Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Dear Family,

It was a great Christmas present to be able to talk to you, you guys are the best. Once again I just want to thank you for all of the presents, love and prayers given on my behalf.

I don't have much to say today, but there was a little Christmas miracle to share with you that we had received yesterday after the phone calls home. I will either write about it in a letter or in a separate email next week.

I am and have been truly blessed and I just want to let you know that I love you so much. I will be sending you pictures here in a few minutes to dad as soon I can get hold of a computer with a USB port. Hopefully that will make up for my lack of writing and words today. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!! And have a great week. Enjoy the pictures, and tell everyone, family and friends that I love them.

Elder Wawro

Joe & Alexandria's Baptism

Rocking with the King

Goofing around with Elvis

....more goofing around with the King

Elder Wawro with Elvis   ...up close and personal

Elder Wawro and Elder Crotts the Zone Conference

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Dear Family,

Well since this is the last email before Christmas, let me start of by wishing you and everyone back home a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!

Please congratulate from me both Simi and Ben and tell them I will be praying for them. Both of them will be great servants of the Lord.

Today I was able to print out greeting cards and will be sending them out.  I would have done them sooner but Walmart’s printing station was not working last week.

Mom, that 12 days of Christmas idea was brilliant although I feel very spoiled especially after today’s present.  I definitely was not expecting that. I have been wearing the Angel Moroni tie clip since I got it, it’s pretty sweet and I love the Mormon Tabernacle Choir CD.

We are still very excited for the our investigators (couple) who are getting married and baptized this Wednesday.  It’s going to be so cool. I can't wait.

We also have some other good investigators that are looking really good right now and who I would hope to see baptized sometime soon.

Sorry for no pictures this week, I will send them out to you next Monday and one of them will be with Elder Crotts,  I promise. Also, mom I think I forgot to tell you that I got the apron from Sister Crotts like 3 months ago.
Big THANK YOU for Brother and Sister Eggers for their package, please give them all hug for me:)

I hope that you all have a great and safe week. Enjoy yourselves and think of me when you do the passing out of food on Christmas Eve, haha.  Have a MERRY, MERRY CHRISTMAS and I will talk to you Sunday, hah, bet you can't wait. 

Elder Wawro

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Chistmas pictures with Elvis

Dear Family,

Well to my surprise..... I am NOT getting transferred. I will spend at least one more transfer in Frayser, which makes me happy because we have three great people scheduled to be baptized on the 21st of December.

Our awesome couple that we teach is still doing good. He has recently stopped smoking and hasn't touched one in a little over 3 days. He’s the man. That makes us really happy because he is being made strong through the help of the Lord.

One of the new investigators scheduled to be baptized will soon be getting married to a recent convert. So I wish to one day see these two awesome couples be sealed in the Temple.

We have had an awesome week, full of miracles and it was just the perfect way to end my 7th transfer. Elder Flores and I will be sticking together for another one. We had a cool experience on Tuesday.  I was driving the car to an appointment and I had this impression not to drive all the way to the house where we headed. The Church was near but not close enough, so I found a perfect place to park.  At this point I still don’t understand why I am doing this but I’m just listening to that impression. We exit the car and as we start walking we come across an awesome young man. He was unpacking stuff from a car.  I know that if we came few minutes before or after we would have never met him. So we talked to him and shared a Gospel message. We have only seen him twice but I’m so glad we had a chance to meet him and share a message that can change his life.  I still don’t know what exactly the Lord wanted to teach me but I sure am glad I listened.

Thanks for the two packages, I got both of them and I am so excited to start opening them one day at a time starting Wednesday.  Just so that you will know we are permitted to make the Christmas calls home from our cell phones.

I wish you all great week.  I will be sending Christmas cards to everyone soon and I hope to be able to include a special Christmas picture.   We have a very cool Brother in the Ward.  He is an entertainer and he and his band sing Elvis’ songs.  He also looks like Elvis. So today on P-day we will be taking pictures in Christmas hats with him dressed in his Elvis jumpsuit. Lookout because it’s going to be so cool.

Elder Wawro

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Gift to the World

Dear Family,

I am really sorry to hear about Brother Morton. I will definitely be praying for him and his family to get well.  Dad, if you get a chance to see him please say hi to him for me.

And before I forget I did finally get the package from LDS bookstore, except it did not get sent to our house. The mailman brought it to a different house, and me and Elder Gerber while running in the morning we pass neighbor house and a lady stopped us and told us she had our package.  That’s why it took so long for me to get it.

Also I wrote back to Michael so you don’t need to say congrats for me.  It’s so awesome that he gets to serve in Brazil. He will do great. It is so amazing to think that all my great friends are going to be serving missions.

The best news that I have is that we are working with an awesome couple. They are going to be getting married soon and getting baptized on the 21st of this month. I hope I do not miss their baptisms it would just devastate me, but I trust the Lord and I will go a serve in area he sends me to, which I will find out next Monday. I did get to see the First Presidency Christmas Devotional and I was completely soaked by the time we got to the Church, haha. I loved it, it was great and those short clips like the “A Gift to the World” about the Savior were fantastic.

