Dated: May 19, 2014

As we were getting a ride down here to the library I noticed how green it is here. You sometimes forget until you take a step back and look at it. There is so much life here, so much growing. It is neat.

This week was interesting. We still have no truck. So we have been on foot quite a bit. One thing we did this week was Family History. They are encouraging us to use it much more in our proselyting. So we have been to the Family History Center a couple of times to look at it. I have tried to find people on our tree, but haven't been successful yet. It is fun though. I was looking at family in our line too. Like Daniel Spencer Jr. and I was reading the stories that The Bullocks have been sending out. It is neat to see our past and how our family came to the church. I particularly like Daniel Spencer's story. I share it often with people. So my excitement for Family History has grown a bit.

Something that has been on my mind this week is the Power of Jesus Christ.

 Omni 1:26
 "And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved."

I think that the Savior, during his ministry on the earth, wanted us to know just how powerful he really is. He showed us that he can heal the sick, make the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear. He laid down his life and then took it up again. He did so much to show us that He truly is powerful. I think he did that to show us that we can trust him. We can have faith in him. We can rely on him because of his power, the "power of his redemption."

When Enoch was called by God to go and preach, Enoch didn't think he could do it. He feared, that because of his weakness he would fail. But look at what the Lord told him.

Moses 6:31-32 
"And when Enoch had heard these words, he bowed himself to the earth, before the Lord, and spake before the Lord, saying: Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant? And the Lord said unto Enoch: Go forth and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good."

God is the creator of all things, so he has power over it all. We really can put our full trust and confidence in him. No wonder he wants us to make covenants and be bound to him. When we are bound to Christ, his power is with us. With his Power comes redemption and Salvation. His power can help us overcome any trial, or weakness we have. The Strippling warriors understood that. That God is a just God and whoever puts their trust in him will be preserved. That is a principle I think we should all ponder and try to apply in our lives. It is something I am going to work on and try to apply. We have Faith in Jesus Christ and that leads us to act. To keep the commandments, to follow the spirit, and to repent when we make a mistake. It all just makes sense.

I love you all, keep moving forward. The Tree of Life is up ahead! :D


Elder Spencer


Dated: May 12, 2014

We had transfers this week. I am now with Elder Rodriguez. He is really neat. He is from LA and Speaks Spanish. I am excited to serve with him. Skyping with you guys was fun. It was good to see you were all doing well.

This week we had a ton of people try to bash with us. The bible is great but I am sure glad we have the Book of Mormon. People all interpret the bible differently. I haven't really understood that until this last week. We had people tell us that baptism was essential to other people that said you don't need it, and if you do it you are damned. One guy tried to save me by telling me I need to accept Jesus Christ as my Savior and not be a part of the "Mormon church." It has been interesting.

I gave a talk on Sunday about building our foundation of faith in Jesus Christ. I talked about how going to church, studying your scriptures and praying is how we build faith in Christ. Then I gave some examples of people that had their foundation of faith. I shared about the Ammonites and the stripling warriors. I was also going to share about the Sweetwater river crossing where the three 18 year old boys carried everyone across the river, but I ran out of time.

Life is interesting. We have ups and downs, forwards and backwards, good times and hard times. There isn't much we can do to prevent trials from coming into our life, but we can choose what we are going to do about it. Trials will come, and they will go. We will remember some of them, others we will forget, but the only thing that really goes with us from our trials is the experience we gain and knowledge that we learned. Mom, you told me this story about me: When I was a kid, I pulled down a hot oven and put my hands on the door while I was trying to climb up on the counter. I am sure at the time that my hands hurt badly from the burn and it was probably annoying for me to be bandaged up. It was probably a trial for me (even though I was very young) and the duration of pain and the trial seemed like it would never end. I don’t remember this trial though. But with the knowledge and experience I gained, I now know not to touch hot things. I think most trials are like that. When we are going through them they seem to take up all our thoughts. We maybe sometime feel they will never end.  But days go on, the sun keeps rising. Trials will pass, the storm will be calm. Hopefully we don't have regrets from choices we made during our trials, but if we do, we know that there is the Atonement, and Repentance and our Savior that can heal us from poor choices. Life is a big period of testing and learning and Growing. I am grateful for a Heavenly Father who cares enough for me to go though some hard times so that I can grow and become more like him. So when trials come into your life, remember the most import things, God and Family. Make choices that help you keep your covenants, and always remember your family. We have many promises from the Lord. You can find many of them in hymn 85. I love that hymn. My favorite line "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!"

I love you all!


Elder Spencer


Dated:  May 6, 2014

Well, I am sitting here at the library trying to decide what to write about this week. As a missionary your days blend together and you really can't remember much of what happens. I’ll just share a couple of things that I am grateful for this week. Also, I am not getting transferred. My new come is Elder Rodriguez.  I look forward to serving with him.

First off, there is someone here who is a good friend to us. He drove us around on P-day because we were without a truck. He found out we were without a dryer right now in our apartment, so he went and bought us one. What a blessing. Having a dryer is very nice. He took us out to "Dickies BBQ" and it was very good. We were going to go to the zoo with him, but it was closed because of rain, so we decided to go bowling. We found the closest bowling place, and when we got there the parking lot was packed! We walked in and there were tons of older people in there (average age probably 85 - not that there is anything wrong with that, but just to help you see what it was like) and they all were just sitting at the tables everywhere at every lane. They all just stared at us as we walked by. I am pretty sure it got very quite too.  We walked to the front desk and asked if there were any open lanes, there wasn't. So we just left. It was kind of a funny experience.

