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