Wednesday, May 3, 2017

An Enduring Faith

Hello Everyone!

Where do I begin? So many things have happened, so many answers to prayers, some disappointments, lessons learned and so many miracles!

I have had awesome opportunities implementing the “opening my mouth and talking with everyone” strategy, as we were able to bring the man in the apartment next to our church with us on Sunday. We also started talking to a woman and found out that she and her husband were already reading The Book of Mormon! Haha, we are still confused as to how a Book of Mormon "magically appeared" on their table in the house, but all I gotta say is "God works in mysterious ways".

This past Friday was an interesting experience for me, knowing that my sister was getting married. I have been filled with such happiness for them and such peace, knowing that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I would be lying a little if I didn’t say that I felt it was a sacrifice on Friday. I didn’t want to be sad, but I made sure that I remembered her and thought about her that day. At the same time, I wanted to just work hard because I knew that Heavenly Father was aware of me. I prayed and made a promise with God that I would completely consecrate myself and lose myself and my thoughts in the work, and help others come to the knowledge that families can be together for eternity. I was just so sure, leaving our apartment, that I would just find miracle after miracle.

As it turned out, that wasn’t how my day went … hahaha. It was one of the days on my mission where I felt we worked the hardest, but had the least success. A part of me was so confused and frustrated, because I felt alone and that Heavenly Father wasn’t realizing my work or my effort. At night I was writing in my journal, and it all just sort of clicked for me. Nothing we do here on earth goes unnoticed, and part of our plan here on earth is to learn how to sacrifice and truly find out what it is important. Also, there is not a date set for granting blessings. I need to have patience and faith that the blessings will come. If we received blessings immediately after being obedient, then you can be sure everyone would be righteous. It is what separates the faithful and hopeful from everyone else. Faith is believing in those things that can’t be seen yet; even blessings. It is more than enduring … it is enduring with a steadfastness, knowing without a doubt that we can trust in our Heavenly Father. I love this quote by Joseph Smith when he said, "a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has the power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation." I have never felt that my mission is a sacrifice, and I never want to. I know that when we truly remember what is most important, and the reason and motives behind all the things we have in this life, that we will receive blessings. When? I don’t know, but I do know this … if we learn how to sacrifice with patience, we will have the faith sufficient to lead us to everlasting life with our Father in Heaven. I love my mission and I am grateful for the ways that Heavenly Father is helping me stretch and grow. I am being blessed, I am trying to bless the lives of others and I know that this work will bless generations to come here in Parnaiba and in my own family someday. I am so happy, and I love you all!

Sister Vance

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