Elder Teagan J. Pitcher ... Serving in the Copenhagen Denmark Mission
Elder Pitcher
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Phillipians 4:13)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

October 7, 2015

This is the last post for Teagan's mission blog.

I have been asked if it felt like he was gone a long time.  As I've thought about this, my response would be ... The days were long; the months were fast; and two years passed by in the blink of an eye.

He has been home just over a month now, but really only spent half that time actually at home.  We returned to Denmark with him just after his homecoming and spent two and a half weeks touring all the wonderful places he served.  It was a blessing to meet the wonderful people he worked with.  We are grateful for his service.

This video captures some of the highlights of his mission.


Monday, August 24, 2015

August 24, 2015

This week was awesome, and I'm going to kind of rush things because, number one, I'll be seeing you so soon, and number two, we are going to a really awesome castle for my last p day, and I'd like to be sure that we are on time for that. 

A couple of awesome experiences from this last week. 

At Mission Conference on the steps of the Temple
Mission Conference!  Got to see all of my old missionary pals, and bear my final testimony to the entire mission and before an area 70.  I didn't get to do it in Danish which I was sad about, but I was more happy that I got to do it in front of EVERYONE that I know here, so that was pretty sweet. 

‘VL’ came to a baptism this week in the other Odense ward and he really enjoyed it!  He's getting along well with the ward, and will be coming with us to an appointment at a member's home this week.  He passed his baptismal interview yesterday, and he is excited for his baptism, and has asked me to stand in the water with him.  First time on my mission, and I'm really excited for the opportunity :) 

He's such an awesome guy.  You can really tell that he is just trying to do what is right. 

Later in the week we had a really special experience with ‘C’.  She is still having a tough time with her boyfriend, and it even started to get to the point where she's been considering breaking up because he's holding her back from the church and what she knows is true.  It sounds innocent enough, but if she breaks up with him, she's breaking off all her ties, and won't have a place to live (though ‘R’ has offered to let her stay with her at this point). 

On with the story though, we were teaching the law of Chastity, and she was in agreeance with everything we were teaching.  ‘R’ was with and was giving a lot of support, and the whole lesson just went really well. 

Towards the end of the appointment though, I could sense a lot of anxiety from her.  She was really scared to tell her boyfriend, because she knew what she had to do.  I offered to give her a priesthood blessing to help her feel comforted, and she accepted.  By the time the blessing was over she had tears flooding her eyes.  ‘R’ came and gave her a big ol' hug and they just sat there for a really long time.  The spirit was so strong!  It was incredible, and we testified of the spirit, and she was just overwhelmed with the spirit. 

Continue to pray for her!  She's so close, and wants to be a part of the church so bad.  She has so many good friends here now. 

Love you all, look forward to seeing you soon, and I'll have a chance to send a quick note next week :)
Ældste Pitcher

NOTE:  I wrote to Elder Pitcher and told him that he should be proud of the work he did on his mission and that he had planted seeds that he may not even be aware of, which will bear fruit later.  He responded with this:  “Sister Mandla at mission conference told me that one of their investigators close to baptism has a Book of Mormon he received about two years ago from a set of missionaries in København.  On the inside cover is written Ældste Pitcher og Ældste Francis.  :)  I thought that was a pretty awesome example of what you were talking about.  Look forward to seeing you soon!”

Monday, August 17, 2015

August 17, 2015

Hej mor og far,

I'm still loving it here in Odense.  Elder Jeppson is gradually getting a better and better hold of the ropes, and I feel that with just a little bit more time, he'll be ready to take over the area.  I have every confidence in him.  

My goals for this coming week are to take good opportunities to account for my mission (journal entries, personal notes, and pictures), and also to treat every contact different, because every person is different.  I'm also focusing a lot this week on trying to help Elder Jeppson accomplish his goals.  We took some time during weekly planning to talk about his focus with the language, and preparing to take over the area.  I've gradually been placing more and more responsibilities on him as time has gone on, and he's taking it in stride.  

This week was filled with wonderful experiences, and I don't want to take a ton of time, but I'll just mention a few.

*One of our recently reactivated member friends, ‘JU’ in the ward we've been preparing for the temple went through for his endowment on Thursday!  He's such an awesome and exuberant older gentleman.  Always letting women know how beautiful they are and making people blush with his compliments.  He just loves life, and on Thursday he was floating he was so happy :)

*’HK’, another friend of ours in the ward, has been receiving the sacrament weekly from his home, and is now down to only 3 cigarettes a day, in relation to the 20 a day he was at when I first arrived.

*’C’ came to church again this week despite disapproval from her boyfriend.  She is the most prepared person I've ever met.  Pray that she'll make the right choice!  Her boyfriend is the only thing holding her back from being baptized, and it sounds like he's pretty negative towards the church.  Urgh.. She's great though, and has tons of support from the young adults in the ward.

*’VL’ is getting baptized on the 28th, and he is really excited... still... :)  such a happy guy.

Love you all!
Ældste Pitcher

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

August 10, 2015

Hey Ma and Pa,

Hey, I gave a talk too! Mine was on Eternal life.  I don't have it typed out, and it's in Danish so you wouldn't be able to read it anyway, but I think it went pretty well.  I got to use Dad's mission experience explaining the plan of salvation, just translated it directly from my atonement talk, and I had a few people come up to me afterward saying they liked that new perspective on it.  I felt pretty good about it.  

I am feeling awesome.  I'm just happy to be a missionary, and I'm so happy to have seen the changes in myself as a missionary and as a person over the last two years.  I'm trying to make the greatest amount of growth here in the last few weeks of my mission, and I feel like the goals that I have will be able to help me see the specific growth that I'm looking for. 

