Wednesday, June 3, 2009

By small and simple things are great things brought to pass..

The end of spring and the beginning of summer bring exams and final papers for most of our students in the Odense Young Adult Center. Many are too busy with study groups, and university assignments to have much time for movie nights and barbecues at the center. This slow down, I am told, could last clear through the month of June...

If we can't spend the time we want with them here, we are going to try to discover what they are doing out there in the real world. It is time to get better acquainted with them face to face, door to door. With this in mind we have chosen a theme for the summer months- " small and simple things are great things brought to pass." (Alma 37: 7)

A few weeks ago we were surprised to learn that our friend, Laura, has a job that all of you- would love to visit. It is in Kerteminde (care-tah-mean-ah) about 20 minutes from Odense. She is going to school to train animals and has been doing an internship, and now a paying job- working with porpoises and spotted seals. We decided to see her in action.
We went to the Fjord and Baelt Acquarium.

Laura has become friends with the porpoises and seals. She has played with a new member of the team- the first "born in captivity" porpoise in Denmark. She sometimes pets the baby while his mom is performing. She lowers balls for the porposes to hit and feeds them lots of fish. Sometimes they are not hungry at all, they just enjoy doing tricks so much they have no time for fish. She uses hand signals to get them to roll over, or clap their fins. Many of these animals have been rescued from fish nets in the Danish sea.

Laura decided when she was about seventeen, when a school councilor was trying to encourage her to teach young children, that she would rather teach animals. This acquarium has a small research school attached to the museum. During the winter months they observe the behavior of fish and sea animals and keep track of the sounds they make, and how they relate to each other. They also teach the seals how to recognize different colors and perform to different hand signals.

The acquarium describes the value of the salt water in the Danish sea and has a little fish petting area, and indoor play equipment for children to climb in sea tunnels, and observe large whale skeletons.

Laura will be leaving the acquarium soon. She is anxiously waiting for her mission call. She is a living example of the scripture "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass." Thank you, Laura, for your enthusiasm and your cheerfulness. You are ready for "great things."

1 comment:

  1. You don't know me but I am a huge fan of your blog... you can blame Keith Held for sending out the link. I was once a missionary in Denmark. I started my mission in the Odense 1st ward in September of 1989. Keep on writing and posting photos I love them.

    Eran Bair