Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Getting Things Banned in the CCM, Proselyting in Bogotá and Travel Problems -- What a Crazy Week!

Hi Mommo!!!! Well this has been one crazy week. It was our last week in the CCM and the first thing I have to tell you about is our days of getting things banned at the CCM. So the first day of our last week (Sunday), we were in the cafeteria and since it's Sunday, we can sit at the big tables where the teachers usually sit. We got in trouble because it was only nortes at the table so that was kinda dumb because none of the Latinos really liked to sit by us haha. So we got that banned. Then the next day we were doing this really cool trick where you can blow an egg out of its shell, but it's loud so that got banned. Then on Wednesday, they got soccer banned because sports aren't supposed to be competitive, but with these new groups of Latinos they were just really mean and competitive, especially when they got beat by the nortes. But it's okay. I never played soccer anyways. I was always playing volleyball :)

Also on our last Saturday in the CCM (just a couple days ago) we got to go out proselyting to the city!!! They took us to a church in the city and we just walked all over and contacted people it was so great!! We tried to talk to a lot more people this time and we talked to quite a bit, well the ones who weren't too scared of us anyway.. haha. But Elder Vogel, Wilson, and I all placed our Book of Mormons. It was so cool. The first 2 were given out by Elder Wilson and Vogel to these 2 guys that were in a little shop. They looked a little sketchy, they were covered in tatoos and one had a lip stud. They were both covered in paint from work but we decided to go talk to them and they hadn't heard of us. They were really interested in reading the Book of Mormon. Then I really wanted to give my book to someone who needed it in their life, so I prayed and not 10 minuted later this guy came up to us and asked if we needed help. We said no and started talking to him. He read the Bible a lot and he said it was really cool kids our age we out teaching about Christ and he wished others were like us. Then we showed him the Book of Mormon and he seemed like he really liked it.:) So I would say proselyting was the bomb.

Now here comes the fun.... so currently I'm in Santiago Chile with Hermana Stone. Yes Hermana Stone from the airport in SLC and we are staying the night in a hotel, yes in different rooms. Now you may be asking yourself why are you in Santiago and not in Osorno? Well let me explain. We got our flight plans Monday at 1:15 pm and left at 2 pm from the CCM to the airport. Our flight left from Bogota at 7:30 that night. It was me and the 4 Hermanas in our district. We flew to Lima Peru and got there at like 11 pm. Then we had a 7 hour layover in Lima before our flight left at 6:30 am Tuesday morning (today). But wait there is more... so we boarded the plane at 5:30 in the morning and then we had to get off the plane becuase something happened and basically after a hour and a half we had to switch planes. So by the time we left Lima it was 9:15 and we missed our connecting flight from here in Santiago to Osorno... So the airline gave us a hotel for the night and we leave tomorrow at 12:30 for Osorno. But wait it gets worse so let me clarify. My flights were Bogota to Lima, Lima to Santiago, Santiago to Osorno. so after we missed the flight today we had to work with people here to get a new plane and then we had to call President to make sure it was ok that we stay here. But me and Hermana were really confused cause President didn't speak very good English. He said something about a ward member to come help but no one came. Then me and Hermana Stone basically got conned and gave a taxi driver 60 bucks to go to the church travel office here.... Then they brought us back to the hotel right by the airport. So after all is said and done, we are ok and we are both doing better now.:) Sorry if that was confusing but I imagine you know a little of how I feel now. But I'm sure tomorrow will be great and me and Hermana Stone will make it safe and I'll tell you about my new trainer next week haha. So I am emailing from the lobby in the hotel I am in, and yes I got permission.:)

I feel like I have lost weight if that means anything haha. We got to go to the temple (in Colombia) a total of 5 times and yes I feel like I could understand a lot more but getting here today to Chile, everyone talks so fast. I can barely understand anything so that is a hard hit to me. But I have faith it will get better and I know the Lord has a plan for me. Yes a new resistance band that works would be nice haha:) the other one worked, I guess I was just to strong for them hahaahahaha jk jk. But if you could send some snacks and more razors that would be great! Thank you for the last package as well.:) There you have it about me this week. It's been a little insane haha.

Also that is so cool for grandpa he deserved to have that [military] honor and now he is living it up with grandma in the spirit world. I hope dad is doing ok and that he knows how happy they are. Love you guys. Sorry I can't do more to try and help. That is so sick they did that for dad [CJ and Jess, with help from a few others, surprised Tom by cleaning out his work shop while we were gone] and I totally want to see some pictures of the shop. It definitely needed that!! 

