Monday, March 24, 2014

Tillykke Med Fødselsdagen, Ældste Mogensen!

Ældste Jewkes, Ældste Mogensen, and I celebrating our March birthdays together!
Happy birthday to my wonderful companion, Ældste Mogensen! He turned the big 20 as well this last Saturday! They grow up so fast. :,)

Again, things seem hectic back at home. Best of luck with your student elections Nathan! And congrats on being asked to Spring Fling with Anna Nielsen. She's a great girl. Great Family!

I'm emailing a little bit later today because the Svenborg Elders came up here to Odense to play some frisbee and visit some stores. Way fun!

So, funny story...two families here in Odense talked about their family member who teaches folk dance at BYU. Turns out she was my teacher and she came from Odense! Crazy!! She is the Family History consultant's daughter and the Bishop's wife's sister, so they both love me because I did folk dance. ;)

Beginning on Monday after our preparation day we had an eating appointment with the Ward Family History Consultant. We all were very excited to meet with her because we have been really trying to start using family history more in our teaching and finding. The appointment went great and she's going to get us started with some training so we can start to show people ourselves how to use ourselves during our open house hours.

We found a new investigator this week. He was a media referral we received from the office. We talked to him once before and we made a return appointment. He also asked if we could bring another Book of Mormon for his friend. The lesson itself went well, but he never really seemed to get excited about the Things we were talking about. It seems like he is more interested in learning about the religion itself but not really to convert to it. We introduced him the Book of Mormon and invited him to read out of it and pray. Hopefully he does!

We had a lot of service this week. We went with the Sisters out to visit a previous investigator. We went because she told the Sisters her Lock needed to be fixed and so the Sisters invited us to come with. While the Sisters were teaching we worked on the Lock, and they gave a great lesson...a lot better than us fixing the Lock. She didn't have the right tools to replace the old one with the new one so we ended up just breaking the old Lock and were not able to replace the new one...we felt pretty dumb. Luckily she was cool about it! We'll try to fix it in the future.

We also helped a member move one of his friends. It was a pretty easy move and we did it really fast and efficient so they were super thankful. It was us and the Svenborg Elders so we moved all of their really heavy furniture, no problem. The member also said that he's going to invite them to come to his house to eat and have a lesson with the missionaries!

We met with our investigator with the baptismal date two times this week and they both went really well! The first time we talked about following the Prophet and he was really excited to hear about President Monson. He also really enjoyed the talk we gave him to read. The second time we just read through 2 Nephi 31 and talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Great appointment. We've moved his baptismal date to the 3rd of May to give him more time to prepare and to come to church. But, he did come to church this week! He absolutely loved the talks. It was actually a Little rough to get him up because they just took out the front steps and ramp to the church so we had to carry him and his wheelchair up the back steps into the church. But he got in and out and is excited to come again!

We had splits with Ældste Jewkes and Ældste DeMourdant in Svendborg and that was way fun. Unfortunately, all of their appointments cancelled on them so we basically just contacted and knocked doors the entire day. We had the goal to empty our pockets, though, and we did it! We passed out a ton of copies of the Book of Mormon and Ældset Jewkes and I alone gave out over 40 pass along cards, almost all of them talking about Family History. So it was a good.

We also had an extra Sacrament Service Down in Svendborg on Sunday after ours in Odense. It was so cool. It was in this little rented out house with chairs set up and there were only around 12 people total there. It was way spiritual though, and one of Svendborg's previous investigators randomly showed up! That was a way cool experience.

That's my week! I also received the Easter package today so I look forward to opening it! Thank you for everything you do! I love you all!

-Ældste Wawro

Monday, March 17, 2014


Well, greetings everyone from your no-longer-teenager-but-20-year-old-missionary Ældste Wawro. It's weird to think that I'm actually 20 years old, but I really don't feel much different. I'll have you know that my 20th birthday was INSANE, but we'll get to that a little bit later. :)

BTW, I did get all of my packages, Mom. Thank you so much! I am so glad to finally have pictures! They really are so great so thank you for sending them. Also, thank you for the fruit leather. You don't have to send any other candy in the future because the most of it I can get here. But if you do send anything foodwise, fruit leather is the way to go because I can't get it here and I LOVE IT! Also, Dad, thanks for sending the classical music!

