Who would'a thunk York would have such amazing celebrities within its ancient city walls within the same week?? Definitely an experience I will not likely forget!
Where to begin, where to begin...
Zone Meeting! Its name has officially been changed to 'Zone Specialized Training'. For those of you who don't know, Zone meeting is where all of the missionary teams in the stake (zone) meet up and are instructed by the zone leaders, have training models, etc.
If you remember last transfer's zone meeting, it included some pretty random, yet fun tools and things to use... And this one just about showed it up! Here's how it began... The night after the last zone meeting, in my personal prayers, I was thanking Heavenly Father for the success of the meeting, and how smooth and effective it was, despite it being my first one, and immediately I received a vision of what the next zone meeting's instruction needed to be on. In my mind I saw the York chapel, and all of its pews moved and switched around forming a maze... And that's exactly what we did :) So with this vision in mind, Elder Horner and I discussed how we could adapt that idea to focus on helping the needs of the teams in the zone. We came up with this: Revelation through the Holy Ghost. We were blessed to have the assistants to the president attending, and we asked if they would help us out by playing the role of investigators out on the street. One member of the companionship was blind folded, and told that they would be the missionary sent to find as many potential investigators as possible will moving through the maze, and the other was given a piece of paper with instructions and told that they would be playing the part of God. God was there to help the missionary, but only if the missionary asked a specific question about anything and everything! The maze and investigators proved to be both challenging and instructive, and the missionaries that asked got for directions and for what the needs of the investigators were were the most successful :) I SO wish I took a picture of the maze in the chapel, but unfortunately, pictures aren't allowed in the chapel :-/ But good memories anyway!
Thursday came, and there were two major events that happened... The first being the Queen of England came to the city, giving away maundy money to the public in celebration of her Diamond Jubilee (something like 40 or 50 years of being queen), and it was Zone Leader council at the mission office and home in Leeds. Sad to say, I didn't get to see the Queen, but I LOVED zone leader council! Its always so interesting, so revelatory... It was great :) See first picture!
After on Saturday, the city was also graced to have hosted the world famous Osmond Family*! *Donny and Marie not included
And wait, the Osmonds are members of the church, aren't they? And if they have a performance that ends late Saturday night that means they'd have church the next morning! And they did! I got to have a nice chat with a nice guy called Jimmy Osmond :) He asked me where I was from and I said 'Sandy, Utah!' and he said 'Really? Ha ha I know that place really well...' (I'm pretty sure I have a friend who lives in Sandy who has the part of the Osmond family in their ward) So, before he left sacrament (5 minutes early to be exact) I managed to get his autograph in my missionary planner ha ha! See second photo :) The funny part was, it wasn't even my ward! It was York 2 sacrament service that he attended, and I just happened to be out in the corridor when he went to check if his driver had arrived :) Fun story to tell, huh?
One of the other events of this past week includes turning over a new leaf! Elder Horner and I, recognizing that we are edging closer and closer to the end of our lifetime (as missionaries, of course) decided we are improving our lifestyle, by taking our daily exercise more seriously, and eating healthier. Last week was the start of jogging in the morning, and it was jump started by the enthusiasm of our recently RM'ed ward mission leader, Brother Munzer! Yesterday morning's sleep was interrupted with a knock on the door, with Bro. Munzer ready to show us how to get the most out of our morning jog! And boy, did we ever! We ran about 3 miles that morning, including lots of hills and valleys to add to the fun :) We are also eating healthier, yesterday we bought nothing but fruits, healthy cereals, veg, breads and lean meats. So we are ready to get in shape!
Today happens to be a Tuesday, and I'm currently on exchange with Elder Paczensky, from London, England! He and his companion happen to have a gym membership and a car, which means I definitely got a great work out today! Ah, I miss working out a lot :) It was a nice feeling, I just wish I could go every morning... But nevertheless! I still was grateful to have the experience. :)
Well, my time's about up now, I hope this week is just as exciting as the last!
Elder Gabriel G. Spencer
PS To those of you who have been expecting a letter from me for the past few weeks, I apologise... Its not that I haven't written letters, its just that its so darn difficult to find a post office and some stamps to stock up on in York! But I promise I will send out all of your letters this week, so you can expect them within the next 6-8 days :) Hopefully you'll have better luck than me at replying!