Christmas in Denmark is AMAZING. I love it! It's even better than last year! Did I tell you last year about lighting up the candles on the tree and dancing around it while singing Christmas songs? That's still one of my favorite traditions. And the candle countdown - we have a big, tall candle that we burn every night to count down to Christmas.
The Christmas food - flæskesteg, rødkål (red cabbage), brunkartoffler, brun savs, risengrød (which we ate with the ward after church yesterday... soooo good!) ris'alamande, hvidkål, all of it!
And pakkelege - it's a Christmas present stealing game. Everyone brings a gift or two, and piles them on the table. Then a dice is passed around, and if you roll a 6 or a 2 (I think - but I can't remember so that might be wrong) you get to choose a gift off the table. When all of the gifts have been chosen, then if you roll the right number you can steal someone else's gift! That goes on for 5 or 10 minutes and when it's over, it's over! I'm a little rusty, I haven't played it in a year so I may have forgotten a few things but I am excited to play it again!
We have a lot of good plans for next week. We're going to do a little Christmas concert at our favorite nursing home, and we're also hopefully going to visit some of the people in the nursing home on Christmas. We're going with the elders to sing/visit people at the hospital on the 25th, and we're spending the 24th with T and F! M is coming as well so that will be so great.
We have a list of members/people we know who we want to stop by to sing to and visit, and on the 25th we're going to the K's to skype you all! The ward here is amazing - we're invited over for dinner almost every day of the week next week, and I am looking forward to being with some amazing families.
Sister Hadfield and I are just having a blast! We de-cluttered our apartment a bit this morning, but we have a long way to go on that. I think we're going to carol on the gågade He is the Gift cards as we sang. It was very successful! This time we're timing it out so it'll be when the gågade is busiest, and we're inviting members to come sing with us so it's not just us with our bad American accents. ;)night. We did it last week too, with the elders and the assistants who were here on exchanges, and gave out
Remember R from last week, who we met while emailing? We had another appointment with him and he had prayed for the first time in a long time after we first talked. He said he felt really good, and wants to learn more about the gospel. We're meeting againin the library and inviting him to Christmas church. He's awesome! We're so excited about where it's going with him.
Ah, the gospel is just so good. M got baptized! She was the elders' investigator, and she has the sweetest family - twin daughters who are 3 years old. They are so cute - it's so sweet to see them come to church and get involved with the ward.
I wish I was better at explaining all of the good things happening here, and remembering them! I need to start writing in my journal more regularly. I've gotten really bad at it, which is a shame because there are a lot of amazing, small, simple experiences from day to day that I forget over time. So that's my goal!
Haha, we had a great appointment with J and L last night. We me them because we were carrying an american football (I don't remember why) and it caught J's eye so he started to talk with us - turns out he's always read the Bible and his mom set an amazing example of faith for him in his life, but he's always described himself as a "lost soul." He's married to L, who is from New York! They're the greatest couple - J is really talkative and over-thinks things, and L just cuts right through it and tells him to give it a break. What's awesome about it is that right now, we teach J and L comes into the lessons when she feels like it. But J got into some anti stuff and was criticizing Joseph Smith, and L cut right in and said "you don't know anything about Joseph Smith! You can't decide if he's a good man or not based on what other people say." They're soooooo so funny and wonderful.
Everything is going so great! There are so many people to talk to and lift up! I want to have more charity for others and be more aware of their needs - it's so easy to ask people what they need help with, or who in their lives needs a prayer from us, but it's more difficult to look behind what people are saying to find what they're really going through and how we can help them. And then follow through and actually do it. I don't want to be a robot, you know what I mean?!
Yesterday inschool S, our teacher, invited everyone to write either 1)a letter to Christ for Christmas - telling him what we would give to Him for christmas or 2)a letter to ourselves of our testimony of Jesus Christ to read on Christmas. I think it sounds really fun, so I'm going to try it out! You should too!
Anyways, I love you all! So much! I have to go, but know that you're always in my heart! I am excited for skyping next week. :D Hopefully I'm not too awkward, I'm not really sure what to say. But it'll be very fun! You can meet Sister Hadfield! Also, I told Dad this, but don't you think it would be nice if we all shared our testimonies of Jesus Christ on the skype? Let me know if you all want to do that!
You're the best. Thank you for everything, especially for your love and support for me. I know you see the best in me, and I want to do the same for other people. I think we'd all be able to accomplish a lot more in life if we could always see the best in ourselves and everyone else.
PS no pictures this week. Glæd dig til næste uge! (Hannah's mom added in some holiday pictures just for fun)
I LOVE YOU! MERRY CHRISTMAS!
PPS I thought of the super awesome Danish gift I want to get myself - A nisse! one of the cute little elves I told you about last year - there's a really fun brand of them. I love nisser!
ppps - here is a blog with more information about Danish Christmas Traditions: Diane's Daily Denmark. That is a link to yesterday's post about ris'alamonde, and if you look on her sidebar she has posted something about Christmas all month.