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December 30, 2013

My Copenhagen Christmas

I think they should consider changing the name of this place to Hooville.
The traditions and the food and the celebrations go on for dayyyys! I'll tell you all about my Copenhagen Christmas.
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Christmas is a 4-day long event over here. There's "Lille Juleaften" (aka "Little Christmas Eve" aka Christmas Eve Eve aka December 23rd) and then Juelaften (Christmas Eve- the main event!) and then Juledag, and then Anden Juledag (Christmas Day and second Christmas day).

I was so lucky to spend Lille Juleaften with 5 other missionaries, two senior couples, the Copenhagen temple president and his wife, and two very sweet Danes. I'm pretty sure we exceeded the tiny apartments maximum capacity... but that just made it all the more cozy. We crammed around a beautifully decorated candlelit table and feasted on "risalemande" (delicious rice pudding). The December 23rd tradition is a MASSIVE amount of rice pudding for dinner. And somewhere in the heaping bowl of pudding there is one perfectly whole almond... Whoever finds the almond has to hide it- in their mouth or in their lap or in their napkin- and keep it a secret until ALL the food is gone. So everybody stuffs their faces in hopes of finding the almond! And then once the massive bowl is licked clean, the lucky winner reveals the perfect almond and trades it in for the coveted gift! 
I'm totally taking this fun tradition home with me.

The rest of the evening was spent singing Christmas songs, playing the Danish version of white elephant, and enjoying the company of so many wonderful people. I went to bed that night feeling so so blessed.

Then comes December 24th! The best day of the year.

We went to a Danish folk church Christmas service with the rest of the country (Christmas Eve is the one day of the whole year when the Danes like to be religious). I felt like I was in a medieval movie inside the ancient church with the priest and the choir. It was a beautiful service and an incredible cultural experience.

After church we spent the evening with the most adorable Danish family in their picture perfect Danish home. We made marzipan pigs and other candies and treats while the feast was being prepared.
Check out this beautiful plate...
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BEST FOOD OF MY LIFE.
Flæskesteg (pork meat with the pig's skin still on...) and Duck with potatoes is the traditional Christmas feast.
and it was to DIE for.

My favorite part of the evening was when we got to light the Christmas tree with REAL candles. Then everybody holds hands in a big circle and dances around the Christmas tree while singing Christmas songs!
Dr. Seuss must have been inspired by the Danes.


At the last song, we leave the tree and dance through every corner of every room of the whole house- still holding hands and singing away. Our parade of 12 people was led up and down stairs and over all the furniture and even into the laundry room and tiny bathroom. 
By this point my face HURT from smiling so much.
There's no waiting til Christmas morning over here.... in Denmark you open all your presents on Christmas Eve! The night never ever ends. I was so thankful to spend Christmas with such a sweet family. It was so fun to experience all of the special Danish traditions.

When Sister Hale and I got home that night it was time to celebrate American style! We left cookies and milk out for Santa and opened our Christmas PJ's, and then read the Bible story by candlelight before falling into bed with visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads.

As I was sitting there in my little Copenhagen apartment with just my companion who was a stranger to me a week ago, I'd never felt so far from home. It was my first Christmas ever being away from my family.... I'd be lying if I said I wasn't sad! But I realized that I was the best kind of alone I could possibly be. And really that I wasn't alone at all. It was one of those moments where I felt "encircled about in the arms of His love." 
The Lord really does take care of His missionaries. 

On Christmas morning Sister Hale and I sprung out of bed and tore the sparkling paper off of the wonderful gifts  from our families back home and our Danish families here. Thanks for everything everybody! It was a wonderful Christmas.
Later that evening I got to take a trip home for a few hours! BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVERRRRR. 
Skype ROCKS.
Seriously, how cool is it that I could spend time with my family from clear across the globe?
It was SO wonderful to see the faces and hear the voices of the people I love and miss more than anything in the world.
 
But even better than all of the exciting Danish traditions and all of the delicious food and the wonderful gifts and the lights and the trees and the Christmas magic were all of the experiences we had in between it all.
Especially on December 25th.
It was hands down the BEST day of my whole mission.
Possibly the best day of my whole life...

It all started a couple weeks ago... President Sederholm told all of us missionaries that He wanted us to work on Christmas. He wanted us to find time between the celebrations to get out and do missionary work. He gave us a lot of different ideas- like caroling, visiting part member or less active families, visiting widows, hospitals or care centers, finding some kind of service project, or even just knocking doors. 
I had a really strong feeling that I needed to be in a hospital on Christmas day. So when the APs invited us to go caroling at the hospital with them on December 25th, I was sooo excited.
Sister Hale and I brought our guitars and we all put on our Christmas sweaters and we went to the hospital in hopes of comforting and cheering and brightening someone's Christmas.

First we decided to visit the sick friend of someone in our ward. And as the 6 of us missionaries stood gathered in this little hospital room on Christmas morning, I felt closer to the Savior than I ever have in my life. 

I heard Christ's voice as I listened to the elders comfort this sick and lonely woman.
I saw Christ's countenance shining through the smile on my companion's face.
And I felt Christ's love surrounding us all and filling the room. 
It was tangible.
And it only increased as the day went on...

As we left that hospital room with overfull hearts, one of the nurses came to see who we were and what we were all doing there on Christmas day. We told her that we had come to sing and visit people, and she thought that was so wonderful. She asked us if we would surprise her colleagues and sing for them as a Christmas gift from her. We said we'd love to! So she asked us to meet her in 30 minutes after she was finished taking blood tests.

So we had 30 minutes to kill...
Someone had a prompting to go down tho the hospital's waiting room. There we found two sad women sitting on the hard waiting room chairs. We asked if we could sing them a Christmas song. As we sang to them about Christ's birth and life and light and love, smiles appeared on their sorrowful faces. They even began to sing along.
We later found out that this woman's husband had just passed away. On Christmas day.
When we saw the two women leaving the hospital, my companion and I sprinted after them out to the parking lot where we hugged the two strangers and testified to them of Christ's love. The knowledge of resurrection, forever families, and eternal life has never been so precious to me as it was in that fleeting moment, when I saw it bring a flicker of hope into their tired, tear-stained eyes.

Then it was time to meet back up with that nurse we had met. As we followed her through the maze of white hospital corridors I took the chance to get to know this sweet woman a little bit. She was from Brazil and moved here to Denmark several years ago with her 7 year old daughter. She was so curious and excited and interested about us American missionaries singing Danish songs about Jesus Christ in a hospital on Christmas day! We basically had a little concert for a big group of her coworkers in their break room. They were all taking pictures and videos of us the whole time and thought it was the greatest thing ever. And the "happily ever after" to this story came when the Brazilian nurse told us she would LOVE to meet with us and learn more about our church. We have an appointment with her this week!!!!

