But wait! There's more!

Monday, October 26, 2015

It hasn't snowed yet!!

Hello darling humans I call mine!! haha, I hope you have all had a stellar week, because life is great and full of happiness!!
I had a bit of a rough time this morning figuring out what I wanted so share with you all - I kept getting distracted by a million different things and topics to think about!! But luckily, I just spent the past 30 minutes reading emails I sent out from the beginning of my mission, (it was super fun, but took more time than I intended), and I found this old post where I used this helpful idea my dad sent me (shout out to you, you amazing human!!! <3). So, I'll let you know how this week played out with this little template :) enjoy!!

1. What has been your biggest challenge this week?

Probably trying to practically white-wash the area. That means that Sister Orr and I are working in an area that we have practically no experience with or ideas on what to do..... yeah, it's pretty fun, but we've actually been having a lot of success! :D The Lord really does provide, and He works miracles in the perfect way He does things <3 So really, there hasn't been toooooo big of a challenge, because the Lord is always with us :)

2. What has been your biggest concern?

Being as good of a missionary as Sister Orr!! She's such a babe!! She's such a strong missionary, and I've already learned so many new things from her!! It's amazing just how much you can learn from the people around you, and even more amazing when you've only known them for a week!!

3. What has been your biggest success?

I was hit with a strong bout of happiness yesterday during Church. The Young Women in the ward held a program during Sacrament meeting where they presented the difference YW values and spoke about them. One of the YW, named Naomi, and I had the chance to go on splits together down in Svendborg the week previous, and yesterday, during her talk, she mentioned a conversation we had while together which I had completely forgotten! Apparently, I said something to her that greatly (and thankfully positively) impacted her view of missionary work and her desire to serve a mission herself! I had entirely forgotten that brief moment, and when Naomi spoke about it, I felt so thankful for the companionship of the Spirit. I know that as we closely follow the promptings the Spirit gives us, we will be a blessing to those around us, and even be the means by which God can speak to His other children (slight reference to one of my favorite scriptures Mosiah 8:18). It was pretty sweet :)

4. Who has been your favorite person this week? Why?

Who isn't my favorite person!? haha, there are so many wonderful people, it's hard to find just one to talk about! haha, but I would probably have to say our beloved Sister Turpin. She and Elder Turpin are the Senior Missionary Couple here in Odense, and they are just the sweetest things. Sister Turpin has been through a lot in her life, and was even diagnosed with Cancer (which since has gone into remission) while here on the mission. But through all, she always has a smile on her face, and she makes everyone feel like the bees knees every day! If I could be one person, I would love to be her :) She's also very reliable and loving in the event of an emergency!!

5. What has been your most significant tender mercy (I'm going to name 2!! (: )?

Being able to be with Sister Sorensen on splits!! She's a new Sister Training Leader up in Horsens, and this past week they came down here to Odense :) It was great to be with her again, and to enjoy her sweet spirit!

ALSO!! Being able to speak to my darling cousin Elder Ericksen!! I got permission to call him last wednesday after he arrived in his first area, which is in Aarhus! It was great to be able to talk to him on the phone!! We're in different Zones, so we won't see each other too often, but we will be able to see each other on Thanksgiving up in Aahus at our Zone Conference :) I look forward to it!! FAMILY IS AWESOME!!

6. What are you looking forward to this coming week?

Having soooooo many more funny and happy moments with the Sisters here in Odense!! It's so fun to live in a 4-(wo)man apartment! 

7. Do you have a goal set for this coming week? Tell me about it.

Of course I have a goal! Missionaries always have goals!! haha, this one is pretty silly, though! I haven't been good at all with writing in my journal, so that's the #1 thing I want to work on in my spare time. But also, I want to continue to improve the ability to speak Danish! It's such a beautiful language, but even more so when it's spoken correctly!! hahaha

8. Which scripture has had the biggest impact on you this week?

I'm still absolutely loving Job 37:14 (note, this is the correct reference. The ref I sent out last week in my email was incorrect!!! whoops!!!)
It's been really great to think more and more about this scripture, and to be hit with such thanksgiving for the beautiful world we live in!! I am constantly pinching myself because I just cannot believe how beautiful this country is!

So there you have it! There are quite a few random things to talk about, but I hope this suffices to tell you all about how great life is here in Odense :) But to illustrate it even better, here are pictures from this week!!

Down in Svendborg, the cutest little city in the world!!

Silly street signs! That's not even a Danish word!!

The leaves are still changing up here :) Winter is coming, slowly but surely! I personally think it's cold enough!!

I found some more cats!! This one looks just like our little Butterscotch!! 

