Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen, Denmark Mission

Monday, September 11, 2017

Week 56 - The Rain is Back!

Well, after a good week of summer, the rain and cold is back to Denmark!
Here in Denmark they have a joke, 'Don't you just love a Danish Summer? Yes, it is the best day of the year!'
Ha-ha... but true. It rained just about the whole week. There was one night we planned to go to some food trucks for dinner, but it was raining so much we decided the 5 min bike ride was not worth it. If it is enough rain to keep me back from food, you know it is a lot of rain!
Our week started off kind of sad. We had to drop an investigator that just was not progressing. Søster Jex and I just love her, but new she was not making progress and so there was not much else we could do.
We also had a great Zone Conference on the Life of Christ, and how we can teach like him. This was one of the best Zone Conferences yet, probably because it was centered on Christ. What stuck out to me most was that Christ was calm. He was not rushing back and forth from appointment to appointment, or stressing about planning his lessons. He looked outward 100% of the time, with his heart completely focused on the will of the Father. I want to be calm like Christ.

Søster Jex and I gave a training on commitments. We told the missionaries we wanted to go to the NFL next week. Then we had an Elder come up who was pretty confident in football, and had him teach us everything we needed to know to be ready to play next week. Well, it didn't work. Why? Because we would need to PRACTICE!! hmmmmmm.....
In the Bible, John 7:17 Christ teaches us, 'If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.'
So we talked about how important it is that we DO to gain our testimonies, and that we invite our investigators to DO. They need to keep commitments so they can change and become.
Our Zone group
After that training, we thought a lot about a few of our investigators. We have a few that we keep inviting to change, and do things that will help them repent and come closer to Christ, but they won’t keep commitments. So, we decided to stop seeing an investigator that just was not progressing. Søster Jex and I just loved her, but all we can do is invite, and in the end if someone does not choose to change, there is not much we can do. So we had to get pastries to drown out our sorrows.

We had a few more lessons with people this week, and battled the rain. It was great!

Here are a few pictures from last weeks P-day at the beach!

Søster Jones

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

54 - Elephants

On p day we went to the beach with all the missionaries in Copenhagen and played sand volleyball and got ice cream! That was a blast.
Tuesday we had an appointment with a person who was recently baptized that we have been trying to get ahold of for forever! So that was really nice to meet with her, and she had a table FULL of bread and pastries and everything yummy to eat.
We did a lot more finding and teaching this week. Our goal this transfer is to give out 576 Books of Mormon. That comes out to about 1 book a day per companionship. So, of course Søster Jex and I are going super hard and trying to give out as many as we can. This has been really motivational and fun. We have DEFINITELY passed our goal, and right now are leading the District for how many we have given out. (I can't tell though, don't know if other missionaries are reading this ;)
Besweri, our recently baptized is doing great. The other day he called us and we were talking and then he says, 'you know? I didn’t think I would see change this fast. I am already starting to think about church more and how I can help people.' :) :) :) then he thanked us for helping come to know the gospel! It was the sweetest thing ever. It has been hard for him to come to church because he works a lot, but he told us this Sunday how he denied two offers to work that morning because he wants to make sure he is at church every Sunday! I LOVE seeing repentant hearts :)

On Thursday we had another birthday in our District, Søster Dietch! So we surprised her with a cute, yet full blown, Danish dinner! It was amazing! Søster Jex and I made a Danish traditional dessert, RødGød Med Fløde. (Also, that is the word that all Danes ask you to say because it is so hard to pronounce.) It is pretty much a mixed berry soup with cream poured on top! Yum!

That night we went to eat with an investigator that also served some more traditional Danish food! Stegt flæsk med persillesovs. It is pretty much crispy baked meat dipped in parsley sauce with potatoes! Double Yum!
This investigator was an exchange student a while back in Rexburg, ID with a Mormon family. He never though too much about the church, until he started raising his own family and realized he LOVED the values the Mormon family back in Idaho had. He absolutely LOVES the church and everything it stands for, but is trying to figure out if God actually exists or not.
Friday Amager came on splits and we continued to Celebrate Søster Deitch's birthday.  We had a little spa night with avocado masks.   Then enjoyed eating Bananas SPLITS on SPLITS! While we attempted doing the splits.... It was a successful day, and between the two companionships, we gave out 12 Books of Mormon and got 4 new investigators in one day!

