Hvad for et barn er det her?

(What Child is This?)

This week was. So good. As you might’ve imagined. And Birthdays/Christmas on the mish are only as good as you make them. If you make them times of extreme homesickness, ya they’re gonna be horrible and lonely, but if you make the most of it and tell yourself that you’re only in Denmark for Christmas once and surround yourself with wonderful people, it’s the most wonderful time of the year! Because it was Christmas week, the only real contacting we could do was to carol around to members and other people we knew! I now almost have every Danish Christmas song memorized! No, no, I kid. Almost.

So in Denmark, Christmas lasts for 4 days. You have Lille Juledag, Juleaften, Juledag, and Anden Juledag. Though, no one really does anything besides sleep and relax on the 25th and the 26th. We had Lille Juleaften on the 22nd with a member family where we had nachos? (Apparently it was a family tradition #NotGonnaComplain) and played a game called Pakkelege (Pakka-lie) which is pretty much just the White Elephant game. We actually played pakkelege 3 times over the next couple days!

Juleaften, which is Denmark’s Christmas, we went to the julegudstjeneste our Ward had, where Sister Van Orden and I sang “What Child is This?” Then we went over to Sofie’s (a member) house, and made food ALL day long, but it ended up being the most delicious julemad (Christmas food, pronounced Yoola-mell) I have ever had, which surprisingly, I’ve had a lot of during the course of my mission. I had some in March… Julemad consists of Flæskesteg (Pork roast with the skin still on so it’s nice and crunchy mmmm. Pronounced Fleska-stai), Rødkål (Boiled red cabbage mmm. Pronounced rool-coal), Brun kartoffler (small carmelized potatoes), brun sovs (gravy. But it’s not gravy. But it’s gravy. Pronounced Broon Sow-s) And in addition to that, Sofie is like the best cook in the Whole World, so you better believe it was good! The elders came over and we ate and played pakkelege. So much fun!

Christmas Day! So we piled all our Christmas packages and presents on top of our bikes and went to the church in our pjs with the elders at 7am to open them around the Christmas tree that was still in the chapel/gym. It was just, well, almost like Christmas morning at home. Presents and wrapping paper strewn everywhere. I think everyone Elder Allred knows thinks he doesn’t smell very good because EVERYONE gave him either cologne or aftershave. But we had æbleskiver for breakfast while we watched Mr. Krueger’s Christmas (B-b-bass?). It truly made Christmas Christmas.

Oh my gosh. Christmas miracles! I don’t know if it was just because it was Christmas, because I’ve heard so many stories from everyone about the miracles that have happened this past week, but we had our own miracle. So the other day we were biking and I ran through a yellow light that Sister Van Orden didn’t make. So I waited patiently on the other side of the intersection for the light to turn green again. I’m watching her and there’s this baby carriage right by her. The light turns green and she isn’t moving. I’m just like “What’s up sister? The light is green!” Then she comes through and catches up to me and she says, “That was Genesis (a member) and Nikolaj (her ex-mand) and he said that he wants to change his life and be baptized!!” I almost fell off my bike!
Genesis asked us if we could come by sometime on the 25th because Nikolaj was going back to prison the next day (Hold tight, I’ll explain). We agreed and came by that day. So we’d heard about Nikolaj from Genesis many times. They used to be married and separated because Nikolaj had a bad drug problem, and Genesis was going to have a baby. Once Genesis had her baby, she decided to give Nikolaj a chance and actually gave him a Book of Mormon to start reading. She told us a few weeks ago that he’d been reading it and really liked it! He actually is painting a picture of the Tree of Life right now! So anyway, we come in on the 25th and sit down with them, and I just feel so much love fill the room, and Nikolaj tells us that he wants to be baptized! He said at first he wanted to because Genesis wants to get married in the temple and he’d love to do that for her, but then he was like, “It’s not about her anymore. The day I found out I could be cleansed from everything I’ve ever done wrong, I felt so strongly about it!” He’s going back into prison until the 5th of February, but he says he wants to be baptized as soon as possible. He comes out every 3rd week so Genesis is going to let us know! He also understands the Book of Mormon and how to apply it to our personal lives better than some members I know! We walked out of that lesson with the most amazing feeling. not just because we have someone who wants to be baptized, but because we didn’t find him. Genesis and God did all the Work here! We were just filled with so much of God’s love for this man! I love being a missionary.

