Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving in Denmark: 11/30/2015

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! I hope everyone has had a great Thanksgiving week! I sure have. I have to admit I felt pretty homesick thinking about the Holidays. I know I will miss all the great family get togethers and dinners and stuff and I don't like thinking about that! I have a quote above my desk that says, "Missionaries leave their families for 2 years to help others be with their families FOREVER" That really gives me a lot of comfort to know that I am doing the right thing.
Hmm where to even begin, we had a lot this week! Let's start with Zone Conference. That was a blast! There were about 40-50 missionaries there, which always is a great time, we had training, feasted, had a talent show, and then had our own Turkey Bowl! It was such a great time. We had training on Family History and the Christmas initiative, some great tools we will be using to have more missionary opportunities. The food was great! Had tons of stuffed turkey, potatoes, gravy, brød, fruit, the whole deal! My favorite part of it all though was the Turkey Bowl! Playing American football (the real football)  with a bunch missionaries was so much fun! It was really cold, wet, and muddy but I didn't care!
We have had some really good missionary work these week. Ældste Jensen and I have met many new potentials and have taught quite a good amount of lessons! Everyone one of these investigators come from completely different backgrounds. That really has made me realize how much God truly loves us. He knows our circumstances, our special situations, but no matter what they may be, He has provided a plan of happiness for all to experience! I love being able to teach people and tell them that I know there is a God. That he is our loving Heavenly Father, who truly loves each one of us. Our relationship with him is personal and he knows what we have gone through. Being able to tell people, to teach them how to pray, that they can ask and say anything to God really has strengthened my testimony.
I have had a lot of self reflection this week because of these experiences. They have really allowed me to check my own spirituality. I have become so much closer with my Savior because of all of this. I want to challenge everyone to pray more. To be completely honest with God. Tell Him about your true desires, things you might be struggling with and wanting that may not be right, tell him those things! I promise you he will bless you. He will give you comfort and you will know without any doubts that He is there wanting to bless you!
Well one of the hardest things this week was this Sunday. I gave a talk in church! Ohhh that was so hard for me. It took days of planning and I barely suffered through it at the pulpit. I sure hope my branch was able to understand me. Learning Danish is one of the hardest things for me as a missionary right now! It just hasn't been clicking lately!! I know it will eventually though!
I hope you all have a great week!!
Ældste Weese fra Sønderborg Denmark 

Fredericksborg Castle:

 Elder Weese decorating for Christmas!!

 Zone Conference Pictures:

Monday, November 23, 2015

Great week of training: 11/23/2015

Well, I have already been in the field for over a month now! Pretty crazy when I start thinking about it. This past week has been an absolute blast, but before I tell you all about it, I want to share a story with you. This is a story I came across that really means so much to me and has changed my outlook on my mission as well as my perspective on others. I'd love to hear what you think of it as well!

The following event took place in a ward in Salt Lake City in 1974. A young man, just before leaving on his mission, stood in Sacrament Meeting and bore, in essence, the following testimony. "My Brothers and Sisters, as you know, during the past few weeks I have been awaiting my mission call. During the time I was waiting I had a dream I was in the pre-existence and was awaiting my call to come to earth. I was filled with the same excitement and anticipation that I had before I received my mission call. In my dream, I was talking to a friend. He was a very dear friend, and I felt a special closeness to him, even though I've never met him in this life. As we talked, a messenger came and gave me a letter. I knew it was my call to go to earth. In great excitement my friend and I opened the letter I gave it to him and asked him to read it aloud. The letter said: You have been called to earth in a special time and to a special land. You will be born into the true church, and you will have the priesthood of God in your home. You will be raised with many advantages and many blessings. You will be born in a land of plenty-a land of freedom. You will go to earth in the United States of America." My friend and I rejoiced as we read my call. And while we rejoiced, the messenger returned. This time he had a letter for my friend. We knew it was his call to earth. My friend gave me the letter to read aloud. The letter said: "You have been called to go to earth in circumstances of poverty and strife. You will not be raised in the true church. Many hardships will attend your life. Your land will be frought with political and social difficulties which will hinder the word of the Lord. You will be born in Costa Rica." We wept, my friend and I as we read his call. And my friend looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, "when we are down on earth, you in your choice land and me in Costa Rica, my friend, come and find me." Then this young missionary, with tears in his own eyes, said, "Brothers and Sisters, I have received my mission call. I am going to Costa Rica." There is a special sequel to this story. About a year after this sacrament meeting, the Bishop to this ward received a letter from the missionary in Costa Rica. The letter had one sheet of paper in it, and on the sheet was written in inch-high letters four words: I FOUND MY FRIEND.

