Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Oh hello!
It's been an awesome week. Sister Hadfield is doing great :) We had the new missionary one-month meeting last week and got to go to the temple with all the other new missionaries and their trainers - it was really, really nice. And guess who I got to see? Sister Hale and Sister Grant! The dream team continues. ;) Unfortunately as usual I forgot to take pictures, but everyone looked great and the meeting was really inspirational! 

President Sederholm told us about He is the Gift - something the church will be doing all through December, if ya haven't heard about it yet I'm sure you will! We're SO excited - miracles are going to happen for sure.
Slagelse is fantastic. M, the man we met last week, has read the whole Book of Mormon (or as much of it as is translated in Persian). When we met with him he was still in the middle of reading it, and said he needed to read it all to gain the confirmation it was true, but he already felt really good about it and felt that it was God's word. He texted us last night to tell us he had finished reading! We're going by him tonight so we'll see what happens. He barely speaks English or Danish, BUT there is a less active in our area who also speaks Persian and a man in Copenhagen who just got baptized who does as well. So there are some really great opportunities ahead of us to help M and to strengthen other members along the way. Soooooo exciting! We just have to be proactive and get it all scheduled/arranged because they both live pretty far away from Slagelse.
M is wonderful. As I'm sure you already know! Last night he asked us and the elders to come over because he was having a hard time. It meant a lot that he would think to ask us to come, and it was a good experience. I'm quite sure M will read this so DON'T GIVE UP! You're awesome and we'll see ya at A and L's! :)
Our district activity is this week which is... Thanksgiving with M! Yaaaaaa! It's going to be SO fun. Right afterwards we'll be traveling into Copenhagen for December's Leadership Council, so it'll be an exciting day! In the mean time we have a bunch of great appointments either set up or in the works this week. C, our other new investigator from 2 weeks ago, came to church yesterday. She had some concerns and questions but I think that we'll be able to help her out - plus she needs the gospel in her life. It would help SO much (haha of course, it helps everyone! But C has had a really tough life).
Funny story - the scripture you sent me last week, Jeremiah 16:16, was talked about a lot in the new missionary meeting. And this week we went out visiting teaching and used that talk that you sent from Elder Scott! What are the odds? :) I love that talk though, I've been studying it this week a bit. 

It's so good to know that life is supposed to be hard. And that reading the scriptures, praying, family home evening, and temple attendance won't make our problems go away but they are tools to help us get through those problems. It's so easy to teach and talk about the gospel of Jesus Christ, but actually living it - having faith in Christ when the outlook seems grim, truly repenting and forgiving, developing Christlike attributes - that's when it's challenging, and when it's the most important.
Christmas is getting closer! We are getting ready - we've started asking people on the street what their favorite Christmas songs are, and the idea is I'm going to bring the ukulele and we're going to ask if we can sing the song right then and there. We just have to make sure we know the songs and can pronounce the words. ;)
I love sharing the gospel, and I'm getting better at living it! I love that families can be together forever, and I'm grateful I have a family like y'all to spend it with. :) Jeg elsker jer SÅ meget.

På gensyn!
Søster Barrett

Monday, November 17, 2014

Altså... hvor er du hen?! :)

Altså... hvor er du hen?! :)

Well it's been a great week over here in Slagelse. Sister Hadfield and I are having a BLAST! And the work is really going forward, one small and simple step at a time.

We didn't do a good job taking pictures this week. But here's a few of me, Søster Hadfield, Ældste Child and Ældste Madsen!
Remember how we sang in the nursing home for Gerd? We've continued to sing in the nursing home, and now they have "Mormon Kirken" written in the nursing home's calendar every week - when we come to sing. The nurses have all asked us why we're here in Denmark and what church we come from, and they like that we come - they don't think we're just weirdo brainwashed missionaries. :D Woo! AND - the best part of all - seeing those sweet old women and men light up when we come. 

After we finish singing we go around and shake everyones hands - they all smile, and one older woman Anne always says "God bless you" - she also hums or sings along to all of the songs we sing. A lot of those people are pretty alone, and sit in their wheelchairs all day long. It's such a good feeling to be able to come and give them some of the Savior's love through music. Plus Christmas is coming up, so we're trying to arrange for the ward choir to come and sing the Sunday before Christmas with us. I really hope it works out, because I think they would love it so much!

It was a pretty amazing week. On Monday night we talked to two men on our way to an appointment - they're both converts to Christianity from Muslim. M lives in Slagelse, and his friend lives in Frederikshavn (north Jylland) - they both gave us their addresses so we can come with a Book of Mormon to them! 

