Monday, October 28, 2013

Here, There, and Everywhere

Looking out over the Village of Hobro
Hej! As the weeks roll by the time has come again to hear from Ældste Wawro! This past week has been a week of traveling to a few cities outside of Randers! This week for us has honestly been a little bit slower and actually I've had the least amount of lessons taught this week than any other week on my mission. It's been hard, but actually I feel like we did the best we could and we did much good even if it didn't show in the numbers.

I can't believe Halloween is already right around the corner! Those cul-de-sac parties were always fun! Too bad I can't help with the spook alley this year. I think that's so funny about Nathan going AGAIN as Nacho Libre!! This year I'll be going as a missionary. It's actually pretty creepy here because it's already completely dark at 5:30 now so the sun starts setting around 4. I can only imagine what Halloween is going to be like!

Please tell me about the Temple Præsident! So does he live in Utah Valley or how do you know them?

Things are going really great with Ældste Huffaker. People can tell that we get along really well and members seem to love us! Actually, Præsident Sederholm told me that he received a letter from one of the members in the Randers Branch telling him that he can't transfer either of us until after Christmas! We keep it fun in our companionship. Sometimes when there's nobody around we'll start beat-boxing or doing parkour and jumping off of things. It's great and I'm really grateful for a companion that I get along with really well!

As I said, this past week was spent in a few other towns in Denmark, so I will classify my stories with the towns:

Fredericia - Ældste Huffaker and I went down to Fredericia this past week for the 1 month new missionary training with Præsident Sederholm. We took a train ride down there and then picked up some of the other missionaries on the way. The train got so full that we ended up having to stand for 2 hours as we rode down to Fredericia. After we got off we realized we had no idea where to go so we had to start asking Danes for directions! After a bit of time we found another group and started following them. The leader of our group, a previous AP who was released for his last transfer here in Denmark, accidentally took us on the wrong bus and we had to walk forever to get to the church. It was a fun trip.
Elder Huffaker Sleeping on a Train

The meeting itself was great. Ældste Huffaker had a good time meeting his old friends from the MTC and I got to see some of mine as well. For the most part they were all older missionaries so it was great to get to know them a little bit better. I felt so young though! Præsident talked alot about making faith a principle of power and the ability God has to make up for our weaknesses. It was great!

Aalborg - We had our distrikt meeting in Aalborg and that is always fun. I might have already told you this but we switched from the Århus distrikt to the Nord Jylland Distrikt. Basically I only mentioned this because I wanted to make the point that we were in a lot of different cities this week, nothing special really happened in Aalborg.

Hobro -Our biggest miracle that happened was with the lesson we did have with one of our investigators. Everything just seemed to work out perfectly so we could meet him. We actually decided to stop in Hobro on our way back from our district meeting in Aalborg since it was on the way and it would save time and money. We had a list of some investigators we could stop by, but on our way up we found a bike on sale. Ældste Huffaker has been in dire need of a bike so we went in to buy it quickly but found out they didn't accept cards so we had to run to an ATM. The ATM was giving us problems and we found out that he couldn't take out all the money he needed in one day because of a safety block in his bank account, so after a few minutes of messing around with that we went back to the Bike Shop and asked him to just hold on to the bike until we could make our way back to Hobro.

We then made our way up and decided to stop by one of our investigators since he was so close by. We caught him right when he was on his way out the door and had decided to only drop by his house for a couple minutes. We had met him in the exact 2 minute time frame that he was home and we were able to have a lesson with him! Everything happened to work out the way it did just so we could catch him at the exact right time.