That's crazy that you met one of Ældste Huffaker’s friends! What's her name? Maybe he's told me about her...but let me know!

As for is such a beautiful place. It's an incredible city and I love it so much! There are also two wards here so it's crazy going from a branch to a city with two wards! I used to think that Danes in general were obsessed with Hans Christian Andersen, but it's nothing like here. They absolutely LOVE him. I'm going to have to visit his childhood home, it's pretty close to our apartment.

The apartment is great too. It's not super big, but it's one of the only apartments with a dishwasher. We also have a washing machine and the floor in the bathroom is heated! Awesome! I love it.

Elder Mogensen 
Ældste Mogensen is such a great companion. I am his follow-up trainer so he is just on his 3rd transfer here, but he already knows how to be a missionary. He had a great trainer and he's in general just a great guy, so I'm super glad to be with him! I'm also glad to finally be with someone whom I can learn Danish from. Since I've been training for most of my mission I haven't really had someone I could ask questions. We just speak Danish out of the apartment so that's been a great help for me. I think I forgot to tell you as well...Ældste Mogensen is the first missionary to come from Bornholm...ever. I think that's pretty awesome.

We had a lot of service this week. We helped a member move, helped a part member chop wood (a lot of wood), and helped another member dig a trench. Not going to lie, we are a little bit sore, but we are grateful to be able to serve those here in Odense.

Family History and Missionary Work
As a distrikt, we have been thinking a lot President Sederholm's call to use family history more in our missionary work. So, this last Distrikt møde [meeting], we collectively made a vision of what we wanted to happen here in Odense concerning family history and the use of the family history center by both members and non-members, as well as small goals of what we are going to do within this next week to help us achieve this vision. We have found family history to be an amazingly effective tool in working with both members and contacting people on the street. With every family that we've taught so far, they've mentioned that they have friends that would be interested in family history and took cards from us to pass out to their friends. One family in particular told us that family history is the right route to be taking here in Odense and are planning on beginning their family history as well as inviting their friends!

We had a couple less active meetings this past week. The first one is a little bit of a character, but very funny. But! He really loves the church and hopes that we can build our own Zion here in Odense. We have some plans to start getting him to come to church more often, he just has a little bit of a problem with some of our members. We're hoping to get those resolved. He also fed us some chili frikadeller [meatballs]...that was...interesting.

We also met with another awesome less active member. He's the painter here in Odense and he has some really great art. I was actually surprised to see how strong his testimony is of the Gospel. He truly loves the scriptures and this church. The biggest problem is that he only comes to church every other Sunday. The other Sundays he visits his mom and skips church. We're not exactly sure what to do about that, but nevertheless, he is a great member that we are excited to continue working with.

I also met our one investigator with a baptismal date. He is a man who is completely physically disabled and can't move anything but some of his fingers and head. He also seems to be a little bit slow mentally. He has such a strong testimony. I am very impressed with him. Despite all of his disabilities he does have quite a grasp of the basics of the Gospel. We showed him this week and he was really excited to see all of this videos. We also invited him to church, but unfortunately, he didn't come even though he said he would. We'll follow up with him this week to see what exactly happened.

The last exciting thing that I can think of right now is that this past week we received a referral. We went out to visit it and it was this younger man who's studied religion for a while and wanted a Book of Mormon for both him and his friend. He seems pretty positive and we're meeting with him tonight, so we'll let you know how that goes!

Birthday Adventures 
Now, concerning my birthday...
It all began waking up very sore because we had been digging a trench for about 3 hours the day before. We had some studies and then went to go renew Ældste Mogensens bus pass...but they were closed. So we had no way to get around! Luckily, the last missionary here left his "Welcome to Odense" packet we get when we register at the commune which gave Ældste Mogensen a free trip one place and back on the bus. That was just what we needed to get to one of our investigators.
Birthday Toast

On the way to that investigator we saw a woman running around in a naked man suit...ya, weird. Then Ældste Mogensen bought me a pastry that is a specialty to Fyn and it was sooooo good! We then had to go down to Svenborg to have an eating appointment with a member. All of our distrikt was invited. It's about a 45 min. train ride. We get down there and meet the Svenborg Elders who proceeded to tell us that the member called just 5 minutes ago to tell us that she had forgotten our eating appointment! So she picked us up and drove us to a kebab house and bought us all some kebabs...ha, good thing I love kebabs!

