Monday, December 27, 2010

Eggnog Tonic

Hello Everyone

so what is the biggest difference from being a missionary with Christmas, well let me just tell you, first a lot of people want you to feel at home so they like to invite you to their home where you can just enjoy a great conversation with them. the other thing is that they love for you to come over and have dinner with them. much like the thanksgiving season, where we had 6lbs. of food. this time i think i only had about half of that and people want to give us presents. which i have a hard time accepting. but I'll get over that.

so some stories that have happened since Christmas they are...

well today we help a lady in our complex move out, and the fun thing was that it was on the third floor, so i got used to climbing stairs. she's a nice lady, Victoria is her name, and she and another member are friends so she told her that we would help her with her move, so we were volentold. but we did it with a smile on our faces. another reason to put on jeans.  it took us about 4 hours which was really nice to have done, not a whole day thing.

umm.. the other really cool thing is that we me and elder Hibbert got our other companion Elder Hammond the same as John Hammond who went to high school with me and sat next to me during a capella he's a really cool guys who has gone through a lot but has learned a lot, he's so impressed with Tallahassee especially coming from Dothan, which is described as "a circle".

So other stories or news.... umm... i don't know if i already told you guys but we had a Christmas party with half of the mission and i was able to see a lot of old friends and i got to talk to a lot of them, they are all doing really well and happy to be where they are at which is really cool. and there were a lot of cool talents that were performed.

umm.... I'm kind of running out of ideas because of the fact that this last week i was so involved with wanting to get to talk to my family that everything else seems like a dream. oh i remember we as zone leaders were able to help those who were getting transferred ready for the day, which was a pretty cool experience. and i think that we have some of the coolest missionaries there are.

I love you guys and miss you a lot.
please feel free to write. by the way the address is
410 Victory Garden Drive apt 188 Tallahassee FL 32301
Elder Gillespie

Mom your letter is one that is going to be saved for the ages. you're just so kind and i'm so glad that you're my mom.

Thad, i was able to get your Christmas present I'm still having troubles opening it so i can actually use it, and it's going to be a real great help. thanks brother.

Robyn. that is a lot of snow. i can't believe that, so does that mean that Jethro is going to have to do extra days after school should be out, or did he have enough snow days. how did Lincoln like all that snow and the giant snow hill?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Santa doesn't use Elves. . .

Thank you so much for sending so much stuff to me, I was able to receive Toni's package and as for your letters I haven't gotten them yet but our address right now is:   410 Victory Garden Drive apt 188 Tallahassee FL 32301

So now you know, sorry for such a long wait It was hard because the post office didn't give us a key to the mailbox until about a week ago.

I hope that fills in the silliness of the day for you all.  Now a little bit of an update here in the world of Tallahassee. Rosenlund went home this week on Wednesday I believe and so for the last few days me Hibbert and O'niones were companions and then we got news that they were going to close down the Tallahassee 4th north side. So that means that instead of having two sets of english missionaries in that ward we are only going to have 1 set which will be a complete change for the ward, but in reality they don't really see us all that much either so it's a nice change, hopefully we'll be able to get better acquainted with everyone and not just be stuck in our area.  So that's what we've heard  today we got the whole story of what's going on, so me and Hibbert are going to be Zone Leaders for the Tallahassee zone and Jon Hammond is going to come up with us and is going to be a district leader, so i'm going to be in a apartment with two sweet guys.

Now for some bad news: a member who lives in Geneva County Alabama was kidnapped on Friday and we are just finding some more information on what's going on and it doesn't look good.  Elder O'Niones knew this member so he hasn't been the same since, and to make this week even more interesting another member who we visit very often, their daughter got into a car accident and totaled her car, luckily she and her friend only had minor injuries, an injured wrist and minor bruising. So this has been quite an interesting week not only for us but for a lot of people that we know. We as missionaries have been safe and I thank you for all your prayers.

thank you all so much, i'm sorry to report but this week has been kind of a slow one and it's going to be a great time now with the three on the way and that I get to talk on Saturday to you for Christmas!

Elder Gillespie

Monday, December 13, 2010

Four Wheels and an Engine

Hello Everybody!

So we have some very exciting news this week.  First to clear up any misunderstanding about Florida being cold; tomorrow they say it's going to get down in the teens, and then by the end of the week the highs are going to be in the mid 60's to 70's. So yes it does get cold here and it's a different type of cold just like it's a different type of heat, so no matter really what you wear here if it's just a bit cold say the 40's and the wind is blowing it feels like it's in the 20's just because the humidity is here and it just cuts through the clothing which you are wearing, straight to the bone as they say here.

other great news is that we got our car back!!!!!!!!!!! (yes i know i broke the Exclamation point rule but it's that important) Molly the Malibu is back in commission which frees  me and elder hibbert up a lot instead of walking or biking everywhere which we have been doing for the last 4 weeks.   We now can go to and fro with ease and please.  You'd be surprised how much a car actually makes missionary work so much better and effective. We can actually get to more people's houses than just walking down a highway.

So stories this week...umm... so zone conference was this week and it was just a really good time.  We have one of the older zones in the mission, the youngest missionary is about a transfer out but everyone else has at least 8 months under their belt.  Even the older mission couples and sister missionaries. So this zone conference was really just an opportunity to relax a bit and just get used to teaching and how to teach better rather than trying to explain it to the younger elders and watching them do it, so we broke off into little groups where we did some role plays. There were 5 to a group and we were told to have an investigator and then a critic and missionaries.  So it was me Elder O'niones, Elder Gates, Elder Thomas and Sister Fink, so when I finished being an investigator for O and Gates we all decided that the next one it was going to be a three person companionship with Fink, me and Thomas teaching Gates and the really neat thing  that I picked up on was, that each of us had a different way of explaining things and helping the investigator understand what's going on. It was just insightful to me to see that no matter where I would be with teaching someone that another person could teach the exact same thing but in a completely different way and that I teach and another person would teach would have the same effect because the spirit would be there and that the spirit would be testifying to them in their own way. So that was in zone conference.  At the end of that we called the body shop where our car was and low and behold the car was going to be there in an hour and a half. So that was a pretty sweet day, Then we got a call to come to a dinner with a member who is from Russia and one who served in Russia so we actually had a Russian dinner, and it was good. borche! So all in all Tuesday was a great day!

Wednesday was not so cool we had an appointment, but of course that fell through mostly because people don't want us to come back so they schedule a time where they know they won't be home. I'm not stupid, but i'm going to be as punctual as I can but if they don't want to show up that's on their heads not mine. We were able to get a lot of lessons in with members seeing as how we now can actually go and visit them.

Which leads us to the rest of the week; it has kind of been a hum drum week, mostly as I see it. Every campus now is done, finals are over and i think graduation is too. A lot of people are going out of town for the next little while and those who are home are working crazy hours just to make ends meet at home or abroad. Life is crazy for the holidays and that's never going to change. I love all you guys and miss you especially during the holidays.


Elder Gillespie

Jethrobyn, you guys are so cool the Egg Nog party sounds just like something jethro would do and something that should continue for years to come.

Ben, you are a busy man with many of those questions on what to do you can do it i believe in you. and i find it surprising that the car was totaled just a back smashed in. so very interesting.

Mom you're the best and i love you guys.

Beetle your talk was simply the best. Very well put and I love the stories and the pure and simpleness of the gospel and testimony. Because it is true.

Sophie Lee! Holy cow. and Congrats I only wish i could be there to see it go down. Your going to do great don't worry to much remember to breathe, and don't lock your knees.

Roxanne you are in for a treat that is for sure, don't be too worried about what's going to happen just enjoy the moment and don't let the stupid elders stink up the class room too much, just a warning. and get as much chocolate milk as you can!

Monday, December 6, 2010

What the. . . December?

Hello Everybody!!!

So what has it been like for you guys in the wintry grips of snow?  well here in the southern part of the country its been kind of cold and just not that exciting still no car, but I'm getting use to walking and walking and walking all over the place. and it does get a bit chilly around here surprisingly like i actually have to wear a sweater most days.

alright i guess it's time to get to the fun of this week. well we have had the great opportunity to start teaching a little bit, but still a lot of tracting, it's getting to the point where we've tracted all the places that are close to us so it takes us like 30 minutes to get to a new place. but we got a lesson in with a lady named (I-saw-too), she has had a lot of different experiences all over the world talking to different people and all sorts of different religions but she really hasn't met with us so she's trying to find all of the things that are right with all of them and then go from there. and she is also very very smart and wants to understand everything, and in my mind they make no sense because she jumps from topic to topic, but i guess that makes better sense than how i think, so we have had good talks about this whole thing and it should be going somewhere soon, i think.

other than that we had a Christmas party where it was back in the old days. like what it would of been like in the olden days. so we had everyone dress up in robes and capes and all sorts of things you would normal see at Halloween, but everyone who came had a good time, and we as missionaries helped set up the whole thing. so we helped with the food, and we cut up about 4 wheels of Gouda cheese that would of been about 18 inches across. cleaned about 5 bushels of grapes and a bucket full of humus we put into little cups, it was interesting none the less. and one thing that I've noticed about myself is that I'm not really concerned about what's going on as long as i can actually help people i don't care, while others just like to leave as soon as the party's over me I'd like to stay and clean up, that's just me.

so other than that it's been kind of a slow week for myself and the work it's just the same old routine. so we'll see what happens at Zone Conference this week, we've heard that things are going to change, but i don't know for sure.

