Monday, November 18, 2013

Hello Family (Letter From Katherine - 11/18/2013


Well, another week has gone by here in Esbjerg and I can hardly believe it. Sister Packard and I have had some pretty neat experiences. 

Like I mentioned before Sister Packard plays the violin. It's actually her major, so she is very very talented. We have had a lot of fun playing together. Monday after our p-day had finished we planned to visit some inactive members of the church. We stopped by one to invite them to a reliefsociety activity and then planned to go visit a man who was on our ward list. It's super dark outside early now, so we went into a store near by to try and find where he lived on the map. We did our best to figure out how to get there but we were a little hesitant that we would be able to find his house. Well we got on our bikes and rode. We were able to find his house easy. that hardly ever happens! It usually takes some time trying to get places we have never been before, especially since Denmark doesn't like street signs very much. haha but yeah we were guided right to his house. Their lights were on and we could see that they were cooking dinner. As missionaries we seem to interupt peoples dinner a lot. haha but afte we knocked and he opened the door he told us he wasn't interested . We kept talking and then out of the blue he said he would ask his wife if we could come in. I honestly thought she would say no, but we got a very hesitant yes, which is all we needed:) We went in and just started talking to them for a while. They kept saying that they weren't interested in the missionaries visiting them. The wife isn't a member and the husband hasn't been to church since he was little. I just kept praying that they would have a change of heart, when suddenly I noticed a violin hanging on the wall. I looked at that violin and it was almost like it was glowing. I knew right then and there that it was an answer to my prayer, and it was our way in. I asked them about the violin and it turns out that the wife use to play. they had just recently been to a violin concert and talked about how much they love the violin. I don't think it was a coincidence that my companion just so happens to be a violin major. She asked if she could play it. They said it hasn't been touched in years, but that she could try. She tuned it and played beautifully, leading them to tears. They told us they would love for us to come back. It was such a neat experience. It is amazing how music can bring the spirit so strongly. 

We are teaching a young family right now, Anne Marie and Min. I think I mentioned them last time. They are some of the most wonderful humble people I have ever met. Min has commited to be baptized and he isn't even able to understand the book of mormon because it isn't in Burmeese. They are the sweetest family. Yesterday we had planned to talk to them about Joseph Smith. I thought we were about done with the lesson when Sister Packard pulled out a picture of the temple and began talking about the temple. I was kind of like...uh...where did that come from? Well, It was definitely inspired. We started talking to them about the blessings that the temples bring. When we explained that only worthy members of the church could enter the temple we heard Min say something. We were both kind of like uh oh what did he say. We asked him, and he sait that is great. You have to know Min in order to understand that him saying that is like a normal person jumping up and down and shouting for joy. haha When we started talking about baptisms for the dead and families being together forever Min said, "If this is true, I am so happy." Anne Marie said, "My heart is singing!" It was so wonderful. I can't even describe how special they are. Everytime Sister Packard and I leave their home we just have the biggest smiles on our faces. Oh they are just so wonderful.

Church was great yesterday. IT was the primary program and the children are so dang cute. Anne Marie and Min were there with their two little children as well as Nikolaj. Nikolaj is one of the members grandsons who we have began working with. He is 17, and yesterday was the first time he has been to church since he was very little. The elders just started working with a man who was a referral from the office. They went to meet him and he said I have studied your church and I want to be baptized. They gave him a book of mormon and asked him to begin reading. They went back two days later and he had read the whole thing. Pretty amazing huh? The work is hastening and people ARE prepared now, more than ever before. 

