Monday, June 25, 2012

Week 88: A full week of going EVERYWHERE!

Heya peeps!
Hope ya'll are enjoyin the nice sun that's happening! 
It was a great week here in the England Leeds Mission! Elder Woodside and I traveled quite a bit within the past 7 days... More than I have my entire mission! We visited 4 out of the 7 zones/stakes in the mission, and went on several exchanges with the missionaries there!  It was lots of fun, and because we were on the road, we ate TONS of fast food ha ha. But don't worry, we've picked up running in the mornings again, so that should take care of those few poor food choices last week :)
It is so much fun having the opportunity to see and work with the other missionaries in the mission, and to help them and train them on things they can do to improve their areas. But you wanna know something interesting? Going around all of these powerful servants of the Lord seems to help me see those things that I can do better even more. So not only do I get to help the other missionaries, but I also have the blessing of improving my own service and obedience to the Lord! This work is amazing!
So we started out having a P-day with president and another missionary, and we visited several of the nearby historical sites and monuments. First off, we visited Sandal Castle, a castle in Wakefield. For those of you who saw the King Henry VI Part 3 competition piece for my high school, I was standing at the location of where Richard, Duke of York was killed in battle by my character, Lord John Clifford. How neat is that?!  We also visited Wakefield Cathedral, which is oh about 700 or so years old! England has some interesting stuff, ya know ;) You should check it out sometime!
On Thursday Elder Woodside and I traveled up to the Billingham Zone, where the blessed area of Peterlee resides! At the same time, I found out that Elder Woodside had never eaten a chicken parmesan, otherwise known as a 'Parmo'. So guess what! That's exactly what we got for tea! However, we didn't have any place to eat it... So we went to Carol Winns home! Surprise! Blast from the past! Carol was quite shocked, but pleasantly surprised :) She invited us in and fixed us right up to 'getstuckin' and start eating :) Boy was it good to have a parmo again!
Sunday came, and the London 2012 Olympics haven't quite started yet, but the torch is already here and has passed though Leeds!  And we caught a glimpse of it as it was passing by us! There were SO MANY PEOPLE there to watch, but it was a great experience to witness. Bring on the games!
So there's the highlights of the week so far (in a nutshell). Hope you enjoyed it! Til next week!
Elder Gabriel G. Spencer
Elder Woodside eating his first 'Parmo' strait
from Geordie's Pizza Shop!

Us and president in front of Wakefield Cathedral

The London 2012 Olympic Flame/Torch!

The MASS of people walking back after it passed. And me :)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Week 87: Happy Father's Day!

Another great week in the England Leeds Mission over here :) Life just doesn't seem to slow down and take a breather, huh? That's okay, though... Trying to keep up keeps it interesting ha ha ;)
So! We had a very interesting week here! Elder Woodside and I was blessed to be able to do some work in our own area on Tuesday!  We spent a bit of time knocking in an area near one of our other investigators, and it wasn't long until we got in doors with Tabeth, from Zimbabwe! We were able to teach her the first lesson, and we discussed the similarities between our two faiths, as well as the key differences (prophets, book of mormon, etc). It went well, and we set up a return appointment for next week :)
Its nice to get out of the office every now and then :) Speaking of office, I thought you might wanna see what office life is like! So check out my first pick. :)
Best thing thats happened this week:
Woo-hoo! Back in Newcastle, by last area, two of our investigators Moriah and Zenobia entered into the waters of baptism!!! AND BOY WAS IT HOT!!! The younger of the sisters, Zenobia asked me to baptise her, and when we stepped into the font I couldn't help but give a bit of a quiet yelp of pain as the water was piping, almost boiling hot! Zenobia, who is 11 years old, was a trooper, and plodded on through the steaming water. After the baptism we literally ran up the stairs of the font out of the water. From the waist down, I actually looked like a tomato! Really! And my legs felt like jelly... It hurt so bad to wear my suit trousers afterward in fact, we went back to the Newcastle flat and I changed into some gym shorts for the two hour car ride back to Leeds! And my feet... Oh my goodness, ever step felt tender! Don't worry now though... Each of us who were in the water are much better now! These girls were a joy to teach, and they were found through their mother, whom we knocked into about 5 or so weeks ago while looking for people in the Lost Sheep (aka AUF) file.
On Wednesday, we celebrated Elder Woodside's 21st birthday with one of the member families here in Leeds 2! It was fun, and we just barely finished off the leftover chocolate birthday cake today! (There was a lot of it) See Third photo.
Also, on Thursday, Elder Woodside and I hosted the Zone Leader Council! It sure was different this time, while not actually being one of the zone leaders, but it was still fun to set up and participate in :) See last photo

Well, this week is also going to have several adventures that we are quite excited about! I'll be sure to take some more picture this time, as well!

