A lovely blog about Hannah's lovely mission to Denmark.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
So, this week... WE GOT CHRISTMAS PACKAGES!!!!! From you and from the Kinoshitas! Thank you thank you thank you all, it was the best!
We opened the packages (I know, it's not Christmas yet, but we couldn't resist!), but not the stockings or the Christmas Eve present. It was so fun! And so lovely to eat reese's peanut butter cups and the peanut butter Auntie Heather sent me. That was like heaven on earth. ;)
There's a high chance either Søster Nuttall will transfer next week or we'll get a third companion, so we'll probably open the stockings and pajamas the night before transfers! But thank you, and thank you from Søster Nuttall as well.
I think our favorite thing has been the scripture Christmas calendar, it's so fun to finish planning at night by reading a scripture about Christ. I am focusing so much more on Christ this year than any Christmas before! It's because I'm a missionary I know, but I want to focus on Christ like this for the rest of my life! He really is our friend and Savior. I know that more than ever now.
The same day we got the Christmas packages was also our Christmas Zone Conference (that link takes you to a Mission blog with photos from the zone conference. Scroll through the photos and see if you can find Søster Barrett - I saw her twice - she is silly!) and Præsident Sederholm challenged us to spend Christmas working rather than use the time to relax and hang out. Christmas is a terrible time to be out knocking doors or contacting (because everyone is hanging out with their families and want nothing to do with us) but we're being creative right now and finding things we can do!
The last few nights we have been out with the Elders caroling to ward members and investigators. It's freezing cold, but really fun and people seem to like it! And Christmas just seems to make everyone happier and more open to talking about Christ, which is awesome.
On Saturday we went to the ward Christmas party! Also known as the Juletræs Fest! It was the. best. One of the married couples we are teaching came dressed as Juleman and Nissemor! (Santa and Mrs. Claus!) It was SO EXCITING to have them there and to see them get to know the ward members better and just fit right in!
I learned about some more Danish Christmas traditions too. We danced around the Christmas tree and sang Christmas songs! Usually everyone holds hands around the Christmas tree and sings, but since there were so many people there we just all walked around. (Hannah's mom here, I found a youtube video of a family dancing around their tree - cute! Here's another one, I think I like even better - do you recognize the song? I love that it is all ages of family members singing and holding hands - so sweet!)
Then the kids played a game kind of like London Bridge is falling down. Adults formed bridges in circle around the Christmas tree, and the kids ran around underneath trying not to get trapped at the end of the song. If you get trapped, the bridge people tell you to choose one of too fruits (like apple or pear). Depending on the fruit you choose, you have to stand behind one of the people in the bridge. At the end of the game, there was a tug-of-war between the bridge people and the kids they had trapped! I am not doing a great job of describing this, but it's really fun!
Søster Nuttall and I were just going to watch, but then one of the Young Women convinced us to be a bridge, and then the primary president made us run around the circle with all the little kids. ;) It was so fun!! everyone was laughing and singing and ahhhh it was just great. Then we played hokey-pokey around the Christmas tree! Who knew they did the Hokey pokey in Denmark? Not me!
'Glade Jul' by Viggo Johansen, 1891
We finished the party by having dessert... Æbleskiver! It turns out it's not a breakfast like we eat it at home, it's a dessert that they serve with jam and powdered sugar. So fun! Also, Elder Crank, our District Leader (who is Native American and before his mission was internationally ranked as a hoop dancer) did a hoop dancing performance! It was awesome.
So those were the highlights of the week. It's been really fun to carol to people, and as of yesterday one of our less-actives is reactivated! How exciting is that? She is 4 or 5 years older than me, and her testimony is so strong. It's so exciting to see her in church and to see the ward reach out to her.
I LOVE how the Danes celebrate Christmas! The 22 is little little Christmas. The 23 is little Christmas. The 24 is Christmas. The 25 is Second Christmas. The 26 is Third Christmas. It reminds me of the hobbits!
I love Christmas! I love Christ! I love that even the hardest things we have to do are made bearable because of the atonement and prayer. The gospel is such a happy thing to have, and it's so fun to share, especially when it means a lot to other people, too. I love being a missionary. And I love you! :)
God Jul! Jeg Elsker jer!
PS I can't get this computer to work with pictures ): I'm sorry! Next week. :)