Monday, August 29, 2016

Adventure is a wonderful thing.

Well folks, 7 months of mission life have gone by and holy crap it's pretty weird. 

Here's the week in a nutshell:

We had service at Habitat for Humanity on Tuesday and Wednesday morning with Elder Hill and Elder Tracy. Those kids kill me. They're too much fun. We did a lot of organizing in the store and HFH has made me their official scribe for their chalkboard. They think I'm artistic or something. They must be blind.

Thursday was Zone Conference and it was just too. good. It's so fun getting together with a bunch of other missionaries, but the best part is the spiritual teachings. I mean DANG. Those trainings get me every. time. We focused a lot on how this is the only time we will ever be a full-time missionary (I mean, yeah Sisters can serve again if they REALLY want to, but I wanna get on with my life okay). Our time here is SO precious, and we can't waste a single moment. Not one. Because we will NEVER get it back. I am working for the Lord here. It always used to frustrate me when I first came out that there was no time for myself-no time to rest and regroup, no time to write in my journal, no time to organize my junk on my desk.... Even pdays are stressful. There's so little time and SO much to do. And you don't even get a full day to do it all. But then I realized about a month and a half ago: "You expected to devote all your time and attention to serving the Lord..." (Missionary Handbook, p. 4). DUH. This is HIS work. I'm not here to do what I need. HE needs me here, so too bad if I don't get to do all I want. It's not about me. It's SO not about me. It never will be. Since my first transfer, I have prayed daily for Heavenly Father to help me make the most of my time here-I don't want to waste a single moment, because I'm here for the Lord, and I want to be completely available for whatever He needs me to do.

After Zone Conference, the miracles just came POURING in. We visited a less-active sister and had a pleasant lesson with her and were invited back. Then as we were leaving, another less-active sister called us and poured her heart out to us about how she was struggling and asked us to come teach her. What. 

Friday, we had our weekly planning session and it was very meticulous. We made sure to include the Lord in this work, since you know, it is HIS work. We did a little finding action that night. We were looking for this former investigator and didn't have much success finding her, so we knocked her neighbors' doors. The first one wasn't too nice, but the second.. oh my heck. Paige and her sweet Grandma came to the door. We had the chance to talk to both of them for a while. Paige turns 12 next month, and this girl has a crazy love for God at such a young age. She had so many questions for us, and when we pulled out a Restoration pamphlet for her, she nearly snatched it out of my hand she wanted it so bad. She told us before we left that she had been having a really rough week, and (as she teared up) she felt like meeting us was a sign that everything was going to be okay. BLESS YOU, PAIGE.

Saturday was wild. We got as close to the mission border as possible. Palm Coast (the actual city where I'm currently serving) has a fat highway that runs through the center of it, and there aren't may ways around it. You have to go alll the way down through Bunnell and past Flagler Beach if you want to get on the other side. It's rather frustrating. So we spent a lot of time in the car that day, trying to get to the other side of town to visit some less-actives and find some beach bum investigators. We basically went tracting through a jungle. Florida is so beautiful.

I gave a talk in church yesterday about Hope. I spoke about my Grandma and what an example she was for all. The whole chapel was crying so that's cool. 

It's our week for bikes and its supposed to rain all week, so send up some prayers for Sister Ross and I.. 

Much Love!!

❤️Sister Yance

Sister Bonnemort- my fave mission nurse. She kills me.

When your hot sauce makes you trunky.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Tragedy in Bunnell North

I hope you're sitting down as you read this... 

If you know me well enough, you'd know that I am a clean freak and a germaphobe. I'm very meticulous about my space and hygeiene. I keep a full bottle of hand sanitizer on me 24/7. 

One reason for all of this is because I have a pretty low immune system. I was actually hesitant of coming on a mission for that reason, because I was afraid I'd get sick a lot, but Heavenly Father is aware of that and I was told specifically when I was set apart that health would not be a problem on my mission. I was told that as long as I exercised, ate right, and took vitamins, I'd be fine. And I have been! 

