Monday, February 23, 2015

Horsens is on FIRE!

So last night I had the trunkiest dream ever. Seriously! The whole fam came here to Denmark to pick me up, and the moment I saw you all I started to cry (tears of joy of course). I'm not feeling too trunky, I love being here where I am, but I'm definitely excited to see y'all! And I'll try not to actually cry. No promises though.

OH MY GOSH HORSENS IS JUST ON FIRE RIGHT NOW. Can I say that one more time? HORSENS IS ON FIRE RIGHT NOW! Not literally. Thankfully. But as far as the work goes... my goodness! We are having so much fun and seeing so much good! There have been several appointments and contacts in the last few weeks where Søster Van Orden and I have left looking at each other and saying "What. Just. Happened?! That was amazing!" Really good things are happening.

A had to cancel our appointment on Tuesday, but we ran into her on Sunday and made another appointment - she was happy to see us and said that she's read a little bit in the Book of Mormon. 

Sister Van Orden and Sister Sorensen went to see K and R while we were on exchanges. B, a really amazing girl from the ward who is getting ready to go on a mission came with and did an amazing job. R is a little more hesitant than K, and they both agreed to come to church but only K ended up coming, so we're planning on focusing a little more on R's needs next time we meet. K is just amazing. He came to all 3 hours of church and contributed some meaningful insights in gæsteklass. He was really moved by the talks in sacrament meeting and really seemed to enjoy himself. 

G and A, our investigators from Romania, also came to church! They're getting to be friends with people in the ward and A LOVES AH (She's the most spry 82-year-old I've ever met! She comes to a lot of our lessons and can befriend ANYONE, no matter how much younger they are than she is). G came to CUV as well and had a really good time! 

We also met with H, who is a really sweet Danish woman in her 40's. She has no doubt the church is true, and said she left church (she came for the first time on Søster Hale's last Sunday) feeling like a better person. That was an amazing thing to hear! In the last 6 weeks she's gone from being unsure about our message and telling us every time we met that she didn't want to meet again to asking when we're coming back and reading everything we give her to read. She is a really special lady. It's been so neat to see her open up.

Heavenly Father is so aware of each of us and our needs. I got a blessing this week because I was worried about going home, and in it Elder Jewkes said something that was so interesting, and pierced me right to the heart - it was that Heavenly Father loves those who never leave the fold just as much as those who fall away. It was kind of random and unexpected, but it strengthened my testimony of Priesthood blessings because it addressed a concern that I've had inside of myself for a long time - that maybe because I've never had a huge rebellion or desire to leave the church, then my testimony isn't authentic or based on personal experience, and I'm not as true to Heavenly Father as I should be. I know that is not true. I know now more because of what was said in the blessing I got. Testimonies come from living the gospel, not leaving it! 

I got to be with Søster Hadfield again last week!!! I don't think there's anything Søster Hadfield can't handle. The transfer away from your first area is a big adjustment, but Søster Hadfield is so positive and full of love! She is definitely a little overwhelmed, but not more than she can handle. And she treats Sister Mølholt as an equal and a friend. They're doing really well together.

We were with Odense 2 søstre on Friday and I got to be with Sister Moseley again! Oh she is the greatest - SUCH a funny, quirky girl and so comfortable being herself. I think it's really awesome - I want to be that way! She and Sister Sorensen are a really quirky companionship - one night, to prank the other sisters when they got home for the night, they set up a murder scene in the Apartment (it was Friday the 13th) with fake blood and the whole deal. Creative! They're doing it again this next Friday the 13th. I'm hoping to see some pictures.

We're going out with Århus tonight, and Aalborg is coming to us on Friday. We're also traveling to Copenhagen for leadership on Thursday, and back to Århus on Sunday for Stake Conference. It's going to be a craaaaazy week! And a really good one! All of our appointments with our people are crammed into the 2 full days we will be home. :D

I love you so much - tell everyone hi from me.

Vi snakkes ved!

P.S. Word of the week - bekvem. It means comfortable!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Danish Word of the Week: Fnug

It has been a wonderful Monday! Søster Van Orden, my new companion, is a rock star. She is so diligent and hard-working and so so motivating to be around. She's also hilarious and has an amazing singing voice - she's studying music, theater, and dance at BYU so she's obviously full of all kinds of artistic talent. It's awesome! 

