But wait! There's more!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Børkop


* you better love it

Frost



We enjoyed a frosty walk along the frozen lake

Christmas blossom



This little guy was caught budding on the 24th of December!!

Pinch Me! I'm in Denmark!

Merry Christmas, everybody! I hope it's been absolutely grand :) This has been a fantastic week here in Vejle, Denmark, as I hope it has been wherever you may be! Life is going swell, and now that the days are getting longer, I can truly say that ''it only gets brighter from here on out'' without making it sound like it's been horribly forfærdelig (awful)!! But worry not, my dear friends! And have I got some lovely things to share with you this week :)

1. There are so many lovely people herud (out here) in Denmark :) Last Monday, literally right after we walked out of the library from emailing, a man started tapping on the window and motioned for us to come over. So here we were, two men within, and two Sister Missionaries outside, and one of the men starts talking to us. But unfortunately, we can't hear a single word he's saying! So this man starts huffing on the window, getting it fogged up, and then starts writing backwards so we can read it 
'' Å R H U S '' (a town here on Juland). 
When we nod, and say we know what Århus is, he writes
'' P E R K I N S '' (who is a Sister who served up in Århus).
Sister Sorensen freaks out because she knows who Sister Perkins is, so we try comminicating with him that we know her. After about a minute of not understanding what anyone is saying, we realize that we can just go inside and TALK with these men! So we finally get smart and have an actual conversation. The man is a member up in Århus, and had his friend with him, who isn't a member of the Church. They had actually JUST been talking about religion when this man saw us walk by the window, and he wanted to introduce us to his friend. Unfortunately, the man wasn't interested, but it was an enjoyable experience! Hahaha, and it was great to see how excited this man was to do his own missionary work! No matter where you are, you can always be a missionary, spreading the joy of Christ and his Restored Gospel :) I challenge you all to open your mouths, and share the joy that you have received!!

2. We traveled to Børkop trying to find a referral, and though it got too late and we couldn't find her street (Denmark isn't as nicely organized as the cities I'm used to using a grid system), we got this great picture* on the train platform.

3. I've already fishtailed twice on my bike, and it wasn't even icy yet!!

4. Sister Sørensen and I watched some teenage hoodrats shoot fireworks at each other. The fireworks were pretty, but we were a tad concerned for the safety of the individuals involved. No one died, though, which is fantastic, and our bus eventually came to get us, so we will never know the outcome of that teenage late night outing.

5. CHRISTMAS!!
My good golly, Christmas is just so great :) Denmark celebrates Christmas the most on the 24th, and then the 25th is just carried over as a fun time, too :) We were able to spend time with members on both nights, and had the most fantastic food! I miss Stuffing and American Peanut Butter, but once you get a taste of Danish Cuisine, you forget that there's anything else in the world! We loved Singing/dancing around the Christmas tree, and just having a grand old time to hygge with everyone there :) And on the 25th, we all got to Skype home and talk to our dear ones :) Definietly a lovely Christmas <3

snapped this bad boy Juleaften! Ældste Higby, me, Ældste Carmak, and Søs Sorensen

6. Our District has had a goal this week to eat 80 bowls of ris a la mande, the most delicious dessert you could ever have (until you try another Danish dessert, and everything just goes crazy in your mouth). Well, ladies and gents, this District goal turned into a Zone competition, and I am proud to announce that last night, Sister Sorensen and I ate 15 bowls of the Ricey pudding of heaven, and brought our dear Fredericia District to a total of 85 bowls downed. The next in line for bragging rights in the zone only ate 49 bowls, followed by 33, and finally, 24. I can only say, that while I love that dessert, 15 bowls made me not want it for a little while. And by a little while, I mean that I'll probably eat some tomorrow ;)

7. As far as a more serious topic, the Danish has been improving, slowly, but surely!! This past transfer has been full of me being seriously culture shocked as far as not being able to communicate with the people, but last Wednesday, something that has never before happend, happened!! We were talking to a young mother in the ward, and we were just having the most wonderful conversation! Near the end, she asked if we would teach part of Primary that coming Sunday, which we happily accepted! But it wasn't until after the conversing parties had left one another's presence that I realized I understood every single word and idea that she was saying. That was probably the happiest moment of that morning, even surpassing learning that bakeries are still open on Christmas!! 

I know without a doubt that the Lord has helped me learn this language. I still cannot communicate as fluidly as I would like to, but I've gotten to the point of being able to understand about 65% of what people say to me, which is absolutely fantastic! I still have a long way to go, but I know that with patience and hard work, I will continue to see the growth of this ability I have the opportunity to achieve! I have already seen the Lord's hand in my experience here in Danmark :) <3

My time these past 6 weeks in Denmark has been incredibly wonderful for me! I've learned so much, and I hope, in the true sense of the word, to be able to continue learning! I know that this message is true and that it changes lives. No matter how many people reject us, close doors in our faces, laugh at us, stare at us, glare at us, and try to tell us we are ''confused and on the wrong path'', I know for sure that My Savior and Redeemer loves these people, and I'm glad to say that I love them, too! The message of the Restored Gospel is one of Peace, Happiness, and a renewed Hope. As we read in Alma 58:11, ''[The Lord] [does] speak peace to our souls'' as we become discouraged, and he lifts us up in confidence and renewed energy. This is the most exhausted I have ever been, but what better state can one be in than in exhaustion from being a servant of the Lord, spreading joy, happiness, and the message God's love? 

I encourage you all to continue Discover the Gift, Embrace the Gift, and to Share the Gift. The Gift is Christ, and he accepts all who come unto Him.

Have a Wonderful week, and the most wonderful New Year :) Here's to 2015!! 

Until we meet again!! <3

Med kærlig hilsen,
Søster Morgan B Soelberg


*Pictures, as always, are included above

Monday, December 22, 2014

I call this my CSCS


​An adorable Danish home! My Creepy Stalker Camera Skills (CSCS) are put to good use on busy roads! 

Jeg elsker chokolade!


​Chokolade Julemand i Odense! (Chocolate Santa in Odense)

Fart = Speed


​Din Fart! We're hilarious. It actually translates to ''your speed''

Christmas Ham?


No, silly, that's not a Christmas ham! That is cookie dough after being carried around in a *clean and new* trashbag inside of a backpack. It was still good, don't worry. We tested it thoroughly before baking commenced.

Skal vi ikke lave en snemand?

Don't Trust google tranlsate on that one! That's the translation for ''Do You Wanna Build a Snowman''!! :D And good golly, I would love to build one with the little children - but we CAN'T. There's just absolutely no snow on the ground!!


Bam. Proof. That's the view outside the Library window right now. And we're not expecting any snow until after Christmas! And I'm actually not bummed! Hahaha, yesterday was the first day of winter (technically), so there's still plenty of opportunity for Denmark to be blanketed in icy death. BUT TODAY IS NOT THAT DAY!

This week has been a rigtig god (really good) one! In fact ~

¤ I rode a train underwater *in connection with the fifth point

¤ I have now heard what swans sound like. Pure Evil. There is no other way to describe it. If you would like further clarification, see the asterisk below**

¤Tons of train misshaps!! *Also in connection with the fifth point

¤ In the attempt to bake ***cookies at the church building, due to the lack of an oven in our own lejlighed (apartment), we stumbled upon a ''Murder Investigation'' taking place. We were unable to bake our cookies at that tidspunkt (point of time). 

*¤WE WENT TO KØBENHAVN!! Ah man, that was so exciting!! Talk about a busy city! It was actually for my ONE-MONTH-MEETING (which is totally insane, might I add), and it was absolutely glorious :) I met up with Søster Mann again, and that was so great :) We also got to go to the Temple in Copenhagen! And we actually did it in Danish! It was a beautiful experience, and I will never forget it :)

outside of the Copenhagen Temple :) 
Me, Søs Sorensen, Søs Mann, Søs Ripa, and in the back - Ældste Child and Ældste Ockey (the assistants)
 
And in connection with points 1 and 3 - traveling was an adventure on Fredag!! We were supposed to wake up early in order to catch our  5.40 in the morning train to Copenhagen, but that actually didn't happen. I mean, come on, our bodies are set to wake up at 6.30. But it was actually totally doable, except the alarm was set for 17.00  instead of 5.00, so that was rough. And then on the way back to Vejle, the train we were on was canceled there in the station, so the whole train empties and runs to another platform, on which the train was scheduled to seperate and head to two different places, and even after we got on the right car, they announced they would be stopping early. So we get off the train the farthest it will go before it returns to Copenhagen, and get on a bus for almost 2 hours on the way back to Fredericia, where we can take the train to Vejle. Oh man, what an adventure!! But it was great! 
That morning, after missing our first train, we felt there was a reason for it, and I randomly guessed that there would be a man who we needed to talk to! On both our misshaps, we had wonderful conversations with 2 different men who gladly accepted our card, and though we haven't heard anything from either, they had that initial experience :) so that was great!!

¤ Splits in Odense :D It was gorgeous!! The people we visited were darling, and I am convinced Søster Noorda's bike is better than mine, but she doesn't believe me. The weather was nice to us, and I found a Santa made out of Chocolate!! :D

***¤ That cookie dough we made. We made a lot of it. And by a lot we mean it looked like we had a Christmas ham in our fridge. Pictures will be included.

