Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Hey guess what?!?

I realized that I created a group called family and that all that this email goes to is in the family.  Wow the things you can do.  

Well this last week was Christmas. The day after Christmas it was no longer Christmas.  This is a hard thing for people to comprehend.  You don't go around saying Merry Christmas December 26.  It just isn't right.

So nothing really exciting happened this week work wise.   We didn't have many cool things happen. We went caroling Christmas Eve and Christmas night.  It really brought joy into people's lives.  I didn't really realise the power of caroling until these nights.

I was able to see my family and some other person on Christmas day too.  It was great hearing them and talking to them.  It is amazing how technology has really progressed.  We went to the Eckel house and partayed there that day.

This week I pondered Hymn #243 Let Us All Press On.  It was really exciting.  I absolutely love that song and it works wonderfully for keeping your mind on the work.  When thoughts that you do not want pop into your head just sing.  The greatest remedy.

So sorry for this short letter but nothing really happened.  So I continue to keep my eye single to the glory of God.

Okay so the greatest thing happened on Saturday.  Please add this section to the email for the week.  We went to the Ustazewski home and ate dinner.  They have a child who has some problems with her muscles so she can't speak.  She is starting to learn sign language.  During dinner we were talking and I remembered a little bit of sign language from the past (back when I set a goal in maybe 2010 or 2009).  I knew the sign for milk and I did it.  It made her day.  She is about 5 but is a little behind.  Just the smile and everything really made my day and made me happy.  See goals you set for New Years do affect you in the future.  

avec beaucoup d'amour

Elder Vance

Monday, December 21, 2015

No me gusto gatos

So this week I really learned how much I just cannot stand cats.  We went over to the Barteck home and it was just bad.  We walk up to the door and you can just smell cat urine.  We weren't even inside!!! We walk inside and from that point I had to breathe through my mouth because I would probably have vomited if I inhaled through my nose.  Just describing it makes me sick.  When we walked inside there was poop and urine all over the floor.  It was just so disgusting.  I had to sit on a couch that who knows if it had bed bugs or not. It just was not at all a good experience.  Supposedly she just lets in stray cats and feeds them but doesn't care to do anything else about them.  She also told us a story about how last night she slipped on Dog urine and fell and got it all in her hair.  We looked and there it was just under a newspaper.  It was just one of those stories you laugh about and realise how thankful you are for what you have.  I can laugh about it and tell people about my mission experience.

Well crazy has started back up again.  I had 6 weeks of sort of normal but now they are gone and I am back to the usual.  Today we ran into a Jewish Apostolic Pentecostal.  He was very interesting.  What he was saying wasn't going anywhere.  It just was really funny hearing him talk about speaking in tongues and the Israelis.  It just was quite funny to listen.

We picked up this lady named Madonna.  She seems interested and wanted to meet with us.  When was a former investigator and I wanted to go see her because of her name.  We stopped by and she wanted to learn more so we are planning on going back.

I think East Toledo has a skunk problem.  I just smell it everywhere.  Animal control really needs to fix it.

So our miracle this week happened yesterday for church.  We have been trying to get the Johnson family---investigators---to come to church.  On Friday they said that their work schedule has changed and that they can come to church.  We were just so happy and couldn't wait to get them.  We told them that we were going to meet them at 9:15 the following morning to help them get there.  It was a struggle to get to church because of some issues but they came!!!!!!!!!! The ward just loved them and it all looks promising.  this would have never happened if it wasn't for the many prayers said and the Lord really working with them.  It just made my whole month.  I am still so happy about it.

So this week my main focus was of course on Christmas which mostly relates to #ASaviorIsBorn. This video is so great and powerful so I challenge all this who are reading this email to share the link on Facebook or with a friend who might not have seen it.  I just really loved the scriptures they used in it.  Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 9:6, and Luke 2.  They just are put together so nicely that makes this video so amazing.  It just is so important to focus on Christ and the true reason of Christmas instead of commercialism. 

Anyways, have a wonderful week and don't worry I am keeping my eye single to the glory of God.

Elder Vance

Monday, December 14, 2015

Toledo

Well I am officially in the Perrysburg ward.  My area covers East Toledo, Oregon (Ore ee gon is how it is pronounced), THE LAKE!!! and others.  It is a lot like what I started with, good amount of farm and complete ghetto.  The ghetto is a lot worst and due to the holiday season it is not advised to go out working.  I might get jumped or something.  

So some fun facts about Toledo is that it once was the capital for sex trafficking of the nation. There are a lot of drugs too.  It can be beautiful if don't see East Toledo.

My new companion is Elder Whipple.  He has been out about 9 months and has served here for awhile. He is from Gilbert Arizona.  Loves music.  Taller than me.  Don't know what else to say.

