Monday, May 23, 2011

Panama City

Hello Everybody and welcome to the east side of the Mississippi where there is nothing higher than the trees around you... well anyways it's not that bad. but this last week has been interesting and it's been quite fun as well. First on Monday we went out and had dinner with some great old country folks down near Vernon, which apparently has a movie made about that town I'll have to look it up next time. and it was quite a fun time down there. and something that we taught down there was the importance to look for the small things in life that make life worth living which i really have been trying to pick out in my own life but it seems like everyday there is something that just makes my day just a little bit better, so that's my next challenge to all y'all. so Monday was a good day and i must admit the south KNOWS how to make some good nana pudd'n.
Which now leads us to a Great old Tuesday, after sleeping off the wonderful amount of nana pudd'n. Tuesday usually is a meeting day where we have district meeting, Well this week was a special case where we had zone conference on Thursday which is way good. So Tuesday was a day where it seemed like everything that we tried just didn't work and everything was falling through. which leads us to Wednesday where it was pretty much the same thing just trying to get things moving forward and nothing seems to be moving it that way. But we had a nice meeting with our assistant Ward Mission leader, and we put our heads together and we started coming up with a plan where we can implement it into our ward, and then work it down into a family level.  so we through around the idea of coming up with a family mission plan, and then having a ward mission plan, where they can be moving the church forward. which is always a good thing, so we are working with that. all of these ideas and we just need to move them forward. so we are excited about starting this and now it becomes
Thursday... ZONE CONFERENCE which is always good. and you know when it a good conference when you feel like you could be living up to so much more and your potential is so much greater, so in other words you feel like a bush that got cut way back. It was super good and the funny thing about this zone in particular is that there are 9 of us that are over the 15 month mark and there are only 15 in the zone. So we have a way old zone. most of the people who came out with me are actually in this zone so it's a reunion of sorts. It's weird to see all of them again. but really cool in the same instance. so after getting this spiritual high we go out and work our little buns off trying to find new people, which are out there it's just really hard to find, small towns are your best friend or worst obstacle.
So now we are into Friday which is usually a good day; this week was no different.   We did a lot of work with getting organized and getting thing ready for the coming week. That was Friday
Saturday was another really hot day where i just can't stop sweating and really don't want to go out and tract all day, but we were able to meet a few new people that i didn't know, so that was neat and we had a member who wanted to come out with us for all our little adventures. so it was really a good day to just try and help other people.
Sunday was a really good day and it's really good to just recommit to God.   It's just really refreshing and then just again trying to help people realize what they are all here for.
So that's the week in a nutshell.  Time is up but i love you all and have a wonderful week.
I love you all because you are supporting me, by reading this somewhat funny entry.
Love Elder Gillespie

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sand trips and chainsaws

Well this has been an eventful week that is for sure. The start of the week was actually pretty normal. P-day was fun, district meeting on Tuesday was great and still talking about the fireside that we want to hold with the youth, and we want it to be a bonfire and just have all the kids just relax and chill for a night and then we at the end will just do a story time on how we got on missions and how we are regular people who just live the gospel of Jesus Christ everyday and that's what is the real difference in our lives compared with everyone else, it's doing the little things over and over again trying to become the best we can and being better than we were yesterday. so that's our next big push with the youth of Chipley and Bonifay so that's what we are trying to accomplish.
So now the rest of the week, so it's now Wednesday and we, me and banks, are feeling kind of drained but we still wanted to work. so we headed out to go and see a referral that we got earlier in the week the only reason for not visiting is the fact that they live 15 miles from Chipley so we headed down there with a GPS and everything is going great and when we are like half a mile a way the GPS tells us to turn left, as I was looking at what we were supposed to turn down which was a road that you would find in southern Utah going to visit the goblin valley with red sand, i didn't quite trust the GPS at this point, after a little debate with whether or not to go down the road, we decided that we could make it. so we started down the path and the further and further we got off the road the more and more we realized that this was a bad idea.  As the car slowed down the more and more my heart and stomach started sinking, until we were in a dead stop. we looked out and saw that much like it is, we were stuck like we were in a bad snow storm, and that no matter what we did we couldn't get ourselves out. We started digging trying to get out and get something under the tires, but nothing was working.  After a few silent prayers we finally saw two guys in two tractors that would grade down the road came putting up and looked at us, laughed a little bit and then got out some rope for us to get us out. Now it wasn't as bad as it could of been because we were only out there for about 20 min before they came and pulled us out, and we really weren't that far from the road, maybe 75 feet. but still that's a long way to try and push ourselves out. After all of this we decided that we would be just let the postal service take the bible to him. We came back home and washed up and got ready for dinner which we had at the state park, falling waters. which was really cool.  I've really missed just sitting out in the wilderness and just talking to people with out the busy schedule, just a nice break from the hustle and bustle. After that wonderful dinner we were voluntold to come to a service project for a neighbor of a member where a tree had fallen in their front yard, and much like the one in Tallahassee just imagine a tree that was four times that size, and we were helping move tree limbs that we couldn't even wrap our arms around, so you get the picture a BIG tree, we worked and worked and worked till the sun went down and we had about half of it moved by the time we were finished, and there was still a lot left to move. Thankfully the guy's house didn't get hit so we were just cleaning up the yard.
Some of the coolest members are here and they are all just such a cool example to me and everything that they are doing, life is going really good. One of the members volunteers at the state park where we ate and they are just such an example of eating everything up in the gospel. Another lady is working so hard to keep her young family together and just so open to become something so much better and willing to work at it even though she is exhausted after work.  It's just that everyone here is building their faith and making the most out of their situations.  It's really cool to see this happening here.
So that was our major day of the week, moving and getting stuck and putting up some fence.
Some other highlights. while me and Banks realized that we really just got the sickness that's been going around this place and now we are on the mend and back to full health which is really cool. but yeah that's the major things going on in chipley. still trying to find people and the people we visit are moving... slowly but still moving.

