Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Going Home

I'm going home!!!!!! I am so excited. I will be sad leaving the Ohio and the folk I have met here.

I have learned so much while being out here in Ohio. Maybe I'll explain a little bit during my homecoming talk.

This week we had zone conference which was really great! I got to say goodbye to all the friends I have made and it was just so great.  They talked a lot on working with the Bishop, the Ward Mission Leader, and the Ward Council.  

Friday we met with our recent convert Tiffany. She is struggling real bad.  She has stopped coming to church and has gotten back into coffee.  I don't know how much real intent she has.  We told her that the best way to help her get off coffee again would be to come to church.  We even asked her what we can do to help her.  She told us to call Sunday morning.  We did that and she answered and said that she would be there. Sadly she wasn't. It was sad.

Also the Cleveland 3rd Elders lost their phone on the train and so we had to make an extra trip this week to give them the extra one we have.  The whole transfer we have had 2 phones for the single companionship.  It was really nice.

On Sunday we ate dinner with the Evans family.  They are so awesome.  We played baseball with their kids and it was just a lot of fun. It was really weird to attend church for the last time as Elder.

Monday rolled around and we did service at the Bishop's storehouse.

We are still planning for a baptism this Saturday. I've been running around trying to work with difficult people to make this go through.  It should be go through. I'm so excited for Kaylee and her wanting to be baptised.

27 And I, Jacob (Elder Vance), saw that I must soon go down to my grave (and leave the Ohio Cleveland Mission); wherefore, I said unto my son Enos: Take these plates. And I told him the things which my brother Nephi had commanded me, and he promised obedience unto the commands. And I make an end of my writing upon these plates, which writing has been small; and to the reader I bid farewell, hoping that many of my brethren may read my words. Brethren, adieu.







Sunday, June 11, 2017

7 moe day

Well the time is coming short.  I don't know how much I'll write this week or if I'll even write next week.  We will see.

We haven't found anyone new to teach this week.  It's a lot more difficult with people who know what they want and are comfortable with their religion.

We were able to help Paul out this week.  We found someone from mormon.org who spoke Romanian and let her and Paul talk.  Paul was a little stubborn and said that he wanted to speak to a native speaker.  This is hard because there are none in our area that is a native Romanian and knows about the Book of Mormon. It's just a struggle.  The person from mormon.org is helping us to get someone from Romania to help.

About 2 days ago we met a Stayshawn (male) who just lost a cousin to a drive by shooting in East Cleveland off of E30th and around Cedar. He said that he and his mother (Shawn) would like some comfort and would like to hear our message.  We went back the following day but they flamed us. The house smelt really strongly like weed.  We are going to try and meet with them but I just wanted to inform you on potential names you can name people.

Time goes on.

"Waah"-Elder Vance

Love Squirrels

Lunch with Joyce and Carl Anderson

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day!

Well we have had an okay week. I honestly don't remember what has happened.

We haven't found anyone new to teach.

We did have a ward party.  That was a good way to talk to the members.

Yesterday we went on exchanges. I went with Elder Kennedy and we worked hard.  It was great. We met Shawn who is awesome.  He was waiting for the bus and we were able to teach him the Restoration and give him a Book of Mormon.  It was great. We also did some door knocking and walking.

This last week we did play Ultimate Frisbee. We are trying to get members to invite nonmember to come out to play.  We had a huge turnout.  We did have a potential investigator named Matt.  We have been trying to meet with him. We did once and taught him about the Book of Mormon and he was interested.  We haven't really met him since.

I also tried sushi this week. I prefer the non-fish sushi.

"Inviting others to come unto Christ is our purpose, and we can fulfill this purpose by looking up to Jesus Christ." -Elder Yoon Hwan Choi


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Missionary Work

Well this week we had to give more people a break.  We were corrected and now we don't drop people or put people as Do Not Contacts. It's not giving them a chance to change. So we give them a break.

We had to give Nick, Raj, and Gurjo up. We never met with them and they texted us out of the blue and told us that they are going on vacation for the next few months.  We just won't be able to meet with them.

We were able to meet with Nicole. She was the Sister's investigator that we haven't been able to meet until now.  We were able to take Sister Sears with us and it was awesome.  She feels that the Book of Mormon is true and all we have to do is help her act on it.  She attends a Southern Baptist church.

