Monday, January 27, 2014

Inga's Baptism!

I am doing great. The weather... not so mmuch! there's a snow storm going on outside right now! Brrrr! Yesterday we biked and we did almost as much walking as we did biking because the roads were so slippery and covered in ice in some spots! But it's really really fun. Sister Packard and I stay positive and it makes a big difference! Being cold isn't hard if you have a reason to laugh or at least smile. :)

Søster Packard and I with an advertisement for Zion National Park!  Small world, eh?

(I wrote to Hannah about how our Sister missionaries here in Rapid City received a note written To: LDS.  Not Sisters, or Missionaries, just LDS, it was sort of funny!, so she wrote this back:)  Lots of people just call me Barrett, even though Søster is right there on the nametag! Rude!! Speaking of the nametag, a couple that we work with invited us to go to an ice hockey game with them (and the elders too, President Sederholm said that we can!! woo hoo!!), and then the husband said "Feel free to not wear your nametags." Whaa? I think maybe he's just embarrassed about the missionaries or something. Either way, we told him we would keep our nametags on, thank you very much, and then he said "well hide them under your jackets." WHA?! We told him we definitely wouldn't do that either. It's funny how much my nametag has come to mean to me, because that little piece of plastic shows who I am and what I stand for. I would never hide it under my jacket! Sheesh!

So, my week has been so fun!

On Monday we didn't end up going to get warm winter gloves (I suffered all week!) But we did practice piano and violin a lot for the baptism, and then we just ended up jamming out on the piano! It turns out Sister Packard and I both really like to sing, so we were dueting it up and throughout the week we brought the ukulele to some lessons and sang to our investigators! It was REALLY fun. 

It's fun to have music as a connection! And our musical number went GREAT on Saturday, everyone loved it and we were asked to perform again in sacrament meeting in a few weeks! A couple of people came up to me and told me that I shouldn't have kept it a secret that I play the piano since I've been here so long, but they don't realize that I had to get permission to practice the piano an hour every day from Monday to Saturday so that I could make the song sound decent enough! It's been a long time since I've really made the effort to play a song well. I miss practicing! How weird is that? 

With Inga before her baptism

And, since I've got the missionary mindset now, practicing the piano taught me a lot about the Atonement. Sometimes while you're playing you mess up. So you take that measure and practice it again and again, slowly and then a little bit faster until you have it mastered. Then you mess up again and you do the whole process over again! But by the end, you can play the whole song through and it sounds beautiful. 

It's just how life works! And the best thing is that we don't have to stay stuck with our mistakes, we can keep trying to get better a little bit by a little bit!

We spent a lot of time this week getting ready for Inga's baptism, with lessons with her and Henrik and getting in contact with everyone that we needed to help us with the program.  Inga's baptism was on Saturday.  It. was. AWESOME! oh my goodness!  What an amazing experience to be a part of! (Obviously I wasn't doing the baptizin', but I got to help Inga learn about the gospel and make the decision to be baptized!)  This is a great work!  And I get to do it for the rest of my life, as a missionary, and with my friends and family, and someday when I have kids.  I love it!

With Henrick and Inga

We also had some awesome lessons and found 2 new investigators! At the beginning of the week we set the goal to find 3 new investigators this week. By yesterday evening, we hadn't found any. Sister Packard said "We have to find 3 investigators by tonight!!" So right before a lesson with a Ukrainian couple (more on that later), we knocked a couple of doors. 

I was a little skeptical about us finding anyone, but the second door we knocked was a Greenlandic couple who let us teach a lesson on the doorstep and invited us to come back next Saturday! How exciting is that?! So right there at the end of the week we found 2 new investigators, and almost reached our goal. 

Then we had our lesson with the couple from Ukraine - they are so cute! They are both from the Ukraine, but they met here in Danmark and got married a year and a half ago. We brought a member with us and it went really well. 

It was really funny because Viktoria speaks English well but not Danish, Viktor speaks Danish well but not English, our Danish is decent, the member we brought is Danish and speaks a little bit of English, and Viktor and Viktoria both speak Ukrainian. So there were 3 languages being spoken the whole time, and it took some time for everyone to understand each other! But oh, the Spirit was so strong. It reminded me that it is the Spirit who teaches us, not us, and no matter what kind of language barrier there is, the Spirit still does his job.

