Monday, November 30, 2009

Yellow Jackets and Holy Socks

So what's new?
for the first time since i've been out here it's been "cold" it got down into the 50's but there still isn't any snow. which is really weird, mostly because I see the Christmas decorations going up, which in my head says that there is supposed to be snow. it's like watching a movie about the arctic and then you need to get a blanket because you think it's cold. (one of those mind thingies). so since it's been a bit nippy in the mornings i was "forced" to get a jacket or two from one of the many beach stores that sell an arrangement of clothing items. the great thing about it is that so far the jackets have only cost me $13 bucks for two. so it's an amazing deal.

the other thing is that while we do have a car, this month we are almost out of miles so we are now forced to walk to appointments or seeing less actives. and with this and not cutting my toe nails, my socks have now gotten a bit "holy".

now on to things that really do matter. or at least somethings that i've learned while being out here.
First. you have to be willing to work all day and if that's done then miracles happen, for instance last night we could have gone home early to get ready for today, but instead we decided to see one more referral and as soon as we got to the door the father came out and talked to us and wanted us to come back to meet with him and his family.
Second. a testimony is built not received, so you have to put in your effort to find out if what you want to know is right, or exercising faith, and then go to the Lord and ask him if what you studied is right or what it says it is.
Third. the mission is kind of like a crucible with the refiners fire, let me describe it some more. so we are like a lump of gold or silver, and before we come out on to the mission we need to try to do our best to get rid of some of the impurities, or sins, but again that's through the Lord or refiner. then once we're on a mission we are placed in a crucible and the heat is then amplified until we become a liquid. then the Lord will take our impurities off, by taking off the "Dross" or imperfections. (i think that's correct lingo) And then he continues until he can see his own reflection in us. but this is only possible if we become moldable in the lord, if not then we crack and then we're of little worth to ourselves because we are trying to put ourselves back together. So while the mission is a great opportunity, we must ready ourselves the best we can before we can head out, and most be able to be humble enough to be molded.
Fourth thing, while i've got a whole lot of ideas it's not until i write them down, whether that's in a letter to someone, or writing it down in a journal, then it becomes personal and then i can understand what i've been trying to learn or when the lord wants me to learn a lesson from him.
Fifth. I gave my first talk yesterday in the mission field and while I think i should have been more nervous i wasn't mostly because i'm trying to be moldable to the lord. and i give all my credit to Him because he was the one who wrote it for me, now will this happen all of the time i think not, but it's nice to have it happen.
Sixth. the members here are simply amazing no matter what time of day it is they are willing to take us in and feed us and make us feel like were part of their family. so i would encourage you all to do the same, when you see a pair or a group of missionaries, show them that you do care about them, and in so doing you will be blessed by the lord.
Seventh. Today is the only day we have so lets make the best of it.
Eighth. There are miracles all around us, we just have to be willing to see them and if not that be the miracle workers.
So those are a couple of the things i've learned so far.

Jethroybn. I'm so happy to hear that your in your new house that lincoln is already trying to destroy it like a good reckless two year old boy. and that sophia is starting to build up her own immune system. I wish you the best Christmas.

Janben, I hear you trip was a success but that's about it, so i would love to hear more about it from you point of view. even if that's a couple of lines i would love to hear about it anyways.

Thad. You are so old your going to graduate and be a real working person, i'm impressed and in awe of your tenacity to stay true to your word. very few people do that all the time, but i would number among them.

ToniBen. I'm so glad that your doing well and that all turned out well for thanksgiving and that all the small children enjoyed being together. unfortunately they got sick, to that i'm sorry.

BEETLE!!! I miss you and i can't wait to talk to you in only a matter of weeks i still have a hard time figuring out that i'm a missionary, and for the next 22 months i'm going to do this, so i don't try to think about the time, but i'm doing my best to figure out how to be the best missionary possible, also i feel the same way about my brain being less cluttered except i just bought some Christmas CD's but i have in increased desire to study, which i find weird, i thought i would never get like that.

Camille, I'm sorry to hear about the loss and for the poor sportsmanship of the Cougar Fans. but i hope you were able to take the loss in stride, and accept that while they didn't win this year in the up coming years they will have their glory again.

Roxanna, Your letter was great and i really did enjoy it, I hope that my last letter helped you, because it helped me figure out what i needed to do. so thanks for your support.

