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December 30, 2013

My Copenhagen Christmas

I think they should consider changing the name of this place to Hooville.
The traditions and the food and the celebrations go on for dayyyys! I'll tell you all about my Copenhagen Christmas.
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Christmas is a 4-day long event over here. There's "Lille Juleaften" (aka "Little Christmas Eve" aka Christmas Eve Eve aka December 23rd) and then Juelaften (Christmas Eve- the main event!) and then Juledag, and then Anden Juledag (Christmas Day and second Christmas day).

I was so lucky to spend Lille Juleaften with 5 other missionaries, two senior couples, the Copenhagen temple president and his wife, and two very sweet Danes. I'm pretty sure we exceeded the tiny apartments maximum capacity... but that just made it all the more cozy. We crammed around a beautifully decorated candlelit table and feasted on "risalemande" (delicious rice pudding). The December 23rd tradition is a MASSIVE amount of rice pudding for dinner. And somewhere in the heaping bowl of pudding there is one perfectly whole almond... Whoever finds the almond has to hide it- in their mouth or in their lap or in their napkin- and keep it a secret until ALL the food is gone. So everybody stuffs their faces in hopes of finding the almond! And then once the massive bowl is licked clean, the lucky winner reveals the perfect almond and trades it in for the coveted gift! 
I'm totally taking this fun tradition home with me.

The rest of the evening was spent singing Christmas songs, playing the Danish version of white elephant, and enjoying the company of so many wonderful people. I went to bed that night feeling so so blessed.

Then comes December 24th! The best day of the year.

We went to a Danish folk church Christmas service with the rest of the country (Christmas Eve is the one day of the whole year when the Danes like to be religious). I felt like I was in a medieval movie inside the ancient church with the priest and the choir. It was a beautiful service and an incredible cultural experience.

After church we spent the evening with the most adorable Danish family in their picture perfect Danish home. We made marzipan pigs and other candies and treats while the feast was being prepared.
Check out this beautiful plate...
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Flæskesteg (pork meat with the pig's skin still on...) and Duck with potatoes is the traditional Christmas feast.
and it was to DIE for.

My favorite part of the evening was when we got to light the Christmas tree with REAL candles. Then everybody holds hands in a big circle and dances around the Christmas tree while singing Christmas songs!
Dr. Seuss must have been inspired by the Danes.

At the last song, we leave the tree and dance through every corner of every room of the whole house- still holding hands and singing away. Our parade of 12 people was led up and down stairs and over all the furniture and even into the laundry room and tiny bathroom. 
By this point my face HURT from smiling so much.
There's no waiting til Christmas morning over here.... in Denmark you open all your presents on Christmas Eve! The night never ever ends. I was so thankful to spend Christmas with such a sweet family. It was so fun to experience all of the special Danish traditions.

When Sister Hale and I got home that night it was time to celebrate American style! We left cookies and milk out for Santa and opened our Christmas PJ's, and then read the Bible story by candlelight before falling into bed with visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads.

As I was sitting there in my little Copenhagen apartment with just my companion who was a stranger to me a week ago, I'd never felt so far from home. It was my first Christmas ever being away from my family.... I'd be lying if I said I wasn't sad! But I realized that I was the best kind of alone I could possibly be. And really that I wasn't alone at all. It was one of those moments where I felt "encircled about in the arms of His love." 
The Lord really does take care of His missionaries. 

On Christmas morning Sister Hale and I sprung out of bed and tore the sparkling paper off of the wonderful gifts  from our families back home and our Danish families here. Thanks for everything everybody! It was a wonderful Christmas.
Later that evening I got to take a trip home for a few hours! BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVERRRRR. 
Skype ROCKS.
Seriously, how cool is it that I could spend time with my family from clear across the globe?
It was SO wonderful to see the faces and hear the voices of the people I love and miss more than anything in the world.
But even better than all of the exciting Danish traditions and all of the delicious food and the wonderful gifts and the lights and the trees and the Christmas magic were all of the experiences we had in between it all.
Especially on December 25th.
It was hands down the BEST day of my whole mission.
Possibly the best day of my whole life...