Thanks for the pictures and I am excited for the 12 days of Christmas. Thanks for all your love.

I hope you all have a great and safe week with plenty of fun. Today is my last day of bike week and tomorrow I get a car so, that’s exciting.

Elder Wawro

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Just Do It

Dear Family,

The past week had its ups and downs.  Thanksgiving was great and I got to enjoy great food. We live next door to members and they were so kind to invite us for dinner – it was really good.  The BEST sweet potatoes ever!
I did get both letters from Kayla and you mom – thanks!   I also got the awesome package you’ve sent …. I have already put many items to good use.  I can't wait to hear where Michael Deal will get to serve the Lord.

Work wise it was not the greatest week any missionary would wish to have.  So that made me think about a lot of things and there will be some changes in our proselytizing activities to make things blossom because we got on a role a couple of weeks ago but have greatly slowed down of late.  I was a little discouraged but I am excited to change the pace and make things go the way they should.

Need to put to use our Mission President's council, stop procrastinating and JUST DO IT.

We got our President's interview on Saturday and it all went really well. But I really have no thoughts on transfers and we will just have to wait and see what happens.

Well that’s all this week.  I wish you all the best.   Be safe and enjoy much success.
Elder Wawro

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Hey Family,

I can't believe that it’s already Thanksgiving, time goes by way too fast ….because the next Thanksgiving I will be almost home, NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

But it’s awesome to hear that Kayla arrived home safely and can spend the entire week with her parents, just remember don’t have too much fun without me, haha. We will be taken care of over here for the Thanksgiving so no need to worry  …I’m sure we will have awesome visists and great meals that day:).   I hope to get work accomplished on Thanksgiving, but from what other missionaries who have experienced the holidays say not much missionary work is done on the holidays because people just want to spend time with their families but since I hate being lazy we are going to find ways to use time wisely.

I am looking forward to the package you all have sent me - thank you SO MUCH.  I mailed today a letter for you all and a picture of me on the Mississippi river. I hope you’ll receive it before Thursday.

You have to tell Michael Deal congratulations for me. HAAAAAAAA it is so exciting to know that all my good friends are going on Missions. You have to thank all the Ward and Stake leaders for their valiant work in helping all the youth in our Stake; they have done a phenomenal job.

Well that about wraps it up for me, hopefully I can email next week and have plenty of good news and updates. Enjoy your Thanksgiving and have plenty of fun and great time together.

Elder Wawro

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Another great baptism

Dear Family,

Well this past week started off the same way the week before  ...with some struggle.  On Monday my companion and another Elder in the same house got sick. Then Monday night I got some indigestion trouble ….yikes.   So, Tuesday was terrible, full of pain and discomfort and that was the longest day of my mission ….it seemed to drag on forever. That resulted in a very slow week, the slowest of my mission work wise.

I’m very excited to hear about Michael Hendrix's mission call to Brazil …what a small world that he got called to the same Mission as Travis Denna.  Tell him congratulations for me and a big hug for my pal.

I know you are wondering about the baptism that I have mentioned last week   ….yes, Kim and her son Charles was baptized as we have hoped for ….and it was AWESOME.   We met with them the day after the baptism and Kim was talking a lot about the Temple. So we will try to get her to the Temple as soon as possible.
I’ve put lot of efforts preparing for my first District meeting and it was cool how the Lord guided me to what it should be on and what things we should discuss. So pray for me to not mess this up, haha!

Wish you all awesome and safe week!

Elder Wawro

Kim and Charles with loved ones

Thumbs up for six pounds burger

Six pounds of smile:-)

Oh, we can taste you!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Called to be a District Leader

Dear Family,

I am definitely feeling lot better. I’ve actually recovered really quickly, so that was a great miracle and blessing.

Oh that burger from last week ….it was huge, six not five pounds!!  But nine hungry Missionaries destroyed the burger in no time - not a problem there.   I personally would have wished there was less of us sharing it, because that burger was wicked GOOD.  I'll have pictures for you next week.

This past week was a struggle and it was not rosy at all.  We didn’t have much of a success throughout the week, but the weekend really sweetened things up for us.  Yesterday (Sunday) we taught an old investigator of ours and her three daughters and their boyfriends.   They are all so awesome and we had a great lesson, the spirit was strong and we felt like we needed to set a baptismal date with all of them. So we did at the end of our lesson.  It will definitely take some work with them but I am so excited because they all just bring in such a sweet spirit in our lessons.   We also have one more reason to rejoice because we likely going to have a baptism by the end of this week, YAAAYY!!   More details to follow if it happens.

I have been called to be a District Leader, so let’s hope I don’t screw this up, jk.  It will surely be a growing experience for me. I have great district members and I will learn a lot from them.

I hope and pray you all will be blessed in life, in your callings and most importantly as a family. Be safe. Say hi to everyone at home.

