Monday, December 22, 2014

GOD JUL OG GODT NYTÅR!

GOD JUL! 

Can you BELIEVE how fast time is going? 

It's almost Christmas! 

It was just Christmas! 

It's almost 2015! 

Ahh. I am in shock. 

I'm also extremely excited because... I'M GOING TO BE COMPANIONS WITH SØSTER HALE! In Horsens! Isn't that the best news ever?! I was pretty sure I'd either transfer to Gladsaxe 1 with Sister Grant or Horsens with Sister Hale, either way it would have been the greatest ever. Well, besides the fact that I have to leave Sister Hadfield. I love that Søsta! She's going to do great here in Slagelse - Sister Reed is coming from Frederiksberg - they were companions in the MTC!
 
We have had SUCH a great week, and of course this week is going to be even better - Christmas is so wonderful!

Me with one of the cutest girls ever!  Her mom was baptized last week. The Elders are photo bombing!
So I'll start off with last Monday. We finished off the night by stopping by S, from Sri Lanka we met on the street 2 or so months ago - she gave us her address, but has never been home. She was home on Monday! So was her daughter, S, and her husband, S (they're into the S names). They are a Hindu family, and so so sweet. We had a pretty good first lesson, and it turns out S is in the same class as the Bishop's son J at school! 

They invited us back yesterday for dinner and a lesson, and it just so happened that J got called as a ward missionary yesterday as well so we took him out with us to the appointment. It was way awesome, he and S are pretty good friends, and the Sisters are going to go back to meet with them again on January 3rd (right after I leave :( ). We told S she doesn't need to worry about making us food, but apparently it's a big culture thing so she probably will do it again. Such a sweet family!!
 
Søster Hadfield on her birthday making flæskesteg
On Wednesday we started Christmas caroling with the Elders to members of the ward. We've done it a few days for an hour or so at a time, and it's been really fun! Especially because the elders have a car so we don't have to freeze outside (not that it's been very cold, last night it was 7 C! I think that's in the high 40's F, right?). Here's the catch though: the Elders aren't very good singers, and once one of them messes up the other starts to laugh and it's all downhill from there. 

We stopped by the Bishops family one of the first times we went out caroling, and literally could not sing one verse of Silent Night through without laughing. It was so. bad. Luckily the H's thought it was hilarious, and they started recording us on their phone. Did I mention this isn't the first time it's happened? I can't remember if I told you this - but we had that open house a month ago or so, and we had a little choir concert once an hour. We and the Elders were supposed to sing a song together, and in the first mini concert the same thing happened - so we didn't sing again the rest of the open house.
We all had lunch with T - love her!
 
So basically, we're way good at spreading the Christmas cheer, just not in a put-together way. ;) It gets better every time though!
 
We had a great lesson with M on Thursday, and came back on Friday to help her unpack some boxes (she moved a few months ago but because she's been really sick/in a wheelchair, she hasn't been able to get moved in). It was really sweet - it was such a small thing to do, but she kept saying "It's so wonderful to have all of my clothes unpacked! Hvor er det dejligt!" For a 60-year-old woman, she's pretty stylish, I must admit. She got rid of some of her clothes and I may or may not have taken some. ;) Just being thrifty!
 
We stopped by M on Friday - remember him? He's from Iran, and had to flee because he converted to Christianity. We contacted him and his friend M on the street a few weeks ago. M doesn't speak very much English or Danish, so it's been really hard to communicate and he has a lot of questions/has heard some negative things about the church. BUT M and M decided they would give church a chance, and came yesterday. And H, a member of our ward who is from Iran as well, came too! It was amazing - H and M and M were instant friends, and H helped translate for us so a lot of things got cleared up, and we were able to really teach the restoration. They both believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet, which is why they are willing to give the church a chance even though it must be frustrating with the language barrier. The Spirit is so strong every time we talk with M and M, and I think that good things are really going to happen with those two.
 

M, M, and H and I - they are some really sweet guys!
And SaturdaySaturday! We went back up to Korsør, to contact another referral. When we got to the house there were two girls standing outside, so we talked to both of them hoping it was the referral - no such luck, they were her friends going in for a Christmas party. So then it was a little awkward, because it's one of those she's-a-referral-but-doesn't-know-and-would-be-creeped-out-if-she-knew-she-was-a-referral moments, so we didn't feel like it was the right time. 

But we had a little bit of time before the bus came again, so we decided to knock a couple of doors, and found S and M and their family! They're from Romania, and looking for a church to go to that is close by. S said she was hoping for a church as close as Copenhagen, and my thought was "Come to our church in Slagelse! It's even closer!" We watched He is the Gift with them, and are coming back again on the 24th (what a good way to celebrate Christmas, right?) To give them a Book of Mormon. On the bus ride home, we sang Christmas carols (Sister Hadfield and I can make it through whole songs without laughing when it's just us two singing, isn't that amazing?) and it was so fun.
 