Another experience this week, we went on exchanges, and I was with Elder Poni, a missionary that I came out with from the MTC. It was a lot of fun. We had a zone meeting and we exchanged after that. The other Elders drove us to your apartment, and we walked in and I went to wash my hands, and the water didn’t work. We called our landlord and he said he could come and see why. We didn’t turn any nobs or anything in the house so we were puzzled. We were just thinking the city was working on the water so it was turned off. We just went out and worked and dealt with it. We went tracting and found 2 new investigators. We came back and the water still wasn't on. The next day the landlord came out and checked our water meter outside. It was turned off. We have no clue why. He turned it back on. I was able to shower in the afternoon. Yay.

Another experience, we were tracting up a hallow and we came to this one house.  There were "Beware of Dog" signs everywhere. Almost everyone out here has those, and usually the dog they are warning you about is no larger then a yorkie or a small dog like that. So we just proceed to find our way around the house to go knock on the door. At this point I saw a BIG dog house. Instantly I started to look for a chain. This is how it works when you see a dog or a dog house. Find and follow the chain, find the dog, make sure that your far enough away that the chain will stop the dog from reaching you. So I saw the dog (a very large german shepard), and his owner was just coming out of the house so the dog was going up to the owner. The dog didn't know we were there, until I said “hi” to the owner. That dog looked up and came at us lightning fast. Barking and yelling. I took like 2 or 3 steps back and the chain caught the dog about a foot or two from me. Elder Robbins was behind me and was very close to grabbing me and pulling me back. The owner yelled at us to get away from the dog and then he came over and talked to us for a minute. I’ll tell you what, my adrenaline was pumping pretty hard. I am very grateful there was a chain.

Another thing we did this week, a couple of the people we are teaching are youth ministers. They invited us to a dance ministry thing. So we decided to go. It was a Baptist church and they did dances and played music about Jesus Christ. It was neat, they did a good job. It was way different then what I am used to though. I guess they told everyone that we were coming, and their pastor was very nice and came up and talked to us. People were walking by the people we were teaching and asking them "is that your Mormon friends?" It was funny. Also the lady I sat next to was named Billi Jean. I met Billi Jean. Cool huh? haha.

Well, I am not sure why I decided to share all these experiences with you all. I am grateful for each of them because they have helped me to learn and grow. Life has so much. Sometimes our "truck" is broken and we have to find another way to work, or sometimes our "water turns off" and we lose some of our conveniences. Perhaps we need to look around and see how much we are blessed with. There are many things that want to hurt us but luckily they are on "chains."  God is mindful of each of us and is giving us the experiences that we need to live with him again one day. I also realize that God prepares us for challenges with other challenges. When I was in Charleston, our vehicle broke down and we didn’t have it for a whole month. We had a chemical spill and we didn’t have water for a whole week. Right now is not much compared to that.

This is kind of a random email, but to sum it all up, God gives us life so we can have joy. We have trials, pains, afflictions every day. But we know that Jesus Christ went though all of it too.  After his resurrection, I am sure he had a smile on his face. I am sure he was feeling more joy than the pain he felt. As he ministered to the Nephites, I wonder what his joy was like. I know Jesus smiles and we should too. "When Jesus shows his smiling face, there is sunshine in my soul!" So our trials will come and our pains will come, and our afflictions will come, but lets put a smile on our faces like Jesus has one on his, because we know it will all be ok in the end if we are faithful. I hope this all makes sense. I love you all. Take care. Keep building your foundation.
You don't know how strong your foundation is until it is put to the test. Keep a smile on.


Elder Josh Spencer

Potholes really are a great thing when you need a drink of
water during a long day of tracting.


Dated: April 28, 2014

What a week of walking. We live in Farmington, a little town of about 400 people. Our car is still in the shop, they haven't given us any hint of when it will be done. We just know that the Transmission Solenoid (I have no idea if that is spelled right) is broken. They are trying to figure out how it broke so they know if it is under warranty or not.  So, we have had many opportunities to do service for members. Tuesday we went and continued to help Buck with the barn. His wife fed us an amazing country dinner afterwards. Wow, good good food. We had chicken and biscuits, fried chicken (reminded me of the chicken at Chuck-a-Rama), and mashed potatoes. And then homemade banana cream pie. Yum! The next day a member came and picked us up, and we were able to help him get his garden ready. We tilled his garden and helped him around the yard. After he fed us lunch, and he also gave us some Schwans Ice Cream. Wow, that stuff is good. It's expensive, but it is good ice cream. The next day we went to another member’s home and helped them get their fish pond working. We also helped them around the yard a bunch. It was fun. The next few days, we just walked and walked. We tried to get out of Farmington a little bit so we can get places that missionaries haven't been to much. We were able to find some potentials. We walked down this deep hollow, and it started going up, and we got to the top of a mountain, and there were tons of houses up there. It was neat, so we knocked on everything up there and gave out a Book of Mormon to a 16 year old kid. Some random people gave us a ride back afterward. It was an interesting week. We didn't see much fruit from our labors, but we tried get out and work hard.

The mission is all about trying to give your will to God and do what he wants you to do. I think that is the biggest challenge for us during this life. That is what sacrifice is. Jesus Christ is our perfect example in Gethsemane. Luke 22:42 "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done."

I will just say that I am glad for my understanding and testimony of the gospel, as limited as it may be. I don’t know everything, but I know that this Church, and Gospel are true. This is the Living Church of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. All things are possible to them that believe.

I love you all!


Elder Spencer

I'm pretty sure I made that sign!  (Just Kidding)