We were also able to meet with Kaylee again. She is a part member family we have been working with and now she has a baptismal date.  It's June 17th.

Well that's pretty much it.  Don't have much else to report on. Have a great week.

"9 And when they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them.
10 And if it so be that they will not believe these things, then shall the greater things be withheld from them, unto their condemnation." 3 Nephi 26:9-10
--
Elder Vance

Having lunch with Joyce and Carl Anderson on June 7 before I leave. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Mother's Day

Well Mother's day just passed so happy Mother's day.

So the miracle that happened last week with William played out this week.  We met with William and we also met with his wife and we got talking about the Restoration more fully.  They happily accepted the Book of Mormon and said they are going to read it.  We are going to meet with them on Friday and see from there.

We also met with Paul, our Romanian investigator. He is so funny.  When we went in there he talked about how the Book of Mormon just repeats the same thing over and over again. He translates it to "It Happen" while we translate it to "And it came to pass". It just was funny to talk about that with him and to know that he has been reading it.  Our next step is to find someone that speaks Romanian and have his question's answered.

We also met with Mary.  She is an older Catholic lady who is interested in Family History.  We are going to start getting her into it.  She is a little bit afraid of the computers and especially apps on her iPhone.

Another guy we taught was a guy named Peter. He is a bishop of his religion which follows after the pattern of Rastafarianism. Really funky stuff.  But anyways, he ended up telling us about his religion and we shared about the Book of Mormon. Nothing too big but he is really into additional scripture. He loves our Gospel Library app that we have. Really cool!

Well that's about it.
Have a great week!

Week 1 Transfer 17 (I Think)

Well this was week one of my last transfer. It has been a lot of planning and figuring out what the heck is going on.

On Sunday we went on a 14 mile bike ride up and down hills.  The investigators that the sisters had are hard to meet with and they weren't really going anywhere.  They also don't have many less actives that we meet with.  It just is a lot of finding.

So the miracle we had this week took place in 15 mins. The schedule that day made it so we had companion study right before dinner. So we put in this dinner tray that takes 1 hr to cook and continued to study. We finished studies and we had like 15 mins before dinner would be ready. We thought about getting on our bikes and seeing what we can find it those 15 mins. We prayed and we prayed specifically for a miracle and someone to talk to. We were led to William. We taught him a short Restoration and picked him up as a new investigator. We are going back Friday to teach him and his family. We also didn't burn down the house. Really a miracle.

Well. That has pretty much been my week. If they continue to get shorter as the month goes by it's because I'm tired.

“We must live by faith and not by fear.”—Elder Quentin L. Cook

Well take care,

Cleaning out the Sisters apartment. 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

One last transfer

Well I am being moved again.  I am going to the Sister's area of our ward. White washing it. I am so excited because it is going to keep me more focus because it's a new area. It's going to be good.

We found 4 new investigators this week. This was awesome! 

One was a family in the North Olmsted ward that we'll have to give up.  It was a member referral and they wanted to learn more.

Another was a guy from Romania. He was pulling out a tree and we helped him and he was interested in what we do and share.  We are going to get a Romanian Book of Mormon for him.

The last one was found by tracting.  He met missionaries in D.C. and also dated a Mormon women a long time ago.  He was open and we are planning on going to Kirtland with him this Saturday.

Most of these people I won't be teaching this next week. It will be so much fun. I am excited.

"For with God nothing shall be impossible." Luke 1:37
--
Elder Vance

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Find Find Find Find Find Find Find Find

This last week has been a lot of finding.  We have been finding and finding to find people to teach.

Yesterday was a great day.  It was sunny and a perfect day to talk to people.  We got a lot of return appointment or addresses and hopefully they will all pan out this week.

We did meet with Rich (investigator).  We are still helping him clean his house and guiding him to how he can change his life.  He has to get some dental work done and so he wants the church to pay for him.  We laughed and told him that that most likely won't happen.  He isn't trying to help himself be financially stable.  We gave him a list of things of what he can do to get his expenses down. We told him to get a part time job, cut his phone bill, stop smoking, get rid of cable, Netflix, or Roku and so much more. He lives on Social Security Disability pay check each month and spends more of it.  It is quite sad. So we have been helping him with that.