That afternoon I got to talk to my incredible Family! I love and miss those people so much! Quoting Elder Weese here but, when I think about eternal families, I think about eternal Christmases. That was the best Christmas present I could ever have received. I got to meet Amanda, my sister-in-law too! Good stuff. She’s great! Weird to see my Brother cuddling with someone on the couch though. 😛  Gross.

I love Christmas! There’s a spirit at Christmastime that you can’t find any other time of the year (as much as you should). I love being a missionary at Christmastime!

I hope y’all had a great Christmas. Mine was the best!

Fred på jord,
Sister Fergie

Quotes:
Søs VO: “Sometimes you’re just not happy and no amount of jumping jacks is gonna change that.”

“Picking up your dog’s poop and leaving the bag on the ground does NOT count as picking up your dog’s poop.”

“I’ll just change my baby’s diaper on this power box and hide the evidence”

“I was like ‘no way!’ and he was like ‘way!’, but in Danish”

Æ Jensen: “Guys. I AM listening to you. Just ask Elder Weese!”
Æ Weese: “No he’s not!”

Danske Jul hos Sofie

Danske Jul hos Sofie

Amerikansk Jul med Ældsterne i kirken

Amerikansk Jul med Ældsterne i kirken

Glædelig Jul! Rocking the pajamas

Glædelig Jul! Rocking the pajamas

​Skyping the fam! Best Christmas present ever!

Skyping the fam! Best Christmas present ever!

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No, No, It’s a Pig

No, No, It’s a Pig

Man oh man, this week has been incredible and sad and wonderful and so memorable. So much love and happiness and weird feelings. It’s super hard to describe so I’m just going to tell you about it.

Horsens is a lovely place. It’s super old and pretty. The buildings are really old and it’s got the perfect amount of hills. Even on gray cloudy days it’s beautiful. It was a pleasure to serve there for a week. I got to ride Sister Rovig’s old bike which was the perfect height. I wanted to take it back to Esbjerg (Totally cheating on Rosemary). Plus it had 7 gears. SO much better than 3.

Wednesday the music group came to Horsens! A bunch of people I know and love were there, including my companion! I love that girl. I was talking to Elder Gudmundson in the hall and then around the corner came my favorite person in all the world and I totally broke off the conversation (Sorry Elder Gudmundson) to attack Sister Floyd in a giant hug. We were almost companions again for a little bit there as we went out to carol to some people. I HAVE MISSED THIS GIRL SO MUCH!!

They sang and the concert was SO good!! I recorded it for them. I’ve realized that I’ve been the software man for the group this whole time. Elder Porter is the hardware/sound man and I’m the software man. #ProudToBeOfAssistance But the Horsens concert had 27 non-members present! And only 5 were missionary-brought! Let’s go! We had a great sleepover with the group both that night and the night after.

THEN we had our fantastic 9 hour Christmas Zone Conference! Those 9 hours flew by, but we had some awesome trainings (made me cry), Sister Van Orden, Sister Sorensen, and Sister Floyd gave their farewell testimonies. Made me cry even harder. (I think I was the only one there who’d been companions with all 3 of them.) We had a great lunch, then ‘Julemand’ (Ex-Elder Mogensen) and his little helpers (The Assistants/Zone Leaders) passed out all of our Christmas packages! It was like Christmas!

After packages, we had a slideshow of embarrassing Christmas pictures of the whole mission that our moms sent in. It was great. Then we watched INDERSTE INDE!! What is it called in English…. Inside Out! I don’t think I’ve been so entertained by a movie in my life! The fact is that we hadn’t seen a real movie, one that’s not about the pioneers or Joseph Smith, in so long that it was hilarious and SO dramatic. Popcorn was thrown and missionary-appropriate curses were shouted. Sisters AND elders were crying #NoShame That should not be a kids movie. It messes with your mind. I bet a bunch of psychologists got together and wrote the plotline. Plus like BING-BONG! It was just like in Big Hero 6. Disney sacrifices people more than Doctor Who does. Who’s in charge of this? Such a good movie. And I love my mission!. We have the best missionaries in the world over here. It was especially apparent while we were watching the movie.

