Monday, April 28, 2014

How did I get so lucky?

Hello Everyone! Just thought I would begin by telling you that I am the luckiest missionary in the world right now. But really. This week has been truly amazing. I'm excited to tell you all about it!

But first, It's great to hear about everything going on back at home. Crazy to think Haley's gone to Montana, and with Bonnie Stowell too! I was good friends with her in Junior High! That should be fun. Congrats to Casey as well that she made it on Student Council! That will be really fun for her. Mom, I'm glad your surgery went well. It's also way cool that you met with her Mission President! I love President Sederholm and I'm looking forward to being able to meet with him in the years to come.

Let me know who got their mission call [to Denmark] that Haley knows! I would love to email them and talk to them about it!

Now, about this last week...We were blessed this week with so many miracles.

To begin with, we met with T***** twice this week. He's getting baptized this week! At both of these lessons we had members which were both good for him and the members. All the members that meet him just love him. We also planned with the Elders Quorum President to send him Home-Teachers to meet him this week. We're excited to get the last things set in place for him to be baptized on Saturday!

We were able to meet with A*** P******* this week. She just has a lot on her mind. But she really wants to come back to church. She watched the Joseph Smith movie we gave her and she loved it. She also agreed to call her previous Bishop to send her records over here so we can assign her some new home-teachers. We really hope that we can get the ward as involved as possible with her.

C****** is a really great black guy from America we met with this week. He was a previous investigator but he went to Hong Kong for a few months so both Ældste Mogensen and I had never met him before. He teaches martial arts here and has had a long religious history. He was way fun to talk with and fairly open to our message. Basically, he's willing to hold any commitment we give him, but he doesn't believe he'll ever convert. We'll see if we can fix that.

At the end of our lesson his ex-wife called. She's an extreme atheist and hated any of the religious people he had brought over in the past. But she had a lot of extra birthday cake from her birthday that needed to be eaten, so he asked if he could bring a couple guys over to help with it. She said OK. He was so nervous the entire ride over that she was going to freak out when she saw our name tags, but actually, she really liked us! We had a really good, long conversation with her. Hopefully we were able to help with her negative feelings she has towards religion.
Easter at the Bishop's Home
(Unfortunately, neither the Bishop or his wife are actually in the picture)

We were down in Svendborg to eat a members (Lan Li) house and she had invited a friend to meet us. Lan Li asked Ældste Mogensen to pray for the food, but also that her friend would learn of the truth of the Gospel. They said amen, but then Lan Li turned to Ældste DeMordaunt and had him repeat the process in prayer. Amen again, and then to another member, Lan Li asked if he would use his Priesthood to help her friend and asked him to pray for a third time that her friend would accept the Gospel. Now that's what you call bold!

After some food and discussion, they learned that this friend has had some encounters with evil spirits. She was Vietnamese and you hear a lot about these Spirits from these people. While we were in the midst of a conversation though, she started shaking and crying. She started looking very scared and the tears just flowed down her cheeks as she begged us to help her. We were so confused. I had never seen anything like this before. A priesthood blessing was administered by Ældste Mogensen and Claus, and the evil spirits haven't been back since. She even came to church the next day. I still really can't believe that that happened, but I'm glad we could help heal somebody from these evil spirits.

This is the greatest miracle of this week and maybe my mission. Let me begin by saying how grateful I am for the Spirit and for members who are ready and willing to help in this great work of salvation.

It all started with an appointment we were going to have with T*****. We invited JJ to come with us to meet T*****. On the bus ride over to our appointment with T***** we got a text from him saying the doctors came to see him and we'll have to wait an hour. So we turned to JJ, asked if he needed to go, but he said he could wait.

While waiting he had the idea to visit this Greenlandic lady named A***** who was a potential investigator. Luckily (or was it really luck) we had gotten off at the bus stop to discuss our options which was right next to her apartment. Apparently, Ældste Mogensen and Ældste Merrill contacted her on a bus a long time ago and had brought JJ to meet her because, well, JJ is also Greenlandic so that's way cool. Unfortunately, she never let them in. So we had the idea to have JJ start the conversation by speaking Greenlandic with her as soon as she opened the door. It worked! We were in.

