Monday, September 29, 2014

9/29/14 – And the Training Goes On…

Hello Family and Friends,

This week has been full of many exciting and interesting events. Some great some not so great. There are too many to have time to add into this email, unfortunately. So sorry about that. One interesting experience this week. We tried some 600k scovill hot sauce and that was AWESOME. Tasted rather good actually for about 10 seconds... then I could no longer taste anything, it just burned haha. My companion accidentally had a huge drop on his piece of pizza and he hurled like 5 times. It was rather humorous and I am so glad I got it on video (not the vomiting part). We also did a lot of service this week, which felt great. I love doing service. We didn't do much teaching this week, well, pretty much none, only two lessons total. That was ROUGH. I've never taught that few lessons in a week on my entire mission. I'm feelin' for Elder Wright, I remember the beginning of my mission, I didn't hardly teach anything and that was hard for me because I wasn't as prepared as I should have been when I left. Even though I didn't go till I was 20... So the lessons weren't coming so naturally. I've been blessed on my mission though as I have studied hard and now I'm a master :). I have been wanting to whitewash/train for a while so this is a huge blessing to me to go through this trial. The members are growing on us a lot and they're lovin' us. People are always like... Elder Wright, you have that deer in the headlights look. How long have you been out? It's a crack up sometimes. He is a stellar missionary though, I said this last week, but he just isn't afraid to learn and do things outside of his comfort zone. He is reminding me of a lot of things we need to be doing better. Once we get some work generated in this area it will be nice to teach with him. I'm praying really hard we stay together this next transfer. It's only a 5 week transfer this time. Next transfer will be 7 weeks. So transfers are already around the bend, we find out a week from Thursday if any changes will be made with us. Then transfers are on the 15th! It's kind of weird I'm 6 and things are just starting to clique, everything comes so much easier to me. Everything from being put on the spot to teach a class or give a talk all the way to teaching lessons using as many aspects of an efficient missionary as I can according to the persons needs that I discern. It's been awesome to watch this growth in myself. It definitely is a blessing to be on a mission. And I guess this is pretty much home now, that is until I get school/career figured out when I get home. I'm pretty sure I'm going to end up at BYU-I for pre-med and then try to get into U of U for med school. That's ultimately the plan right now, but I have no idea what Heavenly Father has in store for me. I'm out of juice guys, sorry but ta-ta for now. Love you all!


Elder Gillespie

Monday, September 22, 2014

9/22/14 – Hitch (Mom Got Hitched!)

G' Day,

Well we are finally getting a better handle on things in this area. We are finally meeting and getting to know a lot of people. We got bikes! Which helps a ton for getting around in the city part of our area, but doesn't help much with all the other farm land we cover. Our orientation is still pretty lacking, but hey that's why we carry around maps. Elder Wright is a boss. He just wants to do all he can to be successful, and he essentially copies everything I do in hopes to learn and become better (scary). I'm trying to remember if I was like that, I'm kinda thinkin' I wasn't cuz I'm a rebel in that way. Too cool for school attitude. I turned out alright regardless. I see Elder Wright having MUCH success in the mission field. He is really getting out of his comfort zone and learning to just interact and idk, be more missionary like. 

My Mother's wedding.... Well, that was fun! It kinda pumped me up and rekindled my new missionary fire that I had not long ago. I'm ready to get back to work and be the best priesthood holder I can and be worthy of a righteous spouse. Yes, the wedding made me a tad bit girl trunky. But s'all good. It was good to see everyone that was there. The weirdest thing is probably just that my mother lives in my zone. WITHIN 20 MINUTES OF ME. I'm basically serving in my home mission now.... LAME. Haha, nah God works in mysterious ways, will be interesting to see what He has in store for me and my family and future family. Patience right?

Love y'all,
Elder Gillespie

No pictures this week, I didn't really think much about taking any.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

9/20/14 - Elder Gillespie's Visit to the Idaho Falls Temple for His Mom's Sealing

Elder Gillespie was granted permission to attend the Sealing (Wedding) of his Mom, Betsy at the Idaho Falls Temple on 9/20/14. Here are a few pictures from that day.

Elder Gillespie and his Mom, the bride!

Elder Gillespie in front of the Idaho Falls Temple Visitor's Center.

Evan's Companion, Elder Wright in front of the Idaho Falls Temple.

Elder Gillespie's Mom, Betsy with his Min-Pin, Xena.

It was a Happy & Full Day!!!
We are ALL Uber-Blessed!

Monday, September 15, 2014

9/15/14 – SPUD DAY !!

