Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen, Denmark Mission

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Week 2 - Learning to speak Danish

Hey Everyone,

The guy with the envelope is our teacher Bro Casper.  He got a job teaching Danish101 at BYU, so Wednesday was his last day teaching us! He was a really good teacher! I learned a lot from him. We wrote him a thank you card.

This is how we feel about Brother Casper leaving

Elder Latham in the Finnish district had a birthday and so his mom sent his whole district those goggly eyes and I thought it was just hilarious!

Tuesday we had Juan A. Uceda of the Seventy come speak to us for our devotional.  He lived and served as a mission president in Lima, Peru!  Dad would like him!
No new people this week in our zone. We didn’t get to host this week, but some of the Finnish missionaries did. We probably won’t host tell we’ve been here a few weeks. (Hosting is getting to greet the new missionaries and help them on their first day at the MTC.)

That’s crazy about the earthquake in Italy and stuff! I had no idea any of that was going on . But my branch pres. wife did tell us all about the scandal with the American swimmers and the Olympics. That’s really sad. 
Ok so this week was pretty good! Definitely a lot harder than last week. About halfway through the week I really started struggling with the language. We are encouraged to "SYL" speak your language, all the time, or whenever we know the words. That can be very frustrating because I want to express how I’m feeling, but I don’t have the Danish words to say it. So I talk in English and fail at SYL, but I am getting better. 

Hmmm how do you say that in Danish?

The language is getting hard.  We are learning all the gospel words you need to bear your testimony and pray and teach, and we are getting into grammar. What’s so frustrating  is that there are a bunch of rules on how to make words past tense or present tense or plural or whatever, but for a lot of them, there is no way to tell what rule you use for what word, besides looking it up in a dictionary, and I’m not going to look up every single word I don’t know in the dictionary so it’s really frustrating. But I’m still working hard and it’s getting better!

Soster Baird teaching some Danish to the class

Our old investigator "Jacob" is now our teacher Bro Wright. We all knew he was going to be our teacher, so when he walked into our classroom and we weren’t "shocked"

We taught a lesson to a new "investigator" David, ( Bro Jeweks our teacher). We planned a whole lesson completely designed for his needs ( because we watched a video of his telling us what his questions were) and then we got in there and it was totally different. So we had this whole big perfect lesson planned and then we got in there and realized he needed to learn something else so we had to come up with what to say on the spot. It was kind of scary, but we did it! The spirit totally helped us know how we could best help him, and know what to say. We pretty much taught and came up with the whole lesson from our heads ( we didn’t look up Danish words or read pre written Danish sentences) and I was SO proud of myself!
In the middle of the lesson right before I was going to bear my testimony about how we can find answers to our problems in the book of Mormon, he started kind of laughing, and then I started laughing and then my comp started laughing and then we all were laughing and then we were all laughing so hard because we couldn’t stop laughing. It was pretty hilarious. It literally came out of nowhere. We all caught a case of the giggles. But, I finally pulled myself together and finished the lesson. It was probably the highlight of my day!

Sunday we had the Nashville tribute band come! They were so cool to listen to. Look them up! At the end he sang this song called " the hardest thing I’ve ever loved to do" and it’s was super sad, but I held it together. THEN he said he was going to sing it one more time, but he wanted everyone to sing with him... so we did and I pretty much couldn’t sing because I was balling.  It told the whole mission story, from saying goodbye to his mom, packing his bags, flying on a plane to leave..... having the hardest days, but watching the people he taught come unto Christ, and loving every minute of it! It was really cool. Pretty much all 3000 missionaries in the auditorium were sniffling. 
3 "Dear Elder" letters!
We got 700 new missionaries in the MTC this week! Tuesdays are the best when it comes to meal time, because all the old missionaries leave, but the new ones don’t come until Wednesday so there’s actually places to sit and short lines in the cafeteria!

Sundays are great too! We get to go walk to the Provo temple, and have church and class and lots of study time. This Sunday will be crazy though because me and my comp have to teach relief society with half the girls, and teach Sunday school to our district which won’t be bad because it’s just two other girls. And I have a feeling one of us Danes will have to speak because they won’t call the new people, and a lot of the Finnish people have already spoken.
Funny quote:

"Everyone "Checks out" what’s on your lunch tray in the cafeteria, because they can’t "Check out" anything else" - Soster Baird
Nothing about visas..... And time has flown by! I felt like I was emailing you a few days ago! Time goes by so fast here! My hour is up and I’m going to be obedient so I will be blessed with perfect health and perfect Danish ha-ha.

