Hiya everybody! I hope that this new year is bringing all of you many great opportunities and experiences to enjoy! And hopefully some missionary experiences as well!
At the start of this past week, I was able to recieve another package from home! A brand new, unopened Christmas tree! Ha ha its a little early for Christmas this year, but Im still very appreciative! :) I also got a back scratcher with it, which is HEAVEN! Ah, I cant believe how long I went without it :) Thanks mom!
On Wednesday, we had district meeting, in which all of the teams in my district meet and evaluate our progress in our respective areas as well as a district. I love these meetings, because Im given the opportunity to learn from other teams sucesses and apply it to mine and Elder Pass' work in Leeds 5! Not only that, but after the meeting its lunchtime, so we all go out to eat as a district! I LOVE the missionaries in my district! They are so inspiring and hard working, and have such strong testimonies! Ah! If only you could meet them :)
One of my new favourite things to do now is to testify to people on the street of the truthfulness of the gospel and the change and impact it can have on their lives if they simply follow Moroni's promise in Moroni 10! Not that it wasnt my favourite thing before... but I have developed a new love for it, because I have finally found the secret to a more fun and joyful missionary experience! And thats being yourself, just also while being a missionary! (I know what you're thinking, ''of course Elder Spencer!'' But its not as easy as it sounds...) For me, this gospel is so exciting and the answer to any and all of lifes trials and hard times... And I love testifying to people of the good news! The glad tidings! The blessings that come from the knowledge that each of us have a loving Heavenly Father who wants the best for us and is willing to help us through anything! Isnt that splendiferous(c)? I think so ;)
On Saturday Elder Pass and I were able to do some service for a single mother in the branch, Sister Gardiner. We were finally able to finish painting her kitchen! (see first and second picture) I love giving service! Its so simple, and it simply just brightens your day, as well as the other person's day whom you were rendering service to. Nothing can ease your troubles and pains like the gift of giving simple service ;)
Oh and PS, Saturday was a BEAUTIFUL day for England :) Not only that, but the sunrises/sunsets over here can take your breath away.
Church was certainly an interesting experience for me this week... Elder Pass and I had the wonderful opportunity to bless the sacrament on Sunday... Which was interesting because it was the first time in a long time since either of us (in your mind, did you say the word 'i - ther' or the word 'ee - ther'?) had done such! We were very excited and thankful for the opportunity. :) But it did not stop there! On my way to the gospel principles class, Elder Pass informed me that the teacher was not in attendance, and that I would need to teach ''the freedom to choose'' lesson to the class! Ha ha yay... But it doesnt stop there! While I was preparing for that opportunity, the first councilor walked up to me with that big ''Im going to ask you to do something'' grin on his face that people in the bishopric always give, and asked me if I would teach the Elders/High Priests quorum class for priesthood! Of course I accepted. And Im happy to say I think it went rather well :) Well, better than expected anyway... But it was quite an experience, I must say... Teaching a class where everyone I was teaching was older than me... Ha ha yeah :)
So, all in all, I'd say I had a pretty fantastic week.... I hope you did as well! Please continue to write/email me whenever you like (I do very much enjoy recieving letters though)
Until next week,
Elder Gabriel G. Spencer
Oh yes, and before I forget...
Thats right! The Lord saw it fit that Richard C. Wheatcroft, (23, an investigator we street contacted 4 times before he actually came to church) be baptised on January 8th, 2011! And I was able to actually perform the ordinance! It was certainly a night I will never forget... Richard had been really really REALLY excited about his baptism for quite some time, but has a fear of water... Elder Pass and I tried to prepare him for his baptism by water as best we can, but ya know, there is only so much you can prep someone for lol. As I began to say the prayer and baptise Richard, he kind of struggled and didnt allow his head to go completely under the water! Again, I reminded him that he needs to relax and let me lay him down and pull him back up... And thats what we did! ... or tried to do... His legs went up out of the water and he struggled again. So we had to do it again! Third time's the charm! Or at least thats what the word on the street is... His head finally went completely under the water! But the witness said his toe came up just at the last moment... At this point, Richard was getting a bit frustrated, and just wanted it to be over with. At that time, I think it was the other witness that suggested giving a kneeling baptism, and to baptise him forwards instead of backwards. AHA! So thats what we did, and lo and behold... SUCCESS! Richard was finally baptised :) Afterward we were able to joke about it and he felt very relieved that it was over and he had finally taken his first ordinance :) And now guess what? He set a new goal for himself, and he is looking forward to submitting his papers to become a missionary this time next year! Is that a righteous desire, or what? ;) (See final picture)
Yikes, Im glad I remembered that ;)
Elder Gabriel G. Spencer