Monday, February 27, 2017

Skive Distribution Center

Roses are grey
Violets are grey
I am a dog

And now for the news :)


Well this week slowed a bit down as far as our friends and their progress. A* is in school right now and he has 500+ hours of programming to do in order to complete some big project so right he is probably in his cave with his eyes melted to the computer screen (He is nothing like you what you just imagined... not all programmers are afraid of the sun and have permanent Cheetos fingers) But we are planning on making some food with him this week so stay tuned i guess.

K* is doing well. He has been kinda sick so we have not met with him as frequently this last week but he is still pressing forward. At this point he understands and has accepted the gospel so we are just helping him prepare for baptism at his own pace:)

Finding Fun:
Since we had more time his week, we did a ton of finding and gave out around 20 books of Mormon:) We went up to this city called Thisted where missionaries have ever actually been stationed so the church is not very well known up there. Missionaries have visited it off and on but since it has always been in Skive area it is an investment. Luckily it went really well because in the two hours of knocking on doors we gave out 8 Books of Mormon. No one we talked with had ever heard of the church and since we weren't the local Jehovah's Witness missionaries, it blew their mind that there were others. We had an interesting talk with a rather racist lady who was not afraid to express her views in her thick west-coast accent ( think pirate meets farmer and you'll imagine that accent) and she ended up listening to why we knocked on her door in the first place haha. We also knocked on a door, waited, and then knocked the one across from it because we assumed the first apartment was empty. Well, 45 seconds into the next conversation, the first door opened up and a nice older man from the Congo was standing there. I said hello in my best (and only) Swahili i know and then handed it off to Elder Baadsgaard who turned around and began talking to the Congolese man while I finished talking with a nice young lad from Somalia. They both ended up wanting a copy of the Book of Mormon, and then said thanks and shut the door almost simultaneously. That all happened a lot quicker than it took me to type this so you can imagine how unexpected/fun that was for us:)

Another fun experience we had was speaking with a lady on the island of Mors. In the Fjord between Skive and Thisted, there lies and island which is connected by two bridges. We drive over it to get out to visit Jimmi and Vivi so we have stopped a couple times in a city called Nykøbing Mors. We have been doing some finding in an area with a lot of apartment complexes so we met some fun characters. One such that we met was an old lady who spoke the Morsingbo dialect, which is more or less another language. The conversation was either 80 percent understandable or 3 percent understandable for me anyway.... Elder B had similar results. If you want to know what it is like, leave off the last half of every word you say and then speak from behind your uvula and there you go.

Other things:

We had a cookie night in the church for K* and all of his buddies so that they would feel comfortable coming in the church. We have met 11 different people through K* and they all have rough lives and all need the gospel but only Karsten ended up coming because we had some stormy weather that night and i guess they all thought they were going to blow away (wasnt even that bad).

I finally found pumpkin puree because i promised our ward mission leader and his wife back around thanksgiving time id make them some pumpkin pie. They've never tasted pumpkin anything,let alone pumpkin pie... so that needed to change haha. We had a rough go trying to round up everything to put in the because i forgot to grab certain ingredients 3 consecutive times!... i am not an elephant. Plus, they dont teach you what cloves are in danish when you're in the MTC, never-mind that ive heard it used only like 3 times in English ;) But we did it! Being in Skive has cultivated my baking skills even more #blessed

Had another mission experience for after the mission... Some things just need to be told in person haha.

Spiritual thought:

Two cool little quotes for you all that i loved:

"Commandments are no more restrictive to the spiritual man than street signs are the the motorist. Neither prohibits our progress; to the contrary, they help us find and reach our destination" --Tad R. Callister

The commandments are there so that we avoid detours, accidents, and all of the seemingly end of the road situations. The more we heed these road-signs that are designed for the safety of our souls and our ultimate happiness, the more the Savior can lift us to new heights because we are not bound down at the ground level with those things "that so easily beset us" as the prophet Nephi puts it. By following the commandments can we find and obtain the highest in us.