I'm trying to improve my evening schedule, something that has been a constant struggle for me before and throughout my time as a missionary. I'm trying to help Elder Jeppson gain an understanding by seeking out more teaching opportunities throughout the day, not just in training, and also praying and focusing on my five year plan so that I can make an easy segue from full time missionary to the new and improved me back home. 

As far as the miracles we've seen this week goes, our new friend ‘C’ was definitely the highlight.  She called us on Thursday asking about church times and info.  Elder Jeppson and I spent the next few hours racking our brains to figure out when we contacted a 21 year old ‘C’. Turns out she is just a curious friend of a Mormon girl who invited her to come to church. 

On Saturday we lead ‘C’ on a church tour with ‘R’ and ‘N’ in our ward, gave her a Book of Mormon, and gave her a place to read and pray about.  She had expressed concern about losing a child 6 months ago, and we decided something about the plan of salvation would be best. 

The next day she came to our volleyball activity and asked about how she could know that it was true.  We again invited her to pray, and talked about spiritual confirmations. 

She came to church, and stayed for all three hours.  I gave a talk on eternal life, ‘N’ gave a talk on the plan of salvation, and the guest class focused on the plan of salvation (it counts to have it in good with the guest class teacher :) She loved church, and we will be meeting with her again on Tuesday! 

Loving it here! 

Fun fact.  There is a stress quiz online that all missionaries take towards the beginning of the mission, and usually when they train.  We have the highest percentage of missionaries in the green.. I am officially in the happiest mission in the world! :)  It's all because of the members and the other missionaries here. 

The relationships between missionaries here is incredible.  I am completely comfortable with going up to any missionary in this mission and giving them a great big hug (even the sisters, but we'll save that for when it's appropriate ;) We are a family in this mission.

I love you both lots and lots.

Ældste Pitcher

Monday, August 3, 2015

August 3, 2015

Hej Mor og Far :)

This has been a great week!  I am in really good spirits. 

I got to go to København to work with the people I started working with at the beginning of my time in Denmark, I got Elder Jeppson as a new trainee, (very excited about the missionary work, and very willing to work) and we taught, and found, and even made a baptismal date!  It was a very effective week.  We taught more total lessons than we normally do, and we were only in our area for half of the week. 
Elder Pitcher with his new trainee on his left (Elder Jeppson), his former trainee on his right (Elder Pike), and his former trainee's trainee on his far right (Elder Gardener).

I've always felt like miracles come when new missionaries are in an area, and I know that it's no coincidence that Elder Jeppson's coming has resulted in such awesome progress with the work here in the last week. 

Our friend ‘V L’ will be baptized on the 29th of August.  He previously investigated the church, and after our first visit with him for the second go around, he said that he felt a change in his life, and that the little things that held him back before weren't there anymore.  He feels confident and excited and has come to church for the last two weeks, and has been meeting with us every other day or so. 

Everything continues to go well here in Odense.  I'm loving training and being a part of the happiest mission in the world :)

I have been working a lot on my 5 year plan, something President O'Bryant gave as an assignment, and trying to seriously consider how I want things to go.  It's difficult, but a good exercise, and I'm hoping by the end I can have a better handle on what I want to work on and become. 

In other fun news I broke my bike.  Not just like a bolt or the chain, but the metal crank shaft to the pedal snapped in half. What is this?!  Of all things to break first, the dense, metal shaft decided to go.  In the mean time until I get it fixed, I've been riding around a sweet bike from the 80's a member loaned me.

Also, while in Copenhagen emailing last week, I met a man in the library who asked me for some help.  I helped him out, and he was really nice back.  Not interested in the church, but we ended up having a nice long chat about why each of us where in Denmark (he's from Bulgaria)... Anyway, fast forward to last night and we are sitting on a park bench getting ready to call in our numbers we just tallied up for the week, and this man comes walking up to us again. It was kind of creepy at first, but he was still the same nice fellow. One of the three Nephites? possibly?? ;)  It was just crazy to see him again in two different cities, and in such an interesting format, in the evening time in an empty park... Weird.

I'm loving it here, I love you all!  
Ældste Pitcher

Monday, July 27, 2015

July 27, 2015

Well... Here's my week :)

I*M TRAINING FOR MY LAST TRANSFER!! That was unexpected. 

Elder Brindley is off to Skive, and I'll train a newby.  I'm in KBH waiting for my trainee, and hanging out with Elder Lawless, and his trainee Elder Bishopp until Wednesday.    

Training was a very happy experience before, and I'm excited to help a new missionary gain a fresh view of Danish missionary life.  I have some goals to help me with keeping my focus in the right place, and I plan on making this the best transfer that my new trainee could possibly have. 

I'm focusing on the Christ like attribute of virtue, with specific relation to how accountable I'm being to myself.  I don't want to feel like I wasted any of my time here in the last transfer of my mission.  I'm excited to see a change in myself, not just my new trainee. 

This week we had an awesome experience with a man on a train on the way back from splits in Fredericia.  I asked why on earth he had a vacuum cleaner with him, and from there we talked for an hour straight about the church, and how he had lost contact with the missionaries before, and would like to talk more about the restoration and the plan of salvation another time.  We got his info and will be meeting with him again soon. 

I've had a lot of good experiences talking with people today, and even on the train ride in to Copenhagen when things were crowded and hectic, I still had the chance to talk with a young woman that ended up being on the way to the U.S. to study and start fresh, from the way she put it.  She was really grateful for the Book of Mormon I gave her, and seemed excited to read it during her 12 hour flight :)  Hopefully she'll follow the resources she has back to the missionaries in Denver.  Super nice girl, and it took just two seconds of looking outward instead of inward to make a difference and help someone come closer to Christ.  I LOVE being a missionary.  

