Monday, January 26, 2015

1/26/15 - Just Cause - I've Been Lucky in My Life!

Elder Gillespie on left having fun at Zone Conference in Shelley, Idaho

Elder Gillespie (center) - with his District in Shelley, Idaho

Not the most eventful week ever. The longer I'm here in Shelley the more I fall in love with it. I'm starting to think that it's possible I'll be here for another transfer (wishful thinking). I suppose we'll find out in a few weeks. I never thought I'd have a companion for this long. Considering the first 4 transfers of my mission I had had a new companion every time. We have a couple of investigators here whom we hope and pray will be able to make it to baptism this next month. Satan is good at what he does though. Every time without fail something is happening in our investigators life to pull them in the opposite direction. Satan tries harder and harder to pull them down the closer they get to baptism. That's one of the hardest things to contest. We can do only so much... The rest is left to their God given agency.

Some weeks I just really don't feel like doing emails and other weeks I get in a mode of saying something that has been on my mind for a while. My emails aren't the most informative I understand that. I generally leave you folks in the air with what's going on in the life of Elder Gillespie. How are his Investigators? How is his companion? Has he had any baptisms? What are some fun stories or experiences throughout the week? That's just something I'm not very good at so I send my apologies. After the mission is when you'll really hear from me the things that went on and the fun stories, the not so fun stories, etc. etc. Just know that I'm doing well. My faith has grown and is growing immensely. There is no better thing I could be doing in my life at this time. I'm having so many great experiences. The things I've learned and gained from being on my mission can only have been learned through experience, through trial and error really. There are ups and downs just like anything in life, but I truly love being able to carry this mantle. The Spirit guides everything I say and do. It's hard to soak everything in when it all just goes by so quickly! Before I know it, I'm going to be married, have 6 kids and be an astronaut. I definitely have much more to learn. All in due time though. The greatest thing about my mission is the love I have obtained for the people. I GET TO STAY HERE AND CARRY ON THE RELATIONSHIPS I HAVE DEVELOPED ON MY MISSION. Why Idaho? I think one of the reasons is rather apparent why our Heavenly Father sent me here. I've been lucky in my life. - Eiffel 65…

Love y'all,

Elder Gillespie

1/19/15 – Happiest When Teaching the Gospel!

Selfie by Elder Gillespie, Wright & 2 others in Shelley, Idaho

I'm happiest when teaching. There is no replacement for being in a lesson with them and rejoicing when they begin to grasp and know of the truths we speak as truths. We've been the catalyst for change in many peoples' lives. There is no better recipe for happiness other than first, obedience to our Father in Heaven and second, serving His children. I wish there were more people for us to teach!!!!!! There's pro's and con's to every mission in the world. Some have seemingly more pro's, some have seemingly more cons. One of the con's in our mission is also a pro. That is... the highly concentrated amount of active LDS members around here. One pro, is that we indeed get to know who and where all of the non-members are fairly quickly. Some wards we have even mapped out where all of the less-active families are and where the active families are and where the non-members are. In some wards/areas it turns into a waiting game. We wait for new people to move in or we wait for their hearts and minds to be more receptive to the hearing and learning about the Gospel. It's frustrating at times. Then again at other times it's a blessing because we (should) have so many members working on these few individuals or families at one time. Another con is they may feel overloaded. Another pro is that we are fed meals every day except for Mondays. Another pro is that we get honked at and waved at and essentially adored by everyone here. When a car with a couple of teenage girls drive by and offer us a ride knowing we, of course, cannot accept their offer. Doesn't get old though haha. In Pocatello there were a few occasions where similar things would happen. For example, someone would pull over and ask us if we worship Satan and if we'd be interested in going to church with them... Or better yet, if we go to church 'medicated'-- "Missionaries on weed!!!!!" We have some rather humorous things happen... especially in Pocatello. In Shelley, we are amidst a much more mellowed out crowd. 

Off of this random tangent... Elder Wright and I are working on preparing Elder Wright to be a senior companion this next transfer if called upon to do so. We put together a plan and essentially what the plan entails is that we switch off every week taking the role of fulfilling the responsibilities of a senior companion. This last week was the first week Elder Wright took over everything. It included things like getting us to places on time, making sure planning happens, calling to confirm dinner appointments, inviting people to be baptized, starting and ending lessons, extending commitments, and I'm sure I'm missing a few others. It turned out well I believe, we both learned a lot in some aspect or another. This week I'm going to take lead and we'll switch off again every week. I think this will be a huge help and I'm excited to see the outcome. Super scatter-brained email, I apologize... Have a wonderful week! 


