Wednesday, July 8, 2015

7/6/15 - As It Should Be

2 Nephi 10:23-24
“Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved.”

God gave us agency for the intent of learning from consequence. There are good and there are bad consequences we all must face because of the choices we make. As it says in 2 Nephi 11, "it must needs be that there is an opposition in all things". With this opposition we are capable of experiencing the deepest abyss of sorrow and the sweetest of tastes of the fruit of the Gospel. Satan is and can be very deceiving, making that which is evil appear to be of good. As missionaries we are tempted with many small and large things. As small as, "no we won't bother talking to this person, they won't change" or as large as breaking a covenant made in the Temple. Jesus is awesome... Like He was perfect in allowing people to exercise their own agency. Just to give a couple of examples... He asked for the woman to show Jesus where her dead brother, Lazarus was laid up, Jesus could easily have just walked to the tomb without needing to ask where he was. Going even farther, after He commanded Lazarus to raise up, He asked of them to loose him from what he was wrapped in, when He could have simply had him unwrapped when He raised him from the dead. In the same sense God could appear to every man and woman living on this earth and prove to them that He is God and make this work of salvation go a lot smoother, but He allows us to exercise our faith and put some elbow grease into it that we may have an everlasting increase. Appearing to the world and saying that, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true and living church and is the only way to eternal happiness", would in a sense take away our agency and we would be objects being acted upon, not agents to act. With agency though, comes the principle of accountability. When the earth was created, God required of Jesus to "return and report" of the progress being made and to see if the intelligences would obey. If we utilize this principle in full, we ought to give a full accounting of the decisions we have made each night as we pray unto our Father in Heaven. Doing so will give us a desire to have more good to report than bad because of our own decisions. It saddens me to witness of the lack of many missionaries testimonies of obedience to the small and simple things. It saddens me to see the lack of peoples’ diligence in home teaching or Sabbath Day observance with their families. People seek and supplicate for great blessings when in reality they are forgetting to do the "small and simple things" (Alma 37:6-7*). Those small and simple things are what bring those great blessings. "Seek not for riches, but for wisdom... Eternal life is what makes us rich" - Doctrine & Covenants 6:7. I believe that the small and simple things we do in behalf of our Savior in this work of Salvation will be the catalyst of great things to be worked in the hearts of man. We do not often see every blessing that is predicated to every commandment that is given, but it is promised that it is given. I know this to be true. It is our duty to teach the consequences of sin and the way to eternal life and then sit back to watch God's hand work, after all we can do. 

Love, 
Elder Gillespie

* 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.”


7/4/15 – Some Deaf Ears…

Surprise!

We get to email today because it's an ALL DAY Preparation Day. So here's a quick update. I think the biggest thing that has been on my mind lately is my frustration with people we work with. Frustration because bearing a powerful testimony has no apparent influence on their desire to change or search to know of truth. With that not working, trying to say okay this is why this truly is Christ's church restored back to earth through scriptures and facts etc. etc. doesn't seem to do much either. It's like they're missing a part of the equation which creates a broken heart and a contrite spirit. It feels almost as though nothing we can say or do even affects them and they shrug off the powerful Spirit that we KNOW they are feeling. I'm certainly not amongst the best proselyting or teaching missionaries in skill but I do indeed try my best to always improve and focus on the needs of our people. I love these people so much yet have no idea of how to help them. I know WHAT can help them but if they have no desire to allow Christ's atonement into their lives' then nothing will happen in their conversion process.

Elder Kim is a rockstar. For real, like he is very studious, very faithful and very much so willing to do the work. Yesterday, he got his patriarchal blessing and I got to be there for that. That was certainly a very special experience. I have a very special companion that will bless many, many lives' through his powerful testimony.

You'll hear from me again Monday. 

Love y'all,

Elder Gillespie

6/29/15 – I love you - and New Comp Elder Kim & Being a DL again

Elders Gillespie & Kim in Chubbuck, Idaho 
Okay,

My new companion's name is Elder Kim! He came to Idaho from Massachusetts, Boston area, and he just graduated high school about a month ago! It's kinda weird to be training again. It's fun though, I keep forgetting how new everything is for him. The first time I trained I was prepared and super aware, but now I just keep getting into situations where I have to remember 'Oh yeah, he has never done this before, huh?' He is awesome though, he's super willing to work hard and study hard. We have been doing a lot of role plays with different hard scenarios we find ourselves in with our investigators. He's not nearly as resistant as I was when I first came out. Serving as a District Leader again is weird, but also quite the challenge to take on. Our key indicators are pretty low right now. This week in the three companionships we have we only taught 10 member present lessons when what I'm used to, is teaching closing to 25-35 member present lessons in a week, as a district. I'm pretty ready to whip some boys into shape and get teaching/baptizing in this district. The hard thing though is that 3 out of the 6 missionaries go home from their missions in 7 weeks... so.... yeah.

So to bounce back to facts about Elder Kim.. He plays the piano, the cello, and singing isn't really his thing. He's funny, he really wants to ride a bike and I keep telling him no.. it's too hot.. plus we have a car haha. We'll see if I give in. His birthday is October 23rd. He likes wonton soup. He likes rice. He does not like basketball or ping pong. He is the oldest of 4 so he's setting forth a good example for the little ones coming up behind him! So yeah... BUENO!

I got some cavities filled today. That was fun. I almost asked the nurse for her number again and told her she was cute, like when I got my wisdom teeth out, but then I remembered that I was a missionary so I held my tongue. But I randomly started giggling in the middle of whatever they were doing because that very thought ran through my head. It's probably good that I didn't because she is probably in her late 30's early 40's and has a family. 

The missionary work here is great as ever. We are getting a new mission president TODAY. The End. 

Love,

Elder Gillespie

Couple Cavities and some Giggles going on...