Monday, November 9, 2015

A Dry spell in Florida....

Elder Tenney is my Zone Leader, I got to go on exchanges with him.
 First time I have served with him my whole mission. 
(Elder Tenney was one of Elder Wardell's companions in the CCM in Mexico) 


Well this will be a short one this week.
So this last week really wasn't the greatest week for a missionary haha.
our investigator pool is bonedry right now, and this last week was filled with a lot of knocking and not a whole lot of teaching. We can't teach until we find. It's ok though. There are so many things that missionaries do not see in the preaching of the gospel. President told us a story a short time ago of a man who had the missionaries knock on his door, and when they introduced themselves, he angrily said NO and slammed the door in their face. (Imagine what the missionaries probably said or thought) they had NO CLUE what happened next. the man goes into his house, and a little bit later was thinking about what he had done, and realized how bad he felt for treating those two young men that way. they had wanted to share a simple message about Jesus Christ, and he blew them right off. The man knelt down and said a prayer to god wherein he said, "father, i'm sorry for what I just did, and I pray that I will have the opportunity to make it right with those two young men" many years go by and there's a knock at his door from the missionaries. the man opens and when the missionaries say they are there to share a message from Jesus Christ the man says, Come right in. He was baptized a short while later. the point of that story is that we never quite know what we do for all of those that we meet. all of those that seem "ridiculous they will never join the church". It is for THIS reason, that it is always important to live the gospel always, and set a righteous example. My favorite church song says it the best.
"Love one another as Jesus loves you"
Well I love you all!
God bless! Live the Gospel, and porfavor, Help the missionaries.
Elder Wardell

Someone took "skinny cow" to a whole new level, 
Elder Lemmon and I felt pretty sad about it...

We thought we heard something dragging under the car....

Welcome to Hialeah and all Spanish....

Elder Lemmon

Last day in Blue Lagoon.... 


So here's what's new.
OYE CHICO! Que bola hacere! jajaja I'm finally in the Hialeah zone. I'm in an area that's completely Cuban! haha literally there's like no English here. actually since my first area, this is the first time that I've been in a straight all Spanish ward! super excited about that. So I
transferred down here, i'm with Elder Lemmon now. He's from texas, and he's really cool. He actually came in with elder Hansen who I got to see at transfers this last transfer meeting. that was really exciting. aslo speaking of transfers, another one of my former companions just went home. :( elder marshall went home at the end of the transfer before this last one, and then elder Park just gave his last testimony at transfer meeting, along with all the other dying missionaries. it's ok though. I've really been blessed on my mission with my companions. I've not had a companion that I didn't like. it's really nice. Well we are finally back in rainy season here. haha it's poured a TON every day since Wednesday. on Saturday the weather was straight bi polar. just couldn't make up it's mind on whether or not It wanted to pour or sprinkle. it would pour, sprinkle, pour, flood, then the sun would come out, and then it would be floodwater again, and all of this in aobut five minutes. (i'm serious) weather is weird in florida hahaha.
Well, when elder lemmon and I were driving home from transfers, he informed me that we had a baptism coming up in the ward, so it was really nice to be able just come into an area and immediately baptize two people! :) haha they have worked with the missionaries already for a long time and finally made the decision to get baptized. it was great.
Well, I love yall, this is the scoop for this last week! love ya
talk to you next week
Elder Wardell.

Elder Pukahi, he's back home in Hawaii now....

Mi Hijo....Elder Hansen, Elder Wardell 

Locking the blue Lagoon house....  :(

So long Blue Lagoon...