We had a cleaning check on Saturday, and Elder and Søster Madsen came from Copenhagen with some lovely surprises - Christmas packages from home!  It was such an unexpected surprise!
Yesterday we sang Christmas songs at the nursing home, which was so good as usual. I'm really glad we kept up with going to the Nursing Home, even after G passed away, because it's one of my favorite things we do every week. After we finish singing we always shake all of the old peoples' hands, and they are so so sweet to us. Plus, it can be pretty hard to get into nursing homes and hospitals for service here, but since we have a good relationship with the nurses in the nursing home, we're going to come on the 25th and visit anyone who is alone for Christmas. We're baking cookies today to give to them all!
 
This Christmas is even better than last Christmas, which I didn't think was possible. This next week we're going to be SO BUSY - we have a dinner appointment almost every night (which is rare here), teaching appointments all over the place (which can also be rare the week of Christmas), a Christmas Program on the 24th, more caroling (pray for us!), the nursing home, lots of goodbyes for me, and SKYPING YOU! It's going to be so great.
 
Our lovely pile of Christmas gifts! It means a lot to know we're thought of over here!
We had this ward challenge to write a letter to Jesus Christ, telling him what we would give him for Christmas this year. I finished my letter this morning. My heart is so full - I think that if I were to write a letter to the Savior a little over a year ago, I wouldn't know what to say. But I felt like I was writing to a good friend, who has helped me through so much my whole life long. I know Jesus Christ has always been by my side, but I didn't always see Him. Now I do, and I know that he is not only the reason for Christmas, but the reason we are here on earth and the reason we can come back to live with God someday. Though he is the King of Kings, he also cares about the little things that mean the most to us. We just have to open our hearts to Him.
 
I love the work, and I love this season. I hope to carry the warm feelings in my heart throughout the next year - no matter where I am. I am really going to miss Slagelse and all of the wonderful people here. I wish you could see what I see every day when I'm out walking the streets of Denmark with Søster Hadfield.
 
I hope you have a good few days before we see each other on the skype! I am SO EXCITED! It's going to be good to see each other, don't you think?
 
 
Love you so much!!! GOD JUL OG GODT NYTÅR!
 
Love,
Søster Barrett
 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Glædelig Jul


Christmas in Denmark is AMAZING. I love it! It's even better than last year!  Did I tell you last year about lighting up the candles on the tree and dancing around it while singing Christmas songs? That's still one of my favorite traditions. And the candle countdown - we have a big, tall candle that we burn every night to count down to Christmas. 


The Christmas food - flæskesteg, rødkål (red cabbage), brunkartoffler, brun savs, risengrød (which we ate with the ward after church yesterday... soooo good!) ris'alamande, hvidkål, all of it! 


And pakkelege - it's a Christmas present stealing game. Everyone brings a gift or two, and piles them on the table. Then a dice is passed around, and if you roll a 6 or a 2 (I think - but I can't remember so that might be wrong) you get to choose a gift off the table. When all of the gifts have been chosen, then if you roll the right number you can steal someone else's gift! That goes on for 5 or 10 minutes and when it's over, it's over! I'm a little rusty, I haven't played it in a year so I may have forgotten a few things but I am excited to play it again!
 
We have a lot of good plans for next week. We're going to do a little Christmas concert at our favorite nursing home, and we're also hopefully going to visit some of the people in the nursing home on Christmas. We're going with the elders to sing/visit people at the hospital on the 25th, and we're spending the 24th with T and F! M is coming as well so that will be so great. 

We have a list of members/people we know who we want to stop by to sing to and visit, and on the 25th we're going to the K's to skype you all! The ward here is amazing - we're invited over for dinner almost every day of the week next week, and I am looking forward to being with some amazing families.
 
Sister Hadfield and I are just having a blast! We de-cluttered our apartment a bit this morning, but we have a long way to go on that. I think we're going to carol on the gågade on Wednesday night. We did it last week too, with the elders and the assistants who were here on exchanges, and gave out He is the Gift cards as we sang. It was very successful! This time we're timing it out so it'll be when the gågade is busiest, and we're inviting members to come sing with us so it's not just us with our bad American accents. ;)
 
Remember R from last week, who we met while emailing? We had another appointment with him and he had prayed for the first time in a long time after we first talked. He said he felt really good, and wants to learn more about the gospel. We're meeting again tomorrow in the library and inviting him to Christmas church. He's awesome! We're so excited about where it's going with him.
 
Ah, the gospel is just so good. M got baptized on Saturday! She was the elders' investigator, and she has the sweetest family - twin daughters who are 3 years old. They are so cute - it's so sweet to see them come to church and get involved with the ward.
 
I wish I was better at explaining all of the good things happening here, and remembering them! I need to start writing in my journal more regularly. I've gotten really bad at it, which is a shame because there are a lot of amazing, small, simple experiences from day to day that I forget over time. So that's my goal!
 