It all started a couple weeks ago... President Sederholm told all of us missionaries that He wanted us to work on Christmas. He wanted us to find time between the celebrations to get out and do missionary work. He gave us a lot of different ideas- like caroling, visiting part member or less active families, visiting widows, hospitals or care centers, finding some kind of service project, or even just knocking doors. 
I had a really strong feeling that I needed to be in a hospital on Christmas day. So when the APs invited us to go caroling at the hospital with them on December 25th, I was sooo excited.
Sister Hale and I brought our guitars and we all put on our Christmas sweaters and we went to the hospital in hopes of comforting and cheering and brightening someone's Christmas.

First we decided to visit the sick friend of someone in our ward. And as the 6 of us missionaries stood gathered in this little hospital room on Christmas morning, I felt closer to the Savior than I ever have in my life. 

I heard Christ's voice as I listened to the elders comfort this sick and lonely woman.
I saw Christ's countenance shining through the smile on my companion's face.
And I felt Christ's love surrounding us all and filling the room. 
It was tangible.
And it only increased as the day went on...

As we left that hospital room with overfull hearts, one of the nurses came to see who we were and what we were all doing there on Christmas day. We told her that we had come to sing and visit people, and she thought that was so wonderful. She asked us if we would surprise her colleagues and sing for them as a Christmas gift from her. We said we'd love to! So she asked us to meet her in 30 minutes after she was finished taking blood tests.

So we had 30 minutes to kill...
Someone had a prompting to go down tho the hospital's waiting room. There we found two sad women sitting on the hard waiting room chairs. We asked if we could sing them a Christmas song. As we sang to them about Christ's birth and life and light and love, smiles appeared on their sorrowful faces. They even began to sing along.
We later found out that this woman's husband had just passed away. On Christmas day.
When we saw the two women leaving the hospital, my companion and I sprinted after them out to the parking lot where we hugged the two strangers and testified to them of Christ's love. The knowledge of resurrection, forever families, and eternal life has never been so precious to me as it was in that fleeting moment, when I saw it bring a flicker of hope into their tired, tear-stained eyes.

Then it was time to meet back up with that nurse we had met. As we followed her through the maze of white hospital corridors I took the chance to get to know this sweet woman a little bit. She was from Brazil and moved here to Denmark several years ago with her 7 year old daughter. She was so curious and excited and interested about us American missionaries singing Danish songs about Jesus Christ in a hospital on Christmas day! We basically had a little concert for a big group of her coworkers in their break room. They were all taking pictures and videos of us the whole time and thought it was the greatest thing ever. And the "happily ever after" to this story came when the Brazilian nurse told us she would LOVE to meet with us and learn more about our church. We have an appointment with her this week!!!!

The rest of the afternoon was spent caroling through the halls of the hospital and visiting lonely elderly people in a care center. 
Never in my life have I felt so at peace and so content with the world and my place in it. Never in my life have I felt so full of pure joy and the love of God.

Now Christmas is over... I'm going to miss all the glittering lights and sparkling trees and the hustle and bustle on the streets. I'm going to miss the Christmas spirit that warmed the cold winter air. I'm going to miss saying "glæadelig jul!" to everyone I ever saw and I'm going to miss their smiles in return. This Christmas has been SO special.

I will never forget my Copenhagen Christmas!
I'll never forget the Christmas I spent dancing around Christmas trees burning with real flickering candles.
I'll never forget the Christmas I spent around hospital beds.
I'll never forget the Christmas I spent so far away from home; The Christmas I spent so close to Heaven.
I'll never forget the Christmas I spent with my special black name tag shining on my chest.
I'll never forget this Christmas....
The Christmas I spent with Christ.

I hope your Christmas was just as wonderful and warm and bright.

Can you believe 2013 is coming to a close?!
It's been the BEST year of my life. I'm so thankful for every single day... For the challenges I've faced and the blessings I've been given and the experiences I've had and the memories I've made.
Take some time to reflect on your 2013.... What have you accomplished? What are you thankful for? What do you hope to do better? Now lets make 2014 a year to remember! Make a few goals. Write them down
This new year, lets strengthen our testimonies. Lets share our testimonies. Lets live our testimonies. 

