Thursday, December 24, 2015

12/21/15 – Merry Christmas --- Miracles Abound!

My Kind Ladies & Gents',

Wow.. What a humbling month of experiences on my mission. I have some miracles I have decided to share with you.

1. The Lord truly is the one who carries out this work. We get to be here to witness His hand working in the lives of SO MANY! One particular family here in Idaho Falls has been seeing so many amazing things happen in their lives mixed in with some really hard things. At first our visits there consisted of Mom avoiding us whenever we set up an appointment or even just if we showed up. We usually ended up talking with the daughter when that would happen and we always shared short messages of hope and of being a good example etc. etc. At one point we shared an odd bit of our doctrine with them about our divine potential and that seemed to be the catalyst to perk their interest. It was funny, actually, I looked over to my companion and said, "We're doing it" in reference to, yes we are going to talk about this topic that usually is not discussed too much. So after that we had another lesson set up and at the end we gave them a Book of Mormon Stories book for the daughter. A few days go by and we catch the family as they are leaving to go for a walk to a park a few miles away. Good timing right? So we see them, I point at them, the Mom points back, we walk up to them and join them on their walk! We talk about priesthood authority, we talk about women and the priesthood, we talk about mission life, etc. etc. It was a good visit. We probably walked for a good 30 minutes with them until saying alright we should probably get back to the car. They suggest, "Can we walk you back?" after getting about half way to the park or so, and of course we say, "Sure!" So we have bonded a good bit at this point. A few days after that, we talk with Mom and she says, "What have you done to my Daughter?!" She then goes on to explain several events that have been taking place all the while Mom had been avoiding us up until the point where we were then at. Some of the things she said: She has been doing better in school, making better choices, Mom caught her reading the Book of Mormon Stories at 3am in the dark under her blankets. Mom was totally in awe of the changes taking place. The kicker was when the Daughter said, "you know... I don't feel like my baptism when I was young really counted, I WAS A BABY!" She then decided to be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God. I was fortunate to be the one to perform the ordinance of baptism for her and Elder Hoffman confirmed her in church the next day. This is just the beginning... Mom struggles with addiction and has been struggling because of that for the past couple years of her life. During one lesson I jokingly called Mom a "Bawl Baby" and ever since then her Daughter has been telling everyone that her Mom is a "Bawl Baby" haha. Anyways, Mom has a broken heart and a contrite spirit as the scriptures say and has a great desire for her daughter to be happy. In the midst of all of these things happening, money has been an issue, scared of losing a home and electricity, food, etc. have ALL been a struggle, many miracles in that situation alone, but I won't go into details. Mom has now decided that she, herself, wants to be baptized. She has fallen in love with the story of Alma the Younger and has read half of the book of Alma just because she likes it. She wants to feel forgiveness from her sins and mistakes. A couple of weeks before her daughters baptism they moved into Grandma and Grandpa's home while they were on a 2 week vacation, which was a blessing for this Mom and Daughter. The Great Grandma has some health challenges and she lives there so they were taking care of her. Great Grandma has a GREAT faith in Christ and is a Methodist. She has been there for several of our lessons. The last lesson we had there we talked about the Great Apostasy more in depth than we normally would, and left a simple heartfelt invitation to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know of its truthfulness. Great Grandma has taken the challenge and she herself is seeking to know if it’s the truth of God. SO much good has come to this family because of the small changes they have been making in their lives. They have been attending church, praying regularly, reading scriptures, even have gone to Family Home Evening and Mom will be doing Book of Mormon study groups with one of our Relief Society Presidents. I could go on with the other small miracles with just this family, but it all stemmed from the Daughters Spirit recognizing that this is a good thing and she went for it. They still have some trials to come in the near future, but great seeds have been planted and are starting to develop here. 

2. We recently had a recent convert in our area pass away due to cardiac arrest, which was caused by a concoction of prescribed drugs that should not have been mixed. Doctors made a mistake it sounds like. This was hard. We had just seen her the previous day, and she had just given a talk in church the day we saw her. She committed us to ask around to the members in the ward and see how she did on the talk and report back on the compliments and only the compliments haha. This woman has some hardship on her way to joining the church as well. She had just received a letter from her family that she was essentially being disowned because of it the same weekend she passed away. After her passing, the family witnessed the involvement of the church in her life and are starting to think differently toward things. A long story short, her Brother who is not a member has attended church a couple of times with her and has moved here from the east to help with this woman's daughter who is a drug addict and whose life is spinning out of control. This Daughter has now said she is going to start coming to church. The Brother probably will too and wonderful things are happening within this family. 

The Gospel is contagious. I have many more stories from just this month alone, which I could share, about the miracles of Christ. The Christmas season is a great time for missionary work. I'm grateful for the love and charity that is abounding because of it. 

