|It Snowed this weekend!|
Friday, March 29, 2013
Dear family and friends,
Maybe I always say this, but holy cow! Time is flying SO quickly! I have already been here for a month and TOMORROW I will get my FLIGHT ITINERARY for
! :) Denmark
Let me explain what could happen visa-wise though... I have NO idea if my visa has come yet. Tomorrow they will make sure we have flight arrangements and such (even if we are still waiting for visas to come). Midweek, next week, we will find out if our visas have not come yet. If they have not come, we will probably be temporarily reassigned to some place in the
for a little bit. Your guess is as good as mine. A sister we met was reassigned to U.S. Montana while waiting for her visa in Norway, another was reassigned to . So who knows, it could be anywhere. Next Thursday, I should know what the status is though. So I will keep you updated. But whatever happens, the Lord is in charge and knows what we need most and how we can best serve others and learn at the same time :) Ohio
So recap of the week. Last Thursday was Ældste Earl's birthday. It was way fun for a couple reasons. First of all, Brother Pullan had taught us one of the 10 or so birthday songs that they sing in
. Before he taught us, he prefaced how amazing birthdays are in Denmark (and Holidays). Apparently, when it is your birthday, they decorate with TONS of Danish flags and wave them around as they sing songs to you and basically it is just awesome. Plus, the songs are super loud and catchy :) Denmark
The one we learned, you sing the song three times and pretend to play instruments in between each time you sing it. You also wave flags while singing "Hooray" to the tune at the end. So, I love
already!!! :) Denmark
Okay, back to Ældste Earl's birthday. We sang the birthday song at least three times to him and wrote him fake love letters from made up girls. We had mailed them the day before and since he is district leader, he is the one who checks the mail. It was so fun to see the confused look on his face. He had NO idea who they were from and was very creeped out and didn't want anyone to know. We ended up confessing it was us the next day and he was shocked and started laughing :)
So, on p day, we get sack lunches because it is quicker and then we don't have to change (you have to wear church clothes in the cafeteria). We usually sit on this one particular bench near where the laundry is and watch people walk by. There is a sort of wedge on the sidewalk that is not noticeable right where people walk over there... this is the reason why we go there. Awesome entertainment. People never expect the wedge and tend to trip a little as they are walking by. It never ceases to make us laugh. Ha ha.
Oh and on Friday, it SNOWED! It was so beautiful. I don't know why I love snow so much. I just think it is gorgeous. I guess 3 and a half winters in
was not enough for me. But yeah, on Saturday, it looked like it was winter, like Christmas was just around the corner. I was so happy. Brother Pullan was not the biggest fan. I said something about it being a beautiful day in class and he jokingly told me that I was being too optimistic. However, I did ask him if we could sing a Christmas song to open class and he said yes! So we sang "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" in Danish. Pretty awesome. Provo
By the way, I LOVE singing in Danish! I think one of my favorites right now is Come, Come Ye Saints (Kom, Kom Guds Folk).
Side note, I am sorry about the disorganization of my emails sometimes. It is hard to remember everything in order quickly as I type. Plus, this computer is really slow at letting me go back to previous paragraphs. But hey, at least I can fit in all the stories, right?
Okay, so Sister Nielsen, once again, let us write stories during our grammar time (in Danish, of course). In my story, my district was playing Duck, Duck Goose (And, And Gås) at the park and then a real goose started to chase us, then Ældste Peterson tried to feed it bread and then it tried to kiss him so he screamed and ran away. We all wrote pretty crazy stories about each other. Søster Peterson's (she is not related to the elder as far as we know) was about her and Søster Pearson debating about who I was going to marry. Ha ha. Like I said, it was all really random and crazy, but they were all fun stories.
Mistake of the day: I forgot my name tag when we went to the temple and I think it was confusing people why I seemed to be hanging out with other missionaries. We went back through the gates and the security guard asked if I was really a missionary. Oops. But I guess that's what happens when you try to get out the door by 6:10am to head to the temple. So that's my excuse haha.
Highlight learning experience of the week: This past week, we have talked a lot about promptings and acting on promptings. Brother Pullan encouraged us to get a small notebook and write down the promptings we have. The more we recognize them, more will come and our Heavenly Father will trust that we can fulfill the work that he needs. Sometimes we don't know whether promptings are spiritual guidance or our just our thoughts. Elder Bednar gave a talk on this (not sure when), but he talked about how regardless, we should follow through. We may never know why were prompted to do something, but if we are trying to be a good person and follow through with the things we feel prompted to do, the Lord will direct our paths to help others and protect ourselves.
