Monday, April 30, 2012

Give him 3

Familia y Amigos,

Buenas Tardes! Como estan todos? I can't believe it's almost the end of April. Time is going by way too fast.

Omaha is the coolest place. And my companion, Elder Pese, is the coolest man alive. Really quick, he actually was born in Samoa, lived in Hawaii until he was like 15, and then moved to Kearns, Utah, where he lived before coming on his mission. I am amazed at how much Spanish he already knows. He knows how to translate a lot of the verbs and is learning quick. It makes it easy to teach lessons because I can ask him to teach about something and he can do it pretty well. He doesn't talk super fast but you can feel his heart behind it and it just humbles me a lot. And since my time being here with him, I have felt the Savior's help with my Spanish. I've never understood people or the language so well before. I feel like the Savior is walking right beside me.

Elder Pese and me
And as for right now, we have Elder Terris that is just showing us around the area because we are both new here, don't know anybody, and don't know any of the streets. So, Elder Terris will stay with us for a few more days until we feel somewhat comfortable and then he will go serve out in Lincoln. And where we're staying right now, we share an apartment with 2 other Spanish Elders and it is a BLAST!

Omaha Elders

As for a few great experiences this week:

1. When I first was called to be a trainer I felt so unqualified...and still do. haha But it has helped me to realize the importance of relying on the Savior. I have been touched by Elder Pese several times this week. He has a heart of gold. We went out to lunch to Subway earlier this week and after we finished our food, he asked me: Hey do you want a cookie? And I was like "Sure." Next thing I knew, he came back and had bought me 3 cookies. hahaha I was like what are you doing? haha But it's just little things like this that he does that just helps me know that Jesus Christ truly is by my side and he loves me very much.

2. We saw one of Elder Terris's investigators and had a great visit with her. We were bold with her and asked her if she would be baptized on May 26 and she said yes!! whoot. haha It was way sweet. Elder Pese bore a powerful testimony and things just worked out perfectly in that lesson. so cool. However, the investigator didn't come to church because we couldn't get ahold of her.... so hopefully she comes this next week.

And also here in Omaha, it is a spanish WARD! It is so sweet. The members are awesome and ALL of church is in spanish. I loved it. I was able to understand quite a bit of it and they had a nice welcome for us new missionaries. I'm so pumped to work here. And we have places to play basketball on P-days and we get to go to the temple here too. So, I'm way excited to be here and to serve with Elder Pese. Things are going great.

I hope things are going well for each of you as well. And I hope you remember that God loves you and the Savior is by your side. Have a great week! Love you all. Thanks for your love and support.

Elder Vawdrey

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Omaha, Nebraska!

Familia y Amigos,

Buenos Dias! It is gorgeous out here in Nebraska...starting to get a bit toasty though. It's going to be interesting to see what it's like here in the summer...

But, anyway, we just got a call from our Mission President this morning and I found out that I am being transferred to Omaha, North. I was very surprised. I thought that I would stay here in Columbus for one more transfer...but I guess I was wrong haha. I was even more surprised when I was told that I will be training a new missionary! I'm pretty stoked, but very nervous at the same time. I believe his name is Elder Pese and he is from Kearns, Utah. I hear he is Tongan, lived in Hawaii, is 300 lbs, and was a really good football player. haha Looks like I won't be doing any wrestling next transfer with my companion. haha But sounds like he is an awesome guy and so I am way excited to work with him. And I hear there is a Spanish WARD there! cool!

As for Elder Caldwell and Elder Roberts, they are both staying here in Columbus and another Elder will be joining them as well. I think they will do great here together and I'm excited to hear how things go for them. The work has been going kinda slow here in Columbus, but I think it's going to pick up really soon. We have been dropping a lot of unprogressing investigators and finding new ones, but I will definitely miss the people of Columbus, NE. I was here for 1/4 of my mission after all. I have learned a ton. The members are great here and I hate to say goodbye. I'm so grateful that the Lord sent me here and I'm really sad that it's my time to leave, but I believe that Omaha is where the Lord wants me to go at this time.