The rest of the afternoon was spent caroling through the halls of the hospital and visiting lonely elderly people in a care center. 
Never in my life have I felt so at peace and so content with the world and my place in it. Never in my life have I felt so full of pure joy and the love of God.

Now Christmas is over... I'm going to miss all the glittering lights and sparkling trees and the hustle and bustle on the streets. I'm going to miss the Christmas spirit that warmed the cold winter air. I'm going to miss saying "glæadelig jul!" to everyone I ever saw and I'm going to miss their smiles in return. This Christmas has been SO special.

I will never forget my Copenhagen Christmas!
I'll never forget the Christmas I spent dancing around Christmas trees burning with real flickering candles.
I'll never forget the Christmas I spent around hospital beds.
I'll never forget the Christmas I spent so far away from home; The Christmas I spent so close to Heaven.
I'll never forget the Christmas I spent with my special black name tag shining on my chest.
I'll never forget this Christmas....
The Christmas I spent with Christ.

I hope your Christmas was just as wonderful and warm and bright.

Can you believe 2013 is coming to a close?!
It's been the BEST year of my life. I'm so thankful for every single day... For the challenges I've faced and the blessings I've been given and the experiences I've had and the memories I've made.
Take some time to reflect on your 2013.... What have you accomplished? What are you thankful for? What do you hope to do better? Now lets make 2014 a year to remember! Make a few goals. Write them down
This new year, lets strengthen our testimonies. Lets share our testimonies. Lets live our testimonies. 

"And now, I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written, that the grace of God the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of them, may be and abide in you forever."
(Ether 12:41)

Thank you SO much for your love and support and prayers. I love you all and pray for you everyday! 
Have a safe and happy New Years! 
xoxo
Søster Breanna Michele Rogers

 Christmas presents
 anden Juledag SUSHI
 Christmas eve p.j.'s with sister Hale
 

December 23, 2013

Glædelig Jul!

Hello from beautiful Copenhagen where the sky is blue as can be and the sun is shining!
It feels like St. George today... Merry sunny warm Christmas to me!

So you know my favorite book? Its called Number the Stars. I feel like I've ranted about it in my emails before.... #sorrynotsorry.
I read Number the Stars over and over dozens and dozens of times growing up. Its the most beautiful story about a girl named Annemarie who lived in Copenhagen in 1943 during the Nazi occupation of Denmark. Annemarie's best friend was a Jew, and when the Nazis started to "relocate" the Jewish people, Annemarie did everything she could to help her friend.

Well today my Dad reminded me how much the Lord has influenced my life and everything that I am.... starting way back when I was 10 years old and I fell in love with a story about the people in Denmark. 

And now, here I am. 
Walking down those exact same Copenhagen streets!
In the very land of the book that touched my heart. 
Sharing with the Danish people another great book, and hoping to touch their hearts.
Trying to do everything I can to help my friends.

So yeah. I love Copenhagen. I love serving in this city that is so special to me. I LOVE my new area. 

And oh man does my new comp rock! 
She's been here in Denmark for like 2.5 months now, so she's still pretty new.
Seriously, Sister Hale might possibly be my twin separated at birth....we have everything in common. She loves singing and playing the guitar and she loves Harry Potter and she's named after a mountain and she does humanitarian work. (Ok I'm not named after a mountain... but I sure do love mountains!) 
OH and get this.... she even went to Southern Virginia University!!! (last year... so she was there the year after I was.) But we have tons of the same friends and tons of the same memories! HOW FUN.
Also, WE BOTH HAVE GUITARS. You best believe we've been singing to people at bus stops and outside of the grocery store and on the trains and on the street and everywhere in between! 
Its gonna be a great transfer. 

So the AP's are in my district. Which means we speak Danish alllllllll the time... And Sister Hale and I have this thing we do where we don't speak English when we are outside of our apartment. I've probably spoken more Danish in the past week than the rest of my mission combined! Sometimes I forget that I can speak English when we get home at night....

Its super weird coming to a new area and not knowing anybody at all and not knowing my way around... but its been so much fun meeting so many new people and exploring new streets.

Before my mission and even throughout my mission up until now I always thought it would be really hard to be away from home at Christmas time. Well don't get me wrong guys, I miss you like CRAZY..... but actually, it hasn't been hard at all! 
When my plane first landed in Denmark and I first set foot in this beautiful country, I was overcome with peace and surety that I was EXACTLY where I was supposed to be. 
And that is exactly how I feel right now...
Its Christmas time and I'm in a foreign country a million miles from home, sooo far away from my family. (Not to mention just barely being transferred into a brand new city where I get to spend the holidays with a bunch of strangers....) 
But I have so much peace and surety because I know I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be.

and HEYYYY guess what I get to see you guys in TWO DAYS!!!!!!! AHHHHHH I AM SO EXCITED!!!!! 
Hurrah for SKYPE! 

I'm probably gonna cut this email short... seeing as I get to talk to y'all so soon. I'll have lots of fun stories to tell you. 
Like about the time we went Christmas caroling and ended up in a creeeeepy sketchy basement singing to a bunch of guys smoking pot and all sorts of other smelly things.....


Merry Christmas everybody! 
After you buy your last minute gifts today, and after you finish wrapping up those special packages with sparkly ribbons tomorrow night, and after you open up all of your presents on Christmas morning, take a minute to remember Jesus Christ. 

Because the gift of God's Son truly is the greatest gift of all. 

He came into the world to be our Savior and Redeemer, our Comforter, our Advocate, our Friend.
He came into the world so that we have someone to turn to. Someone to believe in. Someone to rely on. Someone to trust.
In a lowly stable in Bethlehem, the Lord Jesus Christ came into the world.
He came into the world, and He never left.

Christ lives. He's here. 
This Christmas, Let Him in.

Let's celebrate the day He came into the world. Let's celebrate the Light He brought and the path He paved.
Let's celebrate it always. 
He died for us. Let's live for Him.

Merry Christmas to all! 
Glædelig Jul! 
Jeg elsker jer.

MKH,
Søster Breanna Rogers
 
 Just faking a smile before saying goodbye and hopping on the train...
 On our last night together Sister G and I celebrated Christmas! THANKS Grant family for the sweet gifts!!! And thanks Mom for the fun stockings!!
 Merry Christmas Happy Birthday to me from my bff Manda! YOU FREAKING ROCK. Tusind Tak!
 Just snapped a quick pick of me and my new compety comp so you know who I'm livin with! I love Sister Hale!
 The elders surprised us with a REAL LIVE JULETRÆ!!! Best Christmas present everrrr.

December 16, 2013

Farvel Slagelse

WHAT A WEEK.
I don't even know where to start.... 
The beginning I guess?
 



On monday night we went to TIVOLI to see all the Christmas lights! It was so Christmasy and magical. Almost like Temple Square! Almost even better.

