Monday, June 27, 2016

The Final Four-man

Well somehow transfers happened again... i think time is an impatient person haha. Someone needs to tell him to take it easy because six weeks later my life changes again. Not saying its a bad thing at all... but it sure happens a lot haha:)

So your headlines coming at you hot and fresh:
-Transfer calls came early saturday morning. Basically, I am the only one out of the four to stay in Århus. Elder Bishopp is going to Slagelse on Sjælland, Elder Eaves is going to Bornholm on the other side of Sweden (yes that is a part of Denmark), and Elder Millward is going back to Utah. So everyone is leaving the landmass haha. The other elders area is shutting down as well because there are not enough elders at the moment to have it open. So it was kinda sad to sit on the couch and provide ukulele sound and watch them all pack around me in a chaos (well that part wasnt too bad).
But on the flip side I am with Elder Lee! He is a way awesome guy. He hails from Eagle Idaho and has been out a couple transfers ahead of me so he is a great addition to Århus. Also, We are in a trio with Elder Eaves for two days until some things get sorted out. (something to do with a guy from Denmark going to the states on a mission but waiting on a visa.) Anyway, after a hectic transfers morning and a bunch of suitcases later, everything is in place.

-This week was pretty eventful. We were on splits for 4 of the 7 days and we were in Ålborg for 1 to go to a district meeting up there to be a part of it. We had a blast nonetheless and were still able to get a good amount of work done. We have a lady named C* who is pretty awesome! Her faith is pretty strong and she says she would be willing to find answers from God. We had a good first lesson hopefully next time we can set a baptismal date with her.

- We met with a baptist guy in a coffee shop (relax... we had smoothies haha) He had contacted us on a bus or something and wanted to talk again so we met and discussed some things. Im glad the gospel of Jesus Christ is true and not the gospel of this baptist guy is not haha. He basically tried to use "logic" to prove we are wrong but really didnt understand why it wasnt working. He is a very nice dude, and he thinks he is doing us a favor. But it was kinda funny to watch him trying to logic it out in his head. The Book of Mormon is the only real point of focus if you want to even try and prove anything wrong. We told him it is six hundred pages of evidence that Joseph Smith is a prophet and that Jesus Christ lives. So he took it and said we  will meet again and hopefully he will do some soul searching. Great experience though!

-At one point in this week we had 3 seperate convos going at the same time. One guy named H* who we have met before said he wants us to come by, and as we were talking about God, this guy on the bench looked up and then i took that chance and asked him if he believed. At the same time, a young girl walked up and said the knows mormons from school. So it was way cool to all of the sudden get the chance to talk with three random strangers. The Gospel is great like that:)

Spiritual thought:

This week Elder Eaves was sick on Monday, so I made him go take a nap. He ended up sleeping for four hours, so amongst other things, I watched Ephraims Rescue (the movie about the willie martin handcart company). I have seen it about 7 times, so it wasnt like I had't seen it, but this time I got wayyy into it. I had a really neat experience with it which changed my perspective on some things, but the point is how much more i now respect those faithful pioneers! It was neat to see how their faith is portrayed, and it is really quite staggering if you really think about it. It makes me wonder how we can show that kind of faith... (this is where you apply the same question ;) )
But anyways, i just wanted to point out how great those saints were and that we should remember them and their sacrifice for the church since it is usually around this time we commemorate them. :)

Also a quote from Livingston :
"The gull that flies highest sees furthest" (id like to assume he is talking about eagulls... seagulls aren't as cool)
don't sit on the ground beneath your priviledges. We are meant to rise up to our potential.
Well... have a great rest of the summer! Thanks for taking time to look down from the beach and at least look at the pictures below ;) Have a great week!
Ældste  j

On the summer solstice at 10:28... or 5:28

The Mosegaard museum: Gladiator stuff and viking stuff.  Most excellent! 

Some legendary sword :)

The Grauballe Man: On April 26th 1952, Gauballe Man was discovered in a bog in central Jutland.  In the iron Age, more than 2000 years ago, his life is given to the Gods in a plea for fertility and good harvest

Saying goodbye to the last four man apartment clan: Elder Bishopp

Elder Amos

Elder Millward

Soren and I.  He is the sisters friend who is basically a member

Monday, June 20, 2016

A Week Worth Its Weight

This week was probably one of the most eventful weeks of my whole life! Here are some reasons why:

