June 25, 2012

I'm going to be a trainer!

So. BIG NEWS: I'm going to be a trainer! Ahh. It still hasn't really kicked in, I don't think. I'm feeling a big mix of emotions right now to be honest, but mostly excitement and a little bit of nerves. I just feel so grateful and honored that the Lord trusts me enough to train one of Sis servants right now! That's a big deal! I'm sure I'll be spending most of my time praying in the next little bit so that I can know what to do and how to help my new "hija" learn how to be a missionary. I'm so excited to meet her. She comes out here to Mar del Plata like Wednesday or Thursday and I don't know much more than that. I'll let you in on all the details next week.

Hermana Jensen will now be companions with Hermana Cindy Linco from Chile (she actually came to Argentina the same time I did!) She's really sweet and we're excited to have her here in Puerto. Hermana Jensen and I are feeling a little bit ripped off since we don't get to be companions anymore, but we're so glad that we at least get to still live in the same house. I'm excited for her to be with a latina too, because her Castellano is going to be awesome!

We had big hopes for S to get baptized last weekend...but he didn't do his part to receive his answer. It's always so devastating. Agency is such a critical gift we are trusted with, and some simple decisions just change absolutely everything! We're still working hard to find new investigators however, and he'll definitely still be in our prayers that one day he'll humble himself enough to listen to the Spirit testify of the truth and get baptized!!

This week we also had a zone conference. It was the last one we will have with Presidente Detlefsen because he leaves at the end of June. It was really good. He talked a lot about how important the Book of Mormon is. And I loved that he explained that it is the best thing an investigator can read because by reading it, it starts out with a family who had to give up everything and change. It's so true. Awesome.

He also had us read in the Bible in Matthew 14 when Christ asks Peter to walk on the water and when there were huge storms. Yet Presidente pointed out that Christ knew before the boat left the shore that there would be a big storm. But he left anyway! We did the same thing. In the spirit world we accepted the Plan, and we knew there would be challenges and "storms," but we're here anyway! He then pointed out that Christ waits to calm the storm until after the trial of faith. All we have to do is trust Him that He can calm every one of our storms. If we turn to Him for help and comfort, our storms will always be calmed.

I love my Savior. I know He lives. I know this church is true and I am so grateful to be a member. I love you all.

Hope things are well!
-Hermana Vawdrey

Our Distrito: Elder Hawes, Elder Halls, Elder Flores, yo, y la Hna Jensen

Presidente Detlefesen

Las hermanas en Mar del Plata

Mamma Hall, your son told me the other day
that you had found my blog. So, I figured
I'd attach a photo of your son so that you could see
that he's still full of energy, smiles, and jokes.
And, he's got clean teeth! :)

June 19, 2012

Jump off the cliff already!

Queridos amigos,

Hermana Jensen and I just had a really good week. We had a lot of experiences that touched our hearts and helped us remember how incredible our calling is to be missionaries of the Lord. We have been called specifically to serve His children in Bahía Blanca because He has been specifically preparing them to hear something we are going to say, or see something that we are going to do while we are here. It's incredible.

First of all, earlier this week Hermana Jensen came out of the bathroom with a grossed out look on her face and told me that she thought she had lice. Uhh. Luckily we had a lice comb in the apartment (because I guess it's quite common to get lice here in Puerto)...and sure enough we found another lice bug. But, she refuses to say she had lice, just that she had a lice bug in her hair. haha Still. DISGUSTING. We caught it earlier enough that she was able to shampoo her hair really good a couple times, wash all of her sheets and bedding, and it's now taken care of. I felt so bad for her though! It's just part of living in Argentina I guess, because sanitization doesn't really exist and she really could have gotten it from anywhere or anyone, especially since we beso everyone everywhere we go. Yuck. However I'm praying that I won't be "lucky" enough to get lice while I'm on my mission. I'll be crossing my fingers, and toes, and arms, and...eyes... haha

That same day we were out working and looking for new investigators and two of them pretty much just fell into our hands! It was so cool. The Lord knew our efforts, our desires and our struggles, and He was (and is) always willing to fill in the gap to help us have success.

We saw many miracles this week. One of them is named S. To be completely honest, he frustrates me so much and confuses me all the time by his "willingness to do something" and then not following through. Yet somehow through all of that I just love him! I desire his well-being and salvation so bad it's impossible to even put into words. I just want him to be happy and to have everything he and his daughter would ever want. We have been teaching him for about 2 months now and he really is just a unique investigator because he is really intelligent and he really wants to understand everything. But it makes it hard for him to have faith because he wants to just know it all, rather than take a step of faith and "jump off the cliff" and just trust that the Lord will take care of him.

Every time we bring up baptism he will not agree to a baptismal date. But this week we felt really strongly that we needed to ask him again. We went to the lesson fasting, and did everything we could to bring the spirit. At the end Hermana Jensen and I both bore our testimony that we know the church is true and that we know the Book of Mormon is true. After that we brought up baptism again, but this time it was different. He didn't get all defensive. We told him how we have taught him all the lessons and now he is only lacking one thing. That's when he was like, "Yeah. I need to get baptized!" We set his baptismal date for Saturday June 23 and he accepted! He has his baptismal interview tomorrow, and if all goes well tomorrow he'll get baptized on Saturday! I can hardly wait. I taught an "S" in the MTC too, so I'm so excited to be able to finally baptize him!

