Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Turn Out

Friends and Family!

This week was great, as every week is … constantly covered in sweat, sunscreen, bug spray and more sweat! When we teach lessons, sometimes the people here want me to speak or pray in English, but it is seriously getting hard to speak in English! My mouth feels weird and doesn’t work in English, but I guess that’s a good thing as I am getting immersed in speaking Portuguese. It is helping me connect with the people here and express myself. It is so funny, because we visit people and after one or two visits I have to tell myself to be calm and not be overbearing, because I just want to tell them how much I love them!

This week was a little sad as we had to stop visiting some of our investigators, because they just weren’t progressing and applying the things we were teaching them in their lives. It’s really sad, but afterward they still call us and ask us if we want to go to the beach with them and all this funny stuff, and we have to explain our purpose here. When we teach, we have started showing a picture of our prophet Thomas Monson, so people can really visualize their prophet and feel the Spirit. I feel the Spirit and am so grateful for a living prophet today. One day this week we were having no success; our appointments fell through, no one was receptive and it was almost comical how many things weren’t going our way. My companion is wonderful, so we were still having a good day and finding reasons to laugh through the discouragement. We were walking along and saw this elderly woman sitting outside of her house. We started talking to her and asked her if she was hungry. She said she wasn’t, but then we asked her what she had eaten that day and she said she hadn’t eaten anything in two days. Her name was Maria and she was so beautiful and so sweet. We ran to the market and picked up some groceries for her, and when we returned, asked her if we could serve her. We walked into her "house" and it was so bare … literally nothing. I had to walk back outside because I needed to cry. These people here are so special and I love them so much. We taught her a short lesson about how she is a daughter of God and we set up meals to be delivered to her through our local branch. I know that I am here to teach people about my Savior Jesus Christ, but I also know that I can teach people through my actions. Actions speak louder than words; we all know this. I am working every day to find ways to “turn out” and serve those around me, no matter what I am going through. The Savior did that throughout His whole ministry and I am striving to be more like Him every day. Multiple times a day, I hear a voice in my head say "turn out, turn out, turn out”.

I am so grateful for this work and the change it brings to people. We started teaching Raimundo’s wife and they have been coming to church! I am so happy, because families are central to God’s plan. I am so grateful for my Father in Heaven. I wish I could tell you about all of my experiences, because this is only a small fraction of what happens in my week and everything that I am learning. But a few things I do know and have learned … we have a responsibility to be aware and see the needs of others around us, no matter what is going on in our lives. I love these people; I really, really do. I have been given this love because I have prayed to have Charity, and to see people the way God sees them.

Even though I discovered a gecko in my bed, regularly find dead bugs in my scriptures, and watch spiders and ants fighting in the shower … there is nowhere else in the whole wide world I want or NEED to be. There is nothing more important to me. I love you all and know we are here on earth to bless the lives of others. Remember to “turn out”!

Sister Vance

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