Monday, January 23, 2012

He's coming around the mountain!!

Family and Friends,

How it going?!! I hope you are all doing well. It has been a great week for us here in Columbus!

First of all, C and K got married on Saturday!! It was SO awesome. A bunch of their family was there along with some of those in the branch. They are such humble people, it amazes me. Following their marriage, we went to Pizza Ranch and had a delicious lunch. Once again, pizza...haha We eat pizza at least 3-4 times each week here. It's crazy. The people here love pizza, and I'm definitely fine with that! haha

Our branch president, K and C, and me with Elder Keele

But, we are now putting all the last things together for C's baptism this upcoming Saturday. I'm super excited for them. Just last night, we went over his plans for the baptism and just walking into their house, there was a different feeling there. There was more peace and love than I had ever before felt in their home. I believe that the main reason for that is because they are keeping the commandments. They are coming around the mountain to receive more blessings from our Heavenly Father! They are so willing to change and it is so cool to watch it happen! We are hoping that everything works out this weekend, hoping he gets the day off work on Saturday! They have plans for lots of family to be in town and we are excited to see their kids again. We are hoping that we will be able to start teaching them soon too. I think it will happen!! But we are super excited for C and K...and they are making plans to be sealed in the temple in a year!! So awesome.

One other experience that I thought was interesting this week was our experience with L. He is an older guy who is a trucker. He is currently renting out a place from a member in our branch and he has sparked an interest in learning about the church. We had a great visit with him the other day but he still had a hard time about Joseph Smith's story because he had never heard this before and he has never been super religious. Well, just a few nights ago, we visited him again and we watched the Restoration movie with him. It was powerful. Every once in a while I looked over at him and I could tell that he was learning a lot. You know when you have a spiritual experience and it's hard to swallow because your mouth is dry...haha yeah, I could kinda tell that he had this goin on, so I was super pumped. But I was very surprised to what happened after the movie. We bore testimony to him and it was just a great visit...but then he still had a lot of doubts and still had a hard time accepting it. He said it was a great movie, but he wasn't super interested. I was surprised by this and learning that everyone does have agency. Sometimes I wish I could take that away from the people we teach here...but I guess that wouldn't be right. haha dang it. But, we will keep visiting him and see if he ever changes!! He enjoys talking to us, but when it comes to Joseph Smith, he has a hard time with it. What he needs to do is just pray...which he said he would do and he is reading the Book of Mormon too. So if he just shows a little faith to get an answer, he will get it. So, we will see how things go this next week with him!

But things are going well here! It's starting to get colder. We finally got some snow last night, but only an inch. haha It sure has been a weird winter, or should I say fall? haha but it's been good. Hope you all have a great week!! Thanks for your love and support!!

And next week is transfers, so our Preparation Day will be on Wednesday next week.

Elder Vawdrey

Monday, January 16, 2012

Happy Martin Luther King Jr.'s Day!

Hey everybody!!

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!! I hope it has been a great holiday for you all.

First of all, the other day we met with some of our investigators: JG and "R". "R" is from Ecuador and he was telling us about the food he loves in Ecuador when we first walked in the door. And pretty soon he got talking about how us Americans just seem so big to him. We asked him how old he thought Elder Keele and I were and he said he thinks I look like I'm 30 YEARS OLD. haha What? hahaha My immediate thought was man, I wonder how old the people in Ecuador think Elder Andrew Adams is. So that was pretty funny. But as for them, they didn't come to church on Sunday...they don't seem super interested, but we will keep trying back.

On Wednesday this week, we went on exchanges with our district leader. We went tracting that day and it so happened to be that the wind got up to 50mph...and it was freezing. However, it didn't snow so I was super grateful, but it paid off in the end. We were able to visit with some great people and schedule some follow-up visits. We also received like 20 people to go see from our district leader's companion who previously served in this area several months ago. So we are really excited about that. Our list of investigators right now is pretty low, we think it's because of all the holidays...but we will do our best and hope to visit with the people we received from our district leader's companion!

We just got a new branch mission leader and he is great. He keeps us on our toes and the branch is putting together the year mission plan. It is looking so awesome and man, the potential here is just amazing. There is a lot of work to be done!

As for "K" and "C", they are doing great! They are going to get married this Saturday, and we are super excited for them. And then "C" will be baptized the next week. It's so cool to see how much they have changed and their open hearts. They are so open to the teachings of the gospel. That has been a great example to me as we have been able to work with them. As we have open hearts and are willing to do whatever the Lord asks, he will work through us to perform miracles and become people that we never imagined that we could become!