For my spiritual thought I just wanted to talk about the Book of Mormon and how important it is to our religion. Think about it this way. If you put a point in the Bible how many lines can you draw through it? A whole bunch and that is how all these other churches started, off of one little truth. But then if you put one point on the Bible and one point on the Book of Mormon there is only one line that can perfectly hit both points. That line is the fullness of truth, the gospel of Jesus Christ our Savior and Redeemer. The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. Without it our church would crumble and so would the restoration. But because one man, Joseph Smith, was willing to have faith to ask what to do, [we have it on the earth today]. Through Joseph Smith and his faith in the Lord, he went through the worst trials to bring us the Book of Mormon. Why would so many people have been willing to die for a book if they didn't know the truthfullness or how important it was? I testify that they did know and I know how important the Book of Mormon is in my life. It is the way to receive answers to our questions and personal revelation through God. And if we are willing to have faith and ask in the name of Christ, we can know the truthfulness of this gospel and the Book of Mormon. And that through our faith we can use the atonement of Christ to return to God and live eternally happy with our families after this life. I love you all so much and sorry it's so long. They definitely won't all be this long but I have a lot of time in the hotel. Love you and talk to you next week.

-Elder Spencer

Then a little while later, I got these additional emails:

Hey also I kinda need a new alarm clock in my package... Elder Wilson dropped it and broke it. But it was super quiet when the alarm would go off anyways so if you could maybe get a new alarm clock that has time, date, and glows in the dark and has an alarm with batteries that would be cool. Sorry for asking for so much but thank you. Also maybe a couple more thermal G´s and just some good goodies and food is always welcome!:) Love you so much mom. I want you to know I'm ok even though these 2 days have been the longest of my life. Also the airport paid for mine and Hermana Stone's dinner tonight as well so I got an amazing steak with some mashed potatos that were pretty good. And also it is so crazy, you don't realize how much we take for granted water. Here there are no drinking fountains and it is like 3 bucks to buy a bottle. its completely redonculus [spelled that way on purpose as he's quoting the movie Bolt hahaha]. Also if your wondering I'm emailing from the free computer hut in the hotel.:) Te Amo

I'm just off to bed now, you are seriously the greatest. It really has been a long 2 days. I'm feeling the jet lag plus no sleep hard core... yeah hopefully that will be over tomorrow and then I can work on becoming a great missionary out in the field. Thank you for the prayers and wishes of good luck. I love you and have a good week. I can't wait to hear back from you next week. Love you and good night.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

1 Week Left in the CCM!! :)

Just another week of learning and trying to wrap my mind around Spanish. I am picking it up pretty well but it's crazy to think that I only have one week left in the CCM!! Then I am out in the real world in Chile and I'll have to understand and try to talk to people... But I know the language will come through with faith. That is good that Trevor and Andie like my Spanish as well cause it's still pretty bad, but soon it will be Chilean hahah! And yeah that blanket (referring to his race car blanket) is so sick. I was super stoked when I saw that. I feel so cool going to sleep with that every night!!

I am so sad I didn't get to see grandpa before he passed, but it's okay cause that is what our church is all about right? Be safe and let me know how things go there; and make sure to let dad know I love him and that grandpa can be happy up in heaven with grandma now!! Love you guys and I'm keeping you in my prayers.

I am glad that you are liking running and taking Koda out too. We run everyday for gym in the beginning and I really like it. A lot of latinos are impressed that I am so big and can keep up with them so well, but I want to die after trying to keep up with them. But it's all good!!!  I told CJ this too but today I was working out with those resistance bands and they snapped and welted my back pretty good. I am ok, just sad I broke them...

Thank you so much for the thought. I don't have a lot of time this week, but I love you and will talk next week from Chile!! I'll share my thought next week too. I love you!!! Here is a little preview of my thought, watch the mormon message from Elder Holland on the importance of the Book of Mormon!! Love you momma!!

- Elder Spencer

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

My Mind Feels Like Mush

Yes, I received my package here at the CCM and thank you so much for everything!!:). And yes everything was in it. It was kinda crazy cause I thought we were going to have to go to customs to pick it up but it just showed up here the next day! The Lord works miracles every day!! And OK that's good I'm not the worst son ever haha (referring to the email from last week). It's crazy, I've been out for month and have only 2 weeks left in the CCM. It's been awesome but I still need to learn a lot more Spanish... Also this last week has just been crazy cause we've been teaching our fake investigator and have been hammered with Spanish grammar. My mind feels like mush. But I guess it's like working out right? You have to tear the muscle fibers apart and break them down before you can get stronger. 

