Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Surprises

What a wonderful time of year it is! Despite the bitter cold, the sickness, the moisture, the money spent, the darkness, and other misfortunes this time of year always feels special filled with joy. Among these feelings are also many surprises, as far as gifts are concerned. I have a few to share with you all now.

First off, I'm sure you've all been wondering about what is going on with transfers. It's been something that Ældste Huffaker and I were waiting on the edge of our seats all week for- that is until Wednesday. You know that if you don't get called then you are staying, but alas, in the middle of our District Meeting my phone began to ring, so I stepped into the hall and looked at the caller id. "Præsident Sederholm".

He told me that both Ældste Huffaker and I will both be training. I can hardly believe I'm training again! It's pretty awesome. I feel like my entire mission has been one training session. I went straight from being trained to being paired with a missionary who finished training at the same time as me to training, and now training again! But then, we realized that one person was staying and one was going. So we asked who it would be.

So yes, alas I am being transferred. So I bet you are all wondering where in the world I'm being sent to. Well, I'll tell you! Here's a hint: I'm opening a new area. And the lucky area is......(drum roll please)............
Transferred.  But to where?


Haha, I'm moving into a new apartment in Randers and now we'll have 2 sets of missionaries here! So luckily for me, I'll be spending Christmas here in Randers! Looks like I'm going to be in Randers for a long while.

BTW, here is my new address here in Randers:

Ældste Christian Patrick Wawro
Hobrovej 21, St. TV
8900 Randers C

But, that wasn't the end of the call.

There is also a new District being formed and he asked me to be the new District Leader for it. Now I don't feel ready for that responsibility at all! I must have been the only option or something because I feel like I'm still trying to figure out what kind of missionary I am. I guess it's pretty cool though, but again, I don't feel ready to be in leadership position. Luckily the Lord always qualifies his servants!

So tomorrow I'll move to my new apartment (which is only like a minute away from my current apartment) and then leave to Copenhagen to pick up my new missionary and materials for the new area/district. Crazy stuff!

Speaking of crazy stuff, how was the Hobbit???!! Amazing?!!! Wow, can't believe it's already out. I feel like I just saw the last one. Actually, when I was going to visit one of our investigators he was playing a way sweet tune, I asked what it was, and he told us it was the Credits Track from the new movie!!! What's it called, “I See Fire?” Something like that. Well, it sounded waaaaaaaayyy coo! Can't wait to see it in another...well...long while.

Too bad that Mom got sick. I actually got way sick as well. Thanks Ældste Huffaker.  Præsident Sederholm actually quarantined me in my apartment, mostly so that I would become healthy in time to pick up the new missionaries tomorrow. So for two days last week I was stuck in my apartment. Talk about cabin fever! But I'm basically all the way better now.
Gammel Estrup Castle

By the way, I did get the last package with the stocking! Thank you so much for it. I haven't looked inside yet, I just saw the candy on top though. And thank you Casey for the Wonderful Card! That was awesome of you to write that. The bear is way cool too. I keep it on my study desk so I can always remember the true story of Christmas.

I didn't actually get to see Ephraim's Rescue with the rest of the mission!! I told you that we were going to see a movie at our Zone Conference, but a storm came and hit Jylland way hard so we needed to drive back early and stay indoors!! The trains actually closed down so a bunch of missionaries needed to stay in Århus so they all got to see the movie...all well.

Also, thanks for the Mormon Tabernacle Christmas songs! I love getting new songs. I love all the songs I already have, but I listen to them so much that it's nice to hear some new ones.

So as for my last week...

Last Tuesday we were able to take one of our friends from the Fri Kirke down to SUV (which is the Young Single Adults Weekly Activity) in Århus to meet some other Mormons around our age. It started off a little rough and she seemed kind of lost and alone at the beginning, even though the members were trying to be very inclusive. As the night went on, though, she really opened up and started to talk and get to know the members. It turned out to be a great evening. The best part was our talk on the way back to Randers though. We were able to see where she personally stood and she shared some of her concerns she had with our religion. We were able to explain all of these things very well in a non-hostile manner while still being confident that what we were saying was true. We ended by telling her that it doesn't really matter what we say though, it all depends on what she decides to find out for herself. We'll never convince her of the truth of anything, it's the power of the Holy Ghost that will tell her whether or not the Book of Mormon is true, Joseph was a Prophet, and this is the true church again here on Earth. I really hope she begins to read and just tries to find out for herself.

We had another lesson with a less-active member from China. He was really stressed out because of a bad business deal he made that he needed to solve fast, but he still let us in the door to talk. We ended up having a really great discussion about our faith. Because he's from China he doesn't have a Christian-background at all. When I first met him a few months back he thought the only Christian church was the Mormon Church! Anyway, he has had some discussions with some friends recently who have been trying to disprove our religion to him. He told us that a lot of what they had to say made a lot of sense to him. They asked him why he would join a religion that would restrict him from all of these things (smoking, sex, alcohol, etc...) that would make him happy? We told him that our religion was one that focused on giving us long-term happiness and not immediate gratification. We explained to him and asked him to picture what his life would be like with these things 20 years down the road versus was it would be without them.

He told then said, "Ya, actually what you said makes a lot of sense. You always seem to say the right things, it's like you're really good at debating or something!" We told him that it wasn't that we were good at debating, but what we had to say was true. The great thing about is that he is always open to hear what we have to say and I believe he truly believes in everything we tell him. We were able to finish off the meeting with a review of the Plan of Salvation which answered a lot of his other questions as well.

We also had another lesson with that one couple we meet with often. We went through Ether 12 again, really slowly because he had a lot of questions. We had a really good discussion but by the end it seemed like very little progress was made to help him agree to and hold commitments. We prayed and he told us he would drive us home (because I was sick). We got to the apartment and he just sat there for a second, and then said, "You know, I haven't prayed to God in a while myself. Let's pray together right now." And he went on to say a truly sincere prayer to God! It was amazing! We really hope that this begins to mark real and sincere interest in finding/building his testimony.

So Ældste Huffaker, I, and a couple of the members have also made a little Danish Christmas Band. We've had a couple gigs so far (the Randers Branch Christmas Party and the Århus Ward Christmas Concert) and we are actually way good! The one member, Bjarne Nielsen, is a professional Violinist and plays in the Randers Symphonic Orchestra, first chair I believe. He is incredible. His wife, Claire, plays flute and Ældste Huffaker and I play guitar and I also sing. I have recorded one of the songs we've played, I just need to find a way to send the videos to you...either way, you'll get them sooner or later! It was way fun to go down to Århus again and see all the members that I knew from once upon a time.
Gammel Estrup Castle

Well, that's my week. We'll probably be skyping Christmas Day around 8 AM (MST). That's what we've discussed so far with the members, we need to see how it all works out with the new missionaries, but if anything changes I'll let you know next Monday. But plan on that!

I love you all! I'm mailing my Christmas presents to you today so I really hope they make it by Christmas! Have a wonderful week!

-Ældste Wawro