Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Aug 18 It hurts in my heart area

Dear Family and Friends,

This is the last email you will get from me (probably) as a missionary. Wow. Ouch. That hurts. I say that all the time when I'm talking to Sister Ripa and David. We'll be talking or something and all of the sudden I'll say "It hurts in my heart area!".

But really, it is so hard to say goodbye. Although it won't be goodbye forever. Still, it's really hard. Harder than I could have ever imagined.

I'm so sorry that this is going to be a really short email. But I will see you all pretty soon anyways :) (i've turned into Michael emailing!).

Serving a mission has changed my life and I'm so grateful to the Lord for blessing me with the opportunity to serve as a representative of Jesus Christ. I know that this church and the gospel, that they are true and that they will bless the lives of everyone who just follows the principles in it.

Keep on going strong. I'll see you all really soon :)

Love, Søster Briscoe

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Aug 11 Søster Brisco is going crazy

Oh my heavens to besty, time is such a funny thing, especially when one is a missionary. I think that you are just so busy that life slips by and before you know it, you're done with your mission and you're just sitting there thinking "what the? How on earth did that happen? I haven't grown up or become a mature missionary. I still miss the bus, I still get lost, sometimes people say things and I still don't understand". Plus, I have the weirdest accent as a missionary, I thought I wouldn't haven't an accent by now. It's definitely not sweet.

This past monday, Sister Ripa, Maria and I went to the Tivoli that is here in Århus. It was a lot of fun. We rode the rollercoasters and did a couple obstacle courses and then Maria talked us into doing what is called Sky Tower. It's where you pretty much dangle in the air 50 meters (about 160 feet) above the ground and then they just drop you into a giant net. so you just free fall and smack on the net. So Maria went. then sister Ripa. Then I was the last one. As the guy was strapping me in, I was just rambling to him because I was so nervous. "I'm really terrified of heights" I told him. "Well, your handling it well" He said as he hooked me onto the rope and then pushed me over the ledge. My heart was going a million miles an hour. "Tell me something funny!" I asked the guy who was about to drop me. "You are about to drop 50 meters." "THAT'S NOT FUNNY!" He just laughed at me and said he couldn't think of anything funny. I told him that I would tell him a joke so I asked "why did the chicken cross the road?" "Why?" "To get to the other side" and then I dropped. Bullseye. Right onto the net. It was a super thrilling experience.

This was my last zone training this past week. I had to bear my "final testimony" that was weird. My arms felt all numb when I stood up there and thought "what the heck is happening? I just got to denmark, I can't go home now." But I didn't not cry. I know I will definitely cry when I say goodbye to my friends here: Nynne, Isabella, Solveig, the Romanians, Ashley, Maria and David. They all have changed my life. Definitely for the best. Thank goodness for skype.

Also, I ordered two more missionary tags because I only had one left and I wanted a few others. But at zone training, I ended up getting 4 tags with "Søster Brisco" spelled on it. Oh well, pyt med det. puddle with it. such is life. I'll just be Brisco from now on.

Well, I love you all! Jeg elsker jer!

Love, Diana (or for those of you who have permission to call me it, Nana :) Emmy, you're the best

Aug 4 - What a wonderful week

Oh man, I love Aarhus. Can I say that again? I LOVE AARHUS! this city is my home. This is my city. But seriously, Aarhus is known as the "smilende by" or "the smiling city". And every time I look out over the giant cement buildings mixed with the cute, classic danish architecture, I just smile. When I first came to aarhus, I thought it was a little ugly, but know I think it's the most beautiful place in the world. A place is only as good as the people you see it with. I've seen Arhus with some of the most amazing people in this world. Dang, it'll be hard to leave. When you fall in love, it's hard to leave the thing you love. Stupid Aarhus, had to go make me fall in love. Anyways, that was my rant about leaving. Also, I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but there is a grafitti artist whose tag is "Diana" or "Diana 42" and you can find my name all over the city, especially on the street where we live. So Aarhus really is my city. I've got my name all over it.

We had a little miracle with reaching our goals this past Tuesday night. We had been to CUV and then we got a ride home from some members. We got out of the car and I looked at my watch. We had about 7 minutes before 9pm. I pointed that out to Søster Ripa and said "that's perfect, we have time to go contact!". So we just walked up our street stopping a few people that said "Ellers tak" or "Nej tak". I pulled out my planner and looked at our goals. In order to reach our goals for that day, we needed one more lesson and one new investigator. I looked up and saw a young man walking up the street towards us. Now we had about 3 minutes left before 9 but I told Søster Ripa, "We have to reach our goal of one other lesson, let's teach this man!" And we stopped him. He was very nice and very open. He is catholic and interested in the fact that we believe in living prophets. We were able to teach him briefly about Joseph Smith and he even said the prayer at the end of our short lesson. He asked God to bless us on our way and to find those who would listen. And then we were able to set up a return appointment with him! So we reached all of our goals that day! It was just another confirmation that as we do all we can to reach our goals, including using the last, precious minutes of the day to work, the Lord will bless us with His children who are ready to hear about this wonderful restored Gospel.

