Thursday, April 19, 2012

Live Your Life

This last week Elder Lopez and I did all we could to help Juan, Veronica, and Antonio get rid of the bad things in their lives. Juan has yet to be confirmed and we are teaching Veronica and Antonio. They all live together in the same apartment. We continue to teach them about our Heavenly Father’s commandments, and that they are meant for our happiness. We have blessed the home as a place of refuge for them and, while we sometimes are met with resistance, Juan has told us that it is good that we are helping him. We said a prayer with all of them and blessed the home so that they could feel the spirit and overcome difficulties in their conversions to the gospel. Veronica's faith has grown so much. She reads in The Book of Mormon with Antonio every day and they are doing well. Antonio told us at work the other day he was offered a beer and for some reason he passed it up. We were so happy to hear that! He is doing so well and has already seen the blessings from living the gospel of Jesus Christ.

As Juan struggles, all we do is invite and try our best to help him come closer to Jesus Christ, but the choice is ultimately his. I realize how much I do love him, because it is during those frustrating moments that I know I am a missionary called of God; that my responsibility is to do ALL I possibly can to bring these people unto Jesus Christ. I have found that, along with all the joy I feel on my mission, I feel great disappointment at times as well, because I just care so much. I know that Juan is better off because we have been in his life and I know that I will never forget him.

Veronica and Antonio are set to be married and baptized on May 5th! We are sooo excited. Cinco de Mayo!!! Haha. I hope and pray I can stay here long enough to have the opportunity to witness it.
As we work with Juan and others to show them all that this life offers them, I continue to realize that they choose to live these lives that are not their own. Just as the Lord shows us opportunities, Satan takes us to discouragement and despair by convincing us that the way of the world is our only choice. If we only remember WHO WE ARE and live OUR OWN lives, we can find true self-worth and progress the way God intends.

I love the following quote because it talks about the two ways we can choose to live:

“The Lord's way builds individual self-esteem and develops and heals the dignity of the individual, whereas the world's way depresses the individual's view of himself and causes deep resentment.”
- Spencer W. Kimball

The Lord has provided a way we can be happy, through His rules and regulations, and by magnifying the TALENTS we have been given from Him. I remember before my mission I looked up to certain famous figures … actors, artists, dancers, and musicians. They were amazing and I loved watching them and I would just sit on the computer or watch them on TV. I know that talents are something we all have and need to share with the world.

I love this scripture in the Book of Mormon … Ether 12:35.

35 Wherefore, I know by this thing which thou hast said, that if the Gentiles have not charity, because of our weakness, that thou wilt prove them, and take away their talent, yea, even that which they have received, and give unto them who shall have more abundantly.

We all have talents. Some are very different than others, but there are things in all of our lives that we love and are passionate about and if we don't share and grow our talents then those talents will be taken away from us. The world takes those sacred talents and throws drugs, immorality, and money in all of it to disgrace those beautiful talents given to us by our Heavenly Father. Satan wants us to use our talents to bring more wickedness into this decaying world. The world is getting worse, and we can see the evil around us, but I do know that those that share their talents and use them in the Lord's way will be a light in the world and will be blessed.

I love these following quotes...
 "Be yourself; everyone else is taken."- Oscar Wilde

"You are good. But it is not enough just to be good. You must be good for something. You must contribute good to the world. The world must be a better place for your presence. And the good that is in you must be spread to others."― Gordon B. Hinckley

We should always remember who we are because each and every one of us matters to Him. Our lives are what we make them. They shouldn't be influenced by the things of this world or changed for one particular person or reason. Be yourself. Be that person you were meant to be and never forget who you really are. Remember that you came from a loving Heavenly Father and we are His children. We all have divine potential and if we have faith and recognize that we can live OUR lives to the fullest every day, we will use what we have been given to make this world a better place. We will inspire others to build their own talents and to give thanks to God for the talents they have. I am grateful for all the wonderful talents and skills Heavenly Father has bestowed upon me. Before my mission I liked to do things to show off or to gain recognition, but over these last eight months my perspective has changed. I want to use my talents to bring others closer to Jesus Christ, to help everyone see the light of Christ and to bring them to that light. Always remember that your life has significant importance.  Press play on your OWN life. Now is our time to maximize those precious gifts that our Heavenly Father has specifically bestowed upon us every day. Live the Lord's way. Live your OWN life and live it to the fullest.

Les Amo,

Elder Vance

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