Tuesday, July 29, 2014

No Bike Contacting, yet!

Don't worry, I haven't done any bike contacting! Yet! And no crazy bike crashes! Although my bike has a flat tire, so I've been using Sister Hadley's old bike which is a little too high for me, and that's been reeeeeal uncomfortable. Whew!

The most delicious ice cream cone of my life!

The week has been awesome. The other sisters are still in our apartment, but they got a new apartment that they can move into September 1. It's really fun being with them though!!! Søster Murray and I have gone out almost every morning to run and work out. I'm super grateful for that! :)
Minion Cupcakes thanks to Emily (sorry, just had to add these in)

Happy birthday to dad! It sounds like it was such a fun party. I love the minions! So cute! That was a way good idea. Did Dad get anything exciting for his birthday?

I'm copying and pasting from my email to President Sederholm (when you're telling two different people about how your week went, sometimes you have to just copy and paste!) and I don't know how to reformat it so there isn't a weird color in the background, so sorry about that!

Well it's been another fantastic week!  I've noticed a theme in our lessons, church and reading my patriarchal blessing - the Lord has been bringing it to my attention again and again how important scripture study, prayer and listening to the Spirit is.  It's amazing how when I take the time to be quiet inside, the Spirit can speak to me and I feel the confirmation that I'm doing the Lord's will.  And on the other hand, it's amazing how quickly I can tell when the Spirit is not with me.  I feel like a toddler trying to learn how to walk - I have this amazing gift from the Lord, and I'm still figuring out how to keep my balance while using it.  But some day I will be able to walk with confidence. 
When Sister Handley and I planned for the last week, we planned Friday to be a miracle day.  We didn't know what would happen or how, but we really wanted good things to happen.  On Thursday night, we made plans for the next day, with our main "miracle time" at the end of the day.
The Lord had different plans for us though, and when Friday came we had a surprise first lesson in the morning with new investigators the Gladsaxe First sisters had found who happened to live in our area.  On our way out to the appointment, I talked to a man on the S-tog who was very interested in the church and asked me to pray for him as he went to a job interview.  
The appointment went well, with a sweet lady named P who was so excited to receive a Book of Mormon and wants to continue to meet!!  Then on the way back, we talked to a girl on the S-tog and she gave us her number and said she wants to learn more about the church!!
Basically, the miracles we had planned for the evening happened in the morning, and the work we had planned for the day, which was wonderful, happened in the evening.  The day didn't go according to our plan, but it did go according to the Lord's plan and He had miracles in store for us.  It was a really good day.  :)
Also, on Wednesday we were going to stop by a potential investigator from Poland.  We had a Polish Book of Mormon for her.  That morning we found another Polish Book of Mormon in our apartment and Sister Handley said "maybe there's someone else who needs this as well!"  That evening on the S-tog I started talking to a girl around my age, named E, and her mom.  They were from Poland.  It was too good of an opportunity to pass up!  I asked E if she wanted a Book of Mormon, Sister Handley was ready with a book to give her, and E accepted.  It was probably the highlight of my week - what are the odds of us meeting E the same day we were carrying around a Polish Book of Mormon?  It was meant to be!
I love the work and I know I am doing it as well as I can.  I can always do better and I really want to understand the Atonement better and how it can help me be a better tool in the Lord's hands.  But I get impatient sometimes!  I want to understand everything right now!  I know it's in the Lord's timing though, and that I'll only be able to understand it more through diligent study over time.  It will all work out.

It's SO HOT and humid here, oh my goodness. I sweat from the moment I wake up until 9 or 10 at night. Who knew it could get so gross in Northern Europe?! I'm pretty amazing that my face isn't breaking out like crazy, hopefully that continues. 

I broke our fan on accident!

Meh I'm running out of time and I think my email is not so fantastic this week, but everything is going really well and I love it! I'm trying to be more aware of the Spirit and I feel a lot more of Heavenly Father's love! 

Oh and I got a priesthood blessing this week, because I've been hitting what I'd like to call a mid-mission crisis where I feel like I'm not really making a difference, what am I doing with my life, am I spending my time where I should, etc. Don't worry though! It happens to everyone. The blessing was amazing and very comforting. By focusing on listening to the Spirit and studying the scriptures, I am remembering why I am here and I'm more aware of opportunities to help other people.

I love you so much! I pray for you all. Just keep smiling!! Thanks for your good attitudes and positive emails, it makes such a difference to me to hear that everyone is doing well and having fun. If everything was falling apart at home, I think I would be a ball of stress!

Tell everyone I love them, and to have fun in DC! Don't forget to pray!