Elder Wawro

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Dear Family,

Well dad with you barely recovering from cold we got something in common right now. I started to get a sore throat last night and now I just feel weak, have mild fever plus my arch nemesis, the sore throat who I hate more than anything is killing me.
No one in Frayser is getting transferred. We are all staying although our Ward will now have only 6 Missionaries instead of 8. The Missionaries will no longer be in Raleigh (little neighborhood to the east) so the remaining 6 Missionaries will split different parts of Raleigh. More work to do!!

And the work here is going great lately. We have some really solid people/families.  Just yesterday we add to our teaching pool a family of 5. The Lord is so tremendously blessing us and I can't give Him enough thanks.

One of the Elders has birthday today so we are going to Midtown to buy a gigantic 5 pounds burger.  Hope I’ll have some good pictures to share. We are permitted to proselyte tonight but tracting just wouldn't be the best idea. So yes mom, we will be working tonight on Halloween WHOOOHHHAAAHHAA!!!! - Happy Halloween.

I will use an excuse of being sick to justify why I don’t write as much today.
I LOVE YOU ALL. Have a blessed week

Elder Matthew Wawro

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Blessed ... with a baptism

Dear Family,
Hey, Hey, Hey!!!!  Mom, thanks so much for your letter. I really enjoyed it.

We were blessed this week with a baptism   …Joshua was baptized; the amazing faithful young man whom I’ve mentioned to you before. He has such a good heart, it made him feel so good to get baptized. His mom came and I don't even know what more to say, but it made him happy. He will be such a faithful member. He comes to every meeting or activity imaginable, and that shows his dedication.

We also have a family (mom and her son) that will be getting baptized in just a couple weeks. She said in our last meeting that she believes the Book of Mormon to be the word of God and that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God. So we are very excited for them. Things are really looking up here and the Lord is being so merciful to us …. It’s so awesome.

We have had beautiful weather on our bike week.  I was tired of sweating all the time, so just the right weather for Elder Wawro.  Thanks for all that you guys do.  Please thank the Primary Presidency back home for sending me the package with candy and notes from all the kids:))) 
I hope and pray you will have a great and exciting week and stay busy. I love you all so much!!!

Elder Wawro

PS. Here are pictures  ….YAY!  includes, the baptism, Alma drive sign, and pics near the Mississippi river

Wow  ....Alma Drive

Mighty Mississippi

With Elder Badger by Mississippi river

North Memphis, TN - Bridger over Mississippi

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Hey Family,

Haha, Dad thanks for the day count reminder. It blows my mind on how many days I have been on my mission. October is going to be ending sooner than I can say Halloween.

We had a successful week and had 8 investigators come to Church yesterday…. the most on my mission. We are teaching a family we just found a week ago. But I have not too good of a news regarding our long time investigator.  She is going to take a little ‘break’ from meeting with us.  She did not come to Church yesterday.  I have taught her from the beginning and it hurts a bit to see her drifting away:(
But we are not putting our heads down, because she has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and that will help her to resolve any doubts.
We are starting bike week this week, so that will be fun and we are going to pray for miracles.

Please tell Kayla not to stress about not writing to me, she needs to focus on school and be successful.
Hope you all have a blessed week. I love you all so much!!! You guys are so awesome.

Elder Wawro

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Work is moving along

Hey Family,

What is up my wonderful family? I have had a lot better week. The work is moving along here and I am so excited for our long time investigator. She still has one obstacle holding her back from baptism but she comes to church weekly and faithfully. And best of all she is not shy about telling us she wants to get baptized, AWESOME!!! I have grown to just love her so much, and I have had such great spiritual experiences teaching her that will stick with me for the rest of my life.

And by the way I will be having some special presents for those in Poland. I am going to send them Polish copies of the Book of Mormon. This message and gospel is to important not to share with them. So since they love me so much, and I LOVE them SO much. All I will ask them is to read and pray about it   ….if that is ok with both of you?

We hope and work hard to have more solid investigators in the coming weeks. There is a wonderful young man that lives across the street from the Church and he is awesome. He wants to get baptized, and the thing that amazes me is that despite his disability he comes to every Church meeting every week, plus all weekday activities. He is so faithful.

Last week I bought two snazzy looking ties and I think I am (8 months later:-) getting better at knowing how to better spend money on groceries   … wish I would have been that smart couple months ago.
You guys are so awesome and I am so glad every week when I get to hear how much the Lord is blessing your lives. Stay busy.

Elder Wawro

Sunday, October 9, 2011

8 months has come and gone

Hey Family,

8 months has come and gone and I know I say this often but it feels like every week that I write to you I hit a new milestone. Thanks for that awesome package, this time I am trying hard not to eat all the goodies you’ve send in the first couple of days. You guys always make perfect choices on what to get me.

Some good and exciting news is that through the mercies of our Heavenly Father we were able to set another baptismal date with our long time investigator for October 22nd. We had a wonderful spiritual lesson with her and she really has grown and recognizes that Heavenly Father answers her prayers. She also attended the Sunday morning session of the General Conference where there was that awesome talk comparing the Bible and the Book of Mormon. We are going to come by and see her today and discuss her experience. Not much else to catch you guys up on.  I was sad when conference ended yesterday. As a missionary you really do love General Conference unlike before the mission where at times I viewed it as burdensome. Now I can say with sincerity that I love General Conference and I can see the Lord’s hand in His work here on this earth.

