Sunday, February 22, 2015

2/16/15 – Baptisms – “No Circumstance is Simply Happenstance”

Hello Hello,

I don't have a whole lot for you folks this week, but I certainly have some great things! Baptisms this weekend!!! The quality of the pictures attached are driving me bonkers, but it is what it is as my father always taught me. This beautiful family just took the next step in their eternal progression. We have been meeting with them essentially since day one so it was nice to be here to see it all happen! "No circumstance is simply happenstance" -Elder David A. Bednar ... Transfer calls are happening this Thursday 2/19 and that is when we find out what will be happening for the next 6 weeks! Usually we are able to pretty well guess what it going to happen, but this transfer is a tough one considering the recent transfers we've experienced! My guess is that I'll be leaving and Elder Wright will be staying and get a new companion to take over the district. It's been nice to be here in Shelley for so long, I feel like it is time for me to move on though. Again, we'll see what ends up transpiring and I'll let you folks know next Monday! I LOVE MY MISSION! I LOVE LIFE! 



Elder Gillespie

2/9/15 – I’m Ready…

This has been a week filled with much inspiration and learning. Preston and Adyson are getting baptized this Saturday so we are SUPER STOKED about that. I said a couple of months back, "I feel like February is the month for these two". That was previous to us knowing whether or not they would have permission to be baptized or not. It was almost to a point where we weren't sure if they were going to have to wait till they turned 18 or not. Those two kiddos were elated when we showed up at our lesson this week and were so excited to tell us their decision. Preston and Adyson now have a baptismal date for this Saturday!!! They were super excited when their Dad gave them permission to be baptized. The little boy was super funny... when we asked him he was hesitant to say anything (keep in my mind they already knew they wanted to be baptized at this point and the Mom knew as well) and was playing it on as though he was still questioning it. After a couple minutes of prying he yelled, "Yes!" and ran upstairs to hide. The kids are super fun and kind-hearted kiddos. I didn't think I'd be very good at teaching kids because before I got to Shelley…

Thursday will mark the 11th month I've been serving my mission. Crazy to think only about 12 months (no I'm not bad at math, most Elders' missions are only 23 months) until I'm able to return to a life filled with lots of extremely loud techno music and long drives. Now I have new territory to explore here in Idaho when I go for my drives, so I'm excited! I have learned so much, I can't wait to put to test the skills I've developed outside of a missionary setting. I'm not getting trunky (homesick) don't worry, I'm just sitting here soaking it all in. We don't generally get much time to soak in and appreciate the things we are learning out here. So many THINGS happen on a mission it's incomprehensible. 

We find out on the 19th what happens with these next transfers. 'Twill be very interesting to say the least, we have no idea what's going to happen. We usually have a pretty good guess, but not this time. 

The gospel of Jesus Christ is contained in full within the Book of Mormon. I know that's true. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only church that contains the fullness of the everlasting gospel including God's priesthood authority on earth again. Though the church is perfect the people that run it are human and are imperfect. I know be a divine witness that this Church is the only true path to ETERNAL happiness. We gain happiness through secular things in this world and we might carry on in darkness and never know it and be entirely content. I do know however if we seek with a sincere heart and real intent to find the truth, we will be guided and directed to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to find the fullness of truth. I do know that there is more to this life and the next than we can possibly comprehend. We have the inheritance of our Father in Heaven, who is the Almighty God, the All-knowing and Omnipotent God, waiting for us if we do what is right. He recognizes our weakness and he knows our hearts true intents and desires. He wants ALL of His children to return to him, not just a few here and there, but he wants ALL. That is why every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ, our Lord, Savior, and Redeemer. We will all come to know of the fullness of truth. Eternal salvation is not easily acquired though. I don't think it was intended to be such. We are given 'commandments' not as guidelines but as rules and regulations in hopes that we may grow, progress and experience peace and joy with the knowledge that we obtain of His plan. These commandments are NOT suggestions; they are NOT to be broken without suffering the consequences. We are to experience sorrow and misery in this life that we may know peace and happiness. We can be living a perfectly righteous life and ask why does this happen to me.. Why have I been cursed with this horrible disease.. Why did my wife and kids have to die? Doesn't God love His children? How could he allow all of this evil and suffering to occur in the world? I would never allow that to happen to my children if I had a say in it... Let us instead tell our Father in Heaven, thank you for loving me enough to cut me down that I may be built up stronger. We go through trials and suffering that we may get just a taste of what our Brother suffered for us. Enough asking, "why me" and more asking, "what's next Heavenly Father, I'm ready".

I love you all,

Elder Gillespie

Monday, February 2, 2015

2/2/15 – The Power of Prayer and Fasting

Elder Evan Gillespie at the Idaho Falls Temple

Elders Wright and Gillespie at the Idaho Falls Temple

This week has been an uplifting week for us and the district! Lots of wonderful things going on. It's amazing the power of prayer and fasting. Also, the power of the Spirit as it testifies to those whom we come in contact with. We had a pretty intense lesson a couple of weeks back with a family with an 11 y/o son and an 8 y/o daughter named Preston and Adyson. They have been torn between two worlds. Dad says this this and this... Mom says that that and that. Dad had felt kind of betrayed and not properly informed of what the church was like before he joined it and soon thereafter removed his records. The Mom has been in and out of inactivity for a while, but ever since we've worked with her she has been completely and totally active. We pray she'll make it to the temple soon. But back to the lesson, the Mom and Dad have joint custody and we teach the kids the just the Mom usually. Cheryl (the Mom) invited Cobi (the Dad) to one of the lessons and it was a pretty rough lesson. It felt pretty dark and the spirit was very hard to discern. BUT with that lesson the Dad ultimately decided it was the kids’ decision as to whether or not they get baptized. We were of course very excited with that, but the downfall is with the difference of each parents’ views they've been up and down with wanting to be baptized. Preston specifically has prayed 3 times... 3 times... that he can know whether or not baptism is something Heavenly Father wants him to do. EACH and every time he has gotten a strong and clear answer that he needs to. On our second lesson with them the first thing that was said before anyone could say anything was Preston exclaiming, "Guess what guys... I got an answer last night when I prayed.. I felt warm and tingly and I know I need to get baptized". It's always very cool to hear that. All of us  (Cheryl, Preston, Adyson, Elder Wright and I) fasted and prayed this past Sunday (which is when we found out Dad gave permission) and we are hoping and praying that when we see them next, they will come running, just as before, with the knowledge that Heavenly Father wants them to get baptized. Elder Wright and I sure do love that family and we are excited to see the blessings of membership in church enter into those kids lives'.

I'm outtie... 

Elder Gillespie