Monday, November 28, 2016

πŸ“ΈπŸ“ΈπŸ“Έ



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-Ben brought his Samsung Gear to his baptism interview. I went to
Australia and also jumped out of an airplane.

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-My baby girl eating the sour candy 😝

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-thanksgiving day hugs from Amanda's little girl ❤️

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-Merry Christmas!

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-We're taking selfies with all of the nativities we can find


Let's just be honest... let's just be real...

Y'all. Imma be honest. It ain't easy being a missionary. Sometimes it's really REALLY hard. Sometimes I cry. A lot. Sometimes I miss my family. A lot. Sometimes I miss dancing. A lot. Sometimes I get sad over how much weight I've gained and cry about the fact that I can't go to the gym and burn it off. Sometimes I just decide that I've done this long enough and I want to go home. But then again I love [almost] every minute of the work. Here's a little poem about how I feel:

A Mission

A mission is a strange experience
It is a trial and a test.
A mission throws at you the worst
Yet, teaches you the best.
I've never been so happy,
I've never been so depressed.
I've never felt so forsaken,
I've never felt so blessed.
I've never been so confused,
Things have never been so clear.
I've never felt my Heavenly Father so distant, 
He's never been so near.
I've never been so discouraged,
I've never been so full of hope.
I feel I could go on for forever,
I think I've come to the end of my rope.
I've never had it quite so easy,
I've never had it quite so tough.
Things have never been so smooth,
Things have never been so rough.
I've never traveled through more valleys,
I've never ascended more peaks.
I've never met so many nice people.
I've never met so many freaks!
I've never had so many ups,
I've never had so many downs.
I've never worn so many smiles,
I've never had so many frowns.
I've never been so lonely,
I've never had so many friends.
BOY, I hope this is over soon,
GOSH, I hope this never ends. 

-Unkown

Accurate. 

But that's how it's supposed to be. If the Savior of the WORLD had to go through the pain He did, how could I not go through even a fraction of what He did in order to bring souls unto Him? 
Elder Jeffrey R Holland said the following of missionary work:
"I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation in not a cheap experience!
...
How could we have any moving lasting testimony of the atonement, if we have never experienced anything like unto it? 
...
Why should it be easy for us when it was NEVER easy for Him?"

I digress. Missionary work is meant to be hard. And I am better off for it. 

I suppose y'all want to hear how my week went. Here's a rundown:

Monday-
You guessed it! I was still sick. Surprise. 

πŸ“Dear Immune System, if you'd like to bulk up and get some gainz, I'd highly appreciate it. Stop being a whimpy whimp and help a Sista out. 

We did our grocery shopping and emailed. That's about it. 

Then I took a nap.

I toughened up and we went out to teach Denise and Alex! I LOVE THEM. LOVE LOVE LOOOOOOVVVVEEEEE. We taught them like 8 lessons in one because we're getting them ready for baptism in December!!! When we were talking about the purpose of baptism, Alex goes "so baptism is meant to wash away allllllll of our sins...... I'm gonna need a looooooonnnggg baptism." .....he's 9 πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I love the kid. Later on, he got this grand idea that he wanted to get baptized on Christmas... Sister Anderson and I had to talk him out of it because that's Amanda's date plus December 10 was the revelation we received for them.. so Sister Anderson, in all her genius says "the sooner you get baptized, the sooner your sins are washed away" "...December 10 it is" πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I love this little guy!! He said the most sweet, sincere, precious prayer at the end. I'm so excited for them to get baptized. So so much so. I taught him how to do the Spongebob afterwards, and he showed me some soccer skills. Also he kept doing the dab every 10 seconds. Man, I miss my boys hip hop class. Cody, where you at bro? #teamLoCo

We stopped by Tammy, and she had actually called us and left a voicemail: she read the resto pamphlet and even prayed about it! Ahhh!! The elect! She was very tired and her back was in a lot of pain, so she couldn't talk for long, so we taught her briefly and said a prayer. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she legit jumped up and down like a little girl. She said she was wondering if she had to call the number on the pamphlet to get one (because she did the additional study-what a saint). 