Mom to answer your questions, I was able to fix my bike and the assistants to the Mission President have the apron sent by Sister Crotts and I should get it soon.

I hope you all have an exciting week, filled with many great experiences and miracles. Be safe and stay awesome.  Have fun this week and I love you.  Mom soon enough we will watch “The Best Two Years” together and have tons of laughs. You are right, I too need every bit of these last 16 months and I am going to cherish every second of that time!
Elder Wawro

Monday, September 26, 2011

I will never give up:)

Dear Family,

Thank you so much for your letters and emails. I love reading them and they always strengthen and inspire me.  I’m so glad to hear that all is going well. Thank you for sending me another package but please don’t spoil me too often ….I know you guys love me without it.

Dad, it was funny that you sent me some excerpts of President Uchtdorf’s talk from the General Relief Society Meeting thinking that I could use it and share it with our female investigators because one of our investigators attended the meeting and she loved this talk and commented saying that it spoke directly to her.  I was so glad that she got to go and enjoyed it.  But I am truly struggling with knowing what else to do with her to get her close to baptism. She is awesome.

This past week was pretty rough, we had some bad luck.  My front tire popped while we were on bike week and so on Saturday we ended up walking everywhere.  People just do not seem as interested anymore. It’s tough but I will never give up, which leads me to one of my favorite scriptures Moroni 9:6.   

It is definitely a scripture that inspires me and gets me going.

My new junior companion in training is from California. His name is Elder Flores. We get a long so it will be a great 12 weeks together. Oh, and the reason I know that it will be 12 weeks not 6 is because there is a new training program that requires that the trainer and his companion be together for 12 weeks.  That new training program also requires 2 hours of the companion studies daily (non-training has only 1 hour comp study) except for Fridays and P-Days.

Well I hope you guys have a FANTASTIC week full of many blessings and miracles. Stay busy and always look to serve the Lord. We are going to have a great week and hopefully I can share some awesome experiences with you next week.

Elder Wawro

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Going to be a "father"

Dear Family,

Well I guess I have some exciting news but also news that makes me a little nervous.  I will be training a brand new Elder coming from the MTC  …so I am going to be a "father".  It’s going to be hard work and I will have to work harder and better than I ever had to help him and myself realize our full potential as servants of the Lord.  So I am staying in Frayser this transfer and also for sure the next transfer as well since trainers typically stay with their new companions for 12 weeks (that makes two transfers).

Still no baptisms this week  …but we have seven people we have a baptismal dates for so there should be some in the near future.
I have been blessed lately with some cool spiritual experiences. Here is one. Yesterday we were visiting people to allow my current companion Elder Streeter to say goodbyes because he is going home tomorrow. While visiting with one of our long time investigators I felt an impression to ask her if she wanted a Priesthood blessing but I have chosen to ignore it and not act upon it at first.  As the visit progressed she talked to us about many trials she was facing and then the impression came again, this time much stronger and I had the confidence to act upon it ….and so I asked.  Her reply was very surpising to me as she said, ‘I actually have been wanting one of you to lay your hands on my head and say a prayer for me." WWWWHAAAAAAAATTT!?   So we gave her a blessing. It was such a neat experience.
I know that the Lord will bless me with more experiences like this as I listen to and act upon the promptings of the spirit.

I’m grateful for all the blessing and challenges of my last transfer. It was definitely something that I needed to experience and grow to be a better missionary.

I love you guys so much ….have a great and safe week. I am also proud of my lil sis.
Elder Wawro

Decisions ...decisions

My friend Comodo  ...Memphis ZOO

Kung-Fu Panda lunch - Memphis ZOO

At the Northwest Passage - Memphis ZOO

Memphis Tennessee Temple   ...take one


Memphis Tennessee Temple   ...take two

Memphis Tennessee Temple   ...take three (witth Elder Streeter)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Late and short email

Dear Family,

SORRY about the very late email. Yesterday was a very busy day. We went to the Temple in the morning and then a recent convert took us to the Memphis Zoo which was awesome and the ZOO experience took a lot longer than anyone expected. So I will not write anymore this week but next week should be a slower P-Day so I should be able to write more and send pictures (including pictures from theZOO).
Also the planned baptisms did not happened ....maybe this week.

Elder Wawro

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Becoming a 'Preach My Gospel' missionary

Dear Family,

This past week has been really good. We had some more success and we should have 2 baptisms this Saturday but they are not 100 percent set in stone yet. So the Lord has shown us His tender mercies.

