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June 24, 2013

The hastening

Hundreds of years ago, the Danish King (King Christian the somethingth) was afraid of magic, and so all of the "witches" were burned alive. Now the Danes have a whole holiday based on this gruesome piece of history! Every year on the midsummer solstice, they burn witches (definitely dolls and not real people this time! ha.) to symbolize destroying evil and warding off dark spirits as the days are about to grow darker and the nights are about to grow longer. So yesterday was witch burning day! We sat around 3 big fires outside of a beautiful cottage in the middle of the countryside, while our dinner hosts told us all about ancient Danish traditions, and how the red and white flag floated down from heaven, and all about the culture and old Danish fairytales...
"Legend has it that the elverpiges (human sized magical fairies with holes in their backs...) come out of their hillsides (which are huge viking burial mounds) on June 23rd every year. Their beautiful dancing entrances the young men, and once an elverpige gets a man to dance with her, they don't stop dancing for 100 years............"

And then the two grandpas ranted for twenty minutes straight about why Denmark is the very best country in the world. And I sat there and smiled because with my whole heart I absolutely agree. Denmark is the BEST.

When I first got my mission call and I'd tell people I was going to Denmark, the response was always something like "Oh that will be a hard mission. Just remember that you're planting seeds!" Well, they were right about one thing. It is a hard mission. One of the first things that Google told me was that Danes are very private and don't like to talk to people about their religious beliefs.
BUT, the first thing the Prophet told me was that I could go on my mission at age nineteen. And now there are thousands of sister missionaries and thousands more young men serving too. Because the Lord is hastening His work. Its true. "The field is white already to harvest." Its not time to plant seeds anymore. Its time to harvest.

On Tuesday morning we took the train into Copenhagen for a big zone conference. President Sederholm (COOLEST guy ever) told us that there are "elect in every city." More than we can even teach. "And ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect, for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts." (D&C 29:7) I was overwhelmed by the Spirit as it testified to me that it was true. There are so many people ready to receive the gospel. We just have to find them. Zone conference lit my missionary heart on fire! When we headed back to the train station I knew there would be somebody there that I needed to teach. And right when I stepped onto the train I found her. The cutest young mom with the cutest little baby. I said "Hvor gammel er din baby?" (How old is your baby) and it was crazy because Søster Peterson said the exact same thing to her at the exact same time. I guess we both had the same prompting! We ended up talking with her the entire train ride, and she was so sweet and eager to learn, and she was so excited when we gave her a Book of Mormon. 

Its definitely not always that easy! Sometimes people laugh at us. Sometimes they shut the door in our faces. Sometimes its stormy and the sky decides to dump buckets of rain on us. But I've learned that good things come out of every situation. If it works out, you gain happiness. And if it doesn't work out, you gain experience. 

One day it poured and poured and pourrrred rain until we were completely soaking wet. We were exhausted and drenched and our feet were soggy and sore and it seemed like all of our plans had failed and everything had gone wrong. We only had half an hour left in our work day, and the idea of going home a little bit early to dry off and warm up and make dinner was a MILLION times more appealing than knocking on another door. But we trudged up the stairs of a nice apartment building and knocked on the first door. And then we spent the next twenty minutes talking about faith and eternal families and the restoration with another young mother who the Lord had so evidently prepared. 
A few door knocks later we found another new investigator. As we stood on the doorstep and talked with yet another mother about the blessings and happiness of the restored gospel while her two kids were waiting for her to make dinner, I could feel the spirit pouring down around us. And I knew that once again we'd found someone who was prepared for us to teach.
My favorite scripture this week is Alma 13:24 where it says that "angels are declaring it unto many at this time in our land... preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word." Its absolutely true. The field is white already to harvest. The Lord is hastening His work.

Just like that rainy day here in Slagelse, sometimes our lives just seem sooo hard. Sometimes its stormy and we wonder if the clouds will ever clear. Sometimes the sky dumps buckets of rain and absolutely everything goes wrong. 
But remember that good things come out of every situation. If it works out, you gain happiness. And if it doesn't work out, you gain experience. And remember that the moment you're about to give up is usually the moment right before a miracle happens.

Jeg elsker jer!
xoxo, Søster Rogers