After a rollercoaster of emotions watching the movie, I snagged a picture with ALL OF MY COMPANIONS!!! When does that happen? So awesome, but it all came crashing down when I realized I had to say goodbye to Sister Floyd and Sister Noorda. My best friend and my mom. That whole train-ride back to Horsens I had to distract myself to keep from sinking deeper into my sadness pit. It was so hard. How wonderful it is to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.

That next day was especially emotional because I still had my little sadness pit, but my brother got married! It was really weird, I was sitting there at 9pm thinking “They’re getting married right now.” Sister Van Orden’s best friend was getting married that day too, so I called her and we chatted and laughed and cried. Oh the life of someone who’s away for a mere year and a half. I’m honestly super okay with my brother getting married, btw. It’s still so bizarre that I have no other room for any negative emotions towards it. I have a sister-in-law…

Sister Sørensen made my night better by sharing some Scooby-Doo fruit snacks that she’d gotten in a package from her boyfriend. I don’t think she realized how great that was. Scooby-Doo fruit snacks are the world’s best fruit snack! I used to ask for them for my birthday. Tak skat.

We had a nice last day in Horsens. It was a fun week. I’m excited to be in one spot with my babe Sister Van Orden. I’m also so incredibly excited for Christmas and to Skype my family! Last week was wonderful, but this week is gonna be SO GOOOOOD! Christmastiiiime is heeeeere!

I love you all! Have the best Christmas ever, and family, I’ll talk to you on Friday!!!

MKH,
Søster Fergie

Quotes:
Mitch (investigator): “I keep waking up to the sun shining in my eyes”
Klaus (member): “Why don’t you just sleep with sunglasses?”

Me: “My toes want some ice cream!”
Søs Sø: “My toes ARE ice cream”

Søs Sø: “I wore my woodpecker Christmas socks just for the occasion”

So in the middle of the night I woke up to Sister Floyd grabbing Sister Sorensen’s laundry hamper and cuddling with it. I was half-asleep so my only thoughts were, “Is that comfortable? Just as long as it doesn’t bother me while I sleep” Nothing about “Why the crap are you doing that??” She almost peed when I told her about it the next morning.

Me: “This is great! I’ve never seen anything invisible in my life!”
Søs Sø: “Sister, think about what you just said”

My girl Floydy

My girl Floydy

Never ever will this happen again, but ALL of my companions were together in one place! Sister Orr and Sister Landvatter were there too, but Sister Orr left early. (Søs Floyd, Søs Van Orden, Søs Noorda, Søs Thompson, Søs Sørensen, og mig)

Never ever will this happen again, but ALL of my companions were together in one place!
Sister Orr and Sister Landvatter were there too, but Sister Orr left early.
(Søs Floyd, Søs Van Orden, Søs Noorda, Søs Thompson, Søs Sørensen, og mig)

Said goodbye to my mama

Said goodbye to my mama

Merry Christmas

Horsens, Horsens, Horsens

Okay, so just a confession, I’ve been wanting to use this title for my blog since I first found out that there was a sisters’ area called Horsens. And how appropriate, since it’s Christmas time (From Sleepless in Seattle where she’s driving home for Christmas and singing in the car).

It’s been a crazy week. I didn’t end up going to Slagelse, desværre (ultra mega super desværre), BUT I did get to go on splits with Sister Reed here in Esbjerg! It rained a lot, but we had a good time. I didn’t realize how much we bike here until she pointed it out. Esbjerg is a big area. We had a good time. We stayed in Esbjerg because we went to a Christmas concert for a few less-actives of ours. It was in a church in a little town outside of Esbjerg. We had quite the adventure finding it. And then the bus only came once an hour so we had to leave the concert early and book it out to the bus stop. Our coats were half on and all our hats and scarves were bundled in our arms. But we made it with 1 minute to spare. Sådan. I love Sister Reed! I don’t think I’ll ever be her comp (she leaves in a transfer and a half), but that was a fun splits.

Søs Sø and I went out to the beach the other day to contact. It was so cold, but we took some pics with the giant four white men statues. The sun was beautiful. It’s really weird because the sun is starting to go down at 3pm. Luckily the 21st is when it starts getting lighter again. I found some rocks. And a seashell. And a bunch of unfinished seaglass that was cast back into the waves with a shout of “Come back when you’re REALLY ready!!!” The nerve.

We put together Kirsten Søe’s new kitchen table and chairs! It was pretty fun! I’m turning into a very handy handyman. At least that’s what Kirsten said. I built three chairs in the time it took her to do one. That was fun.