When we walked into the apartment it just stank with the stench of alcohol and smoke. We walked into her living room to see 8-10 opened cans of beer sitting on her table. She expressed how she hated that she drank so much, but she was so depressed that she's become addicted. She continued to drink throughout this appointment. We asked her if she was religious, and she said not really. When your dead, your dead. Her Grandmother was religious though and taught her some things.

She then told us that she had read a little in the Book of Mormon that Ældste Mogensen gave her a long time ago, so we got out our books and thought we would talk a little about it. We started reading the introduction with her and then we got to the part where it says, "The crowning event recorded in the Book of Mormon is the personal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ among the Nephites soon after His resurrection. It puts forth the doctrines of the gospel, outlines the plan of salvation, and tells men what they must do to gain peace in this life and eternal salvation in the life to come." As soon as we finished that line she just burst into tears. We waited in silence for about a minute as she cried, and then asked her what she was feeling. She said, "Whenever I read in this Book, I just get the feeling that somebody somewhere loves me. But I don't know who it is." We then testified to her that we knew that God loved her and that he was reaching out to her through us and through this book. We told her that if she wanted to start a new life, give up drinking, and truly find peace in this life it would be through Jesus Christ. The Spirit was so strong and she was so touched that we wanted to help her so much. She said, "I never thought that there were people in the world like you. I thought they were all selfish and cruel. But you're not." She agreed to see us again the next day.

We came the next day, again with JJ, and she wasn't home. We decided to go visit a less active instead but he was too busy to see us. On our bus ride back we decided to stop by one more time. And guess what? She was home! We began talking about prayer because she said last time that she would pray. She was really nervous to pray because she had prayed one time before to receive help to stop drinking and she was struck blind for a few hours! She said it was a sign to her that if she continued down this path she would be lost. We then taught her about the Restoration to show her the contrast between her spiritual blindness and the light of the Restoration.

When we recited the First Vision, it was silent. We waited for a couple minutes, and again, asked her how she felt. She said she needed to believe in God. She agreed to pray, but she didn't understand that we wanted it to be allowed, so when we all knelt she just started praying to herself and we prayed that she would get an answer. She started balling again during her prayer, but when she was finished, she looked up just bright and smiling. She said it felt really good to pray. We then offered her a blessing to help her stop drinking. During the blessing, JJ said, "Jeg befaler dig at blive helbredt!" [translation: I command you to be healed!] It was powerful. Right before we left she went to drink again from one of her many beer cans, but right as she put it up to her lips, she set it back down on the table and said, "I can't swallow this."

We invited her to church, and she said maybe, but she wouldn't promise anything. I personally believed we wouldn't be seeing her there. But she came. She actually came to church. She had read the pamphlet twice that we left her and went through all the questions at the end. She read that she needed a dress so she went out and bought one. She missed her bus the Sunday morning so she paid for a taxi to drive her over to church. We had no idea any of this had happened until after Sacrament Meeting. The best part, she had only had one drink since that Thursday we gave her the blessing where before she had been drinking 15-20 a day. Only once. She truly is a miracle.

I feel so privileged to be able to help people like this. I saw so many miracles, big and small this week, and I know that God is helping us with his power to bless the lives of others. How blessed our we to be able to be a tool that God uses to heal the sick and the blind, the afflicted and the powerless. I am filled with gratitude as I think how lucky I truly am to be a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

I love you all so much! I hope your upcoming week is just fantastic!

-Ældste Wawro

P.S. - I attached a picture of the room where we had church in last Sunday in Svendborg. Svendborg holds a sacrament meeting once a month down there and they needed me to play piano. It's in a nice, little room we rent out, but the spirit is so strong there when us few people meet.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Påske! [Easter]

God Påske [Happy Easter] everyone! I hope your week was filled with lots of eggs, even more candy, and mostly, thinking about the great miracle of the resurrection!

