Christmas Skype with Elder Josh


DATED:  December 22, 2014

I would like to report on all the fun stuff we did this last week. On Thursday we had Specialized Training. It was a good meeting. After the meeting we had lunch and we had some fun. They did a white elephant gift exchange. Every companionship in the Stake brought a gift, under $5. It was fun, we took a bottle of Martinelli's sparkling cider. We stole it back though because we really wanted it. haha. After we had District Presentations. They had each district prepare either a skit, talk, musical performance or something like that. We read a Silent Night Talk, then Elder Carter sang the first verse of "Silent Night" A Capella and then we had everyone in the room join in on singing the 2nd and 3rd verses, also A Capella. We wanted it to be kind of like how it may have been in the trenches of WW1. We were the last district to go. The spirit was already in the room, but after that the spirit was very, very strong. It was neat.

On Sunday we had church, but we only had sacrament meeting so that we could go up to the Stake devotional in Charleston. After church, some members named the Matsons took us to their house for lunch and then we rode with them up to Charleston. Sister Matson is the one that wrote the skit that we did, and Bro. Matson was the main character, Ebeneezer Scrooge. The Skit went great at the devotional. I’ll send you all a picture. Elder Carter and I played the part of Missionaries, and we went and knocked on Ebeneezer's door to stop by to visit him at the request of his Nephew, Bob Crachet. There were about 400 people at the devotional. It was fun. All the Missionaries also got up and sang "O come all ye Faithful" during the devotional. That was also really neat.

For a thought today I would like to share some things from an awesome talk called "Approaching the Throne of God with Confidence." We listened to this on our way up to Charleston yesterday. I would like to share some quotes.

"The adversary knows that faith in Christ—the kind of faith that produces a steady stream of tender mercies and even mighty miracles—goes hand in hand with a personal confidence that you are striving to choose the right. For that reason he will seek access to your heart to tell you lies—lies that Heavenly Father is disappointed in you, that the Atonement is beyond your reach, that there is no point in even trying, that everyone else is better than you, that you are unworthy, and a thousand variations of that same evil theme.

As long as you allow these voices to chisel away at your soul, you can’t approach the throne of God with real confidence. Whatever you do, whatever you pray for, whatever hopes for a miracle you may have, there will always be just enough self-doubt chipping away at your faith—not only your faith in God but also your confidence in yourself. Living the gospel in this manner is no fun, nor is it very healthy. Above all, it is completely unnecessary! The decision to change is yours—and yours alone.

I would like to share six practical suggestions that, if heeded, will dissipate these evil voices and restore to you the kind of peaceful assurance and spiritual confidence that is yours to have if you only want it."

Here is a summery of those 6 things.

1. Take responsibility for your own spiritual well-being.
2. Take responsibility for your own physical well-being.
3. Embrace voluntary, wholehearted obedience as part of your life.
4. Become really, really good at repenting thoroughly and quickly.
5. Become really, really good at forgiving.
6. Accept trials, setbacks, and “surprises” as part of your mortal experience.

I just want to encourage you all to go and study this talk. You can find it by Clicking

I would also just like to share some things I have been thinking about lately.

Things wont change unless you do something about it. You wont change until you do something about it. We have to want to and be willing to change. Change takes commitment, Real commitment.

This life is a mortal experience where our spirit gets to be in a body and learn new things. We are spirits in a body. Your spirit was created by your Heavenly Father who loves you. Every time you pray you are talking to your Father. He knows you!

Every single person on this earth has trials, and has always had trials. There are hard times for every single one of us. There is no anomaly where someone is able to go though this life without experiencing something tough. God is very aware that we have these trials. They are part of the purpose of us being here. Don’t give up when you are going though hard trials. There are billions of people on this earth that are successful in overcoming hard things. You are not an anomaly to that either. (I hope that one makes sense)

Ponder what it means to be a True Follower of Jesus Christ. And look at the Blessings.
In the Guide to the Scriptures it says this under the definition of "Perfect." Complete, whole, and fully developed; totally righteous. Perfect can also mean without sin or evil. Only Christ was totally perfect. True followers of Christ may become perfect through his grace and atonement.

Or in Moroni 7:47-48 it states "But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen."

And then the definition of Pure in the Guide to the Scriptures says "Free from sin or guilt; blameless. A person becomes pure when his thoughts and actions are clean in every way. A person who has committed sin can become pure through faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, and receiving the ordinances of the gospel."

All of these things relate. True Followers are those who strive to live like, think like, and be like the Savior. As it states in 2 Nephi 31:13 "...follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent..." If we do this then we will have charity and will become pure, as He is pure and will be able to, through the atonement, become complete and pure and perfect and qualify to live with Heavenly Father again. We will be freed from our sins. Those weaknesses that we have can become strengths.

So the Invitation? 2 Nephi 31:10 "And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me..."

I think I kind of shared about this in a previous letter, but here it is again, maybe with something new. I am very grateful for my Savior who shows me the way. I hope I can be like him.

I love you all. Keep you heads up, and your hopes high. There are great things in store for those who follow Christ. :D MERRY CHRISTMAS!


Elder Spencer


DATED:  December 15, 2014

This week has been a good one. We have been able to find some potentials that we are going to be able to see next week. The people here are very nice. We offer lots of "Christmas Cards", which are the "He is the Gift" cards. Pretty much everyone says they would like one, and then we try to talk to them and we invite them to learn about the "Mormon Church" or "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." We have found some people that are really curious about it and want to learn. It's neat.

We had the Ward Christmas Dinner this week. There was so much great food! We had a Santa Clause, and all of us in the District got our picture with him. We have 3 sets of missionaries serving here. Oakhill, Beaver, and Beckly are the 3 areas. We are all in the same ward. Here in Beckley, we are blessed to have many great members. We have dinner appointments every day until the 30th. That’s really great! I really enjoy dinner appointments for a few of reasons, 1: I get to try awesome food from a ton of different people. 2: You get to fellowship with the members and get to know them in a better way then you can at church. 3: You get to help build the members and help them do missionary work. I have noticed that Units that feed the missionaries do a lot better at missionary work then those that don't.