I love you guys so much.

Elder Matt Gillespie

Beetle it sounds like your taking everything in stride and having a easy time readjusting to life. and Sis Palmer was in my same zone for 6 months. she's a pretty neat missionary and person, I hope you guys are good buds now.

Thad your description of what happened with Clint's baptism sounded so cool i wish i could of been there. and I'm sure that the spirit was so strong there. You are doing great Thad, keep up the good work.

Toniben you guys are amazing and I did like Anna's email and it sounds like she's a little girl with a big old heart. and Eliza sounds like the chillest baby ever. and I'm super excited about the phone call, Christmas sounds like it's going to be pretty relaxed so whatever time works best with naps or something like that should work for me.

Janben i really do hope you guys get the place that you like the most and i think that you'll go where ever you need to go to get the best schooling and be great examples to everyone else.

Jethrobyn  thank you for the pictures they really made my day and it doesn't seem like beetle is actually home right now to me. but that's mostly because I'm not there so everything at home doesn't exist.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Turkey Day

So this week has been a bit of a crazy holiday type of a thing.  First of all Monday was a pretty crazy day and on that wonderful P-day we literally played Basketball at the church for like 4 hours, which felt so good. I haven't done that in a long time, so about half way through I was completely exhausted, so we worked for a bit that night, came home and zonked out faster than a candle in a room filled with carbon dioxide. which leads us to the next day, so the Zone Leader Elder O'niones and Rosenlund, both of which are pretty active especially when they are put together. they just feed off of each other and get to the extreme but both are playing around which ends up being pretty funny, Well they had to go to Zone Leader Conference. which then led us to not have a ride all day, so what did we do we walked and walked and walked, but really it wasn't that far. Our area really isn't that big it's just super nice to have a car when you have an appointment on one side of the world then on the other and you only  got 5 minutes to get there. So a car is super cool, In fact that night we went to dinner at sister Walkers house who is really one of the coolest members in the ward, She was baptized like 2 years ago and is now super strong with what she believe in and every thing else. She is super smart too. So an awesome dinner with her and then hung around with the Spanish elders and one of them was a temporary missionary who is actually in Peru and we found out that it was his last day before leaving to Peru. But way before that me and Hibbert were just doing some tracting in a neighborhood where we could walk to because we are in one of those finding stages, and the cool thing was that we were able to find like 4 people who said sure come on back and teach us a bit, but not in a couple of days because it's thanksgiving. So we now have a full week of revisiting people.  The really neat thing about this is it's a completely different attitude from those in Ozark who have been in their ways for the last umpteen years and are happy with what they have got. People here I think are more open to what's going on, but  it's harder to pin them down because there's a lot of other things to do instead of just go to Wal-mart. So Tuesday was a success along with Wednesday which was similar. So that leads us to the infamous Turkey day

So what does a Missionary do an such a joyous occasion?  You're right, stuff himself to where he can't eat a single bite more. Now how does this happen?  Well it first starts with waking up and getting everything ready for the day and finding something to do before your first dinner, which this day started at 2 pm, so being smart we head to waffle house to plan for the upcoming week and what we need to do so we can get all the people that want us to come back in a day that works for them and us. and what do we do in such a thing as waffle house?  Eat of course and we get their most famous items, which are their waffles, duh, and their hash browns with everything. and we eat that at noon thirty. so we finish that, us and the Spanish elders who are Elder Judd and Elder Wood, Judd has been out about 20 months and Wood has been out 3 weeks so it's his first area and he is a really cool guy well both of them are, It's a really nice thing to have another companionship in our area to talk to, when i get sick of listening to Rosenlund saying he's got two weeks left and then he'll be sleeping in his own bed. and all that other fun things that happen when arriving at home. so we finish up and head over to the members house where we eat and eat again. then we save a little room where we can eat again because we have another dinner appointment at 5 pm. so by the time we are done with that it's 4pm and then we headed to the mission home where Sister and President Jensen invited us to have a "little" thanks giving dinner with them so we had a great time and ate just enough to be filled then headed to another appointment at least the Spanish guys did and they ate again at 630pm and after a great meal they headed to another investigators house where all of us went in and they fed us again at like 730pm and of course it was a Spanish house were if we didn't eat their food they would be offended. So I took a bullet and started eating off of others plates so that they wouldn't get into trouble and every thing else. we then headed off to one more place for the night, where the zone leaders were at where they offered us some more food, but we politely turned it down. Now the kicker of the whole night when i weighed myself, from the first time to this time right after all of the food. I put on 6 pounds of food through out the day. which made the night very very uncomfortable. and I now know that eating too much is very much a bad idea.

So I think I'm still working off all of the food that I somehow packed away. which leads us to the rest of the weekend, seeing how most people in the south love football and seeing how it was rivalry weekend it made work a whole lot harder because people would be getting mad at us for interrupting their "games." But we did hear about all the games and everything that was going on in the world of football. For example we found out that byu and utah played and that utah won by a point about 5 minutes after it was done. We also found out that one of the missionaries who served here and plays on the utah team made some big plays, Elder Rogers. he's the tight end and his number is 89 and is very much a big kid.

So that leads us to Sunday where we had a great sacrament meeting It has probably become one of the most favorite things on my mission to do. It was a really neat experience to see everyone who talked talked about things out of preach my gospel and I love seeing how everything connects to each other. because that is what the gospel is all about.  It's all connected and it all get us closer to god and to become one big happy family.

I love all you guys
Elder Gillespie

Clint and Melissa CONGRATS!  I'm impressed and in awe of your willingness to find out for yourself. and to make those necessary steps to start your journey back to Heavenly Father.

Mom and dad I'm doing great and me and hibbert are doing really good together and we are getting things done.

Jethrobyn you guys are so cool and i'm impressed for your steadiness of writing, as for titles try the funniest quote of the week from either your kids or your students, maybe that could help? as for you Miss Robyn your kids are just so darn cute and doing so well i can't believe that it's been so long since i last saw all of them. please take a lot of photos when beetle gets home.

Ben gains HOLY COW that was a crazy story much more intense than mine we just started pulling out from a stop sign thinking that it was a 4 way stop.  I know that angels are looking out for you and that sounds like quite the snow storm that you all had. I'm so glad that you guys don't have a huge damage to yourselves, what I tell myself is that it's the outlook on life that's going to get us through our problems.

Beetle you're awesome and don't let anyone else tell you differently and don't let others pull you down. I tried to get a letter to you as soon as you arrived but i don't know for sure when it'll get there though.

love you all

Monday, November 22, 2010

Taking Tally by Feet

Well this week has been kind of a blur I'm not going to lie, Biking or Walking everywhere isn't the most satisfying thing to do but i think I'm understanding more and more what it feels like to be a missionary in the rest of the world. and i think I'm going to have some huge legs when i get done with this area if or when I get in a car again. so i think that the this week we've probably gone about 20 miles walking or biking. and the cool things is that we've found a couple of people that we probably wouldn't of found otherwise. and the neat thing is that when you actually go and try your hardest to find someone and also testify of what you do know people will respect that and will respond in a positive way to what you believe in. so for one example seeing right now how we don't really have anyone solid to teach we've been doing a lot of tracting and one of those times we were going out we ran into a lady who said "you know you won't convert me but I'll listen" so that is the perfect opportunity to just say what makes our church a little bit / a lot bit different. but they don't realize this but then they are interested and then they just get a book of Mormon and as you mark a few chapters to read then they get a bit more interested. and everything starts to work out better.  so we have had a few of those opportunities to talk to people that way.

other than that let's see we had a little turkey bowl last Saturday or two days ago where we as missionaries and the elders quorum played and the sad fact is that we are out of shape even though we won't want to admit it, i still think i'm fast and that i can do anything but the day after had been quite a sad relaxation when everything starts to hurt to move, i think i know what you mean dad and Jethro.

other than the fact that Tallahassee is Huge compared to Ozark it's still not quite as big as the whole Provo Orem Utah valley area it's just built higher and a lot more cars smashed together I think i haven't really been able to tell from the last area i've been in felt like home to me and i was there for so long as well. so I'm a bit nervous around rush hour time.  but i'll get use to it.

so now I'm in FAMU campus writing you guys, which is kind of like UVU in comparison, the difference is that it's pretty much an african american college there are so many here i think the percentage is close to 99% african american 1% everyone else. and they are pretty nice as long as you don't get into trouble, which we don't  other than that i don't know what else to say about Tallahassee and how everything else is going besides one of the elders in the apartment is going home like 6 days before Christmas and is already counting down. but who can blame him. then i look at where he's at and then where everyone else is at and it seems like my next year is just going to fly by with hardly a bump in the road.

well that's all i've got 

wait one question, i love to work but i am wondering if i don't play a bit will i just be a dull boy? as the saying goes i know there is a balance in all things so how do you find the balance between working and playing or playing and working?