Elders Gillespie and Wright in Shelley, Idaho


Been a crazy week with my new trainee Elder Wright! A little bit about him. He's from Reston, Virginia, he's awesome, he's brilliant, and he's ready to work! He's got 2 sisters and an older brother who is serving in Palmyra, New York.   Like we have been doing practice roleplays to help him learn the lessons, and he is leaps and bounds farther ahead than I was when first came out. I can no longer sustain thought long enough to create a good email. I just talked with sister Spooner a sister from Peoria, AZ and we know like all of the same people. We're pretty much set on talking about all these people. She and I came out to the mission together. Ummmm... we're in a car area with no car so that's been difficult. We rely heavily on members for rides because we cover a lot of farmland. It's definitely not easy whitewash training, but this is going to be a huge learning experience for me. Honestly, the hardest thing really is just the fact that we don't have our own transportation. My Mom's wedding is this Saturday!!!!! AND I GET TO GO TO THAT! Will be awesome to see all of my family. I feel like I'm cheating the system and I get to see everyone. I can't describe how excited I am. It'll be great. Anywho, love you all, sorry AGAIN for the email lacking much information on what's happening in the life of Elder G. This weekend is Spud day and I'm not going to be able to participate :( But I'll be visiting with family so that'll be much better.


Elder Gillespie

Excerpts from his Letter to Mom (Betsy):

SO COOL that so many people are going to be able to make it up to the sealing. It will be SUPER exciting to see all of the family and friends that will be there. I'm doing some missionary work of my own on the side via emails to old friends and things like that. Thanks for sharing this email with me both the letter to the family AND the sealing! Are you SUPER STOKED?!?!? You gon' be married for time and all eternity...

Yeah so training has been fun, I really have been learning a TON! Now that I have this solid foundation of missionary work built from the past 6 months, I'm just now building it up and making that foundation look all fancy shmancy. I really am learning a lot just these past 5 days or so going through the training program has probably been more helpful for me than for my Son. My Son is totally ready to work, and he already has the lessons pretty well memorized as far as the order of the principles in the lesson. I'm like seriously happy to be training though.  I'm like really really excited to be at your sealing this Saturday, it's a huge day for our family. To be honest, I'm moreso excited to just see everyone again. It's only been 6 months I know, but holy smokes I'm excited! 

Love ya,
Elder Gillespie

Saturday, September 13, 2014

9/8/14 - Truth Shall Make You Free

Elders Gillespie & Downey at the Idaho Falls Temple
Good Day,

John 8:31 – 32 (“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”)
- If we follow in Christ's footsteps we will be made free. It really amazes me. The natural man is so quick to yield to sin. There are so many people that are out there that have no idea. They truly believe that living the gospel is so hard because it is so restricting and has many limitations as to do and don'ts. They cray. Sin binds us to the "gulf of endless misery and woe". It does not provide us with any kind of everlasting joy and happiness. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is what does that as we follow God's commandments. We are in fact living on His earth. Everything we use is his. Even our bodies were GIVEN to us. Thus why we must treat them with respect. But what is so amazing to me is that we as humans (natural men) are so easily deceived by Satan and we temporarily forget that all in all living the commandments and following Christ's teachings will bring us ultimate joy. When we have done all that we can to follow Him that is when, by our Savior’s grace, we are saved and are able to dwell in God's presence again.

Well I found out I'm getting transferred AGAIN! 5 companions in 5 transfers now haha. Elder Downey and I already kind of knew that we weren't going to stay together though anyways. We got along way too well. I'm going up to Shelley Idaho, basically back to where I started my mission! I'm super excited we get to reopen an area up there. AND I GET TO TRAIN A NEW ELDER! WOOOO! I'm super stoked. I'm going to learn so much this transfer. It's rather bittersweet though, I'm sad to be leaving ANOTHER area after 3 months and after having gotten to love the people there so much. I've been making lots of life long friends in this last area and it'll be fun to go back and visit them in a couple of years. Every companionship in my new district up in Shelley is training. It's pretty rare to have that happen. Plus there are 5 companionship's in my district. I really hope I get to do all 12 weeks of my 'Son's' training. Anywho, I'm outty, gotta go get stuff prepared for transfers on Wednesday. 

Love y'all,
Elder Gillespie

Missionary caravan up to Idaho Falls for a Train the Trainers meeting. 
Was a fun 40 minute car ride. 


Hello all!

It has been an interesting week. Elder Downey and I are still gettin' along as good as ever. I love that man, he's a great missionary and a great person. I'm excited to see what things he has in store for him in his future. We've been hearing all kinds of mixed things for this up and coming winter weather. I've been told it's going to be what's called and 'El Nino' which supposedly means a very weak winter. But then others have been saying that means a very strong winter. So yeah. I'm hoping for some intense winter storms. I've nearly been out for 6 months now! 2 more weeks. It's seemed like pretty much no time at all.