¤ No recent sightings of Storm troopers.

¤ Another random hailstorm! This time, while biking! Never, and I repeat, NEVER, go biking in a hailstorm! It hurts like the dickens!! Even with a helmet on, and a scarf covering most of your face, it feels like death! But that's not the most exciting part of that storm! I saw a bird get hit by lightning! No lie! I'm facing one way, and Søster Sørensen is facing 180 degrees the other direction --- we see the same exact bolt of lightning across the sky (that's a dang long streak of lightning), and I see a flash and a puff of smoke in sky!! Ah man, how insane is that??

And those are the highlights of this past week! One month down in The Land!! It's seriously going by too fast!! But this week brings us Christmas, and a very happy birthday to little miss Savannah!  

Thank you so much for the letters and Christmas cards :) They make me smile from ear to ear!! I hope you all have a fantastic week, and always remember that the Reason for the Season is Christ :) <3 

Med Kærlig Hilsen,

Søster Morgan B Soelberg 

I can't believe this! Even on a Danish computer, the document I type says my last name is spelled wrong! What is wrong with this world?? Hahaha

                                                    

**one windy, rainy day, Vejle Søstrene travel to a far-away town in the middle of nowhere, Denmark. Whilst making their way over a bridge, two large swans fly only about a foot over their heads, the sound of pure evil coming out of their freakishly long necks. The girls can not, and could not from that time forth, describe the sound any other way.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Juletiden

As usual, more Pictures are posted on my blog :) sistermorgansoelberg.blogspot.com
 
But here's a Little sneak peak!!

The Christmas Spirit is just lovely :) and can you believe how green that grass is?? Holy cow!!

Juletiden

The Christmas Spirit is just lovely :) and can you believe how green that grass is?? Holy cow!!

Bay


Part of the bay! When it gets warmer, I may be able to get some better Pictures, but isn't this just lovely from a distance??

Dusk


It may be wet and freezing, but the scenery is gorgeous, even on a tiny side road!

Middelfart


I did it. I got a Picture with Middelfart. I'll get some more, don't worry.
This is for you, Rhett and Link

A really nifty lion stone thing


A really nifty lion stone thing caved on the side of a building

Uge Fire i Landet

Another beautiful week! Christmas lights are everywhere, people are busy shopping and celebrating and having a grand old time! There's a Danish Word, hygge [kinda pronounced who-guh] , which doesn't translate entirely into English, but it Means Coziness, and Family, and fun, and love, and warmth, and sitting around the fire with a good mug of varm kakao and just being together. I absolutely love it! Jylland is totally my speed. I've only been in København for a day, but later this week I get to go Again for my One Month Meeting, and later today, Søster Sørensen and I are headed to Odense for splits :) Ah, it's going to be great!

But I'm totally all over the place Again! Let me try to sum up just how magical this past week was -

¤ We had splits on Wednesday! Søstrene fra Odense kom op og vi havde en rigtig god tid (The Sisters from Odense came up and we had a really good time!)! I was paired with Søster Noorda, and I got to take her to our appointments all on my own! I was a Little nervous, because I'm still fresh to Vejle, and we were visiting people whom I had neither met before, nor even been near their neighborhood! But armed with a map and a prayer in our Hearts, we made it around town and up hills without dying! And it was great! On one of the Streets, before our Dinner appointment, we decided to knock on doors and talk to people about the ''He is the Gift'' initiative. We had just given out our last Card with our number and the address of the Church, but we still had 10 minutes before our appointment. We decided to fill out some more Cards and continue Down the street.
Well my friends, it's always in those last moments where you don't think anything will come when the magic happens!
We walked up to the very next door and knock, when this darling elderly woman comes to the door and gets the brightest smile on her face! She spoke really fast, and really mumbled Danish, so Søster Noorda (who is only one transfer [6 weeks] older than me in the Land) tried our best to understand her. But she was telling us about how the Søster missionærer about a year ago had come by and helped her at just the right time, and that she still had the phone number and their names. She had been thinking to call them up for some help, and we showed up at her door :) So she gave us her name and phone number, and we're going to stop by her place this week :)

¤ Also on Onsdag, we had the most crazy weather! It started hailing and the Wind was INSANE! But we survived well enough to be caught in another hailstorm Torsdag night! haha, it was great!

¤ Juletiden (The Christmas Season) is such a wonderful time of the year. In fact, it's the MOST wonderful time of the year. It's a time when you go out and about, talking to people about the True meaning of Christmas, and they actually sometimes listen to you! But really, peoples Hearts are so much more open to learning more about Christ when we celebrate him! So our District got to together after our District meeting on thursday, and sang julesanger (carols) along the Gågade :) It was absolutely amazing! Well, the experience for us was beautiful, I'm not entirely sure about the experience of those listening to us! But people did stop and listen, and we gave out over 200 He is the Gift Cards! We're already planning on meeting with a few people at an activity coming up next week from that night!


we sang in front of this bad boy. Even though it looks like a church, it's not. It's where the mayor meets, or hvad som helst (whatever). I'm not entirely sure, but it looks pretty nifty, and full of the Christmas Spirit!! hahaha

¤ What else happened this week? I'm glad you asked, because I'm still going!

¤ On fredag we had dinner with Nunna and Knud Anderson! They're the most adorable elderly couple in the World! And yes, some of you might recognize their names! They were farfars (Gpas) and farmors (Gmas) Mission President and Wife when they served here in Denmark! It was really great to spend time with them, and we saw some Photos of Grandma and Grandpa :) Familien Anderson has actually been to the Dome Home! They had Pictures and were talking about how they absolutely loved it! They would call it the ''Dome house,'' which just sounded so funny to me, but yeah it's a house, and it's a dome, so det giver mening (it makes sense). The elders asked me afterward if it was weird that they knew my grandparents, but it's not! It's really great :) Brother Anderson tells Grandma Neoma Hi, and wishes her well :)
 
¤ We went bowling with the Ward on Lørdag and had an absolute blast! I still think bowling is one of the most awkward sports out there. I mean. Yeah. Yup. I don't even know how to describe it. It's fun, don't get me wrong, but it's just awkward. No further explanation needed.

¤ Oh man, nighttime in Denmark is so great! And over the past 3 nights, Søster Sørensen and I have seen Shooting stars :D ah, man, those have probably been the highlights of our long, Cold, eventful days! It's absolutely wonderful!

¤ We met a few creepy people, but all is well. So that's exciting.

¤ Danish Christmas food is so incredibly amazing! We went to the Hyldanders last night for dinner, and made Christmas decorations and ate great food! Their små drenge (Little boys) are the most adorable Little boys. Little Daniel was the one who I wrote about last week as the small boy who was ''shooting'' me and 'throwing me in jail.'' He reminds me a lot of Austin, and I could totally see this Little blond haired boy growing up to drive a tank! hahaha, they're such an adorable Family though! Unni (I have no idea how to spell her name) is Norwegian, and Steen is Danish, so their Little boys are learning both languages! It's crazy! But totally adorable!!

I just remembered that I totally forgot to mention Zone conference the other week! Ah, it was phenomenal, and the food was amazing! But the best part was seeing how incredibly excited all the elders were to Watch Frozen. Yes, Frozen! hahaha, probably about half of the missionaries there had never seen it, and it was just great!

but anyway, my time is running short :)
I love hearing from you all! I hope you have a great week!
Keep smiling and spreading good Christmas cheer! Don't be afraid to open your mouth and do missionary Work of your own! If I'm hear speaking a new language doing it, you can, too!!

Med Kærlig Hilsen (with love),
Søster Sølberg

Uge fire i Landet

Another beautiful week! Christmas lights are everywhere, people are busy shopping and celebrating and having a grand old time! There's a Danish Word, hygge [kinda pronounced who-guh] , which doesn't translate entirely into English, but it Means Coziness, and Family, and fun, and love, and warmth, and sitting around the fire with a good mug of varm kakao and just being together. I absolutely love it! Jylland is totally my speed. I've only been in København for a day, but later this week I get to go Again for my One Month Meeting, and later today, Søster Sørensen and I are headed to Odense for splits :) Ah, it's going to be great!

But I'm totally all over the place Again! Let me try to sum up just how magical this past week was -

¤ We had splits on Wednesday! Søstrene fra Odense kom op og vi havde en rigtig god tid (The Sisters from Odense came up and we had a really good time!)! I was paired with Søster Noorda, and I got to take her to our appointments all on my own! I was a Little nervous, because I'm still fresh to Vejle, and we were visiting people whom I had neither met before, nor even been near their neighborhood! But armed with a map and a prayer in our Hearts, we made it around town and up hills without dying! And it was great! On one of the Streets, before our Dinner appointment, we decided to knock on doors and talk to people about the ''He is the Gift'' initiative. We had just given out our last Card with our number and the address of the Church, but we still had 10 minutes before our appointment. We decided to fill out some more Cards and continue Down the street.
Well my friends, it's always in those last moments where you don't think anything will come when the magic happens!
We walked up to the very next door and knock, when this darling elderly woman comes to the door and gets the brightest smile on her face! She spoke really fast, and really mumbled Danish, so Søster Noorda (who is only one transfer [6 weeks] older than me in the Land) tried our best to understand her. But she was telling us about how the Søster missionærer about a year ago had come by and helped her at just the right time, and that she still had the phone number and their names. She had been thinking to call them up for some help, and we showed up at her door :) So she gave us her name and phone number, and we're going to stop by her place this week :)

¤ Also on Onsdag, we had the most crazy weather! It started hailing and the Wind was INSANE! But we survived well enough to be caught in another hailstorm Torsdag night! haha, it was great!

