Monday, December 17, 2012

December 17, 2012

Holy Cow, it has already been another week, and it was a slow one.  Being in the campus area, everyone is out of town so we have not been able to find anyone, we have one investigator, and we are teaching him tonight, so hopefully we can schedule a baptism date with him.  We had our Mission Christmas party on Thursday, and it was sooo good, you aren't gonna believe this, but I did sing in the choir, and it was alright, my companion said I should probably never sing again, but hey he has focused his life on music his whole life, and me in sports..... yeah we all know I made the right choice. ;)  Anyways, it was a blast catching up with Elder Ales, Largo and Belliston.  I asked them if they were ready to train in January and they all said no.   I felt bad that I was the only one who is confident enough to train.  Like I told you mom, I am senior companion this week.  Since it is week 11, the trainee has to take the lead in ALL activities, which I have been doing the entire time because my companion has no motivation.  But Since I took the lead this week, I made him get up and go for a run this morning, it was the first time he has done that since my 3rd week out. Usually I just lift my 25lb weight while he sleeps.  But he worked out this morning, and said it was the best morning he has had in a while.

Anyways, on Tuesday we had to set up all the Christmas lights in the church for the ward party.  It took us 3 hours so our Tuesday went down the drain.  On Wednesday our 1st counselor in the Bishopric decided to take down all the lights to play basketball and called us at 8 on Thursday to go set them back up.  We were pretty mad because we had to get to Jacksonville that day too.  So we got them up and everything was good, but boy were we mad.

About Donovan, I was on a tradeoff when they went and saw him, and he now has 50-50 custody of his daughter, and he is working towards full in the next 6 months.  He didn’t come to church and his phone is disconnected, so we are gonna have to go see him this week.  We have not started to teach his mom yet :/  Our relief society president is a returned missionary, so she does missionary work like crazy.  She introduced us to 4 families, who I think can be baptized within the next month.  So there is a lot of hope for this area.  Our Ward party was catered, and I ate so much, I am at a solid 189, and most of it is because I work out every day.  you should see my shoulders, they are huge, and I don't care if Grant is a solid 200, he knows just as well as I do that I can take him any day, and he is still scared of me. ;)  But I love how motivated he is to work out, I wish I would have been more dedicated to it.  Has he gotten anymore recruiting calls?

As for my Christmas gifts, I loved them soo much, I think I love the picture from McCall the most.  I hang all of them up above my study desk.  The GPS works great, the only thing is that it didn’t save the address in the favorites, so it wouldn’t mark them on the map.  So I still had to manually do them all.  But it was not that bad.  Thank you so much for the Ipod and sound case, I cannot wait to use it.  There is just one thing.  I need a cord to charge the Ipod with, because I don’t have one here at the apartment, so I don’t have a way to listen to the music.  I got a package from Grandma Mann, and it was full of delicious candy and it makes me feel more at home, thank you so much Grandma :)

I am so excited to hear about all these friends leaving and what not, I am so glad that Brandon and I were the first to go, because now I get to see them home and be that first person that every ones mom goes off of, kinda like how Kwenton comes home and the Tyler, I am gonna be that first one, as well as the one to set the example, just like my patriarchal blessing says.

Well I know for Christmas, I am going to the Mechams for lunch and skyping around 2, then at 4 I am going to an investigators house for dinner.  So I am excited for that.  GEEEZe, like I said this mission is going by so fast, If I train come January, in like 2 weeks by the end of that I will already have a 1/4 of my mission gone.  That’s CRAZY.  I know it is gonnna fly by for yall because you have a lot to keep you busy, as do I.  I love this work, and I am glad to be a servant in the Lords hands.

Oh one more thing, I has given a challenge by president Barry, he said to get a new Book of Mormon and then mark every time is says or refers to Jesus Christ, and in a different color highlight all of his spoken or quoted words, and then in another color highlight the attributes of being Christ like, and finally in one other color highlight all the doctrine of Christ.  I had already started to highlight all the DoC in my leather Book of Mormon, and now starting this other challenge has helped me to see and more fully understand the Book of Mormon.