Sophie Lee... your amazing plain and simple, so again i say Keep Truckin'

To all who read this I love you and i wish you a Happy and Merry Christmas season, because he is the only way back to happiness and love, which is god. because God is love. while we might not know everything it's line upon line that we obtain this knowledge. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Gobble Gobble Gobble!

Hello Everybody!

Well this week went by so fast, i can't hardly believe it... but i wouldn't have it any other way, i just hope it stays that way. so news...

i've decided to put the things missionaries like to do in a hierarchy of most fun to least.

1. Teach
2. Sleep
3. Eat
3.5 Get Mail/Write Letters
4. Service
5. Visit Members
6. Visit Less Actives
7. Tracting

so while we haven't really had much of one or two i'll tell you about three. so yesterday was the first real southern food i've had since i've got here, it was Oysters. now for those who don't want to get sick skip the next part

So an Oyster kind of smells like the great salt lake from a distance, then once you look at it, it looks like and feels like a giant spitwad. The way that your supposed to eat it is with a saltine cracker and hot sauce. So you put the Saltine Cracker on bottom, then get a tooth pick, pick up the oyster from the shell, after it's been shucked, and place it on the cracker. once at this step then apply hot sauce according to desired hotness. so once to this step then put in mouth and chew a bit then swallow. So that was the first experience i've had with Southern food. while i didn't really like it i was able to hold down my cookies while i had a half dozen or so. but i won't go and order any at a restaurant.

on to number four
so I havn't really spent to much time describing this in my other letters so i'll tell you a little bit of what type of service we have been doing here. so one of our members here had a fire in her house about two years ago and then started building a home right after, well she's still working on it and we as elders go over every weekend and work for about four hours on her house, and since i've been here all we have been doing is sheet rock, hanging, mudding, finishing, etc. etc. so thanks to dad i've been a good help to them, but it seems like no matter where i go i'm still doing same things as i would at home. but were making pretty good progress, the first week we had to fix most of the problems that the last time they tried to work on this house. the biggest problem was the sheet rock was hung vertically, not horizontally, which then left the end of the boards off of a stud. also sidenote. they are now making sheet rock boards 12 foot by 54 inches now, most of the stuff were using is 10x4 foot boards. so now were on the process of mudding and flipping the ceiling boards over, because they were put in upside down. so that's been a constant in missionary work.

another was helping out at the iron man with lost and found. while we really didn't do much it was really cool to see all the swimmers go out and then swim 2.1 miles. and get ready for the bike.

we also helped another member move her business out of an office and into her home, but that was on a fast sunday so i wasn't really able to help much, with my lack of fat.

so I think that'll do it for me today it's been a fast week but not much has happened. but I did recieve letters this week, and i thank all those who sent them, and i would encourage all to write more. it dosen't have to be much just tell me how things are going.

and just to everyone who reads
Guess what... I love all of you. (the mission will do funny things to a person)

Toniben. thanks for the update, while i would love to listen to his talk i can't really use headphones, and i'm checking my email in a library, so kind of awkward. also good idea with the rolls, and you should probably stop trying to subsitute ingrediants. and Ben florida is kind of wierd i actually live in the same time zone as Jan so beetle is 3 hours ahead.

Jan Congrats on the Garden it looks like the same ecosystem as i have out here. so i guess the summers are going really hot and humid. well were just going to have to wait and see.

Mom I love you so much and your letter means a lot to me, thanks for all that you do.

Jethroybn. Congrats on the HOUSE!!! i really can't wait to come and see it in 23 more months. Enjoy the holidays and i can't wait to see how cute everyone is!!!

Thad... yes. your comments with ben were great. but you should send some email/snailmail. and your almost done with college, congrats you really only have like 10 days left of class now weird, then you have to be a real person with a job. so i guess i'll give you slack until your done with school. then you have to write me.

Sophie I got your mail and it sounds like your doing fine, so just keep trucking.

Beetle I love you!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fast-Ball was right

Good Morning Sunshine The Earth Says Hello!!!
so first of all it's still summer here it's been in the 70's since i've gotten here and when i wake up it's in the mid 50's so in my opinion it's still summer.

