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June 17, 2013

Hello from DENMARK!!!!!

This has been the most incredible week everrrr. So I'll tell you all about it.

It all started with a 9 hour flight. When I looked out the window of the airplane and got my first view of Copenhagen from 30 thousand miles up in the air, I was just dyyyyying inside. Remember when you were ten years old and you were on your way to Disneyland for the very first time? and you were so excited to finally go to that magical kingdom that you'd been dreaming about your whole life, that your tiny little heart couldn't even handle it? Yep. Thats exactly what it felt like. x1200. I was sooo excited to finally be in Denmark! To finally be in that magical kingdom that I've been dreaming about since December 28th. And let me tell you, it is so much better than I ever even imagined. 

When we got to the mission home that night, an incredible Danish feast was waiting for us. Oh man. I don't even know what half the food was... but it was all better than anything I've ever had in my life. After we had dinner and got all ready for bed, it was past ten o'clock but it looked like noon outside! Weirdest thing ever. I slept like a rock though. Until 3 am. When the sun came right back up and it looked like noon again. 

The next day was a fairytale. After enjoying a traditional Danish breakfast of fresh bread with jam and cheese (try it, its WAY good) we drove across rolling hills of green fields dotted with millions of tiny wildflowers and down cobblestone streets under a perfect sky that makes you feel like you're inside of a snow globe. IT IS SO BEAUTIFUL HERE. I feel like I just walked inside of a story book! Especially when we arrived at Frederiksborg CASTLE. We wandered through the beautiful gardens and up through the gorgeous castle and at one point I kind of just stood back for a second and realized that I was in EUROPE. Inside an ancient CASTLE. Where Kings and Queens once lived. It was the coolest thing of my life. 

We had a picnic lunch down on the castle grounds before heading into downtown Copenhagen. My mouth literally hung open as I sat and stared out the window from the back seat. Everything that I've been hearing about and everything that I've been looking at pictures of for the past six months was suddenly REAL. And Copenhagen is so much better than the pictures! And I've never seen so many bikes in my life! Google wasn't even kidding when it told me that bikes outnumber cars here!!

So next we went to the Danske Kirke where we got to see the original Christus statue and the statues of all the apostles, and then to walk around the temple. After that I got to go out with one of the trainer sisters to street contact. So here I was, walking down a cobblestone street in the middle of Copenhagen. Talking to strangers about Jesus Christ. In Danish. It was scary and super intimidating, but I was surprised at how much I could actually understand! They taught us the right language in the MTC after all :) And we placed two Book of Mormons! 

The next morning was transfer meeting, where I found out I would be serving in Slagelse with Søster Hays (my wonderful new trainer) and Søster PETERSON!!!! (my best friend from the MTC who was in the group of missionaries right before me, but stayed with my group at the MTC for the first 2 weeks because she had mono.) So yeah. I was STOKED. Slagelse is a city on the west side of Sjæland (the same island as Copenhagen) and our area covers the whole left third of the island. The AP's drove me there on Thursday afternoon to meet up with my companions and move into my new apartment. Our tiny little apartment was definitely not meant to house 3 people! We share one little closet and one little dresser and I'm pretty sure I could brush my teeth and take a shower and use the toilet all at the same time in our tiny little bathroom. But I haven't felt more at home since I left St George 9 weeks ago than I do here. Despite the street signs that I can't pronounce and despite all the foreign mysterious food and despite the strange money in my pocket and despite the fact that I'm millions of miles away from my family, I feel so at home. 

That very first night I taught my very first Danish lesson. We're working with a 12 year old Peruvian boy who is going to be baptized this Saturday. He's so cool! And he totally reminds me of my favorite 12 year old boy from back home. (I Love you Kolbster!!) That's the craziest thing, is hearing KIDS speak Danish. Especially little ones! Like 4 year olds. It's the cutest thing ever!

So the rest of the week was spent walking down quaint little streets and knocking on doors and teaching lessons and talking to people and eating the best food of my life and accidentally falling asleep at all the wrong times because my body is so confused about this whole 8 hour time difference. Going to church yesterday was such a crazy experience!! And such a huge testimony builder to me. The church is true no matter what language its in. Even if you can hardly understand anything. Its still true! They had me bare my testimony in sacrament meeting since I was a new missionary in the ward, and WOW that was intimidating!!  Seriously, this whole mission thing is the hardest thing I have ever done. Especially now that I'm in a different country trying to speak a different language. I love talking to people and I love connecting with people and getting to know them and just finding ways to make people smile. And its so frustrating and so depressing when I can't do that! The language barrier is rough. Its so so so hard. But I am so so so happy. I'm so happy to be here in this beautiful country, sharing the beautiful message of the gospel. There is no where else on earth I'd rather be and nothing else in the world I would rather be doing. Don't be afraid to share the gospel! You have a voice. So USE it. Tell people about what makes you so happy. And I promise it will make you even happier too. And you can even do it in English :)

I love you all and pray for you every day! Pray for missionary opportunities of your own. Because being a missionary really is the best thing ever.
Jeg elsker jer! TTYL.

Søster Rogers