Monday, January 27, 2014


Elder Wawro, Elder Brindley, Elder Huffaker, & Elder Kinch
WOW! This last week the temperatures dropped! Ha, I was thinking up to this point that Denmark wasn't bad at all and I had no idea what people were talking about complaining about the cold, but things have changed. Really, the temperature itself has only dropped in the 20's in Fahrenheit, but the wind is awful. It is such a biting, cold, constant wind and it makes you feel like you're walking through a frozen pool. There's also a snow storm raging outside right now so that makes it fun for contacting people on the street as well. Luckily I wear two pairs of thermals so I'm all set!

To answer one of Casey's questions, here EVERY SINGLE PERSON OWNS A DOG. It's ridiculous! It is more likely that when you see somebody walking that they'll be with a dog than be without one. And they poop wherever they want. Ældste Brindley walks in dog pooh almost every single day. Ha! It's so funny.

I'm glad that Haley, Hannah and Georgia did so well in their BYU MDT (Musical Dance Theater) auditions! Although I'm not that glad for Haley because I got an email from her this week that literally just said, "You stink. Stop." Some peoples' children.

Thanks for all the updates on the family history! I'm so glad that Paul Wawro didn't get on the Titanic [He crossed the Atlantic two weeks before]. Whew! Dodged a bullet there. I hope that we can find where in Denmark our relatives come from because that would be way cool.

Speaking of transfers, there were some emergency transfers this last week and Ældste Huffaker got transferred out of Randers and now I'm in a tri-companionship with Ældste Brindley and Ældste Kinch. It's pretty crazy training two people at one time and trying to keep up with some of the District Leader duties, but it's been pretty fun. 
Saying Goodbye to the transferred Elder Huffaker

We taught a lesson to a member of the Fri Kirke [Translation: Free Church] this last Tuesday and it did not turn out very well unfortunately. He is one of the leaders over at that church. We were trying to introduce the Book of Mormon to him but he absolutely refused to even consider the Book of Mormon as being a true book. He believes the Bible is the only source of truth about God and anything else is of the Devil. We are not entirely sure how to continue with him when he won't even experiment on the word.

We were able to have a lesson with that investigator who's visited Utah a lot. It went very well. We talked about the Plan of Salvation with him and the Spirit was very strong. We asked him how he thought the Gospel could bless his family and he gave some really great responses. At the end of the lesson we asked him if he would be baptized if he found out the church was true, and he said yes. Right now his perspective on wanting to be a member seems to be more of the practical functions and blessings of the church, such as the fællesskab [Translation: fellowship], the activities, and the principles that will bless his children especially. I am not sure that he quite understands how this is essential for him to find salvation and eternal life with his family, but he is looking very positive. He also wants to start coming to our Family History classes, so that's another step in the direction of getting his wife involved in a less "threatening" manner.

We taught our investigator who we made a baptismal date with a couple of times this past week. She had a baptismal, but due to a lot of complications with her moving around that time, the Open-House being held that day, and the Branch Præsident possibly being out of town she decided it would stress her out to much to get baptized that day. So we were in the process of finding a new date with her. At our first lesson we went over the baptismal interview questions, including the commandments, and we brought a member with, and it seemed like it went pretty well. Later on in the week, though, she told us she needed to talk to us so we went over. She expressed that she was completely for all of the commandments except for one, which was the Law of Chastity. She said she believed everything until she heard about that commandment and she said she could not live it so she could never be baptized. She started talking in past tense about how "she used to believe" and "she wanted to be baptized." Luckily, I feel like we were led by the Spirit to encourage her to continue learning about the Gospel, reading the Book of Mormon, pray, and coming to church; all of these things being activities that she felt like had blessed her life. He told her we knew that she couldn't understand at that point in time exactly why we have that commandment, but understanding would come over time as she continued to keep the other commandments that she did agree with. She was surprised to hear that we didn't want to stop talking to her because she disagreed with one of our commandments that that we still wanted to help her. She grateful agreed to keep trying and she ended up coming to church the very next day for all three hours! She even participated in our Gospel Principles class and talked about her faith as a Christian (which she did not have before we met her). We hope that as she continues to meet with us she will be able to get over this bump in the road.

