Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Last week Elder Mahoney, President Alba, and I went up to Crescent City, which is about 5 ½ hours north of Santa Rosa. It is the northernmost part of the mission and we went up there to help reorganize the area boundaries for the missionaries up there. It was a fun experience to “roadtrip it” up there with President Alba. We were able to see some amazing views of cliff faces, huge blue waves, seagulls, and ginormous Redwoods! It was truly a fun trip to see some of God's most beautiful creations. While I was running on the beach there early one morning, I thought about my life and what my mission truly has become for me. 

I thought of this scripture...
"For behold, this is my work and my glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" - Moses 1:39

Our lives are masterpieces. We are God's work and His glory. As beautiful as this Earth He created is … He also made us, and He made us all to become not just good, but great. How grateful I am to know that I am living my life in such a way that it is acceptable in the eyes of my Heavenly Father. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for each and every one of us. He has made it possible for us to overcome our imperfections through repentance and become more like Him. How grateful I personally am to know that because I am far from perfect I can be forgiven. 

"The Savior Wants to Forgive." -Elder Craig A. Cardon - General Conference, April 2013

This past weekend was General Conference! What an amazing experience! It was so inspiring to hear the words of our prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, and the apostles of our church. I know without a doubt that they are special witnesses of Jesus Christ and that, under the direction of the Savior, they help lead His church today. I am so grateful to have the knowledge that we have a living prophet today, just like Abraham or Moses of the Old Testament, that acts as a mouthpiece for God here on Earth. We received so much wonderful direction over the weekend about how we can become better disciples of Jesus Christ and improve the quality of our own lives by living and applying the principles of the gospel. We had an investigator come and watch General Conference with us at the stake center. Her name is Selena, and at the end of the session she said, "I feel at peace. I don't think this will take away from anything that I already believe but I think it will add to what I do know to be true. I understand why the Book of Mormon is important. I feel really good." We let her know that what she was feeling was the Spirit of God testifying to her that what she had heard was true. We are going to continue to help and invite Selena to follow the example of Jesus Christ in her life. It was a special moment for us to hear that she had such an uplifting experience. I love being a servant of the Lord, Jesus Christ. I know that no force can stop the work of the Lord. Thank you all for your love and your prayers. They are felt here in Santa Rosa, California. Ask yourself this question: “This is your life … are you who the Lord wants you to be?” Always remember that every day the Savior can help us paint and shape our lives into a glorious masterpiece. 

Los Quiero,

Elder Vance

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