Monday, November 25, 2013

The Bible, Missionnæring, and some good Football.

Why hello there! The Sun has risen and set approximately 7 times since our last opportunity to write, and it's great to hear about all the events that have occurred in those 7 days.

First things first: I got all of the presents, I believe, by now. I got a few packages over the course of a few days. It was actually really funny because usually Ældste Huffaker is the one getting mail (because he has a girlfriend and other friends who right him a TON!) but during those 3 or so days he didn't get a single letter and I kept getting packages full of Christmas gifts! It was so funny!! Thank you again for all that you sent to me! 

Congrats to Casey on her part! I'm sure it will be a fun experience for her!

Thanksgiving Meal with the Zone
Exciting that you decided on 7 Brides for 7 Brothers (for the Scera Park Elementary musical)! That's a way fun show and I bet it's going to be soooooo funny!

So Ældste Will Wright will be speaking a REALLY different dialect then the rest of us. It's like speaking Danish with a Swedish accent almost. It's pretty weird. Oh! Which reminds me of this hilarious experience we had this past week! We ate dinner with this member from Sweden who now speaks Danish, her fiance who only speaks Swedish, and the Ægtepar (Senior Missionary couple) where one of them only speaks English! So it was a weird mixture of Danish, English, and Swedish at the dinner table!

Ældste Huffaker is doing just fine now. He's been off of his crutches and we've been able to work just about the same as before. Of course we're going easier on his leg because we don't want to overwork it, but he's been great! And let Grandma know that I'm willing to sacrifice the safety and well-being of all of my companions to get her letters mailed. ;)

An awesome experience we had was our opportunity we had to go to one of the Fri Kirke [Free Church] Bible Studies. They were so grateful for us going to their service project last Sunday that one of them invited us over to eat and discuss the Bible with them and some other friends. It turned out to be a fantastic experience. By the end they were all saying about how they now have a different perspective on Mormons where before they were really weird to them, but now they think they're awesome! We also were able to discuss our views on following Christ and becoming sanctified by becoming a true disciple. Ha, it was pretty funny because they started asking us personal questions about our lives back at home, whether or not we had girlfriends, and marriage advice for the future! Ha, it's always kind of weird talking about our lives back at home, sometimes they feel like they don't exist. They invited us to the next one as well so we hope we will be able to develop this connection we have with all of these Fri kirke members.

We had a really good contact this past week. Since we were short on lessons this week we had more time to go knocking doors where we hadn't had that much time to do that recently. So we were knocking and nobody was responding very well so we decided to switch contacting approaches. Before we were introducing ourselves as the missionaries but they would close the door and shut their ears before we could get any farther than that, so we decided to try starting right in on the message. The next door we knocked a lady opened the door and as soon as she opened I said, "Gud har genoprettet Sin kirke igen her på jorden. Vi har en profet til at leder os i vores dage, ligesom i Bibelen. Tror du på Bibelen?" [Translation: God has restored His church again on the earth. We have a prophet to guide us in our days, like in the Bible. Do you believe in the Bible?]

She was caught completely off guard, but after figuring out what exactly I was saying she opened right up. She thought that what I said was an interesting concept and she began to explain to us her beliefs. I then asked her, "Hvorfor tror du på Gud?" [Translation: Why do you believe in God?]

She thought for a second, and then said, "Jeg har ikke noget bevis at Gud eksisterer, men Han har givet mig trøst når jeg har haft det svært." [Translation: I have no proof that God exists, but He has given me comfort when I've had it hard.]  

Then I replied, "Du sagde du har ikke et bevis at Gud eksisterer, men vi har noget som har hjulpet os rigtig meget at styrke vores forbindelse til Gud, og det hedder Mormons Bog." [Translation: You said you have no proof that God exists, but we have something that has helped us a lot to strengthen our connection to God, and it's called the Book of Mormon.]