¤ Juletiden (The Christmas Season) is such a wonderful time of the year. In fact, it's the MOST wonderful time of the year. It's a time when you go out and about, talking to people about the True meaning of Christmas, and they actually sometimes listen to you! But really, peoples Hearts are so much more open to learning more about Christ when we celebrate him! So our District got to together after our District meeting on thursday, and sang julesanger (carols) along the Gågade :) It was absolutely amazing! Well, the experience for us was beautiful, I'm not entirely sure about the experience of those listening to us! But people did stop and listen, and we gave out over 200 He is the Gift Cards! We're already planning on meeting with a few people at an activity coming up next week from that night!


we sang in front of this bad boy. Even though it looks like a church, it's not. It's where the mayor meets, or hvad som helst (whatever). I'm not entirely sure, but it looks pretty nifty, and full of the Christmas Spirit!! hahaha

¤ What else happened this week? I'm glad you asked, because I'm still going!

¤ On fredag we had dinner with Nunna and Knud Anderson! They're the most adorable elderly couple in the World! And yes, some of you might recognize their names! They were farfars (Gpas) and farmors (Gmas) Mission President and Wife when they served here in Denmark! It was really great to spend time with them, and we saw some Photos of Grandma and Grandpa :) Familien Anderson has actually been to the Dome Home! They had Pictures and were talking about how they absolutely loved it! They would call it the ''Dome house,'' which just sounded so funny to me, but yeah it's a house, and it's a dome, so det giver mening (it makes sense). The elders asked me afterward if it was weird that they knew my grandparents, but it's not! It's really great :) Brother Anderson tells Grandma Neoma Hi, and wishes her well :)
 
¤ We went bowling with the Ward on Lørdag and had an absolute blast! I still think bowling is one of the most awkward sports out there. I mean. Yeah. Yup. I don't even know how to describe it. It's fun, don't get me wrong, but it's just awkward. No further explanation needed.

¤ Oh man, nighttime in Denmark is so great! And over the past 3 nights, Søster Sørensen and I have seen Shooting stars :D ah, man, those have probably been the highlights of our long, Cold, eventful days! It's absolutely wonderful!

¤ We met a few creepy people, but all is well. So that's exciting.

¤ Danish Christmas food is so incredibly amazing! We went to the Hyldanders last night for dinner, and made Christmas decorations and ate great food! Their små drenge (Little boys) are the most adorable Little boys. Little Daniel was the one who I wrote about last week as the small boy who was ''shooting'' me and 'throwing me in jail.'' He reminds me a lot of Austin, and I could totally see this Little blond haired boy growing up to drive a tank! hahaha, they're such an adorable Family though! Unni (I have no idea how to spell her name) is Norwegian, and Steen is Danish, so their Little boys are learning both languages! It's crazy! But totally adorable!!

I just remembered that I totally forgot to mention Zone conference the other week! Ah, it was phenomenal, and the food was amazing! But the best part was seeing how incredibly excited all the elders were to Watch Frozen. Yes, Frozen! hahaha, probably about half of the missionaries there had never seen it, and it was just great!

but anyway, my time is running short :)
I love hearing from you all! I hope you have a great week!
Keep smiling and spreading good Christmas cheer! Don't be afraid to open your mouth and do missionary Work of your own! If I'm hear speaking a new language doing it, you can, too!!

Med Kærlig Hilsen (with love),
Søster Sølberg

Monday, December 8, 2014

Our crazy Hill


The Crazy Hill that we live on, which is illegal to bike down

.


And me walking up it

I love Denmark


I'm stealing this off of Søster Sørensens camera. Isn't Denmark gorgeous??? 

The Land : Week Three

My good golly, is it already week three?? But the real question is, have I already hit my 2 month mark? Ding ding ding, the answer is a big Danish ''JO'' (that's an emphatic YES)!! I saw this morning that it's already the 8th of December, which means I reported to the MTC and started my clock two whole months ago! Time has flown by already!

Thing are going great here in The Land! I'm absolutely loving my time here, and I'm very happy that I am able to be here :) 

This week has been absolutely splendid! Last week, we had received a referral, but the only way to contact the young woman was through Email. So every other day, it's been exciting to rush to the library to check and see if she responded, and she usually responded within the hour of us sending her a message! So we had invited her to Church, and she quickly responded that she would love to come, and even came half an hour early! And she also brought a friend with her who was interested! One girl is Japanese, and the other is from Spain. They both set up return appointments for us to visit them, so in one day, BAM - we have two new investigators! It's all very exciting! And really hard to try and teach in English! hahaha

Speaking to people on the street and knocking on doors is always a thrill. You just never know who you're going to meet, and what they're going to say! We've learned not to be discouraged when people open the door, and close it right away. And we've gotten better at speaking Danish when we try to talk to elderly people who can't understand us. But on golden days, we meet people who really are receptive, and that makes it all worthwhile :) Even though we haven't had any new investigators that way, we do have pretty pleasant conversations with people! And I'm slowly (but surely) getting better at understanding native Danish! It's a whole entirely new experience than in the MTC! When I understand someone enough to answer back, they're always impressed that I've only been learning Danish for two months! I know without a doubt that what I am able to speak is not from my own abilities, but it's thanks to God :) and I'll never forget that!

My experience in Denmark is so different from what it was in the MTC! The 6 weeks in the MTC, it was so easy for me to understand what my teachers were saying, and I struggled so hard to speak the language. Here, in the Land, I can speak the language enough that people who don't speak Danish think I'm a native Dane (that was exciting!!!), but I have the hardest time trying to understand people! But it's coming, and being immersed in the Language is a big help! The ward members are so helpful, and even people on the street help me remember a word when it doesn't come fast enough! Hahaha

I'm trying to think of funny happenings for y'all. Let's see how many fun things happen to two American girls in a Danish city -->

¤ A man thought I was a fluent Dane ( I wish!)
¤ We both recieved a bottle of Pickled Troll Bums (yup)
¤ We were almost swarmed by birds
¤ We saw Storm Troopers on the gågade (this deserves some more light)
¤ An 80 year old man was hitting on us
¤ A little boy (about 2 years old) at church kept ''shooting'' me, and tried throwing me in jail 
¤ We missed a bus. And a train. And another bus.
¤ We enjoyed a very happy man (his smile was a little creepy) playing the accordion on the gågade
¤ There was a man kayaking in the river in the middle of the city
¤ A bike race went up along our street

And I can't think of anything else..... 
But this week was so fun! About those Storm Troopers!! Søster Sørensen and I were freaking out and wanted to take a picture with them, but we were on the way to the library to see if our investigator had emailed us back, and we weren't sure if it would appear too 'touristy' to get a picture! So we decided that if they were still on the gågade when we got back from the library, we would totally get a picture! But sadly, they were gone :( But since it's the Christmas Season, we're hoping they'll be back before we leave!! :D hahaha, so expect a picture!! 


Our apartment is ready for the Christmas season :) we built a fireplace, and put some festive things up on the wall! I'm currently sewing a stocking, so that should be up by Christmas! <3

Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful week, and thank you so much for the letters and emails! I love hearing from you :)

Love,
Søster Sølberg

Monday, December 1, 2014

It could have been the best photo


the food babies start forming

The food here is too good


With weird faces, weirder angles, and the perfect lighting and clothing adjustments, we have the typical after-eating-appointment ''food babies''

Free food!


sometimes, on a cold day, a free hot dog is just what the doctor ordered ;)

Silly Denmark


Yes, this is liquorice flavored cheese. It's okay to be confused, so are we....

Week Two in The Land

This letter may end up being a little shorter this week! I'll try to be understandable!! :)

I hope you all had a woooooonderful Thanksgiving!! Even those of you outside of The States! haha, Thanksgiving is always a great time to remember all the blessings you have been given, and then bless other people! This past week has been amazing! We were able to visit a darling woman named Marianne on Thursday, and it was a lovely visit. Without realizing that it was Thanksgiving, we began a ''Ting jeg er taknemmelig for'' list with her, and it was beautiful! She struggles with extremely bad depression and anxiety, but despite her illness, she was able to smile and laugh and think about  different things she's grateful for! It was very inspiring! Even the very small things in our lives are miracles! We should never take anything for granted!

