Sunday, November 4, 2012

Tall, Straight, and True

Last week we had the opportunity to have a mission conference in the Upper Redwoods here in Santa Rosa. We stayed at a camp owned by the church, named Camp Liahona. It was a marvelous experience to be with my fellow brothers and sisters. Being in the Redwoods was an amazing experience ... my eyes were opened to how much time and effort and beauty our Creator put into forming this world. The camp was so successful, as the focus was on how we can grow our faith and see the miracles happening around us. We all had a moment to find a spot for ourselves in the forest and pray. I had an incredible experience. I felt peace and comfort. I received strength from communicating with my Heavenly Father above. After I finished my prayer I was thinking that we are all results of miracles. We are all here and fulfilling our purpose here on this earth by following Jesus Christ. Sometimes because we are human we fall into routines or ruts or begin to lean or fall. One of the senior missionaries that was running the camp told us something that impacted me so much. We were all in one part of the forest and we were surrounded by giant Redwood trees. He said, "The Redwoods draw our eyes upward. They draw our eyes to heaven."
I looked at the Redwoods around me and it was true. They drew my eyes skyward. I grew so much at Camp Liahona. My faith was strengthened and my desire to share what is so precious to me grew. Elder Eaton and I are doing so well. He is a great elder and has already helped me so much. There are many miracles in store for us here in our area. I know that we must be as the Redwoods; standing tall and standing true for what we believe ... at all times, in all things, and in all places. I know that we are doing the Lord's work and am so happy and so grateful for all the blessings I am receiving. I received word that my sister, Madeline, will be leaving for her mission at the end of February. She will be serving in the Paris, France mission! I was so excited to hear that and I know that she will be an angel to her people over in Europe. I love being a missionary. There is no greater joy I have experienced than sharing this gospel with my brothers and sisters. The family we have been teaching are going to be baptized on November 10th! We are so excited for them and they are so strong in the gospel. I know that we all must stand tall, be true to the covenants we have made with God, and be that person that helps others draw their hearts and eyes to our Heavenly Father above.

Los Quiero Mucho,

Elder Vance

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