I've been all wrapped up in the Christmas Spirit this week! Missionary work ROCKS at Christmas time. Almost all of our time has been spent baking Christmas cookies and frosting Christmas cookies and delivering Christmas cookies and singing Christmas carols and making Christmas cards and delivering Christmas cards and teaching Christmasy lessons and sharing the beautiful Christmas message.

My sweet mom even sent me this WONDERFUL 12 days of Christmas countdown that I got to start opening this week!
 
 I feel so loved. I have the best fam and friends in the world.

Bettina and her husband made us a delicious feast one night this week. They were so happy that we were there to spend time with them, and it was amazing to see the change in their countenance as the Spirit that we brought into their home really touched their hearts. Bettina told us about one of her friends who told her that she shouldn't meet with us and shouldn't go to our church; she told her all these rumors about Mormons being bad news and tons of trouble. But Bettina told her friend that that's not true. Because the two Mormon girls she knows are the nicest sweetest people she knows! And that she always feels GOOD when she goes to church. 
YAYYYYYYYYY
I love Bettina so much! I love that she loves church. I love that she feels the Spirit and feels something special and different when she's with us. MY testimony strengthens every time I'm with HER. Because when I bear my testimony to Bettina I can literally see the Holy Ghost carrying the words into her heart. Bettina is always saying that we are a blessing to her, but she doesn't even know how big of a blessing she is to me and my life! Seeing the gospel bring her so much joy has brought me more joy than I can even describe or fathom or contain. She's changed my life. I feel so so blessed every time I'm around her, because every time I'm around her the Savior draws so near. He speaks to her through me. And He pours His love for her into my heart. And He lets me be His instrument to guide her back to Him. 

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Being a missionary is the most beautiful experience.
Anybody who has the opportunity to serve a mission and doesn't take it is making the BIGGEST mistake of their lives.

The next best thing that happened this week was when Sister Grant and I had the opportunity to go to the Temple with a family in our ward! I've never had such a special experience at the Temple than I did that day. We even did a session in Danish! I wish I could just move in to the temple and stay there FOREVER. I love walking down those halls with Heaven's angels all around me. I love how strong the Spirit is. I love everything about God's holy house. Going to the Temple is going home.
 


Then one morning my world stopped turning.
President Sederholm called.
I knew it was coming... Somehow I always know these things! I guess its the Lord's way of preparing me. Well maybe I was a little more prepared, but that hasn't made it any easier.......
You guessed it. I'm being 
Transfered.
I'm leaving my beautiful wonderful special Slagelse. Wahhhhhhhhhhhhh.
For lack of a better way to express my emotions....
WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
I love this place and I never want to leave! I don't want to leave my best friend/ BEST COMPANION EVER sweet Sister Grant. I don't want to leave all my grandmas and grandpas and parents and brothers and sisters and best friends here in the Slagelse menighed. I don't want to leave my investigators who I've come to LOVE soooooo much. I don't want to leave my adorable apartment or my cobblestone street or my perfect European storybook town.

Saying goodbye to Slagelse has been even harder than saying goodbye to St George 8 months ago... Because this isn't just "ok see you later, I'll be back someday." Its "so long, farewell, goodbye."
I started feeling really super down for a few days! Because I kept thinking about how as soon as I move away I'll just become another one of the missionaries thats come and gone. Soon to be forgotten.... 

But then on Sunday in Relief Society, Hanne- one of my Danish moms- gave me a nice little farewell tribute.

And then she choked up and she started to cry.

And then I started to cry. 

Because it was a tender reminder that I really have made a difference here. 
And I really needed that.

So yesterday was my last Sunday at church here! It seriously still feels like my very first Sunday at church was just yesterday! Except yesterday my first Sunday I could barely understand a single word. 
And yesterday my last Sunday I was asked to translate
Yesterday my first Sunday I looked around at the faces of so many strangers.
And yesterday my last Sunday I looked around at the faces of my family.

I feel so blessed to have been here for 6 whole months. That's a third of my mission! Its been the best time of my life.
Slagelse will always be the most special corner of the globe to me. 
Here in this town I've come to know my Savior Jesus Christ. I've turned to Him. I've followed Him. I've walked with Him. He's strengthened me. He's held my hand. He's carried me. Here in this place I've witnessed His miracles. I've seen His hand. I've felt His presence and His love. 

Slagelse is my Sacred Grove. My holy ground. My home.

While my heart hurts and feels so heavy, I somehow feel OK too. Its time for me to go. I've done my work here. And on Wednesday morning I get to go somewhere new! To meet more wonderful people who will change my life while I'm trying to influence theirs. 
I'm going to serve in Frederiksberg, AKA the heart and center of COPENHAGEN!!

I've always dreamed about living in a big city! My whole life I've always dreamed about moving to New York or San Francisco or Boston.... well Copenhagen is even better! I'm really excited for the experiences that are ahead, and I know I'm going where the Lord needs me. 

So this week I was really reminded that this isn't about me. Its not about what I want or what I think is best. It's about the Lord. And His will. Because He knows whats best.

I think that that's something we could all remember more at Christmas time... that its not about us. 
Just like President Monson said in the Christmas Devotional,
"Giving, not getting, brings to full bloom the Christmas spirit... Our celebration of Christmas should be a reflection of the love and selflessness taught by the Savior."

If you didn't have a chance to see the Christmas Devotional.... here you go!
Merry Christmas.

I love you guys.
I hope you have a wonderful week baking Christmas cookies and singing Christmas carols and watching all those good Christmas movies! Remember that 
"We find the real joy of Christmas when we make the Savior the focus of the season."
-good old Thomas S.Monson

XOXO
Sister Rogers



 
 Merry Christmas!

December 9, 2013

fireworks pioneers and jews

My mission has been full of unforgettably interesting excitement.
Tornadoes and vikings and hurricanes and stalkers.....
Guess what added itself to the list this week....

Sister Grant and I had just enjoyed a cozy evening eating dinner with our favorite Danish grandparents Hans and Ulla (oh p.s. they said to tell you all hello!) and we were then on our way home. We thought we'd take the shorter route so that we could get to our next appointment on time. So we were in the middle of this sketchyyyy neighborhood when a massive explosion interrupted our pleasant conversation about Christmas traditions and future families, sending the two of us jumping 6 feet into the air! We had no idea what the sound was, all we knew was that we wanted the heck out of there! 

30 seconds later.... BOOM!!! another terrifying explosion right across the street from us.

15 seconds later.... 
FIERY EXPLOSIVE FLYING THROUGH THE AIR straight towards my companion and me!!!

I said a few words I had to repent of as a fire bomb exploded 2 feet behind me and my survival instincts kicked in.

DEAD SPRINT. 
007 status DEAD SPRINT.

