A Christmas Skype with Elder Josh

We had a nice long visit with Elder Josh on Christmas day.  He seems really happy and is enjoying the work.  It sounds like he had a good Christmas.  He and several of the other Elders got together and had a big breakfast and then opened presents together.  Then they went to a member’s home and had second breakfast.  And then they were invited to two other homes, one for lunch and one for dinner.  They are being well taken care of!  Uncle Bruce has been spoiling him as well with lots of food and treats.  I am so grateful!  It was such a special treat to be able to chat with him for a little while.  We are all so proud of our Elder Josh!
- Patsy


Dated:  December 23, 2013

I was thinking of doing the subject of this email a quote from the song "I’ll be home for Christmas" but I decided not to. Thank you for all the gifts. I have not yet opened them (however, I do know that you sent me orange sticks and macadamia nut clusters) and I am super excited to open those and eat them all up. I love those things! Uncle Bruce is spoiling us here so much! He gave us 2 delicious hams and a bunch of other stuff. He gave us some sparkling cider too. I drank a whole bottle by myself. That stuff is so good! This is a great Christmas! I have pictures that I will send.

I have been so blessed this month. I ran out of money pretty quick this month because I was trying to eat different food, and I ended up spending too much early on, and then other expenses that came along really drained my money, but I have been so blessed to receive just a little bit more money and food to be taken care of for the month. Don't worry, the Lord will not let me go hungry. He never has. So he has been taking care of me.

We had specialized training this month. We did a Christmas Devotional with it too. It was neat. President Pitt talked about covenants. Something he taught us, and I never realized this is how important covenants are. Obedience without covenants won’t get you to heaven. If you keep the Sabbath Day holy but you are not under the covenant, you won’t get to return to Heavenly Father. When we are in the covenant though, and we are obedient, the Lord is able to bless us soooo much more! We don't progress until we are in the covenant. He really helped me love covenants and understand them so much more. We have something we recite every meeting. It starts by saying this "The West Virginia Charleston Mission is a Covenant Loving Mission with Covenant Keeping missionaries..." I really like that.  Love your covenants! They are a blessing.

The stake also did a Christmas Devotional. They told all the members to bring gifts for the missionaries. SO there was a big table full of stuff for us. Like socks, gloves, hats, shampoo, cotton candy, ties, and much more. It was very nice. We are being taken care of out here. The members out here love the missionaries. It is very humbling. I am so blessed to be around such great members of the church.

We learned today that Elder S. Gifford Nielsen of the 70 is coming to our mission on the 10th of January. That is going to be a sweet treat!

Well, I love you all. I hope you all have a marvelous, fabulous, extraordinary Christmas. I know I will. I am so happy to be out here helping other people have the joy that we all have. I love this work. I love being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is true.


Elder Josh!

Christmas Presents!

Elder Sister is excited to open his present, but I told
him not until Christmas morning.

The White Christmas Tree.  Each ring represents someone
that was baptised during our White Christmas.

The Charleston 'Zion' Zone.


Dated: December 16, 2013

Highlight of this week: WARD CHRISTMAS PARTY!!! On Saturday we went up to the ward Christmas party. They had Prime Rib and Ham and then a ton of casseroles. It was sooooo goood!!! O man, they had an au jou sauce with mushrooms and onions in it to put on the prime rib. They sent us home with the leftover, so we have like 5 pounds of meat in our fridge right now. Santa Claus came also. I went and sat on his lap, and so did all the other missionaries. Ill send pictures next week.

The other eventful things that happened this week: We had a District Meeting which was good. We talked about inviting people to be baptized and resolving concerns.

So this Christmas time I have really been trying to strengthen my Relationship with the Savior. I may have already shared this, but I am going to do it again.

In 3 Nephi Chapter 17, we have Jesus Christ visiting the Nephites in the Americas. He had just taught them, and he saw that they were all tired, so he told them go to home and prepare for him to come back the next day and teach more. The people could feel his love, and they loved him back (try to imagine yourselves in their shoes and how it would feel).

They didn't want him to leave and Jesus responded-

6 And he said unto them: Behold, my bowels are filled with compassion towards you.

 7 Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy.

 8 For I perceive that ye desire that I should show unto you what I have done unto your brethren at Jerusalem, for I see that your faith is  sufficient that I should heal you.

9 And it came to pass that when he had thus spoken, all the multitude, with one accord, did go forth with their sick and their afflicted, and their lame, and with their blind, and with their dumb, and with all them that were afflicted in any manner; and he did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto him.

The Savior is in the Healing Business. He healed all the Nephites that would come unto him. Some of the people needed help to come to him from their friends and family or others. Some were able to get their on their own. But the invitation for all was the same. "Come unto me and I will heal you." He does the same today. Each of us is Afflicted in some manner. The savior can heal all things. He had compassion on the Nephites. He just finished performing the atonement. He knows perfectly everyone one and everything they go though. He knows the pain of each person that has and will live on the earth, and he knows how to heal them. He can heal us as we come unto him. Sometimes we need help from others. I know I have had so much help from others to come closer to the savior. Let us never reject his invitation. He loves us so much that he will heal us. He knows our pain, our struggles, our temptations, and he will help us learn, grow, and overcome.