We have started teaching David about family history work because he knows so much about the church now. And at first, he thought he wouldn't like it, but then after we found his grandpa in the danish church books, he got really excited and then went home and spent his night looking up his grandpa's family history work and then his grandma's. Then when he was visiting his grandparents over the weekend, he showed them what he had been doing with slægthistorie and they loved it and showed him pictures of their parents and grandparents and great grandparents. I think he is feeling the spirit of Elijah and that feeling that could open his heart more to believing in God. Family history work is a tool I haven't been very good about using but seeing how much David likes it, it helps me realize that no matter your age or your religious background, family history work can been exciting and brings the spirit for all those who do it. I cannot wait to come home and do more of our family history work. It is so fun. I get really into it when we are helping David and he just looks at me like I'm a weirdo and asks ”why on earth are you excited? This isn't your family.” and I say ”I just everyone's family! It's so exciting!” It's true though, families are the best!

We also got two really positive referrals this week from members. A member in Randers called us and we went and taught her friend Rikke on Tuesday. The appointment went so well. She is very searching and very open. She has the sweetest six year old daughter, named Emelie :) (so naturally, me and Emelie were best friends from the start. We played dress up and she showed me all of her toys. It was great) We felt prompted to teach her about the light of Christ and how we can know truth, before we started teaching about Joseph Smith. When we told Rikke that that was what we wanted to talk about she just stared at us and said "That is exactly what Elisebeth (her member friend) and I were just talking about this morning." The appointment went very well. Later this week, we invited them to church and She and her boyfriend and her daughter came! All three of them loved it! Especially her sweet daughter, who did not want to go home. She loved primary so much. The ward reached out and so many people talked to them and they are planning on coming back next Sunday.

And here are some pictures of us and Ashley. Ashley and Sister Ripa are teaching me how to be a good frowner. I struggle with it. Sister Ripa gave me a good piece of advice for it though, she said "Sister Briscoe, you cannot smile and frown at the same time"

July 28 If you can't take the heat... just remember the winter

Kære Vidunerlig Familie og Venner,

Hold nu op! it has been such a hot summer. I sweat a down every day. just letting you know, in case you were wondering. I must smell great...sorry mom, it was not a requirement to look good or smell good in order to come on a mission! Really though, the heat and the humidity is crazy and literally no one in Denmark has AC. no one. So we just open all the windows all day and lovely little bugs come crawling in at night and make themselves at home. Nah, it's not bad. I shouldn't complain, especially because I remember the cold, dark, long winter. I'll take the heat over the witner any day.

This week has been really good. Again, lots of time meeting with some of the best people in the world. Ashley, my hilarious, english brother. That's how I think of him now. My whitty, brother who helps me out whenever I need it. He changed the bike tube on the back wheel of my bike and that was awesome.

Then time with David. We are helping him with his family history and that's lots of fun. There is this awesome member in the ward that helps us a lot when we are teaching David. Her name is Gitte and she's great. She has just the best spirit in her home. Oh and a family from Peru came and visited church on sunday. They are members and they were here visiting. and so I made David speak spanish with them. i love spanish. I can still understand a bit of it and speak very little but enough to communicate.

Also we saw our friend Marius, from Romania. He works a ton but he really wanted to meet last night, so we met up and talked and read some scriptures. He's such a giving person. Just wants to make a difference in this world but he works like 3 jobs and doesn't have time for much of anything else.

Also, we went to Copenhangen this week for the New missionary and the trainers meeting. That was great. And we were able to go through the temple. I love the temple so much. What a wonderful place. Truly, it is the House of the Lord and you can just feel His Spirit so strongly when you are there. I was sitting in the Celestial room and I did not want to leave. I could have sat there in silence forever, just feeling like I was close to my Savior and Heavenly Father. I hope you all remember to look towards the temple in everything you do because that is the goal, that is the vision of the Gospel and of life: to live in the presence of God forever and the temple gives us a little taste of what that will be like.

I am so grateful for this last month I have to be a full time missionary and I love you all so much for your support and encouragement.

MKH Søster Briscoe

July 21 - Sorry it is going to be so short!

Dear Family,

I am so sorry but this is going to be a really quick email. Sorry! I have gotten very busy on the computer trying to write to lots of different people in Denmark. Plus talking to the mission office and President, etc. etc.

Anyways, the elders have started keeping a countdown for when I go home. Jeps. They are all pretty excited about that. it's weird to be a "dying" missionary. Doesn't feel like I should be leaving. I feel like I have so much to learn and so much to do.

Here are some pictures of me, Maria, and Sister Ripa after a huge rainstorm.

And here is me and the coolest trashcan in Aarhus. It talks when you open it's lid! I stood there for a long time just opening and closing it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

"We have been shanghaied!" "what does that even mean?" "I don't know it just means we've been tricked!"

Dear Family og venner, 

I speak really bad danglish now. Seriously, the other day I was reading something in english and I switched the word hjælpe for help. Søster Ripa just grinnede. I also was speaking english and switched the word "ham" in for the word "him" so I said "Well, we will just talk to ham later". So when I come home and say weird things, just be patient. 