In our last Zone Conference our Mission President has emphasized becoming a ‘Preach My Gospel’ missionary. So as of late I have made it a point to study from the PMG a lot more but also to apply what I learn. And it doesn't just have to do with studying the PMG but also living mission rules with exactness which is hard to do anywhere but especially in the area where I serve. And what keeps me pushing to do my best with the mission rules is what Elder Christofferson said when he came to our mission when he said, " Make the extra effort". That really stuck out to me because we made that extra effort this week with getting more member present lessons and we did do a good job for this area.  Until my mission, I didn’t realize how much member presence during a lesson can influence an investigator.

I do not have much else to say this week, but that I LOVE YOU guys and I wish for you guys to have a safe trip up to BYU-I.   I forgot the USB cable for my camera so pictures will come next week. Also, I loved the pictures from the Greek festival. Looked like a lot of fun. 4 pounds of olives, crazy, yet very wise, haha.

Elder Wawro

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hooray for the Spirit

Dear Family,

With a smile on my face I can say that this has been a lot better week! We had some success setting baptismal dates and hopefully we have one on the 10th of September. The Lord definitely blessed us this past week.

But before I say anything else let me say that new stake Missionary plaque is awesome. Brother Deal never ceases to amaze. I love it and I love the fact that our stake has 40 men and women who are currently on their missions or have their call   ….almost as many Missionaries as at a 'Utah' Stake. Maybe? haha but that is awesome to hear and especially that there will be a few more here in the coming months.

We had our first Zone Conference with President Petersen this last Thursday and it was so amazing. It was spiritual and insightful and there was just so much to learn. This Mission is lucky to have such a faithful Mission President who would do anything for us. We are focusing on getting better in the Mission and President Petersen expects a lot from us, and he is making sure that we all fulfill the potential that we have. Also, he had stressed that we always have to remember who we represent, wherever we are (while proselyting, at lunch, in the car etc.) as representatives of the Lord, Jesus Christ and I know I have not always lived up to that.  I know that the things President Petersen taught will help me to be obedient with exactness and to always live closely to the Savior.

Last week we had a lesson with one of our investigators and left her the Book of Mormon reading assignment to continue in 1Nephi chapter 15 and 16.  She was committed to read the Book of Mormon and we challenged her to pray to find out for herself that it is the word of God.  She would tell us that reading it made her feel really good, but she didn't know if it was the Holy Ghost and she didn’t want to get it confused with her emotions.  When we came back on Saturday for the follow up visit she told us that she had read the entire book of 1 Nephi. We talked about her experience and she describes that she couldn’t stop reading because it just made her feel so good.  And then out of nowhere she says "I believe the Book of Mormon is the word of God". She kept on talking, my companion doesn't fully realize it and I am like ‘oh my goodness’ did she just say what I heard she said?  So I politely interrupted her saying “do you know what you just said?” and she replied “what?”. I repeated her own words “I believe the Book of Mormon is the word of God” and said, “looks like you got your answer”. She replied “yes I do believe that,  YYESSSSS!”  We even set a baptismal date with her, finally.
The work of the Lord is so real and the Spirit is awesome and without it, Missionaries would fail. Hooray for the Spirit, I love it.
 I have been so blessed and I don't even know why, but every day I am thankful for the love my Father in Heaven has for me and his children.

Kayla good luck with all the packing and getting ready for college …do not get too stressed about it:).  I know you will enjoy it so much. 
Wow, next email you will get from me I will be 7 months out, crazy!

Oh, I almost forgot, I got the package last Monday right after we got home from emailing and playing b-ball.  Thanks again for that awesome package. The pens workout great and the food got me through the bike week  …phenomenal.
Well have a great week, may it be filled with lots of good memories and lots of fun. And say hi to everyone for me.

Elder Wawro

Sunday, August 28, 2011

He that thrusteth in his sickle

Dear Family,

Thanks again for your emails, they are great! I did not get your package this week, but don’t worry too much because it might come in this week …we will just have to see.  
Please give my sincere condolences to the Deal Family and tell them I love them and to hold strong!

In all honesty not much had happened this week. Probably the highlight was having Elder Gonzales come and speak to all the Missionaries on the Memphis side of the Mission. He gave some really good council that was basic yet inspired. He said that when finding those that are ready to receive the Gospel you must first open your mouth, second establish common ground and third relate it back to the Book of Mormon.  When it says in D&C section 4 to trust in our sickle it’s talking about the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is our sickle. And when you guys share the gospel with friends and family remember these 3 basic steps to sharing the gospel and as you do so you will also witness miracles.

We have not been able to get many people to Church this week, but none the less we are seeing some potential in this area.

In all honesty not much to tell you guys this week, because not much happened. So sorry to disappoint but this week’s email is going to be short.

I love you guys so very much and wish you all the best this week. May your week be filled with much joy and happiness and be full of miracles. Have fun at the Stake Conference.

Elder Wawro

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The work is picking up:)

Hey Family,

Since you guys are asking about the changes in my part of the Mission here is just some random info. Elder Badger and I stayed, so only two Missionaries, my companion and Elder Badger’s companion left the house.  My missionary mother (my follow up trainer), Elder Gerber is paired up with Elder Badger and they are now Zone Leaders (trainer = missionary father, follow up trainer = missionary mother).  So we have two Zone Leaders in the house and my new companion is Elder Streeter. He is on his last transfer, so I may be staying in Frayser for another couple of transfers.

