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!).
ThenI 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! 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 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. 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!
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, 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. :)