Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Sister Anderson, a member in my ward, was driving my companion, our investigator and me to The Nashville Tribute Band concert (an LDS band which sings about missionary work and the gospel... we invited our investigators to come). On the way there, she was asking me if I have found anyone here that speaks Danish. I told her "no" (kind of chuckling in my mind and doubting it would ever happen). She said she thought she knew of someone who spoke Danish, but it might be Swedish instead. So I told her that was cool, but I assumed it was probably Swedish. So then, two days later... Sister Anderson calls. And guess what she says! Her friend, Tom, who has a friend named Erik, who SPEAKS DANISH! (Neither of them are members) has agreed to help us practice teaching him and he will try to help us with our Danish! What? Yeah! And he lives 45 minutes away, but he will drive to Tom's house (which is close) to meet with us.
How fantastic is that? The Lord definitely works in mysterious ways and is amazing at puzzling everything together.
We are teaching Erik tomorrow. I will let you know how that goes next week.
Also, on our way home from the concert, we stopped at a gas station because our investigator wanted a soda (it was 10:45pm). The cashier noticed we were "Mormons" and said she wanted to know if our church was the kind of church that we apply scriptures to our actual lives. We said yes and she wanted to learn more, so we set up an appointment to meet with her the next morning! Crazy, huh?
Anyway, things are going well here in the small town of Tullahoma. Still no word about our visas, but I am betting we will leave on May 20th, when the other missionaries at the MTC will leave to Denmark.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Hej mine familier og venner!
I hope all is well at home/school/church/work...
Things are great in the small town of
We had a district meeting this last week. Our zone leaders came and were really kind to Sister Pearson and I by letting us role play in Danish while everyone else switched partners around the room and practiced role playing in English. Sister Pearson and I pray in Danish and also try to learn 5 new Danish words each day. I still feel we are progressing with the language and it is a blessing to be here to discover various ways in which we can share the gospel and solidify our knowledge in basic doctrines of the church.
For our service project this last week, we participated in a
city clean-up. It was pretty fun :) Tullahoma
But anyway, one of the highlights was when we went out to breakfast with a missionary couple and a Baptist preacher. I don't know if I said this before, but they call
the buckle of the Bible belt. Basically, almost everyone here believes in God is and is very religious (quite the opposite from Tennessee , I'd assume). It was a neat experience; however, it did feel like a bible quiz. The missionary couple shared with the preacher "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" and "The Living Christ." He said he believed most of it, but would have to cross out a couple things to say he believed in the entire document. But, we did establish common ground in our beliefs. During the discussion, he started talking about how he wanted his daughters to be careful whom they date and then he directly asked me for a reference in the bible about what kind of person I should watch out for in marriage. The first thing that came to my mind was Deuteronomy 7:3-4. I quoted the verse and explained how important it was to me that I marry someone who trusted in the Lord and shared my beliefs. I know that the spirit helped me and also that this was one of the reasons why I needed to memorize that scripture in seminary 6 years ago. Denmark
I hope your weeks are going well!
Oh and I still don't have my visa. I am assuming that I will either get it this week and leave on Monday or I will get it and leave May 20th. Who knows, but I will let you know as soon as I can.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
With my good friend and teacher, Brother Stacey
|Perfect clouds on the plane|
With one of my visiting teaching companions from Freshman year
It started pouring ha-ha at a member’s house
Painting at a member’s house for our weekly service project
Luckily they had large shirts we could wear over our clothes to paint in
There are lots of dandelions here. I love it!
Our district went hiking up to a waterfall.
This is my companion, Sister Tenny.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Well, I am currently serving in a very small town called
. It is in the South. Tullahoma
But before I go into that, let me sum up my last days at the MTC and leaving:
We had our last interviews with one of our teachers, Brother Stacey (my friend from my last BYU ward). It was kind of like our exit interview. We told him what we learned and what we wanted to accomplish in the future. And then, that was it. No more Danish class! Crazy!
General Conference was great! I loved learning about the two themes I noticed in Conference: Families and Obedience
Oh and Sister Peterson got mono and had to stay at the MTC for another 2 weeks.
