Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Work Continues …

Many Greeting from here in Denmark!

Exciting to hear about all the performances coming up and that Night on Broadway went so well! I watched the videos and everyone did a fantastic job!

Weather has been nice here. Way better than before. Everyone's saying it's been the warmest and shortest winter in a long time. I'm grateful for that, because it was still really cold for a time!

I think I'm just going to order the scriptures myself. We have a distribution center here and it's free shipping, so it will be cheaper that way. Oh, and if you're sending something, you need to do it soon because transfers are on the 10th of March!

Tuesday we had our weekly Bible Study with the Frikirke. We invited them all to our Open house on Saturday and we had a good discussion about the character of Christ. Other than that, nothing to eventful there.

Wednesday we had a lesson with our muslim investigator. It's going fairly well with him. He made us dinner and he loves to talk to us. We discussed scripture, particularly the Book of Mormon. We bore testimony of its importance and how it’s a tool we can use to come closer to God. We also talked about Joseph Smith and his role as Prophet and Restorer. He was very accepting and we ended by inviting him as well to the Open House.

Thursday we had Splits with the Elders in Viborg. They came here to Randers and we were fortunate to be especially busy on that day. Ældste Syversen and I went to Hobro to teach a lesson to an investigator and invite others in Hobro to the Open House. The lesson with Bjørn started out pretty rough. He just wanted to talk about Joseph Smith being a Free Mason and kept wanting to know why he got gold plates when Moses only got stone tablets. I don't even know why that's important...but it was to him apparently.

Luckily, we switched the conversation from that to why he believed in the Bible, and when we did that he really began to open up. We discussed the Gospel of Jesus Christ and he said he agreed with everything we said. It ended on a very good note and he is excited for our next visit with him.

While in Hobro, we also stopped by one of our old investigators. He had been really positive in the past and almost was baptized, but his wife talked him out of it every time. When Ældste Syversen got there, the door opened and a new family was standing there. Apparently, our investigator had moved and these new people from Africa had moved there just 4 days ago. Luckily, they spoke English very well because they didn't know any Danish. We ended up starting a conversation with them and he was excited to see that we were "Preachers." He invited us to come back and he took a Book of Mormon.

During their appointment with [a female investigator], Ældste Ogden and I went to the investigator that has the problems with his son to teach him the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When we got there he had made food for us, so we ate and discussed the Gospel. He basically believes in everything we believe in, and I think he wants to become a member, but he doesn't understand that it's going to be a big lifestyle change. He already believes in God and Jesus Christ so I don't think he believes that it's much more than just joining our congregation. He needs to stop smoking and drinking wine. Otherwise, it went really well!

On Saturday was our Open House, and it looked really good. Ældste Brindley and I spent a lot of time to make sure we had everything we needed. It ended up having a pretty good turnout. A lot of members came and there were about 8 non-members who showed up, one being our investigator Ældste Ogden and I taught Thursday evening. He loved the baptismal font and told us that we do baptism right. He got along great with the members as well and told us he would be coming to church the next day.

We were pretty excited for [the investigator] to come to church as well as that Brazilian woman. But about 5 minutes before the meeting began, he texted and said he couldn't come. The Brazilian woman didn't show up as well. We were really disappointed, but just before the meeting actually started a person who went in-active since I've been here showed up. I actually am very grateful that our investigators didn't show up because it gave me the opportunity to notice her and sit next to her during sacrament meeting. We became close when I first got her but lost complete contact with her after she went inactive. We had a really good talk and she stayed for all 3 meetings as well as choir. I hope that she stays.

That's my week! Unfortunately, I don't have any [new] pictures to send this week...I'll make sure to take some this next week! Love you all!


-Ældste Wawro

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Days of Our Lives

On the Dock in Ebeltoft.

Salutations, my dear friends! Another week has come and gone. Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.

First off, congratulations to Haley on getting the part of Eponine [at the Playmill Theater in West Yellowstone this summer]!! That is amazing! That will be so much fun. That's super fun about Casey [running into and taking pictures with BYU’s Young Ambassadors] at Temple Square!