Those early morning jogs we'd been going on paid off as we BOLTED down the street through what felt like World War 3 as some dumb kids continued to throw fireworks at us. We sought shelter in the grocery store at the end of the block until Tina and Francesco came to our rescue.

Lifelong lesson learned:
Never take the shorter route. Stay on the straight and narrow.

Well aside from illegal fireworks nearly blowing my right leg off, this week has been pretty good!
We got to go to Copenhagen for a big missionary zone conference. Followed by a Christmas feast and a MOVIE NIGHT.
We are so spoiled.
Have you ever seen the movie Ephraim's Rescue? Of course you haven't you're all too busy watching the new Hunger Games movie and Thor 2 and The Grinch who stole Christmas.... 
Well I may not be the best movie critic, considering the only movie I've watched in the past EIGHT MONTHS is the 25 minute long Restoration film.... but even for all of you non missionary people I think Ephraim's Rescue would be a nice movie to watch if you're ever bored on a Sunday afternoon :) It was soooooo good. 
The pioneers are SO inspiring. They suffered and starved and froze and watched each other die as they faithfully trekked to Zion. 
And to think that sometimes I feel hungry and cold and want to go back to my cozy apartment early....
Those faithful pioneers inspire me to work harder and be stronger and do better.

Side note:
Oh my heck. There was one part of the movie when the pioneer girl and the cuuuuuuuuuute pioneer boy KISS.
And holy cow the air in that room full of name-tagged missionaries just filled ALL the way up with aca-awkwardness!
Just imagine 60 missionaries watching a kissing scene on a big screen.....
funniest thing ever.

Speaking of awkward. and speaking of cuuuuuute boys.....

Sister Grant and I knocked on a door the other day. And my heart skipped a beat when thee CUTEST Danish man I've ever seen answered the door. I tried to ask him if we could share a Christmas message with him....

In my head I was thinking "oh my heck he is thee CUTEST Danish man I've ever seen I should've put mascara on this morning dang it I hope my hair isn't looking toooo Hermione-ish today..." 
and then instead of saying "Christmas message" (Julebudskab) I accidentally said "Jewish message" (Jødebudskab).

Well I guess the cute Danish man didn't want to hear about Hanukkah and menorahs and dreidels, because He told us his dog doesn't like to have guests....
Burn.

We almost got blown off the next few porches and everybody told us we were CRAZY to be out with a HURRICANE on the way. (yes we had another hurricane this week. it blew all the Christmas trees away.)

Well I'm gonna go hit the mall and find myself a warm coat. In case Denmark decides to be colder than St George this week... 
it hasn't even snowed here yet!! Lame. 

Here's a few lines from The Sound of Music to inspire you all this week...

"A bell is no bell till you ring it,
A song is no song till you sing it,
And love in your heart wasn't put there to stay-
Love isn't love till you give it away."

Jeg elsker jer! Har en dejlig uge.
XOXO
Søster Rog
 
 Study time
 I got to go on splits this week with my trainer! I love Søster Hays!
 we didn't have time to go grocery shopping this week.....
 Zone conference in Copenhagen
 

December 2, 2013

Happy December!

We had this District goal to all do something that scares us and to overcome the fear.
I took the challenge pretty seriously...
Yesterday I did TWO things that TERRIFIED me.

#1. I killed a spider.
Did you hear that Dad??!! I KILLED A SPIDER.
I was putting on my mascara, minding my own Sunday morning business. When out of the corner of my eye I saw an 8 legged creature creeping across the wall. And to my horror, my companion was in the shower!! Wahhhhh.
So you know what I did? I grabbed a sock. And I squished that edderkop. 
I hope you're all proud.

#2 was even scarier though...
There are only two members in our ward who can play the piano. And guess what... neither of them came to church on Sunday.
So guess who played the piano for sacrament meeting.
Yup... yours truly.
Songs I'd never tried to play before. On less than a moments notice. While the whole congregation sang.
Thanks for putting me in piano lessons Mom! I didn't even mess up too bad.

Well I wouldn't say that those fears are overcome or conquered.... but definitely one baby step closer :)

It was a crazy busy week, the last week of November.
And now I'm never going to be a missionary in the month of November ever again!! Oh man.
I just want to tell you guys that 
I LOVE my life.
I especially love my Danish missionary life.

We celebrated Thanksgiving with the missionaries in our District, and we had a really awesome feast.
This is what the dinner table looked like:

    7 layer dip and chips
    crepes
    sloppy joes
    cinnamon rolls
    corn chowder
    ice cream
    and mine and sister g's attempt at a pie.

Just your typical traditional Thanksgiving feast. Hahaa.

On Friday night Sister Grant and I stopped at the supermarket to buy a frozen pizza on our way home for dinner. Because we were exhausted from a long week of missionary work and didn't feel like cooking any food. On our way out of the store one of the workers said "Have a good weekend!"
I was offended for 2 reasons. One- he automatically assumed I was American and spoke English. Boooo.
and Two- He wished us a happy weekend. Which the world weekend doesn't even exist to me these days.....
Then again, Friday night cheese pizza with my rockin almost-not-green-anymore comp was the closest thing I've had to a good "weekend" in a decently long time! 

But anyways... the point of that pointless story was just to lead into my next story...
When we left the supermarket- frozen pizzas in hand- the whole town was outside, making their way toward the center of the town square. Grand and I were curious what all the hustle and bustle was about, so we followed the shivering crowd.

Children all bundled up in hats and scarves and coats were all perched on their Dads shoulders as everybody circled around a gigantic tree.
"Ti! Otte! Ni!" a count down began.... "Tre! To! En!!!" 
The giant tree magically lit up! Along with other strings of sparkling lights twisting all over the cobblestone streets. A bunch of kids dressed up as Santa started playing Christmas carols on their trumpets and flutes and clarinets, as a little train gave people rides all around the town square.

IT WAS SO MAGICAL.

I felt like I'd walked straight into Who-ville. Or even the North Pole itself.
Ohhhh its going to be a dejligt Christmas here in my snow globe country called Denmark.

Christmas is the BEST time.
The best time to bake cookies.
The best time to tell your family and friends how much you love them. And to show them too.
The best time to send handwritten letters in the mail to your favorite missionary :)
The best time to share the gospel.

The best time to remember why its the best time.
the best time to remember the Savior. And to learn more about Him. And to become more like Him.

In my own search to become more like Jesus, I decided I want to read the New Testament. Particularly the four gospels. Because I've never actually gone through and read it all before, and those books are packed full of Jesus Christ's life and ministry and words and miracles. 
As I began turning the pages of my Bible, the stories of Jesus unfolded in a way they never have before. I followed the Savior as He healed the sick and raised the dead and helped every single person in need.
Miracle after miracle after miraculous miracle.
Back to back to back.
Tears flowing down my cheeks....
Christ's loving kindness never ever ever ceased.
And it still doesn't.... He is just as much alive TODAY as He was then! He works just as many miraculous miracles and He loves US just as much.

