Tuesday, December 23, 2014

"Så er det Jul igen!" [Translation: “So its Christmas again!”]

Can you believe it?! It's already Christmas again! It's pretty hard to believe that this time last year I was in Randers. We're not going to get a white Christmas here, just a gray, windy, rainy, cold one! But luckily, we're stuck with some of the best people ever on this little island so it's going to be so much fun!

I'll start with yesterday because that was quite the surprise! So we were walking down the gågade [pedestrian street] in Rønne when all of a sudden a marching band comes marching down the road! The gather in front of the big Christmas tree and everyone surrounds it. Then the Priestess starts sharing a Christmas message and everyone starts singing because it's Advent Sunday! It was fun to stop and listen for a second, but it was even MORE fun to start passing out cards to all the people surrounding the tree. All we would say was "God Jul!" and hand them a card. And every single person would accept one. It was amazing and so much fun! Hopefully some of those people watch the videos.

We had our Christmas Party on Saturday and it was a great success! We had three guests with us who weren't members! We brought Steen Hansen to play with me for the music numbers, Ruth brought her son, and the Bøvings brought a friend who just moved here from Brazil! It was so much fun and they all loved it as well. We also were able to show the "He is the Gift" video at the party, and again, everybody loved that as well. We were so happy to have everyone there and had a great time.

Elder Olson from the Area-Seventy in Sweden also came to our ward Christmas party as well as our Sacrament service yesterday. He held interviews with me and Ældste Horrocks and talked to me specifically about being an essential part of the branch here. That was all fun, but the best part was when we went to the Mogensens and helped give a blessing to both Patrice and Knud. Knud was the one that actually gave the blessing to Patrice, and it was powerful to see him exercising his Priesthood to bless his family. We then blessed him and he stood up and called Ældste Horrocks and I his two sons. It was quite a special experience for me and I'm so grateful to be a part of this branch and that family.

So we got our transfer calls today: Ældste Horrocks is finally leaving "The Rock." He'll be going to Søndeborg. We knew that was going to happen, he's already been here 7 1/2 months. I'll miss him a lot, we had a ton of fun together! He also made a huge impact in the lives of the branch, especially the Mogensens.

But you'll never guess who I'm getting (who will be my final companion as well).
Ældste Redd!! Ældste Redd is in my MTC group, but apparently he's extending so he'll leave a transfer after I do. It's going to be so much fun to end with someone that I started with!

Well, that's my week! I look forward to seeing you on Thursday!! Love you and Merry Christmas!

-Ældste Wawro

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Letter From Sister Middlemas

Glaedelig Jul

Dear Horrocks and Wawro families,

My name is Sister Middlemas, and it is my delightful experience to write to you  in behalf of my husband and I, who are the Senior couple here on Bornholm with Elders Horrocks and Wawro.  We know you would love to be here, as a fly on the wall so to speak, and watch them in action.  We have sent five sons and daughters on missions and know how much you love and miss them........especially at Christmas time. 

Can I say to all of you, that this great missionary companionship is truly a team on the Lord's errand here on Bornholm.  They have accomplished so much good for the Mogensen family, who needed to be rescued from so many unfortunate circumstances in their lives.  They needed the physical strength from both of them, as well as the Christ-like attitude of serving with unconditional love!   You can be so proud of them, as they are working so hard many days in each week , on their home, under less than pleasant circumstances.   They always have a smile and a willing heart!  They have certainly taught us a lot about teamwork to bless others.

I am sure you are looking forward to their Skype visit on Christmas, and may you enjoy every minute with them.

All our best to you for a Joyful Christmas Season, as you remember  The Gift  given to us from our Heavenly Father, over 2000 years ago.

Sister and Elder Middlemas

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Weather Outside is Frightful, but the Gospel is so Delightful!

Døndalen Waterfalls
Once again, we are loving life here on Bornholm. Despite the rain, cold, and terrible winds we've been having for the past week, Elder Horrocks and I both love the people and this place so much. It's actually been way cold here. It's been raining and the wind has been blowing so hard. On Friday all the power went out on the Island for about 1 1/2 hours. Luckily we were at the Mogensens, so we all lit candles and had a great time together.

Here's a miracle that happened:
So Ældste Metcalf and I were out working a few months ago and decided we needed to stop by somebody who never seemed to be home. We've stopped by him countless amounts of time and I still don't know what he looks like. Generally, his wife answers. So it was weird that we thought we should do that, but we did it anyway. Somebody else answered who we'd never met before. She was a young African woman, probably in her 20's, and was way nice! She told us that he wasn't home but she'd give him the message. Right before we left, we asked if maybe she would be interested in meeting with us. She said, "Actually, I've been looking for a church to get my 2 kids baptized into. That would be ok if you stopped by my place." We found out she lived out of our area in Slagelse and so we referred her address to them and never heard back about it.

Her name is Maria Assane and I just found out that she was baptized this last Saturday. I didn't even know they every started teaching her! But I am so grateful that we were attentive enough to the Spirit to stop by even though our wisdom would have told us not to.

We've been lucky enough to share the "He is the Gift" video with as many people as possible, and everybody seems to love it. We're also so grateful for the cards, they are way easy to give out to people. We had an appointment with an investigator where we did some service for her and then gave her some cards that she could share with her friends because she liked the video so much! So the video works!
We hiked with the Middlemas's to the waterfalls last P-Day! It's Denmarks largest Waterfall! (Not that big, but beautiful nonetheless)

We saw a gospel choir this week in the Nyker Kirke [Nyker Church]! Ha, one of our investigators was singing in it and invited us to come, so we brought the Mogensens. It was fun, Christmas music and always brings that Spirit with it!
With the Mogensens at the concert!

