Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Surprise 'tweet' - My First Area

Hey Family,
I was given a second today to write you guys a quick email to let you know that I am safe (which I am).   So my first companion is Elder Andersen who is from the Orange County, California. He is a District Leader and has been out for almost 1 year.  Elder Andersen and I are serving in Jackson, Tennessee (my first area). This is the largest area in the entire Mission and we are the only two missionaries serving here.  Not only is this the biggest area but it is also farthest away from the Mission home, about 4 hours drive.   It feels weird to finally be in the real world again and also very nerve wracking.  This area is mostly a car area, so no biking for me just yet.  

Well I love you guys and I will write to you on my P-day which is Monday!
Elder Wawro

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Leaving the MTC

Elder Wawro left the MTC for Arkansas Little Rock Mission (very) early this morning with a group of Missionaries, eight of them (including Elder Wawro and one Sister) going to Arkansas and the rest traveling to Canada.

We were blessed to receive a phone call from him before he boarded the airplane at the Salt Lake City airport.  He sounded great (music to our ears:-), was very calm and composed, excited although little nervous.  He sends his love, greetings and best regards to ALL of you.

We look forward to hear from him again on his first Preparation Day ("P-Day"), Monday 02/28/2011 (and maybe even receive some long awaited pictures).

Please note the change of the contact address for Elder Wawro at the top of this blog page.

Mission Song
We strive not for glory, we strive not for fame
We’re serving in Arkansas with only one aim
The Priesthood of God with which others we bless
The most glorious honor that man can posses
We follow the Prophet, we teach of the Lord
We testify daily of His church restored
A million will join us; it’s the end of the drought
We’re called to the harvest; it’s the day of the South!

Though we’re far from perfect, our God is our King
For Him we will work now, to Him we will sing
We work for our Father, and this is our goal
The salvation of thousands, the saving of souls
We follow the Prophet, we teach of the Lord
We testify daily of His church restored
A million will join us; it’s the end of the drought
We’re called to the harvest; it’s the day of the South!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

MTC week two ....gaining the altitude

Hey Family,
You have asked several times about my schedule as a missionary at the MTC, so I'll tell you. I wake up every morning at 6:30 am, sometimes earlier if we have a service project in the morning. After waking up I'll either have to get ready for class at 7am or I will have gym at 6:35, depending on which day it is. Every day I have to do one hour of personal study as well as companionship study. We also spend at least 10 hours in the classroom, and some times I end up losing focus.

The big part of the MTC experience for me as well as the rest of the missionaries is to do a lot of teaching. We teach our teachers as if they were investigators, the teacher act like investigator from and we have to teach them twice a week, to eventually get baptized. We use a Training Resource Center (TRC), which a place at the MTC where me and my companion go to teach people acting as investigators or sometimes they are actually investigators, once again, trying to get them to come unto Christ and be baptized . There are many teaching opportunities and workshops, but as much as we practice teaching, the one thing that they want us to get out of the MTC is being able to teach by the Spirit and trust me, that even in fake teaching situations the Spirit can be felt really strongly and without the Holy Ghost, our message cannot be powerful or life changing.

So aside from all the teaching, we get four days of gym. I have converted from playing basketball to playing ‘Four square’ which is lots of fun. We also get fed like crazy here at the MTC which is the total opposite of the experience we will have out in the field. Oh, and don’t worry, I have not gained any weight. Remember how I told you the food was good, well let me take that back, the food was good for the first few days until you have the same meal for dinner like every other day. Now, I despise going to lunch and dinner. I think if I went foreign speaking I would kill myself, because the schedule here is tiring and the food no longer looks like food, haha.  

So, yesterday evening for devotional we had Elder Pearson and his wife speak to us. He is a member of the first Quorum of the Seventy. His message was so powerful and inspirational that it has changed the way I will go about being a missionary. To tell you the truth at first I thought I did not like his talk at all because it felt like he was chastising all the missionaries, but once I humbled myself, I knew and felt that his message was inspired. It was one of the best talks I have ever heard in my life. He reminded us we need to stop being ‘Matthew Wawro’ or ‘Allen’ or ‘Lucy the cheerleader’, but be a disciple of Jesus Christ willing to put behind the natural man and worldly desires and be prayerfully searching and diligently studying.  Also, Sister Pearson said something simple but profound. She said, "attitude determines altitude." If we are excited and joyful, we will be more diligent in studying and more sensitive to the Spirit. But when we are angry and have a bad attitude we will be less productive as missionaries. So the better our attitude the better of a missionary we can be.