She said to me "you sound stuffy... you didn't sound like that the other day!" Girl I know. Then Sister Anderson gave her a hug and Tammy said "no hug for you! Nanana boo boo!" Hahahahahaha I love her. 

Tuesday-
It was a fun night of coughing and fighting with my blankets, trying to decide if I was hot or cold. I hate being sick. Hate it. 

We skipped out on service since I was feeling like a blob of uselessness. 

Sister King picked us up with our sweet friend, Mary (she's a 81 year old snow bird from England with a sick accent and amazing drive for missionary work-she's served FOUR missions!) and we taught Ben and Virginia! Virginia and Mary are friends from over a year ago when Mary would come teach her with the sisters. It was the cutest reunion. Look:

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Just call me Sista Slueth.

Sister King took us all out to dinner with her husband (who is one of my best friends, btw. You wouldn't know it by the way we treat each other. We're pretty brutal to one another) We went to Cracker Barrell ❤and THEN we went to the church for Ben's Baptism Interview!! We waited for him to get out, and when Elder Honda gave us the nod, we THREW confetti into the air πŸŽ‰ He's getting baptized this Saturday!!! Ahhh!!

We taught Amanda and rolled along home. It was a long day for me. 

Wednesday-
I somehow managed to drive us all the way to Daytona for District Meeting and slept through most of it. We hung out at the church afterwards and ate lunch and our sweet Elders brought us Frostys (Frosties? Idk the plural form of "Frosty" πŸ˜« #grammarNaziprobz) Anyway. It was super sweet of them. I needed that. 

We went back to Palm Coast and cleaned off Sister Waddoups' porch for Thanksgiving the next day. Sister Waddoups is our meal coordinator and she kills it. So one can say no to her when she asks them to feed us. What a trooper. 

We talked to a couple of people on our way to dinner, including our Polish friends Jerzy and Antonio! Ahh, I love them. Especially Antonio. He just lit up when he saw us outside. I love kids. 

We had dinner with the Gaskins and taught their granddaughter, Lila. She's 9 and is excited to get baptized! Man, I wish I could teach kids more.

We went back to the church and the Elders gave both of us blessing. I am so grateful for the priesthood. What a comfort it is, knowing that God Himself has allowed His very power to bless to be among us still. He loves us so much. 

My poor girl Baby Anderson is still adjusting to mission life, so we made a night of memories. We got drinks from the gas station, made some popcorn, built a fort, and watched whatever movies we could find in our apartment ("To This End Was I Born" and "Finding Faith in Christ") It was a grand ole time. 
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I love this girl. 

Thursday-
THANKSGIVING!
What a weird day... I mean I've spent the holidays away from home before, but this... this was.. different. And you wanna know the worst part?? THERE WAS NO SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE πŸ˜«πŸ˜«πŸ˜«πŸ˜«πŸ˜«πŸ˜« But there was still good food. 

We spent a little time with Amanda and her kiddos then went to Sister Waddoups' for lunch (dinner?) her grandsons convinced me to try "Toxic Waste" which is apparently the world's most sour candy (I doubt it, but they're 8 so I'll let it slide). Here's my reaction: 
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It was pretty sour. 

And THEN we had dinner with the Mangums!!! I. LOVE. THE. MANGUMS. Sister Mangum is an AMAZING cook, too! I mean holy crap. She even made pie. Like from scratch. Made me miss my Willie Jims days πŸ˜’ But look at how cute we all are!
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Happy Friendsgiving!

Let me take this time to tell y'all how much I love this dress Sister Anderson let me borrow: I ate two dinners and three slices of pie and you couldn't even tell because this dress was a legit TENT. If you're wondering what I want for Christmas, take a hint. I hate all of my clothes. 

I can't believe I forgot to mention this last week. Blame it on the sick brain. THE MANGUMS ARE PREPARING TO GO TO THE TEMPLE TO BE SEALED. AND BROTHER MANGUM GOT A CALLIG. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! The progress is surreal. 