We had zone conference this last week. Had Hawaiian haystacks for lunch.  I think that was the first time on my mission.

"O Lord, wilt thou grant unto us that we may have success in bringing them again unto thee in Christ. Behold, O Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are our brethren; therefore, give unto us, O Lord, power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto thee." - Alma 31:34-35

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Dave

I survived Ohio this week.  With all the things going on I survived.

Steve Stephens wasn't close to me. It was actually in my old area but not close to me.
Ohio allergies almost took me down.
I got Hives  this last week. They are gone now.
I survived.

So attached is the picture of our neighbors. The one to the left is Dave who we like more than Frank, the one on the right. He has talked to missionaries before because he parties in one of the garage doors just down from ours.  He is usually drunk and just spats of crap.  This picture was taken because he got a selfie stick off of a bottle of alcohol and was just going ham with it.  When we see him our usually response is "there goes the rest of our night". There will be more coming from Dave in future emails.

This week we met once again with our friend from the Congo.  We went over the importance of the Book of Mormon and also showed him the many church building in his home land.  He was surprised about the latter thing and we hoped it helped him gain more of a testimony.

We also met with our Turkish friends. Tuncay is questioning his religion a lot more than Tugba. We invited the to church and they said that they would come. It will be great to see them when they do.

Otherwise we had interviews this week. We have zone conference next week. We also went to the temple today. Things are going well.

Heard this talk the other day and I liked this quote.
“Some things can only be learned by faith.” —Elder Dallin H. Oaks

Elder Vance


Monday, April 17, 2017

Snapstory

I made it on someone's snap story this week. We were riding our bikes on Monday and we saw to guys getting out of their car. We talked to them and we made a deal that we could get his info if we would take a picture with him to put on his snap story. I thought it was a fair trade.

These last 2 days we have been biking. We let the Cleveland Elders use our car for these last 2 days because they have a lot of referrals. I remembered how we had a whole bunch and so we had sympathy and let them use it. It has been a lot of fun biking. We have been able to talk to so many people and saw miracles from it.

I can now add a country of someone I have taught. Democratic Republic of the Congo is where he is from. His name is Adolphe and he is just so prepared to hear the gospel. When he heard our message he was asking why the world hasn't come to accept this marvelous event in human history. It was so cool to see his faith as we taught him.

We are also teaching a guy named Martin.  We met him biking 2 weeks ago and haven't been able to get in contact until now.  We met him outside and taught him the Restoration. It was so great.

We are slowly but surly finding people to teach.  A new idea we are going to try this next week is playing ultimate frisby with the youth and anyone else that would like to attend. We are hoping that they would invite their friends out and that we could possibly get them to come to church or investigate.

That has been pretty much my week!

"May we recalculate our route if need be and look forward with great hope and faith. May we “stand up inside” by being valiant and “all in.”"
Elder Gary B Sabin

Monday, April 10, 2017

Conference

Conference was great. I really enjoyed all the talks. We watched them all at the church. It was sad to see our dear Prophet feeling so weak. This is also my last conference.

Not to much happened this week. We have been helping our investigator Rich clean his house because it hasn't been clean for about 7 yrs. It is quite gross I have to say but it is fun to see things become clean.  We don't have many investigators that we are teaching so we are doing a lot of finding.  I will send you the pictures of my shoes.  This is because of so much rain. All it's been doing this last week is rain.

The scripture of the week is D&C 58:4
" For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand."
This is where we are with the area.  We are finding and finding. That is all we do.

Elder Vance

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Strongville

Well I am now here in Strongsville.  I am really enjoying being in a group of 3.  It never gets boring.  We just non stop laugh and make jokes.  Work is a little bit harder and moving slower.  That will change as time goes on.

We met with this guy named Roger.  He has been meeting with the missionaries for a while but he hasn't really gone anywhere.  We found out yesterday by someone who knows him that he has been lying to us about his commitment.  We don't know what we are going to do with him further.

It really has just been a week of dropping and a week of figuring who is where and what their commitment level is. Nothing to much to report on.

I can report that I have been fed well.  I had steak one night. I ate at Buca de Beppo another night.  It's great!

Well that is all for this week.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” John 14:26–27


Elder Tuitavuki on Exchanges
Akron Zone

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Last..

