Monday, August 14, 2017

Try Doing What God Wants

Hello Family & Friends!

This week, Lima from Parnaiba came to visit Teresina with her family, and I was able to visit them. We taught her again and ugh, I love her so much, but whenever you leave an area there is always one or two people that you just want to stay there and teach until they get baptized. I have faith and pray every day that I will be able to see her and her family fully enjoy the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

This transfer has come to an end, but we don’t know who will stay or leave yet because we have a mission tour this Friday with the whole mission, and after that there will be transfers. It will be so fun! But all the sisters in the mission will stay in our house in Teresina, which means we have been deep cleaning and men have been doing repairs on our ratchet house here. My favorite part was when they fumigated to kill all the bugs! We got back to our house and found dead cockroaches all over the place! The men who do this for a living all the time were shocked! But they left it to us to clean them up … how lovely. The picture below was just of one room. When I was trying to take that picture some of the cockroaches resurrected and I freaked out and rammed my back into the iron fence behind me. I have two huge scratches from the top of my back all the way to my butt, which is why I can’t attach a picture, haha. And I thought I hated the bugs before … haha.

I am so grateful for my companions. Sister Fagundes has been such an example to me. She was a less active member until age 18, and then decided to go on a mission out of the blue. Her growth has been remarkable and she bears such a strong testimony during lessons. It has been funny because sometimes the other two sisters argue and decide not to talk, and I just sit there in the middle. I have to go get the other one from one room and sit them down in the middle and say "we aren't leaving this house until you guys talk, resolve and hug it out", haha. They usually hate me during this. It’s been funny because I asked them what the miracle of the transfer was and they joked and said to each other "the miracle is that we are both still living and that we didn’t kill each other". My patience and many other things have been tested during this transfer, but if I am asking Heavenly Father to help me develop Christ-like attributes, I can't be mad when He throws me an opportunity to put that quality into practice.

This transfer I have really tried to focus on being a consecrated missionary. Here in the mission field, I have gained such respect for missionaries, but have also seen all different types of missionaries. The difference tends to always be in their mindset, and their willingness to give their will up to the will of the Lord. I love this quote that is above my desk: “The greatest battles that we will ever fight will be within the silent chambers of our heart. That is the battleground between what you want and what the Lords wants for you. If you surrender, the only way to win is to lose. Lose yourself in the Lord’s work and you will win beyond your wildest imaginations."

While I have been here, I have learned to do things that I don't want to do. The minute I am asked to do, or feel prompted to do, something that I don’t want to do, I always make myself do it. One famous swimmer was asked how he was successful and he said, "I kick when I don’t want to kick and stroke when I don't want to stroke." Recently, we said a prayer and left our house. We had to stop by the house later to pick something up and when we were leaving the house again, the Spirit told me to say a prayer again before we left. It’s a rule, but I didn’t want to and we were in a rush. Then I remembered that I need to do things that I don’t want to do. We said a prayer and walked out. We were met by a member, and he said "did you guys see the robber that just ran passed”? If we hadn’t stopped to say a prayer, we would have ran right into him.

I love the story of Job and was studying it this week. He was a very righteous and blessed man, but then everything was taken from him. My favorite part was when Heavenly Father placed a bet on him with the devil, and had total confidence in Job that whatever was thrown at him he would continue to do the will of the Lord and not lose faith. How cool is that. I want to have the Lord’s confidence in that way. I know that He has placed confidence in me here in Teresina and I won't disappoint. It’s a huge responsibility to help others, but I can’t convert others above my own conversion. I know that my life’s greatest work is me. I am wholly responsible for what I do and more importantly who I become. Our lives are yet ahead of us. What will we do with it? What will we create and who will we become. The Lord doesn’t expect immediate perfection today, but he expects immediate progress today. I will strive to be more than just a faithful laborer in Christ’s work; I want to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

Love you,

Sister Vance

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

He Paid The Price

Hello Family & Friends!

