Spencer is from Canton, Michigan and is called to serve in the Ecuador Quito North Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from July 2014 - July 2016.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Week #4 - Mexico City MTC - August 28, 2014

Hey all,

Spencer sent lots of pictures this week!! He told me the first few pictures were taken when he went with his district to the Mexico City temple several weeks ago, and the last two were taken this morning. The others are random ones taken the last couple of weeks. He also wanted me to mention to everyone that he will be in Ecuador in less than two weeks. Please feel free to start sending letters now because he has learned that it takes an average of two weeks for letters to get from the USA to Ecuador. On the blog, there is a "Write Me" tab at the top. Click on it and it will direct you to a page with his address in Ecuador.

Love you all,
Julie

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Dear Family and Friends,

Well, the week has really flown by and life is pretty good here at the CCM!

Every Sunday during our Sacrament Meeting, the branch presidency calls about 8 missionaries to give a talk in church. You aren´t asked in advance so everyone has to prepare a talk and be ready to give it if called. Noone has any idea if you are going to get called to speak until our branch president, President Suaste is on the pulpit and announces your name. (Oh, and BTW, the talk has to be in Spanish.) I was so sure that I was going to give a talk last week. It was the best one I had prepared yet, but unfortunately I wasn´t called...Hmm, well, my next and only chance is next Sunday. The following Sunday after that is fast Sunday and then I´ll be in Ecuador! 

Since I only have 2 weeks left at the CCM, my teachers have been getting increasingly more strict about everyone speaking only Spanish. No English allowed! My morning teacher Hermano Salvador, marks a tally every time he hears a word in English and at the end of class every tally mark equals a push up for the entire class. In the beginning, we would have 15 to 20 push ups at the end of class, but yesterday it was only 8. Slowly but surely our Spanish is getting better! In fact, I feel my English is getting harder and harder to speak. Haha! Now it´s actually kind of hard to teach any of the lessons in English. Me and my companion tried speaking English a few days ago as practice with one of our teachers, Hermana García, and it was weird! Almost difficult...

About 6 weeks or so ago, the CCM got the largest group of incoming missionaries that they ever had. And this last Monday and Tuesday they all left, so it´s been noticeably less crowded and more quiet. Our zone leaders from District 13-C left with that group, as well with the rest of District 13-C, and we were pretty close with them so it´s been hard to see elders that you were close with leave

Our district is kind of mischievous, for lack of a better word...haha! We started this game where we try to steal each others name tag without them noticing! You get a point (yes we keep track) if you steal it without them noticing, and 3 points if you steal the maestros name tag. You automatically win the game if you steal the branch president´s name tag (President Suaste) or the CCM president (President Pratt). Although I really don´t think anyone is stupid enough to do that. Haha!

Anyway, I know I say this every week, but thank you to everyone for their letters! I really, really enjoy reading them all! I´m sorry if I am not able to reply but I promise I always read them and they mean so much to me! All of you are amazing! I love you all! Thank you for the prayers and support! Have an awesome week! 

Elder Dyal

 Elder Dyal and his companion Elder Neeley in the Mexico City Temple Visitor Center

 Elder Dyal, Elder Winn and Elder McPhie
(Looks like purple tie day with his district members at the temple)

 Elder Shanklin, Elder Dyal and Elder Thomas, his district leader 

 Elder McPhie, Elder Dyal and Elder Winn

Spencer's roomates... Elder Perkins and Elder Dickson

 Hermana Williams and Hermana Coombs
 Spencer with his entire district

 Spencer by the entrance sign of the CCM

 A close-up picture by the entrance sign

 Spencer labeled this picture "P-Day Eve"

 Elder McPhie and Elder Winn stealing name tags!

Spencer with Elder Shanklin and Elder Dickson getting ready to work out on P-day this morning
(Don't know what the penguin is about though....)

Spencer labeled this one "My companion and I are anxiously engaged in missionary work"


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Week #3 - Mexico City MTC - August 21, 2014

Hey all,

No pictures this week! Spencer forgot to bring the camera cord to plug into the computer. He promised to send a bunch next week though. Speaking of pictures, I labeled his pictures wrong last week. I put Elder Winn (one of his favorite elders in his district) underneath a picture of him and his companion getting ready to go to the gym. So, I uploaded a picture of him and the actual Elder Winn and added it to last week's pictures, so check that out. I also forgot to add a picture of Spencer in front of the Mexico City temple and a picture of him and his mission district on the week of August 7, so I added those pictures as well.

