Monday, November 24, 2014

S10:E8 "Come and get it"

Hello everyone,

I'm just doing dandy, still trying to get over this pesky cold though. But it's slowly getting better. We had a pretty eventful week this past week though. Lots has been going on and I can definitely feel that it's starting to add up. 

But to start off, an update on Ashley. It's been a roller coaster, just up and down. He has a plan to move to Utah in the beginning of next year, but he needs to get his act together before then, and right now he is drinking again. So we have been trying to help him, and by help we many just listen to him and be his friend, about all we can do. We are praying though, because it's sad to see him in that state, not only that it's just delaying all of his plans every day he keeps it up. So we hope that things will start looking up with him soon. 

We have been meeting with Frank a lot, and that means we have been playing lots of ping pong. That has been a blast. Last time I represented the family well and didn't lose a single game against them. I summoned my inner asian skills, just like I did with Starcraft. haha. But he has been slowly progressing, he still tries to teach us all about his buddhist stuff, but he is opening up more and more to the idea of actually trying our message and seeing if it is true for himself. He is a fun guy though, and amazing at piano. We talked a lot about the holy ghost and guidance that we recieve from it this past week, it was all really good stuff, and he was able to put it into his own life. 

The members here are awesome. Recently they have been super supportive of the work that we have been doing. But not only that, I feel like they try to be our friends at the same time. I love wards like this where they treat us missionaries as actual humans and not just missionary robots. It makes it much more meaningful, and makes some lasting friendships and impacts on people lives. Just like Maria, who is in the states now, they just always look out for us. Then you have Flemming who is just a prankster, makes things fun for us, or Daniella who watches over the young single adults and does a ton for them. All 3 of them help out a ton when it comes to teaching. So moral of the story, be nice to missionaries, and treat them as humans! 

Oh yes... Roy is doing great as well. We had a good lesson with him at the beginning of this week where we finally got to say what we wanted to. He actually really like the message after that. We finally got the point across that we agree with what he is saying, and that we are just adding upon the ideas he had.He also made it to church, and really enjoyed it! And this time he didn't get in a huge argument with one of the members here! It was awesome. haha. 

We have also been working with Isaac, our super bible smart black friend. Just trying to answer all of his hard questions and address those concerns. That has been fun. This past time was about marriage Luke 20:34-35. Interesting stuff to try to explain. 

We got to sing in gospel choir again! So much fun, It had been so long since I had been there. But we finally made it again and I sung my heart out. 

Another thing that we have been doing recently is that I have been the trainer or coach for 2 of the elders in the apartment. Every night I just make this super hardcore 20 minute workout that they have to do. That's been fun, but it kills my voice to yell at them so much. 

But... yeah, Everything is good here. Hope you are all doing great!

Love you!

Ældste Swan

Monday, November 17, 2014

S10:E7 "Still alive"

Hello everyone,

I don't have a whole ton of time today, but I will write a little something that happened this past week. 

The biggest thing is that Ashley checked himself into rehab which is awesome! I'm way glad that he is trying to stop drinking. He was also in church yesterday, which was solid. He is a great guy, and I'm sure that he will be able to get out of this hole again. 

Yesterday we also played pingpong with Frank. That was loads of fun, and my countless hours of playing pingpong before my mission finally paid off! I always knew there was a purpose. I smoked all of them. Then we had a very good lesson with him about baptism and more of what it means to become a member of the church, and why we do get baptized. We also talked about priesthood authority and how we need it so that the baptismal requirements won't change, and that it will be acceptable to God always. 

After that, we ate with Maria who is going to the States for a while leaving on Tuesday. Hopefully you will get to meet her, she is super nice and has done a ton for our family history. I will let you know if she wants to go down there and just say hi. I know that she will be spending quite a bit of time in Utah. 

I gave an awesome fistbump handshake thing to a crazy drunk guy. That was one of the most amazing experiences on my mission hahahaha. He held out both of his fists right before I left, and so I shrugged my shoulders then had a great fist bump. Then he lifted his hands and dropped them down like a rainbow, so I gave him a down low, then we reversed it. It was one of those moments where I was just reading his mind and it was the most fluid thing ever. He was way happy after it happened. Good ol' crazy drunk people. 

We are still meeting with Roy, although he is still talking all the time when we go. Super nice though. But we are hoping to be able to finally answer some of his questions, as long as he gives us enough time to say something. 

We played a prank on Elder Walch. We were all waiting to get a letter that tells us when we will be going home. (March 24th) and so Elder Ludlow and I made a fake letter for him and planted it in the mail box. He was so sad for like 20 minutes until we finally told him. It was amazing. 

We also got to meet with Inger again, and this time we brought a member with. I love Inger so much, but when we were giving the spiritual thought, Daniella (the member) would not stop laughing just because Inger kept reading when we wanted to say something. Typical lessons with members haha. Inger talks a lot, but she is just a super funny Grandma type person. When I first sat down this time she was just like "It's gonna be sad when you leave Elder Swan, no one will know me like you do." It was cute. I broke her pitchfork and shoe horn... so she will probably remember me haha. 