Not gonna lie, it's been a crazy busy week. It's also been pretty hard to get around from place to place. You see, here in Denmark, they take lots of vacations. So Easter was another reason for them to close down all the shops and cut down the amount of busses that are driving throughout the day for 5 days. Busses basically only drove hourly. But that's ok! That meant more people that were home, right?

Ok, congratulations to Haley!!!! That is so awesome! Young Ambassadors will be such a great experience for her! She has a lot of great opportunities lined up for her. Also, congratulations to Nathan with student council as well! I loved student council!

That "Because of Him" video on is really good! We actually have already used it for a lot of our lessons. Luckily for us here, basically everyone speaks at least decent English so there were many people we could show that to.

I heard that Ældste Whitlock was back as well! I unfortunately didn't get to see him though. He should be going to BYU soon so you should definitely invite him over! Ældste Elsbury goes home this next Monday as's really weird to think about that. I definitely appreciate the help and great examples they've been for me.

Speaking of transfers....Ældste Mogensen and I are staying together here in Odense! Wahoo! It's been a party up here and I'm glad we have one transfer more! This week we've made a goal to have a complete English fast so we've only been speaking Danish to each other. It's been way fun, but definitely difficult. It's showing the areas I need improvement in BIGTIME. But it's really fun to know that I can just speak Danish.

So...let's begin with the crazy story...Friday we were doing some weekly planning, right? So we randomly get this call from a member in our Ward named Ken Hall. He's way awesome, been a seminary teacher in the U.S. and all that jazz, and is one of the best members for fellowshipping. He doesn't call me Ældste Wawro though...he just calls me "The Polak" or "Polako." Unfortunately, he lives down around Svendborg so we don't really see him that much.

But! Continuing the story...
We answer the phone and he tells us to come down to Svendborg for an Easter Egg Hunt. There will be investigators there to talk to, so just come down. We were pretty confused, but we decided to go down anyway. We get to the other Elders apartment and ask them what exactly is going on. They said they had no idea, that he wouldn't tell, but the only thing he said was make sure we were wearing your normal missionary clothes, not P-Day clothes. He picked us up from the apartment in his car and we immediately started asking questions. He wouldn't give us any details. He only said, with his mischievous smile, "Don't worry, you'll only be breaking 8 missionary handbook rules today." (Of course he was kidding because we didn’t really break any rules.)
Where exactly are you taking us?

Nice place for an Easter Egg Hunt
We picked up one of Svendborg's investigators and proceeded to drive off the Island of Fyn onto the Island Thurø, still technically in our area but not a place we would ever actually visit because, well, it's off the Island! He then pulls off the road into a forest where we walk through mud and swamp onto a beach, all of us in our missionary clothes. We walked by a bunch of campers who all whistled at us and made fun of us for being in the middle of this swamp/camping ground/beach place in our nice shirts, ties, and slacks.

Then we began the Easter Egg hunt. It was in the center of the swamp where we were losing shoes, Ældste Mogensen alone fell about 4 times in the mud! All the eggs were stuck in mud or in thorn bushes where we were all getting scratched and cut up trying to reach. At the end of the hunt, we all returned back to the beach area, all bloodied, bruised, and muddy (especially Ældste Mogensen). But the festivities were not over. We then proceeded to have a bunch of egg competitions that involved us not trying to break the egg. The last game we literally just lined up and threw eggs at Ældste DeMordaunt (Again, us being in our missionary clothes). It was the craziest, most awful, and best Easter Egg Hunt I've ever been on. 

We met with T***** this week, of course. It's still going really great with him. He is still excited for his baptismal date. We did just found out something from a member who works at the facility where he lives. Apparently, he hasn't told his parents yet that he is planning on getting baptized. Technically, it's not necessary to get permission from them since he's old enough, but we don't want his parents to get angry at the church by feeling that we are taking advantage of him. So we are going to talk with him this week and tell him to talk to his parents about it.

