Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Week 10: Gemma's Baptism and Christmas

Hello everyone! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas season in your respective states, and I hope you spent it in warm weather! (if not, dont worry. I'm feeling for you!) SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED in the past week! First of all, I have to apologize for not emailing on my normal day, which is Monday. It was a bank holiday here in England, which meant we cant email. So I thank you for your patience :) Also, pictures! From last week and this week! I will likely be sending them in two emails, mainly because I cannot send them all in a single email. The sencond one will likely be just last week's missing pictures. But I hope you all enjoy seeing them as much as I enjoyed actually living them ;)

First of all...
Thats right!!! Elder Spencer has finally had his first baptism! On December 22nd, 2010, Gemma Boyes was baptised and washed completely clean! It was such a memorable experience (see first and second picture) and she really really enjoyed it! Gemma is 26 years old and has two beautiful children, Jaden (9) and Mia (3). Our next goal is to begin teaching Jaden and have him baptised as well!
On December 23rd, 2010, the Southern Portion of the England Leeds mission traveled to the Harrogate US Millitary Base! It was so nice to be surrounded by Americans again, and to read the prices as $$$ instead of £££. It felt like home :) We started off with some bowling (see third picture) and I had a nice juicy texas burger, followed by going to the rec center and playing some sports! I spent two hours playing raquetball (which I havent played in literally over 10 years, unfortunately) and I loved it! I definately have a sport I want to get back into when I get back to BYU :) After that, we watched Scrooge with President and Sister Lindley (our mision president and his wife) and acted out the nativity (I played a wise man). We then had dinner, and passed out post and packages from our friends and family that had arrived at the mission office. It was so much fun! I cant wait til next Christmas ;)

So, also, Christmas happened!!! I got presents! (See fourth picture) I was quite excited :) Elder Pass and I shared Christmas morning with Leeds 2 Elders (Elder Parham and Elder Young) where we had a HUGE English breakfast (that we cooked ourselves) and opened presents, followed by a heated game of monopoly (in which I won, I might add; see fifth picture) Afterward Elder Pass and I had tea (dinner in America, remember?) with the McCan family, and went to the Glynn family's home to skype and call our own families :) Which was also a great experience! I loved Christmas! And I hope you all did as well :)
This week is sure to see many miracles, so I will continue to write them to you and take pictures! I hope you are still enjoying them! Dont forget to write me! Remember, ANYONE can write me an email :) I just cant write them back... lol
Love you all!
Elder Gabriel Spencer
P.S. It gets really foggy in England sometimes... Like yesterday. (See epic sixth picture)
P.P.S. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
P.P.P.S. We didnt technically have a P-day last week, so I was unable to write letters to ANYONE. Sorry :-/ But I tried my best to make up for it over this past p-day, I promise!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Week 9: Upcoming Christmas Baptism!

Merry Christmas, everyone!
It is a week of shopping, of wrapping presents, of celebrating the birth of our savior with a BAPTISM!!! Thats right! I am having my very first baptism this wednesday for Gemma Boyce! She is a single mother of two kids, Jaden and Mia, and love the Book of Mormon! She has completely given up smoking, drinking (from 20 bottles a week, no joke), and she has accepted all other teachings and commandments! We are very excited for her, and I cant wait to send pictures come next week!
This past week was a cold one, let me tell you. Its FREEZING over here! Its as if the wind alone is trying to kill you! Thankfully I have a warm coat and thermals to keep me warm :) I dont know where I would be without them! Its snowed again, not as bad as last time, but it looks like another white Christmas this year! Yay! A few other missionaries and I went caroling on Brigate, a street in the heart of Leeds city centre, which was very fun!
We did about 3 hours of service on thursday, where we helped Sister Gardener (a member of the Leeds 5 branch) paint her house! I realized how fun and relaxing normal service can be! And I would also encourage each of you to offer some kind of service during this Christmas week to someone, before the week is through!
On Friday night, Elder Pass and I went over to Sabeena's home to perform some more service, in which we helped build Antonio's new bicycle that he is getting for Christmas! He was so excited to get it, that as soon as we finished it, he had us all go outside and had Elder Pass and I teach him how to ride it! It was definately one of the most memorable points of my mission. :) I mean, Im in England, as a missionary, teaching a 9 year old boy how to ride a bike! How great is that?! I am so blessed to be out here!
On Saturday night, we had the ward christmas party to attend, which was named ''A night in bethlehem'' and we had a whole bunch of new investigators come and have some fun with the ward members! It was great!
Thats about it for this past week, sorry, but I dont have a as much time to email as I usually do. :-/
Also, I am unable to send any pictures with my email this week, because I left the chord at the flat :-/ sorry! I promise I'll get you up to date come next week!
More good news! I have recently found out that ANYONE can email me, at anytime! So friends, please do! The only problem is, I cannot email you back :-/ But I would love to hear from you about whats going on in your life! Email me at

Gotta go! Love you all!