That's just about it. Love you all, keep the faith.

Monday, November 10, 2014

S10:E6 "A Gentlemans Challenge"

Hello again,

First things first, we had our thanksgiving event here in Århus a lot of missionaries. We gave a way good training where we shared the starfish story. (look it up, about the kid throwing them into the ocean) and we just talked about how everything counts. Then we ate delicious food. We had the talent show which was amazing. He had been spending some time coreographing a dance for this thing. It was great. I will try to find a way to send it to you all. Then we held the turkey bowl, and our district won even though we were definitely the underdogs. 6 people vs 9. No big deal.It was so much fun though, I love the missionaries here, and being zone leader is fun because I get to know them even better. 

Another big thing is that Elder Holbrook and I were able to go to the temple this past weekend. We got to see Andrea go for the first time. It was such a spiritual experience, and it was awesome to see someone that I care so much about, really enjoy and practice her religion. She has changed so much through the year that I've known her. She is just happy and more optimistic about everything. It was awesome because the people in the temple when I was there was a mix between Aalborg members and Sønderborg, and those 2 are probably my favorite wards here. 

Fred is still doing well. We were able to meet with him a few times throughout the week and he really wants to come to church events now. He is trying to find if this is something he once or not, which is awesome. He is also one of the people we are teaching that I can say he is my good friend. I just get along with him. 

Sad news with Ashley... way sad. He started drinking again, and he is scared that we will look down on him because he slipped again. It was way sad to see him drunk, because he is another one of those people who really was my friend, and is my friend. So keep him in your prayers! We will be trying our best to help him out. Addictions are a bad thing... and way hard to come over.

More sad news is that Simon, the guy who we were teaching that moved up to Frederikshavn started drinking again as well. So this week was pretty up and down for me in my emotions. 

Roy is doing well, our good englishman. We have had some good meeting with him, and he was even in church on sunday! He really enjoyed it, even though one of our members tried to screw it up by getting into an argument with him right before he left. We ended up talking with Roy for an hour after that to try and calm him down... members need to remember to be nice to all people at all times! Or else missionaries will be really mad at you, and will probably call you out on it. (That's what I do anyways) But he is doing well, he really likes our visits and he says that he learns a lot from it. 

Ummm... I found out that I'm staying in Århus for Christmas!!! YAY! :D I love this place, and it's gonna be awesome to be in a big city for it. 

Love you all, keep being awesome!

Monday, November 3, 2014

S10:E5 "Like a beat of a drum"

Hello again!

I forgot my planner again, so let's see how much I can remember from my brain.

We went to Copenhagen this week because of a leadership council meeting. That was way fun. We went to get something to eat in the city and came across a concert, and a super funny drummer on the street who turned out to be this guy ( A super funny comedian drummer. We asked him to play a Katy Perry song and he just made up a super funny song about how he is a teenage dream. At the concert it was 3 danish rappers, which was pretty sweet, we ate some food while listening to them. Then there were 2 dj's that went up. It was an eventful time in KBH. 

We got home from the leadership training just in time to go to the YSA Halloween party! That was a blast. I didn't come prepared with a costume, but with what I had, I ended up being a member of a boy band. It was great. I also got to be one of the scarers in the spook alley, which was a blast. Elder Brady, one of the elders that I lived with scared the senior sister so bad. Good ol' Halloween. Our investigator Fred showed up to it as well. In the spook alley, he just took a whole ton of selfies with us, which was fun. I love that man. We then played some games. At the end of it all, they started watching this video with Michael Jackson, and Fred and his 2 friends starting dancing along with it. It was one of the greatest things I have ever seen. It was loads of fun. We also had 3 random people that we invited from the street come, and they seemed to have had a good time. Hopefully...

We threw our pumpkins into the river because they got all nasty and moldy. That was fun. #BHC

We also played some soccer on that Saturday, which was fun as always. 

I got to see Inger Fugl again, the cute older lady that we meet with. The same one that I did service for and broke her pitch fork. It was way sad because we were talking about how I broke that thing earlier, then when I was putting my shoe on with her shoe horn, it snapped. I felt so bad. I don't know what things like that always happens to me, but it does. Oh well, thus I am. 

Maria fed us some more. What a nice lady. :) AND we didn't do service for her this week! But she is actually someone who is way nice to us missionaries, even though she doesn't have the easiest life right now. 

We are giving a zone training this week on how to find people, and having faith to find the right people. So that should be fun. We are also having our turkey bowl then. Which has been a pain in the bum to organize, but more time put into it means more fun right?

That's about as much as I can think of right now. I'm still doing great, still loving it here in Århus. Really hoping that I don't transfer... but you never know.

OH, one last thing. We were talking with Asger, an older less active guy, when his dog out of nowhere starts eating his wall. It was way funny. He would just rub his top teeth on the wall until he got something in his mouth... 

Well that sums up my week haha. Love you all.