Welcome to the rise of the House of York!
That's what we're calling the zone now :) Its a historical name, going back to the War of the Roses, a medieval war where the House of York defeated the House of Lancaster and won the kingship of England.
Last week, Elder Stettler and I met with the entire York Zone, and had a meeting, where we instructed them that we had both felt very strongly that every team of missionaries in the zone would experience finding a new investigator and scheduling this person for baptism, and we challenged them to find these people... And as of last Saturday every team in the zone had scheduled someone new, and by the end of the week the Zone had tripled the number of people with a baptismal date from last week! What a miracle! The entire zone was bursting with excitement, and we are all very excited to see what this next week holds! :)
We also had Zone Conference on my birthday (Feb 14) and I received a package from my family on the day, right after the meeting :) At the Zone Conference, we were honoured to have President and Sister Walker, of the new England MTC presidency come and speak on expectations, love, and diligence we should have as missionaries. I learned a lot and took down quite a few notes. I also performed a musical number with a small group of missionaries for the conference. We sang Love is Spoken Here, but with altered lyrics to fit the theme of the meeting that Sister Lindley had wrote. It all went well :) I was asked to send out an answerphone message to all of the missionaries who would be singing the day before so that they would know how the song goes with the new words, and so me and a sister missionary sent that out last Monday. She was pretty good. I was a bit rusty :-/ But oh well!
Also within this past week, I went on my first exchange as a zone leader! I worked in the Pontefract area for about 2 days with Elder Tombs, from Texas. We had tons of fun! And we were able to schedule someone new for baptism, named rose, and rose came to church yesterday and absolutely loved it! We also had a couple tea appointments to attend, one with a recently baptised sister named Joan, who is quite an amazing chef! We had our main meal, which was some of the most delicious healthy food Ive ever had in my life (stir fry with fresh salmon) followed by probably one of the greatest desserts Ive ever had on my mission. It was a personal assortment of chocolate fondue treats, complete with melted dairy-milk chocolate! It was literally, a party in my mouth :) See first picture.
The following day Elder Stettler and I traveled a full 2 hour trip (there and back) to Scarborough, a city on the English coast, to perform a baptismal interview for one of the district leaders. One of the many tasks of a Zone Leader. All in a day's work! Which reminds me... We have a car here! I love it! Its soooooo nice, I almost feel spoiled ha ha :) See second picture.
One more thing before I go! So the sacrament time for York 1 Ward is at 1pm, which means Elder Stettler and I have a whole Sunday morning to do stuff, which is pretty rare to have here in the mission. So what did we decide to do? We went to the York Minster for church :) Its HUUUGE! And magnificently built... And we also found out that the queen will bit visiting in about 2 months to do a ''Maundy'' which basically means the queen will be throwing out money to those around. Dibs! Ha ha we'll see if we can make it during our lunch time I think ;) Anyway, for a view of the Minster, see third and fourth picture :)
Well, I'm off! Thank you all for your much support and prayers! They are definitely needed!
Elder Gabriel G. Spencer
PS Extra special thanks to Karstin Lake, who unfailingly continues to update my blog (eldergabrielspencer.blogspot.com) Cheers!