Dated: February 25, 2015

The snow hasn't stopped this week. It snowed, then rained on the same day. We probably got about a foot of snow before it started raining. Then it was very warm the next day, but at night it got to near zero. So all the thawing snow and water on the roads just froze. Earlier this week, Elder Ence and I decided to just walk around and try to find someone to talk to. In the process of doing this we were able to help two people get unstuck.

While we were walking, there was a lady out on her porch shoveling the snow. We asked her if she would like some help. She said no. We kept walking. As we got down the street we heard someone pealing out. We turned around and saw that someone was trying to leave, and they were stuck. We walked back up there and offered to push them. We pushed them out pretty easy, but after they were out we noticed they had a flat tire. They were asking us what they should do. We told them to pull off to the side of the road and we will change their tire for them. Elder Ence is a knowledgeable tire changer, and we were able to get the doughnut on pretty quick. In the process the guy was asking where we were from, and what church we were from. We told him about the church. He didn't know anything about it. His mom came out and she brought up the "7 wives" things. We cleared that misconception up for them though and asked if they would like to learn more. The guy said "since you guys helped us out, I’ll give you a shot. I want to learn more." He also said we were an answer to a prayer, and were so grateful that we were willing to walk back up the street to help them after they told us they didn't need our help.

I’ll tell you what, one thing that I have just loved about being  a missionary is being able to be a tool in the Lord’s hands to help other people. It feels really good when people tell you that you were heaven sent, or that you were an answer to a prayer.

Last week we had Zone Conference. I was able to give my departing testimony at the end of the meeting with Elder Theuson and Elder Stechnij. The three of us all shared a room in the MTC. It was a really good meeting. I’ll miss having zone conferences.

For my thought this week I would just like to share some recent thoughts I have had.

Jesus Christ is everything to this work. He is the center of it all. He can heal and help anyone who is willing to be healed or helped. He loves us so much. He has felt all of our fears, stresses, worries, concerns, temptations, afflictions, pains, troubles, etc.. He knows how we feel. He wants to be our friend, our best friend. I know that He lives. He is real. He really knows you. Because he loves and knows you he will never, ever give up on you. He will always be there. You are never alone. John 14:18 says, "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." He also has promised "I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." (D&C 84:88) We have the assurance that God does not leave or flea or run when our trials and temptations come. No, if anything he probably tries to get closer, or as close as we will allow him. He is with you every step of the way. Have faith in him. Trust him. I know that HE LIVES.

See you all in a couple of days!


Elder Joshua R. Spencer

Some of their eyes fell off, but that's ok.  They still tasted great! :D

Buff Snowman

The car is covered.


District Photo

They buried me in the snow.

See, all buried.


DATED:  February 19, 2015

Sorry to email so late. On Monday it snowed a ton! It was pretty much a white out. It has been snowing on and off all week. We are being as safe as possible. We have only gotten stuck once so far... hehe, its been pretty crazy.

Because of the bad roads, we decided to go and shovel people’s walks for service on our street. We would look for people who were out shoveling, and we would ask them if they wanted help. None of them would let us help. So we just went to driveways not yet shoveled and did them. As we were finishing one of them, one of the guys up the street that we had offered to help came down the street to talk to us. He told us thank you, the driveway we did was his mom’s and he was dreading coming down to do it. He said we were an answer to a prayer. Then we did a few more afterwards and yesterday after zone conference a guy came and knocked on our door. He asked us if we had shoveled his driveway. We told him we had. He said he got up that morning and was about to go out and shovel it, but noticed that it was already done. He had no idea who would have done it. So he asked some of his neighbors. They told him that "some boys in shirts and ties were going around shoveling driveways." He said he thought "it must be those boys in 303." So he came up and thanked us for doing it. The neat thing about it is that apparently other people were watching us. And the people on the street know who we are. That tells me the importance of always acting as a representative of Christ, and you never know who is watching and how our actions could impact them.

I have been learning so much. I don’t know if I can put it all in words.

I love you all. See you soon!

Elder Spencer


DATED:   February 9, 2015

This was a good week. We had dinner with a family last night. They texted us and asked what we wanted. We told them seafood. The dad of this family loves to cook. We show up and there were crab cakes, a seafood pasta dish, Mahi-mahi (dont know if that is spelled right), crab legs, and shrimp. In the pasta there was squid, octopus, mussels, and clams. It was all pretty good!

