Hi everyone! Its great to write again to all of you! This week has been busy for me and I am happy to share my experiences again with you.I am also happy to report Transfer calles were made last night and I found out Elder Meyer and I will be staying at least one more month in Slagelse! Which means I will be able to see Tom and Christina's Baptism! So I am relieved and happy that I will be able to stay! The lord definitely answered my prayers this time! I am so happy to be staying!
So Denmark right now is beautiful! The weather has been very nice. It hasn't been to hot or to cold, I mean all you need is a light jacket *Grin*. So attached is a picture I think you will find interesting. Its not a picture of me or anything too important, but a picture of a clock and the sky. I am sending this because the sun does not go down in Denmark til maybe around midnight. That's when its completely dark. As a missionary I go to bed around 10:30 and its as bright as it can be outside, so kind of crazy. If you notice in the picture the background is really light and then look at the time on the clock. The joys of sleeping in Denmark. Oh then the sun comes back up around 3 in the morning or something like that. Its been quite a weird experience having the sun NEVER go down.
Also this week has been a interesting experience as its the Danish Graduation for kids going to school. Let me see if I can explain this, The Denmark school system is really weird. They don't really have a elementary school or a high school like we do. When kids are little they begin in what they call the people school. Its 10 levels or the closest thing to us grades. Once they hit level 9 they can either choose to go to "Gymnasium" or finish there level 10 and be done with school. Most people continue on to Gymnasium. Gymnasium is a lot more difficult so I guess kind of like our High school. However most Danes told me its nothing close.... so kind of confusing. Gymnasium is only for a few years then they continue, if they want, onto University. Now in Denmark they don't have huge schools like BYU or UofU etc etc. Actually from Gymnasium on there education is based on what they want to do or what career they choose. So if they choose to be a doctor they will after Gymnasium learn about being a doctor and go to a school focused on only teaching medicine. If a Dane wanted to be a wood builder, they would go to a special school after gymnasium based on wood building. so the wood builder and the doctor would not go to the same school. Our Universities in the USA have many different careers in one school, but in Denmark you have to go to special schools that are specific for your career. So this week many students are finished with Gymnasium and have their graduation. They are graduating from doing their general stuff in Gymnasium and people school and are now officially students! So they celebrate there beginning of career, you could say. So they wear these hats that look like sailor hats around after graduation. Its kind of funny and a little dorky, but its a sign of success and the Danes are proud of it. Then they go get drunk and forget all the stuff they learned... haha. The life of a Danish person.
Also this week there was a fun little holiday called ST.HANS DAY. Here is a little explanation...
It has been celebrated since the times of the Vikings by visiting healing water wells and making a large bonfire to ward away evil spirits. Today the water well tradition is gone. Bonfires on the beach, speeches, picnics and songs are traditional, although bonfires are built in many other places where beaches may not be close by (i.e. on the shores of lakes and other waterways, parks, etc.) In the 1920s a tradition of putting a witch made of straw and cloth (probably made by the elder women of the family) on the bonfire emerged as a remembrance of the church's witch burnings from 1540 to 1693. This burning sends the "witch" away to Bloksbjerg, the mountain 'Brocken' in the Harz region of Germany where the great witch gathering was thought to be held on this day.>>
So in accordance with the above description I went and burned a "witch" at a members home. A member invited us over and we ate food, played a little soccer and then built a bonfire and watched stuff burn. I don't know about you but it sounds like a viking holiday to me! It was a lot of fun and just kind of different. Also at the party every body was talking about the World Championship going on right now. Denmark won the last time they played so the Danes are all excited about that. Then they kept talking to me about the USA team and how well we are apparently doing. Apparently the USA team is still in and actually posing a little threat over there. So go figure. I guess Americans can be good at European Football. :) Its been funny to see how impressed the Danes are of our USA team. I didn't even know we had one. :) Fun stuff.
This week missionary wise has been really good. We are meeting with Tom and Christina tonight so I don't have much of an update on them for you. They are doing really well and are still progressing. Tom has a few things we are trying to work on, but Christina is ready to be baptized right now if she wanted. Shes worthy and willing, but we think she wants to wait for her Dad. Christina calls and texts us all the time with questions from her readings. So she is doing really well!
We have found a few new people that gave us their numbers and want to meet soon. Lately its been a lot of younger people. So its been fun as the younger people are a little more open to what we have to say. We have an appointment tonight with a young lady named Camille who told us shes has a lot of questions and is looking for the right church. I am not sure if I already mentioned her. but we are excited to see the outcome of this appointment with her. She seems really good and to top it all off shes cute, so that's makes things a little easier. :) haha. Sheena that girl from Brazil I mentioned last time is doing well. She came to church again on Sunday and brought her mom and her step dad. Her mom and dad invited us over to their home and we had a great conversation. They are now new investigators and I look forward to teaching them. So things are good and we are teaching! Its exciting to see how much Slagelse has grown since I have been here.
So my spiritual message goes with I guess my entire email about the danish Culture! Isn't it incredible how unique we all are? How diverse our world is? How everything seems to work in a perfect order? Well my short message to you today is that there is a God and he loves us very much. There is no way our world was created out of pure chance. It had to be done by a supreme being who knew exactly what he wanted out of his creation. He created us to be unique and different, to better the world, and to enjoy life. I know its true and am thankful that I am here. Its fun to experience the uniqueness of Denmark and how much I can learn from there culture. The same applies to everyone. Life can be difficult but I mean when things are good its just WOW! Our world is amazing, yes imperfect, but unique and created by a loving Heavenly Father.
I hope all of you have a great week! Thanks again for all your love and support and for all you do! Love you all!
Kærelighed, Din Denmark Missionære,
Ældste Skyler Hardy!