Nothing big has happened around here missionary work wise because I still am new but I look forward to progressing it to make it that way.

Well this year the first presidency has really focused on making the Sabbath day a delight.  It is so crucial to keep it Holy but also make it a fun day.  In Ward Council we watched a video about how to make it delightful.  There are those who dread the Sabbath day at home because there is nothing to do and there are so many restrictions but what they are really focusing on is spending the time with your family.  Make it a fun day to serve others.  Bake a plate of cookies every Sunday and deliver it to people in your neighborhood.  Do stuff on Sunday to make it delightful as a family. One of the apostles said that Jesus was persecuted for what he did on the Sabbath. Be creative and don't look at the lists of the do's and don't's.

So I feel a little weird right now so apologies for the letter. It might be the water (haha) inside joke with the Hayden's who we ate dinner with this week.  He got a new water filter and was just so passionate about it when telling us that he pretty much beat it. 

Well I will continue to keep my eye single to the glory of God.

Regards,

Elder Vance

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

So Long, Farewell

I actually think that was the same title when I got transferred last time.  It feels like it was only 6 weeks ago.  I have loved my time here in Rootstown and look forward to what the future holds.  I am guessing that I will go to Sandusky.  Don't really know but a guess.  I have to pack and do a lot of stuff before tomorrow.

Anyways this week has been absolutely crazy.  It started off with a hair cut and Mikes place.  We had a huge meal for like $4.  It was nice because a member gave us a hair cut and paid for our meal too.  She got it for free though because she knows the owner.  It was a real nice day.

December 1st we got to go up to Kirtland and party there for the day.  It was the mission conference and we got to visit.  It was really nice.  We watched a movie too which is unheard of.  The best 2 yrs.  It is quite funny that we were able to watch it.

We picked up a whole bunch of new investigators this week.  The first one is Brother Townend.  He is part of a part member family.  We went to his house and taught him about prayer and the Word of Wisdom. He thinks that because he was not dead it is okay for him toe drink and smoke.  We laughed a little afterwards but during the lesson we testified that through prayer he can receive answers if he is actually willing to change.  That was hard for him to grasp because during the lesson he kept getting progressively drunk.  It just was spirit filled with a little bit of laughter.

The second one is Brother Haworth.  He is a HQ referral who wanted a Book of Mormon.  We dropped it off to us and set up a return appointment.  We went back and he let us in and we tried to get to know him.  He said he is a college student and just living here with his boyfriend.  (At this time thoughts were flying through my head) We continue to talk which lead to the Restoration.  He has many conspiracies that might stop him in the future from progressing.  It is sad though that I won't be able to see him change.

The third one is Brother Smith.  He is by far the coolest one we picked up.  He is a member referral from Brother Fortson, his great uncle.  He is so ghetto and hip.  He was a past member of the Crips gang and is now searching for truth.  He relates to the Mormon religion because Mormon means black man and also Moroni (not I but ee at the end) is his rap name (I think that is what he said).  It is just so fun to teach him.  He wants to be baptized but he is living with his girlfriend who  is going though a divorce.  That will be fun to tell him.

The last one we are really working with is the Barnes family.  Brother Barnes wants his children to have the moral compass the church can bring so he is having us come over.  It is just so fun to go over and to see what goes on.  They are a hoot.  We teach their children about prayer and about all sorts of things.  Last time we tried having a lesson on the Tree of Life.  It went well.  I,on accident, beat my companion with a police baton though.  My mistake.  It hurts more than I though it did.  Anyways we are teaching them tonight and I just look forward to it.

Those are pretty much the people we are really focusing on.

Oh and when tracking yesterday we were stopped by a totally tree hugger guy.  He calls himself the Kent TreeMan.  This just shows how crazy he was.  He talked about how he fasts for 40 something days and a whole bunch of weird stuff.  I got to the point where (shame on me) I stopped listening to him.  He just kept on talking and talking and talking and it just wouldn't stop.  Luckily you just have to be bold and say "Hey we have another appointment, sorry we can't keep talking" and walk away.  Of course you give him a card but you give him an HQ referral card with the number on it.  Anyways I look back and just laugh.

So the scripture of the week goes to Romans 15:1. 

We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak , and not to please ourselves. 

This scripture was picked out for me.  It really shows how much patience I have.  Elder Russell and I went through the Christlike attribute section and picked out a scripture that we both thought we could work on.  Mine of course fell under patience and how I need to be more patience when people don't do things the best way for it to be done.  So that is what I have been trying to work on.  Breathing really helps with it.  Also Christ *snapping*. Thought Christ all weak things can be made strong.  So as I keep keeping my eye single to the Glory of God I can work on my lack of patience.  

prends soin de toi, (French for something, don't really know)

Elder Vance