This was an exciting week. We started off by going to a small zoo in Masontown on our p-day. It was pretty sweet. We saw lions, tigers, and bears!!! O MY! We saw all kinds of monkeys (and we had quite a bit of fun with them too) and a giraffe, and then some other animals. We went with Cory, he is a member and we have developed a great friendship.
Later in the week, Thursday, we got to meet President and Sister Salisbury. They are a lot of fun. I think we will really enjoy them. They were very kind and loving and you can tell they just love each other.
On Friday we had a Zone meeting. It was good. We played a quick game in the zone. The first person started by making a weird noise to a rhythm, then the next person would add a different weird noise to the rhythm and so on until you went all around the room. It was hilarious! There were like 30 of us in there, so by the end it sounded really weird, but it was fun. I made a chicken noise. :D
Another blessing this week was we got to see Shawna get baptized. We did it after church yesterday. It was a great baptismal service. It went very smooth.
I really enjoyed hearing about the family reunion. As I was reading your emails to me about it I felt like I was there. I could just picture everything and all the love that was there. Thank you for sharing it with me. :D As I was writing this email this thought came through my head "Family Reunions are a taste of Heaven." Let me explain why and also I have been studying about Charity a lot this last week. I don’t know why but I have. I will share with you some of the things I have learned. Charity is the pure love of Christ. I read through Moroni 7:45-48. I also listened to Elder Holland's talk "The First and Great Commandment" (Here is a link so you can go watch it The First and Great Commandment). It's about Peter’s exchange with the Savior where Christ asks him 3 times "Do you love me?" I went to another scripture in Moses 7:32-33.
"The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency; And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood;"
So something stood out to me in this scripture. to give a little background, Enoch had just looked up into heaven and saw God weeping. He asked him "how canst thou weep?" and that scripture was the Lord's response. What I get from this is God is looking down on his Children and he sees the wickedness and the evil, the hate and the malice and it breaks his heart. We are His Children and he wants us to love each other and to love Him, our Father. That’s what he wants. That's what the Great Commandments are, right? Love God and our neighbors as ourselves? In the pre-earth life we were all together, we are all brothers and sisters, and God has asked us to love each other. He doesn't want us to fight, to tear down, to persecute he wants to to just get along and work together to live with him again. He wants us to help, to rescue, to lift and to build each other. Ultimately God wants us to love our Family, our Father in heaven and our brothers and sisters. OUR FAMILY! Our Neighbors are our brother and sisters. No wonder God sent his son into the world to show us how to Love! (John 3:16) To serve and to care and to watch over and to protect.
True Followers of Christ will be filled with love. One of Christ's commission to the Apostles was stated in this scripture: John 13:34-35 "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
Earlier in that chapter Jesus Christ showed them an example by washing their feet. Christ showed us how to love, and he has loved us so much! He performed the greatest act of love when performing the atonement (John 15:13, Ether 12:33, and 2 Nephi 26:24). So as we go through life, lets have "charity towards all men" (D&C 121: 45) and lets serve them. (A note to ponder: How has Christ Showed his love specifically to you in your life?) That is what he agreed to when we "left our nets" and became followers and disciples of Jesus Christ. I love the song "He Sent His Son." It reads.
"How could the Father tell the world of love and tenderness?
He sent his Son, a newborn babe, with peace and holiness.
How could the Father show the world the pathway we should go?
He sent his Son to walk with men on earth, that we may know.
How could the Father tell the world of sacrifice, of death?
He sent his Son to die for us and rise with living breath.
What does the Father ask of us? What do the scriptures say?
Have faith, have hope, live like his Son, help others on their way.
What does he ask? Live like his Son."
Now this is a long email, and I hope it all makes sense. I invite you to go look up the references I have shared and study about Charity and Love. Pray that the Holy Ghost will teach you something new about it. You will probably get different things out of it than I did because of our individual needs.
Always remember "Charity Never Faileth" and by having and demonstrating charity we will conquer the Evil one.
So one day when we return to our Heavenly Father, we will have a very big family Reunion. Thats why I kind of think family reunions here are a taste of Heaven. The love and happiness we feel from our families here is just a tiny amount compared to what it will be in the Kingdom of God.
On another note, I would like to thank my whole family, for being such a great example of Charity. As I have studied this principle I have been thinking of lots of people that have demonstrated charity to me. Honestly, I wouldn't be where I am now if it wasn't for my parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends and all those who have taken time to serve and love and help me. So thank you! I love you all very much. I am grateful for each of you and your influence.
If you made it all the way to this part, thanks for reading the whole email. I hope it made sense. :D
Elder Joshua R. Spencer
|Even when you are born with a long neck, it still might|
not be long enough, but don't let that keep you from
trying! (I am sure there is a true principle in the Gospel
you can get out of this photo . . . )
|He came out of his shelter and came over to the fence|
to say "Hi". He he. he was big.
|Selfie with an Alpacka!|