Haha, we had a great appointment with J and L last night. We me them because we were carrying an american football (I don't remember why) and it caught J's eye so he started to talk with us - turns out he's always read the Bible and his mom set an amazing example of faith for him in his life, but he's always described himself as a "lost soul." He's married to L, who is from New York! They're the greatest couple - J is really talkative and over-thinks things, and L just cuts right through it and tells him to give it a break. What's awesome about it is that right now, we teach J and L comes into the lessons when she feels like it. But J got into some anti stuff and was criticizing Joseph Smith, and L cut right in and said "you don't know anything about Joseph Smith! You can't decide if he's a good man or not based on what other people say." They're soooooo so funny and wonderful.
 
Everything is going so great! There are so many people to talk to and lift up! I want to have more charity for others and be more aware of their needs - it's so easy to ask people what they need help with, or who in their lives needs a prayer from us, but it's more difficult to look behind what people are saying to find what they're really going through and how we can help them. And then follow through and actually do it. I don't want to be a robot, you know what I mean?!
 
Yesterday in sunday school S, our teacher, invited everyone to write either 1)a letter to Christ for Christmas - telling him what we would give to Him for christmas or 2)a letter to ourselves of our testimony of Jesus Christ to read on Christmas. I think it sounds really fun, so I'm going to try it out! You should too!  
 
Anyways, I love you all! So much! I have to go, but know that you're always in my heart! I am excited for skyping next week. :D Hopefully I'm not too awkward, I'm not really sure what to say. But it'll be very fun! You can meet Sister Hadfield! Also, I told Dad this, but don't you think it would be nice if we all shared our testimonies of Jesus Christ on the skype? Let me know if you all want to do that!
 
You're the best. Thank you for everything, especially for your love and support for me. I know you see the best in me, and I want to do the same for other people. I think we'd all be able to accomplish a lot more in life if we could always see the best in ourselves and everyone else.

Love,
Hannah B
 
PS  no pictures this week. Glæd dig til næste uge! (Hannah's mom added in some holiday pictures just for fun)
 
I LOVE YOU! MERRY CHRISTMAS!
 

PPS I thought of the super awesome Danish gift I want to get myself - A nisse! one of the cute little elves I told you about last year - there's a really fun brand of them. I love nisser!

ppps - here is a blog with more information about Danish Christmas Traditions:  Diane's Daily Denmark.  That is a link to yesterday's post about ris'alamonde, and if you look on her sidebar she has posted something about Christmas all month.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

It is Christmas in Denmark!


It's crazy that we're in December - and like, almost halfway into it now! This Christmas is soooooo busy, we have SO much going on and it's great - I just want to make sure I take the time to enjoy every minute instead of forgetting the purpose of it all in the midst of the planning, coordinating, making appointments, calling, etc. It's all because of Jesus Christ and I want to remember that every day.

Our District's really lovely Christmas picture!
Isn't #sharethegift awesome?! It was kind of crazy/disappointing - we were told we'd be getting cards to give out with the message on it, but then it turns out they were only giving those cards to english speaking countries. But there's a member in the stake who does printing/advertising, and President Sederholm got him to make 15,000 cards (in Danish!) for us to give out - so IT'S HAPPENING!  We've had so many great conversations because of the video - Christmas just opens hearts in a different way. 

I was on exchanges all week (I'm never arranging exchanges like that again. It was exhausting! But so amazing!) - In Frederiksberg on Wednesday, Gladsaxe 2 (a part of the greater Copenhagen area) on Thursday, and Roskilde on Friday. It was so fun and crazy - and so good to come home to Slagelse and Sister Hadfield! I missed her! And she did amazing with Sister Reed while I was gone - they did a lot of good. 

They met with our newish investigator J, whose wife is from the US. The first time we came over we invited her to join in and she wasn't interested, but when Sister Hadfield and Sister Reed came again she participated in the lesson! We're going back this Tuesday!

 Elder Madsen and Ogden at their best.

Last Tuesday we had our Christmas Zone Conference. The Spirit was so strong, and we learned so much. It helped me snap out of my gloomy mood. We focused a lot on He is the Gift - every time I watch that video I feel so peaceful and good! The motivation to share it with people has done wonders for our finding - we use every chance we can to be out talking to people. 

In the past it was easy to sometimes think "I've done enough talking to people for the day, I'm going to take a break for just this bus ride" but now it feels like we're never done. It's been a change in the making over the last month and a half or so. I'm really really grateful for all of the different components that have gone into it for Sister Hadfield and I. 

Today we set our goal for how many of the He is the Gift cards we were going to give out/people we were going to talk to, and we decided that we would talk to people throughout the day as we did our Preparation day activities. and OH MY GOODNESS, my email's going to be cut short because we started talking with a guy, R, who was sitting across from us, and ended up having a little lesson/showing him He is the Gift, and we have another appointment in the library on Wednesday. How awesome is that?!?!
Søster Hadfield, M, and Søster Barrett

We got to watch Frozen at the zone conference! It was so fun!!! And last night we had a Christmas concert (we drove with the elders to it and home - and they got us lost both ways, so it was kind of a crazy night) where I sang a duet with Elder Hawkes (from South Dakota, represent!). M came! that was totally awesome! And the song went well, even though I was way nervous, so no complaints there.