Love Elder Gillespie

Mom you are so awesome and i bet your birthday party was awesome

Dad I'm glad your feeling better, keep up the good work and don't fall down on the new blanket of snow/ice

Jan your kids are just so darn cute and i can't wait to see what's going to happen when beetle get's back make sure to take lots of pictures please.

Robyn you're a whiz with that camera of yours and your kids are just so darn cute as for your little adventure to the ER, don't worry about it i did the same thing when i was just a young wart hog. as soon as we started heading over i felt so much better, i don't know why though,

Jethro you master of art and it's awesome that your students call you dad. that is a title that is earned not given. you are definitely doing the right thing.

Thad your doing great i can already tell. and your going to have so much fun with the rest of the fam

Toni the Anna saying are defiantly top ten material.... cows with guns. (way to go dad)

Ben Gains your are awesome have fun this week don't stress to much about stuff you can't control which is funny because i have the same problem.  any suggestions?

beetle have fun and don't hold back.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Life in a Day

Dear Parents

life here in Tallahassee has been a bit crazy and here's how it happens

1st upon realizing that I was coming to Tallahassee I needed to pack from Ozark and also say good bye to all the families that I was really close with and all of the other cool people that I've met in that lovely tiny town. so I was running back and forth all day Monday Tuesday and in the morning of Wednesday, saying good bye to all the seminary students.  I'm going to miss those guys.  so Wednesday is transfers and what happens is that we have 4 transfer spots in so the 15 passenger van that leaves Tallahassee goes from one end back to the other end dropping off and then picking back up others so i was going to Tallahassee so i had to wait till it got there from mobile, so it was a nice little time that i had in Cottondale with everyone who was also either going east or picking up someone from the west. fun times, so i get to Tallahassee and I'm now with Hibbert who I was in the same district when i was in Chipley almost a year ago, so upon arrival I find out that we are moving apartments the next day, so rather than just up pack to repack i just fell asleep with some one's old comforter and pillow and just waited out the night, morning came on Thursday and started to pack up the apartment and everything that was in it and started to clean it out and all the other fun things that happen with moving, so that lasted all day, which leads us to Friday where me and Hibbert started to deep clean the apartment, the old one, and got it in a better condition than it had probably been in for many a year. so we clean out our areas and got things where they were supposed to be and life has been good. which leads us to Saturday well all was going good for us doing some service and all that fun stuff that goes along with that and we started heading for home when we got into an accident, now it's not as bad as it sounds, the driver's front tire was hit by the other persons passenger front/hood, so there was little humanly damage but the cars don't look to be in a good condition. so not a good thing to happen here on the fourth day here in Tallahassee. so for the last few days we are now stuck either walking, biking or hitchhiking with other elders. and they have been so nice to us for this little blimp in the road work, but I'm glad this isn't a life threatening experience still haven't broken a bone or gotten stitches. i just don't have a car now.

so Tallahassee is definitely a difference from any other place I've been in. so I'm excited and nervous at the same time.

Love you guys

Mom Happy Birthday first and foremost. and i miss you guys

Dad Keep up the good work.

Jethro don't get sick and keep up the art, and i think you should of just hung up all the old art work you had just on the studs in the basement. that would of been pretty cool

Robyn don't hibernate then you'll miss all of the cool snow storms and all the other neat things that happen in winter. and it's not that bad.

Jan your kids sound like so much fun i bet they are having a blast back in the Utah area.

Ben Learn learn learn, so you can be the best doctor that the world has ever known.

Thad what's going on in the world of BKE and Clint-o-beans? along with your new job? do you still have no idea what's happening?

Toni your kids are so smart and nice to each other. Ben told me about the trip to Grandma's house Anna is nice.

Ben i do want to go to the North west we'll have to plan a trip up there when you don't have to work up there, because that would not be as fun.

Beetle Keep up the good work keep strong and run like there's no tomorrow I'm so excited for you, also don't get trunky it's ok to talk about home just don't stay on the subject.

my address i think is 410 Victory Gardens, Tallahassee Florida something something something

if that's not good enough just send all fan mail to
1535 Killearn Center Boulevard, Tallahassee, FL 32309

Elder Gillespie

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tally Ho! To Tally Town

Dear Parents:

Things just got crazy. yes I've been in Ozark 30 weeks and now I'm going to Tally town or Tallahassee. So this is going to be a great opportunity for me to get a reboot and ready to go so what does that mean? it means that I'm now going to pack up for the next few days and get ready for the next couple of days.  The Amazing thing also is that I'm companions with someone who came out with me, Elder Hibbert. who was also with me when i was in Chipley and he was in Bonifay which is in the same district. now I'm sad that I'm leaving the place that I could call a second home  but i think this is going to work out for the best.

So now for the weekly update. this week again has been interesting to say the least. so most of the week has been getting ready for BreiAnna's baptism which was a lot of the days we focused on getting things ready. So we first needed to get a time which we could get an interview for her with the Zone Leaders, so we set that up on a Thursday night, so after that, the ZL's decided to stay so that they could get things ready for Dothan the next day. so we had a little bit of fun with them.  Friday comes around and we helped finish the baptism program and got things ready for the next day, and in the process had a great discussion with Cori about how we need to be an optimistic person because things all work out in the end and then also we were able to give him a blessing of comfort so that was a really neat experience.  Saturday comes and we start getting things ready for the baptism at 5pm and so we are almost ready to go when we get a call to push it back for two hours. so we make a few calls and all that fun stuff, 7pm comes around and still no sign that she's coming and 730 we get a message that they probably won't make it for the baptism tonight.  So we have ourselves a little meeting just to make everyone feel more happy about what happened which was a really cool experience. So that night we come back in and we get ready for bed hoping that maybe tomorrow that she'll be able to make it. we show up for church, but not hearing anything, because we have to go through another person to find out what BreiAnna's plans are, I'm not too thrilled about being left in the dark, when we get some more information that her baptism is going to be postponed for a time. which is sad to see that no matter how hard we try to help people come closer to Christ and that this is a way for people to help themselves become a better person, not only spiritually but in every other aspect of our lives. and that the way to do that is through our commitment to follow Christ through baptism and followed by the confirmation of the holy ghost. 

So other than that today it's the fact that it got chilly this week, so much so that i actually had to pull out my jackets from last year and yes I'm wearing one right now. I'm now leaving probably one of the best area's in the mission right now and going to another great one.

Love Elder Gillespie

P.S. I love you all.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween, but still no ghosts

Life is good i still have one full week here for sure and then after that i don't know. so next week you'll find out for sure what's going on for the next 6 weeks. and who knows what's going to happen.

so what else is new? well not much considering that we just had Halloween and we had a great time, so before Saturday the unofficial Halloween day to trick or treat, on Friday we had a ward trunk or treat, or trick or trunk how ever you would like to say it anyways, Elder Lake and myself decided to trick out our trunk/car by making into a helicopter, seeing as how Ft. Rucker is the home of Rotorwing aviation for the army. so to make our car into a helicopter all you need is some cardboard and duct tape and spray paint. which we assembled fairly quickly but once we saw that the rotors weren't going to stay up by themselves we needed to reinforce what we had done, so we got some fishing line to pick up the wings, but alas they drooped again. but we did impress the entire ward, and a few of the non-members that were there. and i did dress up for Halloween believe it or not. i wore a bow tie that Ben Gaines got for me in Boston, which again made everyone impressed that yes somebody under the age of 40 knows how to tie a real bow tie.

well i guess that's enough of the hallo weenie stuff, on to other things. so what happened this week?....we were able to meet with Cori and have a great little discussion with him, and the really cool thing was that we brought a member who was once a police officer, who was really able to talk to Cori and get his head on straighter than what we missionaries could of ever done and that was really cool, kind of like it was set up that way, without me realizing it.  a miracle you might say.

we have also had a lot of fun with the ward members and have really gotten to know them a lot better, in fact one of the members is hooking us up for dinner with a non-member neighbor so that should be really good.

now to the juicy stuff. so yesterday we had a lesson with BreiAnna and we went over the 3rd and 4th lesson. and she is so ready for baptism she told us that she just want to jump in the water right now. so we are working on that so we can just let her in there. but anyways back to the lesson, it was just so good and the spirit was so strong there too. amazing, simply amazing. but there is always going to be snags when it comes to this stuff, so she is ready but her family isn't supportive and also really isn't against it too. she is going to have to be strong when this stuff comes around. so right now we are trying to figure a time to get this all worked out so she can get baptized without too much of a conflict, so this week she should be getting ready for it, and that's what we are planning for but I'll keep you updated on all of this when i get more information.

