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.
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!