I don't know that I'll buy a new suit now. The sales are starting to go away and I've already spent the money on that jacket and new pants. But for my birthday, I hope that you send some pictures in a photo album or something of our family, and maybe some of me growing up too. I'm also pondering about you sending me new scriptures, but I'll have to think about that one a little more. I've have the same scriptures that I got when I got baptized and they're getting pretty marked up and worn out. But I can't quite get myself to move on from them. I'll look and see if there's a set that I really want though. Right now I'm kind of leaning towards the Brown, Real Leather Big Print Ones, but I'm not sure. Ha, ridiculous I'm thinking this much about new scriptures. BTW, I'll be here until the 10th of March. I'm pretty sure I'll be transferred on that day, but not positive! So if you send anything this week it should get here in time.

That's crazy about all these people getting married. Becca Nielsen writes me weekly and she always tells me about all the people that are getting married from our friend groups, and it's crazy! Everyone's going to be all grown up when I get back!

The Distrikt is doing well. I love everyone in my distrikt. Everyone is so much fun but they are really hard workers. They're a great addition and I'm glad I get to work with them!

This past week we had a ton of appointments cancel on us. We were super excited because we had around three lessons scheduled for people we hadn't met with before that were looking really positive, but all of them either cancelled or burned us. It's disappointing, but we hope we'll be able to meet with them in the future.

We taught one of our investigators this week. It went ok. She read in the Book of Mormon so that was an improvement! I'm just worried that her drive to live the principles of Christ and keep the commandments isn't nearly as strong as it was. We hope we can do something that will instill that desire she once had.

We met with another investigator and it went great! The Spirit was so strong in that lesson. He had been telling us that his son is really going nowhere in life right now. He said that he's prayed and prayed for him but nothings really changed and he has kind of given up trying to change him and has just been trying to be a loving father to him. We had the idea to read Mosiah 27 with him which is the account of the conversion of Alma the Younger. It turned out to be the perfect scripture for him. He was really touched by reading how Alma the Older reacted to the entire situation. By the end of the lesson he said that the last thing he was going to do before going to bed was to kneel down and pray to God for his son. He said he's stopped praying, but seeing how Alma the Older was so diligent in his prayers he said he was going to start up again. And he says it's all because of us. We hope we now can get him to church, but we'll see how that goes!

The great miracle of the week happened yesterday at church. So Saturday evening Ældste Brindley got really sick and started throwing up and getting cold sweats, so he went to bed early. I was still up doing some planning and some studying, when I got the impression to pray that someone would come to church. It was just a little thought, but I knelt down and prayed that God would please let someone come to church. I had no idea who, because all of our investigators said they couldn't come, but I felt like I really needed to pray about this.

The next morning we prayed again as a companionship and went to church. We came out of our branch council meeting to see a lady we had never met before. We found out that she had just moved from Brazil a week earlier and just moved around the church. We had recently made an open house sign for our big open house event happening next Saturday, and we had it outside, so she decided to come in and take a look! She really enjoyed the services and said that she would be coming back with her 18 year old daughter next Sunday! What an answer to my prayer, and who knew that my answer would be a woman from Brazil.

Other than that we had some successful member appointments where we discussed their family mission plans. The members are excited to help with this open house and are very impressed by the work that they've seen us put into it. We hope that it will be a good turn-out this Saturday!

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful week! Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers! Love you!

-Ældste Wawro

Fun with Zone Leaders

Monday, February 10, 2014

10 Months, Moving to the Double Digits!

Just thought you would like to see this Huge, Banana Peperoni Pizza we bought the other day with some members. Enjoy!
Today marks my being on my mission for 10 months. Pretty crazy to think about. In some ways I feel like I've been out here forever, and in some other ways I feel like I'm still a new missionary. It's really weird how time works on your mission.

That is crazy about the Danish man who fought in the Alamo! Charles Zanco isn't a very Danish name though. I wonder where that came from! 

[Christian’s parents visited the Alamo and found out that a man named Charles Zanco was defender of the Alamo and was born at Randers, Denmark, in 1808. Zanco and his father immigrated to America in 1834 after the death of Charles's mother. They settled in Harris County, Texas. The Zancos were farmers, and Charles was also a painter by trade. In the fall of 1835 Zanco joined the first volunteers at Lynchburg for service in the Texas Revolution. He helped design the company's flag, which featured a painted star and the controversial legend, "Independence." Zanco may have been the first person ever to paint a Lone Star on a Texan flag. He took part in the siege of Bexar as a member of the Texan artillery. He remained in Bexar as part of the garrison under Lt. Col. James C. Neill. He was promoted to lieutenant and served as an assistant to the garrison's ordnance chief. Zanco entered the Alamo on February 23, 1836, at the approach of the Mexican Army. He died in the battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836.]

