Monday, May 26, 2014

Remember, Remember ...

Goddag Ya'll! 

Serving here in Odense is just fantastic! Beautiful city, fantastic members, great companion, good work going on, there is really nothing to complain about. Unfortunately, transfers are coming up so within the next couple days we'll get the call and Ældste Mogensen is most likely out of here. He's still in his first area and it's been 4 transfers and almost nobody is in an area for more than 4 transfers (except for me in Randers).

I actually didn't even know yesterday was Memorial Day, but Happy Memorial Day!!

We focused on meeting with Thomas this week. We were able to meet with him about 4 times and they were all great appointments. We've started the lesson again with him so we've already gone through the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation. He basically can give these lessons to us without our help at all. He still is so happy to be a member of the church and he loves all of the members so much. 

Kim de King is doing great. He is really excited for his new calling in the primary and loves the member he is working with. He says there's a lot he can learn from him. He's really been trying to do his best. We also committed him to come with us to J*** J***** who lives just a minute away from where he lives. He said he would, and he would drive him to church next Sunday! So things are definitely moving along with Kim.

We are not completely sure what to do with J*** U***** P*******. He knows everything is true and he even comes to church every other Sunday, but we just can't seem to get him to come more than that. We also brought up going to the temple with him, and he knows he needs to get to the Temple, but he just doesn't seem to be filled with the urgency of "now". It's really too bad.

It was a great appointment with J*** J***** this week. He has a difficult time remembering everything we teach, but in this lesson we saw that he truly is believing the things that we've been telling him. He read the assigned chapter and he told us some of his favorite passages he read. After that, we taught the Restoration one last time to really help him remember. The Spirit was very strong and he told us that he believed Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ. At the end of the lesson, we invited him to baptism and he said he would have to think about it. I asked him, "Well, you said you believe all these things we've said. And if you believe them and will continue to grow your testimony about them, what would be holding you back from being baptized?" He replied, "Well, I guess not anything!" 

We then gave him a blessing to help him remember the things we teach. It was a great blessing and I believe it truly will help him. Right before we were leaving, though, I got the feeling that we really needed to set a date. So I asked him if he would be baptized on the 26th of July. He said he would! So now we'll be working towards that date, and I'm sure that his experiences in church and with the members will be a great help to him. 

So, we were walking home the other day back to our apartment and in the distance we saw a bunch of middle-aged women (well, more like in their 50's), dressed in crazy clothes, and extremely drunk, walking down the road. As we approached they started yelling and asking us if we could give 100 crowns to the bride to be. It was then that we noticed that one of these ladies had a sign around her neck that said, "Jeg Skal Giftes!" [Translation: I Should Marry!] Again, all of them were drunk out of their minds. We quickly said we had no money and tried to scurry away, but they wouldn't let us escape that easily. They looked at our tags and asked if we were Jews. We said no, and then they asked us to take a picture with the Bride to Be. As the Bride approached us, she read our name tag and then yelled, "They're the Mormons!!!" They all started laughing and then she put her arms around us and pulled us in to take a picture. The entire time I was terrified she was going to spill her can of beer on my white shirt. Eventually, they finished and went on their merry way. Definitely a crazy experience that seems to only happen to missionaries...
A little bit of fun with the boys from Svendborg in ToysRUs ;) I just got interrupted by a call from President Sederholm with maybe the worst news I've ever heard...I'm transferring. 

I'm completely stunned. I mean, I can't even believe it. I love it so much here in Odense. I really just feel so distraught about it. The members have been so great to me. I love the work here. I'm leaving Thomas and all those who I've worked with. I mean, I only got 2 transfers here!! What the?!

I suppose you would like to hear where I'm going...any guesses.?

I'll be going to....(drum roll please).......

Gladsaxe 2nd Ward. [Copenhagen]

It's on Sjælland and actually it's President Sederholm's ward. I'm going there to become a Zone Leader with Ældste Merril, Ældste Mogensen's trainer.

I can't believe I'm leaving Odense. I can't believe I'm becoming Zone Leader. I mean, there were so many other choices before me who had been in their areas significantly longer than I...It's just so crazy...

Well, I guess I'll leave on that note. I love you all and hope you have a great week. Next time I'll be writing you all I'll be writing from Gladsaxe...
Here's to all of the great memories and friends I've made here in Odense. Skål! [Cheers!]

-Ældste Wawro

Monday, May 19, 2014

Copenhagen Or Bust!