Keep giving me inspiration! And currents events!  
Love Soster Jones 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Week 1 - My first adventures in the MTC!

Hi everyone,

                The MTC is good so far.  When I got dropped off, my host, which was just another missionary, took my stuff and then I got my name tag and a giant yellow bag of Danish books that weighed like 15 pounds. Then I took it all to my room, and I was taken to my classroom.
                I met one of my teachers Brother Jewkes. He started talking to me in Danish and just kind of started laughing because I didn't know what he was saying. I did some orientation stuff on the computer and then when the other 3 girls got there we started class. So the first three days of class, and our teachers only speaking Danish was at fist kind of funny and I was just like (ha-ha) I have no idea what is going on. Then it started to get really frustrating because we are supposed to be teaching lesson in Danish and saying our prayers in Danish and that’s really hard considering I’ve only been learning it for three days at this point. 

                But now my Danish is a lot better.  I can pray, teach a lesson about church stuff and bear my testimony in Danish. I’m probably pronouncing about half the things I say wrong, but I would say I have made some definite progress!  On Friday we had to teach a lesson in Danish to an "investigator" who only spoke Danish. (The investigator is actually one of our teachers but we are not supposed to know that). And he is the one who looks like a model so that is fun lol. At first the lesson was kind of embarrassing because I had NO IDEA what he was saying or even what I was trying to say back. But we had a lesson last night and I taught most of it from my head! I wasn’t reading preformed sentences from a book; I was actually coming up with them in Danish. I was pretty dang proud of myself!

                My comp is Sister Baird from Provo, Utah.   She is awesome!  I just love her.  She is so kind and spiritual and fun and I am really lucky to be with her.  When I have no idea what our investigator is saying to us, she is always prepared and has something to say next! She’s a life saver!          
We got to rest outside for a few minutes
                   On Tuesday there was a rumor that Elder Holland was supposed to come speak... but he didn’t.   Sister Bonnie L. Osacarson came to speak and it was perfect. She spoke about everything I needed to hear and it was completely through the spirit. I was a little disappointed when I found out it wasn’t going to be Holland speaking to us, ok maybe REALLY disappointed, but I realized by the end of the devotional that is doesn’t matter WHO is talking, because their word will be inspired and come from God. As long as they speak from the spirit it will be everything you need to hear.  I think that that is really important for me to realize as a missionary. Even though I haven’t gone to college for 6-8 years and studied everything there is to know about religion, my word will impact somebody because I will be teaching from the spirit. 
                 I’ve heard lots of stories floating around here about how the FBI and CIA have sent people here to learn how they teach languages here at the MTC.  Because let’s face it... a bunch of goofy 18 and 19 year old kids come here for 6-9 weeks, and they leave knowing a language well enough to go live somewhere foreign and speak it well enough to survive.  But those places have tried to implement the same way we teach in their schools and they aren’t having the same success. Hmmmmm now why is this? 
        We don’t learn the language here at the MTC because we have really good teachers!  My teachers are 21 and 23 and still in college.  We learn the language here because the Lord has called us to teach people in that language, and because he wants His gospel to travel throughout the whole world, He will help us learn it, and learn it FAST with the spirit. We learn by the Spirit, and we teach by the spirit.  I just think that is amazing and it gives me so much confidence to know that the Lord will help me accomplish the thing which He has commanded of me. :)

                My days are so busy. I barely have any time to rest, or anything. We have language class for like 6 hours each day (unless we have a devotional or something) and study time with our comp for 3 hours. And 30 min for meals (which is not enough because there are around 2500-300 missionaries at the MTC right now and that make a crowded cafeteria).  And we have like 30 min to get ready in the morning.... which is a struggle ha-ha.

Lunch time!
                My Zone is super fun! I love all of them. We love to play volleyball during our exercise time on the sand volleyball. It’s so fun because the Elders get super competitive. 
                Ok so an explanation about that picture of my teachers.... that was passed down from the Danish Sisters before us.  idk much about it. Obviously one of our teachers (who also are acting as our investigator Jacob right now) looks like a model.  And the other Bro Jewkes.... I have no idea why his says “prison inmate” but I think it’s pretty hilarious.

