Once again, (though it is rare) the weather is simply beautiful over here in Northern England!
It was a more than wonderful experience yesterday when I was able to skype my loved ones :) The time was a bit more limited, but it was amazing nonetheless!
This past week was absolutely FILLED with adventures everyday! Monday was ''get to know the new zone'' P-day, where everyone met up and we played sports/watched a couple films. Immediately following P-day, we began our first exchange with the Elders directly south of our area, in Gateshead. Gateshead is kinda known in the mission as the ''Jew capitol of England'' There were Jews everywhere! It was amazing! We walked up one street in particular (the high street) and it literally felt as though we had walked into a different country. They don't really talk to us missionaries though. They're really nice people, like they say hi back and stuff, but its way difficult to strike up a conversation with them :-/ But anyway!
So the exchange was fun, it ended at district meeting on Wednesday, which was also quite enjoyable. Thursday came, and we were excited to attend another monthly Zone Leader council. This one was very inspiring, and we had the opportunity to receive instruction from President's son, David. It was great to catch up with the other zone leaders and to see how the mission is doing as a whole, and wonderfully enough, its doing quite well! The England Leeds mission still stands as one of the most productive missions in all of Europe! And in my opinion, it is the best :) (see first picture)
Friday came, and we spent a bit of our extra time outlining a speech that both Elder Burt and I have been invited to give at Newcastle University. Elder Burt is speaking on the life and schedule of a missionary, and I will be speaking on ''A History of God's Dealings with Man.'' Thankfully, the speeches only need to be about 7 minutes long, but still its quite intimidating. We're excited though! Expect more details and a full report next week.
Saturday came, and Elder Burt and I held another ''District Leader Specialized Training'' meeting for all of the district leaders in the zone. This was another great opportunity to meet up and get to know the district leaders here in the zone. Also, on Saturday night, we went over to an investigators' house and celebrated their birthday! Emma, one of the Chinese students, turned 24 this past weekend, and had to celebrate the way chinese celebrate best, with food!!! Yeah! Most of the food was... Interesting. But we were all more than full by then end of it. (see second picture) And cooked cashews are amazing!
Then Sunday came, and we were blessed to be able to skype our families back home. I can't believe its come so fast... but that was the final time I would talk with my family from England! Ahhh! I have SO MUCH LEFT TO DO! Please pray for me to be guided to do the things I need to do here in the sunderland zone... Because Ive got a feeling that says that through these last few months... I'm going to need as much help as I can get to get the most out of my mission!
Elder Gabriel G. Spencer
P.S. Here are some more pictures, as promised!
Pic #4: Elder Pass and I at the transfer meeting, the day before he flew home to California.