Monday, September 18, 2017

We Testify of Christ

Hi Everyone!

This week we had zone conference, and President and Sister Melo made the long trek of 14 hours to come and visit the farthest zone in the mission! I just need to say that I love my mission president. He is awesome! He used to scare me a bit, being straight out of the Amazon, but I have come to love them both so much. All of the members in our area are hoping to one day have a temple, because they have to drive 30 hours away now. President Melo told the story about how, as a recent convert, he and 200 of the people in his stake in Manaus, would ride a boat once a year for 5 days and then get on a 52-hour bus ride to attend the temple. Then, through their work and every member being a missionary, they finally got a temple closer to them in 2008. I am a living witness of the modern day pioneers here in Brazil. The sacrifices they make are incredible and faith-building to me.

Today I got the news that tomorrow morning I will have to return to Teresina to resolve my visa, and then also next week we have a leadership meeting again in Teresina and I will have to travel again! I will be traveling 30 hours by bus this week and 30 hours next week as well. I asked them why I couldn’t wait until next week and just do everything at once, and I was told that if I was late handling my visa that they could put me in jail … haha. My companion and I started laughing and joking that we would miss the bus on purpose and, I don’t know why, but a part of me would just love to have that story to tell, haha, just kidding. Just kidding Mom, don’t worry, I promise I won’t miss my bus. Just to make you all nervous, it is tomorrow at 7:00 am and I don’t even remember how many times I missed the bus in middle school, but I am sure my mom remembers how many times she dropped me off at school because of it. Haha, oh my goodness, I even remember the bus driver was so used to it that she usually had pity on me and would wait in front of my house and honk the horn!

My companion Sister Ongaro is finishing her mission this week! She was baptized at 13 and is the only member in her family. She is a powerhouse and I am sure going to miss her. There might be tears … we have become the best of friends. She is my second favorite companion I have had in the mission (after my trainer).

This week we had “good times” with a bunch of our investigators starting to read anti-Mormon stuff … so that has been fun … NOT! I don’t know why people believe what they see on the internet … but it has been a cool experience to be able to talk and testify about the truth of the gospel. Sometimes we feel like we are literally fighting with the lies of Satan. I loved the quote that I read one day by Elder Holland that said "don’t bible bash with people, but if you do … WIN!", haha. It’s frustrating here because the churches have microphones and are screaming and yelling and these people believe every word, but they don’t read the Bible at all. Everything that our church believes is in the Bible. As we used the Bible this past week, we were able to help so many of our investigators. But the best tool that we used was our own testimony. At the end of all the lessons, we just looked at them and told them that they won’t know that our church isn’t true through other people, and they won’t know if it is true through our words. Only they will know, if they get on their knees and ask. We said, “If you do that, and receive an answer that what we teach isn’t true, then we won’t bother you one more minute." Our testimonies are truly the most important thing we have as missionaries.

This past week I was reading in John and in Acts. I fell in love with the story and the person of Peter. The apostles were fishing after the death of Christ and they weren’t catching anything, and then they saw a man on the beach and he called and told them to throw their nets on the other side. Then in that same minute they caught so many fish that their nets couldn’t hold them. One of them recognized the Savior and pointed it out to the other men like, "hey guys, look, its Jesus". Then Peter ripped off his jacket and just SENT IT into the ocean and started swimming frantically to be close to the Savior. When I read that, I started to laugh because he is just such a spaz sometimes, but then it really touched my heart. Peter is such an example to me of someone who truly loved the Savior. I hope that when the Savior comes again, that I will have the same spastic reaction … that I will not have any shame or embarrassment, or not be tangled up in my "nets". I am working today, and every day, to show my Savior that I am trying my best to come closer to Him. I know that this is Christ’s church, and that He is still guiding us in these latter days. This isn’t my work, or man’s work, it is the work of our Savior. I love Him and I know He loves me.

Love you all,

Sister Vance

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The End of Learning is To Know God

Hi Everyone!

Essa semana foi loca! Nossa! There were so many things that happened this week. First thing first, I am living in Bacuri and we are finally starting to see some results of our work! We had a wedding and three baptisms this week! Marcio and Elizabeth were married in the civil building and we were so happy and they looked cute. It was a community wedding, with about 30 other people, and when I was there I just couldn't help but think, my goodness you couldn't pay me to get married outside of the temple. It felt a little like Vegas with a quick marriage and a fake cake nearby to take a picture, hahaha.