Cool international market right outside our Apartment! Tons of people and had people and food from all across Europe!
As you heard, I was in Copenhagen this last week for a "Specialized Training Meeting" with everyone in my MTC group [they are the largest MTC group in the mission and now have been out for 13 months]. It was amazing. I can't tell you how great it was to see everyone again. Dad, you mentioned how it reminded you of when Alma saw the sons of Mosiah Again. President Sederholm said the same thing.

MTC Group at Copenhagen Temple for a "Specialized Training"
It was pretty interesting. President Sederholm began by saying, "I bet you're all wondering why you're all here for this meeting." Of course we were. Everyone had been talking about the past few weeks what it could be. Formulating ideas. IPads, opening Greenland, extensions, all sorts of things. He continued, "Well, so am I." Apparently, he just had this feeling that he needed to call us together, but it wasn't until he recited D&C 4 in the meeting that he knew why we needed to be there. He gave a great training about focusing on the things that are most important and enjoying enduring to the end. He's always very inspirational.
Getting pizza at the specialized training

After the meeting we got to go to the temple and see the newest temple video in English! Everything about it was so beautiful. I just haven't been able to stop thinking about it.

We went on splits with the Svendborg Elders this week. Ældste Jewkes was up here in Odense with me. It was a great experience and we learned a lot about being bold and loving in our teaching.

While on splits we taught F******, the man from the Faroe Islands who came to Thomas's baptism. It was a pretty good lesson. We focused on the Restoration/Gospel of Jesus Christ. He really liked all the things we told him. The biggest problem for him is testimony. He likes everything he hears but he says he doesn't know yet that it's true. So we'll definitely be talking more about testimony in our next appointment with him.

Ældste Jewkes and I visited J*** J****** as well. Because of his age and an accident he was in, he has a hard time remembering all the Things that we taught him, so we decided to go through the Restoration Again. He remembered a fair amount, but there were definitely some key points that need reviewing and re-explaining. He said he believed that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. So that's great! He also said that if he finds out that the church is true that he will be baptized. So, again, we'll focus on receiving that answer with him!

So we met with Martin [a recently reactivated member] this week. We first met with him after CUV to talk about going on a mission again and the lesson went really well. He then expressed that he felt like he needed to go back to Slovakia soon to help build up the church in his homeland. We gave him a Blessing of guidance to help him in his decision of what he should do.

A couple days later I saw him for about a minute where he told me he might be leaving sooner than he thought. I told him to make sure to call us when he found out when he was going.  On Friday we got a call from Martin. He told us he decided to leave the next day, Saturday, so he wanted to see us before he left. We talked for a little bit, talked about his plans, and then said goodbye. I also gave him one of my ties and told him I expected him to wear it the day he enters the MTC to begin his full-time mission. I really hope he gets out on a mission. I'm a little worried for him but we have his email, so we'll stay in contact with him.

S**** is an interesting man. We met him for our first time a couple weeks ago. He invited us over to eat that week with some of his friends and he prepared a really fancy meal for all of us and we were able to hygge [translation: have fun] a little bit and get to know all of them. Unfortunately, we didn't have too much time to really discuss the doctrine of the church. It was more of us answering questions about what we did as missionaries and why we decided to be missionaries.

But, this week, we got another appointment with him. He fed us Again. It was actually pretty funny, because when we got there the door was open but the house was completely empty. We kept calling for him to see if he was around, but there was no answer. We waited for around 20 minutes. We started getting worried that he died and he was just lying dead in his house. Right when we were thinking about going in to investigate, S**** showed up. Turns out, he went to pick us up from the bus stop, but we took a shortcut so we didn't meet on the way back!

Anyway, we met with him personally this time and it was a great appointment. He isn't really religious but he respects everybody. By the end of the lesson he agreed to go with us to church. He came, but it was a little weird. Because it was Ward Conference this week the classes were first and sacrament meeting was last. So we were in Priesthood and S**** was sitting with us for the first 10 minutes. But right when we split off to go to our separate classes he just got up and left! Apparently he just wanted a taste of it and he thought that was enough...a little disappointing, but it happens.

Thomas is still going strong! We didn't get to meet with him as much as we wanted. Our Schedules just didn't match up well. But we are making Thomas a focus for this next week. Nevertheless, we met with him a couple times this last week.

We introduced The Doctrine and Covenants because he had some questions about it. He has a copy of it now so we read the introduction and some of our favorite sections with him. He loves D&C 4. He wants us to print it out so he can put it on his wall. He's doing great!