One day this past week my companion and I left our house, and as we were walking we saw the ugliest cat (I hate cats). But this animal looked like a zombie; it was soaking wet and scary skinny. It looked like it had been flattened by a car … that skinny. It looked like death, and out of nowhere I just started feeling so sad for this ugly cat, and started basically crying, haha. We were late for our appointment, but I just couldn’t leave it there dying of hunger. My companion wanted to kill me for being dramatic, but we ran back and got some rice and beans and we were trying to feed it. I was still crying, causing a scene, and in moments there was a small crowd around us. We saw one of our investigators (Jose) too, as he passed by curious to know why this dramatic American was crying over a street cat. Long story short, a young guy was walking past us with a cart and I asked if he had water to give, and then the cat started having seizures and looked possessed by Satan, and we decided to just let it be, haha. We walked away and, within 20 steps, I felt prompted to turn around and ask the cart guy his name. We started a conversation and found out that he became inactive from the church a year ago, and before he went inactive was thinking about serving a mission. Later that night we were talking to Jose and he said that he knew that our messages were true from the start, but that today he received his answer. He said that he said a prayer in the morning that if he saw us sisters in the street that he would be baptized. If we wouldn’t have stopped for the ugly cat we would’ve missed seeing Jose in the street! That dumb cat brought so many miracles into our day. I am almost convinced that the cat wasn’t even real because when we returned to our house, its body wasn’t even there, haha. It was some type of angel for sure, haha. But really, I love seeing how miracles come to pass in the mission.

My favorite lesson of all time was this week with Irmao Batista and Irmao Gerry. Irmao Batista is a member of 20 years, but goes in and out of being active, due to his addiction to alcohol. But he has a degree in Theology, so he reads the scriptures from cover to cover. We try to teach him, but he just knows way more than we do, and he usually does the teaching. We thought of a different way to teach him. We bought some candy and my companion offered each person one piece, and for every piece she gave, I had to do 2 push-ups. At first it was funny and they were laughing, as the first couple were easy, but then as I started to struggle they told me to stop. My companion started to offer them candy and they said, “no, we don’t want more … we don’t want her to suffer anymore”. My companion held on to the piece, but then ordered me to do 2 more push-ups. They started yelling "why does she have to do 2 more, I didn’t want the candy anymore”? I started to really struggle, and my arms were shaky and weak. Irmao Batista started yelling "stop this, stop this right now, enough, enough!" Irmao Batista just started sobbing, because he calls me his daughter and "my missionary", and was just dying watching me suffer for him. I continued until I literally couldn’t do anymore. When I stood up, Irmao Batista tried to offer me the candy that he had earned, and I looked at him and said "no, you keep them, I already paid for those". It finally clicked, and he burst into tears and kept saying over and over, "now I understand, I understand, you are representing the Savior."

It was the most spiritual lesson I have ever had in my life. We testified of the Savior’s Atonement and that, whether or not we decide to use the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in our lives, He already paid the price. It is our responsibility to use the gift He gave us. We had a lesson with a woman who said that Jesus Christ was "everything" to her, but when I asked her what she is doing to show that in her life she said "nothing". The life of Jesus isn’t just a beautiful story to tell, but it is a living example of our potential to change and follow His footsteps and be His hands.

I love my Savior. I strive to be like Him, but fall short way too often and in way too many ways. I pray every day to more fully understand and comprehend the Atonement of Jesus Christ in my life. As I learn more about the Atonement, I am able to see my weaknesses, and the way that He is able to turn my weaknesses into strengths and also see that potential in others.

Sunday, as I bore my testimony about this experience, I looked at Irmao Batista and at Jose, who was wearing a baseball hat and swim trunks to church, and I was just overcome with love and a desire to really come to know my Savior. I feel more than honored to be able to say that I am a representative of Jesus Christ, and I am still trying to live up to that title every day.

Love you,

Sister Vance

Monday, July 31, 2017

Come Unto Christ As You Are

Hello Family & Friends!