PS I got a cute letter from Sister S with an update about the youth in Rapid city. I miss that place! I hope I can go back after the mission!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO DAD! Woo! he's hitting the big 24 right? ;)

Aloooooooha! Remember living in Hawaii and everyone saying that every time they gave a talk or bore a testimony? I loved that!! 

I am doing great today. :) It's been a fun preparation day! And by that I mean we have spent most of the morning helping Søster Murray and Søster Rigby move into our apartment. They serve in Gladsaxe 2 ward, and the man who lives above them got really angry with them last week apparently, and tried to break into their apartment. 

President Sederholm moved them right out of there, and right into our apartment! It's going to be really fun :) And just a little bit crowded! They'll only be with us until they can find a new apartment, but it should make for some good adventures in the meantime! 

For the rest of the day, we'll hopefully go to Strøget, and get some I love CPH shirts! And stop by Nyhavn and all of the good sites downtown. 

Then at 6 we'll go out and stop by some people... a few days ago we talked to a woman from Poland on the street and she was interested in getting a Book of Mormon so we're dropping that by tonight! In the coming week we're helping C move, stopping by a few families in the ward that we'd like to get to know better, meeting with some wonderful less actives (including P! Love her!!), and following up on some promising potential investigators. And of course we'll always be finding finding finding, wherever we go! :) It's going to be a great week. 

PLUS we just found out that in September, Elder Bednar is coming and speaking to the whole mission! We'll be having a mission conference and it's going to be amazing.
I love Søster Handley! She is so fun to be with. At home she's an EMT with the fire department, so basically she's my hero because she has so many great medical stories. We're working on some medical analogies for the gospel, and it's probably really nerdy but very fun! 

Søster Handley and I at HC Anderson grave
Last week we had a lot of fun adventures - mostly having to do with finding our way around, because I am not as good at navigating Copenhagen as Sister Hadley was, ha! But it's been fun and the city is starting to make more sense to me. 

Yesterday was a fantastic train wreck day. We were going to walk to church with a less-active woman who lives in a care center pretty close to the church. Her nurse knew she would be doing, and she said it would be fine, but as we slowly made our way to the church, K suddenly felt really sick and needed to go home. So we walked all the way back with her and made sure she was okay, then booked it to church - we got there 5 minutes late. It was so embarrassing, but we couldn't do anything about it and I'm glad that we took care of K. We probably won't be venturing out with her on foot to church again. ;) 

Then that evening we had a wonderful dinner appointment, but it went longer than expected. Then the bus we needed to take to our next appointment wasn't running, and the metro is down right now, so one thing led to another and we were 45 minutes late to the appointment. :O I spent the whole time just worrying and worrying about it, because I was sure G, the man we were meeting with, and H, the member we brought with (she is amazing by the way!), would be so mad at us. But H just teased us a little bit, and G was really go-with-the-flow about it, and the lesson was amazing. It was the first lesson we've been able to have since we contacted G in June, and he was so willing to listen and learn! He was really excited to get a Book of Mormon of his own, and told us that he really wants to find out if it is true and is going to start reading it. We're meeting with him again next weekend and I am so excited to see how it goes!
Sister Handley and I have been working on being more bold. Actually, our whole district has! Our district leader, Elder Ogden, surprise texts one of the companionships in the district each day and tells them it's their turn to be bold. Then we have to share a story with the district of something bold we did that day. On our bold day, we talked to a train worker on the s-tog platform and had a great conversation with her about what we do as missionaries - she's seen a lot of us on the trains over the years, and she was really curious about what it was we did. 

At some point I want to try contacting someone while biking - I've never tried it before but it sounds fun! :) And we set some really good goals for the area, for our companionship, and for our apartment. It was such a mess! But we've really cleaned it out. So that is a goal achieved! 

I love how you applied Preach My Gospel chapter 8 to the family Mom! I think that is so awesome!!! I can't wait to hear how it goes. Something that really helps me stick to my goals is sharing them with my companion! So thanks for sharing your goals with me. :) I'm still working on my goals and I think I need to revisit/revise them because I don't want to just forget about them! But I've done a better job of focusing on the Book of Mormon with people and giving books away, and I've definitely gotten better at being positive about myself. 

