Monday, July 27, 2015

OH MY!!!!

In the wise words of Lizzy White, Oh My!!!  This week has been one of those oh my weeks.  The beginning of the week was slow.  It was just not as fun as other weeks.  We have had really spiritual experiences with members but overall it wasn't terrible fun until the end of the week. It was a building experience week.  I just want to say that members really do help with the work of conversion.  Well anyways not as many crazy stories this week but there are still some.

First thing crazy that happened this week was on Saturday.  We went to the H******'s.  They are the definition of craziness in Conneaut. Sister H******'s husband went to the hospital because he had a hole in his stomach.  She blamed the Percasets (don't know how to spell word).  She then said that she can't wait for him to get home.  In her exact words she said "When he gets home, I'll rape him".  Picture this, she is in her 70's and in a wheel chair, has not showered in a longer time, has no dental hygiene, and said these words. When she said that we started closed and started leaving.  It just was a funny thing that we joke about still.

Second crazy thing that has actually cause a lot of problems happened Sunday night.  We had a member struggling with gay temptations tell my companion that when he sees him he gets temptations.  It was so hard trying to keep myself from laughing.  In the car I couldn't help but bust up.  It actually is quite sad though.  My companion is not even sort of taking it well.  It was not a good experience after the fact.  I see now that it was overall a bad experience.

This week has been the study of the Israelites in Exodus.  There travel from Pharaoh and everything else.  It just completely surprises me that they are stiff-necked after everything they see.  They are quick to iniquity and slow to repentance.  It thought it could relate to people today.  They see miracles but yet choose not to accept them.  They see the blessings in their life but yet curse God.  It just is quite sad.  

Anyways, I love my mission, I love my mission president, I love my companion, I love the weather which is humid but never too hot, I love sleeping, and I LOVE cookies.  The apartment calls me the cookie monster because of my love.  I love the work and I continue to press forward with a eye single to the glory of God.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Crash Into Me

Sometimes the Lord works in funny ways to bring about the salvation of other people.  This week we biked a lot.  From different towns we have biked.  The total amount is more than I can count on all the phalanges.  On one particular trip on Lake Road from Ashtabula to Conneaut (if you want to Google Earth it), I decided to run my bike into a ditch.  I also ran my face and my leg into the same ditch.  It was deep but after the fact I just laughed.  I am laughing at every little thing that seems to be hard or bad.  The good thing that came out of it was a lesson.  We taught a registered nurse (RN) who came over to help us.  We have a set appointment with her this upcoming week.  It was a funny experience of the week. 
To go along with biking, I found a new hobby.  Biking and singing at the same time.  I just belt out my lungs when I am biking.  My companion is far ahead of me so he does not hear.  We bike about 14 miles, from one city to another, and I just sing.  It is quite relaxing.  I challenge all of you to try it. 
My addictions this week have been Captain Crunch, Smart Water, and the Lake.  I bought the big value box of Captain Crunch and ate it all.  Smart Water just taste good.  Lake Erie is just so peaceful.  I find joy and calmness next to it.  I take so many pictures of it.

Another thing I love is ice cream.  In Conneaut there is a place called Heavenly Creamery. It was an old church that now is an ice cream shop.  We went in and they sell weird flavors of ice cream.  They had corn ice cream and many more.  One of the most paradox types of ice cream was the Mango Habanero ice cream.  It is spicy and cold.  What?!? 

On Wednesday, we went to a shop to teach an employee.  Her name is Mercedez and she is in her youth.  We were going to teach her alone but her boss wanted to sit in.  We let it happen but pretty much it was the boss just Bible Bashing us.  She was saying that her way is right.  She claimed that she was a born again Baptist.  It was quite funny.
We also taught a less active guy named Nick.  he has had a tough life.  He has fought a serious car accident injury most of his life.  His wife divorced him because he couldn't move back to Utah.  To add on top of it, he had a stroke this past week.  He has just gone through so much.  One positive thing that came from it was faith.  Through this trial he has build faith and has really progressed.  He got a blessing and has a testimony of it.  One thing that really touched me was how loving everyone is.  Two ladies came in and sang him a song.  It changed his day.  When everything bad was going in his life, music changed that.  Music just has a powerful effect on life.  I have seen that myself.  I heard Love At Home this week and I felt the Spirit so strong.  I have learned to love that song.  Consider the Lilies is also one of my favorites.
1 Timothy 4:12  In thy youth.  Be an example in all times.  When the world is turning to the worst, be the example of the believers.  Well, even though I sometimes forget I try to keep my eye single to the glory of God.