Well this is I think my final area.  I am being transferred to Strongsville to be in a triple up.  This area is going to be so unlike all the East sides I've served in.  It should be fun.

So Raju is so prepared.  He is so going to be baptized.  We met with him again this week and finished the commandments.  He accepted them all and was willing to start applying them.  He is so prepared.  So excited for the 8th of April.

We met with Jen again this week. We have a good relationship with her and we see that progressing forward.  That will be great as well.

We did a lot of walking.  Also a good amount of biking.

Just remembered about he funeral info from last week.  We get there and had to plan it 15 minutes before the whole service went down.  That was fun.  The Mormons ended up running to funeral.

"Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only." James 1:22


 Law Firm that wants Zach to go after the Insurance Company of the guy who hit them last week.

                                                                Folder it came in.

                                                                 Letter to Zach


 
Police Report 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

It's been a really really messed up week

Those are the lyrics I feel fit this week and I will continue to explain why.

Last Wednesday in the evening there was a huge wind storm that knocked out our power from 1:30ish to 7ish. It was a long time and since that time the weather has just dropped.  These last few days it has been cold and we have got a lot of snow.

Thursday we had zone conference which was awesome and great.  We were able to learn a lot about faith and such.  That was a good day.

Friday we learned that Bruce committed suicide and was successful.  This was a complete surprise.  We have been working with him for the last month, he came to know the Book of Mormon was true and he had a baptismal date.  That threw us into a lot of family drama in which we were able to meet with his significant other.  Now we are helping her come to find peace during this tough time.  To go along with all this drama we get to attend a funeral today.  We get to speak and say a prayer.  Now the hard thing is getting to the funeral.

Saturday was a good day. We were able to get our University of Akron poster almost complete. We just have to post things on the board to make it go forward. I was also asked to teach gospel doctrine the next day.  We didn't have a manual or anything of the sort to teach.  I also had to speak the following day.

Sunday comes up and I get a manual while I attend the ward and so I'm planning my lesson during sacrament meeting and Sunday school while also trying to finalize my talk.  We had branch council and a meeting with the Tallmadge bishop. It just was crazy but I was real glad when it was all over.  The best part comes after church.  We were driving to our din din appointment and some guy swerves into our lane and doesn't stop or slows down and hits us.  We swerved out of the direct hit but needless to say our car was gone.  They had to tow it and so we are now asking for rides from everyone else.  This leads to today. We have no way to get to the funeral to speak. It's in Canton and we live in Cuyahoga Falls. A long way.

So Monday we biked to Raju and reset his date for the 8th of April.  He was relieved and we were too.  We thought we lost him this last week because he was starting to show those signs of not being interested any more.  Luckily we met with him and he was just super busy and had a lot of work. We also saw our truck and a big piece from the bottom of the truck fell out.  We also learned that the soonest we can get a car would maybe be this weekend. We cried.

Tuesday was horrible weather.  It just was snowing a cold.  We luckily were on exchanges and split the car for half the day. When I ended up walking I wore everything winter I had.  From 2 scarves to 2 layers of socks.  It was cold.  We entered a members home and they were just shocked that we would walk to their house in the snowy weather.  Luckily we were able to help her out and giver her son a Book of Mormon.  He was really happy and didn't let go of it the extent of the time we were there.

I look back at this last week and I just laugh.  It's been crappy but just laughing about the struggles makes them so much better.

So that was my week. I'm alive and well but thanks for tuning in the the life and struggles of Elder Vance. 

"Remember how the Savior handled tough questions... He remained calm, He showed respect, and he taught truth, but he never forced anyone to live the way he taught."—Elder Ronald A. Rasband