The Danes make me laugh so much! They're just so happy, and love everything! Even though 95% of the people we talk to brush us off and say they aren't interested, sometimes, you find golden people who are just lovely! This past week, while contacting, we found two different households who seem like great potentials! One woman, Cille, was just delightful! She opens the door, and we explain that ''vi er ud at snakke med mennesker om deres familie!,'' and she just laughs while her cat runs off because of the cold air coming in, and she says ''and about little white cats, too??'' We all had a good laugh, and she was very interested in what we had to say :) it was a wonderful change from our other daily contacting experiences, and we're planning on stopping by again soon. :)

So Søster Køster is leaving this week :( actually, tomorrow! She's been on her mission for 3 months already, but she finally got her visa to head to the New Zealand MTC, and will be headed to Austrailia in a few weeks! It's been so great to have her here! She's been a big help, teaching Søster Sorensen and I the Danish Ways! She's very confused about why Americans (mainly Søs Sørensen, hahaha) put Peanut Butter on so many things! Hahaha, such a doll! But she really is so great :) She finds the scriptures so funny! It's great hearing her chuckle during personal study, and then during Companion study she just bursts out laughing again when she tells us what she read! haha, like this morning, it was about when the people of King Lamoni thought he was dead, but the Queen said that she didn't think he was dead because he didn't stink, Søster Køster thought that was the funniest thing! haha, ooooh man, she'll be loved in Austrailia! 

There are so many funny things that happen when you're an American in a new country! We visit a lovely woman named Emily, a Philipino married to a Dane, and she likes to call the Søsters by their first names. So when she heard mine, in her cute little Phillipino voice she shouts out ''Morgan!? Why are you called Morgan!? That's such a weird name!!'' haha, and then there's Søster Køster, who says I speak the most American English that she's ever heard! 

Oooooh it's really soooo fun here :) I absolutely love it!!! <3 I can't believe I've already almost hit my 2 month mark for already being on a mission! Everything goes by way too fast! Especially study time in the mornings! That's one of the best things of the day! There's just not enough time to study the scriptures enough! I can't wait to devote more than an hour to studying when I'm home again!!

As Fast Sunday comes up this week, I encourage you all to study up on fasting, especially being sure to read Doctrine and Covenants 59:12-16! Fasting is a wonderful experience, and when we remember the promised blessings, that makes it all the better :)

I really wish I could write more concise letters! I feel like I'm always all over the place when I write! But I hope you could understand me, and my love that I have for missionary work already! This is the true Gospel, and I know that with all my heart! It may be hard work, but it's the Lord's work, and it will be done! The Lord is always there to help you in all your trials, just as I know that He is with me to help me in this very different part of my life! I don't know anyone, and I don't speak their language well enough to effectively do anything on my own. But I know that I'm not alone, and that God loves me, and will never abandon me! 

I hope you all have a wonderful week! I challenge you to recongnize the blessings the Lord has given you, and I would love to hear of the good things happening :)

Oh! and if you haven't already, I encourage you to take a look at the Church's Christmas initiative going on this Month! you can check it out at http://www.mormon.org/christmas !!
Sister Mann and I were lucky, and got to see it back in the beginning of October at the MTC ;) it's great to see it out and about now! <3

Jeg elsker jer!
~Søster Sølberg


a lovely little rainbow brightening our aften after a lovely appointment

Monday, November 24, 2014

Another Pre-Denmark


prepping for the Cold



.

The MTC zone! 'Til we meet Again!!

Companions


This is what we do after placing a Book of Mormon. Actually, no, but we did it because Søster Køster had never tasted a honeysuckle!!
This is at the very top of the Hill we live on, not far from the Windmill

Søster Sørensen is amazing


​Søster Sørensen had this lovely Picture of us all with the original Kristus!! <3 Søster Sørenson (left), Søster Mann, Søster me, and Søster Ripa (right)

Welcome to The Land

The wetness is all from a drizzle!! We got soaked!
The windmill at the top of our hill. You can see it in the distance
This is on the Gågade, a strip mall like thing not too far from our apartment

THE LAND * Week One

Alright, first Things first - this Danish keyboard is horrible!! The keys are all different, and the computer keeps saying my Words are all spelled wrong, and it'll randomly capitalize Words!! hahaha, but here I am, in a Danish library, surrounded by Danish speakers with Danish books, and the sun blinding me through the window! Which I guess is really a good thing - the sun is still shining! hahaha, I'll miss it in a few weeks!!
But why on earth am I starting like this?? In case you haven't been updated in a while - I'm in Denmark!! I am actually physically literally in The Land!! And my good golly, it feels great!! A Little chilly, but totally great! It really does look like a fairy tale everywhere here, and even though I have absolutely no idea what the signs say or exactly where the buses or trains are taking me, I could walk around outside for hours!!
But I guess to start Things off right, I'll give you the Little rundown of the goings on ~~~

Mandag - Goodbye MTC!! It's been great, and I beat the MTC experience steriotype by actually losing weight, despite all the icecream and burgers! hahaha, but that luck probably won't last for long! Everyone was super sad that the two Little Danes were leaving, but we're all super excited! The Nords head out to the field today (the monday I'm writing this! Good luck everyone!
So Monday rolls along, and Sister Mann and I left super early, and even though we had a bit of a stressful morning making sure we had everything, we made it to the airport and somehow caught all of our flights! Definitely tender mercies in that experience! While we were waiting for our flight to London, we made it to our almost empty terminal, and were a Little confused about where we should go. We kept on hearing a mans name being called (he was the last passenger they were waiting for) to the terminal NeXT to us (like, seriously, his name was called about 4 or 5 times), also going to London, and we eventually realized our flight was merged onto that same flight. We ran over, and the mans name was being called Again, but it wasn't until the woman at the desk realized we were supposed to be on that flight and had given us tickets for it that the man showed up. We definitely realized the Little Blessing that had been.
And then we flew across The Pond.

Tirsdag:  Welcome to Denmark!! And by golly, were we tired!! That day, we were greeted by Pres and Sis Sederholm, and had delicious Danish food :) No lie, it's a good thing all my skirts have growing room ;) hahaha
We met up with two sisters who would be our companions, but we wouldn't know until the Next day, but we walked around Copenhagen, and actually did some Danish street contacting :) it was a really neat experience, and definitely not a horrible experience!! We also went to that really cool Church (I'm so horrible, I can't think of the name of it right now) and saw the original Kristus statue, and the statues of the Apostles as well!! And I'm such a cool kid that I left my camera in the car about a block away! hahaha, but fear not, I shall obtain some Photo evidence of it eventually!!
Onsdag: Today is the Day we learn who our companion is and what area we would be in first!!! There were two options : we would either Stay on Sjælland, in København (Copenhagen), or head to Jutland, in Vejle. I'll let you guess before I tell you. That's a horrible thing to do on an email. Don't worry, I'll be smarter NeXT week - I'M IN VEJLE! A cute Little town that's just wonderful :) A fun Little fact for you - the hill we live on is illegal to bike Down because of how steep it is. So that's exciting. And the name of the street adjacent to us is perfect - ''Lille Bjerggade'', som betyder ''Little Mountain Street'' på engelsk. Woah, some Danish popped out. That's cool!
The train ride from København to Vejle was pretty long, but I actually found out I'm in a Tri-panionship right now. Søster Sørensen is my trainer, and Søster Køster is a Dane who just got her Visa for her mission. She's headed to the New Zealand MTC on the 2nd to serve in  Australia Sydney South! But it's been uber great to have her with us :) she helps me with my Danish, which everyone says is impressive for a greenie, but I'm 100% sure they're just being nice!!

Torsdag-Lørdag: I probably really shouldn't mix this all together, but honestly, it's all mushed together in my brain. It's all been a lot of appointments and street contacting, and getting caught in the rain without pina coladas
 
we got a Little wet in the misty drizzle of death. hahaha, this is going to be great!!
Oh, I had my first Door Approach in Denmark Saturday night!! It was just after we had a really good lesson with a woman from another door approach, so I was in a good spirit! hahaha, I rang on the doorbell, and the Second I had eye contact with the man opening the door, I said ''Hej!!'', but he was already closing the door before he said ''Nej!'' and locked the door. Haha, soooooo that was my very first Danish Door Approach experience! But I'm still willing to do more! Even though mostly no one wants to hear from us on the street, we keep our heads up, and keep working!!

Søndag!!: Sunday was great! We headed to Kirke, sang in the kor, og had a great tid! hahaha, dang, Little Danish Words! Whichever language has the shorter Word, that's probably the one that will come out of my fingers!
But anywho, Sunday went great! All the Little old ladies kept wanting to speak English to me, but I try to respond my best in Danish! But one really cool thing - I was speaking to a woman ( I can't believe her name just slipped my mind!!) who was asking me about some other Sølberg missionaries! Søster Sørensen was certain we weren't related, until the woman mentioned that they were an elderly couple about 15 years ago, when I realized they were talking about Grandma and Grandpa Soelberg!! They were so excited to hear that they knew my Grandparents! This couple I was talking to were actually Grandma and Grandpa's Mission President and Wife when they were serving here in Denmark! I'll be sure to get a Picture with them! We're setting up a meal appointment this week! :)

And here we are on Mandag Again! We've got a full Schedule of only essential pday activities, because we have our District Activity on wednesday! so that's going to be great! Lots of grocery shopping, and a few Things we need for the apartment. Hahaha, I wish you could all see my computer right now, pretty much every Word has the red squiggle underneith, so I have no idea what's spelled correctly and what isn't! So forgive me if I write like a pre-schooler, I have English, Spanish, and Danish jumbled up in my brain right now.  hahaha

Until NeXT Pday!!
-Søster Sølberg <-- I'm totally getting a nametag with an ø in it! then all three of us in our Tripanionship will have ø's in our names :)

You should all know that the licorice here is the craziest thing!! I'll try to get some sent home for Christmas soon! You've never tasted licorice until you've had Ammonium-Chloride enhanced licorice! your mouth will probably die, and you'll suffer, but you'll be so happy you did!!

