December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!!

Queridos amigos y familia,

¡FELIZ AÑO! 2013 is already here! I can't believe it. Family, it was SO fun to be able to see and talk to all of you on Christmas. I feel so blessed to call you my family. You Vawdreys do incredible things! I'm glad to hear that things are going well and that you had a nice Christmas.

I too had a good Christmas. It was a little bit sad in the beginning, like I told you on Christmas, because we received Emergency Transfers. Hermana Gallegos and I were heartbroken that we were getting separated because we truly had become best friends. We were only together for 2 weeks, but they were some of my favorite 2 weeks of my mission. Emergency transfers don't happen that often, but there is always a reason. The mission president knows what he is doing because he is guided by the inspiration of the Lord. I don't know details of why there were emergency transfers, but it really doesn't matter. It feels right! My new companion's name is Hermana Andrea Rodriguez from URUGUAY! She joined the church along with her parents and her brother about 10 years ago. She loves missionary work, and served many mini missions before she actually left on her mission. She has a beautiful testimony and I am excited to serve with her.

Ooh! Good news, we moved this week! We now live in our area! You have no idea how much of a relief it is. Now we can actually work until 9pm, and we don't have to pay money to travel to and from our area each day. Our new place is really nice, and quite roomy! We're really excited about it. It's a big building that actually used to be a hotel. We live on the seventh floor, so we have a neat view of the city. The only draw back is that we have a clothes washer, but no place to hook it up to the water. haha We're hoping to get that fixed this week. But other than that we're excited about the change.

Bad news. I found a lice bug in my hair this week. It was dead...but still. Merry Christmas? Mom, stop worrying! I used the lice kit you sent me and it worked like a charm. I'm fine. Happy and lice free! Hermana Carson had lice a while ago, and we're thinking that maybe with the move some of the lice got spread around. Okay. That's disgusting... Here's a question for you, why did God create lice? ha I know there is always a purpose for everything, but for lice I don't have the answer.

Other bad news. I had a whole bunch of pictures I was about to send you and the computer erased my memory card. :( Next week I guess. Dad, I had the picture for you to crop in the family picture...but I guess I'll try to send it again next week.

Guess what?! "I", the lady I told you about last week, she went to church yesterday! We were absolutely thrilled. She loved it too. She wasn't feeling well after church because of some health problems she has, so we arranged for her to have a blessing. It was such a neat experience. The spirit was so strong!

Good news! The church is true! I have absolutely no doubt. I am grateful to be able to devote myself full time to share the miraculous message with my brothers and sisters in Argentina. :) Thank you to ALL of you for you love, support, prayers, and encouragement. And here's a shout out to all of you who have contributed financially for Brian and me to serve missions. Thank you so much! I am humbled to be blessed by your desire to help edify the kingdom of God on the Earth.

I hope you all have a very happy new year! I love you all!

Un besito,
-Hermana Vawdrey

December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

Queridos Amigos y familia,

Merry Christmas EVE! I hope you're all well, and I hope you're all enjoying the joy of the Christmas season. Here in Argentina it's a little bit different. Today we woke up to a HUGE rain storm. We were literally wading through rivers as we crossed the streets to do our grocery shopping. I have to say that this is definitely a first to have a rainy Christmas Eve!

Merry Christmas from Argentina!

This past week was a really fun one filled with service, christmas carols, and lots of testifying of my Savior, Jesus Christ. First of all, we had our Mission Christmas activity on Tuesday. It was a really neat day. We went to the main park in Centro and also to a disabilities hospital to sing Christmas carols. It was so awesome, 150ish missionaries singing. The spirit was so strong! My favorite was a guy that played his air guitar when we sang Silent Night. :)

Later on that day we had lunch, a talent show, and a little devotional with Presidente Parreño. Hermana Newton and I did a little clogging dance for the talent show! Gosh, it was so fun! We just threw a little acapella dance together from some of the few steps that we both remembered. And Mom and Dad! I got your letters! Thank you so much. It was such a great surprise! At the end of the day on Tuesday, Presidente and his wife told us they all had a little gift for each one of us, and it ended being those letters! It was so great to open a little bit of "home". Thank you!

Yesterday we had a really neat experience. Hermana Gallegos and I went out to work after lunch, and we both thought: we better go by and see our investigator "I". Thank goodness we followed that spiritual prompting because when we went to go see her, we could tell that she was feeling a little down. We went into her house and started chatting. She told us that earlier that day she was coming home from work, and she had just received her Christmas bonus. She was all excited thinking about the things she could do with her children for Christmas with that extra money. But when she got off the bus two men came up to her and stole her laptop, and all of the money she had just received.

I could feel her sadness and pain as she told me this story. This poor woman has gone through many hard things, but she still had a smile on her face! "Chicas, If I told you I had a fridge full of food for tomorrow I would be lying, but I have faith in God that somehow we'll be okay." :) We talked about the comfort we can receive through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and later sang some Christmas carols. It was such a neat experience. The Lord has been preparing "I", and unfortunately like Joseph Smith once said, "Sometimes the Lord needs to bring us low before he can lift us higher."