We were so blessed yesterday at the Sacrament Meeting and Church because we had five investigators attend with us. It was awesome:) We were especially amazed to see one of our progressing investigators Lillian. When we first started teaching her in the beginning of last transfer she would not read the Book of Mormon because she didn't think it could be on the level of the bible. Then after we had a great lesson about the Plan of Salvation we come by to check on her one day and she had read 14 chapter in the Book of Mormon. Wow! ….and then yesterday she came to Church. It has been so wonderful to see her progress. So that was a good highlight of the week.

The work here in Frayser is picking up and it’s humbling and so wonderful.

My new companion and I get along very well and so it will be an exciting transfer but a hard working one. Without hard work we can't fulfill our purposes. And diligence is hard and smart work plus consistency all put together and that is what we are striving for.

This morning I’d listened to a talk that I heard before called "The timeline of the Apostasy" it was given at a devotional by a former Mission President. He breaks down the Apostasy and just gives a lot of dates that give us a clearer understanding of the actuality of the apostasy. Really good talk, maybe you can find it and listen to it.  I recommend it and know you would enjoy it.

We are really lucky this week because we have dinner appointment every night! …and that puts one big smile on my face.
 Please tell Simi and Ben, CONGRATULATIONS!!!! on their Mission calls.

I LOVE YOU all so much and I hope you all have a wonderful week! Stay busy and have lots of fun!

And thanks for all the words of encouragement and advice guys. I am actually thinking of enlarging that scripture dad and putting it somewhere to remind me constantly what can be done with the power of God.  Also, I do have access to this month’s Ensign and I will read that article mom. Thanks guys. Peace in the middle-east!

Elder Wawro

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Frayser ...round two:)

Dear Family,

I aaaammmm .......staying in Frayser, but to our surprise everyone including my companion is leaving Frayser and I am the only one staying. I am little nervous but I have been greatly comforted reading letters from my Mission President and your emails. This will be a big transfer ….more info next week.

This last transfer has gone by so quickly and I have enjoyed it all. My current companion Elder Sprague is hitting 20 months tomorrow and he is sad to live the area because he has been here for almost 8 months in total.

Thank you so much for the wonderful pictures. You guys are all looking good and look beautiful. I am really happy to see the blessings the Lord has been given you.

Our numbers this week have been good, but there still could have been a lot to improve on. Yesterday we had a wonderful and spiritual lesson with a recent convert and it really made me feel good.

There is a lot of potential here in Frayser but it feels like at times I am just seeing a lot of disappointments. I thought when I was going to the MTC that if I was obedient and just sincere that I would have success. But I am slowly realizing that the Lord is building me up. I have faith in the Lord and he will be my light.

I will figure out ways to get you guys so more pictures ....did I mentioned that I still cannot believe that I will be the only one staying in Frayser. I love you guys and I cannot wait for the package.  I have not received the apron from Sister Crotts yet.

Be safe this week, enjoy yourselves, and do what is right!

I LOVE YOU GUYS. Say 'Hi' to all my friends back home and say congrats to ‘soon to be’ Elder Treadway and Elder Tonga.

Elder Wawro

Friday, August 5, 2011

Ending transfer with a BANG:)

Hey Family,

It was so good to hear from you guys again! I can't believe that Kayla will be turning 18 today. CRAZY!!!!!    I love all your emails and I really enjoyed Kayla's letter and pictures that she sent me.  
6 months has come and yet I feel like as if though I just came out of the MTC. Time just flies by and it doesn't wait for you to catch up.

This past week we had our bike week which means we did not have a car and we had to ride only bikes or walk. So it physically drained us but good thing we recovered quickly with some good night rest. I can honestly say that we worked hard all week but we had basically no success. And we were not able to meet with Kim because she was camping for a whole week. Although we barely caught her home last night, and she said that she had read the Plan of Salvation pamphlet and that she does have some questions so we should be meeting with her in a few days.

So we are down to last week of the transfer and my companion and I have a great new resolution to end this transfer with a BANG, and give it our all, and hold nothing back. We are going to strive to be exactly obedient so that we can receive miracles because we sure need them as missionaries.

We are going to ‘hoop it up’ today and later burn our ties to celebrate our 6 month marks. Don’t worry we have some extra ties around the house so I will not be burning any of mine.

Please wish Kayla a HAPPY 18th Birthday for me.  I love you guys so much.  Be safe this week.

Elder Wawro

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Moments that make up for all the hard days

Dear Family,

This week has certainly been uplifting, more than any other week this transfer and I really appreciate the advice (dad) that you gave me from D&C. And this week I have just been pondering how legit my family is.  You guys are both converts yet so strong in the gospel and have never gone astray. I am so, so proud of you all. You guy are awesome!!!!!

