Right now my heart is exceedingly full, as I think about the events that are occurring this week. My sister, Madeline Vance, has completed her full-time mission as a sister missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in France. I could not be more proud of ALL that she has accomplished. She has been the greatest example through my entire life, in EVERY area. Tears fill my eyes as I think about all that she has done for me in my life. She has always stood by my side, and has always been there to lift me up, no matter what. Whether it was both of us hobbling along on crutches with our torn ACLs, staying up late and laughing through the night in our room, sharing unforgettable experiences and strengthening each other along the way or making endless memories. She has ALWAYS been there, and not just for me, but for every single person that has come into her life. All of those she has met have been touched by her beautiful spirit. I am so jealous of the people in France, because over this past year and a half they have been able to witness something incredible.
Those people she has met, taught and served … their lives will NEVER be the same. She has ALWAYS been a missionary and has ALWAYS been a disciple and representative of our Savior, Jesus Christ. In every word, action, and thought … she has the charity and the love for others that we all strive for every day. She knows her purpose in this life and is one of the happiest, strongest, most loving and amazing people, and I hope to be able to one day even get close to that. She is my best friend, and she is my hero. She is all of these things because she loves her Savior. She works so hard every day to follow HIS example and to lead a life that will be precious in His eyes. I am going to try my best to do the same, and I cannot thank her enough for her everlasting impact on my life.
Even though I miss her, and it is hard to know that my family will be together without me, I know why I am here, and there is nowhere I would rather be. I know that this time is just a blink of an eye when I think about the time that I will spend with them in the eternities. God has blessed me with the greatest family in the world. He has blessed me with this gospel and these truths. A year and a half is NOTHING to sacrifice compared to all that Christ sacrificed for us. We owe Him our time, our talents and our very lives. Thank you Madeline, for showing me how to be an incredible disciple and missionary!
With all my love,