Toodles!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

MTC Week 5!!

Good Morning everyone :) Ah, what a great day!! Pday is always a treat in the middle of the week, but Guess What!!?? And don't say "Chicken Butt!!" because that's not MTC approved!! hahaha, but seriously, I do have something to say - THIS IS MY VERY LAST PDAY IN THE MTC!! The next time you hear from me will be in a week and a half!! But I'm getting ahead of myself here... ahem. Let us continue.
I was better this week and actually planned out this email by writing down things each day hahaha so even though it's not tooooooo exciting, here ya have it:
Onsdag (Wednesday, last Pday after I emailed): Right after finishing my emails, I get dressed up for lunch and the Temple, and you would not believe who I ran into!! S i s t e r  M e l i s s a  K o r m y l o :) Ah, it was so great! She was on her MTC orientation tour, and I was headed somewhere, so we didn't have time to stay and chat. But during this past week, we've been able to see each other some more :) It's kinda sad that I'll be leaving so soon after I get to see Elder Brazell and Sister Kormylo, but it's just time to head out. We'll get some pictures before I leave though! She has some on her computer, but our Pdays are different, so she hasn't had the chance to email them to me before today. I'll get some on my own camera though :)
Torsdag: I RECEIVED MY FLIGHT PLANS AND MY GOOD GOLLY AM I EXCITED!! :) I fly out on Monday, at 3:30 IN THE MORNING. I'm not going to share everything on here, but I do have a 4 hour layover in the States where I can call home for a bit, and then I have another 2 hour layover in Europe before finally getting to Copenhagen Tuesday Morning. So Mom and Dad, don't be busy Monday around Noonish!! I'm so excited, but it doesn't feel 100% real yet!! Aah, my good golly, it's amazing!
Fredag: We got to teach our Teachers as themselves: just Bror Williamson and Søster Taylor though, I don't think we'll get the chance to do it with Bror Whitlock. But it was really amazing! This past week we've been focusing mostly on TEACHING PEOPLE, NOT LESSONS, so I really appreciated the time they put into our scheduling to let us experience them as themselves. 
Lørdag: WE JUST HAD PRETTY MUCH THE BEST LESSONS IN THE WORLD!! I love teaching our investigators, even though they can be stubborn and difficult!!
Søndag: Today was the first Sunday where we were expected to give our talks entirely in our mission language. It was interesting, seeing that there are 6 languages in our Zone, but it was really pretty cool. Søster Mann and I didn´t speak, so we´re totally expecting to Next Sunday. But two Nords spoke, and they were great, and we can actually understand Norwegian, so it was really awesome :)
Mandag: Nothing too exciting, other than it being the last Monday in the MTC
Tirsdag: Today was the Last Tuesday devotional in the MTC!! We sang ''Praise to the Man'' in Choir, and I got to sit beside Søster (or Irma/Sister) Kormylo, and it was really great!! The Spirit was so strong in the meeting, and I'm thankful for the things spoken! We heard from Dean M Davies, 2nd counselor in The Presiding Bishopric and his wife, Sister Darla Davies.
and back to Onsdag!!: well, this is my last Pday in the MTC!! I can't believe it's already gone by so fast! Sis Mann and I have a lot to do before we leave: we just bought our Prepaid Phone Cards for the airport, and we're figuring out if there's anything we want to send home before flying out. We only have One lesson left with each of our investigators, which is sad, and I'm admittedly a little nervous coming into an actual persons real life once I get to the field! THIS IS THE REAL DEAL! But I know that The Lord will help me as I put my Trust in Him!!

As always, I love hearing from all of you :) I wish you the best this week! As soon as I find out what my new address is, I'll let my parents know, or if you want it directly, I'll send you a message :)

Ég elska Þig (''I love you all'' in Icelandic!!)
Just a quick note, because people have asked: I will not be going to Iceland because it's only open to Elders right now! And it's a specific call to the Danish Mission, Icelandic Speaking :( so sad, haha, but, Danish is cool too ;)



MTC week 5 pictures


The computer is being silly, and won't let me rotate the picture the proper way, as it is in the camera, but we can all work those sternocleidomastoids and turn our necks to the side ;)
These are all the missionaries in the MTC headed to the Danish mission :) Two Danish speaking Sisters, and Three Icelandic speaking Elders! Wish us luck!!

Monday, November 10, 2014

MTC WEEK 4

Good morning!! I hope all is going well!!! :) Today marks the completion of week for in the MTC!! Can you believe that??? I certainly can't! There are so many wonderful people here who I have become so dear friends with, that it's sad to think that in a week and a half, I'll be leaving the MTC and leaving all these great people behind! Our zone is pretty much the best one in the world ;) Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Belgium, and the Netherlands are getting some pretty great people in the next few weeks!

So last week we gained 22 more missionaries in our Zone! 3 Icelandic Elders, 11 Dutch Sisters, and 8 Dutch Elders! The Dutchies have been really isolated their first week, mainly because they're going to all of the orientation meetings, so hopefully Sister Mann and I get to know them a little better before we leave in a couple of weeks! 

The Icelandic Elders are a hoot! One is from UT, the other, I'm not so sure, but the 3rd Elder is actually from Denmark! He's been such a great sport helping Sis Mann and I figure out words and pronunciations! We learned a brand spankin new grammar rule 2 days ago, and we feel like our Danish is a complete flop right now because we just realized we've been saying things pretty wonky this whole time! Haha, but it's coming! I'm sure once we're completely immersed in the Language in Denmark, the rate of learning, because of necessity, will skyrocket!! So that's exciting!

OH! SOMETHING REALLY COOL! Sister Mann and I met Sister Sederholm (President Sederholm's wife) this past Sunday! She had to come to UT on family business, and figured she'd stop by and say hi :) She's so sweet, and she gave us some Kinder chocolate as a late Halloween gift!! I can't wait to see her again with Pres Sederholm in less than 2 weeks! We should be getting our flight plans this week, which is SOOO exciting!

Sister Mann and I finished memorizing The First Vision in Danish this week!!
Jeg så en lyssøjle lige over mit hoved, som var stærkere end solens glans, og som dilede gradvis ned indtil den faldt på mig. 
Da lysset hvilede på mig, så jeg to personer, hvis glans og herlighed trodser enhver beskrivelse, stående over mig i luften.
Den ene af dem, talte til mig, kalte mig ved navn, og sagde, mens han pegede på den anden, <<Det er min elskede søn, hør Ham.>>
So there you go! If Google says something's wrong, I probably just spelled something weird, but I can say it by memory! Danish can be tricky just because you don't pronounce anything the way you'd expect it to be pronounced! But the more I learn of it and how to speak it, Danish sounds so calming and natural to me, which I definitely appreciate!! 

This past Sunday, in devotional, one of the speakers mentioned how we can ask for help by specific angels! I know without a doubt that I have felt Grandpa Soelberg's help with this language, and I am so grateful to have this connection with him, especially since growing up away from family made it hard to have really any memories of spending time with him. But I have definitely received strength, and I can testify that the Gift of Tongues is real!!! <3

We were assigned a new Branch President this past week, and he's already been making some changes to the way our Branch works! Since there are 6 languages learned in our district, our Sacrament meetings have been held in English, and our individual talks have all been in English as well! But our new Branch Presidents wants us all to start saying our talks in our respective mission languages!!! My good golly, this next Sunday will be an interesting one!! And  we don't even know who gets called on to speak until the moment you're called! Wish us all luck!!

As always, my mind is really all over the place, so I'm not sure what I've left out!! Next week, I'll definitely work better at preparing these before I sit down to type it out! Hahaha

I love hearing from all of you! I love hearing about what's going on in your lives!! I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors!!

