Remember Ma, the girl who got baptized back in February? Do you remember how she was dating Kim, a member, and preparing for her mission? MA AND KIM ARE GETTING MARRIED IN AUGUST!! They plan on being sealed in the temple as soon as possible afterward. Her baptism was just the beginning of a righteous family that will be sealed unto the Lord. We can never really see the outcome of each decision, can we? The Lord knows, however, and it has only given me more hope in the plan He has for each of us.
Thank you everyone for all of the fun e-mails, cards, and gifts! This has definitely been one of my favorite birthdays. I tried to downplay it and not let my companions make to big of a deal out of it all, but (thanks in large part to a letter they received from a certain Sister Missionary in Washington) they decided to go all out. Mom, you'll be happy. They found all the signs from the box (I opened it, but left the wrapped gifts) and made a few dozen more while I was asleep. When I woke up the whole apartment was covered in little notes and signs, some of which had been mailed in from other Sister Missionaries in Denmark. I definitely felt loved. The Sisters from Slagelse were in on splits again (Søs Redd and Søs Taylor), so it was a party. The night before we brought home ice cream from ParadIs, the most delicious old fashioned ice cream/sorbet I've ever tasted in my life. Then on my birthday we dropped Søs Redd off for her meeting and the other four of us grabbed some kebabs and ate lunch in a park, then bought some little bags of "pick and mix" candy that we snacked on during the day. So basically we celebrated with a 24-hour long sugar rush. Contacting was really fun, and we brought Søster Taylor along to St Albans as our excuse to visit Gl and Ma again. They weren't in, but we made a new friend, Ke, who also works there. We've agreed to a bit of a choir swap. We're bringing a bunch of the young adults to their church choir concert, and they've all been invited to ours in a few weeks. Denmark has maintained a long tradition of church choirs, even if they aren't really religious anymore. Afterward we came home and Søster Olsson had baked a delicious cake that morning, covered in strawberries and chocolate and powdered sugar. Do you remember how Humon said that Danes put flags on everything, especially for birthdays? We were able to find a little American flag birthday cake toothpick thing! All in all, a wonderful birthday.
We had interviews with President Andersen yesterday. His last interviews before he's released. He's honestly one of the most Christ-like men I've ever met, and I've loved serving with him. His family is also absolutely wonderful. We'll miss them.
The big news from interviews though. I'm being transferred at the end of June. I'll be leaving Frederiksberg and heading east out to Slagelse, where I'll be serving with Søster Taylor. I'm sadder than I thought I'd be at the thought of leaving Copenhagen. I've heard before about how missionaries get so attatched to an area and I never doubted them, but I never realized either just how deep that attachment was. Like Nephi wrote, "For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry." That's what happens, I guess, when you've poured your whole heart and soul into an area. And contacted about half of the population. Copenhagen really isn't that big. And they don't even have a ParadIs in Slagelse! How will I survive?! However, I've heard that the members in Slagelse are so friendly and eager about missionary work, and it will be great to serve with Søster Taylor. Especially since both of us have only been here about 4 months! There's a group of Elders in Frederiksberg who were in the same situation - 4 months old in the land and former MTC companions. They call their companionship "the Young Guns". Soster Taylor and I will have to think of something good.
And we're back to the rainy grey days. We walked past some cool internation sandcastle competition/exhibit and read on the frequently asked questions and answers sign, "Q: What happens to the statues when it rains? A: Nothing! The statues prefer a typical Danish summer." Oooooh joy. Seriously though, I enjoy the rain. And they have a converter in the mission. Well, technically we have a lot of converters. We call them missionaries. But I mean a conversion scale.
For Elders: hours contacting in the rain = hours your future wife is spending at the gym.
For Sisters: hours spent contacting in the rain = hours your future husband spends contacting in the rain on HIS mission.
I like ours better.
Keep Søster Guesne's dad in your prayers, if you wouldn't mind. He's not a member. He and her mom split up back in France when her mom got baptized (Søster Guesne was 1). This week she sent him an e-mail bearing her testimony and quoting Moroni's promise to invite him to learn more about the church that means so much to her. Since being here she's talked a lot about sharing it with him. Now the cards are down.