Thank you for your prayers. My life is teeming with Angels because of you. 

Merry Christmas!

Love,
Elder Gillespie

P.S. #ASaviorIsBorn Christmas Video is awesome! Christmas.Mormon.org - Watch it... Share it...

12/14/15 – Keep the Commandments and Prosper

Hello Peeps,

The update, we had an awesome weekend! So many miracles this week as well! I've had so many tender experiences that would be inappropriate to share in this email to the general audience of friends and family, but I am grateful for the blessings that have been poured out upon me and those we know and love here in eastern Idaho. The Lord really does look after his flock and especially those that are seeking change and desire to that which is good in His sight. I love sitting down and reflecting upon events passed. I connect pieces here and there and I see God's hand in the midst of it all. I'm aware that he cares for my spiritual and temporal needs. Faith and prayer have become very much a part of who I am and what I do to become who my Father in Heaven desires of me. We had a baptism this weekend and in short this family has made drastic changes in just a couple of short months! They went from avoiding us at every opportunity to desiring to meet with us essentially daily! I love this family. I know Heavenly Father placed me here to meet this family. I know Heavenly Father placed me in Eastern Idaho for more reasons than what is comprehensible at the moment. I did not know I had the capacity to love as I now do. I enjoy the presence of the Spirit constantly as I strive to be entreated. If I were to leave dying words at this point in my life, they would be simple.
"Keep the commandments and prosper."

We all strive to have peace and happiness. We all seek that, whether we are conscious of it or unawares, that is our ultimate goal. We want that for ourselves and for our loved ones. In the chaotic insanity of the world today, the only things that will bring the fullness of peace and rest into our hearts is righteous living.

Love you all,

Elder Gillespie 

12/7/15 – Awesome Christmas Videos!

Hello Everyone,

I'm not exactly sure what to talk about this week. Life is chill. We're still here in an undisclosed location in Idaho Falls working hard and teaching lots! One thing I do want to make mention of is the couple of Christmas videos that came out on the 1st. SHARE THEM ON EVERY SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITE YOU ARE A PART OF.
Amen.

Imagine a World without a Savior: https://www.mormon.org/christmas/purpose-of-a-savior

Love you all,
Elder Gillespie


11/30/15 – Great is My Joy in His Work

11/27/15 Former Missionary companions reunited at Bishop Whipple's home
(Elder) Jacob Olson & Elder Evan Gillespie

Hello,

In all of the higgledy piggledy of the world, the only constants that exist are the absolute truths of the gospel. Everything else is left to interpretation and subject to change based on the current popular credence of society. The foundation that we establish as we follow Christ's teachings is vital to our survival in this world filled with the philosophies of man. THE ONLY WAY TO ESTABLISH THAT FOUNDATION IS THROUGH PRAYER, ERNEST AND DILIGENT SCRIPTURE STUDY, SABBATH OBSERVANCE, AND RIGHTEOUS LIVING. This is the secret to true success in life. I pray often to be an effective vessel of the Lord and only hope that his great and eternal purposes will come to pass for those of his children whom are placed in my path. Great is my joy in this work. Great is the love I have developed for all people everywhere. 

Love,
Elder Gillespie


Brian Kisely (Warglaven) is the man dressed in white to my left
 and he was baptized and confirmed this last weekend. 
His family is well on their way to being eternally united in the Temple. 
ONE YEAR FROM THIS PAST WEEKEND!

11/23/15 – That Precious Truth

 Elders Hoffman & Gillespie in Idaho Falls, ID

Hello My Beloved Spirit Brothers & Sisters,

Reflecting and reminiscing the past 20 months or so has brought forth much gratitude. I've always known who I was. I never really knew who I could become though. Now I've seen who I've become thus far and am excited to see what things are in store for my future self and family. I have gained a testimony of the Restored Gospel... A testimony that will never falter.  I know there may be struggles, disappointments and setbacks, but that will never change the witness I've received of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I know that it is of colossal importance that we feast upon the words of Christ, especially through the Book of Mormon, as they are His words, through His prophets. The small and simple things bring about the greatest of miracles. I know that light can shine even in the deepest abyss of darkness. I may have mentioned this over a year ago in one of my emails, but in complete blackness our eyes become 1 million times more sensitive to light. God created our spirits. He created us in His image. Galatians 5:16-25 teaches us of the battle we must fight within ourselves. We consist of a body, which entails all things inclusive of characteristics of the natural man, and a Spirit which is inclusive of all divine attributes of our Father. There is this constant clash between the will of the flesh and the will of the Spirit. The ultimate goal is to overcome the natural man and walk in the Spirit. Verse 24 says, "They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." I want the world to know who they are, where they come from, what their purpose is, where they are going, and how to get there. We were filled with love incomprehensible when we were Spirits in our Father's presence awaiting to receive a body and face the trials of mortal experience and also to serve our fellow brothers and sisters. That precious truth has given me drive and motivation to help others know of their divine potential. God is good. Experiment upon his words (Alma 32:27) and watch His almighty hand work miracles in your life. Be patient, be diligent, and have faith.

