Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween Everyone!

The Famous Hillerød Slot Castle which contains the Carl Bloch Paintings.
I definitely am going to be missing our tradition of watching Ichabod and Mr. Toad, but it's sure great to be here in Denmark!

Our week started off fantastically with our appointment with *D* and *L* and President Sederholm came with us! They are both so fantastic and she is ready to be baptized. We were a little worried for a while because they hadn't been to church for a couple weeks, but everything was explained and put in order. *D* blessed the Sacrament for his first time yesterday in a very long time. All we have left to do is set up the baptismal interview with *L* and then they will be on their merry way! It's truly been amazing to see their process of spiritual growth.
The Hillerød Slot Castle.

We had a few other lessons throughout the week. One was with our new investigator, *L2*. That went great, we taught the Restoration, and he seems to have really enjoyed it. He is very grateful for our visits and next time we'll be focusing more on the Book of Mormon.

We also had a lesson with our other new investigator, *A*. That one was not quite as good. It wasn't a bad lesson, but he has a hard time keeping things simple. We taught the message of the Restoration and he likes it all, but he keeps trying to tie his way complicated theories about God and science into it as well which don't really make sense. He is very interested in the Book of Mormon, though, and promised he would read. We'll see if that helps with anything.

Me with Queen Margrethe II !
We also had an appointment with *R*. He really is so fantastic and we really just want him to come back to church. He has such a strong faith in God and we always have some great discussions with him. We've been reading out of the Book of Mormon with him and are trying to get him to read out of it himself as well. Hopefully he'll begin to start feeling the Spirit that comes by filling his life with these kinds of spiritual activities.

It's really been kind of a slower week. We're really hoping that we're going to be finding some more investigators this next week, but we'll also have our plates full with a lot of meetings with the Stake and Mission as well as planning for *L’s* baptism. But it's great to be busy!

Oh! I almost forgot! The highlight of the week! Elijah Thomsen went through the temple for his Endowment for his very first time on Friday! It was truly amazing. After all of that work that we did to get Elijah set up for Temple-Prep, working with the Bishop, calling the Temple to make an appointment, getting his clothes with him, it was just so gratifying to see him all ready and dressed in white. Elijah is just so great and wanting to serve God to his utmost ability. It was a touching evening, and one that I'm extremely grateful for.
Going to the Temple with Elijah for his first time!

Love you all and wish you an evening full of Tricks and Treats!


-Ældste Wawro

Weird picture in the castle....

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Its Raining Again!

Splits with Ældste Sakurada!
You know it is absolutely incredible how much it can rain here. All the time. And it's cold. And wet. Always.

Wow, it's been quite the week. Lots of long days, and also lots of miracles. We have a great week stacked up and so hopefully the next email will be a pretty exciting one. Especially because Elijah is finally going through the temple for his endowment on Friday! He has his recommend and his clothes, so he's all set!

Elder Metcalf actually made Tacos yesterday, and they were way good! Thanks for all the ingredients, Mom!

And as far as the date goes, the projected date is the 24th of March, but I haven't received my letter yet to confirm that. President believes that that's when it will be, but nothing is set in stone yet.
That's funny that "The Amazing Race" was in Copenhagen! And of course they biked. I've also always wanted to see Malmø in Sweden! I can actually understand the Swedish there, opposed to Stockholm where the dialect gets all weird.

So here's how the week went down:
Up until Thursday we hadn't had a single lesson with an investigator. Things were looking pretty bad. And Ældste Metcalf and I were just so confused! Why is it that when we feel like we have been working the hardest and most effectively that suddenly we stop having lessons? Why aren't we teaching more? Thursday evening we finally had a lesson with our investigator *K* which went ok, but nothing really too exciting happened. We were feeling pretty low.

The next day we met with our investigator, *S*. That appointment ended up going really well! We read in 3 Nephi 11 and he just is super sincere in his desire to really learn. By the end of the appointment he said he would go with us to church.

So we get home to plan that Friday evening and look at our numbers, and we had taught 1 member present and 1 other lesson...and found no new investigators...and we just thought to ourselves wow, what is going on here? So we decided that the next day we weren't going to come home until we found a new investigator. We were going to do everything in our power to find these new investigators that we really desire and need in our area. So we prayed, made very specific plans of where we wanted to go, what we wanted to do, and who needed to be visited.

We started by dropping by some old contacts Elder Metcalf and I had made while knocking doors. We visited all of them in the Søborg/Dyssegård area and, of course, not a single one of them was home. We finally get to our final stop-by in this area before we were going to move on to Gentofte, and as it always is, the last stop-by was home. His name is *L* and he is a very Christian man. He has a wife and a couple of kids. His wife is not super-religious but *L* is trying to help her with that. *L* actually thought we were the Jehovah's Witnesses and only let us in because he has some things he felt like they needed to hear, but he was very excited when he heard we weren't actually JW's, but Mormons! The lesson turned out great and next time he wants his wife and their kids to be present!