Congratulations to Haley with MDT!!! That is awesome! So great! That will be a great opportunity for her. I hope her the best with Callbacks to the Yellowstone Park Theater! Congratulations to Nathan as well with his part in Crazy for You! Casey too! That should be a great show.

Happy Birthday to Casey! I sent her a gift so I hope it gets there in time!

This week has been pretty great. Some ups and downs, but mostly ups!

We met up with an investigator again and unfortunately, it didn't go awesome. It's not that she took any steps backwards, but I feel like she really didn't anything out of the lesson. She is a person who gets distracted very easily and it was impossible for her to focus at all. She already has this bird that flies around the entire room, lands on our heads, and makes loud noises. But in addition to that she was babysitting her neighbor's dog who in the beginning looked really cute but ended up being the destruction of our lesson. He kept running into different rooms, he bit us, and he peed right next to my shoes! We tried to get her to put her animals in a different room, but by that point in time it was hopeless. I guess it was a good learning experience for us to get rid of the distractions in the beginning, right?

We went to a new bible study group this past week to meet some more people. It turned out to be a great experience. People are always asking us questions about life as a missionary, why we wear nametags, why we always dress the way we do, and other such things. After getting to know them we had a great discussion about the nature of God. Afterwards, while talking to some of the people there, I heard one of them quote the TV show "How I Met Your Mother" which I love, so I started a conversation with that. We moved from that to basketball to find out that he is really good friends with one of our Members in the Randers Branch who plays Basketball professionally here in Denmark! He expressed to us that he is not sure what is true right now and he's still searching to find what is best for him, so we invited him to come to church and see how he feels about our beliefs. He agreed he would come and learn more.

We also learned a lot more about the leaders of this bible study group. He is way cool. He knows the Bible extremely well even though he is in his low 20's. We talked to him a lot and he agreed to come check out our church. Yesterday he actually came! He really enjoyed himself and loved talking about the Book of Mormon. He accepted one and is excited to learn more about it.

We had another lesson with somebody from the Fri Kirke as well. He is totally against the Book of Mormon so we were really considering if it would be worth it to meet with him. We decided to stop by and just hear his thoughts on the Bible. We asked him how he found Christianity and his experience reading through the New Testament for the first time. We also asked him his favorite scriptures in the Bible. He really opened up to us as we asked him about his faith and beliefs. We don't know if it will go anywhere with him, but only time will tell!

We met with our investigator whom we haven't seem for the past few months. He's the one that's a Free Mason. He went on vacation to Spain in November and he just got back. We stopped by to see if he was home and he let us in. A lot of different gospel topics were discussed, but the highlight was at the end when he asked if we could pray for his son. His son does not have any faith, he's addicted to drinking and smoking and drugs, and he really is not doing anything with his life. We prayed that he might find hope and comfort and come to a knowledge that God is his loving Heavenly Father. He was very emotional by the end and was very grateful for our visit. 

We also did a lot of follow-ups and we have a few lessons with new people already set up for this next week! We're excited to meet them and hope to get some new investigators who are prepared and ready to accept the Gospel. 

Happy Birthday to Casey again! Happy Valentine’s Day to one and all! And Happy 10 Months to me!

Med Kærlig Hilsen [Translation: With Loving Regards],

-Ældste Wawro

Monday, February 3, 2014

Transfers, Round 1 - 2014

On the shore in a village called Grenå
Hello Hello Hello! Transfer time has once again rolled around here in Denmark! And guess what. I'm getting transferred! Wonder if you can guess where!

*Drum Roll please...................*

The Lucky next are is......


Ha, I'm moving back to the old apartment on Prins Christians Gade. Crazy, right? I suppose they love me here in Randers. Actually, there's only 2 missionaries here besides the Senior couple again and I guess they decided to keep me. Ældste Kinch was transferred as well so it's just me and Ældste Brindley! It's pretty weird having to move back to the old apartment, but it should be fun! So send letters to that address now!

Ældste Christian Patrick Wawro 
Prins Christians Gade 15,st TH
8900 Randers C

Prince Christian Street
Our district is a little different now. It consists of us, the Senior Couple, the Skive Elders and the Viborg Elders. We're called the Midtjylland Distrikt and it should be pretty cool to have other people in our district again outside of Randers. I will be staying District Leader so now I have to coordinate transportation, but that's all cool beans I suppose!