Another something that popped into my head in quote form came to me during our zone conference last Wednesday: " Unless you are good at doing the splits, you have got to do more than just put your best foot forward." It was kind of a fun thought because we were talking about putting your best foot forward at one point in the conference and i thought to myself "well yea but that cannot be all we do" and thus came the inspiration that we must follow through! We were discussing as a district and Elder Brown, our district leader who has been out a year, said that this last goal we had as a district to give out 42 book of Mormons was the first time in his mission he has really achieved a district goal and even exceeded it. That set wheels in motion for me that we must be accountable and follow up with our back foot every time we take, as it were, a step forward. It has to be an active thought! Luckily, walking is driven by our subconscious mind because if it weren't, we would be very good at walking unless we planned to take another step and executed every time. So it is with goals :)

Spring is coming! Whoooooooooooooooooooo! Have a good week :)

Ældste  j

​Me holding my identity and one of the stones the Brother of Jared had- :) 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Collect $200 as you pass go

If my mission was Monopoly, the dealer would owe me 17,400 dollars for how many times I've made it to "go" (Another week). This last week was a pretty great blur of events:

Well we had some pretty neat experiences with our bro A*. We had an awesome lesson last p-day on the plan of salvation and then let that sink in until Wednesday. Well, we made it to Tuesday night before A* texted us and said that he had received an answer of his own and that he wanted to meet again soon:) So we were pretty stoked you could say.... I am really grateful i have had yet another opportunity to watch how everything "came to pass". That is one phrase that i have come to love in the Book of Mormon because things really do happen! But anyway, on Wednesday night A* invited us over for some mango chicken curry which eventually led into a great discussion where the spirit was really present. After some pretty great discussion, we asked him if he would be willing to be baptized and he said that is something he would be open to do if things keep fitting "like a hand in a glove" (which they will :) )

So it is going pretty well!

K* is doing swell. We slowed down the pace so we can help him figure out for himself where he is at with all of it. Sometimes it is hard to tell because he is way down to be baptized so i think he will at some point float down the lazy river and into the font haha. He definitely is committed... we just helping him realize a bit more what that entails. His understanding is really increasing at a consistent rate and we are starting to reteach some things so he has the chance to really let it sink in. He is great though.

We are still doing a bunch of finding:) We gave out about 12 Books of Mormon this last week so people are receptive enough based off of that, but there is still one more yet to be found that is ready to receive the gospel. So in the words of a sarcastic man we met recently while knocking, " The hunt continues" ;) hahaha.

One cool experience though with our finding was that we only had an hour on Friday to go out and knock in the beautiful sunshine so we made a mini goal to give out 2 books of Mormon  (yes, the sun really did come out this week... i have photo evidence). The very first door we knocked on was an old lady who was willing to chat for a while and ended up taking one. She was funny because she wanted us to come say hi to her husband but he was the classic grumpy old guy and said that we shouldn't be allowed in his house (or on his lawn) so we politely excused ourselves. She tried to play it off by saying, "oh my husband is just so funny sometimes" but we decided she was enough to talk to for that household. Then we gave the other Book of Mormon out 3 houses later! it was fun to see the power the Book of Mormon has in and of itself:) We knocked and a girl around age 14 answered. We introduced ourselves and that we were out to share a book and her eyes lasered in on the copy Elder Baadsgaard was holding causally at his side. She ended up being a friend over to visit the actual residents who had "coincidentally" ran up to the house a few minutes before we knocked, but i said she could have one if she wanted and she lit up and said she would like one. So that was a fun little miracle of how the Lord helped us achieve that goal. It was fun because it confirmed once again that no one is too old or too young for the gospel.

We visited the Argentinian fam again and gave them a Spanish Book of Mormon but they said to come back because they didnt have too much time. The other fam want home so we still have two reasons to drive out to the sticks again haha.

Other things:

We went to some of the smaller no-name type towns that lay outside Skive to knock on some doors and knocked through 3 of them. Kind of fun to just blitz a whole town in a day and talk to pretty much every resident. I've definitely talked to more old people during my time here in Skive than the rest of my mission combined by now. Good stuff.