The lesson started off a little rough because he had just found out that Joseph Smith was a Free Mason and he had some deep concerns about that. We did the only thing that seemed right and bore testimony that we knew he was a prophet and all of his concerns could be solved through the Book of Mormon. He then asked why the Book of Mormon was so important and why God would need to send more scripture than the Bible. All of these questions and concern we were able to answer in just the way he needed to hear it. The Spirit was very strong and his behavior changed from beginning a little hostile and wanting to bash to sincerely listening to how we live the doctrine of Christ.
Village of Hobro

Another cool thing was while we were in Hobro, Ældste Huffaker and I went inside a Danske Folke Kirke [translation: Danish Free Church] and found it was completely empty. There was a piano in the middle of this hall so I decided to play it. Naturally, I had to play "Praise to the Man" and actually, it was a way interesting experience. I could feel the Spirit present.  Way cool!

You will also be happy to hear that Hobro is a very beautiful place so while I was there Ældste Huffaker and I took a lot of great pictures. It was great to hear from you all again this week! Thank you for everything and I can't wait to write again next week!


Ældste Wawro

Monday, October 21, 2013

Insert Clever Title Here ....

Hello everyone, here and afar! It is all of your favorite time of week once again as you get to hear from your favorite missionary, Ældste Wawro. Let there be much rejoicing and merry-making.

Congratulations to Aunt Wanda with her wedding (that is awesome!!!) Nathan and his singing competition, and Casey with her volleyball games! What a week! Sounds like you all will keep busy. Thank you for writing, I really love hearing from all of you and all the stories you share! Unfortunately, today I don't have time to refer to everything you sent, but I'll spend a little bit more time on my experiences here since there were quite a few awesome ones!

First, everybody this week thought that I wasn't American who I spoke with! That's always good.  Nobody wants to sound American in Europe. ;) On the train a lady started talking to me and after a while she asked me where I came from. She said, "I just can't place it because you sound Swedish but your name tells me you're not from there." Nobody thinks I'm Danish yet, but I'll take any Scandinavian country accent over an American accent, as far as Danish accents go.

So I had the opportunity to go up on splits with the Ældsters in Aalborg. That was way great! We taught a lesson to this lady who had been investigating for a while. It was just a really relaxed lesson and the spirit was really strong. Right after, we played basketball and I made the winning shot for my team.  I suppose I'm just an awesome basketball player. ;)

There were a couple of experiences where we ended up somewhere and our plans fell through so we didn't know what to do. This month our mission has been focusing on chapter 4 in Preach My Gospel, Recognizing and following the Spirit, so we decided to pray what to do.
The first day we had gone to a part of town that took like an hour to walk to and got there to find out all of the apartments were locked at the bottom so we couldn't visit any of the people who said we could come back. We prayed to know why we were in that area because we had no idea why we were there. Literally not 5 seconds later we started a conversation with a lady who turned out to be a Jehovah’s Witness. She was way nice, took a pamphlet, and pointed us in a direction of apartments where they weren't locked so we could knock doors. It was a huge blessing for us.

The next time was a couple days ago. None of our people we visited were home and we found ourselves with some extra time, so we prayed again to find out why we were there. The next person we talked to was a younger Dane, she was probably around 19, and she told us that her Grandmother was born into a Mormon Family! Her Grandmother left and she was not religious either, but she told us she would like to learn what her family believed in and why! Amazing!

Anyway, the craziest thing was that this past week we went to a young adult "activity" for another church. It's called a fri kirke [Translation: Free Church] and basically all religions are welcome. Those 5 investigators we picked up are active members of this church. They invited us to this activity and we thought it would be a little bible study or something...we were wrong. There were hundreds of Danes from all across Denmark! They had an awesome Danish Christian Rock Band there and a priest who came all the way up from Britain who was awesome. It was a huge gathering and cost a bit of money, but they saw that we were Mormon missionaries from the US and thought that was awesome so let us go in for free and also gave us free albums from this band! They thought us giving up two years of our lives just to preach the Gospel was awesome. It is awesome, isn't it? It's the best, it really is. Our investigators were also so appreciative for our willingness to come and they said that they had to come to church and our Young Adults activity as well!

