Saturday, March 12, 2016

3/12/16 - Elder Evan Gillespie's Homecoming is 3/13/16 !

Evan Gillespie, now home in Alpine, UT from the Idaho Pocatello Mission!
Thank you for all the love you left with everyone in Idaho Elder G!
Hi Everyone,
Evan’s Mom Betsy here!  It’s been wonderful welcoming Evan home and we’re all excited to hear him speak in the Highland Ward on Sunday!  All are welcome – Please help spread the word!

Sunday, March 13th, 2016 at 1pm
Highland Utah West Stake, Highland 20th Ward
6411 W 11800 N, Highland, UT 84003

Reception following at 4pm - Here is the Facebook invitation with the details also:


We are grateful for Evan’s valiant and dedicated service and love to the stellar souls in the Idaho Pocatello Mission!  The IPM has been touched and grateful hearts continue to reach out and thank him! – LOVE!

Evan loves God with every drop!
"Oh, how we need to love God! For what we love determines what we seek. What we seek determines what we think and do. What we think and do determines who we are—and who we will become."
—Dieter F. Uchtdorf,

2/29/16 – Solid, Joy-filled Testimony and Thoughts of Next Steps

Elder Evan Gillespie with President & Sister Hancock
of the Idaho Pocatello Mission
at the Rexburg Temple before his departure.

So this may or may not be my last email. No promises. 

I have no idea what to do with myself when I get home. I have a bit of anxiety about the whole not being a missionary thing. I will be in the world again... It's weird. I can go on a long drive, BY MYSELF, listening to NORMAL music, to anywhere I want. I can go to the store at 9pm at night because I don't have milk for the morning. But I will never be able to wear the sacred name of Jesus Christ again in this capacity. That thought brings me to tears. I'm sad to leave behind the good people of I've come to love and adore. I testify that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God's kingdom on earth and the only true and living church. I testify that Jesus Christ is our Savior, Redeemer, and Advocate. His Atonement is infinite and eternal in nature. Because of the fall our natures have become evil, but through Christ it will all be made right. He has provided the power to cleanse ourselves, not only of sins of commission but even sins of omission. I've learned many wonderful things on my mission. I have a hard time nailing down what I would say would be the most important thing I have learned is. If I had to choose, I would simply state that we are all sons and daughters of God and have the potential to inherit the fullness of joy that he now enjoys and it's all because of Him.

Love, 
Elder Gillespie

2/22/16 – This is the True and Living Church

Hello everyone,

I fully expect to be witness to many miracles as I come to conclusion of my 24 months of service in this capacity. I'm excited for them. I've already seem them these past few weeks here in Highland. There is no greater work than the work of the Lord. I'm filled with gratitude. I testify that Jesus Christ is my Lord, my Savior, my Redeemer, and my Advocate. I know that He never turns down a plea for change. The Atonement truly is infinite and eternal in nature. I've had so many wonderful examples of good in my life. I've been spiritually fed by some our Heavenly Father's most valiant children for a long time now. I testify that the Book of Mormon is evidence of the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ. This is the true and living Church. 

Love,
Elder Gillespie


On 2/19/16 Elder Gillespie's Mom, Betsy received the following message from a grateful Mom... tears of gratitude flowed heavily:

“Hello Betsy, Elder Gillespie gave us your blog address and we have been following his mission since he left Shelley. Your son baptized my children, Preston and Adyson a year ago on Valentine's Day. I just wanted to tell you what a wonderful missionary he is. He not only taught my kids the Gospel but also became a catalyst of change for me. Our lives and our hearts are changed because of his willingness to serve the Lord. Thank you. He is an amazing missionary!  I just though you should know. J Cheryl”


Evan Gillespie also wrote, 
“I'm filled with gratitude for all of the wonderful people Heavenly Father has placed in my life.”

2/15/16 – Is This A Lame Email?

(THANKFULLY - some great members in the Idaho Pocatello Mission sent some wonderful pictures this week to accompany the short note below  :) – Betsy)

Elders Gillingham & Gillespie - Idaho Pocatello Mission - Highland Area


Ye Sons & Daughters of God,

I've been a missionary for a little while now. It's been pretty good. I've learned some stuff along the way. It's been hard for sure. I think that's Heavenly Father just saying 'YOUR LIFE HAS BEEN TOO EASY, IT'S TIME FOR YOU TO FEEL SOME HEAT!' in a loving way of course. So I'm super excited to go home and super sad, have I said that already? 