This is why I will miss Elder Bedke..foot soak during study time...


so speaking of scoop, haha we literally got "a scoop" of ice cream at church. not quite sure where that came from but yeah!
Sooo, This is transfer week, aaaaaaand, I"M STAYING AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WITH ELDER BEDKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! not what the transfer call said. hahaha i wish that it was the case, but sadly elder bedke and i are both transferring out of Blue lagoon. We are actually pretty sure that it's just getting combined with the other blue lagoon area, because the ward boundaries were just changed, and the ward got cut almost in half. So we are pretty sure that Blue Lagoon east and west will just be Blue Lagoon now. So sad! six of the happiest months of my life were spent here and it's now come to and end. :( it's like i just got here! and now it't poooof vanished away, anyway before any of you all get trunky for me, i'll give you a cool rundown of what we had cooking this last week. 
So, we had sweet maria, who is getting baptised this weekend! she came to church this wee and absolutely loved it! haha she's super excited for her baptism. so excited in fact that when we were in sunday school she smiled and looked at us and started pointing, when the teacher pulled out the painting of christ being baptised. And then she also told me that i was whiter than milk in our lesson with her. :) haha she's such a sweet old lady. doesn't qutie have a filter betweeen her mind and her mouth! :) haha
Well sadly, i'm outta time so i gotta cut this short. :( but i love you all! and miss yall.
Elder Wardell


 Trolling on Elder Gomez...

Rough day.....

Temple Trip with Lenay

Temple Trip with Lenay's family 


Well, here's da shcoop! 
So, this last week we got to go to the temple with Lenay! haha this is the 2nd time I've done a temple tour at the temple and it was great! Lenay really loved it. She felt the spirit really strong, even though her daughter had to use the bathroom almost right off the get go, so we had to kinda expedite the tour, but it all worked out in the end! What I'm mostly excited is for the time wich is just about a year from now, when i'll get to come back to florida, and go to the temple, because lenay will be going through! super exciting. 
And as well, church this last sunday was really awesome! Maria (the sweet old cuban lady that gave up all of her coffee) was finally able to go, she overcame her strange little fear of church, just enough to come, and it was fun! :) she walked around smiling at everyone, and then went in and sat down with this sister who's been helping us teach. and when she was first there, she said, i'm only going to stay for the first hour.(we had told her about all 3). and so we decided not to push her, and so we had sacrament meeting, and then after that was over we said, "how was it?" she was like, ooooh i LOVED it! so, that next class how long is it for? and we told her, and she was like, ok. i'll stay for that class. So we go to gospel principals, and we have the class, and at the end, she was like, "wow that was amazing! i'm going to third hour!" ahahaha. This just goes to show, that the spirit is the best teacher. we could have told maria all about what the classes were like, but she would have never known, until she went. we asked her after church was over what she thought and she was like, wow i absolutely loved it! haha and i said, now aren't you glad you came? and she said yes! and then we asked her if she was going to come next week and she said of course!

Well, I love you guys!
can't wait to talk to you all next week! 
Elder Wardell

  1.  new friend at Lenay's 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Baptism and 4th celebrations....


 We had to clean out the font...

  For the baptism....

Have you ever cut and eaten a mango in public? I have.... 

I love boxes of goodies....

 Making cookie brownies....
Soda stuff.....

so this last week was ok. not a whole lot happened

Lenay Ramirez, and her daughter anabella were baptised on june 30th 2015!!
The ward has been helping a TON on keeping them fellowshipped and we are already helping lenay get a vision set for the temple! :) She's already made a few friendds in the ward!
Wherever you are, HELP THE MISSIONARIES and here's why, Missionaries by themselves baptise very few people who are just so amazing that nothing will keep them out of the church. Missionaries WITH MEMBERS baptise a TON of people who are amazing!!!! The members are the ones that are able to make the cool awesome friendships, but mostly they are the wingman. Coming into the church is legitamately scary for new converts. You laugh and think i'm crazy but it's true. Just think, we have a whole "mormon lingo," that we talk with. Completely lost of them. We have a bazillion mormon jokes that they don't understand. there's so many things that make them feel on the outside, and they don't always want to stay. or they do and are just a little scared. kinda like the first day of high school. That's why it is sooo important for the members to get involved. And the prophets and apostles have promised, I don't even know HOW MANY blessings to those who help out. Think of it, the prophet Joseph Smith said, "after all is said and done our greatest duty is to preach the gospel." Think of it, this is the greatest work that the lord has. What kind of blessings are in store for those that help the lord in his greatest work? I promise you, there will be miracles in the most unexpected places. 
Wow, haha a little too preachy for my liking. 
anyways so this last week was really amazing! we were blessed to meet with a bunch of amazing people, and the coolest thing was this new thing that e bedke and i are doing.
We are leaving these little pamphlets, that have "The Family: A proclamation to the world" written in them, Why? because from what i've noticed here, almost EVERYONE loves the idea of the family. And with all of the attacks there are on the family nowadays, the people we meet with love to see a stand for the family. It's a breath of fresh air. And it's such an amazing help and lead up to teaching the restoration. There was this one lady we met with who told us word for word that the family proclamation was Prophetic! i chuckled inside and said to myself now just wait till we tell you about our message. Missionary Work is AMAZING.