Last thought: Yesterday, we had class in the afternoon. For some strange reason, all of our teachers showed up. They all arrived at different times. I was already in a good mood, but once all of them were in the room, I just felt so safe and comforted. I feel they have become a family to me. You can see the love the have for the Savior, the gospel and for each one of us. I hope I can stay in touch with them for they have truly been amazing friends and teachers. They are outstanding examples and I love them all so much. The Lord has truly blessed me to be here at this time.
I love all of you so much! Next Thursday is my last p day. If you send me a Dear Elder before Wednesday at 1pm or if you send me a letter that gets here by Wednesday, I will be able to write you back in before I leave to
. Otherwise, I will write you back once I am in Denmark . Denmark
Until next week...
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Already the time of the first half of my MTC experience is gone! I can't even believe it! In less than that, I will be heading out to the field. I am so excited! Yet, at the same time, I am excited to be here for another two/three weeks.
So on Sunday, it was Saint Patrick's day in the MTC! Seventy percent of all the missionaries were wearing GREEN! It was way fun! I was so impressed with the holiday spirit. Totally made my day!
So I'll try to explain my class, district and zone really quick.
My class consists of me and my two companions and then a trio of elders (all going to
, Danish speaking). Denmark
My district consists of my class and then the class of the two elders going to the
Denmark mission, Icelandic speaking (aka, they will only be in on the mission). Iceland
My zone consists of missionaries in my district and districts of missionaries going to The Netherlands (Dutch speaking),
Sweden and . Norway
We used to have like 60 missionaries in our district, but then all the missionaries left to head out to the field except for our district and three of the Dutch elders. On Sunday, It was only US! Pretty crazy! So sacrament was just our Branch presidency and the 11 missionaries plus we also had a temporary extra companion, Sister Briscoe. She is already fluent in Danish since she lived there for 2 years (because of her dad's job). She got here the same day we did, but still doesn't have her visa to leave so she had to stay here a few days to get reassigned to another mission until she gets her visa. She did the 2 week English program and then switched over to be with us for a couple days and is now serving in
. Getting visas to Ohio Europe has become quite the challenge with all the new missionaries. There are so many issues with them. We'll see what happens with ours. Hopefully it all goes well. The good thing is, the Lord is in charge and he knows what is best for us and the people we will serve, so I know it all happens for a reason.
Before the Sunday devotional, we went to choir practice for singing in the choir before Tuesday night's devotional. Apparently someone had heard it would be a big speaker or something because we have over 850 missionaries show up to choir practice and only 550 can sit in the choir seats! We all practiced and then the choir director told us that we had to come early and fight the crowd on the day of if we wanted to be in it.
The Sunday Speaker was Robert P. Swensen. When President Roach (a counselor in the MTC presidency) was introducing Elder Swensen, he accidentally said that Elder Swensen served in 18?? instead of 19??. The entire room chuckled because somehow it just seemed really funny. So when Elder Swensen got up to speak, he said, "I bring the love of President John Taylor with me" (The third modern day prophet). It was SO funny! And then he said that he noticed everyone was wearing green and asked if we had any leprechauns in the audience. Then he had the missionaries going to
stand up and told them that all the missionaries were just celebrating their mission. His talk was awesome and he reminded us that a missionary tag is one of the most recognized symbols in the world and that we should respect that and remember to be a good representative of the Savior, especially since we are literally wearing his name on us. Ireland
So Tuesday comes, Sister Nielsen shows up to teach us. We tried to ask her (in Danish) if we could get out early to go to choir because it is so competitive. She let us leave class an hour early! She is SUCH as sweet heart!
We went to choir practice and that's when we find out the news... they are going to record the choir that evening and use it in a video that will be shown between the Saturday General Conference sessions. We sang the song, "Like Ten Thousand Legions Marching." It's an amazing hymn. I had never sung it before. But, I do want to share a line from it. As we were waiting for sound checks, we got to look over the music and I read the words and felt their power. "Come ye nations out of darkness, 'tis the times of Christ's return. Heed the restorations message, let's it's light within you burn." That is the reason I am here. To be an instrument to the Lord in helping him spread the good news that we can return to live with him and have eternal happiness by having faith in him, changing our ways, completing the ordinances necessary for salvation and striving to "enjoy to the end" as Brother Pullan says.