Also, to end the week right, Sister Packard and I made crepes for dinner last night! Last year at school Brianna made super good crepes all the time, and she sent the recipe over email last week! They were delicious. Ahhh it reminded me of all the fun times I had with my roommates last year. I love those ladies! We have a group email and we write to each other every week, so it's fun to see what they're up to! 

And now it is Monday, and we're starting it all over again! We find out about transfers today so that's exciting! I'm pretty sure nothing will be changing with Sister Packard and I, since she just got here, but some of the elders in our district will definitely be leaving. I'm going to miss them! We have a really good group, so it'll be sad to say goodbye. But we'll all see each other around!

Did Grammy and Grampy get the package I sent them? I know Grandma and Grandpa did, so I think they must have! 

The pictures this week are Søster Packard and I with an advertisement for Zion national park! Small world eh? and Us with Inga, as well as us with Henrik and Inga, and then Sister Packard and I in our natural habitat. ;)

Anyways, I love you! Have a good day!!!

PS the blue scarf I have on in the last picture - Sister Packard's Grandma knitted a couple of scarves for Sister Packard to give to her companions, and it is the CUTEST thing ever. It's not that long - maybe an arms length - and on one end she attached two cute big buttons so you can button it. I thought it was a super nifty idea, and I think you could do it for Sydney or Emily, or yourself! Or me. ;) 

Monday, January 20, 2014


I have had a great week! Sister Packard is so so great. We are obedient and we work hard, and we have FUN! And miracles, but more on that later. :) 

Sister Packard has an ama-za-zing singing voice, and she plays the violin (she's studying violin at school) so at the baptism this saturday we're going to do a violin/piano duet! I'm a little rusty, and I am going to be doing some big practicing today, so let's all hope I don't mess it all up! ;)

As you will see by the pictures, we got a huge snow storm. It started snowing on Thursday night, and didn't stop until Saturday night! Holy cow! 

We decided to shovel snow on Friday morning, so we went to the store and bought shovels, then headed out to some members' houses to shovel. Then we decided to call the 2 pairs of elders to see if they wanted to join us, and they were already meeting up to shovel snow. AKA... they weren't even going to invite us! Those meanies! 

So we all met up and shoveled the Bishop's driveway, then the driveways of the houses around his, then some other houses in the area. We shoveled all. day. And then we shoveled all day on Saturday! It's crazy what being a missionary will do to you - all that snow shoveling was SO FUN! We were so sore by Saturday night, but it felt good to be out just trying to help people. 

Søster Packer and Søster Barrett

One of the very last houses we shoved for on Saturday was kind of a bummer moment though - we were just shoveling away, feeling so happy 'cause we were helping all these people to be able to open their front doors, and a man came out of his house and said "What are you doing? I wanted that snow there, you should have asked first!" Sooo... we may have ruined his snow day. He and his wife stared at us through their window as we continued shoveling snow at different houses up the street, and I think they were not very happy with us. But sheesh! Who doesn't want their snow shoveled?

I just read the new mutual theme (Come unto Christ, and be perfected in Him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness. Moroni 10:32) in this month's Liahona, I really like it! It's something I am working on - Coming unto Christ. And I really like that in that same scripture, it promises that if you love God then the rest will come too. I want to be a perfect missionary right now! But I have so much to work on, that the best thing I can focus on is to love God, and the rest follows. 

So I am working on showing my love for God by having more meaningful prayer and listening for His answers, following the commandments, and following the guidance in my patriarchal blessing. It's really  helping me!! And I think it's kind of similar to making the choice to serve a mission - just make the choice, and the rest will follow; love God, and the rest will follow. I remember one time Len Austin talked about kayaking with Maggie, and how they focused on the trees in the distance rather than the water right in front of them to keep them rowing straight. I have always remembered that and how it's the same with life - ya make a goal and do the things that will keep you on track to get there!

So besides snow shoveling, we had some other fun things going on this week! The biggest thing on our mind was, of course, Inga's baptism, and getting ready for that! Almost everything is ready now, so hopefully Saturday goes off without a hitch! The most important thing is that she gets baptized, right? :) 

Yesterday was the best day of the week. In church one of the ward missionaries told us that her friend told her she wants to meet with the missionaries, and is coming to Inga's baptism with her kids so they can meet us and make an appointment! 