Well fourth of july was really fun! we got to make cream soda, it turned out really well! we also got to enjoy a box sent from my amazing mother! ;) it was a ton of fun. we ate cookie brownies, drank home made cream soda, and squished up all four of us on one couch to watch mountain of the lord on a 7 inch dvd screen. THE BEST! haha love you guys!
Elder Wardell

Teaching Lenay.....

 Helping a family move last week.
...lots of hard work....
For Elder Bedke that is.....

So here's the scoop.
so we have this really awesome investigator named lenay and to be short, SHE'S GETTING BAPTISED TOMORROW!!!!!!!
ima just tell you about some of the miracles that we have seen with this woman. 
She was taught by the missionaries 3 years ago. She was amazing, kept her commitments, quit smoking, etc. they had to drop her, because she just dropped off of the face of the planet. they lost contact. We tried contacting some less actives off of the list, and we go by her house, and try to contact a less active, but end up sharing a prayer with our current investigator. She agrees to have us come back, and then when we come back, we discover that she's really cool, and she told us that she had worked with the missionaries before. she also told us that she still had her book of mormon, and had read alot of it. then, we lost contact with her too. she hadn't answered the door, didn't answer the phone, nothin. and dropped her. but then one day as we were biking past her street, elder bedke says, "let's go visit lenay, and just veers off to the left" haha i had no choice but to follow. we go over there, and she basically told us what happened and to make a long story short, SHE'S STILL REALLY COOL. We teach her about baptism, she accepts, she's been reading in the bom, still had been living the word of wisdom, (at least far better than she had ben before.). Then we teach her the word of wisdom, she ditches her coffee instantly. we teach her about sabbath day, and she informs us that even though she just got a brand new job, and they tried scheduleing her for sunday that she doesn't work sundays. we taught her tithing and she instantly accepts. we invited her to have nightly family prayer with her two daughters and they do now. every night. she is hands down THE most elect person i have ever worked with! Elder Bedke and i are super excited to talk with her now about the temple and the rest of it all!

she's super amazing!
Well that'll be just about all for this week love you all!
Elder Wardell.

Btw new mission rule, mail is no longer to be sent to the mission office. now it goes directly to the apartment. so, apartment address is, 
220 NW 48th Ct, front
Miami Florida
ill post transfer dates, because you shouldn't send a letter very close to tranfers cuz if i transfer, and a letter get's here after me, well, haha missionaries aren't very good at getting lost letters where they should go. ahahaha

Prayers are answered....


Lenay got rid of her coffee.....

 Boy were we excited!!

 Happy elders at church....

