Hermana Vance and Hermana Reid are going strong and life is great here in Valencia! Yesterday our amazing investigator Billy came to church for the first time! He is SO great and is loving everything! Keep him in your prayers!!
As I have been here, I have noticed that my world is getting smaller and smaller. At church on Sunday, I felt a tap on my shoulder and someone said, "uhh, Soeur Vance?" Long story short, it was a bishop and his family from France where my sister Madeline had served for 6 months. They went on to tell me that they had met and had dinner in their home with my parents, my sister Emily and Madeline just a couple weeks ago! What a tender mercy; when I shook the man´s hand, it was weird to think that my family had done the same thing not that long ago. CRAZY! Haha, they were SO cute! It has been so comforting and a huge blessing in my life to have so many experiences with people with a French background!
This week we spent some time with this elderly couple we are teaching. They are FULL-ON Spaniards, born and raised in Valencia, so it has been fun! Their names are Juan and Lolin, and I feel like they have become my grandparents here! They are so precious, but will definitely talk your ear off (in their thick Spanish accents) as well. My brain always feels fried, haha, but they are the greatest! They are very strong Catholics, but they have a son living in Mexico who is a member of our church, so their little granddaughter was just baptized! They called us up and wanted to know more! Lolin is progressing so much, and she LOVES the Book of Mormon. She says it just makes sense to her, and she reads it every single day! Juan is a little more stubborn, but is just hilarious! The other day we were teaching Juan in his house, and after we ate, we wanted to just share a quick message with him. He said (this is all in Spanish, mind you) "I can´t right now, I have to go to the service." Hermana Reid and I didn´t know what to do, thinking he was heading to his church. We thought we weren´t going to be able to share anything that day, so we said "It will just be quick and then you can leave after. Or if you are leaving now, we can just leave with you and come back a different time." He went on to say "No you just wait here, it will only be 10 minutes, MAX." This discussion went on for a little longer and he finally got up to leave, so we went to follow him out, but we then realized that he went into the bathroom and that he needed to use the "servicio". Hermana Reid and I just busted up laughing. Hahaha, it was hilarious!
This past week I started the Book of Mormon from the beginning again, and today I was reading in 1 Nephi 21:9-11, 13-16.
9 That thou mayest say to the prisoners: Go forth; to them that sit in darkness: Show yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.
10 They shall not hunger nor thirst, neither shall the heat nor the sun smite them; for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.
11 And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted.
13 Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; for the feet of those who are in the east shall be established; and break forth into singing, O mountains; for they shall be smitten no more; for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.
14 But, behold, Zion hath said: The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me—but he will show that he hath not.
15 For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee, O house of Israel.
16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.
I love these verses so much, especially verse 16, which explains how we are graven upon His hands. We are told that the Savior remembers us, because of the sacrifice that He made for us. How often do we forget our Savior? We don’t need to have nail prints in our hands, but we should have Him graven upon our hearts.
Have an amazing week! LOVE YOU!