Elder Gillespie
Beetle you've got the good old mission spirit back in you and it's going to be learning about ROCK! you just need to see it ROLL and I'm excited to hear about the adventures.
Jethrobyn you've got some really cool stories and your just so hip and with it, I'll need to take some lessons. and the pictures are so adorable. and I'll need to take lessons on that too.
love you all

Monday, May 9, 2011

Oh what a night. . .

Hello everybody
So it's been a pretty good week full of service and just knocking on doors. but a really fun week. most of the mornings now we are doing yard work for little old women who just can't do it by themselves. and it's just been really fun we are working hard and right now there isn't a lot going on, but me and Elder Banks are doing really well, and we are working really well with the ward and trying to get them back on board with missionary work which is really awesome, and i think that it's what needed to happen. so things are going really well, we are just getting the wheels startin' to turn. so we are excited about that and everything else.
so for those who didn't talk to me yesterday just talk to my parents they let you know that everything is going well and that i sound just about the same and all that other good stuff.
but this has just been really weird to think that i'm really on the down ward slope, my only concern is getting tripped up so that won't happen though.
Elder Gillespie

Monday, May 2, 2011

Chipley 2.0

Hello Everybody
And this Email might be a little bit short because I'm now under a time limit, so I'll try to get all the good parts. First the beginning of this week has been preparing tally for the new guys and getting all the info that they needed to move forward instead of backwards. so a lot of time was doing damage control and writing to make sure that everything was going to work out for the best. For example Sis Simmons was very disappointed to hear that we were leaving and then the fact that two new guys were coming in, as well as the bishop, and president Campbell and many others who we became very close with and then to just up and leave, and that was probably the hardest part for me, along with saying goodbye to so many wonderful missionaries in Tallahassee. Well that was most of the days until Wednesday where i packed up on the transfer bus and then headed over to the "new" area of Chipley.  My companion is really cool, he's only been out for a transfer which is 6 weeks but is from Texas and reminds me a lot of Thad just kind of goofy but still super excited and loves to work and to get to know people. Elder Banks is his name and is from the Dallas-Ft Worth area and loves the Mavericks and Cowboys. but besides that he's awesome. It's just been kind of really fun to be apart of this companionship, so the weird thing about going back to an area is the fact that I'm older and for some reason a lot of the people didn't quite remember me and i just thought that was surprising,
What I thought would be the biggest hurdle to get over while I'm here would of been when people did remember me that they would think back to the time that i was here and have the bad memory of the missionaries i was with and then associate that with me and not think about what I've become since that time, of course my concerns/fears never really surfaced and people just remember me as being one of those missionaries that served here. Now as for serving out the rest of my mission here i don't know, i think I'll be here for another transfer for sure but after that they might want to move me.  My thinking is that they'll send me up to Georgia when we get the Tifton stake in our mission, because they are closing down the Macon Georgia mission and splitting the zones between missions. That would be a really cool goal that I'm thinking could happen for my last 3 months. Oh. and the other cool thing that happened around here is there where quite a few white washings, and our district that I'm in now is with Bonifay which has always had some great elders are brand new to the area so from the last transfer to this new one there is only one person who was part of the last district. 
So now for some new stories that you haven't heard before, 1st! we went tracting by downtown Chipley pretty exciting, and we knocked on a door and we found this awesome lady who told us to come back in a couple of days which we did. so when we came back Elder Banks and myself had a great first lesson which is the restoration and it really was powerful and we were really thinking that this was awesome so we set up to come back in a couple of days and then talk about the plan of salvation. So we went back and then talked to someone there and come to find out it's her little brother.  He told us that she wasn't home and to try back later, and so we went back on Sunday to see her and we knock on the door and we hear this guy's voice telling us to leave so we decide to leave a note, ( now this is a house which are two different houses like a duplex)  and as we stick the note and head out to leave we are told not to come back or else our heads were going to be shot off.  The person who was saying all of this seems to be in his early 20's and is always holding a bible in his hands kind of like a small child would hold a teddy bear to his chest. and every time we try to talk to him face to face he runs back inside and has the window open and starts talking loudly to us to leave. so my guess is he isn't all there. 
So now another story about one of our investigators. Fletcher. he's 16 and is super excited about everything and is super active, and reminds me a lot of Craig Swindlehurst when he was younger. and anyways Fletcher is really intense about everything he does especially sports and what's cool is he invites us to come with him to do activities, and we're smart and teach before we play so we do our job and he still has a lot of fun, now to list some of the games we've played it's be waffle ball, basketball, football, and probably another sport that he can come up with, I'll try to get him into Frisbee but i don't know how well that will happen. so I'm going to be well rounded when I'm done here
Well that's about the best highlight that i could think of I've got to get going but i Love all of you and am really glad to be back in Chipley strangely enough.  
Love Elder Gillespie