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Monday, August 31, 2015

A Visit from the Americans

**We had a visit from a couple of Americans who served here in Denmark 30 years ago, yesterday (August 30 2015) :) they brought gifts and good tidings :)

I Have Arrived In.....

Well, my lovlies, it has indeed happened: Transfers came and have passed, and I am now writing to you all from a computer I have never used before. But can you guess where I am?? Does the name ''Odense'' ring a bell?? :D It might if you remember that I came on Splits here way back in December, and also if you know anything about the amazing man by the name of Hans Christian Andersen! This is the city in which he dwelt!! :D How exciting is that? 

But as excited as I am to be in this amazing city, I am very sad to be leaving both Sister Landvatter and Roskilde! I feel so attached to that city and the people there :) But as great as that was, there are only better things in the future!! :)

Saying goodbye (a few shots I was able to get yesterday):

Thomas, who is absolutely amazing!!

​Ole, the stubborn little teddy bear!!

My most favorite little old Norwegian woman, named Rigmor :) She's fantastic!

To start off this transfer in this new area, we've already been rained on with a soaking storm!! Reminds me of the good old days in Vejle!! hahaha! But I am really very excited to be able to serve in Odense :) I only ever hear fantastic news about the place! I get so serve in both of the wards here, so my Sunday will consist of a total of 6 hours at church! But all is well! We can always use  more church in our lives ;)
I am serving in my third Tripanionship on my mission! This time I am serving with Sisters Ackerman and Ripa, and they are both such dolls!! I sadly do not have any pictures with them yet, so expect to see their darling faces next week :)

Sometimes, life changes are really quite frustrating- we may be asked to leave behind something in our life that means a lot to us, whether it be a person, place, or thing (that's a noun! :D ). But no matter what happens in life, and no matter what God asks of us, we can have an absolutely pure trust in the Lord and the plan that He has for us- a plan that will lead us to be the people that God knows we can become. When we really give our will and our desires to Him, we will find that everything that lays ahead will be so much better than what is behind :) I would reccommend you all listen to the BYU devotional given by Elder Jeffrey R Holland titled ''Remember Lot's Wife.''

I am excited for what Odense will bring me, and more especially- I'm excited to discover what I can bring to Odense! We are all individual, and as such, we all have specific gifts and talents that will leave an impact on those around us- you only have to ask yourself one question- Do I want to be  remembered only Fondly, or do I want to have a great Impact on the lives of those around me? I hope that we will all recognize the value of hard work, and that we will have the desire to leave a positive impact on the lives of those around us.

I am thankful for all of the people and companions I have had the pleasure of knowing in Roskilde :) They are all in Good Hands- God's Hands :)

Have a fantastic week, and remember to do all you can to be a light to others today :)

-Søster Soelberg

Monday, August 24, 2015

Don't Get Comfortable!

Kære Familie og Venner :)

It has been a fantastic week :) We have done lots of service projects for many members in the ward, and it has been incredible to work side-by-side with them and get to know them even better :)

This past week we were able to enjoy a wonderful Mission Conference, in which all of the missionaries here in Denmark (plus 2 from Iceland!! One of the Elders was in the MTC with me, and it was great to see him again!!) gathered in Copenhagen and listened to one of our Area Authorities here in Northern Europe, Elder Dyches. The Conference was absolutely amazing :) One of the things that stood out to me the mos was the importance of Change. Sister Landvatter and I had actually been and still are discussing this topic a lot, and I sadly don't have all the time in the world to discuss just how incredible it is! But we have discussed thoroughly the idea of changing ourselves to become something better- and there's no better way to change and become better than not focusing on yourself!! :) It seems pretty backwards, but it is indeed 100 percent true!! As we focus on those around us, we will become naturally inclined to become something better, not for ourselves, but for our friends and family. And what are we striving to become? Well, like Christ, of course :) Christ is our ulitmate example on the most caring, faithful, loving, helpful, hopeful, humble, focused, hardworking, patient, virtuous, diligent, obedient, and intelligent individual that I have ever known of and about. As we try our hardest to not only learn more about him, but of and from him personally, we will understand the tools and help that he is graciously giving us to accomplish our righteous goals every day :) He is constantly reaching out to us to help us to become better.

