May 29, 2012

Think Castellano!

Family and Friends,

This week was a really neat week because I felt like I just made leaps and bounds with my Castellano. One day we did divisions for several hours with some of our ward missionaries. I was paired up with N (who just received her mission call to the Cochabamba Bolivia mission!) I was really scared at first because N speaks sooooo fast. Even some natives don't always understand her! I prayed right before that somehow the Lord would help me understand her and it went well! We understood each other and we had a lot of success. We found a new investigator that day too, so we were really excited.

We taught a lesson to a guy this week named O. He was really stubborn and wouldn't accept any commitment, but it was such a powerful lesson because the Lord's presence was truly in his home. While Hermana Jensen said the opening prayer I was praying that somehow I would have the words to say, and the second the prayer ended the words just started coming! The grammer was flawless. The lesson was exactly what needed to be taught, and we know he felt the spirit. It was so neat and so powerful. It's one of those moments that can't be put in to words really, it was so cool. I love being a missionary!

We're really making progress with our investigator J too. We've pretty much finished all of the lessons, and now we are trying to tackle all of his doubts of baptism. Apparently his dad is a really stubborn and scary guy so he's afraid to ask him for permission to get baptized. We decided to do a fast together and he unfortunately still hasn't talked to his dad about it, but he is feeling a lot better about it and he's not as afraid. Yeah!

While we were fasting with J we decided to have an English fast too, and it went really well! I'm starting to think in Castellano more now, I can speak a little bit faster, and I understand so much more. It feels so good! I still have a long ways to go, but I'm seeing improvement. :)

I hope you all are well!

Les amo!
-Hermana Vawdrey

Highlights of the week:

They sustained 5 new ward missionaries in church yesterday! We are so excited about it. More support!! A lot of the recent converts from last year are now less active, so we are excited to have the new ward missionaries help strengthen their testimonies also.

On Friday was like the Independence day of Argentina. Our ward had a big activity and a bunch of the members danced some of the traditional Argentine Folklore dance. It was fun to share some time with the members.

Hermana Jensen celebrated her one year mark in her mission!

Our district

Folklore Dance

J (on the left)

May 21, 2012

It is up to us!

Howdy everyone!

It's already been another week! Wah wah.To be honest, this week was the week of the "menos activos!" There are so many less actives in our ward, and so many recent converts that are already less active. It is really hard to see. But I can tell you this: I now have a long list of silly reasons and excuses to go in-active! It's like you were saying, Dad, it's just never worth it! Yeah, it might seem hard to live the gospel sometimes, but it's even harder to choose to not live it. And the key word really is choose! We choose whether we want happiness or misery, and the only way to have true happiness is by living the Gospel.

This week we went by a menos activo named L a couple times. Right now she is separated from her husband, her kids live with the Dad, and she rarely gets to see them. She's really depressed and seems to simply just be looking for anything that will make her happy and that will help re-unite her family again. It was sad so see that she had completely forgotten the healing power of the Gospel. We've started to teach her the lessons again to help her gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. The hard part is that it all is determined by her agency. Her choice.

I've really realized that that is how the Lord works. He gives us a choice for everything. He gives us everything we need, He blesses us with the Holy Ghost to help us know what to do, but in the end it is up to us to act and to choose to do what's right. I know that the Lord is with us every step of the way. He never forgets us. He never loves us less when we make a mistake--He simply loves us more and simply yearns to talk to us more and help us come back to Him!

I know this gospel is true. I am so grateful for the opportunity to share it and to have a time to become more converted to it. I hope you all are doing well. And if you have silly reasons and excuses for not living the gospel--choose and act to get rid of them!

Con amor,
Hermana Vawdrey

May 18, 2012

Family letter after Mother's Day


So the exclamation point on this key board doesn't work. Ohh Argentina...classy.  haha Wow. It was so fun to see and talk to you all yesterday. I am so grateful that it finally worked out. That wasn't a very welcome hiccup with the microphone not working, but I'm glad it worked out. I'm happy to see you are all well, still laughing, smiling, and being VAWDREYS. I love you all.

