Thursday, April 6, 2017

Well, another week has flown by so here is our report!

   Monday, March 12 is laundry day!  We really put our little washing machine and dryer to work once a week!  Since it rains often, we are really thankful for our condenser dryer!  We do not have room for it near the washer so it is in the corner of our spare bedroom/office.  We knew that our missionaries could not come to our Family Home Evening and many of our regulars were out of town so we did not know if anyone would come.  One young man who has been a member for about two years came.  We just relaxed and talked. He is an awesome young man who is going through some challenges.  We gave him a blessing. I am glad that we had a chance to visit!

      Tuesday, we were in London for an adventure and ran into several young missionaries at the farmer’s market where we were having lunch!  We love our missionaries! We attended the musical “Motown” and really enjoyed it!  It is the history of Motown records and how it gave black singers like the Supremes and The Jackson Five a chance to make records and compete on the national radio and TV. Interesting storyline with great music!

     Today was Institute!  It was really fun! The lesson was about families, children and how awesome they are!  We talked about abortion and other timely topics. It was excellent. We had a good crowd attend. We made an IKEA run and purchased some outdoor chairs and a table for our back garden.  We also found some flowers at a local hardware/garden store so we planted flowers to beautify our little space in back!  Our bulbs are coming up really well in the front yard (garden). 

    Friday was another London day!  We checked out the London Transportation Museum!  It is the history of trains, cabs, cars, subways, and buses in London.  They had old train cars that were used for the first Metropolitan Subway (The Tube). They also had double decker buses that were pulled by horses.  It was very interesting!  Next we saw a couple of exhibits at the Tate Britain museum of artists David Hockney and Henry Moore.  Dad liked the Henry Moore sculptures and paintings.  

      We next met several senior missionary couples at the Hyde Park chapel before walking together to the Royal Albert Hall to see the annual “Classical Spectacular”.  It is a beautiful venue within a couple of blocks of the chapel.  The incredible program included an orchestra, band, choir, theatre organ, lasers, special effects, opera singers, dancers, and the 1812 overture with canons!  Check out the youtube video online.  We organized the outing after it was suggested by President Stevens.  We really love to get together with the other senior missionaries to share stories, ask questions, and recharge our spiritual batteries!  Two couples serve in the visitor center, one couple does self-reliance classes, and the rest of us were YSA missionaries.  After the concert we talked for a bit before catching the last train to Watford!

    Saturday, we attended our stake’s Relief Society Birthday celebration.  They made Dementia Blankets for a service project.  They also had workshops, a dinner, sharing time, and lots of visiting.  Dad worked on our YSA bulletin board and our multi-stake YSA activity plans.  It was a productive and fun day!

      Sunday, our great neighbors Frank and Sally held a birthday party for their two daughters Lillian and Florence (7 and 5).  They had a double decker party bus come and park in front of their home for a couple of hours.  It had a ball pit, slides, and climbing maze. We were at church in the Enfield ward so we missed their party!  We went over later and gave the girls presents of sketch pads and colored markers.  They are a cute family who we love!
     Church at Enfield Ward was very good!  They asked Mom to share her testimony and a message so she was the first speaker in sacrament meeting.  We love the people in Enfield!  The YSA Sunday school had nine young people and a good lesson.  It is a very loving multicultural ward. They have wonderful dedicated happy people!
    After church, we picked the Sister Missionaries up at the Watford church and drove to Hemel to visit one of our young ladies who was just baptized.  She has multiple emotional challenges but the ward is being very supportive.  We returned home to feed the Sisters some Utah Lehi Roller Mills waffles (mix sent by Carol Jean) with real maple syrup and Nutella!  It doesn’t get much better than this!!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Report from England Feb 15-27

    Institute Wednesday!  We had two great lessons taught by Bishop Manning.  He is so very good!  We talked about the separate roles of men and women and how they complement each other.  We provided treats and Hot Chocolate (milk, Cadbury Chocolate, and Nutella) that the YSA love.  After Institute we went with the YSA to a mini golf course and played a round in the dark.  It was fun and gave us a chance to be with our young friends.  We have one marriage, one engagement and one serious couple in the YSA this week.  Great young people!
     During our London run this week we visited the British Museum and the Portabella market which is full of antiques and vintage clothing. Very fun!
     On Friday we participated in a Ward party where we ate French fries (Chips) and played games.  We had a very fun time with a large crowd of ward members and friends.
     Sunday had us teaching the YSA Sunday School class in Watford.  Things went very well.  We enjoyed a walk after church and visited two Watford churches (one Church of England and one Catholic).
     Monday, it was time for our six month checkup with the Doctor so we rode into South Kensington to a private Clinic that the Senior Missionaries use.  We met a very nice Doctor who practiced at the Mayo Clinic in the states before returning to London.  We will be running blood tests and getting a few skin spots removed but all-in-all we are in good shape.  Tonight we fed the missionaries waffles before YSA home evening.  We will be getting two new missionaries tomorrow, Sister Barnes from Logan and Elder Williams from Gilbert AZ.  We are sending Sister Adams and Elder Auras to other areas.  They are great!  We love our missionaries! 
        Wednesday, we had our Institute lesson with about 25 YSA present.  They are always so very good!  We are worried about a couple of our YSA who have not been to events or activities for some time.  We will reach out to them.  Mom taught an Art lesson after Institute while Dad supervised the treats and visited with all.  

