Danmark is lovely and getting more spring-like every day! This morning when we went out to run it was almost completely light out! Hallelujah! There are cute little yellow and white flowers poking out of the ground everywhere and it just feels like Spring!
|Me being an Aalborg Pirate! (I don't know why Sister Packard and I didn't take a picture together)|
My bike is good this week, and I'm using it a lot! We figured out that on Saturday, we biked at least 20 km. Maybe that's not that impressive, but we thought it was!
We have an essentials Pday (Preparation Day) today because we have a district activity on Thursday, so that means our pday ends at 3 today. But we're going to try to go into the church by our apartment and walk around the park/pond close to it! Here is the sad truth about Pdays. Usually we're so busy trying to get things done that we don't have time to go out to the cool stuff! I haven't been able to go to any of the museums. Maybe someday.
The Elders at the hockey game a couple of weeks ago.
Søster Packard is doing so well! She is so wonderful. She has so much faith, and she's really optimistic all the time. And, we both love to sing so we duet all the time! It's a really nice way to share spiritual thoughts - singing hymns brings the spirit like no other!
Thank you for that article! It's really true what Elder Oaks said - the church is growing here. And missions are only hard if you make them hard! Haha ok, sometimes being a missionary can be hard, but I can tell you that it is far more about how you react to challenges than what the challenges actually are.
And something that I think is really important and cool about Denmark is that the only reason the church is small here right now is because so many LDS Danes left Denmark and headed to America when the church was first starting - and really, the Scandinavian countries were a significant amount of the backbone of the early church.
Bishop M (the Aalborg Bishop) one time told us that he thinks the reason Denmark has it so good now is because the country was blessed for the sacrifice of all of those faithful pioneers. But of course, just like in the Book of Mormon, when lots of blessings come people stop feeling like they need Heavenly Father. So we're here to remind people that He is there, we are all His children, and that he loves us! And they do listen.
This week was a really really good week! We taught a total of 16 lessons - 5 with a member present and 11 others. And 4 or 5 of those lessons were with people we met on the street or knocked into. We gave away Books of Mormons, pamphlets, cards, all of that good stuff!
In the mission we have been focusing on having more effective personal and companionship study, and it has definitely blessed our missionary work. On Friday morning I was studying in Moroni 7, and I decided that I was going to start memorizing Moroni 7:45, which is about charity. I told Sister Packard about it in our companionship study.
That night we got home and when we got in the apartment, we realized we still had 5 minutes left in the day. Of course we went back outside! We walked down the street to the bus stop, where there was a girl sitting down smoking a cigarette. We started talking with her and asked her what she believed in. She said "Jeg tror på næstekærlighed" - I believe in charity.
Sister Packard remembered that we had talked about Moroni 7:45 that morning, so we took out a Book of Mormon and asked A (the girl) to read that verse! She read it, and then continued to read to the end of the chapter. We could tell that she was very touched by it, and she was even more so when we told her she could keep the book!
Sister Packard and I walked away, and the minute we turned the corner we did a little victory dance because we were so excited about how it went! Studying the scriptures more diligently has made me more aware of opportunities to share the gospel, and it's helped me do it in a more simple, clear way. It's also helped Sister Packard and I both follow the Spirit more!
On Saturday morning we stopped by J., a less-active man who we stop by about once a week. He told us that he doesn't really have that much faith in Jesus Christ, but then somehow we got on the topic of Isaiah and his prophecies about Jesus Christ and J. got really excited about it! I really felt like J. has a lot more faith in Jesus Christ than he thinks, so I told him so (Afterwards Sister Packard told me she had felt the same thing!!). He paused for a second, and then a little light in his eyes started to shine, and he said "I do."
It is really a blessing to be able to bear testimony of Jesus Christ to others, and even more so when it helps them remember that Jesus Christ is their Savior!
On Sunday before we went out to visit some members Sister Packard had the idea to go contacting in the park near our apartment. We had a couple of pretty good contacts, and then we started talking with a woman named Kirsten. We asked her what she believes in, and she said "Jeg tror på Jesus Kristus." Oh mah goodness it's so rare to hear someone say that with conviction here, and Sister Packard and I were so surprised! We kept talking with her, and gave her a Book of Mormon. As we walked away we looked back and could see that she had opened the book and started reading through it a little bit.
Also, A came to church again! She biked with us there - which I thought was pretty dang awesome since she's 71! She also prayed with us for the first time this week, and on Sunday told us that she prayed before she went to bed and when she woke up in the morning, and she slept better than she has in a long time! J.was also in church, and she told us that J (her husband) talked with the man that they want to baptize them, which means they will be getting baptized on May 31!!! I am SO excited for them! J. is really sincere in wanting to find out that the church is true for herself, and not just because J believes it is true, and she has definitely started to receive that testimony.
So, yes. We are teaching and inviting and bearing testimony everywhere we go, and people do listen. :) The church is growing here! And the members are so strong! E, who comes with her husband to teach J and J. every week, is a 5th generation member of the church - her ancestors were some of the first to hear the gospel here!
And speaking of 5 generations back, Sister Packard and I are related. Our great great (however many greats) grandparents are Pulsiphers! Zerah Pulsipher, one of the McBride family's great grandpas, is her great (great great blah blah blah) grandpa's brother. How awesome is that?!
Sister Packard has a recording of Elder Bruce R. McConkie's last testimony of Jesus Christ. She also has a cool little story that goes along with it, from Elder McConkie's wife, who tells how the song I Believe in Christ was written because of Elder McConkie's testimony. It's really touching, and if you have the chance to look up the story and his testimony, you should definitely do it!
Elder McConkie said something in that testimony that I really loved. He said something like "The day will come when I will see the marks in Christ's hands and feet and wet his feet with my tears, but I will not know any better then than I know now that he lives."
I want my testimony of Jesus Christ to be that strong, so that when I see Him again it is not an answer to a question or a long-awaited confirmation of a hope but a recognition of my older brother who has been with me my whole life long. And it is getting there. I do know now more than I ever have before that Jesus is the Christ, and that He lives. Every time I bear my testimony of Jesus Christ I know even more that He is the Savior, my older brother, and that He knows each and every one of us. And as a missionary I get to be His witness, and I want everything I do to reflect that. I'm deifnitely not perfect, but I get better and stronger every day. I know that the only way we can come back to Heavenly Father is by living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Happy Birthday to Sydney! I hope you have a fun weekend celebrating it. And eat a turtle shake for me at Armadillo's ;) Ahhhhh I miss that Ice cream so much!! But I think that this Saturday Paradis, an ice cream shop here, reopens for the season and ice cream is free all day long, so we're going to be using our lunch hour to get some ice cream for sure. :D I love you all so much! I love this gospel, and I love Jesus Christ. I'm so grateful for the difference He has made in all of our lives. Can you imagine what life would be like without faith in Jesus Christ?
|All of us rocking it on stage (except Elder Crank, he took the pictures. And Elder Horrocks and Elder Sullican, since they live like an hour away)|
I will forward some pictures from the hockey game a few weeks ago! Sorry, because I don't think I took a single picture this week :O I will do better for next time!