Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Your Denmark Missionary 05-12-10

Hello Everybody!
So right now as I was writing this email its raining, like crazy! I have not seen it rain this hard in Denmark yet and it just amazes me. There is so much water coming down, I mean its basically a river on the streets. Pretty crazy! But luckily I am in a Library today and get the wonderful opportunity to write to all of you! So I am out of the rain doing what I love doing each week, getting the chance to write to all of you!
So this week was a week with ups and downs. Its amazing how much a mission is just like a Roller coaster. I am sure you have all heard that expression before. I mean it seems when things are great all the sudden something bad happens. Well unfortunately this week was full of big drops. One could say a crash and burn type drop.
To begin I mentioned last week, one of my old investigators in Ballerup was going to be baptized on Saturday. Peter is his name. He had managed to go 2 weeks without drinking and it seemed things were going really well with him. Well the day of his Baptism arrives. Æ.Christensen my previous companion traveled 4 hours to get to the Baptism as he was baptizing him. I arrived and many loving ward members and people that all knew Peter were there. That day was also another baptism of a young Danish girl named Sara. So this baptism was going to be something special as 2 people were going to be baptized. Well Æ.Lefevre arrived and told me he hasn't been able to get a hold of Peter for the last few days. That's a missionaries nightmare right there! I got really nervous. I would love to tell you right now, he showed up and a wonderful baptism happened.
Unfortunately life happens and this wasn't the case. We sent some missionaries to try him at his house and when they found him he was drunk. At the time we didn't know what happened, but the next day we did. His mother passed away earlier that week around Tuesday. This crushed peter. But he told Æ.Lefevre that day he wouldn't drink. So Peter went over to his mothers house to clean it out and take care of things and he saw some Alochol. Apparently his mother was also addicted. He got sad while he was cleaning out her apartment and gave in. This is the crash and burn of the week like I mentioned above. It broke my heart that Peter caved in, but to be honest I don't think he knew how to deal with the stress. In a way this was a good event to happen as we are able to address more of his needs then were previously known. I am happy to report Peter has gone the last 3 days with no drinking, and has another baptismal date scheduled a month away. Æ.Lefevre thought he should try to go 4 weeks without drinking, and Peter happily agreed. He understood what happened and knows what he needs to do. He has a testimony of the church, but we all make mistakes.
SO yea kind of a bummer event, but be of good cheer as hes still being baptized, its just going to take more time. However, Kenny my other investigator from Ballerup is still doing awesome!!! He is still on track to be baptized! However the date did get moved to May 22nd. Kenny wants to attend church one more time before his big day. Kenny has had problems making it to church but this last week Æ.Lefevre discovered the problem. Kenny doesn't have the money necessary to travel to Ballerup. He cant afford it.. However this issue is being addressed. But still great news is he is going to be baptized next week! I will be at his baptism and he has asked that I baptize him. I am way excited and why honored he would ask me. So yes that's Kenny! Exciting stuff!
So now to Slagelse! We have some amazing investigators named Tom and Christina! I have mentioned them before and I cant even begin to tell you how awesome they are. I get so excited when I think about them and teaching them! Tom has been to church the last 2 Sundays and has loved it. Even in Slagelses weird ward. haha. He loves the feeling he gets when he comes. Christina hasent had the chance to come yet as she has been busy with Exams. Right now is Exam season for all the Danish students. They even have some exams on Sundays. So yea she has had it very busy. They have been taught the first 3 missionary discussions and have loved each and every one of them. They are reading in the Book of Mormon and always ask great questions. It was funny but at church we were talking to Tom and he stops and says to us, "Is it OK if I go outside and take a quick puff, I mean I am not baptized yet..." I laughed and of course he could step out and smoke. Its like hes expecting to be baptized or something with the way he said it. haha. Then while he were outside he told us he is starting to quit and has managed to only smoke 10 sticks a day... the average he told us he used to do was 4 packs a day or more. So hes taking great steps in quitting. Christina also always texts us questions while she is reading the book of Mormon. I mean what investigator does that? In short They are awesome investigators and are really trying to seek the truth. Me and my companion are really having a good time teaching them.
Other than that me and my companion have been busy trying to find new people to teach. We have been street contacting and door knocking with sad to say, not too much success. However we do get the occasional person to listen and they makes it worth it. Its unfortunate to say but previously in Slagelse there have been some very lazy missionaries. We went through all the records and contact sheets and we have found a 5 to 6 month gap of nothing. The records end in December with those companions. There are no records after with any of the new missionaries on them. On the contact sheets there apparently hasn't been any new contacts for 6 months. The last time a contact was recorded was in December. Oh the joys of fixing an area after some lazy missionaries left it. I am realizing how much of an impact you can have if you don't do you job. So that's frustrating, but we have a meeting with mission president this Friday as we told him our concerns and he wants to meet with us. So it should be interesting.
So my spiritual message for the day goes with Peters story in the first few paragraphs. Some people might hear or read his story and wonder, Why would God allow something like that to happen to Peter right before his Baptism? Heck why God allow that to even happen in the first place? A lot of people leave the church and question their beliefs when they see something like this happen to others or even themselves. Instead of looking at an event with closed eyes, lets open our eyes a little more and see the bigger picture of an event happening.
I can look at Peters situation and get all mad at God and say, "WHY!?!?!?! He was so close to baptism. WHY now!?" I will be honest, those thoughts did cross my mind, but then I thought about it and realized its a blessing in disguise. Peters mom was addicted to alochol, just like Peter. Peter was so addicted he couldn't take care of himself. He required his mom for help. Then one day some missionaries met him and began teaching him. Over time he gains a testimony and soon sets goals to quit drinking. Then he startes going 2 weeks completely sober. Now that hes sober and not 100% dependent on alochol, he can now take care of himself. He has the support of the church and the missionaries, he has other means of help. Then our Heavenly Father decided that his moms time of this earth was finished. I see this as a blessing. AS at this time period, Peter can now officially take care of himself and has the support of many individuals. Peter can live on without his mothers help. Of any time for Peter to lose his mom, this was the perfect time.
So my message is this, our Heavenly Father has a plan and he knows exactly how its going to work. We has humans have it very difficult to see the bigger picture. We always seem to question Gods will. But know, that even when bad things happen and we may not understand it, Know that God is in control. He will take care of us. It can be hard as the trials we face can be difficult. But just like Peter, there is probably a bigger picture that we cant see.
Well that's my letter for the week. Sorry about my spiritual message, it got a little long there, haha. I hope you all have a fantastic week! Thanks for taking the time to read. I love you all!
Love, Your Denmark Missionary,
Ældste Skyler Hardy

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