January 22, 2013

Coincidence? No!

Queridos amigos y familia,

I just want to start out and say, BRIAN! Elder Vawdrey! You are so cool! Thank you for your e-mail today. I truly view you as a spiritual giant, and I am proud to be able to call you my brother :)

Well here we are again. Another Monday! Crazy. We had such an incredible week. We witnessed so many miracles. We saw so many fruits of our labors, and I feel so humbled every day to be able to do so with Christ's name on my chest. Several missionaries en la Misión Bahía Blanca finish their missions today, and it's starting to freak me out because this is my last transfer. I'm next. It makes me feel sick. I'm not ready to be done! Thank goodness this last transfer is a long one. :) I'm realizing just how much the Lord has qualified me during my mission, and He still does! Like the famous scripture says, "The Lord chooses the weak ones...but whom he calls he qualifies."

Being a missionary is a challenge. I could wake up everyday and make a very long list of all the challenges I face every day, but instead I choose to make a list of all of the blessings I receive, how much patience the Lord gives me, and how many of his children I get to help invite to come unto Christ. And that list is always sooo long. ¡Es maravilloso!

This week was neat to see in those tough moments how the Lord blessed me with just the amount of energy, or just the amount of patience necesary to do whatever the task was that he wanted me to do. He always gives us the "necessary." Then it's up to endure and to trust in Him that he is there to help us.

I love the Atonement! It's real. It has changed me. It changes people every day. It empowers us, and it truly is the secret to every New Year's Resolution. I found a quote by Elder Henry B. Eyring the other day that 'If ever you feel the influence of the Spirit in your life, that is evidence that the Atonement is working in you.' :) And that's because the Spirit testifies of the truth, it moves us to do good things and to abandon the actions and things that keep us from becoming more like God. So! If we're doing good things, and the spirit is present, all we need to do is follow the promptings of the spirit to accept and to put the Atonement in practice and we can basically conquer the world!

The other day after lunch we had planned to go by an investigators' house because they weren't home for the appointment we had for them the previous day. Right when we got to the house she pulled up in her car! Coincidence? No. We started talking a little bit outside and she said that just barely while she was at work (she works at a carnicería--butcher shop) 3 muchachos came in and robbed all the money they had. She was pretty shaken up, the poor thing. But amidst all of that, she insisted that we come in and share our message. We explained to her the Restoration and the spirit was incredibly strong. She loved every minute! At the end we asked her if she was willing to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized, and she was like YEAH! Of course! We were shocked. She is so prepared to hear the message. That day especially, with the robbery, she had to endure something difficult so that she could recognize better the things that God has given her. We feel like she has a lot of potential to progress, we're praying hard!

We had a lesson the other day with an ex-investigator. We stopped going by a few months ago because she left for vacation. Yet we felt prompted to see her one day, and sure enough she was home! We went into her house, and she said, "Chicas! I was hoping you would come by because I wanted to tell you something! Remember last time when you came to my house and we kneeled down and prayed? You prayed that my brother could stop drinking so that he wouldn't be so sick. And guess what? He stopped drinking! I went by to see him two weeks ago and he was drinking tea instead of alcohol. I couldn't believe it! So 5 days later I went back to see if he really had stopped drinking. And he still hadn't drank any alcohol, he was drinking tea! Then a few days later I went by again to see if he had fallen back into his old habit again, but no! God heard our prayer! He answered it! My brother has been an alcoholic for years! And now he's completely given it up!" She is a sweetheart. It made our day to see her experience the evidence that the Lord answers our prayers.

Yesterday we were contacting a bunch of references, and we were on our way to visit some recent converts. On the way we passed by the house of some ex-investigators. (We recently stopped going by because they weren't progressing.) But right as we were going to keep walking by, the boyfriend opened the door! Coincidence? No. They invited us in, and as we chit-chatted, Hermana Rodriguez and I panicked for a second over what the Lord needed us to teach them. The thought came into my mind to read Lehi's dream in 1 Nefi 8. We read part of it with them, applied it to them, and asked them where they think they are in the dream? The spirit was really strong and the girl started crying because she was feeling the spirit. Not only that, but they really, truly promised to come to church on Sunday. I couldn't believe it. We are so excited for them!

Okay. I'm out of time. Family, friends, I LOVE YOU! Be good. Live the gospel and enjoy the blessings.

-Hermana Vawdrey

A cute girl we've been teaching

La Zona Bahia Blanca

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