"And now, I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written, that the grace of God the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of them, may be and abide in you forever."
(Ether 12:41)

Thank you SO much for your love and support and prayers. I love you all and pray for you everyday! 
Have a safe and happy New Years! 
Søster Breanna Michele Rogers

 Christmas presents
 anden Juledag SUSHI
 Christmas eve p.j.'s with sister Hale

December 23, 2013

Glædelig Jul!

Hello from beautiful Copenhagen where the sky is blue as can be and the sun is shining!
It feels like St. George today... Merry sunny warm Christmas to me!

So you know my favorite book? Its called Number the Stars. I feel like I've ranted about it in my emails before.... #sorrynotsorry.
I read Number the Stars over and over dozens and dozens of times growing up. Its the most beautiful story about a girl named Annemarie who lived in Copenhagen in 1943 during the Nazi occupation of Denmark. Annemarie's best friend was a Jew, and when the Nazis started to "relocate" the Jewish people, Annemarie did everything she could to help her friend.

Well today my Dad reminded me how much the Lord has influenced my life and everything that I am.... starting way back when I was 10 years old and I fell in love with a story about the people in Denmark. 

And now, here I am. 
Walking down those exact same Copenhagen streets!
In the very land of the book that touched my heart. 
Sharing with the Danish people another great book, and hoping to touch their hearts.
Trying to do everything I can to help my friends.

So yeah. I love Copenhagen. I love serving in this city that is so special to me. I LOVE my new area. 

And oh man does my new comp rock! 
She's been here in Denmark for like 2.5 months now, so she's still pretty new.
Seriously, Sister Hale might possibly be my twin separated at birth....we have everything in common. She loves singing and playing the guitar and she loves Harry Potter and she's named after a mountain and she does humanitarian work. (Ok I'm not named after a mountain... but I sure do love mountains!) 
OH and get this.... she even went to Southern Virginia University!!! (last year... so she was there the year after I was.) But we have tons of the same friends and tons of the same memories! HOW FUN.
Also, WE BOTH HAVE GUITARS. You best believe we've been singing to people at bus stops and outside of the grocery store and on the trains and on the street and everywhere in between! 
Its gonna be a great transfer. 

So the AP's are in my district. Which means we speak Danish alllllllll the time... And Sister Hale and I have this thing we do where we don't speak English when we are outside of our apartment. I've probably spoken more Danish in the past week than the rest of my mission combined! Sometimes I forget that I can speak English when we get home at night....

Its super weird coming to a new area and not knowing anybody at all and not knowing my way around... but its been so much fun meeting so many new people and exploring new streets.

Before my mission and even throughout my mission up until now I always thought it would be really hard to be away from home at Christmas time. Well don't get me wrong guys, I miss you like CRAZY..... but actually, it hasn't been hard at all! 
When my plane first landed in Denmark and I first set foot in this beautiful country, I was overcome with peace and surety that I was EXACTLY where I was supposed to be. 
And that is exactly how I feel right now...
Its Christmas time and I'm in a foreign country a million miles from home, sooo far away from my family. (Not to mention just barely being transferred into a brand new city where I get to spend the holidays with a bunch of strangers....) 
But I have so much peace and surety because I know I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be.

and HEYYYY guess what I get to see you guys in TWO DAYS!!!!!!! AHHHHHH I AM SO EXCITED!!!!! 
Hurrah for SKYPE! 

I'm probably gonna cut this email short... seeing as I get to talk to y'all so soon. I'll have lots of fun stories to tell you. 
Like about the time we went Christmas caroling and ended up in a creeeeepy sketchy basement singing to a bunch of guys smoking pot and all sorts of other smelly things.....

Merry Christmas everybody! 
After you buy your last minute gifts today, and after you finish wrapping up those special packages with sparkly ribbons tomorrow night, and after you open up all of your presents on Christmas morning, take a minute to remember Jesus Christ. 

Because the gift of God's Son truly is the greatest gift of all. 

