Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Worth of Souls is Great

Hello everyone! Things continue to go very well for me here in Santa Rosa. I am serving in the Brush Creek Ward and I love it! I am an assistant to President Alba along with my companion, Elder Mahoney. As assistants, we help President Alba with things he needs to do, like missionary transfers that happen every six weeks and by doing 24-hour exchanges with the Zone leaders throughout the mission. It is our responsibility to train and teach the zone leaders so that they can become great leaders and trainers in their zones … as they lead the numerous district leaders that are responsible for two or more missionary companionships. As assistants, we balance our time between serving and teaching in our own proselyting area and spending time at the office dealing with the administrative things to help President Alba. We have senior couples that work in the office who help out with transportation, communication, and logistics within the mission. It has been such a privilege to serve in this capacity and I am learning how to become a better leader and how to delegate. Elder Mahoney and I do training as well as conduct meetings that are held throughout the mission. I am learning so many skills that will prepare me for my future career, but more importantly, I am preparing to become a faithful husband, father, and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. 

This week is transfer week! Elder Mahoney and I are excited to be staying here in the Brush Creek area. We are becoming great friends and I love serving with him. He is returning to BYU in the Fall and continuing his baseball career there. He was a closing pitcher his freshman year and can throw some heat! His fastball got up to 95mph! Haha, it will be fun to see him play post-mission and watch him make it to the big leagues!  Last week Elder Mahoney and I were in the mission office for three days, from 10:00am until 5:00pm, helping President Alba with transfers. It really is a spiritual experience going to the Lord for inspiration and asking him where certain missionaries need to be transferred to and who would be a great companion with someone else. I love being with President Alba and helping him out. He is always happy and he always has the spirit. We are getting 25 new missionaries tomorrow! From what I have heard, the Missionary Training Center is packed with missionaries who are preparing to bring others to Christ. It really is an amazing experience to go pick up the new missionaries coming from the MTC. There is a power that comes with the calling that we receive. We have been set apart from the world, from everything carnal and crude, to preach the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It really has hit me the last week or so that what we do as missionaries is exactly what Jesus Christ would do if He was here. We ACT in His name. We are servants of the Lord, Jesus Christ, and we have been chosen to be in the mission field and in our areas at this time for a reason. We bring the joy that comes from the knowledge that God is our literal Father in Heaven and that He loves us and knows us personally. We bring the direction that God has a plan for us and that we can return and live in His presence with our families. We bring the peace that comes from knowing that Jesus Christ died for the sins of all mankind and those burdens that tie us down can be taken from us. We bring the light of Christ into darkened homes of those that are heavy laden and down trodden. We bring the message that the church Jesus Christ once established when He was on the earth has been restored through a modern day prophet named Joseph Smith. We place The Book of Mormon into the hands of those that want to read another testament of Jesus Christ. I know that the people we meet are so important to our Heavenly Father and that He is filled with so much joy when even one of His children turns back to Him. This truly is God's kingdom on the earth once again; never to be swept away again. In this Easter season we should remember that our Savior suffered, died and was resurrected so that we might live again. We are bringing that good news to the people in Santa Rosa.

Doctrine & Covenants 18:10-17 “Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God. For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him. And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance. And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth! Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto this people. And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father! And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me! Behold, you have my gospel before you, and my rock, and my salvation.”

I am grateful for my sister, who is leaving for Paris this week, to serve her mission. I was able to talk to her this morning for about 15 minutes. What an amazing thing it is to have a sister like her. She is going to bring this message and the blessings from our Savior to so many that are waiting in France. I know she is going to be a celestial missionary. I love my mission. It has not been a sacrifice; it is a sacred gift that my Lord and Savior has given to me. Thank you all for your continued support and love. I hope to hear from you all!

Los Quiero Mucho,

Elder Vance

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