Monday, May 5, 2014

First Week In Copenhagen

I am SO excited to skype on Sunday! 6 days 'til we can see each other agian! :) I can't believe how fast the time has gone. And as far as details go, all 6 of us missionaries in the area are going to one member's house for skyping on Sunday. It'll be anywhere from 3 to 5 in the afternoon our time, so 7 to 9 am for you (sorry it's early, and also it might be cutting into sacrament meeting). 

I am so excited to see you! Don't make fun of me 'cause my face is chubby! ;) I don't think I'll be able to skype for as long as I did last time, I think 2 hours at the most (haha that is a long time!) is what is acceptable. Plus I don't know how many computers there will be, so we shall see how it goes! I am just so excited to see y'all!

Part of the Library.

That sounds like such a nice Sunday! So hyggeligt. We had chocolate chip cookies yesterday too, because we had this new idea to make cookies for every member who has a birthday in the ward and stop by the day before their birthday to say hi and wish them a happy birthday. But of course we had to eat some as well. :) 

So far the idea has been bringing a lot of success though, on Saturday we stopped by an inactive woman who was born in Denmark, then lived in the states for most of her life, then moved back to Denmark last October and hasn't been to church since. When she first opened the door it was barely a crack and she told us we didn't need to give her anything for her birthday, but then we told her it was fresh-made cookies and she opened the door a little further, and we started talking and getting to know her. 

She opened up (literally! she opened her door wider and wider the longer we were there, and by the end of our conversation she was just standing and talking with us!) and told us a lot about her life, which has been really challenging. But it was just a great experience and we're praying for a miracle so we can start meeting with her more and bring her back to church!

Church was SO fun yesterday! I bore my testimony since it was my first Sunday in the ward. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming, I feel like I've been here for a lot longer than one week! (In a good way! :) ) 

Søster Hadley and Søster Barrett with some sweet spring flowers.
Okay and Søster Hadley and I are seriously twins. At first it was funny things, like that we are both really good friends with elders serving in Spain and we like the taste of vinegar, but then we started noticing that we have the same exact toothpaste and floss, the same brand of face wash, and I used to have the same kind of toothbrush that Sister Hadley has now. We both worked at little hometown ice cream shops through high school and in the months leading up to our missions. 

Sometimes we say the same thing at the exact same time. It is so fun!!! We're doing so much work and basically laughing all the time. I love it! And I am learning a lot from Sister Hadley - she is so sincere and so good at finding the good in everyone we meet. 

Also, every week she tells her family something she learned from Preach My Gospel, so I think I am going to start doing that today because I think it's a good idea! So here I go. This week we started studying chapter 10, How to Begin Teaching. We study a new chapter every month and I always start off by reading through the chapter and color-coding all of the principles and promises/blessings given in the chapter. 

Something it said right in the beginning of the chapter really stood out to me - everything I do in my studies and throughout the day (developing Christlike attributes, studying the missionary lessons, improving my ability to speak Danish) is done so that I can teach with more clarity and power. It is so true! In the past when I am working on becoming better at doing something, I do it so that I can be a better person - and yes, everything about being a missionary has made me a better person, but the core purpose of everything I do is to teach well so I can invite others to come unto Christ. 

And the more prepared we are, the more we are aware of opportunities to speak with people, which leads to teaching, which leads to bearing testimony and inviting people to learn more, which leads to more people learning about Jesus Christ, which changes lives! It's really motivating me to learn the scriptures better and talk with everyone.

This week we had some great miracles! On Monday night we walked past the temple (super great perk of serving in Copenhagen! The temple is in our area and we walk past it several times a week!) and saw a man sitting near some of the flowers, smoking a cigar and drinking a beer (hehehe). 

We decided to talk to him, because anyone who wants to sit on the temple grounds has to have recognized how special that building is. We told him what the temple is and why it's such a beautiful place, and ended up having a great conversation and getting to know him really well. His name is B, and he has been out of work for a long time and gone through a lot of hard things. He said it is really hard to find his way when the world can be so bad and confusing. 