Kærlighed,
Søster Morgan Sølberg

Sunday, November 9, 2014

MTC WEEK 3

Wowee, my goooood golly, this has been an amazingly beautiful week full of frustration and companionship tears, but also full of laughter and happiness, feeling the amazing love that our Heavenly Father has for all of His children. He really does care about all of our lives, and wishes us success and happiness.
Over this past week, Sister Mann and I have had the privilege of teaching our three new investigators, Solveig, Joakim, and Hans Erik. Now, I know, you're probably telling me, "Sister Soelberg, you do realize that those aren't "real" investigators, they're just your teachers pretending to be other people!" But sirs and ma'ams, let me tell you something! Our missionary service doesn't start once you get in the field. It doesn't even start once you're set apart. It starts the moment you hear the Gospel and the Holy Ghost testifies to your heart of the truth. The moment you see someone in need, and you realize that that someone needs the Savior's loving touch. I am now set apart as a servant of the Lord, by the power of the Lord's Holy Priesthood, and I will do everything in my power to be a missionary at all times, but I hope you take the opportunity to be a representative of the Lord wherever you are, whoever you're around.
I personally know that this is something I need to do, and I am so thankful to be here at the MTC to better understand how. I have learned sooooo much in the past 3 weeks, not only about how to speak Danish, but also how to be a better missionary and representative of Christ.
I'm so thankful for my teachers. I had the privilege to hear from two of my teachers yesterday, on two separate occasions, about how our lessons, although taught through simple Danish, have gone deep through their facade of an investigator, and touched their own personal hearts. There is power in sharing personal experiences while teaching, as lead by the Spirit. We all gain experiences in this life, and whether they're joyful or heart-wrenching, they enable us to learn and grow, and in turn help others.
I know without a doubt that I am meant to be here right now. Even though I'm sooooo exhausted, it's a good exhaustion, if that makes any sense. I'm pretty sure the only reason any of us are still alive and healthy is because of the Spirit and the importance of the work we're doing. We have to do this. The Savior's work was never easy for Him, so why should it be easy for us?
I'm so thankful for all of the messages I've received!! :) They brighten my week!! And I love all the letters, too!! I wish I had more time to write hand-written letters, but it's just not possible with our schedule right now to get a lot out. I've actually been working on a letter since last Thursday when I have time, and it's still not finished yet!! hahaha
This week we get 22 new missionaries for our Zone!! 19 Dutchies, and 3 Elders headed to the Icelandic portion of the Danish mission :) That's so exciting!! We still need to come up with a nickname for the Icelandic Elders, haha, so if you come up with any, shoot 'em my way, and we'll start a tradition! Sister Mann and I wish we could have more Danes, but we've realized what a blessing it is to be the only 2 Danes in the MTC!
Oh, before I forget, I made 2 Swedes cry yesterday ;) haha, well, I guess it was technically because the Spirit was so strong in our District meeting, but it made me appreciate the tenderness of Elders. They may be right out of High School, but they're not children. These Elders know why they're here, and their Determined to do everything they can to do it right.
Another thing!! I absolutely LOVE praying in Danish!! It's probably my favorite thing to do here!! It just feels so natural, and it's such a soothing language to me :) I really hope I can find someone going to BYU-I to help keep up my Danish after I come home! One of the Nords, Elder Phipps, is headed up to Rexburg when he gets home 6 months after me, and since the languages are so similar, maybe we can help each other with that. Sister Mann is headed to Provo when we get home, but maybe another companion will know which school is really better ;) hahaha

Oh, and I'm now District Sister Training Leader! Since it's only Sister Mann and I in the district, we just switched our roles halfway. So Now I'm District Leader and Junior Companion, and Sis Mann is Sr Companion :)

Let me know if there's anything else you want to know!! Send me Dear Elders!! It's great hearing from all of you :)

Jeg elsker jer!! :)
-Søster Soelberg


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

MTC Week 2!!

Can you believe that I've been here long enough to have ANOTHER Pday?? My good golly, I certainly can't! I feel like I've only been here for such a short amount of time, but then, at the same time, I feel like I've already been here for forever!! Holy Guacamole, time is so wacky to me right now. 
But while everything blends together, everyday has such a distinct feeling and it's own designative events! 
Our first week, we taught our first investigator, Benjamin, and with the 5 lessons we were able to give him, he promised he would be baptized when He knew he had the faith he so dearly wanted! So that was really cool! And after learning we wouldn't be teaching Benjamin anymore, we walk into class the next day, and Benjamin ended being our 3rd teacher, Bror Whitlock! 
It's so strange being in a class with only me and Sister Mann. And now we have 3 teachers for only 2 students! hahaha
We have 3 new investigators now, and even though they're being played by our teachers, it's incredible how we are able to distinguish these new individual investigators apart from our teachers' identities! We are now teaching Hans Erik, Solvig, and Joakim! So we're pretty busy remembering who we're teaching when, and what lesson we should be studying. We're also given the opportunity to teach actual Danes in the real world using the TRC, and that will give us the experience of teaching people who are already members! I'm so thankful for these Danish individuals who happen to live in Utah, and are willing to devote time out of their day to help Sister Mann and I improve the skills we are learning, and I hope they don't mind our simple knowledge of the language!!
Sister Mann and I are told that we're doing great in the language, with as much as we know of it after only 2 weeks. Learning a language so fast can be so strange: some days I'm ready to go, doing great at learning Danish, and then, the next day, I'm exhausted and just want to curl up in a ball and listen to Josh Groban all day long! Haha, that's probably the one thing that's the hardest for me here - not being able to listen to my music. It's been a little rough trying to figure out other ways to relax and relieve stress, but I think I've managed it pretty well! And I know that as I try my hardest to follow these rules we have been given, I will be blessed to understand the blessings that come from this challenge.
It's slowly getting chillier here in Utah, and I feel like I'm right at home! I've spent the past 3 falls out here in the west, and though I miss the humidity of the east coast, I'm glad to be in an environment that I'm relatively *recently* used to! And I'll be getting plenty of humidity in Denmark anyway!! But the one thing about East coast falls I particularly miss are the colors!!! There is nothing that can compare to the beauty of the East coast forests changing color! I love hearing from Sister Smart and Sister Ipson and their experiences with their first East coast falls in their missions!! 
Our zone has been constantly changing since arriving here! The first Monday after arriving, all of the previous Nords and Swedes left, and we got a new bunch ( a whole lot of them! Two districts!) the following Wednesday! This past Monday, the Elders headed to Suriname ( a Dutch speaking country right above Brazil) left, and this coming Monday, our Dutchies will be leaving us!! I'm not sure if we are getting any new additions to our zone Today, but we will for sure next Wednesday! It's still really strange to be one of Two Danes in the entire MTC! hahaha
Oh, one of the new Swedish Elders in the Zone is from Eagle, ID, so he knows the Soelberg clan up there!! And Sister Brady, next door to us in the Residence hall, is the cousin of Nichole S :) everyone is so connected!! It's great!!
I ran into Elder Soelberg again the other day, and we were able to figure out that we're pretty distant cousins (obviously)! So Great-great Grandpa William Carl Soelberg, who came to the US from Denmark back in the early 1890s, had a brother named Jens Christian Soelberg Jr. Elder Soelberg comes from Jens Christian Soelberg Jr, so we're related all the way back to Great-great-great Grandpa Jens Soelberg Sr! It's pretty exciting! Elder Soelberg is headed to Romania, where his Mother's family is from! So we are both pretty well connected to our missions :)
I love hearing from each of you!! You are all so great, and I hope you have a stellar week! I'll be sure to have better stuff to talk about next week!! My mind is constantly in a Spiritual high, and it's hard to think about EVERYTHING that has happened!!

Kærlighed,
Søster Soelberg

Ps- bad hair-days abound in the MTC

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

MTC week ONE!