There were a few people that we wanted to get in further contact with, so we decided to bake some cookies and deliver them to our investigators! It actually turned out really well. There were a few different people that we dropped them off to, but definitely the best experience was with Familien P*******, A**** P******* hadn't called us for a few days, so we were getting worried that maybe her husband scared her off. When we got to their house to deliver cookies, we were Lucky enough to be able to talk to A****, her husband, and her mom from Poland who was visiting! The mom really wanted to talk to us, but she only speaks Polish and German, which unfortunately, neither Ældste Mogensen or I speak. But luckily, Anna translated a few things for us and her mom said that she would like to visit our church some time! We also were able to talk a bit with the husband and I think that was really good for him to see that we were "fairly" normal people.

I had been thinking a lot about my time in California recently and thinking about what things I learned from there that I could use here in Denmark. There must have been some reason I was sent there, even if it was only for a short amount of time. I remembered a lesson that my companion and I made to help members with their member-missionary work. We called it "The Miracle Lesson." Basically, we promise a miracle will happen at the beginning of the lesson, we talk about miracles and how we receive them, we talk about the miracle of the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ, and then we give the promise from Neil L. Andersen where he says that if you pray to know which of your friends or family are ready to hear the gospel, names and faces will come to your mind. We then kneel right there and pray with the members to know which people they should begin working with. While I was in California, it worked really well with every family we taught it to. It truly was a miracle as we saw them think about people that they hadn't thought of before or had ideas of what they should do. And of course, after we prayed we had them write down the people and the goals of what they would do to help them by what date.

We decided to try it this last Sunday on Easter at the Bishop's house. We combined the Miracle Lesson with the Family Mission Plan so we could keep doing what the Ward already was working on and we focused on the greatest miracle of all, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It went fantastic! They even mentioned that there were multiple people that they could begin working with. They really loved the lesson, so we're thinking about trying that more here with the members. And then Follow-Up!

Well, that's everything! I hope you enjoyed the pictures I sent yesterday. Oh! Also, thank you so much for the packages! Both my one-year mark package and my Easter package. I really did appreciate getting them so much! Love you all!


-Ældste Wawro

Monday, April 14, 2014

Of Missionary Work and Gandalf

District Activity at Nyborg Castle
Hello, Hello, Hello! I am officially over my 1 year hump of my mission. Weird to think about. It's amazing all the things that have happened in this past year. I definitely couldn't imagine everything that this crazy adventure of being a missionary would entail.

Speaking of adventures, we held our District Activity this last week! We went to the town Nyborg to visit the Nyborg Castle and some other things around the area. Way too much fun! We have a lot of pictures where you will see us meeting some cool people like Gandalf and the Balrog of Morgoth!
So Gandalf, Have you heard about the Book of Mormon?

By the way, Yes, I am still District Leader. There are 2 District Leaders here on Fyn, and I'm the one over the Odense 2 Ward. That's why I've been going on splits with Svendborg and the Zone Leaders in Fredericia. I'm follow-up training Ældste Mogensen so he's only on his 3rd transfer here.
Defending Nyborg Castle (in background)

For some reason I thought Haley's theater thing was going to be in Idaho, not Montana! That's pretty far away! How long will she be there? And I wish her good luck with her Young Ambassadors audition results!

I hope Casey does well with her Student Council Interview. I bet she will!

We had a lesson with a couple guys named J****** and A********. They are both very active 7th Day Advendists who happened to walk in one time while Ældste Mogensen and Ældste Merril were holding Open Church. I met them for my first time this last Monday. The lesson started off really well as we began by asking about their experiences they've had gaining a testimony of Christ and of the Bible. After that, it started going downhill. They aren't against the Book of Mormon, but they explained that they found out that the Bible was true by studying its history, the archaeological evidence, and other ways besides just reading it. So now they feel like they need to have these physical proofs of the Book of Mormon as well as a spiritual witness. They also need to check it against the Bible to see if anything contradicts. The really difficult thing is that they misinterpret so many things in the Bible which in of themselves contradict each other, but there is no way to tell them that they understand all of the scriptures wrong. So we are a little confused on what we need to do with them. They are great people, but it seems like they are asking for more evidences than we have to offer. Testimony isn't enough for them. We'll see if we can figure something out.