Yesterday was a great day, too. Somehow, all of us sisters ended up getting package slips in our mailbox, but the office was closed to go pick them up. So we tried to do it at breakfast, but the office didn't open until 8am. Brother Pullan was SUPER nice and told us that we could come back and pick them up on our walk. He always takes us on a walk each day to try to give us some variety in our day.
All of our teachers are so kind to us and really care about serving us. I am so grateful for them and their many talents.
-A bat was flying around in our residence halls. It apparently flew in through a window. It kept flying around in circles on our floor, the third floor. I thought it was really cute. I think I like bats :) Just not vampire bats... I read a children's book in a library about 2 or 3 years ago how those one actually can draw blood from you... creepy.
-Apparently we can now email family, friends and new investigators, but they have not really given us any extra time to do that yet. I'll let you know if/when that happens. As for now, my email time is still limited on p days. Dearelder.com is the best way to send letter these next 2-3 weeks because I get them every week night. It's nice to read the letters on the way back to class.
Crazy Kelly moments:
-I painted my nails really quickly before class began. Brother Pullan walked in and thought I was crazy, but he let me paint the last two before we started.
-I asked Brother Pullan to teach us the alphabet. He did and then I asked if he could teach us the word you say when you are talking about the three strange new letters in Danish. Then he repeated what he had told us because OBVIOUSLY they are called what the letter is called. Ha ha. I don't know if that makes sense. Hard to explain. But yeah, my point is that my question was super dumb. Ha ha. oops :)
Jeg elsker jer meget mange!
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Dear family and friends,
Wow! I have already been here for 2 weeks! This is crazy! I am a third done with my MTC experience!
Being in a trio companionship is challenging. However, I guess it just prepares you for being a future family. Sometimes my companions or I will forget our ID card that we use to swipe for lunch and to open doors so we end up having to head back and get it... and since we are in a companionship, we have to go together. Another thing that is hard with companions is lesson planning. Sister Pearson and Sister Peterson sit next to each other and sometimes turn in to each other, away from me, when they have an idea they want to talk about. They don't mean to try to hide their ideas, it's just they don't want to be loud. So I told them one day, "Do you think we could maybe form like a little semi circle when we plan our lesson? Sometimes, I feel like I miss things because I can't hear very well when you are whispering to each other. Sorry, haha, I just want to make sure I know what is going on in the lesson." Two days later, we our practice investigator became our teacher. Her name is Sister Nielson. When she teaches, she speaks softly. She's really nice and I like her, however, the first day, I felt like her voice was putting me to sleep because it seems so relaxed. I told my companions that her quieter voice seemed to make me feel a little tireder that day and then Sister Peterson said, "well, maybe you could ask her to speak up since you are hard of hearing." hahahahaha I started laughing so hard! Both of my companions thought I was hearing impaired because of the conversation I had with them the other day. Luckily, I got to tell them the truth. I laughed about it for a full 2 days afterward haha.
I have taken my dad's advise in learning the articles of faith in Danish. It is difficult because I can't pronounce them super well, but luckily I can either ask my teacher how to pronounce certain words or I can tell him to just try to listen to the word when we have language lab time.
I try to memorize a new one each time I go to the gym. It keeps me preoccupied. I just write it down on notebook paper and then I bring it with me and say it over and over and over for 30 min while I am on the elliptical machine. The machines are right next to the track so anyone who is running passes me. We dish out encouraging words to each other as we are exercising hard. Good times. Anyway, I have now memorized the first 4 articles of faith and let me tell you something that I have noticed. Yesterday, I was memorizing them and they did not seem to flow, so I said a prayer in my head that the Lord would help me and then after the prayer, the words just seemed to flow out of my mouth since I could recall all of them. I felt so blessed because I knew the Lord was helping me. The Lord was able to make up for my weakness because I had put all my effort into it and then realized I could not do it alone. Miracles like this occur everyday, just sometimes we forget to stop and see them.
I have found that p day is the most stressful day. I think it is because it is the one time when you have to worry about yourself. With fitting in laundry, letter writing, cleaning, etc it becomes stressful to write everyone when you are trying to cram it into a short period of time. For me, this is teaching me that forgetting yourself really does bring more joy.