Love you both!
Ældste Pitcher

Monday, July 20, 2015

July 20, 2015

Hej Mor og Far! 

I had a pretty great week, let me tell you about it :)

Over the course of this last week we've started to see some gradual improvements with the way the work is going here.  We're finding a lot more potentials, our fireside this last week was a huge success, zone training gave us a great renewed focus on finding, and the overall morale of the district is awesome.  Not to mention the other two companionships had stellar weeks with how much they were teaching.  They are a group of hard workers.  

Earlier this week we had an appointment with a young Greenlandic woman named 'P'.  The Seden Elders gave us her information, and apparently she had had a pretty rough past and was looking to change her life.  We taught her this week and after the first lesson we invited her to be baptized on the 15th of August, and she accepted!  

We focused a lot on how the message would bring her hope, and I could tell she really felt the spirit.  As it would turn out, she lives in the other Odense ward's area, so we made sure to introduce her to the sisters in the other ward at the fireside, and they are working with her now.  She also came to church, and it sounds like she's being taken care of, so we'll pray that all continues to go well, and hopefully we'll have our newest Greenlandic member here in a few weeks!  

This week in church was really great as well.  We had such a large guest class that we ended up moving into a bigger room.  A few weeks ago we challenged our recent convert 'XC' to bring a friend to a church activity, and after coming to one young adult activity, her friend also came to church, and brought another friend with!  

The first friend got to be close with the sisters at the young adult activity, and she'll be working with them.  The other friend is named 'R', he's from Latvia, and he had some good questions about the church after I helped translate for him in sacrament meeting.  He gave us all of his info, and gave us a time to stop by this week.  We have been pretty happy about the way that this week turned out.

I miss you lots!  Then again there are a lot of days where I can't stand the thought of coming home... Just know that I love you all in any case :) 

Have a great week!

Ældste Pitcher

Monday, July 13, 2015

July 13, 2015

Hey Ma and Pa!

Here's how things are going.  We've had a fairly good week as far as getting out to service, and pushing people to help us with our fireside goes. 

Elder Brindley and I feel like this week's numbers weren't a very good reflection of the work that was actually put into it.  We both have been a little tired from splitting and stacking wood (a service project we did three times this week) :)  

Beautiful Danish street.
With that said, we're grateful for the chances we do get to serve, and we are planning in time this week for a better variety of activities so that we can find ourselves being engaged in more than just a few ways. 

We also have our 'Meet the Mormons' film evening in the church.  We are really excited for this, and both wards have been working hard to find friends to come with.  A great deal of this week has been dedicated to inviting members to bring a family member or friend with, and from what we can already see we should have a good turnout. 

One woman we contacted on the street yesterday told us that one of our good member friends Jonathan had already invited her!  It was exciting for us to see that our idea had already reached out that far. 

On to some more interesting news.  'J' is moving back to Helsingør!  She moved back in with 'L' yesterday.  She said last week that they had been talking about it and I guess they both realized the grass wasn't really greener. 

'J' has also had a revival in her testimony from all of the support that she has received, and in her last message to all the missionaries she let us know that she really felt it was all true, she was just having a rough time.  Keep them in your prayers! 

Got a bit rained on ...
One last fun experience.  We were on the way to buy some new brake pads for my bike earlier this week (because I was grinding metal) when we rode by some people that looked like they were moving.  I felt impressed to stop and offer our service, and they politely said thanks but no thanks, however, one man said 'you all believe in Joseph Smith right?' after we told them we were missionaries from the Mormon church.  We said 'yes! One and the same.', and then as he started heading back inside he said it was a shame we wouldn't be around for a while, he was curious.  Like music to my ears :)  He isn't really believing, but he would like to hear more.  We gave him a Book of Mormon, and an invite to our fireside this week. 

He's a total hipster so he didn't have a phone to call him on, just an email, but we're really hoping that his curiosity pushes him a little bit.  We've written to him, and I'll be sure to let you know if we get a response.  

I'm loving being a missionary :)
Love you both!

Ældste Pitcher

Monday, July 6, 2015

July 6, 2015

Hey Ma and Dad... ;)

This week was lots of fun.  We got around to a lot of different stuff and I feel like we're pretty close to having an explosion in this area pretty soon.  It takes forever for these computers to add pics so I'll get right into it. 

Working backwards from what I can remember, we had 'JM' with us in church yesterday. Our very friendly amputee investigator. He's been missing his left leg for years, but that hasn't kept him from having a cheery attitude, at least since I've known him. It was his first time in church, and already a few of the members seemed to hit it off with him pretty easily. We have a few appointments set up for throughout the week, and we're looking forward to his furthering progression.

Saturday we were on splits with the Seden Elders, and Elder Vance lined up our day in Seden so that we were hopping from one appointment to the next. The Seden Elders have some pretty high goals right now, and from what I've seen with Elder Vance's work ethic, I think there's a good chance they can reach them.

I also conducted 'ND's baptismal interview that evening. He's ready to go! He's going to be an awesome member, and it seems like he's getting good support from the ward. They are already making space for him, and looking for a calling and home teachers so that he can hit the ground running.

This ward is awesome! From what I've seen, they're one of the more coordinated units that I've served in since being on my mission.

Other than that, our finding efforts have been producing more new potential friends, and Elder Brindley and I are still loving the time that we are having together. We've always been good friends, so it's been nice already having a good teaching balance, and having kind of sixth sense for how your companion reacts to situations.