We met with Martin again to help with his mission preparation! We gave him a “Preach My Gospel” [a missionary training book] in Slovakian and went through the main points of the first lesson. He really enjoyed it and asked lots of good questions about teaching and presentation. After that, we watched “The District” videos with him to get him excited about the mission and he really enjoyed that.

We met with Kim De King again this week, and he actually came to church! That was awesome! Unfortunately, he left as soon as the meeting was over, but it was still good to see him there.

T****** is doing great! I love teaching him. He came to church yesterday and is so excited for his baptism! We went over the Baptismal Interview Questions with him and he understands everything and has a strong testimony about it as well. He watched the entire "Thomas S. Monson: On the Lord's Errand" film and absolutely loves the Prophet. We also planned out his baptismal program and got it approved by the Bishop, so everything is continuing to go forward with him. President Sederholm actually asked us to move his baptismal date so he can come to it. He really loves T***** a lot. When T***** heard that President Sederholm was coming, he got so excited and asked if he could baptize him! Haha! So hopefully he can! May 3 is the magical date.

We had a great opportunity to serve this week. One of the less-actives we've been trying to work with, Stefen, needed help taking the wallpaper off of his wall. It was kind of a last-second call so he was really grateful that we could come. I remember doing it at our house, and for some reason, I don't remember it being that hard. But something made this project super difficult! And the room got more humid than you could imagine. All of us were sweating so much! While working with the steamer to peel off the wallpaper, we had some really great conversations about the church. He told us that he's getting married and he asked if he could do it in our church. We said of course. He wants to be married for time and eternity, so we're hoping we'll be able to talk about that more in the future and use that as an incentive to really get him back to church and active. He said his wife is also pretty open about it all, so hopefully we can talk to her as well!

Kind of a fun story:
While I was in Svendborg a couple weeks ago, Ældste DeMordaunt and I contacted a man who was carrying American Football Gear. By contacted, I mean chased down and yelled at. When we originally saw him, Ældste DeMordaunt turned to me and said, "We HAVE to contact that guy!" I didn't really want to because he had already turned the corner so we literally would have to chase him down. But Ældste DeMordaunt was persistent, so that's exactly what we did. Obviously he was very startled as we held at him from down the street to wait up, but after we introduced ourselves as Americans who loved American Football, he was really excited to talk to us! We never had the opportunity to really share anything about the church because he had to make it to practice, but it was a nice conversation and then we parted our separate ways.

So why do I tell you this story from a couple weeks ago, you might ask. Well, I'll tell you. This last week Ældste Jewkes and Ældste Demordaunt went to one of their really positive investigators and in the middle of the lesson she asked, "Hey, did you meet my brother?!" They were like, uhhhh....I don't think so...But then she said her little brother met a couple of guys dressed up all fancy who chased him down the road to talk about Football. He said they were really nice and he thought they were Mormons. Wow! What a small world that that guy just happened to be their investigators younger brother. Hopefully he'll start coming to the lessons as well!

We have big hopes for A*** P*******. She is the one who lived in Orem for 5 years. We visited her this past week and she loved our visit. We've begun a plan with her to help her stop smoking, drinking, and all of that Word of Wisdom stuff. She really has that sincere desire to come back. She even wants a calling! The problem is, her husband isn't as supportive as we initially thought he would be. She called us yesterday and told us she tried to get him to come to church but he refused. Apparently he has a big concern with tithing. He's a banker and has tight control over their financial situation. She really wants him to be supportive of her and come with her in this change in her life. We have an appointment with them tonight, so we'll see if we can't resolve some of his concerns. They both have a lot of baggage and stress from their previous lives and we know the church can help them so much.

