Monday, July 29, 2013

Celebrating Christmas in July

Good Tidings this Holiday Season!

On July 25th the Århus Ældster celebrated the Danish National Holiday which I created "Jul i Juli" (Christmas in July)! I hope you all had the opportunity to celebrate with as much fervor and happiness as we did. During this wonderful season I hope you can remember all of the good things that our Heavenly Father has blessed us with and remember our Savior Jesus Christ, our Lord and King.

It sounds like the family back home had some amazing Jul I Juli experiences! Ragtime sounds amazing. I would have loved to have seen it so much! The cast seems like the best cast ever. Oh how I miss the 

Of course I couldn't expect anything less than Reeses getting into other people's food while they weren't looking at the Pioneer Day picnic. What are we ever going to do with that dog?

Ha, I have forgotten about Duck Dynasty! Oh man I miss Si. He is a beautiful man. I also miss crab and shrimp. Haven't had any since I've been here!

Good job and preparing for your Patriarchal Blessing Casey! It really is an incredible experience and you will read through it over and over again throughout your life and learn something new every time. I can't believe school starts for you again so soon! Guess what? I don't have school for two years. ;)

Thanks for sending all the pictures of Jared and Kaleb! I love seeing them and their missionary work. I'm sure they are both amazing missionaries. Thanks Mom for all of the pictures of our family generations. They are way cool pictures and something I can use for my investigators if I can find out how to get them off of the computer...

Dad, as for riding bicycles, we ride them all the time now. Like I said, there are separate lanes for bikers on every single street. You will see more bikes than cars for the most part. Unless we are going somewhere far enough where we need to take a bus or a train, we will ride bikes. So basically, if we are working in Århus and not one of the other cities in our area we use them.

Now, a few other things of this past week besides Jul i Juli...
Aarhus Ward Building

Yesterday was the sweatiest day of my life. It was 101% humidity and HOT!! Oh man!! One thing you have to learn about Denmark is that Air Conditioning does not exist in most houses/apartments, or churches...Church was miserable in our suit coats! But! We had a member of the Quorum of Seventy come to our ward and he was awesome! He's from Sweden and so I asked him if he knew Elder Sargent and he said he can't think of him from the top of his head but he'll look out for him! His name is Elder Olsson. We wanted many of our investigators to come, but unlike last week, not a single one showed up. It was rough...and hot.

Right now in the Århus Ward we have 3 baptisms scheduled for the 31 of August. That is between us and the Zone Leaders. We are hoping to get two more for that date! That specific day is special because it is the day where we decided to have a ward baptismal program planned even though we didn't have any one we were teaching planning on being baptized at that time. We've been seeing miracle after miracle of people accepting our invitations to be baptized. Ældste Lindstrom and I met a women who is interested in the church and she is planning to be baptized on August 31!  Another man we have been teaching is also doing particularly well. 

It truly is amazing to see how the Gospel can change people’s lives. These wonderful people love Jesus Christ and how merciful He is in spite of our many imperfections. They find they love attending church and the spirit of peace it brings to them. As they accept our message of peace and as they try to incorporate the Gospel’s eternal principals into their lives, their entire personas seem to change. We can see the light creating a change from within and it really is amazing to witness their spiritual growth.

On another note, I just finished Jesus the Christ today! AMAZING!! James E. Talmage creates the portrait of how the Gospel of Jesus Christ began before the Earth and how it has affected mankind ever since then. You understand the scriptures in a whole new light. Everyone should definitely read it and then re-read it again!

Well, that's all for now folks! I hope you have another great week and a great couple weeks before school starts again! I love you all!

Glædelig Jul i Juli!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Greetings from "Elder Weird"

Greetings from Denmark! This last week has been a great week! Elder Lindstrom and I had the most member-present lessons and investigators in sacrament meeting in the mission this past week! We have been greatly blessed.

It sounds like you had a busy week as well! Happy Birthday to Haley as well! That is so fun that you all went to see YASI. I love YASI. It's good to hear we had some good Orem High representation!

The language is coming along better. I able to be an active part of the lessons and can understand more than I can't understand …for the most part. It's still crazy hard, but it’s coming. I actually sang "Savior, Redeemer of my Soul" in Danish during Sacrament Meeting this past week!

A big tree at Rosenholm Slot (Castle)

Doing our thing with the Zone Leaders at Rosenholm Slot

Those pictures of Kaleb are great. He and his companion are basically twins....basically.

One of our investigators is getting really excited for his baptismal date. He actually moved it up a week which we will not complain about. He came to church and loved every second of it. He said he felt so good and peaceful the entire time.