I am very grateful for prayer and know that our prayers are with Spencer. Joshua felt the prayers that we said for him as he was hiking last week in Utah. He had several instances where he slipped on some gravel and could have really gotten hurt, but had a strong impression that he was kept safe because his family was praying for him. I know the same goes for Spencer as we pray for his well-being, safety, and as he is learning and growing in the MTC in preparation for his mission in Ecuador.

Thanks so much for your love and support!

Love, Julie

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Dear Family and Friends,

Everyone in my district is getting excited because yesterday was our halfway point in the CCM! Wow! Seriously! Has it really been that long...where has the time gone? Haha!

Anyway last week pretty much after I finished writing emails on Thursday (I’m sorry if I didn’t reply to some of your emails…My district leader was really pushing us to stop cuz we only have an hour!), we played soccer with a team of natives...Goodness it was terrible! The score was like 15 to 2. Although I felt pretty good about it because 1 out of every 3 times that they would do a fancy trick, I would steal the ball. I crossed them over a few times…2 of them at one point. Ha! Didn't really make much of difference in the score though, but it was cool!

Mexico City never ceases to amaze me! Like every Saturday night there are a bunch of fire works shooting off…at least I like I think they are fire works! It sometimes makes it hard to sleep. My casa is on the northwest part of the CCM, and other houses outside of the CCM are really close to ours. We can hear a lot of what goes on outside in the city. So last Saturday, we could hear what a Mexican party sounds like. We were surprised by all the American music that we heard. David Guetta and Black Eyed Peas. Haha! Not exactly what I want to hear on my mission or at 11 o’clock at night either!

Speaking of sleep, I´m pretty much my room’s alarm clock. When my alarm goes off, I’m the only one who gets up. I wake up earlier than everyone else in the morning to take a shower. Everyone else sleeps as long as possible. Even though my roommates all have their own alarm clock, they don’t get up until I turn on the lights at 6:30. Haha! I like to think of myself as their alarm clock.  

On a slightly more spiritual note, usually on Sunday we always go to church, and then we have 2 devotionals and a movie. We had an awesome devotional this last Sunday. It was actually a recording of a devotional given by Elder Holland. We also had another devotional by one of President Pratt’s counselors in the mission presidency. He talked about giving “specific” prayers, rather than generalized ones. He shared the story of Issac and Rebekah and how he met her right after he finished his prayer. It was pretty cool. He then challenged us to all give very specific prayers, not general ones, so I have been trying to take his advice. It’s been helpful and I’ve been very grateful for that this week. Although, another group of guys in my casa asked specifically to have spicy chicken as a meal this week. Yeah, and it worked! We had spicy chicken yesterday! Haha! Anyway, I encourage all of you to try it…Try to ask the Heavenly Father for specific things you may need help with in your life. It’s been helping me a lot this week. (The Isaac and Rebekah story is at the end of Genesis in the Bible.)

My Spanish has gotten considerably better. And by that I mean I can sometimes get my point across now. But it’s better than it was! We teach fake investigators, which are my district’s morning and afternoon teachers, Hermano Salvador and Hermana García. They are really great and sweet teachers. Although Hermano Salvador makes us do push ups and run laps if we do stuff the wrong way! I guess I do lots of push ups and running…Haha! Hermana García is super nice though! I’m sure I would think she was even nicer if I could understand everything she said! :) 

I wish I could describe the spirit here to everyone! Those of you who have spent time in an MTC probably know what I mean. It’s so amazing! The Lord has blessed me sooooo incredibly. It’s crazy! I can’t believe how much I have progressed with Spanish just in 3 weeks! Since I have been a missionary, I have seen the Lord’s hand in my life constantly! It’s as if angels are here with all of us!

As always, I miss everyone so much! I wish I had more time to write. Everyday here is mostly the same, but in the best way possible! …Spanish, Book of Mormon, food, more Spanish, more book of Mormon, food, and sleep… That’s it! Isn’t that great?? Anyway I love you all! Thank you for your letters and emails! It always makes my P day! 

Elder Dyal


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Week #2 - Mexico City MTC - August 14, 2014

Hey all,

Here is Spencer's letter this week. He sounds like he is really thriving. I knew he would! He is a very spiritual person and has always craved being in a spiritual setting. I also love to hear how optimistic he is about everything through his letters each week!