We had a zone meeting this week. We drove up the Charleston. It about an hour and a half drive up there. After I went on an exchange with Elder Degooyer. We tracked quite a bit. We found a few potentials.

We met a 90 year old guy that was a gunner in WWII. He told us a story about how his plane got shot down and he was the only survivor. He told a pretty crazy story about going to prison a ton and finally getting back to America. For a 90 year old he was getting around pretty good too. Those veterans sure did and go though a lot for us.

For my thought this week, I made a list of 20 things to remember.

1) You are a son or daughter of God.
2) You can change.
3) Jesus Christ loves you.
4) You have lots of people on your team cheering for you.
5) You are never alone.
6) Doubt not, but be believing.
7) Put your faith in God.
8) Be a faithful servant. Turn outward.
9) Be Humble. Have a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
10) Give your all so God can give you all.
11) Be grateful.
12) If you do what you've done you'll get what you've got.
13) Live and share your testimony.
14) Keep things simple.
15) Look for the tender mercies.
16) Become converted.
17) Have Faith, Hope, and Charity.
18) Be submissive, meek, patient, and gentle.
19) Fill your heart and thoughts with love for God and others.
20) Smile.

I love you all. Have a great week!


Elder Spencer


DATED:   February 2, 2015

This was a pretty good week. I’ll tell you about some of the neat things. Last week we were tracting and we found a guy that told us to come back the next week. He and his family were sick. So we went back yesterday and started talking to him. We asked him about his family and his career. He owns a towing company and he has 8 kids. That is not a typo. 8 kids! He has very good morals. He studies the bible and lives it as best as he can. He doesn't claim any denomination. He kept saying that he knows that there is truth missing and he is searching for it. We were pretty excited. So we taught him the Restoration and taught him about the Book of Mormon. It was a great lesson, but I am concerned that he is focusing on the wrong things in his study of the bible, and that may cause him to have doubts and not act. But we are hoping for the best. After we had our lesson, he fed us dinner and everything. He is a really neat guy and has a really great family. They are totally dry Mormons.

We have been using family history to find this week. It has been neat because people are so much more receptive to us. Usually when we tract, and try to talk about the Gospel, people are pretty quick to shut us down and close the door, but when we have been using family history, they usually talk to us longer. And by the end of the conversation, they are saying how much they admire us for what we are doing and how much they respect us and telling us to be safe and stay warm and stuff like that. They are so much more kind. One lady we talked to said "do you guys get any pay for this?" and we told her we did not. Then we jumped into talking about how important families are and how family history can strengthen her family in this crazy world. She started to choke up and said "thank you so much for coming by my home." I have been using my "My Family Booklet" to show people and tell them a little about stories and things I have found from my family history. Thank you to everyone back home who has contributed to doing the work. It has blessed me and it is blessing the people I am showing it to.

Uncle Bruce and Aunt Dennie came down and we had lunch. It was a lot of fun to see them. I am so grateful to have such great family and friends. My gratitude for all of you continues to grow. I don't know where I would be without such a firm and great support. Thank you.

This week I studied 1 Nephi 3-4. I will share some of the things I have learned. So Lehi and his family left Jerusalem. Here is an excerpt from The Book of Mormon Student Manuel "The distance from Jerusalem to the Red Sea is approximately 180 miles through hot, barren country infested anciently by many marauders. Lehi and his family “traveled three days” beyond this point (see 1 Nephi 2:5–6). This meant at least a 12- to 14-day trip one way from Jerusalem to their temporary home in the valley of Lemuel." They traveled at least 12 days away from Jerusalem. Lehi then received a commandment that all the brothers, Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi, were to go back to Jerusalem and get the Brass Plates from Laban. Laman and Lemuel murmured, but Nephi did not. How is that an example of faith. They made the trip and Laman was chosen to go in and try to get the plates. Laban ended up chasing him out and tried to kill him. Nephi wrote "And we began to be exceedingly sorrowful, and my brethren were about to return unto my father in the wilderness." They were all sorrowful from the experience. I imagine it can be a little rattling to be chased by a bunch of people trying to kill you. I imagine it would kill all desire to go back and try again. Laman and Lemuel were ready to give up, but not Nephi. He said this powerful statement. "As the Lord liveth, and as we live, we will not go down unto our father in the wilderness until we have accomplished the thing which the Lord hath commanded us. Wherefore, let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord..." Nephi was able to persuade his brothers to try again. This time they tried to buy the plates. Again they were chased away, fleeing from death. Laman and Lemuel beat Nephi and Sam with a rod and an angel appeared to them and told them that Laban would be delivered into their hands. Laman and Lemuel still didn't believe. Nephi did. He and his brothers went back to the city. "I, Nephi, crept into the city and went forth towards the house of Laban. And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do. Nevertheless I went forth..." Nephi didn't really have a plan. He was just going the way he thought he should go. He was putting his full and complete faith and trust in the Lord. He was putting his life on the line. The Lord did deliver Laban into Nephi's hands. Then Nephi had a another trial of faith, perhaps even harder than the first ones. He was told to smite Laban. Nephi still put his trust in the Lord and did as he was commanded. His faith was manifest in his works and his obedience. I believe that when Nephi returned to his Father, he was a different person. He probably learned much about God and himself.

