Monday, October 27, 2014

I ran over the milk!

Hvor er det dejligt at høre fra dig hver uge!

Ooh I didn't think of taking Halloween treats out to people! Good idea. :) I am doing great - the week has been lovely. It's getting chillier and chillier, but that doesn't stop Sister Hadfield and I because we are champions! We work hard through all kinds of crazy weather! We're having so much fun together - we're laughing almost all the time, and I am impressed every day by Sister Hadfields positive attitude, willingness to work hard, and love for the people. It's seriously such a joy to serve with Sister Hadfield! I feel like we have our hearts and our heads completely in the work, and it makes it so much more enjoyable to be out all day, every day. Ah. It is so good! I wouldn't be anywhere else!

Søster Hadfield rockin' the bike.
On Friday we started a 40-day fast. Haha don't worry, it's not a food and water fast. We fasted for a day to know what things are distracting us from the work, and then for the next 40 days we're going to be "fasting" from doing those things. It's funny the things you notice that are keeping your focus away from the work when you take the time to think about it - for me, some of the things were biting my nails and unnecessary shopping. I love going out on preparation days and looking in all the stores and finding things that I wish for/want - but I realized that during the week I start daydreaming about what places we're going to go on Monday and what kinds of things I want to look for! Hard on the work and the wallet, if ya know what I'm saying. So I think that's going to be a very good thing to fast from! But I was thinking - I should make a budget/limit on how much I can spend in the next 4 months or so, otherwise I'll probably buy all of Denmark so I can take it home with me and never forget anything about it. ;) Any suggestions? (note from Hannah's mom - she has access to her personal bank account - she is not spending mission money on that!)

This week has just been so much fun. On Monday we had a lovely dinner with A and L (I'm going to take a picture with them this week to send to you. They have us over for dinner every Monday and it is SO much fun. M comes sometimes, and it's just really enjoyable. They've been inviting missionaries over every Monday for dinner for years. Pretty amazing, huh? We're very grateful!).

Did I tell you about the cute couple we met last week? R and M? Well, we had our first appointment with them on Tuesday. We brought S with, thinking that both R and M would be there so we wouldn't need to worry about a woman being there. But when we got there, M wasn't home, only R! Ahhhh! We just stood outside in the pouring rain, with no idea what to do. But then, miracle of all miracles, M came home! Celebration. So we were able to come in and have a first lesson. It went really well. Unfortunately a few days later when we called to make another appointment, they said they're not interested in hearing more. Heartbreak! The day after that happened, we went to stop by a really positive family we had met a few weeks ago and they said they weren't interested either. To quote Sister Hadfield, "It feels like we're getting broken up with!" It was pretty rough. But you know what? We kept positive, and I know that we're doing the best that we can - it's other peoples choice to accept the message or not. And it just means we get to go out and find more people who need the gospel right now!

M gave us his coffee this week and told us we can get rid of it however we went to. That was probably the greatest moment of my life (M will probably read this - Hi M!). I have learned so much from M, and we're teaching him about the gospel, but he's teaching us about it too. It's a pretty great exchange, I'd say. :) Plus we're starting to do family history with M! Sister Hadfield is a family history pro - she was a family history consultant before the mission, so she totally knows what she's doing. That's awesome, because I don't! I am going to learn though. and It's going to be fun!

Us with Sister Ripplinger and Sister Reed. They are so great. Sister Reed and Sister Hadfield go out on exchanges together (we leave them alone in either Slagelse or Gladsaxe... two new sisters takin' on Denmark! They do a great job) while Sister Ripplinger and I go to the other sisters.

Sister Ripplinger and I went on exchanges with the Sisters in Roskilde - Sister Woster and Sister Lyman. I asked Sister Lyman if she was related to a Frances or Amasa Lyman... of course she is! We're 5th cousins or something like that! Also her dad is in the Air Force, and they've moved around a lot. And Sister Woster is a hoot! We were together for the exchange and it was a BLAST. We did a lot of finding and people were really receptive... and it was the most unexpected people as well. Sister Woster is from California, relatively close to Modesto I think. She reminds me of Brookie - it was like being out for a day with my cousin! Fun fun. I love getting to know all of the sisters, they all have so much to contribute and so much light.

