Hello Family and Friends!
We have had a great week and are excited to be in England. We so much enjoy working with the Missionaries and meeting the people of Watford. We have met several neighbors who are very nice and helpful. Our neighborhood is very cultural diverse and very interesting. We have a very nice couple living next door! They own the home and are making their yard the nicest in England!
Mom is doing very well driving. Parking is still a challenge with driving on the left side and having the parking places half the size of those in the US.
There is what our week looked like.
Monday, Sister Park (a Senior Missionary) told me how to put the SIM card from my church phone into our iPhone. We did it just like she told us and it worked! Excellent!! Just England phone calls and text but that is nice. We can still do data on WIFI. We also cleaned our house that day.
Tuesday, Yoga at 6:30am, walked to the park, and made Brownies for the missionaries. We then attended District Meeting in Aylesbury with eight missionaries. They loved the brownies! The Elders provided lunch and it was very creative! They had a portable BBQ and cooked pineapple and watermelon. It was interesting to eat BBQ watermelon.. Not bad. They also had pasta but we talked them out of putting that on the BBQ too. The Elders and Sisters are fun and amazing!
We next traveled to a large Manor in the area but it was closed so we will return another time. We did find a great Windmill in Brill that was amazing. At that point we were on the Western border of the Mission. The countryside was beautiful.
Wednesday, Yoga again and a walk. We ran into one of our YSA kids as she just left her house on her way to work. We explored the area and found a neat Methodist church who had a charity shop (like the Utah Deseret Industries only very small). I am glad that they do what they can to help families in the area.
Sister Jackson and Sister Wallace came to visit us. They are Senior Sisters serving in Wembley. They were very helpful and gave us some great insights into how the kids live in England.
We had an appointment with the bank to set up an account but they did not accept our documents. They want a utility bill but we don't have one yet and when we do it will not be in our names. Oh well. dad will work on it.
We found a neat app called Maps.me It downloads maps to your phone or iPad and then shows where you are located without being connected to cell service. Very nice like a mini GPS.
It was a very sunny day so we did tons of laundry and hung them out to dry. It started to rain so we brought in all in the house. Everything takes so much time.
Thursday, Yoga and a walk again early this morning. We walked to the center of town, the mall, and shopping plaza. We got some passport pictures taken to British standards with the hope of using them on a bus pass. We checked with several people about the pass and everyone sent us to someone else who was located someplace else. Finally we learned that our neighborhood is outside the London city limits so we do not qualify.
Sending a simple FAX turned out to be a major pain. Nothing worked but everyone smiled. Again, everything takes forever!
Brad and Vicki Jackman came to visit from Cambridge. It was so good to see them. A little bit of home. Their assignment is different than ours but their visit and insights were so helpful. They are awesome. We will go visit them mid-September. We agreed to go to a London play once a month with them.
Friday, We got up early and drove about two hours to Dover on the East coast of England. It was a long but pleasant drive on the expressways. Dover has been an important spot for England for thousands of years. France can be seen 22 miles away across the channel.
The White cliffs of Dover were named after the tall chalk cliffs that cover the sea shore. Dover is a great natural harbor so every army who wants to try to conquer England decides to start in Dover.
The Romans build a beautiful stone lighthouse on the cliff in 34AD. They burned wet wood in the daytime (for smoke) and dry wood at night (for light). The people added a church to the lighthouse after the Romans left. In about 1100 AD King Henry II decided this would be a great place for a castle so he built a beautiful castle with towers, drawbridges, and all the trimmings. It was magnificent!
The castle was used, updated, more walls added, and guns added continually until after World War II. The early Romans build some tunnels in the chalk to travel hidden from one part to another. In WWI, they added more tunnels and used them to store ammunition and men.
At the beginning of WWII, Germany pushed the French and Allied soldiers to the sea just across from Dover. The British mobilized the locals as well as all their forces and ferried almost 400,000 troops to Dover in just 10 days while under heavy fire from the Germans. The tunnels provided protection and hospital services since the long range guns could reach Dover from France.
We took a long walk along the tops of the cliffs and enjoyed the views.
On the way back we enjoyed a great piece of carrot cake Gluten Free. It was awesome!. Our drive home was uneventful and we were very tired by the time we returned.
Saturday, We visited a local farm/zoo/fishing pond. It was very interesting with many unusual animals. It is only open to the public for 5 or 6 days a year. School groups can schedule it and others but not the public. It was very nice. Lots of pheasants, parrots, quail, miniature horses and donkeys, deer, goats, raccoons, turtles, flamingos, etc. etc. We ate fresh grilled cheeseburgers!.
Tomorrow we will visit the Wembley ward and meet with their leaders. We have an appointment for lunch with their Young Adults.
Things are Awesome!
We send our Love,
Clark and Joyce, Mom and Dad, Grandpa and Grandma, Educator and Artist, Elder and Sister Baron