Monday, January 26, 2015

A Lovely Snow Day

I agree, time is slipping by so so fast. It's kind of making me have a panic attack, you know what I mean? Sister Hale has two weeks. TWO WEEKS left on her mission. If I hadn't extended, I would also have 2 weeks left! I'm really really glad I extended, for lots of reasons, but most of all right now because I don't have to worry about going home yet! ;) 

This week has been so so good. It got reeeeally cold for a few days (and almost 100% humidity!) and we had a snow storm, but the next day the sun was out and the snow was melting away. If that's the worst it'll get this winter, I'll be very very happy! Ok I'll find a way to be happy either way but it's always nice when I can feel my fingers and toes.

It was a lovely snow day!
Last week Sister Hale and I decided that the next time we were in the library, we would get some hot chocolate from this hot chocolate machine. It was only 5 crowns, and it tasted delicious! Plus it was really entertaining to watch it make the hot chocolate. 

Søster Barrett and Søster Hale

So, T, our friend with baptismal date, has disappeared! He hasn't answered our calls or texted us back, and we don't have his address because he always met us at the church... it's way sad because we have no idea what happened, and he was SO happy for the message. I know it'll all work out in the Lord's timing, and I hope he's ok. Sister Hale and I are totally disappointed though! Sådan er det bare. Keep him in your prayers. Hopefully we'll run into him this week. It's happened before, it could happen again!

Exchanges were fun and crazy and awesome! This week I was with Søster Rovig on Monday and Søster Moseley on Friday. They're both relatively new sistas, and it was really motivating to be with them! On Tuesday, Søster Rovig and I had an appointment with our investigator Y, in VIA (the local university). We were waiting for Y and decided to find someone to start a conversation with - we found D, who is from somewhere in Eastern Europe I believe! We have another appointment set up with her for this Wednesday, so I'm really excited to see what happens there. 

And the appointment with Y was great! She is the sweetest girl, from Africa, and very believing. She came to church yesterday and is coming to dinner with us tonight. So fun! I think she's around my age, and I know that I am away from my family in a foreign country, but if it was for school, not a mission, I don't think I would be brave enough to leave my family so far away! Her brother lives here in Horsens as well though, so at least they have each other.

We had a lot of computer work this week because we had to do the monthly zone reports for all of the sisters in Jylland and on Fyn. I can't believe I once spent 3 or more hours staring at a computer screen and enjoyed it! Ick!

A few weeks ago Søster Hale and I saw that our apartment complex was going to hold a late Julefrokost on the 23rd for anyone who wanted to participate. We thought it would be really hyggeligt, so we signed up! We realized this week that we would be on exchanges on that day, and started worrying that the dinner would be reeal awkward. But Søster Moseley and I went and it was so fun!!! We were a few minutes late getting there, and before we opened the door we could hear them saying "Those Latter-day Saint girls were supposed to come!" We walked in and everyone was really happy to see us - I thought it was so sweet of them. 

So we ate a delicious dinner with a lot of the old men and ladies in our complex, got to know them a lot better, and played a few games together. Everyone was asking us about what we did as missionaries - I'm sure they've been curious about it ever since missionaries started living here, but people are really respectful of privacy here so I would imagine none of them have ever really asked before - so it was a good chance to explain a little bit about the church. We live with some really awesome people! Søster Hale and I are going to make them all cookies in our free time this week. Fest!

I love the way church is set up here - we have Relief Society and Sunday School before Sacrament Meeting. It was kind of a weird adjustment but I think it helps me get more prepared to take the sacrament. And this week the topic for Relief Society/Priesthood was partaking of the sacrament. It was such a great lesson, and I was so reminded of how great it is that we get to renew our baptismal covenants every week. 

I want to do a better job of  setting personal goals every Sunday for how to follow Jesus Christ better so I can renew my commitment to Him with more conviction - I think it would help me be a lot more effective in how I follow Jesus Christ. I've been pondering on Him a lot in the last few days. 

We shared a spiritual thought with a family last night where we offered everyone there a cookie, and in order for them to get the cookie someone had to do 5 pushups (I don't know if missionaries have ever done this spiritual thought with you, but I think it's a pretty common one). But even if they didn't want the cookie, that person still did pushups to give them the opportunity to accept it or not. It's supposed to illustrate what Christ did for us - He Atoned for each and every one of us, so that we would each have the opportunity to choose to accept His sacrifice or not. 

