Monday, January 28, 2013

Tarry With Me

This past week with Elder Cosman was great. We are seeing many miracles here in our area and we are praying for families to find and the Lord is blessing us with them. 
Last week I went on a 24-hour exchange with another missionary in our zone. We typically do exchanges to help other missionaries out and to learn from one another. I went to his area and they are on bikes (luckily I had no severe wrecks or accidents while on the exchange). When we went out to start the day, it was pouring down rain. When you see that and you are on a bike, in a suit, with a rain jacket and a clunky helmet, it doesn't look like the best day. But we said a prayer, asking Heavenly Father to bless us with those people that were ready to receive us.  Off we went into the torrential downpour, and to my surprise, there were a lot of people out with their umbrellas and rain boots on. We began talking with everyone, and as we talked with more and more people, the day seemed to get brighter and brighter. The rain did not stop, nor did the sun start to shine, but there was something inside of both of us that warmed us. Not all the people were interested, but there came a feeling of joy and happiness as we spread the gospel with all those around us. There was a light that grew within us. We ended up taking down 8 names … 8 children of God out of the 25+ we talked to that day that were interested in hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ. At the end of the day we were drenched to the core, but we both felt uplifted … and for that I know that this is the Lord's work and we are His true servants. Our message was so important that day … just talking to people and hearing about their problems brought me to the realization that I am so blessed to have the gospel in my life. I saw their eyes light up as we told them how much this message could truly bless and change their lives forever. Many are out there looking for light and truth, but they know not where to find it. It was a special day for me to be a missionary.

I am brought to 3 Nephi 17 in The Book of Mormon, when the Savior is in the Americas. He teaches the people all day and says;
3 Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again.
 4 But now I go unto the Father, and also to show myself unto the lost tribes of Israel, for they are not lost unto the Father, for he knoweth whither he hath taken them.
 5 And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus spoken, he cast his eyes round about again on the multitude, and beheld they were in tears, and did look steadfastly upon him as if they would ask him to tarry a little longer with them.

I can just picture the people, deep in their hearts, reaching out to Him and, with tears rolling down their cheeks, desiring Him to stay just a while longer. I know that we can come to know our Savior through His teachings and through prayer. That is why I am here as a missionary. I know and love my Savior, Jesus Christ. Many people have asked me about that in letters and out here in California. They ask, "Why did you decide to serve a two year mission?" My response is always, "Because I love my Savior, Jesus Christ and I want others to know Him as I do." This message we share as missionaries is not some cheesy sales pitch nor is it something to simply be brushed aside like a Saturday morning chore. It is the message that the Savior of the world came to the Americas and that He has restored His church through the prophet Joseph Smith once again upon this very earth. I know that He lives and that He leads and guides His church. I speak from the bottom of my heart and soul to all with boldness because I know it is true. It is something that is so special to me and it is literally who I am. I love my mission and I hope you all know that this has changed my life forever. I want Jesus Christ to tarry in the lives of all the children of God as He has and does in mine. Thank you for your letters of love and support, I appreciate it greatly.

Los Quiero

Elder Vance

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