So yesterday we had a bittersweet experience. There's a woman named G who Sister Vige and I sang to in a nursing home every week. Our last week together, she wasn't at the nursing home - the nurses said she was sick and in the hospital. Sister Hadfield and I had been meaning to go and see her in the hospital but never got the chance. We went to the nursing home yesterday and found out that G passed away on Friday. Oh it was so sad. Sister Hadfield is so sweet - she cried with me and was just so supportive, even though she never even met G. It is so good for G, because she was sick and couldn't really remember anything, and I think it was more sad because we never got the chance to say goodbye, and now when we go to the nursing home she won't be there. But in that moment my testimony of the Plan of Salvation was really strengthened. I know that death isn't the end - it's a step in the plan, and G is going to keep learning about the gospel and helping others to learn about it as well. Knowing about Heavenly Father's plan is so comforting and gives so much peace.

Train trip to Odense (that's where sister Hadfield stayed while Sister Packard and I went up to Aalborg)
On Saturday I got to go to Js' baptism in Aalborg!!! It was SO good to be back. I have so many dear friends there, and J and J have been waiting for this for so long. We got to sing in the program and that was really special. It was really touching, because J said the closing prayer for the baptismal program. I got all emotional during the prayer because I remember when J didn't really know how to pray. Look how far we all go, huh? So much can happen in a year. :)

At J's baptism! Soooo happy.

All in all it's been a really wonderful week. We learned a lot of good things, and our testimonies were strengthened. We helped other people strengthen their testimonies too, and we helped people open their eyes a little bit more to the tender mercies the Lord puts in our lives. And in return our eyes were opened a little more as well. :)

I am excited for this week. We're going to meet with a lot of great people and focus more on finding. Plus we're going to start studying Preach My Gospel with a family in the ward! I am so excited for that because the best thing about Preach My Gospel is how much it can strengthen families. It's not just a guidebook for missionaries, but a resource for learning how to live the gospel and share it with others.

I love you so much! I am so grateful for your support and prayers. I love hearing about all the fun things you're all up to, and I love that I get to share what we do every week. It is so good to serve the Lord.

Keep on rockin' it! Have a happy halloween! Eat lotsssssss of reese's peanut butter cups for me. :)

Søster Barrett


So here's our milk carton for the week. We were biking home from the grocery store this morning and I looked behind me and Sister Hadfield was gone! Talk about a terrifying moment. I biked back and finally saw her, biking towards me. She was laughing so hard she was crying, and kept saying "I ran over the milk" but I thought she was saying "I ran over that man". It turns out the milk fell out of Sister Hadfield's basket, and she ran over it. But it didn't break! It's just a little beat up! Ahh, it was so funny - especially when I finally understood what was happening, because I thought that Sister Hadfield had run over someone or been hit by a car or something. ;)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Autumn in Slagelse

Autumn it beautiful here! All last week it was completely gray and rainy, but today the sun is out and it is just lovely. I love the rain too though, I've decided that when the weather is bad it's kind of a test. It's easy to be happy with the sun's out, but it's a choice to be happy when it's rainy or cold or miserable. I like choosing to be happy! It makes the days better.
I need to find the fun things to do in Slagelse - otherwise Sister Hadfield and I will spend every p-day either window shopping or taking naps! ;)
Speaking of sleeping, last night Sister Hadfield and I had a really funny experience. The alarm on our phone went off at 6.30 as usual, so we got up but were SOOOO exhausted. Seriously. I felt like I was going to die and so did Sister Hadfield. We went about doing our morning routine - on Monday mornings for exercise we clean the apartment and do laundry. Sister Hadfield took a shower. I was finishing cleaning in the kitchen and had to sit down in chair because I was so exhausted. I looked down at my watch and it was... 3:30 in the morning. What? At first I thought my watch was way wrong. Then I looked outside and realized that for 7:30 in the morning it was certainly dark outside. Then sister Hadfield checked her watch, and it said 3:30 as well! 