We went up to Allinge because I got some referrals from a member in Gladsaxe that she told me to visit and deliver Christmas cards to, so we went up there to do just that. Unfortunately, they weren't interested, but that gave us the opportunity to stop by a man who was a previous investigator and is a very nice man. We had a great chat (he really likes to talk) and he said he's coming to the Christmas party this week! We're hoping he comes!

There's this less-active in the area named Erling. He's a very nice man. We actually had a great conversation with him, though. We got a broader picture of why he went inactive, but I think he can come back. He's made a list of questions about the church that he says nobody can answer. I haven't heard these questions, but I don't think it really matters. I have a question for him, "What about the Book of Mormon?" I think if he starts reading and praying about that book, he's going to start resolving a lot of his own concerns. Plus, he misses the friends that come from the church.

This was a great miracle. We met with a previous member, and Knud Mogensen actually came with us! He's been asked so many times by missionaries to come with, but never would. But when we asked this time, he just responded very matter-of-factly, "Hvorfor ikke? Jeg kunne godt hilse på ham." [Translation: “Why not? I could greet him.”] And he was great in the appointment! I feel bad for the former member, though, because he's completely left Christianity. He's kind of moving into a more Buddhist belief system. But he really appreciated our visit, said we're always welcome, and may come to the Christmas party.

It's been a good week. I can't believe it's almost Christmas. But I'm look forward to skyping all of you this upcoming week! I love you!

-Ældste Wawro
Sister Middlemas

Monday, December 8, 2014

"He is the Gift"

Zone Conference
We have some great news:

The Mogensens are officially living in their new home now! It is not finished, but we've finally finished all of the rooms (ending with the master bedroom) and all of their clothes and food are moved in. It's amazing to see this home come together! It really is so much of an improvement from where they were living. I wish you could see it. Because they're living there, we had the opportunity to help dedicate the house to the Lord. Knud [Mogensen] gave the prayer and it was a great experience for everyone. We'll continue to help a lot with the house, but now that they're moved in we can definitely shift focus more towards finding new investigators and helping those we already are teaching.

We had our Zone Conference this week, and it was sooooo good. I'm sure you've heard how the church is doing this "He is the Gift" initiative, and it's so exciting. It's like what Elder Bednar said that we're going "sweep the earth as with a flood!" Make sure that you ALL share this video at least on facebook.

On our way up to Zone Conference, we took a ferry to Ystad in Sweden and from there drove with the Middlemas's to Copenhagen. We were supposed to stop by IKEA on the way there, but we got lost...the Middlemas's also had an appointment with some friends there so we ended up waiting in a car in Sweden listening to some Spanish guitar for an hour. It's amazing how similar, yet different Sweden is, especially in architecture.
At Zone Training

But something else happened at this Christmas Zone Conference...because it's the Christmas one we always watch a movie together, and guess what movie we saw........FROZEN!!! Oh man! Frozen was sooooo gooooood! It was the first "normal" movie I'd seen in almost 2 years, and I enjoyed it so much. Watching it with President and all the missionaries made it way fun as well.

Some more great news, Steen is coming to our Christmas Party! Steen is a professional guitar player so we've set it up so that he and I are going to have a concert portion of the party where we'll play some Christmas songs together. We practiced for our first time this last week and had a blast! So we're excited to have him with for that and hope that he'll see how the friendship and doctrine of the church can help him.

Yesterday we had a crazy/frightening appointment...We went to go visit this referral we received. We'd met her once before and she seemed way nice, so we were looking pretty forward to this appointment. We brought our branch president, Ældste Middlemas, with because we needed a third man. She let us in time, but we quickly found out that she was drunk, I mean, very drunk. Basically, she wasn't interested at all in what we had to say and altogether was just frightening to be with. So we decided we needed to get out of there as fast as possible. Luckily, we survived.

We've also been able to use the new "He is the Gift" video for lots of people, both members and non-members. You can see it at: http://www.mormon.org/christmas?cid=HPFR112814529. The Mogensens have all shared it on Facebook and are having very positive responses from their friends in school. Our investigators have also really enjoyed it. We were with some investigators yesterday and they absolutely loved it! They even shared it on Facebook right afterwards and just praised the church’s public relations department.

We showed it as well to another one our investigators, who also really benefited from the message as she's been really busy with decorations and parties etc. She actually, as well referred us to her neighbor to do service for her. So we went over there and her neighbor was very grateful for the help. We worked in the garden for about an hour and have a return appointment to help out tomorrow. Bornholm has been a great place to find service!

By the way, I got the package slip on Saturday, so today I can go to the post office and collect my package! I'm excited to open it, but just so you know, it's here on Bornholm and safe.
Also, I need to repent...I didn't take any pictures this week...I'm sorry!!! But Ældste Horrocks, Ældste og Søster Middlemas, and I are going on a hike this week to a waterfall, so we'll get some pictures there!

Love you all, and have a great week!


-Ældste Wawro

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving 2014!

Things are running along great here on Bornholm! It was another great week with Ældste Horrocks. The sun actually shined a few times this week. We are getting ready to leave on the ferry to go to Sweden to catch a train to Copenhagen for our Christmas Zone Conference! Yay! Happy December everyone! And especially Happy Birthday to my wonderful Mother in just a couple more days! I can't tell you how blessed I am to have you as my mom.

