Thursday, April 30, 2015

Swedish Roots

My Great grandfather, Pehr Pehrsson was born in Southern Sweden we visited all the places he and his ill mother, Pernilla,  lived before she died. After her death, he married Christina Jeppason who had a two year old daughter, Augusta.  The family were converted and joined the church around 1854-55.  Nine years later Christina died after giving birth to 6  more children, three of whom died as infants.  In 1862, Pehr and his remaining children, including Augusta, immigrated to America and came across the plains.
Pehr's father, Pehr Jonsson, who never married his mother, was stationed here at Herrevadskloster, a military installation and religious cloister in the Riseberga Parish.
Pehr was born in Bosarp which has his beautiful little church, which, however, was built after Pehr left for America
 But there was a very nice man working there who unlocked it and let us look in,
Pehr lived his early years with his mother in Rostanga
Which borders a beautiful National Park.
It was a magnificent drive through the new greenery.
 Until Pehr's mother died, they lived together in Munkarp. Four years later, he  married Christina and they lived here for several years.  This is a very small town similar to the small town our other Danish ancestors came from in Jutland.  I have often wondered where and how they met the missionaries and what made them join the church, Then one time I heard a general authority say "'They just knew it was true." And that is the best reason of all.  They just knew, and I will be forever grateful they did.

We ended the day in Malmo, finally enjoying a little sun.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

B and E, M and K Have Arrived.

Brian and Elizabeth, Molly and Kate arrived this afternoon about 5 pm.  They did the direct flight from Salt Lake to Paris and then booked a separate flight from Paris to Copenhagen.  They had to pick up their luggage in Paris and recheck, but it saved them $1,000 booking the flights separately.  The figured it was worth it.
 We met Kate for the first time and she is adorable.  She slept all the way across the Atlantic.

The amazing part is that we all fit our car with their luggage to get home.  They were great packers.
Molly loved the flag and Denmark is one of her best words.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Scouting and Scalping

Our son, Brian, and his wife, Elizabeth, and their two little girls are coming tomorrow.  They want to go biking one day, so today I went out scouting for bikes and the best places to go. Biking is such a good way to see the city, you can go everywhere and never worry about a parking place.

Okay, the scalping is a bit of an exaggeration.  I really just finally took the big step and had my hair cut by LuLu again.  The last time she cut it was the first of December and it has taken this long for it to grow out.  I have kept  cutting a little here and there to make it look presentable and it was fine except for the back.  My Danish is a bit better so I could communicate better what I wanted. I will see how I like it...

Monday, April 27, 2015

Guest Home

Today they started the remodeling of the guest house accommodations for temple patrons.  Originally it was built with 4 big rooms each having 4 bunk beds and one bathroom.  Plenty of room, but lots of snoring.  We are taking these rooms and will end up with 6 rooms.  Two rooms will have two beds and four rooms will have 4 beds.  It will be much nicer for couples and families.  They have been talking about it for years and it is finally happening.

 They are getting new beds and bedding so we went over to rescue some for the missionary couples and the mission came to get some of the beds for missionary apartments.
 Which means I had a lot of laundry to do today...

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Odense Visit

We were invited to speak in the Odense First Ward this morning so left home just before 8 a,m,  I spoke in Danish and Jim did a wonderful job of filling up the last 30 minutes in amazing, fluent Danish.  We were both blessed and hopefully some were inspired about planning to attend the temple more regularly and participate in the blessings available there.
 They have a very nice building in Odense which houses two wards and the YSA Center.