I asked him if he wanted something that could help him find his way when life is hard. Sister Hadley pulled out a Book of Mormon, and we bore powerful witness to him that the Book of Mormon can guide him and bring him closer to Jesus Christ, whether he is a member of the church or not. The Spirit was so strong!! He took the Book of Mormon and told us we were the sweetest girls he's ever talked to. I believe it made a difference in his life, and I know the experience made a difference in mine. I know that just being on the temple grounds made B more open to hearing our message and we were able to bear testimony with a lot of power.

A blurry photos of me near the canal.

Throughout the rest of the week we gave out 5 Books of Mormon (maybe a small amount for some places, but more than I've ever given out in a week on my mission!), and talked to sooooooo many people! We take a lot of trains and buses here, and on Monday I was already feeling motion sick from all of the driving and stopping and going. 

So I said a prayer to Heavenly Father, and told Him that I was really worried I would feel sick the whole time I served here in Copenhagen, but that I would talk to people on every train, bus, and metro we took if he would bless me to not feel sick. Well, Sister Hadley and I have talked to at least one person everywhere we go, and I haven't felt motion sick since! And I'm getting a lot better at contacting and bringing up the church on s-tog trips where we only have 3 or 4 minutes to talk to the person sitting next to us before we have to get off again. It's really really fun! I have met so many people!

Ahh basically it's been the greatest week of my mission. I wake up every morning feeling so happy! Sister Hadley is the most amazing companion and I am so grateful I am here.

Our apartment is fun and has definitely been well-used by sister missionaries over the years. We had the great pleasure of cleaning out the bathroom drain because the shower flooded the entire bathroom, and it was pretty gross. Also, our toilet is clogged so today we will be buying a plunger and taking care of that! Hahaha, I'm pretty sure my mission has turned me into a plumber. 

The YSA's are awesome! We have an investigator, J, who came to institute on Thursday night which means we got to go to, and there are so many amazing young adults in this area. A lot of them are either return missionaries or preparing to go out on their missions, so we have lots of people who want to go out and do the work with us. 

HC Anderson's Grave
A really cool gravestone with Runes all over it, in the graveyard.
And once a month we have a night where we go out on splits with some of the girls in YSA, which we did this week and it was very fun. Only one girl was able to come, so we didn't actually go on splits, but it was really nice to have her come to our lesson that night! 

And the best thing about this area is definitely having the temple so close by. We're going to go during the week of the temple's 10-year celebration, and since we can go once a transfer and my birthday falls right after next transfers, I'm hoping we can go to the temple on my birthday! Woo woo happy birthday to me! :) 

As far as birthday gifts go... I think my dream gift might be a new camera because something weird happened to my camera (mehhh! Sorry Christensens I somehow destroyed your gift to me for my mission!), and I don't know if you've noticed but all of my pictures are slightly fuzzy and warped. But that's just my dream gift! I am sure I will survive without it! :) 

I don't think there's really a worst part of this area. Maybe that on Friday nights lots of drunk people are on the trains? But that's just funny, so I don't think there's really anything terrible about Copenhagen! At least as a missionary!

I love you all so much! I hope you are having good missionary experiences, because I know that missionary work goes a LOT better when it's done with the members! :) 

And I really miss you but I hope you know I am working as hard as I can. Sister Hadley and I are trying to work on being more obedient to the schedule because sometimes we just start chatting away and the next thing we know it's 10:30 and we're not in bed! The hardest part about having a companion that's practically my twin sister is that we have way too much fun together. :)

Søster Hadley and I with HC Anderson's grave

Today we're also going to see the Kristus statue in Vor Frue Kirke and Strøget (I don't know how to spell that), a huge gågade in Copenhagen with lots of fun stores!

I can't wait to see you on Sunday! I hope you have a great week!!! I love being a missionary. :) It's so much fun!  

See you in a few days!

1 comment:

  1. I love that you found your twin Hannah! That's so fun, an immediate best pal! It sounds like Copenhagen is a great place and that you are learning so much! Love ya sista!