                Today is my first p day and it’s been great!  We went to the Provo temple, and I finally finished unpacking from the day I got here (yes I’m that busy.... I have ZERO free time) and I did laundry and just have been relaxing! But we do have more class tonight.
This is how I feel after the first week!
           Anyways I’m doing great!   Thank you to everyone who has sent me mail and cookies!!  They are very much appreciated. 

Love you all! 

Sister Jones 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

MTC here I come!

I have a few minutes to email and just say that I’m here and doing good. Today is our p day but we didn’t get one, we had to have class ha-ha. There are only 4 girls in my district. My companion is Sister Baird.  The other two are Sister Downs and Sister Barney (the girls I showed you on Facebook).
My name tag

Sister Baird and Sister Jones

In front of the Provo Temple
Danish is really hard. We already have to teach an "investigator" a lesson tomorrow in Danish and I can’t even speak it. But hey, everyone says people some out of that crying so I’m not even going to stress about it. I like my comp she is so nice and sweet and in tune with the spirit, she is good for me. I kind of wish we had Elders in our district but it’s just us 4 girls. My zone is all the Scandinavian missionaries, so the Finnish, Danes, Swedes, and the Norway missionaries. 
So many things.....

My desk, my stuff

Our brains are full

 The food is good and I’ve seen people here from school so that’s been fun. I haven’t gotten to check mail yet because we don’t know our code. I saw letters in there though and its killing me I can’t read them! Everyone here is so nice and friendly and it’s just so great. We pretty much just study go to class eat and then go to bed. The days go super-fast! And I heard that Elder Holland might come this Tuesday!  That would be so cool!

 I can tell Danish is going to be sooooo hard to learn but that’s why we learn by the spirit!  

Boyd Hunter, who went to high school with you mom, his daughter Sister Hunter is in my zone going to Sweden! Elder Martineau, whose older brother went to Indonesia and knows Tyler, is in my zone! I was like “hey, I know you!” But then I realized I didn’t.   It was because I was friends with his mom on Facebook so I saw pictures of him a lot and he looked so familiar.

Oh and one of my language teachers is super cute!  I saw a pic of our other teacher who is going to be pretending to be our investigator and he is a model. Sooooo it’s going to SUPER EXTRA HARD to learn the language because it’ll be that much harder to focus!  I'm not sure what else to say. We are so busy.  Everyone is nice.
Having a little fun...

Probably don’t send me food in the packages yet, because I like the MTC food for now but I probably won’t in 3 weeks. Next week the Swedes and Noord’s are leaving so we will get a bunch of newbies in our zone! Kind of sad because we just met everyone. I will try to take more pictures and send them. Today I said a prayer in Danish and it probably wasn’t pronounced correctly but I tried!

Ok well I have to get off the computer now.   I want to work hard and not think about them! I love you guys and I’m doing good so don’t be sad or worry about me.

 Talk to you next Thursday! 

Love Soster Jones 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Farewell Party and Going into the MTC

High school friends who came to say goodbye



Lots of people came to say goodbye


All packed and ready to go!

We prefer to call it 1.5 instead of 18 months!

At the Missionary Training Center in Provo, UT

Grabbed my language materials (in yellow bag) and I'm  ready to learn Danish!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

My Mission Farewell

      Thank you to all those who where able to make it to my farewell! Also, here is my farewell talk, if you didn't get a chance to come you can read what I spoke about. 