People are interesting to say the least. We teach and visit with so many wonderful people. I love my job. I love talking to people and helping them and being a vessel for the Spirit of God. It works through me in essentially all I do as I remain worthy. I've had many humbling experiences and I've been very grateful for them. These short two years that I have to serve could go right on by in the blink of an eye. I'm realizing very quickly that I can just float on by without really accomplishing anything or changing anything in my own life. I'm worried that if I don't make some changes that I will have kind of have plateaued and stopped progressing. The hard thing though is that like I don't know how to continue getting better. I'm stepping out of my comfort zones and growing in that way. So that's good I suppose. All I know is that after all I can do, His grace is sufficient for me. I'm so grateful for Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice. I've needed to be forgiven for many things in my life. I've wronged a lot of people. To know that I can change and be strengthened through Christ is a miracle. I wish that everyone would hear the message we as missionaries go about and share. But they think we are selling something and they just don't comprehend what our purpose is and how much the gospel can bless their lives and their families’ lives. I'm running out of time. I'll get better at emails at some point haha... 

Love you all,

Elder Gillespie 

8/25/14 – Week 25 Or Somethin err Other


Well My mother has officially moved into my mission boundaries! Weird..... In other news.. It has been a fantastical week! We have some investigators who are like REALLY struggling, they know the church is true, they want to be baptized, they know what the Spirit feels like, yet they continue to allow Satan to tempt them to do evil. AND they won't quit smoking. It's hard to hear about things they are still involved in when every time we are there are just 100% like YEAH LET’S GET BAPTIZED. They have a baptismal date set for November 8th. I may or may not still be in this area we'll see. Transfers are coming up here on the 10th and we are pretty sure that we won't be together any longer than this one transfer... The typical trend seems to be that companions that are best friends only stay together for a transfer. Plus I have had 4 companions in 4 transfers. I'm really hoping that if Elder Downey and I don't stay together that I'll get to train a new Elder and that we will 'whitewash'. I think that'd be so fun. Plus it'd be nice to get a refresher of the 12 week program for myself. We had an Elder from the 1st Quorum of the Seventy visit this last Saturday! That was really fun, he was a funny guy. He even made a joke about the temple videos (which essentially just gave all the missionaries permission to do so as well.... haha). He (God) answered a lot of my prayers though, was LEGIT! It was kinda weird though, he didn't visit the whole mission. Only the 4 zones that are in Pocatello. We have like 13 or 14 zones in the mission too!

Pics: Found a random typewriter in our apartment and ended up writing a couple of letters with it haha. Was a struggle. Plus it didn't write some letters like y,j,g,p, and some others i think. 

Love you all!
Elder Gillespie

3 Nephi 18: 6-11 “And this shall ye always observe to do, even as I have done, even as I have broken bread and blessed it and given it unto you. And this shall ye do in remembrance of my body, which I have shown unto you. And it shall be a testimony unto the Father that ye do always remember me. And if ye do always remember me ye shall have my Spirit to be with you. And it came to pass that when he said these words, he commanded his disciples that they should take of the wine of the cup and drink of it, and that they should also give unto the multitude that they might drink of it. And it came to pass that they did so, and did drink of it and were filled; and they gave unto the multitude, and they did drink, and they were filled. And when the disciples had done this, Jesus said unto them: Blessed are ye for this thing which ye have done, for this is fulfilling my commandments, and this doth witness unto the Father that ye are willing to do that which I have commanded you. And this shall ye always do to those who repent and are baptized in my name; and ye shall do it in remembrance of my blood, which I have shed for you, that ye may witness unto the Father that ye do always remember me. And if ye do always remember me ye shall have my Spirit to be with you.”

8/18/14 – Letter to Buncha Family to Recap Mission

Hello Family,

I'm sorry I haven't been doing the best at keeping in touch with you all, but I've got some time now finally to sit down and write something up for ya. These past 5 months I've been out in the mission field I've grown SO much. There is no greater thing I could be doing with my life. I've been fortunate enough to build many strong relationships with people out here and watch them completely change their lives around through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It definitely has been a challenge being out here. I don't get to see family or friends from back home. I don't get to watch my T.V. I'm putting my life on hold for these two years. But I'm serving people. In doing that I'm serving God as well. It may or may not be hard to understand, but this is shaping me into a better man, who is better equipped to be a father in the future. And just be a more responsible adult in general. We have what is called Transfers, and that just means every 6 weeks we have the potential to be moved to a different area, get a new companion, or just stay where you are with the same companion. A companion is basically my teaching partner. We are together 24/7 we literally can't leave sight and sound of each other, cept for things like going to the bathroom, and if we get special permission we go on 'exchanges' where we have a different companion for a day or so. Exchanges are usually with missionaries who are leaders in the mission and they help us grow and become better missionaries. Stepping out of my comfort zones out here has really forced me to grow and I'm loving it! I am making friends out here whom I will be friends with FOREVER. I'm a missionary from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When you see two guys in white shirts and ties and name tags on. That's me. I'm doing what they're doing. It's not easy, boy let me tell you haha. if you see them walking around or they come a knockin' on your door, let them in and hear what they have to say. The message we have to share is so precious. It has brought exceeding joy in my life and I am only just starting to understand just a little bit of what our Heavenly Father has in store for all of us. If you don't want to listen at least let them in and give them a drink of water or chat with 'em for a little bit. Crystals wedding is next month isn't it?!?! That's CRAZY. I wish I could be there. I miss you all and our silly family games. As much as I may have drudged playing some cards at times, they are precious memories that I will cherish forever. I wish the best for all of you and I want to hear how things are going for you! Please forward this on to all of our family on your side mom. Like ALLLLLL of them. I love you all and hope to hear from you soon!

