Monday, February 18, 2013

Forever Bonds

What a great week! We received transfer information and I have been called to be an assistant to President Alba in Santa Rosa. I am so excited about my new assignment, but it still doesn't make it any easier to leave this area, which I love so dearly. The people here in Napa are so loving and so special to me. It has been an amazing last three months serving here with Elder Cosman. I truly see him as one of my brothers and I am grateful for the opportunity I have had to be here. I know that Elder Cosman will continue to lead the Napa 3rd Ward area and continue to work miracles here. The desires of his heart are pure and I know that the people are being blessed by having him for at least another six weeks. As for me, I will now be serving in the Brush Creek Ward here in Santa Rosa with Elder Mahoney. Being an assistant will give me the opportunity to work with and help all the missionaries in the Santa Rosa, California Mission. I know that I will continue to grow Christ-like attributes that will not only benefit me here in my mission, but for the rest of my life. 

The bonds I have made on my mission are eternal. They are eternal because I love the people here as my brothers and sisters, and have shared many spiritual experiences that have created those spiritual connections that I know will last forever. My relationships with these people are much deeper because of these experiences we have shared together. We read the scriptures together, feel the spirit together, bear our testimonies of truth together, pray together, laugh together, share personal experiences together, and believe together. There is a special love here because of the special message that we share. The message we bring to people literally changes them and brings them closer to their Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. It is amazing to see those changes in others but it is even more of a blessing to see how it has changed me.

Saying goodbye to the people in my areas has been the worst part of my mission. I know that it is really not a goodbye, but a more of a "see you later". I know that I will see these people again in this life or in the life to come. They feel like my family and indeed they are. I know change is necessary and change is good, and the very definition of bittersweet for me is "transfers" ... bitter that I leave the ones behind, but sweet because I know I will find more people to love in my next area. I am going to miss Napa, but I know that there are people God has prepared for me to come across here in Santa Rosa. It's Santa Rosa, round #2! Speaking English this time, ha ha! Our mission is taking off and I am grateful I have the opportunity to be here to witness it. I am grateful for my sister, Madeline, who reports to the MTC this Wednesday. She will be serving in Paris, France and I know she is going to be an extraordinary missionary. I am grateful for her in my life and for the faith that she has. She will be an angel to the people in France ... they don't know what they are in for! I love being here on my mission. Six months left; I know I have to finish strong and continue to create forever bonds!

Los Quiero,

Elder Vance

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