. But when I got a package from heaven (thanks Mom!) of cute shirts to wear without sweaters, alllllll of the Danish Elders said something like "Oh, Sister Barrett, you're not wearing a sweater!" or "Sister Barrett, I thought you were hiding a weird birthmark or deformity on your arm." It was hilarious. And embarrassing. But mostly hilarious! :)
Søster Hale, Søster Barrett - without a sweater!, and Søster Grant
Anyways, it has been a great week and I'm looking forward to another one! The church is true. I know it more and more every day. I'm so grateful for Jesus Christ and His Atonement, because I make mistakes all the time. But oh, how good it feels to be forgiven! (After I typed that I laughed because it sounds really cheesy and churchy. But it's true!)
Translation: think about THAT! That has been our favorite thing to say in class this whole week. Whenever one of us says something particularly awesome in Danish, we'll finish with "tink på DET!"
Well once again the week has flown by, and I am past my halfway point in the MTC! In 20 days, I'll be on a plane to Denmark! Within the last few days we have started working towards the goal of speaking 100% Danish all day every day, and tomorrow is our first full day of it! Can you believe it? We had our first language lesson 3 weeks ago and tomorrow we'll be speaking alllllllll på Dansk. We already teach our "investigators" (they're actually our teachers pretending to be investigators, but it feels so real!) in Danish, and it has been really fun and challenging. Heavenly Father really does bless missionaries with the ability to learn languages!
We went on a walk to the Temple on Sunday
Funny story - up until yesterday, we didn't really take the time to understand what our investigators told us. It's kind of embarrassing to have to tell someone you understood absolutely none of what they just said, but if you don't say anything, you'll never know! We went to the Teaching Resource Center on Friday to speak with a couple of volunteers who are fluent in Danish either because they are from Denmark or because they served a mission there. One of the volunteers, an older man, shared with us that a few years ago his oldest son and wife passed away. Unfortunately, one of my companions didn't understand what he said, so she replied with "fantastisk!" Oh it was sooooo awkward, but we definitely learned our lesson!
My Companions and I in class
Last Tuesday, Elder Neil A. Anderson of the Quorum of the Twelve spoke to us in our devotional! His wife spoke before he did, and she is TINY. She had to stand on a step stool to reach the podium! They both shared really spiritual messages. Elder Anderson said, "we sacrifice for that which we love, and we love that which we sacrifice for." That quote has popped into my head several times all week!
Our District, behind the Provo Temple
So, I'll just make a list of all of the funny/fun/great things that happened this week.
1. On Wednesday morning during exercise time we built a sand castle! Don't mind my creepy face in the picture...
2. There is a missionary here from Denmark going to Sweden, and we practice our Danish with him all the time! At first I couldn't understand ANYTHING he said in Danish, but I'm starting to pick some things up!
3. There is another Swede who looks like Peter Parker from Spiderman!
Is that you, Peter Parker?
4. After the devotional finished last Tuesday we walked home in a huuuuge rainstorm (we go to devotionals in Marriott Center - it's just like being at BYU!). It was so fun!
5. Last night right at the end of our exercise time there was another big rainstorm, and we got soaking wet! We got someone in our residence hall to take a picture of it.
6. One of the Danish Elders who isn't in our District, Elder Sullivan, translated the song 'Jesse's Girl' into Danish. It is SO funny to watch him sing it, he gets way into it!
The elders in class.
This is Elder Jewkes' creepy walk. He's impersonating the grown-up Goob from Meet the Robinsons.
7. I can't remember if I said this before, but the MTC President used to be Stake President in Rapid City! How cool is that?!
There were sooooo many other things that happened that I can't even remember at this moment, but the MTC is a great place and I'm glad I have this time to prepare! However, I am SO EXCITED to get to Denmark.