I love you all so much, and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and do well in school.  Please look for opportunities to serve, share the gospel and share your testimony.  I know that it will not only help and strengthen you, but it will help bring others unto Christ.  It is so easy this time of year.  I challenge each of you, from today until the end of the year to share your testimony with 4 people, or 4 families.  I promise the Lord will bless you.  Ohh and I will be following up on this with yall.

Love you lots,


December 10, 2012

Well it was an awesome week.  It went by so fast getting Donovan prepared for his baptism and just trying to find new people to teach and stuff.  Yes Donovan was baptized on Saturday, and I got to perform the Ordination.  It was the most spiritual experience that I have had on my mission this far.  He was so ready to be baptized, and I feel so honored that he wanted me to do it for him.  His knee came up the first time, so we had to do it twice, but it went well.  It is awesome to see what the gospel can do for someone, and how it can change people’s lives so much.  Not only has it changed his life, but it has started to change the life of his family as well.  His mom said that she would like to start coming to church as well as start listening to the lessons from us as well.  She wants her other son to start listening to us as well because she wants the same changes that occurred in Donovan's life to happen in her family’s as well.  So hopefully we can have a white Christmas and have a few more baptisms here in the last bit of this year.  Oh Donovan is also getting the priesthood next Sunday, and it would be so awesome to see him baptize his family before I leave this area, I would feel so accomplished and blessed to be a part of that.
This week we were also able to start the reactivation process with a less active sister in our ward.  She has not been to church since 1987, and we have been working with her and trying to get her back to church since before I got here, and I called her up a few days ago, and asked if we could stop by and she said yes.  When we got there she was like I totally forgot what I had agreed to do when you called, and she said she thought she had agreed to going to church or something, but she said that she thought about it and decided she wanted to just come to sacrament.  Oh and she has two service dogs that she takes everywhere with her.  So we found her a ride to church, and after sacrament, she said that she wanted to start coming to all 3 hours next week, so we are so grateful to see her starting to come back to church, and I love to see our hard work, finally coming through and working out.
Dad, thank you so much for sharing all of that with me.  I love to hear your testimony, because it strengthens mine, and helps me to try and be the best son and example to everyone I come in contact with.   Whenever we meet with people and they say that it is easy for me to believe all the stuff we teach because I have been taught it my whole life, I have the ability to tell them yes I have been raised in the gospel my whole life, but it wasn't always my main focus.  I tell them that I learned a lot from my parents, but it wasn't until my senior year, and about the end of it that I really decided that I wanted to serve a mission, and that I prayerfully sought out the gospel to know for myself that it is true.  I love having an anchored family in the church.  I have seen how it has blessed me so much, and how other families are struggling, but not knowing where to find peace and joy.  It breaks my heart, and almost brings me to tears to see families looking so hard, but rejecting what we teach and continue to suffer.
I have learned so much this week, and I have grown up a lot too.  President Barry pulled me aside during Zone Meeting this week, and just wanted to talk about how I was doing after the whole Denise situation, and I told him that I had a rough week, and it was hard to go through, and I noticed that it was super unproductive.  I know that he is an inspired man, and he sees a lot of potential and hard work in me, and he helped me out so much, and just helped me to be a better missionary.  I know that the knowledge will come, and that it is going to come in time, but what I do know is that I have been called of God to serve a mission, and to teach what I do know, and that is the truth and fullness of the gospel.
I love the examples that all of you have set for me, and I have loved how I have always been held to a higher level of accountability by everyone.  I guess it used to bother me, and I would just wonder why everyone expected so much from me, but I have finally realized that it is because I can achieve a lot more than I give myself.  I thank everyone who has held me to this higher standard.  I love the example of Taylor, and just how much he has helped me and how close I have grown to him.  We have been so far away for so long, and it is going to be even longer, but I have felt the closest to him then I ever have in my life.  Thanks for all you have shown and done for me Taylor, I really do love you and look up to you in so many ways.
I love each and every one of my siblings so so much, and in a different way.  I have had so many experience and memories with each one of you that has shaped me into the loving, careful, and honorable missionary that I am today.  I hope that yall can forgive me for anything that I have done to hurt or offend you, because I love yall so much, and I hope that we can have lots of more memories over the years.  Thank you so much for being such a wonderful family to me.