Once again, everyone important all decided to come to church on the same day. We did our best to make all the investigators feel welcome and comfortable, while trying to stay sane!

We had a very good lesson on fasting too. I have always just thought of fasting as a way to show God, 'Hey look what I am giving up, that is how bad I want your help with this' type of thing. But really, fasting amplifies our ability to feel the spirit. We become more in tune with the spirit, and more receptive to receiving personal revelation. Have you ever thought about why fast and testimony meeting are held together? Or why you fast when you get a patriarchal blessing? And at the end of our fast, when we just can't take it anymore and just want to eat, that is when it is the strongest. That is when we should flip open our Book of Mormon, go find a quite spot and just read or ponder. Because we are giving up something worldly and of the 'natural man', we are focused on the spiritual and are better able to be in tune with God. I will definitely now have more meaningful fasts. 

 Søster Jones

Monday, August 28, 2017

Week 54 - Mini Mission

Hello! Another crazy week.

So because we are the STL's (Sister Training Leaders) in Copenhagen, it seems like we always have a ton of extra little 'duties'.  Monday we went on more splits with a sister who was waiting for her new companion to arrive from the MTC. Then, some other sisters needed a little help, so they also came over, so we had 5 sisters in our tiny apartment Monday night! But I am not complaining, ha-ha it was a fun 'sleepover' !

Tuesday we were in the office when all the new missionaries arrived. A whole bunch of Elders and one Sister. It reminded me of the day I arrived, and they took us to the mission office to sign papers, go out and contact people and try some pastries and Smørrbrød. It was a crazy overwhelming day, but so exciting. I cannot believe that was a year ago, and now I am an “old” missionary.
Later in the week we had MLC. We enjoyed Søster O'Bryant’s wonderful cooking, played some basketball, ate more food, and had an amazing training on how we can teach about Christ, and be like Christ. That’s what Zone Conference this transfer will be on, so we got a little sneak peek and assignments for what we will teach. MLC is great, because it is a reunion.  We can see the missionaries who serve on the other side of the country we haven’t  seen in a while.

When we got home from MLC Friday night, we realized that there was a 'Mini Mission' thing in the morning that we were supposed to help with, but we had never heard back from the guy that was in charge. So, after calling him a few times and no answer, we just threw together the whole thing. Just a little bit stressful.....
Mini Mission is an activity the Stake puts on for the youth, to let them experience what missionary life is like. In years past each youth would go on splits with a set of missionaries, and would actually stay the night and go out and teach and contact with them. Because of new church rules, we were not allowed to do that anymore, but just do a 'one day' thing instead. So we did a one day training on what missionary life is like, and how to be a missionary, and then took the youth out contacting.
Saturday morning, (still no word from the guy in charge,) we had a few youth from the Stake show up including three that traveled all the way from Bornholm to come! Luckily the Young Men’s  President showed up, and told us the guy in charge could not make it.  ;/ So that was a little frustrating that we had no communication, but luckily we planned the whole thing anyways, so it ended up working out.
We taught the youth about our everyday missionary life, and how they can prepare now, had some lunch then taught them how to answer some hard questions, and practiced teaching the Restoration! Then, we took them out on the streets by the temple in Copenhagen and contacted people.
The 14 year old girl I was with was so inspiring. She just LOVED it. The first maybe 10 people we talked to just gave us quick 'NO' yet, she kept expressing how happy she was trying to share the message, because she knew it was true. She bore Powerful Heart felt testimony, and truly inspired me to be a better missionary. Also, she was a Dane, so it was fun to hear how she said things, and it was nice she could understand everything the people on the street said. We ended up giving three Books of Mormon away, and learning a lot from each other. All in all the whole activity turned out really well! And I am so thankful for all the missionaries in Copenhagen that came and helped out.
Sunday, Besweri came to church and got confirmed! And all the missionaries had to speak. All I can say is this mission is REALLY teaching me how to wing it, because I didn’t have to time to prepare, and I just went up there with a Book of Mormon in my hand! (Plus it was Danish, so that adds a Little stress...) but I did fine! We all spoke so I only had 5 min, so it really was not that bad.

One of the best parts of the week though, was Sunday school class. We had a lesson on the sacrament and a less active member asked a really good question that I have also wondered about.
We know that the sacrament is tied to repentance and cleansing us from sin. BUT, we also know that when we commit a more serious sin we are not supposed to take the sacrament. In 3 Nephi 18 is also talks about how we should not take it unworthily. But yet, when we take it aren't we recommitting ourselves to God, and asking for forgiveness? This was something I was always a little confused about, then a member shared her thoughts and it all makes sense!

