Monday, August 29, 2011

Service...do it for others, and if necessary, with words

Familia y Amigos

Hola, hola!! It's great to hear from you!! Oh wow...I'm here typing in the library and there is a bat flying around and just went over my head!! AH!! hahahha So I am sitting short in my chair ;) But, I'm glad you are all keeping busy and just enjoying life!! Yes!!

This week has been crazy. Constantly busy for us here, lots of service, and so we very much appreciate sleep at night. This whole week, we have been breaking down sand bag walls again. One family we did it for was the Dial family. They are non-members and through the whole process of taking down their wall, they totally opened up. They looked up to see how big their sandbag wall was...which was HUGE! But anyway, they said it had 29,000 bags of sand and was a total of 1.7 million pounds. hahah Well, that is definitely an overstatement. It wasn't that big, but it was huge. It took like 10 of us 2 whole days to break down the whole wall. The last stretch was the most difficult of course, but we pushed through and really enjoyed the feeling of having finished it. The father of the Dial family works for a steak business here in Sioux City, Iowa and he offered to cook us steaks! Beauty. So yeah. We ate steak the other night...best steak I have ever had. They were like an inch and a half thick haha. Yeah, it was delish. But the best thing of it all was when they told us what they learned from this whole experience. The father told us how he has always believed that everyone goes through at least one hard thing in their lives and of all things, he thinks this was his hard thing. And he told us about how when we are serving others, we are blessed in return. The whole community really came together because of this flood. Except for one lady...who didn't want to help anyone with theirs but demanded that people help her. And as things turned out, she was the only person whose house was somewhat flooded. Wow. How do you figure that? So the Dial family told us that if we serve others we will be blessed in return. I believe this was an example of the importance to serve others. If all we do is focus on ourselves and demand help, we are less likely to receive it then if we decided to serve others first :)

Anyway, throughout this service experience with the Dial family, they were open and were really respectful to us missionaries for our help towards their family. We didn't ever share a lesson with them because it just didn't feel right. But, we left a good impression on them and hope they will be open to receiving the gospel as time goes on because we really want to teach them!! But they know our beliefs and they respect them. The Lord is in control...and I hope that this family will choose to receive the gospel someday!!

The people are so nice to us here. They feed us constantly, I have now only had to cook like 2 meals haha. I love it. One lady we go see is less-active and we visit here a time or 2 each week and take care of her lawn and house and things because she isn't able to do it herself. She insists to buy some of our groceries for us.. :) haha I love her. She is way nice.

I experienced my first baptism on Saturday. An investigator from the companionship before me helped a guy named Julian to accept the gospel and his baptism was just the other day. The spirit was strong and it was fun to see his family there supporting him. I gave a talk about the Holy Ghost, but it was in English. Julian speaks English and Spanish but for some reason wanted his baptism to be all in English. His wife speaks better English. I believe that is the reason why. Then, later Saturday night, we went to 2 weddings. haha wow. Before today I think I have only been to like 2 weddings in my whole life, so it was a crazy day. One of the couples will be married in the temple in a year...the wife just got baptized a month ago and then I don't know what will end up happening with the other couple. I hope they get married in the temple because I have seen both and I know that temple marriage is so important and much better.

Another service thing we did this week was we went down to Nebraska to clean a church that had been vandalized. It was sad...but it's all cleaned up now :) And then at church yesterday, we were there for a total of 9 hours because of church, and other meetings. wow. They weren't lying when the missionaries said that Sundays are crazy.

And my companion is great. I love him. We are starting to become good friends and I am realizing why it is so important. The mission is great. I love it. Tonight, we have an appointment with a lady named Maria. We will be teaching the first lesson in Spanish and I am supposed to take the lead in the lesson. I'm really excited for it and to teach. This is the first lesson I will teach here in Sioux City with my companion!! But I hope you are all doing well. I wish you all the best. Have a great week at school and work and of course have some fun. love you all.

Elder Vawdrey

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