Dated:  4/8/13

Hello Family!!!!

So, conference was a huge, amazing, great, fantastic, awesome, better then words experience. I feel like the theme for it was "Raising the Bar" and "Member Missionary work." They seemed to really set the standards of the church and they seemed to emphasize the expectations they have of us as Members of Christ's restored church.  It was different then what I am used to. For example, for priesthood session, the priesthood at the branch got together to go out for dinner. There were six of us... I am not used to that. It was a lot of fun though. We went back to the church after to watch Conference. There were a total of eight people there. I am used to a chapel filled to peak capacity including the gym. So that was a little different. But the spirit was the same. O man was the spirit so strong. Just watching the countdown Saturday morning was exciting for me. I had my notes, highlighters, and pens out ready to receive a spiritual dump of information. All of the talks about member missionary work was a huge answer to my prayers. MEMBERS ARE KEY TO MISSIONARY WORK. MISSIONARY WORK IS NOT A MISSIONARY”S RESPONSIBILITY ALONE!!! Wards and Branches around the world need to realize this. Go and read preach my gospel everybody and learn what your role as a member of The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints is in missionary work. Everyone is a missionary. Members are the Finders, Missionaries are the Teachers. Have the missionaries over for dinner, invite them to teach you a lesson. If you trust them, give them a referral to teach one of your friends. They may ask you to do things, things that might be a little awkward or scary like ask you to invite a non-member over for dinner while the missionaries are there or share a Mormon message to a non-member friend and ask if they would like to learn more, but guess what, Being a missionary is SCARY! It's just as scary for full-time missionaries as it is for members. But that is OK, because the LORD promises us so many times that we can do it with his help so in the end.  W "need not fear".  Preach My Gospel helps us know how to access his help to be a missionary. I loved Elder Nielson's talk about "Catching the Wave." I love the Wave. :D I love Elder Holland’s talk about faith. "Don't start to increase you faith by looking at what you lack in faith." Something I have been learning on a mission is how important it is to not compare yourself to others. Just press forward looking to Christ. Do your best and focus on your effort.

Some days this week have been really hard. But that's OK. I am learning from that also. I keep having the thought though that every returned missionary will say that they loved their mission. I keep thinking, "How did they love their mission when they had days like this?" I realize now that the hard days make you love your mission. Those are the days you grow. Those are the days you go home and fall on your knees and really pray, nearly in tears, to ask God for help. Those are the days that you realize that you need God always and you need his strength because your own is not enough. Those are the days where you realize that you are out on a mission because you Love God and you know that His Gospel is true and the only way back to Heavenly Father. The hard days are the growing days and the days you love are the days you receive blessings because of the faith and hard work that were demonstrated during the hard days. I often think back to what Brother Morriss (A teacher I had at the MTC that I love a ton!) said, "I would give anything to be back in your shoes right now." That really impacted me. I realize I only have 2 years to experience this wonderful time that the Lord has given me. I am going to make the most of it. Elder Anderson in conference said something to the effect that when you are done with the mission, and you have to take off the badge, make sure you print a missionary badge on your heart. Wearing Christ's name on my chest is a sacred privilege that I love and cherish. "I am called of God. My authority is that above kings of this earth. By revelation I have been selected to be a personal representative of the Lord Jesus Christ."-My Missionary Commission by Elder Bruce R. Mconkie

The work is moving forward. It's impossible for anything or anyone to stop it. It's awesome to know that there is a force of 65,000 missionaries moving the work forward around the whole world. I have the great blessing to be a small part of that number. No matter what, as a group and with the Lord, we are all successful in moving the work of the Lord forward.

Some scriptures that I read this week that I really like are found in Enos 1:1-8, 2 Nephi 25:29 and Mosiah 27:14. Those are great faith scripture. I encourage you to read them.

I love you all. Sorry this doesn't have a whole lot of what I did this last week, mostly just thoughts and whatnot. O well, Have a great week, and "Catch the Wave"


Elder Spencer

P.S.  So, just another few things I wanted to share, Gretna VA is actually a place where they film the show "Moonshiners." One of the member.s friend’s dad is one of the characters on the show. So if you want to see what my area is like, maybe watch that show. :D

Here is my happy face for all of you! :D

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