DATED:  January 20, 2015

Not too much has happened since I last emailed you. We were not able to email yesterday because the libraries were closed. So we are doing it today. We had a District Meeting this morning. Then we went to IHOP for lunch. Someone gave us some gift cards there.

Elder Kaydn Ence is my new companion. So now when I answer the phone I can say "This is Spence and Ence." He got here in the morning, so we got his stuff together and took it to the house. We also had another missionary with us that was waiting for his companion. In the morning I met the transfer train to drop of Elder Carter. I was able to see a whole bunch of missionaries, probably for the last time in the mission field, that I have made good friends with. Elder Blaine transferred from Richlands. I was able to get a report on how that area was doing. It was fun. We took the 3rd missionaries around with us until the afternoon when the Transfer Train showed up with his companion. We had a lady give us a ton of cookies, so when the transfer train showed up, I went up to the 12 passenger van and opened the door and asked if anyone wanted some cookies. All the Elders in there were very excited to have something to eat so they devoured them pretty quick.  I was glad. Haha.

I would just like to share something that I was studying this morning. First off in Preach My Gospel it says "Covenants place us under a strong obligation to honor our commitments to God. To keep our covenants, we must give up activities or interests that prevent us from honoring those covenants." (pg. 63) I was studying about commitment. PMG also says "Commitment is an essential part of repentance. It is the act of obligating oneself to a course of action and then diligently following through on that decision. When people are genuinely committed, they have real intent, meaning that they fully intend to do what they have committed to do. They make an unwavering and earnest decision to change." (pg 195) As missionaries we leave commitments with people to help them repent and to help them become converted to the gospel. We invite them to do things like repent, pray, read, come to church, live the Word of Wisdom, and the other commandments. When they keep these commitments, miracles happen and they change. When they don’t keep the commitments, they don’t change. I have found the same is for everyone. As we repent, we need to commit to change. We need to follow through with the decision. There are many things that keep us from accomplishing our commitments. Usually though, it is lack of effort or excuses on our part. If we really want to change, and become, we need to put excuses in the past and really change. There are promised blessing for keeping our covenants and commitments. We should think of them often. God uses the principle of "Following up" every week as we partake of the sacrament. We can think "How did I do honoring my covenants. What do I need to change?" The Gospel is one of repentance. Repentance is a joyful thing because we CAN change. We CAN become more. Set goals and commit to achieve them. That is when progress starts to happen. Hold yourself accountable. You can study pg 146 and pg 150 to learn more about Goals and Accountability.

Think about people in the scriptures who were committed and followed through with what they committed to do. What was their motivation? Think of the Strippling Warriors who were outnumbered and probably out skilled, yet they didn't fear. They made a covenant to defend their country, and they did. Think of Alma the Younger and the Sons of Mosiah. They committed to go preach the gospel to the Lamanites. They were treated pretty badly a lot of the time, but they stuck to their commitment and look at the results. Think of Nephi, Enos, Moroni, and The Brother of Jared. Each of these men were people who committed to something and then did all they could to accomplish it. They were motivated and firm. They are people to emulate. The best example is probably the Savior in Gethsemane. He followed through. So, what motivates you to keep your commitments and covenants?

I love you all. Keep up the great work!


Elder Josh Spencer

Elder Spencer and Elder Blaine

Elder Spencer and Elder Carter

Elder Stout and Elder Spencer

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