Tuesday, April 15, 2014

what I learned this week

Dear Family and Friends :)

So what I learned this week from Preach My Gospel is the importance of the Book of Mormon and how the Book of Mormon can answer questions of the soul. Whether we have a spiritual question or a temporal question, the Book of Mormon combined with prayer can answer our questions. It was written for our day and for us and so we can find useful things that relate to us and help us in our every day. What did you learn in Preach my Gospel this week??

So Tuesday night was a great night. We had gone through the whole day with not much happening. We had contacted a few people and gotten some telephone numbers but our appointments fell through and we were not really excited about going out to work in the cold rain. But as we were heading out, Sister Hale said "let's go save a soul". Our plan was to stop by this less active young man. We had stopped by three weeks ago and he had given us his number but the number didn't work so we decided to stop by again and see if we could talk to him.It was windy and rainy as we biked to his apartment but we tried to have an upbeat and positive attitude. We buzzed up to his apartment and he answered! We asked if we could come in just to say hi and he paused for a little bit then said "ja, det må i gerne." So he let us in and we just chatted at the doorway for a little bit. It was really good getting to know him and establishing a relationship that way but after the small talk I said "hey, we are sharing a message with all the members from the Book of Mormon and we want to share it with you" so we read Ether 12:4 with him, which talks about the hope the gospel gives to people. We asked him how the church had helped him in his life, and he said it had given him a firm foundation but that some of the doctirnes and principles he didn't believe in anymore. We were prompted by the spirit to ask good questions about what his really concerns are and also about times in his life when he has felt the spirit and the blessings that come from the Gift of the Holy Ghost. We committed him to meet with us and give the gospel and the church a second chance and he agreed!

Oh, a member of the ward saw our friend David reading the Book of Mormon on the bus and sat by him and talked to him about it. He told us about it saturday when he came to basketball. Also, later Saturday, David, Sister Hale and I all went to visit a member in the hospital to give them some art David had drawn. He is really really talented. Meget dygtig til at tejne. Sister Hale and I steal sketches from him. Okay, not really steal but ask if we can have them.

This past Friday, we went to a member's house for dinner. She was baptized a year ago and she has two kids our age who are not members. The Garriots (the senior couple who has been working with this family) had told us that the kids usually didn't stay for the spiritual thought after dinner and that we should be sure not to press them too much. We were able to connect really well with both of them at dinner and establish a friendship and not only that we were able to have a very powerful spiritual thought where we bore testimony of Jesus Christ and His Atonement. The kids both contributed their thoughts about it and it went really well. We committed them to pray to receive confirmation that God is there and aware of them. It was a really fun night too.

Those were the main miracles of the week. Things are going great in Aarhus. We are finding lots of people to teach because most of the amazing people we meet with tell their friends and then their friends are interested in meeting with us.I think is great for them to see that there are other young adults meeting with the missionaries. I think it makes them not feel so alone in their search for truth.

Oh but a few funny moments from this past week:

1. On a search for a friend of ours who is homeless and an alcoholic, Sister Hale and I stopped by Salvation Army, where all the very very drunk homeless people are and where our chances of finding him are really high. While we were in their looking for him, this drunk man came up to me and showed him two drumsticks and told me about how he was a ninja. He stuck the drumticks in his shirt on his back. I told him that was really neat. He showed me some pictures he drew and wanted to give to me but I misunderstood him and after I was done looking at his art, tried to give it back to him. He got so angry and started yelling at him and swearing and I thought he was going to attack me. Luckily some other people calmed him down. But yes, I was nearly killed by a drunk ninja this week. A few days later though we were able to find our friend (the person we've been looking for this whole week every time we are near Salvation Army) outside with a bunch of other drunk people. We just walked straight up to him and told him to leave his wine and come with us so we could teach him the Gospel. He's really positive, even when drunk, we just need to get him a better group of friends, drunk hobos tend not to be the best support group for people who are trying to live the gospel.

2. We were knocking doors in this area while waiting for a bus and this old man opened the door and he was completely naked. So that was an interesting door converstation. He was not interested in a return visit for us to teach him about the gospel.

3. We were meeting up with our friend Elliot and he thought it would be fun to mess with the gullible sisters and tell us that we were going to go "bus hoping" so we could meet up at a place. He called us as we were waiting for the bus and said "okay, do you see bus 200, are you ready?" and then hung up and so sister hale and I ran for bus 200 and nearly hoped on when he came up from behind us and said "hey! don't get on!" he had just been watching nearby, laughing at us. Pranksters. Even as a missionary, my life is full of people pulling pranks on me.

Well, I love you all and pray for you too!

