Monday, March 28, 2016

2 Months Already?!

Wow time is flying!

Sister Crowley goes home in two days and it's really put in
perspective how the time here is so very short. That's not okay. Good
thing every member is a missionary!

B-Money had his baptismal interview last Monday and when he came out
he said "Guys I'm hired!" We are so excited for him to be baptized,
but most importantly, he is. He has come such a long way since first
meeting the missionaries.

Rachael watched the general women's meeting and said that some of the
questions she had were answered and that she felt like President
Eyring was speaking directly to her. MIRACLES.

I've been reading more about Captain Moroni in the Book of Alma. Dude
this guy is a BOSS. He was so smart and diligent in making all the
preparations necessary to defend his people. My favorite thing I read
today was when it said in chapter 52 that he Nephites were "fresh and
full of strength". It's my new slogan.

Easter was so wonderful! Two members had little Easter treats for us
and two other families got together and fed us a yummy dinner.
Complete with sweet potato casserole. Hallelujah.

Perhaps the most eventful thing that happened this week was when
President Berry called us to say that Sister Christensen is being
transferred. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! This means I'm losing BOTH of my
companions tomorrow. Ugh. I'm only slightly terrified because
basically the fate of my area is in my hands. I mean obviously I'm
getting a new comp but I have to remember where everything is and who
everyone is and oh my gosh this is crazy. I've only cried 67 times, so
it's not that bad.

I love you all and hope Easter was amazing!

Sister Yance

Pictures:
Last District Meeting with the raddest district in the FOM!
B-Money and I at church! This is his favorite hat. It says "Does this hat make me look retired?"


Monday, March 21, 2016

IT'S ALMOST EASTER!!

Hey friends and fam!

I am so sorry that I didn't send an email last week. The Internet at the church wasn't working at the church and I don't have all my contacts on my iPad to send something to everyone!

This past Wednesday, I felt like a powerhouse of a missionary. It was the first day that I felt totally comfortable and unrestrained. That night as we accounted for our day, my companions complemented me on my work and I told them that I actually felt like a "seasoned missionary". Right then, the district leader called to give assignments for district meeting the next day, and he asked me to give a training. Heavenly Father has a sense of humor, I tell ya. The training actually went surprisingly well, thanks to the guidance of the spirit.

Saturday, there was a torrential downpour for a couple of hours. Saturday is our day to bike, but luckily, a sister in our ward was out with us and drove us around. But we still got soaked. We actually stood on a guy's porch for about 30 minutes talking (more like shouting over the rain) to him and when we were ending our conversation, he asked if we wanted to come in. πŸ˜‘ where was that invite 30 minutes ago??

We had a lesson with B-Money this week and I had complete dejavu. I don't remember when, but I think before I had even decided to serve a mission, I had a dream of sitting around a pool table in someone's garage, talking to them, and I remember wondering who the heck this person was. This exact moment came true this week and I was overwhelmed. I thought about how that could even happen, because I've read that our brains can't make up faces, so when we dream, the people we see are people we've seen somewhere, even if just for three seconds on the street. It got me thinking to the times people have said "there are people you met in the pre existence to whom you promised you would find and preach the gospel". MIND. BLOWN. This is the real deal, people.

Oh and remember how B-Money thinks I'm Asian? Well he was telling us this story about how he fell and hurt himself, and I said how I was always getting hurt and I bruise easily. I said "I'm like a banana". He said "yeah cause you're yellow". He kills me.

We got to go to the temple this week, FINALLY! I really needed to be there. I love going to the temple, and it's such a blessing to be able to go wherever you want, so if you have one close by, for heavens sake, GO! I wish I had more opportunities to go. It truly is the Lord's house and the only place you are guaranteed to feel peace on this earth.

We went to this super eclectic hole-in-the-wall restaurant not far from the temple called Yellow Dog Eats. If you're ever in Orlando, you HAVE to go there. It is so yummy to my tummy and it's just an all around awesome experience. We went to Jeremiah's afterward for dessert and that was just the cherry on top. I like ice cream. And I like Italian ice. Sister Yance was a very happy girl that day.

