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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!!

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!
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