So all in all a good week.

Thought of the day, which comes from one of the gate guards on Fort Rucker, one of the nicest people you'll ever meet he says.
"when you wake up in the morning you have two choices, either you can be happy and share what you've got or you can be sad and discouraged and share that with the world." simply a genius so that's what I've been working on this week,  the reason why it's important is because it's something we can all work on.

Elder Gillespie

Mom you have done it again with one of the best Halloween costumes I've seen. Keep on keepin' on.

Dad keep up the good work just don't work yourself to hard.

Jethro. your future sounds like a lot of fun, but your present needs some work, but so does mine.

Robyn Halloween sounded crazy! and i bet your excited to see winter again, just kidding, can you believe that it's almost been a year in that house of yours? neat.

Jan you are such a little planner and are just planning up a storm with all the little things, the whole toy story thing genius.

Ben F. keep up the good work.

Thad, to short to short. what were you for Halloween? what about Clint? what about BKE? what about Logan? but i will agree life is great as long as we keep a good attitude.

Ben G. your right spending more time with kids is better than not actually working, your going to be a great dad. also since being in the south, TV is just an addiction. sure it's nice to see things but you've got a computer and can watch anything you want, just don't fill your life with the things that aren't important.

Toni, Write please. i miss you guys and all your funny way putting things in just a Toni type of way.

Beetle CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? almost there, don't think about it but at the same time do. and when you get home 10 months left for me. it'll be awesome. keep an eye on those little scamps.

everyone else. feel free to write anytime to this email Address,

Monday, October 25, 2010

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Hello Everybody!

What is new on this side of the Mississippi?  well some crazy stuff and some not so crazy stuff. so to break the suspense the not so crazy stuff was that we had the primary program and it was just so cool and the spirit was just so strong, My guess is that they can deliver such a strong message because they are still under Christ and so when they talk about truth it's the spirit without dirt coming to all those who want it. and those who don't want it just think that it's cute. What else is not so crazy? Well I guess the fact that we have been fed enchiladas for the last week straight, so  it's not bad, but variety is definitely good.

So on to the nuts stuff. So!... Cori has gotten the devil after him. how so? well this week his house got broken into and all of his stuff was stolen therefore he is not happy and his goal of being a photographer is shattered because they stole all his equipment. and of course that's because we have committed him to baptism and to live according to the gospel principals. So not so good. we are working with him to get back into the groove of things. so that's life.

Other crazy thing is that we had zone conference and we learned a little bit about the refiner's fire/the sculptor's hand/the potter's clay. All the same principal of living in a way where God can mold us more into his Son so we will be more like him when we live with him. The really cool thing was that we had to find a rock that could be found in the area that we are working in. Well i don't know if you know but there are no rocks naturally found in Alabama or Florida.  If there are then i just don't know where to find them, well anyways we found some rocks along a river bank and took them to Zone conference, and then we got a chisel and a picture of the Christus in SLC Vistor center. so my goal is to chisel a place for my picture and then have the rock hold the chisel, by the way it's a 3/8 of an inch cold chisel for stone/cement. thanks dad for teaching me that.

After ZC we had the zone leaders do a trade-off with us I stayed in Ozark while Lake went up to Troy so that day Thursday we had a full day we were visiting families and all sorts of stuff and everything else.  We even made an appointment for 5 pm in Newton about 20 min drive down, and then had to meet up halfway between Troy and Ozark about a 35 min drive at 6, well with all of this commotion i forgot about the appointment at 5 and then headed up to Troy at 530 from Ozark. we get a call later wondering where we are, which made me feel about this tall ---> [    ] Sadly to say that was my bad.  That night we also visited one of our investigators who has yet to pick up the Book of Mormon and start to read. and we been seeing her since about June or July. and we had splits with one of the bishopric members who then gave her a better explanation. because she thought that it was just another bible, which we told her a couple of times before hand that it wasn't, which then made me feel ---> [  ] that big. so it was definitely a crazy day.

which is about all that i have.  Life is getting better as i just continue to move forward and to keep my head up while at the same time keeping it down...?  or i guess move forward in humility.

Progress is what is important. and sometimes can't be measured by a number. so another food for thought 

Love you guys keep up the good work.
Elder Gillespie

Ben Gaines, sometimes the best way to help a friend is to just listen, PMG chapter 10 listening that's a good section that i like.

Toni Keep up the good work.

Jan Your awesome and such a good mom

Ben F. welcome back! that's weird seeing as how I'm not there but none the less.

Jethro Lincoln is going to do great and i like your idea and you'll have to tell me more about your projects.

Robyn Lincoln is so cute. and i feel so sorry for little Sophia i hope that the medicine is working. keep me posted, next week.

Thad good idea to call those guys so you don't die but i wouldn't like to take cold showers,

Beetle you'll love being in a 4 pad, you can have so much fun and not only that you get to talk to other people not just your companion, it's going to be so cool. just don't get lazy, it's way too easy.

Elder Christensen after a gold bond foot powder Fight with Elder Cox

Elder Wardle

Ashley and Me

Courtney Family

Elder Lake

Monday, October 18, 2010

Food is Good

This week has been amazing on a scale of one to banana it was probably pineapple or gorilla. so lets start with the beginning.  a very good place to start. Me and elder Lake have been getting along like two peas in a pod which makes everything else a whole lot easier, not saying we have had any problems but this week has just been great. so monday  it was columbus day which was last weeks email. and then we'll skip to tuesday it was a very relaxing day which i was very grateful for and nothing really exciting going on at that point, which leads us to Wednesday, at thispoint we are putting together a baptism for a child of record baptism for a less active member, so we are pulling things together for that and we also needed to make sure that she had a interview with the bishop that night so we could then get her ready for baptism on Saturday, so a bit of stress, any-hoo that goes through without a hitch. so we have a total go on the baptism. full speed ahead! so the next day, Thursday, we finish the program and start getting things ready for the baptism, Friday we have some fun and get our minds off the whole baptism and go tracting and then we get a call from one of our investigators Cori and we visit for a bit and the time felt right and so we asked if he wanted to be baptized and he's like sure, which i was totally taken back from, so during our visit we talked more about the whole comitment of baptism and such and he's got a few things we need to help him with, and i think that he's going to go far. at the end of the visit we are walking back to the car and both of us Me and elder Lake were just taken back by what we just did, but it felt right so we went and did. this leads us to Friday night where we talked to the Jones family where they talked about different types of activites and one that sounds really cool is flight 459 and then everyone gets to see the different kingdoms and stuff, and it sounds really cool. so after all of that it was time for bed and the next day. Saturday the big day so we go tracting again to get my mind off of what's going on later that day. so the day flys by like a dream and then we are at the church getting it ready for the baptism and filling the font and all the other fun stuff that goes along with baptizing someone, so before this Ashley asked me to baptise her and then elder lake to confirm her. so i get really excited that i get to wear all white for the first time in about a year, it just felt so nice and calm to be in all white, and then every thing went off without any big problems and i was so happy and so was everyone else i think the spirit was very strong during that whole thing. so basically awesome. ok ok next day. sunday an amazing sacrament meeting and the rest of the blocks where i learned a lot. and then we had a great meeting with BrieAnna who is friends with one of the ward members and we had a great lesson on the plan of salvation and then we ask her to get baptized and she was totally into the idea as well just like Cori and the great thing was that she was at the saturday baptism. and she was very moved by the whole thing.  so in the course of a week we had a baptism where we were very involved and then also having two people commit to get ready for baptism. so this week equals success.

As for the title i learned the hard way that food is a very important part of life especially Breakfast, usually i wouldn't eat breakfast because i really wasn't hungry or so i thought, then afterwards i started eating breakfast and low and behold i was happier and less tired and also i eat a lot more food when i eat breakfast then if i don't or i eat 3x the food when i have breakfast then when i just say that i'm not hungry. i guess my body really was hungry. As for sleeping, I'm happier and it's much easier to sleep when you aren't hungry and also when the window is open and it gets down into the 50's at night. so i feel much better now than when i was a in the middle of july and august.

that's what's happening in my neck of the woods, back over to you.

Love Elder Gillespie

Jethro it sounds like Paris was an amazing little trip, your so brave to do all of that.

Robyn keep up the good work and i bet this camera is going to pay for itself.

Mom your amazing and i love you so much.

Ben Gains you just know what to say don't you, keep up the good work and keep listening to those talks.

Toni your doing great keep up the good work.

Jan your still a Gillespie in my eyes with that last adventure to the lot. your amazing

Dad keep up the good work.

Thad you need to work on your details much like i do but tell me more when i get back.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue

Hello Everybody!

