Monday, September 20, 2010

Did someone say... DENMARK??

Hej Familj!

Good morning/afternoon/evening!! Welcome back to the wonderful land of Sweden! However, I do not want to start this e-mail talking about Sweden.. I would like to talk about Denmark! Okay, as you can probably guess, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Denmark this past week! I know right?! Crazy! This is how it happened. Early in the week, I think on Monday night, we received a phone call from Kristianstad. Äldste Clarke was calling to invite Äldste Bracken to come to Denmark to attend the temple. You see, we are allowed to go to the temple every six months while we are on our missions, and Äldste Bracken's six months were up! He of course accepted the invitation, and that meant that Äldste Clarke's companion, my MTC buddy, Äldste Cluff, would go on splits. We thought that would be pretty cool, but as you can guess, we were wanting to go to the temple too! The only Elders that are allowed to attend the temple in Denmark are the Elders serving in the Malmö Zone, and since transfers are rapidly approaching we were worried that we would never again have the chance to attend the temple in Denmark! So, Äldste Bracken and Äldste Clarke thought that it would only be fair to allow us to come as well... A quick call to President Anderson, and permission was granted! He felt that it was okay, even though our six months was not quite up. Anyway! We went to zone conference, which was amazing, and after, spent the night in Malmö in the Zone Leader's apartment. That next morning we jumped on a bus, and then on a train towards Denmark! There were six elders and two sisters going, so it was a pretty good group to travel with! Not too big, not too small. I traveled over the Öresundsbron, which is that huge bridge that connects Sweden to Denmark, and it was crazy! It is the bridge that goes under the water! :) Once we arrived in Denmark the atmosphere changed! Everyone was speaking Danish and the people even looked different! haha It was fun to hear the Danish language all of the time! Some of the language is really similar, but other parts, especially pronunciation, are very different! Anyway, we decided to go straight to the temple and then find some place around there to eat breakfast. I don't know if you have ever seen pictures of the Copenhagen, Denmark Temple, but it blends in very nicely with it's surroundings. What I am trying to say is that it snuck-up on us! We were just walking down the street, and BAM!! There it was! It was beautiful! We took lots of pictures and then went to breakfast at a really cool Danish cafe. The food was yum! haha :) After breakfast we went to the temple for our session. I thought the temple was beautiful on the outside, but that is nothing compared to the inside! I was taken way, way back!! It is probably one of the most beautiful places I have ever been! Really though... The entire time I was just thinking to myself, "I wish my family could see THIS!!!" Haha, I say that a lot actually! The session went great and I felt the Spirit sooooo strongly! I didn't want to leave, and it was apparent that no one else wanted to leave either! We were there for a very long time. Anyway, we eventually left the temple and by this time it was time for lunch! We went to one of the main areas of Copenhagen and found a KFC!!! Can you believe it! A KFC! lol We were all like, "we need to eat there!" It was pretty good, and we ate a lot! After, we went to an amazing church which is home to what I have been told is the original statue of Christ... You know, the one like in the visitor's center in SLC. It was beautiful, and don't worry, I took lots of pictures! They also had statues of the Twelve Apostles which I took pictures of too. After this we headed back to the train station to catch a train to Helsingor, Denmark to see Hamlet's Castle! :) (not before stopping at a Hard Rock Cafe to buy a shirt real quick!) :) We were not able to spend a whole lot of time there in the castle because we had to catch a ferry boat back across the channel to Helsingborg, Sweden, but it was awesome to see with my own eyes! All in all the trip was way worth it! I had lots of fun, and the temple was the bestest, best, best part! Okay, now on to my wonderful box senders! Thank you soooo much for the two boxes I received at Zone Conference! They were a pain to carry back home, but they were soooo worth it! I know have delicious cereal and pop-tarts, chips, crackers, a CD, deodorant, and a couple of very strange things. First, from Mom's box, was a Moose that when turned on rolls around on the floor and laughs like crazy!! lol