So this next week we have a very busy schedule. We have specialized training, and as a part of that we are doing a Christmas Devotional within our zone. Each District has about 3 minutes to so something. Either a skit, talk, song, etc. We are going to read the Silent Night talk and then Elder Carter is going to ACapella sing the first verse of the song, with everyone else joining him for the last 2 versus. Then on Sunday, Elder Caldwell and I get to speak in Sacrament Meeting, after we are going to practice our Skit that we are doing for the Stake Christmas Devotional in front of the Ward, and then we are going to head up to Charleston. The missionaries are going to sing "O Come All ye Faithful" in the Devotional and then we are going to do our skit that we are doing with the ward. Lots to happen next week. Christmas is such a fun time of year.

I love you all!


Elder Spencer



DATED:  December 8, 2014

Transfers went really good. I woke up at 4:00 on Thursday Morning and got a ride up to Princeton to catch the Transfer Train. The Transfer Train is two, 15 passenger vans and a big box truck that goes from Roanoke to Charleston and every missionary gets on it to go up to Charleston. Beckley is between Princeton and Charleston, so normally I would have gotten off there, but for some reason things worked out so I got to go all the way up to Charleston. It was fun. I got to see a bunch of really great missionaries. There are many friends that I have made out here. Serving with people is so great! After Transfers, I rode back down to Beckley on the Train and met Elder Carter. He is great. He has been serving for about 8 months now. We live in a house with 2 other missionaries. Elder Brenchley, From Farmington Utah, and Elder Caldwell from Morgan Utah. Elder Brenchley knows Kevin and Maggie Bullock. He is in their ward. Kevin was his Bishop. SMALL WORLD!

Church yesterday was great. There are quite a few people that know the Vests very well.  All the new missionaries got a very warm welcome. One of the Sisters here in the ward came up to me, her name was Sister Doolittle, and said that she went to Utah once with Deanie for Christmas and met our family. She said she remembers talking to Dad, and she remembers that I was there too. I was a baby at the time. I think I was about 1 year old, is what we figured. SMALL WORLD!

On Sunday, Elder Carter and I also got asked to participate in the Stake Christmas Devotional. We are part of a 3 minute skit. We are playing the part of "Elder" who knock on someone's door. My line is "Very well" and Elder Carters is not much longer. It's a small part, but It think it's awesome!

For a short thought. Who are you? What are your Names and Titles? I have been thinking about this lately. Think of all the Names that Jesus Christ has. i.e. Savior, Redeemer, Creator, The Son of God, etc. All these names identify who He is and what He does. So think of different titles and names that you have. Father, Mother, Home Teacher, Visiting Teacher, Friend, Brother, Sister, or maybe even think of your own name. It identifies what you do. When we are baptized we make the covenant that we are willing to take upon ourselves the Name of Christ. Now, our name, my name even, Elder Josh Spencer is an imperfect name, imperfect person, but Christ's name is perfect. So, as we make and keep our covenants, we take his name upon us so we can be identified with his name.  So who are you? Each of us has a perfect potential. We each have goodness and light within us. No matter what mistakes me make or how bad we mess up, we will always be Children of The Most High God. That will never change. Because of that identity, we don't need to stoop to give in to sin. Sin can be put beneath us so it is not a stumbling block, but we first need to find out who we are and what we can become.

Each of us has certain rights. We know we have rights legally, but do we know our rights spiritually? We have the right to find out truth. We have the right to find out that we are children of God. We have the right to act, to use our agency. We have the right to gain revelation. We have certain rights because of who we are. Now we know that in order to receive we must act. It is our Right and Privilege and Obligation to learn who we really are, and to Learn what the Truth really is.

I love you all. Remember your Names and Titles (and not the negative ones). Act accordingly with Who You Really Are.


Elder Josh Spencer

Christmas Tree in Richlands

Elder Spencer and Elder Blaine
Our last picture together  :*(

Elder Rasmussen, Elder Robbins, Elder Hess, Elder Ramirez, Elder Spencer
and Elder Tan.  All of these missionaries have served or are serving
in The West Side of Charleston.  WEST SIDE, STRONG SIDE!


DATED: December 3, 2014

Well, I am transferring from Richlands to Beckly, WV. I am going to be with Elder K. Carter. I am pretty excited. It's a good sized city. I am, however, pretty sad to be leaving Richlands. There are some really great people here.  I am also really going to miss Elder Blaine.

Well, I’ll tell you about my Thanksgiving. First we had a Thanksgiving lunch on Wednesday, Then we had a lunch on Thursday, and then we had a dinner on Saturday. I have been stuffed most of the week. It was a lot of fun. There was some really good food. I know this is a little worldly, but one reason I do love being a missionary is being able to try so many different ways of making food. It has been fun.

Elder Blaine’s Birthday was also this week. Jeremy, an awesome member down here, had us over to his house for dinner. He made a Lasagna. After, we had a "Cake in the Face" fight. We didn't start it, Jeremy and his family did. Poor Elder Blaine kept on getting hit. I’ll send some pictures. Every time he went and cleaned it off, they got him again. They probably got him 7 or 8 times. I got hit once, and I hit Jeremy once, but other then that, I just ran. haha. It was really good cake too. :D

So, I don’t know how many of you have seen this yet, but if you go to there is a new "He is the Gift" video. It's pretty sweet. They gave us special pass along cards to go with it, and they are doing a YouTube take over on December 7th and also doing some advertising for it in Times Square. It is sweet. The initiative invites everyone to do 3 things. To Discover the Gift, Embrace the Gift and Share the Gift. We received an Email that contained this in it:

"As you seek to help others discover, embrace, and share the gift of Jesus Christ, the foundation for success is your own life. What can you do this month to come more fully unto Jesus Christ? What can you offer Him? How can you become more like Him? As you seek to be more like Him, your capacity to help others to do likewise will be magnified."

I really like those questions. I have been pondering them and making plans to make this Christmas, the most Christ Centered Christmas I have ever had. I want to invite each of you to do the same. Look at this quote and apply it in your life. People are often so grumpy and stressed at Christmas time, yes it really can be stressful, but, why? Why are we buying gifts, making meals, and putting up lights, why are we doing all of this? Because we are trying to, or at least we should be, doing it to remember the First Gift. The Gift of Jesus Christ. We should be trying to be more kind, more gracious, more charitable, and more like Christ. Christmas is not about what you get, but what you give. What have you been given? Christmas time is awesome. I love the gifts, the food, the family, the decorations, the movies, and just so much about it is just awesome. This year though, I am wanting to remember the WHY of it all. IT is all become of Christ. "HE is Christmas."

