Monday, July 28, 2014

Jul i Juli 2.0 [Christmas in July 2.0]

2013 Christmas in July Card with Elders Elsbury, Whitlock and Wawro
Glædelig Jul i Juli!! [Translation: Merry Christmas in July] We were happy enough to celebrate Christmas in July once again here in the Danish Copenhagen Mission! Do you remember the pictures from last year? If not, I'll send it again! Ældste Whitlock, Ældste Elsbury, and I decided to start this holiday called Jul i Juli, and despite the sinister plots of Ældste Lindstrom, we prevailed in celebrating that great national holiday we started! And you know what? This year everybody remembered our picture because it got sent throughout the mission, and this year missionaries from all different places in Denmark have been celebrating Jul i Juli! There has been music in the air, Christmas trees and decorations set up in the apartments, and great pictures taken. Who knew that everybody would remember that random event from last year? Pretty awesome.

First things first. That is awesome that you saw Ældste Huffaker this week! He told me recently that he works at Brick Oven. We still email each other quite often, I miss that guy. I hope he is doing well!

Random Question: Hey mom, I would really like to make so Mexican beans. Do you have a good recipe that I could get? And any other recipes I would definitely love to get as well!

Now, a little about the work:
We met with ******* a couple times this week. She is really doing great. She came to church again! Unfortunately, she told us that she is going to be moving to Birkerød around the end of this week, so we won't be able to continue teaching her. We've been helping her with the move, though, and the ward has really been rallying up to help her as she prepares to leave this next week. She will be missed, but I'm sure the missionaries in Birkerød will do a great job fellowshipping her.

I also had the opportunity to go out on splits with Ældste Wright in Ballerup [Elder Wright is from Elder Wawro’s home stake in Orem, Utah]. I'll begin by saying that Ældste Wright is a very impressive missionary. You can see his desire to do his best and he is very diligent in almost every aspect of the work. Besides it being fun because we come from the same Stake and High School, I was able to learn a lot from him. I really look forward to continue working with him in the future and to learn from his example!
Me and Elder Wright wearing one Giant Suitcoat!!

The missionaries in Ballerup live in a house! There are four missionaries there: Ældste Jewkes (Yes, the very same), Ældste Wilsher (From England), Ældste Eisert (From my MTC Group), and Ældste Wright. It's a way nice area and, again, tons of fun.

While on splits, Ældste Wright and I went knocking and were able to find somebody who seems pretty positive. She is from Africa but speaks Danish. Of course, she has a strong belief in God and Christ, but she didn't really feel like she needed to hear anything more from us. Luckily, we were able to introduce the Book of Mormon with her and that instantly changed her attitude. So she invited us to come back another day and talk more about the chapter we gave her to read.

We had a HUGE service project with some of the other missionaries out in the middle of nowhere. Ældste Wright and I had to bike way out in the country to get to it. I didn't even know they had country on Sjælland! But it was so worth it. We had to remove all the leaves from this large lawn, dig up all the rocks, and flatten the land again. It was extremely hot and hard work, but it was so much fun. The best part was seeing how grateful this man was. He wants to move to the States so he can be with his family that has already moved over there, but he needs to be here until he can sell the house which he is renovating. He has been doing everything himself, until we got there. You could see he was touched, and that made it all worth it.

Afterwards, Ældste Wright and I went to visit some people who ended up not being able to meet, but some kids came up to us and started asking us a lot of questions! Kids always love talking to us for some reason, it's great! They were way excited to hear we were from America and thought we were way cool. The best part, though, was that one of their older brothers was watching them kind of from afar and because we made such a good impression on them we were able to give him a Book of Mormon! I really hope that's turns out to help them.

Here's a funny story:
Here in Denmark it gets really humid, right? So when it gets relatively hot it feels like you're going to die. They also don't have air conditioning here so it can get pretty bad sometimes. Well, we were in church yesterday and everybody looked like they were going to die. So it got to 88 degrees Fahrenheit and everyone looked like they were going to die. Well, at the end of the Sacrament Meeting the 1st Councilor announced that they would be cancelling Sunday School because it was too hot! Good thing we don’t live in Africa or South America!