He came into the world to be our Savior and Redeemer, our Comforter, our Advocate, our Friend.
He came into the world so that we have someone to turn to. Someone to believe in. Someone to rely on. Someone to trust.
In a lowly stable in Bethlehem, the Lord Jesus Christ came into the world.
He came into the world, and He never left.

Christ lives. He's here. 
This Christmas, Let Him in.

Let's celebrate the day He came into the world. Let's celebrate the Light He brought and the path He paved.
Let's celebrate it always. 
He died for us. Let's live for Him.

Merry Christmas to all! 
Glædelig Jul! 
Jeg elsker jer.

Søster Breanna Rogers
 Just faking a smile before saying goodbye and hopping on the train...
 On our last night together Sister G and I celebrated Christmas! THANKS Grant family for the sweet gifts!!! And thanks Mom for the fun stockings!!
 Merry Christmas Happy Birthday to me from my bff Manda! YOU FREAKING ROCK. Tusind Tak!
 Just snapped a quick pick of me and my new compety comp so you know who I'm livin with! I love Sister Hale!
 The elders surprised us with a REAL LIVE JULETRÆ!!! Best Christmas present everrrr.

December 16, 2013

Farvel Slagelse

I don't even know where to start.... 
The beginning I guess?

On monday night we went to TIVOLI to see all the Christmas lights! It was so Christmasy and magical. Almost like Temple Square! Almost even better.

I've been all wrapped up in the Christmas Spirit this week! Missionary work ROCKS at Christmas time. Almost all of our time has been spent baking Christmas cookies and frosting Christmas cookies and delivering Christmas cookies and singing Christmas carols and making Christmas cards and delivering Christmas cards and teaching Christmasy lessons and sharing the beautiful Christmas message.

My sweet mom even sent me this WONDERFUL 12 days of Christmas countdown that I got to start opening this week!
 I feel so loved. I have the best fam and friends in the world.

Bettina and her husband made us a delicious feast one night this week. They were so happy that we were there to spend time with them, and it was amazing to see the change in their countenance as the Spirit that we brought into their home really touched their hearts. Bettina told us about one of her friends who told her that she shouldn't meet with us and shouldn't go to our church; she told her all these rumors about Mormons being bad news and tons of trouble. But Bettina told her friend that that's not true. Because the two Mormon girls she knows are the nicest sweetest people she knows! And that she always feels GOOD when she goes to church. 
I love Bettina so much! I love that she loves church. I love that she feels the Spirit and feels something special and different when she's with us. MY testimony strengthens every time I'm with HER. Because when I bear my testimony to Bettina I can literally see the Holy Ghost carrying the words into her heart. Bettina is always saying that we are a blessing to her, but she doesn't even know how big of a blessing she is to me and my life! Seeing the gospel bring her so much joy has brought me more joy than I can even describe or fathom or contain. She's changed my life. I feel so so blessed every time I'm around her, because every time I'm around her the Savior draws so near. He speaks to her through me. And He pours His love for her into my heart. And He lets me be His instrument to guide her back to Him. 

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Being a missionary is the most beautiful experience.
Anybody who has the opportunity to serve a mission and doesn't take it is making the BIGGEST mistake of their lives.

The next best thing that happened this week was when Sister Grant and I had the opportunity to go to the Temple with a family in our ward! I've never had such a special experience at the Temple than I did that day. We even did a session in Danish! I wish I could just move in to the temple and stay there FOREVER. I love walking down those halls with Heaven's angels all around me. I love how strong the Spirit is. I love everything about God's holy house. Going to the Temple is going home.

Then one morning my world stopped turning.
President Sederholm called.
I knew it was coming... Somehow I always know these things! I guess its the Lord's way of preparing me. Well maybe I was a little more prepared, but that hasn't made it any easier.......
You guessed it. I'm being 
I'm leaving my beautiful wonderful special Slagelse. Wahhhhhhhhhhhhh.
For lack of a better way to express my emotions....
I love this place and I never want to leave! I don't want to leave my best friend/ BEST COMPANION EVER sweet Sister Grant. I don't want to leave all my grandmas and grandpas and parents and brothers and sisters and best friends here in the Slagelse menighed. I don't want to leave my investigators who I've come to LOVE soooooo much. I don't want to leave my adorable apartment or my cobblestone street or my perfect European storybook town.