Wednesday was our zone training and that was fun. We had a thanksgiving dinner. My zone leader actually went to riverton High, he was in one of my math classes, so it was a lot of fun to see him, He's a year older than me, his name is Nathaniel Vanderborghe. There's actually an elder in my district who also went to riverton high, he was pretty good friends with Peter James, his name is Elder Ennos. Small world huh? So we had our training, a talent show, and then ate thanksgiving dinner. Oh yeah, it was in Odense! So that was great! I love Odense. It will forever be a very special place to me. AFter eating we went and played football. Or should I say the elders played football. They're not the greatest at involving the sisters. haha whatevs they just missed out on my awesome football skills. jk jk 

It was fun talking to Sister Olsen again. She was very excited that I knew the Ericksons. She invited us over for dinner tomorrow:) 

Today a class came on a field trip to the church to take a tour. There was about 20 kids ther age 13-14 and it was a really good experience. We showed them the restoration film and then took them on a tour of the church. We took them to the chapel last and Sister Packard and I played come thou fount for them. They were very respectful and had a lot of questions. One of the girls said she had goosebumps the whole time. It might have been because the church was cold, but I think she was feeling something:)   

We are working with this man named Sven. How do I even begin to explain Sven. When we go to visit him we have the elders come with. Okay, I lost it in our lesson with him. I got the giggles so bad. We were trying to sing a hymn when he pulls out his guitar. We asked him to give us an A chord, when he played an a minor. His apartment is super dark, so elder hansen was standing behind sister packard and I holding a flash light so we could see the hymn book. The whole situation was just super bizarre and I just couldn't stop laughing. Sven got a kick out of it though. 

I wish I could just give you every detail of who i'm working with and exactly what i am experiencing. I am coming to love Esbjerg even though it is dark and cold and sometimes smells like fish. 

I hope you have a great week! Happy Thanksgiving! I love you!

Love Katherine

Hej med jer! (Letter From Katherine - 11/11/2013

Hello Family!

I'm not going to lie, i feel a little homesick for Odense. It's kind of tough getting use to a new area, especially since I was in Odense for a while and loved the people there so much, but I know that I WILL come to love Esbjerg just as much if not more:)

Washing the soot off of my luggage was quite the process. I tried vacuming it all off, and that worked okay but there was still soot on them so then I scrubbed them with water and dish soap. It actually worked pretty good, but it was quite the process. I probably should have done it earlier so I wasn't so stressed with time, but it was a job I wasn't looking forward to and besides, when do missionaries ever have time to clean there luggage off? haha I was able to get all packed though. I left my bike in Odense because we will be going back on Wednesday for zone training and a Thanksgiving celebration so I thought I would just get it then when I didn't have all my luggage with me. Speaking of bikes. One of the members in Esbjerg bought bikes for the missionaries here so that is what I have been using. After the fire Sister Hall and I used the buses a lot because we lived so far away from everything so I kind of got out of the biking mode. so once again i have to adjust to biking everywhere. It's kind of rough! but it's good for me:)
So far is Esbjerg is great. The apartment is so dang cute. I forgot to take pictures of it this week, but I will make sure and do it next week so you can see what it looks like. I'm not sure what exact address is, but I do know that it's Nørregade 128. Oh yeah, before I forget. I cut my hair! not super short but a lady in my ward in Odense has quite the nice salon and she said she would cut our hair for us. Sister Hall chopped all of hers off and it is sooooooo cute! I just told sister Arriaga that I wanted it to be healty so she took quite a bit of length of but I was fine with that. When we asked how much it cost she told us that it was my going away gift and sister Hall's birthday gift. It was very kind of her. Okay, back to Esbjerg.

So we got in Wednesday night and went straight to an appointment with a member named Ayesha. she is 14 years old and her mom is a member but not active, and her older sister is a member as well. She has two younger sisters that aren't members. We help Ayesha with her personal progress. Right now one of her projects is to do family home evening with her family twice a week and one of those times the missionaries come over to teach the lesson. I think that is just the greatest idea.

We have two people with Baptismal dates here in Esbjerg. Min and Anne Marie. Min is from Myamar and Anne Marie is from the philippines. They are so sweet. Language is kind of a barrier. They don't have the Book of mormon in Bermese which is what Min speaks. I had my first lesson with them yesterday and oh how I wish you could have been there. They are so wonderful, humble and kind people.