Get ready for some pictures! I have quite a few to send this week from our District activity. I wish you all best of luck with you shows, auditions, and what-not you have to do! Love you all!


-Ældste Wawro
Mom, I forgot to send you a picture of the Fat Sopas Ældste Mogensen and I prepared! Thanks for the Recipe!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Year 1

Down by the Sea
What a great week! So many good things have happened, especially with General Conference! Why does it seem so much better on your mission? Definitely a lot of things that I've learned. I still haven't seen Sunday afternoon’s session, so I look forward seeing that a little bit later on in the week. Ugh, my computer is set to Danish so it keeps doing weird things and capitalizing things where they shouldn't be. So judge not these things, for if there are mistakes, they are the mistakes of man! ;)

General Conference was way fun! I watched 4 of the 5 Sessions. I watched Saturday Morning Session on Saturday at 6:00 PM, Priesthood Session on Sunday at 11:00 AM, Saturday Evening Session on Sunday at 2:00 PM, and Sunday Morning Session on Sunday at 6:00 PM. So I was at the church all day yesterday watching conference!

I got the 1-year package as well and look forward to opening it on Thursday! Can you believe it's been 1 year? I really don't know what to feel. In some ways it feels like it's just all flown by so fast. In other ways, I try imagining having to do everything that I've already done all over again and that is a Little daunting. But It really is starting to hit me that time is short, and there's no time to just sit around! I'm also very grateful that this next year I'm not worrying about trying to learn a new language, ha.

As for my doings...

We started off on Monday with splits with the Svendborg Elders. We had an essential-preparation day because of our zone-activity, so right after we bought food and wrote home we went to the train station to meet up with them and go our separate ways. I went down to Svendborg with Ældste DeMordaunt and that was a great experience!
Some pictures of a cool house we found while on splits in Fredericia!

So, as a district, we've had this goal to pray and find 1 unplanned service opportunity every day. I hadn't found a chance to really go out of my way to serve somebody yet that day, but luckily, we were blessed with an opportunity that night at a member’s house. We went to eat with this member and found out that her daughter is being made to learn clarinet in her school and is really struggling with that. She is only around 10 or 11 years old which is really young to start an instrument like clarinet. So, I was able to give her a clarinet lesson! Who knew that my clarinet experience could have helped me in the mission field? But the mother was so grateful for the help. It has been really stressing her out to see her daughter struggle with the clarinet and she, not being musically trained, had no way to help her. Because she lives out in Svendborg I won't be able to go down again and help, but I will be spending some minutes after church in the future to help her daughter some more with the clarinet. Huzzah for helping people!

The rest of the time in Svendborg was going a little slowly. Ældste DeMordaunt was feeling a little bad because our appointments had cancelled on us so we were left just going by and visiting people/contacting on the way. Nobody was home (of course). We then went to one investigator that I was pressing to meet, but once we were standing at her door Ældste DeMordaunt turned to me and said, "You know, I really feel like we need to visit E***. I don't think now is the time to visit this person." So we turned around and made our way across town to visit this other person. We knocked once at his door, no answer. Knocked twice! No answer. We were going to leave but decided to knock just one more time, and what do you know, he answered the door! Not only was he home, but so was his friend who turned out to be really interested in learning more about our church! Turns out E*** has been talking to him about it, and when he actually met us he became really interested to learn what we were all about. He agreed to come to meet with us again, he watched the Joseph Smith Restoration film that evening with E***, and I last heard from the Svendborg elders that at their next lesson with him he expressed his desire to be baptized!
Danish Coastline

We had Zone training this last week in Fredericia, and the focus was on the Book of Mormon. It's a great book, I highly recommend it. Afterwords, we had splits with the Zone-Leaders. It was a little weird to be on Jylland [the western peninsula part of Denmark] again. It's amazing the differences between Jylland and Fyn [the island Elder Wawro lives on now] even though they are so close to each other. Difference of language, people, feel, attitude, and even the all-around appearance of the cities! I suppose it's very similar in a lot of ways as well though. We had a great time though!

