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.


DATED:  August 11, 2014

This week was an eventful week. before i start typing, my shift key on this keyboard doesn't work very well, so I’ll just not use it. I'll first tell about zone meeting. We drove up to Bluefield, and I found out that a whole bunch of missionaries I know and that I have developed friendships with are in the zone. Elder Stout is my zone leader again which makes me super happy too. The zone meeting was about burying our weapons like the ammonites did in the book of mormon. at one point, the sister trainer leaders taught about how we need faith and repentance to change. to illustrate why we need faith in christ, they had all of us put on blindfolds. we had tables set up around the basketball hoop where we were sitting, and they had each of us stand up, (the tables were as far back as the 3 point line, which was where i was sitting) and one at a time, we would try to shoot a basket. when we would miss sister hertzog (the STL) said "your faith was not sufficient, do you have faith in jesus christ as your mediator?" of course we would say yes, and then the blindfold would be pulled down and the ball was given to "the mediator" who was elder Hewlett (he is from centerville and played b-ball for viewmont, and he is an assistant to the president right now) and he would shoot the ball for you and if he missed elder spencer (the other assistant) would rebound and make it. everyone that was blindfolded knew when the ball went in because we could hear it. So it was a guaranteed success when christ did it. everyone was blindfolded so you didn't know this happened until it came your turn and you missed. anyway, about half of the people had made it and it was my turn, i took the ball, guessed where the hoop was and shot, all i heard was a swish! everyone started freaking out, because i guess i made it. i really don't know because i couldn't see it. elder baty says that i did. so because of that sister hertzog told me my faith was sufficient and i could sit down, and then i had to sit with the blindfold on the whole rest of that portion of the discussion. another missionary made it also so at least i wasn't alone. it was funny, they were not expecting that.

also this week, elder baty and i were asked to talk. so we gave our talks yesterday. i spoke about conversion. i went on for 30 minutes (most of it just ranting) on accident and didn't leave elder baty much time. before the meeting started though, the branch president asked me to come up and conduct the music for sacrament. i knew this would be a disaster. so i get up to conduct the first song, elder baty who was playing the piano did the intro, but i didn't know when to start, so no one started when we were supposed to or anything. then elder baty decided to sing a solo for the middle song between our talks, and i had to push the button on the automatic piano, and yea, i messed that up pretty bad too. haha. then i conducted the last song, and that didn't go so well either. boy o boy. all i could do was laugh at the whole thing.

i dont know why i shared those things with you, but apply it how you will. :D. now for the thought for this week, President salisbury shared this with me.

For he will fulfil all his promises which he shall make unto you, for he has fulfilled his promises which he has made unto our fathers.
Alma 37:17

that goes along with what i was thinking of sharing. i realized this week, that our father in heaven, and jesus christ are the same yesterday today and forever. now i have known of that scripture, but i was able to understand it a little better this week. the old testament and new testament and book of mormon have chris’ts life and shows the miracles that god had done for us, his children throughout all time. i realized  that that same god who moses spoke to face to face, who adam and eve were with in the garden, who spoke to abraham, who did all those amazing things in the old testament and the miracles in the new testament  and did all the amazing things for those in the book of mormon is the same god that you and i pray to every day. it’s the same god that is active in my life and that i am striving to understand and develop a relationship with. remember god loves you and he is the same today as he was then. i love you all!


Elder Spencer


DATED:  August 4, 2014

Transfers went very well. It was a long drive. We showed up to transfers and it was so fun to see a bunch of the missionaries that I really care about. I learned Elder Ramirez is now a zone leader in Huntington. That made me super happy to hear that. There was a big group that went home, and a lot of missionaries that I looked up to went home in this group. It is sad to see them leave. The new group of missionaries was awesome though. They look like a solid group. As they were each introducing themselves, every one of them was from a city north of Salt Lake. Like Layton, Ogden, Kaysville, Clearfield, One was from bountiful named Elder Davis, and a bunch more. Since some of the new missionaries’ trainers are too far away to come to the transfer building for transfers, they assign chaperones to help the new missionaries get to their new areas. I was asked to be a chaperone for 2 new missionaries. It kind of fun. Their names were Elder Eyre and Elder Maloy. So we then drove down to the Bluefield Zone. The 2 new missionaries met their trainers there, then I met Elder Baty and we drove to Richlands.

Other than that, this week, we just did missionary work. We went and saw some people, met the members. I caught a cold which is no fun. I am just hoping that I can make a difference here.