My first thought: "The Elders pranked us!" But then we remembered... Yesterday the phone fell and the battery fell out. When the battery falls out on our phone, the clock resets to midnight.  Apparently we forgot to set the time again, but the alarm was still set for 6:30 in the morning. The alarm went off alright, at 2:30! We were up for an hour before we realized what was wrong. Oh it was so funny, and we laughed for quite a bit before we were able to get back to sleep. It was a relief though - no wonder we were so dang exhausted! But hey, we got a lot done this morning in the apartment before it was time to start studies. ;)
Every time I remember it I laugh - our neighbors below must have been so mad! We had the washing machine going and everything.
Our key indicators this week were pretty great! ;) We didn't meet all of our goals, which was a little disappointing but we're going to do better this week and we'll be in our area most of the week so we'll have a lot more time to work in our area! Exchanges were amazing, I am seriously so amazed by the sisters we have in our mission. I went out on Friday with Sister Reed, who's been in Denmark for one week and is serving in Frederiksberg. She is so motivated and the Lord has definitely prepared her to be here! She actually lived here for a few months last year and when she was eighteen, and has an impressive grasp of the language. One of her friends she met last year is investigating the church in Århus. Isn't that awesome?
And on Saturday I was with Sister Ripa, who's been out for 3 transfers. She is also a wonderful missionary. She really set an example for me of being "anxiously engaged in a good cause" - she and Sister Perkins are working on memorizing the Living Christ in Danish, and she has it hung up in the shower in a sheet protector to practice while she's in the shower!
Ah it was so great. Sister Ripplinger and I had a lot of fun planning what we would share with the sisters and getting to know them. I learned SO much and came back to Slagelse so motivated and with new ideas, so I'd say it was a success! Sister Hadfield was with Sister Reed (there are two sister Reeds) in Gladsaxe 1 area. 

I guess I should explain how it works - because there are so many new sisters, the sister training leaders have to train instead of being companions with each other. Sister Ripplinger is the other Sister Training Leader, and her companion Sister Reed is brand new just like Sister Hadfield. When Sister Ripplinger and I go out on exchanges, Sister Reed and Sister Hadfield stay in one of our areas and work together. They were in the other area (Gladsaxe), and Sister Hadfield said it was lots of fun! They only got lost twice, which is awesome, and they had a lot of good experiences.
How neat is it that Sister Hadfield's family was in the same stake you're in? Dad said that he met Sister Hadfield's dad one of the first Sundays you were there. All I have to say is... wow. There's meaning in everything. And let me tell ya, being companions with Sister Hadfield is the BEST! We are rockin' it here in Slagelse. All of the new missionaries and their trainers set a goal to find 10 potential investigators in the first 10 days of the companionship, and we did it in the first 7 days (and then we were on exchanges so... we found potentials in other peoples' areas!). 

