Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Eye of Faith

I just found out I will be with Elder Mahoney for another five weeks. He is such a solid missionary and we have learned so much together. This past week was a crazy, with 28 new missionaries coming in and people going to new areas! It was hectic, but the Lord truly helped everything work out in the end. There were some definite curve balls, but the Lord helped us hit them out of the park! Our vision for our mission is to bring 101 of our brothers and sisters into the fold of God; to have 101 baptisms in the month of July. There is a SURGE of energy moving through this mission like a tsunami building up in the Pacific! We are moving towards the 101; families are being baptized, and are experiencing the fullness of joy that comes from following the example of Jesus Christ. It is amazing to see how the Lord is hastening his work here in Northern California.
As children of God we need to have a vision for our lives. While we often only see ourselves as we are, our Heavenly Father sees us as the person we can become. We are all different, and yet He has the same vision for each and every one of us … to return to His presence after this life. We are required to follow the example of His son, Jesus Christ, to make sacred promises with our Heavenly Father, and to keep His commandments. Every day we have an opportunity to come closer to achieving that vision.
I love this scripture from the Book of Mormon:
"And there were many whose faith was so exceedingly strong, even before Christ came, who could not be kept from within the veil, but truly saw with their eyes the things which they had beheld with an eye of faith, and they were glad." Ether 12:19
We can all have that glimpse of what it's going to be like after this life. We can experience true joy and peace by accepting the gospel of Jesus Christ. If we have faith we can envision ourselves living in the presence of our Heavenly Father with our families. What an amazing vision to have for us and for our families. We cannot lose that vision … we need to have an eye of faith. Our lives are only specks in the eternal scheme of things. We can make the most of our lives by following Jesus Christ … by putting Him first in our lives, we are setting ourselves up for eternal life.
Our mission is taking off and it is amazing to hear about all the miracles that happen on a daily basis. We had five investigators at church on Sunday as the Lord continues to bless us. Our Sundays are paydays … to be able to have our investigators there with us is such a blessing. I often feel like a shepherd to them … guiding them along the path. People email me sometimes and ask "How is your mission?", and it is so difficult to share my feelings and my mission experience in just a few sentences or paragraphs. It is so hard because I love my mission so much and I can’t express how much Jesus Christ has changed my life. It is such a spiritual experience and words can’t do justice to the spiritual connections I have made and the people we have been able to bring unto Christ. Thank you for you love and prayers. You are all in mine as well. I love being a servant of the Lord, Jesus Christ. We are answering the prayers of many strong families by visiting their less active family members. What a powerful and wonderful experience, and I know that every missionary is led and guided by the spirit of God. I invite you all to join us in our VISION – “The 101- July 2013”. Wherever you are in your life I invite you to align your vision with the vision that our Heavenly Father has for you. Ask yourself if your life is acceptable in the eyes of your Heavenly Father. I know we can grow our faith by reading our scriptures, praying daily, and going to church to partake of the Lord's Supper. I love praying and writing down what I need to do to become what my Heavenly Father wants me to become.  With an eye of faith, we can all see ourselves as our Heavenly Father sees us.
Los Quiero,
Elder Vance

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