Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Dear Family!! 

Well this past week has been very good. I feel like I have been learning a lot. Annnnndddd guesss what!!!!! I have officially reached my ONE YEAR MARK on my mission!!!!!! Yeah!!!!! One thing that I did this past week that I was very happy about is that I finished the Book of Mormon in Portuguese. It's been my goal for a while, and on my year mark I finished it! It's so great to know that no matter what language it is, the Book of Mormon is still the word of God and you can feel of its truthfulness as you read. I'm so grateful for the chance that I have to learn a new language on my mission. It has taught me a lot about the spirit. 

One of my own personal goals that I have been working on is to have more structure to my personal study... saying the night before what I am going to study and taking the time to specifically study for our investigators. I feel that it has made such a huge difference to me. When we go into lessons, I feel more prepared and that I have the spirit even more. 

Our investigators have been really great this week.... they're all pretty much back in town!!! The most success that we have had this past week is with one of our investigators named Donna. She is going through a lot of life challenges right now. Her husband passed away 2 months ago, she may have cancer, she is trying to quit smoking, and she is 72 years old. Early in the week we went by and read Alma 32 with her. As we read, we stopped and explained some of the things and related them to her life. It was really touching to see her reaction. Her eyes would light up and you could just tell that she understood it. We left her with a few more chapters to read and then returned on Sunday evening to give her a church tour and take her to the Addiction Recovery Program. It was SOOO good! We brought a member with us on Sunday and Donna had such a great experience. She kept telling us that she didn't know what she was feeling, but that she knew she wanted to keep coming. Donna is keeping all of her commitments and she has such a sincere desire to learn and to grow. It is truly humbling to see!

Aaron Peeps is another one of our investigators. He has a bunch of anxiety, adhd, and some other thing that I can't spell correctly. He has really been helping Sister Hamilton and I to teach simply and creatively. He has a strong desire to strengthen his relationship with God, but it isn't the main priority in his life. I'm not quite sure where to go with him. Our goal for this next week with him is to teach him the restoration one point at a time and to help him get to the point where he understands it on his own. It might take a bit longer, but with Aaron, I do feel like once he understands something, he gets it. Also, Aaron is such a great guy! He has been inviting his mom to every lesson we have with him! She isn't open yet, but I am super hopeful that that will change!

Loretta is coming along very nicely. We haven't had a chance to have a sit down lesson with her in a while since things have been sooo crazy in her life. We did have a lesson this past week with her though and it was good! Her husband was there and he wasn't super open, so we just did the best and shared our testimony to him. He left again Sunday night so hopefully this next week we will be able to have a good lesson with Loretta. We are excited to teach her the Plan of Salvation and invite her to live the Word of Wisdom. Loretta's Sister is a member of the church and Loretta has been receiving a ton of fellowship which is just awesome. 

 President Griffin gave us a charge to give up our weapons of war--to prayerfully consider ways that we can be better and things that we need to give up and to do them. I'm super excited to uncover some more of my personal weapons of war and to give them up and give them over to the Lord. I know that at times I can be impatient, so that is something that I will be giving up and trying to turn my will more in line with God's will. (Ha, I guess that waiting for a VISA is great practice for patience haha!! :))  I'll be praying for more guidance as to things I can improve to be more of the person that God wants me to be and to become more fully converted to him! 

Well this week has been good. I am excited to see how things go this next week and to work super hard. Oh, also this week we weeded this lady's yard. It started to sprinkle and Sister Hamilton and I decided that we were tough so we were going to stick it out... next thing it was DOWN POURING. We got drenched. head and foot. not a dry spot on us. It was super fun! 

Well, I love you all so much!! Thanks for all that you do! 

Sister Spencer

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Email from July 14!

