Monday, August 15, 2011

I am the Lord's Missionary

I get to email every monday for 30 minutes so my time is limited. I am LOVING the MTC! I have seen soo many of my old buddies here like, my great friend Mark Carlson from TX,  Jaden Talbot from OH,  Calvin Fairbarn from WI , Ammon Wilding from TX, Zac Cavanaugh from FL,  and a bunch of friends from BYUI. Absolutely amazing! The moment I stepped into the MTC the spirit of this place hit me. I was just called to be the District Leader of my district and I love my district. My companion is Elder Harker. He is 22 and a recent convert. He is awesome. I am bummed though because he is moving up to the Intermediate Spanish class and will not be my companion anymore. I will be in a Tri-companionship with the 2 other guys I room with,  Elder Latham and Elder Green and they are great! I love the language. I am making great strides with it.  On our 2nd day here they already had us teaching someone in Spanish. I was nervous during the first lesson, but I tried to remember to be an active listener like I had been taught and not to focus on what I wanted to say, but rather focus on what you think the person you are teaching needs in his life. So my first lesson was a little rough, but Elder Harker helped us get through it and the spirit was definitely there. But my second lesson on saturday was AMAZING! It was our second lesson teaching Gaspar (A fake investigator...AKA another Spanish teacher) But Elder Harker and I talked to him for 45 minutes in Espanol! Gaspar is Catholic and we were trying to help him see that we had the full truth – the full Gospel of Jesus Christ and not just part of it.  At the end of our lesson, I was able to bear my testimony in fluent (believe it or not) Spanish about eternal families and Jesus Christ. I definitely had a hard time bearing my testimony because the spirit was so strong. We have 6 hours of Spanish class every day and it gets long and hard, but I am learning so much! The difference between my first lesson and second was unbelievable to me - I could understand and speak twice as much Spanish in that span. The first few days have been a bit overwhelming, but I have said a lot of prayers and I am starting to soak it all in. I have so much to tell and so little time! My Zone Leaders and branch is awesome! In High School I didn't do as well in Spanish as I would have liked to – probably because I didn’t really have a desire to learn it at that time. I feel completely different here. I have the MTC and the Lord on my side and I am learning the language at an accelerated rate – it would have taken me at least 3 months in school to learn what I have already learned here.  This truly is the Restored Gospel and I am so glad I have it in my life and that I will be in a position to share it full-time soon.  My Branch President said something in sacrament that really hit me, "How often can you have your name engraved on a plaque next to His?" The fireside we had last night was so inspiring. Brother Heaton talked about, “How do you measure success on a mission?” Then he said, “When someone is converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it is a GIFT. It is not earned." We also got to watch the Joseph Smith movie and man that is such a great film! I cried when Joseph was leaving his family and going like a lamb to the slaughter. What Godlike faith he must have had to know that he was going to die for the Restored Gospel! Every night when I write in my journal it seems like I start with, “What a great day”.... even though I sometimes get discouraged about the language - but the spirit here is tremendous and always makes you appreciate all the many wonderful things you have in your life. So, thank you family for all of the love and support throughout my life because without you I would not be here. I LOVE MY MISSION!!!!!.

Elder Vance


  1. Good luck Elder Vance! You will be an amazing missionary. i know this just from what you typed here. God speed brother.
    -Andrew Massy