Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Music Tour In Europe: Check

This past week was pretty awesome. It consisted of touring to the three biggest cities in Denmark and giving live concerts and being kinda famous and stuff. (gotta love vague truths right? ;) ) The week of the music group finally came so much singing was done and many cool things happened because of it. I think it is actually cooler what we did, than touring in a rock band anyhow because how many rock bands make people feel the love of Christ? None! (that i know of i guess... at least not Styx Or Boston or the Steve Miller Band)

Here are some cool highlights:

We got to do a bunch of caroling on the Gå Gades in Svendborg, Odense, and Århus which was a blast because we made so many people stop and smile:) It was great to see even the people who had no time to stop crack a smile as they were walking past. It is amazing what music can do and furthermore how well it speaks to our souls. We did a lot of fun stuff like surrounding random people and then singing to them like it was a private concert and then we had Book of Mormons wrapped up to give as Christmas gifts to them. The coolest one we had by far was a nice girl in her 20s who was on her bike who stopped to listen. One of the sisters in our group went and gave her a Book of Mormon and began to chat so we all decided to sing to just her. As we sang, she became overwhelmed by the powerful Christmas spirit and began to cry. Come to find out after the fact that she is also a singer and loves music:) She also was about to move to Africa for 4 months so i can imagine that it must have been a lot of uncertainty and excitement and stress at that point in her life but it was neat to see the power of music in action. 

In all three concerts we were really fortunate be blessed with energy and enthusiasm to sing very well. We were all pretty tired from having to wake up and rehearse and do this, go there, knock on some doors here, figure out food for 20 people and so on. I think most of the week i was a bit more on the everything-is-funny type of tired so that made it even more fun for me haha. It is pretty tiring to work with that large a group at the speed and focus we did so it was very fulfilling to finish a concert and think... "hey, it worked" They were all three very excellent concerts which really bespeaks the preparation that went into them. We even got standing O's at all of them which was way neat because i feel like in american we throw standing ovations out like candy but i could see as the audiences applauded that we had really touched some people. It was definitely a very different style of missionary than im used to but it was neat to be a part of. 

Whats New? Well i have a new companion named Elder Baadsgaard from Spanish Fork Utah. His family actually originates from Skive area so he is way stoke to go and knock on the doors of every Baadsgaard here in Skive because it is not a common name and there are not many with it in the area. He set up the entire music group from the ground up so needless to say he is a music wizard! His piano skills are absolutely crazy good... i feel like a third grader playing mary had a little lamb next to him haha. He is a great guy though and an excellent missionary and we are going to do some WORK! 

J* is still way way way way excited to be baptized next week and the area is in great condition work wise. We actually had an eating appointment with a lady who used to house missionaries 5 years back and she was way cool. Then we got invited right after that to come to the church and pick up some left over food from the ward Christmas party. Well, the people who were there to give it to us decided instead that it be a grand idea to just feed it to us at 8:45 at night... So we got wrecked haha. I haven't been that full in a very very long time and i don't plan on doing it again. Thats life though as a missionary :D

Spiritual thought:

This poem is my all time favorite Christmas poem that President O'Bryant shared last Christmas and really touched me. Its called the "Christmas Guest":

It happened one day at December’s end
Some neighbors called on an old-time friend.
And they found his shop so meager and mean,
Made gay with a thousand boughs of green.
And old Conrad was sitting with face ashine.
When he suddenly stopped as he stitched the twine.
And he said “My friends at dawn today,
When the cock was crowing the night away,
The Lord appeared in a dream to me.
And He said, ‘I’m coming your guest to be”
So I’ve been busy with feet astir,
Strewing my shop with branches of fir.
The table is spread and the kettle is shined,
And over the rafters the holly is twined.
And now I’ll wait for my Lord to appear;
And listen closely so I will hear,
His steps as he nears my humble place.
And I’ll open the door and I’ll look on his face.”
Then his friends went home and left Conrad alone,
For this was the happiest day he had known.
For long since his family had passed away.
And Conrad had spent many a sad Christmas Day.
But he knew with the Lord as his Christmas guest,
This Christmas would be the dearest and best.
So he listened with only joy in his heart,
And with every sound he would rise with a start,
And looked for the Lord to be at his door.
Like the vision that he had had a few hours before.
So he ran to the window after hearing a sound,
But all he could see on the snow covered ground
Was a shabby beggar whose shoes were torn.
And all his clothes were ragged and worn.
But old Conrad was touched and he went to the door
And he said, “Your feet must be cold and sore.
I have some shoes in my shop for you.
And I have a coat to keep you warmer, too.”
So with grateful heart the man went away.
But Conrad notice the time of day
And he wondered what made the dear Lord so late,
And how much longer he’d have to wait.
Then he heard another knock, and he ran to the door,
But it was only a stranger once more.
A bent old lady with a shawl of black,
And a bundle of kindling piled on her back.
But she asked only for a place to rest,
a place that was reserved, for Conrad’s great guest.
But her voice seemed to plead, “Don’t send me away,
Let me rest for awhile this Christmas Day.”
So Conrad brewed her a steaming cup
And told her to sit at the table and sup.
After she had left, he was filled with dismay
For he saw that the hours were slipping away
The Lord had not come as He said He would
And Conrad felt sure he had misunderstood.
When out of the stillness he heard a cry.
“Please help, me and tell me – Where am I?”
So again he opened his friendly door.
And stood disappointed as twice before.
It was a child who had wandered away,
And was lost from her family on Christmas Day.
Again Conrad’s heart was heavy and sad,
But he knew he could make this little girl glad.
So he called her in and he wiped her tears,
And he quieted all her childish fears.
Then he led her back to her home once more.
Then as he entered his own darkened door,
He knew that the Lord was not coming today,
For the hours of Christmas, had all passed away.
So he went to his room, and he knelt down to pray.
He said, “Lord, why did you delay?
What kept You from coming to call on me?
I wanted so much Your face to see.”
Then softly, in the silence, a voice he heard.
“Lift up your head – I have kept My word.
Three times my shadow crossed your floor.
Three times I came to your lowly door.
I was the beggar with bruised cold feet;
I was the woman you gave something to eat;
I was the child on the homeless street.
Three times I knocked, three times I came in,
And each time I found the warmth of a friend.
Of all the gifts, love is the best.
I was honored to be your Christmas guest.

Let us have Christ as our christmas guest this year. A very merry Christmas to you all!!

Sister Jones is a wizard at the fiddle and Elder Hager is a wizard with a guitar, and i play the tin whistle... this is what happened

We all sang bass for the music group so we had a last hurrah together 

Sister Quinton, Me, Elder Hager, Sister Peterson, Elder Nielsen, Elder Shuppy, Elder Brown, Sister Jones at the Svendborg Station 
Pics from the Christmas District :)

Elder Shuppy, Nielsen, and I in an elevator  #swag

The entire group in Svendborg

Elder Dibble, Me, Elder Brown, and Elder Hager on a train

The last concert in Arhus...the band's gotta split now.  

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