M with the patch!

Basically life is really good, the work is amazing, and I am loving all the finding and teaching we're doing! It's awesome!

I hope you have a great week. I hope you get to do lots of fun things and you all get to feel God's love every day. :)

Love you! Vi snakkes vel!

Love,
Søster Barrett

And I forgot! It's Sister Hadfield's birthday today, so BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO HER! To celebrate this morning we went on a run... muahahaha. I think sister Hadfield was disappointed in my fun happy birthday idea until we ran to a bakery and got a huge birthday pastry. That's what exercising is all about right there. 


Monday, December 1, 2014

He is the Gift - #ShareTheGift

Hola! Hej! God morgen!
 
Yes, Danes do Advent! I'm not sure what people do in America, but I know that here they light a candle every Sunday for the 4 Sundays leading up to Christmas. We have a really cute countdown candle that we've started lighting, and I would have a picture to send you of it but I forgot my camera at home. Woops!
 
Anywho this week has been good. A little on the tough side, but not because of anything happening work wise - the work is amazing, the people here are so so wonderful, for some reason I am just feeling down. Do you ever get that way? I feel like I really shouldn't feel that way while out on a mission, but I just feel blah. Disconnected. But we keep pushing through and doing our best, and I know I'll snap out of it soon! Søster Hadfield is a champion. She's good at putting up with me. :D Plus this week I'll be on exchanges from Tuesday - Friday night, so she will be rockin' Slagelse with Sister Reed! And they're going to do GREAT. I'm excited to hear how it goes.
 
Exciting news!! C HAS A BAPTISMAL DATE! the 27th of December. Sister Hadfield invited her to baptism and did such a good job! The Spirit was definitely there. We made a baptismal calendar and as long as we stay on track it should go way well! C is so sweet - it really makes my heart hurt how much she's gone through in life. It's pretty  neat to see God's love work in her life!!
 
And on Thursday we had the greatest Thanksgiving of my mission with... M! We took some seriously awesome pictures, but like I said I forgot the camera. So you'll get them next week! It was a great day - we talked, took Christmas pictures, watched mormon messages, ate, and sang songs. It was just really nice and laid-back. M made really good food! And we made really great cookies, if I do say so myself. So overall it was pretty darn great!
 
Other than that it's just been a pretty good, normal week. I went to Leadership council on Friday and we got ready for missionary work in the Christmas season - did you get the Ensign this week? With the little booklet about "He is the Gift"? Oh my goodness let me tell ya, that video almost makes me cry every time we watch it. 


It's such a simple reminder of what Christmas is all about. And the invitation is for everyone - discover, embrace, and share the gift. It's been causing me to ponder a lot on how I have discovered, embraced, and shared Jesus Christ. I could do so much better but I have done all I can, and I know He is there.
 
When we're on buses and trains, people we sit by are usually on their smartphones. So instead of interrupting them from their phones I've started inviting them to check out a really good video about Christmas - and last night on the bus a girl watched He is the Gift right then and there! We had a great conversation about Jesus Christ - who she doesn't really feel like she needs in her life, but if nothing else it made her start thinking about Him. It was a good experience. :)
 
I just love Christmas time, especially on the mission. I'm so glad I get to be here for two. We're busy making Christmas Calendars for people with scriptures to read each day leading up to Christmas, and I hope everyone likes them! I think they're pretty nifty!
 
Anyways I have to go! But I love you lots and I hope you have a great week. God jul! Glædelig jul!
 
Love,
Søster Barrett

PS - Luckily, M sent us a silly photo from Thanksgiving at his house.  Thanks M!


Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Oh hello!
 
It's been an awesome week. Sister Hadfield is doing great :) We had the new missionary one-month meeting last week and got to go to the temple with all the other new missionaries and their trainers - it was really, really nice. And guess who I got to see? Sister Hale and Sister Grant! The dream team continues. ;) Unfortunately as usual I forgot to take pictures, but everyone looked great and the meeting was really inspirational! 

President Sederholm told us about He is the Gift - something the church will be doing all through December, if ya haven't heard about it yet I'm sure you will! We're SO excited - miracles are going to happen for sure.
 
Slagelse is fantastic. M, the man we met last week, has read the whole Book of Mormon (or as much of it as is translated in Persian). When we met with him he was still in the middle of reading it, and said he needed to read it all to gain the confirmation it was true, but he already felt really good about it and felt that it was God's word. He texted us last night to tell us he had finished reading! We're going by him tonight so we'll see what happens. He barely speaks English or Danish, BUT there is a less active in our area who also speaks Persian and a man in Copenhagen who just got baptized who does as well. So there are some really great opportunities ahead of us to help M and to strengthen other members along the way. Soooooo exciting! We just have to be proactive and get it all scheduled/arranged because they both live pretty far away from Slagelse.
 
