September 24, 2012

A number with no name...


The big news of the week is that we are now living with a LATINA! Hermana Cydnee Squire is training a cute Hermana from Panama City! Her name is Hermana Doralys Batista. She's a convert, the only member in her family, and is already a killer missionary. (Mom and Dad Squire, if you're reading this: your daughter is an INCREDIBLE trainer! She is working many miracles and I feel honored to be able to live with her and learn from her example.)

To be completely honest, there were a lot of ups and downs this week, but the ups always seemed to make the downs seem like they never happened. :) We're still working with V a lot to help prepare her for her baptism, and she is really making strides. We're working hard to help her make friends with the members in the ward, and it has been so neat to be able to watch the ward members reach out to help and serve her.

Our area Barrio Pueyrredón is HUGE and sometimes I almost feel like we lose time walking from one end to the other between all of our appointments. But it is always so neat to see how many people the Lord places in our paths on the way there. There is ALWAYS someone on the way to every cita that seems to have been prepared down to the second to be able to talk to us. Lately I feel like I have been able to recognize those people that are more prepared just from the first few seconds of their first impression. I love those moments because I know that through the help of the spirit I am helping the Lord strengthen his church in this part of the world.

One day this week we were working hard trying to find new investigators. It had been a long day of rejection when we finally decided to go by an old ex-investigator. We arrived at her house and realized it was an apartment complex...and we didn't have her apartment number so that we could ring her door! There just happened to be a sign on the wall that listed all the last names of all the people in the complex, but her name wasn't there. We then noticed that two spaces on the board didn't have a name. Then we had the idea to try the two numbers that had no name to see if that is where she lived. We picked one number and pushed the button. A woman's voice came on the speaker, so we asked for MR. She said, "Yeah, that's me!" We were shocked! It was one of those moments when we realized just how much the Lord must need for us to go see her. We told her we were the missionaries and she had us come in right away! YEAH! The shock has still never worn off when people let us in their homes. I love it. :)

We went in and taught her a lesson, and she told us how she never was able to go to church so the missionaries stopped coming by. But then she explained how she really wants to, and we arranged to go with her the next day to have a little tour of the church. It went so well! She felt the spirit, and we were able to teach a little lesson to her in the sacrament room. She accepted a baptismal date and we are so excited for her! She'll need to get married, but we can already tell that she is more prepared to change her life to follow the example of Christ.

Okay, one last thing. I love the Prophet Joseph Smith. I am always so amazed by the life that he lived, and my love and respect for him never stops growing! Hermana Carson and I realized the other day just how powerful of an experience he had in the Sacred Grove. We were talking about how strong the spirit always is when we teach the first vision, and then we realized that during our entire missions, NEVER has their been an interruption when we quote the words of Joseph Smith's experience. Yeah, sometimes there are little distractions just before or just after, but NEVER during. It's like Satan has no power over the truthfulness of his experience. I love it! If that's not proof of the Restoration, I don't know what is!

Family, I love you. Thank you for all that you do. Thank your for your love for the Savior and for supporting me during my mission. I hope all is well, and I'll be looking forward to your letters next Monday to be able to hear from you. :)

-Hermana Vawdrey

Ps. I'm sorry if this letter is full of typos. My mind is working in Spanglish, and the email on this computer is formatted to be in Spanish so it thinks every work is spelled wrong anyway...ha

September 17, 2012

Staying in Bahía Blanca


So we received transfer calls this week! I will be staying in Pueyrredón with Hermana Carson for at least another 6 weeks. I´m excited to stay in Pueyrredón because this area has so much potential! Things are really starting to pick up here, and I am really excited to keep working with some of our investigators.

We have an investigator that is close to getting baptized. The poor thing is a 50-year-old widow, and has a lot of health struggles, so we´re working a lot with her to understand the healing power of the Atonement.

I love teaching the gospel! Can I just pause and say that? I LOVE teaching the gospel. I love it more and more as I teach it, and I love it the more and more I learn about it.

This week we did divisions with some of the other hermanas in Bahía Blanca. I went with Hermana Andrea Rodriguez from Uruguay! She is such a neat girl! We worked together for about two days, and I learned so much from her. She is a convert, served 5 MINI MISSONS before leaving on her mission, and she has a killer testimony. It was interesting to work with her and see a latin way of approaching missionary work, how to contact people in the streets, etc. Divisions are definitely inspired because it gives you a chance to morph more of your approach to work with another, and it comes out even better than before!

Hermana Rodriguez y yo

It was so incredible....increíble, many miracles happened just in the 2 days we worked together. It was a testimony building experience for me that the Lord knew that we could randomly be together for those 2 days, and so He prepared many people to put into our paths. Life is so much better and runs so much more smoothly when we just let the Lord be in charge, right?

Mmm...I just swatted a mosquito. They are absolutely EVERYWHERE! I´m wearing a lovely "layer" of mosquito bites all over my body. Spring is definitely here, and the change of seasons and the arrival of humidity has brought all of the mosquitos along with it. It´s been so nice lately, however! I went a whole week without needing my coat! I´m definitely excited about that.