Sister Packard is great! She is a very hard worker and I have really been enjoying working with her. The other night when one of our appointments fell through we were contacting on the street and knocking doors. We contacted this one guy and I kind of just slaughtered it. The guy started laughing and then we got the giggles way bad. He wasn't very interested but atleast we put a smile on his face. After contacting him we went to knock a door and I tried to say something but I guess I still had the giggles because I lost it. I couldn't even talk I was laughing so hard. That has never happened to me while knocking doors. haha but it was pretty funny. Don't worry I was able to pull it together after that haha. 

We are working hard and during our planning sessions at the end of the day we realize that we forgot to schedule in meals haha. Speaking of meals, the members don't feed us as much here in Esbjerg :.( it's okay though maybe I will lose some weight haha. 

Guess what. I spoke on sunday too! We are twinners mom:) My topic was on the different cultures within different missions. It was kind of a tough subject, but it was good because I was able to clear some things up. There are 3 members that teach us Danish. one of the ladies teaches us on Sunday mornings before church. She helped me a lot with my talk. Her name is Birgitte Olsen. Yep that's right sister Olsen. Her son is Emil. Small world! I actually wasn't able to talk to her about Emil and the Erickson's because I didn't put it together till later. She is the only member in her family and she served a mission in Ohio. She's awesome. 

I could go on and on about some of hte people here. They're great! 

Sister Packard plays the violin and she was actually able to get a hold of one from a member so we get to play the violin an piano together. It is quite fun! 
Things have been going good. It's hard adjusting to a new area but I'm excited for what lies ahead. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week! I love you!!!!!

Love Katherine

ps. It's so cold!!! 

pps. Isabella, the investigator we were working with in Odense, is getting baptized in January! so exciting!!

Jeg skal til Esbjerg (Letter From Katherine - 11/04/2013)

Hello my dear wonderful family!
First things first. The keys on this keyboard are sticking, so if there are a ton of typos i'm sorry!
Guess what?! I'm being transferred! to Esbjerg! Which is pretty funny because that is where sister Hall served before comig to Odense. I have heard nothig but good things about Esbjerg. I will also be companions with Sister Hannah Packard. We went to New York togther. She is the one that is really good friends with Summer! I am pretty dang excited. I mean, i love Odense, but i didn't realize how ready I was to be transferred until I actually recived the phone call.
It has been a crazy abnormal week. We had a lot of big events. Thursday we had a halloween party thing for invstigators/less actives and it was quite the project. We made  haunted house and It took pretty much all day. It was fun, but I was beat. I'm not sure how, but I ended up pretty much making all of the food. It was just so hectic! but pretty funny. Sister Hall and I accidentaly dumped like all of the noodls into the sink. So yeah that was quite the experience.
Friday was a pretty normal missionary day. We were able to meet with Birgit finally. she hadn't been respondig to our texts our calls so we decided to just try and visit her. She was home! She let us come in and we tlaked for quite a while. She is about 50 and she has cancer. She has  a very posotive outlook on life and is very open to our message. I am excited to hear about what happes with her in the future.
Before I forget, Sister Hall and Sister Bartholomew went to copenhagen on tuesday to take their language test. So sister Rigby and I were on splits together. Oh wait! K so monday there was like this crazy huge storm in Denmark. People couldn't even ride their bikes, and the next day a ton of trees were broken and stuff. The missionaries had to stay inside. So we bakded bannana bread and listend to christmas music. It was quite hyggeligt. Anyways, back to tuesdy so the other sisters hav e been
teachig  a young woman named Isabella. She lives in our ward so Sister Hall and I have been working with her now. Tuesday Sister Rigby adn I had a lesson with her and explaied why it's so important that she goes to the ward that she lives in. at first she hd  areally hard time with it, but all we had to say was God's house is a house of order. It was really cool to see how it just clicked. She came to the second ward yesterday and fasted for the first time. She is such a special girl. i am sad to leave her. She wants to be baptized in january:)
Saturday was sister Hall's birthday. We had an eating appoitmnt with one of the young singl adults and she had a little birthdya party for her. It was a lot of fun. I'm such an awkward missionary though. haha It's hard because I'm not Katherine, I'm sister Murray. I mean I'm still my self, but it's not the same ya know?
Sunday we had an amazing fast and testimoy meeting. Last week Ninna went to the temple to do her mother's baptism and confirmation. She had a wonderful experience. A lot of the testimoies were focussed on the temple. It was really neat. One of the young men about David's age got up and bore his testimony and it was very very touching. It was just a really good meeting. JJ a member from greenland invited his sister to come. She isn't a member and she just crited through all of sacramnt meeting. It was very sweet. It was kind of hard sayig goodbye to the people I love. Especially Ninna. Holy Cow I didn't relaize that it would be that hard. I have her information and will definitly be keeping in touch. Guss what?! Yesterday Lucia was in all three hours of church and so was her big sister  who isn't a member. IT was great! Mona also told us that her dad wants to staart coming back to church. What a huge blesing.
We had a little fireside thing for the young adults after churh and pretty much everything thta could have gone wrong went wrong. Holy cow. Long story short it turned out okay. we watched the other side of heaven. Well, I didn't watch it because I was like wired and couldn't relax so I cut apples with the other sisters hahaa. I'm pretty sure missionaries feel way to much stress. It's okay though because it somehow always manages to work out! We definitely have someone watching over us. Mom- we made the apple dip with the toffee in it for the dessert and they all loved it. Just thought I would let you know:) It was a hectic night though. It was just crazy because church was just absolutely wonderful nd then everything just went crazy. It will definitely be a night thta I rmmber.
Well that's about it. It was a good and crzazy week. I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week!
Love Katherine