Med Kærlig Hilsen, Søster Briscoe

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

He will lead you to them or them to you

Dearest Family :) This week has been really great. I feel so wonderfully movitated from General Conference and I hope that you all feel the same. If you haven't watched all the talks, you should find the time to do so because they are truly wonderful. Especially the words of the Prophet in the Sunday Morning Session. You can find all of Conference on this link https://www.lds.org/general-conference/sessions/2014/04?cid=HPSU040614654&lang=eng. Watch it :) It's amazing.

Another thing I want to do is to start sharing what I learned from Preach My Gospel every week and I would LOVE it if you did the same with me. That would seriously be the best. So one thing I learned from PMG this week comes from chapter 9, where it talks about how the Lord will lead you to people who are ready for the Gospel or He will lead those people to you. I love that and I feel like I've seen that so many times on my mission. This week was no exception and I want to share two stories from this past week that show how true this really is:

The first miracle of this week was meeting our new friend Ashley. He's from England and he has a very serious drinking problem. We met him while we were talking with our other friend Ben at the library. Ben was trying to find something in the Bible and closes the book and Sister Hale asks him ”Did you find what you were looking for?” ”No, I did not find what I was looking for” But that response did not come from Ben. It was this drunk man who just sits down on the couch right next to Ben and joins our conversation. Actually before we could really talk to this man, he and Ben got into an arguement over how to spell the word ”Fathom”. Seriously, they argued with each other for about 5 minutes. At first Sister Hale and I were really annoyed with this man but then he mentions that he knows the Church and we ask him how and he begins to tell us about how he used to live with a mormon family when he was 16 and how they were like his second family. He also had lived in South Jordan, Utah for a year or two. So now our attitudes are completely changed towards this man and we begin to teach him as well. He opened up a lot about how he was about to be baptized but he didn't want to "go out all day knocking on doors" and he never could figure out baptisms for the dead and accept it. He told us his life was a mess currently and he wanted to change and he wanted to stop drinking. We told him that the gospel of Jesus Christ can help him improve the quality of his life and he can be completely healed and cleansed through the atonement of Jesus Christ. We were able to set up another appointment with him for the next day and again we were able to teach and testify of the healing power of the Atonement. It was so sad to see Ashley so broken but now he is humble enough to be taught by missionaries again. So that was a great example to me of people being led to the missionaries

I also saw another miracle where we, the missionaries, were led to someone who needed us. There is a recent convert in our ward and He has been really struggling recently and checked himself into the psychiatric hospital. Sister Hale and I thought about him a lot and prayed for him frequently. However, he never answered his phone so we had no way to get in contact with him. But on Thursday night we got a call from an active member telling us she had been talking to a woman named *Britte on facebook. Britte told this member that she was in the Psychiatric hospital and that she would really love a Book of Mormon to read while she was there. This member told Britte she would send me and Sister Hale with it. We scheduled it in for Saturday morning so the member could come with us. But Saturday morning, the member cancelled. That was okay and we headed out on the bus on our own. When we had nearly reached the hospital however, Britte texted us and said that she hadn't slept all night so she wasn't feeling up to visitors but we could drop of the Book of Mormon with the personale. We were kind of dissappointed that Britte had cancelled the visit because we were so excited to meet with her and get to know her. As we were walking to the section of the hospital where she was at, we thought "Maybe Tom (the recent convert) is here." So we tried calling him. No answer. We gave up on trying to find him and just dropped of the book of Mormon. But as we were walking down the stairs after dropping of the book, we heard Tom's voice! We ran down the stairs and to the room just in time to see the doors closing. We cautiously knocked and some people opened and we saw Tom getting ready to go for a walk. He was so excited to see us and we were able to walk aroud with him and go walk to the beach near the hospital with him. I think it was amazing to see how perfectly Heavenly Father's plan for each and everyone of His children is. He knows exactly where to place us at the right times so we can be there for another person. If we just go about trying to do good, Heavenly Father will bless us with the opportunity to serve someone, even if that person isn't the orginal reason we were serving. *Names changed

Life is wonderful and I am so grateful to be here in Denmark, serving the Danish people. And also to be serving with Søster Hale. She is great. Super enthusiastic and just has a great love for life.

Livet er godt :)

Remember the messages at Conference

I love you all!

Love, Diana

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

La Revedere - Mar 10 letter

The hardest thing about being a missionary? Saying goodbye. Last Tuesday, I got a call. Yup, a transfer call. Elder Whitlock told me that I was heading off to Aarhus (which is actually only a 30 minute train ride from Horsens) but I was still very shocked because I have only been with Søster Orgill one transfer! Sometimes as a missionary, you want tranfers to come around because you've been in an area so long and you want to see something new but despite being in Horsens for over 5 months, I just wanted to stay. Lots of amazing things were happening and I felt like we had some really good friends there. What are the things I learned from them? 