This week has been a weird week probably for us all but last week marked the half way point for me and this mission which is sad to say that I only have a year left to help people and to clear up some misconceptions that people in the south may have about us. Well anyway, on to the good news! This week we are going to have a baptism of a 8 year old less active member which is SO cool, we as missionaries have really been trying to help the family and her out, they are a really nice family which is so cool to see. but of course everyone on their mission thinks most of the members are cool.

other than that we have the members helping us find people to teach while we continue to work with those that we found for ourselves, the top three are


We are really trying to get things worked out in their minds to help them understand the truth that we share very poorly unless we have the spirit with us. Then it makes all the difference and they will get the "ah-ha" moments which we all get in our lives when we "figure" something out or something just clicks to make it so much easier. 

Probably one of the coolest moments this week was when we were talking with our member who is friends with BreiAnna and she told him that she got an answer to her questions about the church and that it was all truth, so that was amazing and a real testimony builder for me, that God wants to and does answer our prayers.

A not so good moment was when we were tracting and a guy came to the door and just said to us "can you guys just go somewhere else, you knocked on my door like every two months, just go somewhere else, I'm tired of seeing you guys." Well sorry guy but we just can't not knock on your door, because there are only so many doors that we can knock on.

One more thing is that sleep is very a important part of life. and this letter will probably go through a lot of revisions before it comes out, why? because when you don't sleep well and drink enough water you brain doesn't think very well by itself and it also makes a lot of stupid and often mistakes which are funny. 

Well that's about all the neat things that i can think of right now so until next week, keep up the good work and keep on truckin'

Jethro what is going on? you should take lots of photos.

Jan your amazing and i bet mom and the kids are just loving it there

Beetle your amazing and you really are doing great things in Chile, hey they were right, you are changing the world for the better.

Thad Really a Career that is neat and are you working on the same thing as you were before? or something completely different.

Hey Clint keep up the good work and remember to keep praying and reading.

Robyn your two little munchkins are so cute. and it's so cool to see sophia just doing her thing it must be driving you up the wall though

Ben Gaines two weeks is awesome and one more left your going to do great

Ben Francisco keep up the good work because i know that you'll do great.

Toni your awesome and don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.

Dad holy cow you sound busy and working like a mad man.

Mom your awesome and i love you

Love you all

Elder Matt Gillespie

Monday, October 4, 2010

Love is the Answer to Most of the Questions in my Heart

Family Friends Countrymen Saints!

Hasn't this week been so good, it's starting to cool down everywhere in the northern hemisphere, sorry Beetle. i can wake up and feel the cool crisp air as i run. yes it's actually getting nice in Alabama, speaking of football way to go USU just wanted to throw that out there. but what everybody is still in awe over is General Conference. Wasn't that AMAZING, the theme that i got out of it was a return to the basics and what our basic knowledge is that sets us apart from other religions.

Well enough about that no need to rehash over what happened especially seeing how we'll all get it the next month with the ensign. So this week for me has been kind of crazy this week we said farewell to Elder Cox. thus leaving me the oldest in the apartment, which is kind of weird. but anyways the new kid is Elder Wardle. He's from Las Vegas and is with Elder Christensen who cover the Ozark branch or everything above 231 or most of the populated area of Ozark, but we have Fort Rucker, home to Army Aviation the helicopter side of aircraft.  Elder Wardle reminds me a lot of Richard Wilkins just a happy go lucky guy, happy to be alive and in the process makes everyone else happy. so the dynamic of the apartment has changed, but for the better, or it's just a nice change to have.

So this week has been amazing if i haven't already said it, so yesterday we got called by the bishop to fill the font for a baptism in the morning and to also play the piano for said baptism,  and it was just an amazing spirit that was felt in that service, then we had conference which again was amazing and very enlightening and then we felt prompted to go and give some bread to a ward member who needed that bread.  When we arrived she told us that she just ran out of bread. and we came with some without even knowing that she needed it.  Truly a miracle and then was able to give her a blessing which she told us was what she actually really needed and felt like a feather. so yesterday=awesome.

So now some insights off of conference a trend that i saw and felt was the need for everyone to receive a testimony of the cornerstones of our religion, what was inspired to me was that we now live in an age where we can't really hear the spirit, which is why many young people rely on their parents testimony, what we need to do to receive that gift is to quiet our surrounding, unplug the earphones and radio other distractions, Read study and ponder the scriptures. and to live what we believe. Pray to our father in heaven for a testimony. if we do the simple things that we were taught then we would receive the blessing of a testimony that would begin to grow and continue as we nourish it until we know without a doubt that it is real.  remember to start off small and then the greatness will be able to grow out of us by the power of the Holy Ghost.

So all in all a really great week full of insights mostly from conference but all from the Holy Ghost.

To finish it all off congrats on the new child Eliza and hopefully she won't start beating Anna in weight gaining to quickly and it dose sound like quite a little party going on in the valley of Utah. and it should be getting more crazy in just a couple of weeks.

Ben Francisco that little town doesn't sound very slowly going but i bet your going to learn a lot from being there keep up the good work.

Jan your such an amazing mom and i bet clarky and eva are going to be best of pals their entire life.

Ben Gains how does it feel to be a dad two times over? i bet it feels awesome!

Jethrobyn you guys are just so cool Robyn i want a lot of photos when beetle gets back just to let you know and Jethro i really couldn't remember even if you did use the same lines over again, and yes we need to watch that when we get back but after i get readjusted, if that happens.

Toni = great mom who was taught by a great mom who was taught by a great mom... and there we see council in action.

Thad Where did you go? by what i gathered you were a miracle for the drive back to Utah, why am i not surprised at that? what were some of the games that you played with the kids?

Beetle how awesome is it that you and i just had Conference together. i say totally awesome.

I love you guys all so much keep up the good work and remember we can choose to love or to hate.


Elder Matthew Gillespie

Monday, September 27, 2010


Hello everybody guess what i figured out!!! that ringworm really doesn't have a worm but is actually a fungus, and that it's on my arm, thank goodness for anti fungal cream.

to describe how i feel right now is just way to hard to do... I'm just so happy and excited and glad to see how everything is starting to "fall" in to place. so the biggest news from me about myself is that I'm staying here in Ozark. so the total time will be about 7.5 months. AWESOME! what makes it so good is that everybody in the ward basically knows me and now feel more comfortable around me and hopefully won't be afraid of letting us talk to their friends about the gospel.  so cool story last night we had dinner at the Jones', and one of the sons brought over one of his friends which he had given a Book of Mormon to and who has been reading it. so before dinner we, me, Elder Lake, Bro. Jones, Sis. Jones, Daniel, and friend had an hour discussion on the gospel and what it is and all sorts of topics under the sun and we all got something out of it, and it was a great ending to a fast Sunday.

well anyways this last Sunday we were able to talk to the young women about missionary work, which I think they really did enjoy and were very happy to have us there to explain how to be a better missionary and also a better example of Jesus Christ to their friends and associates. and they wanted us to come back and teach them more about every month or so, that is neat.

This week we had the AP's come through after the Person conference, and told us that we are doing the right thing and that we are where we are supposed to be, which is a great relief from being spiritually punched in the gut, and not feeling so good about it. This has just been a really great time to serve. and the great thing is that it's finally cooling off from the 100's to the 90's to the 80's hopefully this week. That would be awesome!!! I almost forgot what it's like not to sweat when you walk outside.

So anyways this week has again been a blur and a drag, funny how that works, well we have a great opportunity to be trained on what we need to do to become a better missionary and to become a better citizen and son, father, etc. what it means to me is to bridge the gap between what i know (mind) to how i know (heart) to put it in a simpler terms is to get a testimony of truth that the Holy Ghost will testify of. so what do I know, I know that God loves me very much, that he wants me to come back to him a better person then when i left him, i know that families are supposed to be together for eternity, and that was revealed to Joseph Smith and also he was a prophet of God who translated the Book of Mormon which was written for our day. I'm excited to hear from the prophet of the lamb this week and that the Holy Ghost will testify of the truth and answer the prayers and questions that i have. I know that Christ paid the price for me to come back to heavenly father as long as I'm willing to keep the commandment and follow example in all that I do. I love my family and the church this I say in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.  

I love all you guys and can't wait to hear from the prophet.

Toni just have your baby already and I would like to know the name.

Ben keep up the good work as a dad

Mom I bet you are super excited about having Jan back home and to play with all the grand kids, give them a big hug from me.

Jan Just keep on keepin' on. you can do it!

Dad what's new in your life?

Thad Way to get a career started. your going to do amazing.

Beetle Run for the Roses! that will probably be repeated many times before your home.

Jethro you looked stylin' so did you Robyn more pictures please.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hot Dog Breath

Elder Lake is a Great companion who is really up to date with working and knows a lot about everything, it seems like he's been out almost as long as i've been out or at least that's the way I treat him. and that is how he responds

Remember the taste you have when you wake up in the morning i call it hot dog breath i don't know how i got it, because we don't have any hot dogs in the fridge and i don't think i eat during my sleep but you never know for sure. well anyways today has been a bad day for that and it's been with me this entire week. probably a little to much info.