Ants at Walmart looked bored...we gave them something to do....

weeeell here's the scoop.
so, something really cool to share.
we've been constantly praying to find those who are LOOKING for the restored gospel, and this last week, we were able to teach a member's sister, who was telling us about how she left her church because of stuff she didn't like there, and then how she was looking at her sister's church, and was telling us about just how wonderful she felt about it, especially about the message of the restoration. It was AMAZING! haha
we also were knocking doors, and we find this one lady, and she asked us, (almost suspiciously)
what the name of the pastor of our church was. So we told her that the church is in the whole world, and that there's a living prophet who leads it. when we said 'prophet' her eyes got as big as dinner plates and about bugged outta her head! haha she bolted past us and was like "Ven conmigo! Ven conmigo!!" (Come with me! come with me!) we followed here around the house to her little side apartment, and gave here a quick rundown of the restoration,(didn't have a ton of time :(  ) but she told us about how much she's excited to learn more about what we said!
To be short, THE LORD ANSWERS PRAYERS!!!!!!!!!!!!
And as well, we taught our investigator Lenay the word of wisdom, and she let us take her coffe away!!!!!!!!! haha it was awesome!
Love yall!
Elder Wardell

Blessings of the Gospel


Elder Bedke and I at our Melgadon desks

 Learning to make tortillas.....

Learning to make Baleadas....
Dinner at the Rojas's makes for happy missionaries.....

well, here's da scoop!
so this last week, we were really blessed to be able to meet a bunch of people! we also had our investigator lenay, who alsmost came to church. :( sadly she had to take her mom to the air port that day, and a ton of junk happened there that blocked her from coming to church :( but she by herself set herself up for next week. to come to church so we are so excited for that! :)
well we had a really neat experience this last week. So, discouragement in the mission, only comes if you let it. on the same note however, the saddest thing that you face in the mission, is when you knock a door, in the effort to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to someone and it instantly gets rejected. and the worst part is so many times people dont know what they are instantly saying no to. It is one of the worst things. So many have no clue as to what the gospel of Jesus Christ is, nor more importantly what it can do, and before you have to chance to explain, BAM door shut. 
So, we have been praying more and more, to be led to those that the lord has prepared to recieve the gospel. those that are willing to hear, and who aren't spiritually deaf. the other day, we were biking along, and this guy called out to us, and long story short,
he said it's time for a refreshing in his life. We taught him about how god's gospel that we can use to have a fresh start in life has been restored. He LOVED it! we had to pass him to another set of missionaries, but it was still a direct answer to prayer! 
Ok, quick thought and something cool i discovered this week.
So many times, people argue about church. and it's all about this church or that church. And many times people say, well church is what saves us.
It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that saves. The GOSPEL not church. So then here's the question, why was a church set up in the first place? the church was set up to administer the gospel.
for example. 
School doesn't make you smart. Education, the knowledge makes you smart.
However, school, is an organization through which we are "administered" (given) the education.
The gospel saves not specifically the church. This is the message that we carry to people is that, christ set up his church once again, with his authority, so that he could adminitster his complete gospel. well, i love yall! 
Elder Wardell

Staying in Blue Lagoon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OH  and i forgot to mention,
I"M STAYING IN BLUE LAGOON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! with elder bedke! totally excited he's a beast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 With maria, throwing away her coffee...

 Us throwing away the coffee....

First purchase if Elder Bedke and I got to stay...

Now we can have a cold soda in our study room...yes I gave up soda, but decided one once in a while was ok

here's the scoop.
So, to start off, 
CARLOS GOT BAPTISED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
haha, not here with us but up in north carolina, but the point is, is he is super awesome!
He's already excited about going to the temple, he's started working on family history, 
he's going to be doing a mission to italy or rome, he's going to be teaching for a year in utah,
(he's got a doctorate's degree in like 5 things,) In short, he's AMAZING!!!!!
Also, Maria, is going to be baptised on the 20th of this month! we taught her the word of wisdom, and were able to take out a bunch of coffee! it was awesome!
we were also very blessed this past week to have been able to find a bunch of new people to teach. There's also something i would like to talk about,
There's a very imortant hour here in the mission: the food hour. and i'm not talking about food. 
Every morning we have, beginning at 8 oclock something called personal study, where we are able to give 1 full hour to a study of the scriptures, preach my gospel, church magazines, basically the words of the living prophets. but the reason i call it the food hour is because it's supposed to be a spiritual FEAST!!!!!!
There's a guy named Hyrum Smith, (no not the brother of joseph, a different guy) that was speaking on this subject and he said, (speaking a little on this topic,) "there's a difference between eating and feasting. missionaries know the difference. eating is when they cook for themselves, and feasting is when they have a meal with a member. feasting is stuffing, glutting taking it all in." in (i think)2 nephi, 32: 3, it says, "...FEAST on the words of christ." and why? because the words of christ tell us ALL THINGS which we should do. What brother smith was addressing with that talk, was why so many missionaries come home, go in active, or say things like, "boy i miss the spirit in the mission." and he explained, that this is one of the reasons. he said, "....and instead of feasting on the words of christ every day, it turns into maybe... 20 minutes before preisthood because we have a lesson to prepare." 
Notice how Script, as in, the script for a play, and SCRIPT-ures. have the same basic root. 
just like a script tells what to do in a play, the scriptures(words of christ) are our script for our time here in life. Just tossing them aside, and not giving them any attention, would be like trying to go through a play, without ever looking at the script. 
Well that's my thought for this week
love you!
Elder Wardell

