Monday, January 27, 2014

DENMARK IS COLD!

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!

MKH,

-Ældste Wawro