M is wonderful. As I'm sure you already know! Last night he asked us and the elders to come over because he was having a hard time. It meant a lot that he would think to ask us to come, and it was a good experience. I'm quite sure M will read this so DON'T GIVE UP! You're awesome and we'll see ya at A and L's! :)
 
Our district activity is this week which is... Thanksgiving with M! Yaaaaaa! It's going to be SO fun. Right afterwards we'll be traveling into Copenhagen for December's Leadership Council, so it'll be an exciting day! In the mean time we have a bunch of great appointments either set up or in the works this week. C, our other new investigator from 2 weeks ago, came to church yesterday. She had some concerns and questions but I think that we'll be able to help her out - plus she needs the gospel in her life. It would help SO much (haha of course, it helps everyone! But C has had a really tough life).
 
Funny story - the scripture you sent me last week, Jeremiah 16:16, was talked about a lot in the new missionary meeting. And this week we went out visiting teaching and used that talk that you sent from Elder Scott! What are the odds? :) I love that talk though, I've been studying it this week a bit. 

It's so good to know that life is supposed to be hard. And that reading the scriptures, praying, family home evening, and temple attendance won't make our problems go away but they are tools to help us get through those problems. It's so easy to teach and talk about the gospel of Jesus Christ, but actually living it - having faith in Christ when the outlook seems grim, truly repenting and forgiving, developing Christlike attributes - that's when it's challenging, and when it's the most important.
 
Christmas is getting closer! We are getting ready - we've started asking people on the street what their favorite Christmas songs are, and the idea is I'm going to bring the ukulele and we're going to ask if we can sing the song right then and there. We just have to make sure we know the songs and can pronounce the words. ;)
 
I love sharing the gospel, and I'm getting better at living it! I love that families can be together forever, and I'm grateful I have a family like y'all to spend it with. :) Jeg elsker jer SÅ meget.
 

På gensyn!
MKH,
Søster Barrett
 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Altså... hvor er du hen?! :)

Altså... hvor er du hen?! :)

Well it's been a great week over here in Slagelse. Sister Hadfield and I are having a BLAST! And the work is really going forward, one small and simple step at a time.

We didn't do a good job taking pictures this week. But here's a few of me, Søster Hadfield, Ældste Child and Ældste Madsen!
Remember how we sang in the nursing home for Gerd? We've continued to sing in the nursing home, and now they have "Mormon Kirken" written in the nursing home's calendar every week - when we come to sing. The nurses have all asked us why we're here in Denmark and what church we come from, and they like that we come - they don't think we're just weirdo brainwashed missionaries. :D Woo! AND - the best part of all - seeing those sweet old women and men light up when we come. 

After we finish singing we go around and shake everyones hands - they all smile, and one older woman Anne always says "God bless you" - she also hums or sings along to all of the songs we sing. A lot of those people are pretty alone, and sit in their wheelchairs all day long. It's such a good feeling to be able to come and give them some of the Savior's love through music. Plus Christmas is coming up, so we're trying to arrange for the ward choir to come and sing the Sunday before Christmas with us. I really hope it works out, because I think they would love it so much!

It was a pretty amazing week. On Monday night we talked to two men on our way to an appointment - they're both converts to Christianity from Muslim. M lives in Slagelse, and his friend lives in Frederikshavn (north Jylland) - they both gave us their addresses so we can come with a Book of Mormon to them! 

We stopped by M during the week, but the buzzer to his apartment didn't work and the complex was locked. 

Yesterday we stopped by again, same story. 

So we buzzed on someone else's apartment, hoping they would let us in. They did! M was home, and we introduced him to the Book of Mormon (there was a bit of a language barrier - thank goodness for Google Translate!) and he said we can come back this week. He later texted us and said that he had started reading in the book, and that he thinks it is good. 

Then we decided to knock on the door of the person who had let us in, and we met K and L! They are super awesome. They don't believe in God, but would like to. And they were more than happy to invite us back again when we told them that we can help them find out if God exists!

It's pretty amazing to look back on that, because it all started out with us deciding to talk to a couple of guys on the street. And look where that took us!
Elder Child is transferring away to be the assistant - he's going to do so great.

Other than that, it's just all going so well. We're studying faith in Christ to find this month, and I'm learning a LOT about what it means to have faith in Jesus Christ. I am allowed to make mistakes and have shortcomings - and with a faith in Jesus Christ, I can overcome those mistakes and shortcomings. My weaknesses will still be there, but they can be turned into strengths - not necessarily because I magically turn into the world's greatest speaker of Danish, or anything like that, but because the Savior can work through who I am to help others. The funny thing is, I am learning that the Savior has been doing that all along, but all I've been focusing on is how much I fall short - so even though other people have been helped, I haven't let the Savior help me. 

