Monday, September 30, 2013

Week # 6 ~ My first Baptism!

Hello from the Shenandoah Public Library,

I am feeling really great today. 

Could not wait to tell you that last Saturday we had our first baptism.  His name is Kyle T.

We started out by preparing the font, but the hot water wasn't working.  So the font was filled up with ice water, literally.  After he was dunked he was shaking his head trying to get the cold out and he was freezing cold for the rest of the service.  It was a very spiritual experience, I am feeling the spirit very strongly now. 

This week has gone by really fast and we got one of our less active members to come to church.  This less active member is a heavy smoker and does lots of drugs and has frequent seizures.   When he came to church on Sunday he was very hyped up on drugs.  His body couldn’t stop twitching and shaking and he smelled heavily of cigarettes.   He had to be taken home right after sacrament, because he was having seizures due to the overuse of the drugs.  But he came to church!!  So that is an accomplishment,

because he hasn’t ever been to our ward.

The sisters in our district wrote a song about our district of 6 elders including me and sang it in front of everyone for us.  I was so funny, and we didn't even ask them to do it, the song was based on the Aladdin song. 

I need to tell you to send the mail through the mission office, so that they can send it to where I am living in case I get transferred.

Lots of love to everyone,

Tell Grandma and Grandpa thanks for the cookies and fruit rollups

Elder Vance

P.S.  send more fruit roll ups
more CDs and fruit rollups and Invincible CD

Need to go…

Love you,

Elder Vance

Monday, September 23, 2013

Week #5 ~ Achieving Lumberjack Status

This week as witnessed by Elder Vance: 

Monday, Elder Smith and I went to the church gym to play basketball and then he played the piano so he won’t get rusty.   We shopped at Hy-Vee, which is like Wal-Mart but only has food in it.  After that we went to family home evening with the Watersons family.  It was great, then went to our apartment and went to bed. 

Tuesday was pretty calm for the most part and we just went to some less active members houses and shared a little message with them and talked with them to see if we could do anything for them.
Wednesday was interesting.  I had exchanges with the other elders in our district.  Elder Smith went to their apartment for the rest of the day and through the next morning and Elder Q came to my apartment and did the same thing.  After the day was up and we switched back.   I am so happy that I am paired with Elder Smith and not Elder Q.  Elder Q has tons of CD's that have country songs and pop songs like Imagine Dragons and stuff like that and he doesn't have any church songs at all and he sometimes spouts off a few choice words swear words.  NICE very missionary like!  So I was glad to have Elder Smith back.
Thursday, we went over to the Watersons house to do service for them.  They needed their lawn mowed and lots of logs chopped into smaller pieces for their fireplace so Elder Smith started to mow their lawn and I went to chop the logs.  When I saw the logs I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able finish chopping them.   When Elder Smith finished with the lawn, the logs that were left were basically big stumps that you would use to chop other wood on.  They were also infested with termites.  So Brother Watersons got his axe out and a large metal wedge for me to use.   I loved coping that wood!  I got it down to about three smacks of the flat side of the axe on the wedge to split the log. After so many hours of chopping wood I may be close to achieving lumberjack status!   Every time the log would split, hundreds of termites would fly out of the log because I would hit it so hard and they would land all over my legs and shoes.  (Don't worry mom, I washed my cloths and they are termite free).
Friday we did a lot of service, our ward adopted a two-mile section of the highway and we spent most of our morning walking along the highway with trash bags and orange vests picking up trash.  We found a lot of interesting things that day on the side of the highway, collectively we found: a large section of a gutter from a house, tons of beer cans, lots of things from McDonald, a metal grate, a hard hat and a drug kit with needles. We wrapped it up in a trash bag so we could properly dispose of later.  All in all a very interesting day.
Saturday, Elder smith and I went to a less active members house for some more service.  Her name is Sheela, her house is infested with cockroaches.   She makes her own cigarettes and smokes about five of them a day.  We went over there and did all of her dishes for her, the dishes almost reached the roof and were about a week and a half old.  It took us about three hours to do and we smelled like smoke, so we went back to our apartment and changed and washed our cloths. Then the fun part of the day, we talked to Kyle, the guy who is getting baptized and we taught him some more about the Gospel and about the importance of being baptized.  He is still on track for this Saturday to be baptized.   It was amazing!
Sunday, I gave a talk from one of the General Conference talks, we have two sister missionary’s in our ward also.  They talked from General conference talks also.

So that was my week,


Elder Vance

Monday, September 16, 2013

Week # 4 ~ "Why am I talking to him?"

Hi Mom and Dad, Family and Friends,

I am holding up great, and I am happy and healthy and my companion is great.

Now, a little about my companion Elder Smith.  He knows a lot about the Book of Mormon and whenever I have a question about something in it, he knows the answer, most of the time.
He is shorter than me and is just three months older than me.  He graduated in 2011 and wants to be a music major, he has done 2 1/2 years of college so far and sings a lot in the shower and in our apartment and everywhere else. 