Friday-
Weekly planning. 
Went out with the Mangums. We tried to contact some referrals but no luck. We did see like 3 deer though and Sister Mangum dared me to sing to them like a Disney Princess. So I did. Then she gets out of the car to take a picture and freakin scared them all off! πŸ˜‘ I forgave her though. 

Saturday-
Sister Raymond picked us up and we contacted a couple more of our Hurricane Matthew referrals. One is named Terri and she's the sweetest lady. She's battling brain cancer right now and is just amazing. She's a fighter. Reminded me so much of my Grandma. 

We had dinner with Amanda. Man, this girl can cook. She made homemade alfredo sauce for chicken alfredo AND she made chocolate covered cheesecake balls πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ HEAVEN. 

We had some time to kill afterwards so we went to Walmart and stuck Christmas Initiative pass-along cards in all of the Christmas trees and poinsettias and all up and down all of the Christmas aisles. Spreading the REAL Christmas cheer. 

Sunday-
Church. Baby Anderson gave her first talk and did a MARVELOUS job! 
We taught Lila again and then went out with Brother and Sister Hale to contact some more referrals. We didn't have any luck, so I asked Sister Hale if she had gotten to do her Visiting Teaching yet for the month. She hasn't met any of the sisters on her route because it just got changed. We ended up going to our friend Cyndi who's on her route! It was perfect! They're going to be great friends :) 

That's about it for the week! Now I'm going to induct you all into this year's Christmas Initiative! Go to Mormon.org and watch the video. Then celebrate Christmas by living like Christ-in service! I am OBSESSED with this year's initiative. Instead of it just being a sweet 2 minute video that invites the spirit, it does that AND motivates us to act! Be His hands! Be the light! #LightTheWorld!!!! 

I love y'all!!!
-Sister Yance

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

πŸ“ΈπŸ“ΈπŸ“Έ

The House of the Lord❤️






Monday, November 21, 2016

Circle, circle, dot, dot...

...I got sick from the flu shot πŸ˜· 

I should play the lotto. My odds of winning would be pretty high, I bet.

Also the holidays are here... call me 'Sister Scrooge', but... I hate it. So. Many. People. Like, would you like me to teach you how to drive? You push the pedal on the right. It's amazing, really. It makes your car move. Fascinating! At least this year I've got a good reason to talk to them all #lighttheworld

This week was PRIME πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ Lemme tell ya about it. 

Monday: 
We helped Amanda clean her house before we started our PDay. Ah. I love Amanda. 

We had a pretty chill day, so I was happy bout dat. I didn't stress about having to be 
anywhere. AND! ☝🏼 I got some new makeup at ULTA πŸ˜πŸ’„πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ

We had dinner with Lily, Vanessa, and Alex. Ah. I love them. Lily was asking us how long we could stay, and I told her that dinner appointments are only an hour, unless there's a non member there. Then she called for her cat πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ 

And THEN the most wonderful thing happened! Remember last week I told y'all about the referral with the thick accent? Well he's from POLAND πŸ‡΅πŸ‡± We got to teach his whole family and it was SO. SPIRITUAL. Jerzy and Renya have a 10 year old son they raised in their church, and a 14 year old grandson that didn't grow up with any religion. This was one of the best Restoration lessons I've ever taught. We asked each of them individually, and Antonio, the 10 year old, didn't hesitate to say yes! It was incredible. Everyone else accepted too. But Antonio's response was my fave. 

Tuesday:
Stuffed and sealed a bunch of envelopes at service. πŸ‘…

We taught Ben! We taught him about tithing and fasting. The guy just gets it. He said "you can measure money, but you can't measure a blessing." TRU! He recently got a new job and he straight up told them "I will be taking the 3rd [baptism] and 4th [confirmation] off.... no this is not a request. I'm letting you know that I WILL NOT be here." ¡Tu eres el jefe, Ben! He said he's not gonna miss his confirmation cause he's gotta be there to make sure everyone raises their hands "and it they don't... no Christmas gift for you..!" πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ He's so dang funny. 