This week I will hit my halfway mark … 9 months! I just can't believe it. I don't feel like I have been gone that long, but yet there have been so many things that have happened and changed, and it feels like I never lived before my mission, haha. Emily doesn’t even seem like my real name anymore. The weird things that happen here have just become all too normal; usually I am just running around screaming "What is this? This wasn’t written in my calling!" Hahaha, the stories I will have to tell after my mission, man, oh man … This week Maria was baptized! She is a mother of a member here, and she has been investigating the church for over 7 years! She is so sweet, and I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to help her finally get baptized. It was funny because all of the elders that had tried teaching her kept asking how we got her baptized. All I have to say is that we did nothing; the Spirit does the real converting. Whenever we have baptisms, I swear Satan is always doing whatever he can to stop people from getting baptized! With Maria, the baptismal font wasn’t working and her own son forgot to pick her up for the baptism, and we sisters were just running around like crazy, trying to make sure that everything ran smoothly. She forgot an extra bra to change into after the baptism, and I was helping her in the bathroom. When she told me she forgot her bra and the other was sopping wet, the first reaction that came out of my mouth before I could stop to think was, "we can trade, take mine", hahahaha. It was easily the funniest thing because we weren't nearly the same size! Haha, but it made me realize that I would literally do anything for these people! I love them so much!

Here in the mission I feel so grateful for the way Heavenly Father has helped me distinguish and separate the sin from the sinner. One man named Wilson is always in the roads drinking, nonstop. One night a month or so ago, when he wasn’t drinking, we started talking to him and felt prompted to give him a Book of Mormon. Then a month later we saw him in the roads and we greeted him, and as we were walking away he said, "The book of Enos is really inspiring!" We stopped right in our tracks and were just like, “wait, wait, did we hear you right”? He has been reading the Book of Mormon and is in Enos! He then asked us why we decided to give him that book and to reach out to him. I felt the Spirit so strong, as I was able to bear testimony that when everyone loses hope in us, our Heavenly Father does not, and never will. I love the opportunities I have to see people not as they are, but as they can become, and remember that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is available to every person that walks on this earth. There have been some comments made this week that we needed to teach or baptize people that are “more educated”. Our response to them is that we teach those that let us in, and most of the time those people happen to be the humble in spirit or physically humble. This work that we are doing here in Teresina has never felt more like the Savior’s work to me. We are teaching people with problems, yes, but they are problems that can only be resolved through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I felt like I was literally in the Savior’s position, sitting with that group of men at the homeless rehabilitation center. It always reminds me of Christ sitting and eating with the sinners. We invite everyone into the fold of Christ, and it is “come as you are”. We love you for who you are and not for what you aren’t … but as you come to Christ, don’t plan to stay who you are. Critics say "we know that everyone is a child of God, but … they have this problem or that problem". There is no room for “but” in that sentence! When something is over and done with, when it has been repented as fully as it can be, it is not right or fair to go back and open up some wound that the Son of God himself died trying to heal. Let people repent, let people grow, believe that people can change and improve. Is that Faith? Yes. Is that Hope? Yes. And above all, it is Charity. Imagine the faith that God exercises in each of us every day. Imagine the faith Jesus Christ had to call me to serve here … quite imperfect me … to be a missionary and to represent Him? I love my mission, I love the people I serve and will be loyal to them until the day I die. They are my family here, and if you know me at all, you know that no one messes with my fam.

I am so grateful for these past nine months and am looking forward to the next nine months. I am starting the downward slope, but I am only going to go up from here! There are two absolute truths about my mission that I will forever believe … I am learning way more than I could ever teach here, and I needed my mission way more than my mission needed me.

Love you,

Sister Vance

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Share What You Have

Hi Everyone!

Woohoo! Roneilson was baptized this past Saturday! He is such a gem and so sweet and ready to start a new life! It’s funny, because usually after teaching we invite our investigator to be baptized, but during this transfer, I have never seen so many people ASKING to be baptized! Roneilson was one of those. I always feel like the people we baptize are the easiest investigators, and that I hardly did anything for them to be baptized. It has really strengthened my testimony that people have been prepared and that there are people ready and waiting to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ.

This week we were in the house of a typical “old cat lady”, and Sister Cruz asked for water. As is custom here, the lady brought out a jug with one cup to share with everyone. She poured for me first, but then something told me to let Sister Cruz drink, because she was the one that asked first. I handed it to her and, as she started to drink, I saw black chunks floating, and I saw that she had seen it too. She drank, but left a bit of water in the bottom to avoid drinking the black chunks! Then, and I couldn’t even believe this, she turned to me and offered me the water cup! I just looked at her and started laughing to let her know that I saw the chunks. The next thing she did was just unforgivable … she turned to Sister Fagundes, who wasn’t paying attention, and offered her the cup of water! I was thinking, “are you kidding me?”! Haha, I just lost it, dying laughing but trying to hold it in, and tears were streaming. Then Sister Fagundes started drinking it and then realized what was happening as she took a gulp of straight RAT POOP! Sister Fagundes was gagging herself in the street afterward, trying to throw up … it was hilarious. The moral of the story, don’t drink water in Brazil.

