Monday, September 29, 2014

S9:E13 "Season 9 has been going for awhile"

Hey everyone, this letter won't be super long. (I don't think) had a lot of little emails to send out to people today.

Everything has been going well with me. Nothing too crazy has happened in the past week. The most exciting thing that I found out is that someone that I taught a lot in Sønderborg is getting baptized in 3 weeks! :D Anders Steen. That was probably the best phone call that I had ever gotten was when I missionary told me about that. 

We have just been teaching a lot, trying to be good little zone leader examples. :P I have been studying a lot recently about habits and trying to develop good habits. (Like holding my pen right, you should be proud mom) So we will see where that all ends up. 

Another neat thing that happened was that our investigator Leonard showed up to church this past Sunday, after he said that he probably wouldn't come. Blessings of having a good lesson with investigators the day before church. That is one of the moments where it's awesome to be a missionary. When an investigator walks into church and you didn't expect it at all. 

The church is true... sorry it's way short. Need to write things and stuff for Phills wedding. 

Love you all.

Monday, September 22, 2014

S9:E12 "Gospel singers with potatoes"

Good day everyone,

This week was pretty much the same, just missionary work. The same things, but different. 

We went on a whole ton of splits this week, so I wasn't really with Elder Gines for that much time. We started on monday, and I went out with a guy named Elder Hafen. We went up to stop by an investigator who was home, which was way surprising. We were lucky, and blessed that we decided to stop by him when we did. We had a good lesson with him and mainly talked about the struggles that come from being Christian in todays society, and the complications and temptations that come because of others' influence. It was a nice lesson for all of us. 

We also went out to eat at a place called Jensens Bøf Hus, got the endless potatoes again. I tell you this because Elder Christensen and Walch came with us, and Elder Christensen ended up throwing up from how many potatoes we all ate. (That's the kid I trained! Got them both to do that.) But I digress...

We also had a good lesson with Kaj and Inger, the couple where one of them is religious and the man isn't. We just talked about how we all have questions in life, and that we can find answers, whether it's through science, or prayer, or both. Truth is truth. 

We got to meet with Søren, our friend who is a priest. We had a good chat with him on prophets and why we believe that we have one in our day. It was good. Then later that day we had a lesson with Asger, a less active member. We read a talk that talks about how we need to stand up for what is right no matter the consequence. It also talked about how opposition is what makes things strong. 

Thursday I was on splits again with Elder Walch, a good friend from the MTC. We got to visit Kaj and Inger again, and did some service for them. Then just followed up on the lesson that we had earlier in the week. But, we went to gospel choir that night. Goodness... that is so much fun! I can't remember if I described this in my last email, but I'll do it again anyways. We have this very picture perfect black man who is the main singer, then we just have a whole ton of white, mostly older people as back up singers. It is one of the most enjoyable events of my life. haha, but it's great because one of the members here who is struggling really needs something to do, and he just so happened to enjoy gospel choir. So that's the main reason of why we went, so we could support him and get him out of his house doing something. 

Friday was a good lesson with Ashley. He is still doing well, still coming to church and I think that he is enjoying it. We also got to know some of the members a little better, and heard some of the stories from their missions. It was a good evening. 

Saturday we played some soccer, and halfway through, this group of Danes comes up and asks if they can play with us. Of course we let them. We ended up playing against them which was way fun, the more the merrier, especially if they are good. Then we met with a new investigator named Tobias, he knows a guy who is dating a mormon, so we had a good chat with him and his friend, and answered a lot of their questions. This weekend was also Stake Conference for us. So everyone was together again, and on saturday we had a way good meeting and I learned a lot from 2 of the area 70's. The spirit was strong in that meeting. 

Sunday was the actually meeting. We got a new stake precidency, then we went and had a lesson with Simon and Lise Lotte, and had a fun lesson with the 10 commandments. It was really good, and what they needed. Then we had an eating appointment with Maria, which was the usual... we show up late, I feel way bad, then we eat and leave. 

So all in all a good week full of uplifting experiences. Nothing too crazy, and I'm still alive. Love you all and wish the best for you.

Monday, September 15, 2014

S9:E11 "The perfect lesson"

Hey everyone, I hope that you all are doing well. I'm still just fine and dandy. Nothing too exciting has happened in the past week, and I forgot my planner so this will be a very sketchy memory of what happened.