Let me just say something. Can someone please get these baptismal fonts under control? Wednesday night we got there in the afternoon to start filling up the font, and it was already filled, but I am pretty sure that water had been there for six months and had dead lizards and cockroaches in it. We tried to handle it, but the water wasn’t draining. We called our ward mission leader for help and he told us to baptize them in that water, but there was no way we were going to do that. The elders were close by and helped us drain the font, bucket by bucket. It was so funny, but just the worst! By the end of it we were all dripping in sweat and dead tired. Then we helped set up a little reception for them, and so many members came and it was a really special night. My companion and I were so tired but we both loved seeing this cute couple start on the right path. Just two weeks ago, Elizabeth was totally against getting baptized, but that night her face was just beaming and she was so happy. The gospel is truly for everyone and changes the hearts of so many people.

I remember the first week here in Bacuri, I gave a talk and I was so shocked at how there was almost no one in church. I counted 25 my first Sunday, but these past two weeks we have had over 80 people! The members here are so helpful and so awesome, and excited about the work. The Feitosa family are members and are “my family away from my family”! They have an open door policy and even a closed door policy … when the door is shut they let us walk in and drink water, and Irma Maria is always offering food. These people here take such good care of us. I feel so grateful.

Adriano was baptized Saturday night! He is the nephew of a less active married couple. He is 12 years old and so smart. Our zone leader interviewed him for baptism and said it was one of the best interviews he has ever had. My companion and I had the opportunity to sing together and bear our testimonies at the baptism, and it was so cute because the Spirit testified to me that one day not too long in the future this boy would serve a mission. When he was confirmed on Sunday, the irmao that confirmed him also said in the blessing that he would serve a full time mission! His aunt and uncle are coming back strong and are so awesome. They were baptized in 2015, but moved and lost contact with the church. But they still have that strong burning testimony that recent converts have. The aunt (Daniele) is even going to visit our investigators with us this week.

This week I have recognized how much I love to learn. I have a notebook for personal study and every day I am just hungry and thirsty to learn more. I feel the same way about the scriptures and General Conference talks as I did as a kid reading the Harry Potter books (each one 7 times). I remember my parents, having to GROUND me and take away my books because all I did with my life was read these fantasy books. I would wake up before my parents in the morning to read, and at night would sneak a flashlight into bed. Now it is the same; I just want to get my hands on as many things I can! I know that we are here in this life to learn and progress, that we will not be saved in ignorance, and it is our responsibility to gain as much knowledge as we can. I love the part in my Great Grandpa High’s patriarchal blessing that says "the end of learning is to know God." I know that as I study the teachings of Jesus Christ and of His prophets, I will more easily be able to imitate and emulate His example. I am striving every day to learn of Him and by Him. I am the Lord’s personal investigator! Knowledge is ours to obtain. No one else can gain it for me. Wherever we are, we need to develop a deep desire to learn.

Love you all,

Sister Vance

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Have Faith in Dark Times

Hi Family and Friends!

Let me just say this … take a minute to appreciate me in your lives because I almost died this week, seriously. I got really close to the veil this weekend. Friday night, we got back to the apartment after doing an activity at the church and my legs were just killing me, and I was confused because we hadn’t walked more than usual. I took some Aleve and went to bed. At 2:00am, I woke up and felt like a got ran over by a car. Every bone in my body was in sharp pain, and lying in bed even hurt. I was dripping in sweat, but felt totally cold. I have never, ever felt more sick and in more pain in my life. There was pain from my head to the bones in my toes. I stood up, felt dizzy, and ran to the bathroom and started throwing up. I woke my companion and it was so funny because I was dying throwing up, but when I looked up at her right after throwing up, we made eye contact and I just smiled and start laughing. She said that I looked like a psychopath/joker. I don’t know why God gave me this weird sense of humor to laugh when bad things are happening, but it comes in handy sometimes. We took my temperature and I had a 101° fever. You can’t mess with fevers down here, they are really dangerous, so we called Sister Melo and woke her up in the middle of the night. She told me to take a certain medicine and to go to the hospital when it opened at 7:00am. I didn’t sleep, I just sat in bed wanting to die, waiting until 7:00am. Long story short, in the hospital they stabbed me with the needle about a million times because they never get it right, and it was the nurse’s first day on the job (poor thing), haha, and Sister Vance was all alone in the hospital room crying like a baby. They didn’t let my companion in, and I just felt all alone and I felt so sick. I didn’t know how I could feel better, but I just said a prayer asking for the comfort of the Spirit. After five minutes, I was able to miraculously fall asleep. It was cute, because I felt that was a way Heavenly Father helped me be comforted just by blocking everything out. I know Heavenly Father hears our prayers and doesn’t leave us alone.

