Dated: April 21, 2014

This has been an interesting week. Our truck transmission is going out, We found 3 new investigators, I got sunburned, we had our last interviews with President Pitt, and we knocked lots of doors.

So our truck has been being weird, and all of a sudden, last Monday we got on the freeway to go up to Morgantown for zone P-day  and something went wrong with the gears. Now, when our truck gets to 25 mph the RPM goes way up and it won’t go any faster. So this morning we took it into the Chevy dealer and they are working on it right now. Hopefully it won’t take too much to fix because we really need our car. Most of the larger towns around us are 7 or 8 miles away.

We taught 2 new investigators this week. Their concern: we don't need the Book of Mormon because we have the bible. We pulled out everything we had to try to resolve that one. They agreed to read it. We taught them outside and I got a sunburn from it. We also taught an investigator that recently moved from Virginia to West Virginia. It is likely she will be baptized. She really likes the church. The branch did an Easter egg hunt on Saturday. There were about 50 people that showed up and about 24ish kids. On Sunday we went to the Bakers parents for Easter dinne. Their whole family is non-members. It was good food. We are going back tomorrow to help Sister Baker’s dad continue to build up his barn.

We had our last interviews with President Pitt. It was sad. He stood up before and went over some things with us. When he releases missionaries, he does about an hour and half devotional with them of what they need to do to be successful in life. He gave us a short 15 min version of that. It includes 3 things.

1: Marry the right person in the right place at the right time.
He said that that is the most important thing because your eternal progression rests on that one decision.

2: Go to the Temple often.

3: Follow the Prophet. He shared scriptures about how much the Prophets and Apostles love us. He told us the story of when Elder Holland first started going to President Pitt as his dentist. It went something like this. President Pitt's secretary got a call one day (she was less-active at the time and didn't know who Elder Holland was) saying that a Jeffery Holland just called and got an appointment to see Dr. Pitt. President said "I hope there are more than one of those." It turned out to be Elder Holland. President Pitt had him come in and as he was working on him he asked him, "So how is it being an Apostle." Elder Holland told him, “there have been the highest highs and the lowest lows.” He said that ELder Holland, when he was a new apostle, was having a really hard time with the low times, and he asked some of the senior brethren about it, and they told him it would only get worse. The point he was trying to make is that the Prophets and Apostles are men too. They have their own struggles and they also have to bear the struggles of us. They see us and know us.

2 Cor 1:6
And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

I don't totally understand this, but our hope of salvation is that the Prophets and Apostles are able to overcome their difficulties, so we know we can do it to.  I don’t know if this all makes sense, but I tried to share it with you. If it didn't, just apply it how you will. :D

I love you all. The Book of Mormon is true!


Elder Josh!


Dated: April 14, 2014

This was a fun week. On Tuesday we went and helped a farmer build some stalls for his horses. We didn't get it done, but we got a good start on it. We taught some people this week. There are some investigators that might progress. Anyway, we will jump to the best day which is always Sunday!

We went out to knock some doors in a place named Rachel. We tried a potential, and then a Less-active. We weren't able to meet with either of them, so we started knocking doors on this street. We walked up to this one house and there is a big sign that says "No Trespassing, We've got a gun and aren't afraid to use it." Those are all over in WV so we didn't think anything of it. We knocked on the door and a nice lady came and talked to us, and then she let us in! Wow, it's rare to get let in a door. So we go in and talk to her and her husband and taught them the Restoration. They said we could come back. We invited them to read the Book of Mormon and they said they would. I don't know how much they will progress, but they just accepted to read the most powerful Book in the world. We will let the tool do the job. Later that night we went to a road called Daveys Run. We were knocking doors there and a man came out. He told us that he was  Deacon at his Baptist church. He was a very nice fella. He told us how much we inspire him and how good he feels knowing that there are young people like us spreading the word. We talked to him about the Book of Mormon, where it comes from, why we have it and we invited him to read it. He wanted to read it. His son pulled up while we were talking to him. His son is 24 years old and is very smart. He is already working on his masters degree and he teaches math at a High School. After listening for a minute he asked me "so why Mormonism?" I told him my conversion story, and how I came to know the truth for myself though prayer. He asked us "what's the foundation of your church?" So we told him that Jesus Christ and his Atonement was the foundation, and everything else we believe is an appendage to that. He asked us what we meant by that. So we explained to him faith, repentance, baptism, the holy ghost, and Enduring to the end. He kept on asking questions about our beliefs. He was asking good questions. It was like a friendly contending. We weren't bashing, and neither was he. He was just honestly inquiring of our beliefs. It was neat because he agreed with everything we said. When we explained our view of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he said that he agreed with that. As we were talking to him, his girlfriend pulled up and was standing there listening to us. She started asking questions. The guy we first talked to was there too still, and he was just enjoying the whole thing. Elder Robbins and I were quoting scripture, explaining our beliefs, and answering their questions. It wasn't like they were trying to confound us, but I guess the best way to put it was they were "testing/proving our doctrine." The young man loved the conversation. He was eating it up. He said "This is Fun" and the Girl loved it too. IT was just a fun experience because the spirit was there. We were bearing testimony and sharing scriptures from both the bible and book of mormon. The girl demanded that we come back and so did the guy. The only problem the guy has with our beliefs is that he doesn't think we need the Book of Mormon. But all 3 of those people said they would read it. We are going back on Friday. It will be fun. It isn't contentious, it is people honestly wanted to know what we believe and why.

