Monday, August 26, 2013

Randers, Round 2

Hej! Greetings from Randers. Another week passes by in the Land and things continue to be about the same. You really see miracles everyday out here and it's always amazing.

First off, I can't believe Jared is actually home!! Crazy!!! I really can't believe it's been two years already. You have to make him email me! I think that's hilarious that he speaks with a little bit of an accent. Looked like the traditional playing ball was as fun as it always is! And Jared eating all of those mash potatoes literally made me laugh out loud here in the library.

So you got an email from a returned missionary named Sister Kendra Arbon? [Christian rode on the same train with Sister Arbon on the day he arrived in Denmark] That's awesome she got in contact with you! And yes, Randers is veeeeeeerrrry hilly. Lucky for me, my bike has had a flat tire so I haven't been able to ride it recently!

I literally just downloaded the Lamb of God album because I decided just to download iTunes at the Library! ;) I am super excited to hear it! Honestly, listening to Rob Gardner out here in the evenings and p-days has been the greatest thing. I have really fallen in love with his music and it really does help strengthen my testimony! I am absolutely in love with his arrangement of the Spirit of God! It makes me want to write music when I get home, but I still have no idea what I want to do! That's too far out in the future to really think about anyway.

Tomas Kofod as Christ
[To answer your question about whether I knew that the actor who portrays Christ in the older New Testament film clips is Danish]  Actually, every missionary out here in Denmark knows that the actor from the older New Testament videos is Danish. It's a pretty big deal out here. His name is Tomas Kofod and he's a really respected actor. He has a really cool story about him getting the role of Jesus Christ in the films. Before he was converted he was doing a play where someone offered him a role where he would have to be naked in. Because the media is quite liberal here in Denmark, that kind of thing is very common and really wouldn't be a big deal for many Danes. However, up to this point in his career he had never had a role where he would have to do something like that but he never really gave it a second thought. For some reason though, when they offered him the part, he just got this really sick feeling inside that became so strong that he had to turn down the part. He had no idea why he would do something like that. A few years later he was converted and baptized into the Church.  When the Church offered him the part of Jesus Christ, he was interviewed by the First Presidency they asked him if he had every done anything on stage in the past that would have shown disrespect to himself or the church, such as being naked. Because of his decision to turn down that part he was able to play Jesus Christ he could answer that he honestly had not! (Oh, it also shows you how well Danes can speak English...that can make it hard at times because they just want to speak English!)
Tomas Kofod in 17 Miracles

It's exciting that the play opens soon! I wish I could see it! I bet it's going great though. Also, it's really cool that there is an investigator at church! Be the member missionaries that we want here in Denmark! ;) 

It's always great to hear about all the experiences you have Casey! Boating sounds way fun right now! I remember my bug collection for Mr. Glassford’s Honors was so bad!! Ha ha. I'm glad that Student Council has been fun as well. It's so great to hear your love for seminary as well! I wish I had taken Seminary a little more seriously. Not that I did poorly in any sense, but it really is a huge blessing to be able to go to that.

So, honestly, not a lot happened this past week...other than we set a baptismal date! It was a really great experience. We brought a member along who was great. Afterwards we told him how grateful we were for him coming with us and he replied, "Men det er i vores dåbspagt! Jeg har lovet til Gud at jeg vil gøre disse ting!" (But it is in our baptismal covenant! I have vowed to God that I will do these things) It was great to hear and he even gave a great talk yesterday in church!

We also started meeting again with a family who has been investigating the church for 15 YEARS! The dad even told me he remembers all the old lessons that were memorized. Crazy! We also found out that in all of those years he has never read the Book of Mormon...what? Didn't anybody tell him that the Book of Mormon is written specifically for the intention of convincing people of Jesus the Christ and the Restoration of the Gospel?! Ha, so we committed him to read and he hopefully is going to start, he seemed pretty sincere. 

Yeah, that's about all for now! Hopefully you enjoy the pictures! Jeg elsker jer og håber I vil finde flere muligheder til at tjener andre mennesker og hjælpe dem kommer til Kristus! (I love you and hope you will find more opportunities to serve other people and help them come to Christ!)

Med Kære Hilsens,

Ældste Christian Patrick Wawro
Elders of Israel

Monday, August 19, 2013

A New Home in Randers

Randers Branch Building
Hej Hej Hej!! Greetings from Randers! This past week has been a looooooooong week! A lot of moving, a lot of service, a lot of missionaring. It sounds like everything is going great at home!

