Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

     Each week is so full of fun, rewarding, and interesting experiences.  Today is Tuesday and we are waiting at home for the repairman to come and fix the dishwasher (third try to get it repaired).  We are catching up on some emails and preparing for some YSA events.

    On Monday, Sept 5th we held our first Family Home Evening (FHE) with the stake young adults.  We invited the missionaries as well.  We had 10 young adults, four missionaries, and us so we had a full house.  It was a fun evening with games, treats, and a lesson on Prayer.  We played some “Minute to Win It” games and got some great participation from the YSA.  We had Aylesbury and Watford wards represented.  The Aylesbury young adults drove for 40 minutes to get here.  One young man named Daniel drove his motor scooter.  Great fun, good experience!

    Tuesday was Transfer prep day for the missionaries.  We invited four missionaries and a newly baptized member young man, Clement, over for a Waffle lunch with strawberries, bananas, eggs, and whipped cream.  We had a great visit!  The missionaries enjoy being here and letting their hair down.  They stayed for hours, took a nap on the couch, and we visited.  Like being grandparents to missionaries.

    Wednesday,  We power walked to the Tube station about 8 minutes away then rode into west London to the Kew (pronounced “Q”) gardens.  They are located in a fun area and were beautiful!!   It is a world heritage site and has the largest and oldest collection of rare plants that we have ever seen. They had an interesting Beehive sculpture, very old green houses, and a huge variety of trees, flowers, and plants.  We saw the world’s oldest potted plant (a palm) that was planted in the 1600’s.  Many of the plants were brought to the estate in the 1700 and 1800’s.  Beautiful redwoods, hundreds of palm varieties, water lilies, bamboo, roses, orchids, etc. etc.  Wonderful!!s  Google it for more info!  Jill would LOVE this place!

Thursday we visited IKEA to get some shelves for under the stairs.  We also hung a clothes line in the backyard (Garden), and hung out our sheets.  We had a great bike ride along the canal where we saw many narrow houseboats and hand operated locks.  We are preparing lessons and plans for FHE, the Stake YSA activities, a Sunday School YSA class, and brainstorming how to help the other wards in the stake.

Friday we visited Cambridge and Elder Brad and Sister Vicki Jackman who are serving there.  We took a walk around the center of town, saw the chapel of Kings College, and many of the Cambridge colleges.  We took a shallow boat up and down the canal with a guide who moved the boat using a long pole pushing on the canal bottom.  It is called punting.  Relaxing and beautiful.  Jackman’s home was very nice and located in a great area.  It is an old three bedroom one bath two story home.  It has three old fireplaces that you would not dare use for fear of burning the place down.  When it rains, the water comes through a hole in the wall of the kitchen behind the cabinets and fills one drawer with water.  Beautiful, fun home!  Brad and Vicki shared ideas and suggestions with us about how to work with the YSA kids.

Saturday, We again traveled into London (one hour train ride) for a conference at the Hyde Park Chapel where we heard from Elder and Sister Zwick, a member of the 70’s for over 20 years.  He and his wife gave wonderful talks!  They have had such wonderful worldwide experiences with the gospel.  President and Sister Stevens also talked and did an awesome job!  They are wonderful people!

We then met Elder Ken and Sister Marlene Matheson and took a fun Uber ride with them to Buckingham Palace which is only open two months of the year while the Queen is in Scotland for the “Heat of the Summer”.  The Matheson’s are serving in Germany at the church area office but have visited 20 countries as part of their assignment.  It was fun to be with old friends for a bit.  We saw an exhibit of the Queens robes, gowns, dresses, and hats as part of the tour of the palace.  Marlene is a costume designer and worked on the costumes for the Hill Cumorah Pageant for years.  She really enjoyed the exhibits.  The rooms were marvelous.  We even saw the Queens RollsRoyce! 

We then walked around the palace grounds to Trafalgar square and St. Martin’s church.  We ate in a café in the crypt/basement of the church.  Good food and great company!  We learned so much from the Mathesons and enjoyed their company.  We rode the tube back to Euston Station where we divided up to travel home.

Sunday, we visited the Enfield Ward which is about 40 minutes away to the east.  They have a very young Bishop, about 85 in attendance at Sacrament meeting, and a very culturally diverse ward.  There was a great spirit in the ward.  Many ward members just returned from Holiday.  They traveled all around the globe and told stories from Australia, Samoa, and the US.   We met wonderful young single adults and learned about their needs and challenges. 

We returned to Watford just in time for the Stake YSA committee meeting at the home of Tom and Jade Beisinger.  They are wonderful people!!  They live just outside of Watford and have a lovely large home with beautiful gardens.  They have a special needs YSA girl and a wonderful family.  Tom is from California and wore a Park City tee shirt which made we laugh.  We met Amy the YSA President and Martin who are both from Aylesbury.  Impressive, wonderful people.  We planned some activities, and discussed what needs to be done to improve the YSA program in the Stake.  We will be preparing a workshop on Self-reliance and finances to be given in November.

Lastly we met with Bishop Manning who is a full time Church Education System (CES) employee who teaches a very successful Seminary and Institute program in the stakes in this part of England.  Good man who is serving as a Bishop for the second time.  They hold Institute each Wednesday at the Watford Stake Center.  We will attend each week and help organize treats and things. 

Monday, we prepared for FHE and took care of some odds and ends.  Earlier we were thinking about the gospel topic for the meeting and felt that we should talk about the Temple.  We had three kids come to FHE and had a great time!  Daniel rode his scooter with full helmet and leathers.  He is the only member in his family.  He is working full time.  Katie is a returned missionary and came for her second time.  She is bubbly and awesome and is looking to get a better job in an office setting. Her family lived on a canal boat for 9 years.   Shamyne is from Zimbabwe and very fun!  We discovered that they are all interested in Family History and Daniel and Shamyne are called as Family History specialists but have kind of stopped working in the calls.  They were excited to talk about the temple and family history!  Tender Mercy.  Awesome, fun meeting!  We enjoy working with these young people!

Well, that’s it for this week.  Have a great day!
We know that we are helping in a righteous cause and enjoy working with the YSA and Missionaries.  We have met some wonderful people.
The church and gospel of Christ helps people become better and happier.  We are glad to be part of it.
We have a testimony of this work.  Jesus Christ is our Savior.  He can and will help us as we ask in prayer for that help and comfort.  The gospel is true.  God does answer prayers.  He loves us and wants to help us.  

Love you all!  Until next week,

Mom and Dad, Grandpa and Grandma, Clark and Joyce.

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