Hopefully I am showing her everything in Horsens! We're going to the big teeter totter today with the Elders, and then heading to Odense (we'll be on exchange there tonight!). Hopefully we'll get there early enough to see some of the sights before Pday is over. 

Our apartment is beautiful! We live in a castle. I'm getting my camera back today (Sister Hadfield has it! She transferred to Odense and we're going to be together on exchanges! WOO!) so I'll send you a picture of our castle next week. It has heated bathroom floors. And a washer and dryer. And our neighbors are some of the friendliest people around - last week we gave cookies to our neighbor Svend, a really nice old man we run into a lot, and he left flowers at our doorstep! How sweet is that?! 

We bike everywhere and rarely take the bus - Horsens is a small town, so we don't really need the bus unless we have sisters visiting or a bunch of stuff to carry home.

We're having stake conference in 2 weeks! I am hoping to see friends from Aalborg there. I love that place!

This week has been pretty wonderful! A lot of appointments fell through, like with G and a lady named G, but we had some really good ones as well. We visited G, A, and Z (I think I sent you a picture of Sister Hale and I with G, when he had a rockstar hair wig on that we gave him). Oh they are the sweetest family. They are going through some really hard things right now, but really enjoy meeting with us. Z doesn't speak English or Danish, so her son G translates for her. She even had him translate the opening and closing prayers for her, and the spirit was especially strong through that. Z had to leave Denmark on Friday, so we went by to say goodbye. I don't know if I'll ever see her again because she's not sure when she'll come back to Denmark, but I got her email so we can stay in touch!

On Friday we had some really great appointments with new investigators! First we met with A, who is studying at VIA and from China. She was soooo excited to get her own Book of Mormon. She let us teach her how to pray and it was a really tender moment - teaching people how to pray is one of my favorite things to do. 

That night we met with K, who Søster Hale and I met last week. K is from Nigeria and is half Danish, and just graduated from college. He is one of the most sincere seekers of truth I've ever met, and really wants to find out if the gospel will help him. And of course it will! His friend R came to the appointment as well... that was pretty awesome, because we ran into K on Thursday and he was walking with R - we just said hi to them in passing, but then afterwards K must have told R a little bit about who we were and he said he wanted to hear about our message too! Ooooh it was just a really great lesson.

The week ended on a really good note last night when we stopped by an inactive member... we just had her address from the ward list so we decided to stop by. It was way far out there, and I kept getting us lost (that whole area take-over thing is always a little stressful as far as figuring out where the heck we are!), but we made it eventually. I was worried we would scare the lady because it was 8:40 at night and it's rare for anyone to knock on your door in Denmark, even more so late at night. But E answered the door and was so happy to see us - because of some really difficult circumstances she can't be active in the church but has an AMAZING testimony. We were so glad we were able to meet her. I really hope we can meet with her again. There are a few members that keep in touch with her and she gets the Liahona Magazine every month, but it's really hard to have contact with her and we're definitely going to be keeping her in our prayers.

I don't know if you heard about the shooting that happened in Copenhagen this weekend, but a couple of people were killed and it was pretty scary/sad to hear about.  Things like that never happen in Denmark and it felt really close to home! The missionaries in the Copenhagen area aren't allowed to go downtown for the time being. Keep the families who were affected in your prayers! It was so unexpected and just so sad.  

This week I have a goal of CATCHING UP ON MY JOURNAL! Ahh! I am so behind and I don't want to forget any of the wonderful things that are happening! Eek.

Søster Hale and her parents came back to Horsens for a few days and we ran into them a few times/had dinner together one night. It was so fun to meet Søster Hale's parents after hearing so much about them!

Anyways everything is going well! Crazy things are happening in the world but the gospel is so reliable. There are some tough questions and Heavenly Father hasn't answered all of our questions but I know He knows each of us personally and has a plan. I'm grateful that I can trust in Him, and that He is so patient and loving to me. I know that the best way we can help other people is by teaching them to live the gospel. Looking back over the last 18 months I can see that I have made a lot of changes in how I do missionary work, and how I live the gospel, but I am still me and I really like being me. :)

Have a great week! Stay warm and safe! I will do the same. :)

Love you so much! Vi ses!