Satan knows all of this as well. He knows what a clean freak I am. He knows I've been taking good care of myself. He doesn't want me out here preaching the gospel, so he had to find a way to throw a wrench in my work somehow. 

Well, the only reason I'm telling y'all this is because it's been a growing experience. I'd usually be pretty embarrassed to share this with everyone, but I'm putting my pride aside because, as my mission nurse said "DUDE, IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT!!"

We meet a lot of people as missionaries. We shake hands, give hugs, and sit on dirty couches. Some of those couches are infested with unwelcomed guests. And sometimes, when you have hair almost as long as your spine, those unwelcomed guests hitch-hike a ride on your locks. 

Maybe that's what happened to me. 

Yes, it's true. I got lice on my mission. Whoopie. 

It's definitely been a trial. I've actually been dealing with it for a while, and it's gotten to the point where my mission nurse has gotten in contact with the mission doctor and prescribed me a couple things for it. These buggers are relentless.

Well, we found some nits again last week, and called Sister Bonnemort, the mission nurse. She called Doctor Naughtin and he prescribed a new treatment. This time though, he ORDERED that I cut my hair to my shoulders and not one inch longer. 

I threw a fit. It's taken me FOUR YEARS to get my hair this long, okay. We called Sister Bonnemort and she said that I either cut it short, or go home to get it treated.

That night, one of the Daytona sisters (who is a licensed cosmetologist) cut 15.5 inches off of my hair. It was a really depressing moment. I cried as she pulled it into a ponytail and the shears sliced through my hard-earned mane. Ugh. At least I had a teddy bear to hold and to catch my tears. My face looked like a Picasso painting by the end of it all. I felt like Samson. All my hair was just gone in an instant. How depressing. 

But life goes on. It's hair. It will grow back-even if it takes another 4 years. I'd rather have a bob than be without a nametag. 

Nothing can stop the work of the Lord from progressing. Not even lice. Sorry, not sorry. 

**a moment of silence for the strands lost this week**

So that's the big thing that happened this week. 

Sister Johnson went home this week and it was really sad. We sure do miss her here, but we know that she's gonna crush it in the real world!

Also, last week on PDay, Elder Acevedo hit me in the face with a baseball, so that was nice.

Leave me alone, Satan.

Something pretty cool that happened was Sister Ross found a RED hair on my head! Like I'm talking Ariel red. It was sick. 

Bunnell is something special. I love the bikers that ride by every 4.7 seconds. And I've never seen so many Harley Davidson dealerships within a 50 mile radius. It's rad. 

We got to go to the temple Friday morning, and it was MUCH needed. I love it there so much. And I got to sit with my Sister Davis in the Celestial Room. I miss her too bad. 

Brother Mills, our Ward Mission Leader, gave me a blessing yesterday for my situation. He said, just as I stated above, that NOTHING will stop the work from progressing--not sickness, not weakness... not lice... and it's so true. I'd rather be bald than have to go home early (*knock on wood*). Sister Carter, the sister that cut my hair, told me I was so brave. I don't know how cutting my hair makes me brave (maybe sending this email does, though), but these trials have definitely been teaching me the importance of continuing to work hard. My trials are nothing compared to the Pioneers, Joseph Smith, or our Savior, Jesus Christ. They are the brave ones. I'm just a servant of the Lord--doin' work. 

Love you all, I understand if you don't want to be my friend anymore. 

Sister Yance

The House of the Lord❤️

Monday, August 15, 2016

Made my mark (cont.)

District + Zone Leaders!
Elder Acevedo, Elder Lyon, Elder Hill, Elder Tracy, ME, Sister Carter,
Sister Rytting, Sister Ross, Sister Johnson, Sister Simpson, Sister

Made my mark.

Road trippin.

Weekly Update!

