This week was another good addition to the books. I really enjoy the spontaneousness of missionary life in all its glory because things work out (or don't) in very interesting and unexpected ways and somehow it all comes full circle and the dots connect. I'm sure Heavenly Father is often amused when we finally connect the dots and realize that somehow, in some way, life continues to roll smoothly down the tracks.
Jenkin Lloyd Jones says, “Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he’s been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to just be people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is like an old time rail journey…delays…sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling burst of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.”
I guess this week I am starting with a spiritual thought but people... enjoy the ride! The tracks are being laid and will continue to be laid if you are taking the right line towards the best destination; furthermore, it is in Heavenly Father's best intention to get us there. If you try any other train line to get there, you will fail. So don't freak out and pull the E-brake because if you're living right before the Lord, the "delays…sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts" won't be all that challenging to go through and the "beautiful vistas and thrilling burst[s] of speed" be even more enjoyable. I think that is one thing that stood out for me during the course of this week.
So here are some snippets of the week:
J* is doing pretty well. He didn't have a chance to read too much in the Book of Mormon but it is super neat to see how he continues to change. His heart is definitely being softened towards the gospel and it is always just a good time talking to him. :)
As far as our area goes, we are just going through basically everything ever to do with this area because we know that the area is at least getting "white-washed" as we call it. But there is a chance that something else could be happening so it is our job to hand over a smooth running area. ´That being said, i have a cool story :)
So 2 years ago, Elder Magleby and Elder Mcbride were serving in Holbæk and they saw a name on a 4 year old list of people who had been interested at that point. They decided that they would go through the list and find out where everyone is at and then organize whatever happened as an "organizational" thing. Anyway, they stopped this guy and he let them in and they talked a little bit but because it was later in the evening and he has small children, they said they would come back another time. (by the way, i know all of this because i called Elder Magleby and asked :) ) Well after that, things fell through and somewhere along the line they were forgotten again. So here we are 2 years later... and Elder Jeppson and Elder Ziegler were serving in Holbæk and they saw a name on a 2 year old list of people who had been interested at that point. They decided that they would go through the list and find out where everyone is at and then organize whatever happened as an "organizational" thing. (see what i'm talking about with how dots connect?? haha)
We stopped by them on Saturday and introduced ourselves and said we wanted to stop by and how everything was going and if they remembered the previous missionaries. They did and said they really enjoyed it so we talked a bit as their young girls ran around like young kids do when a stranger comes to the door haha. Eventually we asked if they would like another visit again and they said yes but weren't quite sure what the intent was. After explaining our purpose and a bit about the Plan of Salvation, we agreed to come back next Saturday a bit earlier when dinner wasn't in the works. The coolest part was that we told them were we were from and they were way surprised that we could speak fluent Danish and then they in turn surprised us because his wife had worked in a city right next to where Elder Ziegler is from... in Switzerland!! What are the odds?! There were really good vibes floating around at that doorstep as we left :) Way neat.
Alright two more stories and then some fluff and im outta here heh heh:
It is important that i add, that last Monday we made a goal to find and teach families and have prayed and fasted for the opportunity to do so. Well prior to meeting the S* family, we got a call the very first day of our companionship from President O'Bryant and he had a referral for us to get in contact with. The water heater broke in the mission home here recently so a man was sent to come and fix it around the time transfers happened. Sister O'Bryant being the stud mission president's wife that she is, got talking with him and eventually the conversation went from what these two Americans are doing in Denmark to what he believes in and so on. (Thats what you get for asking a missionary personal questions haha). At some point this man expressed that he is religious and he goes to church with his family but is still searching for the right church to go to. He was willing to meet with us and gave Sister O'Bryant some contact information which was passed to us. We gave him a call and he sounded pretty happy to hear from us and said he would like to meet but just needs to talk with his girlfriend and find some time. Way neat!
Yesterday we were invited down to go eat with a way awesome member family in Herslev. That is about an hour and 10 minute drive so we made it worth it and just used the day yesterday to work in the bigger city in the vicinity of where they live. We had a great appointment and then after the spiritual thought, the mother of this family said that she had something to ask of us. She had felt since the day she invited over to eat that her neighbor should get a chance to hear the gospel. She told us that she has fought back and forth with that impression because that is something she has never done in the 17 years of living in that neighborhood. One thing led to another and there we were, walking up to the door of the neighbors house. I must admit my frustratingly large imagination had already written up the story line of this neighbor family by the time my knuckles hit wood so you could imagine that i was slightly confused and bummed out when we got a polite but rather "standard" answer to the invitation to learn about a message of eternal families. I will tell you though it was neat for everyone because none of us were sure what God had in mind for that but in any case, He knows we are listening now. In the beginning of my mission, it probably would have been a major bummer but we drove away happy because we all felt that we had walked away with something there.
We taught a past investigator that is a very firm catholic. Way sweet dude! He is a very religious young adult among a lot of so called irreligious people (I honestly believe, however, that every human silently believes and hopes in something). In any case, it was understandable when he, with some considerable amount of zeal, tried to "reason" us into Catholicism. See... the problem is when three young guns with a lot of faith get together and have a discussion there is a tendency to use the bible like a card game, where there are turns taken to try and trump another's turn. I love Elder Ziegler as Swiss as he is but if you know a Swissman, they are very opinionated but with good reason due to excellent education and background. For example, you might speak 5 languages more or less fluently (haha its way cool because I'm being taught some german during this companionship) Anyways, my point is that Elder Ziegler went head to head with our young friend on a main point of doctrine in which we did not share common belief in and that sent C* off... like he was prepared for "the bash" from the moment we set an appointment haha. I learned a ton though in that lesson; namely, the spirit of contention drives away the spirit and leaves people to argue with "logic". Woohoo.
You can probably guess how I feel about bible bashing.... I would recommend you avoid it.
Well, shoutout to everyone taking care of my mom! You guys are champs!!!
Everyone... have a great week.
Morning workouts by the fjord!
I'm running all the workouts we did in wrestling on "swiss military man" Ældste Zielger heh heh