Good morning! I am so excited to speak to you today, and I’m so excited I have the opportunity to serve a mission. I have been called to serve in the Denmark Copenhagen mission. I report to the Provo MTC Aug. 10Th ( 10 days!) and I preach the gospel in the Danish language.  I will spend around 2 months in the MTC learning Danish and studying the gospel. 
A little bit about my mission, the Denmark Copenhagen mission consists of the country of Denmark and it also includes the countries of Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe islands. There aren’t any missionaries in Greenland or the Faroe islands, and from what I’ve heard they only send elders to Iceland, so I will most likely be staying in Denmark.  Lots of people in Denmark also speak English, so I will teach in both English and Danish.
I was really excited when I opened my call and realized that I would be going to Denmark.  We believe that missionary assignments are not just made by chance or picked randomly.  There is a reason the Lord assigns each person to their particular mission.  I am thrilled to know that for some reason, the Lord wants me to go to Denmark.  I have a desire to serve him, and he has chosen a place where he specifically wants me.
There is a really cool story that kind of goes along with calls being inspired that I wanted to share.
The following even took place in a ward in Salt Lake City in 1974. It happened during Sacrament Meeting and it was told by a representative of the Twelve Apostles who was in the meeting. A young man, who was just about to depart for his mission stood up in Sacrament and shared in essence the following testimony:
"Brothers and Sisters, as you know during the last few weeks I have been waiting for my mission call. During the time in which I was waiting I had a dream. I know that it wasn't an ordinary dream. I dreamt that I was in the Pre-Existence and was waiting for my calling to go to Earth. The same emotion and anticipation that I had before I received my mission call filled me."
"In my dream I was speaking with my friend; he was a very beloved friend and I felt a special closeness about him, even more than I had known in this life. While we were speaking, a messenger came and gave me a letter. I knew that it was my calling to go to Earth."
"With great emotion, my friend and I opened the letter. I gave it to him and asked him to read it out loud. The letter said: 'You have been called to go to the Earth in a special time and a special country. You will be born in the true Church and have the Priesthood of God in your home. You will grow with many blessings and advantages. You will be born in an abundant land, a land of Liberty. You will go to the Earth, to the United States of America.'"
"My friend and I rejoiced while we read my calling and while we were rejoicing, the messenger returned. In this occasion he brought a letter for my friend. We knew that it was his calling to go to the Earth. My friend gave me the letter to read out loud. The letter said: 'You have been called to go to Earth in circumstances of poverty and conflicts. You won't be born in the true Church. A lot of suffering will come to pass in your life. Your country will be involved in political and social difficulties, which will hinder the work of the Lord. You will be born in Costa Rica.'"
"We cried, my friend and I, while we read the calling. And my friend looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, 'When we are down there on Earth, you in your chosen land and me in Costa Rica, my friend, please come and find me.'"
Then this young missionary, with tears in his eyes said: "Brothers and Sisters, I have received my mission call. I'm going to Costa Rica."
One year after this Sacramental Service the Bishop of that ward received a letter from the missionary in Costa Rica. The letter had only one piece of paper and written in big letter were the following words...
I just love this story, and I can’t wait to go find my friend in Denmark.

