August 27, 2012

Another "P"

Friends and Family,

A LOT happened this week. The big news is that we had emergency transfers. One of the Hermanas in Bahía Blanca had to go home to have surgery on her foot, so I got transfered to Bahía Blanca--Barrio Pueyrredón.  So I've now served in: Pigüé... Puerto... Pueyrredón...ha that's a lot of P's!

The beginning of this week was awesome! We had tons of lessons, found a lot of new investigators, and we were able to witness many miracles by watching people's hearts change. On Thursday we were at home doing our weekly planning when our zone leaders called us and told me that I was being transfered. I was instructed to go to the bus terminal immediately to buy a ticket and leave as soon as I could that night. To be completely honest, that moment was awful. I just started crying because I had thought that I had at least three more weeks left in Puerto to finish the transfer. Yet amidst all the tears and the emotions, Nefi's words kept coming to my mind: "Iré y haré lo que el Señor ha mandado" (I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded...) Hermana Newton and I took a taxi to the terminal right after that to buy the ticket, and as reality sunk in, the Lord helped reassure me that it really was time to go. I had done my part and now he needs me somewhere else.

All day long that day (Thursday) it was pouring rain. The day ended up being complete chaos with all the citas (appointments), trying to see my converts and friends one last time, packing, etc. Then right when we were about to get in a taxi to go to the terminal, the asistentes called us and said the freeway was closed because of all the rain, and the bus wouldn't be leaving that night. After all that?! ha It's funny now..but in that moment it wasn't so funny.

First thing in the morning on Friday we headed to the terminal to change my bus ticket. We ended up having to wait a couple hours for a bus to leave though because the road were totally flooded (see picture.) It was absolutely crazy! Water was still covering the entire road for some part of the drive. When you looked out the window it looked like we were driving through a lake! It was definitely a tender mercy that we arrived to Bahía safely, because the roads were still dangerous because of all the water. I arrived late Friday night with enough time to unpack and get all settled.

My new companion is Hermana Ashley Carson. She's 22, from Midvale, UT, and has been on her mission for about 9 months. Right now we're actually living with two other Hermanas: Hermana Marie Israelsen y Hermana Cydnee Squires. (Mom, I believe you're friends with Hermana Squire's mom on Missionary Mom) There were some complications in their area so they will be living in our apartment until the end of the transfer.

The apartment is teeeeeny. Seriously. Maybe it's better if I don't send pictures. haha But it works. We've got what we need. Pueyrredón definitely has a different feel to it. The people seem to be a little bit more well off...well, some of them. They're more sophisticated, yet they seem to be more laid back. They're not as uptight as they are in Mar del Plata. It feels safer here, and it's cleaner! There's not dog poo every 2 feet! YEAH! There's concrete everywhere and lots of tall buildings. We live on the 11th floor of a building. It's fun to look down and see everyone running around. :)

All right, not much time left, but I think that's the gist of what's been going on down her in Argentina. I hope all is well at home! I love you!!

-Hermana Vawdrey

Other highlight:
In my last lesson with O he started bearing his testimony about the Atonement. It was absolutely INCREDIBLE! There aren't even words to express the joy I felt to know he just gets it! He is doing so great. He is so strong.

Funny story:
First of all, Argentina is so trucho. Today we cut up a bunch of vegetables to cook in the oven. When we went to go turn on the oven it wouldn't light! We ended up knocking on our neighbor's door and asked to use her oven. She was super sweet and was willing to help us out, but then her oven wasn't working well either! The knob that turns the gas on wouldn't stay pushed in, so she propped up a broom against the wall and balanced another wood stick on it to push the gas knob in. ha I can't really put it into words, but it was so funny!

And in case you're wondering, the veggies were delicious.


An incredible family we've been teaching in Puerto

My last lesson with O

The famous Sergio C...he came to see me on my last night in Puerto :)

At the terminal: Hnas Newton, Gomez, y Jensen

Hermana Juli Jensen--one of my best friends!

View of the road from my bus window...can barely see yellow lines!

My new companion: Hermana Carson

August 20, 2012

12 months down, 6 more to go!


It's been such a busy week. I was dying for a P-day! Thanks for all of your letters and the pictures. It's so fun to see everyone growing up! Mom, guess what! I got your package finally! Thank you! And thanks for the lice kit! haha Hopefully I won't need to use it, but it feels good to be prepared!

This week we had a multi-zone conference because Elder Viñas, of the 70 came. It was a great conference. It was centered a lot on the topic of the Atonement, and I learned so much. It's always incredible to all be in one room with about 150ish missionaries. The spirit was so strong, and it was incredible to think that we are all here to use the Lord's Atonement to spread the gospel all over the world.

The Buenos Aires Temple open house was this week, and many of our recent converts, menos activos, and even investigators were able to go! It was a HUGE blessing to many prayers and fasts. It's been so neat to see the change in countenence of these people as they have come back from the temple. O went! S also went (our "eternigator" ha he better get baptized soon, speaking of....) But it was just a great week to focus on the blessings of the temple and help everyone get ready to go. Unfortunately we weren't able to go, and I can't wait to actually go through the temple again. It's been so long.