News. our investigator Matt kind of just stopped trying to contact us because he's mom is quite against the idea, but i think he'll come back if not this month then in a couple of years to come. but it's really sad to see him not accept it.

other than that nothing much has happend, we have been doing a lot of walking around because we are about to go over our miles for the month so that leaves us with walking. now you might be saying why don't you ride bikes, i don't know but my comps don't want to so we don't.

1. let's see what have I learned this week. mostly the personal relvelation is great.
2. that personal scripture study really gets the spirit into the room.
3. that there are really hard days when people really don't want to be taught but want to teach us.
4. Drunk people should be avoided.
5. when i send a letter it usually shows up about the same day as this letter and so I repeat myself.

this week and the last couple that i've been out here have been pretty slow. so to top it all off as a zone we went paintballing and it was really fun, and i'm pretty good at it.

Jethrobyn congrats on the house and i hope your move works out fine with it being during everything. hey you could even try to use thanksgiving for some helpers!

Toniben I Really enjoyed your letter and like beetle must concur that you continue to write that way, mostly because it reminds me of how you both work together and it's awesome. so I say YES!!!

Jan i hope your travels turn out to be just fine and hope that you can relax during your trip back.

Thad you should write even if it's only a couple of lines.
the same goes for all those in BKE that i know, or don't.

Mom and Dad i think my favorite scripture will be the Matthew 18 3-5 but you could take out 5 if you think that would work better.

Monday, November 9, 2009

6 degrees of Bus Gillespie

hey Parents
this week has been much better than last week and we had a lot of success.

So first of all it seems that no matter where any of us children go we all seem to run into people that know's Bus Gillespie. and this week was no exception... so this week in Panama City Beach there was an offical Iron Man race, which happened on saturday. then on sunday all those who were competeing and mormon then came to our sacrament meeting, on the way to sacrament meeting somone came in and then started a conversation with the elders. (which I'm finding to be a common practice, even when i don't know anyone) well the conversation went on and it came up that i was from provo and this gentleman was also from provo, and then from the edgemont area, and then lifted weights with a person named Bus Gillespie, and low and behold that's my dad. well the person who was talking to me was Craig Donaldson. so i say small tender mercy of the lord.

ok so now that story time is over i guess I forgot to inform you on what's going down here. and if i'm rehearsing somethings well you can skip... so first of all i've got two trainers one who reminds me of craig swindlehurst and also looks like a mini linebacker and has goldenish eyes, he's been out for about 20 months and is called Elder Norman. as for my other companion he is call Elder Wood he reminds me of Kris Gillespie and is built like me except add a few more pounds. so these are my companions. now we live in a nice area with hurricane proof houses. and we live above a garage, a two car garage, also called a mother in-law suit. and live with a member family called the combs family. as for their address it's

308 coconut grove court
Panama City Beach Florida 32407

which will be my address until probably dec 13th, or the next transfer.

so now to the other stories of the mission. so the last week nothing really amazing happened, but just a lot of little miricles of people knowing where i live and knowing people of the family. etc. etc...

but one really amazing thing is we had a contact with a member invited he's friend to be taught by us. well to explain it better this member friend lived here than moved to delaware, but the Investiagor called him to talk to us. and the delaware guy called us gave us his info and then we talked to the investigatior. so i think that makes sense. anyways his name is Matt Easterwood and he is really wanting to know about what is the true church and wants to change from what is. so the first meeting with him we then challenged him to be baptized and his date is the 5 of december. so that was something really big for us. and i'm excited for him.

as for a normal day here.
we wake up at 630 then exercise and eat breakfast till 730
at 730 personal study
830 companionship study
and then we actually leave at about 10 am
then we try to contact less actives or try to have an appointment. then it's usually lunch so we either come back or eat out for an hour.
after that we continue trying to find people and contacting less actives till dinner, which we usually have with a member family for an hour and what they serve isn't that much different than what is sereved at home.
then we aren't supposed to come in till 9pm. once were home we then plan for the next day and then get ready for bed. so nothing really exciting.

for those who are wondering no the hurricane has not hit yet and what it looks like is that it's going to be rainy and windy for the next couple of days but winds only 35 mph. so not to bad.

so just a few questions i have about home.
do you have my Drivers licence yet? could i get that in a package? could you send something for my companions who are really looking for a letter or something? could you also write letters that are tangable and send them to me?