Love yall lots,


December 3, 2012

Well, like Taylor, I had a pretty rough week too.  We only have one solid investigator and that is Donovan.  He is still getting baptized this Saturday, but it almost didn't work out.  He wasn't at church yesterday because his house flooded in sewage.  So we had to get special permission to still be able to baptize him this up coming week.  He is so strong and Satan is working so hard on him.  He can feel it too.  His mom is now taking Sundays off so she can start coming to church, so we might have another investigator after he gets baptized.  We were able to get another media referral this week and we are going to see him tonight.  All our media referrals have not been too promising, so we are hoping that this one turns out good.  Like you Taylor, I have been looking over the last little bit of my mission, and pondering on what I have done, and to me it has felt like not much.  Something that came to mind when I was pondering was, We see tons of people every day, and the Lord has prepared them to hear what we have to tell them.  Now he might not have prepared them to be taught everything we have to offer, or to be baptized on our watch, but they have been prepared to meet us. They now have a portion of our spirit with them, and the seed has been planted.  It might take them until the spirit world to act upon it, but they will act upon it.  I also have been thinking about my testimony, and Donovan said something really interesting last week.  He wanted to bear his testimony this week, and we told him if he came to church he could.  Then he said he didn't want to.  When I asked him why he said he wanted to earn his testimony.  He wants to know without a doubt that it is true.  This has made me question all week if I have earned my testimony.  After testimony meeting, and not getting up to share mine, I came to the conclusion that I have earned mine, but I need to share it to confirm what I believe.  It is one thing to just say it, but by earning it we need to act upon what we believe and live it to the fullest.  I am so grateful for you mom and dad.  I love you so much, and it is your love and support that keep me going each week.  I’m guessing that you got my letter about Mike and Megan.  It has really pulled Elder Lisonbee and I down this week.  I came to the conclusion that it has pulled me down so much because I loved them, and I cared for them, and wanted to see them grow.  Now we are at nothing with them.  They deleted Elder Lisonbee off of Facebook, and they won't answer the door when we come.  It has been a hard experience for me.  On a brighter note, our Stake had a nativity display Fri. Sat. and Sun.  It is so awesome seeing all the depictions of the Nativities, and then to hear the First Presidency Christmas Devotional last night.  I love our Prophets and Apostles.  They are definitely inspired men, and they are all there for a reason.  I hope that his week can turn around and become better, but I know that it is not the people on the area that can decide how my week will turn out, it is me.  My mission is what I make of it, and if I let people get me down, then I am going to have a terrible mission, so I have decided to love everyone I see, but if they don't accept what we have, and know is true, then I need to be positive in knowing that I am glad I know that it is true.

I love yall so much, I pray for you everyday and night, and seek inspiration on your behalf.  I hope yall had a good week and that this week is even better.  It's now December, the Christmas season, let us not forget our Savior and the TRUE meaning of Christmas, look for opportunities to serve others, especially our Savior.  In my letter from President Barry this morning he said, "Have you thought of what gifts you might give the Savior or your Father in Heaven this Christmas? The best gift and ultimately the only gift we can give to God and His Son this Christmas or any Christmas is, OUR WILL. God has given us our agency to choose our own course in this life. He allows us to be enticed by the one or the other, the Holy Ghost or Satan but it is our choice, our decisions, that places us either in the liberty and eternal life side or the misery and death side. You cannot, as much as we try, live in Zion and vacation in Babylon. “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon”."  

This is so true, and I love this season, and my Savior Jesus Christ.  Love yall!



Monday, November 26, 2012

November 26, 2012

Well it sounds like yall are doing soo good.  I love my family, because I know that even though we fight sometimes, we are all always happy and so blessed to be under the same roof.  I love sharing family experiences with investigators and ward members, and I know that it helps them to see how the Gospel can bless them in their lives.

