Monday, October 28, 2013

Week # 10 ~ Pause, Ponder & Pray


Today I am feeling GREAT because…..  I just received two packages, one from Grandma  Carn and one from you.  They are full of fun Halloween goodies and fun.  Thank you, I cannot wait to dig in.  We have to stay inside all of Halloween day because of safety issues.  I appreciate the packages and love! 

So this week has been very interesting.

This week we were asked to type up a conversion story and we didn't know who to talk to about their story, so we did the "pause, ponder, and pray" tactic.  I said the prayer and waited before I ended it.   When I just sat there in the middle of my prayer and listened to the spirit for an answer, it came.  While I listened a name popped into my head. Then I ended the prayer and we went right over to the house of the person that had come to me. We met the sister that’s name came to me and learned of her fantasic conversion story.  We also had the opportunity to meet and get to know her daughter. So I am confidant that I have received an answer to my prayer.

Tuesday, Bud and Edna,  our neighbors, apparently found an abandoned kitten in their shed and have adopted it, it is a very young kitten.   It keeps making this high pitched "meow" over and over and over again, all day and night.  It is very annoying, but on a positive note, it makes us get out of the apartment faster.   So I guess it is kind of good.

Wednesday was normal and we talked to some members and less active members that day.   Towards the end of the day we were impressed to go see a certain less active members. We went and taught him a little lesson and when it was time to leave, we left and we were walking to our truck, we just so happened to pass a lady walking down the street to where we were going.   We talked to her,  we introduced ourselves and explained who we were and what we are doing.   She said that she has never heard of the missionaries.  She had never even heard or Mormons before!  So we gave her a quick lesson and gave her a pass along card and wrote our # on it and gave it to her!   It was awesome to find someone who want to learn more. 

Thursday was very interesting.  We helped move some people out of a trailer park and into a house that was pretty nice. We were moving them into the house and I noticed a ninja weapon, and I was like what the heck??   I noticed another weapon but this one was a small mace kind of thing with a thick wood handle and six sharp metal blades on the end of it and then I noticed a sword.  I was wondering why does this guy have so many weapons?!  He saw me looking at them and told me that he regularly goes to a local renaissance fair and regularly does battle with people. He wears a bear skin /fur trench coat for his costume.  Now he wants me to finish my mission and come back to their house so he can take me out to his favorite Renaissance fair and do battle with me.   Yikes I don’t know if I should be flattered or scared.  They were very nice people.

On Saturday we visited and had dinner with a member by the name of brother Wolfe.  We found out that he has been collecting magic cards (magic the gathering) since when it first came out in 1994.  I told him about Tyson liking the game of magic.  He then proceeded to show us every one of his magic cards.  He has stacks of magic cards about a foot tall to a foot and a half tall of decks that he has put together and he has enough to cover his whole table!!  Tyson would have loved and understood the visit much more than I.

So that was my week, interesting to say the least.

Love everyone so much,
Love Elder Vance

Monday, October 21, 2013

Week #9 ~Normally normal things

Hello All,

This week has been very normal.   We are still in Shen, but we have been teaching lots of families on a regular basis.   Then, when we are not teaching, we walking around the town for 1-4 hours trying to contact someone new to teach.  This week we made two new contacts and scheduled appointments to teach them. 

We approach people like this:
"Hi, how are you doing today? .... 
What are you doing? ...
Oh that is cool, need any help with that?...
Then we proceed to tell them who we are and what we are doing. 

My normal day is really full of activities and teaching and there are very little brakes we can take.  Breaks are when we eat lunch for one hour then we go right back to teaching. We are eating at a member’s house every day for dinner and sometimes for lunch also.  It is great!

So the other interesting thing that we did during our visits to a members house, was make a duck tape light sabers.   We then had a light saber battle with one of the members little boys that he was about 11 or so.  It was fun.  Some times it is fun to just break the normal day of teaching and play a little… Then back to the LORDS work.

I have taught lots of lessons. I think that I am really connecting with this less active member, her name is Shela.  She really listens to everything that I say and really pays attention whenever I talk.  She is a heavy smoker and does smoke about a pack a day.   She has a house infested with cockroaches and has a son who is about 14.   He is a little inappropriate at times and always has to be doing something.  He cannot sit still.   We will continue to try to make a difference in her life.

So, the end of this week was very slow…. the most exciting thing we did was move some people out of their apartments.  Their apartment is on the third floor of the apartment building and it took forever to move them!  Up and down the stairs.   That is the second time that we moved someone out of their apartment this week.  Every time we moved them they had something that was super heavy that we could barely lift.  Better yet move it down three flits of stairs and into a moving truck.

I am reading the BoM again from the beginning and am in Third Nephi, chapter 7.

I am asking for those things because on Halloween we have to stay in our apartment all day for safety reasons. I have not gotten your packages yet, thank you for sending me the music! Please send it directly to my apartment

Thank you for the talking/typing time with me, but my time is over and I have to go.

Love you so much!!

