Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Consuelo in Spanish means "Comfort". This past week was a tough week for a couple different reasons. It was probably one of the toughest weeks of my mission. We saw Noe (one of our investigators that had a baptismal date for the 4th of February) this past week and he told us he moved to an apartment complex next to the church. Unfortunately, there are about a hundred or more apartments there and we still have no idea where he lives. He didn't come to church on Sunday and we haven't been able to contact him for a while. Because of this he will not be able to be baptized on his date. It is frustrating at times to be a missionary. It seems like you do ALL you can but still fall short, but I can testify that Heavenly Father knows the desires of our hearts, and that through the hard times our Heavenly Father is there, carrying us. I know that we have done all we can with Noe, but it is sad to see someone so close and then slowly falling away. We are going to continue to try to make contact and see what happens. We hope and pray we can make contact with him again here soon.
On Saturday, Elder Arredondo and I did some service. We basically did a neighborhood cleanup. The project was under the direction of the police department and it was so much fun. We cleaned up some of the apartment complexes where we actually go almost every day. A bunch of the Hispanic kids that live there wanted to help so we gave them some gloves, garbage bags, and garbage pickers. They had a blast and so did I! It was shocking to see some of the things we found and threw away. So many cigarettes, alcohol bottles, trash, and even knives! All I could think about was the kids. They deserve better than that. They deserve to have a sanctuary of safety where they play. I love the people here. I was able to play some hoops after our service project with a young kid named Jesus. We played the classic game of HORSE on their rusty 9-foot basketball hoop with this ball that was almost popped it was so flat (We actually played PIG because it was taking us too long to make any of the ridiculous shots we were taking, haha). It was definitely junkyard ball with mud everywhere and broken cars all around. While playing with him I kept thinking about my childhood. How magical those memories are to me. I remember playing HORSE with my Grandpa Vance (and beating him at the age of 8, haha) and even being taught how to shoot backwards from the free throw line by my Grandma Vance! I taught him that one and he loved it. I said, "I learned this one from my grandma, so watch out!” I had to put him away and beat him with an over the backboard shot. I love making these special bonds and friendships with the people. Moments like these, like doing service with these kids or playing junkyard hoops are ones I will never forget. How could I forget? These are the best two years of my life. I am so grateful for my wonderful family and for all the memories I have shared with them. That service project definitely lifted my spirits for the rest of the week. I have learned that the people you serve are the people you love.
I love the scriptures. They have given me so much strength, courage, comfort, and hope here on my mission. I really enjoyed this scripture during the week … in 2 Nephi 29:5 it says, "And the gospel of Jesus Christ shall be declared among them; wherefore, they shall be restored unto the knowledge of their fathers, and also to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, which was had among their fathers." I love that. That is what I am doing here …bringing the restored gospel of Jesus Christ to the people here in Fairfield, California. Through reading in the scriptures and praying with a sincere heart, we all can feel the comfort and love of our Heavenly Father in our lives. I know that because I have felt it, and even needed it just to go on at times. He always listens. ALWAYS.
I love you all. You are so dear to my heart and each one of you needs to know that YOU are a son or daughter of God. He Loves You.
Posted by Spencer Vance at 7:01 AM