Things are going well here! This past week has been a bit slower, but we have still been working hard. We have one investigator that we are working with who is progressing quite well. Her name is Donna. Just for a little bit about Donna, she is 72, her husband passed away a few weeks ago, she may have cancer, and she smokes. Needless to say, all of these things have helped her to humble herself and put her in a position where she wants to learn more and strengthen her relationship with Christ. We’ve taught her the Message of the Restoration and invited her to start reading out of the Book of Mormon, starting with the Introduction and Alma 32. She has made it all th way though the Introduction and is currently working her way through Alma 32. We invited her to the Addiction Recovery Program and she said that she is going to plan on coming! We are very excited to see where things go with her!

We also found another investigator this week named Aaron. We were driving past in our car and Sister Hamilton had the thought to stop and talk to him so we did. We got his information and invited him to learn more and he said yes! Aaron is 19 and has a bunch of health issues—aspbergers, anxiety, adhd, and a few other things. He is very open and receptive to our message though so we are super excited about that! We taught him about half of the Restoration this past week and he believed everything that we said. He is going to be praying daily.
We had to give Winter over to the other set of missionaries and this week we followed up with them on it. They had not done one thing with her, so we have made the executive decision that we are taking her back! One thing that I don’t quite know how to handle with Winter is that her head is very up in the clouds. She has the mentality that whatever happens, happens for a reason. I believe that, but I also believe that it doesn’t hurt to take some initiative ourselves…. We’ll continue working with her.

Loretta is also doing well. We are working to overcome some of her fears and concerns. Her main concern that we have discovered right now is that her 9 year old boy has severe anxiety and she is worried how he would react in a church setting. To counter that, we are working on getting the ward invovled the best that we can now.

One of the less-actives that we have been working with quite a bit is Ann Nelson. We have had some great success with her this past week. She brought up Family History to us and asked if we could teach her some more! We told her what we knew and then directed her to the Family History Center! She is going to go and is super excited about it! When we meet with her this upcoming week we are going to go with her!! 

Oh, also we had a ward activity this past week and my companion and I got assigned the nursery. Man oh man those little tikes are fast! We were only in charge of them for an hour, but every one of them had a goal to get out. We distracted them pretty well and it was fun. There was one little 3 year old who kept trying to kiss me. Don't worry though, I kept turning my head last minute so the only thing he got was my cheek. Sneaky little feller. 

I still have the decision of my VISA ahead of me and I’ve made a list of the pros and cons with it all. I don’t think that one way is more right over the other way which is making it super hard for me to decide. There are a few things that I know that I want to happen, but I’m not sure if it really matters where I go now. I’ll keep y’all updated on what I decide.

Love ya!

Sister Spencer

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fourth of July

Dear Family!! 

Well this past week has been much better than other weeks! Sister Hamilton and I have had a lot of success and it has been great!! 

Sister Hamilton and I have been talking quite a bit about our investigator Winter. She is 21 so she should be going to the YSA ward... which another set of Elders are in charge of. After going back and forth, we both agreed that it would be best if the other Elders took over teaching her since we haven't been able to start teaching her family, despite our efforts. Anyways we set up a lesson where we were going to hand her off and everything. We showed up on time and then next thing we know, Winter and her whole family are outside for the lesson! Never happened before. Well, then the other elders showed up with a member so basically it was a small crowd that was there. Anyways, long story short, we finally got an in with Winter's family and we got the mom's information to teach her, but the mom will only let us teach her when we teach Winter...but we just gave Winter away. So we are going to have to figure that out... :P 

There was one night this week were it was about 8:30 at night. Both Sister Hamilton and I were exhausted and all of our plans, and back-up plans had fallen through and we were out of miles to go drive somewhere. It was a bit discouraging. We decided that we were going to stay out for a half hour longer like we were supposed to and just knock doors. Most of the doors that we knocked nobody was interested. We did find one guy, Victor, who told us that we could come back though.Saturday, we went back and taught him a lesson. It was SUCH an awesome lesson. We gave him a Book of Mormon and he said that he would read it. We tried to just get him to read the intro and testimonies so that we could come back in a week, but he was pretty persistent saying that he wanted to read the whole thing before we came back. We are going to try him back in a few weeks to see where he is at. He had great questions though... like what is my purpose here on earth and what does God expect of me.... I am excited to see where things go with him!! 

