Monday, April 30, 2012
I'm e-mailing at a library now, since there aren't enough computers for all three of us at the center, and it's so hard. Never have I been so tempted to stray from the mission rules, even if it's just to go curl up with a book for a few minutes. A book not written by Talmage, I mean. The keyboard here kind of sticks, and the M key is weird, so keep that in mind if you ever can't figure out what I'm trying to say.
How's it going with the Family Mission Plan I sent out? I know Mom's doing it. Anyone noticed anything interesting?
Yes, Dad, I do feel like the "old hand" in my area. It's weird. I love my companions though. Three just feels natural, since that's what I had in the MTC.
This week was great. We worked really hard, broke most of our goals, and were able to really start integrating into the ward. With two new missionaries in the area, it's a great excuse to drop in, get to know them, and present the Family Mission Plans.
We also found 3 new investigators this week! That's more than I've found my whole mission so far! One's name is Al (not really just Al, but those are the first two letters of his name). He's from Pakistan. He met missionaries while living in Sweden and used to have them over all the time to meet with him and his friends. He loved "that one conference, you know, where the old men spoke and you could really feel it", but he went home for a while and lost contact with them. He was so excited to meet another missionary, and we have an appointment with him on Saturday! Another was a girl who's been on our potential investigators list for a while. We'd call, but she never answered and since her voice mail is hilarious (Supreme Mugwump, it's the one I wrote about in an earlier letter. "You probably feel pretty stupid talking to my voice mail now, huh."), it's become a running joke to have the greenies or Sisters on splits call. I made Søster Olsson call her and was waiting to see the expression on her face when, totally unexpectedly, she started carrying on a conversation and invited the girl to Institute at the CUV. Better yet, the girl said yes! Her name is H. I'll update next week.
One of the highlights of the week was visiting As (I'm going to be using the first two letters of names now, so that you can keep all the M's and A's straight). She investigated the church before, but isn't really of the mental age for baptism. She's about 50 ish, from Uganda, and her family is Muslim. She called and invited us over, and since I'd never met her we were going in totally blind. She was so sweet! We shared a spiritual thought from Helaman 5:12, which she really liked, helped her write a letter to her nephew, and took out the trash. She was saying that she had been very nervous lately, no idea why, but the last few days she'd felt happier. Her doctor had given her some medicine (Denmark's solution is to have all the medicine really inaccessible (you have to go the doctor if you want Ibuprofen or Tylenol), then the doctors just dope people up whenever they visit. It's really quite sad. Especially the mental health hospitals, where they basically hold people in a room with a bed and medicate the life out of them until they start acting normal, but that sort of treatment really only makes it worse. They treat the physical symptoms, but ignore the underlying psychological and spiritual elements because that sort of emotional care goes against the Scandinavian coughsocialistcough governments way of doing things. Sorry for the rant. We just work with a lot of people who've come out of those places so much worse for wear. It's miraculous though to see how much of a difference the gospel can make. Alma 31:5 in action. Back to the story now).
As had been feeling better the last few days because of the medication and because she'd been watching some of her favorite Indian movies. When I asked her which ones, she seemed a bit skeptical. That is, until I told her my favorites were Kal Ho Na Ho and Om Shanti Om. Then she opened right up. Five minutes later found all four of us Bollywood dancing around her living room to some film soundtrack with Shahrukh Khan singing as she showed us how to dance. I taught her some basic Country Western Swing too, which she loved. She's a child in everything but body, and really loved just having fun. She wanted us to come back every night, but we were able to negotiate it down to once a week. It's a good weekend evening appointment, since we're not really supposed to be out contacting on weekend evenings here in Copenhagen. Plus, it's a great way for her to keep her spirits up and be reminded to come to church.
Jeg elsker jer, oh håber i har det godt!
P.S. Send pictures!
Dad - That's such a blessing that Kristina was able to visit! As you said, it will really help her to have a friendly family in the area, since hers is all so far away. I'm so glad Evan is doing well! I remember when he was born! Oh wow. What a "coincidence"! I'm excited to hear some of those insights from the temple sealing session you went to with the ward. We'll have to do a temple trip when I get home.
Cheryl - Gayle got married?! That's so cool! I love the Morgans, and it's really great that you got a chance to take a bit of a break in Vegas with the boys. Oh my goodness, I miss those frappucinos. Especially sitting here surrounded by books. That sounds like heaven! Thank you for the quote too. I think I need to start bringing my quotebook along when I e-mail.
Mom - I'm glad you had such a great birthday. You can tell Sister Hull that everyone LOVES that Jinglebellini lotion she sent me in her MTC carepackage. Seriously. I've avoided putting it on in public. Whenever I do at church or anything, this flock of Elders come stand next to me and just breathe deeply. It's become a contest to see who can shake my hand first, which is creepy enough, but weirder when they walk away smelling their hands. Sigh. Elders. As far as care package material goes, would you also send me some of the tabs they sell at the BYU library? Dad might have an easier time finding those. It's five colors. The tabs are solidly that color, no clear, square at one end and then pointed at the other so they mark really specifically. I got some at the MTC and I love them. The five colors conveniently correspond to the five PMG lessons, so it's the best way to mark scriptures so you can always find what you need for each lesson. Apart from that, no. Just letters and love! Wait. I just re-read that. A birthday present? AAAAH! I turn 22 in a month! Deep breaths. Oh my word. That's madness!
Greg - Your e-mail just cracked me up. That sounds like fun work! I can see what you were going for with the salsa burger thing, and it would've been a dream if it worked. Mmm. BBQ. I'm excited to see pictures of the basement!
William - Thank you for your e-mail. It really does mean a lot to me that you understand and support why I'm out here, even if it's not your religion. It's been the best time of my life, honestly, being able to forget myself and really do all I can to serve and love the people I'm with. Every time I hear a cool song on the subway, play History 20 Q's with Søster Ronstrom, visit any of the cool historical sights here, I think of you. We saw an awesome Book of the Dead scroll in the History museum here once, and I'd wished you were there as I explained the whole Ba, Shabti, Weighing of the Heart thing to my companion. You'd like Copenhagen, I think.
Katie - Mom made a Big Bang Theory joke?! Hahahahaha! That hair wasn't supposed to be in there. Living with three girls and static-clingy rugs though, it's sometimes unavoidable. Thanks for the quotes. I miss that sort of humor in my life. Søster Guesne's a pretty good substitute though. Seriously, you had me lol-ing out loud in the library. Søster Guesne is giving me funny looks. Hmm ... Hand written letters don't have emoticons, but they can include doodles. That's a step up, I think.
Supreme Mugwump - Of course it'd be easy to just go to Denmark when we go to Fest-i-Nord in Sweden. That's half the reason to go! I loved the "gifts" in your last letter. Think they'll still be potent come April Fools Day next year? Say hi to Hermana Baek for me!