We went to go look for some fossilized sea urchins today for pday because Elder Baadsgaard is a geology junkie:) We have seen a lot of these cool fossils on peoples doorsteps so we went out to hunt for them. Elder Baadsgaard found some cool stuff and I found an alive-ish sea urchin... but that was about it. No fossils. But it was definitely worth going out there because it was an adventure trying to brave the rugged coastline. We got pretty wet and muddy but i made a fun documentary of it. #memories

Honestly I will probably remember everything i was going to say in like 3 hours but i grasping for straws here... 

We sang a duet for sacrament meeting. I had the lead part. I sang one whole line of the wrong song right off the bat.... That about sums that up haha. Nah people somehow thought it was great, i just think it was funny:)

Spiritual thought:
Ive been reading a book called "The Infinite Atonement" by Tad R. Callister and it is just incredible. One thing that i really loved that he said was this: The Lord does not like room-temperature saints. He uses this scripture to expound--

 " know thy worksthat thou art neither cold nor hot: would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarmand neither cold nor hot, will spue thee out of my mouth." (Revelations 3:15-16)
It is pretty straightforward:) Don't be a room temperature saint. Don't ride the fence and don't walk the gray line. The Lord would rather you be cold than lukewarm... but let us all strive to be "hot." :) And by hot I mean on fire with the testimony of Jesus Christ. Let us remember that comes from the inside, not the outer appearance. (Don't worry, I am not condemning beauty...) you all get the jist of what I am saying. I'm no Tad R. Callister but i thought I'd share that thought.
Well, keep doing rain dances California, i hear its working;) Have a good one!
-- Ældste  j

Årbjerg... knocked the entire city in two hours haha

A Danish field for your pinstagrams

The Euro suit

Presenting your new organist 

Wandering the coastline. Found an abandoned shack

I bought and authentic Danish sweater thing.  Only old people rock this kind of stuff now but it is sick! 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Ugly Duckling Evolutions

Coming at you once again from my swivel chair in the Skive church building I present.... the week :


K* is doing really well. We changed his baptismal date to the 27th of May and we set another step by step plan with him yesterday on how he will be able to reach it. He said that the last one might have been too quick of a stop plan, but in retrospect he wasn't going the full nine yards haha. The main thing is that he has a ton of buddies who always are over (one is couch-surfing right now) and they all smoke so it is pretty easy to see how he would be tempted to get off schedule. Aside from that though, we had a way great lesson on faith and repentance and then followed up the next day with a lesson on baptism again. It is really staring to sink in for him! He also says that because it is too boring to just read the Book of Mormon, he writes it out instead haha. Fine enough :)... He wrote out the Book of Mormon (not the whole book but the actually book within the whole) and now he is 5 chapters deep in the Book of Helaman. It is actually pretty crazy how big of a difference it makes for him because he will just whip out all this knowledge of what he read and explain what is going on in what he is writing down. So its clicking for K*

Jimmi and Vivi had their twins!! They are way cute:) They're going through some crazy issues with the government concerning the whole thing because past issues but the thing is that the government has no right because in Denmark your record restarts more or less after 5 years in order to give people fresh starts. I don't fully understand the process, nor is it my place, but all you need to know is that because of the faith of Jimmi and Vivi and the members here, it is all working out:) Elder Baadsgaard shared a talk called "When life gets one degree colder" that talks about like could always be one degree colder. In other words, it could always be worse and Jimmi has adopted that as his life motto. They're doing really well and as far as the health of Vivi and the twins there are no problems.

We have been doing a lot of finding as of late because our pool of people to work with has cycled out a lot of the potential investigators we had but that's just the process. We were out knocking in a place called Mønsted and we had some neat experiences! We have really been praying that we can find another family to teach so that the Skive branch won't die out 15 years down the road, and we found two potential families on the same road:) With the first family we knocked into, we didn't get a ton of time to talk, as they were on their way out their door, but we were able to explain about the Book of Mormon and they took a copy. It was sweet because the 10 or so year old girl showed more excitement than her mom but i believe her mom was pretty interested as well. We will see what happens but we feel pretty good about it and they told us to swing by this week:)

