Saturday, December 31, 2011

It is the last time in the MTC.

Sorry I never said this last week, however for our district our preparation day is moved for the last week because yesterday (Friday) we had in-Field orientation where all the Missionaries leaving this up coming week come and teachers teach about talking to everyone more and working with members- because the rest of the MTC experience is really about learning/practicing teaching. Which we have done much of.

So Christmas-it happened in the MTC Started with are whole district coming to our room because we have a beautifully drawn fireplace by Elder Parker with Christmas lights in the flames. It´s really good looking and with four little stockings hanging over it. So we all opened our gifts in there. Then had some study time before sacrament meeting with Elder David A. Bednar presiding. After the sacrament was administered to the whole MTC, which was done very quickly, he spoke about Christ and his example in always turning out and giving to others even during his times of crisis- two main examples- one first was after fasting for 40 days and Satan tempted him after all of that the scriptures say that angels came and administer unto him, however looking in the footnotes it has a Joseph Smith translation telling that Christ didn´t have angels come to Him but sent angels to minster unto John who was in prison at the time. Two- was after the suffering in the garden and being disappointed by His apostles and betrayed He heals the guard who Peter attacked.

He gave several examples and explained this is how we should become and not become as the Cookie Monster. Because Cookie Monster wants cookie now! This is a looking in to yourself example and not what Christ did ever.

My last story for the week was when Elder Parker and I were teaching Juan- first lesson and we gave him the pamphlet for the Restoration, and I tried to ask him to review it before our next lesson. However instead of saying repasar I said rechazar which means ´´to reject´´ so I asked him to reject our pamphlet.

We got our travel plans, I´m the travel leader which means don´t let anyone go missing, we are leaving the MTC at 4 in the morning flying from SLC to L.A. to Lima, Pure, to Santiago Chile, and then finally after 39 hours of flying/lay overs we arrive in Antofagasta.

Have a Wonderful day-Because you can choose to

Elder James O. Gillespie

Friday, December 23, 2011

Cumplinanos Jose Smith!

And Merry Christmas to all!

As Christmas time rolls around every year it always becomes a great time to remember Christ our Savior and Redeemer, and as we were told on Tuesday by L. Whitney Clayton of the seventy, it is never to early to celebrate the birth of Christ, and remember and give thanks to Christ for the Atonement, as well as God for sending His son.

Now as December comes through I look forward every year to the 23rd the day of Joseph Smith's birthday a chance not only to remember Christ but also His servant and prophet. Today and much of this last week I have been reflecting quite a bit on Joseph Smith both in anticipation for his birthday and because both of our teachers have gone home for the Holidays and we have a bunch of subs and have been teaching the 1st lesson over and over again, a few things come to mind. One the song of Joseph's first vision (it's not called that I think, it is song 14 in the Spanish hymn book) has been playing through my head all day. Second is of a story that I heard for the first time here of Joseph as a younger boy and how Satan knows and doesn't forget what is suppose to come to pass and will still try to stop it.

- Joseph was walking out of his home one day (about nine years old I think) and a shot was fired and a bullet wizzed past his face. They found the place where the man had been lying under a wagon later and the bullet in the neck of one of their cows, and the family could think of no reason at the time why this murder was attempted.

Joseph continues in life questioning what sect of all the sects is correct and as he reads in James and finds the famous scripture telling him to ask God. I believe that He completely expected an answer, that as King Benjamin in Mosiah 3:19 talks about being a child, Joseph walked into the grove of trees submissive, meek, humble, with faith, and knowing God has all power and could answer this simple question. He just didn't expect such a great answer, and even as the persecution increased he knew that this was right. (See JSH 1:25)

My challenge is to read the other accounts of Joseph Smith's first vision (and someone should send them to me) becuase I know there is another 3 or 4 and that they are all true.

I add my testimony to the one of John Taylor's that Joseph Smith...has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. (D+C 135)