I want to share with you one really special experience with one of our investigators. My companion and I meet her while tracting few weeks ago.  She invited us in and we were able to teach her the first half of the first lesson. The lesson went well but it had to be cut short because she was busy. Until this last Saturday we had not been able to sit down with her. So when we actually got an appointment with her we were so excited. The only time she was available was at 8:0 a.m.  so we took it and were right on time.  I said the opening prayer and we went right into the lesson. The lesson began really well and we started to ask her question to see how much she remembered from last time and asked her questions about the Restoration pamphlet that we left with her. Everything went so well.  The following is what makes it special to me.   Elder Sprague and I did not even thought about setting a baptismal date with her, nor have we planned to set one. But as the lesson was winding down, I got a prompting from the Spirit to ask her to be baptized. I hesitated for a little while waiting for the right opportunity. Then I just told her straight up that that even though we had not talked much about baptism with her I was prompted to ask her ‘will you be baptized?’  Well …and she said yes!!!!!!!!!!!! We have a date with her for the 20th of August. She told us that the after that first morning visit and lesson with her she just felt good for the rest of the day and she then realize why. She also said that she felt like crying when we gave her the Book of Mormon. It was by far the best and most spiritual lesson on my mission.

It is moments like this that make up for all those other hard days:)

I love you guys and I will be sending letters and pictures for Kayla's birthday.
Have a great week and enjoy the last couple of weeks with K.

Elder Wawro

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Another week "has gone by so fast" :)

Dear Family,

You guys are too funny, every week I hear, "This week has gone by so fast." ….sounds familiar huh? I think I might have told you that before I left for my Mission, oh yes I did. I am just giving you guys a hard time:) It makes me smile to see you guys so happy and to see that time has flown by for you.
So this week has been a little frustrating at times as well. Although on the positive side we teach few people who are sincerely seeking. And we actually had a really good lesson with a less active Sister in the Ward here in Memphis. The spirit was so strong and we hope for her to be able to enter the walls of the Temple again.

I heard something really interesting this morning in the car. We were waiting for a man who wanted to meet with us at the Church and give him some gospel reading material. While waiting for him in the car we listened to a talk by John Bytheway titled "5 scriptures that can get you past almost anything."  He referenced a scripture in 1 Nephi 11:17. This is when an angel of the Lord appears to Nephi. Nephi is asked if he knows the condescension of God and he replies by saying he does not, adding that what he does know is that our Heavenly Father loves all his children. So if we know that God loves us, than we do not ask questions like, “why does God makes me go through this?” ...etc. We may not know why we are given certain trials or challenges but when we know that God loves us then the “whys” don’t matter.
No cool stories this week but life is all good and I hope you guys have great upcoming week and remember enjoy the summer. Also tell Ben I am excited to here where he will be going and tell him congratulations!!!!!

I love you guys and yes I’ve received both of your letters (I just forgot to mention it last week:)

Elder Wawro

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Got to go to the Memphis Tennessee Temple

Dear Family,

Thank you for all the updates from home, it comforts me to know that you all are doing so well. It sounds like YW camp is going to be good this year and I am sure Kayla will enjoy it very much especially because she gets to have some responsibility.

So I’ve had two funny experiences this past week. The first happened when my companion and I were walking in Frayser and a construction man sees us walking buy and asks ‘So you guys carry guns?’ When we replied ‘no’, he said ‘well you definitely need to carry some’. It was funny hearing that because since I have been on my mission I don't really pay much attention to dangers around me (no one messes with the Missionaries:) so then an experience like that quickly reminds you of where you are. The second experience happened just a few days ago.  Elder Sprague and I were contacting people at one of the apartments in the area like we often do.  We passed by the big gathering of people and friends, so we talked to some of them and as we are leaving and turning the corner, we say ‘bye’ to a little girl (she couldn’t have been more than three)  … and she says ‘bye, bye policemen!’. AAWWWW that was so funny!

So far this week we have had good weather as it has not rained or stormed but it’s still really hot. They say here that August is the hottest month, so I have lots of hot weather to look forward too.

The reason why my email is a lot later than usual is because I got to go to the Memphis Tennessee Temple today! It was beautiful. The Temple is smaller that Sacramento Temple but it was just so wonderful. It has been a long few months since I had last visisted the Temple and it was awesome to go back.

The end of the past week was pretty disappointing. We had such a good start of the week with many good lessons and were even able to set some baptismal dates with promising investigators ….but none of them came to Church on Sunday. It was in all honesty very frustrating but I guess I shouldn’t really linger on that too long  …just go to move on and work harder.  My mission thus far has been very hard and it doesn't seem to get any easier with new trials every day. It’s hard but it’s what I need to become a lot better missionary and a much better person. I guess it’s hard because I needs lots of growing up:)

We do have a couple investigators who seem really sincere and who I think can be strong members down the road. So it’s those people that give us the hope we need to work hard day in and day out.

Also, this past week I got to meet our new Mission President and his wife; President and Sister Petersen. Wow, they are amazing. They have so much love for everyone and their testimonies are unbreakable. President Petersen is very inspired and like his predecessor he is a ‘spiritual giant’ with a firm testimony of missionary work.