We laughed very hard.. well at least I did! It was quite random! The next random thing was in Josh and Hillary's box. They included a "Nana Saver". If anyone doesn't know what that is, don't worry.. You probably shouldn't know. They can be found at your local Wal-Mart hanging on the very edge of the produce section. They are used to store Ba"nana"s. When you cut the banana in half the clip works to preserve the half the you didn't eat. This is pretty random, even for me! It is however, a little bit of an inside joke though. Every time I would go with Josh and Hillary to Wal-Mart to buy groceries I would always put it in the cart, and it would either make it to the checkout, or be taken out immediately. I guess they felt it time to let me have it! haha I have no idea what I am going to do with it! These two random objects are going to be interesting to deal with when transfers come. But anyway, THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH for the goodies and piano music and everything else! I loved it, and It will definitely help me celebrate my six months! :) Okay, I REALLY need to get to the e-mails or I am going to run out of time! First today is my brother Matt! I love you Matt! Funny stuff about Mrs. Spencer.. don't get too carried away though. Teachers notice a lot more than you think they do. Have fun and continue laughing! I completely agree that laughing can be one of the most fun things to do! DO YOU REMEMBER who you are talking to!? We had sooo many good times together! Like, watching funny movies together while muffling our laughs with pillows as to not wake mom and dad up! haha, it always failed! And another one I remember is the time we were at a campground bathroom and there was a guy in the stall having problems. (which you thought was me) As you were about to get out of the showers you yelled, "whoa man!!! What did you eat!!!!" I started laughing immediately and then you came out to see me just standing there pointing to the man in the stall!! haha That was soooo funny! Good times! :) So yeah, laughing is good! So, you are going to fly down for a BYU game huh?? I will pretend like I didn't hear that!! jkjk That is so cool Matt!! Do you remember when you and I went to the games together!? SOOO much fun! You will have a great time with everyone down there. I know it! Take some good pictures because I wanna see! :) How is Joe doing by the way? Sounds like you two had a fun weekend! Well, I love you soo much Matt!! Keep up the good work and have fun! Don't you ever for one second forget... my PRAYERS are with you. Everyday! :) Okay! On to my wonderful father!! I love you Dad! Enjoy John Schmidt as much as you possibly can! Whenever he decides to come. Thank you for your reminder about priorities! lol I know that my time is needed here, and I willfully give it... I will for sure have those fun times back in the states.. but that is not for a while! :) I love the fact that you took the time to look up Tropic, Utah on Google! I can visually see you reading the e-mail and then jumping onto google! haha I love you Dad! I will for sure tell Äldste Clarke that you looked at his home town because of my e-mail! :) Thank you so much Dad... for telling me about the anxiety and tension the family is going through because of the move and all. My prayers have been constant everyday, but an increase is on it's way today. I know that the Lord will help you all through this. He has promised me that, and I have faith in that promise! :) Everything will be O K!! I tell myself that all of the time, and it always does.. For a quick example... On our way back from Lund (after the Denmark trip) the train we took flew right by Växjö, and it was headed to Stockholm Central. It was pretty late already, and we just needed the train to stop so we could find a way home back to Växjö. It seemed like the train would never stop and that we would have to call President and explain why we were calling from Stockholm! I said a quick prayer and felt that feeling when you know that everything is going to be O K. The train DID finally slow down and stop in a town called Nässjö. We ran to the train departures board and saw that there was only one more train that night heading back south. We ran to the platform and as soon as we got there the train pulled up and we got on. This was nothing short of a miracle! The train should have come and departed 20 minutes earlier but was delayed for some reason. Had that train been on time or even a minute earlier than it was, we would have been in a very, very bad situation! It could have been terrible. But, the Lord helped us, and was watching out for our