So I don't have enough time to include detailed descriptions of the travel to Tennessee, but we woke up at 3am, got to the travel office at 4am, were on the bus at 4:30, got to the airport, waited in a long line, called our parents for 5 min while our plane started to board, got to Detroit, found out our flight was delayed 2 hours, ate at the airport, I got to call my mom again (that was awesome) and then flew to Nashville. To me, it reminded me a lot of
. It was humid and green and just felt... home-y. Anyway, our mission president and his assistants picked us up and brought us to his house, we ate dinner (refried beans, potatoes, rolls, meat loaf, salad, lemonade and strawberry lemonade pie), had interviews, got medical info, roll played while waiting to be interviewed and then some of us were taken over to the stake president's to sleep around 11:45pm. We were all exhausted and had to be out the door by 6:40am the next day so we could eat breakfast and go to the church for meetings and transfers. Ha ha. San Antonio
Okay, maybe that was a little more descriptive, but I am going crazy trying to figure out how to cram everything in today as far as emails and letters go :)
- I am older than my trainer, Sister Pearson's trainer and Sister Pearson... weird! I guess... ha ha
-Sister Pearson and her trainer, Sister Johnson are sharing a one bedroom, one bathroom apartment with Sister Tenny (my trainer and I)
-The ward has more around 500 members in the area, only 100 something are active
-I put my puffy coat in my pillowcase to use as my pillow (The Denmark Mission was going to have us buy our bedding there and the MTC provided everything, but the Tennessee Mission, you are supposed to bring your own stuff. Luckily, the mission home had some extra sheets and pillowcases for us).
-I have no idea when our visas will come... maybe next week, the week after, or in 5 weeks.
-Most important lesson I learned with week: You can't judge a book by it's cover. A lot of people will be interested in the gospel that you might not have thought would have.
-Almost everyone here seems to be passionate about religion in general.
-I got to paint a room for a service project this week. That was awesome! :)
-Supposedly we are going to receive word 3 days before we leave for
that we are going to leave. Denmark
-Sharing the gospel in Danish is a lot different than English (culturally, etc).
-I introduced myself as "Kelly" once or twice because I never practiced English introductions, only in Danish.
Anyway, life is good. I have been a little more shy than I usually am because I have been nervous, but my goal is to break back out of my shell this week.
Everything always happens for a reason and it is up to us to find out what lesson the Lord wants us to learn and get to know those people He wants us to meet.
I love all of you and hope you are doing well.
Friday, April 5, 2013
Dear family and friends,
Wow, so much to say... so I will try to say as much as I can.
First, to explain the photo of the little flag I drew on my name tag. We are supposed to try to speak as much Danish as we can (SYL- Speak Your Language). Last week, Brother Pullan walked in and told us that he had a dream that he came to work and we all were really violent and a threw something at him and he realized that he needed to challenge us to go on an English fast. He told us that the next day and so that day, we tried very hard to only speak Danish. The little flag (we each still have it on our name tags and will keep it there until we leave the MTC) is a reminder that we need to continue to strive to do that. Because, the Lord wants to help us, but we need to do our part first.
So on Monday, my district and I got really excited because April Fool's Day was coming up. We wanted to play a prank on our teacher. So we tried to brainstorm, but nothing came to mind. The morning of, we decided we would switch all our desks to be sister, elder, sister, elder (you are not really supposed to do that) and then we would switch all of our Danish flags with the Icelandic flags. Elder Knudsen wrote in Icelandic on our chalkboard. Also, we were going to try to not talk much and act tired (well, I didn't really want to act tired, so I just tried to not say anything at the beginning of class). Anyway, we went to breakfast, came back and Brother Pullan looked confused and asked why we were acting so weird. At one point, he looked at the chalkboard and stared at the date. It looked like it finally clicked in his head and he said, "Oh, it's April Fool's day!" Somehow, we felt an minuscule fulfillment of success, that we had tricked him.