Elder Gabriel G. Spencer

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Week 86: Back to the Land of My Inheritance

Heya everybody!
I'm back to Leeds! The place that I started my mission! This time, in Leeds 2!  I absolutely love Leeds :)
I'm now serving with Leeds with Elder Woodside, from Pownal, Maine!  He's been so much fun to serve with, and he is absolutely fixed on helping me become the best that I can possibly be, which I am very appreciative of!  Right now the two of us are serving together in the office, helping out the president with anything he could need.
In my new area, we had two baptisms! We witnessed the baptisms of Anja (9) and Luca (8).  They had been taught by Elder Wadsworth and Elder Woodside, and then Elder Wadsworth just barely went home on Thursday (which was an experience in itself!) and so I was here to finish off the rest of the teaching before the baptism happened on Sunday. 
So, I've got some good news and some bad news... The good news is, I've started up my habit of writing in my journal for every day!! Before, I'd be lucky if I wrote in my journal once every two weeks or once a month... So that's good :) 
The bad news is... My P-days have dramatically changed. Actually, more like non-existent. So I don't get the chance to email as much... So it looks like my weekly emails might lack a bit of meat until I start to get a hold on my new responsibilities... So please, if my emails start to get boring or very short, know that is only because I am fully enjoying the busy life of a missionary over here in England. :)
Anyways! I hope you all are doing well! Thank you for still being interested in my life, even after I've been gone for so long!
Elder Spencer 
PS I promise I'll include some pictures and some fun stories with the next week's email!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Week 85: Breaking News, from Newcastle!

Happy Diamond Jubilee, Your Majesty!
This past weekend was the celebration of Her Majesty the Queens 60th anniversary of serving on the throne, and what better ways to spend it than with
(See first picture)
That's right! Plural!  On June 2nd, 2012, our investigators Emma, a university student from China, and Zinnah, a mother of two from Liberia, both entered into the waters of baptism and were confirmed members of the church!  I really wish I had enough time to type the conversion stories of these two great people, but unfortunately, I'm at a pakistan-ish internet cafe to email, and here time is money! So I must hurry, because that is not the only big news!!! 
Sushi!!! (See second picture)
Finally, after almost two years of being without it, we found a Japanese buffet restaurant, with Sushi! And it was delicious!  And we were able to work out a discount, by inviting over 10 people to come. Ah, it was soooo good. And at the end, they had little tubs of Haagen-Dazs ice cream, included in the buffet. Yum! We liked it so much, that we took part of the sunderland zone there yesterday. They loved it as well!
And last but not least, it was transfer calls last night, and to much surprise...
I'm moving to my last area!!! Which is the blessed land of my inheritance...
I'm moving to the Leeds Zone, within specifically the Leeds 2 area. How great is that? I originally started my mission in Leeds, and now I will be finishing it in Leeds! I am so excited!!! I really feel so blessed. I am sad I'm not going to be here in Newcastle for the baptisms that will happen in a couple of weeks, but I know that Leeds is where the Lord wants me to go. So that's where I'll go!  Luckily today, in celebration of the Queen, our ward had a party and I was able to say good bye to almost everyone :) I took some pictures of the Chinese members with whom I became such good friends with :) I will miss them!  I was only in Newcastle for 5 weeks... Because it was a shorter transfer... But I am thankful for the memories, experiences, and friendships I have had here :)

SO! My new area is Leeds 2, right? Right! So that means I have a new address... But to be honest, I'm pretty sure the address is right next to the Mission office, and mail seems to get there quicker than anywhere else in the mission, so if you have any letters you're just dying to send me; [because Im sure there are plenty(c)], please send them to this address :)
Elder Gabriel G. Spencer
England Leeds Mission
Lister House, Lister Hill,
Horsforth, Leeds
England    LS18 5AZ
Also, this being my last P-day in Sunderland, we went to Alnwick (pronounced 'anneck') Castle! Which is another location of where they filmed Harry Potter! Remember the part in the first film, where Harry was having broomstick-flying lessons? Well that's where we were today! And we took some epic photos! (See Last picture) 
Wish me luck in Leeds, because like always, I'm going to need it!
Elder Gabriel G. Spencer
PS Pop quiz! Guess which of the following I have eaten in just the past week:
A) Ox Tongue
B) Chicken Feet
C) Salmon Head
D) All of the above
The answer?
D! Gross, huh? The ox tongue would have been good if it werent so darn chewy... The others were just plain gross...