Friday, March 10, 2017

1999 Pokemon Tokens from Burger King

This week we had someone who was not accountable come to church.  We went through our area book and called this guy named Sean who had been taught but never been dropped.  We read that his last lesson with the missionaries was Genesis 24.  It also said that the one time he came to church he bore his testimony.  We called him up and he told us that he would always want to talk about Jesus.  We invited him to church as well. Things were looking good for us.  We had the Newbolds pick them up.  They are the Senior couple in the YSA branch.  So when he comes to church we see that he isn't there all the way.  During the sacrament he wanted to say another prayer to help him with a job or get a job. After the sacrament he was asked to introduce himself.  He wanted to bare his testimony at the same time. Note that this was after fast and testimony meeting.  He gets up and starts venting about Facebook and about how someone was talking bad about him.  This ended up being the theme of the whole church service.  It was funny.  So when we were separating for classes he comes up to us and asked us if we are pokemon fans.  We were like no but he proceeded to pull out his Burger King Pokemon Tokens from 1999 and showed it to us and then kept talking to us about Pokemon. So then we start walking to class.  We start talking to someone else about their week and life in general and then in the middle of it he interrupts and starts talking about his problems and Facebook again.  It was frustrating but funny.  I felt like I was babysitting at this point.  We get to class and he wants to say the opening prayer.  The Branch at this time knew that that shouldn't happen so we tactfully put it on someone else.  Class starts and he makes some interesting comments and that goes until the end of church.  Well at the end of church we have a potato bar because it's fast Sunday and we have a pot luck at the end of church.  We are to help set up and he kept being by the food.  I was afraid he was just going to start eating so we had to tell him to help us set up.  More babysitting.  Then the food starts.  I luckily got away but Elder Hopkins was stuck sitting next to him and talking to him.  It was funny but then I decided to go over there and help.  He just wasn't there all the way just from that conversation.  The sad thing is we learned that his father was drunk when he was 3 and dropped him on the head. It was just so sad to learn that. In the end we updated the teaching record and we aren't going to contact him again.

On the more positive note we had Raju, Frank, and Bruce come to church. Bruce actually brought his son Jayden and he loved it.  It was so touching to see him teach Jayden about the hymn books and to also see the love Bruce had for Jayden.  Just so great.

Also this week I went on an exchange with Elder Tuitavuki. He is another one of the Polynesians in our mission.  I realized after the exchange that I have been on an exchange with all of the Polynesians in the mission that I could possibly go on an exchange with.  It was so cool to realize.

Nothing too huge happened the rest of the week. Just regular missionary work.

"Behold, verily, verily, I say unto thee, thou art not called to go into the eastern countries, but thou art called to go to the Ohio." Doctrine and Covenants 39:14
Found that this morning, Have a great week!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

March 1

I'm done with the subject lines. I'll start doing dates unless something sticks out to me.

Well this week I'm going to be brief and just share the two miracles we have seen. Both of them took places on exchanges which really shows that miracles take place on exchanges.

The first one was Francine. She is awesome. She is a member referral from Sister Wanzo and she met with us and we were able to teach her.  We have a baptismal date set for April 8 with her.

The other one was Frank.  He is also a member referral.  He is planning on getting married to a member and is willing to do anything to get baptized.  He has a baptismal date set for March 25.  That one is really soon but he is prepared.

Bruce is doing great.  He was sick this last week so we weren't able to meet with him.

We found the Dorsey family in our former investigator sheets and we were able to pick them as new investigators.  They were taught back in Las Vegas and some missionaries found them here back in 2006.  We found them here 11 years later.  Really cool.

Last is we had a crazy girl name Sarah call us on the phone.  She is crazy and wants to come to church. She also would like to meet with us.  More details to come next week if I remember.

Well the weather is warming up and here is a scripture I found this week that I like.
"And by your hands I will work a marvelous work among the children of men, unto the convincing of many of their sins, that they may come unto repentance, and that they may come unto the kingdom of my Father." Doctrine and Covenants 18:44

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Flue

That's the way I've spelled it today and so that is the way I'll keep it today.

This last week I have had the flue and so I spent 2 days in. I had no energy and I felt like crap.  It was good though because it really helped me realize how relaxed I have gotten.  It really helped me be more obedient.  It was good.

With that not much happened.  We had Harold, Bruce, and Raju come to church which was awesome! Bruce and Raju have baptismal dates set for March and April. Harold on the other hand has a kinda sketchy personality. We feel like he is a pathological lair. Meeting with him we hear so many different stories that just don't add up.  Some of out members don't get a good feel for him either.  We will see as time goes on.

This week we also picked up a kid (in our big white stalker van [just sounds so bad]) as a new investigator.  His name is Tyler.  He  is a wrestler like Elder Hopkins is and so they were able to connect and we are like best buds.  He lives on the same street as one of our members so we are going to get the member to start taking him to church.  He comes from a poor family background but he knows he needs to go to church.  It's awesome because when we came back the 2nd time he already felt the Spirit.  He read the part of Joseph Smith in the pamphlet and told us he got a weird feeling. We kept talking and helped him realize what it was.  It was awesome to see and now when we go over he just willing comes out. It's so cool.