Love,
Elder Gillespie

Galatians 5:16-25:
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
    


Alma 32:27:  “But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.”

11/16/15 – Blessings for a New Missionary

Elders Hoffman & Gillespie in Idaho Falls, Idaho
Hello Everyone,

This has been the most facetious first week of a missionary’s mission ever. Pretty much every single day this week we had at the minimum one crazy thing happen! Now poor Elder Hoffman, my new missionary, has a false expectation that this is how the rest of his mission ought to be.

There are certainly some great things happening in this area. I have become absolutely infatuated with the people here and the work that is going on. I'm sad that I only have 4 months of my mission left to live. I feel as though I'm on top of the world in proselyting skills, in charity, in humility, in gratitude, etc. It will have to come to an end, and I will never get to experience a mission this way again. I know that there are greater things to come, but I love the joy that comes from touching the hearts of people in distress by the feelings of the Spirit. I really hope I get to stay in this area for the rest of my mission. I DO NOT WANT TO LEAVE. Though, "not my will, but thine be done". 

Elder Hoffman is a good missionary and he certainly has desires to serve. He has kind of been caught up in the headlights a bit still, but he is loosening up. I'm excited to continue working with him! 

The next few months are go time! 

Love,
Elder Gillespie

Picture above was received with this heart-warming email: 
We had the privilege of having your son Elder Gillespie and his companion for dinner this evening.  We enjoyed getting to know them better and look forward to seeing them again.  They left a wonderful message that touched our hearts. We have always enjoyed getting photos from our son's mission experiences...and thought you would like a photo of your son today also.  

Sincerely,
The Petersen's

Monday, December 21, 2015

11/9/15 – Gospel is True & Training/Learning Again

Hello Everyone,

The Gospel is perfect, it is beautiful, and it is for everyone. The First Presidency of the Church and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are men called of God to guide the Church of Jesus Christ into the top tier of the Celestial Kingdom and to bring those who are not of this fold, into it. I've heard a little bit about the new church policy and I sustain our leaders in this decision. I do not understand the situation fully and why they would do a thing like this. I do know however that I do not need to know everything there is to know about it to know that it comes from God. 

I love my Savior, Jesus Christ, his yoke truly has been easy, though at times it may seem to get heavy, he is there helping. I love sharing this message with the world. There are so many people here in Idaho Falls that I know I was meant to meet. All of the good I'm doing for others is mutually bound with my soul. This service has been a great blessing to me and has strengthened me. I know that the world we face is scary according to the weakness of our flesh, but as we strive to live in the Spirit, it becomes an exciting place filled with many blessings according to our righteous actions.

Transfer news came in this Saturday. I am no longer in any form of leadership other than training. Which at this point in my life is kind of a relief. So I'm training another brand new missionary starting Wednesday, I'm excited for that! I don't know why they keep sending them to me to corrupt these saplings. ;)

We had a baptism this past Saturday, which brings this family one step closer to going to the temple to be sealed for eternity! That's their goal!

Sorry I haven't been sending pictures, I lost my card reader and am too prideful to ask to borrow others. :)

Love,
Elder Gillespie

11/2/15 – Yellowstone was Fun – Time Flies!

Elder Gillespie in front of Old Faithful at Yellowstone

Another week of crying repentance to all! 

Yellowstone was fun. With it being a 2 hour drive to the entrance and 2 hours back that's already half of our preparation day gone, so we didn't get to do EVERYTHING we would have hoped to have done, but regardless we had fun! I love roadtrips!

I got distracted with genealogy and we gotta get going, so I apologize for the lackluster email again.

Love,

Elder Gillespie


More Pictures from Yellowstone from Awesome Photographer Elder Evan Gillespie !

10/26/15 – Not Enough Time!

Howdy Howdy,

This week we are going to Yellowstone National Park for preparation day!  Woo! I'll take lots of pictures.

So the report this week is that it turns out Elder Canales may actually get to stay in English work with me! We find out on Thursday with transfer calls already! I only have 3 transfers left, why is it going so quickly!? THERE'S NOT ENOUGH TIME!

We've got a little girl named Meadow who is getting baptized in a couple of weeks and she is the sweetest, most shy girl I've ever worked with. Their family is awesome. It's been way cool to see the progression just over the past month of at first, "we probably can't make it to church," next to "we might be able to make it, we'll see," and then to "we're going to make it work no matter what." I thrive off of these things.

