Saturday, July 7, 2012

Leave It All Behind

This last week has been amazing. We were able to meet our new mission president, President Alba, on Wednesday. From the first moment I met him I could feel his love for me. He is such an inspired man. He knows four languages too! He knows Chinese, English, Spanish, French, and some Portuguese. He and his wife carry such a brilliant spirit. I instantly loved them both and I know they are going to lead this mission to even more success. President Alba was born and raised in Mexico and I feel that the Spanish work here in California is going to explode because he is here. He is different than President Bunker, which is a great opportunity for me to learn from two amazing leaders here in my mission. President Alba wants to help us continue to grow from the experiences we have here and he wants to stretch us. One thing I really loved that he said in our meeting on Wednesday was, "The Lord is stretching us ... He is tightening our strings, to create a melody, and our music will be beautiful." The Lord knows our limits, and I have seen how He has stretched, molded, and transformed me throughout my life. I know that if the Lord brings us to a trial, He is the one that will help us through it.

Elder Hyde, one of the district leaders in our zone, shared these verses last week in a district meeting. These verses impacted me and it helped me understand why I am so different today in so many good ways than I was a year ago.

Romans 6:4-6
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

I have seen how Jesus Christ has changed my life. About a year ago I left everything behind to come out and serve a mission. I know that I left my "old man" behind as well. That is why I am different. I have left my body of sin and it has been crucified with Jesus Christ. The person I was before is forgotten, He is no more, and exactly like it says, I am walking in a newness of life. It is because of Jesus Christ that I am a new person; and it is because I know that Jesus Christ has changed me, that I can never go back. I will never go back.

I would like to share a quote from an Apostle, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.
"However late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made, or talents you think you don't have, or distance from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love."

I would like to promise you all that no matter what you feel you have done wrong or how far away you feel from God, you CAN come back. There is a way. God will never give up on any of His children. He cares about the lowest ones on the ladder. He is a true and loving Heavenly Father. I have a testimony that God does love us. He has given us His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who suffered for us so that we don't have to walk with our sin, shame, and guilt. I do know that a repentant person can become a transformed person. You can become a new person. I have experienced that process in my life through repentance. I have felt the arms of my Savior around me. I have seen others change their lives ... and I know that no one is left out. I know that He died for me and because of that I am here today. I would like to invite you all to reach out to those in need and invite others to come unto Christ, to leave behind their bodies of sin and to walk in a newness of life. I can say that I am different and I hope that I can continue to change every day for the better so that one day I can look into the eyes of my Savior and say, "I left it all behind to follow you."

Les Amo,

Elder Vance

1 comment:

  1. Soppes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    haha awesome post bro!