Oh my goodness, where to begin!!?? I can't believe it's only been one week, it already feels like I've been here for an eternity!! I apologize if this get's confusing and incomprehensible, my mind is just such a flurry of EVERYTHING right now!
The MTC is really sooooo amazing!! There really is no way to explain the feeling you have here! It's true that all we do is Study, Eat, Work out, Study, Eat, Study, Eat, Study, Study, and even more Studying!! And once you're done studying, you look down at your schedule and realize that you have to do even more studying. My. Good. Gosh. It's crazy, but we're all on such a spiritual high right now! My head CONSTANTLY aches with so much new information (Danish is probably the craziest language ever. Seriously. So many rules and exceptions, and I thought English was ridiculous!)
I guess I could just start out with the day before reporting, right?? 
After boarding the plane to come to Salt Lake, I started having THE WORST HEADACHE in the world!! My head ached, and my heart was a little heavy knowing that I just said goodbye to my dear family for the next 18 months! I feel like so much is going to happen, and I'm a little anxious about that! But I just kept telling myself that this is what I need to do. I received that unshakeable confirmation, and I know that I cannot deny it. The Lord will be there with me, and like Isaiah said, He will be right next to me, holding me by the right hand as I go to the front lines of this Spiritual battle in the world.
So I land in SLC, and finally make it to the baggage claim, where I see my beautifully darling cousins, Stephanie and Landon! It was sooo amazing to spend the day walking around Temple Square with them! There were tons of people asking if I was a new missionary, because let's be honest, how many women do you see walking around Temple Square on a Tuesday dressed in missionary attire who aren't greenies?? yeah, you got it, none. We're all so obvious to spot, as one older gentleman told me!! hahaha, but that's alright with me :)
I think saying goodbye to all my cousins was the hardest part on  Tuesday, after saying goodbye to my family already back in Maryland. I felt like such a cry baby, I was seriously on the verge of tears all night long! I'm so grateful that they all put in the time to come and see me one last time before I headed off! All of their advice and stories were so uplifting, and I love them all to bunches <3
Day one in the MTC was so hectic! I arrive at the MTC, and the Elder escort was actually someone I recognized! Elder Needham from Logan High, headed to the Czech Republic!! I've also seen some more Logan high missionaries while here, like Sister Lefler and Sister Goring, and it's so cool!!
Getting my nametag was so surreal! I can't believe I actually have it now! I love having Christ's name above my heart wherever I am!!
We go right to class on day one, and boy, was that an experience!! I walk into the Danish Classroom, and that very second, Bror (Brother) Williamson just starts going all out in Danish! Wowee, my head was spinning!! You can only learn so much from personal studies of a language, and hearing  it so fluently was incredible! But at that moment, I was totally shocked and confused and worried that I wouldn't be able to master any language that beautiful!
Day two came, and day three, and day four. Hahaha, it's all pretty much the same. We study all the time, and when we don't study, we eat. And when we don't eat or study, we sleep. Night's go by so fast here! You're so exhausted that you knock out the second your head hits the pillow, and seriously, 5 minutes later, it's already 6:15 and we're out of bed! I'm exhausted ALL THE TIME, even though we get 8 hours every night!! But even though we're so tired, we're constantly busy, so we don't have any time to think about being tired!! Golly, it's such a strange thing.
Sunday was so incredible. We actually had FREE TIME, in which, my companion, Sister Mann, and I didn't know what to do with ourselves. We were so exhausted though, that we actually laid down for 15 minutes while the rest of the zone went on the Temple Walk. But don't worry, we won't do that EVERY Sunday, we're definitely doing the temple walk this coming Sunday. 
The Branches have been moving around a bit here on the MTC campus, and we just gained a new counselor in our branch presidency, and he served in Denmark! So he bore his testimony in Danish, and Sister Mann and I were so excited that we were actually able to understand what he was saying! For the most part, anyway!
Monday was a typical monday, but better only because we are at the MTC! Hahaha, if that makes any sense. It was just more studying. But then Tuesday came along! Tuesdays are great for one very beautiful reason: DEVOTIONAL! It reminded me of Rexburg, which was great :) We heard from one of the members of the Seventy, Larry Lawrence, and it was a beautiful talk! I also sang in the choir, which was an amazing opportunity! I'm planning on doing it the whole 6 weeks I'm here!
And here we are, on PDay!! I have it on Wednesdays, for those who kept asking in emails. But obviously, you just got one, so.....yes, Wednesday is the magical Day. 
Want to know some Danish words?? Of course you do, sillies!! hahaha
My favorite is Kærlighed, a beautiful word that means "Love." ahaha, I don't know why, but it's just my favorite :)
Jeg ved at Gud elsker os, og at gennem forsoningen, vi kan vende tilbage til Gud og Jesus Kristus. J
Jeg elsker jer!
Kærlighed,
Søster Soelberg
Ps: It's so weird hearing "Soelberg" with a Danish accent ALL THE TIME!! And when it's not in Danish, the Swedes, Nords, and Dutchies pronounce it pretty much the same way, with very little differences!!! hahaha
Oh yes, a quick cool tidbit for cousin Rebecca if she reads this any time soon : my Zone leader is a Dutchie, Elder Benjamin Hunter!! He said he knew her from "Savior of the World." :) Isn't that cool?? And I've met a sister here from Eagle ID also, and she said she absolutely LOVES the Soelberg crew up there :)
Anyway, I'm trying to fit everything in!! If you want to know anything, just feel free to shoot me a letter!! Letters are great here!! They're so exciting :)
I love you all!! have a great week!!!
Vi Ses!! <3

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Farewell My Friends

My beloved Family and Friends-
The time has come that I am to be set apart as a Missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I'm really surprised that the time has gone so quickly! While I was waiting for my call, everyone was telling me that the wait to receive that small white envelope was nothing, and that the wait to actually report was sooooo hard!! But in my experience, these past 4 months have been the fastest 4 months I have ever gone through!!
Before I leave, I want to let all my friends and family know just how much I love them and will miss them. They have been instrumental in my Spiritual growth and development, and I thank them sooooo much for all of the support they have given me in my decision to serve a mission.
Thank you Mom and Dad, for all of your support and advice, and for being such righteous parents! You have taught me so much in my life, and I love you more than I can say!
I thank my beautiful brother and sisters; Austin, McKenzie, Savannah, and Shaylee. You are all an inspiration to me, and I am grateful for this opportunity to be an example for you, just as you have all been for me. I hope that you will always remember to put God first, and continue to be examples to those around you.
I am thankful for my extended family, including all of my friends. As I have watched you go on missions, and hear stories from them, I have seen the importance of the Gospel in your lives and your desire to help others by bringing and teaching them of Christ. I love my family and friends, and I hope to be as strong as you are in your testimonies.
I would especially like to thank my darling cousin Rebecca for listening to all my thoughts and feelings on the matter, and who counseled me on her own impressions. I will be forever grateful for her helping me realize what a great opportunity this is for me to serve a mission.

Shortly after I went to school at BYU-Idaho, my family moved across the country, and after submitting my missionary application, I realized that I would have to give my farewell talk in a ward that I did not know! But that's okay!! I think this is pretty good prep for Denmark, don't you?? But because of the move, so many of my friends and family (haha, honestly, all of my friends and extended family) were unable to make it to my talk, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to post them here for those who would like to read them :) So, here are both of my Farewell talks <3

Always remember that I love every single one of you :) 
Jeg elsker jer!!! 

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    * 

I have been asked to speak on Prayer, and how it gives us Guidance and Strength in our lives. Upon receiving this topic assignment, I immediately began thinking about all the times in my life where Prayer has been absolutely central. Of course, Prayer is always important, but it hasn't been until recent years that I have made an active effort in applying proper Prayer to my life. I want to talk about a few instances in the past few years where a moment of earnest prayer has affected my life, and amazingly enough, each of these occasions have led me to this very moment in my life as I am about to devote 18 months of my life solely to The Lord. Through my personal experiences on the topic, I hope to have the Spirit with me as I testify of the things I know and Love.
                I mentioned the phrase “proper Prayer” earlier. By this, I mean actively praying, instead of mindlessly asking for things, which I’m sure we’ve all caught ourselves doing at some point in our lives. Actively praying requires 7 principle ingredients, the first being Making your Prayer Meaningful, followed by Using language that shows love, respect, reverence, and closeness, Always giving thanks to our Heavenly Father, Remembering the needs of others, Doing all you can to follow through with your prayer, Seeking guidance of the Holy Spirit to know what to include in your prayer, and seeking Heavenly Father’s guidance and strength in all you do. Each of these things help us to give our Father sincere prayers, and shows respect for the gift of prayer that we have been given.
                After thinking to myself what is needed for Sincere Prayer, I began to ask myself what the result of putting in the extra effort really is. I found that when we sincerely pray, we are required to have a level of humility that allows us to be taught. We are also able to reflect on our blessings, which allows us to recognize just how much our Heavenly Father loves us and has done for us.
                When we sincerely pray, we must also remember to be receptive to the communications to the Spirit, in which we receive the answers to our prayers, along with the Guidance and Strength we have been promised. Alma counseled his son Helaman that he should “Cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yeah, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever. Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day” (Alma 37:36-37; see also Alma 34:17-26). President Spencer W Kimball explained that it is “Through honest and heartfelt prayer [that] we receive love, power, and strength from our Heavenly Father.”
                The first instance I remember prayer causing a turning point in my life was back when I was still in middle school. It was nearing General Conference weekend, and in my Young Women’s class, we had discussed the importance of pondering questions to bring to General Conference. I was in the stage of my life where I was working on recognizing my own testimony, instead of relying on the testimony of those around me. I found that all I could think of as I was preparing to listen to the Lord’s servants was the need I had of gaining my own testimony, but I was stuck on where to begin. I prayed earnestly to our Father in Heaven that I would be able to know how to strengthen my testimony, and I didn’t realize it at the time, but the act of praying was instrumental in helping to develop the testimony that I already had. But all I could focus on was the amazement I felt as I listened to the talks throughout conference, because it seemed to me as if every single talk touched on the topic of testimonies. I learned that Personal, Private Prayer is an essential part of my Spiritual development.
                The second occasion of prayer affecting me was during High school, and while my testimony had grown much more over the years, I was caught in a rut growth-wise. I was going to church, attending my meetings, and reading my scriptures, but somehow and for some reason, my personal prayer had been lacking for some time. I was close to graduating and on my way to an audition for a musical scholarship. I had worked hard on the piece I was performing, but I was still incredibly nervous. I took to my cell phone and began texting a good friend of mine, who is now on his own mission. Somehow he noticed through my texting that I wasn’t feeling the greatest, and when I confessed that I was nervous, he texted very bluntly “Well, have you prayed?”                            
                It had taken me by surprise. Here I was, a senior with a stellar history of going to seminary and church and having, what I thought, a strong testimony, but in this instance, I was humbled. I realized that I was stuck, and that it had been ages that I had sincerely prayed. I was also embarrassed that I hadn’t thought to pray. Right then and there, all of a sudden, I had a constant prayer in my heart, and though I didn’t receive the scholarship, I was rewarded in an even better way. I was reminded of the importance of sincere, heartfelt prayer, and have since strived to make sure my prayers stay active and sincere. I was received further spiritual strength.
                Because of this strength I have received over the years, I have been able to grow spiritually. Already 2 years ago, at the age of 17, I once again found myself thinking a lot about a certain topic right before General Conference. This time, my thoughts were turned to the Temple. As Conference came closer and closer, I began feeling a special tug in my heart as I remembered the experience I had had many years ago. I prayed to my Heavenly Father, and I told Him of my intense desire to go to the Temple and to learn within its sacred walls. I recognized that at the time, my major opportunities to go to the Temple and receive my Endowment would be under two separate circumstances, the first being as I was about to be married, and the second being if I went on a mission. At 17 ½ years old, both of these events were so far away. While in prayer, I told my Father in Heaven that I would do all that was required of me to enable me to attend the Temple as soon as possible. Whatever came first, mission or marriage, I would work towards that goal and be temple ready. At the end of that prayer, I didn’t realize just how close that opportunity to attend the temple would be. Not long after, during the October 2012 Conference, the Missionary Age Change was put in place, and Sister Missionaries could now serve at the age of 19. The very first thought that came into my mind when I heard of the age change was that I could now go to the temple much sooner than I had previously though. The concept of serving a mission was now everywhere around me, as I witnessed good friends leave on missions earlier than previously able. Everywhere I looked and turned, there was a prompting to go on a mission, but it wasn’t until almost a year later that I recognized these promptings.
                My prayers had been guiding me on this path, and I recognized my need to seriously consider it. I remembered the prayer I had so earnestly given, and realized that this was my opportunity to attend the temple, as I had so desired. However, I also recognized that I needed much more preparation and consideration if I were to commit myself to something as challenging and demanding as a mission. I consulted with my family, and decided that I would go on a mission. I let our Heavenly Father know my decision, and I felt good about it. I felt peace that I was guided towards this great opportunity.
                Not long after I decided to serve a mission, I went to college, and I was blessed to spiritually flourish. Attending BYU-Idaho was like nothing I had ever experienced. I was surrounded by such a great Spirit, and while I was in such a beautifully uplifting place, I was also challenged and tested spiritually. There was an occasion where something had happened back at home, and one of my family members was emitted to the hospital. Being so far away, I wished with all my heart that I could help this beloved member of my family, and I even wished to experience the same thing as to be better qualified to comfort and support them. However, it was not my burden to bear. I came once again to my Father, this time seeking comfort not only for those I love, but also for myself. In inspiration, I realized that the unique experiences I go through have shaped me into the exact person I am, and that I am good enough to comfort, heal, and help those around me. This is something I will be forever grateful for as I serve my mission, and throughout my life. Through prayer, I was able to be guided and taught, and strengthened in ways that I truly believe would not have happened in any other time or place. I have been truly prepared to serve a mission, even though I was still so far away from being able to serve.           
                Eventually, the time came for me to wholly devote myself to serving The Lord through a full time mission. Prior to this point in my life, I myself had recognized the opportunity, but I had not committed myself. I believe this is the reason why The Lord has tested me for the past half year. I was faced with 2 wonderful choices that were righteous and uplifting, but I had to prove my trust in The Lord. I was once again brought to great sincere prayer, and this time, I was guided and strengthened to be taught a valuable lesson. I had to make a choice, and be strong and firm and prove my resolve to devote myself to The Lord. The Lord has given us our agency, and while I trust in the path I have been guided to, I recognize that the Lord will not make my life choices for me. I have moved forward in faith, and I have constantly been brought to heartfelt prayer to receive comfort and strength in my decision to continue to serve a mission.