It was so cool this week, as our recent convert Irmao Gerry is totally becoming friends with all of our investigators and being such a great member missionary! We invited him to fast this week, and after more than 30 hours of fasting he called us and said, "Irmas I am dying of thirst, can I end my fast yet?" Haha, I was dying because it was way over the time limit, and then when we saw him again he said that his fast was the best thing he has ever done in his life; that is was marvelous! I can’t say that I have the same attitude about fasting … haha.

This week our mission president showed up at our ward unexpectedly, and participated in our Gospel Principles class. It was a really cool experience, and our investigators and recent converts were just killing it, and President said he was impressed. Our ward mission leader then tried to brag and said, "these sisters are the best President; if Satan was in Teresina, he too would be baptized!" President didn’t laugh and it was awkward, haha.

This week we have been working a lot with the members about being better member missionaries. So many of them have friends that realize that they are different, and they share the gospel through their example, which is awesome. But I can't tell you how many times during my mission I am just filled with regret for not sharing and inviting more of my friends back home. My example was good, but I could have done more. I have already written a handful of cards to my friends back in Ohio apologizing for not doing more for them. I have thought so many times that I have so many friendships and interactions with people in my life, because it was the way that Heavenly Father would give them the opportunity to come to a knowledge of the gospel. There is so much work to do, but you don’t have to go to a foreign country to start. I could have done so much more, and right now I am working to not have any regrets here. Then when I get home, I won’t have any more friends because I will just want to talk to them about the gospel and they will be annoyed with me, haha, but that is the best way that I can show my love for them. I know that we can pray for courage to share. There are always opportunities, and I have learned on my mission how to turn any conversation into a gospel principle, haha. I love you all so much … remember that we have received a commandment, and when you were baptized you made a covenant with God, to share the gospel.

Love you,

Sister Vance

Thursday, July 20, 2017

You Will Never Regret It

Hi Everyone!

Well, it was a great week, not counting the time when a dog tried to attack me as I just stood there, ice cold, eyes shut, and waiting for him to bite my thigh off. It’s fine though, he only bit off a part of my bag. I used to like dogs, but I think I will always have PTSD from so many ravenous street dogs here. Also, as of this week, our brick cell phones are able to send texts, so that has been a weird experience, bringing back my muscle memory from my pink razor in 6th grade, hahaha!

I am trying to lose my American accent, but too many times the following situation happens me … I start talking with someone in the street and the person asks me if I am American. I say “yes” and continue to keep the conversation more focused on the gospel, bear my testimony, and try to ask them inspired questions about Jesus Christ. The person responds with one or more of … "did you vote for Donald Trump?", "Do you have a Facebook where I can practice my English”, or some totally unrelated point, haha. That’s my life … my companions try to encourage me and tell me it’s not just my accent that gives it away, but it’s the fact that I am white, with light eyes and my hair is getting blonder and blonder each passing day. It’s a hopeless situation.

We brought Irmao Gerry to the shelter where we have the group of investigators! He talked to them and I just wanted to scream. He taught and shared his own experience of being baptized and the changes he has seen in his life. He told them, "I know how you are feeling too, I used to live on the streets, but if you listen to what these angels that God sent all the way from the United States and Sao Paulo, you will never regret it". I was literally biting my knuckle because there is nothing greater in the mission than seeing your recent convert testifying to your investigators. The Spirit is so strong. After the lesson, we got the whole group kneeling and said a closing prayer. One of them, who we thought wasn’t paying attention, asked to say something. We were a little surprised, but he bore his testimony too … that this is the path that will help these men and so many other things. I was so shocked but he had such an impact on the men there. It was a lesson I will never forget. The next morning we had planned that we would walk to pick them up and walk with them to church. We were running a little late, and I turned to my companions and I was stressed and said we need to run! We turned the corner, and what did we see? Irmao Gerry walking in the middle of the road with 7 of the men from the shelter! It was like a scene from a movie! I don’t think I have ever smiled so big in my life. They loved church and a Seventy was in our ward that day and later asked about all of our investigators! They also came to a devotional at night with two Seventies there!