This week was really good.  Although we were unable to have tons of teaching appoints like weeks in the past, we were able to have some pretty powerful experiences.  If I can sum up this week into a few a words, I would say Talk to Everyone! I have realized that the more I slow down and just see what makes people happy, and how I can help them, I have the ability to discern their thoughts and find ways to help them come unto Christ.  I was able to go to The Swamp on Tuesday and walk around the stadium, I was hoping to see a coach or player or something, but no luck.  I would be pretty awesome to come back and play there someday, but it was just an awesome experience and got me excited for college football, and just motivated me to work out that much harder.  Now that I have a pull-up bar, I do like 50 every morning, and I'm up to 200 pushups a day, as well as sit-ups.  So I am noticing a lot more strength coming back now after surgery and stuff.

Thursday, I was able to play football with the Elders in the ward, let me tell you it was LEGIT!  I have not done that in so long and it felt amazing to finally play again.  I was pretty sore on Friday though but it was definitely worth it.  For dinner we did not know what we were going to do for 2 hours before going to dinner at Bishops, so I decided I wanted to meet my neighbors.  So we went around behind our complex and knocked on our back neighbor’s door and she invited us in to eat.  It was awesome.  Elder Lisonbee was just planning on leaving, but I was like wait, can we share a message with you.  So I taught them the restoration, and she said she is open to learning more, so that was a good miracle.  Dinner was soo good, reminded me of being home, cause Bishop's whole family was there, so there were a lot of people.  I took pictures of all the food, so I will send my card home later today. 

Friday we had another conference call, and we went up to the church to do some facebook work, and we broke our key luckily not in the door, none the less it's broken.  After our conference calls, we went to leave and Elder Lisonbee's bike had a flat tire so we had to walk all the way home, which took like all day.  We ended up running into a man who was smoking some marijuana, and we taught him the restoration and word of wisdom.  Right then he pulled out his pipe from his pocket, handed it over to me and said he was done.  So I was gonna keep it and send it home as a remembrance, but now our apartment reeks of weed, so I took some pictures and threw it away :(  it was a good experience though.  Saturday we got our bikes tuned up and now they are running top notch.  We met with Donovan at church and he is solid on his Baptism next Saturday, so we are super excited.  But I love this area, and our ward, everyone is great and feeds us well.  Ohh which reminds me.  We ate with the Breinholts last night.  They are from Orem, he is a wrestler and actually wrestled with Talon Vickers at UVU, I told him how I did at TOC and Tiger, and he was super impressed.  I love this ward.

Well I love yall, I hope to be getting some letters soon, I will send you a little note I made the other day, as well as pictures.  I can’t wait for Christmas, our house is getting pretty decked out with lights and stuff, that were already here.  I love yall hope you have an awesome week.
Elder Spencer Salinas
4209 Sw 71 Ter Apt. B
Gainesville, Florida 32608

November 20, 2012

Happy Tuesday family!!!  It sounds like yall had a wonderful week, and we are all finally starting to see the miracles of missionary works.  I loved the package I got yesterday, just in time for the Turkey Bowl on Thursday!!!  Thanks for the card as well. I knew that you would finally get an IPhone, and when Grant put that picture on my camera card I knew it wasn't his.  That is so awesome to hear all the new mission calls, and Aubrey, that was pretty cool too.  As for me, this week went by extremely fast and it is hard to remember everything that happened.  Last Monday after emails we went to the Zoo and it was pretty lame, now I know why I'm not a nature person, cause animals are pretty boring.  Anyways after that we went and got our food for the week and stuff and looked at a Gator store.  When we got home I cut my own hair, and not gonna lie it looks pretty BOSS, and I can still part it.

This week we have been teaching a couple of people.  We met with Donovan, and I set a baptismal date with him.  He is getting baptized on Dec. 8th and I am so excited for him.  He wants to change so bad, and we came to church this Sunday, and he felt the spirit so strong.  President and Sister Barry spoke in our ward this week and they always do so well, and Donovan felt like it was directed straight to him.  So we are excited for him, keep him in yall’s prayers.