​Family number two got me way stoked... so a bit of a fore-note to this story: For some reason i really wanted to speak Spanish with somebody. Not really sure why but it must have been withdrawals or something ​haha who knows. But anyhow, about 2 minutes after we knocked into the last family, we knocked into a family of Argentinians :D Apparently the husband's grandparents are danish so somehow they ended up back in Denmark but they were full on from Argentina. We introduced ourselves and then i asked where she was from because i heard her accent and she said Argentina, so i tried switching right on over from Danish to Spanish.You want to know what that felt like? Have you ever ridden a bike where you shift up into third gear and it works for about 10 seconds and then slips back down into second gear? Thats what happened... I got about 25 seconds (maybe) of convo and then i abandoned ship. (sorry Mrs. McKinney hahaha). The woman switched right back over with me and then we had a great little chat. She said we were welcome to come back as well at the end and that maybe it would help my spanish ;) So i shifted back into third gear to say that would be great and to have a good day and then retreated back to second gear. Then the language Olympics were over.


I had the wonderful occasion to be on splits with Elder Magleby and we did work! Here is one cool experience we had while knocking:
We were in an apartment building and we knocked the whole thing but no one had answered the door. On the way in i had gotten way hyped because on the mailbox was a Spanish name (this was the day before we met our Argentinian friends) so you bet i prayed that they would be home. They didnt answer... the first time:) We exited the building after no one had answered and then heard sound coming from the open window of the apartment that i had hoped would contain Spanish speakers (or just anyone because no one had answered for like 15 minutes) So i told Elder Magleby we gotta try again... and that is how we found a way cool girl girl from Romanian who has actually very interested. So one more positive investigator for the Herning Elders:)

 To my credit, her name is also one they use in Spain so don't worry, i'm not a crazy american that runs around thinking everyone is from a Latin american/Spanish speaking country. Like i said i don't know why i was so stoked this week about that. I'd venture to say though the Lord knew i would make sure to knock that door again if i thought i might have an opportunity to use my Spanish, as rusty as it is. You understand more and more what God means about working in mysterious ways the more you trust that they will work.

Other stuff:
We have taken a lot of time this week in the less productive parts of the day to visit members and help them continue to become missionaries. Something that Skive has opened my eyes to is how we can use the members, and should use the members, to spread the gospel. The classic approach goes like this:
-Have some sort of appointment with the members (usually an eating appointment)
-share a spiritual thought with them
-ask them for their friends that we could go visit

It isn't quite so blunt and robotic as i make it out to be here, and it is not 100 percent of the time, but that is what happens in effect and that is the general feel between members and missionaries. Due to the fact that the members are very old and seasoned people here in Skive, literally everybody knows they are a member and have talked with them at some point. So we have been pushing to help them take it up with the Lord with how they can share the gospel, whether it be by example, through talents, or by straight up inviting. Most members of the church do the first two, but it is the inviting part that poses as a daunting task. They thing is though, so many more people are brought into the Church by members of the church than by missionaries through member missionary work and that is why we here about it all the time from the General Authorities. 

But to come full circle, we have promised the members that if they are willing share the gospel, the same gospel that has changed their lives completely, then the "what" and the "how" will be shown unto them through the power of prayer. Everybody has at least one friend,family member, acquaintance, etc that could and would change their lives and follow Jesus Christ if only they knew what joy it would bring. And they can know, if we open are mouths.

Spiritual thought:

The title of this email refers to a talk given in Stake Conference this last Sunday. Though it was absolutely wonderful to see all the people i love from all of the wards i've served in in Jylland and on Fyn, a talk given by a guy named Tobias from the Sønderborg ward, age 16. It was incredible to watch the spirit work through him, and though 16 years old, he gave a powerful testimony that stuck with me. The premise of his talk was based off of the story, "The Ugly Duckling" by the famed danish fairy-tale writer, H.C Andersen. This is a story we have probably all heard of to some extent; but if not, look it up:)

Here is an excerpt of the story that fits with what he talked about:

And so they made themselves comfortable; but the poor duckling, who had crept out of his shell last of all, and looked so ugly, was bitten and pushed and made fun of, not only by the ducks, but by all the poultry. “He is too big,” they all said, and the turkey cock, who had been born into the world with spurs, and fancied himself really an emperor, puffed himself out like a vessel in full sail, and flew at the duckling, and became quite red in the head with passion, so that the poor little thing did not know where to go, and was quite miserable because he was so ugly and laughed at by the whole farmyard. So it went on from day to day till it got worse and worse. The poor duckling was driven about by every one; even his brothers and sisters were unkind to him, and would say, “Ah, you ugly creature, I wish the cat would get you,” and his mother said she wished he had never been born. The ducks pecked him, the chickens beat him, and the girl who fed the poultry kicked him with her feet. So at last he ran away, frightening the little birds in the hedge as he flew over the palings.