We met with Simon and Lise Lotte, that was actually an exciting meeting. We get there to just Simon standing in the room where we normally meet. The first thought that I had was that they were in another big fight, because this had happened before. But it was different. Simon told us that Lise Lotte was upstairs comforting this mom that just found out that she is going to lose her kids because she hasn't been doing well enough in rehab and coming over the problems that she has. It was some pretty serious stuff going on. Then Lise Lotte comes down telling us that she just offered that we could pray with this mom and give her a blessing. So that's just what we did, and it went very well. I was actually pretty sceptical, it was way rushed, and her kids were making a lot of noise in the background. But we gave the blessing and we later found out that it helped her calm down a lot and it especially helped her to start thinking reasonably about how she could get her kids back and so on. A way special occassion for me, and it was a big testimony builder when I heard that it did give her the comfort that she needed. 

After that whole experience. We sat down and ate with Simon and Lise Lotte, then we had a nice chat on the restoration. We also talked about the organization of the church, and why we have apostles and so on. It was an exciting but good night. 

We had our zone training, it went way well. We played some simon says, got everyone to do some dance moves. Then we talked a lot about obedience, and what it really means to be obedient. We focused on how we need to be converted to the rules, and that we need to actually understand the why of following them. I used a lot of stuff from this talk from Elder Uchtdorf: ( I highly recommend it. After that we had splits with the assistants, pretty straight forward stuff. 

Another good thing that happened was that we stopped by an investigators mom, and her son let us in, and we started talking with him. In the middle of talking with him, he stops us and says "wait one second" and stands up and comes back with his mom, so we say a prayer, then I say like 1 sentence on how God is our heavenly father and that he loves us, and the mom was like "This is so wonderful! One second" and stands up and brings in her husband and tells us to say the same thing over again, so I did. After I finished the one sentence, they stand up and said "thank you so much for that message!" and then left. But that was when the son asked if we had a book or pamphlets with us about our church. So we had a way sweet lesson with him, and we have started meeting with him 2 or 3 times a week. 

We also got to go on a road trip with the Hicks. They are this way funny missionary couple. We went with them to stop by all these referrals that we had in a town called Ebeltoft. A way pretty place, and the houses were way nice. It was loads of fun. We just joked around the whole time and ate a whole ton of candy. Sadly nothing really came of the trip investigator wise, but good memories were had. 

Well... my mind is running empty. We played tennis this morning which was fun. Then we ate lunch with Ashley here in the church. 

That's all for this email. Thank for everything. Loves for everyone

Ældste Swan

Monday, September 8, 2014

S9:E10 "Elder Bednar has come"

So it was a pretty good week this week. Ate some good food, had some fun times... BUT, this time the highlights won't be all the food I ate, but rather the fact that an apostle of the Lord came here to Denmark! :D This will be the first time in over a year and a half that I will try not to talk about food.

But I will just start out by talking about the visit with the apostle. Way spiritual, and not at all what I was expecting. The entire meeting was question answer based, before the meeting, he asked us to study 3 talks that he had previously given. So at the beginning of the conference, he asked questions about what we learned, why we learned it and so on. Then after that, the roles were switched and we were asking the questions. It was super special for me because the things that I learned weren't necessarily the things that were talked about, but they definitely did come from the spirit. He is a super talented speaker as well. It was neat because he was teaching us about how to ask questions, and how we should teach investigators, through his example of asking us questions. But at the same time, he was teaching us pieces of the gospel, and little pieces of spiritual knowledge. It was like a lesson inception. Elder Bednar IS an apostle of Jesus Christ. He has the apostolic keys that were on the earth in times past. It's a huge blessing for us to have the prophet and apostles in our lives today. We should listen to them, and take heed to what they say. These men know a lot about what we should do here in life. We just have to keep learning line upon line, precept upon precept.

But besides that way awesome mission conference, we had a good week. We met with Simon and tried to sort out some things with him. Simon and Lise Lotte are two people who really want the gospel to be a part of their lives, but they are having so many problems as a couple that they can't let it in right now. It's sad, but it's getting better. We have just been trying to replace the arguments and things with the gospel and scriptures. 

We also got to play tennis with Ashley and Mario, and we shared a spiritual thought with Mario afterwards. We talked about the sacrament, and the importance of it. 