I LOVE that story. It really has given me such a different outlook on our relationships with others! I know that what was said is true and I hope that we search for and find our "Friends"

So yeah, this past week was really fun! I spent mostly all of it in Copenhagen, with the all of my MTC group, for a training. We did a lot of fun things! So before we left to Copenhagen, Ældste Jensen and I were up in Esbjerg with the rest of our district (Ældste Allred, Ældste Gerber, Søster Van Orden and Søster Ferguson) We had a great P-Day together! We took this ferry and went to this island off the west coast of Esbjerg called Fanø. The weather was really crappy, but we walked across the width of the island (heading west) trying to get to the beach on the other side. We finally got there and it was such a cool site! Huge beach with the intimidating North Sea in the Horizon. Ældste Allred and I walked all the way out to the shore line where HUGE waves were just crashing down! It was pouring rain and the wind was strong enough to blow you over, but it was a BLAST!

Tuesday morning, I split up from Ældste Jensen (He stayed in Esbjerg) and Ældste Allred and I hopped on a train and headed to Copenhagen! Once we arrived in Copenhagen we met up with the other 12 members of my MTC group and the trainers as well. There were police with heavy machine guns and dogs roaming around the station, probably because of what happened in Paris as well as a soccer game that day with Denmark and Sweden. We all hopped in vans and went to the mission home!

Staying there was absolutely great! The food was DELICIOUS and it was really good to see how everyone was doing! Everyday we had training which consisted of Family History and Missionary work and how we can become more successful in our work. We had two big activities though which were the highlights of my week.

On Wednesday, we went to the Frederiksborg Castle. That place is jaw dropping! The pictures I have posted surely doesn't do it justice! The palace is HUGE!! It was built in the beginning of the 1600's and has so much to it! Thousands of statues and carvings throughout the building and it's grounds. All of Carl Block's (We use a lot of his paintings in the church) are in this castle! It was soo cool to see and is somewhere I definitely want to return to!

On Thursday we went to the temple and that made my week! I have missed going to the temple so much so I was really excited to go! The Denmark temple, even though it's not big, is beautiful! It has a really special spirit to it. I wish I was able to go every week! Even though Copenhagen was a blast, it was great to be back in Sønderborg at the end of the week! We had the trainers over at our place for splits Friday night to Saturday night. On Sunday, familie Kunts had Ældste Jensen and I over for dinner! I can't tell you guys enough how much I love Danish meals!! Oh yeah, I have gained 12 pounds so far on my mission and I'm feeling pretty proud of that:)

This week was a lot of fun and I got a lot from it, but now it's time to get back to the real work! We were able to have one lesson this week with a woman we contacted on the Gågade. Her name is Puang! She is a young lady from the middle of China who is living and going to school here in Sønderborg. She is completely new to Christianity as a whole but is really interested. We taught her about the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! She thought it was really cool and accepted our challenge to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it and the things we teach her. I have really high hopes for Puang and would love to see how the Gospel betters her life! She is such an amazing person!

Well, I gotta go, but like always, I want all of you to know how much I love you and thank you for all the support you have given me!! Vi ses på mandag!!

Ældste Weese 
Pictures from training in Copenhagen with my MTC group

Pictures from Pday - Island of Fano

Frederiksborg Castle

Monday, November 16, 2015

Another Busy Week:  November 16, 2015

Hey everyone! Hope you all are doing great!:) It's been quite the week over here in Denmark! Pretty busy! A lot of you probably have heard about the terrorist attack in Paris the other day. Pretty scary, really sad. It's crazy to think all that happened only 600 miles away from where I am! It has caused quite the scare in surrounding countries. With the attack being from Syrian Immigrants it has put a lot of people on edge. Denmark has been flooded with Immigrants\refugees and everyday we get more and more. The mission Pres. sent a message out to all the missionaries the following day saying to avoid big crowds of people and while in big cities, avoid wearing your name tags in transit. It has made people pretty paranoid here because we have sooo many refugees here!  I talk to like 10 a each day!  But don't worry, God protects his missionaries and everything will be ok:)  It is really sad to think about all that kind of stuff that goes on in the world today. It brings me a lot of comfort to think that I have the gospel in my life and how that affects everyone in the world today!