We gotta get runnin', more later if we get home in time! 

Love,
Elder Gillespie

10/19/15 – Come Unto the Savior

Hello,

I've got a new companion, his name is Elder Canales. Chances are he'll only be with me for 3 weeks until he returns back to Spanish work. That'd be great if he got to stay though! I knew him in Chubbuck and he got transferred to be with me for a little while so we are both excited about that! 

This life is filled with rivers to cross and roads to walk. We've simply got to keep going until we reach Him. Sometimes we need someone to throw us a rope and sometimes we need a change of shoes and socks when they are either wet or worn, but that shouldn't stop us for very long. Sometimes we pick up leeches or goatheads along the way, but that shouldn't stop us for very long. Sometimes we get distracted by alluring billboards and signs, but that shouldn't stop us for very long. Sometimes we even encounter crocodiles or burglars and become setback on our journey due to loss of limb or financial insecurity, but that shouldn't stop us for long. No matter the turmoil we must go through, our Savior has had worse. Matthew 11:28-30.  I remember memorizing verse 28 when living with the Nilsons in Highland, Utah. I haven't forgotten. The imagery comes to mind of Him sending angels to pick us up when we fall and of Him Himself outreached to extend a helping hand.

Sometimes all you can do is breathe. 

Love,
Elder Gillespie


Matthew 11:28-30: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

10/12/15 – There is Always Hope for Change

Hello Hello,

I hunger all the way to the marrow of my bones to serve. I hope to be in a position by the age of retirement to do nothing but serve those that the Lord puts in my path. I have loved viewing the 12 steps to change ARP videos that the Church has put out to help those who suffer from addiction. They prove that change happens, even to those who are in the deepest and darkest despair. In the book of Mosiah chapter 27 verse 29, Alma the Younger describes that he was in the darkest abyss, yet his soul pained no more (“My soul hath been redeemed from the gall of bitterness and bonds of iniquity. I was in the darkest abyss; but now I behold the marvelous light of God. My soul was racked with eternal torment; but I am snatched, and my soul is pained no more.”) I've heard the phrases, "they are hopeless, it's a waste of time visiting them, they're too far gone, or don't even bother with them", from members and missionaries alike, and that bothers me. I have felt what they feel when they are discouraged because of the decisions people have made that led to that individual’s current state of mind and situation. It is hard not to want to give up and move on with some people. Using some judgment though in these situations deciding as to whether or not they are ready to hear our message or need us in their lives, is a necessary judgment to make. But it becomes all too easy to move on to someone else and leave them in the dust. It is difficult dealing with some people’s situations, but helping them feel of their Savior's love and His Atonement is stupefyingly marvelous. There is always hope for someone to change and to follow Christ's footsteps. Christ has walked quite a long way though, so at times it feels rather monotonous but the path to eternal salvation is not meant to be a half marathon.  

My companion is going home, so I will be getting a new companion or being in a trio for a little while, at least until transfers, we shall see. I still love Idaho Falls and am so grateful to be here. This area is like none other that I've ever seen. The members of this stake work so hard to see people enter the waters of baptism.

Love,

Elder Gillespie

Sunday, October 11, 2015

10/6/15 - AWESOME 'Thank you'

Received this Thank You note from Elder Kim:

"Sister Peila, I'm grateful to have trained under Elder Gillespie. He was very patient with me and I learned a lot from him. I just wanted you to know that you have raised a phenomenal Missionary who loves the Lord and His work. 
Thanks again!
 - Elder Kim"


Heart melted, teary-eyes.... feeling uber-blessed !   <3
Evan was recently transferred to Idaho Falls (yes, here - yes - crazy) - to an 'undisclosed' location!  I learned from our Sisters when I went out with them the other night that he is in their 'zone'/  I also heard that he was recently sighted at Deseret Book! Wow - the Lord sure has wonderful things in store for us both and things happen for a reason. Sure love Evan with my whole heart! 

- Evan's (uber-proud) Mom, Betsy Peila

10/5/15 – ‘Knowing’ Comes from Work

Hello Hello - Time is short!

Life is gettin' ready to smack me in the face pretty soon here. Sometimes I sit in wonder and awe of all that has happened these past 19 months hoping that it has been sufficient for our Heavenly Father, hoping that my foundation has been built strong and that I will be given strength to have the desire to continue nourishing my testimony. I do indeed know of the factuality of the event of the Restoration, not because of any divine manifestation or miraculous knowing, but because of WORK. I worked at it and for it. I know for a certain that the Lord will use me where He needs me and where I will grow the most. I've seen it over and over in my life how I will be placed somewhere for specific reasons, some known, some unknown, and how much I benefit from it and hopefully benefit others as well. One thing I've come to know and understand that as my faith in my Savior and His Atonement grows, so does my faith in myself and my future grow. I know and understand the purpose of trials and "hard" things, though sometimes I seem to forget it. I've learned that Heavenly Father, as the potter, may need to shape me as many as 50 to 100 times until I become a Saint. Sometimes, due to my imperfections, he may even need to throw me back into the mill to be ground over again and reshaped! I know I must become passive and not resist the Fathers will. We each have our own "bitter cup" which we must partake of throughout our lives. The blessings promised, however, are marvelous. I have lots of things I continue to work on. I always wish that I was a better missionary. 

