Monday, October 24, 2016

Family and Friends,

    Here is the latest report from Watford England.  We are a day or two late because we have been really busy! Of course, we were never ones to NOT be busy so I guess that busy is our normal.  It was been a great week!

    Monday October 10th,  Mom had a chance to paint today!  She used our multipurpose table in the Family Home Evening room.  The Royal Academy of Art is judging an abstract art exhibition and Mom wants to enter.  We will attach a picture.  She had So very much fun!  Dad worked on the computer and got things ready for the YSA FHE (Young Single Adults) (Family Home Evening).

    We had 5 YSA attending which was good.  We played some games including Charades using smart phones!  Dad told the story of Cliff Young, the sheep herder who was a long distance runner.  Each person then agreed to teach a lesson in a future FHE.  We are planning to do a Halloween Party so we encouraged the kids to make a scary hat and come!

    Tuesday was a preparation day with work around the house, mowing the lawn, etc.  We did have a long bike ride and Mom worked on her painting.  It looks awesome!  It is about 2 feet by 3 feet.   Our friends, Jade and Tom have a severely handicapped special daughter, Heni, who is 21 years old.  Heni has been ill for a time and she passed away this morning.  This young lady has been such a big part of their lives.  We feel so sorry for their loss.  Their lives will be so different from now on.  We are so thankful that we have the gospel. We know she will live again and is now with her Heavenly Father.

    We had the Sister Missionaries over for a quick Dinner and then we ran them to their teaching appointment.  They are so wonderful!!

    Wednesday, We shopped at Costco for the week.  Mom found some pants that she loves so she bought two colors.  She then got her hair cut and colored.  Dad went to an upscale barber shop and got a haircut.  Mom looks great!  Dad looks like a sheared sheep but not as bad as last month. 

     Institute was great!  Dad played the organ for the hymns.  He was nervous but did okay.  The kids had great games afterwards.  They really love being together!

     Thursday we traveled to the Temple.  We left our home at 7:30am and arrived just in time for the 10:00am session.  The traffic can be so bad.  We were in a tiny session with two men and six women.  We ate lunch at the temple and took a walk around the grounds.  We then drove to explore the Leeds Castle which is located out toward Dover.  It is on 500 acres of land with beautiful streams and lakes.  It is a beautiful castle that has been remodeled many times, lastly in 1927.  Not very historical but beautiful.  The land has had a castle on it for centuries.  We left at 4:30pm and arrived at home after 7pm.  More Traffic.

     Friday, we went for our bike ride for our exercise.  We love the trails around here.  Sometimes we go on trails that were once old railroad beds, sometimes up or down the canal looking at locks and houseboats, other times we go through the parks and sometimes we go uptown.  Lots of fun.  We straightened our home and welcomed friends from Park City, Utah.  Renee and Wade came to England and agreed to stay with us a couple of nights.  Renee is an artist and a flight attendant with Delta.  They drove up from the airport, found our home, and arrived in time for a walk.  They brought Mom’s artist easel and supplies (plus a leather coat) from Utah. It was so good to see them! We walked up the canal watching the houseboats, birds, and things.  After settling in and having a delicious dinner, we took another walk uptown to see the area.  We ran into the Sister Missionaries and visited for a bit before returning home.

    Saturday we were up very early and took Renee and Wade to the Tube for a day in London.  We arrived early at the Tower of London.  Renee was so kind to treat us to Guest Memberships to the Tower and six other castles.  We went right in and saw the Crown Jewels of England!  AWESOME! Diamonds, Rubies, etc. etc.  Gold, Silver, and beautiful things.  We were the only ones in the jewel rooms because we were so early.  We then explored the castle walls and exhibits before catching a tour from the only female Beefeater at the Tower.  She was an awesome guide and the tour was scary, gross, true, and well done.  We then zoomed to the Tube to Blackfriars to see the Thames River, the Globe Theater, Millennium Bridge, and London skyline.  We ate lunch at the Globe.  Next Dad drug us all to the Tube station for a quick trip to the British Museum.  We ran in to see the Rosetta Stone, the outstanding Egyptian exhibits, the Greek exhibits including much of the Parthenon, ran through the Assyrian exhibit and ended up in early European History.  We next zoomed down to the tube and over to St. Pauls.  Dad got lost but only for a bit.  We arrived at St. Paul’s Cathedral just in time for their Evensong service.  We went in, sat down and enjoyed choir and organ music (the organ was awesome in that great stone cathedral!).  After the services we were worn out so we returned to the Tube for our hour ride back to Watford.  Upon arriving home we visited until late.  It was a great, full, fun day!