And we continue to find, and teach. We met with T and F yesterday and F has so many good questions. He's really opened up in the last few weeks, and he's really starting to progress again in the gospel. There are so many good people here in Slagelse, and the ward is just amazing. M still comes to church every week and is opening up to us more and more.
Church was great yesterday. B, who was baptized in June, gave her first talk! It was so cute - she did awesome. Last week when we came to visit her she practiced her talk for us. We're going to her house for dinner this week, and when we told her that there will be four sisters here (Sister Ripplinger and Sister Reed are coming here - haha I feel like by the end of the transfer we're going to all be semi-companions with each other), she was even more excited to invite us all over.
And today we're going to hit up the genbrugs! AKA thrift shops! We're looking for backpacks because we looked like bag ladies with our shopping bags full of clothes on our way to exchanges, and an æbleskever pan. I forgot my camera cord so I can't send any pictures, but I promise I will next week and we're going to take lots of pictures in the beautiful fall weather while it lasts!
I really like your "be a little nicer" plan. I LOVE that talk from President Monson, I think it's from April 2014 General Conference right? It's interesting to think that every single person we meet or run into is someone the Lord has put in our path to help. It's very motivating as a missionary, because talking to everyone possible can be intimidating or hard or sometimes I just don't want to do it. And sometimes you get into this pattern of having a conversation with someone and trying to bring up the church as soon as possible to find out if they're interested in learning about it, while forgetting to have the pure love of Christ and finding what that person needs to come closer to Christ today. Just because people aren't interested in the gospel doesn't mean we can't brighten their day in some way. I want to be better at being a little nicer to the people I meet, too! As well as the missionaries around me.
It just sounds like everything is going well there! Go Emily with getting first chair, I knew she was a musical genius. :)
This week we're going on exchanges with the sisters in Roskilde, and then like I said, Sister Ripplinger and Sister Reed are coming here. We've got a lot of great appointments set up (M! L! K hopefully! J and R, T and F, D, S and B, the list goes on. I love it.) and some potentials to follow up with! Tomorrow we're meeting with 2 new investigators we met while walking with our flat-tire bikes (hehe they're in the shop right now, but if they never went flat we never would have met R and M!).
I have to go. I love you so much! I am thinking of you and praying for you! You're the best Mom. Tell the søskende (vocab test!) that I love them!
På gensyn. Jeg elsker dig! Husk at bede, og husk at du er virkelig fantastisk.
Med kærlig hilsen,
PS I love you!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

AWESOME New Companion

Jeg elsker dig!

My sweet new companion is AWESOME! Her name is Søster Hadfield and she is from... wait for it... Springfield Virginia! Her dad is in the Army and was at the Pentagon until the family moved to Utah a month ago or so. But isn't Springfield really close to Burke? Isn't that SO awesome?! What are the odds! I'm getting all kinds of good info from her about the DC area. ;) 

Søster Hadfield and I with President and Sister Sederholm.
Søster Hadfield went to a year at BYU and it's really fun to talk about BYU together. Strangely enough, even though it seems like most missionaries are from Utah and go to BYU, I haven't had a single companion until now who went to BYU Provo before the mission. Weird, huh? Anyways Søster Hadfield is amazing and such a hard worker, and so go-with-the-flow. 

Great things are happening in Slagelse! It's a really funny experience being a trainer, because Søster Hadfield thinks I'm the greatest missionary and the best trainer ever (she is seriously the sweetest sister ever!). If she only knew I have no idea what I'm doing! She has great Danish and can already understand most of what is said in appointments - it is seriously impressive. 

And being with a new missionary is so motivating. I feel like I'm learning so much and being reminded how to be an effective missionary. I feel like you get into habits as a missionary of how to do things, but it's really refreshing to review the training program and try new things.

Also I'm going on my first splits as a Sister Training Leader this week! Woohoo! I get to go back to Frederiksberg and I am SO excited about that. It's weird that it's been almost 2 months since I was serving there.

Well this week was crazy and fun. On Wednesday I met Sister Hadfield (I think there are pictures of us on the mission blog!). Her luggage didn't come in (no one's luggage came... there was a luggage strike somewhere in Europe and it held everone's luggage back!) so we had to wait for  a few hours until it did. 

Søster Hadfield and Søster Barrett in front of the real Kristus Statue

It was so exciting to see all of the amazing new sisters (they are all so ready and excited to be here! It was so great to see that!) and then to find out who I would be companions with. While we were waiting for the luggage Sister Hadfield and I contacted our way to Vor Frue Kirke to see the Kristus and the Apostles. Then we headed back just in time for the luggage to come in to the office, and took our train to Slagelse!

And then started the chaos.

;) Just kidding, the week went relatively smoothly, we were just all over the place checking Sister Hadfield in, getting bike lights and fixing bike tires (thank you elders!), finding our way around town (I haven't biked in Slagelse before), and just having a good time in general. 
Getting ready to bike!