And as for our investigators, the one we have really been focusing on is G. I'm going to miss that kid. He is set for baptism on May 5 (Cinco de Mayo)  and so I hope and pray that he keeps it this time and that he considers serving a mission. He talked about it a few weeks ago. I'm sad I have to tell him goodbye but I know that the other Elders will be great for him.

Anyway, my time is running low, but I know that the Lord loves us. He is always right by our side. He has great trust in us and we will feel of his love and feel the spirit more as we come closer to Him by keeping the commandments. The Church is true. Have a great week...and next week I will be sending a letter from Omaha.

Elder Vawdrey

P.S. Thanks to all of you for your birthday wishes. And congrats to Kaitlyn Livingston, Carly Wimmer, and Jordan Boone who have already or are soon getting married. I wish you all the best! You are all great!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Choose Him

Hola Familia y Amigos,
I can't believe it's already been another week. Time just flies, it's unbelievable. I hope you are all doing well and enjoying life!
This past week, we had some good times, trying times, and warnings. As for warnings, the other day we were told that a HUGE tornado was going to nail us here in Columbus. Apparently it was talked about a lot and so on Saturday, there was like nobody on the streets. Well, we were told to find a shelter, so we were invited over to the house of a family in our branch. While we were there, the members kept looking at the weather update on their computer and for the first hour, it kept showing that there was a 90% chance that we would get hit by this tornado. Well, a long story short, the tornado changed its path and Columbus got nothing but some rain. We were pretty mad to be honest. haha We were kinda hoping for something more intense just because it had been talked up a lot and we had to miss some visits with investigators. But I learned a good lesson from it and I guess better safe than sorry. But it made me think about why we're here and how our time is short here on earth. And if we were to die at this moment, would we be prepared to meet our maker? So, I'm grateful for experiences like these when we can truly remember the things that matter most.
As for good times, we met with an investigator (A) at the church and did a church tour on Thurday. It was the first official time that I've done a "church tour" on my mission and it turned out pretty good! We showed her all of the pictures on the walls and pretty soon we went into the chapel and watched "Finding Happiness." After watching that, we asked her how she felt and she said that she feels it's true. We were like sweet, and then asked if she would be baptized on May 19th and she said yes! So looks like we should do some more church tours with investigators. haha
And then as for G, he's kind of on the edge right now. We have taught him almost everything and he knows it's true and he wants to be baptized, but he won't set a date. He is worried about what would happen if he did it and he may lose his friends. He came to stake conference with us yesterday and before the meeting started, ELder Melchin of the 70 came up and shook his hand and talked to him for a bit. haha that was awesome. And sounds like he had a great time. We are hoping to have some good lessons with him this week and help him set a date, but we will see how it goes.
But, I hope you all have a great week this next week! Thanks for all that you do, your love, your support, and your examples! Next week is transfer week, so the next e-mail from me will come on Wednesday next week. Love you all,
Elder Vawdrey

Monday, April 9, 2012

Go for Improvement

Hola Familia y Amigos,
Happy Belated Easter. I hope you all had a great weekend and were able to feel of God's love! I feel like I learned a lot this week and am trying to realize more the blessings that I have.
This week has been quite a different one from my perspective. My companions have a ton of new ideas for the area and we are trying them out. We have a big list of investigators to try but we have realized that we only get to see each one of them like once or maybe twice a week. Because of that, we like don't have any people progressing. Kinda frustrating. But I am realizing the importance to slow down a little and simplify. We are trying to figure out how to use our time more effectively so we can find the elect rather than just keep trying people over and over and over again and not seeing any results or committment keeping. So for now we decided that we are pretty much going to drop all of the investigators we have and only stick with a handful that we think will progress and then pretty much start over and think of better ways to find investigators other than just tracting.

It's been quite a change for me because I realized that for me as a person I have always been someone who just goes from one thing to the next, but I'm realizing that it's good to slow down a little and trust in the Lord more and seek after the Spirit. So, we may not see a lot of results here soon, but we are hoping that in a few weeks we will see some progressing investigators!! But I'm grateful for my companions and their excitement for the area...and hopefully the past investigators we had will be more ready to hear the Gospel later in their lives. We are hoping that we planted some good seeds with them.