It got me thinking about the Atonement - Heavenly Father must love us so much, if he would send His son knowing that not everyone would accept or even appreciate the sacrifice, and Christ must love us just as much if he would be willing to go through that for us knowing the same. So I need to use the gift He's given me! And I NEED to share it with others! So we're doing it, as much as we can!!

Today we're taking an essentials P-day, because on Thursday we're having a District Activity and going to Himmelbjerg! The highest hill in Denmark! ;)

President Sederholm is going to do my endorsement, and I just got an email from BYU saying that as long as I remember to do the endorsement, my scholarship for next year will be reactivated for me! Woo woo! I don't think there's a ton you need to do before I get back - but you could look into the Colony and see when their deadline is for signing up for housing.

Yesterday a really awesome lady in the ward gave a great talk - and she mentioned some of the things people who are dying say they regret the most. I can't remember all of them, but some of them were that they wished they had let themselves be happier, and spent more time with the people they loved, and spent less time focusing on their job. I don't want to finish my mission wishing I had let myself be happier, or wishing I had savored every moment more. I want to reach out and love as much as I can, and accept that sometimes things don't go according to plan, but find a way to be Christlike in every circumstance. I still have time left! I'm going to do better!

I love you all so much. Thank you for being so great. Thank you for raising my vision and helping me see things with a better perspective.

Have a good week!
Søster Barrett

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Good Times in Horsens

This week has also been very exciting, but in different ways! No museum break-ins for us, but I had YET ANOTHER flat tire and finally gave in and took the bike in to the shop. It's doing really well now, and I'm sure it'll be in good shape for at least a few more days ;)

We went on exchanges with the sisters from Esbjerg and Odense - so fun! I was with Sister Mandla (from Australia!) and Sister Woster (from California - we've been on exchanges together before and I LOVE that sista - she's so fun to be around!). Oh my goodness I learn so much every time. 

This is the first time I've had sisters come to my area, and Sister Hale and I are learning/getting better at planning ahead so we don't end up going to the same places. ;) I love being with the sisters and learning from them, and hopefully being able to help them - we're all trying to do better and be better, and honestly I think it's pretty amazing how the Lord is able to work through us, unqualified and incapable as we may feel.

Some really amazing things happened though - On Tuesday, Sister Hale was out with Sister Henderson. They were on their way home for the night, and Sister Hale was feeling like it had been kind of a bust of an exchange - not much had happened. But then she told Sister Henderson, "I still feel like there's one more miracle out there tonight!" And shortly after felt like she needed to talk to person who was walking behind them. She didn't really want to, because it can be awkward to contact someone walking the same direction you are. But the person sped up to walk around them, and as he passed Sister Hale she decided to talk to him. Sister Hale recognized him, and he recognized her! 

Backing it up a little bit - Sister Hale and Sister Thomsen contacted this boy, T, a few months ago. They had an amazing conversation and agreed to meet up at the church for an appointment - he couldn't give them his number or address for some reason, but he promised he would be there. They showed up for the appointment, he didn't. They were super disappointed, because it didn't seem like T was going to burn them. 

Fast forward to Tuesday, and it was T that Sister Hale felt prompted to talk to on the street. The first thing he said to her was "I came to the church and you weren't there!" Sister Hale said, "We came and YOU weren't there!" It turns out T had gone to the wrong church! They made a new appointment for Thursday and he promised he would be there. 

On Thursday T came, and we had an amazing appointment with him and S, a really awesome member (also a little miracle there - we couldn't find anyone to come to the appointment and we needed another woman to be there, but all of the YSA's were going to be in institute - but S just happened to be there waiting for her brother, and she doesn't go to institute so she had time to come to our appointment). 

T is SO sincere about learning about the gospel, and so ready for it. We set a baptismal date in the first lesson for February 7. We had another appointment on Saturday and talked a little more about what it means to be baptized (T wasn't actually sure what it meant to be baptized... glad we got that cleared up!) - T still wants to be baptized. He couldn't come to church yesterday so we have to move his date back at least a week, but it is HAPPENING! and it's so exciting! 