Closing in the name of our Savior Jesucristo, Amen,

Have a wonderful day

Elder Gillespie

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas is coming quickly- lots of missionaries are coming is as the semester ends (Including Elder Derek Keele) and there is still no snow. On Monday Elder Parker's and my roommates left for Honduras and now we have the room to ourselves for the week- we're guessing that this upcoming Wednesday we'll obtain a new companionship. We are also losing another district from our zone this upcoming Monday which will make our District 35C become the oldest in the zone. Elder Parker has been released has district leader and Elder Wells now leads and Elder Hamblin and Elder Christensen have become the Zone Leaders. Our teachers are leaving us for the Holidays and we won't see them again before we leave which is January 2nd (probably). On Christmas missionaries in the MTC don't get to call unfortunately just because there is way to many of us. However if there is a lay over long enough during our flights we can call then. We teach our teachers as they pretend to be different investigators they had during their missions and as we were teaching Julio (Hermono Heap) Elder Parker was trying conjugate "poder" (which means power or to be able to) into the subjunctive and failed. He successfully swore at Julio, but it was ok because just laughed at us and told us that wasn't the word we were looking for. Today was the last opportunity for us to go through the temple for the next two years because the Provo Temple closes for the rest of our MTC experience. I'm growing, working, studying. We are preparing for the rest of our lives right now, so don't waste a moment for a moment wasted now is a moment wasted for the rest of your life.
Have a Wonderful day
Love, Elder Gillespie

Friday, December 9, 2011


So just to let you know everyone that tried to Rabbit rabbit rabbit me failed.
I realized this week that I'm going to be missing the 23rd sleep out which is lame
I also realized how in the outside world how many commercials must be going around right now and how busy it is and how I'm pretty blessed to be in the MTC for Christmas just be able to read and focus on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. On Sunday we had the opportunity to watch the First Presidency Christmas devotional and two things stood out which I will share today One: Pres. Uchtdorf's story about playing with fire burning down the curtains- reminded me mostly of Pres. Shaws story about burning down a barn. The point is don't play with fire.
Two is Christ was humble all his life and even from the beginning he came into the world in a very humble place and it started from the beginning.
There's not much that changes here- our zone got a new district.
Become better everyday, work hard, and share the gospel.
Have a Wonderful day
Elder James Gillespie

Friday, December 2, 2011

One Month

This week was rather dull compared to last week- Sunday I started feeling sick made it through the musical number coming in and out of playing the music all the time. I just kept feeling more and more sick- sniffles to head aching and fever. Sunday night/Monday morning I slept terribly when I took my temperature I had a fever of 100. Gross- It broke later that day. That was really the main thing. Still have a little of the sniffles but It's good. Elder Parker's mom sent him some Christmas decorations so our room is now very festive. However I don't know if the people who inspect the rooms like it. We have two little trees- one that is gold and on that is green and some tassel that is strung across our room.
Elder Merrill left on Monday- I was able to see him and talk to him while I was in the line at the store buying cough drops.
I have a lot of catch-up work to do from missing class on Monday so this isn't long but that's life right now.
Lots of studying- need to speak more Spanish. (For everyone coming in and who will read this always speak your language)
Keep seeing more and more people in the MTC- Elder Parker keeps saying that I know everyone.
Have a Wonderful day
Elder Gillespie

Friday, November 25, 2011

No se

So I know I need to finish up my average day at the MTC however I decided to talk about Thanksgiving in the MTC because that is more rare and was really quite good.
They serve you a little breakfast which most of our district just slept through or just waited until the Thanksgiving Feast. At 10:00 we had a devotional with Elder Russell M. Nelsen. His wife spoke too about we need to drop everything and do what the Lord asked. Using Nephi, Joseph Smith and Elder Nelsen as good examples and Parley P. Pratt as a bad one for one season. Then Elder Nelsen spoke a lot about different meanings of words and how they mean praise to God; however he first said, "I'm thankful for your parents and families, and if you don't take any other notes just be sure to write that down, 'Elder Nelsen is grateful for my family.'" He concluded by having us listen to the song "Alleluia" by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Men, which only had one word in it. It was powerful. We then ate our Thanksgiving dinner which tasted fine.
On our way back to the gym where they hold the devotionals and such a Hermana in our Zone stopped us and asked if I could play the piano for their special musical number on Sunday the song, "I Need Thee Every Hour" so I've been practicing that whenever I have had time because I haven't played it before.
Anyways we then had a meeting about service and how awesome the church is in giving service all over the world. Then told us how we were going to serve today so we made a bunch of "emergency kits" and they gave us an hour and half to do it we finished in a half an hour so I rewarded myself with a nap.
We then had the opportunity to go listen to the MTC president's wife and she had us do a skit about Thanksgiving which was funny, we sang "Over the Hills and Through the woods," and then a few of the missionaries got to say what they are grateful for and come up with a hymn to go with it which we sang a verse of. And that was only half of the MTC because the other half was doing the service project. So then the other half came in and the MTC presidency handed out popcorn to all of us and told us we were allowed to take our suit coats off. Which that was the biggest way of excitement that had happened thus far. We then watched 17 Miracles which all the missionary were all so crazy. Because we haven't seen a Moive in so long it was fun.
I ran into Elder Chris Kohler and Elder Josh Purser today.
I'm grateful for my Savior and the Chance to serve a mission.
Have a Wonderful day
Elder Gillespie

