Monday, February 13, 2017

Abide In Me

Hi Everyone!

Well folks, its official; we have finally hit the rainy season down here in the Amazon! It’s so great because it has cooled down a bit. All the other sisters make fun of me because I walk around our apartment with my skirt rolled up like a mini skirt to stay cool, but now they all do it! What can I say, I’m a trendsetter. This week we had a zone meeting and the zone leaders told us that other missionaries were saying that they didn’t want to serve in Parnaiba for one reason or another. I felt myself getting so mad! It was funny because I blurted out, “I love Parnaiba; I don’t know what their problem is”! Hahaha, if any of you know me, you know that I am fiercely loyal to my family, and if someone talks bad about anyone in my family I just won’t have it. I feel the same way about Parnaiba. I love Parnaiba! It is so cute because there are always baby animals everywhere. Puppies, kittens, and baby chicks! I don’t like cats or chickens or the grown dogs here; only the babies! My companion thinks it’s hilarious to pick up roosters in the streets and throw them at my face … it is truly terrifying, but so funny. My companion and I are like the same person. Also, I told you all last week that I am now able to effectively talk on the phone … yeah, well now we are out of minutes on our cell phone … oops.

This week I have been thinking about one specific part of my calling as a missionary; helping others "endure to the end". We work a lot here with recent converts and less active members. It has been so interesting to see the difference it makes when we work every day to nourish and strengthen our testimony. One of my favorite recent converts, Jose, was baptized a couple weeks ago. He truly feasts on the words of Christ, and he reads and gains more knowledge every day. We can see the light in him, and he is always so eager to talk about the newest thing that he learned. Sometimes we don’t even prepare lessons to share with him, but instead give him the opportunity to share. This week he will receive the priesthood, and he will give a talk next Sunday in church! He is being blessed so much because he is working and striving every day to be better and better. One of those blessings includes a girlfriend who is also a recent convert! Oooh la la! Haha!

We all need to grow every day, and we can only do that through our Savior Jesus Christ. Christ told us to "abide in me", and I was thinking about the word “abide” this week. Abide means to remain or to stay. This is the call of the gospel, and this is the call of our Savior … not only to stay, but to stay for forever. He calls us not only to come unto Him, but to come and remain permanently. We need to be doing everything we can every day to strengthen our testimonies and become more like our Savior. I look back on my life and realize that every problem I had, EVERY problem, could have been resolved through scripture study or prayer. When we aren’t growing, we are losing … losing our testimony and losing our light. Someday I want to be a mother who reads the Book of Mormon with my kids every day because I truly have gained a testimony that whoever reads the scriptures daily and prays can’t go astray, no matter what happens in their life. Jesus also said, "without me ye can do nothing". My companion and I sometimes laugh, because when we ask our investigators who Jesus Christ is, they ALWAYS, ALWAYS say "Tudo", which means everything, even though they don’t really know or understand. I REALLY DO KNOW that Christ is everything to us, and we are to "abide in Him" permanently, steadfastly and forever. I know that as I try to help others rely on and be steadfast in Christ, I will learn to not only endure, but to prevail through every obstacle in this life. I can do this through Christ, who truly gives me strength.

Remember, Christ doesn’t need people to die for His gospel. He needs people to do the even more difficult thing … LIVE for His gospel.

Love you all,

Sister Vance

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