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