Good Morning everyone in Utah (and Washington)!
It is in England but in Utah. We have had a very busy week and are enjoying our labors.
Here is the update for the week.
Tuesday, October 25th we spent much of the day in London. We discovered the Courtauld Gallery which is a private collection donated by wealthy people to preserve these excellent works of art to be enjoyed forever. The collection was amazing! Many of the impressionist artists were represented with some of the best Seurats, Degas, Cezanne’, and Gauguin that we have seen. Wonderful collection.
We then walked to the Sir John Soane’s home. He was a wealthy Englishman who loved to collect assorted treasures from antiquity. Not necessarily good things just lots and lots of things. He stuffed his entire home with stuff including a stone tomb from Egypt, pieces of temples from Greece, Roman ruins, and thousands of artifacts from the past. When he died, he asked that the home be preserved and shared with the people of London. The ultimate pack rat of antiquities! We finished at one of our favorite places, Camden Town. Great ethnic foods and fun shopping in the markets. We also “discovered” a booth selling fresh deep fried Churros that we so good. To make it even better, he injects the entire length of the churro with either chocolate or caramel! We may have even had two of them!
Wednesday, Dad spent time preparing to teach Institute that evening. We visited the Gym (we now have memberships) and worked around home. In the evening, we went to the Church to find that the ward was setting up the building for Heni’s Funeral on Thursday. We moved into the Priesthood room and had an good Institute lesson. We had about 18 present. They are great people! After the lesson, we helped set up and clean up the building for the funeral.
Thursday, was the funeral for Heni who was a special girl, 21 years old who passed away. The funeral was very nice. She had a wicker casket and was cremated directly after the service. Heni’s family spoke and did very well! The Stake President spoke last on the atonement and life beyond this existence. The family served herbal tea, cookies, cakes, and other sweets. At the conclusion of the day’s activities, the family released about a dozen white doves behind the church. The birds flew together in larger and larger circles above the church until they got their directions straight. Then then flew to their home perch miles away. It was very moving, symbolic, and beautiful. We had many YSA attending the funeral since they grew up knowing and loving Heni. It was a very special day.
Friday, Mom baked brownies and we drove to Wembley Ward for our Missionary Zone meeting. We love attending their meetings with Sister Jackson and Sister Wallace, the Senior Sisters in that area. The Sisters fixed lunch of hot ham and cheese rolls that were delicious! We were asked to speak briefly about Obedience so we prepared and spoke. Mom spoke about using the zip line at the Olympic Park by Park City and the lesson of being totally obedient to all the safety rules because you did not really want to come out of your harness and die. She did a great job! Dad spoke about the miracle of the Fishes in Luke 5. The Savior asked Simon Peter to do a couple of small things (Can I borrow your boat? Will you push me out just a little way?) and then asked him to go back out into the lake and let down their nets. Peter had been fishing all night and caught nothing but obeyed the Savior anyway. His net was filled so full of fishes that it began to sink both ships. Peter and his family were blessed with fish for their income to help the family after Peter left to follow Jesus. The talk went well.
After Zone Meeting we went to the Royal Airforce Museum in Wembley. It was awesome! They had many aircraft including many from world war I. Dad really enjoyed the planes displayed in four huge buildings. We will send some pictures! In the evening, Mom cooked about 10 pounds of hamburger for the YSA Halloween party Saturday. We will have Taco Salad.
Saturday, we prepared for the party, Mom painted, we worked to arrange rides from the Tube station to President Bettridge’s home, picked up fresh filled donuts that we ordered from the grocery store, and generally tied up loose ends before the party. We drove and found the President’s home. Beautiful!! Very contemporary “L” shaped two story home. Beautiful Garden, open floor plan, theater screen and projector, etc. Wonderful home. Peter from Aylesbury helped pickup kids from the station. The President brought some in as well. We had YSA from Wembley, Hayes, Aylesbury, and Watford. We felt good about the turnout. We played games in the family room, moved to the kitchen and ate Taco Salad, Awarded prizes (Chocolate of Course!) for Halloween hats. They have GREAT Chocolate here!! We then went back to the family room and watched Disney’s “Hocus Pocus”. Some of the YSA had seen it but others had not. They got a good laugh out of it. We then ate our filled Donuts for dessert and visited. We left at . Mission accomplished!
