Præsident Andersen's last day as Mission President was this last week. Præsident Sederholm has risen to the role now. He sounds great. Late 40's, already retired, former vice executive something of WalMart. He'll be bringing a lot of dedication and work ethic to the mission, and I'm excited to see what progress will come of it. The best part though is that in addition to bringing his family, he's bringing the family dog. We get a mission dog!
Happy Fourth of July! It actually won't be that weird to spend it in another country. It's not my first time. Last time it was in Scotland. I'll probably be in a meeting all day with the new Mission President, since Søster Johnson is the Coordinating Sister. That's fun though. I get to meet the mission dog!
Things are going well in Odense. Søster Johnson and I get along well, and we've started to settle into a routine with the area. Things are going well with our investigators here too, and the members are awesome! I actually have a cool story about one of our investigators, Pe. When I was on splits in Odense with Søster Ronstrom back in my first month here, Søster Johnson and I walked past an old man with shaking hands and a kind of blank stare. Normally we're a bit cautious about contacting people that old or who don't look entirely there, since missionaries here have had a lot of problems come of it. Especially Sisters. I don't mean to sound judgmental or like we profile contact, but we've actually been warned to be cautious. I felt like I should talk with him anyway. He was a little difficult to understand (pretty thick west-Danish accent), but fine, and it turns out that he used to meet with the Elders 30 years ago and loved the spirit they brought, but that since he'd moved he lost both contact with the church and that inspiring little blue book the Elders gave him. He was so excited when I pulled one out of my bag to give to him. After we left the Odense sisters met with him once, but then he called and said he was going through a tough time, and didn't want to see them anymore. That was three months ago. Just last week he called us again and asked us to come. We visited him and he was fairly attentive and open. He's an avid pipe smoker, but we'll work with him when we get to that!
In other news, I passed my Danish Language Immigration Test with 100%. That's great, because I totally guessed on one of the culture questions.
We go to church in two wards here, plus the time before and after with members. That means we get EIGHT hours of church on Sundays. I will never again complain that normal church is too long. I talked it over with Søster Johnson though, and between not having any energy anyway (stupid body and it's deciding to be anemic) and all the biking we do, we agreed that I should not fast from food on fast Sundays. When I try I'm a vegetable by 11 o'clock. She suggested I fast from English instead. That's a great idea, because it's also something that will help to invite the Spirit and something I can bring to the lessons as well. I wasn't sure I'd be able to do it, but I did. I was able to go without speaking English until 6 pm. Except for the lesson we taught in Guest Class, but that's because the investigator there is a native English speaker.
It rains a lot more in Odense that in Copenhagen. It's beautiful, as long as you're not biking in it. Rain story 1: We were inside, thank goodness, because that was the hardest I've ever seen it rain. Ever. Yes, Supreme Mugwump, including the day that we played in the rain last summer. The street was so full of water that it ran over the gutters so it was just an even sheet of water and you couldn't tell where the sidewalk ended and the road began. Rain story 2: We went down to visit a positive potential and our Ward Mission Leader's wife, and while waiting for the bus back we saw a strawberry stand. Shaped like a giant strawberry. So we dashed over and bought a pack. Now, we're not talking about normal strawberries here. These were DANISH strawberries, meaning that they grew in 18 hours of sunlight a day and torrential rain, which makes them the sweetest, most juicy strawberries in the entire world. No contest. So we hid in the little glass bus stop, kicked back, dried off, and enjoyed a pack of fresh summer strawberries as the rain downpoured around us outside. It was beautiful.
Jeg elsker jer!
Dad - Just a thought, but what are you doing with all of those kittens? It all depends on where we'd be living, but in about a year or so Katie and I would probably be more than happy to take one off your hands for you. If you have any still. No, Søster Ronstrom feels like she needs to stay in Scandinavia, and has actually changed from animation to social service work. She feels like there's a great need for it here, especially when backed by the gospel. She's right.
Mom - That was so sweet of Beverly to say. She's amazing. And thank you for the spiritual thought and quote. It was exactly what I needed right now. I also got the new card in the mail safe and sound. Enjoy Houston, and tell everyone I say hello!
Grammy - That's fun that they call her MorMor. In Danish mor = mother and far = father, and a grandmother would be either a MorMor or a MorFar (MomMom or DadMom) depending on whether not they were maternal or paternally related. Point of interest: they also have a fun slang expression for taking a nap. "at tage en FarFar", which means to take a grandpa. Speaking of, it's wonderful that everything is going so well with him. Expect a letter! I bought stamps this morning! And yes, your Danish was flawless. Love you!
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