Monday, November 24, 2014

The Bornholmies (Wawro + Horrocks)

Elders Horrocks & Wawro at the Mogensen family farm
Hello family and friends!

Let me begin by stating: I love Bornholm.

I really do! It is an experience that you won't get anywhere else. Ya, it's pretty cold being out in the middle of the Baltic Sea, but it's so beautiful here. Hands down, the most beautiful part of Denmark. The cities here are just so amazing! They're small, but they resonate old Denmark. They've been able to preserve this old cities and keep them so authentic as well as clean, it's just beautiful. Knud Mogensen (Ældste Mogensens Dad) took us to help him on his drive around Bornholm to collect his egg cages from the stores and so I got to see a ton of the Island. 

It is a little weird, though, because if you meet people that have been born and raised here on Bornholm, they don't speak really Danish. They speak a dialect called Bornholmsk which is a combination of Danish and Swedish. Knud Mogensen speaks true Bornholmsk and it's actually way hard to understand him sometimes! It sometimes feels like I'm at the beginning of my mission again, but not really that bad. Luckily, there are a lot of people that speak normal Danish here as well.

Ældste Horrocks is actually not the new missionary. He just trained Ældste Curtis who got here in August, but Ældste Curtis is the one who has just been transferred. Ældste Horrocks has been here for over a year now. This is his 5th transfer on Bornholm, so he knows the island quite well!
View of Copenhagen from Vor Frelsers Kirke

I'll start off with our lessons for the week. 
We taught a man named *T*. *T* is interesting because he is really into the Gospel and talking to us, but he will never actually do anything. But what he will do is give us names of people to visit! He is a referral machine! We got a new referral from him that we stopped by and she is way positive! So, despite the fact that he's not progressing, *T* is doing great at helping us share the Gospel with others.

*M* and *N* are a mother and daughter who live really close to the church here in Rønne. They really love talking with the missionaries, but that's one of their problems. They only like talking with the missionaries. The daughter is actually fairly interested, but the Mom doesn't want to be preached to at all. She only wants to have small talk and hygge with us, so that makes things difficult. Not sure what to do for them, but we'll figure something out.

We went up north to visit our friends *E* and *N2*. *E* owns a Pizza Shop and is from Mexico, and *N2* is one of her employees. *E* loves us! She also is very religious. She's been to church multiple times before and keeps a Book of Mormon in Danish and Spanish at the Pizza Shop. Also, because she likes us so much, she gives us free pizza every time we come! We had a really good discussion with her about prayer and the effect it has in our lives. She's a very intelligent lady, as is *N2*, and would both make great additions to the church here on Bornholm.

Yesterday, after church, we visited a couple that lives in Aakirkeby, but I actually can't remember their names...well, anyway, they were way friendly to us and very excited. They made some very bad choices while they were younger but they've really been working to improve their situation and have come a long way! We hope that they recognize that with God this change can become even better and more permanent. 

Church was a great experience for me this week! Yesterday I received a calling, (ward pianist because Sister Mogensen has been called as ward pianist for the last 25 years or however long she's been on Bornholm) gave a talk, and played piano for a musical number! They're definitely keeping me busy! We also had 2 investigators come to church: *B* and *Y*. They both really enjoyed it, *B* is definitely a lot more positive. But his mother, *Y*, doesn't want to convert and is reluctant to let him. We don't really know what to do, but we are just hoping and praying that something will happen in that family to open their hearts.

The view from the top of the Mogensen's Egg Farm.
Otherwise, we've had a ton of service with the Mogensens. We are building their new house, because they have to move from their old one. The missionaries before have already laid all the cement, we're working more on the walls, especially putting up the insulation and dry wall. We also just put up the walls for the garage. It's really hard work, but that family deserves it. That family has had a lot of misfortunes during their stay here on Bornholm. I've really come to love, appreciate, and respect that family, and I'm sure that will continue the longer I'm here. It's actually really increased my respect for Ældste Mogensen as a kid. The Mogensens are the ones who owned the egg farm that Sister Wright was telling you about, and that family worked on that farm every single day. Amazing family, they are the greatest. 

I'm also really grateful for that Christmas break we spent [three years ago] working on our downstairs a few years back. Who knew that doing that would prepare me for helping the Mogensens out here? Even though I did not enjoy doing it back at home, if I hadn't had that experience cutting drywall and measuring and the importance of makings things to scale (because our downstairs was such a good example of how hard it is when it's not to scale) I would have no idea what I was doing here. 

Otherwise, this has been just a marvelous experience. It's definitely weird after being in Copenhagen and having so much contact with other missionaries to coming here where we have none, but I actually have enjoyed that. It helps me to stay focused on the work.

Here's the new address, by the way:

Ældste Christian Patrick Wawro
Østergade 49D, 1.2. 
3700 Rønne

So feel free to send packages and letters!

Love you all!

-Ældste Wawro


I forgot to tell you all some of the biggest news!!! Do you remember
Margareth at her baptism
Margareth Jørgensen? She was an investigator in Ordrup who used to be a member that moved to Birkerøds area. Well, last Saturday she was finally baptized!! I wanted to be there so bad, but there was no way I could get there from Bornholm. But she's been amazing, as I've said before, the way that her life has changed from the first time I met her when she yelled out, "Hey, I was a Mormon once!" to now is truly incredible. I'm so grateful we continued to teach her, even when it was hard and seemed hopeless, because now her life has changed for the better.
David and Lisa, the one who was baptized a couple weeks ago.