Have a great week!! I love you all!! <3

-Søster Soelberg

Monday, October 19, 2015

Job 36:14

Sometimes here in this life we get a little bit worked up about everything going on- and though it is good to be busy, oft times, you just need to take a chill pill. And throw some leaves up into the air :)

It makes life pretty exciting!! :D Fall is so beautiful here in Denmark!! It's really amazing to be here and to ''consider the wonderous works of God'' here in this wonderful country, just as it says in Job [I refer you to the reference in the title of my email].

But what is it, you ask, that would make the life of a missionary a little bit stressed?? Well, darling, let me tell you!! Once every 6 weeks (or in this special case, 7 weeks), we have what one calls ''Transfer Monday!!'' And dear friends and family, today was that day! Sister Ripa is safely arrived in Copenhagen, ready to fly out tomorrow to her own home in the USA. It's definitely a different experience with a companion heading home - this is the first time it has happened to me! It was interesting watching her go through all the stages of preparing herself to leave, and I'm definitely not ready for that emotional rollercoaster! Good thing I don't have to worry about that for a while!!!

BUT CONTINUING WITH TRANSFERS! I'm gong to tell y'all what happened in Odense at the end of this email :)

We had our Zone Training this past week - we talked a lot about stress and how to cope with everything stressful in the mission, and we also found out about transfers ;)

SydJylland Zone! Yay!

We had a REALLY EXCITING WEEK. It was super uber duper fun here in the grand ol' city of Odense. It may e the home town of Hans Christian Andersen, but every year, the people here have another reason to celebrate for two whole days - we had the  Harry Potter Festival!!! haha, how many cities do you know of where the entire centrum is decked out like the world of harry potter?? Not very many, and to be honest, it wasn't fully decked out - you have to go to that Harry Potter World place to enjoy that specticle - But it was actually pretty fun :) All 13 missionaries here on Fyn (if y'all remember, it's one of the islands that make up denmark) got together in the Center of the City and enjoyed the day of Harry-Potter-ness. We used the pday hours that we didn't use last monday for it, and it was totally worth it! We met all of the Harry Potter characters (but they didn't have Ron or Hermione.....weird, I just realized that.....) and got pictures with just about all of them :)

here we are blessed with the presence of Sisters Ripa, Ackerman, and Soelberg, and Elders Amos, Gifford, Lee, Perkins, Dibble, Poff, Murphy, Jeppsen, and Turpin, along with our friendly neighborhood Voldemort and friends. And a miny wizard photo bombing in the background ;)

It was a blast!! I ate a bug and saw a magic show, wached Elder ''Harry Potter'' Amos get chased by a troll, ate at a Mexican restaurant, and all in all, enjoyed it. WE EVEN PLAYED QUIDDITCH

It was hard to get a good quality photo while we were playing, but Sister Turpin got this gem of our friend Mads Held and I. We were the ''Smashers'' on the Ravenclaw team....I don't remember what ''Smashers'' are in English <-- that's the danish name for it.... Beaters or something?? And yes, Ravenclaw beat Gryffindor, thank you very much ;)

The next day (last saturday), all the missionaries on Fyn + 2 more from Fredericia (zone leaders), and a member to every missionary (so there were about 30 people in all) came down to Svendborg and had a ''blitz'' down there. Everyone went tracting (knocking on doors) and contacting in the city, and we ended up having 17 lessons in the 5 hours of doing it :) It was a blast!! Working together is always the best way to get things done!! With everyone's combined efforts, we were able to do a lot more work than we could have ever done alone, and it was fantastic!! 

​Then Sunday rolled along, and we had a great day of church :) And by day, I mean all 6 hours of it!! But sadly, that is no longer our privilege!!! SPLITS HAPPENED, and there are now two seperate sister areas in the City!! So 4 sisters instead of 2 = two seperate companionships, but still in the same apartment.
We got Sister Ripa sent off

AND GOT 2 NEW SISTERS. SISTERS ORR AND LANDVATTER!!!!!!! It's going to be such a party!! My new companion is Sister Hannah Orr, who just came down from working with Sister Woster, and before that with Sister Sorensen!! So that's exciting! And Sister Ackerman is now with Sister Aubrey Landvatter, and y'all already know just how much I already love her :) I feel so happy and blessed to have this addition of two new sisters into our everyday lives, and we've already had a blast together!! It's just interesting trying to focus on one half of what I've known these past 7 weeks in Odense! I'm assigned to work in the Odense Second Ward instead of both, so now I only go to one 3-hour-block of church! Super sad, but super great to have more time opened up to spreading the gospel!! :D

Since there are 8 Elders here in the 2 Odense districts, it's pretty common that the districts get changed a bit every transfer. Since I'm going down to Odense 2 with Sister Orr, that's the only change. Elder Perkins and Elder Dibble are still being tained, so they're staying put with their trainers Elders Lee and Murphy, respectively.
Odense 1 district, on the other hand, is getting some changes! Sister Landvatter is coming in with sister Ackerman, Elder Poff is transfering out, and Sister Ripa and Elder Gifford and heading home - and Elders Jeppsen and Amos are going to be training new missionaries! So the news is - there are two open spots for my dear cousin to come into here in Odense!! He could be trained in Seden or Odense and I would see him just about every day - or he could go to any of the other 10 areas in Denmark expecting a new missionary. So the chances are kinda slim, but hey, there's a chance that the Soelberg blood can meet in the same city for at least 6 weeks :) Elder Ericksen is probably getting onto the plane there in Salt Lake City as this email gets sent out, and we'll all find out tomorrow where he'll be serving :) I'm super stoked!!!

