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.

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