Elder Gillespie

Thursday, January 15, 2015

1/12/15 – Shelley… Have the Faith

1/12/15 – Shelley…  Have the Faith

I had kind of a humorous imagery pop into my head the other day as we were driving in someone's car to go to Idaho Falls to fix our phone. I was looking out the window and it was kinda foggy and we had grey skies. I pictured myself whispering Shelley whilst kind of ominously gazing out the window into the distance. We found out on Thursday that Elder Wright and I are staying together for another transfer! 6 months here in Shelley in the same companionship! WOOO! That's insane, 3 months as a companionship is generally more common but 6 months is pretty rare. We're both excited for what is to come these next 6 weeks. We don't really know what to expect... Also, some other interesting news, we're getting a zone leader who has only been on his mission as long as Elder Wright has. It will be interesting to see why President Brinkerhoff put him in so early. I don't have a whole lot to say this week again. My health is much better. I'm as glad as ever to be a missionary in the Idaho Pocatello Mission. I'm grateful for the opportunities I'm given to express and share my talents with others. I'm grateful for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for I know that He lives. He suffered, died, and was resurrected so that we may have eternal life. There's so much out there that our puny brains can't quite grasp just yet. Have the faith that we have much happiness in store for us. Have the faith that this too shall pass. Have the faith that whatever our Father has asked us is possible and that he will help us to accomplish it. Have the faith that Heavenly Father is preparing us for things to come. Have the faith that one day we will dwell with God, exalted on high, and be with our families there. 

Elder Gillespie

Friday, January 9, 2015

1/5/15 – Enjoying the Snow, Life Happens, so Sick Happens...

Here's a picture of me on a 4-5 foot snow drift that I 'jumped' into haha. 
It didn't feel good. It was also impossible to get out of because every time I put my hand down it just went 2-3 feet into the snow. 

My friends and family,

It's always good to hear from you, thank you for your occasional emails! Next Monday I will have been on my mission for 10 months. Time sure has flown by. It's kind of scary to think of how little time I have left to be a missionary. I've been sick all this last week with migraines and then towards the end of the week I contracted a cold. So poor Elder Wright experienced a little bit of what the first 6 weeks of my mission was like. Not too many updates. Transfer calls are this Thursday so we find out what happens on the 14th. I'll update ya next week. I hope Elder Wright gets to stay in Shelley and get a good companion to bring in fresh blood and revive the work here. Not that we need resuscitating or anything, I guess I just mean it would be a nice refresher. I think I'm leaving, but then again, that's what I thought last transfer and I stuck around. It was definitely meant to be, there were quite a few things that happened this transfer that I NEEDED to be here for. I'm still sick, so sorry for the short letter! Love y'all! 

Elder Gillespie

Side note, I miss my techno/indie music.... The day I get home no one will even know I've gotten home because I'll be in my room or in my car all day listening to music.

Monday, January 5, 2015

12/29/14 – Grateful

I love my mission. Grateful is the one word I'd use to describe my experiences on my mission. The joy that this work brings to me is indescribable. I joy in the success of others. I joy in being the vessel through which others are able to come to know what the Atonement of Jesus Christ is. It was not long ago I was headed down a path of darkness. I saw the light in others and envied that. The light they shone forth was because of their knowledge of the Gospel. I grew up in the church. I knew it was good. I never truly understood what life was like living the gospel though. I chose to do a lot of things that pulled me farther from the light. I chose to bathe in sorrow. I chose to remain bound by Satan's grasp. I chose to live in such a way that restrained my capability to feel the Holy Ghost. I kept myself numb. I fed the wolf. Heavenly Father never forsook me. He watched over and protected me. I've seen both sides of the spectrum: Light and Dark. I choose the light. The light is what brings joy to myself and to others. I've been given so many opportunities to grow and to become strong in my life. I've learned, I've grown, I've gained wisdom. I love my fellow brothers and sisters. I can't wait to be a patriarch over an eternal family. The knowledge I've acquired in my short 20 years of life is indispensable. I still don't know a lot especially when it comes to the Gospel, but I do know that Jesus Christ suffered and died for me. He desires for me to come unto Him. I have a long way to go. I still struggle with a lot of things. But I like my struggles, it's a challenge. When I overcome them I will break out of the cocoon and finally be whom Heavenly Father has been preparing me to become. I desire to be a vessel through which our Father builds Zion. I will go where he wants me to go, say what he wants me to say, and do what he wants me to do. God is enough. We don't need any more than that. Doctrine & Covenants 97:21 “Therefore, verily, thus saith the Lord, let Zion rejoice, for this is Zion—the pure in heart; therefore, let Zion rejoice, while all the wicked shall mourn.”


Elder Gillespie

12/25/14 - Christmas Blessings!!!

Elder Gillespie got permission from his Mission President to be able to have Christmas lunch with his companion, Elder Wright at his Mom’s home in Idaho Falls.  Here are some of the pictures of this awesome Elder and our blessed time together!!!  <3 

Elder Gillespie did really enjoy the reunion with his Min Pin, Xena and is as always, a dog-magnet... they couldn't stay away from him!  Jesse adores him too!

Elder Wright enjoyed opening the absolute BEST Gift from Idaho - Potatoes of course!  

IPM - Idaho Pocatello Mission Sweatshirts and t-shirts!

Elder Stockings!