After that we had some time to kill, so we decided to split up and go contacting down the gågade [a pedestrian zone]. We met up 45 min. later to see the Sisters still contacting a man. They took 20 minutes to contact him and we really needed to get to our train. We quickly scurried over to the train station and let the Sisters buy their tickets first. Right after the Sisters got on the doors on the train closed and it drove away...we just kind of stood there because it was the last train to Odense of the night. So we had to sleep with the Svenborg Elders, which was fun. We squished their two beds together and three of us slept horizontally on that while Ældste Mogensen took the uncomfortable! A brilliant conclusion to my 20th birthday.

 That was my week! I'm looking forward to all the new adventures Odense has to offer this week! Hurrah!

-Ældste Wawro
Two cool guys on the train

Monday, March 10, 2014

Hvorhen? [Translation: Where?]

Goodbye, Randers
Hello family, friends, one and all! I am currently writing from a city that is not Randers.'s true, today I was transferred from Randers. Caught a train at 7:47 and took it all the way down to ______ where I currently am!

I am very grateful for my time spent in Randers. I was very sad to hear I was leaving. I grew so much as a missionary and as a person while I've been there. I love the members and everyone else that I've met there so much. I hope I'll be able to return one day.

But! I have been transferred to a wonderful place. In fact, they call it the "Promised Land" of the mission. They have 6 Elders, 4 Sisters, and 1 Senior Couple in this city alone and another pair of Elders in the District. It is famous for being the hometown of Hans Christian Andersen, the writer of fairytales.

And my new area.....
An old Viking burial ground


Odense. It's a wonderful city. I already love everything that I've seen. It's on the Island of Fyn which is in between Jylland and Sjælland. It's my first time not serving on fact, it's my first time not serving in Midtjylland! But I'm very excited to be here.

My companion’s name is Ældste Mogensen, and I can already tell that he's way cool. He actually is Danish! He comes from Bornholm, that one Island that's in between Denmark and Poland. So, needless to say, he's a lot better at Danish than me...and everybody else in the mission. He's a really great guy, though, and I'm so excited to serve with him! Our apartment is way nice. It's right on the Gågade in the center of town.

BTW, you might be interested in my new address:

Ældste Christian Patrick Wawro
Vestergade 7, 2, MF
5000 Odense C

So yeah, I am currently
New Danish Companion: Elder Mogensen
writing from Odense. It's pretty weird not being in Randers anymore, but I'm excited for the work here in Odense!

Last Monday was a really great experience for Ældste Brindley and I. We met with one of our investigators. He's the one that came to our Åbent hus and really enjoyed it He especially liked the baptismal room. He told us that us Mormons do Baptism right. So we decided to go in at this appointment teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We started the lesson by reading in Matt. 3 the baptism of Jesus. We found at that he loves that scripture. He then cut us off at the end and said, "I know what your purpose as missionaries is. I'm not dumb. I have looked you up on the internet in the past and I know that it's your goal to baptize people like me. And that's great. The only thing is, I'm one of the few people here in Denmark that my baptism actually meant something to. I loved my baptism and it really means a lot to me. I have a hard time grasping the idea of a re-baptism."

We were a little taken aback, but after we explained how we know that his baptism meant a lot to him and we were so happy that he understands what baptism really means, a commitment to follow God. We told him that we preferred that than someone who didn't grasp the concept and commitment that follows baptism.