Love Elder Vance

Monday, October 14, 2013

Week # 8 ~ "Dude, can someone take me to the hospital?"

Hello Family,

Well, this week has been a little calmer than the last one.

I am still in Shenandoah Iowa, tomorrow we find out about transfers.
I don’t think I will be transferred because, I am still being trained. 
I am feeling spiritually uplifted these days.  I am reading a lot out of the
B of M and learning a ton of things that I did not know or understand before. 

My Companion and I made some goals that we set for teaching a few weeks ago and we finally accomplished them, so we took a break and decided to have some fun.  We made a light saber out of a wooden stick and lots of duck tape.  My companion is super awesome and knowledgeable! 

We did a lot of service this week including, chopping more wood, and cleaning out a family’s really dirty and heavily dusty garage.  We had to take most of the things to the dump and chuck them.  We also got to put up Halloween decorations for some members.  It was really fun.  We also were able to help clean a really dirty house that is infested with cockroaches and smelled like cigarettes.  Finally we took a stranger to the hospital.

Now about the hospital thing, we were teaching a less active member out in his yard when a guy came running up to us with a towel wrapped around his hand, he said "Dude, can someone take me to the hospital?"  He then proceeded to take the towel off his hand and to show us what happened to it.  All four of his figures by his knuckles were cut open and were cut to the bone; it was a little cool and disgusting.  So we drove him to the hospital.  A surgery and some stiches and he will be fine.  You never know when a teaching opportunity will present itself!  

I am staying healthy and working out every morning at 6:30 a.m. and going to bed at about 10:45 p.m. every night.  We were able to watch conference last week at a member’s house and then one session at the church.  It was great to hear all the talks. 

Everyone is asking if I get home sick. The answer is no!   I have not been homesick yet, but there many times that I do stop and think about you all at home and wonder what you are up to.   I wonder what you are doing at that very moment!  I do miss you but am very happy!

I need to go…

Love you so much,

Elder Vance

Monday, October 7, 2013

Week # 7 ~Sirens, Tornados & Brownies OH MY!

My Mission Week # 7

So this week has been very interesting. 

First, I am safe.  I am feeling awesome and very healthy; the days are going by faster and faster now.

Secondly, Elder Smith took me to a member’s house and we had dinner there, it was very good we had mashed potatoes and gravy and chicken and corn and bread. Then Elder Smith told me that we were not eating breakfast in the morning so I should get another helping of food.  So I did, I had two full plates of food.  Then and only then did the members said that they are bringing out the dessert and I was like oh no!   I will just have a little bit of it and be done.  What I didn’t know was that every new missionary that came to their house they would make a giant dessert for them and mine just happened to be a giant brownie that was made from one whole box of brownie mix and I had to eat all of it.  AHHHH, so I ate most of it.  I was very disgustingly full.

Then on Wednesday Elder Smith and I had a lot of free time in our apartment so we decided to take some pictures.  “Elders in Black” pictures, with a random black glove that we found behind our couch.  It was fun and made our slow day go by fast.

The peak of my week was a tornado touching down outside of town.  We went to a less active members house to teach them and after we were done we saw lots of lightning everywhere (it looked like a bunch of camera flashes going off).   After we left their home, we drove to another less active members house.   She was out side looking at all of the lightning.   We were talking to her when all of a sudden the tornado siren went off and they were very scary.  We ran into the house, suddenly we saw some funnel clouds start to form and we stayed in the house for a few minutes.   When the sister we were visiting did not come in, I went out to see if she needed help to get in, she was waiting for her husband to arrive home.   Right when she saw her husband drive up in his car and the alarm stopped.   Her husband told her that the tornado touched down in the town outside of Essex (where we just left from a few minutes ago) and the storm completely passed over us.  We were so very blessed that the storm didn’t do anything to the town that we were in.

Then at district meeting each companion was talking about a person who they needed help with teaching, and the zone leaders told us about a guy named mike AKA under-cover Jesus.  Mike literally thought he was Jesus and that he could preform miracles and that his past life was told in the Book of Mormon and the Bible, he also said that he could preform miracles but didn’t want to show anyone.   He thinks that the wrinkles on your wrists were the marks of him being hung on the cross.  They didn’t know what to do in that situation and neither did any one else.  I am glad I don’t have to try and teach him!  Any suggestions out there?

I got to see one of my hero from home, Elder Sasha Prosence.  He came up from behind me saying ,"BEAR CUB".  Which is what my entire wrestling team called me all three years in high school.  He was at my first meeting when I arrived in Nebraska, It was nice to see a face from home and get a huge hug!   We thought about doing some wrestling, but did not because we were in our suits and both of us rusty.  He is doing great and leaving to go home soon.

So that was the highlights of my week. It’s been a great and spiritual week full of fun and new and exciting adventures!

Love you lots! 

Tell Tyson good luck with wrestling & Preston and Makenzie keep up the hard work at school!

Love, Elder Vance

P.S.  here are some pictures also from what I have talked about