Before he left for Mexico, we heard a lot about how the missionaries get sick at the MTC very soon after they first arrive. Whether it is the difference in food, the water, or a bug that goes around, no one knows for sure, but luckily Spencer didn't get sick (so far!). I'm so relieved! I've been praying that he wouldn't. The MTC gives each missionary a filtered water bottle, and I sent probiotics for Spencer to use, so hopefully those have helped him.

My phone alerts me every time that Spencer sends me an email. The last few weeks, I've been able to get on the computer while he is still there and have a email conversation with him. What a sweet blessing that's been for me. It's been wonderful!

Thank you to everyone who has been reading the letters that I post and also those who have been writing him! I also truly appreciate your prayers on his behalf.

Love, Julie
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Dear Family and Friends,

Life here at the CCM is fantastic, but the days all seem very similar. I will name some of the key or memorable parts...

So, Monday is a normal day. We study and have class in the morning and Gym time before lunch. In the afternoon we have study time, then TALL (Technology Assisted Language Learning) on the computer, and then afternoon class. Dinner and study time is the rest of the night. It's the same every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Tuesday night is pizza night for dinner which is something my whole district looks forward to because most of them complain about the food. Honestly I like the food. The only thing I had I didn't like was banana soup...blah! Thursday is my P-day which is always a lot of fun and Sunday we have sacrament meeting and devotionals. We usually have a area seventy from Mexico speak to us!

My Spanish is gradually getting better but still needs a lot of improvement! A few days ago me and my companion, Elder Neeley, were in one of our classes and our teacher, Hermano Salvador, made us go outside and practice talking to people, like other missionaries and maintenance workers and stuff. I assumed all the maintenance workers were Mormon because every time we walk by them they will say "Hola élderes!" But apparently most of the them aren't members because we approached one of them and started talking. It was kind of hard to understand him because he talked really fast, but he said to us something about "siete esposas" which means 7 wifes. Me and my companion were like, "No, No... cero esposas!" Haha! It was actually pretty funny! 

Also within this past week we had an epidemic here! 100 cases of upset stomachs and umm... Well, I will let you guess what that leads to...  Haha! But the baños were not pleasant! I didn't get sick but most of the rest of my district did. See? Being a germaphobe has it's advantages!

Oh, and one of the coolest Elders you will meet, Elder Winn, who is an Elder in my district ended up eating spider by accident! I still don't know how that happened but apparently it crawled in his cereal and he didn't see it and he ate it! Everyone else was like "Elder...there was a spider in your food and you just ate it!" Haha... Oh my goodness, it was hilarious!

During gym time I usually play volleyball with Elder Winn, and my companion and Elder Winn's companion play Foosball (my companion is seriously a pro at Foosball). The natives or Hispanics always play volleyball, too! They seem to really like it! But I don't think they fully understand the game because some of them kick the ball around! Haha! They are super fun!

Anyway, the new missionaries entering the MTC this week are telling us a bunch of interesting things... Apparently Robin Williams committed suicide? And Syria is bombing Israel, as well as a Earthquake that happened in Quito...Yikes! Is the world ending? 

I enjoy all of your letters! Thank you so much for thinking of me. It really means a lot! I really love it here at the CCM! I'm sorry I can't write a longer email because I have limited time to do so. But it has been fantastic here! It's so spiritual all the time, as well as crazy fun! I hope you guys enjoy your week! Until next week... :) 

Elder Dyal


 About to go workout at the gym with his companion, Elder Neeley

Spencer with Elder Winn

The CCM President Pratt and his wife

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Spencer's Blog on the Quito Ecuador North Mission Blog Website

Spencer's Blog is now on the "Prepare to Serve" Ecuador Quito North Mission Blog website, along with other current missionary's blogs in that area. Exciting!

http://preparetoserve.com/ecuador/quito-north-mission-blogs/


Week #1 - Mexico City MTC - August 7, 2014

Dear Family and Friends, 

My stay here at the CCM (MTC) this past week has been amazing! I didn't have my P-Day last Thursday because there was too much to do! I will try my best to remember everything this week so bear with me...

In the Detroit Metro Airport there was a bunch of missionaries waiting for the flight when I got there. They were all pretty friendly and came up and introduced themselves to me. They seemed to know each other so when I asked, they said they were all from Arizona and they also knew each others friends. All together there was 5 of us and a sister from Chicago.