We also met with a Muslim man from Afghanistan and he is a great person. He is so open to new ideas and desires to come closer to God. It's amazing how many of his beliefs are similar to ours. We had an appointment with him where he taught us to make Persian food and talked about religion. We brought him a Persian Book of Mormon and he was really grateful for it. He already accepts it as the Word of God. Our lesson was more figuring out what exactly he believed in, what was most important for him (his family), and talking about God and Scripture. I asked him how he found out that God existed and responded by leaning back, looking at me for a second, chuckling a little bit, then saying, "Because I've seen heaven." He proceeded to tell us about this dream he had as a kid where he saw heaven! Way cool. By the end he said he would come to church with us. I was explaining to him some of the things we do at church and apparently I looked a little worried that he wouldn't actually come (because so often people say they come and they don't actually come) so he looked straight at me and said, "Ældste Wawro, when I make a promise I keep a promise! It doesn't matter if I'm sick or busy, I said I'm coming to church with you so I'll be there on Sunday." And he came. He stayed for the first two hours and seemed to really like our Gospel Doctrine class. He is excited to really start reading in the Book of Mormon so we're excited to see where things are headed with him.

We also had a couple opportunities to participate in some big service projects. We went with the Hicks (The Elderly couple missionaries here in Randers) to clean the walls of an investigator's apartment. She is the Hick's investigator who has a baptismal date to be re-baptized into the church and had been smoking for years and years in that little 2 room apartment, so the white walls were stained yellow and brown from Nicotine. We went in there and started scrubbing all the walls to get that smell out of her apartment and the difference was incredible. We are not finished yet, so you can see the line from where we stopped scrubbing to where we hadn't started cleaning yet. It would shock you how dirty those walls are from all those years of smoking. She was so grateful for what we've already done and we can't wait to finish cleaning that apartment!

We also helped a friend of one of our Members move. It was a huge move with over 100 boxes to pack into a trailer and move to the next apartment which was on the fifth floor of this apartment complex, no elevator. Her old apartment was also on the windiest, steepest staircase I'd ever seen. It was the hardest move yet on my mission but she was so impressed with our work ethic. She told us that we need to come back to eat with her so hopefully this will be an opportunity to share the Gospel to one who's prepared to accept the message!

That's been our week! Lots of cool stuff is happening here in Randers. We'll find out about transfers this week so I'll definitely keep you updated! Love you all!


-Ældste Wawro

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Happy Martin Luther King Day!

Good to hear that everyone is still alive and living! Everyone sounds so busy with shows and school and work, just like always. That is way cool that Haley gets to do the Syd Riggs Concert. Way jealous!

It's great to hear that Taylor Moulton had a bomb homecoming talk. I know his mission was a very different mission than the one I'm serving here in Denmark. I can't wait to be able to talk to him about it.

I'm also glad to hear that you're enjoying your new job Mom! And good luck to Casey and Nathan with their upcoming shows/auditions!

I'm also jealous about you all seeing "Saving Mr. Banks." I don't know if you remember talking about that movie but I saw the announcement about it and was researching it a little bit before my mission. I wanted to see it way bad, so add that one to the list of films I need to see when I get home!

Oh, also, right after I finished emailing you [where he said it hadn't really snowed yet in Denmark] I walked out of the library to see a snow storm raging outside. How coincidental?

We also had splits with the zone-leaders this past week and had a couple of really cool experiences. When Ældste Strong and I walked outside of our apartment into the stairwell there was a lady struggling to carry a piece of furniture up the stairs. We offered to her our help; she declined, so we started to leave. After a couple steps we both turned around, asked if she was certain, and then she realized how many more stairs there were and accepted our help. We carried it to the top and she asked where we were from. We told her the United States and she immediately switched to English, telling us how she lived in North Carolina for a time. She asked if we were Mormon, we said yes, and she said that she was nannying for a Mormon Family in North Carolina. She then asked if maybe it would be okay to come back and talk about the church. We affirmed that that would be okay with us and exchanged phone-numbers.