So this week sound like it's been crazy for everyone and this next week sounds like another one too. and i'm so excited.

Just a little bit from this week is umm... we continue to push forward with missionary work and it seems that it is starting to show up. We have some really solid investigators and some that could become more and more availible to us as we continue to work. This last week we had a great time with a member in the ward getting ready for a southern luau which was pretty good fun and just a nice time to be with all the members of the neighborhood and it's definitely something like what i want to do when i'm back. Just a nice big block party.  Some other great parts of this week starting backwards. we had a great lesson/spiritual thought with a member after dinner. Don't worry mom i'm being fed plenty, so much so that i'll need to work some off. Me and you Ben. Sunday afternoon we took two of the priests out tracting and they did a really good job.  They don't seem to be too nervous about sharing a message or knocking on doors, something that just doesn't happen in Utah. Well anyway, Daniel Jones was able to give out a book of mormon with elder lake while i and Jordan Hughes continued down the street, and hopefully my goal will be complete of knocking on every single house in ozark before i'm gone. In church we had a great lesson with a W.O.C. student. and he seems to understand a lot of what we are saying and has a lot of good friends to help him in this little quest that he has undertaken.  We are so glad to be a part of it. so small miracle right here, all the class rooms in the building are full during the second hour so we, me and Elder Lake, are trying to find a place where we could teach Bro Crimmins, also the ward wants to start a temple prep class and that is being held in the library, well this week we found out that they are post-poning it till Oct 10 so that left one room open for us to use. and we have one more week until Crimmins graduates along with a lot of other people that are in his class. so it's all going to fall into place.

We have also had some great lessons with a kid named Cori Kelley who kind of reminds me of myself and wants to learn a lot more, we are just trying to meet up with him as often as we can because he could be a great in the church. 

umm... so what else happened this week. to be honest it's felt like a month since Elder Person came through and everyday just seems the same except for sunday.  but we have had some good split opportunities and chances to meet with the ward members. so all in all life is going good and crazy and i could fall asleep at the drop of a hat, still. and i'm guessing it doesn't get any better when i get back or married or have kids etc. etc.

well do great and stay strong and serve selflessly.

Toniben I can't wait to hear the name and the photos. She's going to be beautiful I already know it.

Janben what a grand adventure awaits both of you and i can't wait to hear about it.

Thad you're such a great brother. and i know that's a great calling for you. you should talk to Ben about presentations he has done a few.

Jethrobyn. i loved the photos and the great things your doing, robyn you know that your a great mom and by doing what you feel like you should will only make you better. jethro, i like the title but i'm not an artist so i can't give you really any ideas, and i haven't seen what your doing so i don't know either.

Dad that is such GREAT news and i'm glad your leaving the mattcave alone for now. your going to have such a fun time when jan comes back. also how are the chelaks doing, do they like timpview? what grades are they in?

Mom you sound like your going to be chest deep in work and such. and did you know that i love you and your an amazing mom, thank you for all that you've done.

to everyone else, feel free to write me either an email or letter i would appreciate it


79B Woodview Drive
Ozark Alabama 36360

until next week, when transfers comes out then i'll know for sure for another 6 weeks.

Love Elder Gillespie

Ben gains did you know a Elder Chamberlain?
Thad did you ever hear about Elder Barrington?
just a few people i've met.

old tractor looks familiar

another practical joke

a trailor addition. only in the south.
Elder Lake

a practical joke of about 355 Lbs

 Pants after a service project Deshingling

 Canker sore that i'm still getting over. 5+ weeks

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Spirit PUNCH!

Hello everybody. well first off to tell you why i didn't write on Monday this week is because a Elder Person of the 70 visited the mission, which was amazing. but i'll get into that later. this week seeing as it started on Tuesday everything has been going really good and the crazy thing is that when people in the church come on splits with us missionaries it always ends up being a great time I just freak out about finding out what i need to do to get things rolling in the right direction. which doesn't help that i'm a bit of a hard head. so Wednesday night i think we had splits and the zone leaders came down for a trade off with us so, me stressing out about every little thing and how it's all going to work out. we split up and i go with brother Cook and see the Bess family and i had hoped for a short 40 min visit well that got a little longer, but at the same time Elder Lake and Elder Gates were waiting around at the church for the other person to come and split with them, when low and behold someone comes in that they don't know and he wants to learn more about the church.... coincidence? I think not! so i came back and they had told me all about what went down which was sweet, and the next night again freaking out about what to do with the high priests for splits when we called up brother Magonigal we went and saw sister Dailey and those two just started talking up a storm, something i didn't realize and from that point on i know that the ward members who have been here a while really do know about the other people in the ward a lot better than what i think i know. so all of that was definitely a greater insight than what i would have ever known.

so that leads us to Elder Person which we went to yesterday. We woke up yesterday at 3 am to get ready to leave Ozark at 4 am to get to Tallahassee by 7:30 am which it did so why so early? well Tallahassee is an hour ahead of where we are, and the dividing line is the Chattahoochee river. so in reality we left at 5 am Tallahassee time so the two and a half hour drive i fell asleep pretty quickly, and i know that i sleep with my mouth wide open. we got to tally town and went to get something to eat before we had our conference. so what is only not in Utah Waffle House. which was really good food. and very fast as well. so  we are at the conference and Elder Person wants all the leadership in the mission to talk to him about what we as a mission could work on. He took some notes and then we had a picture and then got ready for his presentation. It started out really good and then BAM the whole mission got chastised on how we could do better and to figure out what we need to do and find out who we are.  Then broke for lunch and then another BAM. he told us again all about what we need to do and how it's by finding out who we are that we can then change our destiny he said "when i got called into being a general authority president packer told us 'You are not You' which the if that's the first thing that an apostle says us it confused us if we are not us then who are we, and that was what he was trying to get across to us, we are no longer doctors, lawyers, teachers, CEO's. we are now disciples to Jesus Christ. so I'm no longer a CEO that has 4000 employees that has been called to be a 70 but I'm now a disciple that owns a company."  so what he told me is that while i might have been a goof in high school that is only something that i did but I'm now on His path of discipleship to become more like Him. so when i do get off the mission I'll be more like myself than i have ever been. so that happened for about 6 hours of just being blown out of the water, and when you thought that you were doing something alright BAM another sucker punch, afterward it felt like i had been spiritually beaten to a ball of mush and then shoved back into my body. but happy at the same instance Weird. Speaking of a small world we went to Miss "P" church where they talked about becoming a better disciple which was an interesting contrast to what we experienced the next day. miss P's was talking about putting away childish things and becoming a disciple while the Elder Person told us what you have to do to be a Better Disciple of Christ and what is required of us to do that. and if i only had a tape recorder to re listen to all that he said that would of been amazing but i did get some good notes. hopefully i remember it all.  so on the way home all of Ozark missionaries car pooled and we just talked all about what just happened and how it was a very interesting and humbling experience. which made me think I've got a long way to go before i want to go home and i really need to make a better effort on my part to get to where i need to be.  there is work to be done and not enough time to do it.

so some interesting pranks before the conference... umm... well my bed got saran wrapped and when ever Cox takes a shower we get a cup of cold water and dump it on him or a cup of flour. most of the pranks we do are impromptu so there really isn't much thinking about what we need to do we just do things that aren't going to really hurt anyone. also Cox's bed gets flipped over pretty frequently. etc. etc.

what else.... umm... life is good here things should start changing and life will go on no matter where I'm at. I love you guys all so much keep up the good work.

Roxanna Way to go on the mission call  your going to have such a good time in Guatemala i know your going to love it there

Jan keep up the good work and i can't believe that everything is going so fast your going home for so long it's going to be so cool for all the kids to be together to play with each other. make sure Thad stays out of trouble with Clark those two are going to be trouble makers for sure on your trip.

Beetle i had one of those parties to except mine was probably worse but still a good show.

Thad i like the beard and the new phone sounds awesome I've seen it off of a couple of members but haven't gotten to mess around with it at all but good phone and good idea

Toni i can't believe that there is going to be a new face when i get back I'm sure Anna and baby are going to be great friends.

Robyn sad news but keep up the good work i know you'll be fine and so will your family tell Jethro i missed a quote from Raising Arizona.

Dad take a sick day if you need it it'll be alright. make sure to drink plenty of orange juice and other fluids. remember Drowned a cold and feed a fever. i don't know though ask mom

Mom your amazing and yes i did get a bit lost with your email. but I'm glad your having a productive week. and i bet your excited about general conference. so am I

Love you all

Elder Gillespie

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It feels like football

Hello Everybody! How is everything back at home? Good. Well a little bit from this side of the Mississippi river. . .Well it's a weird feeling when you start out tracting and it just feels like a crisp october day when your ready to play football, and it's still in the 90's and 50% humitiy. So i think i might be wiggin' out a bit but only about a year left before my brain is completely fried. Well this week has been really good. It climaxed with Zone Conference where we can tell that President Jensen is really starting to get things going. He's seen where we as missionaries can improve and has shown us a lot of love and concern and what we try to accomplish. We try our best to do our part and the Lord will make up for the rest. During his time, President Jensen is building upon the foundation that President Summerhays laid, from the words of Elder Westcott, a member in the district. he's really smart and a great example to me of being a father. He and sister Westcott are the senior couple serving in Eufaula. So anyways things going on in the ward....