The weather is getting warmer. I'm feeling better. It's all good.
 
Have a good week.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Miracles

This week we had 3 people at church. Pretty awesome. It was great to be busy and to actually have them there.  We had Harold, Bruce, and Raju.

Last week I talked about all the people I have taught.  Well guess what? We found Raju and he is from Nepal.  He called Saturday night saying that he wanted a ride to church. We had no idea who this guy was or what his deal was.  We got him a ride and he came to church.  It was awesome because he wants to know more about Christianity.  We met him the next day and taught him the Restoration.  He said he would be baptized if he came to know this was true.

Harold we met on exchanges 2 weeks ago.  We taught him and invited him to church.  Got him a ride and he really desired to come.  He came and he loved it.  The cool thing is that he had literally no sleep before he came but he still did.  It's awesome.

Bruce was a referral from a member.  He has been going through a very rough time in his life.  He wanted change and that's what we have been helping him do. We told him to come to church and he did.  He loved it and a lot of what was taught and talked about was what he needed.

Those were the main highlights of the week.

Have a great week!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

3 more

This week is transfer week and I am really starting to see the people I know leave.  It's weird.  I'm starting to feel like an old fart.  But anyways things are going well here in Tallmadge.  Everything is staying the same.

The weather has gotten warmer.  That has been nice.
I had Taco burgers. They were interesting
The Groundhog saw his shadow. 6 more weeks

The awesome cool thing that happened this week is that we were able to see the correct direction that we should go.  We have felt that we need to work with the Young Single Adult branch a lot more.  Well we did just that this week.  We found 2 new investigators and we also found 2 awesome potentials that we will stop by.

The 2 new investigators we found are Nasser Rahimi and Nnamdi Anyaele (please don't put last names on the blog). Nasser is from Iran and Nnamdi is from Nigeria.  It was so cool to teach them.  Nasser was found on exchanges.  He answered his door and you could tell he wasn't all the way there (weed).  We did set a return appointment and he kept it.  Taught him the Restoration and gave him a Book of Mormon.  He said he would come to church. Nnamdi was a referral.  He was interested in a Bible and we were able to meet with him and teach him.  They both attend the University of Akron.

To continue furthering the work of the Branch we found a poster board in our garage that they used back in 2014.  We pulled it out and took it to Institute to have them help us with it.  They commented that the board reminded them of the Amish and how we would fool people into thinking that we were Amish.  So we scratched it and now they are helping us create a more hip board.

I've done some pondering on all the people I have talked to and where they are from.  I have taught or tried sharing the gospel with people from Guyana, China, Texas, South America, Bulgaria, West Virginia, Ohio, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Nigeria, and more.  A great scripture comes to mind.  It's 2 Nephi 26:33.

"For none of these iniquities come of the Lord; for he doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile." 2 Nephi 26:33
Have a great week!


Change

Oh how change comes around again and again.  It's the only thing that is constant.  This week we received a lot of changes for key indicators and daily schedule.  This is to help missionaries stay more focused and to continue the habits they have on their mission to the life at home.  We are no longer counting lessons but new investigators, investigators at sacrament meeting, investigators with a baptismal date and investigators baptised and confirmed.  Also with daily schedule we have to choose when we study and plan and all those things.  It's no longer the strict schedule but a free schedule.

Recently we have been struggling with finding new investigators.  We had most of them drop of this last week, Mark and Pam included, and so we are back to the drawing board.  So this week amongst our finding opportunities we found Antwon.  He is awesome.  Told us that he would be baptised if he came to know it was true.

The story behind Mark and Pam.  This last Wednesday we went to Wadsworth to play Volleyball.  We get a call from them and in that call Mark told us that after much meditation and prayer that this is not the right course for them.  They did it in a nice way but I was broken.  They were so awesome.  

Also last Wednesday we went to the hospital because Elder Allen in our apartment broke his wrist while playing volleyball.  We were in the hospital from 8pm to 2am.  It was ridiculous.

Other than that not much has happened.  It has been a slow week with the temperature dropping down.

"Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day." Doctrine and Covenants 4:2



Elder Nance and Elder Vance. They confuse us often

Elder Welsh, Allen, Ledua, Hopkins

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Doctrine Covenants

Well I now get to start the Doctrine and Covenants challenge.  This means that I read one section everyday and I will finish it by the end of my mission.  I'm excited.

This last week we had 2 days where Elder Gay came and taught us a lot about how we can be better missionaries.  The things that he taught were awesome.

Because of many meetings we didn't have too much going for us.

Curtis is still going forward.  We are trying to work with him to get him to have motivation to do the things that will help him in his life.  It's a struggle.

Mark and Pam came to church for all 3 hours.  It was awesome and so cool.  I felt they were a little closed off but as they keep coming I feel that it will get better.

I'm learning the art of making Tilapia.   I absolutely love it.  

We haven't had much time but we look forward to learning more.

"And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." 1 Nephi 3:7

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Tap Shoes

I got tap shoes this week!!!!  It came because we were trying to get more people out teaching with us.  We got Brother Fitzgerald to come out and we started talking about life and what we did before the mission. I mentioned that I did a little bit of tap dancing and all that stuff.  I found out later that that week that he had a pair of tap shoes he never wears and wanted to give them to me.  I was happy and grateful and took them.  I now own a pair.

This week has been a good week.  We have gone on 2 exchanges and had a fun time teaching.  We had Elder Brown and Vaoga (both Polynesians) come to our apartment for exchanges. That would mean 3 Polynesians in the Tallmadge apartment.  The amount of food they ate was tremendous. We also had Elder Whipple and Elder Runger.  They came to our apartment for exchanges. There was not much food consumed.  Both of those exchanges I took to the road walking.  Let's just say I am so grateful for the cars and the bikes that we have.  I also learned about charity.  Elder Whipple is a good example of it.  He was able to show how much charity changes people.

Mark and Pam came to church!!! That was super exciting.  They are progressing.  We had a little wrench on Monday but we were able to get that fixed and have them back on their way.

Last Wednesday we taught Sarah.  She was a member referral from the branch and we taught of the Restoration with 3 other members from the branch.  It just was comfortable to teach and very spiritual.

Last thing that really happened is Amber.  Amber was an investigator from the Tallmadge sisters but she moved to our area.  We were able to meet with her and able to hear her story of how she was found.  She never gets Sundays off but did on her mother's birthday.  So she decided to attend a church.  She was already late to many services and wasn't going to attend those but found one up in Cleveland called The Word church. When she got there she wanted to find a nursery for her autistic child. There wasn't one but there was a huge field that he could go play in.  Well Carter, the child, threw the biggest fit and cried and just made everything miserable for her mom to the point that they decided to go home.  On the way home Amber was furious and just done with life and with autism.  That was when the Sisters knocked on her door. She took that as a sign and has been meeting with them ever since.  It was awesome to hear that because sometimes we forget that tracting is effective.  It isn't just a waste of time.

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." -Philippians 4:13

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Desperate Measures Calls for Desperate Actions

Well with winter being here I wear thermals.  These things called thermals pulls on my leg hair.  I have a lot of it so it hurts.  I have received some inspiration and so I am going to shave my legs for the winter.  It is official. (Your weekly random fact about Elder Vance's Life)

Anyways this week has been another good week.  The sad thing about it is that I didn't have my little 3x5 card to write on during the week.  I do remember some of the cool things that have happen this week.  

It was bitter cold.  I almost froze for some of the days but it warmed up again and now it's in the 40s.

We had a meeting yesterday up in Cleveland about Exchanges and about the role of a district leader.  Very insightful on how we can be better leaders in the mission.

My companion was sick on Sunday.  We went on exchanges both on Saturday and Sunday because of it.

On Saturday I went with Elder Alder.  He has been out for a long time but it was a good exchange.  We got in contact with Meshari again.  We met Meshari about 3 weeks ago on another exchange but lost contact due to finals and such.  Luckily when we were walking this last Saturday he was there and came up to us and started talking to us.  We were able to get in and teach him.  It was a new experience because he was a Muslim and I have never taught a Muslim before.  We invited him to church and he came!!!! It was his first time ever in a Christian church and it was so cool.  Sure he took 2 smoke breaks in the middle but it was awesome.   He loved it.