We also had Thanksgiving with the Mogensens! The Mogensens feed us all the time because we help them so much. They take good care of us and they've pretty much become our family here in Denmark.
View of Rønne from when you pull up on the ferry

We had a lesson with *T* earlier on this week. Again, *T* isn't all that positive, but he always has referrals for us. This week, he had a friend over. His friend is 23 years old and is a very nice and open person. We were able to talk about the Book of Mormon with him and the entire time we talked about it his eyes were really wide and he asked lots of great questions. When we told him he could have one for free, he was really excited! We were having high hopes with him until we asked him if we could meet again and he just said "No." That was disappointing, but if he actually reads he'll know how to get in contact with us for further questions.

We found another new investigator as well. We had an eating appointment with a couple of our other investigators, both just amazing, christian ladies. They had invited their friend, to come as well. He is a very intelligent man in his 30's who is just begun again to practice Christianity. It turned out to be a really good appointment and at the end, he quoted a scripture which Ældste Horrocks had just read that morning in his personal study. He thought that that was awesome, and by the end of the night he said, "If you ever are around Nexø, make sure that you stop by. You two are always welcome at my place." So we're excited to start teaching him!

Towards the end of the week we received a call from an unknown number. It was from some students here that wanted to interview us about "Mormonism" so on Thursday we met up with them at the library and they interviewed us! They asked some great questions and didn't ask anything negative or strange about our religion. There was one of them that really seemed interested in everything that we were saying. It was a great opportunity to let them know what we really believe in and for them to present it at their school. We also made sure that if they decided to look for more information to look at mormon.org and lds.org.

As you know, a great deal of our time was spent helping the Mogensens as well. Things are going great, they are actually starting to sleep in the new house now even though not all of the rooms are finished. By some miracle we were able to move all of the stuff for the 3 kids that lived in the factory out and collect all other personal belongings by yesterday evening. I tried to imagine what would have happened if we weren't there. There is no way that they could have done it.

I've really come to love that family. I love serving them and love being with them. They deserve so much more than what they have, but are still content with the situation they've been given. I've learned a lot from them and will always remember what they've done for me, even though it's only been a couple of weeks now.

Hey, well, those are all of the important details of the week. Just remember, I love you all! Have a great first week of December!

-Ældste Wawro

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Bornholmies (Wawro + Horrocks)

Elders Horrocks & Wawro at the Mogensen family farm
Hello family and friends!

Let me begin by stating: I love Bornholm.

I really do! It is an experience that you won't get anywhere else. Ya, it's pretty cold being out in the middle of the Baltic Sea, but it's so beautiful here. Hands down, the most beautiful part of Denmark. The cities here are just so amazing! They're small, but they resonate old Denmark. They've been able to preserve this old cities and keep them so authentic as well as clean, it's just beautiful. Knud Mogensen (Ældste Mogensens Dad) took us to help him on his drive around Bornholm to collect his egg cages from the stores and so I got to see a ton of the Island. 

It is a little weird, though, because if you meet people that have been born and raised here on Bornholm, they don't speak really Danish. They speak a dialect called Bornholmsk which is a combination of Danish and Swedish. Knud Mogensen speaks true Bornholmsk and it's actually way hard to understand him sometimes! It sometimes feels like I'm at the beginning of my mission again, but not really that bad. Luckily, there are a lot of people that speak normal Danish here as well.

Ældste Horrocks is actually not the new missionary. He just trained Ældste Curtis who got here in August, but Ældste Curtis is the one who has just been transferred. Ældste Horrocks has been here for over a year now. This is his 5th transfer on Bornholm, so he knows the island quite well!
View of Copenhagen from Vor Frelsers Kirke

I'll start off with our lessons for the week. 
We taught a man named *T*. *T* is interesting because he is really into the Gospel and talking to us, but he will never actually do anything. But what he will do is give us names of people to visit! He is a referral machine! We got a new referral from him that we stopped by and she is way positive! So, despite the fact that he's not progressing, *T* is doing great at helping us share the Gospel with others.

*M* and *N* are a mother and daughter who live really close to the church here in Rønne. They really love talking with the missionaries, but that's one of their problems. They only like talking with the missionaries. The daughter is actually fairly interested, but the Mom doesn't want to be preached to at all. She only wants to have small talk and hygge with us, so that makes things difficult. Not sure what to do for them, but we'll figure something out.

We went up north to visit our friends *E* and *N2*. *E* owns a Pizza Shop and is from Mexico, and *N2* is one of her employees. *E* loves us! She also is very religious. She's been to church multiple times before and keeps a Book of Mormon in Danish and Spanish at the Pizza Shop. Also, because she likes us so much, she gives us free pizza every time we come! We had a really good discussion with her about prayer and the effect it has in our lives. She's a very intelligent lady, as is *N2*, and would both make great additions to the church here on Bornholm.

Yesterday, after church, we visited a couple that lives in Aakirkeby, but I actually can't remember their names...well, anyway, they were way friendly to us and very excited. They made some very bad choices while they were younger but they've really been working to improve their situation and have come a long way! We hope that they recognize that with God this change can become even better and more permanent. 

Church was a great experience for me this week! Yesterday I received a calling, (ward pianist because Sister Mogensen has been called as ward pianist for the last 25 years or however long she's been on Bornholm) gave a talk, and played piano for a musical number! They're definitely keeping me busy! We also had 2 investigators come to church: *B* and *Y*. They both really enjoyed it, *B* is definitely a lot more positive. But his mother, *Y*, doesn't want to convert and is reluctant to let him. We don't really know what to do, but we are just hoping and praying that something will happen in that family to open their hearts.