Saying goodbye to Slagelse has been even harder than saying goodbye to St George 8 months ago... Because this isn't just "ok see you later, I'll be back someday." Its "so long, farewell, goodbye."
I started feeling really super down for a few days! Because I kept thinking about how as soon as I move away I'll just become another one of the missionaries thats come and gone. Soon to be forgotten.... 

But then on Sunday in Relief Society, Hanne- one of my Danish moms- gave me a nice little farewell tribute.

And then she choked up and she started to cry.

And then I started to cry. 

Because it was a tender reminder that I really have made a difference here. 
And I really needed that.

So yesterday was my last Sunday at church here! It seriously still feels like my very first Sunday at church was just yesterday! Except yesterday my first Sunday I could barely understand a single word. 
And yesterday my last Sunday I was asked to translate
Yesterday my first Sunday I looked around at the faces of so many strangers.
And yesterday my last Sunday I looked around at the faces of my family.

I feel so blessed to have been here for 6 whole months. That's a third of my mission! Its been the best time of my life.
Slagelse will always be the most special corner of the globe to me. 
Here in this town I've come to know my Savior Jesus Christ. I've turned to Him. I've followed Him. I've walked with Him. He's strengthened me. He's held my hand. He's carried me. Here in this place I've witnessed His miracles. I've seen His hand. I've felt His presence and His love. 

Slagelse is my Sacred Grove. My holy ground. My home.

While my heart hurts and feels so heavy, I somehow feel OK too. Its time for me to go. I've done my work here. And on Wednesday morning I get to go somewhere new! To meet more wonderful people who will change my life while I'm trying to influence theirs. 
I'm going to serve in Frederiksberg, AKA the heart and center of COPENHAGEN!!

I've always dreamed about living in a big city! My whole life I've always dreamed about moving to New York or San Francisco or Boston.... well Copenhagen is even better! I'm really excited for the experiences that are ahead, and I know I'm going where the Lord needs me. 

So this week I was really reminded that this isn't about me. Its not about what I want or what I think is best. It's about the Lord. And His will. Because He knows whats best.

I think that that's something we could all remember more at Christmas time... that its not about us. 
Just like President Monson said in the Christmas Devotional,
"Giving, not getting, brings to full bloom the Christmas spirit... Our celebration of Christmas should be a reflection of the love and selflessness taught by the Savior."

If you didn't have a chance to see the Christmas Devotional.... here you go!
Merry Christmas.

I love you guys.
I hope you have a wonderful week baking Christmas cookies and singing Christmas carols and watching all those good Christmas movies! Remember that 
"We find the real joy of Christmas when we make the Savior the focus of the season."
-good old Thomas S.Monson

Sister Rogers

 Merry Christmas!

December 9, 2013

fireworks pioneers and jews

My mission has been full of unforgettably interesting excitement.
Tornadoes and vikings and hurricanes and stalkers.....
Guess what added itself to the list this week....

Sister Grant and I had just enjoyed a cozy evening eating dinner with our favorite Danish grandparents Hans and Ulla (oh p.s. they said to tell you all hello!) and we were then on our way home. We thought we'd take the shorter route so that we could get to our next appointment on time. So we were in the middle of this sketchyyyy neighborhood when a massive explosion interrupted our pleasant conversation about Christmas traditions and future families, sending the two of us jumping 6 feet into the air! We had no idea what the sound was, all we knew was that we wanted the heck out of there! 

30 seconds later.... BOOM!!! another terrifying explosion right across the street from us.

15 seconds later.... 
FIERY EXPLOSIVE FLYING THROUGH THE AIR straight towards my companion and me!!!

I said a few words I had to repent of as a fire bomb exploded 2 feet behind me and my survival instincts kicked in.

007 status DEAD SPRINT.

Those early morning jogs we'd been going on paid off as we BOLTED down the street through what felt like World War 3 as some dumb kids continued to throw fireworks at us. We sought shelter in the grocery store at the end of the block until Tina and Francesco came to our rescue.

Lifelong lesson learned:
Never take the shorter route. Stay on the straight and narrow.

