Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Feliz dia de Pascua

I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend!

Easter brings family, fun, chocolate, and maybe one of two eggs that go rotten because the Easter bunny tried to get tricky and hid some eggs inside the piano and forgot about them. But of course as we all most definitely heard in church yesterday, Easter is about Christ. I had the nice opportunity to sing with the other missionaries in the English ward in an all missionary choir. Even the missionary couples sang with us :) I also got to sing with the Spanish branch choir in our sacrament meeting. Some food and cake afterwards made for a nice church experience. :D

Though it would have been a lot better had our top investigator, Jose, come to church. He was unable to do so for understandable reasons, so I forgive him. :P We met Jose this past week and we have already met with him three times. He is reading the Book of Mormon and understands well what we teach him. He accepted an invitation to be baptized on the first visit and has not turned back from it since. He is an example of someone looking for real and lasting change. And by the faith he is showing through his actions he is definitely going to be able to find it. I am so blessed to be able to see a first hand view of all of this. Please pray for him and for us to be able to help him! :)

I am a missionary. It is pretty life changing what is happening out here. For us just as much as for the people we meet. Even in the low points I feel in awe at the wisdom my Father in Heaven has demonstrated by allowing me to be out here at all! His plan is a puzzle to me at times but little by little I think it is making for sense. Not just intellectually. :) 

Missionary work. Not overrated. 

-Elder Vance

Selfies for the Lord. 

Tour of the Hindu temple

It takes courage! and Captain Crunch!

Well, my first week in the mission field has gone by! Wow what a crazy week. So many changes, but you know what, I'm ready for these next two years! I just hope I can ever get this Spanish down. :/ 


I kid, I kid! That is probably something I might have said a little over a year ago. My time flies, huh? It feels like I was a greenie just last week. Eh, not really, it still feels like it has been a long time. But in hindsight things always seem so close. It makes me wonder how God feels having Eternity always before him, seeing the beginning from the end.. *mind blown* Anyway! This new area that I'm in reminds me in a lot of ways of my first area. Or as we like to refer to it here, my 'baby area'. :) Lots of green. Lots of houses. Lots of awesome people!

I had the great opportunity to give a talk in sacrament meeting yesterday. I spoke on 'el valor' or as most people who speak English like to say it, courage. I used lines from President Monson's talk given in the Priesthood session of General Conference. I don't need to preach it to you but I do invite you all to check it out again or for the first time! :) During my talk I was able to get some laughs, look people in the eyes and call them to repentance (not really :P ) and ,of course, turn really red. I just..I can't control that part of me. Whether I'm nervous or not I just beam brightly when in front of people. But it is a change for the Spanish branches because they never have redheads. So they like it!

The pollen right now is very thick and everything is yellow. We are surviving though, even if only slightly surviving. It is actually pouring rain right now so for a while it will all be washed away. Sweet! the weather is a lot warmer, which I love, so things are generally going smoothly. But there are still mountains left to climb.

Hasta luego,
El Elder Vance

p.s. For all you who are preparing to serve missions I highly suggest figuring out what type of cereal you like now. It is a big aisle in the store and your time will be cut well if you can be decisive. This is very serious advice, almost as serious as preparing yourself mentally and spiritually. (eh, not quite..) I recently finished a bag of a captain crunch type cereal with marshmallows in it. The bomb! Though I think I'll stay away from that for a while. Something about too much sugar being bad or something like that.. Well, off to eat my lightly-sweetened multi-grain cheerios!

Just Hanging around doing a service project!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Que Lo Muerda!

Transfers are gone! I am here in my new area of Lilburn with my new companion Elder Welker. HE is from California and enjoys singing around the apartment and anywhere else, as I do. He just got finished being trained so he is still fresh and ready to be molded in my hands as clay! Or something like that.. Nah, I have a bunch to learn from him! This area has been having a lot of success recently so we will see how well we keep it up. :)

Did everyone else enjoy General Conference as much as I did? I hope so! If not, just re-watch Elder Holland's talk over and over again until you feel obligated to be good and enjoy conference. Hah, but they were all fantastic for many different reasons. We are all going to like something different from all of the speakers. I really enjoyed Elder Aidukaitis' talk in the last session on Sunday. I have seen him speak in person at the MTC as well as here in Georgia. Love that accent and enthusiasm! But he was just one of many that hit me.

So far things in this new area are going well. My voice is finally back after four days of being gone! Do you know how hard that was for me?? I love to talk! Sometimes too much, but still! I guess God wanted me to learn to let my companion talk more. It worked out fine though. Elder Welker had a Peruvian companion last so he didn't get too many opportunities to really practice his Spanish. But now that he is with another Gringo he will be speaking a lot more :)

I must be off now. I wish you all the best of luck and blessings in all your endeavors! This is your four minutes to perform. How are you doing so far?

-Elder Vance

(The email title refers to a nice family in my last area wanting me to bite into a cake they bought for me as a going away thing. They shoved my face into it. Saw it coming. I let it happen :P you'll probably see the pictures from my sweet mother :D )

Saying good bye to investigator

Farewell party from a member family

Saw it coming.

District before transfers