1) Caroline was baptized!! It finally happened and it was so awesome. *fist pump* She was so happy and cheerful and all the synonyms of those words haha. It is amazing to see how the gospel of Jesus Christ can change people. The atonement is truly an enabling power! It was a sweet experience for me because I got to sit by my boy Vo Long and translate for him because a majority of her baptism was in English because she wanted it to be. So it was a plain neat thing to be with two people I have had the opportunity to help come unto Christ in some way. Vo long is still telling the same stories about how the Pitchers (my trainers fam) are awesome and how  they gave him a picture of Christ (that still sits unwrapped because he says it won't be a gift anymore if it is unwrapped haha) and how I used to come over every Tuesday and be with him. It is neat to think that was 10ish months ago. So it will be awesome to see where Caroline goes with the gospel in her life:)

2) Right after the baptism we had dinner at the church with all the young single adults and they all hung out and celebrated Caroline and stuff. There were missionaries there because 4 of us helped teach her and obviously we have companions haha. But afterwards when we all had to go back to the Odense 2 elders apartment, Caroline came with us because she wanted to give out a Book of Mormon. She had tags on from some of the missionaries who have helped teach her and she took a Book of Mormon and then her and my previous comp elder Erickson contacted a 17 year old kid and taught a lesson and gave that Book of Mormon out! So sick:) Such a great night to be back in Odense

3) Elder Eaves and I were together this entire week on splits because our companions got to go to Bornholm (the Danish island on the other side of Sweden) and be a part of a huge social gathering from all over Europe. So we held down all of Århus while both them and the sisters took off to KBH and Bornholm. It was such a fun experience:) Not one single thing was normal about the week and it was kind of like trying to juggle water but we somehow managed to hold it all down. I'll give some bits and pieces of why...

-we got burned by people we were supposed to meet with 6 different times this week and a bunch of other people that were potentially able to meet all decided to not answer at all haha.

- a Romanian guy (so he says) got our number somehow and asked if he could get a Bible from us. So we met him at the church and he basically just argued with us for 15 minutes. We think he was just being a complete waste of time because his "arguments" were complete insanity haha. We are both still confused to this day who that guy was...
-there was a giant music festival going on called Northside and we live really close to where it went down. The bike path behind our apartment turned into the road leading to the festival. That means that people set up booths and stuff and gave out free alcohol and had other things you could do on the way to the concert. So what im trying to say is, i have never seen more drunk people than I did during those 3 days... it was absolute chaos haha. One guy came and yelled in my face "the only way to Heaven is to use a hang glider." I asked, well have you tried it yet? and he got way mad and left. 

4) oh yea.... i hit my year mark this week:) Haha it was weird. It didn't really feel that different to be honest. We were on splits with the Randers elders (Elder gardner and Magleby) so that was way fun! Me and Elder Gardner tye dyed shirts in lieu of our year mark instead of the burning of a white shirt so that was fun haha. If anything I feel a lot older but it is satisfying to look back and see how much I actually did in a year... which is nuts. But no worries I got a whole year left... right? am i right? (this is where Elder Millward shakes his head and sighs because he goes home next week haha). I'll make the best of it though:)

Oh yea!! I almost forgot... So after the baptism on Tuesday, we went back to the apartment and had a chili pepper eating challenge. Basically we had some of the worlds hottest peppers all in the same place and we were aiming to eat them somehow. So we all popped them in (after getting hyped of course) and we had to go without anything for two minutes. The place went nuts when we hit two minutes and I took a video from the corner of the room, so i recorded 20 minutes of quality entertainment. You watch as manliness and feelings of courage leave and we all go into our own versions of survival mode to try and beat these peppers with yogurt and milk and spoonfuls of sugar and tortillas to alleviate the pain. It was THE single hottest thing ive have EVER eaten period. Immediately, Elder Erickson threw up, Elder Jensen (the one i trained) got violent hiccups, Elder Gudmonson touched his eye (game over) and felt a rush of heat in my ears. Elder eaves mostly just hung out the window haha. I ended up hurling 7 times so that was rough haha. 

But hey, good memories for life:)

Spiritual thought:

Read "In the Strength of the Lord" by David A. Bednar.  

It is a talk my dad sent me about the enabling power of the atonement and it changed quite a few things in my perspective. It will definitely change yours too if you give it a read.

Here is a  quote from Dante that I think is awesome, "the arrow seen before comes less rudely"

 ill bet if you take 30 seconds to share your testimony with someone this week, youll see something good come of it. Give it a go.

Be good or be good at it! have a good one:)

Ældste  j

Pics from the Dåb :) 

This picture was sent to me from Trine Kreiberg of Brandon and her son during Caroline's Baptism.  It was wonderful for us to see and share in the joy of the day!  

the carolina reaper, two naga jolokia peppers, two scotch bonnet habenaros imported from Mexico, and two yellow habenaros ( I ate the third from the right...that little guy was a doozy)

The Pepper crew from left to right (Myself, Elder Eaves, Elder Jensen (my mission son), Elder Hager, Elder Gudmonson, Elder Ericson (past comp), and Elder Reed (in Chair)

Will you read it in a shrub?  Will you read it with a club?  