Monday, June 1, 2015

Trip to Ancient Rome

 Went back to Ancient Rome

well this last week has been a blast!
lot's of adventures. Our investigator carlos that's in North Carolina for the next month, has texted us a few times, and he's amazing still! haha in short, he's getting baptised when he comes back, and is already planning a ward barbecue at his home here in miami. in short he's amazing. haha
we also have another investigator named Maria, who's prepping for baptism, and she's awesome. Working with her is a little different, but she has recieved a spiritual withness that the church is true and that it's where she needs to be baptised. She's great! 
Well theres a cool experience i'd like to share with yall really quickly.
We were going along one day and i saw this little plaque that said,
He who plants a garden, plants happiness. Keep that in mind as you watch this video,
(mom put this video on the blog)

God the master Gardner, knows who we are, adn what we need, to be happy, and what will be the best for us. It's up to us to just follow him, and remember this: We are still learning. God knows all. 
follow him, and learn the best. 
i love you all! 
E Wardell

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Mission Conference

 Got to see Elder Swensen at Mission Conference, Love that guy....

Kind of hot that day....

Hey everyone! 
 This last week was super good! we had a misison conference this last week, where President Richardson talked to us about how he wants us to introduce the BOM to people now. first, he told us all to always carry a Pros Bible, and hold them together so people can physically SEE that us crazy mormons do actually believe what the bible says! haha
and the second thing was how we introduce the BOM. What we are to do is read the first three and last two paragraphs of the intro page, and then go straight to 3rd nephi ch 11-20, and let the people read those just so they can read about christ's personal ministry, and then they can start from the beginning. SO AWESOME! :)
cool little bom experience. So, in our personal studies, as a rule we read out of the BOM for 30 minutes cada dia(every day) and yesterday i read through 4 nephi, and i read something that just smacked me right in the face. 
Constantly people bicker about religion, and it's understandable why people don't like alot of religion. If you understand the concept of the Apostasy, then it's rather easily explained. And when you understand that, you may understand the idea of a loving heavenly father bringing us the "fulness of the gospel". But the biggest question is why? what is the point of the restoration?

 15 And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people.
 16 And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happierpeople among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.
 17 There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were inone, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God.
 18 And how blessed were they! For the Lord did bless them in all their doings; yea, even they were blessed and prospered until an hundred and ten years had passed away; and the first generation from Christ had passed away, and there was no contention in all the land.

That's what it's all about. Only the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, given by christ, and administered through authorized representatives,(prophets) can unite all people in peace. It is only the gospel of christ that can help us to have perfect love. 
Well, I love you all! sadly this one is a bit shorter than usual, but i do love you!
Elder Wardell

Work is going great!

***Elder Wardell forgot to add the titles for the photos he sent... the Mom will add them...I'm quite sure they won't tell the whole story of this weeks pictures....

 Edler Bedke...Dart gun gone amuk?? 

  Super Hero on my planner cover??