I think for a little while there I lost my confidence, but I'm getting it back! And it's motivating me to do the things that scare me most - like talking to people at the bus stop while we're waiting for the bus, or committing members to do missionary work. Maybe that's a silly thing to be afraid of, but I'm always nervous to ask too much of members because I know they have busy lives - but that doesn't mean they can't be blessed by doing missionary work! And luckily, Sister Handley is incredible at working with members so she has been giving me great ideas and helping me do better at it. :)
I definitely agree with you about following the Holy Ghost without realizing it. I think when we are obedient and doing the things we should, the Holy Ghost is able to guide us without having to do something crazy to make us aware of him. A few months ago I remembered something that happened when I was in 7th grade that made me realize how much the Holy Ghost guides you and Dad. I don't think I ever mentioned it to you though! 

So one time, I don't know if you remember it or not, but I was invited to someone's house for a sleepover. It was right after we moved to Hawaii. The girls I was sleeping over with weren't the best to be around, and I remember that you weren't super happy about it but you let me go anyways. It got kind of late and we were getting bored, which is always a bad combination, and one of the girls suggested that we drink some of the alcohol her parents had in the cupboard! I don't think I would have done it, but right after she said it the phone rang and it was you, saying that you and Dad had talked about it and didn't feel good about me staying the night. So Dad came and got me and we walked home together and I was safe and sound! I know that Heavenly Father was looking out for me through you, and that parents really can help their kids so much more when they are receptive to the Spirit.
It's been a really great week and I'm so grateful I'm here! I can't really imagine any other life than being a missionary, ha. I love that nametag! I love the rules! I even love the skirts, most of the time. ;)
Love you so much! Have a good week, and give everyone hugs from me!
PS I slacked on pictures this week but here's Sister Handley and I at HC Andersens grave! We went again with P, according to tradition. :)

Monday, July 14, 2014

11 Months!

July is flying by. Happy 11-month birthday to me! Ahhhhhhh! It's been a busy day - not too crazy, everything has gone very smoothly, but transfers are always at least a little hectic!

Søster Hadley and I on our way to the train station today
Our very last picture together as companions. Sad face!

Søster Hadley made it out safely (I miss her!) and Søster Handley made it here. Søster McVey is on visit for a few days as well while she waits to pick up the new missionary she'll be training! It's going to be way fun. Sister Handley is from Utah and is going to be a fire fighter one day! She's really laid-back and sweet, and has done some seriously good work throughout her mission (she has 2 transfers left). I'm excited to learn from her!

Søster McVey, Søster Handley, and I! This transfer's going to be awesome!

The week has been fantastic. I worked on the setting small goals throughout the day... and it worked! I forgot to do it sometimes but when I remembered, it resulted in Books of Mormon given away, contacts, and more meaningful conversations with investigators, less actives, and members. All time is so valuable for missionary work! 

During weekly planning Sister Hadley and I sat down and made some goals for where we want the people we are working with to be, short term and long term. It was SO effective - sometimes working towards the larger goals of baptism, reactivation, and remaining active seems overwhelming. But when we broke it down into goals of people coming to church, reading the scriptures, etc, and what we can do to help  them do these things, the work of salvation felt doable and exciting. I feel like our purpose is more clear and I am excited to see what happens.

Remember how I said I knew it would all work out with D? We're taking a step in the right direction! A family in the ward invited us to a barbecue and asked us to invite investigators and less actives as well. On the day of the barbecue, we hadn't been able to find anyone who could come. Søster Hadley thought to text D just to see if she would be interested in it. She texted right back and said she, as well as her nonmember boyfriend M, would love to come! They came, as well as C, and really enjoyed it. Plus D said we can come by this week to meet with her, so things are really looking up!

Basically, I've just been working on making small goals throughout the day, loving myself and not beating myself up if I make a mistake, and not losing the phone or keys. So far I've been pretty successful! :) and the work is moving forward. I feel, more than ever, that I have a purpose here and it's awesome. I am a missionary! I am a representative of Jesus Christ. I know Him. I know His gospel, I teach it, and I live it.

Also I cut my hair this morning, woo woo! I did the front by myself, and then Søster Hadley did the back for me. I think we did a pretty dang good job! It's not that noticable, but it feels a lot better! On Friday D told me she though I should get my hair trimmed, so I decided that if it was bad enough that other people were commenting on it, maybe I should do something about it. ;)

Church was great yesterday - a little bit hectic with trying to balance everything (we had an investigator there! and a lot of other people turned up - someone who was baptized 6 years ago but went inactive, and the elders all had investigators woo!) but way awesome. I conducted the music in sacrament meeting again (it's my favorite thing!) and we got last-minute asked to teach the investigator class. It ended up going way well though - as Sister Hadley said it's the last-minute moments that really put our missionary skills to the test. I met Erin's friend Stefanie, which was way awesome! It's the second time on my mission that someone has come up to me and asked if I know one of the McBride sistas - it feels like a little bit of home! 