Well aside from illegal fireworks nearly blowing my right leg off, this week has been pretty good!
We got to go to Copenhagen for a big missionary zone conference. Followed by a Christmas feast and a MOVIE NIGHT.
We are so spoiled.
Have you ever seen the movie Ephraim's Rescue? Of course you haven't you're all too busy watching the new Hunger Games movie and Thor 2 and The Grinch who stole Christmas.... 
Well I may not be the best movie critic, considering the only movie I've watched in the past EIGHT MONTHS is the 25 minute long Restoration film.... but even for all of you non missionary people I think Ephraim's Rescue would be a nice movie to watch if you're ever bored on a Sunday afternoon :) It was soooooo good. 
The pioneers are SO inspiring. They suffered and starved and froze and watched each other die as they faithfully trekked to Zion. 
And to think that sometimes I feel hungry and cold and want to go back to my cozy apartment early....
Those faithful pioneers inspire me to work harder and be stronger and do better.

Side note:
Oh my heck. There was one part of the movie when the pioneer girl and the cuuuuuuuuuute pioneer boy KISS.
And holy cow the air in that room full of name-tagged missionaries just filled ALL the way up with aca-awkwardness!
Just imagine 60 missionaries watching a kissing scene on a big screen.....
funniest thing ever.

Speaking of awkward. and speaking of cuuuuuute boys.....

Sister Grant and I knocked on a door the other day. And my heart skipped a beat when thee CUTEST Danish man I've ever seen answered the door. I tried to ask him if we could share a Christmas message with him....

In my head I was thinking "oh my heck he is thee CUTEST Danish man I've ever seen I should've put mascara on this morning dang it I hope my hair isn't looking toooo Hermione-ish today..." 
and then instead of saying "Christmas message" (Julebudskab) I accidentally said "Jewish message" (Jødebudskab).

Well I guess the cute Danish man didn't want to hear about Hanukkah and menorahs and dreidels, because He told us his dog doesn't like to have guests....

We almost got blown off the next few porches and everybody told us we were CRAZY to be out with a HURRICANE on the way. (yes we had another hurricane this week. it blew all the Christmas trees away.)

Well I'm gonna go hit the mall and find myself a warm coat. In case Denmark decides to be colder than St George this week... 
it hasn't even snowed here yet!! Lame. 

Here's a few lines from The Sound of Music to inspire you all this week...

"A bell is no bell till you ring it,
A song is no song till you sing it,
And love in your heart wasn't put there to stay-
Love isn't love till you give it away."

Jeg elsker jer! Har en dejlig uge.
Søster Rog
 Study time
 I got to go on splits this week with my trainer! I love Søster Hays!
 we didn't have time to go grocery shopping this week.....
 Zone conference in Copenhagen

December 2, 2013

Happy December!

We had this District goal to all do something that scares us and to overcome the fear.
I took the challenge pretty seriously...
Yesterday I did TWO things that TERRIFIED me.

#1. I killed a spider.
Did you hear that Dad??!! I KILLED A SPIDER.
I was putting on my mascara, minding my own Sunday morning business. When out of the corner of my eye I saw an 8 legged creature creeping across the wall. And to my horror, my companion was in the shower!! Wahhhhh.
So you know what I did? I grabbed a sock. And I squished that edderkop. 
I hope you're all proud.

#2 was even scarier though...
There are only two members in our ward who can play the piano. And guess what... neither of them came to church on Sunday.
So guess who played the piano for sacrament meeting.
Yup... yours truly.
Songs I'd never tried to play before. On less than a moments notice. While the whole congregation sang.
Thanks for putting me in piano lessons Mom! I didn't even mess up too bad.

Well I wouldn't say that those fears are overcome or conquered.... but definitely one baby step closer :)

It was a crazy busy week, the last week of November.
And now I'm never going to be a missionary in the month of November ever again!! Oh man.
I just want to tell you guys that 
I LOVE my life.
I especially love my Danish missionary life.

We celebrated Thanksgiving with the missionaries in our District, and we had a really awesome feast.
This is what the dinner table looked like:

    7 layer dip and chips
    sloppy joes
    cinnamon rolls
    corn chowder
    ice cream
    and mine and sister g's attempt at a pie.