We stopped by M during the week, but the buzzer to his apartment didn't work and the complex was locked. 

Yesterday we stopped by again, same story. 

So we buzzed on someone else's apartment, hoping they would let us in. They did! M was home, and we introduced him to the Book of Mormon (there was a bit of a language barrier - thank goodness for Google Translate!) and he said we can come back this week. He later texted us and said that he had started reading in the book, and that he thinks it is good. 

Then we decided to knock on the door of the person who had let us in, and we met K and L! They are super awesome. They don't believe in God, but would like to. And they were more than happy to invite us back again when we told them that we can help them find out if God exists!

It's pretty amazing to look back on that, because it all started out with us deciding to talk to a couple of guys on the street. And look where that took us!
Elder Child is transferring away to be the assistant - he's going to do so great.

Other than that, it's just all going so well. We're studying faith in Christ to find this month, and I'm learning a LOT about what it means to have faith in Jesus Christ. I am allowed to make mistakes and have shortcomings - and with a faith in Jesus Christ, I can overcome those mistakes and shortcomings. My weaknesses will still be there, but they can be turned into strengths - not necessarily because I magically turn into the world's greatest speaker of Danish, or anything like that, but because the Savior can work through who I am to help others. The funny thing is, I am learning that the Savior has been doing that all along, but all I've been focusing on is how much I fall short - so even though other people have been helped, I haven't let the Savior help me. 

But I know, oh I know, that the Savior is on my "right hand and on my left". And even though I am here to serve other people, my soul is just as precious to Jesus Christ as the souls of those we bring unto him. I don't think I really thought that before this week. It means a lot to know that. It's hard to describe the feeling it gives me, and I don't think I can. But it means a lot.

I've learned so much from these three in the last 6 weeks. Here's to another 6, and so much more to learn!
I love you all so much. I hope you have a great week, and I hope that you get the chance to feel like you're the Savior's hands.

Sista Barrettina

Monday, November 10, 2014

Fish Hats!

We woke up and cleaned the whole house, and studied like champions, and it's been a great day already. :) Sister Hadfield is awesome. She is so funny! We are really enjoying the work and LOTS of good things are happening. We're becoming more effective servants of the Lord and the work is hastening right before our eyes!

Before I go on, I have some exciting news. Well, exciting for me! I hope you'll be excited too. My release date isn't until the middle of March! That's right... I'm EXTENDING! Surprise!!! I told President Sederholm a few months ago that I would like to extend if possible, but didn't hear anything back about it until yesterday. President Sederholm called, and asked if I would be able to stay until March. I said yes of course! I hope that's okay. :)  It feels right and I think it's going to be AWESOME! More time to eat real pastries! ;)

Anywho everything is going great! We're teaching and finding all over the place - it's so fun. We had our first appointment with S, and taught him how to pray. It was the sweetest experience ever! The Spirit was so strong, and I've decided that teaching people how to pray is my favorite thing to do. 

The ward is amazing, we had Stake Conference in Copenhagen yesterday and it was fun to see people from Slagelse (and Frederiksberg!) there. It was like home away from home! 

On Tuesday we had our zone training/Thanksgiving fest/turkey bowl. The zone training was really uplifting and I learned a lot. I got to give my first training and I was suuuuper nervous, but it went really well. My belt fell off halfway through, but I played it off by kicking it under a table. Pretty smooth, huh? 

President Sederholm's part of the training was so powerful. We all felt the Spirit so strong, and it really motivated me to want to increase the quality of my faith in Christ. Later on in the week that really got tested. 

We were taking a bus out to Korsør and a girl named N got on the bus that I talked to in September. We had a pretty good conversation about God and I gave her a card, but not much really happened with it. When I saw her on the bus, my first thought was "Oh no, how embarrassing! She probably thinks I'm such a weirdo and won't want to talk to me again." But my second thought was "you need to go talk to her again." I fought that prompting for a couple of minutes, but then asked myself if I had the faith in Christ to be able to put myself out there and talk to N again. I sucked it up and went to the back of the bus where she was sitting. I asked how everything was going, and she told me that she was on her way home from work early because her boyfriend just found out he might have stomach cancer. It turned into one of the best experiences I've had, where we talked about how she felt and if she believed that God had a plan for her and her boyfriend. She said "Every time we talk you  make me think more!" It's totally the Spirit, not me, because the first time we talked I was nervous out of my mind and afterwards felt like I hadn't really conveyed the message like I should have. When she got off of the bus this time, I gave her a Book of Mormon and she gave me her number. It was such a good experience, and Sister Hadfield and I pretty much threw a party after we got off of the bus.