The act of taking the sacrament itself doesn’t not cleanse you from sin, neither the physical act of getting baptized. But it is repentance. We a required to repent of our sins before we get baptized, and we are supposed to repent before we take the sacrament also. Then when we are clean and worthy, we partake of the bread to sort of say ' thank you, I am using your Atonement. I am not perfect, but I promise I will try again this week'. So it is more of a symbolic thing we do to remember Christ after we repent.
Maybe you all already knew this, but it definitely stuck out to me this week. I am truly so grateful for Christ, and after focusing on him at MLC and in Sunday school, I really just love Him so much more and am grateful for the love he showed me through his Atonement. I know he lives, and that this is truly His gospel.
Love you all :)

Sister Jones

Monday, August 21, 2017

Week 53 - Besweri's Baptism

Hello! Another crazy week.

Last p day we went to a 'Deer Park' where the deer come up to you and eat carrots out of your hand. But sadly the deer at this deer park were not as cool as the one I have been to in Esbjerg. They just ran away from us! 

So, we had 2 giant unused bags of carrots. Because the deer were not very nice, we just hung out in the forest, played some games and ate our packed lunch. It turned out fun anyways! We used the left over carrots in about everything we ate the next week. Carrots in our eggs, our lunch, and baked carrot fries for dinner... we even make carrot cake and brought it to district meeting!
That night we had an appointment with a positive investigator who has a baptismal date. Before we could even start with a prayer, his 'Girlfriend/ friend who takes care of him (because he has health problems)' Said she had something to say.... She then goes off for an Entire HOUR on why she doesn’t understand what we are doing, says we our brainwashing our investigator, says she doesn’t understand “why”  we need to be saved and “what” we need to be saved from.  She was getting heated. We kindly offered to leave if she didn’t want us there, and our member present came in and saved us, and tried explaining everything to this lady. It was hard, because we could explain to her why she needs to be “saved” and how it is only through Jesus Christ that is possible, but she wouldn’t really listen. 

She would find one way or another to attack everything we said. For example, Søster Jex said 'Like she said, we .....etc.' then this lady FREAKED out that Søster Jex said 'SHE' instead of the member’s name, Ruth. So obviously she was tried trying to find ways to argue with us, but it was kind of crazy. In the end we gave her a pamphlet and told her we would love to try and explain things to her, so we made an appointment for the next Monday (tonight). Sooooo not going to lie I am a little terrified. I don’t like Danish people yelling at me! Especially because I don't know how to respond! Ha-ha they did not teach you how to fight arguments in the MTC. LOL

We also had a 3rd lesson with an investigator from Greece. We had invited him last time to read in the Book of Mormon and begin to pray. He found some anti Mormon stuff and refused to read the book. He does not believe in God, and doesn’t see how God can help him. We testified SO hard about how we have come to know God is there, and how he has helped us in our life, and how we know this through the Book of Mormon. I don’t think I had ever been bolder with someone before! I knew the spirit was there and both Søster Jex and I just testified our hearts out. He gave the Book of Mormon back to us, but agreed to try praying. That was really hard to see. We were handing him the Evidence of God he was looking for, but he would not take it. I was sad walking away from the lesson because I knew there was nothing else I could do, but that it all came down to him and his agency ;(
But, on the bright side, the majority of our week was spent helping Besweri prepare for baptism! Besweri is a friend of a recent convert. He has been taught by the sisters since May. We met with him twice before Saturday and went over a few things, and he was excited!
Friday night we tried making a coconut lime cake (That is what Besweri requested). It turned out pretty good. We got to the church at 8:30 am Saturday morning and set everything up, and finished preparing our talks and musical number. I had a really bad sore throat Friday, and I was scared I was not going to be able to sing or talk on Saturday, but the Lord came through because when  I woke up Saturday my throat did not hurt at all!!!! So I successfully gave a talk on the Holy Ghost, and we both sang” I need thee every hour”. Everything turned out so well, and everyone liked the cake!
After Besweri came up out of the water, he threw up his hands for joy! He looked really happy :) 

 Pretty much the rest of Saturday we spent cleaning. We had to clean up from the baptism, but also clean the church. For some reason the sisters were in charge of cleaning the church building that day. But it worked out fine! So yes, that is a picture of me mopping the men’s bathroom. 