I will spare you a lot of the details, but long story short, after a blood test and other tests, I have an infection in my intestines from the water here. I still have a fever but now I am taking antibiotics and am feeling better. Just pray for me, that I will feel better so that I will be able to work hard this week. I have been in our apartment for two days now and will go crazy if I don’t get out soon.

This week I am so excited because Wednesday we will have our first wedding! Marcio and Elizabeth will be getting married and baptized on the same day! At the start of this past week, he really had a desire to be baptized. My companion and I decided to visit them every day and read the Book of Mormon with them. After lessons where the Spirit was so strong and applying the Book of Mormon to their lives, Elizabeth decided to be baptized! Keep them in your prayers!

It was cute this week, as we were able to participate in a family home evening of a couple who have been trying to have a child for five years. The wife had received her results that she was pregnant and we played a part in surprising the husband. We had a family home evening with a lesson on families and how they can be together forever, and after she gave him the results he just started bawling. It was the cutest thing I have ever seen. They are preparing to go to the temple in February to be sealed!

Saturday morning I was in the hospital, and after that I needed to stay in my apartment. But we had one appointment that we made that was just nagging at me, and we decided that we just needed to go. I was dying and felt horrible but I couldn’t not go. We visited a couple that has been less active, but came to church last week. We taught them and their nephew, and invited him to be baptized. His name is Addriano, is 12 years old and will be baptized Saturday! It was a miracle and so worth it. We are working with the family to get them back into full activity.

Saturday is usually the day when we visit all of our investigators to help them remember to be in church on Sunday. With my problems, we couldn’t visit any of them, and nothing is worse than sitting in church with no investigators. We went to church preparing for the worst, only to see that we had so many, and I mean SO MANY, of our investigators in church … full families. I wanted to cry. I felt so blessed and loved by our Heavenly Father. I know that when we do our best, and I mean our absolute best, that He will make up the rest. It was such a tender mercy. I love my Heavenly Father; I know He is there. I know that He gives me strength to do His work and be who He wants me to be. Every difficulty or trial He throws at me, I just like to look up, maybe throw in that psycho smile of mine, and say "Heavenly Father, I understand … I know what this is, you’re trying to test me, you’re trying to make me better, and you’re trying to help me reach my potential. Thank you for trusting enough to know that I can get through this, but only with Your Help.

I love this quote: “to trust God in the light is nothing, but to trust God in the darkness - that’s faith."

Trust that Heavenly Father knows what’s best for you, find out and figure out what He wants you to do, and just do it. I promise from experience that life is easier when we do it God’s way.

Love you all,

Sister Vance

Monday, August 28, 2017

Angels Among Us

Hello Everyone!

I can't believe it … I am an aunt! I am just so mad that I am not there; holding babies here is enough of a temptation. I told my brother to not feed baby Jackson too much so that when I get back he will still be little!

One day we were having lunch with a family, and the moms always offer more food and get sad if we don’t eat the food because they think we don’t like it. Its normal, but this week I swear I almost jumped out of my chair because one Irma, who was already a little intimidating, basically growled/ yelled at us to “eat more!" I was eating out of fear … it was hilarious. This week we have just been working like crazy! We have been praying to find families and have been just so hungry to have a baptism in this area. We are inviting people to be baptized when we first contact them in the streets. We are trying to weed out those who are really interested and those who aren’t … we don't have any time to lose!

We have found so many awesome families that are married! That is one of the biggest struggles here; no one is married. We know that salvation is a personal matter, but exaltation is a family matter, and we want to help families here enjoy the blessings of the temple.

This week we were supposed to baptize Irma Joselia, but then one day we passed her in the road loading up the things from her house onto the back of a horse wagon. She was moving back in with her boyfriend. Only missionaries can understand the disappointment felt when you know that you taught a principle and they go back on it. You have feelings of inadequacy, thinking that maybe you didn’t teach well or clear enough. Anyway, we started to talk to her and were pleading with her to open her eyes to the blessings that she could have if she waited until they got married. While we were teaching, men were still loading the stuff up and my companion and I wanted to throw ourselves in front of the door or take drastic measures to stop her from making this decision. So many people in the world today are lacking a perspective. They are so focused on the here and now that they don’t have the patience to wait for the blessings. Too many times our choices reflect our fears and not our hopes. Anyway, she said that she would live the law of chastity, and they are going to get married.