The view from the top of the Mogensen's Egg Farm.
Otherwise, we've had a ton of service with the Mogensens. We are building their new house, because they have to move from their old one. The missionaries before have already laid all the cement, we're working more on the walls, especially putting up the insulation and dry wall. We also just put up the walls for the garage. It's really hard work, but that family deserves it. That family has had a lot of misfortunes during their stay here on Bornholm. I've really come to love, appreciate, and respect that family, and I'm sure that will continue the longer I'm here. It's actually really increased my respect for Ældste Mogensen as a kid. The Mogensens are the ones who owned the egg farm that Sister Wright was telling you about, and that family worked on that farm every single day. Amazing family, they are the greatest. 

I'm also really grateful for that Christmas break we spent [three years ago] working on our downstairs a few years back. Who knew that doing that would prepare me for helping the Mogensens out here? Even though I did not enjoy doing it back at home, if I hadn't had that experience cutting drywall and measuring and the importance of makings things to scale (because our downstairs was such a good example of how hard it is when it's not to scale) I would have no idea what I was doing here. 

Otherwise, this has been just a marvelous experience. It's definitely weird after being in Copenhagen and having so much contact with other missionaries to coming here where we have none, but I actually have enjoyed that. It helps me to stay focused on the work.

Here's the new address, by the way:

Ældste Christian Patrick Wawro
Østergade 49D, 1.2. 
3700 Rønne

So feel free to send packages and letters!

Love you all!

-Ældste Wawro


I forgot to tell you all some of the biggest news!!! Do you remember
Margareth at her baptism
Margareth Jørgensen? She was an investigator in Ordrup who used to be a member that moved to Birkerøds area. Well, last Saturday she was finally baptized!! I wanted to be there so bad, but there was no way I could get there from Bornholm. But she's been amazing, as I've said before, the way that her life has changed from the first time I met her when she yelled out, "Hey, I was a Mormon once!" to now is truly incredible. I'm so grateful we continued to teach her, even when it was hard and seemed hopeless, because now her life has changed for the better.
David and Lisa, the one who was baptized a couple weeks ago.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bornholm Bound!

Sorry for the delay, but I spent most all of yesterday traveling here to Bornholm. I'll explain to you a little about how it went down...

We had to be at the station in Copenhagen Central at around 8:45. We had some time before Ældste Metcalf was getting his new companion, so a bunch of us went to go see Vor Frelsers Kirke [Church of Our Saviour]. It was absolutely amazing. Pictures will come after this email. Actually, it was pretty funny because it was closed, but the caretaker was there and we convinced him to let us in because I was leaving to Bornholm and would otherwise never be able to see it. He let us in for free! So that was a tender mercy.
Afterwards, we ate, grabbed my luggage, and went to the train station where we took the train to Ystad, Sweden. There, we needed to get on a ferry, but because I needed to take my bike on I needed to take a different way than Elder Horrocks (my new companion). So basically, I had to ride a bike by myself in Sweden to get to a different portal to get on the ferry. That was exciting, I was not that surprised, though, to see that that part of Sweden looked very similar to Denmark. It was neat to be in Sweden for a little bit!
The famous spiral spire of Vor Frelsers Kirke
[Church of Our Saviour]

The ferry was nice as well. Nothing is taxed on the ferry so you want to buy stuff (especially food) while you're on-board. So I got a ton of Danish candy for way cheap! We arrived at Bornholm at a little bit past 8:00 PM.

The apartment is great! Elder Horrocks is great as well, and we have the senior couple who live right next to us. On the island it's only Elder Horrocks and I, and the senior couple who is serving as the Branch President at the time. So really, Elder Horrocks and I are the only full-time [proselyting] missionaries here. Everything is way smaller here, but it's almost like a fairytale island! Everything is so clean and neat and just looks so European! It's amazing.

[Here is a link to a short video of helicopter footage over some of this beautiful rural island located in the middle of the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Poland: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ud1PH7jt3kk

But I'll let you know more after I've seen more of it. Here's what's been going on the past week:

We got the most positive referral ever out of the blue! I got a text from a random number where he proceeded to introduce himself and tell us how he has been seeking after the truth for the last few months. He's visited many different churches and recently has been introduced to ours and is very interested. He asked us if we could bring a Book of Mormon to our first appointment because he didn't think his triple combination which he ordered from store.lds.org would get there in time! We're so excited to meet him and see what happens with him.

*L* has officially decided to find out if the church is true or not. We had an amazing lesson with him and his sister, [a new convert], this week. She has been such a good example to him on how the church can bless someone and is always trying to answer any of his questions. We've started giving him certain chapters to read in the Book of Mormon with questions to try to answer so that he can learn how the Book of Mormon gives answers to the questions of the soul. I think he's going to get a testimony, and not to long in the future either.

Ældste Metcalf, Ældste Mogensen, Ældste Sakurada and I were in the middle of a service project at a members apartment when we heard a knock at the door. The member had left, so we assumed that had just forgotten the key or something. I went and opened the door, and to my surprise there were two Jehovah's Witnesses standing in front of me! It was quite the surprise for me, but I think more-so for them as they found 4 Mormon Missionaries waiting behind the door. One of them was way nice, but the Senior one was trying to prove us wrong. Luckily, we had the truth on our side and couldn't give any good answers to a lot of the questions we drilled them with. I don't generally like to Bible-Bash, but I don't like people to tell me that what I believe in was false. They actually left with a couple mormon.org cards, so who knows what will happen with that!