Hermana Orton goes home tomorrow, and I send a little package with her to give to you. Mom and Dad she´ll probably be calling you soon. But just so you know, "it´s coming!!" I love you all! Have a great week!

-Hermana Vawdrey

I saw Hermana Baker today! She is now serving in Pigue!

Our surprise visit from Hermana Orton, who is on her way home to Provo!
Hermanas Squire, Orton, Israelson, Baker, me, and Carson

Hermana Squire ordered more placas--this is what she received!

September 10, 2012

"When we dedicate these structures, we dedicate our selves."

Hello Hello!

I can't believe it's already been another week! I know I probably say that just about every week, but really...I can't believe it! It was another busy week, and another week llena llena llena, full of miracles. :) 

On Saturday we had an activity with all of the youth in one of the wards in Bahía Blanca. We had an activity to give the youth an opportunity to see what it's like to be a missionary for a day. We started the day out at the church first thing in the morning to have personal study and companionship study. Then we all broke out into divisions and went to work in our areas. Hermana Carson and I went with this cute girl named GS. It was really fun to see her excitement and her eagerness to share the gospel. It was a fun experience for all of us to explain how we do different things in missionary work, and how easy it is to share your testimony with others. After the day we all met back at the church and had a testimony meeting. It was so great to hear the testimonies of these youth...future missionaries! The youth are so strong and so valiant! No wonder the Lord asks all of his young men to serve missions, they work miracles!

Yesterday however was by far the highlight of the week. It was the re-dedication of the Buenos Aires temple! It was so awesome!! On Saturday night they had a big celebration and all of the youth danced some folk dances that are characteristic of Argentina. Then Sunday was the actual re-dedication. President Henry B. Eyring, M. Russell Ballard and D. Todd Christofferson were all there. It was so neat to be able to experience a temple re-dedication in another language!! I loved it so much. They talked a lot about how as members of the church we always have desires to be better, to be more obedient, to be more united as a family, etc., and there is no other place to do that than in the temple. The temple is where we learn how to be more humble and submissive like children. I loved what President Henry B. Eyring said specifically: "When we dedicate these temples and structures, we dedicate ourselves." We dedicate ourselves to do the Lord's work here on the earth.

Buenos Aires Argentina Temple

As as missionary I know that I am dedicated to do the Lord's work. I am dedicated to serve the people in Argentina so that they can one day enjoy all of the blessings and covenants that we make in the temple. I am so grateful to serve in Argentina. I love this people so much! They are descendents of the people in the Book of Mormon, and I know the righteous are being led to the truth...I just have to help them find and recognize it.

I love you all! Watch some BYU football for me, and make sure you make some time this week to enjoy the temple!

-Hermana Vawdrey

September 4, 2012

"¿Se bautica? ¡Se bautizó!"

Family and Friends,

This week ended up being really busy because we had a baptism! His name is J. He's 22 years old. He first heard about los mormones because his girlfriend is a mormon. They started dating and he learned more and more about it. He read the whole Book of Mormon awhile ago and shortly after started going to church with his girlfriend and her family. My first Sunday here we talked to him a little bit because he had already met with the missionaries once. He told us that he wants to get baptized! All right!

It ended up being a little bit crazy trying to teach him everything before his baptism, but he is super eager and willing to learn more about the gospel. It's so awesome! I feel so privileged to be able to teach him and learn from his desire to be obedient.

The baptism itself was a little bit interesting. I think absolutely everything possible that could go wrong--went wrong. Before the baptism started our district leader was supposed to meet us at the church to bring the pants J would used to get baptized. The baptism itself was supposed to start at 7:00. At 7:00, J, the members, his girlfriend and her family were all there...but the elders still hadn't shown up, and neither had the bishop. And the bishop was the one who was going to baptize him! Ah! Then our mission president shows up!! We were stressing out. The elders were on their way, but stuck on a bus, and the bishop had written the time down wrong and thought it started at 8:00. Oh this time Presidente had to leave, but it was still fun to see him. :)

Anyway, to make a long story short, everyone finally gets there and we start the meeting. After the talk everyone goes to the font and we realize that no one has the key to open the doors in front of the font so everyone can watch! AHH! We share the church building with the other ward, and I guess the other elders have the keys. They have always been there for the baptisms in the past, so it never occurred to anyone that we didn't have the key. Hermana Carson and I were totally stressed out, and felt so humiliated. We started making calls to see if someone could bring the key and then we realize that it's quiet and that there aren't so many people out in the hall. Then we heard a bishop's voice say "en el nombre de Jesucristo, amen," followed by a loud splash. Everyone ended up going in through the bathroom to watch. Oh my. What a baptism to remember. hahaha I hope to never experience one like that again. But what matters is that it happened. He still got baptized!! And he was so happy. :) Bishop said before he got baptized he was super quiet and nervous, but right after "nunca dejó de hablar!" (he wouldn't stop talking!) He just kept saying things like he was so happy and he felt so good and he never wanted to leave the water!

I love seeing that change in people. That's what the gospel does. Even if we have to witness it from the bathroom door. :) I love you all!

-Hermana Vawdrey

Conferencia con Elder Vinas