Saturday, June 6, 2009

Activity Nights in June - a season of small events at the center

During the four and a half months that we have been missionaries at the Odense Young Adult Center, we have met many young adults from all over this side of Denmark. They enjoy being together, eating what ever we serve, and having a great time playing all kinds of games and studying the New Testament.
School is almost over, and final exams have slowed down the month of June at the center. Friday night is Activity Night here. This is an optimistic
name for Fridays during the summer months.

The school books and outdoor weather have pulled our students away from our Friday "Activity" nights.

We have had a few small movie nights lately on Friday. A few weeks ago I created two posters for a movie I had purchased on the internet- "Sweet Home Alabama." We put the posters up, the Bishops announced our "Movie Night" at church and we were ready to go. I had seen "Sweet Home Alabama" several times in Sacramento. I enjoyed it.
I decided to preview it here before our big (or little) movie night. The story was still good- but for the first time I noticed the abundance of swear words, the "taking of the Lord's name in vain" and parts of a bar scene that were not appropriate to show in our church with our students. I had to find a new movie.

I looked on an LDS movie site that would allow downloads and found a movie that Carl and I had seen before- "Mobsters and Mormons." It was a light hearted comedy about an Italian Mob family that is put in a "special witness protection program" and sent to Utah to start a new life surrounded by Mormons.
I needed to make new posters (without advertising why we needed to change our other movie choice). I worried about putting two posters (upstairs and downstairs) up that had mobsters and Mormons in the same title. So I did wht any good "photo-shop"er would do. I changed the name to "A Mormon Comedy."
I like to make desserts to match our movies. When we watched "8 Below" (about sled dogs in the Anartic) we made homemade icecream with hot chocolate sauce and strawberries. For "Mobsters and Mormons" I changed our "Sweet Home Alabama" mud cake to "Mormon Mudcake." (see the posters above)
Our summer theme will help us enjoy the small numbers of students that we see here from day to day. I have discovered that these small groups who do come are still comfortable chatting, eating and having fun - doing exactly what these centers are designed for.
I have gotten better acquainted with, and shared more experiences and spiritual feelings with these kids- one by one, than I have the whole time we have been meeting in our larger Family Home Evenings and fancy Super Saturdays. I look forward to the small friendship groups that gather
here. I have said many times that as senior missionaries here in Denmark, we "make friends for a living." That is what we do all day, every day. What a way to live.
Last week we went to visit Stefano, Nico, and their Mom- Louise. She is recovering from a hip replacement and Stefano just won a championship silver metal for the finals in a Table Tennis Tournament that culminated a year of disicipline and training.

Stefano and his brother, Nico, are tall (about 6'4) Italian Danes. Nico plays the guitar and is a great cook, and Stefano is getting ready to major in Italian in a school in northern Denmark. He practices table tennis almost every day in a center that competes all over Denmark. What interesting lives these young people lead.

Last night several people asked to see "Mobsters and Mormons" again. Stefano was the only one who came. Elder Wilberg and I and Stefano had sugar cookies and milk, watched (in English) this very American Movie. He loved it...and then we talked for hours after the movie.
We learned how Danes feel about their very small, peaceful country. He wanted to know what I thought the Danish language sounded like. He told us about his Italian father and his trip to Italy a few years ago. We learned about how much he admired his mom. He described his interest in being a disciplined athlete and why he is careful about what he eats before an important match. We all left the center well after midnight. It was a very good "activity night."
Our summer theme couldn't have been more true..."Wherefore, be not weary in well doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great."
-- D&C 64: 33

1 comment:

  1. Oh I remember these two! They are my cousins- cousins! That is, my aunt Alice Held used to be married to Nico & Stephanio's uncle; Donato. Wow, how these two have grown up! What great accomplishments for them both. And Yes Louise IS A WONDERFUL LADY!