Monday, November 30, 2015


o happy late Thanksgiving everyone.  Hope it was enjoyable for all.  Here it was a great day.  We wore casual clothing.  (yes missionaries have casual clothing) It was just a nice break.  We went over to a less active part member home---the Davis family--- and partied there for awhile.  It was nice because I was able to play games and do a whole bunch of stuff.  They were making chicken wings for Thanksgiving.  To me, they were doing it right.  

After that we went to our the Shumway home for the feast.  It was real nice there too.  They just happened to have music playing and it was real nice.  I really liked the Hello song by Adele.  We ate and played games afterwards.  The turkey they made was the best turkey I think I have ever eaten.  It was delicious and amazing.  I am not the biggest fan of turkey but I just could not stop eating this stuff.  It was like they added cocaine or something to it.  We played Mortality, a Mormon board game like Life, afterwards which was weird.  I was the first on to be bishop even though I rejected going on a mission 4 different times.  It was just a weird game.  That was my Thanksgiving.

On Saturday we went to a Kent State Basketball game.  We were only there until half time trying to look for a less active.  He wasn't there sadly.  This was the only game this season he hasn't been to.  It was kinda upsetting.  We will track him down at some point. 

Yesterday, Sunday, was really off.  We were in charge of giving the gospel principle lesson on the Final Judgment.  It was going good but really no one can predict what happens in that class.  It went off, twice, to the topic of selling pot.  We had someone say that it was okay to sell weed to someone for $45 in order to feed their family.  I, being Elder Vance, busted up laughing.  We ended the class because it was the end but I still laugh to this day.  Just quite funny.

Alma 34:38 states "and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you".  This is the scripture we used a lot this week to teach about Thanksgiving.  We share that we must live in Thanksgiving daily and really be grateful for all the many things which we are given.  The more we are grateful the more Heavenly Father would like to bless us with. So really living in Thanksgiving is the way.
I will continue to keep my eye single to the glory of God.


Elder Vance

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The new emojis

Well my lovely sister reminded me about the new emojis and I just have a funny story about it.  So the family we are going over to on Thanksgiving are the greatest people in the world.  They make me laugh.  So one day a few weeks ago she was mentioning how great the new emojis are because of the new one that flips people off.  She was like finally and was so excited and started using it.  Just the whole story made me laugh and so I thought I would share.  

That has been pretty much my week.  Just stories that make me laugh and made me happy.

The first thing to report on is that we found a golden investigator named Stephanie.  She is so happy that we are here to help and so spiritual that it is a good thing.  I just am so excited for her.  I see her getting baptized sometime here in the future.  She is absolutely amazing. She was going to the baptism this past weekend but got lost .  She had intentions but no phone to contact us.  She was also willing to introduce us to all her friends.  It was just an amazing experience.  

Also we have had much success within this area.  Elder Russell and I feel that we are really connecting with this area which is amazing.  We have started going out with Priest teaching Less Actives and Investigators.  We also are taking a lot of the members out.  It just is so fun to go out and teach. 

Well I will work harder to write stuff down during the week to report home.  I have sort of forgotten all that has transpired during the week.  I do remember that last night we chased Alpacas around until we caught one.  That was fun!!!

Well the scripture I have been ponderising this week is Doctrine and Covenants 4:5 mostly focusing on the "eye single to the glory of God" part.  It referred me to Matthew 6:22 which says that if the eye is single to the glory of God then thy whole body shall be full of light.  I am pondering right now and thinking about how if we look at things the way God looks at them we will be full of light.  But how can we do that?  God knows what glorious beings we can become.  He knows what can happen and what time it can happen.  So the way is to put our lives in sync with God.  Are we doing the things he commands us? Are we holding onto the rod and staying by the tree? Are we trying our hardest every day to have the Spirit with us and repent? If we live our lives the way God wants us to live our lives we will be full with light.  We will become glorious beings.  That is something we need to do on a mission.  If we are obedient God will shape us and lead us to become glorious.  I love being here and learning so much.  I will continue to do that and to keep my eye single to the glory of God.

With amor,

Elder Vance

Monday, November 16, 2015

Le Ward

So this week I would love to talk about le Rootstown ward.  They are absolutely amazing.  I love being here because all the ward members are so friendly and hip.  Every week we are given homemade bread which is to die for.  They use that bread for the sacrament.  The organist is a professional which is I absolutely love.  We have people feeding us and just willing to take care of us.  Someone took us to the store and bought food for us.  The love these people have for missionaries are so great.  I can't express enough appreciation to them.

So this week has been a very slow week.  I just feel like it's been forever.  We had zone conference which was fun.  We learned about family history and the fun things behind it.  We learned how to get investigators interested and how we can have them go to the temple.  It just was so fun to get to see the whole thing.

We also did service for this potential investigator family.  It was really fun because we did it with the sisters and they are just so fun.  It was wet and rainy though which made it hard but we still accomplished much.  We are going back and hope to continue to teach her.

We also have this other potential investigator living in South Carolina.  She once upon a time lived up here in Ohio but moved.  We went through formers and found her and got in contact with her.  We send text messages back and forth.  We are going to send it to the missionaries down there once she gets her house.  She was surprised that we had people down there.  Made us chuckle inside.

