Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Week 23

Kære Alle Sammen,

This past Friday marked the 1 year anniversary of me receiving my call to the Denmark, Copenhagen Mission. My, how time flies.

Someone told me when I got my call that we have some random Danes hanging out in the family tree. Would it be possible to get more information on that? Or some family history stories in general?

I'm learning to play the guitar again. Ældste Richards started teaching me back at the CUV in Copenhagen, but we were both transfered. However, he found a guitar in his new apartment and sent it to me through our District Leader. I also found some guitar tabs in the apartment (mostly Taylor Swift, but whatever). Ældste Hammond here in Odense was in a band pre-mission and is really gifted musically, so he's teaching me a bit now too. God bless Elders.

We get Mini Missionaries this week! It's a program they have here where the young men and women (ages 16-18) go out and live and serve with the missionaries for one week. They get a full taste of the missionary lifestyle. I'm super excited. We get 2 minis, so we'll just have two companionships in Odense for a bit.

This week was great. Crazy, but great. Tuesday/Wednesday we had the Frederiksberg Sisters here on splits. It was fun to serve with Søster Olsson and Søster Guesne again. Then from Wednesday/Thursday we went on splits with the Slagelse sisters, Søster Taylor and Søster Arbon from the MTC. It was just like reliving all my old companionships again! Plus, the former Søster Redd came back to visit Denmark and was in church in Odense this Sunday. As a normal person. Talk about trippy. On Friday Præsident Sederholm came over for apartment inspections, going through our Area Books and everything, and interviews. It was actually really fun. He's very easy to be around and really brings the Spirit. I can't say the same for me. He called to say his GPS led him entirely astray, so he'd be about an hour late. Not so, in reality. It was only about half an hour. I'd just barely gotten out of the shower when he called to say he was here. So I threw on the first clothes I could grab, ran a brush through my bangs so it looked like my hair was actually brushed, and ran out to great him. Fortunately, he interviewed Søster Johnson first after inspections, so I had a minute to get properly dressed. How embarrassing. When I explained the situation though, he just laughed. We had lunch with the Elders and Senior Couple after, and it was really fun to be with Præs. and the other missionaries here. I love the Danish mission.

Friday night, just after apartment inspections and everything was fine, our stupid toilet decided to break. It's always been fussy. It's an old European toilet. You just have to bang the top after you flush it so the button pops back up and the water stops. No big. It was about 9:30 at night when it decided to die on us. We tried calling a 24 service for the apartment, but, go figure, they don't exactly teach you the vocabulary to describe the inner workings of European plumbing in the MTC. The guy on the line couldn't understand what the problem was and refused to send someone to check it out. We had to knock our entire apartment building just to find someone who could describe the problem to him in correct Danish. Finally we found this cute girl in her early 20's just hanging out with her friend. She came down and was able to describe it, and he had her do wome weird thing with a wrench. That only made water run all over the floor. He insister there was nothing he could do and we'd just have to call the central office on Monday morning. That girl is my hero. She just cussed him out and ranted about the high rent we pay and the waste of water and he said he'd come out their personally and fix it. It was hilarious. Another tenant stopped in when she heard the commotion, so we had five young women in the apartment all laughing at the exploding toilet and all completely oblivious as to how to fix it. It was hilarious. They guy came out at about 11 pm and fixed it in 20 minutes. I love a happy ending.