Have a great week and love ya all,
Elder Vance


Black eye from crash
After bike crashSweaters in July

Favorite place to look at the lake. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Keep Holding On

When one thinks he has seen everything one week being here in Ashtabula county he is so mistaken when the next week rolls around.  This week has been the no car because of the crash week.  It has been a learning experience for me.  We have had to ask people for rides all week and walk a lot.  Half way through the week I thought of the song Keep Holding On and I though it applied really well.  I just had to keep going and I know I'll make it through.  Just one of those fun weeks.

This song could also apply to a story I heard this week from a highway patrol man.  His name is Bro. Thayne and he is a member.  On one of the roads there was a guy who was pulled over for letting things go (if you know what I mean) in the middle of the road.  He was on a tractor and just held on while he released his load.  To make it better, he wiped with his socks.  I busted up laughing thinking how lazy people really are.

So this week has been another crazy ride.  On Thursday we went to a house and the mother, Cathy, was distraught.  She thought her child was out making trouble and doing drugs.  Her child is 11 by the way.  She confessed to us that she smokes weed and her child stole some of her product.  We found the child and to be honest he seemed fine.  We went back to report to the mother and she had a belt out ready to whip him.  It just was very sad.  I wanted to do something but it was out of my control.  The 11 yr old was baptized and is a member of the church.  He just didn't seem like a guy who would do drugs.  People are surprising.

Story number two takes place on Friday.  We have a former investigator, Dori, who totally was just interested in financial support (a lot of past investigators are) and who totally dissed on our church.  Well on Friday she text us to see if we could go to Walmart and pick her up some food.  She said she had money (did not) but just had no way to get there.  We laughed and told her we were busy.  She texted again and ask if we could do it tomorrow.  We told her that we were busy all tomorrow.  We didn't outright say no but instead gave hints that she didn't pick up.  Our mistake.  Anyways she texted back and asked if there is any day we could do it.  We then told our purpose of why we are here and that no we will not do it.  She was quite for awhile while we went along our ways.  Later we figured out she spent all her money on candy and pop.  We laughed but then she texted back again wanting help.  We just said no.  Her partner, lesbian she is, also tried to get us to help her.  This whole thing was just a laughing moment.  It is so crazy here in this county of Ashtabula. Just so funny but I love it so much.  I love laughing with the crazies and realizing how much I really do have.

Well those are the most memorable moments of the week.  I have found love in cleaning.  I just love to clean and make things clean.  Cleanliness is happiness.  That is why I forgot my camera and no pictures will be coming in this week.  Sorry to all those who wanted to see me but not this week.  I take a picture a day so next week will be very packed with pictures.  I'm one who says that a picture captures memories better than writing in a journal.  I still write but not as detailed.  I have also learned that I am always cold.  I am going to buy gloves to wear to church in the middle of the summer.  

For personal study this week I went through the Tropical Guide and looked up scriptures with the word faith.  I found so many scriptures and found love in a lot of them.  Some of my favorites were in the New Testament.  I also looked up scripture with Humility.  I have fallen in love with doing this.  I love looking in the Tropical Guide and finding scriptures.  It is a great way to  learn about topics and to get better acquaintedwith the scriptures.  I am going to do that with all of the Christlike Attributes so that I can become closer to Christ.  

Well I love my area no matter how wacky they are.  I love that I speak English. I the stories I hear.  I love my mission.  I will continue to have my eye single to the glory of God.