We had a zone conference, and a speaker told us that he wanted our missions to be hard, to be the hardest thing we have ever done. He said that in the next life we will be surrounded by prophets and even Jesus Christ, and our Heavenly Father will look at us and ask us, "What did you for me?”, “What did you sacrifice for the gospel, or to save my lost sons and daughters?”. The prophets will say that they were persecuted and hated, and even Jesus Christ will say that He bled from every pore. Then it will be our turn to answer … will there be an awkward silence or will we be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with the prophets and be able to say that we too gave our lives? Not physically, but did we give it all of our time and attention … did we truly gave it our all? I loved that.

Being here in a different country and culture has made me grateful. When a member gives us a ride in their car, I smile the whole way just because I don’t have to walk. Haha, it’s so funny how there are so many things I took for granted. I have been looking to be more thankful and grateful in my life. I have realized that the happiest people are also the most grateful people in the world. After this week, which was so good, I felt prompted to say a prayer of gratitude. It was so powerful me and such a good reminder. I am trying to realize that the hand of God is everywhere, and the blessings from my Heavenly Father are so abundant … I know that they are everywhere!

Love,

Sister Vance

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Charity and Clarity

Hi Family and Friends!

I saw my trainer this past week … Sister Bagatoli! She is seriously so awesome. We always say bye with a huge headache from talking so fast and so much together, haha. I saw some missionaries that are serving in Parnaiba and they told me that my man, Jose Eugenio, was made a counselor in the branch presidency! I love that man!

So many things happened this week … story time. This week we taught Messias (the name itself just tells us we gotta get him baptized). He was a contact we made in the street and he lives in a homeless/rehabilitation shelter. At first, we taught him and he showed up at church, but these last couple times we went there to teach him and 8-10 of the other men also started swarming to participate. Before we began, they got a little rowdy and talked over each other, so when we started the lesson, I told them that we would say a prayer and during our lesson if any of them wanted to comment or ask a question they had to raise their hand, hahaha. One man interrupted another one time, and I snapped "hey, raise your hand". I felt like such a mom, except that they were grown men, haha. After that, they sat and listened and commented perfectly. It has been so fun and such a cool experience, as they really comprehended what we taught and have a desire to be better.

This week Jacikelly and Jaqaliny have been progressing and have a real desire to be baptized. They come from a family with eight kids and we asked the parents (the mom is a less-active) permission for them to be baptized, and she thought that the girls were too young. They are 15 and 9, so we taught the mom and the girls together, and we missionaries testified about how we were baptized at the age of 8. The mom said she wanted them to be baptized at 20. I then felt prompted to bear my testimony that being baptized at a young age was what changed my life all the way through my teenage years, and helped me to know and speak the truth here on my mission. I told her that teaching children young will truly redirect and change their future. It was one of the few times I have really been emotional during a lesson, because I am so grateful for being raised in the gospel. Without it, I wouldn’t have stood a chance. She then gave permission for the older to be baptized! Woohoo!

We had two or three lessons this week that were awesome. There are a lot of people here who have a hard time understanding all the principles in the gospel, so we take it real slow. But we had lessons this week with people that were strong in other religions and knew the Bible and were picking it up fast. A part of me loves these lessons, but it also makes it more difficult because they seem to be more closed off to the pure and simple principles of the restored gospel and its fullness. It does give me the opportunity to be BOLD, and straight up. One lady has family that are members we taught previously. We taught her about the restoration, and she says she knows it’s true and that the Book of Mormon is true, but continues to practice in her church and was talking about her pastor. I told her that all churches are good, but they don’t have the true, full restored authority of The Church of Jesus Christ. She just doesn’t want to change. It was so funny, because at one point I just decided to not have fear. We read Amos 3:7, where it talks about how God will always reveal to prophets, and I looked her in the eye and said, “Irma, is the leader of your church a prophet”? Haha, she looked at me and told me no. We fired about five more of those bold, and I mean BOLD, burning questions and she answered in our favor. But she won't change. It was one of those lessons where I left walking down the roads, and my companions and I just wanting to scream, haha, but it was also so good. Another woman, after explaining about priesthood authority and that it is necessary, asked about her recent baptism in another church. I looked her right in the eye and told her, that her baptism wasn’t fully valid because of the lack of proper authority. Sometimes, I just want to cringe as I say things so boldly, but I know when I am following promptings that this is my calling, to be a defender of the truth. And do you know what? THEY ALWAYS INVITE US BACK! They respond positively. These have been some of the lessons where I literally feel my testimony burning within in me and that the Spirit is helping me “not be confounded before men”! I had splits with Sister Lucas this week and we had miracles that day! I don’t have time to explain them, but at the end of the day we were evaluating our day and she said, "Sister Vance, when you talk to people in the streets, you literally love them in the same moment you meet them, and it’s the strangest thing but it always feels like you are talking to a member of your family." That was the best compliment someone could give me, because I pray every day for charity. It is one of the biggest goals I have in my life, but also that I am not afraid to be forward with the people here. I know that if the people here didn’t feel my love for them and I just burn them in our lessons, they probably would kick us out on the spot. But they invite us back because they know that we are here because we love them and want their happiness, not our own.

