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

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Hello Everyone! 

    We have had a great week and have learned much!  We are enjoying our work in Watford and loving our missionaries and members!
    Wednesday, February 1st was a cleaning day and a Costco shopping day. We had a very good lesson at Institute.  Bishop Manning does such a great job!  It is a pleasure to attend and listen to the discussions.  After the lesson, we gathered in the cultural hall for treats and Sister Baron taught an art lesson to Anthony, Harriet, and Peter who are three awesome young members!  Harriet has her mission papers ready.  Anthony just returned from his mission in Portugal and Peter returned some years ago.  Peter is so talented and just a wonderful young man!  The art lesson went well and they all produced some interesting good work. 
    Thursday morning we went into London to see if we could get tickets for the Harry Potter play.  The play is sold out until March 2018!  We waited in line and found that there were no extra tickets available for the day.  They did have two tickets just returned for the next Wednesday’s matinee and evening performances.  They were seats in a box on the lower level.  We purchased them and were excited that we will be able to go see the play!
      After exploring the area, we walked up to Chinatown and met Stephanie, one of our YSA returned missionaries, for lunch. She speaks Cantonese and works for the Bank of China.  She found a nice Chinese restaurant for us!  She is an amazing young woman! After lunch, we went to the National Portrait Gallery so Mom could take a last look at the Picasso exhibit.  Dad read a book and relaxed.  

     Since the Chinese food did not fill us up, we stopped at St. Martin’s Crypt (one of Dad’s favorite places) to get a hot apple crisp with hot custard!  Yummy!
      Friday, we traveled to Wembley to our missionary Watford Zone training.  We met with about 20 wonderful young missionaries.  They asked us to speak about Patience.  We did our best and enjoyed spending time with these choice young men and women!
     After the meeting, we walked to the Wembley missionaries’ apartment to do a “flat inspection”. The church rented a new apartment on the top floor of a high rise next to the Wembley town center for the missionaries.  It was a very nice apartment which they are keeping neat and clean.   One bed frame was broken but it was a cheap bedframe.  Dad put two screws into it to help it stay together until they can get a new one.
     We then drove out to Harrow to visit a second flat.  The Elders who live here are very humble and excellent workers.  A small black Elder from Africa who is the district leader has great faith and good street smarts.  This Elder was offered a professional contract playing football for Germany but he decided to serve a mission instead.  What a quiet powerhouse!  His companion is about as big as our grandson, Parker Cheshire (six foot four, 275 pounds).  He is a wonderful cheerful Elder!  They live in a small upstairs apartment that is older than dirt.  They are keeping it clean and neat and working hard in a very rough area.  There were even plants growing through the outside walls onto the stairway in their flat. Wow.
     Lastly we drove to the last Wembley Elder’s apartment across town.  Their apartment is next to a University campus in a nice housing complex.  They have a newly remodeled apartment which was very nice.  They had some mold around a window sill but they knew how to take care of that.  We thanked all the missionaries for keeping their living quarters clean and neat.  We work with some excellent missionaries!  We returned to our nice little home and counted our blessings!!  It is so nice to have a standalone home with a garden and nice neighbors!
    Saturday is our Stake YSA Temple day!  We drove to the Temple in good time with minimal traffic in light rain.  The Temple Hospitality people let us use their guest kitchen to set up food for our YSA.  We prepared bagels, croissants, roast beef, chips, humus, drinks, and lemon cake!  We attended the 11:15 endowment session with six of our friends.  After the session, we met many of our YSA in the kitchen for lunch.  We had a good group from Aylesbury!  Later, we met Bishop Redmond and his family and hurried over to the baptistry.  We helped our YSA friends do the baptisms and confirmations for the names that they brought as well as some of our family names.  It was great to have someone baptized for William Baron, born 7 May 1769 in Lancashire England!  After the temple, we met some of our young adults to finish off the lunch fixings before taking a walk around the beautiful temple and heading for home.  It was a great day spent doing good things with wonderful young adults and their families.

      Sunday is always a good day!  We taught the YSA Sunday School class and had a great time!  They are such good people but I wish more would attend church!!  We teach the lessons on the 1st and 3rd Sundays each month and visit the other wards on the other Sundays. 
      Monday FHE was a success with a good group of YSA and Missionaries and one non-member friend.  We watched a great movie about Wilford Woodruff’s conversion!  The YSA love to play the SpyFall game that Camie gave to us!
       Tuesday, we visited two more missionary apartments.  We walked to the Sister’s flat in downtown Watford.  It is on the top floor of a high-rise right in the center of town.  The flat was so clean and nice! We helped them fix a couple of lights and checked on the wardrobe that we fixed a few months ago.  We drove out to the Elder’s apartment and had trouble finding a parking spot.  We finally parked on the sidewalk and went in and checked it out!  They have a nice apartment with a few problems.  We tried to tighten some bolts on their weight-bench but we did not have the right tools.  They also need to fix one blind that keeps falling down.
       Well, that is about all for now.  We will send a second email later to catch up to today!
        We love you all!  We are doing well and enjoying our mission and England.
Read your scriptures, say your prayers, be nice, and remember who you are!!
        Dad and Mum.
      Elder and Sister Baron
     Grandma Joyce and Grandpa Baron