Lisa Jansen was confirmed last Sunday, and I was so thankful that I was able to participate in the giving of the Holy Ghost the last Sunday before I left. They have been such amazing examples of how the church changes people. To see where Lisa is now from where she was has been quite the journey, and there's only Christ to thank for that. I'll miss them but I have no doubt that they're going to do great things in and for the church.

So I had quite the eye-opening experience the other day. We found two new investigators this past week named *D* and *H*, whom are married to each other. The first time I met *D* was probably a couple months ago. Elder Metcalf and I were knocking doors and at the bottom of this apartment complex was a long line of doors. We didn't have a ton of time left, so we decided that I would take one end and he would take the other. Of course, the last door I knocked was *D*. He is an very strong agnostic and doesn't believe in God. He comes from the Netherlands and was baptized, but left the church when he was 8 years old. We had a really long discussion where he was trying to tell me that God couldn't exist, and I shared why I believed he needed to exist. At the beginning he told me that there wasn't proof that he existed which began a discussion of science and such. I testified of how science was evidence of God, but at the end of the conversation bore my testimony of how the greatest evidence I can give him to begin with is the Book of Mormon. He said he would like one, but I didn't have one in Dutch on me so I told him I would bring one by later.

I had to put an order into the office for one in Dutch because they didn't have any, so I didn't get the book for another month. When we finally were able to stop by again he luckily was home again, and as soon as he saw me he said, "Hey, it's Christian! *H*, guess who it is, it's Christian!" I was dumbfounded because I didn't even remember telling them my first name, and the fact that he remembered that was incredible to me. Apparently, since our conversation at the door, he had investigated a lot into the church online and had become very interested to learn more. He was busy working on the apartment then, but he gave me a Dutch promise that he would call.

A couple week later was last week, and I found out that I was getting transferred, so I wanted to meet with them before I left. So we stopped by, made an appointment because I was leaving, and met with them last Saturday. And it was an amazing appointment. *D* and *H* are two of the nicest people I've ever met. *H* grew up in communist China, so she was always told that God couldn't exist. She had a bit of a Buddhist background, but recognized that something is missing in Buddhism so she's been searching for the truth since. We had a great discussion about some of our basic beliefs, the commandments, and how God loves us and wants to bless our families. Write before we left, *H* turned to me and said, "Christian (still working to have them use Elder Wawro), *D* was really impressed by you during your first conversation at the door. He doesn't just talk to anybody or invite them in, especially when it comes to religion. There was something special about you that he's kept talking about ever since then." 

I've thought about that a lot since then. I mean, he was definitely way more intelligent than I was, he was older, I'm definitely not the most charismatic person I've ever met. So, I've concluded that it must have been the Spirit. It's amazing how someone like *D*, who's completely atheist, could even notice that something was different about us. It's made me so grateful that we are promised God's Spirit when we get lost in the work and give ourselves to him. I'm way disappointed that I'm not able to stay to help teach them, but I really feel like they are going to find what they are looking for in the church.

I'm going to end this email with some more big news. I got the letter this week with my release date. I'll be coming home the 25th of March. Because the date is a little earlier than I first imagined, I actually want to attend Spring Semester instead of Summer. Could you look online and see if it's possible that I begin school a semester earlier than I told them when I left? That would be great!

I love you all and can't wait to hear from you! Sorry again that it was late, but, well, there wasn't much that we could do about that. Have a great week!

P.S. - The camera just died and I can't connect it to the computer, so you might not get the pictures this week...we'll see.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Baptisms and Transfers

At Zone Training
This week is a week with BIG NEWS!! So listen up!

First, to Mom, I'm not quite sure what I want for Christmas yet. But I'll let you know next week! I need some time to think about it

This was a great week to get to learn the zone a little bit better. I was on splits up in Heslingør with Ældste Pitcher and Virum with Ældste Mogensen. Both were great splits and they are fantastic missionaries and I learned a lot. Helsingør has some great work happening up in Helsingør. Sophus and Vibeke are progressing really well. Ældste Pitcher really showed me the importance of using our priesthood power in our missionary work. Great experience! Ældste Mogensen and I found 3 new investigators while we were on splits! The two most positive ones are a man and his girlfriend from Nepal. We had a great lesson about the Restoration, and especially our relationship to God. They both seem very sincere in their desire to find the truth. High expectations for them!
On splits with Elder Pitcher in Helsingor

Ældste Metcalf and I also found a family this week from Nigeria. They were a referral from the Gladsaxe 1 Sisters who contacted them on a train. Ældste Metcalf, Elijah, and I went and taught them last Friday and it was a really nice appointment. The father actually hasn't been baptized into a church before, so that's a big desire for him to find out which church he needs to be baptized into. The mother has been living here in Denmark for 5 years by herself because her husband hasn't been able to get a VISA in Denmark, so he can only visit every once in a while. It's a way hard situation, but we're hoping that they'll see how the church can help keep their family strong, even in these difficult circumstances.

Lisa Jansen was finally baptized!! We are so happy that it happened!! So many missionaries have been a part of this and we're so lucky to have been here when it happened. Of course, it happened in France, but they will be coming back today and she'll be confirmed in our ward on Sunday. Lisa is going to be an amazing addition to the ward! We now just need to make sure that she gets her calling and home-teachers visit her ASAP!
At Zone Training

Our Zone Training was so much fun last week! The Zone Training went really well, it was about finding new investigators. This past week we had the highest amount of new investigators in who knows how long?! Our District actually led the Mission in most found new investigators. We were richly blessed because of the faith of the mission and the zone specifically.