We had our Ward Christmas Concert! It was so good! We dressed up as shepherds with the primary and sang with the ward choir. It gave me goosebumps. And then we danced around the Christmas tree! I think I want to stay in Denmark forever just for that. It was so fun!!! My family will be doing it. And the super skinny Julemand (Santa) gave us little bags of treats.

Saturday We spent the morning making cookies and then spent the whole day biking around delivering them. Both Sister Sorensen and I have traditions in our family where we make treats for the neighbors. Couldn’t break tradition. It was so great!

I also had an awesome miracle story! So we were at the library the other day, working on an article Sister Sorensen and Sister Mandla are working on for the Liahona. I was proof-reading it. But we were sitting there and there’s this Iranian man sitting at the computer across from me. He calls a library worker over and asks if she can help him with something. She told him that he would have to figure it out by himself, which I thought was pretty rude. So after she left I went over and asked if it was anything I could help him with. He had translated something from English to Danish and just needed someone to proof-read it, which was just what I was doing with Sister Sorensen. So I did, had him fix a few things, and gave him a card with our number on it. Later that day he texted to say thanks and I invited him to our Christmas concert last Friday. He came! I was so happy! After the concert I went up and said hi and asked him what he believed. He told me that back when he was in Iran he was Muslim, but now he just believes in God and that’s it. BUT. He then said, “But I was wondering if you could teach me about Jesus Christ and about what you believe?” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT? We set an appt for the Tuesday after I get back in Esbjerg. #NewInvestigator All because I helped him with his thing. And he had some good conversations with a bunch of members too! And with one of our other investigators! I love my life! I’m starting to really believe that service is the way to people’s hearts. We are called to serve after all.

Now I’m in Horsens for a week and lots of exciting stuff is happening. We have Christmas Zone Conference and I get to see my babe Sister Floyd! I love my life. I love Christmastime. Eet’s the BAYST! I LOVE eet.

Have a great week friends! T minus 11 days until I get to skype my famileeeeeee!!!

Fred,
Søster Fergie

Quotes:
Søs Sø: “God will send two angels in beanies to you.”

We found this statue of these two naked men standing triumphantly.
Søs Sø: “Two naked guys standing for freedom! We just wanna be free from CLOTHES!”

“I might roast. You might as well call me roast.”

Søs Reed: “Save the rocks. Get a real sidewalk.”

Split-ception. Splits within splits!

Split-ception. Splits within splits!

​Took some pics with some white people.

​Took some pics with some white people.

I love Christmastime! Some nice people with santa hats gave us free clementines and cookies on the train

I love Christmastime! Some nice people with santa hats gave us free clementines and cookies on the train

​Beach in December. Who took that girl's coat off?

​Beach in December. Who took that girl’s coat off?

Extreme Splits

Happy things are going down. This has been an exciting week, and it’s only going to get more exciting!

I am currently on ‘extreme splits’ with my good pal and buddy, Sister Sørensen! We’re getting the extra week, plus another week and a half, together that we didn’t get because our one transfer together was only a 5 week transfer! I love this woman! She says hi. We’re on splits because both of our companions, Sister Van Orden and Sister Mandla, are on a traveling Christmas musical tour around Denmark for 2.5 weeks. So Sister Sorensen and I are sharing Esbjerg and Horsens – 1 week in Esbjerg and 1 week in Horsens. Super exciting! Not only that, but on Friday I was on splits with Sister Ackerman in Odense because Sister Sorensen had to go to Copenhagen with Sister Landvatter for leadership meeting. So I felt like I’ve just been eaten and spit out by everyone (It’s all good, though. I love it)

So. Monday-Wednesday were pretty normal. There was so much stress and anticipation for the Christmas concert that it just needed to start. Thursday morning we took an early train to Fredericia where Sister Van Orden and Sister Mandla headed off to Copenhagen and Sister Sørensen and I came back here to Esbjerg… where we spent the afternoon. Then that night we took a train to Odense (Don’t know why the assistants didn’t just have us spend the day blitzing Odense) where Sister Sørensen and Sister Landvatter took a train to Copenhagen and I stayed in Odense with Sister Ackerman! Crazy stuff, I know. We had a pizza party with the YSA peeps there (Odense has a great YSA program because there’s a big university) and Elder Amos made us all English pizza with mashed potatoes and peaches on top. Don’t even know, but it was good! He had his union jack apron on. He’s about as British as British can get. Peaches.