I've been up since 4 am so forgive me if this email is all over the
map. I'm a little slap happy. πŸ˜†

It's been a pretty decent week. Especially since it was our week for
the car! We have a BRAND NEW Nissan Altima, candy apple red. And guess
who gets to drive it? Dats right, ya home girl Sista Lolo. Amber is a
pretty good car, but no one can replace my Jacqueline. I miss that car
so much πŸ˜”

Tuesday, we had service with the elders at Habitat for Humanity. We
painted a wall. After that, we taught Kyler. This kid is so amazing.
He's so insightful for a 9 year old! We had dinner with the Corbetts
and their 5 year old daughter, Amy. Amy is HILARIOUS. She had us all
busting a gut during dinner. And she doesn't even try. I wish I had
that superpower.

Wednesday was Zone Training Meeting. We drove all the way out to
Deland so at took a while. It was so nostalgic though because it
reminded me of my childhood-so many PINE TREES. Later that evening, we
had another lesson with Kyler at the church and afterward, a member
ordered us pizza to have delivered there. So we're outside waiting for
the pizza dude to show up and there's just a ton of CATS outside. So
obviously I had to say hello to all of them. Then this cute old lady
pulls up on her car and asks us what time our service was on Sunday.
She was just looking for a church closer to her home. WHAT. So we
taught her about how we're not just another church, but we truly are
Christ's true church restored to the earth. She liked the sound of
that. We set a return appointment with her 😊

Thursday, Sister Johnson and I were on exchanges with one of our
Sister Training Leaders, Sister Reid. We stayed here in Bunnell and
did work. Starting at Habitat for Humanity again. We went to their
warehouse this time and did a ton of cleaning. They gave us these 200
year old encyclopedias that weren't selling and said to toss them in
the dumpster. It felt like a crime. They were in such good condition.
Sorry mom. We taught Kyler again and had dinner with Sister Balazik
and she cooked a real nice southern meal, complete with Lima beans.
Sister Corbett gave us a ride to the STLs area to trade Sister Reid
for Sister Ross and we passed by the International Speedway and they
biggest Harley Davidson I've ever seen. 😍

Friday was the departing missionaries temple trip (oh btw Sister
Johnson goes home this Wednesday) so we got up at 4 to get her there.
We're about an hour and a half away from the temple so that was a fun
drive for me. We dropped her off and Sister Ross and I killed time by
having breakfast at Waffle House, then we got lost on our way back...
We drove through downtown Orlando and that was an experience.
After the missionaries got out of the temple, we all went to lunch at
Yellow Dog Eats! I love that place.

Saturday, KYLER GOT BAPTIZED!!! Okay, I'm getting ahead of myself. We
taught Jessie (the lady from Wednesday) at the church. It went so well
and she stuck around for the baptism! The baptism was just so special.
We taught a less-active sister afterward and it was amazing. She's in
her fifties and has been a member since age 12. She's struggled since
to understand the Gospel and feel the Spirit. We had such a good
lesson with her about the Spirit. I'm so excited to help her
understand it and notice because it truly is the most beautiful thing.
We did some service for a less-active family that night. It was crazy
because we had them in our plans to go visit, and we show up, and the
Elders are pulling up at the same time. Like what? This is our area!!
Turns out they were moving and were asking for help. Well, Sistas got
muscles too ya know. I lifted in a dress. Nbd.

Church was pretty great, as always. This ward is pretty sweet. The
best part though was Kyler's confirmation. As soon as the broth
confirming him Siam "receive the Holy Ghost", my body was flooded with
the Spirit. I KNOW this young boy is so prepared to love the Gospel,
and he is such a light and example to so many. I'm so happy I got to
be his missionary.

Then TODAY, we had Beach PDay at Daytona Beach!! Woo!! It was
beautiful! Took some pretty dope pictures.

Wow, that was longer than usual. Hope y'all had a killer week!

Also, I'll be home one year tomorrow. That's weird.

All my love!
Sister Yance

Our Zone, minus the Zone Leaders

Our district funeral.. Sister Johnson is dying! (Mission slang for going home)

I ❤️ pine trees.


