Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!
This past week was fantastic! We had a great P-Day, a powerful district meeting, all complete with a...
Peterlee was once again blessed, for the second week in a row, with another addition to the Branch family!
This time, Norman, a VERY long-term investigator, finally took the plunge ;) Norman was originally referred to us by a member during our first week here in Peterlee. He has been coming to church on and off for about 10 years (according to himself) and finally felt ready to make the commitment. A little bit about Norman's history, Norman was one of the strongest of strong roman catholics, in fact, if you would have looked at him a few years ago, you would have said there was no way that he would even thing about joining the church! Norman has met the pope about 3 times, and used to personally work with Mother Theresa of Calcutta for many years. He often speaks of his friendship with her, and the advice and wisdom she gave. But overtime, he began to see flaws within the church he was a part of, and this caused him to seek elsewhere for truth... Which is why he decided to pray about Joseph Smith, and find out for sure if the message of the restoration was true. He received his answer, and although many people said it wouldn't happen, on December 17th, 2011 Norman entered into the waters of baptism, and made that covenant with his Heavenly Father! He was confirmed the following day :) Ah, how happy the branch was that he finally made that step! (Most of them considered him a member of the branch anyway) He was so happy, and he even finished off his baptismal service sharing his very own testimony :) (See first picture, he's the older one on the left) Norman was baptised by his very good friend, Paul, who was absolutely key to Norman's baptism. (Nevermind the funky moustache)
Now, what else!
District meeting was this past Wednesday, and boy was it an experience! I had originally prepared my district meeting with some scriptures in mind, but all throughout my preparation, it just didn't seem to click, ya know. Anyway, long story short. As we were waiting for our bus to take us to the meeting (which would be about a 40 minute bus ride) I began reading the Book of Mormon, hoping to gain added insights into what I was going to give instruction on. All of the sudden, my mind took off! I started reading in Alma 17, and so many new ideas and concepts flew through my mind and onto my notepad. I spent the next 40 minutes changing my entire lesson plan for instruction and focused on using the Christlike attributes listed in the second to last verse of D&C 4, to combat opposition in the mission field and to empower us as missionaries. I later found that with the story of Ammon in Alma 17, every single attribute was displayed by the misisonary, and as a result, he fulfilled his purpose. The lesson was one of the most powerful lessons I have ever taught, and each one of the missionaries in their testimony spoke about something that they were inspired with. I felt so humbled and thankful that the Lord opened my mind to help my district, and I am so thankful for the spirit in my life :)
Really quick, before I have to run to catch a bus, this past P-day was amazing! We invited some other missionaries and went to the coast of Peterlee in search of some caves around the area. It was fantastic! We found tons of huge caves (most of which didn't go back past 10 or 20 feet) and we even, to our surprise found a WW1 bunker that was hidden on the hills of the coast! It was so much fun and definitely one of my favourite P-days :) (See pics!)
Well, gotta go! Merry Christmas!
Elder Gabriel G Spencer
PS Second picture is of the sunrise of Norman's confirmation. Your can even see the coastline!
Third picture is on me inside the bunker!
Fourth pic is of me outside one of the bigger caves :)