On a more spiritual note:

I read Alma 46 earlier this week and had a really enlightening personal revelation: When Moroni made the Title of Liberty, he waved it in the air, beckoning to those who would likewise covenant with God to stand for truth and righteousness and not falter. The others came not walking, not strolling, but RUNNING to declare their loyalty to God, that they would not forsake Him, and they would rather be delivered into the hands of their enemies than transgress against Him.
I want to be like that, running to proclaim my devotion to my Father in Heaven and my Savior, Jesus Christ. I feel so privileged to be serving a mission so that I can help others understand that they truly are daughters and sons of a loving Heavenly Father, and I intend to talk with everyone in my path-and out of it-so they, too can know and feel the same joy I do.

I thank all of you for your constant love and support. I didn't think I could get this far, but with your encouraging words and prayers, and through the help of Jesus Christ, I have been able to keep on trucking. This work is the hardest thing I have ever done, but it is also the most rewarding. And I've barely been out two months. I can't imagine what it will feel like after 18 months. Time is going by so quickly and I'm seriously going to need it to slow down for a lil minute. It's amazing how we, as missionaries, can truly see those we teach through the eyes of the Savior, and love them as He loves them. I am so excited for this Easter season that we have to celebrate all He did for us. It is my favorite holiday, and my love for it has been amplified since being out here.

I love you and can't wait to hear from you all! Have a wonderful week, and share the new Easter video "Hallelujah" (@ followhim.mormon.org) with a friend!

All my love,
Sister Yance

Pictures:
My sweet "moms" and I at the temple!
Just hangin with my friend Jimi at Yellow Dog Eats.

Monday, March 7, 2016

πŸ“ΈπŸ“ΈπŸ“Έ

we went to the local HD last p-day!!

and also the Bass Pro Shop right next door. they had actual real live alligators there!!

Let's try this again...

Allow me to expound upon the subject line of my last email: Aside from it being a quote from Monty Python and the Holy Grail... I'M NOT DEAD, I'M JUST ON A MISSION. With that being said, feel free to send me an email every once in a while. I may not send a big reply back, or have the time to reply at all, but I can read my emails during any free time I have during the week! Yes, every day! All seven of them! In addition, I have loved receiving letters and packages!! After a long day of laboring in the Lord's vineyard, it sure is nice to come home to a little love from family and friends!

This week has been quite the adventure! I have so many things I want to share with you that I've forgotten half of them. And I can't really look to my journal for references because I'm five days behind. Oops. Speaking of my journal, I'm like 6 weeks into my mission and I've already filled up half of it. I like details. Sue me. 

So I told you about B-Money. Well he "almost dropped us" this week because we saw him walking while we were on our way to an appointment and we rolled down the window and yelled and waved at him and he said "give me a ride!!" Unfortunately it's against the mission rules to do that. We had an appointment with him the next day and he kept ignoring our calls. We went to his house and he wasn't there, so we knew where to go: McDonalds. Since he has memory loss, he is on disability so no job, and he can't drive. He hates being at home alone, so he has his son drop him off at McDonalds while he goes to his job. And he stays there all day. We found him sitting there and he told us he was mad at us about the car thing (he throws tantrums like a two year old) and we said we were sorry and hoped we would forgive us. We had a quick lesson there then we walked over to Winn-Dixie (yaaasssss) to find him some coffee replacement. He told me I was his favorite because I don't "boss him around" like these other sisters. Then he said that my eyebrows looked fake and licked his finger to try and rub them off. Freakin' B-Money. He is always the highlight of my day. The next day, he tried the Roma and really liked it! So guess what we did... We grabbed his can of coffee and he threw it in the trash! Woo!! He is so excited to get baptized. He always talks about how he used to be mean mean mean and God saved his life and now he's so much better. Tender. April 9 is quickly approaching!

We have a new investigator we met last Saturday (Feb 27) while biking. We almost drove right past him but Sister Crowley decided to turn around and talk to him. His name is Jose and he is hilarious. We asked him that first day about his relationship with God and he said he didn't really have one but he knew that He was there. We invited him to pray that night before he went to bed. When we came back a few days later, he had done it! And it was the first prayer he had ever said! He said that as soon as he was done praying, he got in bed and fell right asleep, and it usually takes him hours to fall asleep. #miracles We've taught him a lot this week and already set April 23 as his baptism date! He brought up in one lesson that he saw these three girls on bikes drive right past him, then a minute later come back down to meet him. He was so grateful for that. He has seen, as well as us, a change in himself since we met. He loves the Book of Mormon and loves saying his prayers. I love it!