     Thursday, We headed for London for a Dermatologist appointment.  Of course we visited an Art Museum (Tate Modern) while we were there!  The wind in downtown London was blowing 62 miles per hour!  It was crazy to walk across the foot bridge across the Thames in that wind!  There was wind damage throughout London.  The Doctor was very helpful and froze a few spots on each of us.  I guess we had too much sun when we were young.
    Friday, we had Senior Missionary meetings at the Hyde Park Chapel.  We love working with these outstanding people!  The five Senior Missionary couples at this meeting are working with Young Single Adults somewhere in the England London Mission.  We talked, shared hints, recipes, plans, and stories.  We are all having a great time working with these wonderful young people!  Everyone loves what they are doing.  We had a wonderful Taco lunch fixed by Sister Wade of Hyde Park. We also had a good visit with President and Sister Stevens.  They are so good and great to work with.  There is a real shortage of senior missionaries!  We presently have only half as many senior missionaries as are needed.
    We caught a classic car show in London that was awesome.  We saw cars from Formula One racers to Rolls Royce luxury cars. Dozens of Jaguars, MG’s, Porsches, Bentleys, Corvettes, Mini Coopers, and Vipers.  It was fun to see them all up close. We saw a Corvette that was the same model and year as the one Bruce Payne owned when he was young.  We also found a BMW motorcycle like Grandpa Paynes!

    Sunday, we went to the church for a 7:30am Sunrise Priesthood meeting.  We then drove to the Hayes ward for church where we met three new missionaries.  The sisters are moving out of their flat next week.  It was a real dump so we are happy for them.  One new Elder had been on his mission for only three days!  They are all great missionaries.  We visited with our awesome YSA’s and leaders and zoomed home to change for another YSA event.  We met the Aylesbury and Watford YSA at Katie’s house in Hemel Hempstead for dinner. Katie’s family just purchased the house and are remodeling everything in it! The home was built just after WWII by Italian prisoners who were released after the war but decided to stay in England.  Very interesting construction! 
    We drove to Ivinghoe Beacon which is a hill in the county with lots of trails and a great view.  The wind was so strong that you could lean over without falling down.  We hiked and played until after dark.  There were about 17 YSA plus two grandparents (us).  We really enjoyed it!  Typical Sunday for YSA Missionaries… 7am to midnight.

    Monday, Feb 27th, we prepared for YSA Home Evening, purchased copper pipes for Nerf Guns for the March activity, and tried them out at FHE.  It was a blast!!  Literally! (We bought 200 nerf bullets for the activity). We had a lesson about pioneers and read the story of Ephraim Hanks and the handcart pioneers.  We had a small group this week with four YSA and two missionaries.

      We love our family!  We love the Lord! We love our missionaries and we love our young friends here in England!  We know that God is directing and blessing his faithful children and that great blessings come from serving others!  We love it here.  We love you and miss you all!  

Elder and Sister Baron
England London Mission

Friday, February 24, 2017

Good Evening from Watford!

      Here is another update from England.
Wednesday, Feb. 8th.   We were able to get tickets to the Harry Potter play and today is the day!  The play, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is in two parts.  We saw one at 2pm and the second part at 7:30pm!  Five hours of Harry Potter!  We ate Indian food at Covent Garden between the two shows.  We had seats in a box on the lower level so we had tons of room! We could not see all of the stage because we were on the side but we enjoyed it anyway!  The special effects were great!  The overall theme was good with Harry Potter and his son winning in the end.