Well this week I chose to ponderise the scripture Proverb 12:22.  Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight. It is just one of those scriptures that just are so important.  Lying can be taken in so many ways.  I like to think about not lying to yourself. When you lie to yourself you get no where.  We recently watched the 12 step program videos and that is the first step.  Being honest.  No more lying and really come to yourself. That is what a lot of people have to come to in order to be converted.  They have to stop lying to themselves and come to accept truth.

Well I am keeping my eye single to the glory of God and I hope you all have a good week,

Elder Vance

Monday, November 9, 2015

And At Last I See the Light

And it's like the fog has lifted.  That is how I feel right now. This week I have felt like I have been in the fog.  Gotta love the flu!!! That has pretty much been my week.  Tuesday evening I started to get cranky.  Wednesday I started showing the signs and from late Wednesday evening on I have been sick.  So fun fact about Elder Vance is that he gets cranky right before he gets sick.  And also he takes so many pills so he doesn't feel pain. Almost finished a bottle of ibuprofen.  Today I feel like everything is starting to lift.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  It is quite a nice feeling.  My fear is that I will have to deal with this again.

So this week we taught an investigator of a long time.  His name is Brother Brook.  His wife is a member and he hasn't converted yet because he has so many questions.  Some of them aren't relevant but that is our job.  We need to have him find ways to answer his questions but also have him receive answers for himself.  It is quite fun to plan for him and try to find new ways to help him.

We also teach this less active named Royal.  Every time I say his name of course I start to sing the song.  Anyways he is quite amazing.  He grew up in a troubled home and has a troubled family life.  His stories are so awe inspiring and amazing.  I just can't describe.  We are trying to get him to church because it will so benefit him.

We are also teaching a less active named Joseph.  He is so much like the Durey family if I have talked about them in earlier letters.  He just is flaky and not really willing to do anything.  He says he will be at church but then turns around and goes to a different church.  Our issue is trying to get him to see that our church is the church to attend over the fun Protestant church.  He doesn't want to give it up so that will be fun to deal with.

So this week I have been studying Our Heritage, the book from the church.  It is quite amazing all the things I learned about the prophets.  One of my favorite, Heber J Grant, stood out to me. "When he tried out for the baseballteam, he was teased for his awkwardness and lack of skill and was notaccepted as a team member. Instead of becoming discouraged, he spentmany hours of persistent practice in throwing a ball and eventually became amember of another team that won several local championships."  This really stood out to me.  When things were not looking to good for him he kept on trying and kept on going.  He had the same experience for his penmanship.  It was bad but as he kept working on it, it became amazing.  So it shows that not all of us can be experts at everything at first, however, if we put in a lot of hard work no matter what it is we can become experts and know how to play.  I see this while teaching lessons.  I am not even close to being a perfect teacher.  However as I do role plays and keep on teaching I can become a lot better.  I know that God will strengthen those who really put their heart and soul into things.  If you keep your eye single to the glory of God you can accomplish anything.

With deep affection,
Elder Vance

Main Street 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Mi habitación está desordenada

So no I have not been transferred to a Spanish speaking area, I just found a book that had words/phrases in Spanish and I thought this one worked perfectly well.   If you put it in a translator it reads my room is messy. That is what I can describe coming to this new area.  We, Elder Russell and I, got the call to go together to Rootstown.  We enter the apartment and it smelt like Pot and was disgusting.  Not a fun first day.  We actually spent that day cleaning because both of us cannot stand to live in an apartment like that.  Today we did more cleaning and it is a lot nicer.  I actually really like it.

Anyways so now we are here in Ravenna, not Italy, OH progressing the work in the Rootstown ward.  The first few days I had mixed feelings about this area.  I was devastated to leave the people I loved in Ashtabula but excited because of a new area with stores and places around. Right now I absolutely love it here.  I don't want to leave this place either.  For the first time on my mission we have had 5 whole dinner appointments in 1 week.  That is absolutely crazy for me.  The food is good too.  It is just a really nice place.

When we got here the second day we went through the Area book trying to find people we can teach.  None of the records were updated so we are pretty much starting over.  We have to update so much and fix a lot of things.  It is a good learning experience and really helps us out with what we should leave the area book in an area.  Anyways, we decided to go walking and we had a guy track us down just to talk with us.  He had some questions to ask us and he fired away.  He asked so many question. (Questions like: What is your stance on the new tracing thing and that the Native Americans are not related to the Israels.  At the end of it I just laughed and thought how different this really is. People just come out of nowhere just to attack your beliefs.

We were also transferred into an area with Sisters.  This is the first area I am in that has sisters and I really see a difference with the work.  I love them so much.  They are able to connect and just so loving.  It is so nice to have them in the ward.  We have started working with them more to help each other out.  Anyways, I just absolutely love this area.

A story that comes to mind with this weeks change is A Summer with Great-Aunt Rose by Elder Uchtdorf.  He tells of Eva, who, like me, left a comfortable place that she loved.  "Over time, Eva made a surprising discovery: Great-Aunt Rose was quite possibly the happiest person she had ever known!" I took that and applied it to me.  Over time, I will find that I am supposed to be here to learn, like Eva did, and to help others out.  If you haven't read this story, do so now.  It is a great one that everyone can get something out of.  Anyways, I will keep Enduring to the End even though sometimes I don't like too.  But I will also keep my eye single to the glory of God.

With love to all,
Elder Vance