January 30, 2012

How to build the "boat"

¡Hola! ¿Qué tal?

Besides the fact that we were fed cow tongue for lunch this past week...it was a good one! (And the cow tongue really was not that bad...just the fact that I could see the taste buds? Not okay. :s)

Cow tongue
Instead of district meeting this past week, we had interviews with Presidente Detlefsen. The meeting before the interviews went really long so the interviews ended up being quick. Yet it was great to see our Mission President! He taught us a lot, but focused mostly on 1 Nephi chapter 17 where the Lord commands Nephi to build a boat. The catch was that Nephi was told to build it "after a manner which He (the Lord) would show unto him," not after the manner of man. For this, Nephi had to go to the Lord in prayer many times to be able to find out where to go to find the tools and how to do each step. Presidente related it to us as missionaries that we are trying to build the Lord's boat too! His church! We have to rely on Him to tell us where to go to find the "tools" (investigators) and then we have to rely on Him to learn how to use them or teach them so that we can build this boat. It was such a great analogy, I loved it! All of us are building our own kind of "boat," and if we rely on Him for the help, we'll be able to successfully build it after the manner of God.

We did divisions this week too between the hermanas here in Pigüé. I went on divisions with Hermana Arancibia, and we had a really successful day! It was fun again to see different work ethics, different contacting approaches, and to see her great eagerness to share the gospel with everyone! She's a great missionary. Since I'm used to being the junior companion, she had me be the senior companion for the day and choose where we would go. At one point I decided to go by a house that caught my eye a few days previous. When we walked up there was a man out standing by his fence. We introduced ourselves and chatted for a minute. We then asked him (Ernesto) why he was outside, like if he was waiting for someone or something? He replied and said, "No, I just felt like I needed to go outside for something!" It was such a powerful moment, it was so cool! I know it was the Holy Ghost that was preparing him to listen to our message. We were able to teach him the first lesson, and he committed to baptism! Whoo!

We're still struggling to get investigators to go to church, but we are finding a lot more new investigators lately! Things are improving paso a paso. :) Hope you all are doing well!

-Hermana Vawdrey

January 23, 2012

What can we do better?

Familia y Amigos,

We talked to a lot of people this week who have had a lot of tough trials in their lives. It really made me reflect how lucky I am to have the gospel in my life--and to have been born into a family that is active in the church!! It's hard to see so many people struggling to keep going, but it's incredibly humbling to see them allow the gospel to give them what they can't provide for themselves.

Our investigator Y unfortunately didn't go to church yesterday, yet she is making so much progress with her smoking addiction. She used to smoke at least three packs a day! Last time we saw her it had been more than 24 hours and she still hadn't finished a pack! At the moment she's scared to keep going because she's afraid that life is going to get hard again...so we're working with her to help her strengthen her faith and trust in the Lord.

This past week we taught more lessons than we ever have! Now we need to keep on working really hard to make sure that our investigators keep progressing. Our new district leader has been really good for us. He has a really aggressive way of teaching and leading, yet I am starting to see why the Lord assigned him as my district leader now rather than later. Each night we call him to check in and tell how the day went, pass on dats, etc. Every night he asks:

"So what can you do better?" 

We respond with something, and then he asks:

"And then what can you do better?" 

We then respond to that, and then he asks:

"And how can you do that better?"

Sometimes it's really painful. haha But that's my question for you! What can you do better? And how can you do that better? The only way to improve and learn is to ask ourselves that question: What can we do better?

I know the Lord micro-manages all of the details in our lives. If we take the time to see what He has done for us, and what He has given us, it makes it that much easier to ask ourselves how we can be better for the Lord.

¡Yo sé que El Señor nos ama más que podemos imaginar!

-Hermana Vawdrey

January 16, 2012

Just keep going!