 

Anyway, the next day we made a card and went and sang to Sister Turpin on her birthday with the elders (Elder Amos and his baby Elder Howe, Elder Jeppsen and his baby Elder Jensen) and then biked 40 mins uphill, against the wind on Sister Ackerman’s bike, which is too small for me. Actually, everyone’s bike is too small for me. Rosemary has got to be the tallest bike I’ve ever seen. Our destination was a member’s house where all the missionaries on Fyn came to eat Julemad (Christmas food!) It was so much fun! I’m really glad I don’t serve around that many missionaries though. It’s nice with just us and our 2 elders in our city.

 

That night Sister Sørensen came back and we took the train to Horsens! The next day we had a little service project (baby one) and their ward party! I love Danish Christmas! They dance around the Christmas tree and sing a bunch of songs and they have little gnomes, or ‘Nisser’ decorating everything. I love it. Plus Christmas  is on the 24th instead of the 25th. We got to hang out with Ghergh (George), a super cute guy that was just baptized. Sister Thompson and I actually went to his baptism. He’s from Romania and can’t walk very well, but he’s such a sweet guy.

 

Saturday night we came back to Esbjerg so we could go to church here Sunday morning, and Sister Van Orden’s bike, the Terminator, was GONE!! Someone stole that thing! I called Sister Van Orden to tell her and she was like “I don’t know if I should laugh or cry.” Rest in peace Terminator. So we’re currently almost bike-less. I still have Rosemary, which I got fixed professionally! Woo! And we have a spare bike, but I need to switch the rear tire tube. Good thing I’m good at that. #BikeProbs

We had 2 investigators in church and 4 less-actives!!! WOOOOO! Our buddy Rommel came because I texted him that morning inviting him to church and telling him that God thinks he’s enough. And he CAME!!! Prayers are answered.

We did a heck ton of family history after church. We’re trying to get better at it. I’ve been trying to find some Danish ancestors but it’s really hard. I wish all the Danish archives were indexed. It’s so hard to read. BUT I did find someone who wasn’t on there before! Let’s go! My brain was pretty fried. It was a great day!

Last night we were walking around and we found a good sized Christmas tree right next to a dumpster! It was a good tree too! And luckily enough, we were right by the elder’s apt, so we carried it over there and left it in front of their door. I left a few voicemails that were like, “Dear elders. We have something for you that’s green and prickly, and no it’s not the grinch. You’re welcome. Love, the sisters.” I bet every pair of elders wishes they had sisters like us. But no, it actually was super fun. I think I was just as excited for them to come home as they were when they did!

I’m super excited for this next week! This week we’re spending in Esbjerg and then next we’re spending in Horsens. Party! I feel like a nomad. Actually, Sister Sorensen and I were talking and we realized that we have dual citizenship in both the Nordjylland zone and the Sydjylland zone! Plus we’re kind of taking over Denmark because I was on splits in Odense, so we’ve got Fyn, and then on Wednesday I’ll be going on splits in Slagelse (!!!!!!!!!! SO EXCITED!!!!!) So we’ll have Sjælland too! Taking over the world, one country at a time.

Love you all! Congrats to my best friend Alyssa who is getting married this weekend!

Byyye!!!
Søster Fergie

Quote:
Søs Sø: “My question is, did they receive all those things on each day, so at the end there were 12 partridges? Cause I always just picture a very crowded living room.”

(I asked Lucy to explain the title of last week’s blog “Santa the Muslim Priest.” Here’s what she replied to me: “So the santa muslim priest thing is funny. There’s this old Muslim man who we see EVERYWHERE. He has this big white beard and this red and white turban on every time we see him. We decided to finally go up and ask him his name, and he said, ‘I’m Mohammed, and I’m a Muslim priest.’ Before we knew his name, we just called him Santa. 🙂 “)

Splits in Odense with Sister Ackerman!

Splits in Odense with Sister Ackerman!

This is me (trying to) translate for Ghergh at the Horsen's ward Christmas party

This is me (trying to) translate for Ghergh at the Horsen’s ward Christmas party

Man shepherd

So. We got the elders a tree for free! You're welcome. Don't say we never did anything for you.

So. We got the elders a tree for free! You’re welcome. Don’t say we never did anything for you.