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