We then told him to pay attention to how he feels as we read in the scriptures, and we hope that the Holy Ghost will testify to him what he needs to do. Then we read 2 Nephi 31. As we read and discussed, the Spirit was so strong. It really was unbelievable. We felt it, and we knew that he felt. At the end he just looked up at us and stared, which is really out of the ordinary for him. He's a talker. We sat there in silence for a little bit, then, I testified that I knew these things were true and would bless his life. Ældste Brindley then came in with the commitment to be baptized on the 12th of April, and to read in the Book of Mormon everyday to prepare for his baptism. He accepted, and since then he has been looking forward to his date!
Cool church near Randers

I was very grateful for this experience. After being in Randers for so long, I was getting a little disappointed that I hadn't seen any baptisms or reactivations, where as in Århus I saw multiple reactivations and helped 2 people in the baptismal process. I was a little down, but it was a tender mercy of the Lord to let me set a baptismal date before I left. I don't know if he'll be baptized, but I feel like I've done my part in Randers.

We also had a great experience with contacting using Family History. Right after or Zone Conference we had some time to contact people on the road. We didn't have a lot of time, so we walked around our neighborhood, and it seemed like nobody was around. There was one lady we passed by right at the beginning that we hadn't contacted because we were busy talking about where we needed to go, but as she passed by I told Ældste Brindley we should have contacted her, and he agreed. But she was so far down we decided to just keep walking. About 10 minutes later, when we were heading back we ran into her again. Thank goodness the Lord makes up for our slack and gave us another opportunity to talk to her. We introduced ourselves as missionaries and explained we were going around talking to people about family history. She looked only around 23-25 years old, so I really didn't feel like she would have been that interested, but I asked her if she had done any genealogy, and she affirmed that she had! She continued to say that it has been hard for her to do because she really doesn't have a program or anything to help her with it. It was the perfect lead up to start explaining She was so excited to hear about it and she wants to learn more! It was definitely a testimony builder to me about using genealogy more in our missionary work.

I'm trying to remember any other significant things that happened...but I don't have my planner from last transfer on me. It's been kind of a crazy day with moving and all that jazz.

Oh! I did get both of the packages! Thank you for sending them! I'm excited for the 15th of March...can't believe I'm reaching the big 20. Elder Mogensens birthday is on the 22nd, and I also hit my 1 year mark this transfer, so we have a lot to celebrate!

Excited to hear about Ashley! Mandarin speaking! That's gonna be fun.

Also, thanks for all the recipes! We're going to be doing some cooking this week.

Thank you for everything that you do! I love you all and hope you the best!

Here ends 7 months in Randers, and begins my first day in Odense. Challenge accepted.

-Ældste Wawro
Great Randers Nielsen Family - Spent Christmas with them, formed a Christmas Folk Band with them, Ate at their home every week!

Friends who are investigating the Church: Peter and Anika Rasmussen and their newborn baby

Friends from the Frikirke Church and bible study group 

Wonderful Koch Family from Randers Branch

Simon and Rachel Bendtsen from Randers Branch

Monday, March 3, 2014

Possible last week here in Randers..? Måske?

The greatest street ever!
So, funny story. We get down to the library to write emails, and when we get on a message comes up saying that myldsmail has been blocked at the library because they think it's a dangerous we're writing at the church. Because there is only one computer and we have to take turns, I don't have a long time to write...but I'll write a few essentials and then just copy and paste my message to the President to you.

So I've been in Randers 7 months around now, and we found out about transfers on Wednesday. Everybody is telling me I'm getting transferred, but I really hope I don't. But transfers happen next Monday, so nobody send me anything from this point forward! Also, because I may be transferring, I have no idea when I'll be writing on Monday because if I'm getting transferred to Sjælland [the main island where Copenhagen is located] I'll be taking a train in the that's that.

So I've been having the craving for some Mexican food I was wondering, Mom, if you could send me some of your recipes to that I can make it over here! I don't know if I'll be able to find all the ingredients needed, but I should be able to find most of them.

One more thing, I deleted a lot of classical music off my ipod on accident before I got here, and it's Dad, if you can think of any good classical songs to send me, feel free! :) I'm thinking specifically about the Billy Joel Classical CD (Not Classic Billy Joel) ;). I would loooooove to have that again.

I'm excited to get my package! Thank you for sending that! I should be getting it within the next few days.
My district

Here's my message to the Præsident:

"Hello President!

