Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Week 27

Kære Alle Sammen,

Okay, the big news.


I need to make that bigger. It doesn't quite convey the excitement. I have honestly never seen someone so happy - especially a 17 year old punk. He wanted Ældste Jespersen (who first taught him, and one of my favorite Elders here) to baptize him. His mom suggested someone from the ward do it so that they could continue that connection, but he wasn't compromising. It had to be Ældste Jespersen. Seeing Ældste Jespersen down in the water, helping Jesper down the steps, was a powerful experience in itself. You could just feel how much they loved and respected each other. When Jesper came up out of the water he was just grinning. Then he gave Ældste Jespersen the biggest hug I've ever seen. When they came out of the font someone put a towel around Jesper's shoulders and his sister hugged him from the side and tousling his hair and saying how proud she was. He just stood there dripping and smiling. I wish I could convey the scene to you. Better yet, his sister isn't a member of the church. Only his step family. He really is such a special guy, and we're so excited to see him in the ward now.

The other big news. It's transfer time again. I'm staying in Odense! Søster Johnson is going to Frederiksberg to serve with Søster Guesne. Can you guess who's replacing her? No less than Søster Moore herself. The members all laugh when we tell them. "Oh great. Moore and Morse. We're going to have fun with that." Ældste Sorensen (also staying in Odense) has already started referring to us as the M&M's. Ældste Hammond is going up to Århus to be replaced by Ældste Pitts, who has been here 2 months less than I have and has a reputation in the missionary for his passion and devotion to missionary work. The ultimate Greenie (even though he's not a Greenie anymore). I'm excited.

Last week also marked the 6 month anniversary of my MTC group's arrival in Denmark. It's so strange to think that I've been in Denmark for 6 months already. I really do love this place. I wish you guys could see it. Not just visit, but have time to enjoy the culture and scenery and ... well, the language and food are a bit weird, but you can enjoy those too! 

I really love Ol. He's totally crazy, but we get along so well. He's the first investigator I've taught where I feel like we have a genuine friendship as well. He's, like, 40, but that's okay. He's our crazy ginger. I've missed that in my life since Hermana O'Very abandoned me to go serve God in Seattle or something. (I love you, Katie!) Yesterday we got a text from him saying he'd just biked 120 miles that day, plus another 25 to go get ice cream and head to his favorite park. To give you an idea, pull up a map of Denmark on Google. He biked the whole way around the island in the middle, Fyn, where we live. He's also studying diving and kyaking and German and American Studies, which we can occasionally help with. He also has a necklace that says "42". When I asked him why, he just started with, "Well, have you ever heard of Douglas Adams ... " I think you guys would like him too. He tries to break things down and see them from every possible angle. He just wants to know everything. He's so attentive and really wants to learn. I love that guy.

No real word from Gi, but she is coming to the youth center tonight to say goodbye to Søster Johnson, so we'll see.

We started working with a new investigator - Si. She's the friend of a woman who was just baptized in February! She's originally from Brazil, and she's really fun and has a strong faith in Christ already. She's had a really tough time though. She married a Dane and they had two children together, but just after the birth of their youngest, a daughter, he just walked out. That was a few years ago, and Si has sinced moved on. However, a few months ago her daughter was sexually abused at the day care. Si had no idea because no one told her and her daughter was too young to know to say anything, and when the day care reported it they went straight to the police. The court's solution was to declare Si unfit as a mother and send her daughter to Copenhagen to live with her father, who was never a part of her live and doesn't even know the girl. Needless to say, Si was beyond devistated. Right now she's really trying to rely on her faith in God and try to put her life back together in a foreign land without her family. Ag, her friend who introduced us to her, came to Odense to escape a abusive ex and met the church again (she'd investigated before her sudden and secret move), so she really knows how much the gospel can bless a broken life. We're really excited for Si though. She's so sweet and has so many questions and really spiritual experiences that her priest back in Brazil couldn't answer.