Elder Gabriel Spencer

God bless us, every one!
(c) ;)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Week 8: Sabeena's baptismal date

Ello, everyone!!
My Christmas is certainly getting closer, isnt it? Wow! Time really flies! Well, I guess for missionaries the days go by like weeks, but the months go by like days! I just cant believe its already mid-december!
This past week was way good, and it was certainly full of surprises! Its a little hard to remember each day, or what happened, mainly because everyday seems to mush into one... Nevertheless, I will try my best :)
Last P-day, after emailing, we took a train over to a chapel that had a gym inside, called crossgates. And I kinda made a dumb mistake... Now because we have to wear our proselyting clothes on P-day, we each bring a bag full of our sport-oriented clothes (Jeans, t shirt, gym shorts, etc) and this is what I had brought on the train on our way to play sports, along with a few christmas gifts that I was going to send home this week, probably today. Anyway, to make a long story short, I accidentally left all of that stuff on the train, including me Leeds Untied sweatshirt that I bought, which you saw in the picture i sent home of me and a couple other Elders playing snow footbal. So, yeah. Bummer :-/ Oh well! It was just stuff! I'll just have to buy some new P-day trousers sometime!

Now onto the good stuff! Last week was leadership training for two days, so my trainer Elder Pass did that while I went on exchange with Elder Stettler! Another greenie who was in my district at the MTC! (Which was an interesting choice for our Zone Leaders to make, since two greenies rarely go on exchange with eachother) On tuesday Elder Stettler and I went to his area, Leeds 1 Uni (short for Leeds University) and we street contacted for about 3 or 4 hours, and then met with a few appoinments. It was so nice and fun to be able to talk to people my age for once! Which was actually one of the only times Ive ever had fun while street contacting! (not that I dont enjoy it, but its certainly not the most fun part of being a missionary). On Wednesday, Elder Stettler and I took over my area! Leeds 5! It was great! We started out street knocking, and on literally our second house, somebody let us in! Meusumi (Pronounced Mee-shoo-mee) from India has always wanted to learn more about Christianity, and we were able to teach her!
Saturday was a fantastic day, because Gemma was able to be interviewed for her baptism! And she passed! All that needs to happen now, is she needs to attend church once more, and she'll be set to be baptised!!! I'll have to let you know when the official date for her is :)
Sabeena & Antonio have been pushed back, however :-/ Sabeena has a concern for the law of tithing, and she also needs to quit smoking, which she will be able to accomplish. She will be baptised on the 24th of December though! So Merry Christmas! We are all very excited :)
This past week was proper rough, but our Heavenly Father always gives us our hardest trials just before he lifts us even higher! I am so excited to see baptisms by the end of this month!
Today was our Zone P-day! We went to the royal armouries (first picture, an archer from the war of the roses, as in King Henry VI Part 3, which was really interesting!) and had lunch at Pizza Hut (really English, I know)

The snow is finally gone, and its a little warmer now, thankfully ;) But in case you wanted more, check it out!

My zone!!! Fourth picture ;)

Elder Gabriel Gaylen Spencer

PS. I am planning on using this scripture in a teaching opportunity before the end of this week: 1 Thessolonians 5:16-18 (c)

PPS. The picture at the top is of me tracting an actual house we came across one day, while we were knocking in East Ardsley. Nobody was home :( But we knocked a flipping castle! How great is that??

Monday, December 6, 2010

Week 7: First missionary exchange

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Happy Christmas everyone!
This past week was such a great experience!!
I just spent more than half my time emailing mom and dad about christmas stuff, so I've gotta hop to my main email! Here it goes!
Last P-day we played our turkey bowl in the snow! It was cold! But it was sooo fun! We played with a few other teams in our ditrict, and it was great! (see pictured above)
I had my first and second missionary exchange! The first one was for two days with Elder Peery, my district leader. Within those two days every single one of our appointments with investigators flogged (dropped) So we spent our time knocking doors and street contacting. Tuesday we spent literally 8 hours finding. It was fun! And I really enjoyed learning new things from a different cmopanion :) We celebrated our day of finding with dominoes pizza that night! And it tasted pretty authentic!!! Good stuff! (See second picture)
I also went on exchange with my grandad (my trainers trainer, who is not a zone leader) and we went to his area and met with some less actives and some investigators. He's from Munich, Germany, and speaks great english! I was quite impressed. :)
At the end of the week, we were looking pretty low with our new investigators, and it didnt look like we were going to achieve standards of excellence again because of all the flogged appointments. Which kinda sucked, because our mission president has a 'president's fireside' every fast sunday
at his home, where all of the missionaries who acheived standards for that week could come and bring their investigators. Disappointed, Elder Pass and I prayed, asking heavenly father for his guidence. We recieved an answer Saturday morning that we were to achieve standards and take our investigators to the fireside... And guess what? Between Saturday and Sunday, our key indicators tripled, and we made standards!!! Not only that, but on Saturday, the Lord scheduled two new investigators for baptism on the 25th of December!
Merry Christmas! And God bless us, every one! (In tiny tim's voice) We scheduled Peit (pronounced like pete, as in peter) and Francis (who we later found lives in another team's area), from Ghana! We were so excited, we had to celebrate! So I finally get Kebaptised! Thats right, I had my first acutal Kebab! (kinda like a dry gyro, see third picture)
It was also fantastic because we found a family of 5, the winkinson family, and taught them on sunday! (We would have on saturday, but they were having their own weekly Family Home Evening! How perfect is that??)
We were able to take Sabeena and Antonio to the president's fireside afer all :)

Great story? I think so :)

Merry Christmas!
Elder Gabriel Spencer

PS You can consider my fourth picture my Christmas card to you all (hint hint, mom please print out and give away when you get it. I really like it!)
PPS. Doctrine and Covenants 130: 20-21 (c) ;P