Monday, June 24, 2013

"Dreaming" of Baptisms


Wow, it sounds like things have been pretty exciting for all of you back home! That's crazy that Haley's moved out now. I can't believe she was one of the Honor Code Angels! That skit was so funny last year! Sounds like it was pretty much the same thing. Tell Brad and Shae hi for next time you can. Tell Ashley congratulations on her mission call to Alabama for me! That is going to be so great! Alabama is going to be such a great experience for her.

Casey, that's awesome you're going to start going to the temple with her! I know that will be a great experience for you. I hope you have fun on your Student Council Trip. Let me know how that goes for you, ok? Also, good luck with your Cries of Freedom performances! Mom, thank you for all of the letters you sent! It was great to hear from all the people in rehearsal! It's cool that you're emailing Ældste Walch's Mom. He's a really fun missionary to be around. Unfortunately he's on the middle island and I'm on mainland Denmark.

It's cool that you took everyone to the Worldwide Leadership Training meeting, I actually haven't seen it yet since it was going on around the middle of the night for us. We are hoping to get together to watch it soon though! 

Sankt Hans (St John's Festival)
A Traditional Danish holiday where a bonfire deters 

evil spirits on the eve of summer solstice  
This last week wasn't super exciting. We didn't have a lot of appointments this last week. Since we're opening this area it's been pretty slow in getting it going. There were a few pretty cool experiences.

First off, last night was the Sankt Hans Festival. It was a witch burning celebration! Let me tell you, it's really nice rooming with the Zone Leaders. They just called President Sederholm and asked if we could go and he said yes. We went with our Ward Mission Leader and his family. It was pretty fun and I will attach some pictures of the ceremony. 

Things are going well with Investigator Y who we set a baptismal date with last week. Her husband (who is a member) is really an eager participant. Hopefully we can continue to make steady progress with her.

This was the craziest thing that happened this last week. The Zone Leaders were teaching a man from Romania. He has been really positive and he is an amazing guy. I met him a couple of times and we got along really well, but neither of us really knew each other too well. So the Zone Leaders invited him to baptism this last week and he said he would have to think of a date. A few days ago the Zone Leaders asked him if he had a date and he shared this experience: 

"I had a dream last night that I was swimming in a river. I was swimming with you (Ældste Whitlock) and Ældste Wawro. Eventually you both approached me and Ældste Wawro told me I had to be baptized on July 21!" 

So now he's getting baptized on that date! Ha, the Zone Leaders were making fun of me for stealing there baptismal invitation.

The final thing I'd like to talk about is the book Teachings of the Presidents of the Church:Joseph Smith. I've read a lot since getting here. This last week I read through all of this book. It is absolutely incredible. The Fullness of the Gospel really was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. 

“After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel.” -Joseph Smith Jr.

Well, that's all for today. Thanks again for writing and thanks for everything you all do! Jeg Elsker Dig!

-Ældste Wawro

Monday, June 17, 2013

Learning to Teach the Lord's Way in Arhus, Denmark

Hello everyone! It was so fun to see Ben and Haley's pictures for the Senior-Sendoff. It's weird to think that they're graduated now! It was also way cool to see you with the cast of "Resistance Movement"! I bet that was pretty cool, but it's too bad Caleb Jensen wasn't there. Of course, he's doing something much more important on his mission in Cleveland! 

I'll get straight to this last week:
Being here has brought all sorts of feelings. I'm in the most beautiful land with such history that you wouldn't even believe. My companion is great and living with the zone leaders is about the best thing ever. This last week has brought many feelings of excitement, frustration, tiredness, and most of all, an increase of faith. 

Not being able to communicate with people is literally the most frustrating thing that's ever happened to me. I only speak to my companion in Danish throughout the day and everyone else speaks Danish so I really don't speak much English until the evening right before bed. There were a few days I just wanted to kick something because I was so frustrated!  I have this testimony and this message that I want to share but I don't have words to share it!  When a lesson starts to go south and I can vaguely understand why but don't have any idea how to communicate the thoughts I have...oh, that's the worst. We came here with no previous investigators to work with. We had to start fresh (just like in California).