Isn't that Amazing???

Suddenly it hit me like a ton of bricks. or a train. 
That I'm here in the place of the Savior. I'm here to do and to say what He Himself would do and say, if He were personally visiting the very people to whom He has sent me. 
I've been thinking about that a lot this week... If I can show the same unfailing unrestrained loving kindness that Jesus Christ showed, then my time here will be SO much better spent.
I'm not just talking about my time here in Denmark, but my time here on earth. 

As I've been focusing on the Lord's will a little more sincerely with a deeper desire to truly do what He Himself would do, my days have been so much more productive and so much more meaningful. 
The phone has been ringing and my planner has filled itself up. With people to visit and comfort and serve and bless and help.
Back. To back. To back.

I'm learning to not only follow the Savior, but to walk beside Him.

He lives.

We don't have to wait until the next life to meet Him! 
He lives today. Right now.
So get to know Him. Follow Him. Walk with Him.

The December month is such a special time. Remember the reason for the Season. 
I hope we can all become closer to the Savior Jesus Christ throughout this December month, and always.  

As you spend the next few weeks trying to think of the perfect Christmas gift, remember that the gift of God's Son was the greatest gift of all.
And its a gift you can give too.....
Its a gift you can give by the way that you live.

I love you all!
Have a great week. And a great weekend too :)
Happy December!!!

xoxo,
Søster Rogers
 Black Friday :)
 A Christmas Elf (AKA Tina) decorated our front door on the first day of December! Aw.

                                         there are street signs that say FART all over this country!
                                                               (translation= speed)
                                                                      Ha. Ha. Haaa.
 Welcome to my Christmas town.

November 25, 2013

Taksigelse

"Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever." (Alma 26:37)

Last night Sister G and I were walking through town, and as I was walking past the cute storybook houses I couldn't help but glance inside all the glowing windows... So many homes full of moms and dads and grandparents and children and friends all gathered around warm candle lit tables.
Meanwhile, I'm walking down the dark street with frozen ears and frozen toes, a million miles from my own warm home. 
It's easy to miss home this time of year.

But how blessed am I, to have something that I miss so much....

I'm thankful for all of the reasons I have to miss home.
I'm so thankful for my family who I love more than life and who's love I can feel from oceans away.
     For my strong dad who's testimony and love motivates me to be strong and work hard and be better.
     For my beautiful mom who uplifts and inspires me with every aspect of the woman that she is.
     For my brothers and sisters who have made my life so much more colorful, and who I get to be best friends with for eternity.
I'm so thankful for all of my incredible friends! (And especially the ones who actually write me :)
For the house my dad built and the home my family created.
For the mountains that decorate the horizon of all of my cherished memories. 
And for those cherished memories. That are stashed in every corner of my red dirt town.

But I'm also incredibly thankful for all the reasons I have to be so far away....
I'm so thankful for the Gospel. And everything its done for me.
For the strength I receive from the Lord everyday.
For the peace and hope that I find from knowing my purpose in this life and in eternity.
For my Savior Jesus Christ. For His example. His atonement. and His presence
And for the constant love that I feel from God, who is my Father.
I'm thankful for all of the ways He reminds me that He loves me...
     Like waking up to a beautifully painted sunrise.
     Or like flipping through the Book of Mormon to find a perfect answer to an unspoken prayer. (Which book itself is the greatest            evidence of His love, and the greatest thing to be thankful for.)
     Or the fact that He called me to the best mission on earth....

I am so thankful for my mission!

I'm thankful for this beautiful country with its special atmosphere and unique culture, and how its becoming a part of everything I am.
I'm thankful for the chance I have to learn one of the most difficult (and in my opinion most beautiful) languages in the world. Even though there are only a handful of people on the whole planet who actually speak it.......
I'm so thankful for the opportunity I have to serve the Danish people, and to share with them the most cherished thing in my life.
I'm thankful that I'm able to help others find and build and strengthen their testimonies. And I'm thankful that my own testimony continues to grow exponentially along the way. 
I'm thankful for the good times that I'll remember for the rest of my life.
And I'm thankful for the hard times that make the good times even better and make me even stronger.

I'm thankful for the little things and the big things that make all the dark danish days a little bit brighter...
     Like my sweet companion/best friend/sister Søster Madison Grant, and how patient she is with my guitar-playing tomatosoup-craving totally imperfect self! And that instead of wandering in this foreign country all alone I get to explore it with the most genuine, loving, hard working, easy to be around, most adorable girl I've ever been so lucky to meet.
     And for my perfume that smells just like my mom.
     And the pumpkin candle that smells just like my house.
     And my wool tights and mittens and scarves that keep me a little bit warmer.
     And for the handwritten letters that sometimes find their way to my little pink apartment.

I'm especially thankful for all of the incredible incredible people the Lord has been so kind to place in my life over the past 8 months! 
From my inspiring teachers and leaders and family of missionaries back in the MTC, to my two awesome companions and all the ward members and investigators I had the special privilege of getting to know in St. Louis, Missouri. 
And for the wonderful people here in Denmark. Who have welcomed me into their homes and adopted me into their families. Who have shown me sooo much love and friendship that I often forget how far away my own family is.

I'm SO thankful for my mission.

For the 228 days full of trials and blessings and struggles and miracles spilling out of the pages of my journals.
And for the 319 days full of lessons to be learned and memories to be made and stories waiting to be written.

I love you all so much. I hope you know how thankful I am for you! For your love and support and your testimonies and your prayers.
I hope you have the best Thanksgiving ever. Eat twice as much turkey and two pieces of pumpkin pie for me ok??
JEG ELSKER JER.
xoxo,
Søster Rogers

"To express gratitude is gracious and honorable, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven." President Thomas S. Monson (thanks for the awesome quote Mom!)

"I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another-
I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another- I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants." (Mosiah 2:20-21)

 
:)
So fun to see the kitchen where all the magic happens! :) 
Thank you Grant Family for posting. :)

November 18, 2013

Six years ago today. I sat in the hospital room when my beautiful baby sister took her very first breath. It was the most beautiful miracle. My cute sister has always been so special to me. I can't believe its been 6 whole years! I can't imagine life without her.
 I LOVE YOU ABSTER! More than I love Denmark and more than I love pumpkin pie. Tillykke med din Fødselsdag!  

WHAT a week!

On Tuesday Søster Grant and I left our apartment at 7AM in our sweatpants to go catch a train to Copenhagen. We were supposed to meet up with the missionaries from all over Sjælland to play some Thanksgiving American football.... but instead we stood at a bus stop in the rain for 45 minutes waiting for a bus that never decided to come. Bummmmmerrrrrrr. But on the bright side we got to travel in our sweats :) Highlight of my life. Sweats are like my long lost best friend.... forcefully replaced by skirts and tights. I have a feeling we'll be inseparable when we're reunited again in 10.5 months time.

