I want to begin today and tell you how amazing our Heavenly Father is. Our new mission president has changed some more rules and one of his rules is, we have to wear our normal missionary clothes on our P-day. I was a little bummed out, but I knew I should follow his new rules. One thing that I struggle with is wearing my missionary clothes and shopping. I just feel that because I am in missionary clothes I should be working not shopping or other things. So yesterday Sunday, I prayed and hoped that today (Monday) it would rain, that way I could have my jacket on to hide the missionary attire while I shop! haha. Guess what..!?!?!? ITS RAINING! I don't know about you but that's our Heavenly Father showing his mercy and love! So its raining today and I am very grateful. Its not that I am ashamed to wear missionary clothes, its just awkward while you shop. Its hard to explain so your just going to have to trust me! :)
It has been quite the eventful week here in Århus for me. There has been nothing extremely exciting but it was been busy and we have had our good moments. The yelling and being flipped off has died down a little and for once we were built up while we contacted. I know, weird right? On Monday or Tuesday we were out contacting and we contacted lady. It was raining and she had an umbrella over her head, and she used the umbrella to avoid eye contact with us! haha. Danes do that a lot! However, I contacted her anyways and she unhappily began to talk to us. After a little bit of talking and my amazing good looks and charm *Grin* we managed to explain the Book of Mormon to her and our purpose as missionaries. She was amazed at what we did and said word for word, "There needs to be more people like you in the world." I smiled and said thanks and we talked for a few more minutes. Then I asked if she would like to hear more another day.... well she changed the subject and said she had to leave. haha. Oh danish people...for one brief moment you see hope, then the next... crash and burn. haha. However I gave her a pass-along-card and told her she could go to our website and order a Book of Mormon. So we will see, who knows. :)
Then last Monday we were out doing some shopping for groceries and random things in the city center. We weren't contacting or anything when in the midst of the crowd I hear, "Are you from Utah." I turn around and there is this man coming up to me speaking English. I was like, "Yea, I am." Then he looks at me again, "Are you sure? You are from Utah." I kind of laughed and said, "Yea I have a license to prove it." Then the man laughs at me too and says, "So your Mormon!" I was like, "Yes I am." He smiles and and starts talking to us. He was a great guy, way nice and wanted a Book of Mormon. Normally I don't give them out right away, usually I wait and make an appointment with them another day. However I had one with me that day and felt that I should give him one. So I did and he tried to pay me. He said basically that to him the Mormon church is the only church he can see that actually lives what it preaches. He said hes fascinated by that and wanted to read the "Mormon Bible" as he called it! haha. So I gave him one and asked if we could come by another day and talk with him. He said hes really busy with school and basically said no! haha. Its like one brief shining moment then again, another crash and burn! haha. However he was really nice and complimented us on what we did. Once again, he knows we are nice and the image of the church was improved. :) You never know what might happen in the future.
So we have had many moments like that during the week where people have complimented us and in short have just been nice. I have come to the conclusion that there are many people who do in fact have respect for us and know we are good people. However the problem is the nice people don't open their mouths as much as the mean people. So of course we here more negative as Normal nice people wouldn't bother saying anything. If that makes sense?
For Example, it was Friday evening and we were on our way home. We were at cross walk waiting for the light to say walk, when this lady from behind walks in front of me and stares at my name badge. Oh know I thought, shes going to say something stupid or mean... oh yuck. However she looks at me and says, "Er du Jevohas Vidne? or Are you Jevohas Witnesses?" I look at her and say, "Det er vi helt Ikke! Vi er Mormoner! or That are we completely not! We are Mormons!" She looks at me and says, "Oh OK, much better. I do not like Jehovah's witnesses." I said, "Yea, I can understand that." Then she quickly says, "You mormons are nice people, but I have my faith and you don't need to teach me" I laugh and say, "Det er godt du tro på noget, Vi er stolt af dig or That is good you believe in something so we are proud of you." haha. I say in a joking manner. She laughs and got a good kick out of it! Then she turns the other way and says, "You boys have a fantastic afternoon!" So in short, people are nice and are not always rude. We weren't able to teach her anything, but she knows we are nice people and again the image of the church was improved. She now knows white shirts and black name badges are Mormons, and maybe next time will give a friendly smile and maybe listen. You never know.