The gospel is so good! And I've realized that opportunities to find people who are open to the gospel are only constrained by my own fear and doubt. Sometimes I think "oh dear, this is an awkward situation. I can't share the gospel!" When in reality, it's just me who's being awkward and the gospel can totally be shared.

Also, it is SO awesome to see Sister Hadfield learn and grow. She's getting so bold! Her Danish is getting better and better! She is so excited to do the work and loves the people so much. I am so impressed by her sincere desire to share the message and learn. Ahh it is great! I love it all!

Basically, it's been a great week. There have been ups and downs, but the ups always outweigh the downs. Plus Sister Hadfield and I both caught the football a couple of times during the turkey bowl, and made some touchdowns. No big deal. ;)

And I got the packages! Thank you! Everyone at zone training loved the fish hats!  We wear them during weekly planning and we tried to wear them during football but they didn't stay on. 

Love you so much! Ha' det godt!

Sister Barrett

PS pictures - we failed at taking pictures at zone training. But check out the welove the cop den mission blog! There are pictures galore there.

But here's us with the fish hats! And Sister HAdfield with a durum kebab... the best food ever. It's huge! It's delicious! I can eat the whole thing!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Can you believe it's November?

Can you believe it's November?! Eeek! Time just flies.  Have I told you that we have visiting teaching assignments? It's so great because we get to visit some of the active women in the ward.  I LOVE the ward. Have I told you that before? Maybe once or twice? ;) Seriously Slagelse is such a great place to be. It's crazy that I've been here for 2 months already, because it feels like I just go there.

A lego soldier on the gågade in Copenhagen. :)

For Halloween we got permission to dress up for the ward party. We dressed up like grandmas! We forgot to take pictures, and I kind of realized after we got there that I probably didn't look much different than I normally do (sister missionary clothes problems), so I don't know if anyone really got the costume. But we had fun putting baby powder in our hair to make it look gray!

Seeing the sights in Copenhagen!
Slagelse is great. This week was a little crazy because we went to Copenhagen for a leadership training on Thursday and Friday (I abandoned Søster Hadfield with Søster Reed once again!). But the training was amazing. It was really neat to be able to go and see how sincere and hard working all of the missionaries serving in leadership positions are. I feel like I'm spying in on all the experts and picking up all the tips I can.

When we got back to town we had the halloween party, and on Saturday morning we helped a family move. Then we visited C, who is such an amazing woman. She's been sick for a long time and hasn't come to church in years, but on Saturday we made a goal together that she would come to church this next Sunday. Unfortunately today we realized that this Sunday will be stake conference and it's all the way in Copenhagen, so I'm not sure if she'll be able to go. But hey, there's always next week! 

As we've been meeting with C since I got here, I've learned that God loves us unconditionally, and we don't need to be afraid that we don't deserve his love. I think it's something that a lot of people struggle with but don't know how to share. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is so crucial, because it shows that God does feel like we deserve His love because He sent His son to atone for our sins so we could repent and learn and grow.

That night we had dinner with M and the S's home - so fun! They took us to see a pottery shop by their house where the owner puts up a big halloween display every year. Again we forgot to bring cameras to take pictures, so sorry about that! But it was really cute.

We did some garden work with T and F so here's us in a wheelbarrow.

Yesterday night we had about 40 minutes left in the day so we went to see S, someone we met while knocking doors one day. We've visited him a couple of times, and it always seemed like he wasn't super interested. But last night something changed. As we talked with him about God's love, the Spirit was so strong and S seemed to light up. We've tried to make return appointments with him before, and he's always said "I'm pretty busy so just try to stop by and if I'm home we can talk" but this time we made an appointment and offered to give him our number so he can call beforehand if he needs to reschedule and he said "I don't need your number, I know that I can make the appointment." :))) That was really exciting!

And we got lost in Korsør and ended up by a harbor - look at that beautiful view! I love the sailboats. And the bridge in the background is from Sjælland to Fyn, where Odense is.

Ahh the gospel is so good. And you know what? Sister Hadfield and I work hard to share it. Some days it might not go how we hoped it would, and some days the work might go even better than we imagined. We're not perfect and we mess up a lot. But I've never been happier than I am now, and I know it's because we're doing what Heavenly Father wants us to do - we're trying to help His children come back to Him.

I love you all so much! I hope you have a great week and that lots of good things happen. 
This is me standing in front of a little piece of plastic on the ground. Why is it significant? Because the morning that we took this picture, I tripped over that piece of plastic while we were out on a run and fell flat on my face. Well, maybe not literally my face, but my leg and elbow got pretty scraped up! It's all right. We kept running.

Love you! Have a good week!
Sister Barrett