So this week was a really good week. We were able to see our friend Joakim, who is the Swedish ballroom dancer a couple times this week and that was neat. We went over to bring him lunch (cause he's been terrible about eating, so we decided to make him some lunch and bring it to him) and then he invited us to go on a walk this past saturday with him through this really cool forest. I love danish forests. So beautiful. So green. We had a really good chat about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Joakim impresses me because he just understands the gospel so well and is so open to trying things that scare him, like coming to church or praying beccuase he says he knows it will help him become a better person. 

We met with our friend Ashley, he reminds me a lot of Dad and Matt. He could definitely fit in at a Briscoe Family reunion, I'll tell you that, despite the fact that he is from England and doesn't look like any Briscoes that I know of. But he is studying engineering and loves puns. So many puns. All the time. He's great. 

We also went out to a place called Odder to visit Vibeke. Vibeke was baptized April 2013 and she is just so sweet. She always spoils us missionaries by making us food or buying us cake or ice cream. She is just incredibley sweet and kind. She lives out in a tiny little....hold op...i can't remember what is called in english....well in danish, it's a landsby...tiny little city, town, but smaller than that. Oh well, you know what I mean. It's called højby and she's right by the ocean. It's a gorgeous place. 

We also started teaching this young man from Nigeria named Jerry. He is so neat. Super open and super interested in learning about the gospel. Very intelligent too. He's studying here in Denmark and we just started talking to him on the street and then we met with him this pastthursday and had a really good conversation with him about church and the Prophet Joseph Smith. 

Then on Sunday, we were doing a musical number in church with a guitar (don't worry we checked with the bishop and he was okay with it) and I was really nervous and sounded awful on my little solo part but oh well. Sådan er livet bare. 

Well, that's about all that happened this week that I have time to describe. Sorry for the short letter. One day, I'll show you all picutres and tell exciting stories in hopefully understandable english. 

Love you all! have a great week! Go enjoy summer and be friends with lots of people :)
Us and our friend Joakim
 Sister Ripa and I in the middle of no where
 Sister Ripa and I and our friend

Lots of love

Dearest Family,

I don't know why I titled my email "lots of love" because the love I felt this week wasn't much stronger than the love I feel pretty much every week as a missionary. It's funny because coming on a mission, you just love people, everyone. Including your neighbor who spills smelly fish all over the stairs and you slip on the fish slim and smell like gross fish in your appointment. But still, you love them and you bring them cookies. If you want to be better at loving people no matter what, become a missionary or just become a disciple of Christ or a good person, whatever you'd like.

Oh I forgot to tell you about a neat experience that happened this past sunday (not yesterday but the sunday  before). So President and Sister Sederholm were visiting and speaking in Sacrament Meeting and President was speaking and I was sitting with David and Sister Ripa and some of our other friends who were visiting. And I was busy writing notes down from what President was saying so I wasn't looking at him when all of the sudden I hear him say "Now Sister Briscoe didn't know I was going to do this but Sister Briscoe, can you come up here please". and my head just jerked up and he repeated "Come on up" So I am came on up and I was super nervous, like my heart was beating super fast and my palms were sweating. and he says "Sister Briscoe is going to relate to you all how the church got started and the story of Joseph Smith" and then he sits down and I just start teaching the first lesson in front of everyone. It was actually really neat though because as soon as I started teaching and testifying about Joseph Smith's story my nerves were immediately gone. Afterwards David asked me if me and President had planned that because he thought it looked like I had something already prepared and I told him "no, it was the Holy Ghost who helped me". Hopefully that made an impact on him.

Anyways, this past week has been great. Sister Ripa and I have just been enjoying life. We helped our friend MaiBritt move into her new apartment and then she had her baby on Friday! That was exciting. Also, when we were helping MaiBritt move, we met her neighbor who was this really really nice older gentleman and we started talking to him and he opened up a little about his life and some of the hard things he's seen so we gave him a Book of Mormon and he started crying out of gratitude.

Also, there is this friend of ours named Ana, that the elders are teaching and she got baptized this saturday! That was a really really wonderful experinece. the feeling of peace and happiness and love on that day was very strong. It was great to see Ana make that very special covenant and promise between her and God. She's a great example to me.

And I embarrassed one friend we met with. His name is Pavel and he's from Estonia. He's a really nice guy but he got way embarrassed when we met with him in the park and then I saw the Elders across the park so I yelled "Elders! Elders!" and just waved at them. Apparently you are not supposed to flag people down in public and Pavel had to walk away and pretend like he didn't know me. We caught up to him though and were able to teach him about the plan of salvation.

We were also able to meet with our Swedish friend Joakim. He's awesome and he learns so fast. He also told us more about his awesome life as a professional ballroom dancer. It sounds pretty intense to have a dancing career. "I wanna dance with you Fran!" (anyone get that movie reference?)

Well, life is good. It's the best. The weather is great. Sometimes it rains a ton and sister ripa and I look like we've been out swimming but other than that, can't complain.

I love you all! have a great week! Go do some selfless service :)

Love, Diana