It's still weird not to hug any of my guy friends at the MTC, but I thought I was used to it already... apparently not though... I was in the cafeteria and then my old home teacher (Tyler Bracken) called "Kelly, Sister Orgill!".
I freaked out because I didn't know who was calling me. When I saw his face, I bolted my arms toward him and immediately felt a feeling of rejection come over me. My happy face turned into a confused expression as I watched him draw his arms in to his body tight, step back and offer me a stiffly bented hand. I then remembered, I'm at the MTC! I can't hug guys! Ha ha... oops! :)
Elder Peterson in my district says that I remind him of his Aunt Laurie because she is a loud and friendly person. Usually, when I get up, I like to start singing.
There was one day this week that I was just so overcome with happiness. I didn't even know what to do because I felt like I had fireworks inside me and I wanted to just tell everyone I loved them because I could feel Heavenly Father's love so strongly for me.
I hope all is well at home, school, church, work or wherever you are.
I love you all so much!
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Dear Family and Friends,
Wow, I've been here for over a week! Pretty crazy! It has gone by so fast. The days are long, but the weeks are short. That's what they tell you when you first come in, but it is absolutely the truth. When I first got to the MTC, an elder helped me with my suitcases and I was immediately taken to different stations. I got my key, signed some papers, was asked if I had already been set apart, they gave me my books, my schedule,... It is SO organized here!
A sister who was assigned to be my host for the first 15 minutes took me to my room, let me drop off my luggage and then walked me to class. My friend, Boman Stacey, is one of my MTC teachers and he was teaching that day. It was fun to see him and meet the three elders (Elder Child, Elder Peterson and Elder Earl- a trio companionship) and my companions, Sister Peterson and Sister Pearson. We are a trio, too. Basically, we can't go anywhere without each other, but it's fun :) In class, Brother Stacey only spoke to us in Danish. Pretty crazy, but fun! It made me excited to dive into the lessons. Our district is all six of us and then also the Icelandic elders, Elder Kundsen and Elder Lyman. We are a VERY energetic group. We always eat, pray and do as much as we can a district.
I have been really sick this past week, but my district was really nice to me and Elder Lyman and Elder Earl gave me a blessing and then Elder Earl (our district leader) gave my companions and I permission to go back to our room early. My companions were really nice to me and let me relax and try to get feeling better. I love my district. They are like my MTC family.
We then got to go to an opening devotional. They had each missionary stand when their state or country was called. It was so neat to see how everyone was from a variety of places. My highlight of that day was getting to sing, "We'll Bring the World His Truth." The words were changed in the song for us to apply it to today. We sang, "and we are now the Lord's missionaries" instead of "we will be the Lord's missionaries." I'll never forget the feeling I felt that day. I know that this truly was a part of the Lord's plan for me all along and am glad that we are able to have the spirit guide us and direct us daily since we could not make it without His help.
Kellyisms (this section was inspired by my little brother):
-I tried to jump down two steps and fell on my rear on the last one. Ha ha :) I'll try to be more careful.
-I was talking to some missionaries in a room and then someone came over and asked us to be quieter... I think I was laughing really loud... typical.
-I asked my teacher, Brother Pullan what his name was (in Danish) instead of asking where he was from... and then the whole conversation sounded awkward
Each day, we teach a girl who pretends to be an investigator (except for p-day and Sundays). She is supposed to only speak Danish to us. We usually write everything down and read it when we "teach" her. The first time we did it, we had NO idea what she was saying whenever she would respond to us. It was pretty crazy. But I have definitely seen the Lord's help in us learning throughout this entire week. By our third lesson, we learned that when we listen and when we are able to say things without reading them straight out of our notebooks, we can feel the spirit more often and can more easily find the direction that would more specifically speak to our investigator.
The MTC is amazing. I love it! Days are filled with constant personal study, language study, companion study, spiritual lessons, Danish lessons, eating, working out, devotions, district meetings, etc. And it is the best! I haven't fallen asleep in class yet because it is all so interesting :)
I have learned so much here. Today we got to the go to the temple and we got to walk the grounds on Sunday. It is funny because it seems like we are living in a different world. We hardly ever see outside the gates of the MTC and we don't hear about weather, news, etc. Ha ha.
We only have 30 min each week to email, but I will try to include as much as I can each week. Oh and dearelder.com is the fastest way to get a hold of me. Email is hard to read quickly and respond.