What i got out of his talk was this: Sometimes we are that ugly duckling. Sometimes we are "bitten and pushed and made fun of... and laughed at by the whole farmyard." The world is concerned temporal things, being "born into the world with spurs, and fancied [themselves], puffed out like a vessel in full sail.... and quite red in the head with passion." Following Jesus Christ is not easy in a world of "isms". Secularism,agnosticism, atheism, and other "isms" are taking the majority. We can feel rejected and outcast, hated of the world. And why? As expressed so beautifully through this youth's testimony,"that we may one day become magnificent swans."

That is what is made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Whether we feel like this ugly duckling because of others or because of ourselves,  "The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?"

The result of realizing and accepting the sacrifice of the Savior will be similar to the ugly ducklings experience:

"But what did he see in the clear stream below? His own image; no longer a dark, gray bird, ugly and disagreeable to look at, but a graceful and beautiful swan. To be born in a duck’s nest, in a farmyard, is of no consequence to a bird, if it is hatched from a swan’s egg. He now felt glad at having suffered sorrow and trouble, because it enabled him to enjoy so much better all the pleasure and happiness around him; for the great swans swam round the new-comer, and stroked his neck with their beaks, as a welcome.Into the garden presently came some little children, and threw bread and cake into the water.“See,” cried the youngest, “there is a new one;” and the rest were delighted, and ran to their father and mother, dancing and clapping their hands, and shouting joyously, “There is another swan come; a new one has arrived.”

We too can one day hear the joyous shouts of "there is another swan come; a new one has arrived!” if we so choose to to reach our potential. I add my testimony to the testimony of Tobias, that we can become all that our Heavenly Father has promised we can be, though change made possible by the Savior. And he will walk with us every step of the way.

Have a great week!
Ældste  j

Elder Magleby and I on splits
A birthday Kebab the size of Vermont

The street of Odin hahaha

A giant semi

Monday, February 6, 2017

Crunch Time

This week things got a bit more ramped up. It felt similar to when I had to drive that stick shift and i had to rev the engine high enough to shift smooothly. Well this last week felt like the revving and i think the shift is here:)

Here is what happened:

So we had a world wide conference this week where they announced some changes in our schedule. It is a lot more of a change than you would think because it essentially gives us wayyyy more opportunity to use our own agency. In other words, the sharp missionaries will optimize their time and the less than sharp missionaries wont. The only things we do that are concrete are to work out in the morning, have breakfast, get ready, and then an hour of personal study. Other than that, anything in our schedule can go anywhere in the day. At first i thought it might make it seem less of a stress, but personally, I've been way more on the ball since the changes because if i were to to squander some time, that is more of a direct problem between Heavenly Father since i am the only person responsible for me. I mean that is how it has been, but before it was a little more rigid in structure. Now my plans rely solely on my comp and i if they are to happen. 

Just like real life. So basically we get a better grasp on how we are to govern ourselves from here on out. I love it:)


Jimmi and Vivi are in the hospital in Århus as we speak getting ready to meet their new twins:) They had to go all the way to Århus so that Vivi could receive special care since she has diabetes and that complicates things apparently. Århus has some of the best doctors in Denmark and the hospital is like three malls put together -its is massiiiive! I remember driving past that so many times when i lived there and thinking how you could just get lost in that place. But anyhow, exciting stuff! They sent us a message saying they were watching some Mormon messages and eating candy and just chillin so they are happy people. Plus, the ward has amoeba'ed them and they fit right in now. Member missionary work is the bees knees! I also had the opportunity bless the sacrament and it was Jimmi's first time so that was also neat to be a part of. If you compare our personal improvements to leveling up in pokemon, he gains like 20 level a day i swear. But joking aside, I've never ever seen someone change so quickly and it is a huge testimony to me that we all can tap the highest in us and become so much more than we think.:)