Ældste Brindley and Ældste Nordfelt were doing some language study when they got a surprise knock on the door from a member. He told them that a random person on the street asked if he could help them move some furniture into their new apartment and he quickly came to enlist our services. The other Elders went to help since we were already gone and the people they met seemed very grateful for their services. They also exchanged numbers with them so we hope to get in contact with them as well.

Baptisms are A-okay
The highlight of our week was our appointment with [one of our investigators]. We got there and she was kind as usual. We came in with the game plan to find out where her faith really was, do some how to begin teaching principles, and establish where we envision where our meetings together are headed. At one point in time I started to talk about baptism and slipped up my Danish a little bit. I said "When you get baptized..." and then I corrected myself, "When one gets baptized..." But she cut me off. "Oh by the way," she said, "I want to be baptized." She asked us if it was okay, and we assured her that it was. The rest of the lesson was spent talking about baptism, why she wanted to be baptism, how she would need to prepare for baptism, and testifying of the blessings of baptism. The Spirit was super strong in the room and we made sure to point that out as well. She seems very sincere so we hope that she will continue to progress.

Funny story of the week. So I get a call early on in the week from Præsident Sederholm. He told us he was going to be up in Ålborg so he was going to pick us Randers Elders up on his drive down to drive us to the new missionary meeting. So he picked us and drove us to the ferry in Århus which we were going to take to Købenavn [Copenhagen}. The ferry was half an hour late on boarding and about 5 minutes out from harbor there came an announcement saying that the ferry was broken, So we had to start the drive late in the evening all the way from Århus to København with Præsident. It was actually way fun though (even though we were really cramped) and we got to talk about a lot of cool things with him.

That was basically my week! Lots of cool things happening here in Randers and I hope that it continues! Love you all and vi snakkes [translation: we'll talk] next week!

-Ældste Christian Patrick Wawro

P.S. Regarding my birthday present, I actually would prefer it if you would save money from buying gifts and the costs of sending them so at some point in time I can buy a Danish suit. I love the suits here. :) Hej Hej!
Danish Billboard - Elder Wawro in 20 years?

Monday, January 13, 2014


Hello Hello Hello! Always good to hear from back home! Thanks for all of the emails and updates you send! I love to hear all about your experiences back home.

So I was reading Elder Jay Sargent's [from same home ward in Utah] blog today and I think it is uncanny how similar Sweden seems to Denmark! I mean, I can even read Swedish I found out! At the Temple last week there was a bible and I opened it and saw it was in Swedish. I was able to figure out basically everything. It's insane how similar these Scandinavian countries are to each other!

I am super excited to find out we have Danish ancestry on Mom's side! If you can, find out where our family comes from! That is so awesome! How far back? I saw that one line was all the way back in the 800s!

Also, there is no snow yet. It's been a way warm winter (comparatively) but apparently a cold-front is about to settle in. Possible it could bring snow.

Missionary Work
Things are going well with Ældste Brindley and me. We got along really well. I'm really grateful for the opportunity I have to be able to serve with him. Things are also going really well here in the Randers District. We are just beginning to work on a lot of different projects:

This past week Ældste Brindley and I went to the Branch Præsident to talk about missionary work within the branch. We talked about our big Open house we are planning on holding. We came up with a bunch of good ideas and were able to present a date together to the branch council for the 22nd of February. We also are beginning weekly Open Houses which are smaller projects as well as weekly Family History classes which we're working together with our branches Family History expert on. Sport Saturdays are being held weekly as well for the community to come to.

A Fortunate Encounter
We also had a miracle happen this past week. So the other Elders were dropped this week by one of their investigators because she said she just didn't have the energy to have our visits anymore. Ældste Brindley and I didn't know that this had happened. The next day we were walking in the centrum on the way to visit the doctor when lo and behold, there she was! We talked to her and set up an appointment to meet with her that day, still not knowing that she had dropped the other two Elders. When we talked with the Elders and said that we had an appointment for them with her that day they were stunned!
Me at the appointment with that investigator. She has a bird!