Share the Gift. Watch the video and share it on facebook or email. Show it to people at work or school. 
“Remember, that which one willingly shares he keeps, while that which he selfishly keeps he loses." – ELDER THOMAS S. MONSON

As you share the gift though your testimony, actions, and whatever else you can come up with, this will become the most Christ Centered Christmas of your life! 

I love you all! 


Elder Spencer

Big Lazagne!

I got Jeremy

Really, really good cake!

Cake 2 Face!


DATED: November 24, 2014

Howdy Howdy. I am short on time and don’t have much to share. I am excited for Thanksgiving. There is so much that I am grateful for. Maybe I’ll just make a list of gratitude.

I am grateful for my Mom, Dad, Brother and Sister. They have always been there for me and have helped me though my various trials in life. They have been a strength and a refuge for me. I love them so very much and I am grateful for the Temple, and for Covenants, and for the Priesthood, which makes it so that I can be with these wonderful people forever.

I am grateful for my extended family also. All of my Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Grandparents. I am so blessed to have all of you in my life. You have been an example to me. Together we have experienced so many fun fun times. We have enjoyed dinners, vacations, moving parties and much more together. It's been great.

I am grateful for all of my wonderful friends. They have been there for me also. They have been there to help me make good choices, and to help me become a better person. They have helped me learn how to communicate with people and get a long with others. We too have had much fun together, playing games, pool, going to different activities, and studying the gospel together.

I am grateful for my Ward family. All of my Bishops, Young Men's leaders, Quorum Advisers, and just all the friends I have in my Ward. We have done so many fun things from camp outs, hikes, scouts, and service projects.

I am also VERY VERY grateful for The Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am grateful for living in a day with the Fullness of the Gospel. I am grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, who bled, was judged, was whipped, who was spit upon, and who died for ME. I am so grateful that I get to be a missionary who can go out and tell people about HIM. I am so grateful for the many people who I have met, who have taken time to listen, and who have acted on the invitations they have received from Jesus Christ.

I just want everyone to know that the gospel of Jesus Christ, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is TRUE. IT's the truth. I know it! The Commandments, if kept lead to happiness. I am so grateful for the opportunity my heavenly Father has given me to come to the earth, receive a body, and experience mortality. WHAT AN AWESOME PLAN! I love you all. Keep up the great work!


Elder Spencer


DATED:  November 17, 2014

This week has been a cold one. We have had snow a few times, but it melts quickly. It is pretty gray and raining a lot today.

Last week we had interviews with President Salisbury. It is unique, because instead of doing them inside, he decided to have us just walk around outside with him during our interview. So we all just hung out inside awaiting our turn, and then he would come in, and say get one of us and we would just go walk around outside. It was a nice day that day.

I found a scripture that I really like. It's Psalms 55:22. It states:

"Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."

We can cast our burden upon the Lord and he will help us. When you are stressed or overwhelmed, "did you think to pray?" Prayer is one of the greatest ways to de-stress. We can really cast our problems, concerns, worries, and trials upon Him, and He will Sustain us. He will help us. This is just such a simple but powerful verse. I love it. I love you all!


Elder Spencer


DATED:   November 10, 2014

This week we had our Zone Meeting in Bluefield. It was a good meeting. We talked about the Book of Mormon, and about Preach My Gospel. We also talked about different things that Elder Renlund talked to us about.

Chad has his Baptismal Interview this week which was very exciting. Jeremy (a member) has weekly barbecues, and he often invites different people, so he invited Chad and his wife, and us and we went to his house for a fun barbecue. Chad has a little girl that calls Elder Blaine and I "SpencerBlaine" She doesn't know our names separately, but she knows if she sees white shirts in ties, it’s "SpencerBlaine!”

Elder Blaine and I got to speak yesterday in sacrament meeting. They wanted us to report on what Elder Renlund taught us. Brother and Sister Leight like to challenge us to put certain words in our talks. Last time I spoke the word was "skunk." This time they gave me a word and a phrase. They are "As Mary Poppins once said 'a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down'" and "Supercalifradulisticexpealidocis" (I doubt that is spelled correctly, but you get the point). I made the first phrase the theme of my talk. We have bitter things we need to do sometimes, but there is always sugar to help us through it. :D And don’t even ask how I put the other word in, I just did. Ha ha. Elder Blaine’s words were "Sweet" and "Squirrel". It was fun.

This week was a little slower than the previous week. We have lost contact with many of our investigators, but there are more to find. I love you all!


Elder Spencer

Elders SpencerBlaine


DATED:   November 3, 2014

This week we had Elder Renlund of the 70 come to the mission and address us. It was great. We woke up at 3:00 in the morning so we could get there. He talked about a lot of things. President and Sister Salisbury also instructed us. We then had lunch, some more instruction and then we went home. It was a really great experience. I’ll tell you what, there is nothing like singing "The Spirit of God" with a room full of missionaries. The spirit was very strong and I left feeling very tired, but spirituality filled.

One thing that I have noticed, is how much the members of the 70 study Preach my Gospel. Preach my Gospel is an amazing book. We are all missionaries, and it teaches us how to be missionaries. I encourage everyone to add it to your daily study. It will bless your life.

I can’t really think of much more that happened this week. The great people we are working with are still moving forward. We had 5 people come to church this week. It was awesome. The members here were very excited about it. It was a very good fast and testimony meeting.

We also attended another church with an investigator this week. It was interesting. It was a Baptist/Pentecostal church, or as some say Baptistcostal. It was a good insight on how people feel when they come to our church for the first time.

For a short thought today I would like to talk about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This includes Faith, Repentance, Baptism/Making/keeping Covenants, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the End. These are the steps for being able to come close to Jesus Christ. We need to have faith, and that faith leads us to repent. We make covenants with God, and Receive his Promised Blessing. For example with Baptism, we receive the promise of Remission of Sins, and Being born again, and Having the Spirit as a constant companion. As we continue this process we are Enduring to the End. We have to keep going. This is how we Come unto Christ. We need to constantly be striving to strengthen our Faith. That leads to the rest of the process. We trust God and Change, and bring our lives and will in line with his life and will. As we do this we become "redeemed of the Lord".  It’s all worth it. Look at this scripture I found this morning.