   Sunday, We said goodbye to Renee and Wade as they left for the rest of their week in the Cotswold.  We drove to Hayes ward for church.  Mom visited Primary since many YSA teach there.  Dad went to Elders to meet some more members.  Some members are such good teachers. Other member are not as good!  If they would just follow the teaching guidelines, they could at least have a reasonable class.  “Winging it” is not a good plan!  Enough said!

    We returned home in time for Mom to fix waffles, roasted potato wedges, scrambled eggs, British bacon (ham) and Ice cream for dessert for two Elders and two Sister Missionaries.  What a feed!! Two of our missionaries will be transferred next week.  Elder Folke’ needs to return home to Germany for a medical issue probably surgery. Sister Kerr will spend her last six weeks at the Hyde Park Visitor’s center before going home to Arizona.  We love the missionaries and love to have them over!  Sister Kerr’s parents are coming to pick her up so we hope to meet them.  They have a wonderful daughter who we love!

   As soon as we finished our missionary “Breakfast” lunch, Dad set up the computer for a Skype Stake YSA Committee meeting. He was worried sick about the technology.  We had so many issues in the day or so before the meeting but it all came together at the right time.  Tender Mercies from Heaven!  We had four of our five wards participate and the meeting was very good with no technical issues.  Amy, our YSA president conducted the meeting and really came through well!  They have great goals and are focusing on helping others.  I was really proud of them!  After the meeting, we worked on our Halloween hats for the hat contest. Fun!

    Monday, October 17th, we went shopping for groceries for us and the YSA FHE and Institute.  We also had a long list so we drove to IKEA in Wembley.  It is less than 10 miles away but takes over a half an hour to drive there.  We were successful and found exactly what we needed (Maybe in the wrong color but that’s okay!).   We had two big office chairs that took up so much room so we sold them on the Watford classified ads and bought new much smaller ones at IKEA.  The backs are bright pink. Pink and Black seats.  Cool!

    FHE was great with four YSA’s plus our two Sister Missionaries!  Two of our regular attenders had to work. We had fun treats, a great discussion, some games, and a cake that Sara brought.  Three of the kids just started new jobs today.  Sara and Sam both started working at the Harry Potter Movie studios.  They are both returned missionaries.  I believe that Sam speaks Portuguese, Spanish, and some Swedish.  Sara speaks Portuguese, Spanish, French, Japanese and some German.  They are both amazing!!   Katie also started a new job and was exhausted!  Stephanie attended as well.  She is awesome!!  She speaks Cantonese Chinese and teaches Chinese to Missionaries for the MTC by Skype. This is a great group of wonderful talented people!!  We love working with them.

    Well, that’s about it!   We are working trying to locate some of our six home teaching families.  Dad is on Facebook trying to get the YSA to come to activities.  Mom is planning several events, painting, being a tour director, and cooking for missionaries. We are busy, happy, and loving England.

    We got our “Flu Jabs”  (Flu shots) and they put a “Plaster” on us (Band aid) after.  Oh, what an adventure!!  We love it!
We love our family and miss you all!  We are so thankful that our family members love each other! 
    Heavenly Father is watching over us!  He helps us in so many ways.  He lives and answers prayers.

We love you all!

Dad and Mom
Clark and Joyce
Grandpa and Grandma Baron.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

   This week has been a good week!
       The weather here in Watford is still very nice most days but it is getting dark earlier and cooler than before.  The summer is over.  We now wear our coats while biking in the morning.  Here is our report of the past week!