I studied a few different things this week. I would like to share something that I learned. First off, I was studying faith. It was a pretty typical study of faith till I decided to turn to Mormon 9. I love how Mormon and Moroni write directly to us, in our day. So usually when I read this I think of atheists. Mormon rebukes those who don't believe in Christ. But this time I realized that all of us sometimes lack faith in Christ. So when I read it this time I read it to apply it to ME. I feel at times each of us go though different levels of Faith in Christ. Sometimes we have more faith, and sometimes less. Sometimes we are unbelieving and sometimes we are very believing. But for those times we lack faith, this is a good chapter to read. The first scripture that stood out to me was Mormon 9:6.

O then ye unbelieving, turn ye unto the Lord; cry mightily unto the Father in the name of Jesus, that perhaps ye may be found spotless, pure, fair, and white, having been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, at that great and last day.

We constantly need to turn to the Lord and cry to him in prayer. We need to put our faith in front and trust God. When we trust God we keep his commandments. We might say, I want to skip church today, but I know that Jesus Christ has commanded me to go to church, and I trust him so I will go. Eventually our hearts will change so we never desire to skip church.

The other scripture that stood out to me was Mormon 9:11  I will show unto you a God of miracles. Mormon then, after that scripture, goes on to tell about the plan of salvation, and redemption though Christ. Go and Read Mormon 9. It is amazing. The message I got from it, and I think what Mormon is trying to say is that Jesus Christ performed miracles, he did it before, and he does it now. No matter what trials are in our life, we have a God of Miracles whom we worship and wants to help us. If we have Faith in Him, he will perform miracles in our behalf. I heard once that a Miracle is a manifestation of God’s will. No miracle is small.


I hope that all made sense. Sometimes it is difficult to write your thought process down into an email so quickly. But I hope to strengthen faith in Christ because I know that as we trust God, we will find happiness and peace, and we will be able to live with our Father in Heaven again one day. I love you all and hope you all enjoy the glad tidings of great joy that we have been blessed with.


Elder Josh Spencer


DATED:  July 29, 2014

I am headed off to Richlands, Virginia. All the way at the bottom of the mission. I have been to the east, west, middle, north and now the south of this mission. Cool eh? My new companion will be Elder Beadie. I don’t know anything about him.

Not too much happened this week. We went and bopped bunnies again. We also cleaned out the poop under their cages. We had a bunny for lunch after. It was in some kind of pasta dish. It was good.

Last Monday we went mini-golfing. It was cool. After we went to ice cream and I got an ice cream cone that was taller than my head! It was really good! And yes, I ate the whole thing. We were able to meet with a few people. A couple weeks ago we gave a Book of Mormon to a 16 year old kid. We went back the next week and his mom was out on the porch. We asked if he was home. She said "I don't want you talking to my kid!" We inquired as to why and if she knew who we were or what our message is. She didn’t. So we started to tell her, and she asked us some questions about our church and some things she has heard about it. We cleared up her misconceptions and told her about the Book of Mormon. Randomly in our conversations she said "Ok, you can talk to my son." We told her we would love to talk to her too. She seemed fairly interested. In the end she was saying "I don't get why people don't talk to you guys. You’re not bad.  I regret always running inside when I saw you."

I have been learning a lot in my studies this week. I’ll share something that has been on my mind about our bodies being a temple. God gave us bodies to learn and grow. We can experience so many things with this body. This is our mortal tabernacle for our spirit. We are promised that we will have a body for eternity. It really makes sense why God asks us to take care of our bodies. Imagine you gave a brand new car to someone. It's really nice. They take it and you see them in a few months or so. When you see the car it's all trashed up, has mud everywhere, the inside smells like smoke, you see beer cans all over, and there are stains on the seats and tears in the seats. The dashboard is all muddy, the carpet has food all over it. You pop the hood and see there is dirt inside over everything and it just isn't taken care of. You aren't even able to look at the engine and see all the inside parts of the car, but you know that those probably haven't been taken care of too. Perhaps there is no oil, or wiper fluid, or tranny fluid. Ok, now that you have that image in your head. How does that relate to God giving us our bodies? Do we take car of our bodies like we should. What "fuel" do we put into our engine. The fuel could be what we eat, or also what we think about. Are there stains that we need to clean up, mud we need to wash off? When was the last time we took ourselves to the Repair shop (Church and/or Temple)? It is such a blessing to have bodies and it just makes so much sense why God has given us commands of how to take care of our bodies. The great thing about the gospel is that no matter how bad our "car" is, we can always get it cleaned and fixed up again so it is running good as new. Embrace the gospel and live it everyday as much as you can. Study the scriptures everyday and Pray ALWAYS! I love the gospel. I am so grateful for also growing up surrounded with people that also love the gospel.

Keep on pressing forward, remember, the tree of life is up ahead, even if you can’t see it.


Elder Spencer

Birthday Pie

Big Ice Cream Cone

Service Shoes