Then we had a lunch appointment with a married couple, Hanne and Flemming, from the ward, and they were telling funny stories about when they first got married. I guess the first meal they cooked wasn't so good, and Flemming said that his first thought was "It's going to be a long life." Hahaha! We were laughing so hard!! He also said to "watch out, because when you fall in love you go temporarily insane." And then Hanne said "well you're still insane and it's been 20 years!" Ahhahaha they are so funny. 

Then we were waiting at a bus stop to go do some stop by's. There was a girl at the bus stop who we said hi to when we first got there. Sister Packard and I were talking about how we both liked hanging out at home with our families during high school more than going out with friends. The girl must have been listening in to our conversation, because she leaned towards us and said "I prefer that too!" We started having a great conversation with her, and we got on the same bus, and she came and sat by us to talk more! She told us that when we said hi it really threw her off because it's not normal in Denmark for that to happen, so when she heard us speaking English she thought "ohhhh that's why!" She also told us that she had had a really stressful day, so when we said hi it made her feel a lot happier. We were super disappointed because she got off the bus before we could do more than explain what we do as missionaries, but we gave her our number and she said she would call us after she takes a final exam this week (she's at university). 

Our last stop-by last night was a woman who let us inside because it was cold out. We taught her the first part of the Restoration and asked her if she believed in God. She said "I don't know where to find him." So we told her that she could find him through prayer. We said a prayer with her right there and asked her how she felt afterwards, and of course she felt a warmth in her heart. She asked us to come back on Wednesday and teach her more about God. Ohhh it was the greatest way to end the week! I love this work! You never know where you're going to find someone who needs to hear about the Savior.

So that was a little week in review! Sister Packard and I had a facial Friday (it was on saturday but oh well). We also sing in opera sometimes. And we also just have fun all the time! Go us!


Monday, January 13, 2014

It's P-day Again!

I can't believe it's Pday again! Weird. Sister Packard is awesome!! I think you heard already but she is Josh Krum's cousin. So that's really fun! I am still rockin' it in Aalborg, and I'll probably (hopefully!!) be here at least for the next 9 weeks or so. 

Hannah and Søster Nuttall

Sister Nuttall went home halfway through a transfer, so Sister Packard came up here halfway through - real transfers are in 3 weeks, and I highly doubt anything will be changing with us! But you never know. 

My bike is getting a new chain and the gear fixed today! So by tomorrow it will be up and running. If not, I will maybe die a little bit inside and then go buy a nice bike. But I don't want to! So let's all just pray that my bike is better by tomorrow, ok? :)
Søster Nuttall and Søster Barrett wearing Mustaches

I got two really cute packages this week! One from Grammy and Grampy - my favorite Symphony chocolate and some really pretty earrings, and one from Julie Erickson and her family! 

More Mustaches

It was the greatest package ever - with a cute hat and scarf, and some SUPER awesome mustache/glasses - see the pictures I will attach (and also if you look on the we love the cop-den mission blog there are some sweet pictures of Sister Nuttall, Sister Sederholm, her daughter, and I in the glasses! woo woo!). 

Thanks Julie!

So thank you to Grammy and Grampy and the Ericksons! I will send some letters soon!! 

Søster Hansen in the Mission office with a mustache!

And TILLYKKE to Makayla, she will be a great missionary! And in Chile, how cool is that?!  (Hannah's cousin just received her mission call this week!)
This week has been a fun adventure. On Tuesday I went with Sister Nuttall down to Copenhagen to say goodbye. It was so sad!! I cried like a baby the night before she had to leave. I got to be there for her farewell dinner with President Sederholm and his family, and a testimony meeting afterwards. We had to wake up at 3 to be able to be at the airport for her flight, and I have to say, it was weird to be doing all of these farewell things knowing that it's not something I will experience for another year or so! Craziness. 

On the train to Copenhagen

Anyways, then I headed back to Aalborg, with my new companion Sister Packard! She is really fun, and plays the violin. She brought some piano and violin duets so we're thinking about doing something in church or maybe at Inga's baptism.

Søster Packard and Søster Barrett

We had some really exciting things happen this week! First of all - since my bike is out of commission for a little bit we have been bussing, and working on getting better at talking to the people we sit to on the buses. Sister Packard gave away a Book of Mormon, and I had a great conversation with a lady from Argentina who lives here with her husband and children! I gave her a card, and we're really hoping something comes of it. You never know! 

