Weeks 78 & 79; May 18, 2015 – Exploring Denmark!
The last two weeks have been an adventure to say the least… We Skyped home for Mother’s Day, we traveled a ton, and we even visited another country (with permission of course)! Most importantly, I want to congratulate my cousin Dallin for getting his mission call to the Dominican Republic! I am so thankful to see him answer the call to serve... It's going to an absolutely amazing country and he's going to be an awesome missionary!
|Skyping home for Mother's Day|
|Catching-up with Josh at 4:30 AM California time (1:30 PM in Sweden)|
Two weeks went by in a blur! Early last week we traveled down to the resort city of Båstad. It's one of the most beautiful cities I've ever visited in Sweden. It’s unique because you can't find a single apartment in the city limits. We helped tare out an old floor and then we ate Swedish pancakes and a mini-meatloaf dish called Pan Biff (beef in a pan if you were wondering)... Swedish is a super hard language, ha-ha!
It was getting close to the end of the six-week transfer period and both of us were afraid we would be sent to a new area, so we planned a temple trip. When you’re in Southern Sweden, you can actually go to Denmark and visit the Mormon Temple there. We planned-out every detail and it looked like it would be an amazing day, but there were a few unforeseen surprises along the way!
We started out by taking a ferry across the Baltic Sea at the narrowest point between Sweden and Denmark. It was crazy to think that we were probably sailing over hundreds of sunken ships. The small gap of water we were sailing across was the site of countless navel conflicts between Sweden and Denmark over the years. Although, today they are both renowned for their devotion to peace, Denmark and Sweden actually are the undisputed record holders for having the most wars between two nations...Ever. I still have no idea what they were actually fighting about and it seemed like a semi-annual military campaign of some sort was their favorite tradition. Now their old rivalry is long behind them and they celebrate their unity and friendship by giving cheap ferry rides at the cost of $5 dollars between the two countries!
We arrived in the beautiful city of Helsingør, the former capitol of Denmark, and the home of William Shakespeare’s famous play, Hamlet. We ended-up taking a quick peak at Hamlet's castle, Krownborg (The crown castle) and we took a small tour before catching our train to Copenhagen (actually called Kopenhav, and pronounced Kopenhow. Danes never pronounce the end of a word, which makes it really hard to understand). It was amazing! The whole city was like a monument to the former military might of Denmark and it was absolutely beautiful! We even found a giant statue of Thor under the basement!
Before we left, we thought we'd try Danish Kebab, or at least the equivalent of Shwarma, yes that meal that Tony Stark wanted to eat at the end of the Avengers movie! It was probably the best thing I've ever eaten! It was like Kebab, but spicier and way more flavorful! I'd come back to the nation of Denmark just to try it again!!!
We took a train to Copenhagen and spoke Danish with a lady the whole way down. Swedish and Danish languages are very close cousins and we could understand each other, but it was still pretty hard, ha-ha! Seriously, Denmark is amazing, but they don’t enunciate their words very well!
|The original Christus Statue at the Church of Our Lady|
Copenhagen was awesome. We had an amazing experience on the way to the temple and we got to stop inside Denmark’s famous Christus Cathedral and saw the original sculpture of the statue of Christ commonly seen in LDS visitor’s centers, it was breathtaking! I've been in a lot of old churches in Sweden, but nothing like this. It was just a large plain room with giant statues of the Twelve Apostles and Christ at the center. It was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen!
|Copenhagen Denmark LDS Temple|
Afterward, we made our way to the Mormon Temple and to our dismay, it was locked! We thought that we read the session time wrong, so we just decided to wait and pray that we'd meet someone who could help us. We were greeted by a cheery Danish man about 15 minutes later and he asked us what brought us to the temple. When he realized we were from Sweden he seemed really surprised. We quickly realized that we had picked the one week in the year that the Denmark Temple was closed for cleaning and renovations. We were heart broken, but we had an amazing journey down there and we had a great spiritual experience seeing the Kristus statue. Although, it was not entirely what we had hoped for, it was still a great experience. I hope we will have another opportunity to visit the temple in the future!
So, the next day we got our long-awaited transfer call, and I was expecting to leave, but to our surprise we found out that we were both staying in Halmstad for another six weeks! That’s pretty unusual for a companionship to stay together for three months, but we both love this area and we are super excited to stay here! We also found out that my MTC companion, Elder Brown, was coming back to the District, so that was great to hear!
|We Love Halmstad|
Last week was great too! We taught a lot of lessons and Stefan took some great steps. He's getting much more independent in his Book of Mormon reading and he’s starting to understand the importance of living the gospel.
A big highlight of the week was going on splits with Elder Lundquist, my old zone leader from Hägersten. We had an amazing time. We started-out by walking two miles to teach an amazing investigator named Magnus. We taught him about tithing and he was completely accepting. I told him the story of some friends of ours that were having a hard financial time, but they still decided to pay their tithing. As a result, they saw the windows of heaven open and bless them. He appreciated the message. Afterward, we had another great experience when we tried a swing-by, but no one was home. So, we tracted through the building and found an old investigator that had moved, but she was still interested. It was amazing because she moved clear to the other side of town and we had no idea where to find her! We know that it was inspired to knock on that door and we hope she will accept the gospel now that she's meeting with the missionaries again.
That night was awesome! Elder Lundquist is one of the best song writers I've ever met and he will probably be a famous musician. He likes a lot of the same artists as me and he has a much deeper knowledge of music than I do. I brought my guitar and he gave me a concert of the songs he had written. He was fantastic and I learned so much about music just watching him and listening to the stories about how he wrote every song!
Well, I'm so excited to be staying in Halmstad! I’m having a wonderful time here! Thank you so much for reading and I hope you have a great week!