It is interesting here in the mission how fast things change. This same irma that I am talking about was completely against the church and was literally scary because she just looked at us with a face like she wanted to kill us, but then after a couple lessons she completely changed. She was completely against reading the Book of Mormon, and then the other day started opening it and said that she couldn’t believe she was actually going to read it. She even defended the church in front of her boyfriend when talking about living the law of chastity, and he asked why they couldn’t be baptized in another church because they don’t require that they live this law, and she said, "no, this is the only true church, I know it". I love seeing angels working on our side, softening the hearts of so many. Some people may wonder why God lets people talk bad about the church, and have evil chase after the good, but the reason is that opposition against the good will send truth seekers to their knees for their answers and they will receive them. I have such a testimony that my companion and I are not working alone. We feel comforted, lifted and strengthened in this work through angels among us.

Love you,

Sister Vance

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Off To Bacuri!

Hello Everyone!

This past week was crazy! We got transfer calls on Wednesday and I was told that my new companion will be Sister Ongaro, and I was really excited because she lived with me in Parnaiba and is awesome. I also found out that I would be transferred to Bacuri, Maranhão … as a Sister Training Leader! Bacuri is 14 hours away from Teresina and in a whole different state of Brazil. When I got the news, I was so excited, but then flashes of the faces of so many people that I have come to love in Teresina went through my mind and I was brought to tears. It was one of the only times I can remember crying on my mission because I was sad. Jose Ramundo had his baptism planned for the end of the week, and I knew I would miss it, and have to stop teaching so many of the people who were progressing. But that’s mission life, and I am happy that Sister Bagatoli (aka, the best sister in the mission) is taking my spot in Teresina and will continue to work miracles there! I was able to do exchanges with her and introduce her to some of the best people in the area and we were just so happy working together. Of course, we were late again and we were running through the streets at 9:25pm to make it in our house on time. We were just way too happy about being late and it brought back so many memories of Parnaiba. None of my companions have been as crazy as her and I, haha!

My new area is a lot different than the more urban feel of Teresina, but I am already loving it. President Melo called us out in the leadership meeting on Thursday, and said he was worried about this area because they haven’t had a baptism in quite a while. We are going to do our best to turn that around. We spent the whole day at the leadership meeting and it has been so cool to work with the president in a smaller group and hear his inspired teachings that he has for us. He is awesome, and always takes a story from the scriptures and applies it to us and totally breaks it down and brings the scripture stories to life. The following day, we had a mission reunion with the whole mission. It was AWESOME. It was such a good day and we had a Seventy come to the reunion. Sister Melo spoke and told the story about seeing the video of me opening my mission call and how she loved me from the minute she saw that video. It was so cute and I remember my first day when she ran up and hugged me, and said that she just wanted me to know they have been anxiously waiting for me … that they we saw my video and love me already! I love President and Sister Melo, and so many of the missionaries I serve with here, shoulder to shoulder.

The reunion was a bit stressful, with nearly 30 sisters with suitcases in the same house trying to get ready; and me trying to pack to leave right after the meeting. But we made it out alive. I am so grateful for the people and other missionaries I have met in my mission. We are all such good friends, especially because the mission is smaller. A new American sister finally came and she knows my sister-in-law’s family and is in their ward! It’s such a small world … Sister Freeman! I literally prayed for the gift of tongues to try and speak English with her... I speak so weird in English these days. We then rode a bus through the night for 14 hours, got here Saturday and that afternoon the bishop asked me to give a talk in church the following day! Life has been crazy.

Earlier in the week, I was working with Sister Lucas and we were teaching a man in the front of his house, and out of nowhere two grown men showed up and interrupted our lesson. We soon recognized them as Jehovah’s Witnesses, as they opened their bibles and tried to prove us wrong and attack our beliefs. We did our best to try to have a normal discussion with them, but they wanted to argue with us. We took a deep breath, as they wouldn’t let us talk, and I raised my hand and waited for him to call on me, and then bore my testimony. My companion then bore her testimony too and we politely asked them if we could finish our lesson with this man. They left and we looked at this recent convert that we were teaching and testified to him about how important it is to take out doubts that he has right now. We told him that he can’t risk ever being in the middle, and should always focus on strengthening his testimony, so that when the day comes that he is tested or something is thrown at him, he won’t be knocked off balance. It was so powerful, and I am so grateful for my testimony of the goodness of Christ and the truthfulness of His gospel. In the great conflict of good and evil, there is no middle ground.

Love you,

Sister Vance

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