That night we had to go on Emergency splits with some sisters, because one of the sisters got a 19 page love letter and was proposed to by one of their investigators..... SOOOO that was a problem and she needed to leave. I went to sport ‘s night instead of her, and got to see David! He is doing really well. He has decided to move back to Romania, and happened to be moving that Tuesday. So it was really lucky I got to come and say goodbye. He wants to go on a mission, and is planning to start his mission papers when he receives the Melchizedek priesthood in January. They only have a few branches in Romania, and the closest one is over an hour from where he is from. That will be tough, but he has grown so much since the day we met him and I know he will stay strong in he Church. He told me once, 'All the other churches are like big parties, but this church is like Harvard!
Sunday was another crazy day. We waited and waited and waited and Besweri did not show up to church. We were so worried! We later found out he got a new job and had to work that night and didn’t get home until Sunday morning at 6 am, and couldn’t make it to church. So, that was unfortunate. We will have him confirmed next Sunday. Ahhhhh so much stress but all we could do was laugh about it. I just feel bad because I know he wants to come to church but he is working all the time, and always gets called in at random times.
We got transfer calls this week too (right before the baptism). Søster Jex and I will both be staying in Rødovre! Thank goodness too! I was not ready to take over this area.
Over all- another crazy week but it was awesome!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Week 52 - One year out!

Well, I officially have just 6 months left here in Denmark. Although I miss you all at home, I want to stay here forever! I Love Denmark, serving, sharing the gospel and missionary life!
Last P day we went into Copenhagen and went to this cool “street food” place! Lots of cool looking food from all around the World in a little warehouse across the Canal in Copenhagen. Søster Jex and I split some Moroccan food that looked good. We also got some ice cream and went to the top of Vore Frelsers Kirke. You could see all of Copenhagen, and see to Sweden.
We needed to buy some candy in bulk, so we went to a bazaar this week! I am not sure if they have those in America but they are just like foreign shops with lots of imported foods and things. Tyler would really like it! It probably has some of his crazy Indonesian food. Those stores are fun but are always in sketchy parts of town, so we have to be careful.
Thursday we had district meeting, and it was our district leaders’ birthday. We had originally wanted to go out for district dinner and go to an Asian buffet, but that didn’t work out. So, instead we made an Asian buffet for him and surprised him when he came to district meeting! Søster Jex and I made homemade egg rolls and it all turned out really good!
Back at Zone conference we watched a video of some BYU students WHO went out to different cities around the world and asked people to read pages of the Book of Mormon and share their thoughts. It was a way cool video, and on Saturday here in Copenhagen we recreated it!
We set up two tables on different parts of the big main shopping area downtown and tried it out! We just went around asking people if they would read a page form the Book of Mormon and highlight what they liked and then share their thoughts. We had a decent amount of people participate and gave out some Books of Mormon and got a bunch of people WHO wanted to know more! It was really fun. 

Also a miracle. It was scheduled to rain the exact time we planned to do it... so we all prayed SO much that the Lord would hold the rain back! And of course, when we started we had a little bit of sunshine, and not a single drop the whole 2 hours we were out! Then, right as we packed up, it started raining. I know he held the rain back just for us :)

Sunday was also a good day, because I got to see 'Elder Canny' at church!!! (He is from Norway and served his mission in our Ward). There was a girl from Norway and a guy from Denmark that got married this weekend so he was in town for a wedding. Our mutual friend Gismo made sure he came to our ward that day so I could say hi :) It was such a surprise when he walked in because I knew he looked very familiar, but it took a few minutes for it to click! He spoke some Norwegian to me, and I understood it too! It is similar to Danish. That was fun!
Sunday we also decorated president’s office because it is his birthday on Monday. We made a banner with favorite memories from a whole bunch of us missionaries, and put lots of flags and balloons all around.

Missionary work in our area is good. We are planning a baptism for Besweri this Saturday. We have lots and lots of appointments with people and honestly are a little overwhelmed! There is just not enough time in the day to do everything. I feel so blessed that the Lord has given us so many people to teach in our area. We had gotten a lot of new investigators that have burned us and not showed up, but we also have a few that are really progressing, so everything works out.

I am so excited to finish strong these last 6 months! I am pretty insufficient, but I have definitely learned that as long as I try my best, the Lord will help me with the rest.

Søster Jones