We had dinner with the Corbetts! I LOVE THE CORBETTS. Their little girl Aimee is HILARIOUS. I don't have enough time to tell you all the funny things she does. She clung to me half of dinner. Cute, but girl, I gotta eat. 

Oh and THEN! We went with Sister Thompkins to teach Rob! We met him last Saturday walking on one of those streets where we did service! He was so excited about our message and when we asked if he knew of anyone else that would benefit from our message, he said "oh, I think everyone needs to hear this!" Right? So Rob doesn't actually live there-he was doing some renovation on the house. So it's a good thing we caught him when we did! Anyway. We taught him the Restoration. It was miraculous. We started off the lesson by asking him what he was hoping to get out of meeting with us. He said he wasn't quite sure.. so we're teaching the lesson and we're about 1/2 of the way through, and he stops us and says "I'm hoping to find out who I am. I didn't grow up in a good home. I don't know if I'm Catholic or Baptist, or what. I don't know as much as I'd like to. I just have so many questions." WHAT ARE THE ODDS THAT WE'RE ABOUT TO START TEACHING ABOUT JOSEPH SMITH AND HOW HE FELT THE EXACT SAME WAY. Oh my heck it was such a good lesson. The only downside of the whole thing is that he doesn't live in our area.. he doesn't even live in our mission! Ahh! Lucky Jacksonville missionaries! I hope they take good care of Rob. 

We visited with Amanda for a bit and gave her a pep talk. Satan's working really hard on her, but she is seriously SO strong. She can do just about anything. She's my hero ❤


Wednesday:
Our first appointment of the day wasn't home, and so we're sitting in her driveway, looking at our back up plans, and we get this phone call. It went a little something like this: " Hi, Sisters! My name is Hannah and I have a SICK referral for you!" πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜ oh, you do??! Yes she did!! She served her mission in Boston (with my girl Abby Beatty from my fave YSA branch, whaddup) and she taught this lady and her son who literally JUST moved to Florida- to Palm Coast!! And she wants to get baptized!! WHAT! This miracle LITERALLY just fell into our laps! So we call Denise and set up a time to come see her and invited her and Alex to the Relief Society activity the next day! We did a little happy dance in the car. Well, I did. Sister Anderson watched. 

Her mom sent me a card last week with $5 and asked me to take her to get a drink. It's their thing they did back home. So I drive us to Publix and she's asking what we're doing. I said I just needed to pick something up real quick. So we walk to the drink aisle and I turn to her and said "your mom asked me to take you to get drinks". She started to cry and I just hugged her and said "she loves you so much!" Man, training is so humbling. I feel like I just forget all the struggles of being a greenie. I've learned a lot from this experience and I can't believe it's almost over. Sister Anderson is gonna do some serious werk here in the FOM. 

We had a lesson with the Mangums that was just the BOMB. They're progressing so much. My cup runneth over. It's amazing to be a part of their journey!! 

We finally got to see our favorite 90 year old investigator again! Virginia showed us a picture of some of her ancestors and this played perfectly into our lesson that we spontaneously prepared: the great plan of salvation! I used my cute little diagram my sweet mommy made for me and she was astounded! She just kept saying "this is the most informative and elaborate presentation I've ever seen! This is marvelous!" Shout out Mom!! πŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌ The coolest part of the lesson was that she left the picture of her family on the table, so I used it to my advantage: when we got to the Spirit World, I propped up the portrait and said "this is where they all are right now." Man, that added to the lesson SO much. I snagged a pic: 


Hook. Line. Sinker. 
She's more excited than ever to learn more about our message!

We also popped in on one of our less active families. Had a nice little chit-chat. They have 3 teenage boys that are way over what we have to say. One of them reminds me a lot of myself when I was his age.. Imma figure him out. Best part of the lesson was that there was a pair of boxers between Baby A and I the entire time. Making memories.

Thursday:
Taught Amanda, went to service, did a little tracting with our fave ward missionary Sister Peters, and had a little photo shoot (pictures to come). She just wanted to get some pictures of us in-action. Look for us in the next Ensign. 

Taught Billy then Ben. Ben asked me to speak at his baptism. No pressure. 