One of the things that Bishop has asked us to do is revise the ward roster, so we have been going and finding all the people that have moved out or don't want their names on the records anymore.  We have been able to take the roster from 480 members to now it is at 372.  So we have been doing work.  We had the opportunity to teach Mike and Megan again, and found out that Megan's family is all members in Utah, and she is the only one in her family that is not a member, so she doesn't want them to know that she is taking the lessons, because she doesn't want them to overload on her.  So we are having to take it slow with them and hope that after the Holidays that they will move closer to baptism. 

Another one of our emphasis this week has been finding through the members.  So we have been meeting with 7 different members each week to set a date with them to invite someone in their home to hear the message of the restoration.  Right now we are up to about 8 dates set, and so we have like 8 future appointments set with lessons, it's exciting.  Our ward is so great and willing to do missionary work, it’s awesome.  So I challenge yall to set a date to invite someone in our home with the missionaries, I know that if you just pick an inspired date, the Lord will do the rest in making sure it will happen on that day.  Now with all this extra time of no High School wrestling, you should be able to.   :)

So like I said, we had President and Sister Barry speak to us, we also had interviews that were awesome.  I guess Elder Lisonbee said that I was the best planner in the mission, so I was tested on it, and President and Sister agree.  So that made me super happy.  I talked to President about not being able to teach very much and stuff, and he said he would talk to Elder Lisonbee about that.  We then had dinner at Bishops house, and he is SUPER rich, and has a mansion, so it was an awesome dinner.  He invited us over for Thanksgiving as well, so you don't have to worry about me getting a good meal momma.

So I don't remember if I told you or not, but I started the Book of Mormon about 3 weeks ago, and I finished it last night.  That was the first time that I have ever fully understood everything I have read, and let me tell you, it is so, so true.  It has guided me along so much these past weeks, and I know that there is no other book out there that is more true than the Book of Mormon, and I just want everyone to read it for themselves.  Now I'm starting it over and marking ALL the doctrine of Christ, so Faith, Repentance, Baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End.  I am so excited to take on this challenge and show you my rainbow Book of Mormon when I get home.

It's crazy how fast time flies, I've already been out away from you for 2 months, and I've been here in Florida for 6 weeks.  I know it's where I need to be and I am finally seeing that.  I know that this church is true, and that it is the only true church, because it is Christ’s restored church.  I know that it was restored by Joseph Smith and that he did translate the Book of Mormon, it is so awesome to read about the wars and trials and faith that these ancient people had, and to just know that it really happened.  I know that it is only through faith in Christ, and repentance, which I am so grateful for, because I use it every single day, but I know that it is through that and baptism that we can return to the Celestial Kingdom.  I have dreams rather often of all of us sitting together for eternity in the Celestial Kingdom.  I know that families are ordained of God and that we need them to succeed in this life.  I love you all, and this is the testimony which is in me, and which grows constantly every day.   And I say this in our Savior Jesus Christ name,  Amen.

Well it’s on to a new week, crazy that the Holidays are already here.  I'm gettin bigger and stronger in spirit and physically every day.  I want to get a pull up bar and I need some new bike tubes cause mine don't hold air, so I was gonna buy them today mom, I should have enough in my account, like 50 dollars but if you could put just a little bit more in that would be great.  Now that I have my cleats, and gloves, thank you Grant, all I need is a ball and my tees.  Ohh and did yall get my letter I sent, should I just send you Morgan and Taylor's letter and have yall send it to them.   I love yall so much and I pray for you!