Here's a kind of awkwardly angled picture of most of the district

The elders in our area are awesome! Elder Wright got transferred but Elder Ogden is getting a new missionary (woo!) and the Assistants are staying the same. They all work hard and are way good examples to me. We've got a good district! Also, the Middlemases are transferring to Bornholm! Bornholm is an island that's closer to Sweden than Denmark I think, but owned by Denmark. Elder Middlemas will be the branch president there. They're going to do a great job, I just know it! If only they had sisters on Bornholm, then maybe I'd get called there and we could all be together again! :)

Us with P before Sister Hadley and Elder Wright transferred! We'll miss them!!

I love you so much and I am glad to hear it's all going well. Your good attitudes help me keep my good attitude! Oh and I forgot - one last fun story. So for the entire time I've been here, as well as Søster Hadley, there has been an assistant ward mission leader called. But none of the missionaries have met him or knew who he was. Then this week, out of the blue, he came to our correlation meeting and he is THE most awesome guy ever! I think he's pretty high up in the McD's company, and he's way way busy and hasn't had the chance to get involved with the missionary work - but man oh man he knows how to get the job done! I think he and M, our mission leader, are a way good combination and I think it's going to help hasten the work. Exciting stuff!!

Anyways I better go, but I love you so much and I am so glad I get to write to/hear from you every week! You and Dad are my most faithful fans. :) I love being out here. And I'm so grateful for you and Dad, as well as Grammy, Grampy, Grandma, and Grandpa. I've got some amazing parents and grandparents, and you've all taught me how to live life better.

Have a good week! Enjoy laying out in the sun for me, because if the sun's out here, I'm sweating in my søsta missionary clothes! I can't wait to hear more about DC and what the Barrett/Field/Christensen families are up to, and I'm excited to tell you more about Sister Handley! 


Monday, July 7, 2014

June 30, 2014 (1 week late!)

Happy 4th of July! you know what that means? It's almost your BIRTHDAY! woohoo! Happy birthday to you, Mom! 

I am doing really really well! Sister Hadley and I are doing good work and having some really good experiences together. I really love Sister Hadley, she's like my sister! We make up new words to EFY songs together and speak in different accents sometimes - like we're from Africa, or sometimes China. 

I probably have never done either of those things with Emily and Sydney, but missions do weird things to ya. ;) 

We pranked the Elders by pretending that a nonmember we all did service for let us teach her the first lesson and agreed to be baptized, but wanted us to teach her not the elders (she lives in their area and they really don't like it when we teach people in their area) - they totally believed us and it was so funny! 

But we tried to tell some girls our age who are here from BYU for the summer about it, and they didn't think it was funny at all. I'm sure you probably don't think it's very funny, but as a missionary it's hilarious!

I read the most amazing article in the Liahona this week. It was about becoming perfected in Christ, and what it means to be perfect. I think on any given day, I carry around at least a little bit of burden of not feeling good enough - I make a mistake and feel stupid the rest of the day; I see other missionaries doing great things and beat myself up for not being as devoted as they are; etc. But at the same time I get so worried about being seen as imperfect that I want to justify everything I do so that I feel like I'm doing everything 100% right. 

Anyways, in the article Elder Gong talks about the different "symptoms" of perfectionism (hehehe, if you think about it, it kind of is a sickness!) and how being a perfectionist can actually take you further away from Christ. 

Basically reading the article lifted a very heavy burden from my shoulders. I don't have to be perfect. I'm not always going to be the best of the best. But admitting that I am imperfect and being okay with it (as well as remembering that other people are imperfect and being okay with it) makes the whole business of being a missionary a lot less stressful! 

Of course I am always trying to be a better person. But knowing that I don't have to be 100% perfect 100% of the time right now makes repenting and trying to do better easier, because I know that Jesus Christ wants me to be perfected in Him - and the only way I can do that is by admitting I am not perfect, and then repenting and coming closer to Him. Does that make sense? I really hope so!

I'm sorry because this one is really short - I ran completely out of time! I am sorry!!

But it's been a great week, and the work is going forward. D, from Peru, started going to a Catholic church and is meeting with the priest, so she's not exactly interested in hearing about the church right now ): But that's okay! 

It's all in the Lord's timing! Yesterday we found a way positive new investigator who has met with sister missionaries before - we asked her what she believes in and she basically told us her whole life, haha! And tomorrow we get to go to dinner with President Sederholm's family and a less-active lady we work with and her family - it's going to be so great!

I love you lots! I am praying for you with the big moving coming on! Keep up the faith! And here is an inspirational quote for you - "remember who you wanted to be."

Love love love you!


