Tuesday, October 28, 2014

"This isn't even hot!..*cough *cough..uh oh"

Looks like I'm staying right here in Norcross, GA. Good place, really. I love my companion and the branch is way sweet. Plus we have baptisms that are looking to be happening in the upcoming weeks. The only downside of staying here is that because I'm leaving in January there is a chance that I'll get sent somewhere for only a month right before I leave. Or I'll just stay here the rest of my time. No biggie really.

This week was nice, as usual. It's getting colder which means we are wearing more sweaters! Yay! But to keep things ever warmer the members are still giving us spicy foods. Speaking of which, I was challenged to eat a whole Jalapeno that was just picked from a member's garden. I accepted, mostly wanting to get a video of it.

At first it really wasn't bad. I thought, 'Hey, this isn't even spicy!' Then it hit me. Red face. Red eyes. Burning mouth and throat. Really I couldn't believe how hot it was! Yeeah, yeah, there are those of you who can down those without problem, but I'm a gringo here! I was dying. I drank like a galon of juice and milk and bananas and stuff... Ya. Fun fun! Well, at least it was fun for everyone who was watching. Brother Castro, the member who gave it to me, was busting up laughing. Seriously, I don't know why he found my pain so enjoyable. But now I have a good memory that I will never forget. And a sense to not to do it again. At least any time soon. ;P

Hasta la proxima,

-Elder Vance :D

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

BCE: Baptism...Confirmation...Empanadas

This week was great! Mainly because we actually had a baptism and confirmation take place! Good ol' Martin Alanis has taken the steps necessary to enter into the waters of Baptism and make a covenant with God. Sounds fun, right? Cause it is! But more than being 'fun' it is actually the door to the path which lead to Eternal Life. And there is only one path. One door. One path. One way. One Savior who paved that way with his life and blood. It is just crazy how things begin to piece together when it comes to understanding the Plan of Salvation and Gospel. 

After the Baptismal service the members provided some nice Hispanic hot chocolate, sweet bread, and empanadas. Very good. 

We are now preparing to take a trip to the Temple with Martin to perform Baptisms for the dead. That would be such a good experience for him. And for all of us, really. I just hope I don't get transferred before we can :O

We are working hard and sleeping harder (Only after planning session of course) and then rinsing and repeating. Just like the shampoo bottles tell us too.

Mucho <3 para todos!

-Elder Vance

B is for Baptism

Have you heard the news?? Well probably not because I have told you yet. But we will be having a baptism this week on Thursday! 

Oh, Hello, by the way. Forgot to say that.

So you may remember, but maybe not, that I mentioned an investigator who was not allowed to get baptized because his mother said no. Well we started teaching one of his good friends that he actually rooms with now. His friend's name is Martin. After a few weeks of teaching and coming to church he is preparing to be baptized on Thursday and become an official member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! 

Martin is such a humble guy. He is eighteen and is a tad shy, but has seen that he has opened up as we have been teaching him. His family is from Mexico and he speaks both English and Spanish... But mostly English. He has no problem with any of the commandments and standards that we have taught and has already told his mom he cannot drink coffee anymore. Haha, I just love this guy.

Of course, opposition is real until the day we die so there is always something that might come up. So please pray that the baptism can go smoothly and that the Spirit can really be strong there for everyone. 

There is nothing else to report other than that it is raining. Like always. 

My love for all of you burns like the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns. So always remember that! Hasta luego mis compadres!

-Elder Vance

Conference Weekend was Great!

Good morn-after-evening! You see, I don't know at what time you'll be reading this so I had to include all the options.

Did you all enjoy conference weekend like we did here in Georgia? I hope so. I felt that the talks were so bold and powerful and loved the twist of listening to a few speakers in their native language. We listened to conference in English but would run to the Spanish broadcast in the other room to here the Spanish speakers. Very fun :) One of my favorite talks was Elder Christofferson's talk on the justice of God and how 'a God who does not require anything of us is the functional equivalent of a God who does not exist.' Ooooh! Nice! :D

We got a couple of investigators to come and enjoy a few sessions or parts of sessions. Really that's all missionaries do before and after General conference, just run around and try and wake people up for it or get them to watch it at home. Same with church, really. It's quite the schedule! Busy, busy, busy. Well, a better description would be 'anxiously engaged in a good cause'. 

We found out something surprising about on of our 'less actives' we have been working with. She is the unmarried mother of four with one on the way and is only twenty-five. They are super sweet and the kids are way cute and a bit hyper. (Candy helps them focus..well it probably also does the opposite...oops) She was supposedly baptized when she was eight but then just never stayed with the church. We looked for her records but couldn't find them until one day our branch president called and said he'd found them. The problem was that it turns out she as baptized a few months before she was eight so it was never valid. So she will need to be baptized technically for the first time. :) This is good news too because she had always thought he baptismal experience wasn't a good one. Which makes sens now because it wasn't a real baptism! :O So we are exited to have a 'new investigator' and are helping her work to making, for real, a covenant with God.

Fun stuff like that happens every once in a while. :) Well, missions aren't always exiting, but they can always be fun.

-Elder Vance

Elder Galvez and Elder Vance.  Game face. 

Mission Pres., President Bennion

Matching new suits