Monday, August 30, 2010

Here is some of Spencer's Latest email.

Dear Family
Thanks for the email and the letters, and thanks Sam for the picture everyone who's seen it has been very impressed. I'm doing alright here I've had a bad cold since Sunday but I'm feeling better now. The MTC has had its ups and downs yesterday was really bad I was feeling like I just couldn't do it but this morning has been better. I got Erica's letter which helped. As much as I want to get out of the MTC I'm starting to wish I had more time to get ready for the field,but I guess wishing isn't going to help. We had Elder Holland come and talk to us on Wednesday he was incredible. He pointed out some things all missionaries need to do better in. I just cant believe I'm leaving on Monday I'm exited but super nervous. Well I hope everyone is doing good, I miss you all ,oh happy birthday Paige sorry I missed it. Mom could you send me a list of birthdays.
Love, Elder Norton

Spencer also sent a letter recently.

In his letter he wrote about a Devotional where Elder Gonzales and his wife spoke. Sister Gonzales told the missionaries in her talk "Don't worry about what you can do or what you can't do, because this work is not about you." Spencer said this really helped him and he is trying to follow her advice. He had his first appointment last Wed. he said it went better then he expected. Teaching is still hard for him but he is trying hard to get involved in the discussion and push himself out of his comfort zone.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Email 8/20/10

Here is Spencer's Latest Email. He just got his flight schedule which looks long but fun. I can't believe he's leaving the MTC in just a week!

Dear Family,
Thanks Mom for sending my razor I'm sorry I forgot so much stuff. I got a package from Emily which was fun. Thanks Throndsons for all your support. To answer your questions Elder Green is going to the Marshall Islands too. Everyone else in our district is going to Australia except one who is going to New Zealand. I have not had a chance to talk much with the missionary's from the Marshall Islands. We got our travel itinerary today we leave on the 30Th, we go to Honolulu at 11:40 am and we arrive at 2:20 pm, then we leave on the 31st at 12 pm for Fiji and arrive at 6:40 pm on the 1st, then leave on the 2ND at 5 am and arrive in Tarawa , Kiribati at 8 am on the second. Things here are good, there are still bad days and I still don't feel very confident teaching but its getting better. Well I'm sorry this is so short but love you all.

Love, Elder Norton

Here are a few of the sights Spencer might see on his way.

Honolulu Airport

Landing in Fiji

View of Tarawa,Kiribati

Kiribati Airport

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Entering the MTC

Here are a few pictures from when Spencer entered the MTC.

Ready to go.

See you in TwoYears!

Letter from Elder Norton 08/14/10

In addition to the email that Spencer sent last Saturday he also mailed a letter that was received this week. Some of the letter was a repeat of what he sent in his email but it was longer and gave more detail. Here are some of the new things he told us.

First a little more about his companion. Like the email said his name is Elder Green. His mother is Tongan and his Dad is from America. He told Spencer that you wouldn't even know that his Dad was related to him. His Dad served his mission in the Marshall Islands years ago so his companion already knows a lot about the Marshall Islands.

Another experience Spencer wrote about in his letter was on the first day when they were Reading off the places where the new missionaries were from he heard them say the Marshall Islands. There are two missionaries from the Marshall Islands In the MTC right know. Spencer and his companion were able to speak to them for a few minutes. He said that neither one speaks very good English, One of them prayed in a group meeting and he prayed in Marshallese. Spencer said that it was like nothing he had ever heard before, that scared him pretty bad.

Like he said in his email the first two days were tough but he is doing really well. he writes that while he knows it will still be really hard sometimes, he is tyring to keep himself focused on why he is there and leave the rest up to the Lord.

We are excited to hear more. Hopefully we'll get an email tomorrow.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

First Email

Well yesterday Mom and Dad received their first email from Spencer aka Elder Norton. Sounds like he is doing good.

Dear Family
I got both packages, thanks a ton Mom for sending them. My P day will be on Friday from now on. I am doing well,the first two days were really hard but yesterday something changed and I actually think I can do it now. My companions name is Elder Green from West Jordon and he's been awesome. My teachers have been really good, I'm learning a ton. The real emphasise has been about learning how to be good teacher, how to approach people, get to know them, and teach to their needs. Classes have been really good. I got Moms e-mail, so thanks Mom. I'm really slow with this so it will be really short. Thanks Kelly for the letter it really helped. I hope you all are doing well, I love you all so much.

Love, Elder Norton

I know I'm being a total hypocrite when I say this, but please write him. I know getting letters from family and friends will really mean a lot, especially on the tough days.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Off To Serve the Lord

Yesterday evening Spencer was set apart as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Everyone in the family was able to be there as well as the Bishop and the Stake President who set him apart. This morning he finished some last minute packing and got himself ready to go to the MTC. Most of us said our goodbyes at the house before they left, Mom, Dad, Sam, Hyrum, Molly, and Mattie rode down with him. You no longer go into the MTC with the missionaries so they pretty much just dropped him off and, after a couple of hugs, watched him walk away. I didn't go to the MTC, I just said goodbye at the house but I think everyone was already pretty emotional. Having been on a mission it brought back a lot of memories of what that first day felt like. It is a rough day, the next couple of days will probably be hard as everything starts to sink in and he starts to adjust to life as a missionary. The first day is a day filled with so many emotions because you are excited, but you are also scared and nervous about what lies ahead. I have no doubt that Spencer will do great, but as someone who has been where he is now, I know that he can probably use all the support he can get so I added his addresses to the side of the blog. He will only be in the MTC for 3 weeks so if you want to send him a letter there it is probably best to do it soon. As soon as I know his departure date I will put it on here so that everyone will know.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Farewell Talk

Sunday was Spencer's last Sunday before leaving for the MTC so he got to speak in sacrament meeting. His topic was the teachings of the prophet Joseph Smith which is a lot to try to put into one talk but he did a great job. He focused on the Book of Mormon & personal revelation.Dad was supposed to speak with him but due to a super fun trip to the emergency room until 3am (he had kidney stones, but is doing fine now) he decided to opt out and John stepped in. John also did a good job & both Mom and Dad bore their testimonies at the end. A lot of family and friends were able to come to support him and we had a nice get together after church. We are all really happy that Spencer chose to serve a mission. We know that it was a decision he really thought and prayed about. He will be a great missionary and we are excited for the wonderful experiences he will have in the Marshall Islands.

Thank you for all of the support that everyone has shown Spencer as he has prepared to leave on his mission.

Going to the Temple

On July 17th Spencer went to the Jordan River Temple to recieve his Endowments before leaving on his mission. A lot of his family were able to attend with him. Afterwards the whole family were able to get together to spend time together and celebrate this milestone in his life.