Monday, August 8, 2016

Also, I can't believe I forgot this:

So when I was in Young Women's, we had this combined mutual activity
where we played "bigger or better". We split up into teams of like 4-5
people and went door to door with a broom and a button. You tell the
people you're playing bigger or better and you give them the button
and ask them to trade you for something "bigger or better" and in
return, you'll sweep their porch! It was a lot of fun when I did it
100 years ago, and I thought it would be a great tracting  approach
instead of simply doing door to door trying to reach people (which we
currently do a lot of in this area).

I was right.

It started off a little rough, and we looked pretty funny walking down
the street with our brooms. One dude passed us in his car and yelled
out the window "y'all cleanin the street?" Well, it needs it. There's
pine needles everywhere, Kay?

So we ended up getting two pretty solid potentials out of it. One
whose little boy traded the money the previous person gave us for his
Captain America action figure. I complimented on his giant Siderman
action figure he had in the window when they opened the door, but he
would part with it. It's okay though. I wasn't dropping any hints. The
mom told us that this must be a sign that we came by because she
currently doesn't have faith in God, and her son is starting to ask
questions about where we came from and all that. What. And then she
asked when church was. So they'll be getting baptized some day.

It was such a fun experience, and we're need tracting any other way ever again.

Our other companion.

We took a selfie so you know what we all look like. I'm a sloth.

Hello, Bunnell.

Heavenly Father is so aware of each of us. And His timing is absolutely perfect.

My first day in Bunnell, we needed to get groceries for me (typical transfer day custom) and it was our biking week. I was not enthused. It felt like freshman year in college all over again-what a nightmare. Well, I haven't biked in 3 months, and my tires were pretty flat. I tried to inflate them some more with the small pump I have, but it just took all of the air OUT of the tires. So that sucked (*cymbals*). So it looked like we weren't going to the grocery store. Fast forward to a few hours later, and the member that took us to dinner had to stop by Target to get school supplies for her grandson. I ended up getting my groceries after all :)

Then Saturday, we were biking and by back tire completely blew out, and we were on a pretty busy road. It made my whole bike wobble and I thought I was going to die. we pulled into Wendy's and had the member we were having a lesson with pick us up there. After the lesson, we called a member to see if her husband could help, but he was unavailable, so she posted it on the ward FB page. We walked back to Wendy's, and as soon as we approached the parking lot, a member called and said he was on his way. He was there in minutes with a new tube and completely fixed everything. He's a professional biker and just had this tube "lying around his garage". The dude wouldn't let me pay him back. But I was so grateful for him and the perfect timing and everything. It was making for a rough day.

So we're off to a great start here in Bunnell, clearly.

Sister Johnson, Sister Ross and I are having a fun time together. The work is slow, but I'm grateful for the opportunity I have to serve here. Mostly because it reminds me a lot of home in Alabama. There's pine trees EVERYWHERE and red clay. And everyone has a southern accent. Hallelujah. 

The ward is very sweet and made up of mostly elderly folks. Yesterday was something special. During Fast and Testimony meeting, 50% of the people that bore their testimonies were children. And they were legit testimonies. It just made me so happy. I love kids so much and I love their understanding of the Gospel. It's so simple that even a child can grasp it. 

Speaking of which...

We got a call my second night here from a lady in the ward whose grandson is living with her currently. His mother just recently gave permission for him to be BAPTIZED! So we've been teaching Kyler every day for his baptism this Saturday! And I'm telling ya, this kid is PREPARED. He is 9 and just understands everything to a T. Teaching him is crazy though.. its like reverse dejavu. My brother and I both had to be taught by missionaries, so this is a really cool experience for me. 

Sorry I'm the worst and haven't taken any pictures this week... Oops. 

But here's a couple from my last day in Wetherbee!! I miss these kids. 

Til next week!
-Sister Yance

-My main girl Helen, playing Quiditch. 

-The Elder's Quorum got pied at FHE because the Relief Society beat them in their missionary work during the month of July!! We were so proud of all of them for the work they did. That branch is on FIRE!!

My Wetherbuds. 

The only Fruit Punch Snapple I've seen this side of the Mississippi.

                                                            I miss my Sister Davis so much okay.