ps. I didn't have any migraines this week:) woohoo!

Hello!!! (Letter From Katherine - 10/28/2013

Hej Family,
So I am sorry but I am starting this letter off with bad news. It has been a pretty rough week for migraines. i think I had a total of three, but one of them was probably one of the worst ones I have ever had in my life and i'm not even exaggerating

. I started in the middle of the night so by the time i got the medicine in it didn't do anything. IT was so weird I couldn't talk at all and my whole body was like completely numb, and I threw up like 5 times. It was great. I think it kind of freaked the other sisters out. I felt bad. They called the elders and had them come and give me a blessing. After the migraine had passed Sister Hall siad Holy cow, now I understand why they are called mini strokes. It was really really hard. but i'm okay! I don't know what triggered them but I think it means that there are blessings to come!
Saturday was Davids's baptism. He is 16 years old and has been ready to be baptized for qutie a while and it finally happened! It was such a special day. His mom and siblings are members of the church, but his parents are divorced and his dad isn't a member. Earlier in the week Sister Hall and I were able to have dinner with Hannah and Lars Jensen, he was the man that baptized and confirmed Davids. It was fun getting to know them better and it made the baptism a really neat experience. Hannah and Lars have not been able to have children, but they developed a relationship with Davids, so Davids asked Lars to baptize and confirm him. Since Lars hasn't had the opportunity to baptize his own children Davids was the first person that he has baptized and you could tell how excited and humbled he was to do it. It was a very sweet baptism. 
During the dinner appointment with Hanne and Lars I was in heaven. Lars plays the piano, and very well at that! He would play a song and then have me play a song, and we switched back and forth a few times. It was so much fun. I miss playing the piano!!!!
Sunday they had the ward choir sing. I didn't even know we had a ward choir until yesterday, but I loved it. It was cool to look at all of them and say I have been in their homes and eaten with them and gotten to know and love them so much. We find out what is happening with transfers on Wednesday and the thought of leaving Odense makes me want to cry. I love the people here so so much.
We had interviews with president last week and I thought I could get him to tell what would be happening with transfers but he said he still wasn't sure. He asked me if I was sick of Odense and I told him I could serve my whole mission in Odense and be happy. haha
Yesterday Mona and Marejka were both in church. They are getting really involved with the young single adults so that his been wonderful. Thursday Ken Hall is having a halloween get together with the missionaries/investigators/members/less actives. It should be a lot of fun! I will let you know how it goes.
Guess what? Taylor's apartment got robbed! crazy huh?
Elder Larsen, he's my district leader is going home next week. now that is crazy! He has been here in Odense as long as I have. It's weird to think that the time comes in a missionaries life when they actually go home.
Things have been going well and Sister Hall has been making me laugh a lot. Oh she is so dang funny. Guess what we're doing on sunday?! so a few weeks ago we had a fireside for the young single adults where we watched the joseph smith movie and had a testimony meeting. This sunday we are going to do a missionary fireside and guess what movie we got approved?! THE OTHER SIDE OF HEAVEN!!!!! cool huh? I'm pretty excited. This saturday is also sister hall's birthday, so it will be a good week:) Thank you for all your love and support and prayers. I hope you all know how much I love you. Have a great week!