I have a very strong testimony of that principle. A lot of times hard things happen and we wonder why it has to happen to us. Why do I have to worry about this right now? What did I do wrong? Why can't I just learn this lesson some other way? It's because the Lord knows us better that we know ourselves. We just need to trust Him that even if we may be walking through a big thunderstorm right now, there is a beautiful, warm and calm sunny day just around the corner.

I hope all of you choose to have a Merry Christmas this year. Things may not go as planned, or it may not be completely ideal...yet the real reason why we have Christmas is because of Jesus Christ. He was born, He died, and now He LIVES! Like one of my favorite hymns says, "Yo sé que vive mi Señor!" (I know that my Redeemer Lives!) May you all feel the joy of Christ in your hearts this Christmas!

-Hermana Vawdrey

Serving at the disabilities hospital

Las Hermanas de Bahia Blanca

Las Hermanas con Papa Noel

Elder Hall - He was in my MTC district

Feliz Navidad!

Our District

December 17, 2012

It's all because of Christ

Hello Hello!

Oh gosh, I'm so excited right now! I get to talk to you all so soon!! Christmas is coming! I am SO grateful for whoever it was that invented Skype! I'll be talking to you in just a week! Tomorrow we have our big christmas activity as a mission. As part of it we are going to sing christmas carols at one of the main parks in Centro and also in a hospital. It'll be a neat experience.

This week was absolutely incredible. I don't even know where to start. We saw so many miracles. I was able to talk to so many people that the Lord has been preparing to receive us. I am so excited to be companions with Hermana Gallegos. She is an incredible missionary and I am grateful everyday to be able to testify with her each day. She's a stinkin' spaz! So goofy! haha We have a lot in common, we laugh all day long, and we are united. She wants to learn English, so we practice random phrases when we're walking in the street. Her favorites are: "I am Sister Gallegos!" and "I am Hoppy!" (happy) :) She's practicing so that she can talk to you on Christmas. 

Hna Gallegos y yo con una joven mujer

Okay. Remember forever ago when we felt prompted to teach a part member family about family history work? The oldest daughter J was really interested and starting doing it! Then she moved to Buenos Aires for school. Bummer. We thought that was the last time we would see her. Well, this past Saturday we ate lunch with her family and she was there! She has been reading the Book of Mormon, has been going to institute, and was receiving the lessons from the missionaries in Buenos Aires. She had a baptismal interview and everything, but still had some questions and doubts and so nothing happened after that. We are really excited because Hermana Gallegos' conversions story is really similar to J's (because Hermana Gallegos was very very Evangelico before and had many doubts.) She was able to share some of her experiences with J and it really seemed to help her. We both feel like she is close to understanding and receiving the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we are really grateful that the Lord trusts us to help her.

On Saturday we had another activity with the youth in Bahía Blanca. A young woman came with Hermana Gallegos and me, and she was able to see many of the neat experiences that we have as missionaries. She contacted in the park with us, we found some new investigators, and she was able to be there when we were talking to J. So cool! She told us afterward that she really wants to serve a mission. Not all of her family are members, but she said she feels like the Lord will be able to help them accept the gospel through her service.The Youth are so awesome! She's only 16! That same night we had our ward christmas party. It was a great turn out. And one of the investigators that we found that morning went to the activity! We were so excited to see her there.

Actividad del barrio

The gospel works magic. It changes hearts. It changes misery to joy. And it's all because of Christ. I know he lives! How wonderful that we have this Christmas season to celebrate the miracle of Jesus Christ.

Family and friends, I love you all! Have a great week!
-Hermana Vawdrey

El Centro

December 10, 2012


Queridos Amigos,'

This past week was a big week. I've got a lot to write! The biggest news of the week is that we got transfer calls! Hermana Carson was called to serve in Mar del Plata, Barrio Centro. I am so excited for her. We ended the transfer really great because we had so much success together. I feel like we accomplished and we learned together everything that the Lord needed us to. It's been a great ride!

I was assigned to stay in this great area and my new companion's name: Hermana Gallegos! For you Americanos, her last name is pronounced: "Guy-eh-gos". She's so awesome! I'm super excited to be her companion. She's my first Latina companion! She's from Santiago, Chile. She looks like a princess!! I'm serious. She came from Castéx, where she was serving with Hermana Newton. (Remember her?! My "hija"! Hermana Newton and I were companions in Puerto.) Hermana Gallegos has been on her mission about 8ish months and seems like an incredible missionary. She's the only member in her family! They are all very Evangelico. She joined the Church about 3 years ago and has an incredible love for the work. I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store for us.

Hermana Squire is now with Hermana Gomez! YES! She's so great! She's Hermana Jensen's hija. I lived with Hermana Gomez in Puerto for 3 weeks until my transfer here, so I'm excited to be able to live with her again and learn from her example and love of the gospel.

I received good news the other day. When Hermana Newton and I were in Puerto, we were working a lot with some recent converts who had started to go inactive: R and P. We decided to get them excited about reading the Book of Mormon all the way through. Well I heard that just this past Fast Sunday, R bore his testimony and talked about how he's reading the Book of Mormon, and he bore testimony about how much he loves the Book of Mormon. Not only that, but he is now active! BOOM BABY! The Book of Mormon is so cool. So cool! The Book of Mormon is truly the key to conversion. I love how there is an endless list of people who's lives have been changed by reading the Book of Mormon. It's only because it's true!

