Friday, December 26, 2014

12/1/14 - The Craziest/Hardest week of My Mission By Far!



Angela the gal whom was one day a non-member and the next day randomly baptized :) 
She's super awesome, very cool woman.
For whatever reason when I do group selfies I always cut Elder Wright out a little bit of it.

Hello all,

Been the craziest/hardest week of my mission by far! I cannot put the experiences I've had into words. Scary/good/bad/amazing/horrible. Those words may be the most sufficient way I can describe the week at this time. Day after day something super weird/coincidental/or dark happened. This Monday we got in touch with a woman named Angela whom we met about 2 months ago and we had a super deep conversation on her door step. She was not a member of the church and was getting her questions answered by an "adult" so we didn't need to come by. Two weeks later we stopped by and caught her home and she wanted to meet! Later that week the husband put a stop to that happening and then we found out that they were moving to Texas. This last Monday we talked with her again and she was like "Oh my goodness, I forgot to invite you to my baptism!" We found out that their process of moving was slowed down and her "adult friend" offered to have her take the discussions at their house in Blackfoot. She said that if it weren't for that first night Elder Wright and I had stopped by and talked with her for about an hour on her door step just about life. She would not have sat down and talked with the missionaries ever. She became interested after that night. NOW SHE"S BAPTIZED!!! WOOOOOOOO!!!! Was a super happy day in the life of Elder G.

This last Saturday we had two baptisms in our area! Their names are Brixen and Braylin, 9 and 10 years old! Their family is very unique for multiple reasons I can't divulge in this email. I love that family with all of my heart. They have been through things people wouldn't even think possible. This past week before the baptisms they had some extremely startling and scary experiences. Even through that they were able to put smiles on their faces and be happy and live on. The devil was crying at the time of their baptism, HE LOST. I am so grateful to be in the service of my fellow brothers and sisters. I get to take part in witnessing the conversion process of others. I get to tell them that this life isn't the end, I get to tell them that wickedness never was happiness, I get to tell them that their families can be together forever. I also get to tell them that I love them regardless of who they are or what they've done, they can feel exceedingly great joy as they change and begin living the Gospel. Alma 36:16-21:
“And now, for three days and for three nights was I racked, even with the pains of a damned soul. And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world. Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death. And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more. And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain! Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.”

Satan is very real. He desires the destruction of God's kingdom here on earth. If allowed, he will call his legions to send forth terror and destruction among the children of men. He is very good at what he does. The way to combat him is simply to not entice and invite him. Alma 37:6-7 (Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise. And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.”) We need to do the small and simple things! We stir up the deep questions involving the mysteries of God when we aren't even doing our home teaching, scripture study, prayers, etc. etc. What's the deal with that? Aren't we promised to know the mysteries of God if we keep his commandments and do His will? We mustn't forget the blessings brought about by the small and simple things, i.e. eternal salvation.

Elder Wright and I are staying together for ANOTHER transfer! Heavenly Father must be telling us something. We're either not doing something right and need to learn something, or we're doin' an awesome job! They are combining the districts here in Shelley and I'm remaining the District Leader over 6 companionships. Should be fun... considering I follow-up with them nightly and 3 companionships are sisters (very talkative). Going to spend like an hour every night just on calls haha. The mission had 101 baptisms this month which is super crazy! That's a mission record! Our zone got 18 baptisms (there's 12 zones). Our zone is the highest teaching/baptizing the past few months. Not to boast, just to express my gratitude for the blessings being poured upon us all as our Heavenly Father is hastening his work. SO many great things are to come. Accompanying that, of course, are many horrible and dreadful things. We must remember to keep ourselves in line and holding to the rod, for, when that storm comes, it will hit hard.

Love,
Elder Gillespie

A picture of all of the missionaries who taught this family 
and the Savage/Lacey family (Brixen and Braylin) 

I was fortunate enough to confirm Braylin and Brixen on 11/30 in Sacrament meeting



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