Dad. your amazing and your letter really did help me put things in perspective and i'll try to write back soon.

Mom I love you so much!!! Your updates are always a happyness in my heart.

Thad Congrats on the Art Show i should have submited something before i left.

Jan that's exciting news your going to have to send pictures and letters of what happend.

Jethroybn I really wish i could have helped you with your move and i hope that the weather proves to be no problem. don't slip on the ice

Tonibengains I'm so excited that you can now have so many adventures together. at least till the end of the year.

Beetle I Miss you and your such a great and amazing person. and you'll have to tell me more about you experiences when we're back.

and for the rest of you. you should write me

With Much love

Elder Matt Gillespie

Monday, November 2, 2009

Holy Crap One Month Gone!!!

Hey Everybody!!!

so it's been like two weeks since i've last contacted you all and for this I'm sorry, but if i did contact you it would have been against the rules. so anyways the flight out here was pretty bumpy we left the state during a snow storm at 7am but we had to be awake at 3am to catch the bus at 4am to get through security before 5am. so to put it simply i didn't have breakfast which was a bad idea, nausea is not a pleasant thing. so after taking off in a storm we then landed in Atlanta in a rain storm and after taking off in a rain storm we then landed in a lightning storm. so i had fun with that but others in my group did not. soon after getting off the plane the sisters in our group. (Alston, Brunson, and Hernadaze) found a lady crying in the bathroom who just found out her mother was dying so our group then gave her a blessing of comfort. weird, but awesome.

after that we meet with the mission prez. he is an amazing man, nigh unto Richard Wilkons' dad... hey they were both mission presidents. well anyways. i stand in awe of him and his calling, to bad he gets released in June. well we stayed one night in the mission home and then we were off to our area's i'm currently serving in the Panama City Beach area with two zone leaders as my trainers, one reminds me of Kris Gillespie, and the other Craig Swindlehurst. they are amazing and uber-spiritual.

we live above a garage of some members, the combs, and the wife reminds me of jan but she is a clean freak, well they have three kids the oldest is 14 and male, the rest are girls from ages 10 and 6 i think it's hard to tell the girls look the same from 6 to 9 and from 10 to 15 and then from 16 to 23 but they are the nicest people i've seen in a long time and all of this reminds me of home so that's a good sign.

the area is like Saint George, plus the hotels of Vegas, and the air of Hawaii. the houses are like Saint George big and very nice and all sorts of those things. Vegas, because there are hotels 20+ stories right on the beach that as soon as spring break come out are going to be full until the end of summer. and the climate is like Hawaii. so basically it's paradise and i think that for a family vacation we should come here over the winter months,

the beaches are amazing so they are white sand beaches with the texture of the sand like the consistency of freshly fallen powder and the beaches are about 50 deep and forever long. oh it's beautiful.

the members are super strong and we only have a branch here but the members are working really hard to get it to a ward. so that's what our goals are. it's really funny to watch the Florida people when it gets into the 60's they start layering up, while i've only been here a few days i've started to become more and more weak sauce when it comes to the cold, luckily i've got here at the beginning of the "cold season" so it's not so bad. and from what the other missionaries have said about this place is that it's the nicest place to be in the entire mission.

By the way i love you all, and i can't believe i've been gone for a month it's been the longest/shortest month of my life. thank you again for your support i would never be here with out it.

Thad. my advice is to take it to the lord, he knows a lot and he will help you if your willing to listen to him.

Mom your amazing

Ben it's good to know what's going on in the world of sports while i might not know what's really going on at least i have got some idea of who's on top and there i could make conversation with those who were contacting so don't stop.

Toni Just to let you know it was in the 80's when i got here and 80% humidity i think you might love it here.

Jan HAAAA!!! you got a dog!?! is it a puppy? is it nice? does it bite? well you are amazing

Beetle: you were right while we might not be in the same place, we're still doing the same work and crazy experience are all around us. know that i miss you and love you.

John and Dorothy Family your letter was unexpected but still much appreciation for it i'm so glad to hear that your family is doing great.

until next week good to hear from you all please feel free to write even if it's a couple of sentences i still would like to hear from all of you.

1535 killeurn Ctr blvd
Tallahassee FL 32309

This is the mission home address if sending letters it will be forwarded to me the next day no matter where i'm at.