But even better than being reunited with my sweatpants was being reunited with all the other missionaries. I LOVE big zone trainings and conferences and activities. Because it really reminds me that I'm not alone. I'm a part of a huge ARMY of missionaries and we are all fighting this same battle together. There are over 80,000 warriors in God's army of missionaries. Isn't that crazy?! Gives me goosebumps.
After our missionary training we got to have a THANKSGIVING FEAST. We're talking turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes and yams and pumpkin pie and everything in between! And we ate until we never needed to eat again. Home sweeeet home.

On Wednesday our plans fell through.... so we decided to bake some cookies to bring to one of our less active friends, even though she is almost neverrrr home. (she works full time AND is in school full time). But even though there was prob only a 5% chance of finding anybody home, we took a chance and took the 30 minute bus ride to her house. Because it felt like the right thing to do.

It was.

Not only was Karin home, but so was her nonmember husband. They welcomed us in and told us how it was a great coincidence, because we caught them in the middle of the only 2 hours they'd be home together before 10pm the whole week. We had a nice hyggeligt chat about Denmark and America and Harry Potter and other normal people things. I could tell Karin was nervous when we asked if we could share a scripture with them... (previously she'd told us how she has a hard time bringing up the gospel with her husband and that she didn't know if he'd ever be open to talk with missionaries...) But he was totally open to it! We shared a scripture and bore testimony of Jesus Christ. Karin testified too, and the Spirit was SO strong. After a closing prayer, her husband said he'd love to have us come back sometime! I was DYING. Karin walked us to the door and the look in her eyes changed my life. "Thank you. Thank you SO much. THANK you" she whispered to me as she gave me the worlds tightest hug. I walked out of the apartment building with tear drops falling down my face and an overfull heart. As I thought back on the whole experience I realized that it all went back to when our original plans had fallen through. Sometimes the Lord has to pull a few strings to get us where He needs us to be.

I don't believe in "coincidence."
I believe in the Lord.
I believe that "the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith" (1 Nephi 1:20)
and I believe in miracles.

Lots of other good things happened this week too. 
One day we biked out to our friend Hanne's house so she could help us with our language study. Nobody knows Danish like a Dane! Her house might be my very favorite little corner of the whole planet earth. She lives in a little cottage with a thatched roof at the end of a long bumpy road lined with towering trees. It looks like it belongs to Snow White. So hyggeligt. And Hanne is teaching me how to knit! So we practice Danish while knitting and drinking steaming cups of vanilla tea. 
Best hour of my week.

Except for I had a lot of "Best hour of my week"s this week.....

Like our lesson with Ghulam. He is SO great and has the kindest heart. Towards the end of our lesson I was telling him he could ring to us if he ever needed help or anything. He said "I know. I have 'Rogers' on my phone under 'family.'"
I wanted to cry. I love cute Ghulam.
Who would ever have thought I'd be best friends with a 60 year old Muslim man?

Another one of the best hours was when we met up with our rockin investigator Bettina. She handed me a wrapped up package and when I tore away the green paper I found a  heart shaped chocolate cake. She said "Its because you have a heart of gold." Haha! I think it would've been more fitting to say that I have a heart made of chocolate.... more accurate too! But oh my heck she is the sweetest ever. Did I mention that she doesn't know ANY English? We can sit and talk with each other for an hour or two with no problems! Sometimes I forget how cool that is.

But one of the very very best hours of the week began with our morning prayer on Saturday morning. It was Sister Grants turn to pray- she was praying for some of the less active members that we are working with, and when she asked Heavenly Father to belss Christa and let us know what we can do to help her, the thought came to me like a neon sign in the middle of the desert that we needed to visit Christa. Not even 10 seconds later, our prayer was interrupted by the phone ringing. Usually I'll silence it until we finish praying, but when I glanced at the caller ID and saw none other than Christa's name, we paused the prayer and answered the phone. Christa said she needed help. I said we'll be there in 20 minutes. We finished our morning prayer and then forgoed our studies as we threw on our coats and scarves and headed straight to sweet Christa's house. Turns out she just needed us to take her trash out and get her mail from the mail box. (She lives on the 5th floor and has a hard time climbing all those stairs.) 
But really, I think the trash and mail was just an excuse. Just a reason to have us come over. What she really needed was a little bit of friendship and a lot of love. I was soo happy that she knew she could call us. When we walked back home after visiting with her for about an hour, I felt like I'd made a difference in the world by making a difference in her day.

Sometimes love is the best service you can give.

Christ, of course, is the perfect example of selfless love. One of my favorite scriptures is 1 Nephi 19:9...
"And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught, wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it, and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yeah, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men."

That's what love is. Putting others before yourself. 
I hope we can all be more selfless, all show more kindness, all share more charity and love.

"Happiness doesn't result from what we get, but from what we give." -Ben Carson

Love really is the best thing we can give. Remember that this week.
And remember that I love you all so much! 

XOXOXOXOXO
 Søster Rogers

 polka dots
I guess you could say we've missed each other...

November 11, 2013

Walk in the Light

This week.
I met Jesus!!! And by Jesus I mean Thomas Kofoed AKA the man who plays Christ in all the newer church films. (He is Danish and lives in Copenhagen.) That was #1 on my mission bucket list and I checked it off on my 7th monthiversary. Looks like my 7th month is gonna be a lucky one :)
Ohh my goodness though, it was SUCH a neat experience to meet him. Thomas is so cool. He has such a good spirit and an incredible presence. He makes you feel special. He has kindness and love pouring out of his countenance. I'm pretty sure that's close to how it will be to really meet the Savior. (except multiplied by 12000....)

Well that's how I want to be when people meet me.

Its great because as a mission we are studying Christlike attributes this month. Get your hands on a PMG book and flip to chapter 6. page 115. Its the best part of the whole book. Read it. Read it twice. Study it. Ponder it. It ROCKS.
At the beginning of His mortal ministry, Jesus Christ walked along the shore of the Sea of Galilee and called out to two fishermen, Peter and Andrew- "Follow me." The invitation to follow Christ is an invitation to follow Him and to become like Him. Through His perfect example, He has shown us the way.

As a missionary, I am a literal representative of the Lord. I wear His name on my chest every day, everywhere I go, for everyone to see. Everything I do, everything I say, everything I am represents the Savior. (no pressure...) 
But that didn't start back on April 10th and it definitely won't end along with my missionary days. You don't have to have a little black name tag with Christ's name on it to represent Him. As disciples of Jesus Christ, His name should be engraved on our hearts, shining through our countenance, always evident in our character.