2 Nephi 8:11 Therefore, the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy and holiness shall be upon their heads; and they shall obtain gladness and joy; sorrow and mourning shall flee away.

Something else that Elder Renlund told us come from this scripture.

D&C 84:77 And again I say unto you, my friends, for from henceforth I shall call you friends, it is expedient that I give unto you this commandment, that ye become even as my friends in days when I was with them, traveling to preach the gospel in my power;

Jesus Christ has given us a commandment to be his friend. Just ponder that.

Love you all!


Elder Spencer


DATED:   October 27, 2014

This week has been really good. I have so many thoughts and feeling flowing around in my head.

First off, we were able to teach quite a bit this week. We have been meeting with some amazing individuals, who are really demonstrating their Faith. I will give one example. We are working with a really neat young couple named S___ and T___. We have been teaching them for about 2 months or so and they have become very good friends to us. Last week we taught them the Word of Wisdom. We were a little nervous to teach it because we knew they have some struggles with it. After we taught it we asked if they would live it. They agreed and said they would do the best they could. We asked if we could take their coffee (they just bought it like 2 days before this so it was very full) and coffee pot. They said we could. I could tell that T___ was very nervous to do it because she drinks a lot of coffee and she was worried about how much it would affect her. But in faith she let us take the coffee stuff. I was very amazed by her faith and her willingness. The next day we asked her how she was doing, and she said she has had no problem giving up the coffee. It hasn't been hard for her. I feel that because of her faith, God has helped her give it up.

I would like to share another experience we had with S___ this last week. So S___ works for the city on the sewer lines. Sometimes when there is a problem with the sewer, it is often on someone’s property, and if that is the case, the person is responsible for fixing it themselves. The city doesn't do it. But S___ will tell the person he will come and fix their sewer lines for free if they will provide the parts (and that is if he doesn't already have them). On Saturday, Elder Blaine and I accompanied S___ to do some work on this old lady's house in fixing her sewer. We dug down outside her house, cut out the old line, and put in a new one. It wasn't a ton of work, but if a plumber would have been called out to do it, it probably would have been $600 or so. She was very grateful for the service. Later that day S___ and T___ came to our chili cook off. It was great to see them there. Then that evening, we went over to see a member named Brother L___. He had in-laws over from out of town. Bro. L___'s sister-in-law accidently flushed her  keys for her car, house, and whatever else a mom has on her keys, down the toilet. Bro. L___ asked us to call S___ to see if he could come over and maybe help us recover them. So S___ came down and we opened up a flush drain outside the house, and spent the next hour or so trying to flush the keys out. We didn't think they went all the way to the main line because they are heavy keys. We didn't have any luck getting them. We got word this morning though that S___ stopped by during work and put a camera down their line to see if the keys were in there. He found them right by where the house line goes into the main line. He got the keys. I was again amazed by his charity and how selflessly he serves others. This is just what he does. If he can help you, he will.

The other day Elder Blaine and I sang "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief" during Comp Study. I love this song. Here are the lyrics. Read it as a story.

A poor, wayfaring Man of grief
Hath often crossed me on my way,
Who sued so humbly for relief
That I could never answer nay.
I had not pow'r to ask his name,
Whereto he went, or whence he came;
Yet there was something in his eye
That won my love; I knew not why.

Once, when my scanty meal was spread,
He entered; not a word he spake,
Just perishing for want of bread.
I gave him all; he blessed it, brake,
And ate, but gave me part again.
Mine was an angel's portion then,
For while I fed with eager haste,
The crust was manna to my taste.

I spied him where a fountain burst
Clear from the rock; his strength was gone.
The heedless water mocked his thirst;
He heard it, saw it hurrying on.
I ran and raised the suff'rer up;
Thrice from the stream he drained my cup,
Dipped and returned it running o'er;
I drank and never thirsted more.

'Twas night; the floods were out; it blew
A winter hurricane aloof.
I heard his voice abroad and flew
To bid him welcome to my roof.
I warmed and clothed and cheered my guest
And laid him on my couch to rest,
Then made the earth my bed and seemed
In Eden's garden while I dreamed.

Stript, wounded, beaten nigh to death,
I found him by the highway side.
I roused his pulse, brought back his breath,
Revived his spirit, and supplied
Wine, oil, refreshment--he was healed.
I had myself a wound concealed,
But from that hour forgot the smart,
And peace bound up my broken heart.

In pris'n I saw him next, condemned
To meet a traitor's doom at morn.
The tide of lying tongues I stemmed,
And honored him 'mid shame and scorn.
My friendship's utmost zeal to try,
He asked if I for him would die.
The flesh was weak; my blood ran chill,
But my free spirit cried, "I will!"

Then in a moment to my view
The stranger started from disguise.
The tokens in his hands I knew;
The Savior stood before mine eyes.
He spake, and my poor name he named,
"Of me thou hast not been ashamed.
These deeds shall thy memorial be;
Fear not, thou didst them unto me.

I then read the Scripture Matthew 25:31-40

"When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

I read a definition of faith this week that said "when you have faith you obey the Laws and Ordinances of the Gospel and Serve Christ." It has been weighing on my mind the importance of serving our fellow man. As we take care of each other, we will be happy and receive blessings. In the song above, I put in bold the blessings that I noticed the man received for his service. I feel like this "though" it is kind of random, but I’ll try to sum it up. True faith leads to action. The action we do is obeying and service. That is the covenant we make at baptism. We need to be serving every day. S___ is a great example to me of this kind of service. Having Charity towards our fellow man is so important. I know that as we serve others, and go out of our way to serve others, we will have an immense measure of happiness. I love also how much of an example President Monson is of this principle. We are His hands.

Another quick thought that I had this morning. We sang one of my favorite hymns #85 "How Firm a Foundation." I’ll post it here also.

How firm a foundation, ye Saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said,
Who unto the Savior, who unto the Savior,
Who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?