1. Think critically
2. Always have a winning mindset
3. When you need something, call your friends 
4. Eat your vegetables

For whoever reads this, I hope you always cherish these words of wisdom ;) Because I always will

So after I got the transfer call, the week just seem to fill up with a million things to do and people to see. We stopped by my good friend Lis, who has helped me out so much with my family history work (the Danish side). She is great and I've learned a lot about Denmark culture and history. 

Also, this week Søster Origll and I braved the local university campus. It's called VIA. We were seriously terrified to go there because it's been over a year since either of us have been to a university. We went to see if we could do service there but they have no service programs. So we asked if we could do a presentation or have a display table around campus. The front desk referred us to the Univeristy Priest. She was busy but we got her number and hopefully we'll get something set up. Then all the students in Horsens will know who the Sister missionaries are :) Although we talk about 20 students every day. Most of them already know us. We're pretty cool :) 

Then later this week, we saw a woman named Elly. She is my friend in the wheelchair. Although I haven't seen her for a very long time because she was in the hospital for a while and was just having a really tough time. But I was able to visit her to say goodbye and get her information so we can stay in touch. 

We visited Solveig this week. Sovleig was the first person I met in Horsens. She isn't a member of the church but she is very beleiving and has a very strong faith in her Savior. She's been through many trails but finds peace and comfort in Christ. She is one of my heros. It was hard saying goodbye to her.

We were able to see our good friend Anhkaa from Mongolia because she came to church (which actually was Stake Conference in Aarhus). She also had us over for lunch and we ate some more authentic Mongolian food. I think it's so amazing how multi-cultural Denmark is. I've met so many people from around the world. And I've learned little phrases in other languages, like how to say stuff in Romanian! Even though I'm not very good at it. Now I know how to sing a little bit of a song in Romanian as well :) 

 I said goodbye to my sweet friend Lisbeth. She is 46 but thinks like a child. She and I grew really close in my time in Horsens. 

Then the last people I said goodbye to was the "Romanian group". Michael (Mihai), Justin (Iustin), Cosmin and Robert. We were able to have one last dinner with Michael, Justin and Cosmin. I made my famous Chinese chicken :) and Søster Orgill sang them a song that she had made up. I actually saw Roby this morning and he helped carry my suitcase to the train station. I think it has been a huge blessing in my life to be able to have made friends like them while serving in Horsens. 

Well, remember the importance of being a friend this week. Reach out to someone who needs it. Look for someone who may be struggling and show them unconditional love and remember, despite differences in culture, beliefs, language, we are all a lot more similar than what we think. 

Love you all and hope everyone has a great week! 

Søster Diana Briscoe 

Picture Explanations:

Søster Orgill and I at VIA

Lis and I
Group of friends at the church for institute

"I double dog dare you" Mar 24 letter

So the theme of my companionship with Søster Hale is definitely daring each other to do things. Like not inappropriate things or things that are against the rules but things that make a missionary stretch and really push beyond their comfort zone. So that has been a lot of fun. For example, one night we had about 20 minutes before our curfew and so we were just out on the street contacting. We saw this big group of guys on their way to a frat party coming up towards us. Sister Hale says "oh no, I just prayed to God for Him to send us more people to teach and He answered by sending all of them. I dare you to contact them." And so as they were coming up to us, I stopped and just yelled "Hey! Hej med alle jer! Hey all of you! We are out talking to people about the Gospel of Jesus Christ." And some of them laughed and walked away but about half stopped and listened. So now Søster Hale dares me to go contact groups of people all the time. Also, Søster Hale one time dared me to use the word "sloths" when talking to someone on the street. So I did. Don't worry, I worked it into the conversation so the person didn't think I was too crazy. 

I've made a lot of new friends in Aarhus. Like the other day, when the Sister Training Leaders were up on visit, we met this young man named Ben. We were at a bus stop and I saw this young man and I thought "hmmm, I should talk to him" but the bus was coming and I was a little hesitant to talk to him because I didn't know what to say, so I shrugged off that prompting. But thankfully, Heavenly Father gave me a second chance and I sat down on the bus and the young man stood right next to me. I knew I needed to talk to him and so I asked him where a certain stop was (which was good too because I'm still struggling with trying to find my way around). He answered and then asked where I was from. I told him the U.S. and he asked why I was here. I explained who I am and why I am in Denmark and he got excited to meet a mormon face to face because he's done a lot of research into religion but hasn't found something that can really convince and help him believe in God. So my stop came up quickly and I had just enough time to get his number and later that night we texted him and set up an appointment for the next day. He came with lots and lots of questions and doubts but we were able to bear testimony and invite him to learn more. He's interested in hearing what we have to teach so that was a great miracle. Also, he is a magician and he is way good at card tricks and he mesmerized Søster Hale and I for about 20 minutes with his awesome tricks. We made him do the same trick about 5 times in a row because each time we couldn't get over how magical it is. 