David A. Bednar said that "Character refers to moral qualities strongly developed, strikingly displayed, and consistently lived." The qualities and attributes we should strive to develop and display and live in order to be like Jesus are faith, hope, charity and love, virtue, knowledge, patience, humility, diligence, and obedience.

Studying these attributes and seeking to apply them and incorporate them into my daily life has really made me realize how far from perfect I am! I have SO many weaknesses. SO much to improve on. SO many things that I could do SO much better.
But before I got too discouraged, I learned that learning to be like Christ is a lifelong pursuit. You follow Christ's example and develop His attributes one action and one decision at a time. And the atonement of Jesus Christ provides us the ability to infinitely do better and become better. He's shown us the way! He is the light and life of the world. "The Lord, the King of Heaven" has promised that "I will be a light unto them forever, that hear my words" (2 nephi 10:14). 

Speaking of light... I'm learning pretty quickly about how miserable darkness is! First of all, the sun starts setting here at 4:00! Its crazy! Then one day our lamp burned out. A few days later our bedroom light went out. The next day our bathroom light died. There isn't even a light at all in our kitchen... so we were down to one tiny little light in our whole apartment! Its a pretty big problem, especially with the winter darkness creeping in at 4:00 in the afternoon! For a few days we were taking dark showers and carrying our little light back and forth between the different rooms and squinting at our scriptures and tripping down the dark stairs on the way out the door. Then in Helaman 13:29, Samuel the Lamanite called me foolish and said "How long will you choose darkness rather than light?"

So we finally got some new light bulbs. And life is so much better.

Moral of the story: 
"Let us walk in the light of the Lord." (2 Nephi 12:5)
Don't choose darkness when you can walk in the light.

Are you ready for the best news of the week?!
FRANCESCO IS GOING TO BE BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!
Sister Grant and I jumped up and down and hugged each other 17 times and cried and prayed and hugged each other again after we got back from our lesson with Francesco on Thursday. We had just had a nice little lesson about fasting, and then out of the blue Francesco asked us how soon he could be baptized. IT WAS THE BEST THING EVER! We talked about the things he still needs to learn and do to be ready, and then he chose April 12th as the special day. Just the thought of him in his baptism white walking into the water brings tears to my eyes.

Its been a wonderful week. 

I hope everything is wonderful in your lives too! 
If its not, turn on the light. Turn up the light. Carry it with you everywhere. Share it with others. 

All this talk of light reminds me of the 2002 winter Olympics, when I was a Child of Light...
"Have no fear, when darkness calls, 
'cause there's a light that shines within us all.
Although this world can turn so cold, 
when we reach inside we find our warmth.
'Cause there's a flame that burns in every heart, 
And its the will we have, that lights the spark...

Once in every lifetime there's a chance to stand apart
We can show the world our very best, reveal whats in our heart
So the story goes and glory never will end
Inspiration lights the fire within.

And if we fall, we won't stay down.
We will get back up and use the strength we've found.
And we will rise like champions
every obstacle we'll overcome.

And if we stay strong, then our hearts will move us on."

We have once in a lifetime chances every single day! To walk in the light and to share it.
So grab every single opportunity you have! Exercise faith, have hope, be charitable. Show love to your friends and family and everyone around you. Be virtuous, be patient, be humble. Be diligent and obedient in all that you do. 
Jesus Christ is the light of the world. As we strive to follow His example and develop His attributes, we will become more like Him, and we'll always have His light to guide us. 

And we'll fill the world with that light.

Jeg elsker jer. TTYL.
xoxo MKH,
Søster Breanna Rogers


 In the car with Tina and Francesco


 Thomas Kofoed in the tan suit

November 4, 2013

Hurricanes in Denmark.... & Go out and serve!

Hi guys! Don't worry, I'm alive!
You probably weren't worried...... but you probably didn't know there was a HURRICANE last week.
Last Pday we met up with the elders at the church to celebrate Halloween. We were going to carve jack-o-lanterns, except we all forgot to buy pumpkins. But I made chilli just like my mom does every year on Halloween. And we all made sugar cookies and frosted them with orange frosting. Meanwhile there was a massive storm brewing outside... We looked out the window to see furious wind blowing trees down and tossing all sorts of things up into the air. All the ward members started calling us and telling us to be careful, and then we got a message from President saying that it was too dangerous and he didn't want anybody going outside for the rest of the day. It was an Elf con 5 out there! The buses stopped running and so did the trains and the 5 of us missionaries were stranded in the church building for SEVEN hours. We played the piano and guitar and sang songs and told stories around an invisible campfire wile the storm was busy destroying things outside. My imagination went a little wild and I was worried we might be trapped forever with nothing to eat but sugar cookies and nothing to do but read hymn books and church manuals.... but the storm calmed down eventually and we were able to go home.

Despite the hurricane and the rain storms and the bitter cold wind, its been a really good week here in Denmark! 
We went out for ice cream with our investigator Bettina on Tuesday. It went really well and she was so excited for us to teach her about the Plan of Salvation the next day. Which is why we were completely shocked when we got a text message the next morning saying she couldn't do this anymore.... She was too stressed and overwhelmed and canceled our lesson and said she didn't know if she could meet with us again. We got dropped. And we were soooo sad! Sister Grant and I prayed for her all week. 
And then guess who showed up to church yesterday??!! Ok not only did Bettina come to church, SHE SHARED HER TESTIMONY in sacrament meeting!! Well it was definitely more of a thankimony but it was so great I wanted to cry. 
There is power in prayer. God really is there.

We also had a wonderful lesson with our Italian investigator Francesco. He has changed so much since we started teaching him and its been AMAZING to see how the gospel has truly brought a new light into his life and his eyes. I don't even speak the same language as Francesco! And he is 50 years old. Yet I feel like he is one of my best friends... Its wonderful how the gospel brings people together. Because we really are one family. 
Also, Francesco makes incredible Italian food. that man should open a restaurant, his pasta is to die for! And he always gives us heaping plates of gourmet food that weigh as much as I do. He said its so I won't be able to fit on the plane and have to stay here in Denmark forever....
good thing we don't eat dinner with them every day, or else that definitely might come true.

One of the questions I hear a lot as a missionary is "why do bad things happen to good people?" or "if there really is a God and he really loves us, why does he let so many bad things happen?" Well I read a really good talk by Henry B Eyring this week and he answered those questions better than I've ever been able to before. President Eyring explained how "the Lord's way to help those in temporal need requires people who out of love have consecrated themselves and what they have to God and to His work." Heavenly Father hears the prayers of His children around the world, and His way of helping them is through us. He has invited and commanded us to participate in His work to lift up those in need. That is why it is so vital that we serve each other! 
So ask yourself- 

Have I done any good in the world today? 
Have I helped anyone in need? 
Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad?
If not I have failed indeed...
Has anyone's burden been lighter today 
Because I was willing to share? 
Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way?
When they needed my help was I there?