Oh, by the way, before I forget, I can't wait for you to hear a Dane try and pronounce our name. It is hilarious! Some look at my name tag and don't even try. Multiple people have asked me if it's an Indian name! We actually met with a couple sisters who moved here from Venezuela. One sister is a member but can only speak Spanish, and the other sister translated for us. They were so funny! The sister that was translating for us just called me "Elder Weird" because she couldn't say my name. They made South American food and the entire atmosphere reminded me of getting together with my Mexican relatives.

Oh, I believe I forgot to tell you this. I was talking to President Sederholm the other day at a Media Training Conference/one month in the land meeting. Basically he told me I was going to train either in August or September! I’m a little nervous because I feel like I hardly know what I’m doing yet, especially in Danish.  I don't know for sure yet but that's what he said he was hoping for.

By the way, Mom, I did get your package the previous week! I somehow forgot to mention that, but I got it! Thank you so much for all the stuff you sent. It was great to have some American candy again.
Any more mail?

I forgot to tell you about this lady we met with this past week. She is a recent convert and lived in Nauvoo for a couple months right after her baptism! Her kids lived there with her and they were greatly befriended by the church members in Nauvoo and have since moved back to Denmark. We decided to visit her and by chance one of her sons was there. At first we did most of the talking but then her son opened up and just started sharing all of his personal experiences! Apparently he wasn't very talkative with the missionaries before but we seemed to form a quick friendship with him and he talked to us a lot! We had his mom teach a lesson on faith and we committed him to come to the Young Adults Activity, so we hope he comes!

Ha, super funny that Lauren Pugmire saw Carina's picture on instagram. She is a recent convert, baptized in April, and is a fantastic member! Let me know about Ben Thomas! Tell him to email me soon! I want to know where he is going!

I hope everything continues to go well with you all! Keep emailing me!  Oh, and the Dear thing is great, keep doing that. Jeg Elsker Jer!

-Ældste Wawro

Monday, July 15, 2013

Baptism of Marius

Marius at his baptism

Hello everyone! Greetings again from the land! Hopefully you enjoyed all the pictures from last time. This last week has been great, but not a whole lot to talk about.

The biggest thing that happened this past week is that the investigator Marius was baptized this past week! He is the zone leaders investigator but we became pretty good friends. He is such a
great guy and comes from Romania. He made us the best hot dogs I've ever had in my life! Anyway, his baptism was so amazing. The spirit was really strong and you could tell he was extremely prepared. We also had a couple of investigators there as well! Yesterday I confirmed him a member of the church and gave him the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It was a great experience and am so grateful for that opportunity. I'll attach some pictures of the baptism.

That is really the big thing that happened this past week! I hope that all of you have a great week! Keep me updated on what's going on! Also, make sure to tell me about the funeral!

Jeg Elsker Jer!

-Ældste Wawro

Monday, July 8, 2013

Life Rolls On in Denmark

Hello everybody! 

Another week has come and gone in the land. Weather here has been pretty much perfect. It rains a bit but the last few days have been completely sunny!

I'm going to start off this email with the events of this past week to shake things up a bit:4th of July was pretty depressing here. It was pretty much like any other day. No "Cul de Sac of Fire" here!

Things continue to go well. We got a couple of our investigators to church this week. We got a couple of new investigators this past week. One of them I met on splits with one of the Zone Leaders (we do splits a bit since we live in the same apartment, both work in Århus, and sometimes need to multiple places at once). We taught him in the church and I invited him to be baptized but he said he was unsure about it. Later this week he texted us and said that he felt so peaceful while in the church that he wants to be baptized! So now we are working to get him baptized on the 31st of August.

The other investigator just moved here from Finland. She was a referral from the missionaries there and so we met up with her. She was really receptive to everything we were teaching, so at the end we invited her to baptism. She hasn't committed yet but we have high hopes for her!
Steering a Parked Tall Ship in Arhus 

On a funnier note, I was getting off the bus the other day and I saw an elderly lady struggling to get off so I helped her down. She then asked me if I could walk her to her house so I said yes and called out to my companion to come back since he started walking ahead. The next hour was filled with her just taking her to random places, her knocking on random people’s doors and then trying to get in if they didn't answer! We kept asking for her address and then she would just take us to another random place! We finally got her address out of her and took her to the bus. A member was getting on that same bus so we passed her off to them and sent her on her merry way back home!

The last big thing that I can think of that happened this last week has to do with that one investigator of the Zone Leaders that had the dream where I told him he needed to be baptized one the 12 of July. So his baptism is this week and he has been a golden investigator for them. When they asked who they wanted to do what for his baptism he said he didn't want to offend anybody and choose, so we sent the ward mission leader to ask so that he didn't feel like he was going to offend anyone in their faces. He ended up choosing the first missionary who found him (he currently serves in Copenhagen) to baptize him, but he chose me to give him the Holy Ghost and confirm him a member! I'm not even one of his missionaries! It's going to be a way cool experience though and I am so excited to confirm my first person!