 Pancake version of Egg toasts?? 


to be really straight to the point,
this week our area BLEW UP! :) We, have been really raising the bar in our mission on being exactly obedient, and elder Bedke and myself have been consistently re analizing what we can do to be even more obdient. and boy have we seen miracles from it. We have found a ton of new people, 3 of which are prepping for baptism! And there's one miracle in specific that i want to talk about.
So, we were goin along, and we had like 2 appointments that fell through, and we went and taught our new investigators, and as we were leaving, our phone falls off my lap and the batteriy falls out. our power button doesnt work, so we couldnt turn it back on. :( missionary work in this day and age without a phone, can be a little rough jaja.PAUSE 
 This is where the shout out goes out to my parents. "mom why can't i have a phone!" "cuz, you're not 16." "Not fair!" "You'll thank me later! ;)" 
It's later, THANK YOOOOOOOOOOU!! haha.
so, we went over to a members house, to call the other two to get the number of the phone missionary, but they didnt pick up. so we look up the mission offices phone number, but it was saturday and when we called, it was closed. so then we were like, we will just call the mission president, and get the phone number from him, *tip for missionaries, memorize the mission presidents phone number! jaja and so we called a couple people, finally got the phone number, call the mission president, and he didn't pick up. haha, finally though, the other two called us back, we got the phone number, and got the phone thing figured out. all is well. haha but what happend is that we were at the members house for about 40 minutes. and as we were biking away, we were like, oooh, we need to tell the other two about the dinner appointment. :( it's ok we will just head towards their house and look for a payphone! (half jokingly) we are biking along, and we find a payphone! :) hahaha
we are crossing this intersection, and this guy drives through, right in front of us and says, HEY DO YOU WANNA TALK ABOUT JESUS? and we of course said yeah. 
he pulls into the gas station, and gets out, and asks us a couple of questions, that require Plan of Salvation knowledge. we answer his question, and he says, Well show me that specifically in the bible! it's gotta be in the word of god! And after he goes on this semi rant, slightly bashing, and told us of some of the "wrongs" of Joseph Smith, and after we heard him out, we both of us, bore our testimonies of Joseph Smith as a prophet, and very calmly told him, about how neither of us had heard of the things that he said about joseph smith, taught him the restoration, and then said, think of the days of jesus, the pharisees and what not made up all sorts of things about him, because they knew who he was. And if joseph smith was truly gods prophet, then similar type things would be said of him. and then he admitted to us how he never read the book of mormon, and we really helped him see, how misinformed he had been. he left, with a book of mormon, and a promise to read it, and called us brothers. it was all guided by the spirit, and was truly amazing! there's far more to this story but i'm outta time! love yall!
Elder Wardell

Mother's day and Miracles....

 Sometimes planning can get a little crazy.....

 Got a new haircut.....

Mother's Day that happiness or what??? He is loving every minute of his mission!!!


weeell here's the scoop.
 For all of you spanish speakers i have a joke that i learned. 
Cual vino es el mas malo? .........Vino la Suegra!!!!!!!! JAAAAJAJAJAJA

(for you english speakers i'll attempt to explain haha)
So in eh-spanish, vino means wine, and also means "she came", and Suegra, means "mother-in-law". So in the joke it's, "which wine (vino) is the worst?" "The mother-in-law came(vino)" 

So on a more spiritual side of things, Maria came to church again! She's making progress. It's kinda slow but definitely sure. She will be pickin up steam here quick. She's like a train, strong a mighty, it just takes a bit to get rollin but then there's no stopping it. We also got to see a really cool miracle, we got a referral over the phone for a guy named carlos who requested a book of mormon. we went over there to drop it off to him, and we ended up teaching him the restoration! He loved it! We left him with a commitment to read the passage in alma 32, and we left. Well five minutes after we pedaled out, we get a text on the phone from him that said: "hey i just wanted to say thanks for the book. i started reading what you left and realized that i didnt say thanks so thanks"!!!!!!!! It was AWESOME! :) i jumped for joy when i read that text. He also came to church, and is prepping for baptism on the 23rd!!!! :) we are excited. 
Well we got to skype home yesterday. It was cool to see the whole family. It's weird i only have 1 phonecall left! Crazy how time flies. it's the reason we are counseled to sprint in our work. 
Well i gotta roll, but there's a quote from PMG that i really want to share, and it says, "true doctrine, understood changes attitudes. a strong study of the doctrines of the gospel will change behavior faster than a study of behavior will change behavior."
Boyd K Packer.
Well i love yall,
gotta roll but take care!
Elder Wardell