Okay...other news. Last week was crazy so I didn't really have time to explain. Since Elders can now leave on their missions when they are 18, and girls can leave when they are 19 years old, they have changed the MTC a little bit. Missionaries won't be there as long now to accomodate all of the missionaries. With this change, it affected all of the dates of when transfers end. Originally I was going to finish my mission on March 5th, now I will be finishing on March 26th. Sorry Mom. You gotta wait 3 extra weeks. I had the choice to go home a transfer early, but that would put me at going home about a month and a half early--which I don't want to do. I was called to serve a mission for 18 months, and I want to help the Lord with His work. :)  I know that like it says in Amos 3:7 "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, save he revealeth, his secrets unto his servents the prophets." This change of transfers was made through revelation. This change is what the Lord wants. I know He needs me to help His children for a little bit longer, and I am willing to do it! Just like the family motto, right? I will GO AND DO what the Lord hath commandeth! (1 Nephi 3:7)

Family, I love you! Thank you for supporting me on my mission. This gospel is incredible. It's true. And I am so grateful to be called to share it with my brothers in sisters in Argentina. I hope you all have a great week! CHAMO!!
-Hermana Vawdrey

A cute girl that got baptized in Barrio Arias

Check out these pancakes!

Hermana Gallegos!

Other thoughts:

  • Argentines think they have to eat hard boiled eggs with EVERYTHING! On hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, tacos, etc. 
  • I'm realizing that I am now brainwashed into thinking that I have to eat everything with a fork and a knife. Ha!
  • Paul and Lindsey--I know this is super belated, but congrats on being able to move! I'm excited for you! Love you!
  • Devin Kelm--I was thinkin'about you the other day. Hope you're well!

December 4, 2012

Jo Jo Jo!!!

Hi Family! Hello Friends!

We're already in the last week of the transfer! Hermana Carson has been here in Barrio Pueyrredón for 7 MONTHS now, so we're excited to see if there will be some big changes. Five Hermanas will finish their missions this transfer, and only three new Hermanas are coming, so it'll be interesting to see what changes the Lord wants to make en la Misión Bahía Blanca.

This week was fantastic. The Lord is really taking care of us. He knows our efforts. I know if we do our part...if we make up our mind of what we want to accomplish, he will always do His part! This is one of the biggest lessons that I learned this week. The Lord loves us, and He wants what we want. And if it's a good thing, He will help us accomplish it!

I can't remember if I already told you, but lately we have started teaching the lessons to a menos activo named M. She got baptized in another area about 20 years ago, and then went really in-active. She later moved to Bahía Blanca and recently decided that she wants to come back to the church and be an active member. The other day we taught her the Plan of Salvation, and it was so fun to watch her mind just spinning as she applied the doctrine to her life. She is working on quitting smoking, and on her own she came up with a plan to quit by involving scripture study in the Book of Mormon every morning! YES! I wanted to cry. The Book of Mormon heals our souls when we look for help, and she is starting to understand that. Then later on that week she told us that she feels bad because she has to work on Sundays--which means she can't go to church. Well this week she decided to quit her job because she wants to keep the commandments by going to church. She later told us that the next day she found a new job where she wouldn't have to work Sundays. YEAH!!

The Lord knows us. He knows our needs. He knows our desires. If we want to keep his commandments, if we want to understand his gospel, we only need to show him through our actions that we want it. (Sergio! Hola!! :) Sé que está leyendo esta carta)  Then he ALWAYS helps us do it. He ALWAYS keeps his word. We just have to do our part.

Ah! Remember J?! The guy that got baptized in September? Well he's preparing to get married...AND he's preparing to receive the sacrament. I couldn't be happier. And he's looking forward to going to the temple to do baptisms for the dead! I'm so excited for him!

MOM! I got your first Christmas package! THANK YOU! I love it! I already opened up one of the 12 Days of Christmas gifts because I was just too excited. You're so creative, Mom. Thank you for all of the time and effort you put into it. Like you said, I would assume that the second package arrived to Argentina, hopefully it's just not stuck in customs. I'm hoping I'll get it on Wednesday.

Bahaha I almost died laughing today. We went to the grocery store (how do you spell that?!) and all of these Christmas decorations were up. Then we looked up at the ceiling and there were a bunch of signs that said: "Jo"  Jo Jo Jo Jo Jo Jo Jo! haha Let me Spanish the J has a sound like the H in English, so: Ho ho ho! Like Santa! haha I feel like I can't explain that very well. Hopefully that makes sense. But I like to think that Argentina was really just cheering for JO JO JO Jordan for getting baptized! :) ha Lame joke, I know.

Family. I love you. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for loving the Savior and the gospel. I hope you are well. Have a great week!


Random pictures:

Argentina still uses these old-fashioned keys!

Got a surprise visit from Hnas Jensen and Gomez today. Love them!