Well, those were the big things that happened! There are many miracles that happen every day and there is no way that I could name every single one, but they happen. One thing that Ældste Bednar has said is that we should pray for the Spirit of Discernment so we can recognize these blessings when they happen! We should always try our best to recognize them and be thankful.

I hope that you all have a great week! I love you all! Vi Ses! [Translation: You Six]


-Ældste Wawro

Monday, October 14, 2013

6 Months - Where'd the time go?

Missionaries from North Jylland Zone Who Have Been Out for 6 Months

Happy 6 months to me!! This past week on the 10th of October marked 6 months since I entered the Missionary Training Center. Seems so quick and yet it seems like I've always been here.

I must say, those pictures of Kaleb are pretty awesome. New Zealand is so different from Denmark but it looks so beautiful! Can't wait to talk about it with him!

Proud to hear about Nathan and his games! Way to represent! Also, tillykke [Translation: congratulations] with your part in Little Women!

I can tell that volleyball has been a great experience for Casey. I hope you the best with your upcoming games! Way to be productive, keep saving your money, you'll appreciate it in the future!
Whitening Fields of Denmark

Good luck with all the music directing Dad! Sounds like your plate is full, as usual. What would you do with free time anyway? As for Danish missionaries, I believe there is one now from the Island Bornholm who stayed in Denmark and there is also one from Iceland. I believe that's it though. For the most part they leave to either Switzerland, Greece, Great Britain, or the USA. I'm also working really hard on my language. It's hard but I know it's so important. How long did it take you with Korean?

I wish I could see that new missionary movie! Sounds awesome! Nothing crazy like that happens here in Denmark, so no need to worry there!

Mom, tell me when you figure out which play you're doing! I'm sure it will be way fun. Also, I did receive your package a couple days ago! Thank you so much for everything you sent! I don't think you should send my Christmas packages to this address because I actually have a very big possibility of being transferred.

Dani, Ashley, it's great to hear from you two! The answer to the question of who is my favorite question is this: Doesn't really matter because I'm both of your favorite cousin! Thank you for writing; it was great to hear from you both! Keep me updated with your doings in the US!

 A fantastic miracle that I want to write about to you happened this past week. Recently I've been trying to talk to every single person that I can cause it's important, right? So I was doing that and in the process we realized that we were going to be late to reaching our apartment in the evening. We just contacted somebody who literally laughed at us and disregarded everything we said...sad day. Then we saw a couple emerging from the dark (because it gets very dark here being way up north) and my companion and I had to decide whether or not to contact them. It was dark, cold, we were late, we were just laughed at, and contacting couples never is fun. But, we did it anyway. They ended up being way nice and we found out that they were members of the Fri Kirke [Translation: Free Church] here in Randers and very actively religious. Also recently married (very unusual here in Denmark for people in their early 20's). I asked them if we could meet and talk about our church and they said yes!
Large Cathedral in Randers Downtown

That in itself was a miracle, but later on she started texting us and started taking the initiative to set up the appointment herself! She decided the time, place, and even arranged for food all on her own! She even said she was going to invite a friend! Wow! Awesome! But it doesn't even end there.

The night before we prayerfully decided on a member to bring with us and we both felt good about the member we decided on. Then the day came to meet with her. When we got there we were surprised to see her, her husband, and 3 other friends she had invited! All of them are very actively religious and very open minded. They asked about our church and of course we were more than inclined to answer. The lesson went great and by the end all of them accepted copies of the Book of Mormon and said that they would make it to one of our church services! 5 new investigators were added into our teaching pool that day. The Lord really does look out for his servants!

My new companion, Ældste Huffaker, is awesome. We get along so well. It's been a really great experience to serve with him and I hope that I will be able to be with him for a long time! Sadly, I don't think I will. We had interviews with the Præsident and he told me that he thinks he could be someone who will train at the end of this transfer, which means I'd probably leave Randers. Both of those thoughts are sad, but they are both in the future so best not to be dwelled upon!