Søster Barrett

PS Søster Van Orden writes a Danish word of the week home to her family, and I think that's a great idea so here is your word of the week! Sorry I didn't start doing this like 18 months ago! ;)

Fnug - the lint you clean out of the dryer after finishing a load of laundry.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

It all comes back to love


I am getting so ready for valentines day! Thanks to a great package you sent, or two! Thanks so much for both of them! It was really sweet to get love from home! The CTR rings are so cute... I'll make good use of them!

It's a great day. It's been a fun adventure - Søster Hale left this morning (I serenaded her on the way to the train station by playing God Be With You Til we Meet Again on my harmonica) and I waited in Vejle to pick up my new companion Søster Van Orden... but she never came! 

Turns out she took the train straight to Horsens and I ended up having to travel alone from Vejle back to Horsens... scary!!! Seriously. I literally felt like I was going to have a heart attack. But instead I talked to the girl sitting across from me, her name was L, and she's not interested in learning about the gospel yet but she wants to be friends with me on Facebook in a month! Woo!

My new companion, Søster Van Orden is an awesome søsta, she's only been out 6 months and is going to be a great Sister Training Leader. And I'm excited to see what we can do together in the area!

This last week has been so great. We had some amazing appointments. We met with G twice - it went so well! He has the greatest questions I've ever heard. Sometimes when we start teaching someone it's awkward the first few times, but with G it's been so easygoing from the beginning. There's never a pause in the conversation - it's great! 

And we saw G and J (so sweet!), who fed us an incredibly large amount of rice, adobo, and something that resembled mini lumpia. I love Filipino food so much. G is going back to the Philippines on March 2 (She spends 3 months in Denmark and 3 months in the Philippines because she doesn't have a permanent visa yet) and I am hoping we can see them a lot before then, and continue teaching J when G is gone. Sister Hale had the brilliant idea of inviting J and G to pray together every night - because J has never been religious, and isn't comfortable praying on his own - but he agreed to having family prayer, as long as G is the one who says it. :)

We had a MIRACLE happen with T! So we fasted on Sunday to see him again on the street. On Monday night, we walked out of our apartment and before we went out, prayed that we would see T on our way. We got out to the main street, turned to our left, and saw 3 guys walking our way in the distance. I thought in my head, "wouldn't it be so funny if one of those guys was T?" And then Sister Hale said, "It's T!" I looked closer and... yes! It was T!!! 

We had a good chat with him and his friends. It turns out he lost his phone and couldn't get ahold of us, and was also a little overwhelmed by the commitment to being baptized. Oops. But we made another appointment for Saturday! And we saw him again on Tuesday... I don't know what happened between Tuesday and Saturday, but he didn't show up on Saturday. ): But hey, chances are we'll see him again! :)

We visited N yesterday, who is a beautiful, amazing Dane with the cutest daughter L. N's boyfriend, B (also awesome - he's traveled all over the World trying to find truth!) was out of town on a ski trip, but we had a really great conversation about the Book of Mormon. We invited N to baptism, and she said that she's afraid of the commitment to one religion when there's so much good in many religions, which I can totally understand. But we talked about how faith isn't confirmed until after you take the step - and I really think N is going to make a date sometime soon. 

She said that when we come she can tell that there's a difference in her life. That was really flattering - I've never had someone say that to me, and it was a reminder of how strong the Spirit is with us even when we're not aware of it. It's so wonderful to see the difference the gospel is making in N's life - she is gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon and I love being able to see that happen. N also gave us the sweetest gift - some really good Pukka tea (herbal of course!) and these chocolate sticks - it kind of looks like a chocolate lolly pop, but you stick one in hot milk and it becomes hot chocolate! So delicious!!!

I think this email is going to end up being short, but I don't have much else to say! Other than that... well, today was kind of a wake-up call. All of the emails I got had something to do with me going home, and it hit me: I am not going to be here forever. 

I am going to MISS Denmark. The people here are so dear to me! The land is so beautiful! The language is so charming and I am so far from fluent in it! 

So I want to work so hard and have so much fun and take it all in stride. I love the gospel and I love that we can all work together to share it. In the spirit of Valentine's day, it all comes back to love! 