In ev'ry condition--in sickness, in health,
In poverty's vale or abounding in wealth,
At home or abroad, on the land or the sea--
As thy days may demand, as thy days may demand,
As thy days may demand, so thy succor shall be.

Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, upheld by my righteous,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o'erflow,
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee, and sanctify to thee,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, thy dross to consume,
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

E'en down to old age, all my people shall prove
My sov'reign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And then, when gray hair shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs shall they still, like lambs shall they still,
Like lambs shall they still in my bosom be borne.

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, I'll never, no never,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake!

So, I really like the last verse of this song. Whenever I sing it, I think of "I" as talking about me. So I usually think of "I, Elder Spencer, Will never forsake." But, I read it different this morning. This is my personal feeling. I could be wrong, but I realize and believe that when this song uses the word "I" it is referring to God, or Jesus Christ. So now look at the last line. "I, Jesus Christ, Will never forsake YOU!" This just helped me realize and remember the promise that Jesus Christ will never forsake us. He will help us and carry and protect us. He has not and will not ever, ever, ever leave you! I like thinking of it like this.

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
HE will not, HE cannot, desert to OUR foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
HE WILL never, no never, HE WILL never, no never,
HE WILL never, no never, no never forsake!

D&C 84:88 And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.

Sorry for the long letter, but the last part of this come from Elder Hollands Talk "None were with him."

"For His Atonement to be infinite and eternal, He had to feel what it was like to die not only physically but spiritually, to sense what it was like to have the divine Spirit withdraw, leaving one feeling totally, abjectly, hopelessly alone.

But Jesus held on. He pressed on. The goodness in Him allowed faith to triumph even in a state of complete anguish. The trust He lived by told Him in spite of His feelings that divine compassion is never absent, that God is always faithful, that He never flees nor fails us. When the uttermost farthing had then been paid, when Christ’s determination to be faithful was as obvious as it was utterly invincible, finally and mercifully, it was “finished.” Against all odds and with none to help or uphold Him, Jesus of Nazareth, the living Son of the living God, restored physical life where death had held sway and brought joyful, spiritual redemption out of sin, hellish darkness, and despair. With faith in the God He knew was there, He could say in triumph, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” 19 

Brothers and sisters, one of the great consolations of this Easter season is that because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so. His solitary journey brought great company for our little version of that path—the merciful care of our Father in Heaven, the unfailing companionship of this Beloved Son, the consummate gift of the Holy Ghost, angels in heaven, family members on both sides of the veil, prophets and apostles, teachers, leaders, friends. All of these and more have been given as companions for our mortal journey because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the Restoration of His gospel. Trumpeted from the summit of Calvary is the truth that we will never be left alone nor unaided, even if sometimes we may feel that we are. Truly the Redeemer of us all said: “I will not leave you comfortless: [My Father and] I will come to you [and abide with you]."

I am grateful for the "angels" in my life. There are so many. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ and his Atonement. This life isn't so hard when you realize that you really don’t face it alone. Each of us have our own team cheering us on. God Will Never Forsake! That is the Truth.

I love you all.


Elder Josh Spencer

P.S.  I forgot to talk about this in my last email. This last week our branch held a Fall Festival. As part of the festival we did a Chili Cookoff. Elder Blaine and I entered into it. We have been telling everyone all month that our chili was going to win. haha. Well, we didn't have a recipe, so we asked T____ if she had a chili recipe. She gave us a Campbell's soup recipe book that she didn't want anymore. We looked through it and found a simple chili recipe. We made a trial run of it. It was ok. We decided to modify it a little bit, and we made our chili and took it to the cook off. It won! HAHA! We were pretty tickled that it actually wont. There were 5 other chili's there. They were all really good. It was pretty funny to watch people's faces when they asked us where we got the recipe and we would tell them, "it's from a Campbells Soup Recipe Book!" It was super fun. The sad thing is I really didn't get to eat much of our chili because it was all gone at the end.

We did Pumpkin Bowling for the kids after the cook off. It was fun. Elder Blaine and I also Participated in some games. I’ll attach a picture.  That was just a fun part the week I wanted to share with you all.

 Love ya!

Donuts on a string!

This is what we won for winning the Chili Cook Off.  It's a sticker
that lights up!


DATED: October 22, 2014

The computers at the library are down right now, so we were not able to email today. We are using a members to send these quick emails home just so y'all know everything is ok. I’ll email as soon as we can, maybe not till Monday. We will see. TTYL!!


Elder JOSH!


DATED: October 14, 2014

This week has been great! We had our Book of Mormon Class last Tuesday. We have 10 people come. It is a great success. We talked about 1 Ne 11-15. It's an amazing prophecy that Nephi is shown. It is so detailed about the Savior and his life. And it has so much detail about our day and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. Tonight in the Class we are talking about 1 Nephi 16-18. Wow, these are some amazing chapters. I am just so much in awe at the faith of Nephi. He never waivers. He doesn't let anyone or anything shake his trust in God.

1 Nephi 17:49-51 
And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto them that they should murmur no more against their father; neither should they withhold their labor from me, for God had commanded me that I should build a ship.
 And I said unto them: If God had commanded me to do all things I could do them. If he should command me that I should say unto this water, be thou earth, it should be earth; and if I should say it, it would be done.
 And now, if the Lord has such great power, and has wrought so many miracles among the children of men, how is it that he cannot instruct me, that I should build a ship?

I really like this because Nephi knew his duty. He knew what God had commanded him to do, and he knew that he could do it with God’s help. We should all strive to have the faith and diligence that Nephi had. He is an amazing example. First Nephi is so awesome!

We had Zone P-day yesterday. We went up to Bluefield and carved pumpkins and played corn hole and had lunch. It was a lot of fun. It is just so much fun to be with and around missionaries.

Elder Blaine is so much fun. We get along really great and we have been having a lot of fun together. (just look at the attached picture. :) )

Things are going well. It's so much fun to teach people about the restored gospel! We just have to find those who will listen! haha.

Love you all. Keep going forward!


Elder Spencer

It's all Good in the Hood


DATED: October 6, 2014

I LOVED General Conference. There was an amazing spirit as I watched it. I was just so happy! There is so much comfort knowing that there are apostles and prophets on the earth. God was speaking this weekend. I was also saddened because there are so many people missing out on this.