When she found out that we were giving the Book of Mormon out for free she was so excited. We then gave her a passage to read and asked her if we could come back on follow up on her reading and she told us we were always welcome! It just goes to show how preaching the Doctrine really carries the message to the hearts of the people who are ready to accept the Gospel!

I also got to go to a Football game (Soccer) this past week! FC Randers one of the Danish Professional Football teams and one of our members works at the stadium so she got us free tickets! It was really fun and I'll send some pictures!
FC Randers Professional Soccer Game

The rest of the week was pretty dull. A few lessons here and there were nothing really happened. A few of our positive investigators have been really hard to get in contact with so hopefully this week will be a little better with that! But you can't complain, things are going great here.

Thanks for writing! I love all of your emails. Remember I love you all!


-Ældste Wawro

Monday, November 18, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving Y'all!

Huddling at the Zone Turkey Bowl

Hello Hello Hello! It's always good to hear from home and to hear about your doings in the wonderful land of Utah. This past week has been pretty crazy for Ældste Huffaker and I, but very awesome nevertheless.

I'm glad to hear that David and Peter are ok in the Philippines! Good luck to Haley with all of her MDT stuff. That's crazy that Mr. Willie is coming to Denmark! What's making him come here?

Oh, by the way, Ældste Will Wright (from our home stake in Orem, Utah) got to the mission a couple weeks ago. I was really excited to talk to him except I heard that he was sent to...


Bornholm is a tiny Island that really is closer to Sweden than it is to Denmark. Actually, it's closer to Poland than it is to Denmark! But it's stilled owned by Denmark so it's in our mission. Ældste Wright actually had to take a train through Sweden and then take a ferry down to Bornholm, so I probably won't be hearing anything from him for the next couple months. All of the missionaries who were in the MTC with him love him though!
Striking Fear Into the Defense!

So, we had our Thanksgiving dinner this last week. It's awesome you have those pictures, I have a few more to send as well. It consisted of our Turkey Bowl, Thanksgiving Dinner, Zone Training, and Talent Show! Let me tell you, we have a very talented Zone. For my talent I just did an improv arrangement of Come, Come Ye Saints on the piano and sang. It was a really fun day and definitely was a good stress-reliever from the stresses of everyday Mission Life.

Zone Talent Show

You also noticed that Ældste Huffaker was on crutches, which also happens to be the reason why I haven't responded to Grandma Betty...   So last Monday I wrote my letter to Grandma (because I always send handwritten letters) and we were riding our bikes down one of the infamous steep hills of Randers. I needed to buy stamps to send home so we were on our way to do that. On the way down a car started turning right and suddenly stopped in the middle of the bike lane because another car cut him off. Ældste Huffaker couldn't stop in time so he rammed into the back of the car and fell down to the pavement. He is ok and is no longer on crutches. But it was a little bit of a scary experience. He ended up going to the hospital and we waited in the waiting room for 5 1/2 hours (I LOVE socialized medicine...) and finally got x-rays. No broken bones, nothing sprained! He got crutches because of bruising and swelling, but he's been healing up nicely and I suppose all's well that ends well, right?
Lookin' Cool at Zone Conference

So, our missionary experiences: We finally had the opportunity to meet with an investigator of ours. He has a family of 3 daughters and his wife. He has worked with people in Utah for a while now and has had the opportunity to meet and talk with many Mormons. He was given to us as a media referral and we met with him once before, but he left on another work trip to Utah and we lost contact with him for a couple months. 

We finally made contact with him over the phone and the first thing he says to us is that he is currently on FamilySearch and loves the churches genealogy site!
He continued to tell us that he visited Temple Square while he was in Utah, went on a tour, and loved everything that he heard. He was more than happy to meet again and discuss the Gospel. We prayerfully thought of a member that we could bring with us and we both decided to take the Elders Quorum President with us. 