I love you all. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!


Elder Josh


Dated: December 9, 2013

So, about a week ago, on Friday November 29th, we drove to Sissionville and the transfer van broke down. We got it to the dealership, and they said that the transmission on it is broken and we will be lucky if we get the van fixed by Christmas. So Elder Udy and I have been walking around quite a bit. We got bus passes to get us to and from our area. So the bus is interesting. We found 2 potential investigators on the bus for the Zone Leaders that we live with. So that has been cool, teaching people on the bus.

On Sunday, they canceled church because of the snow (no the snow was not that bad, but people here freak out in the snow, and they don’t clear the roads as good as they do in Utah). We had already gotten up to the church by the time we were told, so we spent a few hours with Sissionville elders and went and shoveled walked for people. It was good to do. It was super wet snow.  It started to rain on us too. Weird right? Well, since all church was canceled, President Pitt got the assistants and had a bunch of the missionaries come to the mission office and we did the sacrament there. There were about 15 of us. It was a really neat experience. We then had an hour and a half discussion about Jesus Christ. It was awesome. The spirit was very strong and I felt good there. I learned so much.

I went home and studied the atonement after that, and this is a scripture that stuck out to me.

2 Nephi 1:15 But behold, the Lord hath redeemed my soul from hell; I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love.

I really like that because when we all meet the savior again, He will come up and give us a hug and love us like no one else can. I know my Savior loves me. His love is perfect. Sometimes we need to let him love us though. No matter our struggles or trials, if we can remember and feel his love, his love can change us. Through his grace and mercy, he can lift us up. Through the Gospel of Jesus Christ we use the atonement  With what He went through for us, why would we not use the atonement? He is closer then we think.

I love you all, and I hope you all have a fantastic week. Use the atonement every day.

If you go to lds.org and type in "the atonement of Jesus Christ Hugh Nibley" read parts 1, 2, 3, 4. It really teaches about the atonement. This is something that I really liked from it.

"It was the custom for one fleeing for his life in the desert to seek protection in the tent of a great sheik, crying out, “Ana dakhiluka,” meaning “I am thy suppliant,” whereupon the host would place the hem of his robe over the guest’s shoulder and declare him under his protection. In one instance in the Book of Mormon we see Nephi fleeing from an evil enemy that is pursuing him. In great danger, he prays the Lord to give him an open road in the low way, to block his pursuers, and to make them stumble. He comes to the Lord as a suppliant: “O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness! O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine enemies!” (2 Ne. 4:33.) In reply, according to the ancient custom, the Master would then place the hem of his robe protectively over the kneeling man’s shoulder (kafata). This puts him under the Lord’s protection from all enemies. They embrace in a close hug, as Arab chiefs still do; the Lord makes a place for him (see Alma 5:24) and invites him to sit down beside him—they are at-one."

The Lord invites us to come and be at one with Him.


Elder Spencer

P.S.  Sorry I don’t write as many personal letters to all of you, and to the grandmas. I have only like an hour to email in this area so it makes it tough. Just let people know I love them and appreciate them.


Dated: December 2, 2013

So this was a decent week. We went up to Sissionville on Friday to spend some time with the missionaries there planning a lesson for church (they share a ward with us and we are teaching a member missionary work class).  After we left their apartment, we pulled out and the van made a grinding sound. We thought we were dragging something but we were not. We then pulled into the church and tried to figure out what was wrong. A wrench light was on and the manual said that the van was in "limp home" mode, meaning that it would not go out of second gear and over 2000 rpm. To make a long story short, we drove the van 16 miles on a small highway to get it to the Ford dealership to have them fix it. So we have been on foot and without a car for a while. That is a little hard when you are 8 miles from your area. Luckily the zone leaders have been able to give us a ride and the members are doing amazing at giving us rides.

Thanksgiving was great. We went over to a members home named the Seely's. Bro Seely and I have a lot of similar interests so we hit it off pretty good. That was fun.

Well, that has been my eventful week. We have very few investigators right now so we are trying to do a lot of finding. It is kind of fun to talk to random people and see what their reaction to you is. It is often very humorous.

I love being out here. I am so blessed that the Lord gave me the blessing of being able to serve in the WVCM in the latter-days.

Love you all!


Elder Spencer

Thank you everyone for the awesome Christmas Card!
It is so awesome!

Me bestowing DL of Martin on the next DL of Martin.
This is not doctrinal, it is for fun.

I free handed this pumpkin at Brianna's and Amber's
and Granny's house.

Elder Mackelprang, I love that missionary!

A Special Treat

We got to see Elder Josh last Sunday!! He, along with his good friend Elder Clark Jensen serving in Wisconsin, were asked to speak at a special Eagle Scout Court of Honor being held in our ward for one of our amazing young men.  They spoke via Skype and both gave wonderful, inspiring talks.  The spirit that they brought into the meeting was awesome and it was so fun to see Josh in action.  We get our missionaries all ready and send them off, but we don’t get to see them being a missionary.  It was so neat to see him teaching, and doing it so well.  He was also given the honor of being chosen as a Mentor for this young man receiving his Eagle.  It was a wonderful evening.  I still can’t stop smiling.
             - Patsy