The one picture with me and my companion, haha I don't really know. We were just trying to be cool and I was dabbing with my flag so I thought that it was pretty sick.. haha:) But this week we got new Latino roommates and I'll send a pic!:) They are so cool. One of them is Elder Casares. He is going to Colorado for his mission once he gets his visa. He is the bigger one in the picture and is from Ecuador. The other elder is Elder Alvarado and he is from Peru and going to Ecuador! On a sad note one of the new Latinos went home yestarday so that was sad. But I am glad you liked my spiritual thought last week. We had a devotional yesterday that was entitled "How to stay out of Jail" haha it was funny but really cool. It also made me realize how important the white handbook is and all the rules are in there because of something a dumb missionary did... 

That is so true, look to the Lord in all thy thoughts and He will help you!!!:) Also thank you so much for your thought I will definitely remember those. Thank you so much! As for my thought this week, we had a member of the Seventy come and talk to us last week and he gave a really cool thought. There are four types of people who "go to the ocean" in life. The ones who go to the ocean and don't get in. The ones who surf on top of the water. The ones who snorkle and go just beneath the surface, then there are the Divers... We need to be like the divers in life in order to get better and grow. We need to discover new things for ourselves whether its deeper meaning in the scriptures, or our jobs, hobbies, wants, or life. We have to be like a diver and work and look for new things that will make us better. I love you and testify that as you go deeper and try your hardest, the Lord will help you learn and grow. Remember Alma 32:21 Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things. 

Love you and can't wait to hear back. Talk to you next week! 

Love you!!:)
Élder Spencer

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Happy Mothers Day!!!

I'm so glad I was able to talk to you on Saturday. It was so awesome!! And I'm so sorry. I realized I'm the worst son in the world. I forgot to tell you Happy Mother's Day on the phone!!! That's way cool you recorded some of it!! Yeah it really is crazy how much I can understand and say now, but I still have a long way to go!!! Thank you for all the pictures, I love them so much!! And this week has been pretty great, just learning more Spanish and teaching more fake investigators to give us practice, but I love it!!!

Did you read Alma 10? That is sad [about his grandpa Spencer]. I realized I haven't seen him in a while. I wish I would have been able to go with you guys when you went last year but it's all ok. I am keeping you all in my prayers. Just remember to trust in the Lord with all thy heart, might, mind and strength!! Just like it says with Philippians 4:13, with God you can do anything and get through anything!

So Sundays in the CCM are way amazing. Sacrament and priesthood are in Spanish but the rest of the day is in English. We have three more devotionals throughout the rest of the day in English and it is honestly amazing! I learn so much from each of my classes. And I can kind of understand the Spanish meetings more now. Then the last part of the day we watch a church movie to end the night!! This last Sunday we watched "The Testament" and can I just say, I love the Lord and all he has done for us. In your prayers this week, don't forget to thank God every day for the little blessings in your life. Just think, what if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for? I know it sounds cheesy but it's true.

Love you so much. There really is no better calling in this life than to serve God. Love you and can't wait to hear from you.

-Love Elder Spencer

Not really sure what's going on here so I'll have to ask :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

2 Weeks Gone!!

I'm so glad that you got my email. I am so excited [for our call on Saturday] and maybe I can talk to you a little bit in Spanish when we call haha ;). Thank you so much for the package. I haven't received it yet but hopefully I will soon!! That sounds like quite the package. I might get mauled by my companions if there is any food in there. I miss Koda too but I don't think that he would fit on my bed here... haha. I literally have like two inches in between the head and footboard without touching. 

It sounds like you guys had quite the week and it sounds honestly like a lot of fun!! As for my spiritual experience this week it was really weird. I decided that for my personal study in the morning I wanted to have the question be answered: "Will my family be ok for the next 2 years?" When I started reading it was in Alma 10, and the whole time I read it I was thinking about Grandpa Spencer. I thought it was really weird but I felt like I should tell you to read and pray about that. So I don't know if it's for dad's dad or for anyone but be careful who you are contending with. I know the Lord tells us things for a reason even sometimes when we don't have any idea why.

I had a feeling when I read about that in Alma 10 that Grandpa Spencer wasn't doing very good but I know that he is happy and will be even happier after. I hope dad is doing ok. Just let him know the Lord loves him! And sorry I had a really small amount of time last week and this week, but I got to almost everyone today!! :) 

The food has been a little rough at times on my stomach but I'm doing a lot better. Today was picture day at the temple this week and I'll try to send a few!!

Love you so much and can't wait to talk to you on Saturday!!!!

-Élder Spencer
PS we are the only MTC to put the tilde above the E!!!!:)

At the Bogotá Columbia Temple
He said this was a recreation of a Beatles cover photo :)