We then moved on to the Gentofte area to knock on some doors. We actually were starting to get a little down because we had a bunch of weird contacts at the door with a lot of strange outcomes, none of them positive. The climax was one door that told us they weren't interested and as soon as they closed the door just started mocking us relentlessly. That definitely started making us both mad and discouraged. We had to leave the Opgang [apartment building] to cool off for a second and decide if we still wanted knock here or move on. After a couple minutes, we decided to continue.

We knocked just for another couple of minutes until we reached the end of this row of Opgangs. Nothing memorable happened of course…until the last door. When it opened I started off by asking, "Hey, my friend and I are here to talk about Jesus Christ and what he means to us. Do you have a couple of minutes to chat?" And he said, "Well, honestly, I'm really interested to hear how you're going to go about this, so come inside!"

This man's name is *A*. He really likes to read philosophy, science, and theology. He's come up with a lot of his own theories about God and loves to talk about God from a science perspective. The lesson was a little bit all over the place because he was really good and overcomplicating, well, everything. But at the very end of the lesson we asked if we could pray with him, but he said he would prefer if we prayed and he would just observe. So we did, and then he felt it. He said that he felt something, like light, inside his just that moved to his heart, and that we almost radiated with that same light. He said he didn't know if God was really present or what, but he said that he's beginning to see how maybe God works in our everyday life. It was actually incredible to see how strongly he felt the Holy Ghost. Maybe our 40 day fast [see earlier post] is working!

So on Saturday we ended up finding 2 new investigators which was a huge miracle for us. *S* ended up coming to church on Sunday as well as *J* and, can you believe it, another new investigator! Elijah Thomsen invited his new step-dad to come to church and he really enjoyed it and wants to come again next week! So we had 3 investigators in church which was a huge blessing for us! We also had the chance to meet with our less-active friend, *R*, a couple times throughout the week as well.

Even though things were rough until, literally, the last couple days of the week, there turned out to be great blessings in store for us. Our hope is that we're going to be able to take advantage of these great blessings God has given us!

Unfortunately, no new pictures this week. :( But! I am going to Frederiksborg Slot today and going to see all of the Carl Bloch paintings as well for my first time! So I'm sure we'll have some pictures from that.

Love you all! Let me know how Meet the Mormons is! Have a great week!


-Ældste Wawro

Monday, October 13, 2014

From Weaknesses to Strengths

A beautiful tree that was hollow on the inside which Ældste Metcalf and I found in Klampenborg.
Congratulations to Nathan on winning Best Monologue [at the High School Shakespeare Competition]! That's absolutely incredible! Great work Nathan. :) And thanks to everyone that helped!

So this has definitely been one of the slower weeks as far as the work is concerned...but it was still great and I've learned a lot!

Basically, the biggest problem is that for the past couple weeks we've had about a billion lessons scheduled and have burned by every single one of them. That's been a little rough since we feel like we have been working so hard and these appointments are confirmed the day beforehand...but we still did have a few good lessons!
Elder Metcalf and Elder Wawro teaching at Zone Training

We were out knocking this last week and knocked on the door of a college student. He at first wasn't really interested, but then we introduced ourselves as Mormons and got really excited! Ældste Metcalf and I were both a little confused because, well, for the most-part people don't get that excited to hear that we're Mormons! He invited us right in and told us that he couldn't believe that he'd actually met some real Mormons. He's heard about us from South Park and The Book of Mormon Musical (of course) but didn't think any missionaries were actually there in Denmark. We taught the Restoration to him and he had a good blending of great questions, and maybe some not so great questions from what he'd heard from South Park. But the entire time he really was so excited to actually meet with us. By the end, he told us we could definitely come back and then next time he would invite all of his friends to come over as well! I'd consider that a success!
The District

During one of our visits to [a members home, her non-member brother] was there again! This time around we taught the Plan of Salvation. He really has some great questions, and it's even better because his sister [the member] thinks exactly like him! So she knows exactly how to answer all of his questions because she's already thought about them herself. It turned out to be a great appointment, and most importantly it boiled down to the great questions, why do I need to find out if God exists now? These visits are really getting him to start thinking so hopefully we start seeing some action from him to find out.

I contacted somebody on the train the other day. She didn't live in our area but I ended up getting her phone number and address from her and referred her to the Birkerød Elders. Apparently, they stopped by and now she wants to be baptized! I guess contacting on trains does work sometimes!

Zone Training
Ældste Metcalf and I have been trying to find more opportunities to serve in the community, so we decided to stop by the kommune and ask what we can do to help! The workers there were really impressed with us, it doesn't seem like they really get a lot of volunteers. They gave us a bunch of different options of things we can do. They asked specifically if I can begin going to a lot of these old people homes and hospitals to play piano for them. That should start within the next couple of weeks.

On a sadder note, a woman in our ward passed away this last week. She was only 30 years old with a husband and 2 daughters. She was completely fine the week before, and then she started getting headaches so she got a scan and found out she had a brain tumor on the brain stem. They thought they repaired it, but something went wrong and within a week’s time she had passed away. It has been incredibly sad for the entire ward and of course the family. The funeral was on Saturday and it was very touching, but very sad. I would invite you to keep The Als Family in your prayers.
Splits with Ældste Sakurada!