Wish you guys a wonderful week, with much success and many blessings. Be safe and enjoy the summer weather.

Elder Wawro

Friday, July 8, 2011

"Missionaries Live Their Faith In Memphis"

Dear Family,

The reason I am able to email you during a holiday is because we can email from the Church here in Frayser.  So it sounds like you guys are going to have a blast today and I hope you do. Also to help you enjoy your 4 of July festivities you will be able to watch two of my Zone Leaders on TV (or more likely on the Internet).  The Fox News Channel here in Memphis is going to follow them around for about three hours in the Memphis North zone - Frayser.   I don’t know where you will be able to find it but I am sure you should be able to Google it.

This past week was pretty tough. We did not reach our weekly goals but the last two days, Saturday and Sunday turned out to be pretty successful. It has been hard because it was our ‘biking’ week but because my companion’s bike was broken we did A LOT of walking:)  The work here in Frayser has been going a lot better when we open our mouths to everyone we talk to. We find more success that way because when we share our message with everyone we are doing it in the Lord's way and when we do it his way nothing is impossible.

I’m starting to like Frayser more, it was just my attitude coming in that stopped my development, but I am getting over myself and just trying to improve and to be more dynamic missionary.

So my current companion is Elder Sprague. He is from Santaquin, Utah and does not have too much longer until he goes home.

I think I have mentioned this before that there Elder Sprague and I share the house here in Frayser with two other Missionaries ….and guess what?  ….I actually live with Elder Bradley’s friend from back home.  Isn’t this a cool fun fact? :)

Today we as missionaries are planning to do a BBQ in our backyard and just have some good ol fun. So I'll be having fun too!  Please make sure you say ‘Hi’ to the boys for me. Tell them that they are awesome!

Mom I did in fact get your letter and yes it would be safe to receive a package at my home address but honestly as for right now I do not need anything, thank you though!

You guys have a blessed week. I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!
Elder Wawro

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Back in Tennessee

Dear Family,

I will not keep you guessing where I’d been transferred  …I am in Memphis, Tennessee, in the north most neighborhood called Frayser. My companion and I will be sharing the house we live in with another set of Missionaries who serve in this area.

Good to hear that ‘Jimmer’ came to play for Sacramento. That will definitely bring some good LDS publicity to Sacramento and will give me a reason to go see some Kings games when I get back. He is a good player, so it is a really great addition to the team.

I am also glad to hear that Ryan will be serving his Mission in Las Vegas. I’ve heard from many people including my companion and few return Missionaries I met in BYU-I that it is an awesome place to serve a mission. Tell him ‘congratulations’ for me. He will do great!

Thank you so much for all the updates and emails, I enjoyed them very much.
I got some good news for you guys; a Sister that Elder Crotts and I worked with back in Little Rock was baptized this past Saturday.  I was just so happy:-)))  Would have loved to have been there, but I understand that it was not meant to be.  I will try to love Frayser because it truly is a great place to serve with so many awesome people.

It is crazy to think that I will be going on 5 months, it’s not supposed to go by so fast, that’s not fair, SLOW DOWN!!!!!!

I love being a missionary and this area will help me to improve as a missionary in all aspects and I am excited to progress because I can be a better tool in helping the Lord do his work. Being a Missionary is awesome!!

Here is my address: 4054 Lehi Drive, Memphis, TN, 38128

Well I love you guys and I hope you have a great week and enjoy every second of life.

Elder Wawro

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Transfer - On my way to ....(stay tuned)

Dear Family,

I will not keep you guessing, I am getting transferred. I loved this area but then again I will love any area I serve, and it just means I am needed more in another area. I will work hard wherever I serve.
I enjoyed serving with Elder Crotts and I learned a lot from him. This transfer flew by and in all honesty I thought we would stay a little longer together.  Mom you are right the South is very challenging but it helps us to become better missionaries. There is lots of opposition and people at times are not willing to listen, but you are also right that I do LOVE it here and I would not want to serve anywhere else.
Well Dad I hope you had an awesome Father’s Day, because you are awesome, plus I am a little jealous of your chocolate covered strawberries which made me drool.

Big news! President Gibbons is no longer going to be our new Mission President and President Peterson will be taking his place. President Peterson was originally going to serve in Russia but because of his line of work, he apparently cannot go there.  So their assignments were switched.

The work is moving along here in Little Rock. I am sad to leave when we finally are having some success here. They should be having a baptism this coming Saturday and then there should be another one on July 2. These people here are awesome and I have genuinely loved serving here. We were also recently teaching an investigator named CJ who is working on quitting smoking. He’s a stud and has been smoke free for a couple days now. I am excited for him because I feel like once we start teaching him more about the gospel he will progress quickly because he is a sincere person so he will keep commitments.

Thank you for your emails, I really enjoy them:)
I guess there will be more to write next week, and you will find out where in the world I will be going, haha.

I love you all so much, and hope you have a wonderful week.

Elder Wawro

P-Day Birthday Vlog:)