Just your typical traditional Thanksgiving feast. Hahaa.

On Friday night Sister Grant and I stopped at the supermarket to buy a frozen pizza on our way home for dinner. Because we were exhausted from a long week of missionary work and didn't feel like cooking any food. On our way out of the store one of the workers said "Have a good weekend!"
I was offended for 2 reasons. One- he automatically assumed I was American and spoke English. Boooo.
and Two- He wished us a happy weekend. Which the world weekend doesn't even exist to me these days.....
Then again, Friday night cheese pizza with my rockin almost-not-green-anymore comp was the closest thing I've had to a good "weekend" in a decently long time! 

But anyways... the point of that pointless story was just to lead into my next story...
When we left the supermarket- frozen pizzas in hand- the whole town was outside, making their way toward the center of the town square. Grand and I were curious what all the hustle and bustle was about, so we followed the shivering crowd.

Children all bundled up in hats and scarves and coats were all perched on their Dads shoulders as everybody circled around a gigantic tree.
"Ti! Otte! Ni!" a count down began.... "Tre! To! En!!!" 
The giant tree magically lit up! Along with other strings of sparkling lights twisting all over the cobblestone streets. A bunch of kids dressed up as Santa started playing Christmas carols on their trumpets and flutes and clarinets, as a little train gave people rides all around the town square.


I felt like I'd walked straight into Who-ville. Or even the North Pole itself.
Ohhhh its going to be a dejligt Christmas here in my snow globe country called Denmark.

Christmas is the BEST time.
The best time to bake cookies.
The best time to tell your family and friends how much you love them. And to show them too.
The best time to send handwritten letters in the mail to your favorite missionary :)
The best time to share the gospel.

The best time to remember why its the best time.
the best time to remember the Savior. And to learn more about Him. And to become more like Him.

In my own search to become more like Jesus, I decided I want to read the New Testament. Particularly the four gospels. Because I've never actually gone through and read it all before, and those books are packed full of Jesus Christ's life and ministry and words and miracles. 
As I began turning the pages of my Bible, the stories of Jesus unfolded in a way they never have before. I followed the Savior as He healed the sick and raised the dead and helped every single person in need.
Miracle after miracle after miraculous miracle.
Back to back to back.
Tears flowing down my cheeks....
Christ's loving kindness never ever ever ceased.
And it still doesn't.... He is just as much alive TODAY as He was then! He works just as many miraculous miracles and He loves US just as much.

Isn't that Amazing???

Suddenly it hit me like a ton of bricks. or a train. 
That I'm here in the place of the Savior. I'm here to do and to say what He Himself would do and say, if He were personally visiting the very people to whom He has sent me. 
I've been thinking about that a lot this week... If I can show the same unfailing unrestrained loving kindness that Jesus Christ showed, then my time here will be SO much better spent.
I'm not just talking about my time here in Denmark, but my time here on earth. 

As I've been focusing on the Lord's will a little more sincerely with a deeper desire to truly do what He Himself would do, my days have been so much more productive and so much more meaningful. 
The phone has been ringing and my planner has filled itself up. With people to visit and comfort and serve and bless and help.
Back. To back. To back.

I'm learning to not only follow the Savior, but to walk beside Him.

He lives.

We don't have to wait until the next life to meet Him! 
He lives today. Right now.
So get to know Him. Follow Him. Walk with Him.

The December month is such a special time. Remember the reason for the Season. 
I hope we can all become closer to the Savior Jesus Christ throughout this December month, and always.  

As you spend the next few weeks trying to think of the perfect Christmas gift, remember that the gift of God's Son was the greatest gift of all.
And its a gift you can give too.....
Its a gift you can give by the way that you live.

I love you all!
Have a great week. And a great weekend too :)
Happy December!!!

Søster Rogers
 Black Friday :)
 A Christmas Elf (AKA Tina) decorated our front door on the first day of December! Aw.

                                         there are street signs that say FART all over this country!
                                                               (translation= speed)
                                                                      Ha. Ha. Haaa.
 Welcome to my Christmas town.