Monday, December 26, 2011

Hey y'all

Familia y Amigos,

Feliz Navidad!!! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. It sure was great here for us in Columbus. We were befriended by some great members and recent converts here and had a great time with them and then talking to my family of course!!! haha And also, Happy New Year this next week.

I don't have hardly any time today for e-mail. Sorry. But I just want to testify that I know this Church is true. The Gospel is so AWESOME. I have seen it change the lives of people here in Nebraska. And I have seen it change mine. I am so grateful for the service that occurs during this season. But most of all, I am grateful for the Ultimate Gift that our Heavenly Father gave to each of us individually...His Son Jesus Christ. I know He lives and that He died for each of us.

Talking to the family on Christmas day
A highlight of our family Christmas this year

When I called my parents on Skype, I got the chills when I heard my father say my name. It was sooo cool. And talking to my family gave me an additional boost. I thought of my Heavenly Father. He is there for us and if we call to Him, He will be there for us. He wants to give us an additional boost...He is always there for us. We can receive His guidance through prayer!!

Have a wonderful week,

Love you all,

Elder Vawdrey

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's Coming!!

Hola Hombres y Mujeres :D

How are you all? I can't believe this week is la Navidad! Wow. Time flies by so quickly.

Okay, I have little time today, sorry. But here we go.

So this week, we have dinner with the "M" again!! They are investigators and man it was so cool. They fed us a delicious enchilada dinner...like the biggest enchiladas I have ever seen...and then they began asking us questions about baptism. When the mom asked: "What we believe about baptism and why we don't baptize infants" I felt the spirit enter the room and I was like BOOO YEAHH!! haha So, we explained to this Hispanic family about baptism, age of accountability, and it was SO powerful. They believed every word of it and it was so cool to see their countenances just light up. But anyway, we also introduced the Book of Mormon to them again and found out that they read 3 Nephi 11 and that was so cool to hear that they had read. Overall, it was an amazing lesson, we soft-setted them for baptism, so we are SO excited to keep working with them. But, at the end of the lesson, Sis. "M" opened up my quad to the Doctrine & Covenants just randomly and read a scripture. I was a bit hesitant at first and then she read in D&C 89 about how if they did these things then they receive receive health, walk and not faint, and run and not be weary. It was super cool.

Then, we received a referral the other day. We went and met this guy, "JG", on Saturday. He was a super cool guy and is from Guatemala. He was referred to us by his wife and he began taking the lessons in Guatemala. We were STOKED when he showed up at church the next day. And to know that he WALKED. He lives about a mile from the church, but still that was amazing to me. So, we have some great investigators right now. Unfortunately, we aren't going to have any baptisms by the end of this year, by my hope is to have some more baptismal dates set by the end of the year and make this Christmas a preparation for more investigators entering the waters of baptism :)

Sorry, I forgot to say again last week...but this week is transfers. I am so excited that I will be staying here in Columbus again, and with my same companion. The Church is true. I hope you all can keep Christ in your Christmas. I am so grateful for this time of year and to see how people's attitudes change. If only we would just choose right now to keep it throughout the next WHOLE year, we will be made all the better for it and help those around us. One thing I have really realized this past transfer is the importance of CHARITY. Charity is everything!! Merry Christmas everyone. I wish you all the best of keeping Christ in your Christmas. Love you!

Elder Vawdrey

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Why not use some Saltines?

Familia y Amigos,

I hope it's been another great week for everyone as it has for us here in Nebraska! The snow has melted quite a bit, but I hear the next couple days we are going to be getting some freezing rain. It gets pretty cold here. But actually not as bad as I had thought. Hopefully it stays that way. haha It's the wind that makes it really cold.

Anyway, 2 weeks until Christmas, that is so crazy. My companion and I have a missionary meeting with the leadership in our branch every other week and yesterday was the week it fell on and it went really well. Elder Keele and I were thinking the night before of what we want to give Christ for Christmas and how to help our branch more. We came up with the idea to invite and challenge the leaders in our branch to give away one mormon.org card before Christmas to a non-member that they know and engage in a conversation about it. The Branch President loved the idea and asked us to invite the branch as well in the combined Relief Society/Elders Quorum meeting. So, we are excited to see how the members respond to this.

Also, before church began, there was a couple at the church that was super sick but wanted to partake the sacrament because they hadn't done it the week before either. They asked Elder Keele and I to do it and we were like, sure. We looked for some bread. Didn't find any...but we kept looking for some, and then we found some good old SALTINE crackers!! haha yay. So, we used them. Another good memory now!

The work is really starting to move forward now here in Columbus!! We have received a few referrals from members, we are getting more appointments scheduled, and we have a lot more investigadors to see!! boo ya. As for an update on "C" and "G"...the ones that were set for baptism...they are planning to be baptized at the end of January. "C" and his fiance need to get married before he can get baptized. But, their family is solid. Very humble people. And "C" just got a job from a member in our branch! We were stoked about that because he has been looking for one for a while. His hours are very reliable and allow us to visit them often. Thank goodness!