I hope that you all continue to have amazing days and weeks and months ahead! Hopefully the next 6 months will be as adventurous and enlightening as the last! Jeg elsker jer! [Translation: I Love You!]


Ældste Christian Patrick Wawro

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Saga Begins...

Elder Wawro with Elder Huffaker with President & Sister Sederholm
The Saga has begun folks. Ældste Huffaker and I have made it through our first weekend in the training process, and it has been fantastic. But really, Heavenly Father has helped me so much this past week with my Danish and with my missionnæring in general. Actually, our ward mission Leader, Jakob, is meeting with us in the mornings during our language study and helping us with that, so that's awesome!

My companion, Ældste Huffaker, is a fantastic missionary. He speaks significantly better Danish than I did at his point in time. Apparently he had a friend at BYU who was Danish so he taught him a lot beforehand. Ældste Huffaker comes from Boise, Idaho and was studying Film at BYU. He is a very hard-working missionary and I've already learned a ton from him.  Even on our train-ride back from København he was talking to people sitting across from us in his broken Danish, asking questions about the Danish language! He really just wants to talk to everyone. He was reassigned to the Chicago Mission for 6 weeks before he received his VISA so he already knows all the basics of missionary work. Basically, I have it really easy with him.

The members here already seem to like him a lot. They can see how determined he is to get things done so it's been great to see them get excited as well. He speaks Danish at absolutely every opportunity he has and will even ask people on the street a question about the language! We also get along very well so that has been a big blessing for me.

We've visited a few of our investigators and our less actives this past week with him so he could meet them. All of them went very well. They seem to connect very well with us both and when we talk about the Gospel it seems more like a discussion than it does just us sitting there talking.

Visit to Copenhagen

Copenhagen Temple
A little about my trip to København, it altogether was pretty eventful. I got to see the temple, but it's being cleaned right now so it was closed. Just my luck, right? I got to see a lot of my friends from the MTC who are serving in København so that was fun! We also had our devotional before being told who we were training and, as usual, Præsident Sederholm was a huge inspiration to all. Right after we found out, we ate, got on the train, and headed back to Randers. It was fun to see Ældste Huffaker's eyes as he saw the huge hill we had to climb up in order to get to our apartment. Oh Randers, what a hilly place.

General Conference was a fun experience. I actually haven't been able to see all of it yet. I still have to see the 2nd half of Saturday Afternoon and all of Sunday Afternoon. I'll try to get that done this week! I set up the church in Randers for the 1st session so we could invite others to see it, went to Århus to see the Priesthood Session, and saw Sunday morning at a member's house (it's funny though because the morning sessions began at 6 PM for us).

The great miracle of the week actually happened yesterday between me seeing Priesthood session and Sunday morning session. A couple days before Ældste Huffaker and I were going through former investigators and decided to call somebody who actually looked pretty positive that somehow Ældste Peterson and I had missed previously. I called him and asked him if we could meet and talk about our church, he said that he was actually busy moving this weekend, so naturally I offered our help. He was surprised and said, "Virkelig?" [Translation: "Really?" We said, "Ja!" So we met at his house Sunday afternoon and helped him move. While there we became really good friends with the family and with our previous investigator. At the end they were really appreciative and super nice to us. Then, our investigator and his friend asked when our church was, we told them, and they said that they would be there! Service does awesome things! When we were walking on our way to the members house the family honked their car as they passed by to us. Great potential in store there!

It's awesome to all about Shakespeare. Seems like all around it was a really positive experience! It's fun to hear about the success you all had! I thought also (from what I've seen so far) that General Conference was awesome! Thanks for sending me another package Mom! As I finish my email, I'll tell you to be ready for pictures! Thank you all and remember that I love you!


Ældste Wawro

15 new missionaries and their trainers

Me, Ældste Huffaker, and the Assistants (Previous Zone Leaders I lived with in Århus)

Tall Ship Pictures in Ebeltoft! the "Fregatten Jylland"