The adventure of the week can just after meeting with Si. She lives way out in the boonies. The nearest grocery store is 10 kilometers away, and we're just lucky there's a train that runs through it. We missed the train back and it was raining like crazy, so decided to knock on the street by the station. Søster Johnson also had to use the restroom. The first house we got to we asked, rather pitifully, all soaked like that, if we could use their bathroom. They were super sweet, and as Søster Johnson was in the bathroom I noticed a DVD about Christ on the table. We got to talking. Of course. We found the one Jehovah's Witness family in the entire town. They invited us to stay though so we chatted for a bit (about everything but religion) before heading back into the rain. They really are kind people.

In other news, we met a really old inactive member who lives out in the country and is going to teach me how to knit wool socks. Sweet.

Jeg elsker jer!

1. Us with Ol.
2. I'm going to miss having Ældste Hammond and Ældste Sorensen together in Odense.
3. "Have you heard of the Book of Mormon? It's a really good story too, Mr. Andersen."
4. Just a normal companionship study.

Mom - Thanks for the quote! I really liked it. And for the guitar tabs! I think I know almost all of those chords now, so I'm really excited to try it out. How's school going? How was your time with Beverly and her family? If Greece is still on the agenda, the recent RM from Greece in the ward recommended some places to visit. I'll pass them on if you decide to go there. He said it should be totally fine.

Katie - I am so jealous of your new schedule. You really ended up with all of the best teachers in the school all in one go. And I'm so proud of you for getting the red skinny jeans. Did you know that ever since I was a kid, it was a dream of mine to have red pants? Unfortunately, I look terrible in them, but I'm so glad you found a pair! And that you're going to Italy! And Switzerland!!!! That's awesome. Beyond awesome. I'm so jealous. Ugh. Oooh. I could just tell you. Okay, so there's this American in Copenhagen who lives here because she married a Dane. She's super cute and does interior design, and she has a blog called "The House that Lars Built" where she does crafts of the week and cute designs for random things. I wrote it down to check out after the mission, but you might be able to enjoy it now.

Dad - Congratulations on the paper! As I told Katie, I am so far beyond jealous that it's not even funny. You and Katie are going to have such a great time traipsing around Europe. Please send me pictures! And thanks for taking care of all the worldly things for me. I love my mission, every day I thank God for the opportunity I have to be here and serve His children, but that doesn't mean that I don't really want to see Hunger Games when I get back. The YSA's in Copenhagen were all talking about it. It's nice to know though that I won't have to worry about finding it all when the time comes. Thanks. And your other picture didn't just make me smile, it made me giggle. In the library. Nice. "You make me lol out loud."

Cheryl - You're training for a triathalon?! Crazy woman. That would be really fun though. You'd love Ol. He's crazy too. One of the women on his biking team was just in the Olympics. It's true what you said though. Our work out here is pointless unless we have the Spirit with us. I think every missionary learns that pretty quickly. He really does become a friend though, just like any other. You can always feel the Spirit in church or when praying and studying, but never before have I been able to feel his presence just like I would if my companion were in the room or not. And not just in church either, but 24/7. Well, maybe not quite 24/7. I'm not perfect. Trying to be, but not quite yet. That's something I'm really grateful for here, and what makes all the hard times worth it. Thanks for what you shared about your mission too.

Andrew - Dad sent me the picture of your baseball team. That's so cool! Have fun in school!

Matthew - Are you liking school? How is your new class? Is it fun to be with all of your friends again?

Grammy and Grandpa Morse - Congratulations Grandpa! It's amazing that you were able to keep working through it all with such a positive attitude. You deserve your rest now, and have fun on that 50th Anniversary cruise!

Supreme Mugwump - I ate bloody steak. You'd be so proud of me. The member was from Iceland, so I couldn't really turn it down. And you know what? It was delicious.
This one needs to be on the blog, right with the letter. This is Jesper just after his baptism, along with all the missionaries who taught him. Ældste Jespersen is the one in the middle of the back row, just so you can better visualize the story. And lying on the floor like a supermodel was aaaaaall Jesper's idea.

Supreme Mugwump - I ate bloody steak. You'd be so proud of me. The member was from Iceland, so I couldn't really turn it down. And you know what? It was delicious.

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