This morning, I read in the 20th chapter of 3rd Nephi in the Book of Mormon- and I found one of my favorite scriptures! In the 26th verse, Christ testifies that the Father ''sent [Christ] to bless [us] in turning away every one of [us] from [our] iniquities.'' Christ's main goal in his entire ministry was to provide us the path back to our beloved Heavenly home and family :)

The message we have with us is to be shared with those around us :) We have seen how much the Gospel blesses us in our own personal lives, and it is our privilage and responsibility to share that happiness and light with others around us :) I am eternally grateful to have been raised in such an amazing family as mine, where I learned the importance of learning and living Gospel principles ; indeed, I can say that my parents and siblings taught me to not only know the dance steps, but to also hear the music (See ''The Music of the Gospel'' by Elder Wilford W Andersen https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2015/04/the-music-of-the-gospel?lang=eng ). 

The Atonement of Jesus Christ provides us all with an endless suply of help and support from our Loving Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son (and our Brother), Christ Jeus. There is nothing but our own pride and stubborness, fear and doubt that keeps us from being showered with the blessings of Heaven (see ''Living the Gospel Joyful'' by President Dieter F Uchtdorf https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/10/living-the-gospel-joyful?lang=eng ). 

Always remember that as we learn to accept God's will and guidance in our lives, we will find that life is so much simpler, even when it doesn't get easier. Change is uncomfortable, but where there is comfort, there is no growth. When we are not exercising our spiritual muscles and our eternal personalities, all we become are squishy losers. Don't be a squishy loser. Don't get comfortable!!

And speaking of getting comfortable - I have been here in Roskilde for about 17 weeks now, and sadly, we find out about transfers on Thursday!! :( I'm really hoping to be able to stay here in Roskilde with Sister Landvatter at least one more transfer, and we're really even OK staying together for the rest of our missions (or at least mine, as I will be finishing about 12 weeks before her)!!! In any case, changes are happening, and it's exciting, but scary!! But we're both looking forward with an eye of faith and trust (and a handful of pixy dust?? is that allowed??) to a bright and sparkly future :)

Have a Schway (this one's to you, Ben!!!) week,
Søster M B Soelberg

....sadly, no photos this week - I left my camera in the apartment :(

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Great Roskilde Fjord

happiness is enjoying a beautiful sunset on the fjord - and sharing God's love at the same time :)

Summer Days

we get pretty crazy!!

Sankt Ibs Kilde (the Well of Saint Ib)

it's just a well in the middle of the way, but we had to take a picture with it ;)

Miracles Happen :)

Hello darling friends and family :) I'm glad to report that once again, another wonderful week has passed by!! It's sad that the weeks go by so incredibly fast, but time is really only measured by men! God has bigger and better plans that just don't fit into one of our puny 24 hours :)

I have had the great opportunity to watch the progression of probably one of my very favorite humans in this world - his name is Ole, and he is 68 years old!! Sister Noorda and I found his name on a list of previous investigators in our apartment, and she and I stopped by to visit him one day about 3 months ago now - and only 3 short months ago, I would have never imagined the progress that he has made :) But as I said, the Lord has much bigger and better plans than we expect! :)

The first few times we met with Ole, he was very incredibly negative towards the message that we had to share. Well, after a couple appoinments of him actually laughing at the things that we were telling him, Sister Landvatter and I decided that it was ''Do or Die'' with him - that is, either he would continue ''investigating'' the church, or we would ''drop'' him as an investigator (for those who don't know what that means, it's just not teaching him anymore and leaving him for other missionaries down the road). This is what has been done in the future, and I must admit that I went into that ''Do or Die'' appoinment pretty positive that he would not continue investigating - but after preparing ourselves for the encounter, we went in to face the beast - a beast who has actually ended up becoming a teddy bear :)

In this ''Do or Die'' lesson, Sister Landvatter and I really laid down the law! We explained to Ole our purpose as missionaries, after first hearing what he imagined our goal was with him. The Spirit was incredibly strong in the lesson, and Sister Landvatter and I remember fondly the feeling of just being filled with the ''Burning'' in our hearts as we testified of our Savior and the glorious plan that the Father has created, which enables us to return to our Heavenly Home after this time on earth we have to experience mortal life. I frankly explained, and the Spirit testified, that if Ole has no real intent (that is, to say, that he does not intend to act on the truths that we are presenting to him with faith), then he simply will not receive and answer of the truthfulness of our message. Once the words were out and the Spirit was felt, Sister Landvatter and I actually saw something click in his eyes as he finally understood his person responsibility to actively seek for an answer to his questions.