I don't have much for you today. I'll update ev'ryone when I get back with everything that has happened the past couple of years. 

Love,
Elder Gillespie


When asked about cooking on his Mission Elder Evan Gillespie wrote:


“I've cooked lots of simple meals on my mission. It's hard to spend too much time though because we only have an hour to cook and we don't really prep food beforehand or anything like that. But I have been taking decent care of myself. Some things I've cooked: Venison, fried chicken, lots of variations of eggs including omelets, spam, beef, elephant eyes, etc., pancakes, stir fry's, and that's all I can think of right now. I have had weeks of just Ramen or other unhealthy stuff like that, frozen pizza, burritos, taquitos, toast, pop-tarts, etc. “



2/8/16 – Work goes on in Highland

Elders Gillespie & Gillingham with Erick at a YSA Baptism in the Idaho Pocatello Mission

Elders Gillespie & Gillingham - Idaho Pocatello Mission
Yo,

So the update.. this area is fun to be in. A lot of the senior missionaries in the mission live here. I love them. We can just stop by at our Mission President’s house whenever we want, according to the laws of reason, obviously.  I don't know if anyone has heard of the Shaytards, but they live in this stake that I work in. Shay Carl started a YouTube series of just daily life with his family and now he's very successful because of it. I hope to get a picture with him before I leave the area. I kinda fangirled it when I found out that he and his family live here. There is a Mormon message on Mormonchannel.org called "Our Family Fun Vacation". So that's pretty chill. 

We're super busy here in Highland. We cover 12 wards in the stake and then we also cover the YSA ward that covers the Highland boundaries. We just had a baptism in the YSA ward last Saturday (pic included). His name is Erick, I hope he decides to go on a Mission, he'd be an astounding missionary. Lots of work to be done here before I get home. After all that I've learned on my mission, I've simply come to realize I know NOTHING about all that is there for us to know in the eternities. I'm really not that excited to come home, but I will say that I'm super excited to listen to the endless supply of music I have yet to discover. 

Love ya,
Elder Gillespie

Elder Evan Gillespie - a TRUE Guitar Hero Missionary in the Idaho Pocatello Mission

Sunday, February 14, 2016

2/1/16 – Highland

Hello Hello,

I love this area. It will be fun serving in the uppity part of the mission! We cover 13 wards. I hope to be able to get tons done while here. It's unfortunate I won't have much time to work, but it is what it is I suppose. My companion Elder Gillingham is a beast, he was born in England, raised in France, and moved to St. George a year before coming out on his mission. He has an English accent. He's been out for three months and he is a great teacher! 

Highland is fun though, it's odd to be in such a well off area though. I have no time this Preparation day, I apologize for the bum email! 

Love,
Elder Gillespie

1/25/16 - Last Hoorah

Hello,

This upcoming transfer will be my final. The unfortunate news is that I will be getting moved to Highland for my last transfer. Elder Gillingham will be my new companion. He started his mission 3 months ago. Highland is a fairly well to do area of Pocatello. It's also the stake that President and Sister Hancock live in. I'm not super excited to be leaving for my last transfer. I don't know that I will truly accomplish much in the short time that I have left. I will work hard, keep my eyes and ears open to whatever it is the Lord has for me to experience. I don't have too much else to really update you on.

Love you all,
Elder Gillespie

Note – Evan is once again called into a leadership position – and a wonderful way to end his Mission!  Here is the letter he received from his Mission President:

“Dear Elder Evan Gillespie,

Congratulations on your assignment to serve as District Leader. With this assignment, great trust has been placed in you. I encourage you to be an example for all over whom you preside in at least the following ways:

*  Exact Obedience-the blessings that come to missionaries, who are obedient with exactness, are immeasurable, and by being an example you will be able to help the missionaries in your district be obedient.

*  A Preach My Gospel missionary so that you can show the missionaries in your district how to be successful.

*  A Leader who lifts and inspires the missionaries with love.

*  A Missionary who is focused on your purpose to bring others to Christ

*  A leader who is diligent, humble and hard working.

Teach the missionaries that baptism is central to our purpose to bringing others to Christ, and through your example show them how to baptize. Remember to call upon your Heavenly Father and He will qualify you for this work as you rely upon him in faith. You can also call on your zone leaders, the Assistants, and me for counsel and guidance.

Serve with all your heart, might, mind and strength in furthering this work. It is a privilege to work with you in this leadership role.