I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true, I know that I am guided here to preach the truth, and I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to testify of our beloved prophet. I know that God doesn’t change, and that we have modern day revelation. I know that in moments of feeling inadequate, I turn my prayers to Him, and tell Him that I am only the instrument and he has to do the writing. He has to tell me where to go and what to say, and that I don’t have to worry about doing this work alone. I won’t even try to do it alone. I am trying to pray as if everything depends on Him; and working as if everything depends on me. He is truly here, working hand in hand with us. This knowledge brings me comfort and confidence! I always wish I could write more and explain my experiences better, but there is no way to describe it. I am always taking mental pictures telling myself to remember these moments and these feelings. A mission is awesome.

Have a good week.

Love,

Sister Vance

Friday, July 7, 2017

Patience + Perspective = Peace

Hello Everyone!

Great news, I am staying another transfer here in Teresina! I will be staying in a trio, which has its positives and negatives, but the work will go on! Sister V. Lima had to return 4 months early from her mission because of the health problems, but I know the Lord is proud of her work. I am happy that I had the opportunity to work with her, and she was happy that she finished strong. She said that this past transfer was her favorite!

My Grandpa Gueller was in the hospital this week but is feeling a bit better and was released. I love you so much Gramps, and I am so happy to hear that you were still cracking jokes. I am sure the nurses were all loving your stories. I love you, and you are in my prayers.

Brandon was baptized this past weekend! It is always so fun to see someone young get baptized, because I can see the potential that they have, and the way this gospel will have an impact for the rest of their lives. I am so blessed to help others see and feel the joy that comes through Christ. I am also so blessed to feel the joy that comes every day from serving others and just being in their lives … whether it is tasting Irmao Batista’s famous amazon mango juice or just loving and teaching young children that their Savior is real and that He loves them so much.

I remember when I was set apart as a missionary, my stake president blessed me with "patience to see that every day is a blessing". With so many things that happen here in the mission, we always feel like we are running around, out of breath, stressed out and worried about the people we love and are teaching. But I can’t help but stop for a minute and feel so grateful for the immense amount of peace I feel here. So many times I am confused about how I can feel so calm when I don’t know what the next minute will bring here. I have learned the importance of patience. Before my mission, I associated the word patience with not getting mad when someone did something annoying, haha. But patience is also having faith in the blessings that the Lord has promised. That is why having an eternal perspective is so important. Before the mission, I loved and needed to go to the temple regularly for that reason, but now I am able to remember through reading the scriptures. I am reminded that we are a part of such a bigger plan and that when we have patience and remember our ultimate and most important goal, and live our lives in accordance to that goal, we will feel an overwhelming peace in our lives.

Things have a way of always working out in the end. I know that my Heavenly Father knows me and each one of the people that I have contact with here. He knows us, our needs, our desires, our dreams, and He will do whatever He needs to do to help us keep our eternal perspective. He doesn’t want us to just endure this life, but he wants us to endure it well … with faith, with patience and with hope … knowing that the reward is greater than any other thing.

So many people that we teach here lack the knowledge of who they are and the potential that they have because they are just focused on the here and know. I feel like my job here is more than just to preach the gospel, but to open the eyes of so many to the eternal reality of who they really are.

Love you all,

Sister Vance