We had a bike day this past week (which I love!!!) and we had some really great success with that. It was about 8:30 at night and we were biking home (with where we were at, it took about a half hour to get home). As we were biking past some houses, this guy yelled at us to stop and to help him wax his car (He had a legit 1958 ride.) So, we immediately hopped off our bikes just beaming that someone had stopped to talk to us instead of the other way around. The guy was super nice. His name was Daman and his wife's name was Mary. We talked to him for a bit and they invited us to come over the next day (fourth of July) to eat food and just hang out. We went over on the fourth and got them to come and watch fireworks with us at a members house. (there were a TON of members there). I'm not sure how interested they are in our message right now, but we definitely did put a good foot in the door with helping them feel comfortable around other members. I'd say it was pretty good! 

We have not set a date yet with Loretta because she has been out of town pretty much all week. But on the good side, she has been going camping with members and going over to their houses a bunch. Such great ward fellowship! We are super excited that she is making such good friends in the ward! 

This past week the power of prayer has really stuck out to me. I have been working on making my prayers more sincere and heart-felt. In an article that I read this week, it said: "Do we not marvel as we recognize that when we pray, our Father in Heaven is able to give us His full attention—without any other distractions? He sees us, listens, empathizes, and pours out His love and His Spirit upon us. We can communicate with our Father whether we are able to kneel before Him or speak to Him only through our hearts and minds. We can be assured that He is listening and can answer us through impressions from the Holy Ghost." It is so wonderful to know that God is anxious to support us and wants to hear from us. There have been countless times this past week where Sister Hamilton and I have prayed for something and we have been blessed with it. God is so good! 

I love you alll verrrryyyyy much!!! I can feel all of your prayers in my behalf and I am so grateful for them. Thank you so much! Hope y'all have a great week! 

Much love, 

Sister Beth Spencer

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Quick Letter Week


Man oh man it is so nice to get on and read all of your emails! I absolutely LOVE hearing from you! this past week has been a bit of a roller coaster, but I'll just focus on the positives here. 

Things are going super well with our one investigator Loretta. She is super open and accepts everything that we teach her. She has some trouble living the Word of Wisdom, but has expressed a desire to stop so we are going to help her with that. And, even better, the ward involvement is just phenomenal! One of the ward members invited her and her son to go camping for the 4th of July. Loretta has mentioned how she wants to be baptized sometime so we are teaching her and preparing her for baptism. Things are so good with her!  

Joseph Smith
This past week we dropped in on one of our promising investigators, Winter, with our ward missionary leader. Oh goodness it was such a good lesson. Our ward mission leader, Brother Pulver, shared his favorite scripture and then we went in and taught about the importance of prayer. Winter was able to open up with some of her concerns and worries that she has had. We were able to address her concerns and relate it all back to whether or not Joseph Smith is a prophet of God--which we can know through reading, studying, and praying about the Book of Mormon. 

I finished the Book of Mormon today. President Irion gave us a challenge to finish the Book of Mormon by June 30th, today. He goes home today and we get a new mission president. From reading through the Book of Mormon this last time, it has really stuck out to me that people choose to be righteous when they remember God and all that He has done for them, and how through keeping the commandments, we can have lasting peace and joy. Sometimes being obedient isn't the most fun thing in the world and there may be times when it is hard to do what you know you are supposed and no one else is doing it around you. But, by doing it and sticking up for what you know to be true, I know that that will bring the most self-confidence and personal conviction in our lives. I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon and for the chance that I have to teach other people about it and how they can have a remission of sins, receive the Gift of Holy Ghost and continue on their journey towards Christ through baptism. 

Well, I love you all sooo much and I am so thankful for you! Hope you have a great week!!! 

Sister Beth Spencer