Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hope of Israel-in the middle of Denmark

We are surrounded by young men of all ages here in Odense. There is an abundance of cute little boys in suits and ties. --This is Elder Peterson with the son of Ken Hall, mission leader in the Odense 2 Ward.
In the outreach center we have many more men than women. They love to eat and drink...everything from Orangina, to Apricos, to Squash (not really squash) and even Sprite. (never tea, coffee, or alcohol) These are some of our great student leaders having a good time. We have heard through the grape vine that there are more girls than guys in Siberia. All girls are welcomed here by these handsome, polite, and fun loving young men. Just a note to all those Siberian Girls who are reading this...Denmark is a lot warmer than Siberia.
Our Seminary here is also full of the most polite, friendly teenage young men that I have ever met. They come down to chat, work on the computers, and play pool on mutual/Seminary nights when the young adults have gone home. Niklas (above) has shared leftovers with us, helped me to speak some Danish, and invited me to be his friend on facebook- so that I could see the Odense ward Pictures.
Niklas works in a Bakery and surprised us, a few Sundays ago, with a big box of Danish Kringles- with all kinds of fillings. We shared them with our hungry elders and sisters in between meetings. Thank you, Niklas for the delicious surprise.

The Church does not have a "Boy Scout" program here in Denmark, but the boys are always actively working on their Duty to God Award, and other achievement and preparedness awards that have been designed for this area. A few weeks ago they went on a survival campout. They shot pellet guns for target practice.

They created their own campsite on a members property and built a big bonfire with a "fire starting stick"..I think the Indians used this method before they had matches. (If you have any questions about this ask Elder Simmons- a master scout).

Niklas and his buddies had a hard time shelling and eating cooked snails, and boiled pigs feet with leaves and greens found around the campsite.

Maybe I will serve a survival meal at the center this summer using our new little barbecue. We did have a whole pig barbecued on a rotissere just last weekend. (I will show you what it's like to have an Hawaiian Luah in Denmark- next post).

The boys cut and gathered branches in the woods to build their own tents.

This is Mads, the Bishop's son, "lifting" heavy twigs.

A giant bushy tent was made.

The boys of the Odense 1 Ward survived the ordeal.
There is a song that reminds me of the extra-ordinary young men that we have met here. They are reliable, articulate in both Danish and English, thoughtful, and thankful for whatever you do to help them. They have a big summer planned with church activities- many go two weeks with the full time missionaries on mini-missions. Many of their leaders are young adults who are returned missionaries themselves. There is an "especially for youth" program for the Scandinavians each summer and Super Activities almost every month all over Denmark. Last night, we arrived in the center from Randers- after a long Zone conference. It was full of young men- five computers, Mark (one of our Young Adult Councilors), all busy writing their life histories.
This old song reminds me of these amazing boys..our future leaders prepared for what ever will come in these last days...They are the Hope of Israel in the middle of Denmark.
"Give me some men who are stout-hearted men,
Who will fight, for the right they adore,
Start me with ten who are stout-hearted men,
And I'll soon give you ten thousand more.
Shoulder to shoulder and bolder and bolder,
They grow as they go to the fore.
Then there's nothing in the world can halt or mar a plan,
When stout-hearted men can stick together man to man. "

1 comment:

  1. Looks like there's some marriageable material out there! Hope they find some ladies.

    ....did they really eat boiled snails?! Gross...