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.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Joy To The World; He Came For US

I love that Christmas is this week! I can´t even control my excitement! We have been making some different cookies and have been caroling with the elders in our district these past few days! So fun, and I can´t believe I will be able to Skype my family on Christmas!

This past week I had the opportunity to go to a leadership devotional with Elder Kearon (a member of the Seventy, and Area Presidency in Europe) in the mission home in Barcelona. It was incredible! He and his wife spoke with such power and I learned so much from them. He said, "As leaders helping your fellow missionaries, you must serve them, commend them, heal them, help them, love them, invite them and challenge them. But most importantly, you must SHOW them. You are to set the standard of excellence by your example."

President Pace also said, "Leaders are ALWAYS teaching. You don´t get down time. You need to raise the bar and be the ones that lift the mission. The Lord is not pleased with the status quo. Leaders are to LEAD."

Elder Kearon also had so much energy and just got us all pumped! He said (in his awesome British accent) "You have to ATTACK each and every day. You are to come to your knees in vigor! FLY out of bed! Wake yourself up and get a good start! If you aren´t sweating in the morning, you aren´t exercising! Even when you shower, do it with excitement! Give yourself a few cold blasts of water! Eat a good breakfast! And when you are getting ready to leave, you have to be like a racehorse waiting in the starting gate in the morning! You will make and break your mission depending on each and every day! Make it glorious!" Haha, he is so great. I know he is a man of God. I am so thankful for that experience! I also had the chance to say goodbye to two of my companions, Hermana Marti Gillette and Hermana Kassi Reid, who will be finishing their missions next week. I love them both so much, am so proud of them and thankful for all they have done for me. They are incredible and I know they are going to go on to do amazing things!

On our Pday, we went on a long hike with the other elders and hermanas in Bilbao! It was so fun! Spain is absolutely gorgeous! We saw this neat waterfall and went to a "painted forest"! What a great time!

Last week I was telling you about Mayra, the 19 year old Columbian, who we have been teaching … well, she is planning for her baptism this Saturday! I have been waiting for this moment for the past two months with her! Her mother, Josefina, is a member of the church, but rarely comes. So when I first met Mayra and talked about teaching her and maybe one day getting baptized, her mother was very against it, saying that she didn´t really know what she actually wanted. After that, we lost her for about two weeks … she was never home, we couldn´t get in touch with her, and apparently she started hanging out with the wrong crowd. Josefina became very worried, and finally asked for our help again. So over the past month or so, we have really worked a lot with Mayra, and also this family. Mayra has finally been coming to church and all sorts of fun activities! She has actually talked about serving a mission and how she would love to go to the temple someday soon. We are preparing for her baptism and her family and extended family are all coming, and are so happy for her! I love her so much … it´s going to be beautiful! Josefina actually told us last night that this has been in her prayers and she has fasted for this to happen time and time again. That she was so happy.

I just wanted to share these passages with all of you! Throughout The Book of Mormon, it is constantly testfiying and prophesing of Jesus Christ through his prophets. His birth, life, example, mission, ultimate sacrifice and Atonement, and ressurection. The people in the Book of Mormon who are living in the Ancient Americas while all of this is happening, are staring to recieve different signs of his birth, but there are many wicked people who do not believe, or who are angry and confused about the fact that he will be born in Bethelehem. For example right before his birth.....

In Helaman 16:13-20 it says:

 "But it came to pass in the ninetieth year of the reign of the judges, there were great signs given unto the people, and wonders; and the words of the prophets began to be fulfilled.
 And angels did appear unto men, wise men, and did declare unto them glad tidings of great joy; thus in this year the scriptures began to be fulfilled.
 Nevertheless, the people began to harden their hearts, all save it were the most believing part of them, both of the Nephites and also of the Lamanites, and began to depend upon their own strength and upon their own wisdom, saying:
 Some things they may have guessed right, among so many; but behold, we know that all these great and marvelous works cannot come to pass, of which has been spoken.
 And they began to reason and to contend among themselves, saying:
 That it is not reasonable that such a being as a Christ shall come; if so, and he be the Son of God, the Father of heaven and of earth, as it has been spoken, why will he not show himself unto us as well as unto them who shall be at Jerusalem?
 Yea, why will he not show himself in this land as well as in the land of Jerusalem?
 But behold, we know that this is a wicked tradition, which has been handed down unto us by our fathers, to cause us that we should believe in some great and marvelous thing which should come to pass, but not among us, but in a land which is far distant, a land which we know not; therefore they can keep us in ignorance, for we cannot witness with our own eyes that they are true."

 And later we read in 3 Nephi 1:12-13
"And it came to pass that he (the prophet at the time) cried mightily unto the Lord all that day; and behold, the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying:
 Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.
 Behold, I come unto my own, to fulfil all things which I have made known unto the children of men from the foundation of the world, and to do the will, both of the Father and of the Son—of the Father because of me, and of the Son because of my flesh. And behold, the time is at hand, and this night shall the sign be given."

I know that Christ came into the world to save mankind; that all of the teachings, testaments and prophesies of His coming were fulfilled. I know that He is the Living Son of the Living God; that He rose from the tomb and that He lives. What joy fills my heart as I ponder and reflect upon my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and ALL that He has done and continues to do for ME; and for ALL of US. How I love Him! I could never repay him, but I will try my very best to be His true disciple and share this message with the world!

Over A Thousand People Came Together To Break a Record And Bring A Moving Christmas Hymn To Life:

Hermana Vance

1."Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o'er the plains,
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
2. Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be
Which inspire your heav'nly song?
3. Come to Bethlehem and see
Him whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee
Christ the Lord, the newborn King."
1." Oh, come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant!
Oh, come ye, oh come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold him,
Born the King of angels;
Oh, come, let us adore him;
Oh, come, let us adore him;
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Christ, the Lord.
3.Sing, choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation;
Sing, all ye citizens of heav'n above!
Glory to God,
Glory in the highest;
4.Yea, Lord, we greet thee,
Born this happy morning;
Jesus, to thee be all glory giv'n.
Son of the Father,
Now in flesh appearing;"
1."Joy to the world, the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King!
Let ev'ry heart prepare him room,
And Saints and angels sing,
And Saints and angels sing,
And Saints, and Saints and angels sing.
2.Rejoice! Rejoice when Jesus reigns,
And Saints their songs employ,
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.
3.No more will sin and sorrow grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He'll come and make the blessings flow
Far as the curse was found,
Far as the curse was found,
Far as, far as the curse was found.
4.Rejoice! Rejoice in the Most High,
While Israel spreads abroad
Like stars that glitter in the sky,
And ever worship God,
And ever worship God,
And ever, and ever worship God."
"Silent night! Holy night!
1.All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and Child.
Holy Infant, so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace;
Sleep in heavenly peace.
2. Silent night! Holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight!
Glories stream from heaven afar;
Heav'nly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Savior, is born!
Christ, the Savior, is born!
3. Silent night! Holy night!
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth;
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth."

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