The Lord blessed us with a miracle this week. Søster Johnson was sick on Saturday, so we listened to a talk called "The Dog Ate My Scriptures" all about excuses. The speakers said that the week before he finished his mission he fasted and prayed that he'd be able to find and baptize one more person. He only had a week left, but thanks to a miracle, it actually happened. Søster Johnson has 3 months left, and she's decided to try for the same thing. We've been in a hard spot lately. Half our investigators dropped us, and the other half are on vacation out of the country all summer. Except Ol, who, as I said, just needs lots of time and love. She was praying all Suday for it and debating whether or not she really had the faith to make it happen. An area general authority extended the promise to our mission that if we tell an investigator to pray about a question, write it down, and listen to all the talks and songs in all 3hours of church, the Lord WOULD send them an answer. It's worked miracles. The Kapischke Promise. She decided to use it herself. In Relief Society she felt like she got her answer. Miracles DO happen. However, they take righteous desire, unwavering faith, and unfailing work. Søster Johnson committed herself to all three. Then as we came out, we saw a man on the bench in the foyer. We started up small talk because we didn't recognize him. When Søster Johnson asked, "so are you a member of our church?" He answered, "No, not yet anyway." His name is St. He investigated the church 20 years ago here in Odense, then dropped it and moved to Copenhagen. He'd been with his wife for 12 years and they had 2 children, but a few months ago she kicked him out suddenly. He hasn't seen his children since April. He just barely came back to Odense where his friends and family are and is trying to rebuild his life. When I asked him why he came back to the church, he said, "I remember the way I felt here 20 years ago. I've hit rock bottom in my life and I know I need something more than what I've got. I couldn't help but think that if I'd stuck with the church, my life wouldn't have turned out the way it did. I've never found the kind of peace I've found here in this church, and I think it might just be true." We have an apointment with him this week, and he says he plans on coming to church every Sunday. He stayed all 3 hours, participated in the lessons, and is genuinely hungering and thirsting after the peace of the Spirit. I have a really good feeling about him. He's also proof to Søster Johnson and me that when you try to follow the will of the Lord and exercise faith, He will place you in the position to make miracles happen. 

Søster Johnson just sent me an excerpt of her mom's e-mail. You probably know, but it's still impressive. "This has been the wettest summer we've been here. Before we got here, there had been a lot of fires in Utah.  The governor asked President Monson to request the members pray for rain. The Thursday after the Sunday that the request went out, it rained. It has now rained at couple of days a week. It was a testimony builder as to the answer to prayers." Couldn't have said it better myself.

Jeg elsker jer!

Mom - Thank you for that talk! I miss playing games with the family. That was always my favorite way to spend evenings at home. Don't worry about me. I've upped the iron dosage and have really been careful with what I eat and I feel so much better. I actually have energy again!

Greg - Aw shucks. It's nice to know you were thinking about me. I love and miss you!

Dad - Feel free to share whatever you'd like from the letters. Everything I write home is for the family to read and enjoy, share, or delete as they see fit. The names are all shortened, so there's not really and personal or sensitive information that could be traced back to anyone.

Cheryl - Thanks for the letter. I love hearing from the pudges. That concert sounds like so much fun! Lucky Katie! I wouldn't worry too much about the cards. I think it's just dramatization. Pokemon did the same things. I'd be more worried about the effect on their social lives come high school than I would be about subliminal messages. And you could never be pedestrian. I've gained a new appreciation for just how much what we eat affects who we are. It's shocking. That book on Eleanor Roosevelt sounds exciting. I'll have to read it later. And new furniture is always fun. Søster Johnson and I rearranged everything in the apartment and that was the highlight of our week!

Andrew - That's so cool that you were able to get a stronger deck! William is a pretty good big brother for teaching you how to play. You'll have to show me your deck when I get back. I get back some time next June, I think. I won't know exactly until next spring. I look forward to seeing you! I hear you've gotten pretty tall. I hope you had fun camping!

Matthew - That Infinite Card sounds awesome! It will be fun to go swimming in the pool with you when I get back! 

Katie - That must have been the coolest concert EVER!! My advice is to get out the moment they get confrontational. A lot of it is just people trolling the internet looking for a debate. I'll e-mail what I'd say though. Good luck with the fly.

Grammy and Grandpa - I'm so glad to hear the treatments have been going well! You've both been in my prayers. Thank you for sending the talk. I only had time to scan it today, but I'm really looking forward to being able to study it in more depth. I love that I have a record of your testimonies now.

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