We are trying to get with a less active family to teach the youngest daughter who is eight and wants to get baptized but the mother wants her to go through the lessons before she makes that commitment. So it's our goal to get her ready before october. The funny thing is that when you try to do something good the people you want to teach just seem to disappear. But we'll find her soon and get her ready. umm... the sad part of serving in such a small area is that every one has heard what we have to say a couple of times already so tracting isn't as fun as i thought it would be and those you try to help lose interest pretty fast, especially when they don't do anything for commitments. so again the purpose to this missionary is finding, finding, finding.

We are also trying to get some of the members involved in missionary work, mostly the young men in respect to tracting and getting some time underneath their belt so they aren't completely confused when they get out to the field. Every time that we have them with us we get into at least one house, but they end up not being interested, which is a bummer. Well anyways the people in the south are very nice and usually courteous to us which is a plus. so we keep plugging away and keep on keepin' on. 

I'm so glad to be here right now i'm learning so much from being in the service of the Lord and so grateful for what he has done for me and i know that as i try to do my best that he's going to make up for my short comings and is going to inspire me with what i need to do to further his work. I love you all so much

Elder Gillespie

Roxanna keep me updated, and tell ryan that he's doing a great job and is going to do an amazing job. thanks for everything.

Janben your kids are growing up so fast I can't believe it. and way to get everything situated for your trip; do amazing things ok.

Jethrobyn try to get sophia to speak and say tallahassee that would be just an amazing flash back. Lincoln is starting to shy away from toy story?!? what is the world coming to! keep up the good work.

Toniben i didn't realize that baby sister is coming so quickly you'll have to decide pretty quick on a name so far the best i've heard is ABCDE (ah-bee-cee-dee) sounds like obesity. just a name maybe you are thinking about.

Thad HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! how often do i get to wish you a happy birthday on your birthday on a mission? well to answer that not very often.

Beetle agreed a good birthday present. and i think i've still got you beat. keep up the good work and i Know that you'll do amazing.

Dad A sauna? maybe a steam room? i don't know but that's amazing that you've got that in the garage you are just such a busy bee. and i think that by the time i do get back i really won't have any project to help you with at home just at the Logan house.

Mom your the best and Elder Christensen is doing very well and it's not a serious problem thank goodness.

I love you all so much

Elder Gillespie

Monday, August 30, 2010

Cake is not a good breakfast

Hello this week has been one of heat and of rain. This week has been a bit crazy and again full of service and other opportunities. One that comes to mind is trimming someones rose bush in her yard which we were able to get a hold of because of our other service at hospice. She is on it and one of the nurses said that she needed some help and that she told her, the lady who is sick, about us so we called and what do you know more service, Other than that we moved somebody out of the ward and that was a neat little thing. Other than that a lot of tracting, so far i've tracted more with Elder Lake in Ozark than I have with any other companion. My goal is to get the entire area of Ozark south of 231 tracted, and so far i've got about an 8th done. Other than that we had an amazing miracle happen on Sunday where about 12 to 15 new military people showed up for church, most of them are WOC students Warrant Officer Candidate or AIT Advanced Individualized Training. so it's all the people who are learning how to fly helicopters or the people that are going to make the helicopters run or something. As missionaries we really can't talk to them because they are restricted on who they can see and what they can do. The military tells them what to do at all times. So from all these people that showed up that I and Elder Lake had no idea who they were we were able to get about 6 Book of Mormons out to them. About half were not members so it was definitely an awesome experience. Another little miracle is that a guy just came into church and was wondering if this was the right church he was supposed to go to. We had great members just take him under their wing and get things going for us. We have a lesson with him on Tuesday and that is planning to be a good little lesson. Other than that things here are about the same the work is starting to move forward as we, me and Elder Lake, along with a lot of prayers are starting to get a lot done. At least that's what i think

Love Elder Gillespie

Thad you were pretty close and i guess i left out a few details but the senior couple are working in Eufalla which is it's own area. and they come down for district meeting every Tuesday.

Robyn, yes the world is going to the pot but we don't have to and that's the great thing, like most of the people down here they are mostly god fearing people but of course you have those stupid party people who are up into the wee hours of the morning and who usually get into more trouble and get themselves out of the gene pool. but all in all nice people if your nice to them. Also way to use your resources.

Jethro, Keep up the good work, and yes it is starting to cool off for the first time. thanks to rain and clouds.

Ben you are just a travelin' man. do you ever play that song on your way home, or to the plane i think that should be your new theme song.

Love you guys my time is about up.

Monday, August 23, 2010

I'm a proud father!

Well doc. tell me....

He's a bouncing baby boy! and his name is Elder Lake! He's such a great guy I know that this is quite a different experience from what he's use to and what I'm going through, but a great experience none the less. Elder Lake is from Portland Oregon and did a year at BYU before he came out and he's missing his family a bit right now. Well I can't blame him he just left them so, but a great guy. and he doesn't talk a lot about it but he's just like every other missionary, scared nervous and doesn't know what to do. Which has gotten me out of my little shell of comfort which I know is going to be a good thing.

As for the week it's been a busy one. Monday we celebrated Butikofers B-day and had quite a good time doing it. We had a lot of fun with the other missionaries in the apartment. Tuesday started packing up everything and said our goodbyes to people in the ward. which was a sad day for Buti (Boo-Tee) and then wednesday morning bright and early we headed out for cottondale to meet the new missionaries. so we got there and waited and waited until about 30 minutes behind schedule the van showed up. It was quite a festive day for all of us with about 30 missionaries there. Which made some of the customers in the chevron which we meet at a bit nervous. In fact one of them was a bit angry that we were spreading the gospel and said that should be reserved for people that are older and he thought about coming out to "teach" us what the truth really is, and that the bible is the real and only word of god. So i laughed on the inside about that. I found my new comp. Elder Lake bright eyed and probably a bit nervous about the whole thing, which was very much the same on my end. I was worried that I was going to have somebody that either was completely anti-social or someone who didn't want to follow the rules which made me nervous. So we both felt really calm after our drive home.

Which leads us to Thursday, a day full of service and of getting things rolling and breaking him into the mission. I've heard that is one of the hardest things to do. He just took everything in stride and has been doing really good ever since he set foot on the ground. That day we had some drama in the ward which we were hooked into which again really broke Lake into the mission, but we had a good night after that. Now it's Friday, we get up, get ready and head out and it's going well and we get prompted to head to a service project that was going to happen the next day, and we showed up just in time to help out a lot with getting things ready for the next day. After that we had some good time just going with the spirit. Really this has been a good week. I just can't remember it all. I must say though is that finding stuff for us to do on splits is really getting hard when you don't have anyone to teach. So we're working on that.

Saturday we woke up early and headed to the service project where we helped out for 4 to 5 hours and by the time we finished with that I had only half of my shins dry on my pants. I'll send a photo out but to say it another way there was about 8 inches of me that wasn't wet from sweat. Again it's hot down here and it doesn't help that it keeps on raining every afternoon to bring the humidity up. and then went out after I crashed from service. I couldn't go any longer until I had a nap. So I got up and we started again which ended up being a great day again. On to Sunday where i finally had one of those ah-ha moments where things that were being taught all started coming together, and I felt really small but enlightened at the same moment, i can definitely tell a difference from the blessings of training and being with just a normal companion. It's been again an awesome day.

So what's the story? or what's the point? I don't know for sure but i'll tell you this that when you communicate with God you then have the most powerful being in the universe trying to help you understand and help you out whatever your problem or concerns maybe. So that's what I think is really helping me out because I don't know what I'm doing exactly but I know that God really wants to help me out. I just have to listen to what he's saying to me, which again I'm having some trouble doing, but I think it's getting better.

Mina Your awesome keep up the good work.

Sophie Lee: I got your missionary mail, funny story it got sent to a kid in france, Cutler something so that was neat, also what's your email/when are you coming back. and keep having fun in Cairo or as they say in georgia K-row

Robyn thank you for the question and i'll write you an actual letter shortly.

Jethro keep up the good work and I would agree with the doctor less sugar more exercise. and when I come back we'll have to do some more of that together, with ben so we can all get huge or lean

Thad I like the advice thank you for it i'm trying to be nice but at the same time working hard which is what i want to do. i don't want to kill myself or Lake before we leave.

Jan i don't know of any games that you could play with them, other than having a singing time with them, like we use to do on road trips. e.g., family toothbrush, bring back my neighbors, or I spy, guess what i'm thinking? etc.

Dad you're really ambitious, keep up the good work and I can't believe that you put in a new window, I'm not even going to come back to the same house that i left from. weird.