The ward is really excited and wants to be involved, we've had members offer to come to appointments and to invite him over for dinner - it's so great. T told us on Saturday that after the first appointment, he walked around outside for a long time with a huge smile on his face and he had no idea why he was so happy. He said he feels like a new person. I know that the gospel can help anyone in the world become a new person, but we're not always open to it - even though I live the gospel and have learned about it my whole life, I haven't always been open to it - and it's really a privilege to see someone so open and willing to learn of Jesus Christ.

I am so impressed by Sister Hale's missionary skillz, and I am learning so much from her/with her. We're having SO MUCH FUN, and I love the ward! Last night we visited our ward mission leader and his wife, and it was so nice to hear their mission stories, talk with them about the exciting missionary work that is happening now, and feel the Spirit there with them. It's a good work we're all a part of.

I have to go! But I love you so much, and I pray for you. I hope you all have a great week! I say that every time, haha. But it's all about what you make of it.

If you get the chance, could you check on school stuff? Like when I need to get my ecclesiastical endorsement/sign up for housing and so on? I'll be looking at it too, because Sister Hale has to apply for college (the deadline is Feb 1! ahh!), but it'd be nice to hear what you find as well. Also I just got an email from mah favorite roomies (Katie, Brianna, and Kayla!) and I'm pretty sure we all want to room together again in the fall! That's going to be SO GREAT. So keep your eye out for good housing and all of that! Kayla is in the Colony and really enjoys it - wanna ask other BYU moms what they think?

LOVE YOU! Have a good week!
Sista B

PS no pictures this week. Sorry! 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Hej Med Jer!

Hej med jer!

It has been way warm here for winter time - I love it! we've mostly gotten rain, not snow - which is kind of sad because I think snow is beautiful, but kind of great because biking in the snow is not the most enjoyable thing. It's been way windy, too! like hurricane level winds apparently! But it's calm now and I think this week should be a little better.

Søster Hale and Søster Barrett

Horsens is so great! Sister Hale and I are having lots of adventures. Here are a couple from the last week:

So, I forgot to tell you that on New Years as we were about to go into A's family's apartment, this girl ran up the stairs out of breath and crying, asking us to call the police. Apparently her boyfriend was abusing her and she ran away and needed help. It was very scary! Elder Jewkes called 911 (or 112 if you're in Denmark!) and the police said they would come in twenty minutes. Sister Hale and I sat with the girl until they came. We sang her some songs and talked to her about all kinds of things (including the gospel of course!) to get her mind off of what was happening because she was freaking out. It was kind of crazy, but so neat to be able to help.

That is a durum kebab for ya - and I ate the whole thing all by myself!

And this week started off great on Monday with us taking the wrong bus to an appointment... we went in the completely wrong direction! I asked the bus driver to let us know when our stop was coming (it's way hard to find the stops out of town) and he said we were going in the wrong direction and the next stop wasn't for a while. So he just let us off on the side of the road, almost in the middle of nowhere. we were pretty close to a little town, but had no idea what it was or where we were. So we said a prayer of course! And right after, we saw a woman walking our direction so we decided to ask her where we were. 

Turns out we were in Hatting, a little bitty town 6  km away from Horsens. The lady we talked to, I__, said that it would be a long walk in the dark on the side of a highway and she was worried about our safety. We asked her if she'd heard about the church, and she said she knew a member, P__! We know her too, of course! I think that connection made I__ feel like she could trust us, so she told us she would drive us back to Horsens. The whole way home, we talked about the gospel. the Spirit was so strong, and I__ ended up accepting a Book of Mormon and making an appointment for us to meet with her. Whaaa?! That doesn't just happen!!! It was such a miracle - and it was amazing to see the way the Lord guided us.

The next morning, I tried to find my wallet and realized that it was missing. I had no idea where it was, and didn't find it at all that day. BUT we did break into a Museum! We had an appointment with a new investigator but couldn't get to his apartment. The door was through a locked gateway (it's really hard to describe this on email, but in cities here all of the buildings are pretty much attached to each other, and the only way to get to the other side of them is through big gateways in the buildings) and we couldn't get through, and he wasn't answering the phone. 