Afterward we were invited to dinner by the Balazs'  Jim has previously visited Sis.Balazs about her health.  She has a problem he used to deal with.  They have been so kind to us ever since.  Elsa broke her leg several weeks ago and is in an extended care facility while healing..  We stopped to visit her and she presented us with this wonderful little statue of Hans Christian Andersen. 
Kurt is her oldest son. 
Chalotte is Else's only daughter and these are her two darling daughters: Charline and Celiche.  Afterward we had a lovely dinner with them and Kurt. Charlotte works for Lego and was able to answer all sorts of fun questions about the company.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Shut Down

Our temple will be closed for the next two weeks for shut down.  We have lots of projects scheduled and are excited to get them done.  They will be repairing the reflecting pool, redoing the guesthouse and fixing the mural in the baptismal font.  All big projects.  It is a good thing we have a good engineer to follow it through.
  To mark the occasion, we all went out to the Sorte  Gryder, including the Aases who have been here for two weeks.  We are encouraging them to come back from Sweden and stay again soon.

We are using three of the four tables in this "hole in the wall." The food is great and reasonable.

   A busy day at the temple as I think many realized the temple will be closed.   Among our visitors was a sister from Sweden receiving her own endowments, three newly returned sister missionaries, a 12 year old coming for the first time and four new members coming to be baptized with their missionaries..  Of these new converts two had been muslim and one hindu.This cute Bush Family from the L.A. area in California.  The first thing they did when they arrived was come to the temple to do baptisms.  They have come back the last three days to participate in temple ordinances along with their site-seeing.  Which is a requirement if you are staying in the temple housing.  They are on their way to visit all of the places their ancestors, that joined the church, came from.  Denmark is not one of those, but she and her husband had such a good time here last year, she brought the kids back.  The two oldest have been on missions and the youngest is just 18. A darling family.

Friday, April 24, 2015

On The Other Side

Today another coordinator, Elizabeth Aase shared a sweet story of her father.  She said her parents were so upset when she joined the church and her father was very angry and would have nothing to do with it.  Her plan was to read The Book Of Mormon to him when he got old and was sick in bed. However, he died in his sleep.  She did his temple work after a year and told of a wonderful dream she had of him.  She opened the door of an elevator and saw a beautiful countryside and her father smiling and happy.  He enveloped her in a big hug and she felt he had accepted the work.  She said he was dressed in such a nice blue blazer with gold buttons.
   Later she and her husband sealed her parents.  Elizabeth didn't feel anything, but her husband saw her dad and described the same outfit he was wearing including the gold buttons.
    Pres. Monson's has  said when the temple work is done for those on the other side, the shackles fall from their eyes and they are more able to recognize the truth.  Certainly true in this case and in Mette's story on yesterday's blog.
We had a good day at the temple.  Since we shut down tomorrow for two weeks for cleaning and repairs, a lot of people came.  We are also starting to see  tourists. There were three sets of Americans today.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Mette's Father

This week the Coordinators are training in the preparation meetings.  Mette Paulsen is our coordinator on Thursday.  Today she talked about the names we do work for are real people.  As an example she told us about her father.  Mette never knew her father.  Her mother didn't want there to be a relationship and the husband's second family was against it.
  About the time Metter turned 50 she got a desire to know more about her father.  She called the state archives to see if they could help locate him, only to find out he had died almost the exact time she started thinking about him.
   A couple weeks later she met a family from Greenland at church, They weren't members but had brought the family their child lived with as an exchange student in Manti to church since they were visiting Denmark. In their conversation Mette found out this was a first cousin who didn't even know Mette existed. She told Mette all about her father. They exchanged nunbers and Mette now has thousands of names from her father's side because of a book the cousin told her about. It has been a sweet testimony to Mette of her father's love from the other side.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Chris and Becky Jackson and their son Todd and his wife Joy were in Copenhagen for the day.  We met them and took them around a little of downtown and got them into Tivoli before we had to come back to the temple.  They did some more site-seeing and joined us in the temple for a session tonight.