It's so great Casey got her Patriarchal Blessing. That is such a great experience. I'm still excited to hear what position she is going to serve in Student Council at school! That's fun that General Ruckus has started again. It's also cool that Elijah is one of the teachers! Please keep me updated!

That is amazing Jared gets back next week!!! I can't even believe it! Oh man, please have him write me when he gets back. I want to hear from him so bad. It's exciting that Carina is on her mission now! Let me know how your trip with Uncle Jeff goes!

Best of luck to you, Mom, with your show! I wish I could see it! That's awesome about Jay going to the Copenhagen temple! I probably won't get there for a while, but I'm so excited to go!
Denmark Copenhagen Temple

So, things here in Randers have been pretty slow for a long time. We do a lot of tracting (I don't know how you spell that word in English) and contacting. Hours and hours of it. It actually isn't too bad though. You get to meet and talk to a lot of new people, even if they aren't interested.

Our first day was a little bit of a miracle. We literally had no plans for the day and literally no sooner than 5 minutes after we left the apartment a man walked up to us and said, "Jeg ønsker jer at besøger mig, hvornår kan I kommer (I want to meet with you, when would be a good time)?" So we set up an appointment right there! After that we were bonking on doors and by some miracle bonked on a previous investigator's door who invited us in and now we are teaching him! Then we bonked on someone else's door about 15 minutes later, set up an appointment for that evening and taught her the Restoration! Later that same day, we also were able to meet with another member who had not been out to church in a long time!

After that day we only had a couple more appointments, so it seemed as if Heavenly Father was saying, "Ok, now I've shown you that you have my help, now it's your turn to do your part." So we've been finding.

We also had a service project at the church and moving a member. That was great because I got to meet the members. They are really excited because I can play piano and sing in the choir. A couple of the members play in one of the Danish Orchestras professionally. They really like to talk about music with me.
The branch is very small, but I really like it here. The members are great and super loving. I'm probably going to be here for a while so I couldn't have asked for a better place to be!

Randers Branch Building
Thanks for everything that you all do for me! I love you all!

-Ældste Christian Patrick Wawro

P.S. Here is a picture with my new Mission Leader! He just got back from his mission in Greece a few months ago!

Monday, August 12, 2013

And I will be moving too....wait for it...

Greetings from Århus! I am extremely depressed to tell you that this will be the last time you here those words...for I will be transferring this week. And the lucky place I'll be traveling to is...*drum roll please*...
Good ole' Randers. Funny enough, I was on splits with the District Leader in Randers the day before I found out! Lucky for me I get transferred to the closest area possible to Århus. It's even in the same district!

I really have mixed feelings about this, and unfortunately most of them are sad. I have come to really love the people here. I've loved the missionaries I've lived with. I'm also leaving right before the big ward baptismal date where three investigators are getting baptized! I really wanted to be there till the end to help our two investigators be ready for their baptismal date, but at least I'll be able to go to the baptism! I'm also very sad because one of the zone leaders I've been living with, Ældste Whitlock, is moving to Copenhagen because he's being made the new assistant! So we won't really see him at all anymore, he's on the opposite side of Denmark.

I am excited for Randers though. It's a great city and I've loved being there the few times I've gone. Actually, last time I was there I contacted a man and placed a Book of Mormon with him. Turns out he actually came to church this last Sunday! So now I'll be able to start teaching him too. I thought that was pretty cool. Also, my new companion, Ældste Petersen, came to Denmark the same day I did, so we are going to need a lot of help from Heavenly Father with our teaching and communicating in Danish! It's a little nerve-racking, but I suppose it all comes down to hard work and faith and He will take care of the rest!

This last week was pretty fun. We did a whole bunch of random activities. We played tennis with an investigator on Monday, went bowling for a Zone Activity on Thursday, and did some other random things! It was a way fun week.