We followed up on some past knocking and got a return appointment with a lady for next Sunday, as well as a return appointment with a previous investigator, a less-active man, and a girl we knocked into on Friday

Saturday and Sunday were the best days of the week - on Saturday night we went to stop by a less-active, but he wasn't home. We walked past the home of one of our investigators and I thought "should we stop by? Ehh, maybe not tonight." However, a couple minutes later we passed her on the sidewalk! She stopped to talk with us and we ended up teaching a lesson and comforting her a little bit because she had had a bad day of work. 

Then on Sunday night we stopped by a member's house and she gave us 5 referrals to less-actives in the ward who she thought would like to visit with us! I have never been very good at asking for referrals, but it's something Sister Packard and I have been working on too, and we were definitely blessed for it! Tonight we're going to try to stop by all of the referrals. 

After we visited that member, we went to stop by Viktoria, who was investigating the church pretty seriously but then went out of the country for a bit and we haven't been able to make an appointment since! But last night she was home, and so was her husband. We had a lesson with them and they asked us to come back next week! The cool part is that her husband has never been in on the lessons before, but he wants to be there too. They are a really sweet pair, from the Ukraine, living and working here. The Spirit was really strong and I can't wait to see what happens!
On Saturday night we also met a very drunk man named Leo (he called himself Leo the Lion) on the bus, who knew a LOT about South Dakota and Sioux Indians! Random, right? It was so funny. Also throughout the week we knocked on two doors that were answered by semi naked people. Exciting times in Denmark!
Anyway, it's been a really good week. I miss Sister Nuttall a lot but I know that Sister Packard and I are going to have a lot of fun together, and we're doing a lot of good work! I love you all, and I hope you have a great week!

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Big Week in Review!

The big week in review:

We had an awesome New Years! We went to a member's house and had a really fancy dinner (with an appetizer and everything!). I would like the whole world to know that I have officially eaten raw fish and it wasn't that bad. But I did make Søster Nuttall finish mine for me when no one was looking. ;) 

Søster Nuttall, Elder Horrocks, Søster Barrett

Then we sat around and played games and chit chatted until a little before midnight. We also saw the Queen's speech, which she gives every year on New Years Eve! 

Then right at midnight, we had a toast to the new year (don't worry! No alcohol!), and we went outside to see the fireworks. Let me tell ya, the Danes love fireworks! It was CRAZY. People were letting off fireworks everywhere, and not just the little sparklers, but real, huge fireworks up in the air! All over the city!! It sounded like we were in a war zone. Oh man, it was so fun!! 

Søster Nuttall and Elders

Then we got driven home, and slept until nine the next day (this was all approved by the president, I would just like to say!), and cleaned the apartment. 

That night we had an appointment with Henrik and Inga (who we skyped with on Christmas) and it was super spiritual. Inga decided that she will be baptized on the 25th of this month!!!! I get to be here for her baptism! It's so exciting, and I just can't believe it's really happening. We still have a little bit left to cover in the lessons, but I know it will all go well!

Other than that, we've been trying to get my bike fixed (we took it in to the bike repairman and he fixed the chain, but it's still not working!), and doing a lot to get Søster Nuttall ready to go home. We're heading down to Copenhagen tomorrow!! I can't believe she's leaving, it feels like we just started being companions yesterday. I'll miss her a lot. She gets home to Idaho at 10 at night and she just found out that she won't get released until 6 pm the next day! Ahhhahaha I feel bad for her, but it's also pretty funny. She'll be home, but she still won't be able to listen to music or get on facebook or any of that!

Castle with statue

I get my new companion on Wednesday, and I'm not sure what's happening, but I think President Sederholm forgot to call me to tell me who my companion will be! My district leader Elder Crank thought he had told us, because President Sederhom told him, so he told the rest of the district (myself included, I know who my new companion is but not officially!), and it's just a funny, awkward situation. I'm excited though! It will be an adventure!

The pictures this week are a sweet shot of Søster Nuttall and some of the Elders being awesome, Søster Nuttall and I with Elder Horrocks, an elder in the district who's pretty cool, and a cute little castle that we walk by sometimes! don't ask me why the man in the statue looks either super depressed or insane. If it were my castle, I wouldn't put depressing artwork like that in my front lawn, but to each his own!

I love you all lots and I hope you have a great week! I miss you but I'm having tons of fun out here and I can't wait to tell you how it all goes with my new companion! Happy New Year!!