So its been a much better week then it has been. People have been a little more nice and that definitely helps. However I ha vent just been contacting all week, I have also been teaching! Yes, we have had appointments with investigators and for the most part things are going very good with them!
One of our most positive investigators is this danish guy named Tobias. I cant remember if I have mentioned him, but hes in his middle 20s and lived with a member family in Idaho when he went for foreign exchange. So the previous missionaries met him on the street here and got his contact info. When I arrived we gave him a call and made an appointment with him and things are going great! This week we taught him about the Plan of Salvation and I think he really enjoyed it. He even got comfortable with us and share some personal experiences, and it helped him as this plan gave him answers. He even asked us, "Do you believe in this." I said to him, "Yes I do. I know its true" He looked at me and said, "Really?" I again in a very serious way, said "Yes." He kind of looked at me and for the rest of the lesson took it a little more serious." He invited us over again this week and we plan on showing him the Joseph Smith film. He is also making dinner for us, Yea! You know a Dane is grateful for you when they want to fill your stomach up with food! :) So yes, things are going great with him.
Another man we are teaching is named Sam. He comes from China, so actually is real name is something completely weird... so he told us just to call him Sam. haha. In Århus we actually teach English and Danish lessons every Tuesday night at 4 and 5. So the previous missionaries invited SAM to come get free lessons. He came and for a while he came only to learn about the language's. Well over time he got curious and began to learn more about the church. Sam has been taught a lot and seems very interested in the church as he has begun to consider baptism. He knows there is something special about our church. We tried to set a date with him and hes considering it. So I don't know about you but that's pretty exciting. However the only concern is, is he is planning on moving back to China in a year. So he wont remain in Denmark. However that's OK... Maybe his purpose for coming here is to be baptized. I don't know. We told him that there are members in China and they can now legally meet together. We told him if he does decided to join we would get him the contact info he would need to meet up with those members.
Wow, OK sorry this email is getting a little long. However I have one more experience out of the many I have had this week. We recently received a referral from a member in Randers. Her name is Irene. She sent me a beautifully wrapped package in a letter instructing me to deliver it to a friend of hers named Rikke that lives in Århus. So my companion and I headed out and knocked on her door. I asked her if she knew Irene. She said yes, and I said, she sent us here to give you this gift, and I think inside is a letter.She got a huge smile and said, really! Then she was way friendly with us and we just talked and were nice. I gave her a pass-along-card and then walked away. After I left I realized how stupid I was and didn't get her number or asked her if we could come back and share our message with her. I just felt stupid and I couldn't believe I forgot.
Well this is my spiritual message for the week. I had this referral and did my best to contact her and be friendly. However for some reason I didn't do the normal mission thing and ask for her contact info. I have no idea why I was so careless and stupid. I felt bad about it for the next few days. Then on Saturday morning I get a phone call from Irene. She told me that Rikke called her and wants to me with the missionaries! I was immediately relieved and excited and just leaped for joy! :) She told me that Rikke was impressed with our kind manner and how normal we were. She said to Irene, "It was such a surprise to have 2 handsome young men come to the door" so in short she was grateful and wants to be taught. Irene even said shes going to drive down from Randers to meet with us and Rikke. Irene even got emotional on the phone and says, shes tried for years to get her to learn about the church and nothings worked. She attributed this success with me and my companion and said whatever you did, you did it perfectly.
So my spiritual message for this weeks is when we do our best, in the end perfection can be reached. I did my best and for me I thought I made a mistake by not getting her contact info. Well in the end the Lord took care of the rest and manged to turn my little mess up into a situation that was perfect for Rikke. so in short, me doing my best (Though I didn't think it was, haha) ended up being perfect. The lord works in mysterious ways, and I am happy to look back and said, I did my best. :)
Well I sure appreciate all of you and your time for reading my emails. I sometimes feel all I do is ramble on. haha. On other news, real quick, I have officially reached my 11 month mark as a missionary! Has time flown or what! haha. I sure love all of you and hope you all have a fantastic week!
Med Kærlig Hilsen,
Ældste Skyler Hardy