We had a great Ward picnic this week. It was just like being back at the states. We went to this beautiful location in Nyborg right next to the beach. It was so much fun. We played a lot of games. We did the egg on the spoon race: Me vs. Ældste Mogensen and the Bishop. Way fun!

I also played piano for both musical numbers in both wards here on Sunday. So much piano! I'm probably going to have to start telling some people no because we have other things to do than play in Sacrament Meetings. But I do love playing.

Oh, speaking of that, the lady that is in charge of the Primary told me that she's going to find me a beautiful Danish girl to marry so that I can move here to Odense and continue to play piano for the Primary. So, just thought I'd give your some forewarning about that. ;)

Thanks for everything you do! I love you all! Have a great week!


-Ældste Wawro

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Thomas Bøgelund Baptized!
Hello! It was great to talk to you yesterday. Thanks for everything you do for me and know that I love you guys and really appreciate you all.


This week has been a blessing for us.

First and foremost, Thomas Bøgelund got baptized! It was a great baptism and we were happy about how many people showed up even though there were a lot of other things the ward was involved in that day. The baptism and the confirmation both went great and we all are excited to have Thomas with us as the newest member of the ward. The home teachers have already talked to him and are going to go visit him this week. I am so grateful for the opportunity I've had to work with Thomas and to continue to help him after his baptism.

We met with J*** J***** a couple times this past week. J*** is the man in the wheelchair we knocked into the week before. He doesn't always need his wheelchair but he has a really bad leg. J*** is a spiritual giant though. He loves the Bible and his testimony of God and Jesus Christ is amazing. We taught him about the Book of Mormon and the restoration and he seems to accept everything we're teaching. He's also read in the Book of Mormon between visits and loved it. He's an older man, though, so he sometimes has a hard time remembering everything we've talked about and read. We'll definitely have to check for understanding the next time. But we invited him to baptism and he said yes, so hopefully we can get a date planned with him this next week!

I** is a man that I've just met for my first time last Friday. He comes from Nigeria and has strong faith. Ældste Mogensen met with him in February and had a great first lesson with him, but then he went to Nigeria for a month or so and we lost contact with him. We were able to call him and set up an appointment for this last week. We were thinking of who we could bring, and we both decided Isabella, the new convert, would be best. Turns out it was perfect! When I** opened the door they both laughed and said hi to each other. Turns out, I** comes from the church that Isabella went to before she became LDS! So that was great. During out lesson we focused on the Book of Mormon and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a powerful appointment. He has a lot of problems going on in his life right now, but we testified how baptism and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost would be the best thing for him to do to help him with all of these big decisions he has going on in his life. He is very accepting of our message. We invited him to baptism and he gave a kind-of yes, when things start to slow down in his life. We'll continue to meet with him and see how it goes from there.

We had a previous investigator neither Ældste Mogensen or myself had met come to Thomas' baptism. I gave him a call this last week and he said he would come, but I guess we didn't really expect him to come. But he did! His name is F****** and he's from the Faroe Islands [a group of islands in the North Atlantic that are about 200 miles north of Scotland]. He believes in God and actually was really close to getting baptized. He had a date and everything. But then he went to a baptism which had a ton of people there and he saw how big of a thing it was and it freaked him out a little bit. But we're hoping we'll get him this time around! He seemed to really like the baptism and he loved socializing with all of the members. We have an appointment tonight with him so hopefully it turns out well!

After we finished skyping yesterday, the Bishop's wife asked me to sing some songs. She heard that I did some musical theater before my mission and she loves musical theater. So after we ate we got around the piano and played and sang Les Mis and Chess and a bunch of other songs as well. It was just like at home! That was way fun and I forgot how much I missed that.
With Elder Strong at Super Lørdag [Super Saturday]

That really was most everything for this week. Other than we got to help with Super Lørdag [Super Saturday]! It's a big youth activity they do for all the youth here in Denmark and they held it here in Odense. Way fun! I also got to hear "What Does the Fox Say?" for my first time. Ha!

Love you all!

-Ældste Wawro

Chillin' at Super Lørdag


Here is a poster for a party for asparagus and beer. Typisk Danmark [typical Denmark]. Always have to add alcohol to everything.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Another great week, with a little bit of crazy mixed in.

Goddag mine kære Søskende! [translation: Hello my dear brothers and sisters!] The weeks are really flying by! We're already in the month of May and about to Skype Again next Sunday. I'm really looking forward to it!