So my back tire on my bike has been a real pain since I got here. I think it wasn't even a week and it was already flat. UGH. Just my luck. The elders were kind enough to lend us one of their bikes, but I couldn't ride it to save my life! The bar on my bike drops way low so it's easier to dismount in a skirt. Elder Clark's bike is right up there in like with the seat, so getting on and off that thing in a straight skirt was just not happening. So Sister Christensen traded me. Bless her. 

I've been really hesitant and shy about talking with people on the street, which is weird because I'm usually really friendly and don't shut up. Well Saturday, our evening appointments fell through and as we were in the driveway of that family we were supposed to meet, I said a prayer in my head that Heavenly Father would lead us to the person we needed to meet that night. It was about 8:15 pm and we had to be home in an hour. We were just going to bike over to McDonalds and sync our iPads (we have our lesson plans and everything on a app called "Area Book" so we try to sync every day so it's as accurate as possible) and when we were approaching the street we were to turn right on, I saw someone walking to the left of us. Now it was pretty dark, so I could only see this person when a car drove by, but I saw them nonetheless. I turned my bike to go that direction and my companions were already going to the right like we had planned. They were yelling at me asking what I was doing and I just pointed. I wasn't going to yell and be like "THERE'S A PERSON OVER HERE THAT NEEDS TO HERE THE RESTORED GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST!!!" That probably wouldn't fly. Apparently, they couldn't even see this person at all. But I rode up behind her, gracefully dismounted my bike and said "Hey there how's it going?!" And I scared the living day lights out of her. Oopsie. She was on the phone with someone, she had gauges and tattoos and looked completely confused that I had just run up behind her and started talking to her. It turns out, she went to school at BYU for their culinary arts program, and has a lot of member friends. WHAT ARE THE ODDS??? Her name is Rachael and she is amazing. She is familiar with the gospel. She says she has been searching for truth and everything happens for a reason, so we must be somewhat of an answer for her. We talked for a long time. I am so excited to be teaching her. She said that she normally isn't talkative like this, so it's kind of weird for her (what a coincidence, me too). I'm so grateful Heavenly Father placed her in my path as an answer to both of our prayers.

That's something that I've thought about a lot this week. Everyone always says that "Heavenly Father will place people in your path that are ready to hear the gospel". Does He really though? Hear me out: sure there are people sprinkled here and there, but they are not directly in our paths. He doesn't make itconvenient for us. I think about what Jose and Rachael said about how they had been looking for something more. What if we had driven right by? What if we didn't talk to them about the restored gospel? What if we didn't work as hard as we did, asking inspired questions to see what their needs are? How would their lives be different? Alma 36:24 says: "Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost." Have you ever found a really delicious Pinterest recipe that you just had to share? Well this is even better. It is my hope that you will share the gospel with someone today. They may not be placed directly in your path. You may think they won't be interested. Who are we to say they are or are not? It is of upmost importance that we do share.  With everyone possible. In the words of Yoda: "do or do not, there is no 'try'". Just do it like Nike. If you aren't a Mormon and have no idea what I'm talking about, check out mormon.org You'll be glad you did :)

Also, if you're ever riding a bike and see a lost puppy sign, just keep looking straight ahead, or you might run right into a curb and fall off your bike. 

I'm calling in a favor from all of you... don't make fun of me, but I lost my teddy bear that I've had for 20 years and my heart is broken. I'm hoping you can all join me in prayer that he will be found and returned to me! 

I love you all and wish you the best in your week! If you haven't already, check out the church's new Easter video! I think it's easter.mormon.org. I LOVE EASTER!!!


All my love, 
Sister Yanceimage1.JPG
PICTURES!!

A member came to a lesson with us and put our bikes in the back of the van. All three of them. Then the trunk opened and we had to hold on for dear life.

B-Money threw out all the coffee!! Woooo!!!