It was super funny, we ran into the Vejle Sister Missionaries while we were going around visiting people. They had contacted somebody on the street that we needed to go down and we didn't want to freak this guy out with missionaries coming from all sides! So we took the long way around the block. When we got there we saw the sisters coming towards us so I put my hood up on my jacket, Ældste Gines (my old district leader who is now Zone Leader in Syd-Jylland Zone) put a binder in front of his face, leaned against a brick wall, and we played masters of disguise. They didn't even give us a glance as they walked right past us. I could have literally reached out and touched both of them, but we were so efficient in the art of disguise that they didn't even notice us. We even had our nametags out in plain view! We are so funny, yet, so awesome.
Elder Wawro and Elder Gines

We taught T***** again this week about Frelsesplanen [the Plan of Salvation]. He's our paralyzed investigator. He absolutely loved it. It was really powerful when we got to the part about resurrection. He smiled so big, looked and us and said, "I don't want this to be taken the wrong way, but I'm really looking forward to it. I love my life here, but I am excited to have a perfect body where I can walk and run and do whatever I want." It definitely has given me an appreciation of being able to use my body in this life. T***** continues to remember what we've been teaching him and loves our visits and the ward.

We've also been meeting with Martin to help him get ready to go on a mission. We got him a Preach my Gospel in Slovakian and showed him the chapters inside of it and described a little bit about all of them. His desire to serve is definitely growing and I've heard him tell a few people that he's going on a mission! We know that he wants to wait until he's finished more school, but that won't be for many more years down the road, so we hope we can help increase his desire to serve and go soon.

Other than that, it's really just been General Conference! Of course that was great. Oh! also, tell Uncle Jeff to tell Elder Jewkes's Dad [who trained Jeff on his mission 34 years ago in Sacramento] to [make his son] give us back our blender! When we were gone in Fredericia the Svendborg Elders went to our apartment and stole our blender! Some people’s children... ;) Don't worry, I will get that blender back by any means possible.
The cat that snuck through the window into the Svendborg Apartment while on splits. We didn't want to get the couch dirty, so we just played with it on Elder Jewkes's bed instead. ;)

Love you all! Have a great week!


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Orem, Utah.

This week was C-R-A-Z-Y!

Hello everybody! Another week comes and goes, and it continues to be awesome here in Denmark. I miss Randers a lot, but let me tell you, I love being here in Odense! The 2nd of April will be H.C. Andersen's birthday so there's going to be a ton of festivities going on right around our apartment! Odense is great.

The days are getting longer here. I love it! The sun was already rising when we woke up and didn't go down until 8:00! Way better then sunrise beginning at 10 and being completely dark at 4:00. I love the sun!

I'm sorry to hear about Nathan's election. That really is too bad. But that just means that there'll be time for more things to do his Senior Year!

Wish I could see your show, Mom! I bet you it's going great! I'm glad to hear Music Man went well too, Casey!

So what exactly did Nathan do to his knee? [Nathan injured it at tap dancing rehearsal] for my week.

A Needle in a Haystack
It all started off on Tuesday at CUV. We were hoping to get a less-active to come but he ended up not showing up. While we were there at CUV, one of the other Elder’s investigators came in with her friend and asked if any missionaries would be willing to answer some of her friend’s questions. Ældste Jewkes and I raised our hands and ended up teaching most of the Restoration to her and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She was so accepting of everything we had to teach. We didn't end up getting her address or number and had no way to find out which missionaries should be teaching her, so we just hoped that the Seden Elders would find out more at their next appointment with their investigator.

Ældste Mogensen and I were going to contact a referral about 3 days later. It was a referral we had gotten about a week ago that we had tried to contact a couple times but they were never home. They wanted a Book of Mormon. But this time she opened the door when we knocked and, lo and behold, it was the friend that we had just taught!! We had no idea that THAT referral, the exact one we have been trying to contact was actually the investigator's friend that we luckily, and accidentally, had taught just a few days previously. So we found out where she lived, got her phone-number, and she said that she'll come to CUV again this next week! Definitely a blessing from God.

