Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Declare the Gospel with the Sound of Rejoicing!

Que tal?!

Transfers are over. A few Elders have gone and a few new have ones come. We have a new District Leader who is hitting the ground running with helping us fulfill our purpose and we are all preparing to listen to the counsel that Dallan H. Oaks will give to us this Saturday when he comes to our mission. Exciting, huh? :D I'm excited. A little sad as well because I'm going to miss some good missionaries for a while because they are in other areas. Happy to meet new people. And a bit more humble realizing that I have a lot more to work on to really be a good missionary.

All in all, God does not leave us helpless. Speaking of the counsel of General Authorities, we got to listen to a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, Elder Aidukaitis, come speak to us at Stake Conference. I believe he is the first picture on the list of General authorities that is in the Ensign. He is from Brazil and thus has an entertaining accent and a fun personality. He gets everyone's attention when he speaks and is very inspiring. He spoke to the MTC when I was there actually :)

My companion and I have more investigators this week and are working on getting them to become progressing investigators. A key part in that is using the members and getting them to church. We all know the urge of member-missionary work that is being declared by the Prophet at Apostles so I don't need to mention anything on that, only that they might just be on to something. Who knows? ;)

With regards to important additions to my collection of few personal options that I have as a missionary, I bought a comb today. I have always parted my hair just with water, gel, and my hands, but recently another Elder who has been using a comb to part his hair I was interested in trying it out. It gets the part much more sharp and precise. So far it seems good :) I probably won't use it all the time but at least for the occasion of an Apostle of the Lord I think it might be useful. No, this information isn't anything big but I thought you might be interested in knowing a little bit of the details of my life :D I'm just 'doing my part'. Eh? Ehhh? Get it? You know, I'm doing my-...okay never mind.

I've got to get going but I do oh so love this opportunity we have had to chit-chat a bit :) Placticando un ratito. :)

Con amor,

un abrazo de Elder Vance.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

You tell me where the nearest Hispanic wedding is and I'll tell you where you can party hard.

I don't have much time to email this but I want to describe a few interesting things that happened this pat week. 

First! I had sushi for the first time with an investigator. She works at a Japanese restaurant and invited us for lunch. It was actually really, really good! :D

Second. My companion made me laugh and embarrassed himself as he threw a toy on the roof of this family we were contacting and then broke a work bench shelf in half as he tried to climb on he roof to get it. Not too good, but hilarious at the moment! It was an old bench and no one is mad. We are going to go back as Missionaries and actually do some good :/

Third. We had a wedding and baptism this weekend! He had been living with a member for a while and coming to church and they finally got married and baptized. Our branch first counselor baptized him and a member baptized his step son. Then we had a crazy fun reception filled with Hispanic traditions and dancing. Great food and great fun with our investigators who also came! If you haven't been to a wedding of your Mexican friends, well, try going to one. It's quite the experience. They sure do love to party ;P The groom himself was from Peurto Rico but I believe she is from Mexico.

Other than that not much else happened. Well we did almost get scammed by a con artist who seemed very convincing with her sad-story. We had some awesome Zone leaders and members to solve the case for us.

I Love you all. You all probably love me at least a little. We are a happy family and all that jazz.

Un abrazo de Elder Vance
Us after an intense game of ultimate frisbee! I am so red!! (totally was mvp) 

Counting coins and then teaching tithing to our cool investigator Santos, his future wife Nelly and (off the screen) his brother in law Bernardino. Mostly dollar coins and quarters. Probably around $800 in there no joke! (also 105 pennies..I counted)

Yes we did have a baptism. And a wedding. The light was coming in the window but there they are :)

Picture of me and Santos..who is taking a picture of the dancing going on. Silly!

My companion explaining from the white handbook why we probably shouldn't dance with the bride..

Throwing his tie over his head. My investigators are among the contestants.

The elders, Santos(left), Nelly, and Bernardino(right) :) Now they just all need to come to church!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Hey, I found an exclamation point.--->!

This past week wasn't too different than the many other weeks I have spent here in Georgia so far. Well I guess there was new people and new experiences and new words learned in Spanish and new senses of responsibility. So with that regard it was a whole different week! As they all are and should be :) 

No super new investigators though. This weekend we should be having a baptism for an investigator who was really brought into the church by his girlfriend long before I got here. I guess we are just the lucky ones who get to be at the baptism.

The highlight of the week was, of course, General Conference. For me it was the best Conference I have ever watched. Maybe it's because I am a missionary, or maybe it's because I have a deeper desire to learn about my Savior, or maybe it's because I am learning to recognize the Spirit more and can feel it even more while listening to our church leaders. I think it's all of the above. Many of those talks were answers to specific things that were weighing on my mind recently as I'm sure they were for everyone. I just love General Conference! <----Look. Another exclamation point. 

My companion, Elder Chilcote, and I are striving to be more unified and to pinpoint the things we can do to give more of our hearts to the Lord. As long as we give it our very best we can never fail. Missions are fun. (That was my motivational line for all those who are under the mission age still. ;D Go on a mission! It's worth it. It's worth everything!)

Happy-late birthday to my little brother Jared! He turned nine last week! Yay for God-given bodies and aging processes! :D Miss you buddy!

Con amor y un poquito de queso,

Elder Vance