Afterwards we had our talent show and it was sssooooooo funny! So many good acts! I put a video up of mine, Ældste Metcalfs, Ældste Mogensens, and Ældste Sakuradas barbershop quartet that we first practiced the day of. It's pretty terrible, but so funny! A video is posted here: https://plus.google.com/+ChristianPatrickWawro/posts/Q9du1CXBJ2U?pid=6080013124399822530&oid=101561578627613812117

I also got to be a part of a couple other musical acts as well as did the historic "Mexican/Polish Folk Dance!" Definitely one of the stranger moments of my life.
The infamous Polish/Mexican folk dance

Well, here comes the real big news (besides Lisa, of course). I just got the call here in the library, and I'm getting transferred. And you'd never guess where. Well, I'll start off by saying that I'm no longer a Zone Leader! I'm headed to my last area as a normal missionary! I loved being Zone Leader, especially with Ældste Metcalf, and it was one of the biggest growing experiences of my life! But I'm excited to just focus on the work now.

Well, enough build up, my last area will be.....................................................................................................................................


I'm going to Bornholm!! The little island between Sweden and Poland with less than 40,000 people! The branch there has about 15 people, including missionaries. The Mogensen Family consists of the majority of that branch and I'm so excited to be with the Mogensens! Ældste Mogensen is one of my best friends and now I get to go and spend Christmas with his family! It's going to be a big change, though, because I'm going from being so engaged with other missionaries to being put on an island where all other missionaries are at least a ferry away, and all other missionaries in the Danish Mission are a ferry and a train ride away! It's going to be quite the growing experience, but a time where I'll be able to focus solely on the work! I'm way excited. :)
Zone Talent Show

I love you all so much, and next week I'll probably be writing from Bornholm! If you don't get an email next Monday, it's because I have a ton of travel to do. I'm not sure how it's going to work, so expect the unexpected! Have an amazing week!

-Ældste Wawro

Monday, November 3, 2014

Member-Missionary Work, It's Great!

Elder Metcalf, the Assistants, and I at Tivoli Gardens [2nd oldest amusement park in Europe] around Halloween! We got in for free because one of the Senior Couples has a Year Pass!
This week has been a good week for transition. Ældste Metcalf and I are making some changes on our priorities in our missionary work and what we really think is most important. We went through all of the baptisms in the mission this year and found out that well over 50% of them were member referrals, only 2 baptisms were found by knocking. That definitely was an eye-opener for us, so we've decided to focus more on the members and get them more excited for the work! We've started a plan with the members where we stop by once a week for only 15 minutes and share a message and make some goals, and so far all the members we've done this with are way excited for it! Since then we've received 4 referrals and others will come!

We've met with *R* a couple times this week. This last time we did service for him because he's trying to rent out one of his rooms so he needed it to get cleaned out. It was just us three and you could tell that he really enjoyed the help and the company. He also said that he'd come with us to Stake Conference this Sunday, so hopefully he'll enjoy coming back to church!

We've met with *U* again. He had just been in the hospital. He's doing a lot better than he was, but he is still just depressed. But we're making progress. He considers us his friends now, so hopefully as friends we'll be able to reach out to him a little more and he'll be more willing to receive help. 

We had a few other lessons with some new people, but none of them are super positive. One of them was a woman who knew a lot of Mormons from the States. Way nice, but not really interested in investigating the church. I think that's the biggest problem we're having. Ældste Metcalf and I can find investigators, but we're having a harder time finding "interested" investigators.

But! *L* is getting baptized this weekend! Wow, *D* [her member husband] and *L* have just been fantastic. Ældste Mogensen and I went to their apartment to eat and so that he could give her the baptismal interview. We had a great conversation, she passed with flying colors, and *D* and I had a great conversation about what they could do to help do missionary work! They have such a desire to do their best. They aren't perfect, there's still a lot that they have to work on (like the rest of us) but their desire is there.

The zone is doing great as well. We're definitely starting off the month on a high note after a little of a more difficult month. We had more member present lessons and more baptismal dates than we've had in a long time. We have a fantastic zone who is all trying their best to improve. I've been blessed to serve with some of the best missionaries we have to offer! We're actually holding our zone training tomorrow where we will also be having our Thanksgiving Dinner and be holding the Annual Turkey Bowl!! Huzzah!

Other than that we had a fantastic Mission Leadership Meeting. It really was inspirational and I learned a lot and hope to apply it! I only hope that I'm going to be able to keep up with the pace that the mission is setting. It's definitely been amazing to see how much the mission has a desire to improve and how our leaders have been setting such good examples to change as well. It makes me want to be a better leader and missionary.

Love you all! 

-Ældste Wawro

Pictures - Elder Metcalf, the Assistants, and I at Tivoli around Halloween! We got in for free because one of the Senior Couples has a Year Pass! 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween Everyone!

The Famous Hillerød Slot Castle which contains the Carl Bloch Paintings.
I definitely am going to be missing our tradition of watching Ichabod and Mr. Toad, but it's sure great to be here in Denmark!

Our week started off fantastically with our appointment with *D* and *L* and President Sederholm came with us! They are both so fantastic and she is ready to be baptized. We were a little worried for a while because they hadn't been to church for a couple weeks, but everything was explained and put in order. *D* blessed the Sacrament for his first time yesterday in a very long time. All we have left to do is set up the baptismal interview with *L* and then they will be on their merry way! It's truly been amazing to see their process of spiritual growth.
The Hillerød Slot Castle.

We had a few other lessons throughout the week. One was with our new investigator, *L2*. That went great, we taught the Restoration, and he seems to have really enjoyed it. He is very grateful for our visits and next time we'll be focusing more on the Book of Mormon.