We tried the next gateway over, thinking that maybe there was a way to get through from that building. We opened the door, and there were a bunch of pictures of a building being restored in the hallway, and then another closed door on the other side. we tried that door, still thinking we could get through. A faint beeping sound started going off - we were way confused, and just decided to leave. After we got back out on the main street, a blaring alarm started going off from the gateway!! People on the street started walking over to see what was going on. 

We were freaking out at this point - we had no idea what to do, so we decided to wait there in case the police came. Sure enough, a few minutes later a security guard came and we told him what happened. The owner of the museum (we're pretty sure it was a museum) showed up as well. We explained the whole situation to them, and the security guard asked the owner if he wanted to get our full names. I think the owner thought we couldn't understand him, 'cause he told the security guard it wasn't necessary because we were just 2 dumb girls. Which is kind of true! Anyways, we survived and it was hilarious and sooo embarrassing.

Later, we called I__ to see if I had left my wallet in her car, and I did! So on Wednesday we biked all the way out to her house to get the wallet, and when we got to her door she brought the wallet and the Book of Mormon we had given her. Turns out she didn't want to learn about the church yet anyways. :( But that's okay! We did our best to help her see things differently, but it's just not the right time. As we were getting ready to bike back I realized that my back tire was completely flat. so we walked allllllll the way back to Horsens because I didn't have any of my tire patching stuff. Bleh. 

That night, though, I met D, a less-active here who is awesome! He's such a funny guy! He is pretty atheist, which I think is very interesting.  Sister Hale has worked with a lot of atheists on her mission, she's pretty much the atheist expert (and by atheists I mean real atheists, who completely don't believe in God - a lot of people here say they are atheist, but in reality they do believe in God they just keep it really private) and it's been really neat to hear some of her experiences and thoughts. 

On Thursday we headed to Copenhagen for leadership meeting, and met the greatest family on the train. It was a dad, B, and his two sons - they were sooo cute and crazy, the older brother (they were 4 and 6) kept pulling his younger brother's pants off. we were laughing so hard! B is way positive about learning about the church, and we got his number to give to the missionaries where he lives. 

Leadership Counsel

Leadership counsel was really great - we talked a lot about the worth of souls. It possibly made me have a little emotional breakdown - I think I cry even more now than I did before I started my mission. I get so emotional! the Spirit gets so strong! Anyways it was really motivating and sister Hale and I are PUMPED for exchanges and the zone trainings for the month! And just life in general! I haven't laughed so much in a long time.

Saturday was a special day... not just because we got ready for Sunday! (wahaha) But we had a lot of powerful lessons. This month we're focusing on Preach My Gospel chapter 1 again and it's even more apparent to me how important it is that we remember our calling as missionaries - and how important it is to really believe that we are called as representatives of Jesus Christ. If we don't believe that with all of our hearts, how on earth will anyone else believe it? 

We met with A and his girlfriend A who is from England. She's here visiting A and it was the last chance we had to meet her. Sister Hale and I were a little apprehensive about it but the lesson went WAY well! Sister Hale is so bold! A is really receptive and wants the missionaries to come visit her in England! 

And after that we met with A again, and O (she and her husband J are working here for 4 years from America) came with us - she is such a great lady and role model, and I think she really made a good impression on A. 

At the end of the day we visited N and B, and then S - all wonderful people who have been investigating on and off for a few years (well, not B - we met him because he's N's boyfriend) and not really going anywhere. But I really think that because we've been focusing on the importance and sanctity of our call, we were a little more bold and taught a little more with the Spirit - which made a big difference with all of them. Sister Hale said that it's the most progress she's ever had in a lesson with S.

Ok, I know i'm talking a lot today! There's just so much that has happened! Yesterday, B and N came to church! and so did J and G. J and G are way special people. I met them over a year ago on exchanges - G is a member from the Philippines, married to J who is not a member and from Denmark. I think I may have mentioned them last week? anyways, I've always remembered them and when I saw them my first Sunday here (J translates church for G) it was amazing! 

We made an appointment to come over, and last night when we came over they fed us a TON of food. SO MUCH FOOD. and we had a great talk about the gospel. Søster Hale and I both feel really strongly that this is the time for J to enter into the covenant of baptism - we hope that he feels that way too. We're going back again on Friday so we'll see what happens!