Love Katherine
ps. so one of the members in my ward put a picture of four of us missionaries at the harry potter festival on a world wide church member page on face book and she said it got like 1000 likes. cool huh? 

Letter From Katherine - 10/21/2013

Hello Family,
This week was the Harry Potter Festival and it was a ton of fun. I have decided that when jeg rejse tilbage I will read all the books and then Watch all of the movies. But I'm getting way to far ahead of myself.
I'm trying to think of what happened last week but everything is blurring together. The weeks are flying! Last week was after år ferie so most of our investigators were out of town, so it was kind of a slower week, but it still seemed to fly! Oh yes. I remember now.
So last week we had Exchanges witht he sister training leaders. So sister Hall and i got on a train and we were off to Horsens. Once we got their we went to a dinner appointment. Guess who I met? I can't remember their names, but Dad, you Work with this guy whose parents are serving in Denmark. They were at the eating appointment! because he was the man who baptized the member that was feeding us. cool huh? So that was fun to see them. Im pretty sure they had just gotten to Denmark. They were very excited.
The next day we went to Work in horsens. Sister Briscoe and I had an amazing experience. We went to visit a Young woman named Kaitlyn. She is from Ohio and is living with her Danish boyfriend. We didn't have an appointment with her so we were praying that she would be home. Well my friends, she was home! we talked to her for quite a bit on the doorstep, but since missionaries are kind of a Little forward we asked if we could come inside and talk. She said yeah, but my boyfriend is sleeping. I'm not going to lie, i was kind of hoping he wouldn't be home. We went in though and Rasmus(boyfriend) woke up and joined in on the discussion. holy cow. They were both sooooo open and the spirit was strong. Sister Briscoe and her companion have met with them since then, and they both said that they would be baptized. :) I am very excited to hear how they Progress. I'm not sure if you have watched the district, but if so, they kind of remind me of Jackie and Caleb. On the way out of that lesson sister Briscoe and I were just grinning. We were so happy, and the next lady that we contacted just so happened to be a less active. Cool huh! she gave us her number and seemed pretty excited to meet with sister missionaries.
So Horsens was great. Sister Hall didn't even jump on me in the middle of the night screaming about rats, haha. Sister Hall and I met with a Young woman who came to Sofie's talk last week. She said she was interested in meeting with us, but it was a rough lesson. IT was just...hard! It was like one of the lessons in the MTC. I felt like my Danish was a lot better, but it was just a hard lesson. I'm use to people being pretty accepting and open when we teach, but not this time. I hope she will meet with us Again. I guess we will see.
But on the other hand! Mona came to church yesterday and told us that she wants to be baptized. She said she wants to be meeting with missionaries atleast three times a week. You probably can't tell over email, but I have a really big smile on my face :D
The Harry Potter Festival was Friday and saturday. We took an Essentials pday last week so we could experience the festival for ourselves haha quiditch was so much fun. They had harry potter charactesr all around the city and the Little kids loved it. They also had Booths set up where you could buy a wand, make a broomstick, etc.. it was really neat. So I can't remember if I told you last week, but one of the members is part of the IQA (international quidditch association) haha yes, it's a real thing. Anyways, he was in charge of the quidditch games and he recruited all of of the missionaries to help him. It was soooo fun.
Things are going good in Odense. I love it here. I love the members. I'm so happy.
We have had Svendborg missionaries for a while now, and this sunday we will be having sacrament meeting in Svendborg. pretty exciting. 
Well Family, I love you all very much! I'm so grateful to hear from you. I hope you all have a wonderful week.
Love Katherine