November 28, 2011

The month of Baptism

¡Hola Hola!

We had both district meeting and TRI-Zone conference this week. It was so good, I loved it. Basically our Presidente has a lot of faith in us. He has a goal for our mission to get 1,000 baptisms for the year 2011. It's never been done before, but we're only about 250 away. That means that each companionship needs to get about 3 during the month of December. We set a goal for six. It's scary because that's kind of a big number, but we are feeling very confident that we can achieve it, and the field is getting whiter and whiter each week. :) Besides, our purpose as missionaries is to invite others to come unto Christ and be BAPTIZED!

My district and our Thanksgiving treats: pumpkin pie, brownies, & jello cake

Our Pumpin Pie--it turned out pretty good!
(I'm not a pumpin pie fan though. ha!)

Hermanas Baker, McWhorter y yo at Conferencia de Zonas
(my companeras at the MTC)

Our little capilla (chapel)! So tiny!

Our Relief Society Room :)
While we were in Bahía for the conferences, we did some divisions with other hermanas in Bahía. I got a chance to work with another Hermana for a few hours, and it was interesting to see a different view point and style of doing everything. We have the same rules and same purpose, yet everyone has their own way of doing things! It was kinda fun! What did I learn from it? I like my companion, and I like my area. haha

We had a neat experience while teaching on divisions though. Hermana Alston wanted to contact these two teenage girls in the street...which I normally wouldn't have done because they are always grumpy and don't care when they are with their friends. Well, the girl's little sister was there and they told her to go get their mom who turned out to live just down the street. We then went to talk to her mom, Claudia, who was smoking, grumpy, and quite rude. But then all of a sudden she told us to come in! It was awesome! I don't know what happened, but all of a sudden she was willing to be taught. :) The lesson went great, and by the end after the prayer she got emotional because she was starting to realize that the gospel is what was missing in her and her family's life. It was so awesome! I'm just bummed because I won't get to teach her again!

As for investigators, our teaching pool is growing, which we are really excited about. We had to re-set "V" and her kids' baptismal date, but they are still doing great. I love the gospel. I know it's true. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet, and we have evidence of it that we can hold in our hands and read! The Book of Mormon!

Get a free copy of the Book of Mormon by clicking here! Do it!!

Have a great week, everyone!

-Hermana Vawdrey

Grandma Rodgers: Happy 70th birthday! Hope it was great. Also, I received your letter this week. Thank you!

Jessica Dewsnup: Happy birthday!

Spring Hollow Ward: I received your package this week. Thank you so much!! I LOVED it! Thanks for all the prayers and support.

November 21, 2011

Keep your commandment seatbelts on!


So BIG news. We heard from our mission president last week that there are some new changes for our area. Missionaries are now to only have 2-3 areas for their entire mission...which means that we will serve in each area for 6-9 months! (He said generally 9 months.) That means that I could be here in Pigüé until April or possibly even July! Crazy, eh? I think it's great though; our investigators and the members need the stability. Not only that, but we will now be able to set long term goals. President said this will make us work harder when our area isn't a "dream area" because we won't have frequent transfers to look forward to.

As for an update for the week, two of "V's" kids now have a fecha (baptismal date)! It has been so fun to teach them. Kids absorb absolutely everything we teach, and it is really fun to watch. Ever since we had a family home evening with them, they love to sing primary songs or hymns...even though they can't carry a tune to save their lives. :)  We taught "V" the Word of Wisdom earlier this week. We explained to her why she needs to stop smoking, and she didn't doubt for a second! Gosh she's awesome. We're now working on helping her have the faith she needs to realize she can do it.

This week I've learned to realize how much of a blessing the commandments are for us. Sometimes they appear to be thick straps holding us back...but really they are protecting us from falling off a dangerous cliff of unhappiness and sin. Yeah, some of the commandments may be hard to follow, but the Lord only gave them to us because He loves us and he wants to be safe. He would never give us commandments that are impossible, neither would He ask of us to do something that is hard if it wasn't worth it. Sometimes we need to struggle for awhile to learn a lesson, but He is there every step of the way. Commandments give us an opportunity to show our faith and our love for the Lord, so why should we hesitate to obey! So, keep your commandment seatbelts on! You will never go anywhere where you won't need them.

Well everybody, Happy Thanksgiving! It's weird to think that it's already that time of year because it's about 78 degrees right now. Thanksgiving isn't a holiday here in Argentina either, so I won't be eating turkey. But we have zone conference on Thanksgiving and we're going to try to make a pumpkin pie! We'll see how that works out with Argentine ingredients...haha

Love you all!

-Hermana Vawdrey

November 14, 2011

In the strength of the Lord


¿Cómo andan? It's been a great week! We traveled a lot because we had our district meeting in Bahía Blanca, and then we had conferencia de estaca también (Stake Conference also) en Bahía Blanca. We had about 40 people from our rama (branch) that attended conferencia de estaca. It was great! Fuimos muy animadas. (We were very excited.) Our rama got a double-decker bus so that everyone would have a way to get there. It was about a two-hour bus ride, but it was a great opportunity to get to know the members and to strengthen los menos activos (the less active).