The most epic teeter totter ever.

It has just been such a great week. I always say this I think, but I Love being a missionary! And being here in Horsens is so great, especially because I'm with Sister Hale. she is such an amazing person. I am so grateful we're together because she helps me see myself as a good person, and she helps me to enjoy every minute instead of worrying. We have a good influence on each other, except for the fact that we forget everything. ;)

I love ya! Have a great week! See you next week!!!

ster Barrett

Monday, January 5, 2015

In Horsens with Søster Hale!

First of all, I am SOOOO sorry about last week! I feel terrible about not getting to write to you. It's been a crazy couple of weeks, and so so amazing. Let me try to give you a run-down from when we skyped:

Søster Hale and I with the elders and A's family!

Well as you know we had Christmas with T and F and it was SO FUN! So much good Italian food, games, and hygge! We were also with A and L, the R family (they're such a fun big family! They have 9 kids!), the VDPs, and the K. We also caroled to a lot of members from the ward and our investigators. The best part of the week was talking to you all and singing at the plejehjem, to all of the sweet old people. Singing at the plejehjem is one of the things I miss most about Slagelse (ok there are a lot of things I miss, Slagelse is such a great place!). 

Sunday was craziness - I gave a talk, we spent the whole afternoon/evening running around trying to say goodbye to everyone. I am terrible at goodbyes. I actually really dislike saying goodbye to people, so I kind of try to avoid it. That's probably really antisocial of me, but I did my best! Monday was also craziness. Sister Vige and Sister Floyd picked us up in the car on their way to Copenhagen and I stayed overnight with Sister Vige and Sister Floyd for Sister Vige's last night on the mission. Oh it was so fun! Being with Sister Vige on her last day on the mission was awesome. I was so sad to leave Sister Hadfield, but I know she's going to do amazing things in Slagelse - she is SUCH a great missionary. Whew. I learned so much from her.

Then on Tuesday I made my merry way over to Horsens to be with Sister Hale!  Being with Sister Hale (one of my companions from the MTC) is SO GREAT! So skyfox, as she would say. Also Elder Jewkes is our District leader and Elder Sullivan is in our district so it's basically like being in the MTC (missionary training center) all over again. SO FUN! 
This is from the last leadership council (I stole it from the mission blog because I think it's hilarious)

We work with a lot of amazing people, and on New Years' we celebrated with a family from Egypt. They made us SUCH delicious food - Egyptian, Italian, and I think French. It was a really fun evening. Sister Hale and I partied it up in the apartment until 1 am! We made pancakes, watched all of the fireworks sitting in our window, and WROTE A SONG TOGETHER. Oh yes. You have to hear it, it's actually pretty good if I do say so myself. It's about the stars, because we got talking about the good memories we have of sitting out and looking at the stars with our families. And also one of our investigators, A (she's from Mongolia) had a way neat experience looking at the stars with her family once, so that kind of inspired the song as well. 

We spent the night singing songs and showing each other the songs we've written. As we were watching the fireworks, it hit me that I spent this whole last year serving the Lord as a missionary. And that it was the most remarkable year of my life. I wouldn't spend it any other way. I LOVE the gospel and I love teaching other people about it - when the light clicks on in someone's eyes because they understand a principal of the gospel, it is so rewarding. Ha - it's probably way cheesy to say, but I really have been given back so much more for the little I am giving. So many good friends and memories and experiences, and a  much stronger testimony. I love it!

So Sister Hale and I have been singing together for everyone all over the place. I have my uke, and Sister Hale has an uke and a guitar. We also both have harmonicas. We were talking the other night about how we want to start a band next year, but then we realized: Why make plans for next year when we could do it now? So we're going to go sing on the gågade once a week and use that as a way to find people. 

Horsens is an amazing place to serve - we have a ton of people to work with, and already this week we've seen great things happen. Last night, for example, we went out to contact a potential investigator. We had some great conversations with people along the way, including a girl who is taking a religion class in Århus right now. She told us that she feels like you can't experience the good without experiencing the bad, so we pulled out the Book of Mormon and read 2 Nephi 2:11 with her. Turns out they studied that verse in her religion class! We gave her a Book of Mormon, and she said she wasn't really interested in investigating right now but she gave us her sisters address. 

