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, October 30, 2015

Let Virtue Garnish Thy Thoughts Unceasingly

I am reflecting back on a few weeks ago when we all had the opportunity to watch LDS General Conference and hear the messages that our Prophet and Apostles had for all of us.
We have a new friend, Marco. He is from Peru and he is amazing. He was learning about the church about a year ago from the other missionaries that were here, and we saw his name on one of their old lists and we decided to give him a call. He said that he wanted to meet with us and we saw him about a month ago for the first time. He was really open to learning about the church and about the Book of Mormon. He has been coming to all of the activities and coming to church on Sundays, and we're really excited to see what's going to happen with him. He has so much desire to learn more and it has been so fun to see his testimony grow little by little each time we see him. I know he wants to follow Jesus Christ. We talk to him about baptism and about how he could feel such peace and happiness in his life, and about how he could have a complete remission of his sins and start over and enter into this new path of the Lord. He was able to come to General Conference and absolutely loved it and was so inspired by the messages he heard. He has a lot of really good questions, so please keep him in your prayers, as we are going to keep working with him and will keep you all posted on how he's doing.

I learned a lot of things from General Conference. I know that these are Men of God who are inspired to share their revelations with us, and that if we listen to the things that they teach us and tell us, we can find out for ourselves how to become better disciples of Jesus Christ. We can know how we can be happier in this life and how we can follow God's plan. As you read some of the quotes and concepts I learned below, I invite all of you to think about your life and think about the things that you could improve on and change. I invite you to re-watch or read some of the conference talks. I received so many answers to my questions and I know that you all can receive answers as well.

Do we lack the courage to change?

We don't need to be perfect, but we need to be good at getting better. Simple obedience brings the spirit into our lives. God’s ultimate purpose is our progress.

Let your light shine. Let that light burn within you, and light the path for others.

Be an example of the believers. In word and conversation. Speak with love, kindness and tolerance.

People need to feel that spirit that draws them to you. People need to recognize that light in your eyes.

Faith and doubt cannot co-exist in the same heart and in the same mind … at the same time. One will always win.

Be pure … clean in body, mind and spirit. Don't pollute it. Be worthy. Purity will bring peace of mind.
Blessed are the pure in heart.

The world is moving farther and farther away from God. We WILL stand out. We are in a very dark world. He is MY light and MY salvation … WHO SHALL I FEAR?! Don't let it dim for one second. For one moment. For one situation. Hold a precious flame and ignite others.

"45 Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.

46 The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever." (D&C 121:45-46)

Having the spirit makes things that are good more attractive and temptation less compelling.

Never deliberately fly into a thunder storm.

We need to think, "If I make this choice, what is the WORST thing that could happen?"

If you never to a drink, you'll NEVER become an alcoholic

If you're there for the Lord, He will be there for you.

When you earn more, save more. Pay tithing first.

Seek out scholarships. Get your education. It will prepare you for life.

Knowledge does away with darkness and doubt. Knowledge brings power.

Dating: Learn everything about them. Compatible goals. Temple, parenting, the Lord, serving others, families. See them under stress and anger. None of us marry perfection.

Be patient; wait upon the Lord. Take counsel from Him.

If you are prepared, ye shall not fear.

I raised my kids on faith.

Be worthy to hold a temple recommend ALWAYS.

Go about doing good.

If you want my counsel, be prepared to take it. Prayerfully select mentors. Don't take advice from random peers. Reach up, not across. Go forward, not backward.

The power is in you. You have your agency. Just be obedient and follow the Spirit.

Spend time alone. Where do I want to be in a year? Two years? What do I need to do to get there?

Look at your life from a higher plane, and I promise the gospel will be easier for you.

Start where you are. Our weaknesses turn us to Christ. Covenants are the passports to Exaltation.

Listening to bad music, reading bad books, watching bad movies … weakens us! Turn it off, Rip it up, Throw it out and Slam the door!

You escape by accepting the beauty of the Atonement

Be Virtuous! When something is pure, you just can't help but want that.

Scripture power, Prayer power, Temple power, Prophet power …

To shine with the beauty of holiness, we must repent daily.

“The divine nature within us ignites our desires to reach out to others and prompts us to act." -Rosemary M. Wixom

Are we making our discipleship too complicated?

Be a peacemaker.

3 steps to righteousness: 1)Self-control ... it’s like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it gets 2)Wholesome modest appearance, 3)Honoring the Sabbath.

What lack I yet? Stop complaining. Count blessings instead of challenges. He doesn't tell us all the things we need to improve at once. We would get discouraged. He does it at our speed.

God will take you as you are. All you need is willing heart, a desire to believe and trust in God. If we only look at ourselves through our mortal eyes, we won't be good enough. We want exaltation, it is life eternal that we receive the fullness of his glory.

We need to be better today than we were yesterday, and better tomorrow than we are today.

My dear sisters, both young and not so young, I have felt a great anxiety as I have prepared this talk. As Alma the Younger expressed, “I wish from the inmost part of my heart … that ye would … call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, … that ye may be lifted up at the last day.”

Later, Mormon also testified that in Alma’s day, Korihor, the anti-Christ, “did preach … leading away the hearts of … many women.”

Sisters, Satan has raised a Korihor-like banner in our day with increasing success. What are some of his tools? Seductive romance novels, TV soap operas, married women and old boyfriends connecting on social media, and pornography. We must be so careful, dear sisters! We cannot play with Satan’s fiery darts and not get burned. I know of nothing that will qualify us for the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost as much as virtue.

When we are involved in watching, reading, or experiencing anything that is below our Heavenly Father’s standards, it weakens us. Regardless of our age, if what we look at, read, listen to, or choose to do does not meet the Lord’s standards in “For the Strength of Youth”, turn it off, rip it up, throw it out, and slam the door.

I loved this! We need that virtue and purity in all things. That is where we should be getting our confidence. Remember who you are and what you represent. You are a sacred child of our loving Heavenly Father. Don't forget it! Have a GREAT week!

Hermana Vance

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