     Thursday, we were able to get an early preview of a Russian Soviet Art exhibit at the Tate.  Great show!  We learned much about life in the Soviet Union from 1917 – 1950’s with Lenin and Stalin. What a sad time in Russia.  Terrible struggles, war and the failure of communist party.  We also visited a great exhibit in the Science Museum on Robots.  The history of Robots was very interesting! 
    Most of the day was spent at the Mission office in a Zone Conference with the Missionaries!  We had a chance to spend time with some of our other Senior missionary friends!  Our Mission President is so awesome!  We are very thankful for him and his wife and their great work!
    Friday we worked out some details regarding our planned Multi Stake YSA activity with some of our YSA.  They are so good!  We also worked out some details on the Paris Temple open house trip in April!  Busy planning time.  We use emails, facebook, text messages, and what’sap to communicate with our YSA.  In the afternoon, we went to the little museum in downtown Watford to learn more history of our area.  It was very interesting!
        Here is what we learned!  Each time we travel into London, we take the Metropolitan Line of the “Tube”.  This train service began in 1863 as the world’s first underground railway line.  The tracks still follow the same route, just below the surface in London proper and above the ground outside the city.  The original trains were steam but today’s trains are all electric.  They use regenerative braking that generates electricity when slowing down which has reduced the electrical usage by 20%.  We often use the Baker Street station which is one of the original ones built in 1863.  After Paris started their first subway in 1871, they named it the Metropolitan after London’s successful line.  The word “Metro” used to describe subways is derived from the name of the first London and Paris lines.
    The early Met line made it possible for the North London area to develop into thriving suburbs.  During World War II, Watford was an important industrial and housing area and was targeted during the blitz. Over 250 bombs were dropped on Watford.  Watford was home to many children during the war who were sent to the “country” by their families in London.  The train made it easy for families to travel back and forth to visit.  Watford had its own large orphanage before the war with over 600 orphans living there.  The children were educated and trained to work in the local industries.  The Earl of Essex had a mansion here but it fell apart in the mid-1900’s.
    Saturday we went into London to see two good art exhibits.  Mom also found a neat scarf at the National Portrait Gallery!  She looks very good with it!  We grabbed a hot apple crisp with custard from St. Martin’s Crypt before coming home to work on the Paris Temple trip and Jill’s trip to England.
    Sunday we visited the Aylesbury Ward and met Bishop Fu’s son who just returned from a mission in Ogden Utah.  He had a great experience and even served on the Weber State campus.  He was able to attend the Ogden Temple each month.  He was very successful and loved his mission!  He got sick part way through his mission and had heart valve surgery while in Utah.  They found that if he returned to England, he would need to wait at least six to nine months for surgery and they did not think that is was wise to wait.
     We also visited with lots of our YSA friends who we love! Our friend, Rebecca Fu is engaged!  We are thrilled that she found a good LDS young man! Two other YSA were at church with friends. We are so happy to see some of our young friends find companions!
   We went out with the Aylesbury missionaries and inspected their apartment.  They have an older apartment with a number of problems.  The shower does not work, the stove is gross, and half of the blinds were missing.  I think the missionaries think they are camping.  We have a tough time getting them to report things when they break!
   Monday was a laundry and preparation day.  We put in a load of wash and walked to Morrisons.  Dad loves their fresh donuts with custard filling!  They bake them daily and sell them for 50 pence for a package of five.  It is our weakness!  Mom had a chance to work on a watercolor sketch while dad worked on the family home evening lesson.  Our little washer does such a good job and we LOVE our little condenser clothes dryer!  The schools are out for a mid-term break so we were concerned about having many for FHE but our four faithful missionaries came.  We had treats, watched a church video about the early sister missionaries in England, had a lesson, and played UNO.  So very few of the Watford YSA drive that when our drivers need to work or are out of town our numbers go way down!
   Valentine’s Day!   We went into London on the Met Line and visited the Freemason Temple in central London.  It was very interesting! We grabbed lunch at a farmers market by Hyde Park.  Mom loves their green curry.  Dad tried the pulled pork sandwich and they shared a carrot cake!  We then wandered up to the West end to see Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap”.  It was a really fun murder mystery!  It is the world’s longest playing play and is in its 65 year of performances!  After the theatre, we took a stroll down through Trafalgar Square to Westminster Square and watched the London Eye from the bridge for a bit.  It was a fun day!

          We love living in England!  It is interesting to see how the English spoken in Britain is different from the English spoken in the United States.  Some words are totally different such as baby diapers are nappies, a flu shot is a flu jab, “pants” are underwear, a grassy yard is a garden, a truck is a lorry,  salting the road is gritting the road, you “let” an apartment instead of lease, a  Yield sign is a Give Way sign, etc.  The spelling can also be different like a choir is a quire, a tire is spelled tyre, and you drive by the kerb.  It is appropriate to say that “I learnt it in school.”  We go to the theatre and do watercolours on the “Thud” of the month. The standard greeting is “You all right??”  

        We have been reading in the Book of Mormon and enjoying re-learning things that we forgot years ago!  Since we have been teaching from the Doctrine and Covenants we have been reading in it as well.  The scriptures are so very powerful!  It is really great to read some uplifting things each and every day and talk to your Heavenly Father about how things are going!

        We love each and every one of you! 

Love Mum and Dad, Grandpa and Grandma, Clark and Joyce, Elder and Sister Baron