I feel very blessed to be serving in Odense. I love being a district leader, and the group here is awesome. I count all of them as close friends, and they are all hard workers.

Loves and stuff!
Ældste Pitcher

Monday, June 29, 2015

June 29, 2015

Hey Ma and Pa!

This week for us here in Odense was great.  Were we pretty sick most of the week? Yes.  Were we inside quite a bit more than usual? Yes.  But we got a lot done anyway, got a wonderful new investigator named Elizabeth from Vietnam, set up a lot of appointments with members and investigators for this next week, and cleaned all of our records.  We are ready for this next week :)  

I got to meet our best investigator pair here in Odense this week as well.  ‘L’ and ‘P’ a.k.a. L.A.P.D. ;)  They have a cute little son, ‘M’, love the missionaries, and have been meeting with them regularly for the past 3 years.  They are going to be my main focus in this area I think.  They are so close, they just need to take it all a little bit more seriously and they'll be there. 

They look at the missionaries very much as friends, and less as missionaries, so I'm hoping to find a balance and really have an effect on this family.  They are AWESOME, and they hold commitments, and they seem to be searching, the intent is just lacking a little bit.  I'm just hoping that they'll be able to see how much missionary visits have already blessed their lives, and how much more they can have by making and keeping new covenants with God.  Pray for them :)  

We also, despite being plagued, had a really fun 'Sankt Hans aften', a holiday in Denmark where they celebrate (well I've heard a few different things) John the Baptist's birthday, or the longest day of the year, or just getting together in the name of burning a witch in a really big bonfire :)  We were at a member family's home that evening, and we had a blast with them.  The ‘J's. Their son is ‘N’, the one dating ‘R’ :)  they are great people, it was a fun evening.  I've got pictures :)

 Well, to end off the week, literally the last contact of the week, we were walking down the street headed home on Sunday evening when I found myself just pleading for someone to show up on the dead streets, when a woman hopped on out of a grocery store and started to cross the street.  I quickly called her back and we started having a good chat.  She said her name was ‘H’ and she had been searching, with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, but still searching, so talked for about 10 minutes and explained the Book of Mormon and a bit more about our faith in a quick little rap up and tried to get her info. She said no, but was very excited to read, and was sure to get a hold of us after her own personal investigation.

I know that's at the moment where missionaries would normally go 'well shoot, see you never', but I have never felt so confident in a person getting in contact with the missionaries again.  Mark my words, whether now or later she sill get ahold of the missionaries again!  But that was the week. 

Today we had some fun service and then went shopping. We've had some pretty weird P days... I got a suit, it looks stellar, (hope it's in the budget ma and pa, It really was a necessity purchase) We even had the sisters along for a second opinion, so I feel pretty confident about this one :)  Anywho... It was a great week, this next one is going to be even better though. 
Elder Pitcher and his District

I'm glad to hear that things are going so well back home.  It's awesome to hear about missionary experiences, and am way proud of the both of you :)  It's important to share it with EVERYONE, and it's something I want to make a better focus on when I get home.  Of course. ;)  

I've noticed in the last little bit here, that it's time for me to up my game up with this new area.  Elder Brindley and I have been talking about it a lot this last week, mostly because we've been sick and haven't been able to work quite as much as we normally do, but this last district meeting kind of focused a bit on habits, and it got a lot of ideas rolling in our companionship about how we can focus on healthy habits that turn us into well-oiled machines that unconsciously do what we want them to do, not just what they are used to doing.  It's going great, and we both are really pushing this idea.  I'm applying a lot the scripture Alma 41: 15, one that talks about consequences.. One of my favorites :)  Anyway, that's my life. 

I love you both!
Ældste Pitcher

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

June 22, 2015

Hello Ma and Pa :)

1.  Turns out I left Sønderborg even better than I thought!  Two people we just barely started teaching (‘O’, and ‘K’) BOTH accepted baptismal dates this last week.  I was going nuts.  I'm way happy about both of them.  ‘K’ we found, and ‘O’ was a REALLY positive investigator who had just been out of the country for a while.  I only met both of them one time before I left, but I had been working hard for both of them, so it makes me feel good to see the fruit of my labors, even though I'm gone.  2.  Elder Brindley has been out for just one transfer after me.  I didn't realize it was so close to Grover.  We had a nice conversation about that just barely :) 3.  I tried to speak Danish with ‘K’ as much as possible. But like a lot of Danes that have lived in the States, she was a tough cookie to crack ;) Then again, she's been living there for a while from what I understand. They like to speak English ;)  Wonderful lady, and her faith in her brother is awesome.  ‘H’ is doing well, he came to church this week!  We've hooked him up with a ride to church, so I don't think this will be a one and done thing either.  He's working on getting to the temple, and he's making the small necessary steps, so keep him in your prayers :) 4. You'll have to be sure to tell Ron hi for me.  I haven't seen him for a while.  

My first week in Odense.  The ward here is AWESOME.  I already have my good friends, but the people I have only just gotten to know are so welcoming I already feel like I've been here for a while. 

The work is really good here in Odense.  We've had a lot of service projects, and everything is coordinated through and with the members when it comes to appointments, activities, assignments. It's a pretty well-oiled machine, probably the best unit that I've been in for that kind of coordination.

Anyway.  We had a good appointment with ‘J’, an older, recently reactivated, sophisticated artist who we are helping prepare to get to the temple.  He's incredible, I really look forward to working with him more. 

He's basically ready, and he actually taught the high priests this last week.  He just kind of wants a refresher on all the doctrine before he goes through again.  I'm sorry if I'm a little short on the update. 