Yeah, that's everything that I can think of that was exciting. I love you all and can't wait to hear from you next week!


-Ældste Wawro

Monday, July 21, 2014

Unlucky, or Fate...?

Wow, can I just say that this last week has really been a roller coaster! A lot has happened in the zone that has kept us on our feet, but despite the stressful and sometimes demoralizing circumstances, we continue to pull through, grow, learn, and love a little bit more than we did in the past.

On Monday we helped all of the new people that were being transferred into our zone get to their areas, and we obtained the new car for our area! Unfortunately, we only had it for a couple hours before it got rammed by a speeding car in the rain...Luckily, everyone was ok. Unluckily, it was very unfortunate that it happened because Ældste Merrill's knee has gotten to the point where he needs a car or else he can't really work. That made it really hard to really go out and do the finding that we needed to do, because he really just can't walk that much.

Ældste Merrill had surgery earlier on in his mission on his knee, and he actually almost got sent home. But it got better and he hasn't had any problems with it since until a few weeks ago. So hopefully it will get better enough so that he can endure to the end!

Tuesday, we had a service project with a was a really interesting project. We actually needed to help with some boxes. I thought we were going to move them, but she actually had us individually unpack every single box and take a picture with every individual item, and then set it back in the box and carry the boxes back to where they were. It went great and she was really appreciative!

We also went with one of the members to go do home-teaching for [a new member], which was nice because we needed to meet with him anyway. We had a great appointment and made him promise to go talk with the Bishop about getting ready for the temple! He did talk with the Bishop on Sunday and will begin temple-prep next Sunday.

We finally were able to meet with M******* again! She has just been so sick recently she couldn't have us over. But she is better now so we were able to visit her. We had Kim Bång with us this time, and he was so perfect for her. He was sincerely interested in her problems and concerns, offered solutions, and gave her his phone-number so she could call if she ever had a question or just needed to talk. The last time we met with her we gave her some chapters to read about the Plan of Salvation from the Book of Mormon and hoped she would read one of them. She actually had read all of them! That made teaching the second half of the Plan of Salvation so much easier because she came prepared with questions and also some answers to her own questions. It was just a great appointment and we are already seeing the difference the Gospel is making in her life. It's amazing what the Gospel can do after such a short time.

District Activity at Hamlet's Castle
So, today we had to move the sister missionaries in our ward to a new apartment. We had to go to their apartment a few times to pick up some of their stuff while they stayed at the mission home and then we officially moved them today. The problem was, both our car and the assistant's big van were in car accidents this past week. But, luckily enough, their car was finished in time to help us this week and everything went as planned! There have been a lot of random stuff like this that I've had to do since coming to Gladsaxe, and planning and arranging it all has been kind of stressful, especially on top of our normal missionary load, but we definitely have had support all the way through!

There's a member in our ward who was the old mission-president of the Poland Mission. He likes me a lot because, well, because of my last name that comes from Poland! He is a fantastic missionary. He actually started going to the gym and shared the gospel with his trainer, and now his trainer has come to church for the past two weeks in a row! He is 21 years old and seems like a great guy. The member is trying to set up a time for us to come and begin the lessons with him, so hopefully that happens this week. This really shows how much better things are when the members invite somebody to come and fellowship them instantly. We are really grateful for them who have already done so much in our ward, and hopefully they continue to feel the missionary spirit!

Best news for last: I got a call from President Sederholm and asked me if I had any plans for the 6th of September. I was thinking, "Well, uhh, President, we don't have anything planned that far in advance! That's in the next transfer!" So I said I didn't. He then asked me if I would be willing to play the piano for our Mission Conference that day that was going to be attended by ELDER BEDNAR!!!

...I said yes.

Elder Bednar
So on the 6th of September Elder Bednar is coming here to Denmark and will be meeting with all of the missionaries! I'm grateful that President thought of me to play the piano! That is just going to be an incredible experience. I can't wait!!!