Walking through a great week

Splits with the one and only Elder Magleby

Me and Elder Garner celebrating the year mark!

Eating cookies (don't worry, I cut his hair for him haha)

Trying to be epic...but not succeeding

Elder Gardner in tye dye

Monday, June 13, 2016

Tillykke med Fars Dag:)

For all the dads who are too busy playing with their new power tools to put that into google translate,  that means happy fathers day:) I wish you a good week of working on your cars in your leather jackets to the scent of cooking bacon. Have a manly week. haha 

This week was pretty happening. We had a whole lot of stuff and some good things that i guess I would be willing to share:

Update on the area:

Everything is going well with the work here in Århus. We have been doing a ton of finding in nicer neighborhood. I have had to change a bit: meaning I've had to get bolder and really put my heart on the proverbial plate to show the importance of the message. You know, it kinda hurts haha. A lot of people we talk to (especially those in the nicer areas) really are content with where they are at. It has definitely made me realizer the importance of perspective on things. A lot of those we meet have the perspective of "Look i have a family and we live in a big house and are happy and don't need anything else. You're wasting your time because we have already heard the message" And it is hard because you really want for these people to just give it a TRY... Take away the big house and the Audi r8 in the driveway and I would bet some of those we have talked to would listen haha. (I am not generalizing because we do have some great conversations all the time... but most everyone doesn't want to just give it an honest chance). So I think the Lord is teaching Elder Bishopp and I a lesson or two right now. 

Well J* is having a break right now. So not much say right now. His desire to change is real and there, but things aren't really happening right now so we are giving him some space to breath for a week or two. 

We taught two Jehovahs witnesses/had a conversation with them (they wouldn't really listen...) It was a very polite conversation and i feel like they were trying hard to seem like they were open. We have met with them before but we had dropped them because nothing ever happened. Too much bush-dancing (Elder Eaves favorite line) But it got eventful on Wednesday. Normally they have just two ordinary members, but they brought in one of the head honchos in Århus which i cant remember what his title was. They were kinda trying to prove us wrong with the Bible but we rose above it and simply nodded and then refered back to the Book of Mormon. I dont know if people can get it into their heads that we are not here to prove anything to anyone... Bible bashing only is used to prove "nah nah I'm right you're wrong." I found out that Elder Bishopp felt the same about it and so he  goes,

 "look, nothing you say matters unless your talking about that book right there. Our purpose is to bring people closer to Christ through the message of that book and if you're going to try and prove anything wrong, you might as well just focus on that book. We know you just want to prove us wrong and convert us, and we want to convert you through that book, so lets not focus on anything else. That is the cornerstone of everything we believe."

So we just testified from there and it still didn't go anywhere. So we won't be meeting with them anymore. Nice guys who give us ice cream and are actually care to have morals, but we could be out finding someone ready to accept the gosepl in its fullness. So we've just been finding a lot since then:)

Other things:
We were on splits this week for four days. Two with the Horsens Elders up in our area and two with the AP's down in København. It was a grand old week filled with learning and adventures like:

-Meeting two more JW's out knocking but actually having a pleseant exchange. I was with elder Thurmann and from Riverside CA and we were on a was high roll that day. We had some fantastic convos and meeting these two at the end was great. One of them definitely felt the uniqeness of our message and it was apparent:) They were scared to meet with us though (probably b/c the big dawg said not to haha. #messagetootrue)

-Meeting a guy with german shepard puppies:))

-Recieving cherry sours and many other solid american imports. Thanks fam:) I've converted elder Millward and Elder Eaves and elder Bishopp to the way of the cherry sours. I've talked about them a lot apparently so they were all stoked to actually taste a little of the great things that happen at the 7-11 off  Sierra College blvd (yea... i still remember the address)

-taking a picture of a swan.

Spiritual thought:

So my mom challenged me to think some ways to come closer to Our heavenly Father and Jesus Christ as I am approaching one year in the mission (yes... she is trunkier than i am;) haha but its ok) 

So one thing we as missionaries do is set weekly goals and write them down. We do "apartmentship inventory" in the Århus apartment where we set goals and have an inventory of what we are all doing well and what we can improve on and then we account for the last weeks goals. So I've been doing this for a year right? I've seen the difference it has made. Setting goals, pondering about them,  and then following up on them has made a world of difference.