Elder Spencer Salinas

Monday, November 19, 2012

November 12, 2012

Well what a week I have had.  I was able to accomplish so much and I have learned so much in this week then I have on my mission entirely so far.  Sorry I didn't finish my letter last week.  We emailed from the library and it has a time limit on the computers and I went over, so I just hit send so you would at least get an email.  But you know what the rest of my testimony would consist of.  It's hard to think that Thanksgiving is next week, and Christmas is right around the corner.  I've almost been out for 2 months and time is flying by.  It seems like just yesterday I was standing on the sidelines at the game coachin’ them up, and now the season is over and wrestling is starting.  I am glad to hear that everything is going well back home.  I pray every night that yall will receive the blessing from having Taylor and I out on a mission, and I know you will continue to receive these blessings the more faithful and unified we all are.  It is funny how Taylor wrote that he was so in tuned with the spirit this week, because I was the exact same way.  It had a rough start, but it was a very very good week for me.  Like I said, my companion has been pretty tough to work with, I mean he has been at this for over a year, and he knows that he knows everything, but he doesn't wake up and work out in the mornings, so even though I am being obedient, he isn't so it is hurting our companionship.  But I will get to some of this later.
Monday we went bowling as a zone, and it was awesome.  I forgot my camera gosh darnit, so I didn't get any pictures :/  but it was super fun and some of the other elders got some pictures.  That night we ended up biking way out into the boonies to see a sister in our ward who was in a car accident a month ago and hasn't been to church.  We gave her a blessing and even though we didn't want to ride out there we knew that we were sent there for a reason.  Since it was way out there and we didn’t want to bike home, since its pitch black out at 6:00 now, we called a member with a bike rack, and we were invited to their family home evening,  It was awesome and we were able to bring a large portion of the spirit into their home.  I just love our ward so much, and I wish I could stay in this area my whole mission.
So on Tuesday, I went on my trade off with Elder Howell, the District Leader.  He is awesome, I was able to open up to him and just tell him what has been going on with my comp and stuff.  One of the things that the new missionary has to do is take the lead in teaching lessons, and he hasn't let me do that like at all, and when I try it just sounds like we are trying to talk over each other, so we are WAY un-unified and it really bothers me.  Anyways Elder Howell let me take over some lessons, and I even was able to bail him out of some situations that he didn't think I had the ability to do, so it was such an awesome day.  So I decided to try and take this leadership with me throughout the week.
We had District meeting, and it was good.  The Assistants were there and something that has been overly stressed thus far on my mission has been qualifying for the work and just being able to train at any time possible.  So after this meeting, I was talking to my comp and was just like look I need to teach or else I won't be able to train in 7 weeks, and he pretty much said that he doesn't trust my teaching ability because I haven't shown it yet, and because he feels he can teach it better and he finds joy in teaching others the Gospel.  So I told him I find that same joy too, and my skill isn't going to increase until I can actually teach.  So we had dinner with our Ward Mission Leader and his family, and they invited a friend and his girl friend over to take the lessons.  I took over the whole lesson, and it went really well, Bro. Mecham was impressed.  My comp still has the tenancy to talk over me when I'm explaining, or just speed talk right past me.
So we received a media referral text and we went and saw this lady.  She has a huge house in Haile Plantation, a mini community inside our area.  Her daughter is going to a private high school in Utah, and she went down and visited her and met some Mormons, and just loved them.  On her way home she sat next to a missionary on his way to Orlando on his mission, and just talked about the church and how she is investigating it.  I tried to lead that lesson, but my comp just told me he felt he could explain it better.  So I have been pretty fed up with this lack of trust, which I thought we had resolved.  We met with Donovan again, and we found him a ride to church and everything, and he called the person we set up a ride with for him and he said his dad would bring him.  Ya he didn't come to church.  Mike and Meagan keep cancelling on us, but we are still in contact, Vincent, we were able to talk to his dad, and his dad is excited that Vincent is taking the lessons.  We have an appointment with him tomorrow hopefully.
I was able to take over weekly planning again, and it went awesome.  Elder Lisonbee, and Elder Howell have said that I am the best planner in the mission, and they think I am ready to train already.  I have learned so much, and it has all been led by the spirit.  I keep reading the scriptures, and I am on 3 Nephi and I started like 2 weeks ago.  I have begun to liken them and apply them so much in my life, and it makes me wonder why I never did it before my mission, why I never focused more on them.  This is why I advise Grant and M'Kay to start studying now, because the time is short to prepare, especially for Grant.  Ohh one thing that I have been doing is cleaning up all of our Formers, and looking at who was being taught and then why they weren't being taught or baptized.  I found this one family, and the mom is super less active, and the boyfriend has been investigating for 6 years.  They want to start coming to church again, and the daughter is ready to be baptized.  She is 9 and keeps asking why she wasn't baptized last year.  I connected really well with them and was able to teach them about the importance of church and just blessings and stuff, it was all spirit led.  So hopefully we get a baptism here soon.
Saturday we didn’t get a lot done, I can’t even remember who we saw this day.  But my comp slept most of the day, and then we went and helped some rednecks move into the ghetto.  They had soo much junk that they crammed into one single apartment.  Ohh and the guys mom she had a MUSTACHE!!!!! it was sooo thick and nasty, and yes it was a lady I made sure to find out.  EWWWW.
We were supposed to have like 5 investigators at church, but none of them showed up, so we were pretty mad about that.  We did have a good day though.  We found out that President Barry is speaking in our ward next Sunday, and we are having dinner with him and our Bishop who is super rich.  We had a lesson with a member family last night.  It was soo awesome.  I was able to actually give my first blessing in the mission field.  We also left a mighty Blessing upon their home, it was awesome.  The Sirmans are awesome, like I said, I love my ward soo soo much.