This week has definitely had its ups and downs. Things started to pick up towards the end of the week.

We had a lesson with [female investigator #1] on Monday and that lesson in of itself went pretty well. We focused on the importance of really reading and praying and coming to church and how those things are essential for personal conversion and will bless every aspect of her life. She agreed to do it.
So as the week progressed we texted her to remind her to read in the Book of Mormon, like she asked us to do, and every night she replied that she hadn't read. Finally, on Thursday evening, she replied that she hadn't read and it now is necessary to tell us that she doesn't have time to read or to come to church. We replied telling her that every commitment we've given her is meant to bless us, but she said that she felt confined by the commitments and needed freedom. We then told her that these things don’t limit her freedom, but helps her retain it. She disagreed and said freedom is being able to do exactly what you want when you want to. So, unfortunately, we had to drop her because she is not willing to meet with us anymore. That's particularly sad for me because I found her my first day here in Randers with Elder Peterson and saw how close she was to baptism. She just needs some time to think things through.

Thursday we had splits with Skive. They are having it a little bit rough right now. They're only investigators just dropped them. Elder Parry and I went out to meet them, but when they answered the door they slammed it right in our faces. The rest of the time was spent finding (knocking doors, contacting, etc.). They are working really hard, President. I am glad that we will be studying Ch. 9 [in Preach My Gospel] this month, not just for our sake, but for theirs.

Sunday, [female investigator #2] came to church again. This was her second Sunday in a row. She brought her son as well. You can see her aura change from being very sad and almost hostile to really being happy to be back. I really hope she continues to come and becomes reactivated.

After church we stopped by [male investigator #1] and he let us in. We shared a message about "by small and simple means are great things brought to pass" and he really enjoyed it. We invited him to read and pray and he said he would. He also wants to come to church! He was really impressed by the members at the Open House. We have another appointment scheduled for this evening.

We met with [male investigator #2]  from the Fri Kirke church yesterday evening as well. He's the one who leads our bible studies. He was really nice to us and was really open. He talked about the Book of Mormon and he says he's been reading! He has a lot of questions that we didn't get to yesterday, but we hope to be able to answer them soon. Also, right before we left, he said he was talking to some of the other Fri Kirke leaders and said that the most religiously solid and believing people in his group were the Mormons! That was pretty cool.

That was basically everything from this week. This next week is already looking pretty busy, so we hope to bring good news in a weeks time. Vi snakkes!

-Ældste Wawro"

So, another crazy story I didn't write to the Præsident:
Ældste Brindley and I were going to get a hotdog when, all of a sudden, we get this text. When we looked who it was, it came from our old telephone we sent to the office. This is what it said (translated to English)

"Ok, excuse the late point in time, but I have just received a text from you. We can bring it up the next meeting, if you want. Remember, I have God and Jesus on my side????? I am just back from Germany, and I'm not holding anything back. No answer is also an answer...sorry"

As we were left pondering who our unknown nemesis was and wondering how he obtained our old phone, we received another text.

"Good Evening. Ældste Wawro and Brindley. Thanks for last time, and sorry for my skepticism. You still have much to learn... Now the Olympics are finished and the world’s discussion goes political against Russia and their stance towards homosexuals. I know where I stand...what about you?"

At this point we are veeeerrrryyyy confused on what is going on! Who is this person, what are these religious debates we've apparently been having that I cannot remember, and how does he have our old phone?? About 20 minutes we get another text from that phone, and it turns out some other missionaries now have our old phone and they forwarded us those super hostile messages to us. It was from one of our investigators while he was drunk, he sometimes likes to get very contentious when he's drunk. So he was our unknown nemesis! Just the previous week, he also got a little bit mad at me because he brought up that only Moses has seen God so it's impossible that Joseph Smith could I kindly redirected him to the Book of Acts where Stephen sees God and Jesus Christ. He got a little mad after that....ha.

That's basically everything! Can't wait to tell you what's happening with transfers! Let’s hope for Randers, 6 more weeks!

Jeg elsker jer! 

-Ældste Wawro