Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Tireless Work of Our Savior

Friends and Family!

This week was good, the work is good and life is so good! But I do have a confession … I know last week I told you all that I was working on “turning out” more and serving unselfishly. Well, when our toilet in our apartment broke and exploded everything everywhere, I can’t say that I stepped up to the plate, haha. My only contribution was running past every couple minutes screaming with my shirt over my head to cover my nose and spraying my Taylor Swift perfume! Hahaha, it was a disaster. Karma got me good though, because I ended up stepping in poop 3 times this week.

People here see us and yell English words, whatever words they know, which is just so funny. I always respond and say “sorry, I don’t understand English”! One of my favorite things this past week was on Sunday when we were in church. An elderly woman was sitting in between me and my companion and she was so frail and fragile, and was freezing cold. I don’t know how, because it is so hot here, but we cuddled with her the whole time. It was precious. We do whatever we can to help everyone with whatever they are challenged with in their lives. Sometimes we try to help people by taking their coffee and giving it back to the original owner to help people live the Word of Wisdom.

This week we had exchanges and went out with other companions. I was a little nervous because I was assigned a sister who is our training leader, and on her last transfer in the mission I had to show her around my area for the day and introduce her to our people. She didn’t talk much with the people we taught because they were my investigators and she was helping me stretch and grow. It was honestly one of the best things for me. I talked more than ever, held full conversations with people and understood everything. I realized that I know more than I think I do! It was huge blessing!

This week we have a baptism … woohoo! His name is Jose Euganiel, and he is 58 and so, so wonderful. We met Jose as a referral from one of the elders. We tried to find him at his apartment, but no one answered. We were yelling for him (you can do that here), and another couple answered the door and we taught them. That didn’t work out because we tried to return and they weren’t home and we ended up teaching a man named Tony. That ended shortly, because when I invited him to read the Book of Mormon, he replied "I will read it for YOU", hahahaha. It was so classic, but when we were teaching Tony, we ran into Jose … it had been 3 weeks since we originally tried to contact him! He is so sweet and I am so happy that he has made the decision to follow Jesus Christ. He reads and reads and reads, and is so intrigued by the gospel. His baptism is this Saturday, and we are planning it and trying to make it special for him. I just want my Mom here to help me with it, because we all know how good she is at these things!

I can’t even begin to explain how many times we begin teaching people and they just cry because they have been praying for help from Heavenly Father. It is such a tender mercy to be an answer to prayers and an instrument for the Lord with these people. We have had people with some really difficult situations and sometimes when I teach, I think “holy cow, I am 19 years old … what do I know, what can I say, or what can I do to help these people? I don’t know what to say in English, let alone Portuguese!” It has been truly humbling to realize that Jesus Christ is the answer to everything. My job here is to turn and bring people into the open arms of their Savior.

I don’t have the words His truth deserves, but it’s a simple thing He asks of us; a worthy heart and willing hands. I truly love it here … it is hard and taxing but it doesn’t feel like work. My mission president said last week to all of us, "if you feel tired then you don’t have faith", haha. I loved that because it was a smack in the face. He is so great and not easy on us, and I love it! I will work and work so that I can help the families that I cried with this week feel the complete and eternal joy through Jesus Christ and His infinite love and Atonement.

I love you all!

Sister Vance

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