As for our investigators, we had a great experience with that new investigator we picked up from Ms. Greenland. He was so excited to hear the Joseph Smith story. Honestly, I am so glad that that lesson is first because it is the lesson we get to teach the most and I love it even more every time we teach. We really are so blessed to be some of the few people who get to live in this last dispensation with the knowledge of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Anyway, we invited him to baptism and he said if he prays and finds out it's true he will be definitely be baptized!! Also, it's also a little bit more of a miracle how open he is because he's actually Muslim. We teach and talk to a lot of people who are Muslim here.
We also had a little bit of a miracle today. We were at an IKEA store and out of nowhere a random lady ran up to us and introduced herself. Turns out she is an inactive member who loves the missionaries and have been looking out for them since she moved to Denmark. She's lived all around the world but originally comes from Utah. She even served a mission in Argentina! So she invited us to her house and the missionaries here in Århus will be able to meet with her in the future! It was amazing how the Lord made us take the wrong bus so we had to walk a long ways to get to IKEA, made my missionary fund debit card not work so we needed to be held up in line while we received assistance, and then placed us exactly where we needed to be when we needed to be there so we could run into her. Being on a mission is awesome.
It's so great to about all of your experiences! I'm glad you had a good time at Girls Camp Casey. It is way cool Nathan gets to be a counselor [at the Utah Muscular Dystrophy Camp], and it sounds like Haley had an amazing time in New York! Oh, also thanks for all the songs Dad! I seriously love the Joseph Smith Musical and listen to it every day in the morning and evening! Last P-Day I actually created a playlist titled "The Life of Joseph Smith" and combined Rob Gardner’s Joseph Smith Musical and Brett Raymond’s The First Light. I also use Dave Tinney's version of A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief because I love his version. It is amazing how good Rob Gardner really is! Every time I hear his version of The Spirit of God, it's just amazing! Mom, you will have to tell Ethan Evans hi back for me! Oh, and tell me where Ben is going! I still don't know!! I'm glad you're watching the District. I had to watch different clips from it every day for training. I love it.
Sorry about not sending pictures last time, but I didn't really have any pictures to send...that's ok because I definitely am making it up this week! Remember that I love you all and am keeping you in my prayers!
Med Kærlighed,
Ældste Christian Patrick Wawro

Monday, August 5, 2013

On Rivers, Scripture Reading and Reconnecting

Some cows in the countryside outside Aarhus
Aloha, por favor! Greetings from the Land! By the way the word "Land" in Danish means country, so that's why I always say that. It sounds like everything continues to stay exciting and busy back at home. Things continue to be about the same here as well.

Ah, I remember the good times in the Provo River. You also forgot the fact that I got my leg caught between the raft and a rock last time and really badly scraped it. I had to put makeup over my legs that night because I had a performance for the Sound of Music.

That is awesome about Haley having that experience in New York. I forgot that this is Haley's first time in New York City! How exciting! It is also great that she is meeting all of those famous people. Is Big Fish already a musical or are they turning it into a musical? My monologue for Acting Proficiencies at BYU was from Big Fish. That is great about Haley thinking about a mission too. Obviously you will have to keep me updated about that. That is also great about Haley getting into the Polish language class!

So many Weddings! You will have to tell everybody congratulations for me! So you went and saw Guys and Dolls at the Hale Theater in Orem last week. I was thinking about Guys and Dolls the other day. That was a fun play! I hope I can do it again someday! 

Casey, you may think you are getting old but you will always be a baby in my eyes. Always. That is exciting how close you are to getting to High School! I'm glad you're excited to go to Girls Camp this week! It's also great to hear about all the scripture studying you're doing. I wish I had read Preach My Gospel more before my mission. Actually, I recently started the Book of Mormon over from the very beginning. It's going very slowly because I'm going through each chapter with my Book of Mormon Text Books I brought with me and also reading it and marking everything in my Danish Book of Mormon. I am moving vvvvveeeerrrrryyy slowly. In an hour I literally only got through 1 Nephi 8 today. 

So exciting to hear that Carina is getting ready to leave. Make sure to tell their family hi for me as well! Tell her to get ready for the best two years of her life! 

Now this past week unfortunately has been pretty slow...It seemed like nobody was answering their phones and we couldn't meet with hardly anyone, even our most positive investigators. We did hours and hours of contacting, door knocking, and dropping by former investigators and less-actives. It seemed like we weren't getting any success at all. It was a rough week.

On Friday we finally got in contact with one of our investigators. She's the one that was my first appointment where I bore my testimony of the Book of Mormon. From now on I'll call her Ms. Greenland. When we got to Ms. Greenland's house she informed us that she invited a friend that night whom she had given a Book of Mormon and now he was interested in learning more. Not only did we get to teach both of them but Ms. Greenland actually helped teach him as well! It was truly amazing! By the end of the lesson she also said that in the Bible we also have to be baptized by the Holy Ghost and asked if our church did that. We replied, "Absolutely!"
Denmark Copenhagen Temple

Well, last of all, for all who are interested, I heard that they have a new temple video that is amazing. Get to the temple and do an endowment session so you can see it! I wish I had to opportunity so don't miss out on yours since you have the ability to do so! Also, I did see the new Bible Video on Peter and it was amazing! Love those videos.

I hope everything continues to go great. I love you all!

-Ældste Wawro