Presidente Detlefsen y su esposa (and his wife) spoke at conferencia and did a great job. They are very inspiring.

Adriana and Jorge Detlefsen
Conferencia de estaca was good. I understood parts. Words, really...haha but my castellano is still improving bit by bit each day.

This week we got our oven, washer, and toilet fixed by some hermanos en la rama. FINALLY! Half of our bathroom is no longer covered in a puddle, and we don't have to wash our clothes by hand any more. :) We are verrry grateful. Ohh, the little things. I'm learning very quickly how spoiled we are in the United States.

This week after district meeting, we had what we call an esfuerzo (literal translation: strengthening) here in Pigué. That's when other missionaries come to work in a certain area to help the missionaries get more references and find more investigators. It went well. We are very grateful for their efforts because we have several more potential investigators. Whoo!

It took us several weeks to learn, but street contacting and knocking on doors doesn't bring much success here in Pigué. We have now been focusing on the menos activos (less actives) and other references we get from the members and it is working a lot better. By doing so we were able to get 7 menos activos to church that haven't been for years!!

"V" (name withheld), our favorite investigator, is still doing great. Since she and her boyfriend are separated, she decided to look for a job this week. She found one the first day! She realized that was a blessing from the Lord, and that is only a small thing the Lord has blessed her with lately. :) We visited her and her kids the other day and she said they had been praying together as a family! We didn´t even tell her to do that! The gospel is such an incredible thing because once people learn a principle the Holy Ghost will always help guide them to know what other things they can do to bring more happiness into their lives. :)

In my study this week I really liked the scripture in Words of Mormon 1:14
"And in the strength of the Lord they did contend against their enemies, until they had slain many thousands of the Lamanites. And it came to pass that they did contend against the Lamanites until they had driven them out of all the lands of their inheritance."

How cool is that? Many THOUSANDS! That is a big number. We too can slay that many thousands of Satan's temptations. The Lord is perfect and His whole plan is simply so that we can become perfect too. Do everything in the strength of the Lord. Start with a prayer to invite the strength, end your day with a prayer of gratitude, and the amount of success and blessings you will receive will be more than you could ever imagine.

I love you all!

-Hermana Vawdrey

November 7, 2011

Spare it a little longer

¡Hola Familia y Amigos!

I am now halfway through my first transfer in Argentina. I can hardly believe it! The work is hard, but soo rewarding. I thank the Lord every day for the opportunity I have to serve Him and His children here in Pigüé.

I told you a little about "V" (name withheld) last week. She's the investigator we're really focusing on right now because she is progressing a lot. Guess what? SHE HAS A FECHA! (A baptismal date: November 26th!) We are so excited for her. Her testimony is growing and she is truly "hungry" to learn more about the gospel. After our first lesson with her we committed her to read the Introduction to el Libro de Mormón, and then at least the first chapter. We went back three days later and she had read clear until 2 Nephi 30! That's like over thirty pages! We were shocked, speechless, and SO happy for her.

It has been a hard week for her because she and her boyfriend are separated now, but she specifically said that reading el Libro de Mormón has given her "the strength to stand." :) She started reading it the first day we gave it to her, and she said the ancient writing style, the stories and the underlying morals really intrigued her, so she couldn't put it down! It's incredible to be able to watch the power of el Libro de Mormón already blessing her life. She and her two older kids came to church yesterday, and we hope to get fechas for her three oldest kids who are baptismal age.

The rest of the week was hard because we weren't able to have very many people let us in to teach. But it's moments like teaching "V" that make it all worth it. Mom, it's like what you said in your last e-mail, you have to focus on what you DO have. Yeah, our number of lessons isn't very high, but the investigators that we do have are gold mines.

My scripture study this week has been a great strength for me--as always. Like "V", there were moments when it "kept me standing." My favorite chapter I read this week (surprisingly) was Jacob 5. That's the famous account where Jacob quotes Zenos about the allegory of the wild and the tame olive trees. I've always hated that chapter because I never understood it. This time, however, I took the time to read the foot notes, and I learned so much! It really is a beautiful allegory, and is very similar to the way Christ teaches in parables.

I got a lot of strength from it because it talks a little bit about missionary work. The Lord weeps because the trees are dying and withering away, but He lovingly says: "Spare it a little longer." He nourishes them, and then He calls servants (missionaries, prophets, apostles, visiting teachers, home teachers, bishops, etc.) to labor diligently with all of their might that they may prepare the way. That is why I am here! To labor with all of my might and to prepare the way. I know that the Lord has many things planned for me while I am here in Pigüé, even if it takes me awhile to see the "fruit." The same goes for all of you! When life is hard, and you don't understand why you are not having success when you are giving it all you have--KEEP GOING! The Lord has something planned. It will get better. It will end, and you will reap that fruit. :) All we can do is keep working hard and trust Him!

I love you all! Have a great week!

-Hermana Vawdrey