                 I know that I have made the right choice for myself, and that I will be blessed for it, but I have also come to look forward to blessing others through my choice. I know that as I continue to pray in faith not only for myself, but for those I can influence, I can be an instrument in the hands of our Loving Heavenly Father to teach and bring more of His beloved children to the Light and Knowledge of our Savior and His Atoning Sacrifice. I have prayed to receive guidance and strength, and thank the Lord that I have been given these great opportunities to grow and become closer to my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I love this gospel, and I am so thankful for the faith of my parents. They have taught me so much about the need to love one another and to help strengthen those around us. I am eternally grateful for my opportunity to serve the people of Denmark surrounding areas in the Danish Mission, and I know that I have been given a divine call. I know the gospel is true. I know it. I live it. I love it. I say these things, in the name of our beloved Savior, Jesus Christ,  Amen.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    * 

I have been asked to speak on the topic of Sacrifice, and as odd as it may sound, I was actually very excited to learn more about and speak on this subject. It has been something that has been on my mind for at least the past month and a half as I have come to more fully understand my role not only as a soon-to-be missionary, but even just as a Latter-day Saint. And, perhaps, maybe not only as a Latter-day Saint, but as a living, breathing member of humanity on this earth. We are all faced with challenges every day, and we all deal with those challenges in our own unique ways. However, as I have prepared this talk, I have come to realize that there is a great divide in the world defining sacrifice.  I found two definitions that I believe adequately illustrate this divide. One definition the world uses define Sacrifice is “A loss incurred in selling something below its value.” This places Sacrifice in a negative, heartless manner, in my opinion. However, when we turn our minds inward and focus on the spiritual aspect of Sacrifice, as opposed to the temporal, we find that Sacrifice is defined as “To give up something valuable or precious, often with the intent of accomplishing a greater purpose or goal.” This definition shows faith and trust in the act of willingly giving something that you love.
                Sacrifice has been present from the beginning of Man. In 2 Nephi 2:25, we read that “Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy.” Adam and Eve recognized that without the Fall of Man, Man could not be. Without partaking of the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, our first parents would have remained in the Garden of Eden, in a state of childlike innocence. Adam and Eve sacrificed the comfort and protection of the Garden in order to allow us all to come to earth. They recognized the greater purpose and goal, and willingly gave. But because of the fall of man, we needed to be saved through the Atoning Sacrifice of Christ.
                We have all learned that Sacrifice has always been a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a reminder of the great atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ for all who have lived or will live on earth. Before the ministry of Christ, animal sacrifices were offered for this purpose. This practice helped them to look forward in faith towards the Atonement. After the Atonement of Christ, followers of Jesus Christ—by His direction—began to offer instead a “broken heart and contrite spirit” (3 Nephi 9:20), a willingness to repent of sins and a desire to follow Jesus Christ and align one's life with His commandments. In the Church today, the ordinance of the Sacrament is a reminder of the Savior’s atoning sacrifice.
                As I have lived my life in accordance to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I have noticed some of the sacrifices we make as faithful Latter-day Saints. We follow the Word of Wisdom, and strive to dress and behave modestly. We follow the Law of Chastity, and pay one tenth of our earnings in tithes. We live in a manner that is different to the world, something that can be very difficult to do, but we believe- and I believe- it to be a life rich in the prospect of eternal, and sometimes temporal, blessings. Without the requirement of sacrifice, we would never be able to develop the faith necessary for eternal salvation.
                Missions are hard things. They require time, talent, and energy. I have been called to serve in the Denmark Copenhagen mission, and while it is exciting, I recognize that it will also be very challenging. I am required to learn another language that I have had no previous background in, and I will be placed into a culture and lifestyle that I am not already used to. However, though I know that it will be difficult, I know that I will be blessed, and that I can bless the lives of those around me. In fact, I have already noticed blessings while I am still in my pre-mission phase!! I have had the opportunity to devote time to study and preparation, and I am blessed to be called to the homeland of my ancestors! I have had an increased interest and desire to learn about my Danish ancestors, and I have felt closer than ever to that part of me as I have begun my study of the Danish culture and Language. But while a mission is exciting, I still feel the struggle, as it is most definitely the biggest sacrifice I have ever made. In order to serve a mission, I have been required to give up something wonderful that I have always wanted, ever since I was a small child. However, though the past few months have been hard, I know without a doubt that if I put my trust in the Lord and do the thing which He requires of me, I will be able to “accomplish the thing which He commandeth” (1 Nephi 3:7).
                The scriptures tell us to always remember the sacrifices and struggles of our ancestors, that we may learn from them and grow closer to them. When I think back on the sacrifices of my ancestors, one in particular stands out in my mind. My great-great Grandma Dagmar Johansen Soelberg gave up everything, including contact with her family, to join the church. After emigrating from Denmark to the United States, she never saw her family in person again, but was able to complete their temple work years later. She is a great example to me of remaining faithful through sacrifice, and I appreciate all she did to enable me to have the Gospel in my life.

                I love this Gospel, and I am ready to give my life to the Lord, that I may be an instrument in His hands to teach His beloved children in the Danish Mission of his Atoning Sacrifice. I know that as I strive to be the best missionary I can be, and as I follow the commandments and missionary guidelines with strict obedience, I will be a worthy vessel and representative of the Lord Himself. I know that the sacrifices we make in this life are for our own good and benefit, and that because of the Lord's great Atoning Sacrifice, the greatest gift to the world, I am given a most precious gift, even eternal life with my beloved family.  I am forever grateful for all the sacrifices made so that I may be in my family in this period of time, to have the experiences and knowledge I have been given, that I am in a position to help others. I know that the Gospel is true, and that God loves every one of His children. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

-Søster Morgan Soelberg