Sooooooooooooo, there you have it!! :)

Have a great week!! And I'll talk to you all in 7 days :) <3

Søster Morgan Sølberg

​ODENSE!!! <3

Monday, October 12, 2015

Gør de små ting

Goddag!! Jeg håber I har alle haft en fantastisk uge, og at I blive ved med sådanne! Denne uge har været vidunderlig, og jeg ved slet ikke hvor jeg skulle begynne!! 

But hey, I guess I could start off by quoting my dear cousin Ældste Ericksen, who will be joining the ranks here in Denmark next week!!! :D I learned a fun tidbit about how our family connects to two of the new Apostles who were just called this past Conference: 
''To start off With the the new apostles being called I would like to tell you this: When My Aunt Barbara was working as an accountant, she worked for a firm that audited the Huntsman Corp.  She had to work with Bro, now Elder Rasband to complete the audit.  She said he was wonderful to work with, very professional, honest, and kind.  Bro. now Elder Renlund was my Grandpa Soelberg's surgeon for his last pace maker/defibrillator. My uncle Mark said that after the surgery, he came out and talked with him and Granny, explained how everything went during the surgery, and set my granny's mind at ease.  That little machine gave Grandpa 8 extra years he definitely would not have had here on earth.  So there you have it--a couple of personal connections to the new apostles.''

I love learning more about my family, and about how small this world really is :) Elder Ericksen and I have already made common acquaintances from the world of missionaries (like Søster Østergaard, who came out teaching with Søster Landvatter and I a couple of times), which is absolutely fantastic :)

I have had a fantastic week!! It started off with a wonderful pday and going to a members house- Their daughter, Søster Højholt, is awaiting her mission call to come in the mail any day now!! We're all expecting it tomorrow, or on onsdag (Wednesday). Tuesday was filled with fun as we went out on member splits with this lovely lady from Finland, named Ewe 

​ Sadly, she's moving back to Finland in a few weeks, but for the time being, we'll keep her close by :) She served down in Greece, and returned from her mission a little over a year ago- and she's a stellar missionary! She has also learned so much Danish in her short few months down here :)

On wednesday, we had interviews with President O'Bryant, District meeting, and then both districts here in Odense met up at the Senior Couple's house and we all watched the last session of General Conference together :) Conference was fantastic, and I'm still trying to listen to it all the way through again to learn even more out of it!! I'm stoked to get a copy of all of the talks next weeeeeeeek!!!!

THURSDAY WAS MY YEAR MARK! Super crazy!! The time has been flying by so incredibly fast!!! It does not feel like I've been a missionary for an entire year already!! We spent the day doing service and visiting a lot of people, helping them feel the light and love of Christ!!

Friday was weekly planning, which is always a solemn experience when the planning is for the last week of the transfer! Sister Ripa is going all the way home next week, so it was interesting watching her focus on this very last week of her mission. She's such a strong missionary and woman, and she's definitely going far in life!!! :) We love her!!!

Saturday was fantastic!! We got a surprise phone call in the morning from a member needing help decorating a cake for the wards talent show which was happening that afternoon- so we went and decorated her cake like this:

She showed us how to do the ''brush embroidery,'' and then we took control :) it was super fun, and really exciting!! Definitely something i want to try again at some point in the future!!
We also had a great Talent show, which we all called the ''Høstfest'' :) (that means Harvest-party). Sisters Ackerman, Ripa and I performed an arrangement of ''Jeg På Kristus Tror'' (I Believe in Christ), and it went really well :) we had a piano and a guitar and everything! We're also singing in both wards this coming sunday, so we're trying to figure out what to do for that!! I'll let y'all know how it goes next week!!

Sunday (yesterday) rolled along, and we had a fantastic day at church :) I actually absolutely love being in Church for 6 hours!! It is so amazing to hear so many people's testimonies and to feel the Spirit so strongly all day long!! The Sabbath really is a Delight!!
We had our Fast and Testimony meeting in both wards yesterday, which was very wonderful. One of our investigators even felt to share her testimony, which was beautiful :) She expressed her feelings about the seemingly small things we do in the gospel, and how they really aren't that small after all. 