mistakes! We had faith, and everything turned out O K!!! :) It was quite the faith builder! I love you Dad!! Be strong and faithful! The Lord will help, I know... :) Okay now it is Mom's turn! I love you Mom!!! First off, thank you very much for the amazing box! I loved it! Even the Moose! haha :) The CD is amazing too! I love singing along with it! I just hope I can eat the food before transfers! I don't want to leave it! haha OH! A bit of interesting news.. Because of transfers, I am not sure about that October 14th date for our next zone conference. If I get transferred it will definitely not be the 14th, unless I am transferred within the zone. I believe most of the zone conferences are after the 14th, but all will be well! haha Don't fret at all! Speaking of transfers... All of the missionaries do "transfer predictions" and if the zone leaders are right, I will be transferred. It is also the pattern of Elders here in Växjö. Four months and then you get transferred out! However, anything could happen! We will definitely see! :) OH this is IMPORTANT!!!! P-Day will be on Wednesday next week!!!!! :) haha so don't freak out if my e-mail is late! It will be! haha Sorry, I just remembered that. Okay, yes Mom.. it is crazy that my six month mark is this Friday!! Time is just flying by, and I can't seem to get it to slow down! Syster Wood, one of the Sisters in our zone is heading home in a few days, and at Zone Conference she bore her testimony and she said she remembered when she bore her first testimony and how far away it seemed. Then she got choked-up and started crying explaining that that day felt like yesterday... It was crazy to think how fast time goes!.. Anyway, we should have a good time on Friday... Whatever we do! I will for sure burn a tie! :) haha Traditions are strange! Oh, I will for sure relay your love to Sandra.. She will love hearing what you have to say! haha :) Thank you for the picture of Hillary and Jess!! haha that was a funny picture! It is so strange to see them all big and pregnant! Jess should be having Colin any day from what I hear!!! Yay! How exciting for everyone! Thank you Mom, for your kind words. I am glad that the Spiritual thought last week helped you out, because it has helped me out every day! :) Okay, I love you Mom!! Alright everyone!! I have received a lot of e-mails asking about the weather here. It is COLD.. We have been wearing our suit coats and jackets everyday! haha It is cloudy most days with TONS of rain and sometimes hail! We still get the occasional sunny day, but they are becoming fewer and fewer. The leaves are changing and the seasons are turning! I am EXCITED!! haha So there was the quick weather update! Okay... now on to the Spiritual Moment! This e-mail is so long! Wow!! haha Okay the Spiritual Thought is from Zone Conference. We were talking about the Holy Ghost and how it applies to missionary work. We discussed the role of us as missionaries and how we could have the Holy Ghost with us in our work. One of the things I thought of was an understanding and a desire. We had all of the normal, "read your scriptures, come to church, pray" kind of answers, but we had other, deeper answers. I believe that in order to have the Holy Ghost as a tool and a constant companion we must first realize what the Holy Ghost can do! We must come to an UNDERSTANDING of the Power of the Holy Ghost. This, as with most things I write, does NOT apply only to missionary work! It applies to every aspect of life! The Holy Ghost can change paths, it can enlighten lost spirits, bring happiness to those that are suffering... Do we UNDERSTAND this power? Because if we truly do understand the power, then we WILL have a strong DESIRE to have the Holy Ghost with us. I have come to a better understanding of the Holy Ghost since I have been out on my mission. This understanding is growing day by day, and growing alongside of that is the desire to have the Holy Ghost. I know that the Holy Ghost can change lives. I have seen it in others and most importantly... my own. Let us work to truly understand the Holy Ghost... listen to the promptings and desire it's constant companionship. I love this Gospel... I love how it has blessed me... I know with all that I am, that Jesus Christ, my Savior and Redeemer... lives! He loves me and desires that I be happy. And I know that through the Holy Ghost's companionship... I CAN BE! I love you all very, VERY much! Keep your heads held high, and your Spirits higher! Until next week.....

Trogen och Stadig, Är Jag Redo!!!!!
Faithful and Steady, I AM Ready!!!!!

Äldste Kundis :) :) :)

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