Anyway, all four of us went to her apartment that evening to find out what she was stressed about and where she pictured herself in relation to the Church. We found out that evening that since a month ago, the last time we met with her, she had given up smoking and drinking completely! She attributed it to us and our help that she did it. That Sunday she showed up in church as well and came with us to eat with a member. At the member's home she told us she had found faith in God again and she thanked us for that. We hope that things will continue with her, she seems very positive at the moment!

Language Missteps
There were a few really funny moments that evening where I messed up my Danish. The first one we were talking about the Danish Queens husband (who French and is awful at speaking Danish - everyone makes fun of him) and I accidentally said "Dronningens Kone" which means "The Queens Wife." Everyone was laughing about that. Then about 15 minutes later one of the members was offering more slices of ice cream (yes, they sometimes serve slices of ice cream here) and I meant to say in Danish "Jeg har allerede haft seks" [translation: I've already had six] but from my pronunciation I actually said "I have already had sex!" Oh man, it was so funny! Everyone just started laughing so hard! It was a long night for me.

That was my week! I'm going back down to Copenhagen this week for New Missionary Training for my companion. It's a long train ride, but it's always fun. I'll let you know how that goes!

Love you all!


-Ældste Wawro

At Leadership Training in Copenhagen the first week of January

Monday, January 6, 2014

Godt Nytår til Jer! [Happy New Year to you!]

2014, can't believe it's already here! This is the year completely dedicated to missionary service for me! It's amazing to think of all that I did this past year, how different life at the beginning of 2013. It makes me excited to see all that 2014 has in store!

Happy Birthday Dad! I hope that it was a good birthday for you all. I also hope your New Year’s Eve was as fantastic as mine!

New Year’s here is crazy!! There are so many fireworks everywhere! It's like a warzone. I put some videos up of New Years on Google+ that you can all look at. 

So we spent New Year’s Eve with Simon and Rachel Bendtsen [members in Randers] and it was so great! We got to stay at their house ‘til 1:00 in the morning and we watched the fireworks with them as well. We also had the traditional countdown where we all stood on chairs and then jumped into the New Year as it struck midnight, but sadly we had a couple different watches going on so we didn't all jump together. All well, still way fun!

So none of the videos you sent worked! I couldn't watch any of them which is too bad because I really want to see that video of Grandma!

That's really cool about going to that singing thing with Pam and Gayle. That's way cool that Dallyn Bayles was there as well! It sounds like a great time.

I also saw Megan Sackett in the Pictures as well which brings up a funny story! So we were at the other Randers Elders Apartment and Elder Huffaker said, "Hey, listen to my new favorite song that Ældste Kinch has on his iPod!" So he put it on and I recognized the voice instantly. I yelled, "Hey!!! I know that person! Who is singing right now?!!" He proceeded to tell me that it was MEGAN SACKETT. Ha, it was so cool! Turns out Joseph Swain (both from Orem High School) is on that album too.
Denmark Copenhagen Temple

So I went down to Copenhagen this past week. We went to the temple after our leadership meeting and it's such a cool temple! Anyway, I met the Temple Præsident and his wife and got to talk to them about the Ramsey Family (our friends from Utah) which was way cool. But also, as I was exciting the Celestial Room a temple worker grabbed me by the arm and asked if I was Ældste Wawro. I said yes and she told me to follow her. She then asked if I lived in New York and I said I did a while back. She introduced herself as a Sister Brown and apparently her sister went to Utah with Grandma Betty and this Sister Brown got to meet her! So she tells me to say hi to all of you.

Unfortunately we didn't have a lot of teaching opportunities this week because of the New Year and such, but the coolest thing was that our less active friend came to church Again. I really hope he continues to come!

Is it possible to get a little picture book sent with pictures of our family? People keep asking to see pictures of you all and I don't have any to show! If you could, that would be awesome!

Thanks for all that you do for me! I'm so glad you got your gifts! Have a great week!

-Ældste Wawro