So all in all, yeah, I've had my difficulties and my problems. I try not to write the most of them home because it's much easier just to remember the amazing miracles we've seen. At times things have seemed unlucky, and you wonder why things have worked out the way they did, and whether or not God put this trial in your life or if it was just the misfortune of the world.  However, I've realized that maybe it just doesn't matter. No matter the source of our problem, the Gospel is the answer. How grateful I am that I was lucky enough to be born into the church.

I love you all! Can't wait to hear from you next week!

-Ældste Wawro

Monday, July 14, 2014

To Be Or Not To Be....

The district at Kronborg Slot - AKA "Hamlet's Castle"
Whoa, these weeks are really just flying right on by! Weeks seem to be so short nowadays! We've been pretty busy today with transfers, which is why I haven't had time to write until now. We needed to drive some of the new missionaries in the zone to their areas, so it's been a little bit hectic! Here's some good news though: Ældste Mogensen was transferred into our Ward! Ha! Ældste Merrill and I were his two first companions in the mission so that will be really fun to have him with us. And yes, Ældste Merrill will be finishing his time here in Denmark with me. This will be the first time I'm with a companion the transfer he's going home!
Kronborg Slot

Not going to lie, it has been a little bit difficult the past week to be as effective as we want to be. Ældste Merrill has been having some problems with his knee so he can't really walk a lot. It also seems that every single person that we work with has been out of town on vacation! Luckily enough, we have a car this transfer so that has already been a great blessing for us!

In the catacombs under the castle
Because Ældste Merrill hasn't been able to walk too much, we haven't been able to do as much finding as I would like to do. So Ældste Crank and I decided to go at it during out splits this last week and do a lot of finding because we need some new investigators! We did a lot of knocking and nobody was really interested. We were running short on time because we had an appointment to get to, so we were considering cutting it off right there and just start heading to the appointment. But, we both had a feeling that we should do at least one more house, so we did, and guess what happened?! He wasn't interested.

In the ballroom with Elijah Thompson who came with us
But! Before he closed the door I asked him if there was anybody he knew that would be interested in our message. He stopped, and considered it a minute, and then referred one of his neighbors that actively goes to Den Danske Folkekirke! So we stopped by, and they were just heading out the door, but they told us to come back and give our message! Hopefully this family turns out to be positive, because we would really love to teach a family.
Meet Holger Danske, the Sleeping Guardian of Denmark

Tuesday was a crazy day! We had planned to have our district activity that day (which we did, and it was way fun!) but we had to cut it short! Ældste Merrill and I had a meeting with the København (Copenhagen) Stake Presidency, President Sederholm, and the other Zone Leaders that evening. President called us on our way up to Helsingør that there were some mistakes by some previous missionaries on the report that we had to turn in, so we had to drive back and fix the errors before our meeting that evening. Luckily, we were able to accomplish everything that we wanted to at our district activity (except for dinner) and it turned out to be way fun! We went to Hamlet's Castle up in Helsingør! It's really called Kronborg Slot and it has been the coolest castle I've seen so far! I'll make sure to send the pictures.

Ya, not too many exciting things happened this week...but they'll be sure to happen in the next one! Thank you all for writing and reading and everything you do! I love you all!


-Ældste Wawro
In the lego the castle...

Monday, July 7, 2014

Meet Brad: He's a Mormon.

Here's a picture with us and Brad Wilcox. Meet Brad: He's an author, a BYU Professor, and He's a Mormon.
Goddag!! Right now Ældste Merrill and I are on the edges of our seats because we are waiting for THE TRANSFER CALL!! ...although, let's be real, neither of us are going to transfer because I just got here and he is leaving a week early next transfer. But it will be exciting to hear where everyone else is going in our Zone.

That is too bad to hear about the van...lots of good memories in that mini-van.

President Sederholm actually has talked a little bit about the iPads. You saw that all of Western Europe gets them. He is not sure if we are counted in that or if we are categorized as Northern Europe, but he believes that means us as well. If it does, we should have iPads and Facebook by the end of the year. That would be exciting!