We also had a lesson with our other new investigator, *A*. That one was not quite as good. It wasn't a bad lesson, but he has a hard time keeping things simple. We taught the message of the Restoration and he likes it all, but he keeps trying to tie his way complicated theories about God and science into it as well which don't really make sense. He is very interested in the Book of Mormon, though, and promised he would read. We'll see if that helps with anything.

Me with Queen Margrethe II !
We also had an appointment with *R*. He really is so fantastic and we really just want him to come back to church. He has such a strong faith in God and we always have some great discussions with him. We've been reading out of the Book of Mormon with him and are trying to get him to read out of it himself as well. Hopefully he'll begin to start feeling the Spirit that comes by filling his life with these kinds of spiritual activities.

It's really been kind of a slower week. We're really hoping that we're going to be finding some more investigators this next week, but we'll also have our plates full with a lot of meetings with the Stake and Mission as well as planning for *L’s* baptism. But it's great to be busy!

Oh! I almost forgot! The highlight of the week! Elijah Thomsen went through the temple for his Endowment for his very first time on Friday! It was truly amazing. After all of that work that we did to get Elijah set up for Temple-Prep, working with the Bishop, calling the Temple to make an appointment, getting his clothes with him, it was just so gratifying to see him all ready and dressed in white. Elijah is just so great and wanting to serve God to his utmost ability. It was a touching evening, and one that I'm extremely grateful for.
Going to the Temple with Elijah for his first time!

Love you all and wish you an evening full of Tricks and Treats!


-Ældste Wawro

Weird picture in the castle....

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Its Raining Again!

Splits with Ældste Sakurada!
You know it is absolutely incredible how much it can rain here. All the time. And it's cold. And wet. Always.

Wow, it's been quite the week. Lots of long days, and also lots of miracles. We have a great week stacked up and so hopefully the next email will be a pretty exciting one. Especially because Elijah is finally going through the temple for his endowment on Friday! He has his recommend and his clothes, so he's all set!

Elder Metcalf actually made Tacos yesterday, and they were way good! Thanks for all the ingredients, Mom!

And as far as the date goes, the projected date is the 24th of March, but I haven't received my letter yet to confirm that. President believes that that's when it will be, but nothing is set in stone yet.
That's funny that "The Amazing Race" was in Copenhagen! And of course they biked. I've also always wanted to see Malmø in Sweden! I can actually understand the Swedish there, opposed to Stockholm where the dialect gets all weird.

So here's how the week went down:
Up until Thursday we hadn't had a single lesson with an investigator. Things were looking pretty bad. And Ældste Metcalf and I were just so confused! Why is it that when we feel like we have been working the hardest and most effectively that suddenly we stop having lessons? Why aren't we teaching more? Thursday evening we finally had a lesson with our investigator *K* which went ok, but nothing really too exciting happened. We were feeling pretty low.

The next day we met with our investigator, *S*. That appointment ended up going really well! We read in 3 Nephi 11 and he just is super sincere in his desire to really learn. By the end of the appointment he said he would go with us to church.

So we get home to plan that Friday evening and look at our numbers, and we had taught 1 member present and 1 other lesson...and found no new investigators...and we just thought to ourselves wow, what is going on here? So we decided that the next day we weren't going to come home until we found a new investigator. We were going to do everything in our power to find these new investigators that we really desire and need in our area. So we prayed, made very specific plans of where we wanted to go, what we wanted to do, and who needed to be visited.

We started by dropping by some old contacts Elder Metcalf and I had made while knocking doors. We visited all of them in the Søborg/Dyssegård area and, of course, not a single one of them was home. We finally get to our final stop-by in this area before we were going to move on to Gentofte, and as it always is, the last stop-by was home. His name is *L* and he is a very Christian man. He has a wife and a couple of kids. His wife is not super-religious but *L* is trying to help her with that. *L* actually thought we were the Jehovah's Witnesses and only let us in because he has some things he felt like they needed to hear, but he was very excited when he heard we weren't actually JW's, but Mormons! The lesson turned out great and next time he wants his wife and their kids to be present!

We then moved on to the Gentofte area to knock on some doors. We actually were starting to get a little down because we had a bunch of weird contacts at the door with a lot of strange outcomes, none of them positive. The climax was one door that told us they weren't interested and as soon as they closed the door just started mocking us relentlessly. That definitely started making us both mad and discouraged. We had to leave the Opgang [apartment building] to cool off for a second and decide if we still wanted knock here or move on. After a couple minutes, we decided to continue.

We knocked just for another couple of minutes until we reached the end of this row of Opgangs. Nothing memorable happened of course…until the last door. When it opened I started off by asking, "Hey, my friend and I are here to talk about Jesus Christ and what he means to us. Do you have a couple of minutes to chat?" And he said, "Well, honestly, I'm really interested to hear how you're going to go about this, so come inside!"

This man's name is *A*. He really likes to read philosophy, science, and theology. He's come up with a lot of his own theories about God and loves to talk about God from a science perspective. The lesson was a little bit all over the place because he was really good and overcomplicating, well, everything. But at the very end of the lesson we asked if we could pray with him, but he said he would prefer if we prayed and he would just observe. So we did, and then he felt it. He said that he felt something, like light, inside his just that moved to his heart, and that we almost radiated with that same light. He said he didn't know if God was really present or what, but he said that he's beginning to see how maybe God works in our everyday life. It was actually incredible to see how strongly he felt the Holy Ghost. Maybe our 40 day fast [see earlier post] is working!