Familia y Amigos,

Lately Hermana Freeman and I have been working really hard, but haven't had a ton of success. This passed week we decided to work on being more grateful. We did this so that we can at least notice the little things that are going right...among the big things that are going wrong. I have learned SO much! We have recognized many little blessings and tender mercies, and by doing so we have recieved even more.

Earlier this week on Thursday, we had four citas (appointments) in the morning. We were so excited! All of them were on pretty much completely different sides of town, but we didn't care! We were still thrilled to have such a promising morning! But then,
Every one! We were crushed! Why couldn't the Lord bless us with just one appointment when we had been so diligent and so obedient? I don't know. But the spirit helped me learn an important lesson when I was reading in the Book of Mormon later on that day. I read in Alma 21, which is about Alma the younger, the sons of Mosiah, and the missions that they served. Chapter 21 is mostly about Aaron, and I learned so much from his example. He went alone to teach the gospel to this group of people who was really wicked. He was rejected, mocked, and later cast into prison. But I noticed one re-occurring thing throughout all of his trials and troubles as a missionary. He kept going! He always kept going, and eventually the Lord blessed the people and there was much success. :) I don't know how far out that day is for me, but until then I just gotta keep going!

Since then things have improved. We have an investigator that is PROGRESSING! Finally! I can't tell you how happy and grateful I am. It's a neat story how we found her too. One morning we were out working and we saw this cute little girl with crazy curly hair, sitting out on the front porch step. I thought maybe she was in time-out or something. We asked her if her mom was home and she mumbled something that we couldn't understand. We then kept on walking, but right when we were about to turn the corner she yelled "¡Chicas! ¡Chicas!" and motioned for us to come back. We did, and her mom let us right in!

Her name is "Y". She has three daughters: 5, 3 (the one that was on the step), and 1. She is a single mom and has been through a lot. She came to church yesterday, and I know that was only the Lord's doing. There is no way that we could have gotten her there by ourselves! The youngest had cried all night long, so she hadn't slept at all. Yet when we went to pick her up she was still willing to go to church and got ready in 10 minutes! With three little girls! That's a miracle right there. She later told us that she has never let in any other missionaries before. Jehovah's Witnesses come by a lot, but she said she will only talk to them outside. She said, "I don't know why I let you in, I don't know why I went to church, because that's so unlike me!" Yet we know why. It's the spirit! It's really fun to see it working in her. She accepted a baptismal date, and we are so grateful for the opportunity to teach her more about the gospel and the love of her Heavenly Father.

Hope all is well at home!

¡Chow! ¡Chow!
-Hermana Vawdrey

January 10, 2012

Nothing is possible WITHOUT the Lord

¡Hola Hola!

I just completed my second transfer in Argentina! It went so fast, I can hardly believe it. Hermana Freeman and I are still companions, which I am very grateful for. She is a great missionary. Things are still up in the air with Hermana Chento (who is waiting for her Visa). She could possibly leave for Mexico mid-transfer if all goes well...which means that I'd be in a trio with Hermana Arancibia and Hermana Freeman. We'll see, time will tell! Since Presidente made the change that we will be in our areas for 6-9 months, there weren't a lot of changes. We have a new district leader now since Elder Wells has finished his two years of service. We're really sad to have Elder Wells go, yet we're excited for change. :) Our district now only includes the four of us hermanas here in Pigué, and two elders in Suarez, a neighboring city. It's smaller, but we won't have to travel as much and lose working time. Whoo!

This week has been another learning experience--as always. :) I know nothing is impossible with the Lord, but I am learning that nothing is possible without the Lord! This is the reason why we have challenges and struggles, because they help us remember how much we need to rely on Him for support, advice, and comfort. He wants us to lean on Him for strength! (Proverbs 3:5)

We met a woman this week named "P". It was about 100 degrees that day...plus humidity. (Yeah, feel free to gasp now. We're cooking.) But anyway, first we knocked her neighbor's door who is an ex-investigator. There was no answer. We almost turned around to keep going the other way, but I had a thought to try the next door. "P" had been swimming out in the backyard with her family, but she answered the door and was really friendly and willing to listen to our message. Thank goodness I listened to that prompting to try knocking one more door! She has a basic Catholic background and seems really prepared to learn more about the plan the Lord has for her. We're hoping we can set up a baptismal date with her when we see her tomorrow.