Hey, I did get your package this last week and thanks so much for it! There was a lot of great stuff in there. I was very excited for the beef jerky, I was actually just thinking a few days before that I wanted some beef jerky. They don't really have it here, and if they do, it's pretty expensive. Also, that hair stuff is a lifesaver! I've been trying to find a good Danish product but nothing seems to work really well with my hair. So thanks for sending that as well!

Ældste Merrill's Birthday is on the fourth of July, so for our dinner hour we had a barbeque with the other missionaries in our ward. It was way fun and we were thankful for the opportunity we had to show our patriotism for the land we love! America!

We had our Zone Training this last week and we taught from Preach My Gospel Ch. 8 - Using Your Time More Effectively. It actually was an eye-opener to see all the areas that I could improve in as far as planning and goal setting is concerned. But we definitely have already seen the fruits of better planning in our work.

As a result of our better planning, we realized that we needed to stop by a man we knocked in to the last week. His name is M** T****** and we had given him a Book of Mormon and invited him to read Alma 32. When we stopped by he wasn't finished with the chapter, but he had actually highlighted some of the verses that he liked. We taught the Restoration and it went pretty well. He seems sincere. We're excited to continue working with him.

I went on splits with the Assistants this last week. I was with Ældste Gifford in Frederiksberg and we had some good appointments! We met with C********, the new convert, and talked to him about receiving the Priesthood.  Assistants are already thinking of ways to help him, though.

Me eating a rootbeer float on the 4th of July
Ældste Gifford and I tried to make a smoothie on splits...but...things went a little awry. The biggest problem was that they didn't have an actual blender. They had this really weird hand-blender that didn't really work very well. So as he made dinner I spent like 30 minutes trying to make a smoothie with this hand-blender. It turned out kind of a weird consistency and was really foamy, but it still tasted pretty good. So we decided that when we both get to BYU we are going to open up a store and sell "Foamies: Like a Smoothie, but not quite as good!"

We also met with a Polish man. I can't remember his name right now...but it was a really good appointment! He really seems to be searching with real intent. He has a little bit of a hard time speaking English, though, so we actually had to start using Google Translate at some points of the lesson to help him understand! We invited him to baptism and he said yes, but we weren't sure that he actually understood what we we used Google Translate to invite him to baptism! Luckily enough, he said yes again and now has a date to be baptized. So Ældste Gifford and I had some great experiences on our splits and I definitely learned a lot from him about teaching and working hard!
At Mission Leadership Council

We met with M******* again this week. We taught her the Plan of Salvation and she really already remembered most of it and loves it. Unfortunately, she has had some bad health problems recently and has been going to the doctor a lot. We were able to give her a blessing while we were there and it was a really spiritual moment for us all. She wasn't able to come to church this last week because of health, but we hope to see her this next week!

Saturday Evening was a great night. We were invited by some of the members to come eat dinner with them, and guess who was there? Brad Wilcox! But as great as it was to be able to talk to him, the highlight of the evening was when Ældste Crank did his Indian Dance. You see, we have been going to this family's neighbor for the last few weeks and doing some service for her and she has always been very grateful for that. Some of the other neighbors have noticed as well and have been very impressed by us. So when the members were holding this evening for Brad Wilcox, they decided to invite all of those neighbors to come and see the dance, and they came! Ældste Crank taught the Plan of Salvation through his dance and explained it afterwards, and all of the non-members were intrigued by it. We had to leave right after he was finished, but Brad Wilcox held a fireside afterwards just for those few people there and they were touched by it. So we believe that there is some good potential with some of these people. Member-Missionary work at its best!

We were able to talk with Brad a lot as well at the dinner and that was way fun. Brad Wilcox is just such a great guy and since he lives in Provo it was fun to talk about all the places around the area. He invited us to come to the Fireside the next day and wanted to talk to somebody we were working with personally. We've been preparing him for the temple so Brad gave him a little bit of a pep-talk. We were so lucky to be able to be with him, because it was only Ældster Crank, Gifford, Merrill, and me at that dinner. Oh the benefits of living in Copenhagen!

Just heard transfers, and yes, we are staying together! Wahoo! Here's to another one with Ældste Merrill in Gladsaxe 2! I love you all and can't wait to hear from you again next week!


-Ældste Wawro