Also, in our branch there is the two "M" families. They are both super strong in the gospel, and the dad's are brothers. They have another brother that lives in Columbus, but his family are not members. Well, they invited us over for dinner the other night and one of the other "M" families joined us as well. We had "Posoli" It was super good. But they put a lot of spices in it. It's like a soup. And it was funny because after I took my first bite, the soup went down the wrong tube, so I was like coughing and stuff and they were like..."Oh, is it too hot? We can make you a sandwich if you want." hahahaha. I was like "No, it just went down the wrong tube." Then, right after this, the same thing happened to my companion and then to Brother "M". haha It was hilarious!! But anyway, after dinner, we just talked with the parents for a while and then shared a lesson about the Book of Mormon. The spirit was super strong. And it was so cool. After we read the introduction to the Book of Mormon, "J" (the mom) just opened up the book and randomly landed on D&C 89. I got a little nervous at this point because she opened up to D&C, cause we would have had to explain about that too. But she didn't say anything but pointed at the verse. In the verse she read it said: "And if you do these things, you will receive health in your navel and marrow in your bones...run and not be weary, walk and not faint..." She read this right after we explained the importance of the Book of Mormon and the blessings that come from it. So it was a way cool experience.

I see a bright future for this family and the great thing about it is that they have an immediate support system in the branch with two brothers! The "M" family then scheduled a dinner appointment with us for next week too. We are excited. This was one of my favorite experiences from this week. Missionary Work is great. I love it!

I hope you all have another great week! Thanks for your love and support!!

Elder Vawdrey

Monday, December 5, 2011

Love the life you live

Hombres y Mujeres,

Hola!! Como estan todos? Wow, I can't believe it's already the 5th of December. Wow! Time flies. I have almost been out for 6 months. Whoa. Okay, that's weird. Anyway, I hear Utah hasn't seen much snow yet? Oh man, Nebraska...different story. Just the other day, it snowed for hours, and we got a few inches. But, the thing about Nebraska is that it is just FREEZING. Today it is suppose to be a low of -4 degrees. WHAT? haha Yeah, it's crazy.

Anyway, it has been a great week. Well except until the snow came. Because of it, our mission president called and said that we couldn't drive our cars. So, Elder Keele and I threw on our huge coats and started walkin'! haha I looked like a HUGE black marshmallow. I could like barely walk because I had on so many layers. But anyway, as we were walking forever to this one house, I kinda had a bad attitude and was like, "Uggh, we have to walk while the roads are pretty much all shoveled up!" Well, next thing I knew, I looked over and saw a family just goofing off in a parking lot. It kinda made me laugh for a second and then I saw the back of the dad's jacket that said: "LOVE THE LIFE YOU LIVE." That one hit me. I was like, "Oh, thanks!" haha So, I tried to have a better attitude. And then in our visit we read with the member in the scriptures where he had left off....which was 1 Nephi 16. In this chapter is about Nephi and his brethren when going hunting. Nephi brakes his bow and his brethren murmur. Then Nephi makes a new bow, gets food, and then everyone is happy again. So, that day I learned a lot about the importance to have a good attitude. Love the Life you Live. Life is to be enjoyed not just endured. We have trials to make us stronger. And I got to thinking, dang, the pioneers walked through all this for months. Who am I to complain? And I have a testimony of Jesus Christ, what do I have to lose? We have all that we need. We just need to remember that. So it turned out to be a good day when I changed my attitude. And then later that night we helped a lady move. We were the only ones she contacted to help and she relied only on us to call people. I was like what the ? We invited lots of people but nobody came. haha So, we got a good workout and helped her load up her whole truck. Good thing that's like most of what I did my first transfer so I think we did a pretty good job.

As for an update on two of our investigators, our baptismal set, they actually aren't set anymore. "C" has been living with a less-active member...and because they have to get married before the baptism, we need to give them more time. It was too much too fast. But we are still hoping to have them baptized by December 31. We figure that would be a good way to finish and start a year!! They have had lots of struggles, but we have had some VERY powerful lessons with them. They keep coming to church, so we are SO happy about that. But, we hope they stick with it!! I see so much potential in them. The less-active member ("K") is an awesome lady. She has been through a lot in her life and is probably one of the most humble people I have ever met. Also, "K" and "G" came to the church and watched the Christmas Devotional with us so that was cool.

In our district meeting this week, we had an amazing meeting talking about the importance of Obedience. It was so good. I know Obedience is key to happiness and success. It's not always the easy thing, but it's always the right thing to do.

Well, I hope you are all doing well. I love you all. Thanks for all your love and support. Have a great week!

Elder Vawdrey