On April 10th my life changed forever. I was set apart as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I'm officially a MISSIONARY!!!!!
I'm not going to lie, saying goodbye to my family and my best friends, knowing I wouldn't see them again for a year and a half, was one of the hardest things I've ever done. When we were driving to the MTC it all really started sinking in, and for the first time since this whole thing started 6 months ago I started having doubts. I felt so unstable and so emotional and so uncertain and uneasy and scared. I found myself wondering what the crap I was doing and why on earth I was doing it! That's right when the Lord sent me my first tender mercy.... As we were pulling into the MTC, I looked out the car window and saw my beautiful best friend from SVU, Sister Joce Boer (she came into the MTC on April 3rd) walking right towards my car! I got to say hello to her, and it lifted my spirits SO much! Somehow I was able to find enough courage to get out of my car, say goodbye to the 7 most amazing people who I love more than life, and follow the friendly elder as he pulled my heavy suitcases and whisked me away into this world of missionary training. And IMMEDIATELY all of my doubts and fears disappeared. I felt so much peace and excitement and joy. Can I just say, the MTC is AMAZING. The most incredible place I've ever been. I'm surrounded by thousands of young people all dedicating their lives to serving the Lord. Everywhere you go, people say "hello" and "thank you" and "how are you" in a million different languages. It's the coolest thing ever! I absolute LOVE it.
So I have 2 companions. Sister Handley is a firefighter, and she is the sweetest little thing ever! The sound that our intercom makes is the same as the sound at her fire station that meant she had to go save someone's life. So every time it comes on she jumps up and wants to go save someone. She was sad one day because she really misses being a firefighter. And so I came up with this whole analogy... I told her that she still is a firefighter! We all are. Right now we're at the fire department getting ready to go save people from the worst kind of fire ever. That made her really happy, and I thought it was a pretty cool way to think about it too!
Then there's Sister Hall. She is from Virginia and she plays competitive Pokemon. Yeah. She ROCKS. One day she said "Missionary work is just like playing a game of Pokemon, because its very strategic." I love her. We are all super different from each other, but we work together really well because we all have such different insights and such different things to offer. Sometimes its hard being a triplet, because there's 3 of us to please and we're all stuck together! But it's really fun and I'm learning so much from both of them.
One of the things I miss the most is my bed..... my bed here is more like a park bench. And my blanket is more like a doormat/ rug. But I'm always EXHAUSTED so I sleep like a rock anyways. And it just makes it a ton easier to get out of bed in the morning!
The days here are suuuuuuuper long. But they go by really fast. If that makes any sense. All we do is eat, study, eat, study, eat, study, study study. It's awesome. My teacher is INCREDIBLE and I honestly can't even believe how much I've learned already! A couple months ago I got that app on my iPhone that was supposed to teach me Danish, and every time I'd get it out I'd try it for like 30 seconds and then be like YEAH RIGHT maybe tomorrow. I didn't know how I would ever be able to learn this language! But as soon as I got to the MTC, it totally turned around. I LOVVVVVE Danish! The gift of tongues is so real and I know the spirit is truly helping me to learn this language. Even though I accidentally keep thinking in French and whenever I don't know the word in Danish I accidentally say it in French.... haha. But I could pray in Danish my very first night here! and I taught in my first lesson the very next day! IN DANISH. We've taught 5 lessons now to our "investigator" named Runne. Every time we teach him I can understand more and more of what he is saying. It's sooo awesome. One of our lessons we were teaching him about prayer, and we had him read a scripture for us. He read it and then was super confused like what the crap, what does this have to do with me? Well we didn't realize until later that night that we had accidentally had him read from the wrong chapter, and since it was in Danish we didn't even realize that he was reading a scripture about war and being taken into captivity and going to battle and killing people. Instead of reading about God answering prayers. Woops! We didn't stop laughing for like ten minutes straight. Then yesterday we were teaching him again, and when we asked him to be baptized he told us that he didn't want to give up his lifestyle. But we didn't understand the word "style" in Danish so to help us understand he started dancing "gangnem style." IT WAS HILARIOUS. Teaching lessons is so fun! Even though they aren't real yet.
On Tuesday night Elder Richard G. Scott came to give us a devotional. It was SO incredible. He talked about prayer and how Heavenly father loves us and wants to hear from us. It made me think about how much it means to me to get letters in the mail from my family, and how I love hearing about their day and how they are doing and how much they love me. It really means the WORLD to me. And I'm sure that its the same way for our Heavenly Father. He loves us and he misses us and wants to hear from us! One of my favorite quotes from Elder Scotts talk was "He will not abandon you. He knows who you are. He knows what you need. He knows what He wants you to become." I know that that is true! I've never prayed more in my life than I have during these past 9 days. I know Heavenly Father is listening. I can feel Him. Sometimes my prayers are answered by the familiar face of a dear friend walking toward my in the exact moment I need extra encouragement. Sometimes my prayers are answered through the little notes of encouragement and love that I find tucked in my suitcases. God really does hear our prayers. I know He does and I know that He loves each and every one of us!!
Being here is the most incredible experience ever. Its HARD work. And I know that it's only going to get harder! I've never worked harder in my life and I've never been more exhausted. But I've never felt closer to the Savior and I've never been happier! I'm loving every second of it. I'm learning things I never could have learned and growing in ways I never even knew were possible.
I love this gospel.
I love this place.
I love this feeling.
I love the name tag that I get to wear and I love everything that it means and everything that it represents!
I LOVE being a missionary.
Remember that the Lord wants to hear from you! PRAY. Even when you don't feel like it.
And I want to hear from you too! So write me a letter. Or a Dear Elder. Those things rock.
I love you all! Jeg elsker jer!
(Don't even try to pronounce that. You've definitely got it totally & completely wrong.)
Mountains of books
Elders & Sisters all going to Denmark
2 Companions! Sister Handley, Sister Rogers, Sister Hall