This week I want to challenge you to do something good in the world. Help someone in need. I know that "the Lord sends the Holy Ghost to make it possible to "seek , and ye shall find" in caring for others just as He does in finding truth." Pray for opportunities to serve. Heavenly Father will lead you to those who need you. 

Happy November everybody!
I'm thankful for the gospel. I'm thankful for the opportunity I have to be in this wonderful country and serve such wonderful people. I'm thankful for the warm apartment I get to go hide in from the Hurricane that's coming again today.
I'm thankful for all of you!
Have a GREAT week. Jeg elsker jer.
MKH
Søster Rogers

October 28, 2013

I've never been so happy about daylight savings in my entire life. I got to sleep in a whole extra hour yesterday!!! It was wonderful. And MUCH needed. This past week has been exhausting.

Its like when you are in high school. or college. or anywhere in life I suppose.... and some weekends there is absolutely NOTHING to do because all of your friends are out of town or on dates or whatever, and so you end up staring at the wall/ watching a chick flick all by yourself. And then there are other weekends when everyyyybody wants to hang out and there are 3 different parties and you get asked on 2 different dates and your friends are going hot tubbing and there's a huge movie premier and you just wish that you could be in 12 places at once! 

Haha. It happens in missionary work too. This week Sister Grant and I were SO busy that we couldn't even make it to half of what we wanted to! I blame it on the ward members..... this week our ward mission leader asked the members of our ward to pray for me and Sister Grant and the elders in our ward by name every day. Holy cow. It made a difference! A huuuge one. So if you want to make a difference in missionary work, pray for the missionaries in your ward. Pray for them by name. Pray for their investigators too!
Thank you for all the prayers you pray for me! I can truly feel so many prayers coming my way and it really makes a world of difference. THANK YOU.

So one day we were on our way to go visit our friend Simin. She is about to leave on her mission to Boise, Idaho! I'd never gone to her dad's house before, and we got a little lost trying to find the address. So I started asking people if they knew where this street was, but nobody knew. And some of them were kind of mean... (they must have thought I wanted to preach to them or something.) Haha but there was one guy who was really nice. So nice that it started getting creepy. He didn't know the address and so we thanked him and went on our way. But 5 minutes later he came out of nowhere and had been following us! He said he wanted to come with us... we told him we had an appointment to get to and that we hoped he had a nice day. He said ok bye! and then kept following us! Like so close that I could feel him breathing on me. We tried to say goodbye like 3 or 4 more times but he just kept right on following us!! Luckily our friend Simin came and rescued us. but before she did... the big creepy man HUGGED me. alfbeiazslkfskjggggzkk I have not hugged a man in over 6 months now and I definitely did not want to break that streak with him! ahhhh. It was weird. 

Anyways. We taught a lot of great lessons this week... One day we went to visit our friend Karin, the lady that Sister Pete and I helped with her wedding reception 2 months ago. She is a suuuper busy lady and so we were SO excited to finally get an appointment with her. It was an amazing visit! She told us how its been really hard for her with church because people aren't very accepting of her getting married in a Danish church. And that she wants to share the gospel with her husband but doesn't feel like its the right time. There were tears in her eyes that about ripped my heart out when she told us that something is missing, and she wishes the gospel could be a part of her home. She was so glad we were there to talk with her about the gospel because she hadn't had anyone to talk with in such a long time. Our visit with Karin was one of those moments where I can feel my name tag burning on my chest. Where I can feel Christ's love and feel with my whole soul that I am His instrument in that precise moment. It was amazing. We shared one of my favorite Mormon message videos with her, about having courage and being strong and living your testimony. 
you should all check it out too. 

One day we walked like 5 miles through wind and rain to try and stop by an inactive woman. When we got there her daughter answered the door and said her mom was unavailable. We talked with the daughter for a minute- she said she grew up in the church and was active her whole life, but she has no interest anymore because the church just isn't for her. THAT MADE ME SO SAD!!  Its the worst thing ever when people who had the truth turn away from it. It seems like that happens soooo much and I hate it. Its scary! Its especially scary that so many returned-missionaries go inactive. My current-missionary self wonders how that even happens. How could someone who has served a mission and has thus seen the hand of the Lord every single day and has seen miracles happen as they watch the gospel change people for the better and bring so much happiness into people's eyes and lives.... turn away from that? 

Well it happened in the Book of Mormon too. there were people who literally saw Heaven's angels and huge incredible miracles, and then turned again to wickedness. But as I've been thinking about that and why/how it happened, I've realized that it never happened to those that were truly converted. Those that were truly converted, converted without needing to witness miracles and see angels, they endeared to the end. It must be the same today too... That's why it is so so important to be truly converted, to have your own testimony and continually nourish and strengthen it, to exercise and show your faith every day. 

One day we were talking with a less active member who served a mission. She said it was so much easier to read/study the scriptures and pray back then on her mission than it is now, because now she has so many other things to worry about like work and school and marriage and family etc etc etc. True- as a missionary your scripture study is a scheduled activity of every single day. But back in the normal world, all those things- work and school and marriage and family etc etc etc- give us all the more reason to need it. We need the guidance and strength and protection and spirit that we receive through scripture study and prayer if we are going to endure to the end and not fall away. 

I have the most rockin dad ever and this is what he told me in his letter this week about this very subject.
"It happens even to the best members, with generations of members behind them for support, up to our newest convert members. It all starts with a distancing from the small, simple things. They forget the most essential tools we have to keep us closer to the gospel path.... It's easy to miss a Sunday meeting or two, then before you know it, you are on the ward rescue plan. The adversary doesn't succeed with getting people to make one BIG error, but through a series of choices, complacency, and indifference, he can distance us a bit at a time, from the spirit, which is our guide and companion in helping us stay nearer to God. Once we have lost its companionship, or no longer can feel its closeness and promptings, Satan wins."

Read your scriptures! Say your prayers! Go to church! I don't want to lose any of you guys! Satan is stepping up his game so you've got to step yours up too. 

Yesterday was the primary program in sacrament meeting for our ward. It brought tears to my eyes as I watched the cutest little Danish children bear their sweet testimonies and sing the primary songs. The same exact songs that I grew up singing, and that my beautiful little sister is singing back home right now. 

Jeg er Guds kære barn, og han har sendt mig her, har givet mig et jordisk hjem, med far og mor så kær. Led mig, før mig, gå du med mig, hjælp at finde vej. Lær mig, hvad jeg gøre må, for hjem til Gud at nå.

They don't celebrate Halloween in Denmark but today we are gonna be Americans and carve pumpkins. 
I hope you all have a great week! Send me pics of your costumes and jack-o-lanterns. 
JEG ELSKER JER.