Love,

Elder Gillespie

9/28/15 - The Celestial Kingdom

I LOVE IDAHO FALLS! BEING A MISSIONARY HERE IS A BLAST!

I have been here for a total of like 5 days... This place is heaven. From a missionaries point of view it is really fun to live here. There are sooo many people to teach and so many friendly people too. There seems to be a lot more Anti-Mormon stuff goin down out here, but also a lot more people willing to talk. My new companion and I have A TON in common, I think we will get along really well this transfer. I HOPE to finish my mission in this area, but "thine will be done".  I am going to learn a lot about a lot of things these next 6 months or so. I can feel it.. 

PeACE,
Elder Gillespie

This lil' bro is gettin' baptized in the middle of October hopefully!

9/21/15 – I only have 6 months more of emails! YAY!

Hello Everyone,
I'm going to be honest, I kind of dread emails. But, that's okay, I can deal with it if you can. Here's the update:
Transfers - I'm moving to another area in Idaho Falls. I will not be specifying where.... My new companion's name will be withheld for now for purposes unknown. Elder Kim is training a new missionary in Chubbuck.  I'm so excited for him!
If you want to know anything else feel free to ask.

Love,
Elder Gillespie!


9/14/15 – A Deeper Understanding

Elder Evan Gillespie in Chubbuck, Idaho
Hello Everyone!

So, It has just occurred to me that I have 4 transfers left of my mission... That scared me. 

I feel like I still have so much growing to do on my mission and that 6 months is NOT enough time to do that. Thus far though on my mission, I've become very aware that Heavenly Father has a plan for each individual that has lived, does live and ever will live. I do believe that the choices we make may cause us to deviate from the original paths that were prepared before us. BUT even with that Heavenly Father is perfectly resourceful and makes due with our inadequacies and faults. He is the only one who can factor in every circumstance in our lives' that influences who we are and what we do and make a judgment based on that. I've been grateful to experience what I have thus far in my life. I've been beyond lucky. I at times feel highly unsuccessful in my purpose as a missionary, but at other times, understand my imperfections and forgive myself and move forward. 

Yesterday, I was able to take part in the ordination of a man named Cody, that we have been working with since I've gotten to the area, 7 months ago. He was ordained to the office of an Elder and had the Melchizedek Priesthood conferred upon him. His wife was baptized May 9th and he finally was ready to take the next step in his life. They will be going to the Temple, to get Sealed, early next year, and I'm hopeful to be able to attend that as well! These are the things we live for as missionaries. 

Transfer calls are this upcoming Thursday, so whatever happens, happens! I'd be happy to stay and I'd be happy to go. I trust that the Lord will use me where he needs me. Elder Kim is doing awesome, he's grown a lot these past 3 months as we've thrown him in the furnace time and time again. 

Anyways, that's all for now, 

Love, 
Elder Gillespie

(P.S. I still miss music a lot, but I promise that I'm still a consecrated missionary!)

He also wrote:  “My companions are doing awesome, I hope I get to stay another transfer here in Chubbuck so I can continue working with Elder Allbright and hopefully get him out there as a full-time missionary!”

9/16/15 - "To Elder Gillespie's Family,
We enjoyed having your son in our home Sunday evening for dinner. 
He has been a great missionary for our area. Thanks for letting him serve in Pocatello Idaho.
The Durrant Family"

9/7/15 - Let It Be Known

Let It Be Known that Jesus Christ is our Savior

Hello All,

We are in the last dispensation. These are the latter days. Jesus Christ, our Master, cannot come again because we are not ready yet. He anxiously awaits for us to HURRY UP. So "LET IT BE KNOWN" to the world that Jesus Christ is our Savior. 

What does it actually mean that He is our Savior? Why did He have to die for us? How does His suffering make up for our mistakes? 

All of those are questions that I've had and I'm sure many others have as well. They are answered through the scriptures and through the whisperings of the Holy Spirit. Every bit of spiritual knowledge that I have obtained is founded upon faith as a first principle of the Gospel. We are told to experiment upon His words. I've taken it upon myself to do just this. As I exercise faith and diligence, I am rewarded accordingly as our Heavenly Father wills. Agency is certainly a bugger though. As we exercise it with righteous intents, good things happen. It's all very simple, but we complicate it with the natural man. 