Elder Gillespie

P.S. The members of the Church here take pretty good care of us haha. That food was all free, some of it was homegrown corn, pork, goat's milk, bread, farm fresh eggs, etc. etc.

(2nd email to larger group)
Hi Family and Friends,

This week has been slow yet we have accomplished so much! Poor Elder Downey hasn't been feelin' super hot so we weren't able to go out and do much proselyting. We have been making a lot of progress with members in the wards we cover though! They have had some serious issues with missionaries in the past and they're starting to gain a lot of trust with us. They see that we are here to work hard and so that's pumping them up. plus Elder Downey is just the most fun, animated person in the world. He's been really good for this area. He and I are thinking in this upcoming transfer that I will more than likely stay here and he'll be transferred out. But, that's not for a few more weeks so it doesn't quite matter just yet. I really want to train a new missionary though, we'll see what happens. 

There's just no experience like the missionary experience. The people that we meet, the things that we see (and maybe wish we hadn't), the miracles we witness. It's just awesome. I'm having so much fun leaving every comfort zone I've ever had and growing as a person. I don't think I've ever laughed this much in my entire life. Elder Downey and I fortunately have fairly similar personalities so that just makes everything so much easier. 

We had three investigators at church yesterday that we have been trying to get there for TWO months. So that was a huge feat! They were all saying 'Yeah, I'll see you guys next week' to random people at Church and they could TOTALLY feel the Spirit there. They all 3 want to get baptized, but one of them is on probation till sometime in November or December so that makes that hard. I may not be here for that :( We have an investigator that is moving and he's is utterly in love with us. okay not that bad, but for someone who was a gangbanger. He's got a serious connection with us. But like I said he is moving out of our area, and he like realllllly wants us to keep teaching him. We think we might be able to work that out, but it'll be interesting to see what happens. He has had a really rough past, and has been working HARD to change his life around. He's been reading out of the Book of Mormon quite regularly and he's about halfway through now. I love people so much though. I've yet to meet a single person whom is a bad person. I've met people who have murdered and few other bad things, yet they still are good people, whom have just made bad mistakes. They are all children of God, and he loves them no matter what. I've been trying to follow Christ's example and exercise patience and humility with those whom might seem 'odd' or 'not right in the head' or just plain people whom I don't necessarily agree with everything they do. The work is hard, but the field is white all ready to harvest. I don't know what the lord has in store for us this upcoming week, but I'm happy to be an instrument in his hands.

Elder Gillespie

Here are some random pictures of boredom. I know.. They're lame.

8/11/14 - Rain and Puddles and Floods, Oh My!

Elders Gillespie & Downey in Pocatello, ID
Dem Floods Doe

Rainy week we've had here in Pocatello!

This week has been fun! And long! And busy! Extra busy... I'm having lots and lots of fun though. Elder Downey and I get along way too well. He's a Goob, Imma Goob, it works out. We walk into our apartments every night at around 9:00-9:30 completely exhausted and still having all kinds of things to do like update the Area book with the things we taught that day, or plan for the coming day and set goals, plus Elder Downey is the District Leader so he has to make NIGHTLY follow-up calls which can take time. So by the time 10:30 comes around we are just loopy and starting to get slap happy. Neither of us ever get very good sleep cause the beds aren't very comfortable and various other reasons, but we make due with what we have! 

We have really been struggling to get some people we're teaching to Church. Whenever we go over for a lesson the Spirit is super strong it’s an amazing lesson, than we leave and a few days later they kind of forget what that feels like so something happens and they aren't able to come for one reason or another. It's hard they're really good people but they have some really rough lives. 

Elder Downey is complaining that he's hungry and we've been emailing for nearly 2 hours so imma have to cut this a tad short. But boy I can't say enough times that we are just getting beyond busy. We're pretty much to the point where we have so many people we're working with that we don't have time to visit everyone within a given week. It's insane. 

Love you all,
Elder Gillespie

PS - We were having too much fun being soaked and not having a care in the world. The streets were pretty dangerous in some parts. 

Puddles in Pocatello - Elder Gillespie Muddling Through!