The flight to Mexico City was pretty relaxing. I sat between 2 guys, one was Hispanic and didn't really understand English very well. The other was a salesman on a business trip. I immediately introduced myself to avoid any awkwardness. The Hispanic didn't seem to really understand me plus he just listened to music the whole fight anyways. I talked to the salesman a lot. He immediately recognized me as a missionary of the church even though I didn't have my tag yet. He told me he was from Novi and his neighbors were Mormon (maybe someone we know, but I forgot to ask who it was). We talked a lot about religion and I told him about Joseph Smith and the first vision. At the end of the flight, I gave him a Restoration of the Gospel pamphlet that the missionaries from my home ward gave to me.

When we got to Mexico City, getting our bags and going through customs was surprisingly easy. We had to wait a while for other missionaries from other flights to arrive before we left. We got on a bus that drove us to the CCM. But let just say, Mexico City is chaotic! There seems to be no laws when it comes to driving in Mexico. Everyone cuts each other off, and every few miles or so a policeman speed past with his sirens blaring. There were also a lot of traffic jams. So it was very interesting to see such a difference right away! 

When we first arrived at the CCM, I thought it was a high security prison or something. It is surrounded by huge walls with barb wire across the top of it. The CCM can be best described as a gated community in the middle of shack town! 

Here in Mexico it rains all time! I got completely soaked when I first arrived! Not fun in a white shirt and tie. Haha! It was also very confusing at first because noone really explained much about what we needed to do and just kind of expected you to figure everything out. I didn't find my companion for the long time, but since I had to be with someone b/c of the mission rules, I tagged along with the other people I met on the plane. Everything worked out though.

Speaking of my companion, he is a genius! He is super smart and way better at Spanish then me! And he talks...a lot! He is a really cool guy though, especially to have to deal with me all the time. Haha! 

Here at the CCM there is a pretty tight schedule that they expect you to follow and it took some getting use to. For meals, there is a lot of Mexican food...duh! But I'm really enjoying it! I seem to be the only one because every else complains about the food...

Spanish is...hard! I have been having a hard time with it but I'm slowly getting better. It's hard to pray in Spanish and get exactly what you feel and what you want to say out. I kind of have to switch from Spanish to English a lot when I pray! 

Mostly everyday day is the same except Sunday. We have devotionals and a General Authority came and spoke to us! And on Tuesday, we also have devotionals and General Authorities speak to us. Cool!

I have made some great friends so far! In a way, being here is kind of like being at EFY except instead of companies, we have zones - more specifically a district. Instead of dances, we learn a new language. Instead of game night and variety show, we have devotionals. And instead of a roomate, we have companions...so, not too much like EFY but it was the best comparison I could make! Haha! 

It has been so fun and spiritual though! Today we visited the Mexico city temple but we couldn't go inside because its closed for cleaning. I have a bunch of pictures from today. The mission president said we can only take pictures on P-day. 

Anyway, I only have an hour to write and I don't have much time left. I love you all! It has been so great here! I enjoyed all your letters! Thank you so much for writing me! It means a lot! I hope you all enjoy your week. Until next Thursday...

Spencer Dyal

Spencer and his companion on the MTC bus going to see the Mexico City Temple
August 7, 2014

Mexico City Temple

 Spencer at the Mexico City Temple





First Picture at the Mexico MTC

This is the first picture we've seen of Spencer at the Mexico City Mission Training Center.
He ran into Jay Drennan, who is also from Canton, Michigan.



Last Dinner and Dropping Spencer off at the Airport

 Spencer wanted Subway for his last dinner in the United States

 Eating Subway dinner with Mom

 The boys and Spencer -- Saying Goodbye at the Airport

Mom, the boys and Spencer -- Saying Goodbye at the Airport

Sibling Pictures after his Farewell in Church

Spencer and his sister and best friend, Jessica (16 yrs old)   
        
Spencer and his brother, Alexander (12 yrs old)

Spencer and his little brother, Logan (10 yrs old)


A Little About Elder Spencer Dyal

I started this blog because I wanted a place where I could collect and share all of Elder Spencer Dyal's letters and photos with family, friends, and anyone interested in his missionary progression these next two years. It's also a place where Joshua and I want to post our own thoughts and feelings about Spencer and his mission experience.