Throughout class, Brother Pullan would periodically glance at his phone. He doesn't usually do that so it seemed a little odd, but not really. Also, I am pretty sure I heard a notification sound go off a few times on his phone. One of the times though, he looked shocked as he persisted to read an email. Then, he read it out loud. It said that due to increased security in
Denmark, we have not received our visas and would be temporarily reassigned to . He read the whole email and we each looked at it to verify that it was from the Missionary Travel Department. We were definitely not expecting it, but I think we all took the news well. The rest of the class we questioned each other about Rapid City South Dakota , etc. There was a small feeling of disappointment since we did not feel like we had any connection to South Dakota , but I think we were all ready to serve. I asked if we could sing "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go" for the closing song because that would help everyone get in the right mindset and excited to serve. We sang, prayed and then Brother Pullan left. When he walked out, I blurted out, "wow, I was kinda hoping that would be an April Fool's joke, but it's all good. I'm kinda excited we get to experience preaching in English." Immediately, Brother Pullan walked back in and told us we needed to be speaking in Danish and then said, "by the way... April Fool's!" Ha ha ha ha ha ha! It was SO great! He really got us. At that point, we had no idea what to feel because we were so bombarded with unexpected thoughts about the future. South Dakota
Anyway, pretty great. Later in the day, Sister Nielsen joked that she was pregnant and we TOTALLY believed her, too! Ha, we are so gullible. Hopefully our teachers had some good laughs
On Wednesday, it was our last day of class with all of our teachers there. They are all so amazing and each have different strengths that, combined, helped us prepare to be where we stand now. I don't know if we would ever feel ready for the field, I doubt anyone does, but I could not ask for better instructors who are attentive to the spirit and live Christlike examples. I'm going to miss all of them so much! Our last class consisted of teaching our final lesson, grammar, individualized help and reading. Then, I tried a song I wrote for our teachers as my companions beat-boxed. It was kind of embarrassing, but it was still fun. After that, we got to see Sister Nielsen's photos from her mission, take pictures with our teachers and say our final goodbyes! I felt so sad walking out of the room because they felt like family. I am going to miss them so much and am so grateful for all of their help.
Yesterday, we checked and we found out that our visas actually have not come yet. So we were going to be temporarily reassigned. Ha ha, good one, right? However, it is the truth. If we get our visas tomorrow, we will go to
on Monday. If we don't, we have been called to be temporarily be assigned to serve in the... Denmark Tennessee Nashville . We will most likely serve there for a full transfer (6 weeks) and then will head to Mission . So, life changes, in the blink of an eye, but one thing is for sure: The Lord knows us- He knows our strengths. He knows our weaknesses. He knows how we can best share our talents. He knows what our learning styles are. He knows who He needs us to strengthen. He knows who will strengthen us. Denmark
So, there is no doubt in my mind that serving in
will be a blessing. I know that I will learn many things that I might need to learn before I get to Denmark and that the Lord needs me to give Him my all. Tennessee
Two spiritual quotes from the week:
1. "Love is a celestial respiration of the air of paradise" and that investigators must feel loved by us and their Heavenly Father in order to commit to change. -Gerald Causse
This helps remind me that love is a gift we have been given and we must strive to love our investigators because when we do, we will be more eager to share our message with them and will rejoice as we witness them change.
2. President Harold B. Lee said that the most important missionary work that you do will be within the walls of your own home.
This makes me think about how if we can help the Lord get the gospel to one person, how it can have positive effects on their family and impact them for generations, especially when they can go forth to share it with their families. It also makes me think of my siblings who are striving their hardest everyday to teach their children to live and love the gospel. I am so grateful for their examples and my parents. They are amazing missionaries.
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Me with my teachers on the last day of class! I miss them already!
None of us even wanted to go to dinner that night!
This is a pic of all of the Danish missionaries, our three teachers
and the two new teachers who were hired recently.
They are awesome, too
Turns out that there really IS a
Pic of me and sisters from my ward from last semester
Check this out! Mine and Jeff's mission presidents
are close to each other on the wall of mission presidents :)!