New Companion and finding faith

Last time all four of us at the house Elder Hansen, Elder Pukahi, Elder Kiser, Elder Wardell 

Elder Jarman (Elder Pukahi's new comp) Elder Wardell, Elder Bedke 

My soda abstinence kind of ended when someone mentioned Voltage!!!

weeeell here's the scoop.
so, i got a new companion. his name is Elder Bedke. He's kinda your average, NOT AVERAGE! haha. For those who don't quite undertand my insanity, that means HE'S AMAZING!!!
mainly because i was able to explain Star Trek to him and he loved it! haha He's kind of a young pup, he actually entered the mission with mi hijo (my son) and funny enough, elder hansen and elder Bedke swapped areas! it was funny. but he's a CHAMP. he already speaks spanish bastante (well enough) and is just awesome at teaching. He's really humble, very intelligent, and he tells intelligent jokes which are just the best. we just get along really well! i love him he's awesome! 
Well Maria came to church this last week! by herself too! And something really cool happened, we have been trying and trying and trying to get maria to stay for 2nd hour, and she never has wanted to, but this last sunday, after sacrament meeting, she just popped up and said, so tell me about the next hour whats it like? funny enough right before she said that i just thought to myself, i'm not gonna ask her because then we are just pushing too much. (faith is amazing!) And so to answer her question we just said, well, we'll just show you. so we went back to the class, showed her the class introduced her to some peeps, and she stayed! and really got into the class reading scriptures, smiling, getting friendly with a really cool sister in the ward, and most importantly, feeling the spirit. 
It was really nice. her progression is finaly starting to speed up so that is amazing! 
Well, sadly we had to drop thomas this last week. :( it's never fun to drop people. Especially when you realize and understand the improtance of the words: Restored Gospel. It's really actually HEARTBREAKING. But sadly what had happened is thomas, who had a wonderful, growing testimony, decided to try and find more answers from "man" meaning he went online, and looked around on some blogs and such and such and did some "research". And when we met with him again, he very gently said that he wont be able to get baptised because he got an answer that the book isn't true, and then told us about all of the stuff that he found. and so then i shared with him. Elder Bedke shared an AWESOME experience about recieveing an answer, and then i shared alma 32, 27-29? something around there haha, 
 26 Now, as I said concerning faith—that it was not a perfect knowledge—even so it is with my words. Ye cannot know of their surety at first, unto perfection, any more than faith is a perfect knowledge.
 27 But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.
 28 Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.
Quite simply, what that means, is that we can go to God for answers. Thomas kept mentioning, "but they've done studies.." the simple fact of the matter, is that when you look at the nature of God in the scriptures, and in the book of mormon, no amount of MAN'S study, will ever definitely prove the truth of the book of mormon, or of joseph smith as a prophet. If those things are of God, we must go to god, and GOD ONLY to find the truthfulness of answers. Thomas, did not do that. he didn't completely show his faith in god, because he went to man for his answer. And because he didn't completely trust in god, he didn't get an answer. He was genuinely looking for an answer, but was looking in the wrong place. Man's studies will never hold the answers to the "mysteries of god". This is the reason why it is important for us to gain a testimony of the book of mormon, as the word of god, and The restoration of the gospel through a living prophet. because then answers can be found in the right places. That is what we tried to get through to thomas, and i'm hoping he got it. We commited him to read the book of mormon, and ONLY the book of mormon to get an answer. We will be following up with him, and i'm hoping that it will be good. Well i love yall! gotta run but take care! 
Elder Wardell