Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Viking Carving, Singing Trees, and lots of Love

I am doing really well today. It's sunny and warm and beautiful! It's starting to feel like spring, and little flowers are poking their way out of the dirt. No more snow, and there has been some rain lately (as well as a random hail storm), but not as much as in the UK. But I heard that it's rained so much there that people have had to take boats down the roads! Is that true? Craziness! 
A really cool Viking carving (the real deal, people!)

My bike is good. It seems that every time we turn the corner, no matter which direction we're going, there's another big hill to bike up! But that's good because I need the exercise. Now that our bikes are officially up and running again, we bike everywhere. We pretty much save our bus money for trips out-of-town or emergencies, and we aren't afraid to bike in the rain! 

The elders are really fun - Elders Crank, Clawson, Warner, and Madsen are here right now. And Elder Horrocks and Sullivan (he was in my MTC group!) are in our district, but they serve in Frederikshavn. Elder Crank only has 6 months left, but the rest of us have been out for 7 months or less, which is kind of crazy! 

And church was really good yesterday, Sister Packard and I played a musical number in sacrament and it went really well! I was getting really nervous right before, but then I remembered that I stinkin' love all of the people who were there so I didn't have anything to be nervous about! 

Everyone keeps telling me I'm going to be transferring after this transfer and I really really hope I don't, because I just love Aalborg! But whatever happens will be great. :) 

The work is awesome, we have a return appointment this week with our new investigator from last week! I can't remember if I told you about him or not, but he's from Vietnam and has two daughters. 

Also, A CAME TO CHURCH!!! She and her kæreste were there for sacrament meeting because of our musical number and they really enjoyed being there! A hasn't been to church in 9 years, so it was fun sitting next to her and seeing her get so excited every time she recognized someone. And everyone was so so kind and welcoming to both A and D, which made it even better. 

We had some really good eating appointments with members this week - not just because the food was good! ;) A lot of times all of the missionaries get invited over to eat, which means we don't get a chance to get to know the members that well. But this week it was just Sister Packard and I, so we got to get to know some families better and we had really good spiritual thoughts! 

On Saturday we helped a family get ready for their son's baptism - we helped make food before, played the music for the baptism, and served dinner afterwards. Yes, dinner. It was basically the equivalent of a wedding reception, but for an 8-year-old's baptism! So what I'm trying to say is, I got jipped when I got baptized. What did we have, brownies? ;) Just kidding!! It was really crazy though - the Danes really know how to party! There was steak, hot wings, ham, potatoes, salad, and home-made ice cream. And brownies. ;)

Yesterday something exciting happened! Sister Packard and I have stopped by a former investigator a couple of times to see if he would be interested in hearing about the church again, but he's always been out of town and we've only ever talked to his roommate. But yesterday he texted the Elders (because that's the number he had) and said he would love to meet, and that he's free on Wednesday. So we'll be having a lesson with him in a few days! 

Other than that this week we'll have a lesson with our Vietnamese investigator like I said, some less actives, J and J, and M (love that kid! He is reading Jesus the Christ. In English. And he's already read a decent chunk of it. I started reading it in October and I've gotten through like 20 pages, haha!). 

We're also planning on going through all of our former investigator records, because at some point they said yes to hearing about the gospel for a reason, and maybe the time will be right now again!

And now I would like to tell a little miracle story. Remember how I lost the keys on an s-tog in Copenhagen? I felt really dumb - especially because who knows where the keys were, and not only was our apartment key on the keyring, but also the key to the church. But I said a prayer and Sister Packard did a really good job of helping me not feel so dumb (thank goodness she doesn't hate me!), and then I just had the thought that Heavenly Father would take care of the keys to His church. Luckily, we had a spare key and we figured out how to break into our mail box. ;) 

Fast forward to last Tuesday, we got a call from the office in Copenhagen and they had checked at the police station and found the keys! So we got them back on Thursday. Heavenly Father really does take care of me, even when I do something really dumb like lose the keys in Copenhagen! It was just really sweet to see that happen!!

Søster Packard and I on a stage in the park
On last PDay we went to see the Singing Trees - it's this little park in Aalborg Centrum where they plant a tree for every musical artist or group who performs in Aalborg, and they have an audio recording of that artist performing in front of their tree. We found Elton John, Beyonce (her's was broken though, how sad!), Bob Dylan, and a lot more. It was so funny and a cute idea! 

Me with Shakira's singing tree!

I've noticed that the sky is brightening up in the mornings too, and that makes me so happy! It feels like the whole city is breathing again, with the sun out and the temperature above freezing. We celebrated Valentine's day with the package you sent!! Thank you so much for that. I gave valentines to some people in the ward, and they thought it was cute. Valentine's day isn't really celebrated here though, which is a bummer in my opinion!

A little mustache love!

Anyways the work just keeps on movin' forward, and I'm (hopefully) becoming a better person every day! I love the scriptures and I love love love our Prophet and Apostles! They really are inspired, and I love reading Conference talks. It's amazing to be able to teach the gospel to those who are ready to hear it, because they are willing to make the changes in their lives to come closer to Christ. 

Our sweet investigator A is starting to feel that God hears her prayers, and as of our appointment on Friday night she had read 17 chapters in the Book of Mormon already! She is wonderful. 

That reminds me, our appointment with her was the craziest thing I've been to thus far. We brought J with us, an older member of the ward who is originally from Holland. Before we got into the appointment she told us that her husband told her not to talk during the appointment, which I thought was pretty funny. 

A few minutes into the lesson, I could see why her husband said that. Wow, can she talk! It was amazing! Anything we said reminded her of another story or experience. It got to the point where Sister Packard and I couldn't look at each other without laughing because the lesson got so ridiculously off-topic. At one point I had to excuse myself so I could go into the bathroom and compose myself, because I had a laughing attack. 

Ohhh it was so funny, but you know what? The Spirit was still there, and when A told us that she was starting to feel that God was there when she prayed, my heart was so full. It's so cool to see prayer begin to mean something to this woman who has lived 71 years without much of a belief in God at all.

I love it! I love you! And I hope you all have a really great week. Everybody sounds like they're doing really good. Give everyone a hug and a kiss from me!

Keep up being so awesome! Goooooo Barretts! :)
Love love love you.

1 comment:

  1. WE love your blog sooooooooooooo much Hannah ! Thanks to your Mother for helping keep it going. ! We love reading about your experiences !! You are having a great mission and doing so much good in that area.. ! Dont worry if you get transferred or not- You will have great experiences any where you go... I was transferred 16 times on my mission. ( gosh I must have been a problem Elder. LOL ) Love you Hannah and proud of you.. Grandpa and Grandma B