Now back to you guys:

That's super sad about Uncle Manuel. You will have to tell me how the funeral goes. I hope everyone is taking it well. 

Feel free to not send me any pictures of Grandma's toe. I am doing perfectly fine without them. Tell Grandma Betty thanks for writing me and that I'm going to write her back this week! I just need to get a couple of stamps.

Looks like Cries of Freedom was a blast! I'm sure Casey was great in it! Nathan would have made the most Mexican Red Coat ever seen. I hope Casey has a good time on her Student Council retreat! It's too bad Haley didn't make the show. She should have. Its awesome that she saw Maddie and Marissa in the MTC though! If she sees them again she will have to tell them hi for me! 

The motorcycle is fun to ride, huh Dad? And yes, there is a ton of cycling here. Cycling in Denmark is a more popular mode of transportation than driving. They actually have individual lanes on the road for bikers on every single street.

Sounds like everything has been pretty fun and pretty busy back at home. Tell Grandma Warren and all the family hi for me as you see them.

Hope you enjoyed all the pictures! Jeg Elsker Jer!

-Ældste Wawro

Monday, July 1, 2013

Another Week in the Land of the Danes

Elder Wawro with Youth from Arhus Ward

Hello Hello! I would first off like to start out with an apology....

I left my camera cord back at the apartment so I can't send any pictures. Today was a little hectic and I had to switch bags quickly so I left it back. It's too bad because I took a ton of pictures this week! I'll see if there will be a way I can send the pictures later today...probably not though.

Casey! It's so great to hear about all of your temple trips. That is such a wonderful thing that you are doing. Also, thank you for all of the spiritual thoughts that you send me. They are always so great to read. I hope that Cries for Freedom is going well for you! Make sure to tell the Leavitts Hi for me! Also, great job with your audition! I hope you have a great trip for Student Council and make sure you email me about it.

I bet Nathan is doing a fantastic job as Charlie Brown. I am a little envious of him. I'm sure football is keeping him busy as well. It's too bad he had to quit Cries for Freedom but it sounds like his plate is pretty full as it is.

I hope Haley makes it into the show [In the Heights at the Hale Theater]. She would be perfect. In the Heights would be a great opportunity for her. Sounds like school is keeping her pretty busy. It's hard, but if you try to focus on how what you are learning will help you, it gives you a stronger motivation to carry on.

Now, this email is going to be a little bit shorter. I don't have a lot of time. Oh! By the way, President Sederholm informed us that all of us are required to get bikes for our mission now. Anyone who's staying longer than the end of December has to get them. So there was this bike out back of our apartment that was left by a previous missionary. It's a way nice bike but it was locked up and the key was lost. I went out there last week and pulled on the lock and it turned out it wasn't actually locked! So now I get my bike for free (which is a way nice bike) where as before I would have had to pay a significant amount of money for one! You’re welcome ;)

So this last week has been pretty busy. The highlights can be split up into three different events.

First, do you remember that one investigator I told you about? The one who I bore my testimony on the importance of the Book of Mormon in my poor Danish. We lost contact with her until last week. We met up with her again, this time with a member whom we just recently reactivated.  She was still having a hard time with the Book of Mormon. Luckily, this time our member bore his testimony of the importance of the Book of Mormon. She then opened up and said that because she loves the Bible so much and it has helped her in many instances in her life she has a hard time believing there could be another word of God. She then asked us to pray for her that she could know the Book of Mormon is true like we do. We called her a few days later and asked if she had read. She said she did and that she can now see why we love the Book of Mormon so much. She said finding out the Book of Mormon was true was the first step, and now she needs to come to church!! How amazing is that?
At Ward BBQ Activity

Next, we had a ward barbecue. It was way fun and I will send pictures ASAP! We played a lot of games and the Bishop's kids were helping me with my Danish the entire time. I also got to play a few songs on the guitar and lead the ward in a sing-a-long of Book of Mormon Stories ;).

Last, I went on splits up to a town named Randers with a missionary who got to Denmark the same day I did. We both had only been out here for about 3 weeks and we had to go to all of the appointments, contact, and tract by ourselves! Not going to lie, I was a little nervous because neither of us speaks really good Danish or understands a lot that's being said to us. Amazingly enough, we placed 2 Book of Mormons and got a phone number to contact! We also taught a couple lessons.
Randers, Denmark

Oh! Also the Bishop thought it would be funny if the zone leaders and my companion told me I had to give a 30 minute talk on Sunday! They kept me believing, as well as the Bishop, that I needed to give my talk in Danish until a couple days beforehand. Finally my companion felt bad enough because of my stress that he told me the truth. Ha, my Bishop is so funny...

Well, I hope everything continues to roll in Utah. I'll try to get those pictures back to you as soon as I can. Love you all!