As for G, we aren't exactly sure what's going on with him. We thought we had a way good visit with him just a few days ago, but we called him Sunday morning and he told us that he just didn't want to go to church. poop. We weren't able to get a hold of him last night so we are hoping that we can visit with him later today and see what's up. He's definitely being worked on...but we hope that things can turn around for him for the better.

But, at church on Sunday, we had a person show up who has been less-active for a long time and I have taught him with my companions for months. And he committed to come to church. I was STOKED to see him there!! We thought it was pretty cool... a blessing really, that he showed up. Because we were going to drop him as well if he hadn't come to church because we have worked with him so much and weren't seeing too much progress. So that was a blessing and to know that God is aware of our desires to simplify more and find those that are willing to act and come closer to him. Looks like we will keep working with him haha :)

But I also learned a big lesson this week about how nobody is perfect and that we just have to IMPROVE. I sometimes stress myself out thinking that I'm not perfect or that the work here isn't going as I had always imagined it. But that's life sometimes I guess, right? Expect the unexpected. But I always seem to want things great now, not later. So this week I learned a lot about how perfection doesn't matter because none of us will be in this life, but all that matters is that we improve from day to day. I was reminded of a quote that I thought was really awesome. About running actually. haha

There was a group of high school kids on the track team. There was a group in the front running 4-5 minute miles and then those who were in the back running 8-9 minute miles. One day, a kid walked up to one of the kids that runs a mile in 8 to 9 minutes and said: "Hey kid why are you still running? You're always in the back." Then the kid responded with: "What? Did you not see that I improved 3 seconds on my time today?" That was just a great example to me of how it doesn't matter if we are the best or if we are perfect, we just have to do our personal best and strive to improve DAILY. We aren't in a race against others in life. We are in a race against ourselves. Doing your best is all you can ask for. Anyway, it's been a learning week. This next week might be kinda slow but I think it will pay off later in time!

I love you all, have a great week!! Thanks so much for all your love and support.
Love, Elder Vawdrey

Monday, April 2, 2012

Down the Drain!

Familia y Amigos,

Hello once again...I can't believe it's been another week. But man, I hope you all had a chance to watch some General Conference. I felt very inspired and I learned a lot. It was interesting for me to see the MTC choir on one of the sessions. It's weird to think about the MTC now that I'm actually out here in the mission field. But I enjoyed seeing the light in their eyes ready to serve. That inspired me and I'm SO grateful for the privilege to serve as a Missionary for the Church of JESUS CHRIST! It truly is because of Jesus Christ that we have all the blessings that we do. This gospel is perfect! It's interesting to see how the talks are different each session and each 6 months. But I know that the talks are inspired by God and I feel motivated to become and better missionary.

As for conference, mom and dad, I kept our tradition going with eating Dried Mangos. haha A member in our branch found out that my birthday was this month and that I love dried mangoes and so she bought me a bag from Costco before Conference began. So, hahah that brought me back some great memories and made me feel right at home.

But as for this week, the experience that was the most powerful to me was our visit with G. We talked about the Word of Wisdom and he told us how he's had a hard time with giving up drinking. We talked to him about the blessings that will come if he stops. We then we asked him if he had any beer in his fridge and he said yeah. So we said, "Well, let's go pour them out then! He was hesitant at first but after we shared a few scriptures with him, he got excited, opened up the fridge door, grabbed the beer, and poured it down the drain!! haha It was SO sweet! He's a great kid and it has been a blast to visit with him. He is set for baptism for this Saturday but we actually might switch it back one more week. We will see. But he's doing well. He just got a job with construction and is working a ton so it's going to be more dificult to work with him as much as we previously have. But, the Lord will provide a way. I know it. It's was cool to hear him say that he feels like a different person around his friends now, and that he feels like a better person. That is the blessing that comes from coming closer to Christ and relying on His Atonement!

I hope you all have had a great week and have another great week this next week. Happy Easter!! Thanks so much for all that you all do. I have never appreciated my family and friends more than I have on my mission. I love you all.

Elder Vawdrey