Når vi bliver ved med at gøre de ''små'' ting (fx bøn, tjeneste, skriftstudium, at gå i kirke, og sige opløftende ord), er vi i stand til at føle ånden endnu mere i vores personlige liv, og så vide hvordan vi kan styrke vores egen tro, og troen af dem omkring os.

I'm thankful for this opportunity to be here in Odense, and so be around so many amazing people who love to share the gospel. We had an eating appointment with a member this past week on friday, and in the middle of the dinner, her daughter and son-in-law came by with their 3 week old daughter. The darling member, named Else, was so quick and happy to share with this little family and her own non-member husband the joys of the gospel, and she even invited them to come and see/participate in the ''høstfest'' the following day, which they did :) As a result, this entire family has strengthened their faith, and feeling the love :)

Wow, it's been so amazing to think over this past week again, but I sadly don't have enough time to keep on going!! I hope you have all been able to feel my love and appreciation for each and every one of you, as well as these people in Denmark!

We find out about the upcoming transfer this wednesday in our Zone Training, and then transfers are happening on Monday :) I'm expecting to stay here in Odense, but one never knows!!! 

Have a great week!! And continue to apply the things talked about in General Conference to your personal life!! I would recommend going into lds.org (or using the Gospel Library app on your devices) and reading/listening to the speakers again and again! I'm thankful for our beloved Prophet and Apostles, and for the time and energy the spend in helping us better know how we can strengthen our personal relationships with God and His Son, Jesus Christ. As we get to know our beloved Savior even more, we will be able to learn about ourselves, and even perhaps be the means by which others can receive that same inspiration and guidance.

I love you all <3

Med kærlig hilsen, 
Søster M B Soelberg

Monday, October 5, 2015

Et Aar!

Hellige Avocadomos!! (I made guacamole = mashed avocado, just so it would look like a danish word! But avocadomos isn't a real word, so don't try quoting me on that! hahaha)

But anway- Holy Guacamole! It has been an entire year since I have been [at least set apart as] a missionary! Last October, between conference sessions on Sunday, I was set apart as a Missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints :) And just a few days later on October 8th, I reported to the MTC and experienced the craziest whirlwind of learning Danish and learning how to teach the Gospel to people who had never heard about it before! And here we are, a full year later (this week), teaching, praying, singing, and enjoying life in Danish! It has been a year of soooooooooooooooooo many new experiences and feelings, and I am thankful for every single one of them! :)

But as big of a ''landmark'' it is to hit One Year, it hasn't really hit me as something too incredibly overwhelming. All I know is that I have these last 6 months to really kick the Devil in the butt and spread as much love, good cheer, service, and light as possible :)

We are so blessed to have Prophets and Apostles in our day to lead and guide us, and a lot of the time, to really pump us up! Many of you listened to / watched the General Conference addresses delivered this past weekend. Here in Denmark, because of time zone differences, we can see the Saturday Morning and Sunday morning sessions live at 6 o'clock our time, and the Saturday evening and Sunday evening sessions at a later time (because they air live after the missionaries are in for the night). We saw the Saturday evening session yesterday morning, and will watch the Sunday evening session on wednesday :) I'm super stoked for that!!

But as I was saying - We are so blessed to have these amazing leaders in the Church, both Men and Women who inspire us and help us to become better people! God speaks directly through His chosen servants! As we read in the Scriptures, ''What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.'' What an amazing knowledge we have of the heavenly calling of our dear Prophet, Thomas S Monson, and the 12 Apostles of the Lord! I encourage all to listen to / watch the sessions of Conference again and again; and not only listen with your ears, but feel with your heart the words and impressions of the Spirit of God :) I received so many answers this past weekend, not only to questions I knew I had, but to questions I didn't even know I was asking! And I know that the same will happen for you <3

I love this opportunity I have to serve as a Missionary for the Lord, and I am frustrated by the fact that time just keeps on running away from me! There seems to not be enough time in the world to do all that I know I should do! Golly, I haven't even been able to write in my journal for the past few months (except for little sentences here and there) because there are always so many things to do, and just not enough time!! But I promise I will be better at this thing called life! I'm working on it! hahaha

Sorry this email is a bit short today, I hope you can all forgive me :) Until next time, enjoy this wonderful statue/fountain - one of the many strange things you see all the time in Denmark

This week 

¤wedid a ''Plan of Salvation'' chalk drawing contacting activity!!
Europe!!! Thanks Ældste Amos for drawing the beautiful continents on the world!

​¤ made some cookies (I made a kangaroo/neopleurodon cookie)

​it was a major success

¤And Ældste Gifford stole my camera

​thank you Elder....

I love you all!! <3 Have a fantastic week!!! :)

-Søster Soelberg