Let it be known to the world that Jesus Christ is our Savior and sit back, relax, and take comfort in righteous living. Be an example of good, NOT a good example, and you will witness countless miracles, I certainly have. We are never too far beyond the reach of the saving power of the infinite and everlasting atonement. You can always choose to walk back into the light.

Love,
Elder Gillespie

9/1/15 - More Holiness Give Me

Elder Gillespie & Elder Kim in Chubbuck, Idaho
Hello Everyone,

I've come to realize something special as I listened to the words of a speaker in church a couple of months ago. I used to have this mental image in my head of how we are to receive blessings in life of a 5 gallon jug hovering over our heads. This 5 gallon jug was filled with many 'blessings', but those blessings were being held in by a lever. This lever is only opened as we keep specific commandments, and even then we receive only specific blessings that are tied into those commandments. 

Doctrine & Covenants Section 130 Verses 20-21 read: "There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated-- And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated." 

Thus is essentially where I obtained this imagery. But, I now think of it this way... Heavenly Father is ALWAYS pouring blessings down upon his children. BUT, as he rains them down, our disobedience, our ignorance, or stiffneckedness causes us to put up an umbrella and those blessings go to waste. They are not permitted to enter into the crown of our heads. As we strive to be obedient and as we strive to love God and keep His commandments, we let down that umbrella and allow ourselves to receive "all that the Father hath". This imagery is true. Our Father loves us, and it is our agency, that either prevents or encourages blessings to fall down in abundance in our lives'. I'm grateful for this knowledge. We each face different levels of fiery furnaces continually in life to prepare us for eternal life in the life to come. We also each choose differently how we are going to make it through these furnaces. Sometimes we don't even realize we're being put into a furnace and we think, 'Why me?!'. Long-suffering is quite a challenge! I know this. I struggle with patience! When it comes to certain things, I'm just flat out NOT patient! I want my weaknesses to be made strong... NOW! Not tomorrow, not next week, not years to come, but now... Yet, I have not yet been able to perfectly align my will with my Father's will, thus my lack of understanding of certain trials and why I must go through them. I can only hope that by continuing to do the small and simple things it will be easier to make the right decision when I come to the fork in the road between good and evil. Satan appears to be an angel of light at times and will strive to deceive us into transgression. I love my Heavenly Father, I love Jesus Christ, my Divine Redeemer and my Savior.  I love President Monson. I am far from perfect. I make SO many mistakes. I regret many of my mistakes. But I know that because of Jesus Christ and His Atonement, I will be made whole one day as I continue to Endure. This is the message I hope for all the world to know. This is the message that I only wish everyone in our area would receive. This is a message of hope, of light and of truth. 

Love,
Elder Gillespie

Hymn #131 More Holiness Give Me

More holiness give me, more strivings within
More patience in suff'ring, More sorrow for sin,
More faith in my Savior, More sense of his care,
More joy in his service, More purpose in prayer.

.......

More, Savior, like thee.



8/24/15 – Part-Time Companion = MORE Than Full-Time Blessings


Elder Gillespie & Elder Kim on 9/1/15 in Chubbuck, Idaho
"Your Elder Gillespie is a great missionary. Our ward does Ward visits every month and prior to everyone making visits we meet together as representatives of the auxiliaries and discuss who we would like to visit, the Elders attend also. I was so impressed with the way Elder Gillespie cares about the people that he's serving. He is very wise and mature and is a great leader. I appreciate Elder Gillespie's example of diligence and sacrifice."

Hello everyone,

I try to avoid saying the typical, "This week was good" as often as I can, but this week wasn't the best anyways so it works out. I got sick on Tuesday and am still currently fighting something. Tuesday, I woke up with muscle fatigue, it felt as though I had climbed Mount Everest without having done so, obviously. The following days I suffered from various, random symptoms and to this day we have no idea what it was causing all of it other than just like a mutated virus or something. So we didn't get to do much work, and that's frustrating. 

We are getting a third, part-time, companion in the companionship! His name is Elder Allbright and he has Asperger syndrome. He lives in one of our wards and thus why he was assigned to serve with us. So he won't be living with us or anything, but he will be coming out to proselyte with us on occasion. Our goal is to involve him in as much as we can to prepare him to serve as a full-time missionary called in another mission. Right now, he is only at the capacity to serve as a service missionary. We're very excited to work with him and have a whole new set of experiences that will come along with that. 

Elder Kim is doing great and I am loving learning with and from him. We still wish we were teaching a lot more than what we are, but we are working hard so that's that. 

