That's right, folks!! (see subject line)
This blessed area, otherwise known as 'Zions cousin', has once again added another member to the fold!!
On Saturday, December 10th, 2011 our good friend Kitty (14) entered into the waters of baptism!
Kitty was actually referred by her mother, Honour, who was originally found street contacting by Elder Brewerton! A nice interesting fact as well, Kitty was taught for the first time on Elder Brewerton's last night in Peterlee, where she was scheduled to be baptised on the above date! Ha ha I'm sure Elder Brewerton will be so stoked to hear that Kitty was baptised :) The service was unlike any other Ive experienced... Elder Smith and I arrived at the chapel about 3 hours before the service to prepare and the building mechanic/rep Brother Richardson had already been there for quite some time and informed us of some bad news... ''The water boiler is out'' This did not sound good to us at all. Especially with the fact that it was FREEZING COLD outside, and the water would be coming from underground, which would make it even colder. So, since I was the one performing the baptism, the tough side of me said ''Man-up! Its just a little cold water! Whats a little cold water compared to having Kitty enter into her first covenant?? Besides, back in the old days, that's how cold it used to be anyway.'' So, after exhausting all other options, we began to fill the font with unheated water (although we were also pouring pots of boiling water into the huge font, hoping it would take the edge off). After the water rose to about the first step, I dipped my hand in to feel how cold it would really be...
It felt like instant hypothermia. No joke. It was freezing cold. I was later told that the water itself was actually colder than the North Sea. So what did I do? I went straight to the phone and called up the Hartlepool missionaries (the neighbouring branch building) and asked them to start filling up their font ha ha. So, that night, we had the whole of the baptismal program at the Peterlee chapel, and then for the actual ordinance, we all took a 15 minute drive over to Hartlepool and performed the baptism! It went perfect, and Kitty was confirmed the following day :)
Other amazing thing that happened!
On Tuesday, the north zones met up at the billingham chapel for a specialized training meeting with President Lindley and the Assistants. We were instructed on several ways of being a bold missionary. These words inspired me, and by the end of the meeting, I was stoked and ready to get back and get the ball rolling! It just so happened that after we had gotten back, our first appointment was with Kyle, one of our investigators who regularly attends the Salvation Army Church. We had heard rumors that his grandparents were Salvation Army officers, specifically with the rank of Major (the bishop/branch president equivalent) when kyle opened the door, his grandfather Michael approached the door and talked with us for a bit. Eventually he let us in and we began discussing our religions. We found out that he was, in fact, the clergyman in charge of the Peterlee church and also that he had studied the LDS church while he was at university. We then asked him the big question ''While you were studying, did you have the opportunity of reading the Book of Mormon, and then asking God if the book was true?'' He informed us that he had read the book, however he stated that he did not feel there was a need to pray about the book itself. Now, going back to what we had learned from specialized training, President Lindley instructed us that at the end of each first lesson, we are to invite the head of the household to offer a kneeling prayer. So, with Michael, that's exactly what we did. It was a bit uncomfortable, but we invited him. After the head of the household accepts, we then are to tell them to ask specifically if the Book of Mormon was true. We did this as well. So Michael prayed (a most beautiful and sincere prayer) but FORGOT TO ASK THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION!! Now when this happens, President Lindley instructed us that we are to congratulate the prayer on a job well done, but then to invite them to pray again, specifically asking the question ''Is the Book of Mormon true'' Now this was one of the toughest, most intimidating things of my mission experience (it sounds simple, but in reality, its not) after he had finished his first prayer, I took a deep breath and said ''Thank you very much for that prayer Michael. That was wonderful. Now, if you could say one more prayer, this time asking Heavenly Father if the Book of Mormon is true, that would be great. Go ahead.'' And Elder Smith and I bowed our heads, closed our eyes, and waited for him to start. To our relief he did start, and this time he asked ''Father, is the Book of Mormon true?'' At that exact moment, the Spirit bore witness to me that the Book of Mormon was true, and that Joseph Smith is in fact the prophet of the restoration. Inexpressible joy filled my heart and the feeling of God's love pierced my soul as if Heavenly Father in his own way was telling me, his servant in the vineyard, ''well done''. I will never forget that moment :) As we were leaving, Michael invited us to attend the Sunday night service at his church, and we accepted. On Sunday we attended, and afterward were given a tour of their chapel :) I will forever be grateful for the witnesses of the spirit in my life :)
I know that God answers prayers, andI know that God loves me :) He loves all of us!
Also this week, we went caroling as a zone in Middlesbrough City Centre! It was fun! A bit cold, but we enjoyed it :)
Now I'm off to P-day! Elder Smith and I, along with the missionaries in the surrounding areas, are checking out some famous sea caves on the coast of Peterlee today! Its gonna be fun! :)
For those of you at BYU, good luck on your exams! (c)
Ha ha I cant say in jealous ;)
Elder Gabriel G. Spencer
PS After receiving several donations from the local branch (and lights from the Miller family) our Christmas tree is totally decked out! Check out the last pic!