There was actually quite a bit that happened this week, and the reason that I'm actually writing to you so late is because Elder Brindley got allergies, and then it turned into a sore throat, and now we are both kind of achy, and well....sick.. :P  So pray that I'll have energy to get through this week. 

I'm really looking forward to the work here and I don't want anything to slow me down. 

The district here is really awesome too.  I got to hang on to one of the sisters from my last district, Sis. Rovig. Can't remember if I said that, but she and her companion, Sis. Thompson, who actually went to SoJo and knows Quinn, are awesome.  Kind of like a Sis. Hale, Sis. Rogers combo. 

And then we have Elder Vance, a stud from Texas, who I actually went out contacting with on his first day in Denmark (in Elder Pike's group) a good friend, and his greenie Elder Poff from Kentucky.  Kind of shy, but whitty with his retorts, and sly sense of humor. 

It's a great group.  I couldn't be happier than to be a district leader, and I couldn't ask for a better district.  I'm having so much fun!  We actually stood up to sing in sacrament meeting this week.  I made sure to cheat and ask all of the young adults around me to come up and sing with us (‘R’, ‘N’ {‘R's BF} ;) and some others)  and it went pretty well :)  Good first impression in church I feel like. 

Anyway... I ended up making it a bit longer after all. So there you go :)  

Loves and stuff
Ældste Pitcher

Monday, June 15, 2015

June 15, 2015

Hello mor og far!

Here's my week:
I'm in Odense with Elder Brindley!!  I'm so happy to be here, and seeing as how it's kind of the last little piece of territory to remain untouched, I now can say I've really seen all of Denmark... Ok, so there are a few places, but I've been in all four corners in any case. 

Odense is the 3rd largest city (finally back to the big city life ;) they have 2 awesome wards here.  I'm serving in the first ward.  To add on to everything already mentioned, I'm with Elder Brindley whom I've served with in 2 previous districts, and have gotten to be good friends with.  This is going to be a good transfer :)  

I'll start off the update by talking about a really good way to end a transfer with Elder Higby. Just imagine it's the last stop by of the evening, the last day of the transfer, and you're getting ready to get into the car when your companion jumps up and starts a conversation with someone nearby. 'Do you believe in anything?' we ask him. He he silently showed us his arm to reveal a tattoo of a heart with the name Jesus in it. We all looked up and smiled at each other.
A member family from Sonderborg

Needless to say, we have a really solid new potential investigator in Sønderborg, and he's not the only one. All of the finding that we've been doing recently has really been paying off. Don't be surprised if you hear about an explosion in Sønderborg over the next few weeks, because it is all prepped to be something great, especially with the two new investigators we found this week. Doesn't it just always happen that way though? You get a really solid week, and then you have to leave before you can reap the reward, though hearing about their success over the next few weeks will be success enough for me.

‘L’ is a little bit busy at the moment, or at least she was this week, so I didn't really get to see her before I left, but we still have daily contact with her, and Elder Higby was able to set something up with her this week I believe, so things are still pushing forward with her.

It was really hard to say goodbye to Sønderborg. It was the branch where I feel like I felt most a part of their family. The people there are awesome, and I'll miss them a lot.

With all of that said, I'm so happy to be here in Odense. Elder Brindley is one of my best friends, and it's been a long time in the waiting to get to be companions with him. I'm looking forward to working hard here with him, and making some new friends.

I'm excited.  There is no better way to describe it.  This is likely my last area, and I'm not having to worry anymore about what I'm going to be doing in the future as a missionary or anything else, I know that I'm here, and that I'm happy to be here, and I can now sit down a really focus my efforts on these last transfers I have to be the kind of missionary the Lord wants me to become. 

It's an exciting time to be a missionary!
I love you Ma and Dad.. ;) 

Ældste Pitcher

Thursday, June 11, 2015

June 8, 2015

Hey Ma and Pa!

Glad to hear that you all didn't get electrocuted in a storm :)  Sounds like a pretty crazy experience.  I really love each week getting to see the photos that you send.  I've never been much of a reader, so when I get to SEE how everyone is doing, that makes it a bit more fun for me.  :)  I am not going to turn this into a distraction, but since you two are no longer coming to get me, I'd like to know what souvenirs I should start looking for in advance to bring home for family?  Let me know and I'll keep an eye out.

This week Elder Higby and I finally reaped the blessings of having our first really progressing investigator in months. 'L' is the woman that Elder West and I found on splits. She has been reading, and asking questions, and really trying to find out the truth of what we are telling her. She recognizes the spirit so easily in her life, I don't think it will be too much longer in her progression before she gains a witness of the things we are telling her are true.  We have an appointment with her again tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes.

Last photo with Pres. Sederholm
This week has been filled with finding. We've spent hours looking for new friends to tell about the gospel. We've had good success finding potentially interested friends, hopefully that will translate into investigating friends this week. We actually met and started teaching a Chinese girl this week that seemed fairly promising, and even talked about having us lead an English class (which I love doing) for her and some of her other Chinese friends..... fast forward a few days later and I find myself at zone conference up in Aarhus asking a sister missionary in our mission, Sister Mann, to teach me some Chinese phrases, because she's actually fluent. No sooner does she hand me a paper with some Things to practice on it than we get a text from 'X' saying her mother is Buddhist and doesn't approve of us meeting with her... Bummer.