The work is so good. It's accelerating! This week there were 12 baptismal dates made in the mission! And we keep finding REALLY positive, solid potentials who actually text/call us back and want to meet. It's so exciting!

Anywho I love ya! I hope you have a great week, and I'll talk to you next week!!!

Søster Barrett

PS - Sorry, no pictures! Sister Hadfield is bringing me my camera (she transferred to Odense! She's going to do so well there! Also, that reminds me - F IS REACTIVATED! That's T's fiance in Slagelse! So good to hear that he is coming back!)


PPS any requests of Things I should buy/bring home?

Monday, February 2, 2015

A Privilege

Time goes SO FAST! But it hasn't really hit me yet, like, I know I'm going home in a month but I feel like I'll be here for the rest of my life. Sometimes it does get to me though, like when we're walking on cobblestone streets and the sun is setting and the sky is pink, or when we're sitting in church with all of the amazing, faithful people here and they show me so much more love than I deserve - and I realize I won't get to experience it every day forever. Sister Hale getting ready to go home in a week makes it feel a lot more real, too. Craziness.

District activity - broken bike
It's been an AWESOME day so far! Sister Hale and I decided this morning while we were planning for our little part of zone training that we are going to finish a song I've been working on, and sing it at zone training! It should be really fun. It's about the Savior. Ya know, before my mission if I ever tried to write a song it was usually about love or a boy or something, but now it's a lot easier to write about life truths, and the gospel, and I think it's because my perspective has really been enlarged by serving the Lord. I've been able to see a lot of different walks of life. It's really wonderful, and such a privilege. 

Someone asked me a few days ago how I would describe my mission, and the best thing I can come up with is that it is a privilege. It's a privilege to serve the Lord, it's a privilege to feel of His love, it's a privilege to invite other people to feel of it as well. I love it.

District Activity - 50's Diner
Today is Søster Hale's last Pday here in Denmark! So we're going allllll out - and by that I mean we're going shopping and she has to pack. ;) It's a good time!

This week we have zone trainings, and the Vejle sisters coming on exchanges, and a lot of appointments! We're meeting with G. I haven't told you about G yet. HE IS AWESOME. We met him on the train home from the last zone training - he was sitting next to me, so I asked where he was going. Horsens, of course! Then we asked where he is from - Canada! So of course we all got reeeeallly excited. G has been living in Europe since he was 18, and has been a Catholic priest and a monk, but is now a social worker living in Denmark.

The thing is, I've taught people who know a LOT  less about religion than Gregg does, and none of them have ever been as open or willing to listen as he is. He's really sincere. I don't know how long it will take for him to gain a testimony of the gospel, but he is SO SINCERE and SO SO SO AWESOME. He's someone I want to be friends with for the rest of my life! Sister Hale and I have been talking about G every day since the appointment! We're meeting again tomorrow night. I am so excited!

There's a lot of good happening. Our ward is amazing, and yesterday they set goals for the year - it was so exciting to hear their goals for helping the ward grow and keeping everyone who is there active. I hope that we can support the goals and help them achieve them!!

District Activity - exploring island in Silkeborg
Basically it's all just going really well! It's weird that Sister Hale is almost done, and weird that if I hadn't extended I would be too! But it feels so right to stay - and if I hadn't stayed, I wouldn't be able to be with Søster Hale right now! I found out a few days ago that a Sister is going home from her mission a transfer early and another sister in the MTC got reassigned to a stateside mission, so if I hadn't extended an area would have been closed for a transfer. 

It's kind of crazy how things always work out - that was a big testimony builder for me, and I really want to do better at following every prompting I get even if I think it's silly, because you really never know what will come of a prompting until after you act on it, even if it's intimidating or inconvenient. It is a work in progress! I am a work in progress! We all are, I suppose. :)

I love you so much! I hope you have a great week and that everyone has a lot of fun in all their different activities! Give everyone a hug from me. :)

I love you lots!
Søsta B

PPS Pictures - our district activity kind of died last week, because Elder Sullivans bike broke (first picture). So we couldn't get out to Himmelbjerg ): but we found a neat 50's diner to eat at! And we explored a little island in Silkeborg! It was reeeeal fun.