Elder Lindstrom and Elder Wawro
Funny enough, I think I needed to go foreign speaking. I think in California I depended too much on my own teaching abilities (which I probably became a little too confident in), and didn't rely enough on teaching by the Spirit. That has been my biggest challenge here: learning to listen to the Spirit. Heavenly Father put me in a position where I literally could not do anything unless I was listening to what he wanted me to say. He stripped me down completely so he could build me up again His way, not my way.

Last Monday, after I wrote to you all and read your emails, I went out to teach a former investigator from years ago (back when this area was open). I'll call her X. X is originally from Greenland and has a strong faith in God. She at one point even had a baptismal date! Unfortunately, she never gained a testimony of Joseph Smith, specifically with the importance of the Book of Mormon. We originally had planned to teach her about the Plan of Salvation since she had had all the lessons before. She took us off track though once we brought out the Book of Mormon. She said she respects the Book of Mormon but that Bible goes first! The Bible is the most important thing! In the end it doesn't matter so much what church you're a part of as long as you follow the Bible!

This was the first time in a lesson I actually understood what was going on, which was nice. She asked if my companion, who was doing the all the talking, knew the Bible. My companion said that he regularly reads from the Bible but most of his scripture study had been focused on the Book of Mormon. She did not like his answer and went off on him!

Then the thought that you gave me about the importance of the Book of Mormon in missionary work from Elijah [Thomas's homecoming testimony] came into my head. Finally I couldn't restrain myself anymore. I opened my Bible and read her a scripture in Acts where Peter says, "We cannot but speak the things which we've seen and heard." I then told her, in my broken Danish, “Here are the things I know. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God.”

She cuts in and says “But the Bible is first!”

I answered, “Nej!!” [No] “The Book of Mormon and the Bible TOGETHER contain the fullness of the Gospel. Joseph Smith is a prophet called of God in these last days! We left our families back home so we could tell you how to bless yours! I promise you if you read the Book of Mormon you and your daughter will be blessed and you will feel God in your life telling you that what we say is true.” 

We gave her a scripture to read and she said she respected us enough that she would. That was a miracle from God and the first time I felt the gift of Tongues on my mission. Thank Elijah [Thomas] for his testimony and tell him how it helped me from the first day I heard it.

We got our first baptismal date yesterday with investigator Y. It was kind of a miracle how it happened. I played piano today for a musical number in our ward and it went great. Afterwards this guy came up to me and complimented me on the music and told me how much his wife loves music. I thanked him and went my merry way. Later I saw him talking to my companion and I came back up to him. He asked me if I knew my scriptures, Bible and Book of Mormon. I said yes, I've read through them a lot. He said great! I've been waiting for someone who could answer my wife's questions. I'm a member and she's not, and she has a lot of questions she wants answers to.

Danish food is yummy!
To make a long story short, we met with her for 3 hours! It was way too long, but we answered her questions and in the end Ældste Lindstrom asked her to baptism and she accepted!

In the MTC I mentioned that I focused a lot of my time in the Bible and I didn't know why. I've already had a couple experiences where that study in the Bible has blessed us so much. God really knows what we need better than we do. The miracles He performs every day are without number.

I love you all so much! I can't wait to hear back from you!! 

-Ældste Wawro

Monday, June 10, 2013

First Week in Denmark

            On Monday evening on June 3rd Elder Wawro was notified that his visa had finally arrived and he would need to pack immediately as he was leaving at 3:30 am Tuesday June 4th. The following is the first email he has been able to send since arriving in Denmark a week earlier.  

Wow!! Hej fra Danmark! Det er so mærkeligt at være her! Danmark er so smukt. Min Dansk er ikke godt, men det er ok fordi jeg ved det Himmelske Fader hvil hælper mig.