But I know, oh I know, that the Savior is on my "right hand and on my left". And even though I am here to serve other people, my soul is just as precious to Jesus Christ as the souls of those we bring unto him. I don't think I really thought that before this week. It means a lot to know that. It's hard to describe the feeling it gives me, and I don't think I can. But it means a lot.

I've learned so much from these three in the last 6 weeks. Here's to another 6, and so much more to learn!
I love you all so much. I hope you have a great week, and I hope that you get the chance to feel like you're the Savior's hands.

Love,
Sista Barrettina



Monday, November 10, 2014

Fish Hats!

We woke up and cleaned the whole house, and studied like champions, and it's been a great day already. :) Sister Hadfield is awesome. She is so funny! We are really enjoying the work and LOTS of good things are happening. We're becoming more effective servants of the Lord and the work is hastening right before our eyes!

Before I go on, I have some exciting news. Well, exciting for me! I hope you'll be excited too. My release date isn't until the middle of March! That's right... I'm EXTENDING! Surprise!!! I told President Sederholm a few months ago that I would like to extend if possible, but didn't hear anything back about it until yesterday. President Sederholm called, and asked if I would be able to stay until March. I said yes of course! I hope that's okay. :)  It feels right and I think it's going to be AWESOME! More time to eat real pastries! ;)

Anywho everything is going great! We're teaching and finding all over the place - it's so fun. We had our first appointment with S, and taught him how to pray. It was the sweetest experience ever! The Spirit was so strong, and I've decided that teaching people how to pray is my favorite thing to do. 

The ward is amazing, we had Stake Conference in Copenhagen yesterday and it was fun to see people from Slagelse (and Frederiksberg!) there. It was like home away from home! 

On Tuesday we had our zone training/Thanksgiving fest/turkey bowl. The zone training was really uplifting and I learned a lot. I got to give my first training and I was suuuuper nervous, but it went really well. My belt fell off halfway through, but I played it off by kicking it under a table. Pretty smooth, huh? 

President Sederholm's part of the training was so powerful. We all felt the Spirit so strong, and it really motivated me to want to increase the quality of my faith in Christ. Later on in the week that really got tested. 

We were taking a bus out to Korsør and a girl named N got on the bus that I talked to in September. We had a pretty good conversation about God and I gave her a card, but not much really happened with it. When I saw her on the bus, my first thought was "Oh no, how embarrassing! She probably thinks I'm such a weirdo and won't want to talk to me again." But my second thought was "you need to go talk to her again." I fought that prompting for a couple of minutes, but then asked myself if I had the faith in Christ to be able to put myself out there and talk to N again. I sucked it up and went to the back of the bus where she was sitting. I asked how everything was going, and she told me that she was on her way home from work early because her boyfriend just found out he might have stomach cancer. It turned into one of the best experiences I've had, where we talked about how she felt and if she believed that God had a plan for her and her boyfriend. She said "Every time we talk you  make me think more!" It's totally the Spirit, not me, because the first time we talked I was nervous out of my mind and afterwards felt like I hadn't really conveyed the message like I should have. When she got off of the bus this time, I gave her a Book of Mormon and she gave me her number. It was such a good experience, and Sister Hadfield and I pretty much threw a party after we got off of the bus.

The gospel is so good! And I've realized that opportunities to find people who are open to the gospel are only constrained by my own fear and doubt. Sometimes I think "oh dear, this is an awkward situation. I can't share the gospel!" When in reality, it's just me who's being awkward and the gospel can totally be shared.

Also, it is SO awesome to see Sister Hadfield learn and grow. She's getting so bold! Her Danish is getting better and better! She is so excited to do the work and loves the people so much. I am so impressed by her sincere desire to share the message and learn. Ahh it is great! I love it all!

Basically, it's been a great week. There have been ups and downs, but the ups always outweigh the downs. Plus Sister Hadfield and I both caught the football a couple of times during the turkey bowl, and made some touchdowns. No big deal. ;)

And I got the packages! Thank you! Everyone at zone training loved the fish hats!  We wear them during weekly planning and we tried to wear them during football but they didn't stay on. 


Love you so much! Ha' det godt!

Love,
Sister Barrett

PS pictures - we failed at taking pictures at zone training. But check out the welove the cop den mission blog! There are pictures galore there.


But here's us with the fish hats! And Sister HAdfield with a durum kebab... the best food ever. It's huge! It's delicious! I can eat the whole thing!



Monday, November 3, 2014

Can you believe it's November?


Can you believe it's November?! Eeek! Time just flies.  Have I told you that we have visiting teaching assignments? It's so great because we get to visit some of the active women in the ward.  I LOVE the ward. Have I told you that before? Maybe once or twice? ;) Seriously Slagelse is such a great place to be. It's crazy that I've been here for 2 months already, because it feels like I just go there.

A lego soldier on the gågade in Copenhagen. :)

For Halloween we got permission to dress up for the ward party. We dressed up like grandmas! We forgot to take pictures, and I kind of realized after we got there that I probably didn't look much different than I normally do (sister missionary clothes problems), so I don't know if anyone really got the costume. But we had fun putting baby powder in our hair to make it look gray!