Skyping with the fam on Mother's Day

Like I kinda said yesterday, O received the Holy Ghost and the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday. I can't even begin to tell you how incredible it was. It was one of the happiest, most gratifying moments of my whole entire life. Seeing his face and tears of joy streaming down his face made it totally worth all of the rejection we've received and all of the doors slammed in our faces. It's so neat to look at O because he's like a little kid, just barely being born in the gospel. He's just barely learning how to "walk" by doing things like studying the scriptures, personal prayer, going to church, etc. Yet he's so eager to learn. I think he teaches me just as much as we have taught him. His desire to change his life is unreal. I still can't comprehend how quickly he chose to change his life so that he could live the Lord's commandments, like the Law of Chastity and the Word of Wisdom. He has so much faith because he didn't doubt for a second.

Unfortunately, I don't have any more time today, but here's a bunch of pictures I've been meaning to send. Thank you everyone for your love and support. I hope all is well.

Hermana Vawdrey

Our Zone and District

M's baptism

C y P - they gave us the reference for M

Celebrating the baptism with our favorite ice cream

Un beso por el helado!

Youth/Leaders = M's support

Los Elderes

May 7, 2012

Purifying. Uplifting. Exhilarating.

M got baptized on Friday!! It was a wonderful day. She looked absolutely beautiful, so happy, and SO full of the spirit. She was really nervous at first to have to be in front of so many people and all of her friends, but the spirit really helped to calm and comfort her.

M is 12 years old and is SO beautiful! She has some of the longest hair I have ever seen! And it's HEALTHY! Go M! I would attach a photo, but unfortunately this computer's USB port doesn't work. She is friends with a bunch of the youth in the ward. She was invited to an activity awhile ago (the fashion show), and has been interested in the church ever since! Since she's only twelve it's been a little bit of a challenge to help her remember the appointments we'd set up with her to teach the lessons, but we finally got it done and it was a pleasure to teach her. It has been fun to watch her progress and learn of the love her Heavenly Father has for her. Her testimony is small, but it's strong. I'm realizing that's all you need. It's like in Alma 32 when he relates faith to a seed. Even if your testimony is of one simple thing, that's enough! Because over time it will grow!

Over the short time I have known M, she has also grown. For awhile her dad wasn't okay with her getting baptized. We taught her about the blessings of prayer and fasting, and we decided to have a fast together with her. As a result of that, many miracles happened and she was able to find a way to explain to her mom and her dad why it was important to her to get baptized and it really touched them so they gave her permission! Yes! We can tell her mom and her dad are both kinda interested...sometimes...haha so we're hoping that by helping M strengthen her faith, that one day her parents will be impacted my her example and get baptized too.

I am so amazed at the faith of M. She's twelve! She's doing this all alone! She's the only member in her family. She has plenty of support in the ward and in the youth, but in her family she's alone--but completely devoted! It's so awesome to see.

We had interviews with Presidente Detlefsen this week. They went well! I was amazed at the fact that I wasn't terrified beforehand! I know now that I can carry a conversation with a native speaker! How weird. How cool! It was neat because I walked in, he shook my hand, and he asked: "Do you have any sin you need to confess?" Bold, right? But I could say no and I knew that I really didn't have any sin! It was such an incredible feeling! It took me back to when I was preparing to go on a mission and preparing to go to the temple and my stake president asked me, "Do you feel like you are worthy to go to the temple?" Saying yes to that question was absolutely...what's the word? Exhilarating? I don't know. I don't know if there is a word! It just feels so good! I just thought that we need to be living our life now in a way that we can really say, "Yeah, I don't have any sin to confess." There's nothing better.

The gospel is so wonderful. It's purifying. Uplifting. Exhilarating. And I get to talk about it all day long. I love it.

I hope you are all doing well!

PS. Shawn Cowan, Derek Paulson, Maralyn Durrant, Hilary Larsen, Vanessa Storey, Metta Smith, Sarah Wirtz, Carrie Helland, Jan Rigby, Shauna Healey, Ali Tingey, Geoff Bodily, Devin Jackson, Alex Watkins, Sherilyn Shelley, Erin Jex, LaDawn Dalton, Krista Keddington, Allyson Gordon, and Grandpa Carlston: Thank you for your birthday wishes!! :)