So we went off to find her sister! Along the way we met a guy from France (There are a LOT of internationals in Horsens - there's a university here that a lot of people from other European countries study at) who randomly knew that the church does family history, and is interested in coming to the YSA activities we have every Thursday. We finally found A's address, but she didn't actually live there - hmmmmm. 

BUT as we were walking back down the street, a dad and his 1-year-old daughter were looking out their window right at us - it was way cute, the little girl waved at us. We kept walking, but then Sister Hale noticed that they had a Spanish Book of Mormon sitting in their other window. So we went back and knocked on the window (I've never contacted someone by knocking on their window before!), and it turns out Gs' (the dad) wife G (from Spain!) had started investigating the church last summer, but didn't have time to learn more about it. The elders were the ones who found her, but had lost contact - and thanks to a seemingly random collection of events, we have an appointment with her this Saturday

We stopped by a couple named N and B after that - they are two really classy danes. N has the cutest little daughter named L! We had a great lesson about the Plan of Salvation that started with showing He is the Gift (it's not too late to share the gift!), and we have an appointment this week to teach them more about the plan - apparently they haven't really wanted to make return appointments before, and have just investigated the church on and off so this is a good step in the right direction!

Ahh basically there's just SO much happening right now, and it's really exciting. The ward is amazing, and we're working on more unity between the ward and the missionaries. I love the New Year because we all have fresh new goals and ideas! It's a great time to get things started. I have made some goals for myself as well, and I have them hanging up on the calendar Ramona Policky sent me (so cute!) so I won't forget. I'm going to finish the Book of Mormon by March 16, and then again by December 31. Sister Hale and I are going to be more punctual. I'm going to stop biting my nails, and I'm going to write a new song every month! 

Sister Hale and I sitting in our window for the fireworks! 

Something I love about sharing the gospel as a missionary is that it doesn't feel like a job or work or anything. It feels like it's my whole life! It never stops and I think it's so great!

I love you all so much! It sounds like it was a great, stille og rolig week on your side of the pond. I love learning about the Godhead and how they all work together. When you read Christ's teachings, He always starts off by referring to His Father. They are just so one in purpose and intent - it's a testimony to how effective living the gospel is when you are one with the people around you, like family and good friends. Something I realized this week is that the very last thing Christ was tempted with was the temptation to question who He was - if He really was the son of God. Someone in the crowd shouted to Him as he hung on the cross - "If thou be the son of God, come down from the cross" or something like that. He was completely alone, suffering, and hanging on a cross. He could have questioned if it was worth it - if He really was the son of God, if He really was saving all mankind. He could have doubted. He could have stopped the suffering and tried to prove He was the son of God by "saving himself". 

But He held fast to the knowledge of who He was, and saved the rest of us instead. And it was so worth it, because it gave all of us a chance to come back to live with God again. I think that when we don't live up to our potential as children of God, it's because we forget who we are - we're tempted every day in so many ways to question who we really are. But if we hold fast to the knowledge that we're children of God and have sooooo much potential and light within us, then we won't want to disobey his commandments or do something to make that light leave. And I know that when I remember that I'm a daughter of God and a disciple of Jesus Christ, it's not so hard to keep my eyes on the end goal and the big picture. The day-to-day challenges feel easier to bear because I know they serve a purpose and will be for my good.

Anywho I love you a lot! I hope you have another great week. I am so grateful we got to skype and that you are all such great examples to me.


PS Pictures - I'm sorry I don't have any of Sister Hadfield and I with! These are all pictures from Sister Hale's camera. You know me, forgetting my camera all over the place. :)

Friday, January 2, 2015

Dec. 29, 2014


Unfortunately it's kind of a crazy day and I can't really write - we have to go, I am about to leave for København! But I LOVE YOU BOTH, and everyone! I am so grateful for everything you do for me and for the wonderful time we had skyping. It filled up my heart! I am blessed with such a great family! I think hopefully once we get to Copenhagen we'll be able to write more. I'll write to you later! Love you!!!



Go Barretts!