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!