Our lesson with him was fantastic. He told us that he downloaded the Mormon Channel app on his phone and he thinks that it is a wonderful app. He uses it all the time and he loves to see the videos. He also told us that he hasn't had time to "read" the Book of Mormon, so he has downloaded the scripture audio files and "listens" to them while he is driving in the car! He loved that we brought a Dane with us so he could know what it was like being a Mormon in Denmark. He asked about family life, raising children in the church, the church programs, how one becomes a member, and other fantastic questions. He also told us about his 7 year old daughter who has begun learning about religion in school and has started praying to God by herself. This man wants to be a member. The one problem is that his wife is not super into Mormonism. In fact, she is not interested at all. We can tell that that will be the biggest hurdle to get over but with the Lord's help we know we will figure something out!
Zone Training

We had an experience about following the Spirit this past week as well. We were going by some former investigators that we found in some records and nobody was answering their doors. It was getting a little disheartening, but we kept going and door after door they weren't home, moved, or just wouldn't answer. The second to last apartment we had to visit was locked and we couldn't get up there. But, for some reason, we decided to press the buzz box down at the door and see if she would answer and then come and unlock the door for us. So, we buzzed it and waited. A lady answered and asked who it was, we introduced ourselves, she said she had no idea who we were and then hung up. That was sad and confusing because we really felt as if we needed to do that. We continued on to the next apartment we needed to visit and looked on the mailbox and saw that the man's name that we were trying to visit no longer was there. We just stood there for a second, feeling a little bad for ourselves, when two men walked out of the apartment, one started to walk away on the sidewalk, and the other man looked at us and asked what we were doing. We told him that we were trying to find this man, and we showed him the name. He paused, then he asked us why. We told him who we were and we just needed to talk to him for a little bit. He then ran out on the road, called out to the man to come back who started walking away, and introduced him as the man we were looking for.

Turns out that man no longer lived there.  He was just visiting a friend who lived in that apartment just for a second, and was out the door right when we got there. The Lord placed us where we needed to be at the exact right time so we could find him! We were able to give him our card and invite him to church. It's amazing how the Lord works, and to think we wouldn't have met him if we hadn't taken the time to stop and try the buzz box.

We also had an investigator come to church! He is one of our friends from the Fri Kirke [Free Church] that we've had a little bit of a hard time getting in contact with. The Elders Quorum President actually was the one who was present when we first taught him as well and last Friday he ran into him at work. They recognized each other, started talking, and our investigator said that he would come to church on Sunday and that he would bring a friend. And he did! 

He actually is leaving to America today and he hadn't packed yet so after Sacrament meeting he said he needed to leave. He told me he was disappointed though because we didn't talk more out of the blue book (Book of Mormon). I told him that we would be doing that in the next class and if he wanted, he could just stay for 15 minutes and then leave right after. He thought for a second, and then decided he wanted to do that. He ended up staying the entire time for Sunday School and Priesthood! He was engaged the entire time, asked questions, and gave his opinions during class. It was truly amazing to see. He then invited us to a service project at the Fri Kirke in the evening which we went to last night and made many more friends! It's amazing all the people we have begun meeting from that initial contact Ældste Peterson and I made on the street to that Fri Kirke couple.

Probably the highlight of my week, though, was that an inactive that we've met with a couple times came to church yesterday. He is that inactive that we had the opportunity to meet with through the member who set it up during splits. He has such a strong testimony and the last time we met he told me that he knew the church was true, he just didn't know how to come back. I told him last time, "You'll come back, I know you will." but it was amazing to actually see him come. The Bishop and I were talking to him after Sacrament Meeting and the Bishop asked what made him come back and he responded, "I just have really good missionaries." And he looked at me and smiled. I was so touched and I never realized the importance of bringing less-actives back until then. It created a feeling inside of me that I've never felt before, not even at a baptism. I am very grateful for that realization and I hope that he will continue to come to church in the coming weeks!

By the way, I received all of my gifts this past week and I am very grateful for them! I set up the Christmas tree already and my gifts are sitting underneath it. And thank you Casey for the Album! I was literally thinking the day before I got them that I wanted to see that Christmas Concert again! It's sooooooo good! I can't wait to open the rest on Christmas Day! :) Thanks to all of you, and Grandma Warren as well!

