I feel like I haven't shared enough personal experiences lately, so I want to share a few things that happened this past week or so. Things are going so well here in Napa with Elder Cosman, and I continue to grow every day and learn new things from the experiences I am having here on my mission. I will be staying here in Napa for another 5 weeks and am so grateful to stay! I love the members and they are so amazing. I love serving with Elder Cosman. He is a great missionary and helps me in so many ways. He is diligent and helps me see the things I can work on in my life and for that I am grateful. He is like my brother and we become closer every day. We both are working hard to help out the Napa 3rd Ward. There is so much work to do and so little time, but we know that the Lord is on our side and we hope we can reach our full potential here in Napa. Time continues to fly by ... in a couple weeks I will be out on my mission for 18 months! Ahh! It is going by way too fast. I am doing everything I can to not only work hard, but to love all the things that are happening around me; to love my life here on the mission and to become a "celestial missionary". There is no better feeling than to find someone that has an open heart and is willing to let us share our special message with them. Life is hard, and so is a mission, but I have found it is an amazing adventure that has already changed a my life forever.
This past week I had a humorous experience. Elder Cosman and I were riding on our bikes through the woods here in Napa and there was this super big hill. We both have mountain bikes so I said to him, "Okay you gotta go first". So he went and got to the bottom of the hill with no problem. Well when it was my turn to go down I didn't realize that my seat was set too high, so as I began to descend down the ravine I couldn't balance my weight out and I slipped forward and rode down the ravine on the rail of my bike ... and the story continues. I realized I was out of control and there were two jumps at the bottom. I veered to the right of the first one but smacked into the second. I flew off my bike and was launched into the air. While airborne, I did a 360 degree spin and landed on my left shoulder. Luckily I was wearing my helmet and I had my backpack on which took most of the impact. I was shook up for a second but when I knew I had no major injuries I just started laughing. I shouted, "Hey Elder Cosman! Why weren't you filming that!" I can say that I am truly a biking missionary. That is one of the two major wipe outs I have had while I have been here. Luckily we have recently been blessed with a car, so for the time being there should be no more wipe outs! I have found you can never take yourself too seriously.
I got to return to Santa Rosa last week and baptize my brother, Saul. The first time I met him was 4 months ago while I was in Santa Rosa at General Conference. His father (who is a member) had just picked him up from the airport and brought him back to see General Conference. When Saul entered the church, he was alone and I could tell he didn't really want to talk to anyone. I went over and sat by him and I began to talk to him, and I immediately knew that he was someone special. I felt that he was a special son of God ... my brother that had been put in my path for a reason. He lived outside of our area, so the other Spanish elders from our branch began teaching him. But every Sunday we would talk and over the weeks we became best friends. He played soccer (futbol) with us on our Prep days and he loved being with us. I later got transferred here to Napa and a little while later on Facebook (I am a facebook missionary as well) he asked me to baptize him. It was such a special moment for me to return last Saturday and baptize my friend, my brother, Saul. This is what it is all about. There are more of our brothers and sisters waiting for the missionaries ... waiting for angels to minister to them. I love being a missionary and I love my adventure here in the Santa Rosa, California mission. Your life, your adventure is what you make of it.
Los Quiero Mucho,
Elder Spencer Vance