Dear Family and Friends,
Things are going well and we are very busy. I thought that I would write on Sunday afternoon and then it slid to Monday. Now it is Tuesday evening for this week!!
Sundays are so busy and so very good. We are meeting the most wonderful people! Some very humble, others financially well-to-do. Some are brilliant, others have great challenges, most very hard working, all trying to figure out life, most are happy.
Mondays are getting very busy as well. We prepare for Family Home Evening at our house by getting games ready, fixing food, trying to follow a US recipe using UK products and measurements, prayerfully preparing a lesson, etc. Tuesday has become our Preparation Day. We are very thankful for our nice little dryer that does a great job. Unlike the US dryers, the clothes do not come out hot but just warm but still dry. Anyway..... Here was our week!
Monday Sept 19 we rode our bikes for exercise. We love our old squeaky mountain bikes! Seriously, I have never heard louder squeals from brakes anywhere and that is even after we replaced the brake pads. We came home and started to make bread using a Camie and Ben recipe. Very easy! But for other things, I am glad we have two small grocery stores within a 5 minute walk. The bread was great! We had the Young Missionary Sisters over for dinner and then they did some of their paper work and phone calling while we prepared for FHE.
When the Young Adults arrived we played games, ate popcorn and fresh bread with peanut butter and honey. All four missionaries where there for a short time. Dan and Katie stayed until after 10pm just visiting with us. Dan is a great guy who rides the scooter. He is the only member of the church in his family and comes from a Jewish background. He is going to fix us some Jewish treats in two weeks. Katie is a returned missionary who is just bubbly and great fun! We really enjoy them.
Tuesday, we walked uptown to High Street to the NatWest bank branch for an appointment. We succeeded in getting a UK Bank Account and a Debit Card! Yippee!! It is a little crazy because you cannot get a bank account without a verified address and utility bills in your name. You cannot rent (let) a home or sign up for utilities without a bank account. So round and round they go. Since the home and utilities are in the church's name, it was a challenge for us. They finally accepted our Internet contract as a utility bill and gave us the account. Mom found a kitchen store like Williams and Sonoma back in Utah. She was so excited! On the way home we walked to the Watford FC (Football Club) stadium. Later we made our weekly trip to Costco getting refreshments for tomorrows YSA Institute registration. Dad spent quite a bit of time working on a proposal for the stake. We are setting up to coordinate the stake YSA program.
Wednesday, we enjoyed a longer than usual bike ride along the Canal. We passed several locks and lots of house boats. The are very narrow and very long. We met with out YSA students for Institute that evening. Kids from only two wards out of five arrived. We had our scheduled meeting with the Stake Presidency after Institute. They are awesome! They accepted our suggestions and proposal which made us thankful and excited. They started a second Institute class in Wembley for the three wards that are closer in toward London. That will be a real blessing for those wards! We were directed to spend most of our efforts in those three wards. After the meeting, we met with the YSA and played games.
Thursday, we were off to London on the Tube to the British Museum. They had a special exhibit about two Egyptian cities that were buried in the sea when the ground settled. The ruins were really neat and showed a heavy Greek presence in Egypt. We next zoomed off for a tour of the High Gate cemetery. What an adventure!! It all looked like Disney's Haunted house for real. Lead caskets bulging at the seams, above and below ground burials, Great trees and vines growing everywhere! Very strange headstones none of which were level. We learned about grave robbers, strange customs, disease around the church burial yards, etc. etc. We saw the tomb of Karl Marx. Next off to Covent Gardens for an English meat pie. I really like those! Back to the Tube for the ride home. It costs us about $15 each for the Tube for the day.
Friday, we decided to drive down to Canterbury to see the Cathedral. They welcomed us inside for free because we were clergy. BEAUTIFUL building! WOW. It has been a christian church since 497 AD. Each end of the building is a different style but beautiful! Learned the story of Thomas Becker. The building is like the Vatican for the Church of England. Great Stained glass windows. We caught a walking tour of Canterbury and learned a bunch! Lots of damage in WWII since they are close to Dover and the east coast. We saw some fun leaning buildings and unique construction. A three story house would have each upper story larger than the one below it. Very fun. I want to go back and do some more exploring. We found a great restaurant recommended by Rick Steves and had some great meat pies!!
Saturday we wanted to try out a possible YSA adventure so we took the tube into Hyde Park and rented bikes. We rode on every trail that will allow bikes in Hyde Park. We saw it ALL including the lakes, (with a swimming race going on), fountains, Kensington Palace, horse paths, Prince Albert's gold statue, and lots of open space. Very fun.
Sunday, we visited Hayes Ward. A very unique two story building on a very small lot. They have a two level parking garage that covers every inch of the back property. We visited Primary and visited with their YSA. Wonderful humble ward. They had a munch and mingle after church for everyone. Good soup, great people! We had met some of the people at other events so it was good to see them again. That evening we went to the Watford Stake center to see a rebroadcast of the General Women's conference. It was great!! The messages were spot on for today's challenges. We visited with the sisters and really enjoyed the evening. Dad was the ONLY man in the meeting. We ate some great cakes including carrot cake and Mandarin Orange cakes. We were stuffed!
We are spending lots of time on the computer, setting up events, working on agendas, communicating with members, and just checking in. We are scheduled into November for YSA events each week. Fun!!
May the Lord Bless you and Keep you Safe. I agree with Parker's scripture for the week. Jacob 4:10. Check it out.
Love you all very much!
Dad and Mom