As I have been serving, people have been anxious to tell us about the crazy things going on in the world. So I am kept pretty up to date on the news and I’ll be honest, it is a little concerning. So I went to General Conference with the question "What am I supposed to do?" I got an answer. Everything in conference was telling us of the most important things we need to be doing, and what we need to be focusing on.  I realized that the Church Leaders aren't too concerned with all that stuff, so neither should I. It's not something we really need to focus on because they didn't focus on it in conference. We need to be doing what they focused on in conference. So as I took notes this time, I tried to focus on "What are they tell me to do/act on?" I will share some of the notes that I took.

Give attention to the Brothers and Sister Speaking.
Understand the Atonement
Hasten the Work. Save souls with Faith. 
Come to Sacrament Meeting prepared.
Take Responsibility and go to work!
Pray, Study, Strengthen your Testimony. DO Gods Will.
Love as he did. Respect others.
Never Doubt the testimony of the Prophets.
Teach Your Children the Gospel. 
Take Responsibility for your spiritual and Physical Well being, and  voluntary obedience, repent, forgive, accept trials. 
Take care of the Poor (temporal and spiritual).
Rely on the Teachings of the Savior. 
Accept the Saviors invitation to follow him. 
Don't Rationalize sin! Set Goals
Gain a testimony.
Develop Christlike attributes.
Trust your fellow servants. 
Pause to Pray and Listen to the spirit. Consider the Consequences. 
Learn how to receive personal Revelation! (D&C 121:45-46)
Live the Doctrine of Christ. 
Walk the Path of Obedience.
Focus on the simple things. Conversion.
Make the Gospel a Habit.
Have a Vision, prepare with the end in mind.
Don’t get distracted. Don’t do less important things. 
Develop a desire to share.
Be a little better, kinder, and thoughtful.
Serve others.
Try to do the right thing. 

So This is not word for word what they said. Some of it is close to what they said, but this is what I felt that God was telling Me and us to do through his servants. The Church is true. I know it. I will live it! I am so glad for Repentance which means I can change and become better. The world is getting worse and worse. The Prophets and Apostles are getting clearer and more bold so that we can more accurately know the true path and way.

I love you all! Keep your eye on the Prophet!


Elder Spencer

WVCM and Angel Moroni Pumpkin Carving


DATED: September 29, 2014

This has been a fun week. We were able to go to a branch social to celebrate one of the members’ here 50th wedding anniversary. We have been able to see a lot of people. We went and saw a less-active lady yesterday who is 100 years old! She was born in 1914. She has lived though pretty much every major event that I learned about in history! We just asked her some questions and whatnot. In World War 2 she worked in an ammo shop making ammo for the soldiers. I have started to ask for advice from people when they are older. haha. I asked her what advice she had for us 2 young men just starting life. She said "Take care of yourself, eat right, and never lose your faith, and put the Lord first."

There is just so much we have been doing it's hard to put it in a letter. We had Specialized Training this week. It was awesome. I love President and Sister Salisbury. We got to preview the movie "Meet the Mormons". It was sooo good! O man I loved it so much. When it comes out you all need to go see it, and tell all your non-member friends or less-active friends, everyone to go see it! It is great! It really amazes me how amazing normal people are.

Elder Blaine and I spoke yesterday in Sacrament meeting. We both talked about hastening the work. I taught the restoration and shared a story about home teaching and it's importance. It was a good experience.

Just for a short thought today, Nephi tells us in 1 Nephi that he is going to show us the tender mercies of the Lord are all over. At the end of the Book of Mormon, Moroni tells us to remember how merciful God has been to His Children. Always be looking for the tender mercies in your life. They are all over.

The Church is True!

Love you all!


Elder Spencer

Thanks for the letters Rachel!  :D

The Church bus is real!


DATED:  September 22, 2014

Last p-day we went to a members house for dinner and to do FHE, and guess what? She fed us fried chicken! YUM. That makes like 4 Fried Chicken dinners in a 2 week period.

Elder Blaine and I started a Book of Mormon study class this week. We are going to be teaching about 1 Nephi 1-5 this Tuesday. It has been fun to prepare for. There is so much in 1 Nephi.

We were able to meet with a bunch of people this week. We gave a church tour to a neat couple. They had a bunch of really good questions about the church.

Yesterday in church, one of the people that spoke talked about how the Odgen temple was being dedicated, and how all the saints in Utah were attending that instead of sacrament meeting. It really made me ponder about the temple. I love the temple. It is such an amazing place. There is power that comes from the temple. There is much peace that comes as well. In the temple we learn, and gain knowledge and come to more fully understand the purpose of life, and what we need to do. It's a blessing in Utah to have temples so close all the time. People out here travel 2-3+ hours to get to the temple. Going to the temple is a weekend trip for others. They will often spend all day doing all that they can in the temple. Other parts of the world, people save up everything they have to go to the temple once. There are many sacrifices made to go to the temple. Why? Because it is the House of the Lord. It is where Heaven becomes reality, and where we can be with our families forever. I love the temple. I miss the temple. Go as often as you can! :D

I love you all! Have a great week!


Elder Spencer

Elders Erickson, Moses, Spencer and Blaine

We made a book wall.  :D


DATED:  September 15, 2014

My new companion is Elder Eli Blaine from Herriman Utah. I am pretty sure I made the street sign on the street his lives on. :D He is 18 years old and just graduated from Herriman High (I also made signs for his high school). He is awesome and a powerful missionary. He is learning fast and he just jumps right on in to try new things. Also his Uncle is David Blaine!

This was a good week though. We had to drive up to Beckly (about 200 miles) to drop Elder Baty off and there I met Elder Blaine. We then drove to Bluefield and had dinner at Ryan's (It's a Chuck-a-Rama equivalent, but not as good) with all the other missionaries transferring. Then we drove back and met with some people. It was a good first day. The next day we were able to find a new investigator and teach 3 lessons to people.

