© 2015 mikeandbrynne

Copenhagen

All throughout Sweden, Norway and Denmark, we were told that summer had never arrived this year.  The temperatures were unseasonably chilly and the snow in the mountains remained thick.  It had been raining in Copenhagen before we arrived and was scheduled to rain the whole time we were there-not exactly promising for exploring the city.  Thus with rain on the docket, me not feeling my best (mastitis and fever) and the kids so happy to play in the gardens and the forest at our bed and breakfast we got a late start into the city.  Luke fell in love with the little sheep dog of Else Marie and Carl Johan’s (our hostess and host) and wanted to stay and play with the dog all day.  Mike and I fell in love with the organic homemade breakfasts served right out of there garden and the rest of the kids played games out in the nature preserve.

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When we finally arrived in the city we were blessed with sunshine.  The afternoon was spent exploring the guidebook’s highlights of the town until we came to our own highlight.  We had been looking forward to seeing Thorvaldsen’s famous statues of Christ and the apostles since we had planned the trip.  We were not disappointed.  The church was quiet and peaceful and devoid of the crowds out on the main shopping drag.  Mike sat the kids around in front of the Christus and shared the story of President Kimball when he visited this same church and told all that were there that he, not Peter, held the keys to the kingdom.  It was powerful and a highlight I think the kids will always remember.  I had wanted to listen to an organ concert in the church, but sadly they were only scheduled for Saturdays.  What a fun blessing to have the organist come in and practice as we were sitting there.  Our own impromptu concert.  Perfect.  Tired of walking, we jumped on a canal cruise to see the rest of the city by boat.  The kids wanted to make sure they conserved there energy for Tivoli, Denmark’s famous amusement park and number one tourist attraction.  Before entering the park Mike found us a quiet pub with piping hot soup in bread bowls and hot chocolate.  Still being feverish myself, I was freezing in the windy “summer” weather and was thrilled to finally be warm for a minute.

The kids with Hans Christian Andersen-IMG_8916

The Church of our Lady-
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The highlight of the day was, of course, Thorvalden’s marble statues, but the second was Tivoli.  The kids absolutely loved it.  I try not to do a lot of amusement type diversions, but Tivoli is Europe’s oldest amusement park and is filled with beautiful Danish gardens and is a favorite with the locals.  Walt Disney came to Tivoli and was inspired to create Disneyland…….or so the story goes.  It has it’s own little “It’s a Small World” type ride made up of Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales and it’s own log ride and Matterhorn type ride.  We finally dragged the kids away just before it closed at 11p.

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Unfortunately, the Copenhagen temple was closed during our stay in Denmark, but we ended the day with a drive by the temple and a discussion of our own ancestors from Copenhagen that sacrificed much to join the church and come to America.  I told the kids the story again of Amelia Johanna Hansen their ancestor and her brave mother Kirsten Johansen Hansen who met the missionaries as a young mother living in Copenhagen.  Her husband was completely against the church and locked Amelia and her baby in a room with only bread and water until she would deny her testimony of Christ and the gospel.  She refused and after 8 days he finally let her out and told her to tend to the other children.  Undaunted, she continued to pray for a way to go to Zion and be with the saints even if it meant she would have to go alone.  Cautiously, she wound money into her yarn and hid the yarn balls.  As an answer to pray her husband got a pain in his toe and died, allowing her to take the rest of the children across the ocean to America.  She encountered numerous hardships on the way and lost two of her children.  Eventually she remarried and had 14 children.  Oh, the faith and courage of those Scandinavian ancestors.  I tried to remember to stop grumbling about my fever and infection.  I was so grateful that those Danish saints had a temple right there in Copenhagen.  It made my heart happy.