It's really weird trying to type on this Danish Keyboard, so if I make any mistakes ignore them. I promise I'm not losing my English abilities. 

Being here has been like a dream come true. Denmark is so beautiful. Everything is so green and the cities are filled with so much history. President Sederholm is one of the greatest people I've ever met. He really is such an incredible guy. His wife is a sister in law to the Camps! Crazy connection. All the food is absolutely amazing. Every pastry is to die for. I also just finished my first Danish Kebab. Sooooooooo good.

You're right Dad, jet lag is killer. I've been so tired for the last week. It doesn't help that the sun doesn't go down till after I go to bed and sunrise starts at 3:00 AM so at 4:00 the sun is bright and shining on my bed. That woke me up every morning for the first three days or so, but I'm mostly used to it now.

So getting here was a little stressful....The London airport is literally the worst airport I've ever been to in my life! They don't tell you what gate you are going to be in or put what terminal it is on your ticket. To find your gate number you have to wait until boarding starts and then they put the number on the television screens. Turns out we went to the wrong terminal to get onto another flight GOING THE EXACT SAME TIME TO COPENHAGEN! So we missed our flight. Luckily we explained the situation and they rebooked our flight for 3 hours later. We arrived safely and enjoyed the evening at the Mission Home.

My companion is great. His name is Ældste Lindstrom. He's a super humble person who works super hard. I feel like if you are humble and hard-working you'll get along with just about any missionary on your mission. 

Not speaking Danish well, has been tough for me. I felt like I was teaching really well in Temecula after we picked up our 6 investigators. Being here has stripped away almost all of those abilities. Funny enough though, I'm actually communicating here way better than I thought I would be.

I currently live and serve in the city Århus (Aarhus is the Americanized name - pronounced orhoos). It is the second biggest city in all of Denmark. It is actually referred to as the smallest big city in the world. I live with my companion and the two zone leaders (who are all amazing). 

Talking with members and teaching is very hard. I mostly just stare at them and act like I know what's going on, but they can see right through me. It's alright though because none of them can pronounce my name anyways, so I make fun of them for that. The members are super here. The mission leaders daughter is actually leaving to go to BYU in August or something, so maybe you can have her over and meet her! See what a real Dane sounds like!

It's so sad to hear about Andre. He was a great man. I am sure it's hard for Pam and her family. I know that her testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will help her during the tough days ahead. 

Dad - I'm sure it was harder to learn your language. Korean seems like it is so vastly different than anything we speak here. It's great to hear that Elijah is doing so well! Make sure to tell him hi for me (if you haven't already). I am positive he was just an outstanding missionary. 

Mom, thank you for sending me that talk! I haven't read it yet but I've been looking everywhere for one that President Holland has given about Peter! I'm sure it's awesome. I'm going to try and send as many pictures as I can (I don't know if I can figure out how to do it right now....) Oh, and tell Will Wright to start getting excited because he's coming to the BEST MISSION IN THE WORLD!

My mission address:

Ældste Christian Patrick Wawro
Denmark Copenhagen Mission
Borups Alle 128, 1 tv
2000 Frederiksberg

I don't have time to send more pictures now, but if you go to or you can read and see Sister Sederholms Blog about our mission accompanied with pictures! I'm in a few of them!

Make sure to write! I love receiving emails as well but I can only respond to so many at a time! If you don't mind me taking a while to respond and email is probably the best option. I suppose a letter takes a while to get here and back also, but I'll try my best! Don't stop writing because I love receiving every single one of your letters/emails!

Jeg elsker jer! I har det bedste familie på jorden!

-Ældste Wawro

P.S.  - I tried giving myself my first haircut in Denmark with the zone leader’s razor kit...turned out awful so I had to shave it so short! I already have my first traditional bad missionary haircut ;)

Elder Wawro with new companion Elder Lindstrom

President and Sister Sederholm with Elder Wawro and Elder Lindstrom

At Jylland Zone Training

Arriving at Copenhagen Airport

New missionaries and their companions