I am serving a mission as a sister missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for a period of 18 months. I am serving in the Spain Barcelona Mission and I am speaking Spanish. I reported to the Madrid Missionary Training Center on May 13th, 2014, and I will return home November of 2015. I love each of you with all my heart and I hope to hear from you throughout this life-changing experience and journey.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Look OUT, Not IN

Hello everyone! I hope you all are doing fantastic! This week has been an amazing week for me! It´s weird because things are the same every week, but SO many new things happen! One cool thing I realized is that we are in the same time zone as Paris! I can seriously FEEL the synergy with my sister Madeline as we are both serving right now! It is awesome when I wake up at 6:30am to know that Madeline is getting up at that exact moment too! SO fun! In an email I got last week, someone asked about the World Cup and if it’s getting crazy here. The answer is YES! There was one night last week when two Madrid teams were playing against each other and the score ended up being 4-1. All I know is that I could NOT sleep! All I could hear throughout the night was screaming, fireworks, parties, horns … you name it! It was NEVER ENDING and wild! It’s like a religion here! Haha, fútbol, I love it!

This past week we went to the park again. We were not too successful talking to people the last couple times we went there, and my Spanish was HORRIBLE. But this week, I saw miracles. Sister Kosmenova and I walked past this woman named Madga, but then, at the exact same time, we both paused and turned around. We KNEW we had to talk to her … the Spirit was so strong. She was just sitting on a bench, all alone. We went up to talk to her and she was SO nice. She said she was from Italy and that she knew a little bit about our church. I told her that there are missionaries in Italy and she freaked out! I was paired up with a Russian missionary that day, so I was pretty nervous knowing I would have to be speaking all the Spanish that day. To make a long story short, I talked to her for 45 minutes about our church, The Book of Mormon and Jesus Christ. It was incredible. She wants missionaries to visit her in Italy! There were about five other experiences that happened like that in the park that day. Sister Kosmenova and I were so confident, haha, we talked to EVERYBODY! I know that it is because of the Spirit that we had so much success. We could not have done it without the strength of the Lord and those promptings. What a humbling and awesome experience.

This week we had many devotionals and we even had the director of the International MTCs with us all week! He was so amazing! The same theme kept coming up … Characteristics of Christ. I know this mission is not about me, and I have truly gained a testimony of that. EVERYTHING we do is about others. Everything. The director told us, "The moment you put on that name tag, you became a shepherd. Shepherds take care of their sheep. ALL. THE. TIME. They don’t worry about themselves. Just like Christ, we are to look OUT, not IN. If you do that, you will be astonished by the change you see in others, but more importantly, in yourself. If you lose yourself in others, you WILL find yourself."

This week I challenge ALL of you to become more like the Savior. I love you all and you are all in my prayers! Have a great week!

Hermana Lydia Vance

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