So, funny story about my suit! I actually didn't buy one with that money you put in. As I have told you, it has been getting progressively colder here in Denmark and my one jacket I had just wasn't keeping me warm enough. It's been really cold. So we were walking buy a store the other day and I noticed a winter jacket on sale for 350 Kroner ($63.23) and it was the last one of my size! Generally the very cheapest they get for a jacket of this quality is 500 Kroner, and that's on sale, so this was a find! It is the warmest jacket I've ever owned and pretty cool as well. I'll send a picture! Oh, I also bought a pair of khakis at that store because one of my khakis got a hole in the behind, and I don't need anyone seeing that! So that will count for my birthday present! I'll send pictures of the coat.
New coat. 

Your trip to Texas sounds exciting! Hope you have fun! I wish everyone luck with all of their auditions! Oh! What happened in the Super Bowl?? We got invited by a ton of our investigators and friends from other churches, and our church, to come and watch it with them. Unfortunately, we had to decline.

We had a few opportunities to help people move this week within the ward. It's always great to give people a helping hand where we can. We've also spent the majority of our week contacting our referrals. We had a lot of referrals to catch up on, and just with everything that's been going on it's been a little bit hard staying on top of it all. Desværre [Unfortunately], none of the people we've contacted so far has been too positive, but we have a few left that we have to stop by.

We actually did get one referral out in Grenå that is looking fairly positive. He was referred to us from one of my previous investigators in Århus! He has a lot of questions for us and wants to meet. We had an appointment with him this past week but he cancelled on our way down to Grenå which was unfortunate. But he still wants to meet.

We were in Grenå for a point in time not exactly sure what to do. Because Grenå is so far out from Randers it wasn't like we could just turn right around, so we decided to visit a part-member family and that turned out great. We had a really good talk with them both and we hope that her husband will come with her to church. He knows everyone in the branch really well and he basically is a member, I just don't know what he needs for that last push.

This is pretty funny. So we had a lesson with that man who has visited Utah last week that I forgot to email you about. We were teaching the Plan of Salvation and the Spirit was really strong. We had just finished talking about resurrection and being able to be with your family forever. The member that was with us paused, and asked, "Does anyone else have something to add?" There was a moment of silence where we were letting the silence sink in. Then one of my companions I'm training raised his hand, not understanding what was just asked because it was in Danish, and asked, "Can I use the toilet?" Hahaha!! It was so funny! You had to be there.

Good Neighbors
Our highlight of the week was the new investigator we found. There is this man that I met in my first week here in Randers that is our next door neighbor. For the last 6 months we had seen him but we had no idea what his actual name was. He moved from Århus just around the same time that I moved from Århus. He promised us that we could visit him but for the last 6 months he said that he has just been so busy. The last week, though, I ran into him at the market on our preparation day, and while we were talking he invited us to come over. We met about a week later and it was a really good discussion. He's around 37-40 years old, and he completely opened up to us. Over the past year his life has completely fallen apart. His parents died in a car crash, he was hit by a car as well and now can't work. His wife who he has grown up with for the last 35 years completely separated herself from him because of the "dying wish of her father" which was to separate from him. Apparently both of his in-laws do not like him. She took two of his daughters with her and he hasn't seen or talked to any of them for the past year or so. He moved to Randers with his one daughter he has custody of to get away from it all. He basically lives only for his daughter so that he can provide a good life for her. He said, after she moves out, he has no idea what he's going to do. He told us he's looking for a new direction in life, and of course, we told him that we may have just what he's looking for. He said he has faith but doesn't understand why God would let all of these bad things happen in his life. We told him that our message could help him understand better why things have happened the way they have and how he can move past this trial in his life. He agreed to come to church with us this next week so we hope that he does!

That was my week! I hope that you all have a wonderful week and accomplish everything that you want to! Oh, by the way, look up this band called the Nashville Tribute Band. They are a Mormon Band and they play some pretty sweet tunes. Especially on their album titled "Joseph". They also have one entitled The Work which is a tribute to missionaries. You should look them up! Some of my companions have had them on their iPods and they're pretty fun to listen to.

Vi Snakkes!

-Ældste Wawro