Ever since that lesson with Ole, he has been incredibly open and friendly towards us :) Our lessons are filled with the Spirit, and we learn ourselves everytime we visit him :) He has been reading on his own in The Book of Mormon, and we have enjoyed answering his very humble and sincere questions, and helping him understand the Love that our Father in Heaven has for him personally :)

I absolutely love being on a mission :) This has honestly been the most amazing experience of my life!! I look forward to these final weeks in the transfer (this one is only 5 weeks instead of 6), and both Sister Landvatter and I are hoping to stay together a third transfer!!!! We are best friends, and we work so incredibly well together :) She's great!!


Some fun things from this week -

We had an amazing zone training, and dirctly after, enjoyed going on exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders here in our city of Roskilde

me, Sister Aubrey Landvatter, Sister Amanda Van Orden, and Sister Mattie Reed on the shore of the Roskilde Fjord (we were almost standing on the water (;  ). Yes, I got really warm that day wearing such a big sweater, but we never know that the weather will do here in Denmark!!!


This week, we are having a MISSION CONFERENCE (everyone in the mission [except the missionaries in iceland, sadly] will be coming together in Copenhagen!!)! I'm excited to see everyone again :) Tomorrow, the Sister Training Leaders on Jylland (Sister Perkins and Sister Mann!!!!) will be staying at our apartment, and we'll all travel to København together :) It'll be a blast being with Sister Mann again! We haven't seen each other in 9 months!!

Have a great week, and I'll talk to you all again next week :) <3 

-Sister Morgan Soelberg <3

Monday, August 10, 2015

How Sweet the Sound

These past few days, I have been thinking a lot about the Amazing Grace we recieve from God through the wonderous gift of the Atonement. I don't have nearly as much time in the world as I would like to have, but I do have a few snippits from my journal that I carry around with me, of which I would like to share :)

Just a few days ago, Sister Landvatter and I got ready for the day while we listened to the talk ''In the Strength of the Lord'' by Elder David A Bednar. The talk is amazing and I recommend it to all of you :)
One of the major points that stood out to me was the truth that Christ not only suffered for our iniquities, but also for our inequalities. All the things in life that are difficult for us, and all the pains and dissapointments we experience, Christ knows perfectly. And He knows exactly how to help us.

As a missionary, I am blessed to see so many miracles happening all around me. But as times get rough and hard with people not interested, even we as missionaries get a little down on ourselves. But  no matter what happens, as we turn to the Lord our God, we receive strength and support - and the same goes for you!!

Something I have thought a lot about lately would be that we cannot, and should not, pray that our circumstances and challenges in our lives will just be changed; but instead, we should pray that we can be strengthened and supported to deal with and overcome our circumstances. Because Christ has experienced all that we have gone through and will go through, He knows exactly who we can become in defiance to those challenges and weaknesses. We must allow ourselves to come to Him that is mighty to save, and mighty to change :) Afterall, ''God cares a lot more about who we are, and who we are becoming, than about who we once were,'' as Dale G Renlund taught us in our most recent General Conference. And as Bonnie L Oscarson expressed, ''Heavenly Father has a mission and plan for each of us, but He also has His own timetable.''

Our unique lives have so many different twists and turns, and it can all seem to tangle up in itself; sometimes, we may even feel that we're too tangled to get out of the ruts and valleys, even though we try with all our might to get to the top of the mountain. But as we follow the paths and directions that God has so graciously given us, namely the Prophets and Apostles both ancient and modern, we are led safely and at last back to Him, our Beloved Heavenly Father :) No matter where we are in our path, God's great plan of happiness always leads us back to Him.

A new principle I am trying to live in my life is to Constantly Be Aware of The Spirit. We are blessed to have the Holy Spirit with us at all times when we are living worthily. It is up to us to recognize the Spirit and act on the promptings we recieve. 
There are ultimately 2 questions you should as yourself in the most normal and everyday situations:
1 - Can I feel the Spirit right now?
2 - What is He telling me?
When we sit back and have a personal one on one interview with our heart, we are able to change our lives for the better :) After all, it all comes down to becoming. As we yeild to the promptings of the Spirit, we become saints, more able to express Gods love and peace to those around us. We are able to become the people that God needs us to be!! 