I know this Church is true and that God has a plan for each of us. If we keep going with what we know to be right, it will be all worth it in the end.

Have a great week everyone!!

Elder Vawdrey

Monday, January 9, 2012

Much Prayer and Fasting

Familia y Amigos,

Buenos Dias! I hope you all had a great week. I can't believe it's Monday again. We still have no snow...and the weather got up to 60's this week. haha I am enjoying this "California-ish" weather. But, I'm sure some big snow storms will be coming soon. But, we'll enjoy this nice weather while we got it!

We received another referral this week from San Diego and then had a couple other great visits this week. We are working with a part-member family right now that just had a new baby and they had their baby blessed in church yesterday. It was a great blessing, and the whole family has really been changing and turning their hearts to the Lord. It has been so cool to watch and see. The son wants to get involved in Seminary and get ordained a Teacher soon. The dad is the investigator in the family and we have been working with him. But what makes the visits super powerful is when a member from the branch comes. It is amazing how much different the visits go with a member present...because the investigators have an immediate friend and usually about their age. But anyway, they are progressing slowly but surely!

Then, we watched the Restoration video in Spanish with the "S" family. They have a big family but the parents work like crazy. The dad was taught by missionaries a lot in the past, and actually it sounds like his work schedule is changing!! So, we are super excited about them. And I hope to report something good again with this family next week.

As for "C", we have been working a lot with him and he is finalizing his wedding plans with "K" for the 21st of January. We are super excited for them and the following week, "C" will be baptized!! We are super stoked!

This is the new updates for investigators and such. Sorry I kinda kept it short and to the point because I don't have much time. But, the area that I am in...Columbus, NE is SO awesome. The members are amazing and always willing to help with missionary work. It is so cool. Elder Keele and I are excited for this next week! Also, something I wanted to share from this week was from our district meeting. We talked a lot about the importance of prayer and fasting. I still am amazed to think about how the Gospel was restored all beginning with a simple humble prayer by Joseph Smith. Likewise, this is how we can restore the gospel into our lives. If we will pray, we can receive an answer to ALL of our quesions. And fasting always helps too. :D

But I know that prayer and fasting helps us to find answers to our questions and know how to help others.

I hope you all have a great week! Thanks for all that you do and your love and support. And also, our mission office address has changed so if you happen to send something to me... send it to this address from now on. Thanks!

Elder Brian Vawdrey
Nebraska Omaha Mission
11027 Martha Street
Omaha, Nebraska

Elder Vawdrey

P.S. Congratulations to those of you who just got married or engaged!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

Familia y Amigos,

Happy New Year!!! I hope you all had a great holiday weekend once again!! To celebrate here in Columbus, Elder Keele and I made some good ol' "HORCHATA!!" haha Its a super good drink :)

As for an update on the week, we had a sweet visit with a referral that we received earlier. His name is JG and he is the one that came to church the day after we met him!! haha And his roommate also listened in when we came over. JG is from Guatemala and his roommate is from Ecuador. They both have beliefs in God and JG knows a lot about the church. The roommate has tons of questions. But just last night was super awesome. They really opened up to us and we had a great visit with them about how God is our loving Heavenly Father and that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can receive forgiveness for our sins and no longer feel guilt. They both were super into the lesson and it was powerful. They want to meet with us again and we are super excited to work with them!! The thought still pains me as I walk around here in Columbus and think about the people all around and none of them know anything about the gospel. That thought just motivates me to do missionary work and makes me so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ in my life.

This morning my companion and I went on a run with our branch president and it was great!! I thought of an analogy as we were running. When we first started, it was bitter cold. The wind was blowing in our faces and we almost turned back. We decided to go a little different way so the wind wasn't as bad and ran on a little dirt trail! It was gorgeous. Then, on the way back, the sun was out and the wind was at our backs. I got thinking about this as we were running back and how sometimes from our perspective we feel like it's bitter cold and the wind is blowing in our face. But if we decide to go a better way (take the trail) and focus on the future without fear, our attitude will be better and the Lord will help us find a way. If we stick things out, then it will be all better at the end and we will have the sun (Son, Lord) by our side and He will help us.

I know the Lord loves us and is aware of each one of us. Stay close to him and he will guide you.

Spent Christmas Day with this sweet family

Hey Chancho, let me borrow some sweats!

A Christmas plate from Jordan
(notice Elder Vawdrey, his investigator, and the CTR ring)
Elder Vawdrey