K* is just pluggin along. He is basically turning into a member already haha its great. He is still working on fighting his smoking addiction and stuff. A lot of times he doesn't quite think things through since his brain has been subject to trippy drugs, so i feel like life can turn into a weird video game feel for him sometimes. He told us that his friend transferred some money onto his card and then he went to pull it out at a gas station/casino and it rejected his card. The old guy behind the counter did realize it so he gave him the money anyways. K* didn't fully register that he had essentially robbed a place without trying to so when we met with him he told us and we were like... K* that actually is theft. He thought he was like Robin Hood because of how many people destroy their lives with gambling addictions and that particular casino chain is filthy rich apparently. I told them it probably is understandable to think that in a K* way (He is borderline broke) but that it still isn't right. So hopefully the whole misunderstanding turned to understanding and he will give it back. :)

​We met with A'* in the church and had a stellar discussion. He is as sharp as sharp gets and asked some pretty heavy questions. So we took turns dishing mind bombs out for an hour and a half. I'll give it to him, i don't know if anyone has ever got me thinking so deep from so many different angles. He knows so much about psychology, so luckily i had Elder Baadsgaard there to speak that language on behalf of our companionship. But A* is a bro and I'm happy to have that guy as a friend. 

Other things:

We knocked into a lady who was pretty open and she told us to come back on Wednesday at three but when we came back we found a note on the door that basically said that she discovered the *secret truth* about our church (also called anti-mormon material) and that we should never come back. So we left a note in her mailbox that if she ever was interested in actually finding out what we believe, that she could visit the official websites of the church. It is sad that people will believe what they read three tabs down a yahoo chat page or something like that instead of the missionaries with badges and everything. But hey, everything you read on the internet is true, right? ;) So people, before you believe Mormons are space lizards from Mars, feel free to consult me if you want. :) (yes, i have gotten the whole  "space lizard stuff is a real theory" thing haha) 

Spiritual thought:

I'd like to share something on the topic of being optimistic. It hit home yesterday morning during my personal study time :)

Stephen E. Snow, a general authority, says there are many stumbling blocks- as the Bible calls it- that we can turn into stepping stones. One of them is our attitudes, he says this:

When we say, “It’s impossible,” the Lord says, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God” (Luke 18:27).
When we say, “I’m too tired,” the Lord says, “I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28; see also verses 29–30).
When we say, “Nobody really loves me,” the Lord says, “I love you” (see John 13:34).
When we say, “I can’t do it,” the scriptures teach us, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).
When we say, “It’s not worth it,” the Lord reminds us it will be worth it: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
When we say, “I’m not smart enough,” the scriptures remind us that God gives us wisdom (see 1 Corinthians 1:30).
When we say, “I can’t forgive myself,” we are reminded that He does forgive us (see 1 John 1:9).
When we say, “I don’t have enough faith,” He reminds us in scripture, “God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Romans 12:3).
The gospel of Jesus Christ is the “good news.” It is for good reason we often refer to the plan of salvation as the plan of happiness. In spite of the challenges and trials of life, we must look forward with hope. Sochoose to be optimistic. Choose to look on the bright side. As you go about your day’s activities, expect the best."
(emphasis added on the word "choose")

I'll end with a fun anecdote: 
A little boy was overheard talking to himself as he strode through his backyard, baseball cap in place and toting ball and bat. “I’m the greatest baseball player in the world,” he said proudly.
Then he tossed the ball in the air, swung, and missed. Undaunted, he picked up the ball, threw it into the air, and said to himself, “I’m the greatest player ever!”
He swung at the ball again, and again he missed. He paused a moment to examine the bat and ball carefully. Then once again he threw the ball into the air and said, “I’m the greatest baseball player who ever lived.”
He swung the bat hard and again missed the ball. “Wow!” he exclaimed. “What a pitcher!”
Let us all find the best in us. Have a great week!
Ældste  j
Spiderman was just chillin in a place called Breum... We posed

​I made peace with thetree that gave me a concussion (yes its a tree... i promise)


The Morning Hours edition.... making birthday breakfast for the comp:)
I figured out biscuits.... and honey butter... is this real?