So as we take off for the Best Day of our Lives, may we all remember to be even more aware of the Holy Spirit of God, for He ''will show unto you all things what ye should do'' (2 Nephi 32:5). :)

Have a great week, and keep your heads up <3 God has a unique plan for each and every one of us, and it is glorious :)

Med kærlig Hilsen,
Søster Morgan Brooke Soelberg

Monday, August 3, 2015

Service = Sharing Love

Hi Family and friends!! :) I just wanted to send a quick ''Hej'' to you all 🙋

It has been a fantastic week of miracles and happy moments :) We had transfers, and even though Sister Landvatter and I are the same, the other two companionships in the district got switched up! We now have Ældste Light from Montana and Ældste Zeigler, a greenie all the way from Switzerland! They're both great, and really fun to work with!!

This week was full of busy days and working hard to find new investigators!! And guess what!? We finally got a new investigator!! :D This is transfer 2 with Sister Landvatter, and we're finally seeing some success from all the work that we're putting in to finding new people to teach!! We have a couple lined up for this new week, and we're pumped to finally get it going!!
But we haven't forgotten the other people we work with :) We had wonderfull lessons with a bunch of people! I'm so thankful for all of the people we teach and for the knowledge they share with me. We're all learning on this path, and we can all learn from each other :)

Sunday was probably my favorite day this week :) We had a wonderful Fast and Testimony meeting :) The Danish people are so amazing, and I'm so thankful for their testimonies! Their experiences and challenges are so completely different than the ones we face at home! But we are all blessed with the wonderful Gospel, which knows no limits or borders! The Church is true, and that is true no matter where you live in this world!
Our investigator Thomas is so close to getting baptized! He understands and accepts all that we have taught him, and he is so open and willing to learn! Yesterday after our Gospel Principles class, one of the members, Brother Kjeldsen, turned to Thomas and bluntly asked, '' Thomas, when are you getting baptized?! You are so ready!!'' We haven't spoken much with Bro Kjeldsen about Thomas' progression, which just shows that it's not just us that believe he is ready! Thomas has told us that he has been coming to church with questions in his heart, and he has the faith to act on the answers that he recieves! I know that he is so prepared and ready, and now he only needs to realize that for himself :) We have another appointment with him and a member on Wednesday, and we're excited to see and feel his wonderful testimony again :)

The ''amusing'' part of this week would be the fact that Sister Landvatter's bike is totally dead. She got a flat tire in the middle of the night (it wasn't flat when we parked going in, but it was totally flat in the morning). We called the Elders in a frantic frenzy as we were headed out the door early to get to District Meeting, and we learned how one patches a flat tire. Well, we couldn't get it figured out in time, so the other pair of Elders swung by the apartment with their handy dandy car, picked us and the bikes up, and we all headed to District meeting together. After the meeting, Sister Landvatter and I had lunch and made some cookies to deliver to people (or at least we planned on delivering them to people ;) haha, whoops. To be honest, we ended up sharing them with random ward members and the elders who sneakily intercepted our distribution plans). After that, we attempted to fix the bike for real, and pretty much succeeded, exept for the fact that it didn't work. We patched all the holes, but when we tried taking off, the bike didn't want to cooperate. So it's still flat, even though we pump it up all the way and there are no more holes to be found. 

Long story short, we're now slaves to public transportation and the use of our feet for our daily transport. Things go a lot slower, but it's been a great experience to see the city on foot now, instead of zooming by on bikes. And we even found out that one of the Less-active women we work with has been praying that we'll be able to be on foot and on the bus more often! haha, so maybe that's why we can't figure out the bike situation!

But all in all, things are going great, and we're pumped for this new week :) No crazy stories to tell, though, but be prepared for next weeks email! We'll be sure to do something insane!! :)

Until then, have a stellar week!! And enjoy the comforts of driving your own car / having a bike that works!!

-Søster Morgan Soelberg

when bikes don't work properly, we can't help but get a little exasperated 

just kidding - I do have something exciting!! My cookie caught on fire in the microwave this morning!!!
the aftermath is very sad :( but that just gives us another excuse to make another batch, right?? and actally share the love with them this time ;)