Sunday, June 29, 2014

Spencers' Farewell

On June 29th, 2014 Spencer gave his farewell address to his family and friends...he did a wonderful job, and is ready to serve!
   Below is a copy of his talk:

Good morning brothers and sisters. For those of you who don't know me, I don't know why you're here... Kidding. My name is Spencer Brady and I have been called to serve in the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo East mission. 

I've been asked to share how I've gained a testimony and why I've chosen to serve a mission. That's simple. I want to give to those, who don't have what I do. One of the greatest tools I've used to gain a testimony has been learning to recognize the small miracles in our lives, and in so doing, feeling our Heavenly Father's love for us. And that's more of what I'd like to focus on today.

I believe, much like most of you here, that the hand of God is present in my every day life. In the Spring Conference of 2005, Elder Bednar stated; "Let me suggest that one of the ways whereby the Savior comes to each of us is through His abundant and tender mercies. For instance, as you and I face challenges and tests in our lives, the gift of faith and an appropriate sense of personal confidence that reaches beyond our own capacity are two examples of the tender mercies of the Lord."

These "tender mercies", or small miracles, can be observed everywhere and anywhere you go, if you are looking for them. Only when we are actively engaged in trying to recognize these quite reminders of our heavenly Father's involvement in our daily lives can we realize how greatly he loves each and every one of us. These small miracles are often simple gestures of love given to us by friends, family, and sometimes total strangers! The Lord works through us to comfort his children. That is why we must be receptive to the spirit, and always looking for opportunities to serve.

Last summer, we had Stake Youth Conference up at the U. As one of our major activities, we split into groups and visited church landmarks in the downtown area; The beehive house, conference center, the church history museum, even the church office building. So, we marched Salt Lake City in our matching yellow 2013 South Mountain Stake shirts. And while it was interesting, it took time, and it involved a lot of walking! It was also very hot that day, record breaking heat... Let's just say it was easy to feel miserable, and to murmur. At the end of the day, we were on trax headed back to our dorms. Dillan Rawson, Max Openshaw, my brother Sterling and myself were all seated at one end of the cart. And we were just plum tuckered out, our attitude toward Youth Conference wasn't great. 

As we were talking, about what I don't remember, a man that was sitting across from Dillan spoke to us. Now this guy is one of those guys that you'd look at and think, "ya, he could be homeless... Or maybe he's just having a rough day." He was wearing a green T-shirt tucked into purple jogging shorts. The really short ones, you  know, the kind that most people thankfully stopped wearing in the mid 90s. Then he had a hand towel draped over his shoulder, and sitting next to him was a plastic bag filled with clothes and shoes or something. His thin hair was parted and he sported a very burly mustache, the likes of which blew Ron Burgundy's out of the water. Now, hopefully you have a pretty good image in your mind of what this guy looked like. He had sat with us for a good five minutes without saying anything, and all of a sudden, he asked us, "You guys part of a church group or somethin?" And we said, "Ya..." "You guys believe in your God?" And we said, "We do..." Afraid that he'd jump into slew of anti-LDS remarks, but prepared to defend. Then he said something I'll never forget. He said, "Good, you guys are gonna rebuild the world.".... How prophetic was that? And the train stopped. He looked out his window, and stood up. "This is my stop boys" Then he took the towel off his shoulder, and kind of whipped it toward Dillan, and without us even asking, he said, "Just call me Wild Thing!" And headed to the doors. What?!! "Wild Thing"? I wasn't sure if it ruined, or made the experience... I was so perplexed, I didn't know what to say, but felt like I had to say something, so I mustered a small "Have a nice day..." And just before he stepped outside, he stopped, and turned to us, and with a big grin on his face, he said, "I always do" And with that he was gone! As mysteriously as he had appeared. We were left with the most dumbfounded look on our faces. Did we just meet the Lorax? 

Now Brothers and Sisters, I do not know if "Wild Thing" was a messenger sent from on high, or just a crazy man riding Trax that day. And the message given was more weird than profound. But now I realize it as a small miracle, a bizarre one, but nonetheless a tender mercy.  It doesn't matter where it comes from. You could observe the smallest acts of kindness, the beautiful gift of nature, children sharing with and loving one another, or your message could come from underneath a lip bearing the most gnarly of mustaches.

When there are hardships, when there are trials you feel you just cannot overcome, look to the small miracles for hope. Come unto Christ, because with him you can push through. Rely on him, have faith in him, use the atonement. Search for chances to feel the Holy Spirit, and to feel Heavenly Father's and our Savior's love.

I'd like to end with the words to a song. It's Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel. Now, I know it's cheesy, and I know that my friends out there a thinking " Of course Spencer. You would." But I'd like to share it anyway. It's meant a great deal to me as I've often sought my Savior's love.

When you're weary, feeling small,
When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all;
I'm on your side. When times get rough
And friends just can't be found,
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.

When you're down and out,
When you're on the street,
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you.
I'll take your part.
When darkness comes
And pain is all around,
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.

Sail on silvergirl,
Sail on by.
Your time has come to shine.
Put your faith in me.
And let it shine.
If you need a friend
I'm sailing right behind.
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind.
Like a bridge over troubled water
Let it be your guide

Insert Testimony:


Some of Spencers' best friends that have been called to serve around the world!
G.Q.  Missionaries!? Hmmm...

Missionaries and  Moms!

Missionary in training?