Last photo with Sister Sederholm
A good experience though is while out walking around Elder Higby and myself came across a man from Africa that didn't speak very much English or Danish, but seemed interested in the church, and said he spoke French. Remembering that we had a French copy of the Book of Mormon back at our apartment we asked him to wait for 2 minutes while we ran to grab it. That was a quick 100 meter dash back to our apartment. It led to an address and a phone number of a new friend that we'll be going by to teach this week, so it was worth it :)

I love you both lots and lots!  Pictures to come!
Ældste Pitcher

Monday, June 1, 2015

June 1, 2015

Hey Ma!
Just so you know...  #1 ‘A’ is just getting a calling, not a mission call (he's a little too old for that. :o) #2 it's a pretty cheap ferry ticket from Helsingør to Helsingborg Sweden, so that's a definite possibility :) #3 Transfer date is coming up here soon.  It'll be the 15th of June, so not this next Monday, but the Monday after.  #4 thank you for the whole ticket thing. You're awesome and I love you!

Hey Dad!  
Thanks for the email.  That was actually really helpful, the thing with the engineering programs in Utah.  I don't really have time to look into it, but I'd like to apply to Utah, and also get a list of good majors offered at Utah State.  Like I said over Skype, Civil engineering is the plan, but I would still like to see what other things are out there.  I'm basically done with the BYU application, I just need to transfer it over onto the computer format and send it.  Sorry again that it has taken so long.  Love you!

My week:
We devoted a lot of our time this week to finding, and it turned out pretty well. On splits alone with the Esbjerg Elders this week, we had a very good day of finding, and ended the evening with two new investigators. The woman that Elder West and I found said that she had already met the Church once in Århus, and was looking for God's love again in her life. We had an appointment set up that she had to cancel, but we will be going by later this week, and I've got high hopes. She seems excited to read the Book of Mormon, and what's more, she was a theology student and actually LIKES learning about religion. It's a perfect match :) She already has a very firm faith in God, so we are looking forward to seeing what we can add to it to help her find that love in her life again. I've learned so much being in this area. It has definitely been a time of growth for me in this area. I've come to love Sønderborg a lot, and I know why I was sent here, I've met a lot of wonderful people, and I feel like, in a few ways, I've developed my understanding of human relationships better here than any of my other areas. We are here, and we are working hard, and that's about it. We're looking forward to another great week.

Things are going forward with faith here.  It sounds like there is no difference back on the home front :)  Love you all so much!
Ældste Pitcher

May 25, 2015

Hey Ma, Hey Pa!

Here's my week:
Elder Higby and I had a really good meeting this week with the branch council members, and we were able to get a lot of support in the work that we are doing right now.  It sounds like ‘A’ will be getting extended a call here pretty soon (he already had an interview with Pres. Cullingford), which was something specific we brought up, as well as getting more members out to appointments, to which all of the male members said to be sure to just give them a call in advance and they'd love to come (not that it has really ever been a problem before, I love the members here).  I've noticed the branch really reaching out to the missionaries over the last couple of weeks, and I'm excited to see how the work is going to progress as we take advantage of it. 

We also had a really good splits this week with the Zone leaders Elder Zalewski and Elder Zenger.  They are both such incredible missonaries.  We were actually able to get around to five solid appointments that day, plus find a new investigator and a few potentials. 

I took a lot away from that day, Elder Zenger is an excellent missionary with some great ideas about how to improve missionary work.  This week we were supposed to have our good friend ‘M’ with us in church.  The Friday and Saturday night follow ups were very promising, and she said she was really looking forward to bringing ‘Ma’ with to meet some of the kids (we definitely talked up our primary), and in the end she flaked out.  We were really disappointed, BUT ‘A’ came after a Saturday night follow up, and that lead to him having the interview with Quentin, so THAT was a success story from church. 

People just need to start coming to this branch to see how wonderful they are!!

Sometimes it can be a little frustrating, but we are still working hard, and have an extra strong focus on finding new friends this week, so we'll be sure to follow up on that. 

Some other fun things....  Elder Higby and I went to a 'Fri Kirke' international party with one of our investigators who was singing there.  Elder Higby and I weren't just going to sit around though.  We got up and participated in a Serbian line dance, and then even asked if we could sing a song from our church.  (Elder Higby plays piano, I sang) It wasn't a small crowd either. Probably a little over a hundred people if I had to guess.  We did our own little rendition of 'A Child's Prayer', and I got video of it.  It was a blast :)  

We've had people we've talked with on the street over the last few days ask us if we were the ones at the party, and even knocked on the door of one of the priests for the 'Free Church'.  We're famous ;)  

It was a really good week though, just in case you couldn't already tell.

I'm glad to hear that everything is going so smoothly back home.  It's been great watching everyone grow up, and I feel like I'm very much a part of it, even if I'm not always just in the other room. 

Tia had also mentioned that she felt like she could feel my presence at home, so who knows, maybe I was just having a nifty out of body, dream experience ;)  

I love you both!  Have a great week!  
Ældste Pitcher

Monday, May 18, 2015

May 18, 2015

Hey Mom and Dad!
Send me the talk!  I'd love to hear it!!

NOTE: Mindy gave a talk in Stake Conference on Family Unity – It was AWESOME!!

I really love the pictures you got this week.  I'm happy to see that everyone is still doing so well.  Crazy how fast time flies!

Zone Conference
This week. Short and sweet.

Another week has flown by, and things are still rolling on down here in Sønderborg.  We were a little bummed out that none of the people we invited to church this week came along, especially since President Sederholm was there, and we were really pulling for ‘M’ after that lesson, but we're resetting our goals, and applying some new plans so that we can see that change here in the coming weeks.  Things are looking up.  We continue to get a lot of support from the branch, so I'm hoping in the next week, with the support we have, we will start to see some change in our friends' progression. 