We have been knocking lots of doors. I have just been trying to show Elder Blaine the ropes of missionary work. It is interesting to see where I am compared to where I was when I first came out on my mission. This training experience is much different than last time. I have a lot more know how then last time. O, on another note, Elder Snow is also training, so I have a Grandson! :D

Elder Blaine and I are going to be starting a Book of Mormon Study class on Tuesday. It is going to be fun. Our Branch President ordered us some institute manuals and we are going to use those to teach the class.

So I would like to just share something I learned this week.

Genesis 1:26-27 "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."

I was thinking this week how one of the titles God has is Creator. Often, when I think of God as the Creator I think of what he already has Created. But his name isn't the "Created" its "Creator". I realized that God still creates. That is what he does. What is he creating? Well, I think he is working on creating what means the most to him. US! God is the Creator and the thing he is Creating is US. He is making us into something more. He is striving to make us into Gods. In the scripture above it says that he made man in his image, to look like him, and after his likeness, to be like him. I really just feel that God is creating us by giving us experience and opportunities to learn every day. We are a growing and a becoming people. We strive to learn and grow because it brings us joy. If you look at what God has created you are able to see the greatness of his creations. As it says in the scriptures "the heaves and earth." He has created huge things and small things. Look at the detail in a bug or flower or plant, or look at the beauty of seeing a large mass like the horizon, the mountains, or the ocean. This world is a beautiful place that God Created. If he can do that, imagine what he can create you into. WOW! Just remember your importance to God. Everyone you see has divine potential. Everyone has their own challenges and concerns and God is aware of them all. He asks us to be his hands in bringing peace and salvation to His children.

Isn't the Gospel just awesome!!! I love it. I love all of you. Keep on pressing forward. Remember who you are and how important you are. You can do hard things!


Elder Josh Spencer


DATED:   September 10, 2014

I am staying in Richlands. Elder Baty is going to White Sulfer Springs, WV. I am not yet sure who my new companion is going to be. I am going to be training. I am pretty excited for it.

This week was a lot of fun. So first off, these are the dinners we had this week. We had a fried chicken dinner with mashed potatoes, corn, green beans and fried apple pie and ice cream for dessert. We also had a steak dinner with macaroni salad and chocolate cake for dessert. Then, yesterday, a member took us to a really good pizza place, and bought us each our own large pizza. Tonight we are having a fried chicken dinner again. O boy, this has been a happy week for my tummy. :D

We taught some of our investigators this week. One of our young couples we are teaching want to quit smoking, so last night we went and did the stop smoking workshop with them. It went so great! They are so pumped to quit smoking. They are pretty bummed that Elder Baty is leaving. So are our other investigators.

This next transfer will bring many adventures. I don’t have much more to report about the week. It was a fun week. We also had a zone meeting in Bluefield. Off the top of my head I can’t remember what they talked about.

For my thought I wanted to share a quote from a talk I found.
"Instead of asking “What do you want out of life?” I would like to ask “What do you bring to life?” What you get depends upon what you give. Life brings to us only what it finds in us. Our job is to discover what life has given us, enlarge upon it, make the most of it, and distribute it wisely that others may profit by our experience. Life will respond to any attempt at self-improvement provided it is not prompted by selfishness."-Hugh B. Brown "What Do You Want Out of Life?

I have just been thinking about the question this week "what do you want." It is something we are asking people we are teaching. We all have desires and wants. What do you really want? And what are you willing to do to get it? Then ask yourself, What does God want? and What am I willing to give? As our Heart does what God wants, we will find what we really want. God wants the best for us. That is true. If we follow him and become like Christ, we have unlimited potential.

I love you all. Take care. Keep going!


Elder Spencer

Dog bowls are good for eating out of.  TRUE STORY!

We had a corn feast.  Each of us ate like
four ears.  YUM!

The "mountains" of Virginia and
West Virginia

I don't know if any of your desks look like this,
but to me, this is a typical missionary desk.

P.S.  So we were tracting and this guy had these old cars, so we went to knock on his house and talk to him about them. He came out when we knocked and immediately told us he wasn't interested in what we had and he had his own church and he is comfortable with where he is at. So we just asked if we could see his cars. He said, "sure!" he took us in his garage and talked to us for like an hour and a half! At the end he talked about how some sister missionaries from our church came by his home long ago and stayed up with them all night when one of their children were really sick. They helped out this guy a lot. Then he said that the sister missionaries taught them about Family Home Evening, and the family started doing it. He said that a few years later, he had a son tell him he was contemplating suicide. He was able to help his son through that hard time, and he said he felt that because they did FHE their family was more open to talking to each other. He gives FHE credit for his son not committing suicide.  He also has read much of the BofM. He still wasn't interested, but he offered us a ride whenever we want one in his cars. It was a neat experiences. (Dad, thank you for helping me grow an appreciation for old cars, it helps me talk to lots of people out here.) 


DATED:  September 2, 2014

Yesterday, for zone pday, we went to Bluefield and had a BBQ and played kickball. It was lots of fun. It was great to see many of the missionaries that I have become friends with. That is one thing I have decided is great about life. Getting to know people. People are everywhere! Each person has a story. Everyone has their own interests, talents, fears, struggles, etc... and we are all just trying to figure out life on this big rock. It's great to be able to figure it out with such awesome people though.

We have seen some neat miracles this week. We are trying to find new investigators, and we are going through the formers to find. Last Friday, we saw one former, we asked if she was interested. She said no, so we asked her if she knew anyone who could use a message about Christ. She told us there was a couple behind her trailer that she didn't think went to church. So we decided to go and knock on it. The person came out and he told us he wasn't interested. As we were walking away our attention was drawn to another door that looked pretty shady on a shady building. It had a house number on it, so we decided to knock on it. A lady answered the door, and at the same time a guy came from around the corner of the building, and he yelled over to us asking us what we were doing. We weren't sure who to talk to at first.  It turned out that it was his house and the lady that answered the door was his wife. We told them who we were and they invited us in. We went up and they asked us TONS of questions about the church. We told them we would love to teach them more about the church and gave them the Book of Mormon. They took it and said they would read. We are going back on Wednesday to teach them. It was great. We are also starting to teach another young couple. We left some pamphlets with them and a BofM. They read both pamphlets when we left and seem pretty interesting in learning more. We are just hoping and praying that we can really help them.

My thought this week will be a little different. I'm just going to share some things to ponder about.