Elder Spencer Dyal was assigned to labor in the Quito, Ecuador North mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He entered the Mexico City Training Center on July 30, 2014. He will spend the next five weeks there learning different proselytizing methods, how to teach church doctrine, and will be educated in the Spanish language and Ecuadorian culture. On September 9, 2014, he will take what he learned there and fly to Ecuador to begin teaching others about the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know he will continue learning and growing as he proselytes amongst the people of Ecuador. He will not be fluent in Spanish at first, but eventually through his faith and a lot of practice, he will be blessed with the gift to speak the language. His mission will be exciting and rewarding, but it will also be challenging and hard. It will most likely try his faith on many occasions. As hard as it is to know your children will go through hardships and trials, I really hope he has many faith-trying experiences that will help him become a better, stronger, and a more spiritual person. I know he will overcome his trials, and I'm certain his faith and spirituality will strengthen and grow. All this will be for his good and help him become the man he is supposed to be! (Learn more about the Church's Mission Training Experience here:  http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/topic/missionary-training-centers)

For those of you who don't know Spencer very well, I will tell you a little about him. Spencer loves music! He started playing piano when he was 8 years old... So he's been playing for the last 10 years. He was the priesthood pianist every Sunday and he played whenever a pianist was needed at most of our youth functions at church. In some of the paperwork that we received about his mission in Ecuador, there was a comment eluding to a desperate need for pianists in his mission. He assumes now that he'll probably be playing a lot while in Ecuador! He also loved to sing in our ward choir. He played the baritone in the orchestra, concert band, jazz band and marching band in school. And it was a rare occasion where we didn't see him with earphones at home listening to his collection of songs. Spencer is a hard worker, too. He always made the honor roll every year and graduated "Cum Laude" this year in high school.  He is an Eagle scout, served as the president in every quorum presidency, and was the seminary president during his senior year. He was trained to be a lifeguard and worked a part-time job at our local community recreation facility. He will be able to pay for the majority of his mission with the money he earned the last two years. He was accepted at BYU-Idaho but deferred to serve his full-time mission. He hopes to attend the fall semester of 2016 after he returns.

One of the things I have always admired about Spencer is that he has always possessed a strong desire for righteousness. Even at a very young age. Spencer has ALWAYS stood up for his faith and values. I have watched him as he has been tested and had to overcome many trials over the years, specifically with his non-member peers in school. And he has always been very humble. He was never one to boast about himself. In fact, he was always the first to point out his imperfections and constantly worked to better himself every day. He has always been receptive to the counsel of his parents and church leaders, and I was so very grateful when he came to me, practically on a daily basis, when he needed guidance and counsel on the challenges in his life, or just on life in general. (I will definitely miss those discussions these next two years!). He's been a wonderful big brother and example to his younger siblings, and to everyone around him, including myself. I know he was meant to be the first child in my family for this purpose. He is truly an amazing young man! Of course, I am his mom so that makes me incredibly biased, except for the fact that literally dozens and dozens of people throughout his lifetime (and possibly more) have noticed the same thing as I have. I feel very humbled by those who have noticed his kind, thoughtful, generous, humble and spiritual nature and shared their findings and experiences with me.

When Spencer was born over 18 years ago, I felt a very strong and instant connection to him. It was more than just a motherly instinct. I felt as if I had always known him! That he was hand-picked and chosen to come live with me. From that day on, I have always carried the weight of that knowledge and knew how important it was to raise him the right way. A few days ago, after Spencer left for Mexico, I looked for my journal from when I was a brand-new mother. I wanted to remember what I written about him when he was a baby. This is what I wrote shortly after he was born:

"This last Sunday (May 5, 1996), Spencer was blessed in church. Joshua said in the blessing that it was very important for him to stay strong in the gospel because the world will be so much more wicked when he gets older. I know he was a strong, righteous spirit in heaven. And, of all the mothers in the world, he came to me! While in the hospital holding my sweet baby, I had a very spiritual experience. I can say without a doubt that I knew him in the pre-existence. I'm supposed to be his mother! What a  tremendous responsibility!  My patriarchal blessing says that Heavenly Father would send choice spirits into my home. I have a lot I need to do to prepare myself to be the right kind of mother for him."