‘A’ and ‘M’ are both still working on getting to church.  We have pretty regular appointments with the both of them, so hopefully we see some change in the next few weeks as we continue to make that a focus. 

We are still really rooting for ‘Ma’, and will be having a member present to a lesson with her this week.  We are coming in with a date in mind, so we'll be sure to update on how things progress with her over this next week.

Not a ton to report on, but it was still a pretty solid week. 

I did get some pretty good pictures this week. One that could definitely be a screen saver (wink, wink, nod, nod)  You'll know it when you see it :) 

I love you all so much!  I hope you have an incredible week!

Ældste Pitcher

Monday, May 11, 2015

May 11, 2015

NOTE:  We got to talk to Elder Pitcher yesterday.  He's looking really good and still loving his mission.  This was the last time we'll talk to him as a missionary.  Next time we see him will be when he comes home.  We all have mixed feelings - his mission has been such a blessing.

Hey Ma and Pa!

You should have just let Dad take the Picture further back Ma ;)  haha!  That's all on you.  I was glad that we (or rather I) got to joke around as well :)

You'll have to be sure to let everyone you've been getting in contact with recently know that I say, and that I love and miss them all as well.  I'm glad people are still asking, and I'm not that far gone yet ;)

I feel like I was able to express myself pretty well with you all yesterday, so I'll just get right into the week.

Elder Higby and I have been talking about it, and we think this very well could be the best two weeks that we've had together up to this point. Things are really starting to look up, and now that we are kind of working with an out with the old in with the new mentality, it seems like things have been going better.

We met with one man that was a referral from the Randers Elders named ‘S’. He's from Pakistan, but moved to Denmark a while back to escape persecution because he is born and raised Christian. His faith means everything to him, and so coming to Denmark is a big deal to him.

He's found out that his permit to be here isn't going to go through though, so he's likely going to be moving to Portugal in the next two weeks, but was very accepting of everything that we had to say. He said we could meet once more, and then we'll likely be shipping his info off to Portugal along with him, because he would like to have contact with the missionaries once he arrives there.

The lesson had actually gone so well that we invited him to baptism, and he said he just had too much on his plate to be able to think about that right now, but would love to learn more.

We also had an appointment set up with ‘M’ this week with Quentin Cullingford, our branch president. When we got to the door though we found out that her son had been sick the whole day and she had forgotten our appointment. That was kind of downer, but she said she felt really bad, and would make cake for us the next time we were able to find a time. I guess it isn't always too bad to have someone owe you one :) We will be making an appointment though in the next couple of days so hopefully all goes well.

We had a few good service Projects this week as well, and Elder Higby and myself feel like we always have something to do so we are keeping ourselves busy.

Some other fun things from this week were, I got to hold a mini concert with this cute little family that has just moved into our area from Germany.  Three younger girls and one mom.  I felt like I was being called upon by one of my nieces to stand before the rest.  I went ahead though and belted out David Archuleta's version of 'Glorious' from the meet the Mormons movie, which just happens to be the two younger girl's favorite song.

I was laughed at, but in all the right ways ;)

We also had a really good appointment with ‘M’ and ‘G’.  ‘G’ has been wanting us to get in contact with her other son (not ‘M’) and talk with him a bit more about the church.  They set up a time for us to come over and we had kind of BBQ out on the back porch, and had a really fun time.  ‘S’, her son, even told us we were welcome to come over another time to talk a bit more about the church (even though he didn't seem super interested in joining anything right now. We'll see about that last part ;)

Hope you both have an awesome week!
I love you both
Ældste Pitcher

Monday, May 4, 2015

May 4, 2015

Hey ma and pa!

I'm not going to lie, this week started off as kind of a downer. We didn't have a lot going on for us, and it seemed like the work that we were doing wasn't having much of an affect.

We called ‘M’ in the middle of the week and he told us he would be in Sweden for the next 4 months to have some kind of brain surgery.

Things weren't looking up until Sunday morning when we came to church.

‘A’ and ‘MA’ walked in for the first time in a long time (sadly they've been missing church a lot recently, but this last invite showed some promise.. obviously), and Elder Higby and I were smiling from ear to ear, and then (to quote a little bit of scripture) what added more to our joy was to see ‘M’ and his whole family walking into church!! That turkey lied to us. He planned on coming to church the Whole time!

The day didn't stop there either.

Zone Conference
We were able to have our first meeting with our new branch mission leader Carl, and he has a lot of good visions for the coming weeks that Elder Higby and I are really excited about.

After church we got around to some of the less actives I've never met to see who still lives in the addresses from member list, and we set up an appointment with one older man.

We had a few more good appointments throughout the day, and then with about 20 minutes left Elder Higby and I decide we are going to try and find a good place to knock. Elder Higby felt prompted to pray for a miracle find, and after I said 'amen' we hit up the first apartment to knock.

We ended up going to 3 separate locations until we found the place we wanted, we were deep in conversation and walked passed the first two doors. Everything up to this point was a blur, but we walked inside and started our way knocking down the apartment complex we found ourselves in.

The last door of the night was interested, and exchanged information with us. We told her directly that she was an answer to a prayer, and bore testimony that it was something that could really help her. We'll be meeting with her this next week. Wow.

It all went so fast, but Elder Higby and I knew it was an answer to a prayer for something we've been working for, for a while now. Sunday was an awesome day, and a great way to segway into this next transfer together. I'm really looking forward to these next six weeks.  