We went to the Relief Society activity with Sister Mangum and Denise and Alex came! And so did Amanda! What a blessing! And while we were sitting there, we got TWO media referrals! What is this? It was also perfect because three of Sister Jensen's boys were playing basketball in the gym and they invited Alex. Oh my heck it was perfect. Heavenly Father knows what he's doing! 

Friday:
We got up at 5:00 to head for Lake Mary for Zone Conference! I sat next to a dinosaur. Actually, it was just Sister Evan's stomach. I wanna be her comp so bad. Someone tell President Clark. 
Zone Conference was just so good. So so good. I can't even write all the amazing things. You'll have to read my journal. 
We got flu shots and I wish I hadn't. Just my luck. But I got to see some of my favorite Sistas!! 


Sister Prows and Sister Phelps! Ahh, I love them. 

Wanna hear a funny story? Cause #noshame. Come on, laugh with me: I wore fake lashes on Friday and by the end of Zone Conference the right side was peeling off from the inside so I had to keep pressing them back down every 5 seconds. Pretty sure some of the missionaries just thought I was a decrepit old woman πŸ‘΅πŸΌ I just had to wear my aviators while we did car checks outside πŸ•Ά don't look at me πŸ™ˆ 

We watched Jospeh Smith: Prophet of the Restoration with Sister Perryman and she made us popcorn and iced chocolate milk with creamer in it.  #diabeetus
She kept commenting the entire movie. She couldn't believe all the opposition the early saints faced. I'm right there with ya, girl. 
We all knelt down at the end of the movie and Sister Perryman said the prayer to ask if Joseph Smith really was a prophet. It was the most sincere, heartfelt prayer I had ever witnessed her say. When she lifted her head up, she had tears in her eyes and said "you guys look like angels!" She said that she just felt like she was in a different place-like she was in heaven. She got her answer. 

Saturday:
Amanda picked us up and we went with her and Sister Raymond to the TEMPLE!!!! Ahhhh!! We've been dying to take her for months! It was so special and spiritual and she wanted to buy books and movies and a CTR ring at the Liahona bookstore! YASSS GIRL, YAASSS!! πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜ I got a Mindy Gledhill CD while we were there for $1. #winning I've already been choreographing a routine to the first track πŸ’ƒπŸ»

We had to kill some time because, unbeknownst to us, Sister Raymond was doing an endowment session while we were there. So we had. Lesson on the grounds and then stalked the wedding party that was outside the temple. I'm a sucker for weddings. 


Tossin up gang signs πŸ€˜πŸΌ✌🏼

Then Sister Raymond wanted to take us to lunch at IKEA. So basically we got kid napped. 

We finally got back to our area and helped Denise and Alex unpack! We had a short lesson with them. They're so ready to get baptized. I love it. Heavenly Father just answered so many prayers. 

We took her trash out when we left and we got to talk to one of her neighbors, Tammy. She's gone through a lot of trials recently and was happy to hear our unique message. We told her we were coming back Monday to teach her more and she said "please!"

I love being a missionary. 

Sunday:
I woke up dead. I started feeling sick Saturday night and when I woke up, I felt like I had gotten hit by a semi. We were sitting in ward council and Brother Sanders looked at me and asked "Sister Yance, do you have really bad allergies?" "Nah, man, I'm dead." Then Elder Honda, my trusty District Leader, chimed in and mentioned that we all got flu shots at Zone Conference. Then it dawned on me. Then everyone scooted 5 feet away from me. 

I basically slept through church. And cried a little. I hate being sick. I just want someone to take care of me πŸ˜«

After much arguing, I was forced to go home and rest πŸ˜‘ I felt so bad because I just want to work. Missionaries don't take sick days. We all gotta do things we don't like I guess. I slept for a century. 


I'm just so humbled by all of the wonderful miracles we've seen this week. Heavenly Father truly has blessed and trusted us with a lot. That's a big deal. I'm so blessed to be a part of this marvelous work. 

Until next week! Have a Happy Thanksgiving! πŸ¦ƒ 

-Sister Yance