This scripture came to mind. Doctrine and Covenants 100:5-8
"Therefore, verily I say unto you, lift up your voices unto this people; speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, and you shall not be confounded before men; For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say. But a commandment I give unto you, that ye shall declare whatsoever thing ye declare in my name, in solemnity of heart, in the spirit of meekness, in all things. And I give unto you this promise, that inasmuch as ye do this the Holy Ghost shall be shed forth in bearing record unto all things whatsoever ye shall say."

I got to experience this. We were not confounded, and the Holy Ghost was really helping us and telling us what to say. And we know the spirit was there because they felt good and so did we. There is some good potential with these people.  

I hope my story all makes sense and you all understand it. Give people the Book of Mormon, share your testimony and let the Tool do the Work. I love you all!


Elder Josh Spencer

P.S.  Just to tell you another experience we had this week. We were tracting, and we knocked on a door, a lady came out and started to talk to us. She is from a Sovereignty Grace Baptist Church. They believe that all you need is grace and it doesn't matter what you do. We inquired of her beliefs and asked her questions. She believes that God doesn't love everyone, he only loves some of us. He only saves those he loves. God is a mystery. He is a respecter of persons. It was so sad to hear that is what she believes. I shared John 3:16 with her For God so loved the World... and she said that it means he loves the "concept of man". Whatever that means. I asked her if she would like a picture of Jesus Christ, she started to take it and then said "I don’t believe in pictures, you don't know that's what he looked like." I responded, "You don't know he didn't look like that either." It was funny. She just kept on contradicting herself on all of her Doctrine. It was sad. We just bore testimony to her that God loves everyone. It says it all over in the bible. We didn't bash with her. We just wanted to understand what she believes. We still really don’t know because it makes no sense. It was a fun experience, and people were asking us the same things about our beliefs, and we were not confounded, but this lady was. That goes to show that there are no holes in our Doctrine. 


Dated: April 7, 2014

I loved General Conference. Do you realize that every other dispensation has fallen into apostasy, but this one never will. May I offer one of the reasons I feel why? Because we have 1: The Book of Mormon and 2: We are instructed and taught by the Prophets and Apostles every 6 months. Never before in the history of the world has that been available. General Conference was great. I took many notes. I can’t tell you everything I loved, but it was just all great. I left feeling joy and strength. My faith was increased! (Jacob 4:4,6) What a Blessing it is for each of us to enjoy the blessings of this dispensation. For Priesthood session, the brethren here did an ice cream social. So I also got ice cream which was great. You know what they say "Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy ice cream, so pretty much the same thing." haha...

As far as the rest of the week, we had a zone meeting on Friday that was great. We talked about the atonement. It's always fun to see missionaries I haven't seen in a while.

This week held a lot of rejection. We talked to a lot of people, and very few wanted to listen. The scriptures often speak of a "hard heart" and of a "soft heart." We know that it isn't talking about the actual physical heart. The heart represents who we are, our desires, our wants, our passions. He asks us to give our heart to him. To gives ourselves to him so that he can make us better and better, so he can make us like he is. If we have a hard heart, we are rebellious, and we don't want to listen. We can't progress. If you want to read a really good chapter about this, go read Alma 12. Soften your heart so that God can make you become your FULL potential.

Paraphrasing C.S. Lewis the Lord says to us: "Give me all. I don't want so much of your time, so much of your talents and money, and so much of your work: I want You, all of You. I have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man, but to kill it. No half-measures will do. I don't want to only prune a branch here and another there; rather, I want the whole tree out. Hand it all over to me, the whole outfit, all of your desires, all of your wants and wishes and dreams. Turn them all over to me, give yourself to me and I will make of you a new self in my image. Give me yourself and in exchange I will give you Myself. My will, shall become your will. My heart, shall become your heart." (Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis, p. 167)

I love you all. I know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ. He LIVES. There is a real Prophet on the earth, and his name is Thomas S. Monson. Jesus Christ is coming again. He has so much in store for us if we want it. It is up to us to choose.


Elder Josh Spencer


Dated:  March 31, 2014

So this was a good week. It was hard saying bye to Karen and to Charleston West. I really like that area and the people there. Elder Ramirez was a lot of fun to be with to. So, interesting thing, the missionary that replaced me, Elder Chavez, was just in Mannington. I replaced him. So we switched places exactly. I am excited to be here in Mannington though. My Companion is Elder Robbins from Pocatello, Idaho. He has been out one more transfer than I have. Transfers were fun because I got to see a bunch of Missionaries that I love. I saw Elder Ochsenbein, he goes home at the end of this transfer, and I saw Elder Cowley. I probably haven't told you about him, but he is a missionary that was in Martin while I was there. He is so fun!

So my time in Mannington has been good. The Branch is fun. They are a close nit group. I already have an assignment to speak in sacrament meeting on May 11th (Mothers day!). The week for us was kind of slow. It is hard transferring in because you know nothing, and your comp has to do all the planning. This is definitely a different area than Charleston, so I will need to adapt a bit and hit it hard. This is going to be fun.

Well, That is all I will say for today. I am super excited for General Conference. WOOT!

Love you all!


Elder JOSH!

The Homestead

The Homestead Temple Wall.
Elder Josh, Elder Fhelberg, Elder Ramirez and Elder Stout

Elder Oschenbein

Elder Cowley

Elder Stout and I

Thank Goodness for Aunt Deanie and Uncle Bruce

For the past 18 weeks, Elder Josh has been serving in the Charleston West area, which just happens to be in his Aunt’s and Uncle’s ward.  This has been a real treat for all of us.  Aunt Deanie and Uncle Bruce have generously kept Elder Josh well supplied with food, including the occasional restaurant meal, have kept Jed and Patsy updated on Elder Josh’s well being and missionary successes, and have delivered hugs to Elder Josh from home.  What a blessing this has been for all of us.

Thank you Deanie and Bruce!

        - Patsy