     Monday, September 26th.  Monday is usually a preparation day for Family Home Evening (FHE) and other things in general.  We were happy to talk to our son, Tyler and hear about his great job, family, and move to Colorado.  It sounds like everything is going well for them!!   We were bummed to learn that our faithful BMW has not sold so I guess we will just store it until we return.
     We had some very good soup at the munch and mingle after church on Sunday and this sweet sister gave us the recipe so we decided to make it for FHE tonight. It is a sausage, potato, spinach cream soup.  We had trouble finding some of the ingredients but when all was finished, it was delicious!  The kids at FHE also enjoyed it.  We have such a wonderful diverse group!  Our newest FHE member is Sarah.  It appears that her family is from Portugal, but is living in England, and she served a mission in Japan and spent two months in the Provo mission training center.  So yes, she speaks at least three languages very well.  Wonderful Fun young lady! We played some fun games and had a good lesson from the Women’s General session of LDS Conference.  Our convert friend Nikki from Hungary was also there.  She wants to go to the US to work and live.  The young adults enjoy coming to our house and spending time together!  We enjoy it as well!  Daniel was not excited to play the “pick up cotton balls with your nose covered in Vaseline” game but he and Elder Baron had a great game of Battleship!
    Wednesday we traveled into London to meet our artist friend from Utah, Willamarie.  She is a great artist and we love we work!  We had a great day visiting the historic Blackfriar Pub with its wonderful copper relief decorations. Mom had a chance to do a sketch from the center of the Millennium Bridge over the Thames. The artists visited the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit while Dad worked on emails and YSA things.  After catching another excellent exhibit we went to the top floor of the Tate Modern and ate at the restaurant overlooking the London Skyline.  We had a great time together! 
   Wednesday evening we met with the YSA for Institute at the church.  We had a good group attend.  After the lesson by Bishop Manning, Sister Baron set up refreshments of sweet rolls, drinks, and carrots with dip,  while Elder Baron cooked eight Pizzas in the church kitchen. These Young Adults are so very good and fun and hungry.  We have some with learning disabilities, some with emotional challenges and social issues but most are just awesome young people!  It was late by the time we arrived back home.
    Thursday we went into London to see two special art exhibits.  Both were at the Royal Academy.  Portraits by David Hockney and an awesome exhibit of American Abstract artists like Pollock, Motherwell, Rothko, etc.  Two days of awesome wonderful paintings that are world treasures.  We later grabbed a meat pie at Covent Gardens and tried to locate a new YSA member of the church who works in that area.  Back home on the Tube with three transfers.  We are getting pretty good at getting around London.
   Friday,  The painter is here painting the kitchen walls.  Just the walls.  Not the ceiling.  Not the trim. He was very nice and a good worker but he can only go what the landlord says should be done.  There were paint patches on the wall before and they are still there just not as noticeable.  The painter is recommending to the landlord that they repaint the whole house and put another coat on the kitchen walls.  That would be great but I am not overly hopeful..  We worked on church computer work, listened to the Book of Mormon, prepared for the YSA activities and took a nap.  We learned about an Abstract Art Exhibit contest to be held in London next month. Sister Baron really wants to enter something so we will work on that.  We had a great bike ride after the painter left.
   Saturday was Elder Baron’s Birthday.  68 years young!   On our bike ride, we visited the public library, farmers market, and town center.  Our family room seems dark during Family Home Evening so we are looking at Charity shops for a floor lamp.  We ate lunch with a member family named Maria and Lawrence.  Lawrence has had health issues and is now on disability.  He had really bad ear aches and went to the doctors.  After many Doctor visits and four hospital visits they diagnosed him with cancer.  Six months later they were still just watching it while he was on heavy morphine. He finally received a priesthood blessing and the cancer appears to be gone.  He then went in for cataract surgery and things went horribly wrong.  Eight or nine surgeries later he is totally blind in one eye and nearly so in the other.  He and his sweet wife raise beautiful Koi fish in a 1000 gallon tank in the back garden.  They also have a Cockatiel that likes to join in the conversations.  He was working as a carpenter and is now very discouraged with the loss of his sight. He has just finished a recovery program after getting off the morphine.  We had a good visit, ate beef stew and apple cobbler which was very good.    It appears that the health care system has not treated him very well.
    We later went to the church to see the Saturday morning session of General Conference.  Only about 20 people were at the Stake Center for the broadcast but many watched it at home on the internet.  Most in attendance were missionaries and investigators.  Conference was great!!  Our faith and prayers will not override someone’s agency. Sister McConkie taught us to "Learn How to Pray and Learn How to Listen after the prayer". And “Are you really praying or just saying prayers?”
   We took the Sister Missionaries out for supper at their favorite Pizza place.  We love being with the Missionaries!
   Sunday morning we went for a great bike ride!  Then we stayed home and watched the General Conference Priesthood session on the iPad.  Great counsel and information!  We were at the church at 1pm to see the Saturday evening session tape delayed.  Ran home and ate and went back to watch the Sunday morning session live (10am Utah time, 5pm England time).  The sessions were good.  The members of the church are so awesome.  We were invited to visit the members who live on the house boat on the canal.  What an adventure!
     We have been asked to teach Institute this Wednesday, so we are preparing our lessons.  We also have a BIG stake YSA committee meeting Wednesday evening so we are preparing for that as well. We have prepared and planned for a number of activities and now will work to see that they happen!
     We are loving our adventure of serving and loving the people in England.

Mum and Poppy
Mom and Dad
Elder and Sister Baron
Grandma Joyce and Grandpa Baron