Well I love this area, and I am excited to see what the rest of my mission brings me.  I don’t have that much time left, only like 97 more weeks.  Mom that means only 97 more emails.  So I hope they bring you joy ;)_So we aren’t allowed to wear sweaters or jackets.  We have to wear our suit coats, soo I have been freezing the last couple of nights, because I don’t want to ruin my suit by wearing it every night when it gets cold.  I can survive until January when it heats up.  Ohh I’m excited for Thanksgiving cause we get to play football. :)_Which reminds me.  I would really really like my cleats and kicking tees.  I do agility stuff in the mornings, and I can’t get any grip on the grass, and I want to keep my leg fresh on kicking, so if you could that would be nice :)  Taylor, I cannot wait until we are both home, we are going to live close to each other and just tear people up with the gospel.  I love where I am at, but I still just want this to go by so I can come home and start my life and just be with my family.  Other missionaries say they love their families, but they don’t miss them.  I'm just like I really miss my family, and yes I do miss you Grant.  Ohh and don’t wait to get back in shape.  Start ASAP.  Do as much as you can cause I am so weak cause I didn’t lift after surgery, and I have a long ways to go to get into D-1 Football Shape.  I love you all so much keep praying and reading and stuff, the scriptures help every aspect of life. Lots of Love, God Speed and Hoorah for Israel!!!!


Elder Spencer

November 5, 2012

Well this was a good week.  Although numbers don’t show, it was a pretty good week.

So our district leader usually gives us a ride to get groceries on Monday, but they were out of miles so we had to bike to Publix, which is like Albertson's to get stuff for the week.  We don’t have to proselyte until like 6 on Mondays so I just cleaned the apartment and wrote letters all day.  On Monday nights we usually go over to Sister Fragoso's and help her understand the Book of Mormon, and she feeds us. :)  This week we had Cuban sandwiches, Plantains, and Iron Beer.  It was all really good.  But that was pretty much all that happened on Monday.


Tuesday, we were supposed to meet with Mike and Meagan again, but Meagan called us and said not to come.  She thinks that Mike might think the church is true, and he is not ready to change because he is content with how he is.  The said they would come to church but that never happened.  :/ So we are trying really hard to keep in contact with them but it is super tough.  I just pray for them to accept what they are learning and feel a need and desire to change.


Wednesday I had to come to the Library to do some family history thing on the computer.  It was completely pointless.  Anyways, I had the impression to stop by Vincent's house as we were passing his complex to see if we could catch him.  He ended up being there and it was his birthday.  He now has a phone so we have been staying in good contact with him, which is awesome.  His dad is a member in Williston, which is really close to us, he is actually in our stake so we are going to give him a call this week to see if we can all meet together and teach Vincent.  Pretty stoked.  We also got a media referral today, and we went to the guys house and he wasn’t home, but his name was John Doe, so we don’t know if it is a real referral or not.  Since it was Halloween we had to be in pretty early, so we were home by 7:30 and just hung out the rest of the night and planned.