Hope all is going well! Les amo!

Brittni in a dress she received for Christmas
Brittni finally received her Christmas package!
Brittni with the plate Jordan made her
(complete with investigator and CTR ring)

Well it sounds like back at home every one is getting engaged and married!! Whoo!
  • Addie and Calvin, congrats! Hope your day was great. 
  • SHAY BAUGH! Shay Baugh...how great. Congratulations! :)
  • Rachel Cook--I'm so happy for you and your engagement. Congrats!
  • Danielle West! Whoo-wee! Congrats.
  • Lynzi Carson! Yay! Congrats to you too!
-Hermana Vawdrey

January 2, 2012

The New Year

¡Feliz año nuevo!

It's been quite the week, so much happened! We experienced heart break, an Argentine wedding, the gift of tongues, fireworks, a baptism, and the challenge of trying to fall asleep when it's 85 degrees!

We had a hard start this week because V decided that she doesn't want to be baptized. :`(  ...which means her kids can't get baptized either because they have to be at least 12 years old, or have at least one parent that is a member.) The day before her baptism she said that she decided that the church is too demanding because she doesn't want to take out her earrings. We were heartbroken. A piece of metal! A piece of metal is holding her back from her Salvation and from more blessings than she can even imagine! It was so hard to see her throw it all away. I know one day she'll come around though. She'll remember what she's missing. We're going to go by sometime in the near future to see if we can "rescue" her again and help her re-kindle her faith. Don't worry Mom, I'm doing everything I can do be strong for her. Faith is the first ingredient for miracles.

J y P have been members for awhile, and this week they got married! We were thrilled for them. Now we are going to help prepare them to go to the temple so that they can be together for eternity!!

Las familias pueden ser eternas!

This week I had a constant prayer in my heart that I would have more opportunities to share my testimony with people. The other day we were teaching a woman and the coolest thing happened! I understood pretty much every word she said! (That doesn't happen very often. I normally only understand parts and have to piece everything together to try to figure out what was said.) But I understood everything! We were teaching her about the importance of the Book of Mormon. At one point I opened my mouth to bear my testimony and I just kept talking and teaching for quite awhile. It was so incredible because I realized that was the Gift of Tongues in that exact moment. I had all of these thoughts and things put into my mind that I should say. I said so many things that I didn't even know I knew how to say! She had lots of interest and said she will come to church. :)

We had a baptism here in Pigué yesterday! His name is Juan--he's an investigator of Hermana Chento and Hermana Arancibia. He's 58 and gave up drinking to join the church! He is the sweetest old man.

Felicidades, Juan!

New Year's Eve here is a bigger deal than Christmas! We spent part of the evening with B--a single woman in the branch. We celebrated by singing our favorite hymns and by drinking "wine" (grape jugo with soda water.) Later on we watched Pigué's firework show from on top of our roof!

I still can't believe it's already 2012. 2011 went by so fast! However, I'm excited for the new year. I've made lots of goals, and I am looking forward to being a full-time missionary for the Lord for an entire year straight! :)

For those of you that haven't made New Year's resolutions yet...be sure to do so! It's an opportunity to set goals and test your faith in the Lord! (Ether 12:27, Matthew 11: 28-30)

Mormon 9: 21:
"Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubthing NOTHING, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him, and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth."

That promise includes you!!

Love you all :)
-Hermana Vawdrey

Here are some pictures from Christmas 2011:

Hermanas Vawdrey y Freeman

Hermana Vawdrey with her MTC companions

The District

Singing carols at a senior citizen center

Brittni had to reject several "tips"

Brittni has a gift for anyone interested!

Mmm, "homemade" lasagna :)