Monday, October 31, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Does it feel like a year? Does it really? I dont think so... To be honest I still feel like a greenie ha ha. I'll have to celebrate somehow! Im not quite sure how yet, but I'll have to let you know in next week's email :)
So! Onto my week! Lets see... What happened last week... Hmm...
Ah yes! Chris! Chris is an investigator we found about a month ago, who we met on the street. When we talked with her, she expressed interest, but told us that her daughter was having a baby, and it was a bit of a stressful time for her. So we asked if we could come by sometime later in the middle of October, and she said yes! So we did! And within the first lesson we had with her, the spirit was felt, we invited her to be baptised, and she accepted! Not only that, but she also accepted to read the book of mormon everyday, pray about it, and come to church, all of which she has done thus far,and has thoughoughly enjoyed! She actually stated over the phone last night that, quote, ''Since that first day that you've been coming to my house Ive just been feeling happier and happier!'' Ah. Talk about a blessing from the Lord. We, as missionaries LOVE people like Chris. Ya know, people who keep their commitments, are excited about reading the book of mormon, and really enjoy coming to church. Those kinda people are amazing :) So Elder Brewerton and I have been saying many prayers of thankfulness for the opportunity to be teaching Chris, as we continue to pray for her progression :)
Also! I dont have much time, so Im going to make this last part a bit brief... We finally did it!!! We finally knocked the very same street that Billy Elliott danced on! Even his very house! Ha ha I even got some pictures of my dancin on his street as well... See the last two pictures :) From what the locals have said, nobody knows what happened to Billy, just that he up and left several decades ago ha ha. If you dont really know what Im talking about, see some of my earlier emails about the film and broadway musical ''Billy Elliot''. The filming spots and story location are in the area of Peterlee in an old coal town named Easington.
Oh yeah, and that other picture, of the moon? Oh yeah, this was something that literally took my breath away, and I just had to take a picture :) This was a pic of Friday night, with the reflection of the moon against the North Sea. I love the moon :) (c)
Anyway, wish me luck this week! It should be a great one!
Elder Gabriel G. Spencer
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Hope yall have been havin a great week!
This past week was yet another transfer week! Elder Brewerton and I are staying together for another 6 weeks, and most of the district are staying the same as well. We've also recieved a chinese-speaking missionary in the Middlesbrough area in the district, because of the large number of chinese students getting baptised there :) His name is Elder Patterson, and he's from Minnesota. He spent 2 months in the MTC and come out knowing an incredible amount of Chinese (which really helps when Im giving a baptismal interview to a chinese student and I get to some difficult words, I can shout over to him in the other room and he can yell the translation back. I gave another chinese student, Sadie, an interview, which she passed and is ready to be baptised this upcoming friday in Middlesbrough!
On Saturday we had District Leader Council, a meeting where all of the district leaders in the Zone get together with the Zone leaders and discuss different matters and things that would ultimately improve the individual areas within the districts. About an hour or so before, however, Elder Gravallese was to take his driving test to get his british license before his year mark (which is something I'll be doing within the next few weeks or so). Normally, Elder Gravallese and his companion give me and Elder Brewerton a lift to these meetings so that we wont have to spend money on the bus. During his test, however, Elder Gravallese ran over half of a 9-iron golf club, which pierced his tire. So, we spent the next few hours at a car garage, waiting to get new tires for the car. After it was all fininshed, the car was fine, we continues on to the meeting, and Elder Gravallese will have to take his test again, hopefully not having to spend the £70 fee to do it ha ha.
Well, this next week, the weather is set to get much colder. Wet, windy rain is forcasted to hit, and its not much better living right on the coast for it as well... but oh well! I have a nice warm coat, some thermals, some gloves, and some very warm earmuffs I got in the mail last year (c) so I am ready for winter!!! (I hope ha ha)
The branch members in this area really love us, and are more than willing to feed us, which is very nice. LIke the Duncanson family, for instance. We were walking to an appointment last week, and as we walked past their house Sister Duncanson came out and shouted ''Elders!! Have you eaten?'' Unfortunately, we had just barely had a quick tea at our flat about 30 before. After we told her we had, she responded with ''Okay... Well what about tomorrow?'' Ah. We just felt so loved :) Things like this just make you feel happy to be a missionary :)
So, its about time that I sign off, but thank you for all of your prayers! And please, keep them coming! We really can feel your prayers helping us... and we need all of the help we can get!