We had a Zone Conference on Thursday and it was AMAZING!!!  I learned a lot on how to be a more effective missionary, and how to make better plans and get people to church and pretty much everything I have been missing, or that my trainer has failed to teach me thus far.  We have such awesome Zone Leaders. Elder Grant and Elder Bishop just know everything and I wanna learn it all.  So after Zone Conference we all got new phones, so now we have touch screens and my trainer doesn’t know how to use it so now I have the phone and I use it all the time, it is SOOO effective, and makes me wonder why we never used it.  After this we had the opportunity to receive some training from President Barry.  It was 4th week training, so I was able to see a couple of people who flew in the same day as me.  They all still seem a little lost, but I know they will start learning faster.  But we had dinner with Sister Trench when we got home, and we had tilapia, and some funky scallop potatoes, it wasn’t the best, but it was food.


Friday could not have gone better.  It was Weekly Planning, and after the training we had received on Thursday I was prepared for today.  I pretty much took over everything and we had the most effective, planned out focused weekly planning.  It was awesome.  I have been kinda leading our companionship since Thursday.  But in the middle of Weekly Planning we had a 4th week conference call and it was pretty good.  We all shared our testimonies and miracles and stuff it was good.  After that we had an appointment set up with a gal we had contacted a week earlier, and we called her and she said she was working, but her roommate Blaine would be there.  So we went over there and we taught Blaine the Restoration and he understood it and accepted it and stuff.  We were supposed to come back the next day to teach Shanik, the gal we had the appointment with, but she called us and was like I didn’t know you were trying to convert us, so we aren’t interested, so we aren’t sure about how that is going.  That night we had dinner with Sebastian and Sister Neal.  We found out that even though he has been reading the Book of Mormon, he doesn’t understand what he is reading.  There is no way he can know it is true if he doesn’t understand.  So we are trying to find someone to help him with it.  Interesting fact I learned at Zone Conference. "Only 1 in every 20 investigators gains a spiritual witness that the Book of Mormon is true while reading it by themselves."  So we are finding mentors for all our investigators to help them understand.  Anyways, we invited Sebastian to church, and he said yes, but only if we went to Mass with him.  SOOOO we agreed.


Saturday we had a church tour setup, but no one showed up to it, so we were pretty bummed, but I talked to Brother Meacham, who is the ward mission leader, about sports and school and stuff.  He was a wrestler and he is a dentist, so we have a lot in common. Other than this, we didn’t get much accomplished. :/


So we went to Mass on Sunday before our regular meetings, and it was, well different, and not what I remember it being when I was a little kid.  It's like a big party, and all the little kids run up there every 10 min to give the pastor a high five, I just could not feel the spirit as hard as I tried.  But Sebastian did come to church and I bore my testimony towards him on Sunday.  We had dinner with some members, The Hymas family.  He is a Cardiologist resident, and is pretty smart.  They are really nice.  We invited them to do missionary work and to hand out a Book of Mormon in the next month, so we will see how that goes.  On our way home we had the impression to stop by Sebastian's house, Sister Neal works at night.  So we went over there, and it was like 8:00, and asked if we could help him understand what he is reading.   So we started reading with him and he is understanding a lot more.  He was just super confused when Nephi teaches from Isaiah and stuff.  So we had a good week and I am so ready for this week.

In my personal studies, I started reading the Book of Mormon about 2 weeks ago, and I am halfway through Alma, the Book of Mormon is awesome.  I understand it a lot better and my testimony of it grows more and more every day.  I love this gospel and the church I am firmly rooted in.  I know Jesus Christ is my Savior and that he did die for me, and that he loves me so much, even so much to suffer for everything I have done wrong, and will ever do wrong in my life.  I know that God has a plan for me, and that I am here to help others understand that plan, I am here to help others feel the same joy I do towards God and Jesus Christ.  I want them to be able to live with their families forever, as well as all my friends and people back home, who have not heard our message.  I love where I am at, and I am so grateful for my mission. I am grateful for the ability it has had to open my eyes and surely gain a testimony of my faith.  I know I can say without any doubt that The Book of Mormon is True, Joseph Smith restored the fullness of the gospel Jesus Chris to the Earth today, and that we have living prophets today to guide us.  I have a Testimony of the priesthood, and the power that I hold, as well as every other worth holder.  I love my family, and I know that  (Spencer ran out of time on his computer and hurried and hit send so we would get his letter this week.  :)