Seeing the sights in Copenhagen!
Slagelse is great. This week was a little crazy because we went to Copenhagen for a leadership training on Thursday and Friday (I abandoned Søster Hadfield with Søster Reed once again!). But the training was amazing. It was really neat to be able to go and see how sincere and hard working all of the missionaries serving in leadership positions are. I feel like I'm spying in on all the experts and picking up all the tips I can.

When we got back to town we had the halloween party, and on Saturday morning we helped a family move. Then we visited C, who is such an amazing woman. She's been sick for a long time and hasn't come to church in years, but on Saturday we made a goal together that she would come to church this next Sunday. Unfortunately today we realized that this Sunday will be stake conference and it's all the way in Copenhagen, so I'm not sure if she'll be able to go. But hey, there's always next week! 

As we've been meeting with C since I got here, I've learned that God loves us unconditionally, and we don't need to be afraid that we don't deserve his love. I think it's something that a lot of people struggle with but don't know how to share. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is so crucial, because it shows that God does feel like we deserve His love because He sent His son to atone for our sins so we could repent and learn and grow.

That night we had dinner with M and the S's home - so fun! They took us to see a pottery shop by their house where the owner puts up a big halloween display every year. Again we forgot to bring cameras to take pictures, so sorry about that! But it was really cute.

We did some garden work with T and F so here's us in a wheelbarrow.

Yesterday night we had about 40 minutes left in the day so we went to see S, someone we met while knocking doors one day. We've visited him a couple of times, and it always seemed like he wasn't super interested. But last night something changed. As we talked with him about God's love, the Spirit was so strong and S seemed to light up. We've tried to make return appointments with him before, and he's always said "I'm pretty busy so just try to stop by and if I'm home we can talk" but this time we made an appointment and offered to give him our number so he can call beforehand if he needs to reschedule and he said "I don't need your number, I know that I can make the appointment." :))) That was really exciting!

And we got lost in Korsør and ended up by a harbor - look at that beautiful view! I love the sailboats. And the bridge in the background is from Sjælland to Fyn, where Odense is.

Ahh the gospel is so good. And you know what? Sister Hadfield and I work hard to share it. Some days it might not go how we hoped it would, and some days the work might go even better than we imagined. We're not perfect and we mess up a lot. But I've never been happier than I am now, and I know it's because we're doing what Heavenly Father wants us to do - we're trying to help His children come back to Him.

I love you all so much! I hope you have a great week and that lots of good things happen. 
This is me standing in front of a little piece of plastic on the ground. Why is it significant? Because the morning that we took this picture, I tripped over that piece of plastic while we were out on a run and fell flat on my face. Well, maybe not literally my face, but my leg and elbow got pretty scraped up! It's all right. We kept running.

Love you! Have a good week!
Love,
Sister Barrett


Monday, October 27, 2014

I ran over the milk!


Hvor er det dejligt at høre fra dig hver uge!

Ooh I didn't think of taking Halloween treats out to people! Good idea. :) I am doing great - the week has been lovely. It's getting chillier and chillier, but that doesn't stop Sister Hadfield and I because we are champions! We work hard through all kinds of crazy weather! We're having so much fun together - we're laughing almost all the time, and I am impressed every day by Sister Hadfields positive attitude, willingness to work hard, and love for the people. It's seriously such a joy to serve with Sister Hadfield! I feel like we have our hearts and our heads completely in the work, and it makes it so much more enjoyable to be out all day, every day. Ah. It is so good! I wouldn't be anywhere else!

Søster Hadfield rockin' the bike.
On Friday we started a 40-day fast. Haha don't worry, it's not a food and water fast. We fasted for a day to know what things are distracting us from the work, and then for the next 40 days we're going to be "fasting" from doing those things. It's funny the things you notice that are keeping your focus away from the work when you take the time to think about it - for me, some of the things were biting my nails and unnecessary shopping. I love going out on preparation days and looking in all the stores and finding things that I wish for/want - but I realized that during the week I start daydreaming about what places we're going to go on Monday and what kinds of things I want to look for! Hard on the work and the wallet, if ya know what I'm saying. So I think that's going to be a very good thing to fast from! But I was thinking - I should make a budget/limit on how much I can spend in the next 4 months or so, otherwise I'll probably buy all of Denmark so I can take it home with me and never forget anything about it. ;) Any suggestions? (note from Hannah's mom - she has access to her personal bank account - she is not spending mission money on that!)


This week has just been so much fun. On Monday we had a lovely dinner with A and L (I'm going to take a picture with them this week to send to you. They have us over for dinner every Monday and it is SO much fun. M comes sometimes, and it's just really enjoyable. They've been inviting missionaries over every Monday for dinner for years. Pretty amazing, huh? We're very grateful!).