We also met this young man who is half danish and half spanish. We met him at the bus stop (bus stops are just the place to meet people in Aarhus I guess). We talked for a little bit and then set up an appointment and it went pretty well. We also invited him to basketball and he came and loved it. After basketball, Sister Hale and I had a service project and I just felt like we should ask him to come with so I did and he said that he'd love to come help us work in someone's garden. So he came and spent 4 hours mowing and pulling weeds and planting trees. 

This week, we also spent a lot of time with a member in the ward named Maria. Maria is so wonderful. She takes care of all the missionary, all the time. For Christmas, she put together a goody bag for EVERY missionary in the mission. She sacrifices so much for us and then she is also an amazing member missionary. She shares the gospel with everyone she meets and it's inspiring to me. 

Well I love you all and hope you have  a great week! 

Love Diana

Break in!

So...here's the thing. we went shopping yesterday and then when we got home our apartment had been broken into and so that's why I couldn't email yesterday because we spent our whole day trying to figure out what was going on......APRIL FOOLS! Did I get you? Haha :)

Well, really we didn't have time to email because life is just too dang busy in Aarhus so we had to switch our Pday and email today instead of yesterday. 

This week has been very busy and kind of crazy. It's ranged from taking care of this old Jewish woman who has broken her arm, to eating a kebab and teaching a group of 20 British students in the kebab shop, to suddenly getting my hair cut short at a lunch appointment (something I had not planned on doing), to getting hugged and kissed by a drunk lady, to having a member stick me with a needle, to giving a talk in church and yes, just so many things. 

Life is busy and as a missionary, the busier you are, the better off you are. It's always nicer to have too many things to do than to feel like you can't do anything. 

I'll tell a few stories of my week. So we met this old Jewish lady a few weeks ago (named Dasha). She invited us over a couple times and then invited us over for dinner. We called the day before to confirm our appointment with her last Friday and she said "I can't make you dinner, I'm sorry, I've broken my hand". She sounded really confused and distressed so we said "hey, that's fine, we can come help you out with your house since your hand is broken." She liked that idea, so we came over and knocked on her door and she yelled at us to come in. so we walk in and it's really dark inside her house (also she is a hoarder).  We see her and this is the order in which I noticed things: 1. she has no pants on 2. her arm is in a big sling and her hand is three times normal size 3. not only is her arm in a sling, her one side of her body is just really black. It looked like she had been hit by a car, although she said she just fell in the basement. So that was shocking. We helped get her into bed and cleaned up a little in her house. It was sad though because we couldn't do a ton to help her because we are not nurses and we don't know how to change her into night clothes or give her a bath or do half of the things she asked us to do. We were able to call the home nurse that visits her and she will come more often now to take care of her. 

Also on Friday we went to eat lunch at a member's house. I had heard from other missionaries that you had to be very careful at her house because if you did anything wrong, she'd grab a sewing needle and stick you with it. Sister Hale told me that if you ever spoke any English you would get stuck. So I thought "hmmm, I wonder if that's true" and I tested it out and yeps, it's true. I got poked with a needle because I said "thanks" instead of "tak" but this member is really sweet. Quirky but sweet. Also right as we were sharing the spiritual thought, her neighbor who cuts her hair just walks into the house with all her hair supplies. She had accidentally come an hour early. But that was fine with us. We started chatting with her and I showed her how beat up my hair was and she just said "sit down, I'll cut it" and so within 5 minutes, I got a new hair cut.she took about 4 or 5 inches off. But hey, I got a free hair cut in Denmark which is a rare thing. 

Things are really picking up here and Sister Hale and I are having a blast. Sister Hale is so sweet and really fun. The ward is great and I am getting lots of eating appointments (so if I come home a little rounder then it's definitely because of Aarhus). And I'm meeting some of the best people in world here, like Maria. I love Maria. She is amazing. An angel to missionaries. 

I love you all and am praying for you too! 

Love Diana

Monday, March 3, 2014

Yes, most of these are from our dinner/cleaning the church with the Romanians, but hey, they really like pictures and we have a lot of fun together. Who would have guessed that 4 mormon missionaries and a group of 4 romanians would become such good friends in Horsens Denmark of all places? But I love it :) Søster Ogrill and I decided that we are going to be BFFs with these guys.

here are a few more pictures of us and Ankha's birthday breakfast :)

The birthday cake Søster Orgill made from scratch

Michael instructing us on the white handbook. He'd be a great district leader

Us and the Romanians, trying to be cool

The whole gang again (I did not know we were taking another picture so I was fixing my cardigan)

A nice normal picture of all of us.