Spring is officially coming! And I think people seemed to be a lot more smiley in the street today because of it. :) I'm ready for it.

I celebrated my one year mark on my mission this week. (And I finished reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish to celebrate!!!) But one year? Oh my. I can't believe that. I feel like I've done so much and nothing at all at the same time. It's weird how time makes you feel that way. We had a Noche de Hogar (Family Home Evening) planned the night of my "cumple mes" and the other Hermanas turned it into a surprise party for me. I was TOTALLY surprised. :) They're really thoughtful. They had decorated the house all up with balloons and a sign that said "Feliz 1er Añito" haha I loved it.

Anyway, I hope all is well on the home front. You're in my prayers! Love you all!

-Hermana Vawdrey

August 13, 2012


Hey! It was so great to hear from you all today. I´m glad to hear you're all living up the last part of summer. I can't believe that it's already time for school to start. And that Tyler and Angi are both going to high school? What?! Sometimes I forget in the real world that everyone and everything keeps on going. haha
It's been a good week again here in P-U-erto. Full of stinky smells, funny people, and other awesome experiences. We found a lot of new investigators this weekend, which was so great. Hermana Newton ("Wñutom" as an investigator has on his phone with his list of contacts. ...Argentines freak out when they see our last names full of weird consants) and I have been reflecting a lot on how much our area has changed and grown since we first started serving as companions. When she first got here we had pretty much no investigators, it was the middle of winter, and no one wanted to open up their door to talk to us. But now here we are after working super hard for a whole transfer, our work is finally paying off! It takes so long to plan for all of our investigators for weekly planning that I think we both secretly dread it. haha How awful. But it´s true. And I'm so humbled to see how much the Lord has blessed us after our long and cold trial of faith of working with everything we had for a whole transfer. He knew that the reward would be so much more rewarding if we had to work really hard for it, and I am super grateful for that.
With the Buenos Aires temple opening up soon, we passed out flyers about it one day and got a bunch of really good contacts and references. My favorite was when I went up and talked to a lady and gave her a paper, and she was like, "Mire chica, I can't. I don´t have time to talk to you. I have to walk my dog because it's been inside and so it hasn't peed all night long. " hahahaha Thanks, Lady.
Oh yeah! Big change! Hermana Jensen is training a latina! Her name is Hermana Gomez, from Buenos Aires. She's 28, very sophisticated and particular. She's a brand new missionary, and it's been really fun to learn from her new "greenie" attitude and perspective.
This week was really great because I finally feel like my Castellano is to the point where it doesn't hold me back from what I want to say. I still may not say everything gramatically correct, but I can finally teach using the analogies and examples that I have wanted to use for months! We´ve been teaching a lot of young kids lately too, which has been really fun. It's made me grateful for all the experience and practice I've had with younger kids since I'm the youngest sibling. It's crazy how even to the smallest detail, the Lord has been preparing me for my mission all off my life.
All right, time is short. I hope everyone is good and happy! I love you all! Thanks for all of your prayers and support!

-Hermana Vawdrey

August 7, 2012

We just need to trust Him

Today I'm starting another transfer! It's so crazy how fast time is going by. I'm going to hit my one year mark in the mission next week. SO WEIRD! We received transfer calls this passed Friday and I will be staying here in Puerto with Hermana Newton. I'm excited to have more time to serve and learn with her. We work well together and I'm excited to see what miracles will come during this transfer. There was a surprise however, because Hermana Linco was transfered back to Bahía to Barrio Hospital. She was only here in Puerto for one transfer--6 weeks, but it's been neat to see how that was the will of the Lord. Hermana Jensen will also be staying in Puerto and she's going to be training! I am super excited for her. I think the world of her and I'm excited that we get to be here together in Puerto a little bit longer.

Luckily it's starting to warm up here in Mar del Plata. It's still weird to say that it's August and I walk around in a coat all day! Spring is coming however, and we're looking forward to it.

Big news! The Puerto (port) is going to open up again! I can't even remember if I had told you if it closed...Hmm. Well, like half of the people here work out in the Puerto and work with the fish and everything. There was some law that passed a few months ago that required people to pay an extra expensive fee. This put lots of people out of work and the Puerto ended up closing. Things were bad for about 4 months because people didn't have work, money, food, or anything. But news is that it's going to open up again and people will have work! Yay! The people already seem to be a little happier today. :)

Missionary work is going well here. We taught two guys a lot this week: E and M. They're super evangelico so they say Amen after just about every sentence we say. haha Or they call us their Angeles. Oh dear... But they're reading the Book of Mormon and love talking about Jesus. :)

This week I really studied a lot about obedience. I love in the Pearl of Great Price in Moses 5:6-7 when the angel asks Adam why he offers sacrifices. He responds to say that he does it because the Lord told him to, even though he doesn't understand why. What faith and obedience! I hope to be like that one day to do things even without an explanation why, because if the Lord tells us to do something there's no reason to doubt! He knows what he's doing, and all we need to do is trust Him.

One last thought from the famous Preach My Gospel: "As you obey, you increase in faith, knowledge, wisdom, testimony, protection, and freedom."

Hope all is well!
-Hermana Vawdrey

Mi Distrito

Mom's famous cheese braid is now famous in Argentina too!