Letter dated Sept 23, 2013
I really don't know how to open these emails. Yes, I could say something in Spanish like 'buenos dias!' or 'como estan?!' but I feel I should switch it up a bit. Maybe I'll just open each email with a line or two about how I am unsure of how to open my email. I like it!
On the quick topic of official news, yes, it's true. I have officially been deemed as having eighty percent Spanish skills. We were just contacting a few guys standing around on their day off. One of them commented that my Spanish was pretty good. He said it was '80%' to be precise. Does that mean I know 80% of all the Spanish words there are? No, that can't be it, I don't know nearly enough for that. Maybe he meant that I sound like I'm 80% Hispanic when I talk or that he could understand 80% of the words I was saying... Well I'll just accept the compliment and leave it at that. :) Now I know what you are probably thinking.
"Elder Vance, I fear that thy joy in your language skills doth carry thee away unto boasting"
And I take my response from the words of that great missionary himself.
Alma 26: 11-12
"..I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom..Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things.."
So I give all credit of my Spanish learning to the help of God and the calling He has given me to preach to His children here in this language. I'm really not that good at it still but I will strive to keep learning and improving :)
On another note, I totally crashed on my bike while going down a steep hill. The grass was taller than I thought and my tires slid as I tried to pass a guy walking on the sidewalk causing me to flip onto the ground. I'm all fine and my bike is still good. All I could do was give my companion the thumbs up and laugh at how awesome that must have looked to the cars passing by. Sure, I was a little embarrassed but you just gotta shake it off and keep going. And yes, it was a super busy street too so lots of people saw. ;P
On the work side of things we have been teaching more lessons and planning and bringing to action our plans of talking with more people. My companion's Spanish is improving well, despite his thoughts on that, and we are looking upward as much as we can. We are planning to have a baptism of a brother from Puerto Rico. He has been living with a member and coming to church for a few months and they are finally going to get married and he baptized this October! Hopefully it all works out well :)
I'm excited for General Conference as I hope you are too! I will keep moving forward if and only if you promise to do that same! Well, I'll probably still be here whether or not you decide to keep it up. But I just want to let you know that it's worth it. It's so worth it. :)
Con mucho amor!