It's crazy that Haley is in Montana. Such a cool experience for her! You should definitely meet with Ældste Huffaker. He's the Hope you'll be able to Skype as well!

I can't believe Jay Sargent is actually home! A lot of the ward’s missionaries are going to be home soon now. I read his blog every once in a while and its crazy how much of the Swedish is just like or super close to Danish.

The weather here has been really nice until the ending of this week. It started getting a little cooler and rainy. But that's just Denmark.

I'll start off with a knocking story. Ældste Mogensen and I decided that we should plan some specific time to go do our own finding because we've been pretty busy recently getting ready for the baptism that we hadn't had a lot of time to go knocking. While knocking we met a man named J*** J*****. J*** is a man in a wheelchair who is deeply religious. Right when we started talking about God he bore his testimony to us how God has helped him in his life and started getting emotional and crying right there. You could definitely see his strong belief in God and Christ. We started talking about the Book of Mormon, and at first he was hesitant, but he agreed to take one. There more we talked the more he seemed to like us and it ended with him telling us to come back, so we'll do that tonight!

We had another appointment with A***** which went great! She looks so much better than she did before, and the entire time that we were teaching her she was only drinking water. She is still in the process of detoxicating and getting all of that alcohol out of her system, so at times it was hard for her to really focus and understand everything. But she definitely felt the Spirit. We taught the first half of the Plan of Salvation to her which went really well. We'll have to remember to take things slower with her because of her lack of a Christian background. She really enjoyed our visit, though, and wants to continue to learn more and come to church! Unfortunately, she ended up not being able to come this week because her boyfriend was in town and prevented her from coming, but we'll get her there this Sunday.

We had another service project this last week with Claus. He lives Down around Svendborg in the middle of a forest.  We moved a lot of firewood for him. Let me tell you, it was a lot of Wood. It took around 3 hours just to move all the Wood into his shed, but he really was very appreciative about it.

Now, concerning T*****...We taught T***** almost every single day this week. Every appointment was as it usually was. We teaching a principle and/or reading in the Book of Mormon with him and he agreeing with everything we taught. He truly does love the Gospel so much. After our service project on Friday we took the bus back from Svendborg to Odense to meet up with the Zone-Leaders to go interview T*****. The interview was fantastic. They both said that he was one of the most prepared people they have met. Thomas was looking so forward to the next day.

At about 10:30 the morning of his baptism, right before we left the Apartment to go do some Work with the Zone-Leaders (we were on splits), we got a phone-call from T*****. "Brothers, I have some terrible news," He said. "I can't be baptized today." We were all stunned. He explained that there was a rule that there needed to be somebody from the Facility to come with him to change his clothes since he's paralyzed and there was nobody to come with him that day. So we ran to the bus just in time to catch it to Tornbjerg. When we got there, we first talked with T*****. He was so distraught that the Ward was going to be mad at him or think that he didn't want to be baptized. We assured him that both of those Things were false. We then talked to the administration there and they explained that the person that was supposed to come with T***** that day was sick as well as multiple others so they were understaffed. There was no way they could find someone to come with T*****. So, unfortunately, we've had to move the baptism to next Saturday. But luckily, we've straightened everything out so the baptism WILL happen this Saturday.

After we called everyone to tell them the Baptism was cancelled, and since we had some free time because there was no baptism and the Zone-Leaders were still with us, we decided to go visit some people. All of us met with a previous investigator from when Ældste Hawkes was in Sønderborg but she moved to Odense. She's way positive and wants to meet with us now! Apparently, Ældste Elsbury stayed at her family's house with his Family when they came to pick him up and it resparked an interest in her in the church. We also met with Robert, this way cool English-Man that Ældste Hawkes reactivated while he was here in Odense. He took Ældste Hawkes and me out to eat and we were able to commit him to prepare to go to the temple. We also met with a less-active and committed him to write his Testimony Down of the Book of Mormon. It was a great splits!

We also reactivated someone yesterday! Kim de King. That's right. He is the biggest Elvis Presley fan so he changed his name to Kim de King. We've been meeting with him for a while now but he's finally come to church for three weeks in a row and got a calling to Work in the Primary! That calling will be great for him and we're excited to start getting him prepared for the temple.

Things are great here in Odense. I love it! I hope you all have a great week and I'm excited to talk to you on Sunday!


-Ældste Wawro