Mom Yes i agree dad does love you which is something that a lot of people I feel are missing in their lives. your such a great mom I can't believe I get you to be my mom.

Beetle 'Nuff said.

Love Elder Gillespie

Monday, August 16, 2010

A mouth full of cankers


So this week has been kind of boring except for the fact that i've got 4 different canker sores in my mouth at this time. One on my tongue, one on my lip, one on the roof of my mouth, and the last one on the back of my throat. so for the last week the pain has changed places first from my tongue to my lip then the back of my throat which is where it has stayed most of the time. and has caused me the most pain, ex. trying to swallow is definitely a difficult process. so to say the least i've been building up my pain tolerance. you have to look on the sunny side otherwise you're just going to be miserable. Well enough about me, this week has been a week of service. Wednesday we mowed a less active's yard, and moved in someone on post. Thursday we destroyed a shed for someone at hospice. Then Saturday we were in a members attic fixing a leak/AC problem. and in all cases I decide to wear the same work-out uniform, which was jeans, and the Stevens-Henager college shirt that i have. which ended up being a terrible idea. By the time it was time to go to the attic i could smell myself which wasn't a good thing so enough about the nastiness of the life of a missionary, so far this has been a great week, most of the time not doing service for others we have been trying to find more people to teach/invite to church. which there has been limited "success" but we are still trying to do what we can and to help out other people where ever we can.

so other news I'm now staying here in Ozark for another 6 weeks where i am going to be a father. yes I'm going to train this next transfer which is going to be a definite learning curve for me and for my son, but it should be alright. after all it's not going to be that bad.

oh!!! cool experience SO!... the district that I'm in charge of we got a new addition to the group a lovely couple by the name of the Westscotts. they have a lot of experiences that they are willing to share which is always awesome. well their car broke down in the parking lot of the church when we were about to leave and we started to find out what was going on. so we looked at everything and then all of us looked at each other and then all knew that we had no idea what was going on. so we called one of the members in the ward who is an amazing car mechanic and he came out to the rescue found out the problem of a new starter in seconds flat and with a few magic moves was able to get the car going so they could drive over to his house where he could fix it in a jiffy... now this couple is so cool they just know that everything that the lord has done for them is a blessing and they were again able to find the good side of life. Had they gone to the other district where they had been going, no one there, that i know of, knows how to fix cars but since they came here they were able to get their car fixed and going on the way without a problem and for a lot less then if they had to take it to an auto place.

so there is a miracle of the day/week that God knows what needs to happen and is going to provide whenever we need the help that we ask for.

also Way to Be by Gordon B. Hinckley is definitely a favorite and a easy read, no more than 2.5 hours. and full of good stuff.

Jethro I hope that this is suffice for your expectations and it's just been a normal week

Jan, agreed the baby Myra is definitely a cutie and so are the rest of the kids.

Robyn I can't believe that you've got such a great sight on the milky way i thought being so close to the city would of destroyed that possibility.

Camille thanks for being a solid friend and you shouldn't stress to much that only leads to more problem ex. canker sores. etc..

Thad where did you go?

Ben agreed a good cleansing full of fiber and such, it's the best i know. but i also know what you mean, i've put on about 20-25lbs. so far. we'll have to get lean together.

Toni Keep up the good work, it's so cool you got to hang out with Rex he sounds just like a Clark/Thad mix. and have fun. but not too much

Beetle do you have any suggestions on training? it's definitely different.

Dad keep up the good work but don't be a mean hermit, people don't like that too much.

Mom your awesome. and i love you.

I love you all.

Elder Gillespie

Monday, August 9, 2010

Why was 9 afraid of 7...

Hello Everybody!

Well another week has flown by and it doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon. This week was full of tracting and of sweating and of a lot of different types of people who for some reason are just the same as everyone else but are completely different. So this week has been a week of finding and of more finding, so this will probably be what is going to be the line of this week and next weeks letters. umm... other than that we are now trying as missionaries to do some practice teaching with members so they can then give us some pointers and so we as missionaries can stay relatively sharp on teaching. which should always be done with the spirit. which is some thing I'm trying to work on this week, I've found out that i've got a little bit out of practice with that and it's something that I really need to try to focus on. But yeah this week has just been another week. Kind of slow and hum drum. but it's something that just goes on. No new stories other than people in general are nice as long as you are respectful to them.

Elder Gillespie

Congrats to Myra you'll have to send photos when you can. also Jan take it easy this week, it'll be alright.

Congrats to Bret and Michelle and you'll have to send photos too.

Toni Way to go your doing such a good job with the PT and you'll have to put that up as a blog post.

Lincoln you are awesome for your enthusiasm, keep it up and be nice to your parents they love you and want the best for you, for example, bed time.

Beetle I'm always a week late but keep it up. You're awesome and time is just flying by.

Mom you're awesome and i couldn't be happier with a different mom.

Dad Keep up the good work, just stay out of trouble.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Time flies like an Arrow...

Fruit-flies Like A Banana.

Hello to all readers and writers. This week has been a good week, it's hard to tell when one week starts and the next one ends. So if i repeat myself, my bad. So we have had quite a few influxes of people coming to Post, and also quite a few leaving. It's always sad to see families leave that you have really grown close to, but it's great to introduce and make new friends with people who are looking forward to working with you, not only as a missionary but also as a individual. One family that is leaving is the Dyer family. They were actually the first people i had a dinner appointment with and it was so great because it really did feel like home when i was there. So much so that i almost told brother Dyer "thank you so much thad" not only because he acted like thad but that he also looks like thad. But on the other side of things we moved in a new family on to Post and they are the Henrettys. They are pretty new to the gospel and are really happy to see us missionaries and really want to do the right things, so we want to help them get as close as they can towards temple which they are going to soon which is so exciting to hear. They are going to be here for the next two years which is so exciting because they have the opportunity to grow so much being here. I'm excited to serve them.

so other exciting news. I went to another church this sunday and it was a very interesting experience, we went because someone at hospice, one of the nurses invited us. It was a non denominational church so it was a different experience. They really had a great organization with all the small children going to nursery and they would even change diapers and feed them and anything else that needed to be done to keep them happy. Then they had a group of kids a bit older who had their own area where they could play games, have a lesson and interact with each other. They then had the adult room or sanctuary where they would give their sermons. So as we sat down we saw three projection screens up the wall with a count down till the service started along with that they had four or five cameras so those that couldn't see the stage could see it up on the screen. They also had on the back of the stage cyce lights with at least 5 different gels or colors which would flash according to the music. It brought back a lot of memories from tech crew. I really wanted to see the sound board and light board that they had. Well anyway I had a really great time watching the performances and to see the nurse perform her dance number with her group. All in all a fun experience.We then went to church where it just felt different and it was just a great time in a different sense.

As for what i've been learning this week it's been focused on "Who Am I" which started out with Mosiah 2-6 and then a couple of general conference talks and today was on Alma 5 and what i've learned is that I am only with christ if i am completely with him and I need to get rid of all the pride that i do have so that i may come closer to him and receive his image in me. This can only happen if i have a might change of heart. I have the key to my heart and i have to open it up to God so that he can then change me not only spiritually, but also physically and emotionally too. This is what i love about the gospel is that not only do we have more scripture to understand more but we have living prophets who have been given revelation about each subject that I have, and if it doesn't make sense i can then go to the source where we can then learn all things. which is the unique message that we share and which one of our investigators is starting to understand.

Well that's about it for me. Thank you so much for all that you have done for me. I couldn't have gotten this far without all of your help.

Love Elder Gillespie

Robyn Happy birthday and I'm glad that you had an enjoyable time at Longhorns and yes the Steaks there are SOOOOoooo good. and lincoln is such a funny little camper. and sophie definitely is going to be a clown.

Ben Gains I can totally understand what you mean when you don't want to go out when it's a festive occasion. but you don't want to be crazy and not celebrate that would just be unfair to all of us and that cake is also one of the tops.

Ben Francisco or should i say Dr. Francisco haha just wanted to throw that one in. Sad news about the car but great news about one year left in school. and a new father soon. hurray. along with a great birthday.

Camille you sound like a missionary here in ozark it seems that either someone moving out or in is asking for help, which i love to do because i actually get to move. and i really hope you are feeling better.

Jethro I don't give good advice i just speak my mind which i usually don't realize till after it's been said which ends up with foot in mouth disease which people don't have a cure for yet.

Jan Poor car I'm so glad that you guys are doing alright though that makes life a lot easier.

Beetle way to go on transfers back to your old stomping grounds while i've really got a clue where that is compared to where you are now i bet your going to do great and it seems like time on both our sides is going so quick, like you've only got a few months left.

Dad i agree with what you said about D&C 121 it's a bit selfish but in the end it all works out, in fact that's one of the thoughts that came to my mind when i read it when i got here.

Mom you are awesome and i love you I hope your ready for your flight and make sure clark and eva get a big old hug from me ok.