Monday, September 24, 2012

Week 102: Exchanges, Taxi Driver, and BBQ!

Hello everybody!

Life is just going swimmingly over here in England (to quote my companion)! A couple of weeks ago in the mission we had something called Sister's Specialised Training where all 24 of the sister missionaries travelled for a 2 day experience of instruction (and some fun) from President and Sister Lindley! And why were we involved, you may ask? Well, lets just say apart from sorting out all travel arrangements and housing accommodations, we were also a volunteer taxi service from the mission home to their accommodations for the night, and back! So that's what we did :) It was pretty weird though... Elder Page and I had to take two cars each... and both of our cars (actually, I drove the huge van) were completely full. Lets just say once it was over we were much happier ha ha :)

Lets see... What else has been going on in my life... Oh yes! This transfer I've made it a goal to go on 6 exchanges with the younger missionary teams in the mission within the 6 weeks of the transfer! So far we've done quite a bit of work in those areas... This past week we went on exchange in the south, in a place called Grimsby (once known for its sea port and the lingering smell of fish). And we saw TONS of miracles! We found many new investigators for the missionaries to teach! I went with Elder Pollock, and here's one of the great things that happened... We started our exchange, and left the flat with tons of proselyting materials in hand, ready to pass out. We started walking down this street and within literally 2 minutes I get a faint feeling to knock the door directly to my right. So we did, and a man about 40 or so opened the door, and immediately motioned for us to come in!  He had several questions for us, including 'Why are there so many different churches out there, all with different opinions?" What a great question to start out with! We tied the answer into teaching him the first lesson, which is the restoration, with an added emphasis on teaching the great apostasy. Afterwards he asked another great question... "Why does God allow bad stuff to happen to good people?" Another inspired question. And one that is a perfect set up for teaching lesson to to our new friend. But that wasn't even the icing on the cake yet. After leaving the appointment, Elder Pollock told me that they had met that guy a couple of weeks before and had gotten his contact info, but had somehow lost it and had no way of finding where he lived or getting on contact with him! Talk about a miracle! That was just one of the great things that happened while we were on exchange with some of the teams this past week. What a joy it was to work with new missionaries and to see the strengths they already have, and their hunger for learning!

What else... what else... hmm...  Oh yes! Can I just take a second to say how blessed we are over here to have President and Sister Lindley in the mission? They are such a joy to be around!  The other day, we get a call from President asking us if we have a tea appointment for a night a bit later in the week, and then he invites us over to tea at his house! And what does he fix for Elder Page and I??? Steak!!! Not just the puny, lean english steak, the proper imported stuff that you can only get from the American super store of costco! (Yes, they have costco over here) And So we had a BBQ with President and Sister Lindley at their house. It was a proper good time, and the meat was superb! (See first pic!)

Elder Page and I drove down to the very southern most part of the mission on Wednesday, Mansfield, to pick something up for President, and on our way back to Leeds we travelled through some of the most beautiful English terrain I have ever seen! And what a beautiful day to go through it as well! Check out pic #2!

Around that time, we also were able to do some service at the priesthood service activity held once a month.The picture shows all of the members of the priesthood who attended, except for the one who was taking the picture ha ha. Its a good thing the four missionaries in the ward were able to go! It was fun though, and a nice change of scene :) See third pic.

Well that's about all I think to report on so far... (I promise there are many more things I could talk about, its just that I don't have as much time as I'd like :-/)

Elder Gabriel G. Spencer

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Week 100: New Transfer!

Hello everyone!
Its been a BIG couple of weeks for us, and there have been quite a few changes taking place in the mission! Elder Woodside is no longer among us (he's gone home), we've had an increase of 20 new missionaries coming into the field, and I have a new companion! Where to begin, where to begin... In no particular order, here it goes!

Last transfer was jam-packed with picking up new missionaries, P-days with President Lindley, and sending off/picking up more missionaries!
For instance, halfway through the transfer Elder Woodside and I picked up a couple of foreign missionaries, one from Romania and the other from France. President Lindley was tied up with a prior commitment, and so he left it to us to drive down to the Preston MTC and pick them up! We got them, and they were so excited to finally get out into the work! We were equally as excited for them (at least, i think so). President had a few hours until he was available, and so after we got them to the mission we got them straight to work! I went with Elder Simon (Romania) and Elder Woodside went with Elder Legay (France) and we split off into our area. Within the space of the 3 hours we had to work, we saw more results than some teams in the mission do in a week. Elder Simon and I went street contacting and got in doors on two separate occasions, found three new investigators and set a baptismal date with two of them, and Elder Woodside and Legay got in doors with a large family and found two and scheduled two! Overall, we found five new investigators and scheduled four of them! Needless to say, we were all pretty stoked :)
I'll attach the first picture of the one we took with these two new Elders when we picked them up from the MTC.

The next week, President and Sister Lindley invited us to go with them to the Beamish Museum, which is a village in the north that has been preserved since the 1910s. A few of the exhibits are of earlier time periods. Most of it was pretty interesting, especially the inactive Masonic Hall (with which President described much of the symbolism to) and the old mine (which height of the ceiling measured out to be 4.25 feet, see second attached photo)

Then transfer night happened, and we had the meeting with the departing missionaries which unfortunately included my good friend and companion Elder Woodside. A few days previous to the transfer day we had bought what some call a 'unity' tie for the two of us and president. All three of us coordinated to wear this on the transfer day, and thankfully, President really liked his surprise gift from us. Check out the third pic :)
Next! New companion! Elder Woodside has finished his mission, and is now in Maine with his family enjoying the land of eternal P-days... And I have a new companion! Elder Page from Essex, England! My first English companion! And so far we've been having a blast!

This last pic includes a picture of Elder Page and I standing outside of the Preston Temple on our first day serving as companions.

Well, I think that's about it as major events go... Other than that my life includes preparing mission wide meetings, going to far-reaching ends of the mission and working alongside other missionaries to learn from them and give them a boost, and carrying out assignments from President! I hope you enjoyed the pictures, and thanks for reading!


Elder Gabriel G. Spencer


Elder Gabriel Spencer is an AP, or assistant to the president. Not only that, he is a senior AP... which means he's super busy and doing many amazing things with his life. In the past couple of weeks, that has not included writing emails to the people that love him over here. That's okay though! He's serving the Lord! I just wanted everyone to be updated. So if you're reading this, consider yourself updated, and then write Gabriel a letter! He comes home in 32 days so you still have time!!! The address is on the side bar :) Have a lovely Sunday!