I love you guys so much and oh, before I forget thanks so much for the cinnamon rolls, they were DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!! I got them at night and they were done by the next morning. Oh, and I had to share them because they looked so good, that other elders wanted some, which was a good thing.  Well I wish you all the best and I'll be praying for you. I almost forgot, I am leaving for Arkansas early on Tuesday (02/22) morning at 3:00 am and I have to board the airplane that leaves at 6:10a.m., so be warned  …I'll be calling you when you guys are asleep.
Once again I love you guys and be great.
Elder Wawro

Thursday, February 10, 2011

First week at the MTC

Hey Family,

Thank you so much for all your emails, letters, and packages. Wow, my first week here at the MTC has been quite an experience. In all honesty I have learned more about myself and the Gospel than I thought I would have in 3 weeks, and it has only been one week. The hardest part so far has been the long hours in the classroom, but it has also been the most beneficial. I have come to realize that these next 2 years have nothing to do with me, but everything is about the investigators we teach. As missionaries we are not just to sit down and teach but rather get to know your investigators and teach according to their own specific needs and that comes by devoting our personal study and companionship to studying the doctrine that we are to teach them.

Missionary work is nothing without diligence. Diligent service is meaningful and done only with the best of intentions. The harder your work the less time you have to stray away. I found that if I take time to pray with all my heart on my own and with my companion than thoughts of worry, sadness, and stress will surely leave. Honestly I have not thought much about you guys not because I have cold heart but because I am so busy and I KNOW that the Lord will bless you and I have no doubt of that.  And I promise that if you take time to recognize your blessings and take time to devote to God, no matter how long or short time it will be, He will bless you and provide in times of sorrow and in time of need.  I don't want to bore you anymore but remember, " Every member, a missionary."  Take time during the day as well as at night to pray for missionary opportunities, but don't just pray, ACT.

I love you all so much and I am praying daily for your individual success, happiness and safety. Take your thoughts and worries to the Lord and he will answer your prayers. Oh, and since I am so dumb I forgot to bring my camera here to the computer so I will not be able to share any pictures but I PROMISE next time I will. I love you, I love you and oh, I love you. Have a great week.

PS. Tell Michael D, Aaron Call, and Kay, that will be sending them hand written letters today!

Elder Wawro

Monday, February 7, 2011

First letter from MTC

Dear Family       
Let me start off by saying that I love all three of you so much!  You have been great examples to me throughout my life.  I am grateful for your support and love because it is helping me to stay strong.  So what else, well the MTC is a great place.  Intimidating at first but a place where much teaching and learning is being done.  On the other side of things, the food isn’t so bad, it’s actually pretty tasty, well at least for now.  But no matter what is being served here, mom, your home cooked meals are so much better.
Today (03 Feb.) I have been called to be the District Leader here at the MTC.  It’s not a big deal so don’t blow things out of proportion, because all I do is pass the mail around and make sure all the missionaries are doing well.  I hope to be the best DL that I can be by inviting the spirit into my life.
I’m still getting used to the rigorous schedule here so my thoughts and mind are still wondering.
Remember, the Lord will take care of me so don’t worry too much.  I hope that you guys will remind yourselves and reflect on the blessings you have received from your Heavenly Father and if you do, I promise, you will feel much joy and gratitude.

Elder Wawro

Friday, February 4, 2011

Reporting to the MTC

Elder Wawro entered the Missionary Training Center (MTC) on Wednesday, 02 February 2011 (yes it was cold winter day in Provo Utah).
We will hear from him next week and will post the updates to this blog.  
He would love to hear from you :-) - his address while at the MTC is:

Elder Matthew Mark Wawro
MTC Mailbox # 121
AR-LTR 0222
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

Do the 'Y'

Do the double 'Y'

Stuck in the middle

I'm so ready!

Why so serious

Like mother like son

Stuck in  the middle - part II

Together forever
Lots of DOTS:-) to connect

Mission call

The Mission call came in at the end of September 2010 while Matt was still at the Brigham Young University (BYU) in Idaho. Elder Wawro was called to serve in the Arkansas Little Rock Mission, reporting to the Missionary Training Center (MTC) on 02 February 2011.


The 'Titan'

Say 'spaghetti'