Sunday, Daylight Savings time arrived in England. We fell back one hour! We went for a walk on this foggy moody English morning. We drove about 50 minutes to the Enfield Ward. When it was time to start Sacrament meeting, there were only a few people in the chapel. Our YSA representative was there and is an AWESOME young man!! We met with about five YSA and got the contact information for them plus others. They us a WhatsApp conversation to stay in touch. They added Mom’s phone to their conversation group. We had a good conversation with the Bishop and the YSA Advisor. Right after church we hurried back to Watford for a Baptism. About 40 people showed up to support this young man. It was very nice with better attendance than other baptisms. We shared some of our filled donuts (it is spelled doughnuts in England) with everyone after the baptism. Sunday evening we had our second Skype Stake meeting for the YSA and everything went well! We are still struggling to get participation from all wards.
Monday, we did our Laundry. We are so very thankful for our little dryer! Some loads take over an hour but they are dry when they are finished! We took a walk up to the High Street mall on the warm sunny day. We decided to sign up for two Gym memberships in the Watford Leisure Centre (Gym and Pool). We are on a month to month contract. We planned to carve pumpkins during Family Home Evening and were all prepared for the activity however only one faithful YSA young lady came (without a pumpkin) but we were soon joined by four missionaries and two investigators. It was fun to plan some games and have some treats. Mom makes great treats for FHE! Nacho Cheese and chips (Using real cheddar cheese). No pumpkins so no carving. After the missionaries left we watched some Studio C with Katie. She is so very awesome!
Tuesday we took our little car in for its one year service and oil change. We had to set up the appointment two weeks ago. While they had the car for a couple of hours, we walked over to a ASDA shopping center (British Walmart). It was HUGE! We also visited a motorcycle shop, the BMW Dealer, and the Mini Cooper dealer. Cute cars! After receiving our car back, we made our weekly Costco run. The Sisters called while we were there and wanted us to get them some Skippy Peanut Butter! It was on sale for £3.99. Good deal!
Tuesday evening we met with the Sisters and Sharam, one of our home teaching people. He has quite a story. He is a refugee from Iran. He left his country, traveled to Greece and finally arrived in England. He is learning to be a barber but now works at a car wash. He is still having trouble with smoking. He has such a simple strong testimony and sincere heart.
Wednesday was a service and Institute day. Elder Gale from the Mission Office called earlier in the week with a problem. The Senior Sisters in Wembley did an apartment check on the Elders in Enfield and found that they have a bunk bed that is falling apart. It was so bad that they put the mattresses on the floor rather than use the broken bed. They have three Elders in the apartment now but will add a fourth one soon. The mattresses were so bad that the Elders have real trouble sleeping. Mom did some research into beds. The Elders texted us pictures and sizes of the two bedrooms in the apartment. We looked for a good sturdy bunk bed and found none. We decided to get two new beds for the small bedroom (actually like a wide hallway). The beds have drawers under them so that they do not need dressers. We drove to IKEA in Wembley, bought two beds, two drawer sets, and four good mattresses and stuffed them all into our little car! We even had room to spare (not much.. but a little!).
We next drove to Enfield, and met the Elders at their apartment. They had already removed the bunk bed in pieces and made it disappear. They carried in all our IKEA treasures and together we assembled everything! I brought my tools including my little drill/screw driver. Very handy!! They went together easily. One Elder is from Spain, one from Ukraine, and one from Utah. The Elder from the Ukraine knew Elder Teuscher (Dan’s son) when he was a missionary. Small world.
Elder and Sister Gale are finishing their missions and leaving in a week. We were glad we could help them! They are wonderful hardworking missionaries who will be greatly missed!!
We returned to Watford, prepared for Institute and headed for the church. We had a good crowd with a fun activity afterword. They took gaffer tape and taped two young men to the wall. They then timed them to see which one would stay up the longest. It is on Youtube now. Dad was worried about the kids (both named Jacob) so he stayed close by with his handy pocket knife just in case the tape got to be too tight. The kids had fun and there were no injuries or problems! You gotta love it! Mom brought treats and they ate about everything.
Well, that is about it. We love serving our mission and working with both the YSA and Missionaries. We love them all! The gospel is helping these good people become even better.
We are thankful for our wonderful family! Thank you so much for taking care of things at home so that we can serve without worrying about the home front!
Bless you All!
Mom and Dad
Grandma Joyce and Grandpa Baron.