Quick update: Da is praying to set her baptismal date and will get back to the Elders about it tomorrow! I think I mentioned her last time. She's great.
I don't know if you remember Be and Pr from Week 12 (I think), but we've met with them a few more times. Last time Be said that since Pr and her little 6 month old son, Tu, haven't been baptized yet, she's going to baptize them in a local church later this month. We were a bit shocked, but told her that yes, baptism is important,and explained that we wait until 8 years old, and invited her to keep learning more about our church. We were teaching Plan of Salvation and Pr had so many questions, some I'd never even thought of before. She's only 11, but she really understands the heart of the gospel. Maybe because she's only 11. We had to leave off on the Resurrection and promise to finish next time, and as we were chatting after the lesson about questions they had, Be asked "So, does your church do baptisms?" Uh ... YES!! She then asked, "And what if someone has already been baptized? Is it possible for them to be baptized again?" Again, YES! So we shared in Acts with her about how Paul re-baptized the group of saints and she seemed quite happy about that answer. However, when we invited her to be baptized she tried to brush it off and talk about other things. We were going to meet with her today, but she cancelled. Her husband is back in town and he's ... well, he's a typical Dane (Be and Pr are from Nigeria). When Søs Ronstrom and I first tried to contact Be (she was a referral) he opened the door just long enough to grunt, "Bah, Mormons. Go away." We're a little worried. However, it seems like Pr dictates a lot of what goes on in the house, and last time she was eager to read more in the Book of Mormon and ask God if it was true. We feel like most of the progress we make with them will come through her.
Other than that, it's been slow investigator-wise. It's exam time and summer break, so it's been nearly impossible to get a hold of anybody. It's okay though. More finding time!
Ha ha ha! Here's a funny excerpt from Søster Arbon's e-mail to her family. I love Danes. "Gol it's really hard to teach these people because of HOW much skepticism and unbelief there is here. I can understand not wanting to be tricked or anything but if you don't have an open heart and mind, then there's no way that the Holy Ghost will be able to deliver the truth of the words. Because they just ignore his presence. *Frustration* "
Jeg elsker jer!
Dad - Thank you for the birthday money! I haven't decided how to use it yet, but I'll let you know when I do! Things only get busier in the summer, it seems. And thank you. You know I'll always be your little girl. Oh, and again I have to comment on just how nerdy our family is. Deathstar? Really? Again, please fwd any and all kitty info on to Katie O'Very. She'd die laughing.
Mom - Thank you for the package! I wore the new clothes you sent on Sunday to church and got loads of compliments. Those shirts are really in right now, and I'd been thinking of picking one up soon. I was so happy to get it! And the lotion was wonderful. Who'd have thought I'd miss Bath and Body Works so much? I've never smelled the raspberry before, but it's really good. I'm finding out that crazily strong scented lotions is kind of an American thing. Sad. By the way, my bank card came too. Thank you for that! And my favorite scripture ... that one's hard. I have lots of favorite mission scriptures, but I think I'll just go with my all-time favorite. D&C 50:40-42 "Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. Fear not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the world, and you are of them that my Father hath given me; And none of them that my Father hath given me shall be lost."
Katie - I hope you enjoyed that milkshake. It sounds amazing. How could you not? It's one part ice cream, two parts awesome. How'd it go getting your license? I've actually seen both White Collar and How I Met Your Mother. Both were really fun, but I didn't have time to keep up with them. You'll have to show me when I get back. Just think of how many great new books you'll be able to read now that you aren't in school! Maybe take up a new hobby? Model trains are surprisingly popular here in Denmark. Matthew would love it too. Or knitting. I'll need some more sweaters come winter. You may as well get started now. ;)
Grammy and Grandpa - Thanks for your e-mail! I'll keep Grandpa in my prayers, and I'm glad everything is progressing so well. Congratulations to Caroline too!
Supreme Mugwump - Thank you for the adorable card and the kind of weird gift. I loved them both. So did my whole District. I'll explain later. I'll write soon!