The Priesthood is given to man to give them power to care for God’s children the way Christ would. How do you use the Priesthood in your callings?

This is a gospel and church of Happiness. Everything about it is there to help us receive a fullness of Joy. (2 Ne 2:25)

We don't need to face eternity alone. We will have our families (brothers, sisters, spouses, aunts, uncles Etc...), and our Father in Heaven, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost to help us.

We Call Our Father in Heaven Father. What does that tell you about Him? What does he call us? What does that tell you about us?

Patience shouldn't be measured in an amount, because then you'll eventually run out. (Example "I've run out of patience with you.)

We are all family striving to live with Heavenly Father again. Families gather at the dinner table for many different things. At Heavenly Father’s Dinner table, he doesn't want anyone missing.

Murmuring, complaining, fighting, finding fault with others, arguing, and all things like it cause unhappiness. Don't do them.

You have a Father in Heaven who will HEAR and ANSWER your prayers!

Every soul is special to God, and he wants us to take care of and love each of our Brothers and Sisters.

We need to stay strong because we are building the Kingdom of God.

Being converted to the gospel is worth any sacrifice we are asked to make.

Don’t Love for popularity.

The Truth is you can come unto Christ and become holy, without spot.

Christ-like love and service leads to happiness.

I love you all!


Elder Josh Spencer


DATED:  August 25, 2014

We went up to Welch for a district meeting on Tuesday. I stayed up there for an exchange. I went with Elder Boyd, the DL's comp. On our way back the next day, we drove through Coalwood. That is where The Rocket boys are from. We took a little detour and  saw some memorials they had for it. We saw a road that said the launch sight was up it, so we drove on it and tried to find it but had no luck. I’ll send some pictures.

We had a few lessons with people. We have some potentials that we are hopefully going to teach this next week. We were meeting with a member that is not active yesterday, and she had ordered pizza, and so the pizza guy came and her 15 year old daughter goes and answers it and gets the pizza. The member then handed her daughter a check and said "give this to him." As she walked by me I pulled out a Pass-along card and handed it to her and said "give this to him." She saw what it was and was like, "no! I am not going to do your bidding." Then she opened the door and handed the guy the check and then asked him "do you want this?" holding out the pass along card. I heard him say "sure" and he took it. It was so funny. Haha.

I don’t have too much to say this week.  Just be faithful, and have courage. Keep doubt and Fear behind you. Lead with your faith. Pray to find answers. Stick to your covenants, they give you power to return to Heavenly Father. I love you all.


Elder Josh Spencer


DATED:  Augut 18, 2014

This was a pretty good week. We did lots of tracting and tried to talk to a lot of people. We had Zone Conference up in Pembroke. We had to drive up there to get our car inspected, and it was a long drive. Like 161 miles round trip. We only have 1150 miles a month so that put a hurt on us. But it was great. Pres. Salisbury had a great meeting. It was fun. Usually in a zone conference they have a missionary bear their testimony as part of the opening exercise part, but instead of doing that, President did something new. He called on 2 or 3 people randomly, and had them come up and do a 2-3 minute talk. Now what they had to do was bring a hymn book and scriptures, and they had to open randomly to a page in the hymn book and share a thought about anything they find on either the left or right page. This is going to keep us on our toes but it is cool because you can see how the spirit will give you what you need to say in the time you need it.

In Zone conference we talked about accomplishing something. He gave a simple example, he marched in place for 10 steps. Then he marched 10 steps away. The difference, one you just moved and did nothing, the other one you got somewhere. It's easy to look active, to look busy, to look like you are doing something, when in reality you are just marching in place. But to actually accomplish you have to "put one foot in front of the other and soon you'll be walking out the door." This also applies to our conversion and it applies to another thing I learned this week, that is - This is an active gospel. I have realized and found that there is nothing passive about this church. If we want the blessings that God promises us, then we need to be actively living this gospel. We can’t passively come to church, or passively read our scriptures, or passively pray, or passively develop Christlike attributes. We need to actively do these things. Do them for the right reasons. We need to have real intent. I think this scripture puts it well.

 2 Ne 31:13 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.

Lets do things for the right reasons and really be converted to this gospel. It's worth it. Don't just go through the motions. Take steps forward.

The next thing I came to understand a little better this week was the Atonement. I realized that every time we sin, and break a law or commandment from God, there needs to be a punishment. Someone has to be punished for our sins. It will either be us or Christ. If we choose to take it ourselves the consequence will be we can't dwell with Heavenly Father again. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want us to be happy and have eternal life, that is why Jesus Christ was willing to take the punishment for us. He was and is willing to step in our place and take it.

I heard a story about how in olden days, if royalty did anything bad, the people that were in charge of carrying out the justice of the law wouldn't inflict the punishment on the royal people, they would instead get one of their best friends and make them take the punishment instead of the royalty. That would be hard to watch and know. To see someone else suffer for your mistake. I know it would make me second guess making any mistakes again. Now, this is how the Atonement is. Christ is our best friend. We love him and he loves us, and he is standing in our place to take the punishment for our mistake. He was perfect, he was innocent, he was pure, Sometimes we are too casual about repentance and about keeping the commandments. Do we realize that when we break a commandment, the sin will have to be paid for? Do we think and realize that we are hurting our best friend? When we ask our Father in Heaven for forgiveness, do we realize that His beloved and Only Begotten Son paid the price and is the one making it so our plea can be granted? I feel so much gratitude for Jesus Christ. I realize the importance of keeping the commandments, and of being grateful for the Atonement. Christ was willing to do it for us because he loves us. When we feel Godly sorrow, we truly repent, not because of fear of the world or fear for the consequences, but because we know we have hurt our Father in Heaven, and His son Jesus Christ. Let us be ever more grateful for the Atonement, and never take it lightly. I know that we are loved by our Father in Heaven and by our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. I hope that this all came across how I wanted it too. I just hope that this helps anyone who reads it have a different perspective on what Christ has done for us.

I love you all! Keep up the Faith!


Elder Josh Spencer

Chicken and biscuits!  YUM!  This is what Buck's
wife made for me before I left.

This was a couple weeks ago, but this
is all my stuff.

Elder Stout and I.

Elder Anderson and I.  Elder Rasmussen
is photo bombing.