Monday was a pretty fun day! After I had emailed everyone back home, I did my grocery shopping (stocking up on the Danish brand of ramen noodles), then cruised down the gågade (Danish shopping area) where I found myself a really nice coat! FjÄll RÄven is a Swedish brand and is basically what everyone over in this part of the world wears. It's great cause the temperatures are getting lower and lower everyday! Lots of rain and lots of wind! Lately it has averaged 7 degrees Celsius (roughly 40 F) and it's only going to get colder! That night though we visited with Tommy (The Olympic swimmer from Canada) He seems really open to the gospel! We asked if we could set up an appointment sometime and he said, "Yeah of course! I'd love to go grab a beer with you guys or something!" haha we will probably hold off on the Word of Wisdom talk for a bit;)

Denmark is full of crazy art scattered throughout the cities and on Tuesday, while Ældste Jensen and I were out contacting, we found like this crazy little goat petting zoo at some park hidden by all these trees. It was really weird and extremely random, but hey that's Denmark for yah!

On Wednesday we had a zone training on Slægtsforskning (Family history) up in Fredericia. So we hopped on a train bright and early and headed on up there! The training didn't officially start till the next day so we went on splits with the Zone leaders. Me and Ældste Brady did service at the bishops house helping him build a deck! It was pretty fun and he is a great guy so I loved talking with him. Most of my conversations are in "Danglish" (Danish and English) but I am slowly getting better at the language! It's funny cause sometimes Danes will tell me to say a certain phrase that is really hard for Americans and I always tell them to say "Darth Vader likes refrigerated vegetables" haha they can't do it! It is honestly impossible for a Dane to say that haha!

The next day at training I got my B-Day package that was sent to the mission home! That made me so happy:) Thank you so much for all that you sent me!  As you can see from my pictures, we had a great time with all that stuff:) Training was great and I absolutely loved meeting all the missionaries in my zone (which is all of southern Jylland)  There are roughly 26 missionaries in my zone. A huge focus that all the Danish missionaries are starting to adapt to is Family History! We have training again in a couple weeks that will certify us as "Family history consultants" So on top of being a missionary, I'll be one of those too! We believe this is going to open so many doors and create so many opportunities to teach. This is a free service we are doing and if people don't want to talk about religion at all that is completely fine, we still will gladly help them do their family history!

I had a great experience teaching Andrej the other day. He was that one Dane I was telling you guys about that speaks English like he is American! He is extremely friendly and loves talking with us, but he only wanted to talk about the church for "factual information" He was calling our meetings with him "Culture Exchanges" He loves to hear what we have to say, but he always told us it would be a while before he decides to have religion as a part of his life. Well our last lesson with him was really special. He told us how he had been reading a pretty good amount in the Book of Mormon. We discussed the story of the Tree of Life with him and he seemed extremely understanding. He told us that life has been really hard for him. He is deep in debt and finds out today whether or not he is expelled from school. He said a lot of this was causing him stress when he looked over and saw the Book of Mormon sitting there on his desk. He decided to read a bit and pray for help. He told us it brought him a lot of peace and has changed his outlook on having a relationship with God for the better. This is the most progress we have had with him! I was so excited when he told us that! I pray for him everyday and hope that he will continue to see more and more of God's light in his life.

This week was pretty great! I'm excited for this upcoming week cause I'll be spending it in Copenhagen for my one month meeting with my MTC group! You'll hear all about that next week! I want all of you to know how much I love and miss you, know that all of you are in my prayers. My testimony grows everyday and the joy the gospel brings is amazing! Talk to you all soon!! Hav en rigitig god uge! Vi ses på Mandag!!

Ældste Weese