Nephi didn't give up. He used his faith as motivation. He had the belief that God would provide the way to get the plates. Even though he failed twice, perhaps almost losing his life, he kept trying. In our life, we may feel like we fail when we are trying to keep the commandments. We shouldn't be sorrowful too long or get way down on ourselves because that will distract us from faith. We should strive to be like Nephi and put our trust in the Lord and just keep doing our best. The Lord will provide the way when we trust him. Faith means never giving up. It means putting our doubts and fears behind us and "leading with our faith" as Elder Holland puts it. It means have a hope that God is real and that he will keep his promises. It means that we "press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men." (2 Nephi 31:20) Faith is a motivation to act in accordance with Gods commandments. Miracles happen as a result of our faith. Success is not determined by lack of failure, but by the determination to keep trying and doing your best.

Faith is huge. It is the first principle of the gospel for a reason. I invite each of you to ponder Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement and study it. Strengthen your faith and lead with your faith.

Thanks for reading this lengthy email. Sorry for any typos. I do my best. I love you all.


Elder Joshua R. Spencer


DATED: January 26, 2015

We had a unique week this week. First off, it snowed a little bit this weekend. On Saturday morning, the other Elders and us were leaving at the same time. We were both cleaning off our cars, and then a snowball was thrown. For the next 5 minutes or so we had a snowball fight outside of our house. Just four Elders running around throwing snow at each other. It was a fun little start to the day.

We had a couple of neat experiences this week. First, we went to try to find a LA member. The house wasn't there. We were about to leave but a feeling we had made us stop and decided to knock around the area. We walked by a group of three houses. It didn't look like anyone lived in the first two. We walked up to the third door and knocked on it. A lady came out and we told her who we were and what we were sharing. She said she was interesting in learning more. We gave her a pamphlet and got her phone number and set up a time we could come back when her husband was home. As we were walking away, she opened the door and ran out to us and said, "actually, can you guys just come by my work tomorrow and talk? I am pretty curious about this?" We told her we could do that and told her to read the pamphlet. We went to her work the next day and she had read the pamphlet and she asked us some questions. She told us of some of the things going on in her life. We can see how the gospel will bless her. We shared with her some of the unique things about the church. She is very interested. It is great to see how the Lord will put you where he needs you, and often you do even know it.

Another time this week we were trying to find another member. We found the house and knocked on it. A Hispanic man came to the door, and he didn't speak much English at all. He came to the door and said (pardon my terrible Spanish) "no hablo engles." So I responded, "no hablo espaniol." He laughed. Elder Ence pulled out a Spanish "he is the gift card." I really don’t know why he had one, but he did. Weird right? The Hispanic man gestured for us to come in. We went into his home and we sat on his couch and tried to communicate with him. We were able to pick up pretty good what he was saying in Spanish. Neither Elder Ence or I speak Spanish, but I have taken Spanish classes and He had been around a lot of Hispanic people back home. So we were able to get a little bit of what he was saying. He saw Elder Ence had a Book of Mormon, and he said he had one. He walked into the other room and got a Spanish/English Bible and a Spanish Book of Mormon. He told us that he is from Mexico, but he came here to America to work so his family could have a better life than what he had growing up. He sends all his money to his family. He said he doesn't drink or smoke because it is a waste of money and he knows God doesn't like him to do that. So we showed him the scripture in the Bible about how our body is a temple. He said "Bueno!" We showed him some scriptures in the Book of Mormon like Moroni 10:3-5, 1 Nephi 1 and some others. We used the scriptures to try to communicate. It was neat. We had a good discussion for about 45 minutes. He said we could come back. It was pretty neat how that all panned out.

So these were some of the cool things that happened this week. I love you all!


Elder Spencer