Chris Jackson is Kayla and Don Hansens'stake president and set them apart. They are one of our missionary couples. It was fun to connect again for all of us.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Senior Couples

The Knudsens hosted only senior missionary couples for dinner tonight.  There are certainly a group of us right now.  Besides the temple missionaries there were four from the office,one of the two Records Preservation couples a couple that have just returned from the states.  She went home several months ago because of a lump in her breast but is back cancer free. There was also a darling young couple that came with Hoges.  She is being taught by the missionaries.
The Baileys, the other Records Preservation couple will be going home next week.  They have done a wonderful job and the Copenhagen Commune had a very nice reception for them today at the main city building (Rådhus) downtown.  They had a great presentation and they figured they had lifted and turned the pages of books weighing the equivalent of 7 elephants. They had recorded over 31,000 gigabits and 600,000 pages.  They have been wonderful ambassadors for the church and setting a precedence for working with communes to preserve  records.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Birthday at Tivoli

We used Kayla Hansen's birthday as an excuse to go to Tivoli for dinner and see the flowers.  We invited the Thornes and Brooks who also have a Gold Card and we all got in for free.  Bro. and Sis. Aase from Sweden are here working in the temple for two weeks so they came to.

These beds of hyacinths were beautiful and filled the air with their lovely scent..

Once we agreed to spend 200K ($30) for dinner, we found several inviting places to eat, but ended up at a nice buffet where we had our very own space with a great view.
 Elder Thorne (office) and Elder Brooks (Archiving) both have wild cards so they can come to the park and do the rides all year for free.  They were having a great time while we watched.
Our fun evening was topped off with one of their traditional outdoor shows, It is a combination ballet and pantomime. And we only had to wait 5 minutes for the bus home......

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Surrounded with Lovely Things

We talked in Sacrament Meeting at the Frederiksberg ward, our home ward today.  It was on the High Council rotation.  We both spoke in Danish. I even knew what I was saying and more important from most reports, the audience did as well.  I had to read it, but it was okay.
  Tonight we went to Warnsdorfs for dinner.  Her patriarchal blessing says she should surround herself with beautiful things in her home and indeed she does.  Here are a few of her vase collections.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Birthday Party

It is Danish tradition to throw your own birthday party/dinner.  tonight we went to Mette Paulsen's Birthday and instead of gifts she asked us all to bring food for the dinner.  It turned out to be such a good idea.  Everyone brought the dish Mette liked and requested.
 She had cleared out all the furniture in their f ront room and set up this beautiful long trable for 15 of us.

Gertte on the left is her church mom and basically raised her.  It was a delightful evening.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Further Friday Fare

A little more on our visit to see the Queen.  We parked by these great old barricks that have been here from the 1700s.  People still live in them.  You can imagine they are very small and are now on the historical register so only certain changes can be made.  Fortunately it includes adding a bathroom.
 The streets are all named for animals.  Can you guess the name of this street?
We had a good Friday at the temple.  A sweet sister, originally from Greenland ,was brought by the Blackhams, a missionary couple  up in Frederikhavns to receive her endowments.  They also brought a darling little sister who came for the first time in December.  They are doing such a good job.  He is from Moroni, right next to Ephraim.  The YSA came for baptisms, our old temple engineer who quit because of a bad back came to the temple for the first time since he left, and there were several excellent young couples who chose to spend their Friday date night at the temple.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Queen's Birthday

Mette had a surprise field trip today...going to see the Queen on her birthday.  She turned 75 and there as been a week long celebration as she has gone throughout the country.  She appeared on the balcony today at noon and we were there....along with several thousands of her closest friends.

Looking at the picture: on the left is Crown Prince Frederik and Mary and their 4 children.  The Queen is in the middle, her husband was in bed with the flu, and to the right is Prince Joachim and his second wife and 4 children.
Here they all are together on the second appearance.
In the palace to the right were the royalty from (left ) Sweden, Center the queen's sisters and the ex-king of Greece who is married to one of them and to the right the royalty from Norway.

Mette even brought flags for us to wave.

 Many children were brought by their teachers and lots of babies, also brought by their care-givers.
Such a fun cultural experience.