Elder Gabriel G. Spencer
PS Sorry no pictures this week, I didnt do a very good job of getting my camera out. But I will this week!
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED this week! So I'm going to try to fit it all into one tiny email, but your gonna have to try and keep up... so get ready... GO!
First off, one of my most memorable and favourite P-days took place this previous Monday. One of our investigator families, the Millers, offered to take us to see the majestic Durham Cathedral on our day off, and Elder Brewerton and I got special permission from President Lindley to travel outside of our zone to go see it. It was AMAZING! One of the most spectacular and beautiful structures I have ever seen in my life! We toured this catholic cathedral, which celebrated its 1000th birthday just last year, and looked at the many tombs and shrines that were scattered throughout the building (we weren't allowed to take any pictures of the inside of the building, kinda like with our temple open-house thingy) But one of my most favourite parts of the tour was where they actually filmed several scenes from the Harry Potter films within its walls. Inside the great hall, was literally, the great hall of Hogwarts (ya know, where they eat the food, do the house sorting thing, etc.) and outside was the courtyard, where they filmed a few other scenes (this was something I was actually able to take pictures of, see epic pic #1 and 2) After we toured most of the cathedral, we then had the option to climb the high tower of the building and see the sights for a small fee (which we did) and the views of the valley/city were breathtaking! We picked a wonderful bright and sunny day to go as well, which simply added to the splendour. Definitely something I wont easily forget ;)
Next! I just know that each of you will be pleasantly surprised when I say...
See? Told ya so :)
On this past Wednesday, I had the privilege of baptising the recently confirmed Jon Smith! I have the opportunity of interviewing Jon as a baptismal candidate a week earlier for the sister missionaries in the Redcar area. After the interview, he said that he felt I was a really sincere person, and he asked if I would baptise him! I delightfully agreed, and a week later the spirit filled the whole building as Jon entered into his first covenant with the Lord :) (See Pic #3)
Next! Are you keeping up?
Next! Almost a year since we had first met, I was finally, once again serving alongside the Great Elder Gravallese!!! For those of you who don't know, Elder Gravallese and I served together as companions while being trained at the England MTC, and he is now serving as my Zone Leader! We had so much fun :) We talked about old times, new times, and I got to drive the Zone Leader's car for the day! Ha ha :) I really respect Elder Gravallese, and I am very thankful for the lessons he has taught me :) (see pic #4)
And then!!! General Conference happened! Elder Brewerton and I were blessed to have been able to was most of the Saturday sessions, (half of which were inside investigators homes on their laptops) Ah, I took down so many notes, and from which have made goals for how I would like to improve over these next 6 months! Its absolutely crazy to think that a year ago from this weekend, I was watching conference live, on the tele, as well as on the internet :) Last October's Sunday sessions still stand as my favourite of all time :) I loved it! (c) Ah, I love conference! And our investigators enjoyed it as well :)
Okey doke, last one!
In lieu of last week's attempts to achieve Standards of Excellence (we were SO close, we needed one more investigator at church) Elder Brewerton and I decided to reaffirm our dedication to achieve this goal, despite the circumstances of our tiny area. So we pushed hard... and did our best... and Sunday came... and even with our best efforts, we still needed two days worth of lessons, in half a days time. Things were looking grim. I was sitting in the Millers home as we were watching the Sunday morning session, and I asked myself what else we could have done... and then it hit me! We have two priesthood holders who were available after conference to go on splits with, and that's what we did! After conference had ended, we had two hours left until we had to be in, so we set up a game plan as to who we could see, and how long we would spend there. And by the grace of our heavenly father, we were so blessed to get the necessary lessons to achieve STANDARDS for the first time in Peterlee in quite literally several years!!! Also, it was Elder Brewerton's first time as well, the first of many, I might add :)
So, in conclusion, it was quite an eventful week, and now my hands are tired of the typing, but they are happy to type such great miracles! Thank you so much for your prayers (please keep them up) and we will continue to labor dilligently in the vinyard of the Master!
Elder Gabriel G. Spencer
PS we had a district meeting yesterday, and here is a picture of my whole district, minus Elder and Sister Shurtz (the Senior couple)
See pic #5