Love,

Gene E Hancock, President
Idaho Pocatello Mission”

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

1/18/16 – No End to God's Goodness

Hello Everybody,

I've loved the good that comes from service as a full-time missionary. I'm not excited to be finished with this calling. There's been many priceless pearls I've picked up along my journey. As I've traveled from area to area, companion to companion, the only real journey I've taken is the journey within. I feel good about what the Lord has done for me and I feel like I did a fairly good job of keeping myself well-oiled and prepped for sounding the music of the Gospel as an instrument in His hands. Heavenly Father not only has a plan for us collectively, but he has prepared plans for us as individuals so that we are setup for success in this life and eternal life in the life to come. We are each dealt a different hand. President Hancock (our Mission President) is a rancher and he shared with us, as a mission, this statement, "If the cows get out, you deal with it." That's the short version. In essence, his comment is meant to guide us into understanding that no matter what happens in life, you deal with it. The good the bad, and when this life is over you will come to discover the treasures you've laid up for yourself in heaven, because you chose to deal with it. If we instead buckle from the pressures of life, if we give up, if we believe in Satan's lies, we will find that we missed out on important lessons that we needed to learn in this life. I've been a bystander witnessing the trials of so many different people throughout my service as a missionary. I'm grateful for that. I've gained perspective that likely could not have otherwise been gained. I've gained a great love for people and an understanding of who they really are under the weaknesses, flaws, and blemishes that we see. I'm excited to continue working hard as a servant of our loving Heavenly Father.

Love,

Elder Gillespie

Sunday, January 17, 2016

1/11/16 - Boundless Gratitude

Hello Everyone,

There is so much to the gospel! It's so simple, but the learning does not stop! I only hope that I've served the Lord to the utmost of satisfaction to Him these past 22 months. I've been grateful for all of the growing opportunities I've been given. I have gained a greater love of my Heavenly Father and for the people whom we interact with daily. Sometimes it seems overwhelming with all of the weaknesses I'm working to overcome. All I can do is keep building my foundation of faith and pray that I will be forgiven of my shortcomings.

The end of my full-time missionary service is fast approaching and there is yet much to do. We will find out what happens with transfers two Thursdays from now. I'm not really excited for that call. The IDEAL situation, in my opinion, is that Elder Hoffman and I stay here for another transfer and we tie up some loose ends. 

I will never forget the people I have met. I will never forget the love I've felt. I will never forget the testimony I've gained. I will never forget my experiences as an instrument in the Lord's hands. I know that those experiences have been for me personally. I'm grateful to have walked the same path of conversion that many of our investigators and returning members make. I've walked right alongside them as we have helped each other. I have tears of gratitude for the wonderful experiences I've had as I reminisce about the light that the Lord has shone on me and my life. I've become deeply rooted in my knowledge of God's plan and I will not be shaken. All that I am is because I've laid everything on the altar, and allowed our Savior’s matchless sacrifice to work miracles. I've given all that I have to personally develop into all that He is. He is the pearl beyond price. I believe in Jesus Christ as my Savior and my Redeemer. Much work is ahead of me, but I am not alone.

Love,
Elder Gillespie

1/4/16 – Excited for the New Year and for Life Eternal!

"Your son is an awesome Missionary."
Yes, YES he IS!!! --- Here are Elders Gillespie & Hoffman.
  
Hello Friends and Family,

I don't like having days off as a missionary. Christmas and New Year’s Day we had all day preparation days. Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve we had partial preparation days from 5 to 9pm. We ALSO had our regular Monday preparation days from 10 to 6. I feel like we did nothing the last couple of weeks.. 

On the upside... We are back to regular proselyting! So I'm excited about that. My time is short and I'm ready to learn what the Lord has for me to learn for the remainder of my service in this capacity. I'm excited for the New Year and for life eternal!

LOVE YOU,
Elder Chillespie

12/28/15 – Baptism Bliss!

12/22 - Elders Gillespie & Hoffman after dinner at a wonderful member's home.
Elder Gillespie is 'proving' he eats his vegetables 
by holding the empty green bean dish! - LOL
  
Hello Hello,

We had a baptism this week! Yet another family well on their way to the celestial kingdom! I honestly don't have any inspired rants to go on today. Sorry! Christmas was great and grand! Unfortunately, this week was rather unproductive because we have been given Monday as our normal Preparation day, Thursday (Christmas Eve) as a Preparation day from 5-9pm, and Friday as an all-day Preparation day. This next week will be the exact same schedule with New Year’s Eve and New Year’s.

Love ya,
Elder Gillespie