He also talks in his sleep, he says missionary things like, "Sister Bart, would you like to say the prayer?"
and, "If you could just turn in the scriptures with me" and "Would you like to give the opening prayer?"

 A couple of times I woke up in the night and thought he was talking to me so I said,
" What scripture is it?"
and I would wait for an answer for a little bit and then wonder, why I was talking to him he is asleep!   Then, I checked my clock and went back to bed because it was 3 a.m. 

Everyone wants to know what my days consist of so,
Here it is…

First thing we do is wake up at 6:30 to workout and then take a shower and shave and then do our personal studies at 8 to 9, then we do companion studies from 9 to 10.  If it is P-day, we email and go shopping for food and other things and our P day ends at 6:30 pm.   We go to a members houses and teach them for the rest of the day till about 9 then we retire to our apartment for the night.

My new ward is super small, it’s about a third the size of our wards.  We are teaching lots of people and got one of our investigators to set a baptismal date to be baptized in two weeks!!  We are very excited. We finally got a food calendar around the ward to host the missionaries for either lunch or dinner, it is full for almost everyday this month.  We also are teaching a less active member that is a bible basher and smokes a lot, he quotes the bible all the time and knows it backwards and forwards and call the misquotes on church videos whenever we watch one with him.  But I think that we are moving along great with him.

We listen to the CDs in our truck, which is super awesome, we were lucky to get a truck with a CD player in it.  I am working hard and I am loosing weight. In the MTC I weighed about 215, now I'm 200 and its going down and I’m getting stronger.  This entire Saturday we helped move someone out of there house and into another one.  We did it so fast it only took about 5 hours instead of the two days they had planned for.   After that we pulled a lot of weeds for the guy that lives next to us, he has a gigantic garden.

Finally, tell Preston to appreciate wrestling class and the conditioning because I wish I would have worked harder in the workouts and wrestling moves because you probably wont be wrestling ever again out of high school.

It’s going great here on my mission so far, I got your letters you sent and also the raincoat that you sent with my wrestling sweat suit. 

Tell Preston and Makenzie to have a great dance and do an interesting day activity for the dance. 

Please tell Preston and Tyson to burn a CD for me on my mission to listen to and to burn the whole album of Invincible to a CD for me please. 

The address that you sent to, with the letters about how I was doing at the MTC is the right address.   Tell Tyson that the picture of the buster blade that he drew was awesome! 

Tell everyone that I love them and to send CD’s to me to listen to.

Love you lots family!

 Elder Auston Vance

P.S.  My P-day is Mondays at around 10 ish

                         President and Sister Weston with Elder Vance~ Omaha Nebraska

Monday, September 9, 2013

Week # 3 ~Shenandoah Iowa

On Mon, Sep 9, 2013 at 11:10 AM, Auston Vance ‪<> wrote:

Hello All,

So this is the fourth day for me on my mission in Shenandoah Iowa.  My senior companion is Elder Smith, he is awesome.   So a little about the mission I’m in  Shenandoah is very quiet town and almost nothing happens around here.  The people here are all very friendly to missionaries, most of the people here are older.    I am staying is a little motel/ home.  We have one bathroom with a living room and kitchen combined and one bedroom with two beds in it.  There is pretty much no room to put anything, because its so small.  The elder that I replaced left all of his things in the room. There are no bedbugs here in my bed that I know of so far.   We get to drive everywhere in a really nice ford truck that is on the small side but still good.  Monday is my new p day now. I will let you know if it changes. 

On Saturday, Elder Smith and I volunteered at a local roller skate rink. It is small and all of the electronics there are super old. We helped there giving out roller skates to the people there and ran the prize stand.   We gave little prizes to people who pay for them and we also ran the food stand.   We gave them candy and drinks and also frozen pickle juice in a little cup for them to suck and lick  eeww!!!.  
We volunteered there from 6:30 to 9 pm, it was great to get to know the community.

 Yesterday (sunday) I gave my first blessing to one of our investigators that was in the hospital.  She had a bad fall in her house. It was a great experience.

Sunday at about 6:15 p.m. Elder smith and I were feeling really tired and I told him I was going to take a nap and I was expecting to take a short nap , but instead of taking a nap, I fell asleep.  I woke up 9:45 am the next morning  that’s about 15 1/2 hours or sleep,  in my church cloths. I feel so much better now and my cold is pretty much gone.

Tomorrow we are going to volunteer at a local elementary school to help one of our investigators that is a teacher there.  We will help in the class room grade work and stuff.

I will send you my SD card with pictures soon.
Tell everyone hello and that I am doing great.

My new address is:

2007 US Highway 59 
Shenandoah, Iowa   51601

Lots of love to every one,

Love Elder Auston Vance