Monday, November 28, 2016

Light the World

As I hope all of you already know the Christmas initiative is out and ready to go forth.  It starts Dec 1 and goes til Dec 25.  The video is awesome and is found on mormon.org.  It is one of the new ways we are to find people to teach.  We are also supposed to serve people each and every day during this season as well.

This last week has been a good week.  We had 2 Thanksgiving dinners and I once again realised how much I am going to love making tacos on Thanksgiving.  Turkey is good and all but Tacos are so much better.  We were stuffed by the end of the night.

Tyler was baptised and it was so spiritual.  When he bore his testimony after just being baptised it was a teary one.  He knew that this church was true and all.  He was so prepared to receive the gospel. He was found while tracting and since then has been on fire.  So cool!!!  Also some of his family came to church.  His mother who we are going to try to start teaching and also his great grandparents.  His great grandpa served in WW2.  He was on the beaches of Italy at the age of 18.  He also has been married to his wife for 71 yrs.  He was talking about how he is still as madly in love with her now as he was back then.

We met with Kyle this week.  He is also a YSA member like Tyler.  He was found last year and really hasn't gone anywhere.  He read the whole Book of Mormon and loved the end of Moroni.  The sad thing is that he is in an environment that isn't the best for him.  His friends and family are bad examples to him and so he follows in their footsteps.  Every time we meet with him he also smells like beer (fun fact about Elder Vance is that he doesn't like the smell of beer). He came to church yesterday and had that smell on his breath.  It is just sad to see him in that situation that we cannot really help him with.

So being in the Easthill YSA branch I meet people who I might have ran across in the Rootstown ward.  I met one such individual yesterday.  Kyle from the ward spoke at the branch.  The awesome thing is that he decided to go on a mission and he is going to Cambodia.  I actually remember taking him out teaching with us back about 1 yr ago.

We also have another person from the branch leaving on a mission.  Courtney is going to the Boise Idaho mission.  She is a convert of about 1 yr and has decided to go devote her time to the Lord.  We are helping her get prepared.

Also at church yesterday we had Nicole and her 2 sons there.  One was a little baby and the other one was about 7ish. During sacrament meeting I was playing (tic tac toe and sorts) with the little kid to keep him entertained.  It just was so much fun!!!  It helped me developed charity towards little kids again.  I have been having a lot harder time with that recently and that was an answer to prayers.

The last person to report about is Phyllis.  Her daughter is a member but she is not.  We are trying to help her come to know that this is true.  Raised Southern Baptists and so she is very Bible.  This last week she told us that she can't believe the Book of Mormon because it's exactly like the Bible.  There is nothing different in it.  She claims she prayed about it but didn't receive an answer.  The thing that she is not doing is putting forth her end.  She is not reading the Book of Mormon with real intent or with a sincere heart. It's just really frustrating to figure out how to help her progress.

The adventurous thing we ate this week was a dinner with a theme of sweet potatoes.  We had a sweet potato mush with plum, brown sugar, and I think pecans, we had sweet potato noki which is a breaded sweet potato, and we had sweet potato fries.  For dessert we had apple pie.

So the last thing I just want to leave with the quote "choose faith over fear".  We has someone speak in the YSA branch yesterday about a serious car accident she was in.  She talked about how she doesn't do to well when she drives past the accident spot and how she is afraid it happens again.  I felt that this applied to me.  She continue to talk about how she has to put faith that all will be well and faith that God is watching over her and that she can be healed from this incident.

I have recently been studying Laman and Lemuel at the beginning of 1 Nephi. It's just amazing how hard hearted they really are. This scripture I ran across today:
"Ye are swift to do iniquity but slow to remember the Lord your God. Ye have seen an angel, and he spake unto you; yea, ye have heard his voice from time to time; and he hath spoken unto you in a still small voice, but ye were past feeling, that ye could not feel his words; wherefore, he has spoken unto you like unto the voice of thunder, which did cause the earth to shake as if it were to divide asunder." 1 Nephi 17:45

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving

Well happy Thanksgiving to all.  

I am in Tallmadge.  I have parts of Akron and am back in the hood.  It's a good experience for me to be back in it.

My companion is awesome. Elder Gallegos.  I am going to kill him by the end of this transfer. 

We are teaching a guy named Tyler. He is getting baptised this Saturday which is exciting!!!

Really this last week I have been busy with meetings. 8 hrs of church again. Traveling to Cleveland for CAT scans and all that fun stuff. 

Otherwise there is nothing.  I still get a lot of "How are you doing?" questions and it just makes me laugh.

This week I will make a more mental note of what to send for all of y'all next week for email.

"That ye contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you." Alma 34:38

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Yes

Well transfers are here once again and turns out I'm leaving again.  I served in Massillon a total of 5 weeks. Such a short time to be in an area but now I'm going up to Tallmadge and also the YSA branch. Super stoked. 

These last two weeks have been good ones.

Michael prayed about he Book of Mormon and he received an answer!!! He shot us a text out of the blue that said "Yes..". We had no idea what it meant and actually thought that he just accidentally sent it.  We met with him and learned that that was the answer he got from praying about the Book of Mormon.  The Spirit was so strong.  We are now working with him to be able to read daily and to not sleep in on Sunday's so he can come to church.  He came once and loved it but recently he hasn't woken up to come these last times.

Other than that, nothing super eventful has happened these last 2 weeks.

Kirstin's baptism is still up in the air. We are waiting to get word back from the mother. We will learn more about it later today.  

We took a 1 1/2 hr car ride up to Cleveland to get a CAT scan and then came back down. Took up a huge chunk of our day. Waiting for results.

Christmas is coming up so also is the Kirtland Nativity event.  Nearly 1000 Nativities from across the world here at Kirtland.  That is our new finding tool and we are really trying to get people to come.

We met a guy named Rob who we are probably going to start meeting with this week. He wasnt to change his life and we just happened to stumble upon him during exchanges.

Anyways, that was it. I'll email y'all next Thursday maybe...

"And thus Laman and Lemuel, being the eldest, did murmur against their father. And they did murmur because they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them." 1 Nephi 2:12

Elder Vance