So i was thinking to challenge everyone to think of one way they can come closer to God and Jesus Christ during the next year. You could write them in your phones, on a sticky note on your steering wheel, or shoot, have an inventory with your family or friends or roommates or whatever kind of unit you're existing in right now:) The challenge is very broad, so it could be anything from "Is God there? I'm going to find out" or "I'm going to work on being a charitable person this week by___" or "I want to give a compliment an hour".

Basically, setting these goals shows your commitment to the Lord that you are willing to have him help you change into a person that he wants you to become. This may all start be figuring out your divine potential as children of God and realizing what that means.... i know at least a portion of what that entails... but thats just me:)

Not sure where this comes from but here is a quote:
"When your only tool is a hammer, all problems start looking like nails."

Have a great week!

Ældste  j

Don't get too jealous... its just a swan;) (and Copenhagen)

The workout crew: the few and the strong haha

Elder Erickson, me , and Elder Eaves

We can't get the whole jumping pic timed right haha

Monday, June 6, 2016

Taking the Witness Stand

So this past week was pretty good. We were able to do a TON of finding and teach a lot of people. We are still in the works of helping people to progressing towards baptism so we are doing lots of finding so that we can make as may friends as possible:)

But let me tell you just a bit about this week:

Well our boy J is doing pretty well. He is really overcoming his vices and trials and we can really see the change. It is like a wall that he is finally peering over to see what kind of joy he can actually find in life. His whole countenance =happier :) 

Met a guy named Dan. He was shirtless at the time and began to tell us about how he loves americans and shooting guns and the Kennedy space museum. So we turned that into a gospel oriented convo and hey... he is our new friend:)

Otherwise we have been doing a ton of finding. We kinda have put people on pause who don't really care to change for now. So That gives us a lot more time to go out and spread the good news. So all of the other people we are going to be meeting with shortly are still in the works of setting up a convenient time.

Let me tell you about Wednesday... it was a good day to be alive as a missionary:) We went to the Bible study with our good friends from the New convenant church as we usually do. And it went like it usually does, except at the end the Pastor (who is named Apostle) says "I have one last question for my white brothas". Here is the scenario, 30 people from various nations of Africa, all very religious, come every week and participate in an uplifting Bible study. In addition, the "two white brothas" have been coming for about a year now and have pretty much never been asked about what they actually believe and are out to preach. (Missionaries are way tight with them so its great)

So Apostle asks this super English saavy girl named Nina to word the question (they all had it in their heads hahaha) and she goes "Who is Joseph Smith and why is he so important to you."
Well, that was the part where Elder Bishopp and I took our place up on the proverbial soapbox and answered questions and testified for 45 minutes. The great part is, they were all genuinley interested in what we believe, so the questions the 30 some of them took turns firing were actually just to understand. It was incredible:) No one was fired up or anything, except when we got to the part where we said we believe that the Book of Mormon and the Bible are equally God's word. I tried not to laugh as Apostle eyes almost blew out of his head haha. But we told them we are only here to invite people to find out if it is true or not and we don't mean to take away from their belief in the Bible and they were totally understanding of it. He ended it though by saying that they are going to have more questions next time so I think we stirred the pot of interest. ;)

So Elder Bishopp and I were wayyy hyped on Wednesday night:)

Other good stuff:

It is interesting the viewpoints you hear on a mission... We were told this week that feeling the spirit all the time is too much and is a bad thing.... Well nope actually i think that means you're doing something right:) 

We had a ward bbq and it was super great. I was designated to make the rootbeer because im a real american and rootbeer is american󾓦 So that was fun:) Rootbeer to the danish people is like unto the really black licorice to Americans. But it just so happened that the few danes who do like rootbeer were at this ward activity, so i think we made 8 gallons:) hahaha.

Saturday was the hottest day of the year at around 85 degrees farenheit... it isn't normal that it gets that hot this early in the summer but it was dejligt:)

Spiritual thoughts:
I recently have been introduced to Truman G. Madsen and the knowledge bombs he drops... 

“We all know that the Spirit brings joy. The revelation to me is that joy brings the Spirit. When we are happy, the Spirit flows more freely – otherwise, it does not.” Truman G. Madsen

I really was a fan of this quote. Pretty straight forward:)

Have a great week! Isnt it great we have an excuse to eat ice cream and drink slurpees again? Thanks summer.


Ældste  j

Mastering the art of deer-chi

an overexposed pic of Elder Millward, Sister Baggily, Sister Andrew, and Elder Eaves
More deer taming

Once again...I bring you Elder Gardener (we have a goal to see how many pics we can take so we can make a collage :) )

Me in the skov 


A hyygeligt Danish road


This picture commemorates Soapbox Wednesday...epic

Me not ready for action


Elder Bishopp...yea Elder Bishopp

The Randers District