Wednesday was a fun day for us. We did service all day. :) We started off by helping an older couple pull up some massive roots from a garden. I ended up breaking a metal pitchfork... I felt pretty bad about that. The lady we were serving came out and was like "I don't know where I can get another one like that. I really liked that one." So we started off with that, then we traveled down south to help out another member. This time we were cleaning up a front yard and weeding and things for this girls daughter. It was a way special experience. Because the daughter just barely had her husband leave her, and the house has turned into a mess and she didn't really have any money or anything to keep the house. So it was the least we could do. But after we were done there, we shot up to Marias to do some painting at her new house. I was way tired when we got home, but it was a very good day. 

It was also Elder Gines' birthday this week! So we got to celebrate that by helping out Maria some more, then going to Ikea and buying ice cream. Then to finish the night off, we had a nice appointment with Ana, and all the missionaries and some others that we teach. A sweet birthday party finish.

The rest of the time was just meetings, we had a mission leadership meeting, then we had the elder Bednar conference. 

A very good, memorable week. Love you all, remember who you are and choose the right!

Monday, September 1, 2014

S9:E8 "Baptism of Ashley Ball"

Hello hello, everything is going well in the land of vikings. We had a pretty busy week this past week. We had transfers last p day, which took up a lot of our time, but after that we had a lesson with a way positive investigator named Fred. Fred is a way nice guy from Ghana, who is studying here in Århus. It was the first time that I ever met him. But he turned it into more of a discussion right from the get go. He was just like "I have had this question on my mind for some time now, I just want to hear your opinions on it." The question was "why does it even matter if we believe in God". We had a way good discussion about this, even though Fred is a believing guy. We just talked about how there is a plan for all of us, as God's children, and the belief in God means a belief in our potential and that we should strive to become better and follow the best example that we have, which is Christ. It was a good chat. Then we talked about the Book of Mormon and how it fits into the plan, and how it's one step closer to God here on the earth. It was a good lesson. We also invited him to be baptized again, but he was just like "I will do it in my time, I know that it's something I want to do."
The next day Fred came to SUV, the little young single adults activity. That was way fun. Elder Gines and I got to host the activity, so we played a fun game that was like baseball. We also got to play tennis that morning with Ashley and Mario. Tennis is super fun, and we also got to share a quick message afterwards on the priesthood, because Ashley will be getting it in a week! :D 

We also got to stop by Maria once this week. Had a nice little chat with her on prayer, and ate some cake. After that we had a lesson with a guy named Alex Oleson. He is someone that has known the church since he was like 4 years old. We taught him about why we have the church, and why we believe in it. We also talked about how there is opposition in all things, and that it's sometimes hard to do what we know to be right, but if we do push through, we will be blessed for it. 

We taught Ana, the recently baptized girl. That was a fun lesson. We had the new Couple missionary with us for it! (They got here last week) It was their very first lesson. We ended up drawing the plan of salvation out, it was a cute little primary type activity. But it went way well. I honestly think it's the best way of seeing everything. But it was fun to have Elder and Sister Parker with us, and see them draw little parts of it. 

We got to go on splits in a town called Silkeborg. Absolutely beautiful place. It's in the middle of nowhere here in Denmark. But it is a great place. We went there to try to help the missionaries find some people to teach because they are having some struggles down there right now. I got to go with Elder Christensen. He is a guy from my MTC group. We had a lot of fun. We got to talk with a way nice lady who wants to meet with the missionaries. So people are out there. Then we celebrated and went to Jensens Bøf Hus. Just a cheaper steak house with unlimited potatoes. Way yummy. Later that day for dinner we went to a midevil festival, which was fun to see. 

We also did some service throughout the week for Maria, because she is moving. So we moved a lot of boxed throughout the week. It was neat because on Sunday, both Ana and Ashley (The 2 new converts) were serving 2 different people in the ward. 

Ashley got baptized on Saturday! :) I'm so happy. It went way well too. I think it was the smoothest baptism that I have seen on my mission. After the baptism, we ate some food and had some good chats. We had a way good turn out, I think there were 50 people there. Way spiritual experience, especially for the missionaries that found him. Just to see this guy that was drunk out of his mind when they first met him, to now be completely sober and baptized. 

It was a good week. But I'm still doing way well. Everything is going forward.

Love you all!

Ældste Swan