Well, that's all for now folks! Thank you so much for writing! Vi snakkes!

Ældste Wawro

Christmas Tree & Gifts from the Family 

Monday, November 11, 2013

7 Months and Counting- Lets GOOOOOOOO!

Hej Hej Hej!!

Yesterday marked 7 months! Where did those 7 months go? It's amazing to me that Christmas is just around the corner. I suppose you all have Thanksgiving first. Luckily, this week the Nord Jylland Zone will be having a little feast as well since it is not celebrated here.

The members have been so great and we have barely cooked at all recently. We are hopping from appointment to appointment with members to investigators to service and all other sorts of things. We seems to always be eating with an investigators and/or member. Good thing we cycle and walk everywhere otherwise I would be faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!

I'm glad that the YA Performance/Workshop was a blast! As usual, I know you were all extremely busy with that but it definitely sounded like it was worth it. If you have a chance say hi to my previous acting partner, Breanna, as well!

Dome Church in Viborg
It is getting significantly colder here. I've actually started wearing thermals every day! Luckily I'm always basically warm. The coldest I every get is when I'm cycling and the wind is blowing against my face.
We had a great lesson with one of our investigators this week. We read through the next chapter in the Book of Mormon which she left off from in her personal reading and it just happened to be the scripture which introduces the Liahona. We were able to tie that in with her great experience in church, her efforts in holding the Word of Wisdom, and commitment to attend church again. Things are going well with her.

We had a couple lessons with another investigator and his kæreste [girlfriend]. Both went really well, but especially the one that we had at one of the member’s homes. We ate dinner with them and talked about life and it was very hyggelig [cosy]. Somehow, though, the Nielsen family were able to tie it all in to God and the Gospel and a whole bunch of other topics. We barely taught anything! So as for your question, Mom, about how the members are doing with helping us out, they have been really helpful in almost every aspect of the work.

We've finally gotten in contact with a man who was referred from Utah in September and we had a first lesson with him in the middle of that month. He was really nice, has a family with a wife and 2 kids, a businessman, and seems to be all around a very pleasant man. He left on a business trip to Utah and we weren't able to contact him until this past week. Turns out that when we called he was on and was doing genealogy! Amazing! He also told us that he visited temple square and loved it, and wants to come to church this next Sunday. He has some questions for us and seems to be very positive for our next appointment this week. It would be amazing to have an addition like his family into the Randers Branch.

Yesterday we had another miracle. We didn't have any investigators who were coming to church and we were sad, but it happens. We were especially sad because it was the Primary Program. Right before church started a random man sees that something is going on in the church, decides to check it out, comes in, and stays for the entire Sacrament Meeting! Afterwards we gave him a church tour and a pamphlet and he said he would love to come again. He didn't want our number, but who knows, maybe he will come again!

Thanks for sending those Christmas packages Mom! I'll let you know when I get them! I don't know how long I'm going to be in Randers and I only find out if I'm staying another transfer the weekend before, so I can't give you an answer about that. Hopefully I make it past Christmas because we have a ton of member appointments planned!

Oh! I mentioned that the Primary Program was held yesterday. I actually played piano for it and they were so funny! I'm telling you, there is nothing like a Danish kid speaking at a pulpit. So funny!
I don't have anything else for this week, so prepare to get some pictures and I can't wait to hear from you all again in one week’s time!

Ældste Wawro

P.S. - I also forgot, people have asked to see pictures of you all but I don't have any printed off! So maybe some point in time you can prints off some pictures of all of us from whenever and send them over. That would be fantastic! Love you all!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Glæde Halloween!

