Denmark is getting colder but I am still keeping very warm. I went to a store called H&M to buy a new jacket. We had to take a train to a larger city called Århus. This is I think the 3rd largest city in Denmark. It has its own airport, so if I need a quick escape I know where to go. From Randers its about a half hour train ride. I got a jacket and I saw the price on the price tag. It said 400; I was thinking in American Dollars- I almost didn't buy it, but i remembered that its 5 American dollars to every Kronor. So that calmed me down and I ended up only spending about 80 dollars on a jacket. It sounds like a lot but this jacket has been the best purchase of my life. The money system here Scares me! lol! Every time I see a price I almost have a heart attack as everything seems really expensive. So that was my some of my danish culture shock this week. So Makenzie When you do come to shop here, don't let the price tags scare you, like they did me. Begin preparing now to see a dress on the price tag say 600! But remember its a lot less in American dollars. Anyways thought it was funny and worth sharing with you yall!
This week in Copenhagen over the next few days or the beginning of next week there is a conference with the UN. Here is a little bit of there email they sent me. My dad actually sent it to me too, "The 15th annual Congress of the Parties (COP-15) is a UN conference that gathers representatives of all UN member states to discuss issues related to climate change. This year’s conference is marked by the expectation that a major agreement addressing climate change may be reached. However, demonstrators of many different orientations have announced plans to conduct large scale protests at the Bella Center, the site of the conference, and throughout Copenhagen." I just want you to know that there is nothing to worry about for me. I am completely safe. I am 4 hours away from Copenhagen in one of the quietest unknown cities of Denmark! lol! I highly doubt I am in any danger as why would some protesters, protest in a city 4 hours away from Copenhagen? But know I will be very careful and stay alert. I doubt I will have any problems. But I just wanted to let you know as I am sure you will see stuff on the news about some crazy protesters that generally are NOT danish people doing stupid stuff. I am safe and heck I am on the lords side, if anything I worry about the protesters. lol!
I had my first Zone conference last week. What an experience. The whole zone got together in a city called Horsens. Its a city about an 1hr away from Randers. I love Horsens a lot. They have a really nice Chapel and a larger ward. I also love it because I get to see Elder Bailey who was in my district at the MTC. He is the only one in my old district in my Zone. So we usually stay glued to each other as we barely know any of the other missionaries, and the other missionaries have a lot of jokes and experiences that we were not apart of, so we have a hard time following their conversations, lol! But I still had a great time and all the Missionaries are awesome! We even have 6 sister missionaries in our district and they always seem to make things fun. I think have sisters around helps keep all the other Elders a little more Mature and more gentlemen like. It was a long day of talks and training and the President talking. President also during the 1st session of Zone conference randomly picks missionaries to speak through out the meeting on the topic of the month. Oh and of course, lucky me, I was asked to speak. It was for only 2 minutes, and he allowed me to say it in English, which took a lot of stress away. I also gave the opening in Prayer (in Danish) and then had to bare my testimony during the last session of zone conference. Don't worry the president also allowed me to say that in English. Go figure i would be doing that much stuff. It was good and usually that means I wont have to do anything at the next one, lol! Zone conference was also good as we had a member volunteer to make us lunch. He didnt only make us lunch, he made us a gigantic feast! He made us a traditional Christmas dinner for lunch! I was like wow! However I kind of forget what It was called but it was yummy. I had potatoes, (Danes always have potatoes in meals, so far I have had potatoes at every dinner appointment), they had some really good meat, pork like, they had some other stuff that I cannot descirbe, but very yummy... I will try to remember and send you another email another day.
Missionary work as been very, very hard this week in general for all missionaries in Denmark. I know for sure for me its been very hard in Randers. I think its because of the holidays, people are busy and even in Denmark the Holidays get very stressful. People are not taking the time to listen to us as we contact them on the street. Investigators we do have are too busy to meet with us. So we haven't had any teaching appointments with them. I am not mad or frustrated, just kind of bored to be honest! lol! Randers is a funny place because everyone is so nice. They always kindly turn us away. They are never mean and usually provide an excuse, and most of the time it is a pretty valid excuse. My favorite one, is we were at the bus stop and we talked to this older women. She was way nice but said she was waiting for her bus and didn't have time to hear our message. We asked we if could come another day and she said not during the holidays as I am busy with family (a pretty legit excuse). So we left her to wait for her bus. Well we left the bus station and walked around and came back to the bus station about 1/2 hr later to hit it one last time before we headed home, and guess who was there, yep the old women who said her bus was coming and she didn't have time to listen to our message. Elder Robinson and I just stared at each other as she did have time to listen to us. As we were looking at her from a distance she turned her head a saw us. We waved and she sunk in her seat. I could see she was embarrassed. One thing I have learned is the Danes in Randers really care what people think and the fact we caught her lieing to us probably made her feel a little guilty, lol! It was just a funny experience, and the funny things people do. Who knows, maybe she will listen to us next time to redeem herself? haha.
We did have one dinner appointment with a investigator. Shes a older women and she has been meeting with the missionaries for a long time. A few years ago she was riding her bike and some how crashed. She hit her head really bad and has since struggled with things. She is slow to remember things and it has taken her years to remember all her memories of being a child, marriage etc. After her accident she had to re-learn how to walk. The doctors called her a miracle as the accident she was in, should of killed her. The first week she was back home and doing things on her own, she was carrying groceries and the bags of groceries kept throwing her off her balance and she had a hard time walking. So some missionaries saw her and said can we help you. She said yes and every since then she has been meeting with the missionaries.
For me it was a hard lesson because we looked at her teaching record and she has been taught everything. We decided to share with her a Christmas message and hopefully ask her some of the baptisms interview questions. In short shes a old lady who is stuck in her ways. Its like trying to teach an old dog new tricks, its very hard. She told us she loves all the religions and attends all of them. She loves the catholics, and loves the Mormons, she loves the Danish people church, she loves the Lutherans, the list goes on and on. But she did comment that she didn't think any of the churches were perfect. Then she said, in a nice, blunt way, I do not plan on being a Mormon or join your church. I was in shock!!! I thought if you got that far with a person on the teaching record, generally they always do get baptized.I guess that was the new missionary inexperience coming out. I just smiled and completely respected her decision. She said she was not sure any of the churches were Gods real church and just didn't think there was a #1 church out there for her. We asked, well do you believe in God? she said yes. Do you believe in prayer? she said yes? Have you prayed to God to see if there is a #1 church for you? No answer. She just kind of looked at us. We then encouraged her to pray and ask God of any of the churches she has been visiting were true. She didn't say much about that and quickly changed topic. Unfortunately 9:00 hit and we had to leave. I don't know what will happen with her. My heart just was crushed. Of course more happened and their was much more emotion then what I am telling you in this letter. But this meeting had a big impact on me. Me and my companion are out of ideas, shes moving closer and closer to becoming a dropped investigator. If she do sent except the gospel in this life I know she will in the next, its just hard because she is so close.
Anyways other than that, that's this week for Randers. Not much is happening. My mission president promised me that things always pick up after the holidays. He said people are busy and we need to respect that. Its just hard because my whole job right now its to teach and invite people to learn about Christ, and I cant because every ones busy! lol! So anyways I keep prayer for a better week, and I know theirs one somewhere down the line. As for language, I am decided to just remain calm and take it one day at a time. I will just speak the best i can and try to remain positive. So but I know it will come, its just going to take time and patience and its hard to bet patient, lol!
Merry Christmas and enjoy the Holiday season. It will go fast to take it one day at a time and enjoy it. Remember why we celebrate Christmas and have a Fanastic Holiday season! I love you all.