Monday, May 21, 2012

Week 13

Kære Alle Sammen,

This week was great! We taught two new investigators for the first time on Friday, Cl and Fl. Cl is an American who married a Dane and has been here for a while. She's very Christian. Just to give you an idea, when Søster Ronstrom and I stopped her on the street, we felt bad because she had headphones in. Guilt soon turned to glee, because she was listening to a podcast prayer hour, and thought it fitting that she was stopped by two missionaries just then. She's curious about our church and likes to keep up with what's going on in the world, but from the sorts of questions she asked, it seems like below the surface she's also looking for something more. She's Catholic, but open-minded (yes, it can happen!). At the end of the lesson she and I had a rapid-fire Q&A session.
"Son of God, our Savior and Redeemer."
"Through the atonement of Christ, conditional only upon a broken heart and a contrite spirit."
"Nope, it's between the person and God, unless further restitution needs to be made, then the leader of the local church offers advice."
"Grace or works?"
"Interesting ..."
And so on. It was like a doctrinal tennis match. Maybe not the best way to teach, but a really fun exercise. It's also made me realize that although I have the 13 Articles of Faith memorized in Danish, it might help to re-learn them in English. We teach a surprising amount of English-speaking investigators. It's a bit embarrassing to not even know it in your own language.

Fl is a miracle. The missionaries talked with him before I came, but he's been hard to contact. When he finally did answer the phone, he and Søster Olsson had a half hour discussion. He was so excited to meet with us. He's deeply Christian as well and truly loves his Bible, more than just about anyone I've ever met. He's about 40-45 and teaches computers and mathematics here in Copenhagen. He was raised Danske Folke Kirke, but knows that's not right. He's confused as to why there are so many different Christian churches, all teaching about different versions of Christ and none fulling living up to what the Lord taught in the Bible. Can you say "golden"? He'd read all the way through Second Nephi since he received the Book of Mormon about three months ago, but didn't understand what the Book of Mormon even was. He thought it borrowed heavily from the Bible to teach about Christ, but was probably true in the way it taught it all. When he learned that it was additional scripture, his eyes just lit up. He said that he can really feel the testimonies we have, and we seem to just have this peace and security about what we know. He wants that too. He loved Moroni 10:3-5, and broke it down with us phrase by phrase after reading. He says he knows that's the only way to get an answer, though it's not something he's ever really tried. He already prays the way we try to teach investigators, and said we had given him a lot to pray and think about, and that he wants to meet us again. I left that appointment on cloud nine.

In other news, Søster Guesne has mastered the "flirt to convert" tactic. The guy, Ax,  actually stopped her on the street near the church and was happy to have us show him around the chapel. The only problem? We're pretty sure he's a drug dealer. Weirdly enough though, when he borrowed our phone to call his "dog" (his yes-man, basically) to say he was going to be late because he was visiting a church, we already had the number in our phone! He was a former potential investigator we stopped on the street and took a Book of Mormon, and we haven't been able to contact since. Ax said he'd come to church if Søster Guesne called on Sunday morning to remind him. He never showed up. We're not sure whether or not to be happy or sad. Every soul is precious to God. However, some really ought to be taught by Elders.

We haven't heard from Ni in a while. We asked him to play the piano at the baptism of one of the Elders' investigators, but his parents wouldn't allow him. We're no longer counting him as a progressing investigator, and moving his record out just about broke my heart. Please pray for him.

The Lord works in mysterious ways. Ap and Em haven't spoken to us in about 3 weeks, ever since they had an argument during a lesson and the whole thing exploded. They haven't returned any of our calls either, so we figured it was best to give them some space and let them call when they wanted. We were visiting a referral we'd gotten from a Senior Couple a while ago. It was almost too soft of a referral to follow, which is why we hadn't really tried. All we knew was that she worked in a second hand shop here and pointed out the Senior Couple's name tags. We felt we ought to try though, so we went on Tuesday. Lo and behold, as we were wandering around the shop and wondering how to strike up a conversation about the gospel with the man at the register, Ap called. She wanted us to visit when we could. What's more, the shop was literally right around the corner from their apartment, which is not an area we go to very often. Because someone asked about a name tag, two good Senior Missionaries talked with everyone they could, referred all they knew over to us, and we followed the prompting to go, no matter how fruitless it seemed at the time, we were in a position to be tools in the Lord's hands. It wasn't at all what we were expecting, but the Lord knew the situation. "Coincidences are when God simply chooses to remain anonymous."

A quote from "Lectures on Faith", which I would highly recommend to everyone:

"We here understand, that the sacred writers say that all ... things were done by faith. It was by faith that the worlds were framed. God spake, chaos heard, and the worlds came into order by reason fo the faith there was in Him. So with man also, he spake by faith in the name of God, and the sun stood still, the moon obeyed, mountains removed, prisons fell, lions' mouths were closed, the human heart lost its enmity, fire its violence, armies their power, the sword its terror, and death its dominion, and all this by reason of the faith which was in him. Faith, then, is the first great governing principle which has power, dominion, and authority over all things. By it they exist, by it they are upheld, by it they are changed, or by it they remain, agreeable to the will of God. Without it there is no power."

Jeg elsker jer!

Søster Morse

Dad - Præsident Andersen knows Kristian Kjeldsen! He's in my stake. I'll talk to the missionaries out in his area and see what I can do! I remember you mentioning you'd be teaching a BoM class soon. I wish I were there to sit in on it! Maybe you'll teach another one while I'm back. At the rate I'm going, that'll just have to be in the next decade. I need to step it up. It's not my fault that BYU offers so many interesting classes! If ... no, when you get any epiphanies from your extra study and teaching, please feel free to pass them on to someone else trying to teach about the Book of Mormon. Or, as we affectionately call it, Mormons Bog.

Mom - Thank you so much for the fun package! I opened it, but am saving all of the wrapped things until my birthday. I love all of the office stuff, and the pens were much needed. And so fun! I think I'm set on journals for the next four transfers though, at least. They're so cute! You have good taste. And my companions and I had a great time launching the frogs across the table. It was great to see you too on Mothers Day. I'm glad everyone seems to be doing well. Thanks! I don't mind wearing a skirt, and I have a great mission wardrobe thanks to my wonderful mission stylist ;) and who knew a 30 kroner (about 6 dollars) scarf would be so wonderful? If you want any specific color, let me know. They'd be great souvenirs to bring back. I love my name tag too. I promise, I'll be sobbing when they make me take it off. Katie is growing up WAY too fast. She's already far more grown up than I remember, and she's still got a year to grow before I get home! I wish I were there to celebrate surviving your first year of being a principal - and it was a pretty crazy year. But everything seems to be going really well with the school now, so that's a major accomplishment. I owe you a celebratory lunch or something. How's next June sound?

Supreme Mugwump - I got your letter, but I really need to reply to my grandparents. I'll write back to you when I get more stamps.

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