Last week I was reminded and had confirmation of my knowledge that Heavenly Father chose me to be Spencer's mother and how important I always knew it was. Last Tuesday (July 29, 2014), we had just left our stake president's home after Spencer was set apart as a missionary for the church. Joshua, Spencer and I were driving in the car and talking about the wonderful blessings and promises that our stake president had given to Spencer that night. This was also the night before Spencer boarded the plane to Mexico. I was feeling so proud of Spencer, but also very sad that he would be leaving me for two years. I couldn't shake the melancholy feeling that I had about him leaving and how it would change my life as a mother. I was very sad that my role in his life would be completely different from this point on. Time had gone by way too quickly since he was my tiny, sweet baby! As we were driving home, I got a call from my Dad with an interesting story. He was at a Business Conference in Minneapolis, MN that day when he ran into my old stake president, Richard Shumway, from when we lived in College Station, TX and when Spencer was a baby. He asked my Dad about his children and family, and my dad mentioned that his oldest grandson was leaving on a mission to Ecuador the very next day. With tears in his eyes, he told my father that he had a chance to hold baby Spencer many years ago and had a spiritual experience while holding him. He felt a very strong personal manifestation that Spencer had been called of the Lord for a special purpose and had been given parents who would raise him to fulfill that mission. He told my father what a special experience that was for him and that he had never forgotten it. I sincerely believe that my father running into him that day wasn't a coincidence! It was the day before Spencer left on his mission! I was feeling anxious to let my son go, and Spencer was very nervous about what lay ahead of him. My old stake president's spiritual account was truly a comfort to both Spencer and I as we braced ourselves for him leaving the following day. I broke down and bawled for an hour after hearing this story. It's what we needed right then... that very day! Very, very grateful to my Heavenly Father for this tender mercy!

Spencer gave an amazing farewell talk the Sunday before he left (July 27, 2014). The topic was on Sacrifice and Obedience. Let me give you an except in Spencer's own words:

"Ever since I was little I always knew I would serve a mission. And when President Monson announced the change of the missionary ages from 19 yrs old to 18 yrs, it was just more of a revelation to me that I would definitely go on a mission someday, and that I would go sooner rather than later. Being a missionary is definitely an act of sacrifice and obedience. But sacrificing 2 years of my life to the Lord is very little compared to what Christ did for us. I consider it an honor that the Lord thinks I'm up to the task.  But knowing these things hasn't really made it easier for me though, especially this last year. There has been a few changes in my life that tested my faith and obedience and I'll just name a few -

I got a job a little more than a year ago and my senior year of high school was the year that I had to balance my part-time job with school and seminary. The reason I got a job was to help pay for my mission and because of it I had to give up marching band. Explaining to my band director wasn't exactly the easiest thing to do because I knew he would just argue with me and he did. He explained to me how going on a mission in this “stage” of my life is not smart educationally or financially. But I assured him it was what I wanted to do. Managing my time was really difficult this year. Balancing work, school, and seminary wasn't easy. Many nights I would get little to no sleep and many times I would fight the urge to quit my job. But I didn't miss a day of seminary, I got decent grades in my classes, and I kept my job.

Also this year, some of my closest school friends decided they would start smoking. And a lot of times they would try to convince me to smoke with them. Every time I refused and they would try to tell me how its not bad for me and how they do it every day and that they are completely fine. I constantly reminded them of my beliefs and my goal to go on a mission. For a short time, they would leave me alone about it, but then the process would begin again. It was hard for me. I had known these guys since middle school and I had really admired these friends for making good decisions. That's why I wanted to be friends with them. So when they began smoking and doing other things that weren't right, I felt so out of place. I felt like I had lost some of my closest school friends. 

These things were a huge sacrifice to me. No one said going on a mission was easy. A lot of times, what the Lord asks of us will not be easy. If everything the Lord asked of us was easy, how would we gain any faith? That was Satan's plan. For us to come down to Earth and have everything laid out in front of us so it would be easy for us. But we know better, otherwise we wouldn't be here right now. The Lord has a better plan for each and every one of us that I can guarantee will not be easy at times. But, will we be willing to do whatever the Lord asks of us? I promise you it will be worth it.

Brothers and Sisters, following any of God's commandments takes some degree of sacrifice. But you can't go wrong when you put the Lord first. Things may happen to you that you don't understand and things may not go the way you want them to, but it will always work out in the end if you put the Lord first."

What an amazing young man, right? I am so proud of him! I know that one of his life's missions is to become a full-time missionary for the church. I always knew he would go, but I am still in disbelief that he is old enough! Where did the time go?

We want all our family and friends to know that we are grateful for your love, support and prayers on Spencer's behalf. Thanks for all you do for him and all that you do our family as well.

Love, Julie