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.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Choose You This Day Whom You Will Serve

HELLO 2015!!! I cannot believe we have hit another New Year! Like Christmas, we were able to spend time with our district, and it was a so much fun! We were able to stop by more houses together, and we went to a British man´s house, Michael, for lunch. Once again, MORE food! I thought I was going to pop! We had TONS of seafood, which I still don´t like very much, but I picked through the pile of shrimp and peeled them apart myself. He made me eat about 7 of them! All of the Elders were just laughing at me. Haha, it was fun. Later, we went to an older lady’s house, Nieves, and she gave us even MORE food! We had some pretty good laugh attacks from being stuffed!

We stopped by a nursing home where this older man, Mario, is living. He was so sweet and we sang for everyone that was there before they had their dinner. All of their faces just LIT UP! They loved it, and I loved it! 

We are teaching a 14-year-old kid named Jhon right now. He is from Bolivia and he just got here to Spain about a month ago. His mom had been living here and finally had enough money to bring him over. They were so excited. His mother is a member of about two years, and she is just wonderful. We have been working with him and teaching him a lot, and he is so prepared.

New Year´s Eve and Day were just crazy and fun! All through the night there were fireworks and people yelling and I could not sleep! It was wild, haha, and apparently there is a tradition that when the hour hits midnight, you eat 12 grapes from cups and celebrate. Since we didn’t really know this Spanish tradition, we thought that we had the last 12 seconds to eat the 12 grapes as fast as we possibly could before it hit midnight! So we were lying in bed, 12 seconds before midnight, having a 12 second/12 grapes countdown! We almost died we were laughing so hard! It was the best; I love being with Hermana Worthington, she is just great!

That next day, New Year´s Day, I really did try to take time to think about this past year, 2014. It was a GREAT year, full of moments that have changed my life forever, and that I will NEVER forget. But I was also thinking about the year 2015, and what is to come, and my dreams and goals for this next year and how I can reach them.

Nieves said something very interesting to us about the New Year that I really liked. She said, "The change within you happens, the moment you decide to change your life for the better. It´s that day, that moment, that decision. It’s not just when the year changes, and everyone else is doing it, or when it is kind of the 'cool' thing to do."

It made me think of two scriptures in the Bible:

"... choose you this day whom ye will serve … but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.  Joshua 24:15

 "No servant can serve two masters ..." Luke 16:13

Now I ask you all, as I asked myself the other day … WHOM will you serve? WHEN will you make that decision? It is perhaps the most important choice any of us could make. Will it be tomorrow, or the next day, or the next day? Will we wait to the point where we don´t even remember what we were deciding in the first place, or until we lose sight of what is really important, what really matters, and what is going to matter eternally?

Or … will we choose THIS day?

Then every day we have that choice to make. I will be forever grateful for the choice I made to serve a mission and to serve the Lord. Even so, I still need to make that choice EVERY SINGLE DAY out here. I am still learning, I am still very young, I make mistakes, I have doubts, I have fears, I have questions, I have trials, and I am certainly very far from perfect. But I KNOW that Christ IS perfect, and that if we do our very best to follow His example, we can never go wrong. We can only go forward, upward and onward. Through our mistakes and trials, we can be strengthened and healed. Through our doubts and fears, we can receive peace and hope for a better and brighter future in HIS love.

I know that God loves me and hears my prayers, and that as for ME and MY house … WE. WILL. SERVE. THE. LORD.

I love you all dearly and can feel your prayers on my behalf. I thank you for the incredible lives you lead, and for all that you have taught me throughout my life. Remember to look to your Savior. He loves you, and so do I.

Que Dios Les Bendiga,

Hermana Lydia Vance

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