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September 30, 2013

Family history and the spirit of Elijah

We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and hot cocoa for Sunday dinner with my adorable Danish grandparents. And they said to tell you all hi. So, Hils fra Hans og Ulla!

This week has been filled with lots of sweaters and scarves and warm tights because its starting to get suuuuper chilly! Its been a great week here in Slagelse.....

We did the best service project with our ward this week! We all put on those yellow "Helping Hands" vests and ventured into the forest to pick up litter and trash. I can barely even call that service work. It was absolutely GORGEOUS and I love nothing more than being surrounded by towering trees and breathtaking nature.

We were super busy all week and had a lot of great lessons! Including going out for ice cream with our JW investigator Sara, going out for hot chocolate and pastries with our new investigator Iben, and learning how to make æbleskivers with our friend Bettina. I heard a lot about how fun missionary work can be, but no one ever mentioned how good it tastes!! haha.

One day this week we gave out 44 books of mormon! Not even kidding right now!!
Well we gave them to all the members in our ward that accepted the challenge. I'm so excited to see what comes of it! 

Also this week there was a big kulturaften and people from all over the country flooded into Slagelse. The shops stayed open all night and the city center was filled with all sorts of food and activities and live music. It was crazy! It was the perfect opportunity for us to walk around and talk to tons and tons of people. Most people in Denmark have never heard of our church before, but the ones who have say the most interesting things! Like "do you really believe that Joseph Smith turned into God after he died?" or "Did God really marry Mary?" One lady even asked if all of the Mormon pioneers were cannibals... yikes. And of course we get lots of questions about plural marriage. Lots of them ask if Sister Peterson and I share the same husband. Noooo thanks! When I get married I'm not sharing my man with anybody!! Its interesting to hear what some people think about us, and its really good that we can clear up a lot of those misconceptions and suspicions. 

As part of the missionary training program (which we were supposed to have finished weeeeks ago....) Sister Pete and I had to learn about the church's family search program. So this week we got to check out a little bit of our own family history. I never understood when people talked about the "Spirit of Elijah beginning to work on you," but holy cow! Now I understand! As I read about my different ancestors and where they come from, I felt like I'd hit the jack pot or struck a gold mine when I found a whole huge line of ancestors that come from Denmark. I have ancestors that lived in this very land where I live and serve right now! Denmark is where they were baptized and joined the church, and its because of that that I'm here right now- back where it all started. After they were baptized they took a ship to America with their children, and you will never even believe where they went next.... St LOUIS MISSOURI. Right where I began my mission. Isn't that incredible?! I was so excited to read about my ancestors and realize that my mission is taking place in the footprints of where my family first found the gospel. How special.
I read a talk from the last YW conference by Mary N. Cook called "When you save a girl, you save generations." (if you have time, go look up that talk and read it! it rocks.) I know that the person I am and the life I live hugely impacts my children and grandchildren and future generations. But what I really realized is that it also impacts previous generations. We all have the power and capability to impact and bless the eternal lives of our family that came before us. And that's through temple work and family history.
 President Sederholm called a few days ago with the great news that the new missionaries all got their Visas! Yay! So there are 15 missionaries coming to Denmark this week, and two of them are sisters. And get this... He's sending one of them to ME. I'm going to be training a brand new missionary. I still feel like a brand new missionary myself! I'm super excited but suuuper nervous! I want to help her become an amazing missionary, and I want her to love her name tag and love the Danish people just as much as I do. This is the foundation for the rest of her mission.... no pressure! Sometimes I feel like as soon as I work my way past one obstacle I turn the corner and find an even bigger one. But its challenges that help us learn and grow and become better and stronger. And if the Lord trusts me then I trust Him to help me. I know He will because He always does.

Well I hope you all have a fantastic week back in the good old United States of America.
Check out your own family history, its super fun! And then go write in your journal. Because you've got your own history to write too. 
Thanks for all of your love and support and prayers! I love you all and pray for you too.
Have a happy conference weekend! 
Søster Rog