There was a baptism on Saturday and we sang for it (just Sister Hadfield and I!), and only had time to practice once the night before and 2 or 3 times the day of. I was sooo worried about it but we both said a prayer beforehand and the song sounded lovely. It really was a miracle and the Spirit was so strong. Haha, also, we were asked to make cookies for the baptism and I realized the night before that I didn't have any chocolate chip cookie recipes with me! We did the best we could the morning of the baptism and made the cookies from memory... and they tasted quite delicious if I do say so myself. :)

And... not a picture of the cookies, but some delicious Italian food made by F and T. Yes, that whole plate was mine. And yes, I  ate it in less than 15 minutes (we were in a hurry!) Maybe that's not that impressive. but it was a lot of food and really good!
So overall the week was hectic but even when it seemed like everything was going to fall apart, it all worked out and we were able to visit and meet a lot of people. We had an appointment on Saturday with S, a really awesome less-active lady, but she told us it was a bad time and that we couldn't come. So we knocked on a couple of doors and found a family from Sri Lanka who said we can come back! On Sunday we stopped by them again, one of the daughters was home and we gave her a Book of Mormon - she said to come back after fall break. 

Then we stopped by S again, and she let us in. Her good friend B was there and we taught him about prayer. The Spirit was just so strong. And on our way out, S told us we could go visit her son D who we've been praying for for the last few weeks. We did that, and he told us we were welcome to come back and visit him tonight! 

Miracles are happening people, miracles are happening! I've never seen as many people be open to letting us come in and letting us meet their friends and family as right now. It is so good.

Anyways I have to go! We're going to stop by a really good bakery today and get Søster Hadfield some real Danish pastries. ;)

I love you lots! Have a good week and keep us in your prayers!


Søster Hadley and I right before she went home (craziness!)

Monday, October 6, 2014

3 Crazy Newses

Altså... ja. I have some crazy news! 3 crazy newses (that's totally not grammatically correct... sorray!) to be exact. 

1. Sister Vige transferred to Aalborg (best city eva!). I will miss her so much - she's been such an example to me and she just has so much love. It's been a great transfer.

2. I'm having a baby!

...and by that I mean I will be training! I found out on Thursday. I don't know who it will be, but I am hoping and praying that it will be an enjoyable experience for her and that we can do great Work together. I know it will all work out - the Lord is going to bless us as we do our best and serve obediently!

3. I'm also a Sister Training Leader!

Har har har, I bet you think I'm joking, but I'm not. I'm freaking out a little (lot) inside, I've never done either before and now I'll be doing both. I really want to curl up in a ball on the floor and die a little bit inside, but instead I'm just going to say: Bring it on. I can do hard Things! And as President Sederholm said when I asked him how the heck I will be able to do this, "there's only one way. And that's the Lord's way. Trust in Him." All I have to do is keep living the gospel, following the rules, and inviting others to come unto Christ. Heavenly Father will help me do everything that needs to be done. (but pray for me okay?)

Well this week was amazing. First of all, General Conference. Amazing. M came to two sessions! L came to one, and so did S. We watched a session with T and F and T's parents in Italian and when we left, F said he would watch the last session as well! 

It was amazing¨, the talks seemed to be directed straight to me and the wonderful people we work with. The Spirit was so strong and I felt like even though I really wanted to freak out and feel like I was not good enough for what I've been called to do (like I normally do), Heavenly Father wouldn't let me. I just felt His peace and comfort, and a lot of motivation to step it up and work even harder. 

The first session seemed to hit me the hårdest and set the tone for the rest. I don't remember her name, but the woman who talked about the Sacrament was amazing! She talked about a friend who would to take time during the sacrament to go over all the mistakes she had made in the week previous and how she could do better in the coming week. But then she got discouraged because she seemed to make the same mistakes week after week - and I feel that way too sometimes! But then she started focusing instead on specific moments throughout the week where the Atonement enabled her to make it through the week. 

That made a big impact on me - I have been trying to focus in my prayers on what the Atonement has made it possible for me to do throughout the day rather than what I haven't been able to do, and it is so much more motivating! I feel gratitude for what is possible, and I can see what I need to do better at but I don't feel like it's a bad thing to need to repent. Instead I feel like I can ask Heavenly Father to help me in the specific Things I need to do the next day, and I know that He will be there through His Spirit to help me do better than I could do on my own. I can't wait to take the sacrament next Sunday and try to focus on what's possible for me because of the Savior rather than what I haven't been able to do by myself.