"Just baptize him"
Things are going really well with our investigator with a baptismal date. We met with him a couple times this past week where we reviewed the Word of Wisdom and showed him some of the Bible Videos (which he loves!). He understands everything. It was especially helpful to read D&C 89 with him so he could stop and ask us questions. At the end we asked him to summarize the WoW and he understood it completely and agrees that we need to live it to protect our bodies which are gifts from God. He came to church as well and loved it, as usual. At the end of the meeting the Bishop said to "bare døbe ham." [Translation: Just baptize him]. He believes he's ready. So we'll continue to work towards the 3rd of May to get him in the water.

We did service for a member of the ward with the Svenborg Elders. We had to move a ton of chopped wood in a forest to his property before hunting season. It was hard work, but actually pretty fun. He was really grateful for our work and was surprised at how fast we got the job done. It's always great to do service.

CRAZY Bus Connections
So before I got here to Odense, Ældste Mogensen and Ældste Merril were contacted by a woman on the bus who said, "Hej Ældster!" [Translation: Hello Elders] which of course startled them. Turned out she had been taught by missionaries a long time ago but stopped investigating. They got her name but no other information other than she lived on the 2nd floor somewhere and was headed to Højby. Naturally, they went to the church and used (in Denmark, everyone needs to register at the kommune, so you can use this website to find anyone in Denmark and where they are living and their phone-number) to find all the people that lived on the 2nd floor around Højby with her first name. They eliminated the names down to one person but never contacted it. So Ældste Mogensen decided to knock that area and "conveniently" knock on her door. When she opened the door she was very excited to see us and we had a great conversation. She also talked about a sister missionary who taught her here in Odense over 20 years ago. As she described her we became almost certain that it was Ældste Mogensen’s Mom while she was here in Odense serving her mission! Crazy! Obviously, she was really excited to hear that and said that we could definitely come back, so we will.
Just too cool

We met with Martin, who is a new convert from Slovakia, yesterday to talk about his temple trip. He really enjoyed it, but nobody explained to him that he wouldn't be able to go to an endowment session as well so he thought the trip was a little too short. But, as it turns out, he'll be a member for a year this May so it gives us time to start teaching some temple-prep to get him ready to get his endowment! So we'll talk with the Bishop and hopefully get that started!

"No. You do not! I lived in Orem for 5 years!"
We contacted another referral this last Friday. It was a family who requested a visit from the missionaries and a Book of Mormon. Unfortunately, they were busy that day but we got their number and they said to call back on the weekend to make an appointment. So we called both Saturday and Sunday but didn't get any answer until around bedtime. 

We got a call from an unknown number and when I answered it this woman speaking English in a thick German accent asked if we were the missionaries. We said we were. She then commented that my English wasn't a Danish-English accent and she asked where I came from. For some reason, I said "Orem, Utah" which is a lot more specific than I ever tell anyone right off the bat because most people don't even know where Utah is. I normally just say the United States. But then it got silent. She said, "No. You do not! I lived in Orem for 5 years!" 

She then asked me a ton of questions of where I lived in Orem, and if I knew people she knew. She also asked if I was the missionary that tripped at the door step when I was turning around and almost trampled her roses...I was. She laughed, I cried. She continued to explain that she was a member, she is now with her 2nd husband, and she had just received a visit from one of her old friends from Orem. While he was there, her husband read a Primary Children’s Songbook and the words really touched him. The prayer that the man said also stirred something inside of him and he told her that he wanted to learn more. So they referred themselves to the missionaries! They said that I have to come over now because I'm from Utah and we have an appointment for this Saturday! Pretty unbelievable.

That was basically everything with our crazy week! I don't think I have anything more to share. But I hope that you all have a wonderful week and I'm excited to hear all about it next Monday!


-Ældste Wawro