All right, one last thing. Lately I've been thinking a lot about sacrifice. Our zone leaders talked to us about it at a district meeting awhile ago and it was really good. They asked us two questions.

On a scale of 1-10, how happy are you?
On a scale of 1-10, how much did you sacrifice today?

They talked about how the two go hand-in-hand. The more we sacrifice, the more we serve, the happier we are! So that's my challenge to you. If you want to be happier, serve more. Sacrifice more! It's always worth it!

Hope all is well :) Happy Father's day to all of you Fathers. I hope it was a special day!
-Hermana Vawdrey

It has been so humid this week! All of our papers are wavy!

Missionary Ninja Turtles

Ward Activity! Relief Society and some of the recent converts.

This tree looks like it belongs in a Dr. Seuss book.
We laugh at it all the time!

June 11, 2012

Ha! What?

Family and Friends,

About a week ago we were doing some contacting and we talked to a young man named G. On Wednesday we had plans to do divisions with some of the Ward Missionaries in the far end of our area. It was pouring rain all day that day so we ended up changing our plans. Daniela and I went to go to a couple of appointments and I felt prompted to go see G again. And I'm so glad we did! Daniela and I were able to teach him lesson one and he accepted a baptismal date without a problem! What? We were so excited.

Not only that, but the spirit was so strong. It was one of those moments when I really realized how far I have come with the language because I took initiative to teach the entire lesson and had no problem at all! I went a whole lesson without saying "cómo se dice?" o "qué es...?" o "a ver..." ha The words were just flowing! All of the practice and studying is finally paying off! 9 months later...hahaha I was so excited and so grateful to my Heavenly Father for that experience because it helped me remember how much potential my Heavenly Father really does have in me.

Having to learn a new language is just an interesting experience. I don't know how else to say it!  There are still moments every day where someone says something to you and you think you know what's going on, and you think you understand...and then all of a sudden you realize you really don't! ha And all you can do is laugh :) Just yesterday one of the ward missionaries came up to me and said something about the priesthood and I thought I was following, but then he walked away! ha What? I hope it wasn't important. haha

But I'm so grateful that I get to be learning a language right now. I am learning so much! I am learning patience, practice, and I'm learning to have more trust and faith in the Lord. I love this people so much and I am so grateful that I get to be here to teach them the gospel in their language.

The church is true!! Even in cold, tile-floored, squeaky-doored capillas (chapels) en Argentina!

I love you all!
-Hermana Vawdrey

Mmm... Anyone hungry for a "Barfy" hamburger? haha

Our District: Back: Elder Galan, Elder Hawes, Elder Hall,
Elder Flores (District Leader), Front: Hermana Jensen y yo

We made homemade empanadas for lunch today. We were so excited!

June 7, 2012

To be one of your word

Hope all is going well and that you are all enjoying your first bit of summer!

We had kind of an interesting week. I really realized that there is a time to reap and a time to sow...and for some reason this was simply a week to sow. We worked so much and so hard and didn't have much to show for it. Yet I got to share my testimony with so many people and I have no doubt that it touched their heart. We planted many seeds. We talked to many people who had some interesting questions. Some of them were almost funny because it was like they were so confused that they couldn't even form their confusion into a question! Yet the Lord helped us in so many ways by helping us with the spirit to know what to say or what to ask to help them understand or to help them realize the importance and the gift of prayer so that they could find the answers.

The beginning of this week started off with a little bit of a scare. We went to C and G's house for lunch, and G was all mad. They live in a very simple house and they have been having problems with the lighting for awhile now. Members of the ward told them that they would come by to help them with it, but then they didn't come by when they said they would. G was all mad and told us that the was going to leave the church! That she was going to visit her new grandson in La Plata, and that she would never come back. She said she was only feeding us because she promised us to, but that we wouldn't be allowed to come to her house again. Yeah.....what?!! So we tried to talk reason into her by helping her realize that if she really is a woman "who keeps her word," she needs to keep her word with God! She promised him when she got baptized that she would follow him and remember him!

Even after that she was still like, "No, no...I'm going and I'm not coming back." It was heart breaking. We explained to her that that's not the answer, and that now that she knows what real happiness is, she wouldn't have that again if she were to leave the church. At his point I started crying because I would never be able to see G again! I'm not normally a crier in front of people too, so that was a big deal! Hermana Jensen said a final prayer before we left that the Lord would help her soften her heart and remember the blessings she has recieved from the Church. And after the prayer G said she changed her mind and that she would come back to church--that she would forgive the people who hadn't kept their word, so that she could keep her word with God.

The Lord helped us so much that day because we didn't know what to do! We couldn't let someone leave the church for something silly like that! Yet as silly as it may sound, I feel like the Lord blessed me with the compassion to cry and Hermana Jensen with the words to say in prayer to help soften her heart. He works in marvelous ways! "Stunning." "Exquisite." "Darling." hahaha But really, He does. All we have to do is let him!

I love you all!

Jeanette Mullen, Tyler Alsop, Aubri LeBaron Robinson, Joseph Savage, Lynette Neff, Niccole Hanks, Joanne Grenny, Kristen Stoll, Jessica Dewsnup, Susanne Kush, Alyssa and Chris Smeda AND BABY HUSDON, Lisa Lundburg (Congrats on the engagement!) Matt LeBaron, and Chad Healey--Thank you for the birthday wishes!!