Did I tell you about the cute couple we met last week? R and M? Well, we had our first appointment with them on Tuesday. We brought S with, thinking that both R and M would be there so we wouldn't need to worry about a woman being there. But when we got there, M wasn't home, only R! Ahhhh! We just stood outside in the pouring rain, with no idea what to do. But then, miracle of all miracles, M came home! Celebration. So we were able to come in and have a first lesson. It went really well. Unfortunately a few days later when we called to make another appointment, they said they're not interested in hearing more. Heartbreak! The day after that happened, we went to stop by a really positive family we had met a few weeks ago and they said they weren't interested either. To quote Sister Hadfield, "It feels like we're getting broken up with!" It was pretty rough. But you know what? We kept positive, and I know that we're doing the best that we can - it's other peoples choice to accept the message or not. And it just means we get to go out and find more people who need the gospel right now!

M gave us his coffee this week and told us we can get rid of it however we went to. That was probably the greatest moment of my life (M will probably read this - Hi M!). I have learned so much from M, and we're teaching him about the gospel, but he's teaching us about it too. It's a pretty great exchange, I'd say. :) Plus we're starting to do family history with M! Sister Hadfield is a family history pro - she was a family history consultant before the mission, so she totally knows what she's doing. That's awesome, because I don't! I am going to learn though. and It's going to be fun!


Us with Sister Ripplinger and Sister Reed. They are so great. Sister Reed and Sister Hadfield go out on exchanges together (we leave them alone in either Slagelse or Gladsaxe... two new sisters takin' on Denmark! They do a great job) while Sister Ripplinger and I go to the other sisters.

Sister Ripplinger and I went on exchanges with the Sisters in Roskilde - Sister Woster and Sister Lyman. I asked Sister Lyman if she was related to a Frances or Amasa Lyman... of course she is! We're 5th cousins or something like that! Also her dad is in the Air Force, and they've moved around a lot. And Sister Woster is a hoot! We were together for the exchange and it was a BLAST. We did a lot of finding and people were really receptive... and it was the most unexpected people as well. Sister Woster is from California, relatively close to Modesto I think. She reminds me of Brookie - it was like being out for a day with my cousin! Fun fun. I love getting to know all of the sisters, they all have so much to contribute and so much light.

So yesterday we had a bittersweet experience. There's a woman named G who Sister Vige and I sang to in a nursing home every week. Our last week together, she wasn't at the nursing home - the nurses said she was sick and in the hospital. Sister Hadfield and I had been meaning to go and see her in the hospital but never got the chance. We went to the nursing home yesterday and found out that G passed away on Friday. Oh it was so sad. Sister Hadfield is so sweet - she cried with me and was just so supportive, even though she never even met G. It is so good for G, because she was sick and couldn't really remember anything, and I think it was more sad because we never got the chance to say goodbye, and now when we go to the nursing home she won't be there. But in that moment my testimony of the Plan of Salvation was really strengthened. I know that death isn't the end - it's a step in the plan, and G is going to keep learning about the gospel and helping others to learn about it as well. Knowing about Heavenly Father's plan is so comforting and gives so much peace.

Train trip to Odense (that's where sister Hadfield stayed while Sister Packard and I went up to Aalborg)
On Saturday I got to go to Js' baptism in Aalborg!!! It was SO good to be back. I have so many dear friends there, and J and J have been waiting for this for so long. We got to sing in the program and that was really special. It was really touching, because J said the closing prayer for the baptismal program. I got all emotional during the prayer because I remember when J didn't really know how to pray. Look how far we all go, huh? So much can happen in a year. :)

At J's baptism! Soooo happy.

All in all it's been a really wonderful week. We learned a lot of good things, and our testimonies were strengthened. We helped other people strengthen their testimonies too, and we helped people open their eyes a little bit more to the tender mercies the Lord puts in our lives. And in return our eyes were opened a little more as well. :)

I am excited for this week. We're going to meet with a lot of great people and focus more on finding. Plus we're going to start studying Preach My Gospel with a family in the ward! I am so excited for that because the best thing about Preach My Gospel is how much it can strengthen families. It's not just a guidebook for missionaries, but a resource for learning how to live the gospel and share it with others.

I love you so much! I am so grateful for your support and prayers. I love hearing about all the fun things you're all up to, and I love that I get to share what we do every week. It is so good to serve the Lord.

Keep on rockin' it! Have a happy halloween! Eat lotsssssss of reese's peanut butter cups for me. :)

Love,
Søster Barrett

PS:


So here's our milk carton for the week. We were biking home from the grocery store this morning and I looked behind me and Sister Hadfield was gone! Talk about a terrifying moment. I biked back and finally saw her, biking towards me. She was laughing so hard she was crying, and kept saying "I ran over the milk" but I thought she was saying "I ran over that man". It turns out the milk fell out of Sister Hadfield's basket, and she ran over it. But it didn't break! It's just a little beat up! Ahh, it was so funny - especially when I finally understood what was happening, because I thought that Sister Hadfield had run over someone or been hit by a car or something. ;)