So on Saturday we ended up finding 2 new investigators which was a huge miracle for us. *S* ended up coming to church on Sunday as well as *J* and, can you believe it, another new investigator! Elijah Thomsen invited his new step-dad to come to church and he really enjoyed it and wants to come again next week! So we had 3 investigators in church which was a huge blessing for us! We also had the chance to meet with our less-active friend, *R*, a couple times throughout the week as well.

Even though things were rough until, literally, the last couple days of the week, there turned out to be great blessings in store for us. Our hope is that we're going to be able to take advantage of these great blessings God has given us!

Unfortunately, no new pictures this week. :( But! I am going to Frederiksborg Slot today and going to see all of the Carl Bloch paintings as well for my first time! So I'm sure we'll have some pictures from that.

Love you all! Let me know how Meet the Mormons is! Have a great week!


-Ældste Wawro

Monday, October 13, 2014

From Weaknesses to Strengths

A beautiful tree that was hollow on the inside which Ældste Metcalf and I found in Klampenborg.
Congratulations to Nathan on winning Best Monologue [at the High School Shakespeare Competition]! That's absolutely incredible! Great work Nathan. :) And thanks to everyone that helped!

So this has definitely been one of the slower weeks as far as the work is concerned...but it was still great and I've learned a lot!

Basically, the biggest problem is that for the past couple weeks we've had about a billion lessons scheduled and have burned by every single one of them. That's been a little rough since we feel like we have been working so hard and these appointments are confirmed the day beforehand...but we still did have a few good lessons!
Elder Metcalf and Elder Wawro teaching at Zone Training

We were out knocking this last week and knocked on the door of a college student. He at first wasn't really interested, but then we introduced ourselves as Mormons and got really excited! Ældste Metcalf and I were both a little confused because, well, for the most-part people don't get that excited to hear that we're Mormons! He invited us right in and told us that he couldn't believe that he'd actually met some real Mormons. He's heard about us from South Park and The Book of Mormon Musical (of course) but didn't think any missionaries were actually there in Denmark. We taught the Restoration to him and he had a good blending of great questions, and maybe some not so great questions from what he'd heard from South Park. But the entire time he really was so excited to actually meet with us. By the end, he told us we could definitely come back and then next time he would invite all of his friends to come over as well! I'd consider that a success!
The District

During one of our visits to [a members home, her non-member brother] was there again! This time around we taught the Plan of Salvation. He really has some great questions, and it's even better because his sister [the member] thinks exactly like him! So she knows exactly how to answer all of his questions because she's already thought about them herself. It turned out to be a great appointment, and most importantly it boiled down to the great questions, why do I need to find out if God exists now? These visits are really getting him to start thinking so hopefully we start seeing some action from him to find out.

I contacted somebody on the train the other day. She didn't live in our area but I ended up getting her phone number and address from her and referred her to the Birkerød Elders. Apparently, they stopped by and now she wants to be baptized! I guess contacting on trains does work sometimes!

Zone Training
Ældste Metcalf and I have been trying to find more opportunities to serve in the community, so we decided to stop by the kommune and ask what we can do to help! The workers there were really impressed with us, it doesn't seem like they really get a lot of volunteers. They gave us a bunch of different options of things we can do. They asked specifically if I can begin going to a lot of these old people homes and hospitals to play piano for them. That should start within the next couple of weeks.

On a sadder note, a woman in our ward passed away this last week. She was only 30 years old with a husband and 2 daughters. She was completely fine the week before, and then she started getting headaches so she got a scan and found out she had a brain tumor on the brain stem. They thought they repaired it, but something went wrong and within a week’s time she had passed away. It has been incredibly sad for the entire ward and of course the family. The funeral was on Saturday and it was very touching, but very sad. I would invite you to keep The Als Family in your prayers.
Splits with Ældste Sakurada!

On a lighter note, President Sederholm told me to study Ether 12 and figure out how I can turn my weaknesses into strengths. I had some concerns that my weaknesses could be holding our area from reaching its full potential. I studied it and especially focused on studying that in Preach My Gospel and The Book of Mormon. There were a few things that I learned.

First off, in the last verse of 1 Nephi 1 it says: "But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance."

I kind of consider that Nephi's "Thesis Statement" of The Book of Mormon. One of the purposes is to show how, through your faith, the Lord can make you mighty unto deliverance. The Book of Mormon always talks about remembering the captivity of our fathers and their deliverance from Egypt. This of course typifies both physically and spiritually. If the Book of Mormon has such a focus on being delivered from bondage, than I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing that I have so many weaknesses to be delivered from! That's why I'm here! I need the Lord to help strengthen me so that I can overcome my weaknesses and be delivered from the natural man inside of me. And, most importantly, it will only come through my Faith in Christ.
There have been about a billion advertisements for "Fanta Peach" but not a single store has actually owned one! Nobody in the mission had been able to actually find a Fanta Peach. So we started a fun little competition to see who in the Zone could find the first Fanta Peach. I, of course, found the only one in existence. It was the only one on the shelf in a random supermarket. Skål to Fanta Peach!

I also started reading through Ch. 6 in Preach My Gospel and took the test at the end to see where I was at with attributes of Christ. It definitely was an eye-opener to me to see where I really needed to improve. I was better and worse in some areas than I initially thought. Definitely, this week, I'm going to be focused on what I need to do to strengthen my Faith in Christ so I can become mighty unto deliverance. We'll see where it leads me!

Here's to another great week! Love you all!

-Ældste Wawro

P.S. - Has anyone seen [the new LDS film] “Meet the Mormons” yet?! I really want to hear how it is!! Mormon Newsroom has some really positive things to say about it, but you can tell me a lot more than Mormon Newsroom!