Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Detour from Demark - California Carlsbad Mission

Elder Walsh and Elder Wawro Goin' to California!

This last week has been very tiring. I thought the Missionary Training Center was hard work. It's not like out in the mission field. That's alright though because I love it.

It's been great to hear about every ones experiences! Congratulations Haley on the Syd Riggs Scholarship, I knew you could do it. And that is awesome about your roommate being from here. What's her last name? Nobody has said anything to me yet so I probably am not in her ward. I wish I could have seen your talk and slide show. I always loved going to those.

Nathan, I don't know if I trust you on the road by yourself yet. Ha, just kidding! ...but really. Good thing I'm in California! I didn't remember you saying you were trying out/tried out for Cries of Freedom but that will be a way great experience. Way to be a patriot! And congratulations on Charlie Brown as well, you're living a dream of mine.

Don't worry Casey, you'll get to the pool eventually. And maybe, if you work hard, you will get as tan as I am. Thanks for always sending the quotes as well! I love reading them and always apply them on my mission. I also totally agree with you that free food is always good food. I'm sure the class will be great!

Mom/Dad, my address is 451 W. Bobier Drive, Vista, CA 92083. Thank you for all the packages you sent me in the MTC. They all helped me out so much. Nathan told me that rehearsals start soon for Charlie Brown so good luck with that! I'm not allowed to meet up with any of the family around here, but that's so cool that they are so near! Make sure you tell Ben good job on graduating... and make sure you tell Elijah hello for me!

Now, here's a little of what has happened this past week...

After getting off of the airplane Elder Walch and I met up with the mission president. His name is President Cook. I don't know a whole lot of his personal life since I was kind of just thrown into the midst of things but I really like him. He is a very strict mission president, a little bit intimidating. He talked a bit about the mission, interviewed us, and then we went to the transfer meeting. Getting there I realized that Elder Carson Redford was in my mission! He's not in my area but it was cool to see him.

As you know I was assigned to Temecula with my trainer, Elder Campbell. Elder Campbell is a great trainer. He has a huge passion for the work and tries his best to be the most effective missionary he can be. I have learned a lot from him. Probably the most important thing is the importance of member involvement in missionary work.

The first few things I realized upon getting here were these: It's really hot here, I need new shirts (since all I had were my clothes for Denmark weather which is not quite the same as California weather...), There are a ton of Mormons here, not very many people want to hear what we have to say.

I quickly discovered that we did not have a single progressing investigator in the area. Elder Campbell was a newer missionary to this area as well, so we had remnants of what the last missionaries left behind. This past week has all been working with the members and contacting.

The funny thing about contacting here is that every single person knows about the Mormons. They have a friend, neighbor, relative, etc. that's a Mormon. Unfortunately, that means that they think they already know who we are and that they don't want to have our message. Our week was not filled with a whole lot of success in that department, but we did receive some.

We met a man who called out to us. He asked us if we were the Mormons, we said yes. He asked if we believed in living prophets, we said we did. He then smiled and said, "I could believe that!" He literally contacted us! That was a blessing. He plans on having us over after graduating and his schedule starts calming down.

There's another family named the Greens. They are way cool. They are an African American family who are super religious. They are way into the Bible and try their best to provide service wherever needed. The dad served in the military and both parents teach their children the commandments of God. They basically live all of the commandments and are practically Mormon already! He's started reading the Book of Mormon and last we checked with him was just about to start Alma 32. Great chapter.

Last night I placed my first Book of Mormon on a contact. It was late and we were about to head back home but decided to visit a less-active family. As we were heading down we saw them drive away which was disappointing because we have to walk everywhere we go. The car was about a 15 minute walk away back. We saw an open garage and remembering that we were commanded to talk to everyone, even though the people inside looked a little sketchy from a first glance and knowing I was probably about to get mocked as usual, I called out to them and introduced ourselves. The lady called out to us and we began talking about the Book of Mormon and eternal families. We ended up talking to her and her cousin for about 20 minutes. We gave her a Book of Mormon, challenged her to read and pray about it, she said she would and that she would call us because she was interested in learning more. I suppose we will see where this goes.
Elder Campbell & Elder Wawro at San Diego Temple

It's been so great being here. It's hard work, harder than I ever imagined, but it's so wonderful. It's amazing to see the little miracles God gives us every single day. Never take them for granted or not only will you not recognize God's hand in blessing your life, but you will receive less. I've grown ever closer to my God and my Savior.

Happy Memorial Day! I love you all! I can't wait to hear back from you!

-Elder Wawro