On a lighter note, President Sederholm told me to study Ether 12 and figure out how I can turn my weaknesses into strengths. I had some concerns that my weaknesses could be holding our area from reaching its full potential. I studied it and especially focused on studying that in Preach My Gospel and The Book of Mormon. There were a few things that I learned.

First off, in the last verse of 1 Nephi 1 it says: "But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance."

I kind of consider that Nephi's "Thesis Statement" of The Book of Mormon. One of the purposes is to show how, through your faith, the Lord can make you mighty unto deliverance. The Book of Mormon always talks about remembering the captivity of our fathers and their deliverance from Egypt. This of course typifies both physically and spiritually. If the Book of Mormon has such a focus on being delivered from bondage, than I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing that I have so many weaknesses to be delivered from! That's why I'm here! I need the Lord to help strengthen me so that I can overcome my weaknesses and be delivered from the natural man inside of me. And, most importantly, it will only come through my Faith in Christ.
There have been about a billion advertisements for "Fanta Peach" but not a single store has actually owned one! Nobody in the mission had been able to actually find a Fanta Peach. So we started a fun little competition to see who in the Zone could find the first Fanta Peach. I, of course, found the only one in existence. It was the only one on the shelf in a random supermarket. Skål to Fanta Peach!

I also started reading through Ch. 6 in Preach My Gospel and took the test at the end to see where I was at with attributes of Christ. It definitely was an eye-opener to me to see where I really needed to improve. I was better and worse in some areas than I initially thought. Definitely, this week, I'm going to be focused on what I need to do to strengthen my Faith in Christ so I can become mighty unto deliverance. We'll see where it leads me!

Here's to another great week! Love you all!

-Ældste Wawro

P.S. - Has anyone seen [the new LDS film] “Meet the Mormons” yet?! I really want to hear how it is!! Mormon Newsroom has some really positive things to say about it, but you can tell me a lot more than Mormon Newsroom!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Farewell Sisters!!

Our last District photo before Sister Rigby goes home. (Sister Rigby [dark hair] is the one that we met at Brick Oven right before we entered the MTC)
What an amazing General Conference we had. I still haven't seen Sunday Evening, but the rest of the sessions were truly inspiring.

Today is our MTC sisters' last day before they go home. Pretty weird. They're the people we started our missions with, and they're not going to be here any longer! They will be missed! Kind of on the same note, transfers are today and Ældste Metcalf and I will be staying another one here in Ordrup. Huzzah! We're both really excited for that.

Right after our zone training this week we had a lesson with *S*. It went really well, he's just a really spiritual person. He didn't hold his commitment to read in the Book of Mormon, so we really focused on that. We've been coming to a realization that as long as people are not reading for themselves, it doesn't really matter what we teach them that day. They aren't growing on their own spiritually. So we're going to put an increased emphasis on the importance on holding our commitments, and if they haven't read we're going to read with them.
Ældste Metcalf and I being weird after Zone Training.

We're worried about *U*. He's one of our investigators that we've knocked in to recently and he is sincerely depressed. We've been trying to help him and it seems that he's been enjoying our visits. But last time we had an appointment with him he wouldn't let us in. We're really concerned for him. We just want to help. Ever since his wife and parents all died he's just had a rough time. If anyone needs the gospel in their life, he does.

We have a new investigator named *C*. She's great! She's about 23 years old and her Mom comes from the Philippians. She's lived in Denmark all of her life. She can't believe in standard Christianity because she says the Trinity just doesn't make any sense, so she decided to start looking more into Islam. We knocked on her door the other day and she was excited to hear the message we had to bring. She is still pretty set in an Islamic mindset, but she is open to read and pray and do what she needs to do to find out the truth.

We had a Big Splits Evening with the ward and that went fantastic! It seemed everyone there had a great experience. We ended up finding some new investigators and making some appointments with a few people we're really excited about. We also were able to visit *R*, our less-active friend, with a member and give him a blessing. It was a special moment for all of us. Hopefully the Ward was as excited about it as we were!
Fun at a Ward activity with Sisters Murray and Rigby

General Conference was amazing. It always is, but I feel like this year I received a lot of counsel on how I can improve. We actually ended up watching Priesthood with a non-member named *J* and his wife who is a member which was great! He gives such good feedback even though he's not a member! His wife wants more than anything for him to convert, so hopefully General Conference was a good experience for him to feel the Spirit.

Again, it was a great time for me to think about self-improvement. Ældste Metcalf and I have actually started the Zone on a "40 Day Fast" from the things that distract us from having the Spirit always with us. We have some mighty goals set and we're going to need the powers of heaven to achieve them. So all of us in the Zone has made a list of the things we are either going to give up or start doing for the next 40 days so we can have the spiritual power needed to achieve our goals. We'll let you know how that goes.

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


-Ældste Wawro