PS pictures are lame this week, sorry!  But Elder Wright in our district gave us a delicious recipe for homemade pretzels and we made them.  Yum!

I Get a Shock!

Hello from Copenhagen!

How are you? This week has been awesome. Remember last week how I said that Sister Hadley and I like to speak in chinese and african accents? Well this week we spent some quality time with our investigator C, who's from China, who has the cutest Chinese accent and a really fun way of speaking. 

If something surprises or scares her, she says "I get a shock! I get soooo shock!" and it is SO great. 

A beeeeeautiful church by the queen's castle - I don't remember its name! ahh!

We also met with a man named F, who is a preacher from Africa. He basically bible-bashed us, and told us we need to open our eyes to another way of worshiping God - but when we asked if he would open his eyes to the way we worship God, he gave us a very strong no. 

It's really nice when people agree to meet with us and then we can all respectfully listen to each others viewpoints and help each other understand Jesus Christ better, but experiences like this one every once in a while make the best stories. 

At one point F looked over at me and said, in a rockin' preacher voice, "I see this sister stands corrected!!!" It was great. We probably won't meet again with him for a while. ;)

And us with a car seat - we went to dinner at President and Sister Sederholm's house with K (our wonderful less-active) and her three kids, and we were in charge of getting car seats so they could travel up safely in the car.
It's been way humid and hot for the last few days - a big rain storm will come and go, and then it will get SO hot and muggy. It's a very different experience from Denmark in December! I've been constantly sweaty since Friday. 

Søster Hadley and the carseat

For the fourth of July we dressed up in red, white, and blue, had a dessert/lunch party right after the zone training, and a barbecue dinner with C and S, who have investigated the church before, the Elders, and their investigator D. We ate some great food and lit off sparklers - Sister Hadley and I had a wizard duel with our sparklers! 

 The epic sparkler duel!

So this month we are studying Preach My Gospel Chapter 8, which is all about using time wisely! We learned in our zone training on Friday that using time wisely starts with setting goals and planning.

Speaking of setting goals, yesterday I decided that I would do a better job of using my time well if I made little goals of things I wanted to accomplish throughout the day. As Sister Hadley and I went out to stop by a less-active, I decided I would give out a Book of Mormon before we got to the fireside with Brad Wilcox. 

We contacted a woman on the street and she told us she was too busy right now to learn about the church. Normally I probably would have said something like "That's okay, can we just give you a card about our church so you can look into it when you have time?" But because I decided I would give away a Book of Mormon, I asked her if she would like one. She said yes, and we bore testimony to her that reading in the Book of Mormon would bless her life. 

It was so exciting to see the Lord bless me with the opportunity to accomplish the small goal I had set in my mind to give away a Book of Mormon. It really got me to start thinking: If we set a small goal for every part of the day to accomplish larger goals, I think some really amazing things would happen. So I'm going to start doing that! I'm really excited to see what will happen.

Søster Hadley and I on Nyhavn, the cute harbor that comes up every time you look up Denmark on google! 
Yesterday was just a really exciting day in general. Elder Robbins, who is in the Presidency of the Seventy, and his wife Sister Robbins, came to our ward! They both taught some amazing principles in our sacrament meeting, such as the importance of family history and faith in Jesus Christ. 

Also, Brad Wilcox (an LDS writer and speaker) was in our ward to teach a lesson in the third hour of church and to give a fireside last night. I think faith in Jesus Christ was a theme throughout the day, from testimony meeting to Brad Wilcox's fireside. It was something I needed to be reminded of - that the reason we do what we do is because we have faith in Jesus Christ, and that what we want our investigators and less-actives to develop most of all is faith in Jesus Christ. 

I was really impressed by how willing Elder and Sister Robbins were to uplift and instruct the ward, even though the reason they're in Denmark is to celebrate their wedding anniversary. I really love how dedicated he and his wife are to fulfilling what the Lord has called them to do. 

It left a great impression on me. I am also called as a representative of Jesus Christ, and I want to do a better job of standing as His witness at all times, in all things, and in all places.

How is everything in DC? Are you getting used to public transportation? Do you think you'll all be using public transportation to get to school and work and everything?
Sister Hadley and I with churros covered in chocolate sauce. Yes, that's a real thing. And my arteries clogged up a lot. ;)

We just found out about transfers - Sister Hadley's going to Odense 1st ward, where I was!!! And I am getting Sister Handley... it's going to be confusing with the names. ;)

Can't wait to tell you about Sister Hadley and I's last week of adventures together and to see how it goes with Sister HaNdley! ;) It's going to be so fun.

Love you!