Tuesday, July 3, 2012

1st few days in Denmark

We arrived in Denmark safely after a really long airplane ride. We walked off the plane with swollen feet and ready to sleep on anything horizontal and not moving. President Anderson and his wife picked us up, along with the mission presidents assistants, Elder Bailey and Elder Pierson. We stopped by the mission office on our way to the mission home and met Elder and Sister Nielson. This senior couple is serving in Denmark for the second time. They spoke English with us and with us already feeling overwhelmed from all the Danish, it was a breathe of fresh air. The mission office is where we were able to experience our first Danish pastries. They were, as Jarom would say, a flaky sensation that urges you to continue eating with every bite, and sometimes surprising you with a creamy taste of Heaven in the center. After visiting the office we were off to the mission home. We arrived at the mission home and met the Anderson's family. We took a tour of the home we will live in for the next 3 years. Sister Anderson had fixed a little snack for us and that is where we experienced having chocolate on our sandwich for the first time. I think we will all learn to love this. Then Sister Anderson offered to take me to the grocery store. I walked in with her and immediately remembered this was not Arkansas anymore and clicking my heals wasn't a realistic option. Culture shock overwhelmed every one of my senses; I saw and heard many foreign words, smelled foods I didn't know existed, foresaw myself tasting exotic foods, and touched . . . Ok, well I guess not every one of my senses were shocked. I couldn't find anything I was use to buying in the states which has made cooking a whole new adventure within itself. The other day I bought gravy thickening thinking it was gravy, because that's what the picture made me believe it was. My kids weren't adventurous enough to try just thickening on their mashed potatoes and I don't blame them. The grocery store we went to was comparable to Aldi's, but I have since learned that there are others stores with a wider selection. I look forward to shopping these soon. After returning from the store, the Anderson's left us and we were on our own.
On Sunday we attended our new ward. Everyone was really friendly to us, and made us feel very welcome. Most everyone greeted us in English which was nice and those who didn't quickly switched to English when they saw the loving yet very confused look on our face. Once the meeting started everything was in Danish. Except for Shawn, we all wore headsets throughout all of sacrament with Elder Bailey as our translator. For Sunday school and Relief Society, Hilary and I had translators. Jarom and Heather's Sunday school, YM and YW were in English so that was nice. I think they did that for them, it will not be like that all the time. But if Jarom's wish comes true he will have become fluent yesterday so it won't matter.
On Monday we took Shawn to the mission office where we dropped him off and then went shopping to find a few things that we needed for the house, plus more groceries. And what an adventure that was. Who knew that following a GPS could be so hard?! We got lost multiple times even using that. We went into IKEA thinking it would be nice to be in a store that we have back home, but it was the same as any other store we went into; everyone speaking Danish and all the signs in Danish. We all quickly decided we better take a crash course in learning Danish.
Elder Bailey and Elder Pierson gave Shawn a ride home from the mission office feeling very overwhelmed after his first day there.