As far as picking me up goes, I don't really mind what the final plan ends up being.  I know that it says in that little travel packet thing that we got though, that parents are supposed to pick us up at the departing airport.  I think that would be neat to say bye to my Group that way as well, since I won't get to have the flight home with them to talk.  That's just my thinking.  Anyway.... ;)

We'll be skyping from the ‘C's place on Sunday. He's the branch president, and actually from England (wife is Danish) and they are awesome. I'm thinking that I'll be calling around 4-5 here which nine hours back is about 7-8 in the morning.  That's the plan for now.  I'll try to hop on and let you know if there are any severe changes. 

I love you both.  Have an awesome week!

Ældste Pitcher

Monday, April 27, 2015

April 27, 2015

Hey Ma and Pa!!

So I'll be finding out about transfers this week... Crazy!  After this I'm down to three transfers left, and things keep speeding up week after week.

Thank you so much for the Birthday package!  It had takis ... so basically everything I need to hold me over for the next few months ;)  I've learned over the course of my mission though that there is a direct correlation of the amount of Heart burn that I get in relation to how much of my takis I share ... I've gotten progressively better at sharing ;) 

I'm really stoked for the Flames.  You'll have to let me know how Things turn out, and of course I'll be sure to keep everyone in my prayers.

So we had a disappointment this week with ‘M’.  We kept trying to get in contact with him and when it came right down to it, he cancelled. That was kind of a letdown, but I still feel like it was a really good day in church. 

The members were all excited because callings were changing, and we even got a new branch mission leader.  ‘C’, the man WHO was recently reactivated was called this last week after ‘T’, our previous mission leader, was released. 

We had a really good appointment with the ‘S's last night as well.  We again invited ‘MA’ to baptism, and this time they showed some signs of pressure. 

They both seem to think that at some point in the future ‘MA’ will be baptized, but right now they aren't showing any urgency to get there.  They kindly asked us to back off just a little bit, because for the last few times that has been the focus of the lessons, and they feel like it can sometimes be too much. 

The lesson this time was on the restoration of the priesthood keys, and what that means with regards to the eternal family, and they both seemed to like it quite a bit.  We're trying to make things work with them, and promising blessings and extending invitations, but like I said, I think the urgency just isn't there. 

We also were able to get in with ‘R’, ‘Rb's mom this week and teach her when Elder Amos was on splits with me.  I was pretty straight forward and asked why she wasn't a member.  I feel comfortable enough in our relationship to be able to do that, and she actually was able to name off a few things that we're working on answering now, so it was a very effective visit I think. 

We have been finding a lot more this week, and the friends we've found for the most part seem to be pretty open to talking about the church. 

It should be a really good week coming up here.  The district is holding up pretty well.  It seems like things are always kind of up and down in Esbjerg.  Their friend who was preparing for baptism broke up with his member girlfriend, and it sounds like he hasn't showed much interest since, and the Ward and the missionaries are having a hard time connecting.  Problems seem to be going away, but I still feel like they are struggling from time to time. 

Overall though, the missionaries have a good attitude and they are hard workers so I'm not too worried. 

The rest of the week has been great. 

Elder Higby and myself went up to the temple this weekend, and had a really good experience with all of the recent converts from Fredericia.  I especially liked the car ride home where I got to talk with a very sweet old member named ‘J’ who drove us on the way back.  To make it short, I love hearing people's conversion stories.

I'll get around to sending photos now, but I wanted you to know that I love you, and that I'm still loving it here in Sønderborg. 

Pray that IF I go somewhere else that I'll travel in safety, and I'll be sure to let you know where I end up.  With only three transfers left I feel like it could be anywhere. 

I Love You!
Ældste Pitcher

Monday, April 20, 2015

April 20, 2015

Hey Ma, and Pa!

This week in Sønderborg was awesome.  Especially for one friend, ‘M’, who has had an especially good week. 

We were able to meet with ‘M’, really focused meetings, 3 times this last week.  Each time we focused on coming to church, and during the second meeting, Elder Higby felt a prompting that may have made a serious, long-lasting change in ‘M's church attendance. 

Elder Higby proposed a fast on Saturday that the way would be prepared for ‘M’ to come to church yesterday.  ‘M’ felt a powerful confirmation that that was something that we should do, and of course I was all for it. 

Saturday comes, and we meet ‘M’ at the church with his family while they were cleaning the church, and have another awesome meeting, and he commits to come to church.  Fast forward a bit further and 5 minutes into the beginning of sacrament meeting ‘M’ walks in with the rest of his family.  Elder Higby and I were grinning from ear to ear. 

After church he called us to let us know what an incredible day he had had, and said he felt like it was about time for him to start coming to church more often.  The prayers of the zone are being heard in ‘M's behalf.  He saw General Conference, he came to church, and we're confident he'll be coming next week. 

I love Sønderborg.  We found two new friends to teach this week, and we also had a great splits up in Esbjerg.  There is a great change occurring in Esbjerg right now.  They were struggling there for a while, but there is a new light starting to pop up with this baptismal date they've just made.  The rut they found themselves in is gone.  I'm really excited for the Elders and Sisters there, and I feel like it's been an answer to all of our prayers, just to get them going again.

It was awesome to hear how everything is going back home.  Thank you for the birthday wishes and the nice note about how awesome I am ;)  It made me feel real good. 

I'm excited to see you all on Mother's day!  I can't believe that is the last time I'll be skyping from Denmark.  The whole thing has seemed to go by fast, but I guess I could've guessed it would. 

I'm just happy that I've had as fulfilling of a mission as I have had UP TO THIS POINT, and I know that these are going to be an awesome 5 months.  I'm really looking forward to that package :) 

Ældste Pitcher

P.S.  I left my camera in the Esbjerg Elders Apartment on splits, I don't have more pics for this week... WAY SORRY, but hey, that just Means more NeXT week right? ;)