Good news is I'm still alive, I'm learning lots, and Heavenly Father loves me

Love,
Elder Gillespie

More in his email to Mom:  Yep, crazy busy, that's me! I'm glad we are getting a new challenge with Elder Allbright coming here because I'm tired... in multiple meanings of the word, I'm tired... With Elder Allbright coming to serve with us, I may be kept here in Chubbuck for another 3 to 4 months, we'll see what happens. This is actually a pilot program the mission is doing, so they want me to take lots of good notes for things that did and did not work. He is actually assigned to ME specifically, President wants me to work with him and train him to make him capable to serve in the capacity of a FULL-TIME missionary. So I'm really excited/nervous about all of that. I'm pretty certain that in the future when I start having children of my own, they may have special abilities as well... So maybe I'm being prepared. We'll find out! Anywho, love ya, thanks for all the support and encouragement. 

8/17/15 – Lots of Happy ‘WOO!’

ALRIGHT! SO!! Elder Wright ended up not being in my district so I am sad. Today we are hiking, WOO! I'm making another slideshow for our zone, so, I'm taking lots of videos and pictures, WOO! Elder Kim is awesome, WOO! I'll have been in Chubbuck for 7 months at the end of this transfer, WOO!  I feel like this probably sounds really sarcastic, WOO!  But, it's not... I LOVE THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. The atonement is awesome! Our investigators are beloved sons and daughters of God. Amen.

Love,
Elder Gillespie


8/10/15 – Elders Kim & Gillespie Still Together

9/1/15 - Elders Wright, Luchs, Gillespie & Kim at Transfers in Pocatello, Idaho


Hello,

Ok, the UPDATE! Elder Kim and I are staying together! YAY! That means both of my sons will not have a step-father. Also, my first son, Elder Wright, will be training a new missionary as well! I'm super excited for him! On top of that! ALL of my posterity will PROBABLY be in my District! Pictures soon to come. We find out today whether or not they are going to put Elder Wright and his new companion in our District or not. That's really all I have to say for this week! 

Love,
Elder Gillespie

Monday, August 3, 2015

8/3/15 – Still Loving Life & Always Learning!


Hello Friends and Family,

I wish I enjoyed English class more, writing these emails would be easier for me haha. Some interesting events have taken place this week. Let's just say it will be interesting if I get transferred up to Rexburg either this transfer or the next. I'm loving life! ALWAYS LEARNING SO MANY DIFFERENT THINGS! It's AMAZING how accelerated your learning is as you devote your life to preach our Savior's gospel. I WISH WE WERE TEACHING MORE PEOPLE IN OUR AREA! Poor Elder Kim isn't getting a whole lot of experience teaching yet, but we pray and hope that all of our role plays are helping us out! 

Ta-Ta for now, my lovelies,

Elder Gillespie

7/27/15 – Our Missions… My Mission… My Testimony of Truth!

Elders Gillespie & Lui - on exchanges

IF WE ALL KNOW WHO WE WERE BEFORE WE CAME TO EARTH, WE WOULD BE SOOOOOOOOO PROUD OF OURSELVES. Our spirit selves are pretty awesome. Our spirits are full of love, charity, kindness, etc. etc. We came to Earth out of a sincere desire to fulfill a life of service. We've all been sent on specific missions throughout the world. We are to try our best to overcome the 'flesh' part of our being, which is imperfect, with sin, illness, and temptation, and accomplish our mission! We, as spirit children of our Father in Heaven, are filled with pure goodness. When we all one day return 'home' to our eternal family we will be able to finally let out a sigh of relief. Not that our work is over, but this moment on earth, which IS but a moment, has finally passed. Earth is pretty great, like I DO like this place we currently call home, but if we remembered what we left behind we would, in a sense get pretty 'trunky' (missionary term for packing up and ready to go home). 

My Mission has been great. It's been difficult. It's been satisfying. It's brought me to a deeper testimony in my Savior, Jesus Christ. It's increased my love in my God, myself, and my fellow travelers in this mortal journey. I've witnessed the power of the Atonement work mighty miracles in the hearts of many! I've witnessed Satan's influence in the life of many! I know what will bring true and everlasting happiness and it is not by following that fallen angel. Good ole' Lucy is a wise being, but we know what his fate is in the end, and we know his attempts to bring us down are in spite of the good choices we've made thus far. I testify that the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ IS contained within the Book of Mormon and that Thomas S. Monson leads and guides His church. 'The only true and living church.' I know this by diligent prayer and studies. More importantly, by the power and influence of the Holy Ghost! 

