Monday, June 23, 2014

Cruisin' in Copenhagen

Tradition has it that missionaries in this area have to try and eat this whole ice cream cone. It contains 3 scoops of icecream, 2 flødeboller [snowballs], and every scoop has a ton of soft-serve in between as well as a ton of soft serve on top. Let's just say...I failed. Here are the Before and After shots after only a few bites.
Howdy Folks! It's great to hear from you all again. These weeks are really flying by! This week has been way fun and I've learned a lot. My desire to do better is definitely growing every single day.

That's a real bummer to hear about USA tying with Portugal! We actually talk about the World Cup a lot with people on trains to start conversations because everybody wants to talk about the World Cup!
At the end of the road the cone cracked and started leaking everywhere, so I could not continue longer.

Life in Copenhagen
You've asked the last few times about the witch burnings, AKA “Sankthansaften.” It actually happens tonight! Ældste Merril has never seen it so we'll probably try to find a place where they are holding it.

Ældste Merril and I were actually really lucky this week because President Sederholm took his family to Iceland to go to their Zone naturally we asked for their car, and they agreed! So we've had Sister Sederholm's car for the past few days and that has really been such a help in our missionary work. So we've just been cruisin' around Copenhagen doing the work.

I had my first Zone Report this that was long! We were in the office for hours doing office work for the Zone! We were mostly there so long because one of the areas wasn't able to call us back because they were in an appointment, but it's definitely been a while since I've had to do anything like office work on the computer. I've been more used to just going out and doing things! But you gotta do what you gotta do!

Here's a view of Sweden on the other side of the sea
Funny thing about Ordrup [the part of Copenhagen they live in]. It's a really rich area and actually there are a ton of people with horses! So sometimes you'll see a Ferrari and right behind it will be a horse drawn carriage. There really are so many horses who are just walking down the roads!

Music as an Answer to a Prayer
I forgot to share a story about the musical number I did at our Zone Conference with Sister Packard. President Sederholm told us we needed to have a musical number and that was around 5 days before the Zone Conference so we didn't really have any time to ask somebody to put something together. So Sister Packard, who is a great violinist, and I decided to play "I Know That My Redeemer Lives!" We only had one day to practice beforehand, but we are both her pretty good at just going with the flow.

Sister Packard and Elder Wawro
playing "I Know That My Redeemer Lives!" in Zone Conference
So we played it about half-way through our Zone Conference and it was actually a very spiritual experience. It didn't really have so much to do with us than it did the song itself. It really is just a great song. We sat down and President Sederholm talked about the Spirit it brought and then we continued on with the meeting. But at the very end of the meeting President Sederholm called Søster Packard and me to go back up and play it one more time! He invited everyone to pay attention to the feelings and thoughts they had while we played. It went well again and he thanked me a lot afterwards for the number.

I had my quarterly interview with President this last week and he told me that that song was an answer to a Missionary's prayer. Apparently we made a big impression on that missionary and it was just the answer they needed. He thanked me multiple times for that. I really have been lucky to use music in many different instances on my mission. I'm really grateful that God has let me use these talents that I have to bless others!

Splits with the Birkerød Elders
I'll start off by talking a little bit about our splits with Birkerød. I was with Ældste Metcalf down here in Ordrup and that was a little interesting because both of us have only been in Copenhagen for about 3 weeks, so neither of us knew where we were going! But, luckily, we were able to find our way around. Working with Ældste Metcalf was a great experience for me! It was actually the first time that I've been able to work with somebody from my MTC group since the MTC. It was great to see the differences we both had from the MTC to now. Ældste Metcalf is a fantastic missionary. He really wants to do his best and he works hard. While I was with him we talked to every single person that crossed our paths: on the train, on the sidewalk, in between appointments, etc. We had our weekly lesson with E* and they really connected. Ældste Metcalf is really good at holding a conversation with other people.

The rest of the time was spent finding. Like I said, we talked to EVERYONE! We were both startled, though at how much harder it is to contact people here in Copenhagen. Everyone always has somewhere to be and doesn't have time to talk. We were blessed enough to get an appointment with a 90 year old lady on one of the last doors we knocked on that day. She believes in reincarnation but she was very interested in the Book of Mormon. We gave her one and told here we'll be stopping by in one week to see how reading is going, so maybe something will come from that.

Ældste Merrill and I have been doing quite a bit of finding. We have some really positive investigators, especially L*** V** U**, but they have all been too busy to meet with us recently. So we really have been needing to find some new investigators. So we'll keep searching for them!

So we saw Ældste Simpson at church today! It was really great to see him because I've always considered him one of "my" assistants because he was the one who picked me up from the airport in Copenhagen on my first day. Anyway, the reason that I'm telling you this is because I've recently been getting a little bit down on my Danish. I've just heard a lot of people telling me that it's impossible for a missionary to really sound Danish and that we'll always sound American, so I've really been starting to believe that. But when I heard Ældste Simpson speak in Danish I was absolutely stunned! He is so fantastic at Danish I can't even believe it! If he has an accent it's a very small one. It's kind of rekindled my desire to learn the language, because if I could speak the language as well as he still can, I would be a very happy camper. :)
Here's a picture with us missionaries and Spencer (Formally known as Ældste Simpson).

Reconnecting with a New/Old Friend
Probably the highlight of the week was with M******* J********. M******* actually contacted us while we were on the way to the train station one day! She yelled to us and said, "Hey! I was one of you Mormons once!" So, naturally, we were inclined to find out what her story was. Turns out she had been baptized back in 1981 and absolutely loved the church, but she hasn’t been back in years. We asked if we could stop by and visit one day and she gave us her number. We were able to set an appointment up with her and we brought the sister missionaries along because we plan on having them continue teaching her in the future since she is a single woman.

We found out at this appointment that she has a few serious health challenges that have isolated her from her family.  This has made her really lonely. She actually is a very talented person! She's a fantastic cook, she was a model back when she was young, she's a great artist, and has a great love for music. If there's something that needs to get done, she learns to do it herself. We actually didn't believe most of these things until she brought out pictures and showed us all of these things. It's so sad that she has had so much going for her but has lost so much. She did say she still believed the church is true. We invited her to church but she said she didn’t think she could go because of some past experiences that happened in the ward.

The day before church I got a call from her saying that she found out how much the church has helped her sister in the past so she decided she needed the church again in her life so she was coming to church tomorrow with us! We were super excited for that!

She was really nice at church and was talking to a lot of people, but we were still worried that she wouldn’t feel like she was accepted by the ward. But in the end, I don't really know if that matters, because she gave me a call after church and expressed how grateful she was that we were put in her life. She felt like that she was going to have to be alone for the rest of her life and the church has given meaning into her life again. She was so grateful for church that day.  I am grateful for the church and all it does to heal the brokenhearted and the down-trodden.

I love you all! Thanks for keeping me updated. I really do love hearing from all of you every week!


-Ældste Wawro

P.S. By the way. I finished the Book of Mormon this last week! It's a true book, you should read it!

Editor's Note:  Here is a link to a great new video posted on the Church's Denmark Facebook Page showing several missionaries in Christian's mission meeting people at a festival on Bornholm Island.  Its in Danish, and Elder Wawro is not in it, but the Sister Missionary talking at the beginning was in the MTC with him.  Its really fun to see Danish the missionaries in action.  You can watch the video at:ødet-på-bornholm-2014