Elder Wawro and Elder Huffaker
Happy Halloween everyone! I hope that it went well for you all. Here in Denmark they do celebrate Halloween, but not quite to the extent that you do in America. That's ok because they really make up for it for Christmas! Members have actually already called us to have us over for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Day after Christmas, and New Year’s Eve! It's been really great being here in Randers and, by the way, I shall be here for another 6 weeks! I am really hoping that I do not get transferred right before Christmas, but I'll at least be here ‘til Dec. 15 with Ældste Huffaker.

Those costumes were great! Nathan's made me laugh so hard!

Mom, thanks for the packages! I really love the new tie that you sent. I've actually been in dire need of a green tie! Thank you so much for sending that. By the way, Søster Soper actually sent me a pack of scripture markers that have been so fantastic but many of the markers are almost out of the crayon stuff, so if in the next package you can send some of those that would be great!
A Danish Country Church

There was this crazy storm that I see that you found out about! We actually had to cancel a couple of our appointments and stay inside for the evening. It was crazy stuff, but we're completely fine. The lights on our street went out though and so it was just so black!! Fun experience though!

This week has been a very busy week for us! We have been richly blessed to have our days filled with member visits, lessons, and service. We're very grateful and happy to see our relations to the members strengthen and progress happen with our investigators.

This past week we had two surprise lessons with less-actives on our way to Grenå. We picked up a few numbers on our way as well with people who wanted us to call back, but a couple people actually let us in. One lives out in the middle of nowhere and hasn't been visited by members for years. He was born into the church but never has been too active. His wife died 10 years ago as well as one of his sons. He lives alone and he seems to be very lonely. At first he was a little stand-offish but over time we couldn't get him to stop talking! He really enjoyed talking with us and told us we could stop by again next time we were in the area.

The other lesson was in Grenå. We actually accidentally knocked on this door thinking it was somebody else but she let us in. She hadn't been to church in years because she is living with a man she is not married to and is very worried about being judged. She seemed to really appreciate our visit though and we plan and visiting again next time we are in Grenå.

We had a few other lessons with some investigators but the really positive experience happened with a particular investigator. We visited her this past week and had a DTR lesson with her. We wanted to figure out exactly why she was meeting with us and if she was really willing to change. The lesson was going well and then we invited her to church. She told us she couldn't because she was going to a party on Saturday and would be hung-over Sunday morning. For a second we didn't even know what to say. After a few seconds a thought came into my head and I said, "[Sister], but you said you were going to hold the Word of Wisdom so you're not going to get drunk, so you'll be able to come to church this Sunday, right?" She looked back at me, thought a second, then said, "Ya...I guess you're right. I'll be there at church." That in of itself was a miracle, but she had promised she would come to church before and didn't so we made sure to make arrangements like before to pick her up. We were hoping she wouldn't leave another note on the door saying she couldn't come (as happened last time). We prayed the morning of to let her come and when we got there we saw her already outside of her apartment and walking towards the church. We were a couple minutes late getting there so she began walking herself! Her experience at church was as much a miracle as the members were so warm and welcoming. Before arriving at the church she said that she might try coming back again in 2 or three weeks, but by the end of church she said to expect us seeing her the next week at church! We are so thankful for God's help in preparing the way for her to come to church.

The members seem to really enjoy Ældste Huffaker and me. They always seem to be inviting us over and have been really helpful with member presents recently! It's been a great blessing to work here with him.

Oh, randomly, this past week I contacted a person from Poland! I've actually met quite a few Polish people here but this one I had a pretty lengthy conversation with. Whenever I meet a Pole I tell them that my ancestors (is that how you spell that? well here's Danish for that [forfædre]) come from and then they quickly switch in to Polish and I'm “Hold Up!” I only speak English and Danish! But anyway, with this lady I showed her my name and asked her how many Wawros she knew. She said that she could tell that it was Polish, but she had never seen that name before in her life! I guess our name is uncommon wherever we go! It was awesome to hear a Pole pronounce it though.

Thanks again for writing! Can't wait to hear from you all again in one weeks time!


-Ældste Wawro
More Danish Countryside