It’s not ideal for a 19 year old girl who has just had one of the most fun years of her life at college, to decide she wants to “pause” her life for 18 months and leave her family and friends, but that’s exactly what I have chosen to do. When I was younger and the mission age was 21 for girls, I used to secretly hope I would get married before 21, so I didn’t have to make a decision on whether or not I wanted to go serve. But as I got older, in fact, during my last 2 years of High School,  I’ve felt a growing desire to serve a mission.  When the mission age for girls changed to 19, I had no doubt that I would go.
I remember one year when I was at EFY, which is a youth church camp, a speaker showed us a video that really touched me. I don’t remember what the video was called, or even what it was about, but I remember that during that video I had the strongest feeling come over me that I needed to go serve a mission and share the gospel with others. I thought about the gospel and how it has played such a huge role in my life. I decided that because I have been so blessed to know The Gospel of Jesus Christ and the happiness it brings, I need to go share it with other people.
We are taught that we should go and share the “good news” of the Gospel.  Actually, the Greek word for Gospel means “good news”.   The good news is that Jesus Christ has made a perfect atonement for mankind that will redeem all mankind from the grave and reward each individual according to his or her works.  
The Gospel is centered on Jesus Christ and his Atonement, and because my purpose as a missionary will be to “invite others to come unto Christ” I felt like the perfect thing to focus my talk on today would be Christ’s Atonement.
 “The Atonement is the sacrifice Jesus Christ made to help us overcome sin, adversity, and death. Jesus’s atoning sacrifice took place in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross at Calvary. He paid the price for our sins, took upon Himself death, and was resurrected. The Atonement is the supreme expression of the love of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.”  
The “good news” is that Christ did this for everyone!  There is not a single person who has lived or will live on this earth that will not be blessed by the Atonement.  The good news is that death is not the end!  We all will rise again and have the opportunity to live with our Father in Heaven.  The good news is that even though every person on this earth has sinned, we can be forgiven for our sins.  That is Great news. 
I know that many people today are really lost spiritually.  Many people question whether there is a God and if this life even has a purpose.  I understand that secularism and even atheism are very prevalent in most parts of Europe.  Because of this, there are many people who have little understanding of really who Jesus Christ was and what he did for us.  What a great opportunity I will have in Denmark to share the good news of the Gospel! 
I look forward to be able to teach others, that through Christ we have the opportunity to be forgiven of all our sins.  When we are baptized, all of our sins are washed clean.  That is the reason missionaries teach the baptismal discussions.   
But,  how many of us have resisted sin and temptation perfectly since our baptism? I know I haven’t. That is why the atonement is so important. God knew that we would mess up and continue to sin throughout our life. But because Jesus Christ already paid the price for these sins, through our sincere desire and repentance, we can be forgiven.  Each week we have the opportunity to partake of the sacrament. Partaking of this bread and water helps us remember and renew the promises we made when we were baptized, and allows us to receive the cleansing blessings of our baptism.  It is exercising the Atonement in our lives. 
In Mathew 5:48, it says, “ Be ye therefore perfect, even as your father which is in heaven is perfect”. God has commanded us to be perfect, but we are bound to make mistakes. That is why the Atonement is continuous.
There is no rule that says, “ you can only use the atonement and be forgiven once, so use it wisely.” In the book The Continuous Atonement by Brad Wilcox, it says,                                                    “Perfection is our long term goal, but for now our goal is progress in that direction…. continuous progress that is possible only through the continuous atonement”.
In fact, honestly that is the reason for Church.  Christ did not institute his church for perfect people….. He formed his church for all of us imperfect people so that we could come and work on becoming perfect.  That is a principle I look forward to teaching.  I’ve heard people say “I can’t come to church…. The walls would fall down if I go in there” meaning they are sinners.  I’ve also heard people criticize folks who go to church as being hypocritical because they sin during the week and then go sit in church on Sundays. 
I hope to teach the people of Denmark that Church is for all of us sinners so that we can work at becoming Saints!
I know that if we have a sincere desire to obtain forgiveness of our sins and make a change, then God will forgive us. And even though we will probably mess up again and again, he is there for us, however long it takes for us to make that change. 
I also know that the Atonement of Jesus Christ will help me personally on my mission.  I know that Jesus felt all things.  Every feeling that we have, every sadness, every hurt, everything!  I know that He will know how best to help me.  Missions are definitely a hard thing. In fact, just being a member of the church and living the gospel is difficult with the world that we live in. 
Elder Holland gave an amazing talk titled “Missionary Work and the Atonement” in June 2000.  At the end of this talk he said, every missionary will come to a point in their mission where they ask, “Why is this so hard? Why don’t we have more success, or why aren’t things going better?”  Elder Holland says, “You will have occasion to ask those questions. I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary.”
I loved this phrase because anyone who has ever tried to share or live the gospel knows it’s a hard thing. But you have to go through hard things to get great rewards. Salvation is so worth it, and so taking that journey to take upon ourselves the name of Christ and share His gospel with others will not be easy.
Elder Holland also said in his talk, “The Atonement will carry missionaries…When you struggle, when you are rejected, when you are spit upon and cast out and made a hiss and a byword, you are standing with the best life this world has ever known, the only pure and perfect life ever lived. You have reason to stand tall and be grateful that the Living Son of the Living God knows all about your sorrows and afflictions. The only way to salvation is through Gethsemane and on to Calvary. The only way to eternity is through Him—the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
I know that every struggle I have and every pain I feel on my mission, the Savior has felt. I know that he can help me through every trial I face while serving.
 I am so grateful  for Jesus Christ’s Atonement. I look forward to being able to learn more and teach people about the Atonement.  Because of Christ’s atonement I have the opportunity to teach others that they can be forgiven of their sins, and they can live with God and their families again.

So I just realized that I didn't take any pictures at my farewell.... Whoops! I guess I will just post some of the mission pictures My friend Rachel Hillyard took because I love them so much :)