Anyways, have a great week!

Elder Vance

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Maniac

This week has been filled with crazy people who we have taught.

The first one is a guy named Junior or J.R.  He called us off of a private number and continued to talk to us a debate using scriptures from the Book of Mormon itself.  I have heard of him before from other missionaries he has called and so we tried our best not to argue and we dropped him.  He has called many other missionaries in the past and hasn't gone anywhere.

Another guy was Bob Evans.  I think of the restaurant that has really good coffee cake when I think of this name.  He was a referral from up in Kirtland.  We go to his house and he just starts in and debates about how the Mormon religion is wrong and Joseph Smith wrote the Mormon Bible.  All that stuff ya know.  To continue, he started talking about how this serial killer that he survived.  It came to the conclusion that he was not there mentally.  It was funny.

We have also had many crazy miracle experiences.

Right after transfers we went finding next to a different referral we got.  We were led to a guy named Mitch. Then Maggie came out and we started talking to Maggie.  They then referred their friend Hannah.  They were all teenagers but they were interested in learning more.

That same day we wanted to stop by less actives around that area.  We stopped by one but he had moved and we started teaching his son.  Zak used to be a member but took his name off the roles because he didn't want to give a talk.  We were led to him and picked him up as a new investigator.  It took a lot of persuasion to get to that point but he accepted.

Later on that week we tracted into a guy named Steve.  Steve also was so prepared.  We knocked on his door and asked if we could share a message with him.  He let us in and we proceeded to teach the Restoration.  It was awesome that he would let us into his house off of a tracting approach.  He already goes to a church but accepted the Book of Mormon and will read it.

One of the greatest miracles of the week also took place on the doorstep of an individual we did not know.  We met Pam tracting into her house.  We testified of prophets at the door and asked her if she wished there were prophets on the earth as in times of old. She did and we told her there was and asked if we could take some of her time to share it.  She went in and talked with her husband Mark about it.  They let us in a we were able to teach them.  They were so prepared for us that day!!!!! And we were led to them that day as well!!!!!  We go in and they said that they were looking for a more reverent church, not a rock band one, to attend.  They just had a falling away with their Methodist church and was in search.  We taught the Restoration and they accepted it.  Pam actually said that she felt that she was part Mormon because of our views on the Trinity.  Mark said that all he would have to know to convert was that Joseph Smith was a prophet.  The Spirit was so strong in that lesson.  After the lesson Elder Hopkins and I just were jumping with joy. It was so awesome.

Almost forgot the funny thing we did this week.  So we have an Elder in the apartment who is fooled by almost everything.  We made a fake letter and gave it to him.  We put the same address he had on a return letter he received earlier in the week.  This was the best part.  He looks at both letters and starts freaking out because it was the exact same address.  Just the way he reacted to it and how fake it actually looked just cracked me up.  I was on the floor laughing.

"And he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another." Mosiah 18:21

How I've started driving...

Me with fake glasses and Elder Hopkins

The hike we took to find people to teach

What fog looks like with flash on.

Here's the letter I made. 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Day after Christmas

So in sacrament meeting we had a less active who hasn't been to church in over 7 yrs come for the first time.  Of course it was on Christmas day.  We also had investigators who haven't come either.  All the talks were on Doomsday and how we can prepare for the second coming.  They were dark and gloomy and boring.  I was pissed!!!! The bishop was gone so one of the more boring councilors were in charge.  It was so bad.....  Our less active said that he was reminded why he never came.  He said it sucked!!!!  I was so mad!!!!!!!

I don't have much time to email because of car problems.  Emailing at Best Buy.

The day after Christmas was my favorite.  We had really warm weather and it was just great.

My companion goes home in 2 days and so really we just did a lot of goodbye stop bys.

We did find a new investigators. Her name is Felicia and she was a Bible referral.  The funny thing about it was that her father came in and called us the Normans.  Talked about our multiple wives and all that stuff.  It was hilarious and great to be back teaching and working.

My new companion will be Elder Hopkins.  Don't know much about him.  The funny thing is we are getting another Polynesian in our zone.  That means we have all 4 big Polynesians in our mission in our zone. 

Also our scheduling has changed.  Preparation day will now be on Wednesday instead of Monday.

"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." Ether 12:26