We stopped by our Ward mission leader's house on Wednesday with cookies (Classic Sister Missionary move...) and there was a girl moving some things into her apartment. She kept looking over at us and smiling, and then even her boyfriend came out and looked at us! I don't know why they did that, but Sister Vige and I decided to go over and see if we could help them. We ended up having a great conversation, giving them an introduction to what we believe, and giving V (the girlfriend) a Book of Mormon! It was so fun! She said we can come back anytime, so my new companion and I will definitely be stopping by as soon as possible.

M is doing really well. We had a really bad lesson this week - the Spirit was just not there and everyone left feeling frustrated and hurt. Sister Vige and I were so afraid that things were falling apart and M wouldn't want to meet with us anymore, but it turned into a really wonderful oppportunity to learn a bit about forgiveness. We met with M again the next day (we were on splits so Sister Vige wasn't there, but Sister Murray was!) and talked about how it had gone. It was a chance to apologize, to talk about what went wrong, and to forgive. More than anything else it was a chance for all of us to learn about how the Spirit works and how beautiful it is that through the Atonement, spiritual wounds can be healed. We left feeling so much better (and felt so much more of the Spirit's presence!) and when we watched conference together the next day, the Spirit was there once again and it was just good.

After we watched conference with M we went and visited L (by the way - Sister Hall's mom, Jennifer, is awesome! She is picking up Sister Hall from her mission, and spending the week working as a Søster Missionary.  She came with us to lessons all week and was happy to participate and shared her testimony whether the lesson was in Danish or English! She is great. I don't think I have a picture with her, but she has one of me so hopefully she'll send it to me.).  We sang her a song and shared Doctrine and Covenants 121:7-9. It was a really wonderful moment, the Spirit was so strong and I was so glad that Jennifer was there because she could really relate to L's situation as a mother. She's just going through a hard time right now and it meant a lot to have someone there who could really understand.

Anyways it's just been so great. The work is wonderful. On the train to Copenhagen (I'm on splits here while I wait for my new companion) Sister Hall and I were on the same train (she's on her way home!) and we met/talked with a man and woman (I don't know how to spell their names but it was something like Samari and Mahowna) from Africa, from a country I don't know how to pronounce or spell. They are on their way to Sweden and have been traveling as refugees for the last 2 months through Africa and into Europe. I imagine it has been a truly difficult trip, and Samari left behind a 2-year-old daughter. We shared the message of the restoration with them and gave them a Book of Mormon, and prayed with them. It was so amazing! They don't have an address or a phone number to give yet, but I gave them my email so they can write me, and so that they can get in contact with the missionaries in Sweden.

I love being a missionary. I'm a little stressed out right now with everything, but more than anything else I feel a strength within me that is not my own. I feel more responsibilty than ever to love and teach the people we work with in Slagelse, and to find those we are supposed to find. It's a beautiful work, and it is the Lord's work. 

I am so grateful for Conference and the spiritual light it gives. I love knowing that even though we're so far away from each other, you and I were watching the same conference and getting the revelation we needed from it. I really loved the closing prayer in the first session, when he prayed for the families of the missionaries serving in the field. I knew that was to you! I hope you could feel the love as well. :)

Have a great week! Keep on being amazing!  I didn't get to see the Sunday evening session yet but I will, and President Sederholm recommended that we read Elder Bednar's talk as well, so I'll definitely be taking the time to do that soon! I don't know what we're studying in Preach My gospel this month yet, but I'll let you know when I do.

I love you so much! I pray for you all and I hope that all goes well. 

Keep it up! you are the best.

PS - the pictures are Sister Vige and I with B, with T (sitting on the couch) and F (again on the couch), Sister Vige and I wearing the amazing mustaches that the Ericksons' sent, and us with M.  hahaha oh yeah this is from when we went to carl's junior. Yum!