Friday, November 18, 2011

Could I get Elder Heiss's address?
Could I also get a Conference Ensign?
One thing I discovered this week was my name is the English translation for the name Jacob. I thought that was pretty cool.
So a little more on Elder Parker. He is white, he doesn't like the ocean, and he doesn't like Hawaii. Like he doesn't like it that there is no where to go. He is from Oahu Central. And I'm asking him what he wants everyone to know and he says, "um mm eh.... Probably that...that I'm blind, and his brother has a double major in film and psychology." Anyways he is super funny to listen to. He enjoys music a lot and art work.
So I weighed in yesterday and I'm at 179.
Elder Wells and I joined choir on Sunday and that was super funny the director was fantastic. He made jokes all over the place. He told us this poem,
One day when you're kissing your honey
And your nose gets a little runny
You might think it is funny
But it's not.
I'm now the priesthood piano player- I played battle hymn of the republic and found out that in Spanish there is four verse because I just stopped after three and people kept playing.
At our district meeting Elder Parker and I taught a lesson about Prophets and we did it basically on the spot and did really well. It helped that it was in English. :)
Ok and Real quick for some reason Dear Elders can not write the following symbols, " ' Why? I don't know but they all come up as question marks just so you know. And I can only check Email once a week just so you know.
Ok so a day at the MTC
6:30 wake up and get ready or go to gym and then come home and get ready.
Then if it is a gym day you go to breakfast if it is a get ready day is is go to class and then breakfast.
After you go to class for personal study
Then a teacher comes and you have different things you do. But mostly they talk Spanish at us.
Then Lunch and we then get the mail.
And my 30 minutes is almost up so I'm going to stop there.
So Have a wonderful day.
Elder Gillespie

Friday, November 11, 2011

Still here

So I thank you for your letters and dear Elders and I encourage using these methods because we get them sooner and they are treasured items.
So with Elder Merrill's challenge I weigh right now 175 pounds just so everyone knows.
We taught our investigator Tomas and he is getting baptized on Dec 3rd; however these are our teachers that are investigating. I played soccer played on defence and I did well I got a couple of steals and ran the ball all the way down the field, and then lost it. I haven't played soccer since elementary I'm pretty sure but it was way fun. I got kicked in the shin really hard- ended up a nice big bloody mess on my leg but I got the ball away and I'm pretty sure our team scored off of that goal.
My companion is our district leader which only really means he picks up the mail.
ummm I was looking for a story to tell and I asked Elder Wells what to say so I am telling the story of the platanosaurus rex
So out of habit from high school I have been taking fruit with me after lunch just to eat later. In high school I all ways took an apple however I've been appled out. So I have been taking a banana instead and just keep it in my suit pocket. So I whip it out after class and Elder Wells was so shocked. So may people in our district have started caring bananas around with them, and one day I drew a dinosaur wearing the shirt, "I # NY" and so then Elder Parker drew a picture of a Banana that looks like a dinosaur so it become the platanosaurus rex- which platano es banana.
Life's good- foods fine- I'm learning Spanish.
Yup- write letters I'll respond on Fridays.
Have a wonderful day
Elder Gillespie

Saturday, November 5, 2011

First e-mail from the MTC: 11-5-11
I'm here and that's about it- my companion's name is Elder Parker. He's from Hawaii. I have run into Hermana Graham many times. Elder Merrill and Elder Pierce once, y Elder Smith a couple of times. It's busy here I'm kind of sleepy. I'm on the top bunk and my pillow fell off onto the ground in the middle of the night and I didn't want to get down to get it- but I finally did because it was rough.
We're teach Tomas in Spainsh that's fun.
Steven, I like the food and Elder Merrill challenged me to gain 50 pounds and break the record- which is 30.
Well I really don't have much to say. Spainsh is rough but I understand it speaking is a different world.
To Houston, Jack, Chris, Josh, Derek and everyone else coming in shortly
First, you don't need to bring scriptures in the language that you are learning they give you those and give you Preach My Gospel as well in Spanish or German or whatever.
Second, I echo what Elder Pierce says in having air fresher because the food does cause much gas.
Third, bring all your ties that can be worn on a mission because even if you don't like them someone here will and ties are traded like crazy.
Fourth, if you want to write someone make sure you have their addresses.
Fifth just know regardless if you have a one suit mission or a x number of suit mission you are required to wear your suit all the time- every class every day. I don't know other than just know that it is going to happen.
I like my district.
Feel free to write
Yo no se
Have a Wonderful day
Elder James Gillespie
MTC Mailbox # 254
CHI-ANT 0103
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793