Love,
Elder Gillespie

(Excerpts from his emails to Michael & me – Mom, Betsy Peila: 
As I have gone throughout this past week I have experienced some very sweet revelations that I desire for the whole world to know. I felt how GOOD all of us who were born on earth were, before we came to earth! WE WERE ALL SOOOOOOOO GOOOOOD, and to a large degree still are. We are caught in a constant battle, though, between our eternal spirit and our mortal bodies, the natural man, our infirmities, etc. etc. We CHOSE to come to earth and to face many of things which we face in these latter days! We were brave enough to leave the comfort of our true home and come to the earth and receive our 1st estate. We were excited to do so even, and we did it out of the love of our hearts. We did it so we could serve others and fulfill the mission our Father sends us to accomplish. We will not return home any sooner than after we have accomplished that mission… we must all exercise our own agency and face our own trials in life. The new found knowledge I have obtained of who we once were, who we are now, and what we have to look forward to, has given me much comfort and strength and has allowed me to tap into the living waters Christ offers. I have felt myself becoming more like him, yet I fear for trials and struggles I am sure to face in the future…
Thanks for all of your support; I'm excited to start to keep on keepin' on!)

7/20/15 – Give Me Jesus


Elders Gillespie and Sitivi on Exchanges
Hello,

Sometimes I look at myself, then I look at others around me, then I look at things happening in the world, and I begin to question lots of things. Why allow these wicked things to happen in the world? Is Satan winning the battles we're fighting with him? We know that he will ultimately lose the war, but could we as a whole be doing better? Why would Jesus die for someone like me? Why would Jesus die for someone like him? Why is it so hard to overcome temptation at times? Why do I keep giving in to evil thoughts or actions? The Spirit is willing, why can't the body be!? Jacob 4:14 I often seek for knowledge of things I cannot understand. Sometimes my questions are not worthy questions. Diligence, patience, long-suffering, all are principles that Christ taught. "Your afflictions shall be but a small moment, and if you shall endure it well, it shall be well with you." There is relative truth and there is absolute truth. Christ taught absolute, eternal truths, and man creates/discovers relative truths. I suppose gravity is an absolute truth, but gravity can be affected by a greater law known or unknown. Mankind’s understanding of the universe is constantly changing. The truths of the Gospel are unchanging and in a state of perfection and absolution. Our knowledge, our understanding, our easiness of the way are all affected by who we are and what we do with what we know. We are judged according to the knowledge we've been given and according to the desires of our hearts. I love people. Especially those who are living unawares to the truthfulness of the Gospel. But for some reason, I have a hard time loving those who are willingly defying God against the greater knowledge that they have. I become indignant and my heart becomes depressed at the sight of apostasy. I pray that God will allow me to see as he sees. I pray to see the bigger picture of life. God's plan is perfect. Our plan is not. Sometimes we give into temptation even against our greater knowledge of God. But as God's plan is perfect, he has provided with us a perfect chance to change and follow in Christ's footsteps. Christ died for us because of his love for all sinners. The joy they feel when one returns to righteousness from iniquity is so great. Greater than that of their joy in someone who needs no repentance. The sorrow they feel when one turns from righteousness to iniquity is greater than any can imagine. They yearn for all to come unto Christ. They yearn for all to understand that YOU CANNOT BE TOO FAR GONE. They understand perfectly our circumstances and our desires. Therefore, they are the only ones qualified to truly help us overcome sin and lift us out of the pit of sorrow. I ask for Jesus to be my guide in all that I do. I am a peculiar person, I am a sinner, I am ultimately in need of a Savior. We all are. Thus I share this glad message to the people of Idaho and all who will hear. Jesus is the Christ, he is our Savior, and our Redeemer. He has paved the road to eternal life. If we look to him in all that we do, we will be a light in the lives' of many who are in need. Billions walk in blindness, Let us love our enemies and be forgiving of all. If we are not, it will simply become the blind leading the blind.

Rant... Over... 

I LOVE MY MISSION! How great is our God?! I'm a living testimony of the healing power of the Atonement. I invite all to allow themselves to feel of our Saviors redeeming love through faith in Him and repentance!

Love,
Elder Gillespie

(Portions of his email to his Mom, Betsy Peila:
It's been an interesting mission! I'll tell you what! I've experienced almost every emotion you can feel these past 16 months… These past 6 months, especially, I've learned more than I can even express in words. I love hard things we are given in life! They're so hard! I also have a testimony of obedience! Because we are obedient to the commandments, we receive blessings! What a surprise! It's not like the scriptures say that about a thousand times or anything!   (Sometimes -) I feel alone at times in obedience. I'm by no means a perfect missionary, nor am I perfectly obedient, it simply amazes me at the easiness of falling into the tempter's snare! I hope to see changes in myself as I strive to keep a broken heart and a contrite spirit as I partake of the Sacrament weekly and as I always think about the Savior's example. It was perfect!  I only have about 8 months left, which may seem like a long time, but I know it will fly by. That makes me nervous sometimes. Am I really using my time here in the Saviors service as wisely as I could be? Anywho, food for thought! 
Love ya,
Elder Gillespie)