With Love,

Elder Vance

Monday, July 6, 2015

MTC Pictures and Kirkland Temple

If 10 Million Fireflies

One word cannot describe how this past week went.  It was the best of times it was the worst of times.  We have had some blessings we have had some draw backs.  First thing is that on Monday last week we had a miracle.  We met someone just out while look at the sunset.  We took a picture of the oh so pretty sunset and found a lady who we talked to.  She, known as Tina, had a husband who was holding her back but now she was set free.  We were able to comfort her. 

Tuesday, oh Tuesday, was the crazy wacko no good very weird day.  We have this Recent Convert who is 21 and his name is Ken.  He comes from a not so great family home.  On Monday night he was abused by his mother, who has multiple personality disorder, and left home.  He took shelter at a members house who was going to take him to a safe house. Tuesdaywe were at the church and he was there.  His mother came and was wanting him back.  She would drive outside the church threatening us.  Sadly we had to get the bishop involved and the police.  Oh my!!!! 

On Wednesday, we went on exchanges.  I had the wonderful opportunity to go to the mental rehabilitation center.  There I met a really nice lady who wanted to join the church.  She started to come in my space and ask if she could speak.  She then said she was a whore.  Oh so fun for me.  It was so awkward and I had no idea where to go next.  Yeah that sums up my day on Wednesday.

Being here I have learned a few things.  I have learned how many fireflies there are.  I actually see them and I have to say they are really cool.  I learned that my IQ is probably going down.  It is quite funny I think.  People here are not the smartest in the world and all work for the same company.  This means that they are all poor.  

On the 4th of July, my favourite holiday, we had a meeting and service.  We drove, my nap time, to Cleveland area and were taught by my new mission Presidents.  After that we did service the rest of the night.  Most of the service here is outside.  Not much moving or inside work.  

My companion is from St. George Utah and his name is Elder Demke.  He has a twin brother and he wants to be a landscaper when he is older.  He is a hard worker and all.  

Spiritual though that has been going though my head is courage.  We all need to be courageous in life.  We need to stand for what is right and to stay true.  Do not hold back when asked a question.  BE BOLD

Well that is my little rushed because we have to turn in our damaged car thanks to a grandma crashing into it letter.  No car week fun fun.

Alma 7:11-13 are my favs this week

GO TO HEAVEN

Keeping my eye single all day and all night to the glory of God

Elder Vance


Just a City Boy

Well I deleted my first email on accident so haha my mistake this one will be shorter.  I am doing well (besides the emotional and mental breakdowns I have had almost daily) here in Ashtabula county. It is a poor county here in Ohio and located in the top right portion of the state. It was hard trying to get used to it coming from Utah. People here are scary beyond scary.  Some call this county the county of misfits because everyone is different and or scary.
 
Before I go on, let me describe some fun facts about this place.  First, it is easier to pluck eyebrows here than in Utah.  Second, it is Amish country.  I saw Amish people yesterday and it made me laugh.  Lastly, people still own computers from 1998.  I had to help someone fix the computer that came out when I was 1.
 
Anyways I taught a lady, whose name I did not quite get, who has lost 3 children, was almost killed by her brother and sister in her childhood, and has heart problems now.  She has had a hard life when I heard all of this.  I also taught a Sister M***k who I have become quite fond of.  Her grandchildren are fun and she is fun. She doesn't go to church because she gets anxiety and persuades herself not to go.
 
Some people here are sort of normal though.  I ate at the T****e's house and had Gluten Free Pancakes.  They are Vegetarian and Gluten free but those pancakes were delicious.
 
Well this week I learned that Commandments are in place so we can become like Christ.  Our main goal on this earth is to become like Christ so we can be like him in the future. 
 
I am doing great.  I still know all the Jenner and Kardashian names.  I still can quote the Ew song from Wil.I.AM  I still look smoking hot especially in the sweater I wore yesterday.  It was 28 June and I wore a sweater.
 
Scripture of the week: Matthew 18:20
Companion's name: Elder Demke from St. George.
 
Keeping my eye sing to the glory of God
 
With love,
 
Elder Vance