(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,
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!”